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RockShox Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir shock review

Still one of the finest, and most user friendly shocks

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £468.99 RRP | USD $510.00

Our review

Decent price, intuitive to set up and performs well if you get the right damping tune
Buy if, You want a proven option and are willing to invest time in finding the correct tune
Pros: User friendly, well priced, easy to tune, great performance providing you're using the correct tune
Cons: Performance is particularly sensitive to tune; less sensitive than some of the competition
Skip to view product specifications

The Monarch is a classic for good reason. Sag markings and simple, intuitive controls make it a cinch to get set up. This RC3 Debonair version uses a huge negative chamber, giving (almost) coil-spring levels of sensitivity in the beginning stroke, before ramping up smoothly after sag to prevent wallow.

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Combined with volume spacer bands, this means mid-end stroke support is easy to tune to your needs, so the lack of compression fine-tuning is no barrier to performance if you choose the right base setting.

The ‘Rapid Recovery’ rebound tune means a more flexible shim stack, which recovers faster from deep in the stroke before slowing down to avoid shooting too far past sag.

The RC3 Monarch is a benchmark set-and-forget shock
The RC3 Monarch is a benchmark set-and-forget shock
Steve Behr

This works a treat with most frames, though aggressive riders who want to fill it full of volume spacers will benefit from the firmer ‘Medium’ rebound tune, as we chose, or it can come up too fast after hard landings.

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Rebound consistency on long DH runs is mid-pack and it feels slightly less sensitive than the DVO or Float X2 under direct comparison.

Product Specifications


Name Name, 0, 10, Name, Monarch Plus DebonAir RC3 (16)
Brand Brand, 0, 20, Brand, RockShox

Weight (g) Weight (g), 2, 0, Weight (g), 390
Damping Adjustment Damping Adjustment, 2, 0, Damping Adjustment, Lockout Low Speed Compression Rebound