Monarch Plus Debonair for E29?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Monarch Plus Debonair for E29?

    Have any of you enduro 29er owners swapped the cane creek DB air for a rockshox monarch plus Debonair?

    What has your experience been like?
    "Luck favors the Prepared"

  2. #2
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    I didn't have the cane creek but I did put a Monarch RC3+ debonair on and I really like it. I had a Fox CTD that had been sent to Avalanche. It fits nice and works well, I don't really feel like making up a bunch of terms to describe how it feels but I'm happy with it, probably the highest compliment is I rarely notice it, but then will see I've been using a bunch of travel. Only thing I find is the 3 position compression lever does not have a dramatic change like the CTD did, if you are looking for a climbing lockout you might be disappointed. I never use lock outs so I didn't care. Its a quality piece though, I recommend it but I cannot say anything about the CCDB.

  3. #3
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    When I owned an E29, I swapped a CCDB-A CS for a Monarch Plus RC3 Debonair. It was awesome.

  4. #4
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    I just switched from the Monarch RC3 Debonair to a DB Air on my E29. I had purchased the DB Air used first and only ridden it a few times before it blew up with a broken shaft. It had an issue with some free play in the stroke before it blew and I didn't love it in the first few rides.

    Now with a fresh $170 rebuild from Dirt Works I am thoroughly impressed. After just one ride on the DB Air I sold the Monarch without a second thought. The rebound damping is much more controlled on the Cane Creek. I'm 170lbs before gear. My settings on the DB Air are 145psi, 2 HSC, 1.75 HSR, 4 LSC, 11 LSR

    I see the biggest difference between the two shocks when climbing or riding flat ground. The DB air is more controlled and has less extra movement and that is even without the climb switch which also makes a world of difference on top of the base open setting. With the Monarch I had more trouble riding slow technical climbs because the bike wasn't still or predictable. I had the Monarch at 205psi and the rebound at 7 from full slow at the end. Adding more rebound didn't seem to settle it down for me.

    The DB Air climb switch is the icing on the DB cake. The increased rebound damping with increased compression damping makes the bike more predictable and really nice going over things and looking for traction. The Monarch compression damping switch felt crappy in comparison.

    In rough, serious descending the DB Air feels a little more plush and controlled but also wasn't unhappy with the Monarch in that situation.

    I also removed the volume spacer on the DB Air and prefer it with more volume as I can use more of the travel. I am a little worried about it's reliability and the rebuild is super expensive but at least it's local for me. I also have the stock Fox as a back up although that needs a rebuild too. If I had it to do over I'd buy the Inline instead of the DB Air. The DB Air is an anchor at 540g, that's fully twice the weight of the stock fox shock.

    Lastly, I think people may have completely different impressions of the same shocks because the shocks aren't consistent and seem to deteriorate with time.
    2 wheels

  5. #5
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    tshred, did you end up swapping out with a Debonair on your E29? I'm thinking of doing the same. thanks!

  6. #6
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    I currently have a Monarch Plus Debonair on my E29. I noticed that straight out of the box, when you connect the yoke to the piston/stanchion that you need to flip it 180 degrees from stock in order for the mounting screw to fit correctly. Is there a reason why you just can't turn the piston/stanchion 180 degrees and keep the yoke as it came stock?

    Pics to illustrate:

    Stock position with piston turned 180 - https://www.mtb-mag.com/wp-content/u...2015-02403.jpg

    Yoke flipped 180 from stock position - https://www.triridemtb.com/wp-conten...8/IMG_7256.jpg

  7. #7
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    Just take the air out of the shock and rotate the yoke to the proper orientation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    Just take the air out of the shock and rotate the yoke to the proper orientation.
    Yep. Went ahead and did that. Spoke to SRAM tech support and was told it could be done with no issue.

  9. #9
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    I had the monarch + debonair on my E29 last season.. Night and day improvement over the stock fox.
    This season I picked up the new E650 elite, went through 2 warrantied inlines in the first two months before replacing it with another debonair.
    The debonair definitely has more mid stroke support and more bottom-out resistance compared to the inline, but I'm finding its still not quite enough for aggressive bike park riding.. I have the positive chamber filled with the "bottomless" bands yet I still bottom regularly.
    I'm about 175lbs geared up and currently running 215-220psi for 30-35% sag surprisingly. I'm seriously considering picking up a NON-debonair can to reduce the volume even more (sacrificing some beginning stroke suppleness)
    IMHO the leverage ratio on this bike is just too high.. It really over works the shock.
    In hindsight I should have went with a coil.

    Just my 2 cents


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  10. #10
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    A coil would be worse, because its less progressive than an air shock.

  11. #11
    JCL
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    It's not that the ratio is too high, although you could definitely say that about the 650b Stumpy. It's just that the leverage rate curve isn't progressive enough. A common trait with Specialized bikes.

    The downside with going down to a HV air sleeve from the Debonair is you loose the large negative spring and the initial suppleness it provides. What would be ideal for the E29 is the HV sleeve volume and the Debonair negative spring. If you look at the Fox EVOL air sleeve that's essentially what Fox have done.

