RockShox has been working hard to make its shocks match its excellent forks and the RT3 delivers good performance and great pricing. Breakaway and low load friction has always been a problem for RockShox shocks, but new air spring, seals, lubrication, glide ring and piston produce a more sensitive start to the stroke to suck up small bumps. It’s not the best, but it's one of the best, in terms of ground connection.
That said it’s important to choose the right pre-set tune from the wide range offered by Fisher as they tend towards the firmer side. That’s great if you’re an aggressive rider who wants a more planted, stable feel through corners, but if you want a more buoyant, mobile shock for a plusher feel we‘d definitely choose a ‘Low’ rather than ‘Medium’ tune. Especially as the ‘Floodgate’ low speed compression damping gives the opportunity to firm it up or completely lock it out anyway.
Rebound is similarly broad with a foolproof tortoise and hare graphic and sag markers printed on the shock shaft to make initial set-up easy. The fixed filler valve should ensure reliability and the price includes a shock pump (fit kits are £17) making it cracking value.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.