• 03-13-2013
    Shock upgrade for 2009 Specialized Pitch Comp
    Hi there, I've been having a great time on my 2009 Specialized Pitch Comp for a bit over a year. It's just running the stock Pike 327 and X-Fusion O2R, and I've been thinking about giving the suspension an upgrade, starting with the shock.

    I've figured I'd like to go with either a Monarch RT3 or Monarch Plus RC3. Now I'm interested in getting any advice/opinions about which might be best for me.

    1) TF Tuned Monarch RT3 - US$283 - (high volume, new, 2013)

    2) TF Tuned Monarch Plus RC3 - US$406/US443 - (normal or high volume, new, 2013)

    3) Pinkbike Monarch Plus RC3 - US$330 - (high volume, new, 2013, medium/medium tune, rebuild kit)

    If I buy from TF Tuned they'll set up it for me/my bike/my style (whatever that entails...) and fit the correct mount kits.

    The medium tune on the Pinkbike RC3 is alright, I believe it fits with the Pitch's leverage ratio of ~2.6.

    I'm a very light rider, only 60kg maybe 65 with gear (130-140 pounds). My local is a forest bike park so I do mainly 'trail' riding, with a fair chunk of downhill and drops/gaps up to ~6 foot, although I'm working up my skill/confidence for bigger stuff.

    Will the Plus RC3 be worth the extra 'investment'? If so, will I be fine with the cheaper Pinkbike one or is TFT worth the extra cost? Should I get normal or high volume? Some thoughts on this would be great :)

  • 03-15-2013
    The Monarch plus gets pretty great reviews. If you do a lot of faster stuff you might notice the difference. Also it has a reservoir and more oil volume, for long descents Alps f.e. it might be more heat resistant.

    I'd go for the TFtuned route. Pretty great company.

    Greetings Znarf
  • 03-15-2013
    +1 on the TF tuned.

    Do not buy a shock off the shelf. Shocks have internal "tunes" and a specific tuned shock is specced to the linkage dynamics for the suspension to work at it's best. Tune matches to frames is not readily available info - so you'll be guessing.

    TF Tuned will navigate that for you (like getting the low volume air canister needed for that frame - HV = travel blow through)

    That said, I have not had a problem with my non-piggyback air shock on my Enduro riding park, 4500 foot descents, general ass hauling. But everyone is different, and if you are a rock star or have consistent extended descents it might be worth while. My body would get fatigued and I wold stop and take a break well before the shock melted :)

  • 03-16-2013
    Thanks for your thoughts guys. As it happens, NZ customs crap means I can't really afford the Plus from TF, so I'm pretty much choosing between the RT3 from TFT and the Plus off Pinkbike.

    I gave TFT a call the other day and had a good chat to them about it. Interestingly, the guy there didn't really rate the Plus, reckoned it had a tendency to knock and not give a great ride. Although as Znarf said all I've seen for it is praise...

    He also thought a high volume can would be more ideal for me, which agrees with what I've read/heard from posting elsewhere. Apparently they are better for lighter riders, which I am (~60kg).

    Also, as far as the off-the-shelf/tunes go, all TFTs shocks come with medium rebound damping, and they will adjust the compression damping to suit (or vice versa I can't quite remember :)), and potentially adjust the shims if they think it's required. So not exactly like getting it PUSHed, but probably useful.

    To be fair though, the Pinkbike Plus medium/medium tune isn't exactly useless. Looking at a SRAM leverage chart for the Plus, the Pitch's ratio of 2.6 is pretty much bang on for medium tune.

    EDIT: Is the main benefit to the Plus just the extra oil/flow for long descents? I was thinking about it in more a a 'better ride/better for bigger stuff' sense, as most of my downhills are only about 5 minutes (pine forest trail centre, not a mountain :().