Monarch or Vivid for Future CHUMBAs?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Monarch or Vivid for Future CHUMBAs?

    Got this e-mail from SRAM. Would you guys and gals want a Monarch or Vivid on any of our models?

    Monarch: The Monarch is a great performer. From my personal experience the monarch has always soaked up the bumps really well and kept my rear wheel tracking seamlessly behind me. With the right tune the Monarch can be very efficient and also handle small bumps with ease. The Monarch has a number of features that help able the rider to tune the shock specifically for their bike. In terms of tuning the solo air spring, you can obviously change the air pressure but we also offer a standard air can and a high volume air can. The high volume will create a more linear feel to the spring curve. In terms of damping the monarch 4.2 has external adjustments for beginning stroke rebound with a factory tuned ending stroke rebound. For Compression adjust on the 4.2 there is a floodgate on/off switch. When in the on position blow-off force can be adjusted using the gold floodgate knob. The floodgate can also create a firmer platform to pedal against. Other special features about monarch compression is that the compression has parallel low and high speed circuits meaning that these different circuits will not affect each other allowing for better control. Also the compression has a checked circuit meaning that it is a one way flow so that there is not rebound flow back. This allows for the rider to tune compression and rebound with no sacrifice to each other. The monarch is available in 5 different tunes. A,B and C are mostly for shock sizes 152 through 200x51. D and E are for mostly for shock sizes 200x57 and 216x63.

    Vivid: The most recent improvement was the replacement of a chrome steel inner sleeve with an aluminum sleeve to reduce the weight by 28g. Total weight of a 216 shock is 412 grams. The advantage of the Vivid shock is the wide degree of adjustments that can be made to fine tune the ride. For the Vivid 5.1 adjustments for beginning rebound, ending rebound and low speed compression are all externally tunable. Also used is our bottom out system which involves the use of one of three bottom-out bumpers. Each one will have a different affect on the last 20% of travel. Outside of all of these external adjustments is the option for 3 different internal tunes which are designed to work with the different types of suspension and leverage ratios.
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    I switched to a vivid 5.1 on my F5 recently and I can't say enough good things about it. It's a little heavier than the dhx5, but if far outperforms a Dhx.
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    Vivid is good stuff, for sure better than a regular dhx5 but now the RC4 is out I can't tell if the vivid will outperform this new shock.

    Monarch is good too IMO.

  4. #4
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    yeah, I have a monarch on my SS. it's pretty good for an air shock.. I did quite a few Dh runs on it this weekend, and I honestly think it outperforms a dhx coil.
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    Another player

    I was using a RS on a previous bike and I am less than impressed. there was nothing wrong per se, but it had weeping issues and it was a bit harsh inspite of playing with the settings... repeatedly.

    FWIW... I have an X-Fusion H3 on my EVO test bike and I am blown away by how well it rides. I know, I know, I'm biased. But I have owned a lot of bikes and suspension over the last 15 years. I won't keep, tout or sell something I don't have faith in.

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    i switched to the vivid 5.1 as well over the dhx,the vivid performs far better than the fox.

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    It depends on how they work on the frames they are fitted to. From what point of view is that email written from? It looks like it was written from the POV of being fitted to something, but what?

    Got this e-mail from SRAM. Would you guys and gals want a Monarch or Vivid on any of our models?

    Monarch: The Monarch is a great performer. From my personal experience the monarch has always soaked up the bumps really well and kept my rear wheel tracking seamlessly behind me. With the right tune the Monarch can be very efficient and also handle small bumps with ease. The Monarch has a number of features that help able the rider to tune the shock specifically for their bike. In terms of tuning the solo air spring, you can obviously change the air pressure but we also offer a standard air can and a high volume air can. The high volume will create a more linear feel to the spring curve. In terms of damping the monarch 4.2 has external adjustments for beginning stroke rebound with a factory tuned ending stroke rebound. For Compression adjust on the 4.2 there is a floodgate on/off switch. When in the on position blow-off force can be adjusted using the gold floodgate knob. The floodgate can also create a firmer platform to pedal against. Other special features about monarch compression is that the compression has parallel low and high speed circuits meaning that these different circuits will not affect each other allowing for better control. Also the compression has a checked circuit meaning that it is a one way flow so that there is not rebound flow back. This allows for the rider to tune compression and rebound with no sacrifice to each other. The monarch is available in 5 different tunes. A,B and C are mostly for shock sizes 152 through 200x51. D and E are for mostly for shock sizes 200x57 and 216x63.

