As far as the best rear shocks for mountain bikes go, the RockShox rear shock range comprises options for full-suspension cross-country race machines, downcountry and trail mountain bikes all the way to the gravity sleds of enduro, downhill brawlers and the bike park rats. We'll run you through everything you need to know about the range covering the models at every price point from the Deluxe and Super Deluxe to the fabled Monarch, guiding you through both the coil and air-sprung shock models for 2023.
Everything you need to know about RockShox Rear Shocks 2023
Here, we'll run you through each of the models in the RockShox rear suspension range, covering areas such as compatibility and specifications as well as identifying which model is best suited to your needs. Scroll down or hit the link below to jump directly to that shock. If it's something from the best mountain bike forks that you're interested in, check out the RockShox fork range - your guide to all the models, details and specs.
First off, the Deluxe Ultimate is the range-topping Deluxe model that's kitted with a DebonAir+ air spring with improved volume tunability, a castled bottom-out bumper, and independent Low-Speed Rebound and Compression adjustments. It's built with an increased bushing overlap and Maxima Plush Dynamic Suspension Lube to reduce friction. There's an easy access lever that switches the shock from Open or Threshold settings (firm or locked). This shock will set you back £405
Next up, the Deluxe Select+ gets everything that's on the Ultimate model apart from the independent rebound and compression adjustments, and it swaps the RCT damper for its RL counterpart. The DebonAir+ air sprung used allows for fine-tuning potential to both the negative and positive air volume to perfectly match your bike and desired ride feel. The Deluxe Select+ is for the OEM builds and isn't available aftermarket.
At the base level of the air-sprung Deluxe range, the Deluxe Select drops the compression position lever but benefits from everything else found on the Select+ model. This is in a streamlined and minimalist package offering the basic level of adjustment but all of the same versatile performance across a wide range of size and stroke configurations, including being approved for e-bike applications. The Deluxe Select is only available as OEM.
The Deluxe Coil Select brings much of the Super Deluxe Coil's goodness to a more compact and wallet-friendly package. The inline shock layout is the perfect pairing for frames lacking space for a piggyback design and is great for e-bike uses and as an entry to the coil shock market. It has the very same chassis as the Super Deluxe model, housing an R damper, and comes with an extra-large bottom-out bumper to stave off those harsh hits. Much like the forks, this shock gets an increased bushing overlap to boost small bump performance and grip. Along with Maxima plush damping fluid, the Deluxe Coil gets 20 clicks of rebound adjustment. The Deluxe Coil Select isn't available aftermarket.
Other models in the range include the Deluxe RL3. This rear shock has been the result of a collaboration between RochShox and Scott. The development departments of both brands have created a Deluxeshock that provides riders with the Descend mode, Traction Control mode, and Lockout mode features that are all controllable by the push of a bar-mounted remote. Allowing you to remain focused and in control whilst on the trail. Alongside the lockout feature, you will find a tunable rebound adjustment. Just check with Rockshox for the frame compatibility, and you can expect the RL3 shock to cost £395.
The Deluxe Nude shock is the other model created from the RockShox X Scott design and development collaboration. Designed to be used on the latest Spark and Spark RC bike models only. It offers the same bar-mounted remote-controlled modes as its other Scott bikes-based model, the Deluxe RL3. The Nude shock goes a step further by giving riders compression damping adjustment. The Nude shock is available to buy aftermarket and costs £405.
The Super Deluxe Ultimate is the RockShox flagship air-sprung shock model for 2023 and thus benefits from the RC2T damper. It benefits from independent high and low-speed compression adjustments along with the DebonAir+ air spring. This shock comes with an option of Hydraulic Bottom Out, which restricts the oil flow in the last 20% of the travel to cushion the blow. If that's not enough, there's a castled bottom-out bumper. Then, there's an increased bushing overlap for better small bump performance, and there are separate and independent Open and Threshold pistons. This one gets premium graphics and the top-of-the-line Maxima Plush Dynamic Suspension Lube. The Super Deluxe Ultimate will set you back £578 and is also available with RockShox automatic Flight Attendant Technology for a substantial price hike.
RockShox also offers a downhill-focused variant named Super Deluxe Ultimate DH. This shock gets the same treatment with its premium graphics and the top-of-the-line Maxima Plush Dynamic Suspension Lube. It differs from its stablemate by ditching the lockout feature and by utilising the new RC2 Damper, boasting externally adjustable independent High and Low-Speed Compression damping. The DH shock has been given the new HotDog piston, and whilst the shock shares the same low-speed compression control as the other shocks in the range, the DH receives a different high-speed compression speed tune that is claimed to be better suited to tackle the roughest terrain and improved grip in high-speed chatter. This is priced at £545.
