RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 Rear Shock [Rider Review]

Our "Rider Review" article series features the honest reviews from verified purchasers of Worldwide Cyclery. They contain the photos, thoughts, feedback & overall review you are looking for. 

There is nothing quite like getting a new rear shock for your mountain bike. RockShox is one of the most popular choices and in this review, our customer Erik gives his thoughts on the RockShox Monarch RC3 shock. Check it out!

RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock


I have put just over 100 miles on my new RockShox Monarch Plus RC3, and am just getting it dialed in exactly how I want it. The good news: it’s incredibly easy to adjust and tweak. The rebound dial is intuitive and the 3-Position compression adjustment is a no-brainer. Currently, my bike seems to handle best in the middle option on the compression lock out — I may end up installing some volume spacers to fully open everything — but I plan to put some more miles on it first. Regardless, this shock has made my 2017 Norco Sight feel like a brand new bike again. The Plus RC3 was a major upgrade from my previous Monarch RT and the ride quality is beyond comparison. I wasn’t expecting to replace my rear shock (in fact, I was hoping to upgrade to a whole new bike), but I blew out the old RT before I was in a financial spot to get a whole new build. Luckily, Worldwide Cyclery had the Plus RC3 on sale and I am exceptionally pleased that I went for it. I’ll actually put-off buying a new bike for a few more seasons since the new shock feels so good!


Rock gardens feel buttery smooth and I’m not worried about packing down the rebound. In fact, I ended up reducing the rebound lower than expected because the shock is so supple.

My first ride felt a bit pogo-sticky, but after lowering the rebound a few turns I was amazed at how much traction I regained.

My frame isn’t Rampage-worthy, but bigger drops have not been an issue for the Monarch Plus. I only have about 140mm of travel in the back, but I’ve been able to send 3-4 foot drops without worry of bottoming out. The Plus RC3 rear shock soaks up the impact no problem.

RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock
It has a bit of play while pedaling uphill, even when fully locked-out, but not enough that I can use it as a legitimate excuse for being a slow climber. The RC3 is supposed to be supple, but it locks rigidly enough to spin up climbs for longer periods of time.

One thing to note is that the Monarch Plus RC3 seems to ooze an awful lot of grease and oil at first. By the end of my first few rides, there was a fair amount of grime buildup around the O-ring and lower shaft. I know that this can be normal when riding a fresh shock, but it was enough to make me worried that the seals were faulty. Thankfully, by ride five things started to look a lot cleaner. I haven’t noticed any grease build up at the end of my rides anymore, so I think it’s safe to say that there is just a longer “bedding” period for the Plus RC3.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line: I would definitely recommend the Monarch Plus RC3 for anyone wanting to take their all-mountain bike frame to a more enduro-style ride. Oh, one more thing — the box comes with additional decals so you can murder-out your style!

Shop RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 rear shock

March 28, 2021

Monarch Plus › Rear Shock › Rider Review › RockShox ›

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