a Weekend Warrior
from Renton, WA USA
Date Reviewed: June 27, 2011
Strengths: - Custom tuned for my weight and riding style (highly recommended!)
- compression settings do make a difference
- higher oil volume compared to RP23 means in the shock performs better during long descents vs the RP23
- easy to adjust sag using the markers
- +/- air psi makes a nice difference for firming or softening the suspension.
Weaknesses: - nit picking: would prefer an external bottom out adjustment, just b/c I like to turn knobs
other than that I haven't found one yet!
Short Answer: Great shock and well worth the $$ if you can swing the Push tune.
The RP23 BV HV that came with the HD is okay for trail riding. However, for my riding style (aggressive AM) I had to run really high psi to not bottom out the shock. Now keep in mind that with the HD I never felt the bottom-out; however, the O-ring was always off the shaft by the end of the ride or following sections of trail where it just shouldn't use all the travel. A Push tune for the RP23 would have probably solved the problem, but I just wasn't happy with the RP23.
So I sprung for the Monarch Plus RC3 tuned by Push and I haven't looked back. I had mine tuned for "Big Hit" b/c I like to hit jumps, up to 4' drops and fast descents. Even with the Big Hit tune it's still nice and smooth and soaks up the roots/bumps nicely. I do notice a difference with the different compression settings. The min/med setting is great for fast descents. The rear wheel tracks nicely and soaks up the hits. The max setting is nice for fireroad climbs or hitting bigger drops. The shock performs incredibly well in all three settings. The HD climbs just as well with the Monarch Plus as it did with the RP23. The weight penalty is very minor compared to the performance gains you'll feel when descending. I just added the RWC needle bearings and it's added another level of smoothness to the bike.
Similar Products Used: RP23, RP23 BV HV, DHX Air 5.0, DHX 5.0, Manitou Swinger 6way, Float RL
Bike Setup: 2011 Ibis Mojo HD 160mm, Lyrik RC2DH Solo Air, XT cranks, XT brakes, XT FD, Haven carbon bars, Thomson X4 50mm stem, ODI Rouge, RS Reverb, WTB Laser V SLT, I9 Enduro wheelset, Nevegal 2.35s, Heim2 chainguide, x9 10sp shifters, x9 RD. RWC Needle bearings
a Cross Country Rider
from Raleigh, NC
Date Reviewed: June 20, 2011
Strengths: 1) Downhills like a champ
2) Super plush
3) Tuned for weight
4) Light shock (0.78lbs claimed, never weighed mine)
5) Quiet ride
6) No spiking
7) Bye bye wallow
Weaknesses: 1) $$$
2) Gives up a little to the RP23 in pedaling
3) Compression switch doesn't make significant difference
Hey all, just wanted to drop some quick thoughts on the Push'd Monarch Plus RC3 for my HD140. For background, I ride my HD140 in Eastern NC mostly, with occasionally trips to Western NC mountains (Pisgah, Brevard, Black Mountain, Bent Creek, Dupont, that kind of thing). Most of my local singletrack is rolling, altho there are extended climbs out there so I like have the option to stiffen the platform. I'm 5'6" and 130lbs, so a light rider. When I talked to Eric at Push, we came to the conclusion that the Plus would be a better shock for me than the RT3 because of my persistent air habits, and because I didn't like how I'd run into spiking with the RP23 on extended downhills. So, after a weekend of riding at Dupont and the Kitsuma/Star Gap portions of ORAMM, I'm feeling gamey enough to draw some conclusions about the Plus ...
First off, I really, really like this shock. It did take a few hours to break in, and after that it was off to the races. The shock is super-plush . . . now bear in mind, I don't have any experience with coil shocks so I really can't say if it's "coil-like" or anything like that, but it's definitely more plush than my RP23. You barely have to put any weight on it to get the travel moving, and that translates into exemplary small bump sensitivity on the trail.
The downside to that is that it gives up just the slightest bit in the pedaling department. I had very little bob with my RP23, and with the propedal on it was nonexistent, even with standing and mashing. With the Plus RC3, it's not even enough to be called moderate bob, but there is noticeably more bob than the RP23. Unfortunately, the compression switch does almost nothing to rectify that. It makes a slight difference, but I can still blow into it pretty easily with standing, and that's a little disappointing when facing some of the hour-long climbs in the mountains.
But then, you get to the top of the hill, point the thing down and ANY extra effort you had to put into pedaling just disappears. This shock BLOWS away my RP23 on downhills. Hitting G-outs at speed reveals essentially no wallow whatsoever, which is a huge improvement on the RP23. My RP23's annoying habit of spiking is a thing of the past now too. My favorite thing tho is that you can get going 20, 30 mph and the rear wheel is just tracking over every single bump and rut in the trail. This is GREAT. In the past, my RP23 would be fine at low speed, but at high speed it wouldn't keep up; the rear wheel would just start wanging and banging into everything, bouncing up and over; no good. Now, I have a nice, smooth ride down to the bottom . . . which lets me set up nicely for jumps!
Speaking of which, jumping this thing is a much more pleasant experience. I did bottom it out once on a four-foot drop to flat, but gotta be honest ... it was a pretty ugly landing at high speed so I don't make much of that. Otherwise, it landed everything else with calm and control. The damping magic that Push worked was great!
Another nice plus is the whole bike is now a lot quieter. I had a ton of chainslap before, and while there is still chainslap with this bad boy . . . it is improved. I'm guessing it's cause of the improved wheel response? Who knows.
I’m reporting on a Pushed 2011 Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 that I combined with a 2011 Fox 36 Talas 160 RLC FIT fork as replacements for the Specialized suspension on my 2007 Euduro SL. It was a major improvement from ride characteristics to the weight of the bike. I’ve used it on skinnies, kickers and drops at my home bike park as well as on rides that were 3.5 hour, 23 mile funfests with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. I’m completely stoked by the changes and highly recommend them to anyone with this frame.
I’ve had the Fox fork on the bike for 4 rides before I got the Monarch Plus so I was somewhat familiar with the advantages brought about by that change. Adding the shock was a major improvement to both the uphill and DH ride characteristics of the bike. There are three levels of platform valve available through the use of an “on the fly” lever. The difference between full open and full close is very dramatic. The middle position works great for technical uphill and the Max platform is fantastic for fire road climbs.
Be prepared for 4-8 hours of off-road riding as a break-in period. Once through that you’ll find that this shock delivers a plush smooth ride when you want it and a solid platform for climbing when you need it.