Next, there's the Super Deluxe Select+ that gets everything seen on the Ultimate model aside from the RC2T damper. Instead, this one runs the RT damper. This shock isn't available in stores and dealers as an aftermarket option.
Rounding up the Super Deluxe air range is the Select model. This shock drops the compression lever, and apart from the downgraded R damper, it gets everything else found on the Select + shock. Similarly to that shock, this one also isn't available aftermarket and will be equipped as OEM on bikes.
Now it's time for some coiled loveliness. The Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate tops the 2023 range with its RC2T lockable damper, adjustable hydraulic bottom out, and 21% stronger chassis than previous designs. There's an increased bearing overlap, 20 clicks of rebound adjustment, and separate and independent Open and Threshold pistons. As the range-topper, this shock gets signature graphics and a BoXXer Red coil colourway. It's then finished off with Maxima Plush damping fluid. The Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate is priced at £545.
There's also a Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH which gets a downhill-specific tune and differs from the Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate by ditching the lockout lever and function. This one hits the stockiest shelves with a price tag of £468.
The Super Deluxe Coil Select+ gets everything found on the 2023 Ultimate, including signature graphics and BoXXer Red colourways, but it employs the simpler RT damper technology but retains the lockout feature. This shock isn't available aftermarket.
Finally, the Super Deluxe Coil Select comes sorted with a base level R damper, and it lacks the compression switch and lockout function of its more sophisticated siblings in the 2023 lineup. Apart from that, it gets everything found on the Select+ model. This shock also isn't available to purchase at aftermarket stockists and retailers.
RockShox's cross country focussed shock has received a long-awaited update for 2023. The latest SIDLuxe features a brand new three-position (or 3P) damping system that comes alongside the existing two-position (2P) system. 3P-equipped shocks offer Open, Pedal, and Lock modes to offer a blend of efficiency and bump absorption at the flick of a switch. This complements the new tech found on the newest SID fork.
As well as the 3P circuit, RockShox has increased the shock's oil flow to allow the compression damping to break free faster under sudden, unexpected impacts. There's then a tapered and taller bottom-out bumper.
The SIDLuxe comes in two models, the Ultimate which comes with all of the bells and shists, and the Select+ that's not available after-market. Both shocks get DebonAir or SoloAir air springs and the damper can be adjusted using a lever on the shock, or using a bar-mounted remote. The SIDLuxe Ultimate will set you back £479 to £539.
The Monarch RT3 is built around a redesigned Solo Air spring with updated damping controls and is said to deliver a spring rate that you would typically find on a coil sprung fork. RockShox is quiet about the exact damper model used on this one, but it comes with an increased rebound damping range, a better lockout feel, and lower compression forces at high speeds costing £408.
The Monarch XX shares a similar spec and level as the Monarch RT3, only it offers a lockout function that is actuated by a SRAM XLoc hydraulic handlebar remote. This shock is available from retailers for £418.
The Monarch RL gets a DebonAir air spring and a 2-position compression adjustment that will hit your wallet at £280, as does the OEM sibling model named the RT.
Finally, the R model Monarch drops the compression adjustment and can be purchased aftermarket at a price of £248 as well as found specced on frames as OEM.
The Monarch Plus RC3 uses the RC3 damper with a piggyback reservoir design and can be specced with a Solo Air air spring with a DebonAir upgrade option. This shock is aimed at all-mountain trail rippers with a large lockout lever, and it features a similar damper design as the Vivid Air shock. The Monarch Plus RC3 has a price tag of £525.
The Vivid R2C is a coil shock that is designed especially for downhill racing through to extreme freeride. Coming with laser etched high and low speed rebound and compression adjustments, this shock also gets Counter Measure tech. This level of adjustability will cost you £475.
The Vivid Air R2C is designed to offer the supple feel of a coil shock but with the adjustability and weight savings of an air shock. RockShox claims that the Vivid Air R2C is 400 grams lighter on the scales than its coil version. With the R2C damper, this shock comes with high and low-speed rebound and compression adjustments, along with the Twin Tube Solo Air spring and Counter Measure tech. The Vivid Air is available from £736 at stockists.
Flight attendant was introduced into RockShox's range in 2021 and it's a completely wireless spin on Fox's Live Valve self-adjusting suspension. Through a Bluetooth connection and special gubbins found on the top of the fork, shock, and inside the crank spindle, Flight Attendant senses the kind of terrain you're riding and adjusts the suspension's overall compression to offer what it thinks is the best setting for the given situation. For example, while you're climbing, it'll firm up the suspension for better pedalling and as you roll into a descent, it'll automatically open up the suspension for the best performance downhill.
This can be adjusted via the phone app to suit your preferences and to either hold in its firm setting more frequently, or not so frequently thus allowing you to tune the characteristics to your terrain and riding style on the whilst out on the trail.
Flight attendant is found on just the Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant shock for now.
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