Rockshox design and manufacture an excellent array of rear shocks, suited to all kinds of mountain bikes. These shocks are often bought by our customers as means of upgrading their full suspension bike, but many of these shocks are fitted, as standard to full suspension mountain bikes, by many bike brands.
Advances in rear shock technology has led to all kinds of mountain bike disciplines benefiting from a rear shock, so in the case of hardtail VS full suspension mountain bike - there are very few reasons why anybody would have to choose a hardtail.
Rockshox Deluxe Shocks
Deluxe Shocks from Rockshox can be loosely described as the entry level range of shocks. These trail shocks do however have a pretty big difference in specification and features - as well as their applications. All of these shocks are lightweight, and have similar levels of damping across the collection.
The Deluxe Select is the first shock we will look at, and it’s the entry level Deluxe shock. It uses a Debonair spring which is commonplace across the range, and the rider can adjust the damping according to their personal preferences. Inside of the shock, Rockshox have used their new Maxima Plush damping fluid - which provides less friction, and better performance across all weather and temperature conditions. The stanchion of this shock is marked up, so you can easily and quickly adjust the sag.
Deluxe Select +
The Deluxe Select+ has much the same specification as the Deluxe, it comes with a Debonair spring and the same plush fluid for smooth operation. Again, there are markings on the stanchion to adjust sag, and there is also rebound adjustment. The main addition over the Deluxe alone, is the compression climbing switch - this can be adjusted on the go, which stops the shock from moving so much when on a climb. Once you have finished climbing, simply flick the switch and open the shock back up for maximum travel.
The Deluxe Ultimate piles on the features again, as well as the usual rebound damping - this shock also has a low speed compression adjustment, which allows the rider to add damping. The climbing switch is present, and this shock uses a different RCT damper. Other expected features include Maxima Plush Fluid and Debonair spring. This shock can also be purchased with the upgrade kit, to lock the shock out with a remote bar lockout, instead of using the lever.
The Deluxe Nude shock was developed with the Scott race team. It’s designed to be incredibly lightweight, and it comes with three riding modes - descent, traction and lock. As standard, this shock also benefits from Debonair springs and sag markings on the shock.
This shock uses metric sizing meaning it has increased bush overlap and lower amounts of friction - thanks to the new seals. Inside, riders benefit from the Debonair spring, as well as rebound damping adjustment, a three position lever climb as well as three positions, of open, pedal and lock. This shock can also be mounted in the standard way, or with a trunnion mount.
Super Deluxe Range
The Super Deluxe Range has been created for the Enduro market, and all of these super Deluxe shocks allow between 140-160mm of travel. Part of what sets these shocks apart from others within the range, is the piggyback oil reservoir. These larger oil reservoirs allow damping to be split between two circuits, which has allowed Rockshox to make the shock incredibly sensitive. The result is a more supple shock, and the increased volume of oil, also helps keep the shock cool in demanding riding conditions. The Deluxe range is available in coil and air shock specifications, with different versions also having different specifications.
Super Deluxe Select
As with other models, the Select is the entry level shock in the Deluxe range. This shock uses a Debonair spring with adjustable rebound damping. The shock uses Maxima Plush damping fluid which reduces friction and ensures that the shock feels consistent, once it has warmed up. The stanchion has familiar markings on it, allowing for quick adjustments. The shock can be adjusted further by adding in, or removing volume reducers.
Super Deluxe Select +
The Super Deluxe Select+ has all of the above features, so you can expect a Debonair Spring and Maxima Plush Fluid. Additions to this shock as part of the Select+ specifications include a switch to move the shock from Open to a Threshold position, which allows the shock to remain locked out until it hits a large obstacle, allowing the rider maximum usability and performance from the shock.
Super Deluxe Ultimate
The Super Deluxe Ultimate shock has a low speed compression damping adjustment, as well as Rockshox’s own ‘counter measure’ tech. This tech reduces the breakaway force of the shock, making the shock incredibly sensitive. It has an RCT damper, and has rebound, compression and threshold features. This shock can also be used in conjunction with a lockout lever on the bike's handlebars.
Super Deluxe Ultimate DH
The Super Deluxe Ultimate DH shock is much the same specification as the Ultimate listed above, but does not have a Threshold lever - that downhill mountain bikers will not use. The shock has rebound as well as low speed compression adjustments.
Super Deluxe Coil Select
Returning to the coil VS an air spring - the aim of Rockshox has been to create a coil shock suitable for trail and enduro riders. The Super Deluxe Coil Select is the entry level shock within this collection, and performs incredibly well. It has a two position open/pedal lever and external rebound damping adjustment in open mode. This shock uses Maxima Plush Fluid to reduce friction and make the operation of the shock incredibly quiet. The steel springs for this shock are available from 350lbs to 650lbs with increases of 50lbs.
Super Deluxe Coil Select+
This shock has the same specification as above, but has the Threshold option included - meaning that the rider can choose a different riding mode instead of open and pedal. This function, of the shock springing into action if a large drop/obstacle is hit - will be of use to enduro riders riding ascents and descents.
Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate
All of the above specifications, but with a low speed dial for adjustment. Also compatible for remote lockout on the handlebars of the bike.
Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH
Same specification as the ultimate, but without the unnecessary threshold option, which is not used by downhill riders.
The SID range from Rockshox is a collection of high end forks and shocks - which underwent a program of redevelopment in 2021. There are new shocks added to the collection, and existing shocks within the range have been redeveloped to not only be lighter, but also to provide greater adjustability and performance.
The SidLuxe Ultimate Shock has a Debonair Spring, rebound damping, low speed compression damping as well as a lockout switch. The lockout on this shock is different to the lockout on other models, and prevents the shock from compressing at all. There are also sag measurements, metric sizes and trunnion mounts.
The Monarch collection of shocks predates many of the other models, such as the Deluxe and Super Deluxe. Monarch shocks are unavailable in metric sizing, but are still able to be used on older bikes which do not comply with metric standards. All of these shocks use Debonair air springs and have sag gradients on the stanchions. Those models with ‘Plus’ in the name, also benefit from piggyback reservoirs.
The Monarch R is the entry level shock within the Monarch Range. The R in the shocks name tells us that rebound adjustment is available.
The Monarch RT has a RT inline shock, with an open/threshold lever as well as rebound damping adjustment. Threshold settings on the shock prevent the rear shock from compressing, unless there is a large impact or obstacle - this then allows the shock to compress and take the hit.
The Monarch RL is the same specification as the RT - but has an open/lockout lever, VS a threshold lever. Meaning that the suspension does not compress at all, if locked out.
The rider gains more options when they choose the RT3, this shock has options of open, threshold, as well as complete lockout.
Monarch Plus R
The first shock in the range, we cover - which has the piggyback reservoir. This reservoir is used with the standard Debonair spring, and this shock also has rebound adjustment. The piggyback is used here to support shocks under greater pressure, which are hitting harder bumps and obstacles.
Monarch Plus RC3
Available with the Debonair spring, as well as the ultralight SoloAir spring for those looking for maximum weight savings. This shock has three positions, open/pedal and lockout as well as a rebound damping dial.
Vivid Air R2C
The Vivid Air R2C is a downhill shock which uses an air spring. There is low and high speed rebound damping, as well as low speed compression damping via a dial. There are no threshold or lockout levers - as the purpose of this shock is mainly downhill performance. This shock also features a twin tube solo air spring, which controls ramp up at the end of the compression stroke.
The R2C has all of the usual features of the Vivid Air, but instead uses a steel coil spring. Although this adds weight, it provides excellent long travel performance.