RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock review£275.00

Good performance and great pricing

BikeRadar score4/5

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.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster than the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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