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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Monarch 3.1 wont hold air

    I have a KHS 555 with a Monarch 3.1. The bike rides fine, but the shock loses presure overnight (goes from 145 to 100 or so), and I have to air it up nearly every ride. THis is a huge pain in the butt. I have sent in the shock for service (and a new valve which appears to be a common issue) and lost use of my bike for about a month which is very frustrating to me. The problem is the issue is still there, and sending the shock back means I will lose use of the bike and I dont know if the issue will be resolved. I am considering a new shock but I dont know if the bike will work with a different shock or not.

    Should I suck it up and just live with pumping it up for every ride, or get a new shock. If I get a new shock, I need ideas for what will work with the bike, be durable, and not have a super high price tag.


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    First, check the valve. Get valve core tool, remove valve, clean really well. Grease. Tighten properly (don't go wild).
    If it still doesn't hold air then service it. Super easy shock to service.

    See here:

    That makes it sound harder than it is.
    You likely don't need ANY parts.

    Just grease (slick honey). And proper shock lube (buy a $2 pillow pack of Fox Float Fluid from JensonUSA - and browse for other good stuff inc slick honey whilst you're there - you'll have it all next day).

    To service the monarch, depressurise and crack it as in the bikeradar instructions (strap wrench (or improvise w old inner-tube)).
    Just crack it. Don't unscrew all the way.
    Then, take off frame. Remove the mounting hardware (black cylinders mounted on and perpendicular to the shaft-end eyelet) from the shaft end.
    Just pull 'em off. Come on! Don't be a baby. PULL! No pliers. Unles you protect the hardware (that inner tube again) and take care.

    Now unscrew it. Great care over last few turns and grip both pieces firmly. If it's tough then stick a dowel through the upper eyelet to help. Don't scratch the inside of the mount w a metal dowel.
    Once, unscrewed, pull off the air can. Look for damage to seals/ring. Or mis-seating. Dryness, dirt.
    Now slide off the foam ring.
    Clean it all really nicely. Get it perfect. Don't damage the o-rings. For how to remove them, search youtube for vid on servicing the RP23 Fox. Just the o-rings. If you pull out the seals, you will have to use new seals in the rebuild. So leave the SEALS in place. And clean well.
    Throw the fox fluid all over all the seals and o-rings and the foam ring. Put it back, right way around.
    Rebuild w normal grease on threads. There's a split-plastic ring thingy somewhere on the main body that you have to make sure is seated and stuck down with lube as you rebuild.
    Check it holds air.

    Worst case, you will need part #"11.4115.042.000"
    Monarch Service Kit (Basic).
    This has everything in it except juice - which they really should put in there!
    This has way more parts than you need. Inc new eyelet bushings, o-rings, air-valve, foam ring, seals. One way or another, it will solve your problem and maybe some future ones too - as long as you do the service like a pro. Search YT.
    Help us all by posting any problems. Inc any accidental BS in this post!
    Good luck.
    I love the Monarch shocks. I have a 4.2 and it's better than my Fox RP23 any day. Hold on. Caveat. They're on different bikes (similar but dif sus designs) so whilst I believe that statement, it isn't a perfect comparison.
    Oh, as they say on bikeradar, after doing the serice the shock might be so super-plush that you need a little more air.
    I find the foam ring ends up dry. Then the friction melts its inner survace. This increases contact area with the shaft, increasing friction. A good rub and a nice dose of float fluid does wonders for the plushness.
    There is also a Rockshox Monarch service vid somewhere on YT. Kudos RS.
    But that makes it seem v tough as it also shows servicing the complex bits that you don't need to worry about. So I hesitate to mention it. Check it. But don't let it put you off.
    I'd link, but you can find just as fast as I can.
    Make sure you post back.

    NB. KHS bikes are best price/performance out there. Wise choice.
    Get an adjustable travel fork on that baby like an RS U-turn or 2-pos or 2-step and you'll be in heaven.

    Oh. And give SRAM/ RS some serious credit.
    Nice products. Reliable. Good prices.
    Sell spares kits with no probs.
    Service vids on YT.
    All the tech docs on the website. Could improve the search and doc nomenclature/organisation there.

    Whilst we're spreading the love. MTBR and Bikeradar - obviously.
    Last edited by Ecogeek; 04-17-2011 at 04:04 PM.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    You have me suspecting that it is the valve core. The shock was recently serviced when they replaced the swivel valve a couple of months ago. Also the amount of pressure lost is not consistent. Sometimes I can go 3-4 days with no change and other times it is 1 day. Not much change except possible how tight I screw the cap back on when I inflate the shock. I will buy a valve core tool and try it out.

    Are those tools available at bike stores...or auto stores?

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