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  1. #1
    DGC
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    after riding......my Monarch Plus impressions

    Simply an awesome shock.....

    I had had some 3 good sized rides of quite different terrain on each, and a few short rides to and from work. Enough to give you some weekend reading on the baby.

    I started with the Fox RP23 Pushed, then a stock Monarch RT-3, followed by an RT-3 Pushed, and now the Monarch Plus RC-3 also Pushed.
    At slow speed and general riding, the Fox is pretty decent, once you get beyond slow, especially when you start hitting sharp edged rocks and lots of square edged hits, the Monarch's start pulling away from the Fox, quickly.
    The RT-3 clearly levels high speed stuff better than the RP23, well, the Plus just takes it to another level beyond the RT-3. To start with, the plus gets some Vivid damper technology I am told by RS, coil damper technology. The rebound is a slow speed adjuster, with a good amount of range to work with. The compression is not platform. It will give you the feel of platform when shock is moving very little pedaling when you have the compression lever either in mid or max position, but it gives a solid feel on everything you hit, it does not feel like you blow past the platform as soon as you start hitting things at speed, though I felt less harshness than expected hitting good sized sharp rocks at speed using the compression on the firm setting. Want to reduce wallow, in the saddle through dips? The Plus delivers that kind of mid stroke support where the platform shocks leave off. The 3 positions of compression are clearly felt even with my requested very light valving from Darren.

    One of the best ways to describe the Plus, is that is has a muddy feel when charging through rock gardens at speed, with the shock moving fast, or any mess of rocks producing successive fast hits. It feels like the shock is in slow motion, the back wheel feels like it is not only glued to the rocks, but sucking up each hit with max absorption. and NO spiked feel. Especially when the compression is at min. setting.

    Reguardless of the type of corners, the shock gives the bike a more level stable feel, less likely to pitch fore and aft the way the Fox can.
    Small drops.....no hint of bottom out, yet full travel with the standard air can.
    I now weigh about 180 - 182 pounds ready to ride, I had both the Monarch's almost spot on at 170 psi., producing 30% (15mm) sag for me. So far that feels about right.

    It is fun to just look for rocks and clutter you hit at speed. This is got to be about the closest your going to get to coil from an air shock on the 5 Spot. Amazing shock. If your looking for an upgrade, this has got to be about the best choice for the DW 5 Spot.

    DGC.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails after riding......my Monarch Plus impressions-img_3225-copy.jpg  

    after riding......my Monarch Plus impressions-img_3230-copy.jpg  

    OUCH...!!!!!!

  2. #2
    aka DJ Papi
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    Hey DGC. You mentioned that there was no hint of bottom out for small drops yet reached max travel... how "small" are the drops are you talking about? What if the drops became bigger...

    I still hope this will be the OEM shock DT will put on the coming rfx... even without it being pushed, reviews are great!

    Great write-up DGC.. cheers

  3. #3
    DGC
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    drops

    Quote Originally Posted by emrs0414
    Hey DGC. You mentioned that there was no hint of bottom out for small drops yet reached max travel... how "small" are the drops are you talking about? What if the drops became bigger...

    I still hope this will be the OEM shock DT will put on the coming rfx... even without it being pushed, reviews are great!

    Great write-up DGC.. cheers
    First realize everyone rides different, that changes results.
    2-5 foot drops.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  4. #4
    BBW
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    What if you have a monarch rt3... Could you upgrade the "upper" to get a PLUS from PUSH??
    BBW. MS, RD

  5. #5
    DGC
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    ???

    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    What if you have a monarch rt3... Could you upgrade the "upper" to get a PLUS from PUSH??
    No idea, that is a question for Darren.
    My guess is that if the inside of the bodies are the same, then it probably can be done. IF..................and IF it would work, you would have an entire new damper, entire new upper shock, service/Pushed tune charge, and probably not be ahead on money spent to get it done, vs. just buying the Plus RC3 from Push. But that's my guess.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  6. #6
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    On a side note, how is that Spechy Clutch working for you?
    Really curious to try that tire. Ever run it front and rear? Is it a slow roller?

