Leaked just yesterday, the 2012 Rockshox Monarch XX carbon-bodied rear shock is now official. It’ll come with their XLoc hydraulic remote lockout, which mounts to the shock behind the rebound lever on a bezel that lets it rotate 360º. Unlike a mechanically operated (ie. cable) lockout that requires a fixed piece to pull against, this lets the hose move with the suspension if necessary and should make installation much easier and cleaner.
Click through for full specs, pricing, weights and the answer to your most burning question: whether or not there’s a dual XLoc lever coming…
The carbon-bodied shock weighs in at just 275g with remote, and 290g for alloy. Like the carbon Monarch RT3, the carbon air can only saves 15g, but it’s worth mentioning that 15g is fully half the ~30g weight of the alloy air can. Product manager Jeremiah Boobar says that’s a significant drop in weight without sacrificing any performance when you look at the percentage.
Speaking of performance, the XLoc remote works just like with the forks, press it in for action, release it to lock things out. There’s no Floodgate, so when it’s locked it’s fully rigid. Rockshox says they did this because it keeps the system very simple and because their athletes said they wanted a hardtail feel when it was locked.
It gets a completely different damper than the RT3, much more similar to the internals of the Ario. To lock it out, there are two pistons and the second one is like a top hat that covers the main piston to prevent oil flow. So, the lockout is created hydraulically rather than mechanically. The Monarch RT3, by comparison, keeps it’s three distinct compression settings, making it the better option for riders that still want some (albeit much firmer) suspension in the third setting.
The rebound damping is controlled by the red knob, which has one slightly larger nub to provide a visual clue as to it’s position within the range of settings.
Yes, they’ve looked at doing a dual XLoc lever to simultaneously lockout the shock and an XX fork, but Boobar says if it were an easy solution, they’ be leading with it. Unfortunately, the amount of flow and pressure required to unlock the shock is too different from what makes their forks work. So, for now, rest easy knowing that they’ve thought about it but are stopping short of saying they’re presently working on it.
MSRP is $540 for the carbon version, which is the only one available aftermarket. The alloy model is OEM only. Should be available late fall.
The carbon air can is full carbon except a small aluminum seal gland (opposite end of what’s shown here) that provides a much higher tolerance precision to keep the seal tight and properly positioned. Boobar says there’s no additional wear on the inside of the carbon can versus their alloy can, and they use a proprietary resin and construction method to keep the oil from affecting the resin or seeping through.
The Monarch XX and RT3 use a Solo Air design to set the negative pressure automatically. Where the alloy cans have a tiny nub on the outside where the check valve is, there’s a small hump on the carbon shell.