As far as the best rear shocks for mountain bikes go, the RockShox rear shock range from SRAM comprises options for full-suspension cross-country race machines, trail bikes and downhill brawlers. We'll run you through everything you need to know about the range from the Deluxe and Super Deluxe to the fabled Monarch, plus coil and air versions, too.
Everything you need to know about Rockshox rear shocks
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 idenitfying 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, 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 £385
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 Deluxe Select+ 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.
The Deluxe Coil Select brings much of the Super Deluxe Coil's goodness to a more compact and wallet-friendly package. It uses 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.
The Super Deluxe Ultimate is RockShox's flagship shock that 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 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 Maxima Plush Dynamic Suspension Lube. The Super Deluxe Ultimate will set you back £578 and is available with Flight Attendant Tech for a higher fee.
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 one isn't available aftermarket.
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 isn't available aftermarket.
Now it's time for some coiled loveliness. The Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate tops the range with its RC2T damper, adjustable hydraulic bottom out, and 21% stronger chassis. 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 £530.
There's also a Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH which gets a downhill-specific tune. This one is priced at £482.
The Super Deluxe Coil Select+ gets everything found on the Ultimate, including signature graphics and BoXXer Red colourways but it employs an RT damper. This shock isn't available aftermarket.
Finally, the Super Deluxe Coil Select comes sorted with an R damper and it lacks the compression switch. Apart from that, it gets everything found on the Select+ model. This one isn't available aftermarket.
The SIDLuxe Ultimate is designed for lightweight and speed. This XC focussed shock uses an RL damper with a DebonAir air spring and RockShox's Counter Measure tech which reduces the breakaway forces to almost nothing, improving small bump sensitivity. There's then Maxima Plush suspension fluid and it gets Ultimate foil graphics and a SID Blue colourway is available. It's also compatible with RockShox's TwistLoc and OneLoc remote lockout switches.
Finishing up the two-model range is the SIDLuxe Select+ which also gets an EL damper but loses the DebonAir air spring. Everything else matches the top model but this one isn't available aftermarket.
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 damper model on this one but it comes with an increased rebound damping range, a better lockout feel, and lower compression forces at high speeds.
The Monarch RL gets a DebonAir air spring and a 2-position compression adjustment, as does the RT model.
Finally, the R model Monarch drops the compression adjustment
The Monarch Plus RC3 uses the RC3 damper with a piggyback reservoir and a Solo Air air spring with a DebonAir option.
The Vivid R2C 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.
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. 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.
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 to suit your preferences and to either hold in its firm setting more frequently, or not so frequently.
Flight attendant is found on just the Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant shock for now.
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