    If you have the full 9 volume reducers in your air sleeve maybe try adding a little suspension grease to further decrease the volume.

  12. #12
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    If you're willing to give up the suppleness of the big couldn't you
    also just increase your initial air pressure ?

    I weigh 190 without gear, and ride as aggressively as anyone with only 2 rubber bands int eh shock and I never feel like I bottom out all that much even in descent mode. But I also run 245psi. The shock came originally with 9! bands installed, and I couldn't get more than 1.5" of travel out of it no matter what. So it also seems like more bands could accomplish what you need ?

  13. #13
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preston67 View Post
    If you're willing to give up the suppleness of the big couldn't you
    also just increase your initial air pressure ?

    I weigh 190 without gear, and ride as aggressively as anyone with only 2 rubber bands int eh shock and I never feel like I bottom out all that much even in descent mode. But I also run 245psi. The shock came originally with 9! bands installed, and I couldn't get more than 1.5" of travel out of it no matter what. So it also seems like more bands could accomplish what you need ?
    What sag are you running?

    If the rear is oversprung you have to do the same to the fork and ultimately that isn't fast or efficient. Very odd that you could run so few volume reducers. I wonder if your compression tune was incorrectly installed during manufacture?

  14. #14
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    I run both my Pike and Monarch Plus Debonair as they came from the factory and on the stiff side and I am pretty happy with them. I am quite heavy (110kg) so I run 100 psi in the Pike and around 280-300 to the Monarch and I get around 27.5% front and rear in the attack position.

    As a result of this I have minimum brake dive and both fork and shock run quite high in their travel and are really supple but supportive at the same time. On the negative side I don't use full travel but the trails I usually ride don't really require full travel anyway.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    It's not that the ratio is too high, although you could definitely say that about the 650b Stumpy. It's just that the leverage rate curve isn't progressive enough. A common trait with Specialized bikes.

    The downside with going down to a HV air sleeve from the Debonair is you loose the large negative spring and the initial suppleness it provides. What would be ideal for the E29 is the HV sleeve volume and the Debonair negative spring. If you look at the Fox EVOL air sleeve that's essentially what Fox have done.

    If you have the full 9 volume reducers in your air sleeve maybe try adding a little suspension grease to further decrease the volume.
    I think you mean LV sleeve right? Since the debonair is HV..

    I agree with the leverage rate curve being not progressive enough.. That's essentially what I meant, I just said it wrong, so thanks for the clarification.

    I think I'd be ok with a little loss of suppleness off the top (should just feel like increased "stiction") if it drastically increases ramp-up. Wish rockshox would list the actual air volume of the LV can and Debonair can, and the displacement of each bottomless band so I could work it out on paper first..

    @morandi
    I figured going coil and "up-springing" (using one rate higher of spring than my weight would suggest on most bikes) would help with mid and late stroke support while still allowing sensitivity at beginning stroke.

    I tend to run the pike stiff anyway, unless I'm riding our local bike park (mt.bachelor) in which I'll air it down to soak up the chundery stuff.. There aren't really any large jumps or drops that eat up fork travel (unfortunately)


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  16. #16
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    I find the E29 leverage rate quite good because since it is not that progressive it can work great with air shocks that are progressive by default. Of course if you want a more linear behaviour you can either run a high volume can without any volume reducers or a coil.

  17. #17
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by vokeswaagin View Post
    I think you mean LV sleeve right? Since the debonair is HV..

    I agree with the leverage rate curve being not progressive enough.. That's essentially what I meant, I just said it wrong, so thanks for the clarification.

    I think I'd be ok with a little loss of suppleness off the top (should just feel like increased "stiction") if it drastically increases ramp-up. Wish rockshox would list the actual air volume of the LV can and Debonair can, and the displacement of each bottomless band so I could work it out on paper first..

    @morandi
    I figured going coil and "up-springing" (using one rate higher of spring than my weight would suggest on most bikes) would help with mid and late stroke support while still allowing sensitivity at beginning stroke.

    I tend to run the pike stiff anyway, unless I'm riding our local bike park (mt.bachelor) in which I'll air it down to soak up the chundery stuff.. There aren't really any large jumps or drops that eat up fork travel (unfortunately)


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    There is a HV and LV Solo Air air sleeve as well as the Debonair. I may try the HV air sleeve but I do like the negative spring of the Debonair so it won't be ideal.

    I totally agree that having actual air sleeve and reducer band volume amounts would be great.

  18. #18
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpgalanis View Post
    I find the E29 leverage rate quite good because since it is not that progressive it can work great with air shocks that are progressive by default. Of course if you want a more linear behaviour you can either run a high volume can without any volume reducers or a coil.
    Monarchs with Debonair's are getting pretty linear relative to traditional air shocks. Because the E29 was designed prior to Debonair's the rate isn't optimized for them hence the 9x reducer bands! Next years Enduro should hopefully be more progressive.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    Monarchs with Debonair's are getting pretty linear relative to traditional air shocks. Because the E29 was designed prior to Debonair's the rate isn't optimized for them hence the 9x reducer bands! Next years Enduro should hopefully be more progressive.
    Yes I know. But all high volume shocks are supposed to be linear and then adjusted with volume reducers but still have a big negative chamber for small bump sensitivity.

