More bounce to the ounce.

How to personalise your RockShox Monarch rear shock suspension: tailor the air-spring volume to your weight and riding style in four simple steps.

>>> How to setup mountain bike suspension

Rockshox Monarch RT3 shock tune by Mick Kirkman 01

Tools you will need

  • Shock pump for adjusting air chamber pressure
  • RockShox volume reducer spacers (around £12)
  • Allen key to remove shock

If your Monarch-equipped bike is too linear and soft, it’s easy to add more suspension progression by placing RockShox reducer bands (AKA volume spacers) inside the positive spring chamber.

Conversely, if you struggle to get all the travel, removing any manufacturer-fitted spacers should help achieve full suspension movement while retaining correct sag.

We’re showing a Monarch Plus DebonAir here, but the same procedure works on standard Monarch shocks too. 

Rockshox Monarch RT3 shock tune by Mick Kirkman 02

Note down the shock’s air pressure so you can easily set it back up again when you’re done.

Ensure the air chamber is empty by deflating with a shock pump or removing the Schrader valve core. It’s important the air sleeve is completely deflated as it can fire off if pressurised.

Rockshox Monarch RT3 shock tune by Mick Kirkman 06

Remove the small retaining black rubber o-ring by hand (or very delicately pry it off using a pick or small screwdriver if stubborn).

Wiggle the air sleeve down the shock body away from the seal head.

Rockshox Monarch RT3 shock tune by Mick Kirkman 10

Pull volume-reducer spacers over the shock body to install or remove from the positive air chamber (take those closest to the seal head and dials).

You can also leave a spacer on the outside of the shock body to enable volume-tuning out on the trail. Try adding or removing two or three bands at first to increase or decrease ramp-up.

Rockshox Monarch RT3 shock tune by Mick Kirkman 14

Check there is still some lubrication oil on the seals underneath the air sleeve to help it slide on, and make sure you reinstall the sleeve without disturbing the o-rings under the air can.

The sleeve should ‘click’ back up to the dial end of the shock. Reinstall the retaining black rubber o-ring carefully into its recess. Reinstall the shock into the frame with correct torque settings and re-inflate the air pressure.

  • Gregory Melville

    When I remove the air can from my shock, I noticed there is some red grease present, what does this mean, is this completely normal?

  • Truffy

    “Reinstall the shock into the frame with correct torque settings and re-inflate the air pressure.”

    Yet you tools for the job don’t mention a torque wrench. How easy is this to gauge

  • Jim

    It says at the start that this can be used for ” … standard Monarch shocks too.” Is this correct? I have the standard Monarch and Monarch Plus sleeves (on two bikes), and I don’t see any way of removing the outer sleeve. Did they mean the “standard” high volume sleeves?