RockShox-Super-Deluxe_Trek

RockShox is revamping how they look at shock stroke and length standardization and even how they attach to the frame, which is being put into practice on their all-new Deluxe and Super Deluxe rear shocks. Based on their popular Monarch and Monarch Plus and borrowing tech from Vivid, the new shocks benefit from the increased engineering freedoms the new industry-wide metric sizing standards have created.

In addition to the more standardized sizing options of that metric system, Rockshox’s redesign goals were to optimize performance and to improve integration into full-suspension frame designs, which also resulted in a couple of new mounting setups.

Hop past the break to see the how the new designs create better suspension…

RockShox-Super-Deluxe-internals-bushing-overlap

Perhaps the biggest improvement with the new Deluxe and Super Deluxe is better internal bushing overlap. By rethinking sizes, RockShox gave themselves more space to spread their sliding parts, which greatly reduces the friction in the shock under load. That yields immediate improvements in shock responsiveness, and durability, which translates to better traction and a more plush ride. RockShox claims 33% more bushing overlap in the air canister (blue arrows) and 90% more overlap at the piston/seal head (green arrows). The new shocks also get a better scraper seal, which also improves durability and performance over the long term. That also means less maintenance required, and results in better performance when it gets really cold.

RockShox-Super-Deluxe-RC3_rear-shock

Deluxe and Super Deluxe also pull the Counter Measure tech from the Vivid line which lowers the initial breakaway force threshold for a more supple ride. Lastly, DebonAir comes stock across the entire Deluxe and Super Deluxe line. The new shocks use the bigger volume, small bump sensitive air canister that made the Monarch line so successful. It even brings with it RockShox’s bottomless tokens, letting riders adapt their setup by simply adding or subtracting volume spacers.

RockShox-Deluxe_rear-shocks-models

The Deluxe shocks will come in four versions: RT3, RL, RT & R, offering the standard range of rebound adjustability. RT3 does 3-position Open/Pedal/Lockout, while RL and RT just get Open & Lock.

RockShox-Deluxe_rear-shocks-detailed-spec RockShox-Super-Deluxe_rear-shocks-detailed-spec

Super Deluxe gets a more simple offering with RC3 doing the 3-position Open/Pedal/Lockout and the R only getting external rebound adjustment, now with three independently tunable compression settings in both Super Deluxe versions. RockShox set a lofty goal for the Super Deluxe of matching the same performance as the popular Pike. The clean slate redesign helped deliver what they claim is the “world’s lowest-friction shock”. The shock’s new damper is said to keep the shock higher in its stroke, giving a more limitless travel feel and improved rear wheel traction.

The new Deluxe and Super Deluxe have been developed together with several big bike makers, and RockShox are working with them for model year 2017 bikes, so expect to see the shocks pop up on new bikes in summer 2016.

Travel-wise, these new shocks slot in at a similar place to Monarch -XC/trail for Deluxe, enduro to aggressive enduro for Super Deluxe- aimed at bikes from 120mm to 170mm in travel. But, they’re not going to be interchangeable with a Monarch on your existing bike, which will be explained in an upcoming post about the new metric standards.

SRAM.com/RockShox

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PFS
PFS
6 years ago

its amazing that changing the units can allow for so many improvements! We should have switched years ago!

AS
AS
6 years ago

The consistency makes sense. But I can’t say I’m happy about even more non-backward-compatible new stuff.

Mr. P
6 years ago

It appears the shocks have moved away from the dual positive air chamber, which should be a plus for controlling heat build up.

bearCol
bearCol
6 years ago

I don’t believe the benefits they claim can’t be achieved with current standards.

There’s no reason mounting hardware sizes couldn’t be reduced dramatically with current sizes. Bearings instead of bushings, been done, and those that know have been using RWC needle bearings for the past decade. Bushing overlap, no reason that can’t be done with current standards.

At this point anyone that doesn’t believe the industry will change things up every few years for better or worse I don’t know what to say.