  20. #20
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    I don't think they changed the suspension curve at all on this coming years Enduro.

  21. #21
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpgalanis View Post
    Yes I know. But all high volume shocks are supposed to be linear and then adjusted with volume reducers but still have a big negative chamber for small bump sensitivity.
    When they ship the shock with the maximum number of volume reducers and heavier guys are having to run 300+psi it's obvious the shocks rate curve is too linear for the E29.

  22. #22
    JCL
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    Quote Originally Posted by morandi View Post
    I don't think they changed the suspension curve at all on this coming years Enduro.
    All new bike mid next year.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    All new bike mid next year.
    I was talking about this one, that they just released:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCL View Post
    When they ship the shock with the maximum number of volume reducers and heavier guys are having to run 300+psi it's obvious the shocks rate curve is too linear for the E29.
    Rock Shox Tuning Camp - NSMB.com
    Take a look here to better understand how tokens and volume reducers work.

    Linkage Design: Specialized Enduro 29'' 2013
    And this is the E29 explained.


    As for heavier guys I am 110 kg and I have run different psi from 250 to 300 and never bottomed out the shock with all the bands installed. I suppose that if I remove them I would.

  25. #25
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    After owning an E29 last year, E650 this year, I think I'm going to hold out for the '17 and go with another bike next season.. Almost thinking about switching it up entirely and going Reign, but I've got some reservations ..

    Hopefully the '17 Enduro will be everything I've been asking for..


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  26. #26
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    Hi guys. How may rebound clicks does your Monarch plus Debonair have?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vokeswaagin View Post
    I had the monarch + debonair on my E29 last season.. Night and day improvement over the stock fox.
    This season I picked up the new E650 elite, went through 2 warrantied inlines in the first two months before replacing it with another debonair.
    The debonair definitely has more mid stroke support and more bottom-out resistance compared to the inline, but I'm finding its still not quite enough for aggressive bike park riding.. I have the positive chamber filled with the "bottomless" bands yet I still bottom regularly.
    I'm about 175lbs geared up and currently running 215-220psi for 30-35% sag surprisingly. I'm seriously considering picking up a NON-debonair can to reduce the volume even more (sacrificing some beginning stroke suppleness)
    IMHO the leverage ratio on this bike is just too high.. It really over works the shock.
    In hindsight I should have went with a coil.

    Just my 2 cents


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    I thought the same thing(even though I couldn't find a coil shock that would fit), but read an article on new(er) air-shock'ed bike's linkage being optimized for said air shock(s), thus they'll blow through coil shock's stroke and bottom out quick and often.
    I called Specialized to find out if this was the case with the E29(even though as I said before, no coil shocks fit it that I could find), and they confirmed it. They said if I was committed to running a DH shock that I should run an air Vivd-again, they won't fit.
    Where did you get your volume bands from?
    Everywhere I've tried, including SRAM said they're out.

  28. #28
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    Ohlins TTX. Putting one on my '16 E29 this morning.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  29. #29
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    You can get the bottomless bands from your LBS.. They can order them through QBP


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Ohlins TTX. Putting one on my '16 E29 this morning.
    The only TTX I'm aware of is from/for the Evo, and it's 8.75"x2.5"-or- 222x64mm, whereas the E29's shock is of course 216x57.2mm.
    So you're saying you've found one that's 216x57.2?

    Quote Originally Posted by vokeswaagin View Post
    You can get the bottomless bands from your LBS.. They can order them through QBP


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    I've tried and as I mentioned I've been told they're on B.O.(for the better part of 6mo)

  31. #31
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    Looks like chain reaction has them in stock, along with several other online retailers.. I have some in stock at work too, could arrange something via PayPal too if you'd like..


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by vokeswaagin View Post
    Looks like chain reaction has them in stock, along with several other online retailers.. I have some in stock at work too, could arrange something via PayPal too if you'd like..


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    Sweet, I'll PM you

  33. #33
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    Seems to work pretty well. Best shock I've ever ridden.

    IMG_1040 by dbozman1173, on Flickr

    IMG_1041 by dbozman1173, on Flickr
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  34. #34
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    you dont' have to use the bottomless bands if they're not available, you can just wrap tape around the inner body or anything that will decrease volume without causing a problem.

  35. #35
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    Im 170 lbs (77KG) and have a Monarch plus debonair on my E29. I want it to ride more firm initially and ramp up a bit less. I can accomplish this by removing a band or two and adding a bit more air correct? Currently 9 bands and I'm thing I might try 7. Thoughts?

  36. #36
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    I'm 190 without gear and I took it down to 3 bands and run 240 psi. I never "feel" it bottom out although the travel band indicates I use most of the travel. With 9 bands I never even used more than 1.5" of shock travel. So you should definitely give it a go.

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