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  1. #1
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    Bump in the stroke Monarch R

    So let me preference that I am a large man….about 260. After a couple of thousand miles, I decided it was time to give the rear suspension of my Salsa Spearfish some attention. I have rebuilt the Monarch R and discovered that I need some new bearings in all the pivots as well, which I await on delivery. I took it out yesterday for the first ride after the new shock has been built and initial impression was good……however a few miles into the ride, on larger hits such as an oak root, it felt like my tire lacked air and my rim was making contact with the obstacle. (Tire pressure is fine) The shock is not bottoming out and the bearings aren’t that bad there is slop in them, just notchie. When I rebuilt the shock I put 250PSI of air in the damper body as prescribed.

    1. The rebound was set to the slowest setting
    2. I have 250 PSI in the damper body and 240PSI in the shock itself.
    3. I am 260 lbs. with gear.
    4. Small bump compliance is better than pre-rebuild.
    5. Long travel has a “feel” to it like the rear rim is making contact with an obstacle or the rear tire is loose and bouncing into place.
    Any ideas of what is going on or if adding some air to the damper will help? I know Sram’s YouTube video says between 200-300psi. I went by the manual and ran 250psi. I am a bit confused as to what is going on.
    Also it calls for 3 weight fluid, which I used. Since I am so large, do you think 5 weight would perform better?

  2. #2
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    Have you checked your sag? Running the rebound full slow also firms up the low speed compression substantially. At your weight, you really need to firm up the rebound shim stack and get back to where the rebound clicker is about half way out. What you are describing sounds like it is spiking on square edge bumps due to too much lsc.

    Sounds like you halfway know your way around a shock if you changed the oil in it. It's not that hard to change the shim stack if you feel comfortable removing the piston.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktm520 View Post
    Have you checked your sag? Running the rebound full slow also firms up the low speed compression substantially. At your weight, you really need to firm up the rebound shim stack and get back to where the rebound clicker is about half way out. What you are describing sounds like it is spiking on square edge bumps due to too much lsc.

    Sounds like you halfway know your way around a shock if you changed the oil in it. It's not that hard to change the shim stack if you feel comfortable removing the piston.
    Thanks for the terrific info.
    I am perfectly comfortable disassembling the thing but don't know exactly what the shim stack is but would love to change it as I am too heavy for it, as it stands. I saw a few washers and spaces under the seal in the damper. Is this what you are referring to? Can you recommend where to get more information on this?

  4. #4
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    start here:
    Rockshox Monarch RT3 Shim Stack

    you can buy shims here:
    MX-Tech Suspensions

    When you are ready to make a guess at a new rebound stack, shout back. I believe that there are instruction on how to remove the piston in the service manual, but if not, I can help you there also.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktm520 View Post
    start here:
    Rockshox Monarch RT3 Shim Stack

    you can buy shims here:
    MX-Tech Suspensions

    When you are ready to make a guess at a new rebound stack, shout back. I believe that there are instruction on how to remove the piston in the service manual, but if not, I can help you there also.
    Thanks for the reply and the links. Very informative. I would like to go ahead and change the rebound stack. I am 6'4 and 260lbs and have a Salsa Spearfish which is short travel. I like the rear suspension set on the rebound where it is at the threshold of not feeling like it is riding a bucking bronco.......which I think is pretty slow. I don't ride very aggressive and my local course is very roottie but tame.(South Alabama, home of the oak and pine roots) I ride the full suspension just to take a little edge off for my bad back....and who doesn't like full squish. What is your recommendation? I have already had the damper apart as I changed the fluid in it on this rebuild. The O-ring that had failed was the one in the center of the damper cap that the piston rod rides. (Terminology may not be right) The only thing I did not get into what the top end/rebound.
    BTW this evening, I am pretty sure I found the problem. The adapter that I aired up the damper with is defective so the pressure is way too low. It does not disengage the air valve before it releases the seal; it loses about 100 psi when you disengage it. I am going to chuck it up in the lathe and take about 1/16th of an inch off out of the center and that should fix the problem.

  6. #6
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    Are you removing the adapter with the pump still attached? How are you are measuring how much air is lost when you remove the adapter? Remember, when you re-attach the the pump adapter, the pressure reading will be about 100psi low for that shock because it has to fill the pump hose. I rode a Spearfish with an RT3 all last year.

    Unless you have a 2013 shock, the med tune rebound stack should be:

    15 x .1
    14 x .2

    I would start by adding 3x 15x.1 shims. This will increase the overall stack stiffness by 33%. It may take a few iterations before you settle on the optimal stack. I would probably buy a bag of 10 shims.

    I'm 165lb and the stock stack was a little on the stiff side for my liking, but I never got around to playing around with the rebound before the frame got hung on the wall.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktm520 View Post
    Are you removing the adapter with the pump still attached? How are you are measuring how much air is lost when you remove the adapter? Remember, when you re-attach the the pump adapter, the pressure reading will be about 100psi low for that shock because it has to fill the pump hose. I rode a Spearfish with an RT3 all last year.

    Unless you have a 2013 shock, the med tune rebound stack should be:

    15 x .1
    14 x .2

    I would start by adding 3x 15x.1 shims. This will increase the overall stack stiffness by 33%. It may take a few iterations before you settle on the optimal stack. I would probably buy a bag of 10 shims.

    I'm 165lb and the stock stack was a little on the stiff side for my liking, but I never got around to playing around with the rebound before the frame got hung on the wall.
    That is exactly how I was getting the measurement. But I believe it is not disengaging the schrader valve before it breaks the seal. I pumped it way up, disconnected, and hooked it back up and it showed 200psi. So I repeated and it felt MUCH better(I haven't ridden it on the trail yet. Just the street hitting potholes.)

    Do you think the "special tune" they do for the Spearfish may include a heavier weight fluid. It called for 3 wt, which is what I used. Think they could have used 5wt or 7wt fluid?

  8. #8
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    No, I specifically asked Salsa about the "special tune". All this means is that they picked one of RS's standard tunes, which is this case was the L comp and M reb. It's kind of deceiving marketing trickery. I would stick with 3wt. If you change oil viscosity, it will affect both comp and reb damping across the board.

    You need to leave the pump attached to adapter when removing, which it sounds like you are doing. There is a lot of air that escapes from the pump hose when it is removed.

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