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  bearCol

Having used both needle bearings & bikes designed around bearing shock pivots, the needle bearings are a great work around, but give me the bearing life, ease of replacement, & spare availability of standard bearings any day.

That said though, one of the first upgrades my new Spartan will be seeing is a needle bearing.

i
i
6 years ago

I think this is one of those times, like “plus” and “boost,” where the Sram/the industry takes a not-terrible idea, gives it a stupid name that doesn’t tell us anything, and it gets a lot of backlash because the lack of a descriptive name makes confusing, and everyone wants improvements that are backward compatible with everything ever made.

Announcing it vaguely on April 1 didn’t help either.

mateo
mateo
6 years ago
Reply to  i

Well said. “Metric” has nothing to do with it. They are simply moving to new sizes that (allegedly) remove some of the dimensional roadblocks that prevented better designs.

Matt
Matt
6 years ago

I came to terms a couple years ago that my trail bike (main bike) and it’s parts have a 2 year shelf life. I typically swap out parts as needed then get a new frame every 1-2 years. I just recently bought a 2016 Evil following and swapped over my parts. While seeing all these bikes with “boost” and now “metric”, part of me is a little pissed they aren’t backwards compatible but I’ll be on a new bike in a year or two.

Mr. P
6 years ago
Reply to  Matt

I used to do the same, and “upgrade” but now new bikes and components are micro-improvements and standards shifts. So I’ve learned to be happy with what I have and focus on having fun and becoming a better rider. Which is the best upgrade.

bearCol
bearCol
6 years ago
Reply to  Mr. P

Like you Mr. P I used to constantly upgraded but now it’s not easy to do because nothing new fits my bikes. Because of this I’ve decided to keep the two bikes I have which are compatible with each other and stop thinking about whether different parts or another bike will make me a better rider.

What I’ve found Is I’m more in tune with my bikes than I’ve ever been which translates to better riding and I have more fun because my thoughts are only on riding instead of thinking if this that or the other would be better. I actually feel liberated now that I’m done keeping up with the industry.

Marin
Marin
6 years ago

I’m all for metric as imperial measures are simply terrible, but you can present any imperial measurement in metric, so what’s the big deal? Seems like the industry wants to introduce new standards and they can’t let you use your old shock because they don’t want you to be able to get second hand or old ones at a fraction of the price and instead you need to buy brand new ones.
(deleted) move but people have been playing along the whole time and making their bikes virtually obsolete over night, so I guess this new move is justifed if it brings 3% more stifness and 7% lower friction..

b
b
6 years ago

PFS, it’s not about multiplying/dividing by 25.4. It’s about getting away from some of the problematic inch sizes which have too long of a stroke for their given eye-to-eye lengths. these sizes have tiny bushing overlap, tiny air volume, and no room for a proper IFP. The new sizes have a longer i2i to stroke ratio, so they can build in proper bushing overlap to reduce binding when your frame puts side forces into the shock, and put a proper floating piston on the damping oil to accurately control bottom-out. You could measure them in furlongs if you want. I know, new standards = bad, but at least they’re trying to make your ride better with them.

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  b

Don’t forget more consistent performance between shock sizes. Not something we get to see as a direct benefit, but if it makes frame design less fidly if you have to change shock size, that leaves more design time to be used on other facets of the frame, leading to better refined designs.

PFS
PFS
6 years ago
Reply to  b

Trust me, I absolutely understand all the benefits. I’m (poorly) trying to make the point that calling it metric is misleading. They should have called something else and said that it gives them all these awesome new benefits. And by the way, we are listing them in metric sizes now.

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago

When they announced the benefits of the new tech and sizing, one of the things claimed was longer stroke relative to eye-to-eye measurements, however if you look at the dimensions offered for these things it seems like they are often actually shorter stroke for a given eye-to-eye length. Anyone got an idea of what they had in mind when they made the claim?

