Frame manufacturers often work closely with suspension manufacturers to produce rear shocks that are tuned or designed for specific suspension and frame designs. While aftermarket rear shocks or custom tuning is nothing new, RockShox’ new 2015 frame-specific aftermarket offerings are – they simplify a confusing and previously near-impossible upgrade.
RockShox is offering its Monarch and Monarch Plus rear shocks as aftermarket options for selected, highly popular Specialized and Trek frame models. This includes specific mounting hardware, tunes and configurations.
The Monarch is RockShox’ lightweight offering, and packs a redesigned Solo Air spring and updated damping controls that make it suited to aggressive trail riding or all-day epics. The Monarch Plus takes a design cue from the gravity-focused Vivid Air - it's little heavier than the Monarch, and is built for all-mountain use.
New for 2015, the Monarch Plus and some of the Monarch models will feature DebonAir, providing increased volume in both the positive and negative air chambers. It’s intended to give the shock a more linear feel and improve small bump sensitivity.
As the benefits of DebonAir are best suited to longer travel (130 to 160mm) bikes, the list of offered models isn’t too surprising:
The Monarch RT3 Auto Sag is priced at US$390 / €347 and is available for the Specialized Camber 29in/Rumor 29in 2013-2014 and Camber 29in EVO 2014. For the same price, the Monarch RT3 with DebonAir is available for the Trek Fuel EX 29in 2014, Remedy 26in/27.5in 2010 to 2014 and Remedy 29in 2014.
The Monarch Plus RC3 is available for the Specialized Stumpjumper FSR EVO 26in and 29in 2012 to 2014, along with the Enduro 26in and 29in 2013-2014 models. The Monarch Plus RC3 with DebonAir is available for the Trek Slash 26in/27.5in 2012 to 2014. Both are priced at US$499 / €444.