  7. #7
    DGC
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    good rubber

    Quote Originally Posted by morandi
    On a side note, how is that Spechy Clutch working for you?
    Really curious to try that tire. Ever run it front and rear? Is it a slow roller?
    The Clutch is a real good tire. Only tire I like better is the Trail King. Not that slow rolling really, takes to tubeless quite well,that one weighed 750 g. range. Trail King better by a small margin in Tahoe dirt.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Many thanks for a great review DGC, very well written, in fact so impressive I have just bought one :-)

  9. #9
    Daniel the Dog
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    Stock verses Pushed?

    Was the Push upgrade worth it?

  10. #10
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    Just curious... What is the weight of the RP23 vs. the Monarch Plus?

    Thanks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbtuc8700
    Just curious... What is the weight of the RP23 vs. the Monarch Plus?

    Thanks.
    Here are some 2.0 x 7.5" shock weights for comparison:
    RP23 281 g
    Monarch PLUS RC3 355 g
    Ti coil Push MX Tune 640 g
    Coil DHX 5.0 772 g

  12. #12
    DGC
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    yes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo
    Was the Push upgrade worth it?
    worth it all day long. Especially when you consider the price of bikes and parts today, to get a shock that brings the bump eating level up a notch is always worth it in my mind. The bike rides smoother.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  13. #13
    DGC
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    weights

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbtuc8700
    Just curious... What is the weight of the RP23 vs. the Monarch Plus?

    Thanks.
    I thought I would post my weight findings to compare against Rockmans, maybe my digi scale is off. All shocks have the excellent Enduro shock needle bearing kit in the top of the shock only.

    Fox RP23 248 grams
    RS Monarch RT-3 306 grams
    RS Monarch RC3 Plus 335 grams
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  14. #14
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    Interesting. I weighed it again and I still get 281 g for the HV RP23 that Turner started spec'ing on the 5 spot toward the end of 2010. That's without reducers. Maybe the Push revalving and other naughty bits are lighter. I think I got the Monarch Plus weight off the Sram website.

  15. #15
    DGC
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    true weight

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    Interesting. I weighed it again and I still get 281 g for the HV RP23 that Turner started spec'ing on the 5 spot toward the end of 2010. That's without reducers. Maybe the Push revalving and other naughty bits are lighter. I think I got the Monarch Plus weight off the Sram website.
    Hard to say what the true weight really is, my digi scale is somewhat basic, bought at Staples, I replaced the battery 2 months ago, so who knows how accurate it really is. But is does give an idea of the difference from shock to shock.

    What I like is how close the Monarch Plus RC3 is to the RP23.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  16. #16
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    You mention the RC3 Plus feels close to a coil shock - What kind of coil shock is this being compared to ?

  17. #17
    DGC
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    coil

    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    You mention the RC3 Plus feels close to a coil shock - What kind of coil shock is this being compared to ?
    In general really. Small bump as well as mid stroke performance of coil in general vs.the plus RC3, Not based on anything specific. Feels the closest to a coil, but not the same. Any coil shock I have ridden still feels better on small chatter to mid sized stuff, but the gap has been closed with the Monarch Plus shock.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    In general really. Small bump as well as mid stroke performance of coil in general vs.the plus RC3, Not based on anything specific. Feels the closest to a coil, but not the same. Any coil shock I have ridden still feels better on small chatter to mid sized stuff, but the gap has been closed with the Monarch Plus shock.
    So if going for an "upgrade" why not just go Ti coil ? Is it the 285g ? Personally if I am going to spend $$$ on a frame the rear suspension should be optimally tuned even if there is a slight weight penalty.

  19. #19
    Bad Case of the Mondays
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    So if going for an "upgrade" why not just go Ti coil ? Is it the 285g ? Personally if I am going to spend $$$ on a frame the rear suspension should be optimally tuned even if there is a slight weight penalty.
    I think its the 285 grams.

    Review(s) say the Plus is as close to a coil free from an air shock they've found, but no one I've seen has said it is better than a good coil. I think there are three advantages to a Monarch Plus over a coil

    1. Weight savings (first and foremost)
    2. Easier ability to adjust for changes in rider weight / leverage ratio with air pressure instead of buying another ti coil spring
    3. Potential cost savings versus something like a PUSH MX Tune on a Vanilla R and buying a ti coil. The cost of a PUSH MX Tune & a ti coil even with using an existing coil shock (considered as a sunk cost) would be similar to the cost of a Monarch Plus.

