by Dave Anderson
April 1, 2014
We’ve been pretty impressed with the performance of the Rockshox Monarch RT3 and Monarch Plus but now they’re headed to be even better.
For 2014 (2015 model year) both models of rear shock will be upgraded to the new Debonair spec, a move to bring the plush Vivid Air performance to Monarch. In order to achieve this the air can sees a volume increase to the negative air spring which equates to 30% less force needed to begin movement of the shock. This results in that plush initial start to the stroke over incredibly small bumps, it’s significantly easier to move into the travel while also giving the shock a more linear spring curve.
The great news for existing Monarch and Monarch Plus users it that the new air can will be available as an upgrade option giving you the option to update your shock without having to buy a whole new unit.
We asked Jeremiah Boobar, Rockshox Product Manager for some background on Debonair, here’s what he had to say:
“The biggest challenge was getting a coil spring feel out of an air shock, what we realised was that we needed to bulk up the air volume, especially in the negative so we ended up with the original volumes that we had in the Vivid Air. So then we get through that project and get it up and running and we start talking about how far we can put this into an inline shock and how much improvement we could get out of that. We had to find a nice balance between not making it too coil like, because a lot of bikes aren’t designed around that super linear feel, so if we made it that way they’d feel super soggy, and pedal around kind of gross and lose the personality intended for them. So we spent a lot of time as a team, kind of, massaging the volumes, a bunch of us went out with four or five shocks doing constant laps, switching shocks around, trying to determine which volumes would be more appropriate across a large selection of different kinematics. And that resulted in the Debonair, in terms of the final volumes, and it’s really nice that we have been able to package it in a way that it’s an option that threads onto existing shocks of ours and doesn’t necessitate a complete new chassis, it’s something we can plug and play on existing chassis” – Jeremiah Boobar.
And here’s what SRAM have to say…
New RockShox DebonAir
It’s ok to be soft. DebonAir is not ashamed to give way under the weakest push. In fact, it makes Monarch and Monarch Plus shocks plusher than ever, right from the start. It might seem a weakness, until you take DebonAir to the trail. The connection between your bike and the terrain will be seamless, as your DebonAir equipped shock absorbs every little hit without any harsh feeling on your body. A shock so soft, you can push way harder.
DebonAir will be available as an option on Monarch RT3 and as the standard configuration on Monarch Plus RC3
Monarch RT3 DebonAir: $365-390 / € 324-347
Monarch Plus RC3 DebonAir: $499 / € 444
Available from June 1014
MORE LINEAR SPRING CURVE
Lower force levels to move the shock into its travel
1st 1/3 of travel is what riders are most sensitive to
MORE TRACTION AND CONTROL
No chop on initial hit
Better traction; rear wheel stays on the ground reacting to small bumps
DEBONAIR UPGRADE KIT
Air can upgrade for any MY14 Monarch/Monarch Plus and MY13 Monarch RT3
Monarch/Monarch Plus DebonAir upgrade kit: $115.50 / € 104.21