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  1. #1
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    Monarch Plus vs. Roco TST R Air

    Did a search and haven't found any direct comparisons, so can anybody that has experience with both chime in? This will be going on my Mojo HD 160.

    Right now I'm on a DHX Air, and am thoroughly disapointed with the pedal bob I'm getting on climbs. I miss the instantaneous acceleration that I had come to expect from DW Link frames. I live on the CO Front Range, so this is important when we're talking up to 5k ft in climbing on a single ride. Most of the riding here is rocky, sometimes loose, steep ups and downs. Not a whole lot of jumps/drops, the most I run into is around 2-4ft. I'll get to the bike park a few times, but not enough to influence my decision. So, my priorities on the downhill are high speed control through rocks and chunk (not Utah/AZ chunk though).

    I'd like to keep the cost to around $500 w/tune. Suspension Experts would tune the Monarch, and Bikeco.com would tune the Roco. Vector Air HLR and CCDB Air are on the radar, but cost (both) and overwhelming tuning options (DB Air) has those in second place at the moment.

    Any folks out there that can share their experiences?
    I'm always looking for new people to ride with. If you are on the Front Range, shoot me a PM and let's go ridin'.

  2. #2
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    I would go with the monarch of those two choices. However, if it was me and I had $500 to spend then I would buy a used xfusion in nice condition. I'd then send it back to xfusion for rebuild and dw tune. The vector air is such a nice shock and you're so close to the price range that I would opt for it. You can get a nice used one for $275-350 and a full rebuild + tune is about $200.

    The rc3 is a really nice shock at the $350 price you can get them for. They're also easy to rebuild and tune yourself. But spending $500+ on one doesn't seem worth it to me. But if you do end up deciding on the rc3 make sure that you're getting a 2014 model. They made a few needed changes to the shock and you should definitely opt for that year only considering you're buying new.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Kan. Which of the four shocks mentioned have you ridden?

    Thanks for the reminder on buying used. I had originally planned to do that with a monarch plus, then have it rebuilt/tuned, but it's impossible to find any M/L Monarch Pluses. I've now ruled out the Roco, as I don't want to have to mess with a lockout lever all the time when climbing. Like you said, I think an used Vector Air HLR is my best bet. I like the ability to tune LS and HS compression independently. My only hesitation is that I would like to know how it climbs in comparison to an RP23, given that the Vector is a DH oriented shock. I think I'll give Ibis a call to see if they have any advice.
    I'm always looking for new people to ride with. If you are on the Front Range, shoot me a PM and let's go ridin'.

  4. #4
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    I came from a Pushed RP23 on my faux DWlink, a Giant Reign, and I now sport a bone stock Monarch Plus. I can't see how it could benefit from a custom tune, this thing is stellar! The pedaling platform is what sold me on it, I got to demo one on my bike before buying. I use less energy now when pedaling and make it up way more tech stuff then with the Fox. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbug View Post
    Thanks Kan. Which of the four shocks mentioned have you ridden?

    Thanks for the reminder on buying used. I had originally planned to do that with a monarch plus, then have it rebuilt/tuned, but it's impossible to find any M/L Monarch Pluses. I've now ruled out the Roco, as I don't want to have to mess with a lockout lever all the time when climbing. Like you said, I think an used Vector Air HLR is my best bet. I like the ability to tune LS and HS compression independently. My only hesitation is that I would like to know how it climbs in comparison to an RP23, given that the Vector is a DH oriented shock. I think I'll give Ibis a call to see if they have any advice.
    I've owned a pushed rp2, vector air and a monarch plus. The rp2 and xfusion were on the same frame while the monarch is on a different frame. The xfusion is MUCH better than the fox in every way except for weight. It weights over .5lbs more than the fox. Ignoring that the xfusion offers everything you could want at your price point. The adjustment range for all the settings are huge and you notice almost every click. You can almost lock out the rear with the ls compression adjustment so you can easily dial in the amount of platform you want.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbug View Post
    I'd like to keep the cost to around $500 w/tune.
    Of the two I'd take the monarch, simply because SRAM are easier/faster to get parts from than Marzocchi tend to be.

    I have a monarch and leave it set open most of the time, it's tuned quite firm and doesn't bob around unless you try.

    But, for $250-ish and you could send your DHX to Avalanche for new internals and tuning. I'd look at that too.

  7. #7
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    No experience with the Roco but the monarch plus I had on my bike was awesome.

    Another option is keep the DHX and send it into Craig at avalanche. Avalanche is one of the best upgrades you can do to a bike. I am on the front range also and avalanche just destroys chatter and stays higher in the travel for the techy rockgardens we have, but is still very plush. He installs a SSD (speed sensitive damper) so you notice the shock on the successive hits the most, where a normal air damper may struggle to keep its travel for the next big hit you encounter.

    Fox DHX Air Speed sensitive Damper Adjuster Kit

    Avy'd DHX air or monarch plus is my vote.

  8. #8
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    not sure if you still looking for shock. i am also in front range, co on mojo hd, however 650b conversion. i got my roco 6months ago and its awesome. super smooth and plush, plus easily rebuildable and tuneable if this is something you care for. roco does not really have lockout, it has however 5 position switch which middle position is pretty much good for all around riding. long chunky downhills however shred wit it fully open for big smiles
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  9. #9
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    Gbug, I have the same frame and suspension experts tuned a monarch for my HD160 and its amazing. It makes going up a little more compliant than the sleeved rp23 but coming down was SO MUCH better, and more customizable. I highly recommend the tuned Monarch from SE.

  10. #10
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    Maz--Did you get the 2014 Monarch? What size does your HD 160 run?
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  11. #11
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    Thanks all for the input. In the end, I decided to send my DHX to Avalanche to get the SSD and custom tune. Not only was it the cheapest option at ~$250, I heard from a couple folks that said their Avy tuned DHX's kept up with or outperformed CCDB air shocks. I only have one ride on the new tune due to injury/winter, but I have no doubt that I will be happy with the upgrade.

    With all that said, if I ever go 650b on this frame, I will give the Roco another look, since Bikeco seems to be the only guys turning out a custom 150mm-ish travel shock for the HD frame.
    I'm always looking for new people to ride with. If you are on the Front Range, shoot me a PM and let's go ridin'.

  12. #12
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    I did the same Avalanche mod to my DHX air shock on a 07 Nomad. I was also considering the Mon+ shock, but it is very hard to find in the correct size and tune.

    My shock has the extended reservoir and Avalanche IFP options. With everything including expensive 2 way shipping(Canada)and then getting dinged by customs for another $50 my cost was closer to $400.

    The shock itself works very well, a bit of pedal bob climbing, but nowhere near as bad as a stock DHX. Its very plush on the downhills.

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