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

I believe that was referring to using the trunion mount, since you reduce e2e without changing stroke. as for normal shocks, one of their stated reasons for doing this is to get rid of some of the sizes that were too much stroke for a give e2e, because the compromises made to make those work affected all the other shocks in that lineup.

TheKaiser
TheKaiser
6 years ago
Reply to  Groghunter

Makes sense, thanks. Trunion isn’t new, so for them to be claiming that as a benefit of the new sizing seems kind of bogus.

Groghunter
Groghunter
6 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

Completely disagree. Trunion was available only if you were a big enough brand to get a shock manufacturer to make you custom shocks. Even then, not like another brand can call up FOX & order some DRCV shocks, even if the measurements will work with their suspension design. Trunion as a standard part that any brand can spec is HUGE.

ChrisS.
ChrisS.
6 years ago

So what you are saying is that you are now the marketing arm of RockShox…. I didn’t see a single piece of reporting / journalism in this piece.
Has BikeRumor sold out to The Man? Is The Man buying BikeRumor page space for excellent reviews? Maybe it time to head back to actual journalism pages over at DIrt magazine!

Tyler Benedict
Admin
Tyler Benedict(@tyler)
6 years ago
Reply to  ChrisS.

Chris, not sure what you’re talking about. This is simply a product announcement from Rockshox, so we’re sharing the announcement in our usual fashion of explaining what’s new and why it matters (i.e. what’s the benefit of the changes, etc.). If you’re referring to the other two posts on metric sizing, the first announcement about the industry getting together was sent to us by none other than the folks at Rockshox (no other brand sent out any announcement), so we called Manitou and DVO to get some other comments (aka journalism). As for the second post about these particular shocks, we explained what’s coming from Rockshox in terms of new mount styles and sizes because they’re the only brand so far that has sent out that info. But, we also made it clear that most of these changes, sizes and new mounts will be found on other brands’ shocks because these are new standards, not just new Rockshox sizes. And for the record, none of SRAM’s brands are current advertisers.

jcseago
6 years ago

What’s up with the old school DU bushings?

Randy
Randy
6 years ago

Anyone know the shock size on my 2016 trek fuel ex 29? I want to replace the reactiv shock with this shock. Can’t find it on the net anywhere.

STS
STS
6 years ago

In fact the first specimen we as a bike manufacturer received for doing test rides were showing considerably more friction when pressured up. Test riders, some of them members of our professional marathon racing team, said the rear end felt “dead” or “muted” and unable to react to a series of smaller bumps. No trying of the Rock Shox tech rep who accompanied those day-long test ride sessions to tune the shock helped. He supposed our frame design was responsible. We checked the frames but couldn’t find any mistakes. Then we mounted an old-style 2015 Monarch and “Bingo”, the suspension worked as it should. So the Deluxe shock was the culprit. We still haven’t received one which actually works as it should.
Recently I heard from another big player in the Cross Country World Cup racing scene that they had the same problem with those shocks.
Maybe all that stiffening up of the shock by increasing the bushings’ distance makes the shock so intolerant for minor alignment “failures” which can happen easily with each frame because they twist and bend a little bit when riding them.

mateo
mateo
6 years ago
Reply to  STS

What shock size are you using that can fit both the current Monarch, and a new Deluxe? Aren’t all the new Deluxe shocks different dimensions?

STS
STS
6 years ago

The frame has a 4″ travel rear end and was designed for the new shock with 170 mm length and 35 mm of travel. But we could fit also fit in a Monarch with 165/38 mm (6,5/1,5″) by implementing a flip-chip into the shock mount.

mateo
mateo
6 years ago
Reply to  STS

Interesting. Not great considering all the extra bushing overlap would theoretically make the shocks LESS vulnerable to twisting/misaligned frames. There is a “first ride” article on another site that is pretty positive about the new shocks. They used a custom machined linkage to enable swapping from old to new shocks.