    Vivid: The most recent improvement was the replacement of a chrome steel inner sleeve with an aluminum sleeve to reduce the weight by 28g. Total weight of a 216 shock is 412 grams. The advantage of the Vivid shock is the wide degree of adjustments that can be made to fine tune the ride. For the Vivid 5.1 adjustments for beginning rebound, ending rebound and low speed compression are all externally tunable. Also used is our bottom out system which involves the use of one of three bottom-out bumpers. Each one will have a different affect on the last 20% of travel. Outside of all of these external adjustments is the option for 3 different internal tunes which are designed to work with the different types of suspension and leverage ratios.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    It depends on how they work on the frames they are fitted to. From what point of view is that email written from? It looks like it was written from the POV of being fitted to something, but what?
    It looks to me like they explaining the virtues of the shock, and trying to sell RS to Chumba, nothing to do with a particular type of frame design?

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    Perhaps, but they get into some specifics of operation early on, and these characteristics are often highly dependent on many variables in the suspension design. Just because it works on one, doesn't mean it will work on another. Even if the design looks similar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Perhaps, but they get into some specifics of operation early on, and these characteristics are often highly dependent on many variables in the suspension design. Just because it works on one, doesn't mean it will work on another. Even if the design looks similar.
    Unless you buy a CCDB, most OE shocks are a fit all type, with the exception of perhaps tuning the compression/rebound propedal.

    I am not aware of a shock manufacturer who builds a shock just for that frame builder, apart from a difference in tune?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by airdrawn
    Unless you buy a CCDB, most OE shocks are a fit all type, with the exception of perhaps tuning the compression/rebound propedal.

    I am not aware of a shock manufacturer who builds a shock just for that frame builder, apart from a difference in tune?
    Check out many of the Specialized shocks. Most are proprietary sizing and/or mounting. This is beyond their "technology" and tuning.

    I don't know really the point of the response because that's kind of what I was saying. Sometimes certain designs work, while others don't. It depends on what it's being fitted to and we have no way of knowing how they work on Chumba's bikes until they actually ride with them, then come back to the consumers and report the findings and make an offering. This type of option shouldn't be driven by the consumer. It should be tested first by the manufacturer to ensure compatibility and offer tuning guidelines, and then offered to the consumer as a choice.

    ...oh yeah, the CCDB is not the be-all end-all. Your assumption is somewhat incorrect about it. They have stock sizing and stock tuning. For the latter, they believe they have it down with their current valving, so the valving is one size fits all.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    Check out many of the Specialized shocks. Most are proprietary sizing and/or mounting. This is beyond their "technology" and tuning.
    Specialized have very specific ideas about travel and leverage ratio, and some of the shocks they order (by the the hundreds or thousands) from other vendors are modified to suit their propietary designs. Typically though you have to place a big order to get the custom tuning or special mods.

    I have found that most rear shocks are designed with such a wide range of adjustments that they can be set up to work on most, not all, but most bikes. This is as long as the i2i, stroke and purpose are the same.

    I still don't much like the RS air shocks, although I hear good things about the Vivid. (no personal experience)
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    You might not have caught the special mounts on some Specialized bikes that require a completely proprietary shock.

  14. #14
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    Generally - have the experiences with the Monarch shocks been positive?
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  15. #15
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    I love my monarch. I've now ridden it enough to get a good feel for it. Plus it's a pound lighter than the DHX it replaced. The pedaling platform is actually usable.... It blows off easier and doesn't sacrifice small bump compliance in the rocks, yet it still pedals great. Normally with a DHX I would have to turn propedal off for any DH or bumpy section. The flood gate is always left on and it still handles great.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rollertoaster
    I love my monarch. I've now ridden it enough to get a good feel for it. Plus it's a pound lighter than the DHX it replaced. The pedaling platform is actually usable.... It blows off easier and doesn't sacrifice small bump compliance in the rocks, yet it still pedals great. Normally with a DHX I would have to turn propedal off for any DH or bumpy section. The flood gate is always left on and it still handles great.
    That is very interesting - so it outperforms the DHX with respect to squat - and much lighter. Stuff I like to hear. Which model do you have - ?
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  17. #17
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    None of the above I say RC4 for the win! Fox makes great products and has been doing so for years it's what they DO! I would also like to say a shock that is made and designed in the USA will far out perform any shock made in Taiwan, China or Mexico.....and the list goes on......would you ride a Rock Shock suspension on your bajha truck or would you go FOX if money was no problem?