  20. #20
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    What size frame do you have? I wonder if the piggyback will clear the downtube on small sized frames?

  21. #21
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    FYI. Diverse is no longer making mtb Ti springs for those considering the MX Tune.

    And for those like myself that are considering picking up an aftermarket Monarch Plus (not pushed) ...the light (low) compresson tune is not available in a 2.0 x 7.5". Only from Push. Darren at Push also confirmed to me today what DGC indicated (ie., the mid tune will ride harsh on a 5 spot unless you weigh 300 pounds).

  22. #22
    DGC
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    large

    Quote Originally Posted by rippling over canyons
    What size frame do you have? I wonder if the piggyback will clear the downtube on small sized frames?
    My 5 Spot is large, i have heard medium being no problem. I think I remember DT telling me something like on a small frame the resy would just barely touch the cable housing on the downtube? But to be sure, you should contact DT to be sure. This is something you do not want to be wrong about. Maybe Darren can confirm it as well.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  23. #23
    DGC
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    read jdubs post

    Quote Originally Posted by keen
    So if going for an "upgrade" why not just go Ti coil ? Is it the 285g ? Personally if I am going to spend $$$ on a frame the rear suspension should be optimally tuned even if there is a slight weight penalty.
    Jdub hit it mostly, but you bring up a good question. I feel the way you do keen about the $$ spent on a frame. However..........
    If our terrain was much more high speed chop and/or consistantly sharp edge rock, I would likely have a Ti coil shock set up. I may buy a coil shock set up, but it would be just for shuttle rides at places like Downieville and Moab.
    Air shocks do extremely well in Tahoe dirt. Add an ultra light tune from Push on a Monarch Plus.......no need for a coil shock on our terrain.

    Add to that, at almost 50 years old, my shattered leg from 5-6 years ago has added some problems to my knee. I took off my Trail King 2.4 tubeless the other day, the knees noticed the 3/4 pound less right away.

    DC.
    OUCH...!!!!!!

  24. #24
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    Put an RC3 on my Sultan a couple of weeks ago. It's just a standard Mid-Rebound, Mid-compression non PUSH'ed one because thats all that was available at a reasonable price over on this side of the Atlantic.

    I think DGC decribed the ride pretty well. I'm very happy with it. Soaks up the bumps as well if not better than the RP23 and the compression switch actually has an affect keeping the rear stiff and high on long fire road climbs.

    I suspect that I could have use the Low compression model (if I could have found one) and might just get the necessary changes done when it first gets serviced. We'll see.

    Combined with my new 'zocchi 140 up front the Sultan is transformed.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGC
    Jdub hit it mostly, but you bring up a good question. I feel the way you do keen about the $$ spent on a frame. However..........
    If our terrain was much more high speed chop and/or consistantly sharp edge rock, I would likely have a Ti coil shock set up. I may buy a coil shock set up, but it would be just for shuttle rides at places like Downieville and Moab.
    Air shocks do extremely well in Tahoe dirt. Add an ultra light tune from Push on a Monarch Plus.......no need for a coil shock on our terrain.

    Add to that, at almost 50 years old, my shattered leg from 5-6 years ago has added some problems to my knee. I took off my Trail King 2.4 tubeless the other day, the knees noticed the 3/4 pound less right away.

    DC.
    Seems like just about every other season , after running a coil, I try another air shock. The switch to air usually involes platform dampning to help my TNT Turner pedal better for aggressive XC / trail riding. This season it was a Protune'd Fox RP23 (hi compression tune) On a positive note - nice platform climbing, slow to mid speed chop was pretty smooth. Negative - fast chop overwhelmed, soft midstoke made for a dead feel when trying to pop the bike off small jumps. I am begginning to think air suspensions just move thru their travel easier than a coil ??? Even @ 33 % sag my coil is very active yet supportive / lively. I want to try a Monarch Plus but as mentioned I think air as a spring might be an issue vs. the actual damper ???

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