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Vorsprung Suspension adds custom Tractive tuning to RockShox Monarch Plus RC3

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The suspension experts at Vorsprung have just launched their new Tractive Valve Tuning System, a project founder Steve Mathews has been working on even before formalizing the company back to 2011. And RockShox’s popular Monarch Plus air shocks are the first to see the treatment, combing Vorsprung’s own database of global suspension expertise and  customizable tuning hardware.

Vorsprung custom Tractive tuning for Monarch Plus RC3

The Tractive setup is more than just some add-on part slapped inside your shock. Instead it starts with a detailed mathematical analysis of suspension response to real world wheel inputs.

By starting with a target suspension curve, Vorsprung works backwards through their custom developed software, to allow their worldwide network of Elite Partner Tuning Centers to visualize rear wheel response as a factor of rider weight & bike leverage rates, based on a set shock tune.

Then comparing to the wealth of data they have logged over time, Vorsprung says they can evaluate any rider on any bike against these benchmarks to deliver the desired tune for a set terrain, and deliver the best performance out of each rider’s shock. They way they put it, now you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of the experience of your own local suspension tuner, plus the global database & expertise of Vorsprung.

And the first commercial shock to get the full Tractive tune treatment is the RockShox Monarch Plus. Vorsprung is calling this tuning kit just the tip of the iceberg, with more options expected to follow suit.

This tuning kit itself (as were others in development) was built to improve & upgrade specific weak points Vorsprung identified in the damper design. It then provides customization to best fit the individual rider/frame/terrain, while reworking damper adjustment ranges & modes as needed to let the rider get the most from their bike.

Vorsprung’s upgrade triple circuit compression valving promises a host of improvements over the stock shock: improved support, better stability & predictability, improved compliance, resulting in more traction. They even say that users get more usability out of the RC3’s 3-position compression adjuster.

Other claimed benefits: pressure-balanced valving for sensitivity & support without cavitation, a low friction Acetal Internal Floating Piston to replace the stock metal IFP, customized rebound valving better than the stock shim stack setup. There result is more than 140 possible valving combinations just inside the Monarch Plus.

Vorsprung thinks the Tractive Valve Tuning System can make everyone’s ride better, but it isn’t for riders looking who don’t appreciate the plush ride of a Monarch Plus or who want to tinker around inside the shock. It is designed to get more out of this air shock, but requires some tricky vacuum bleeding & nitrogen charging to setup, so it needs to be assembled by Vorsprung.

The Tractive Valve Tuning will set you back $310CAD (approx. $242USD as of today), and you’ll need to send your Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 to Vorsprung to have the work done, or get it to one of their Elite Partner Tuning Centers to make the journey. All of the upgrade parts have been developed, and are machined in Whistler, BC.

What’s next? Vorsprung is continuing to grow their expert suspension partners, search for more experienced suspension techs around the globe. And they have more shocks & forks that will get Tractive tuning in the near future. Next up, Fit4 kits that should hit the market by the middle of January 2018.

Luftkappe fork kits update

Vorsprung got a huge response with their Luftkappe for the Pike, Lyrik & Yari last year, selling out in two days. They’ve since crawled out from under those orders, and have four new Luftkappe kits to offer, now that you can install on your own. Kits for 34 & 36 Floats run from $105-130CAD now, with a Pike Debonair kit for $100CAD by the end of next week. The other Pike/Lyrik/Yari kits go for $85CAD. Check out your fork’s compatability at their web shop.


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6 years ago

I’m a big nerd and I love graphs. But what the crap is going on with the 3D graph which is only labeled on 1 axis, has only mysterious numbers on another, and nothing on the third? Plus, from what I can tell from the picture, there’s only 2 axes of varying data. I.e. that third, unlabeled axis is has zero variation and would thus be conveying zero information. What is this supposed to be showing? I can see that setting one seems to be mimicking the benchmark, but the graph gives me no indication as to what setting two actually does. Am I missing something here?

6 years ago
Reply to  feldybikes

There was some back and forth between some other nerds and the guys from Vorsprung regarding these graphs and what they indicate in the comments on the Pinkbike article about this same product announcement. You won’t be totally satisfied as Vorsprung was claiming some of the info was proprietary, but there was at list a bit more explanation.

6 years ago
Reply to  TheKaiser

Thanks. I’ll check it out. From your description it sounds like it’s going to be along the lines of “Look, we made a fancy 3D graph! We must know what we’re talking about!” It reminds me somewhat of this: http://phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=41

6 years ago

So you get Monarch and this kit to make it perform good, or just get Fox and be done with it…

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