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by markskee
    None of the above I say RC4 for the win! Fox makes great products and has been doing so for years it's what they DO! I would also like to say a shock that is made and designed in the USA will far out perform any shock made in Taiwan, China or Mexico.....and the list goes on......would you ride a Rock Shock suspension on your bajha truck or would you go FOX if money was no problem?

    Wow, that was great input on ride characteristics of any of the aforementioned shocks...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by markskee
    None of the above I say RC4 for the win! Fox makes great products and has been doing so for years it's what they DO! I would also like to say a shock that is made and designed in the USA will far out perform any shock made in Taiwan, China or Mexico.....and the list goes on......would you ride a Rock Shock suspension on your bajha truck or would you go FOX if money was no problem?

    Well, do you know where Fox gets their parts made?

    I'll give you a hint, it's surrounded by water.

    Some people would say they'd go BOS (if it was available) from France if money was no issue for performance off-road or on varying surfacse (rally).
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  20. #20
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    I have the top end model of the monarch, I can't be bothered to check at the moment. But it's the one with adjustable floodgate and an on/off lever. It outperforms the dhx in that the pedaling platform works and it doesn't effect the ability to plow through some rocks. Whenever I try that on a Dhx with the propedal on my feet get blown off the pedals.

    I haven't tried a RC4 but for the money I'll take a Vivid any day over a FOX. I can actually use my low speed compression adjustment without the shock spiking.
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  21. #21
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    without loads of bike specific testing there's no way you'll get a decent answer on this. I currently run an RC4 WC on my F5. However I've yet to try anything else so can't say much about it other than it works well enough.

    I run a CCDB on my Nicolai but have also spent a fair bit of time on the DHX5, Roco TSTR, RP23 and Monarch 4.2 on the same frame so have a good feel for what I like and the differences between them. Not surprising i like the CCDB most but the rest all work well also. there's no bad shocks there. As I've yet to run one on a chumba i can't say which I'd prefer.

    From a retail point of view there's still kudos to be had by speccing a Fox shock over Rockshox. performance wise there's probably not much in it

    Most preferences are down to past experience and brand loyalty.

  22. #22
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    Here's Go-Ride's review of the RC4:

    Good to hear you're liking it!

    It is for sure important to select a shock that you can get support for-where ever it is you live. Us yanks are lucky in that respect.

    We have found that we are getting best results tuning the air pressure and boost volume rather than tuning the LSC and HSC knobs. Sad but true, the adjusters have tiny orfaces that seem to choke off performance much like the DHX did. Crazy as it sounds, oil can and does pass right around the LSC and HSC circuit and goes directly into the resivoir via the Propedal valve. I mentioned the propedal valve- there is still one in the resivoir.
    Some must be metered through the circuits but not all of it like one would think...i'm not sure why. Maybe because of the huge shaft that displaces so much oil that the valves cannot cope with all the displacement. Therefore the air pressure still controls much of the damping. If you're having a hard time getting that plush ride but also staying up in the travel try backing out the adjusters and running a little more pressure. It may or may not be the ticket. The shock is still so new that we have only tried it on a couple bikes. The LSC adjuster is good for tuning out the bob on a climb though.

    Considering the CCDB is only $65 more US at retail it is hard for me to be super excited about the RC4. It's hard not to like Fox, as the company as a whole is great, but being able to speak to malcom at CC and actually know what the hell he is putting into the shocks as apposed to being stonewalled by Fox every time i try to get some info from them is frustrating at the least.

    Having to break out the tool for the heavy and expensive CCDB is a bit of a pain, and it takes time to set one up-the rebound alone takes a day or two to get dialed in. The ride, however is second to none. i have the new 2010 super wide range valving that has ruined the performance of every fork i have now. C'mon 2010 Lyric 170!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Here's Go-Ride's review of the RC4:
    I agree with Go-Ride; with the lowered price of the CCDB this year - I think it will be THE shock to be beat. Although I am not familiar with the RC4s LSC and HSC valves - if indeed the function of these two adjustments is compromised as the review seems to indicate, would be a strong reason to take another look at the CCDB as well.
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