A few days ago RockShox and 5 other leading suspension manufacturers announced the introduction of several new metric shock lengths and fitment options for the model year 2017, leaving many questions unanswered. Today RockShox introduces two new shocks that clarify most of the uncertainty around the new sizing: the RockShox Deluxe and Super Deluxe. All details come directly from SRAM:

Initial Questions

How did we get to the current stroke and eye to eye offerings?
As frame manufacturers pushed the limits of frame design new rear shock sizes were created without broad consultation within the industry, resulting in a complicated offering with many overlaps and performance compromises.

How did we get to the current hardware and mounting options?
Same process described previously. There are currently almost 90 varieties of rear shock hardware being used in the industry.

How are frame designers interfacing with rear shocks?
Bushings, bearings, proprietary mounting systems.

How much performance are we leaving on the table as a result of these compromises that have accumulated over the years?
A lot. This is why we adopted a new approach to rear shock design.

Performance achievements of the new shocks

Bushing Overlap

Starting with a blank slate allowed us to extend bushing overlap between the moving elements of the shock. This greatly reduces system friction under load. Riders benefit from this with:

  • Better traction
  • Responsiveness
  • Increased durability

Improved Scraper

Seal consistency is critical for rear shock performance and longevity. The increase in eye-to-eye per stroke created through Metric Sizing allows Deluxe and Super Deluxe to feature an improved scraper seal resulting in the following benefits:

  • Less maintenance
  • Increased long term durability
  • Better performance in cold temperatures

Counter Measure

Introduced in 2013 on Vivid and Vivid Air and highly acclaimed for its effects on shock performance at top-out, the Counter Measure spring works to oppose the effect of the IFP pressure, effectively lowering the initial breakaway force.

Dedicated Debonair Chassis and Better Tuning System

Introduced in 2014, the DebonAir air can option for Monarch and Monarch Plus was a stepping stone in improving the performance and feel of air shocks on all kinds of bikes. Deluxe and Super Deluxe take this to the next level by incorporating DebonAir in the air can design without any added weight or complexity.
The air volume tuning system on Deluxe and Super Deluxe capitalizes on RockShox’s Bottomless Tokens technology, adapting it to its rear shock platform in a clean and easy to use format.

Integration Achievements

Mounting System

The new shocks come with several new mounting systems. While the shaft end bearing mount should reduce overall suspension friction the entirely new Trunnion mount allows for a shorter eye to eye length while maintaining a specific stroke size (25mm overall length reduction over standard or bearing mount). Benefits are significant for smaller frame sizes, women specific models and bikes that are designed for low standover height.

RockShox-Deluxe-Shock-009 Rockshock-Deluxe-mounting-options

Metric Sizing

So… Is this a new rear shock standard?
No. It’s a new set of sizes for rear shocks, developed and agreed upon by suspension and frame manufacturers, starting from a blank slate and with the sole purpose of allowing suspension manufacturers to create better rear shocks and frame designers to build better bikes.


RockShox Super Deluxe: Changing Everything


The directive was simple. Engineer a shock that does for rear-suspension performance what Pike did for forks. Simple? Don’t bet on it. A gamble? Absolutely. It required a complete change in the way we approach shock design. It meant focusing on performance first and leaving old constraints behind. And it gave us a clear path to develop the world’s lowest-friction shock — Super Deluxe. Metric sizing gives Super Deluxe significantly increased bushing overlap, which, together with a sophisticated new bushing profile, virtually eliminates friction in the shock. A new damper holds the shock high in its stroke and offers unparalleled traction. Unshackled from the old obstacles of shock design, Super Deluxe is free to tackle new ones — on the trail. This changes everything.

  • Available as RC3 (external rebound, 3-position compression) and R (external rebound) version
  • Super Deluxe has three independently tunable compression settings.
  • Mounting options: Trunnion mount, bearing mount, Standard DU.
  • Weight: 403 g (weight based on 190×45 DebonAir model)

RockShox Deluxe: Redefining a King


How do you improve on the success of a rear shock that has received critical acclaim for its stellar performance and supple feel? It’s Simple. You rewrite the rules, throw existing design constraints out the window and focus solely on the best possible performance solution. We took the proven damping performance of our popular Monarch series and introduced it to our new metric-sized chassis. The result is truly Deluxe. With the incredible feel of DebonAir as its standard-bearer and three new mounting options, our new Deluxe is ready to redefine your ride.

  • Available as RT3 (external rebound, 3-position compression), RL/RT (external rebound, 2-position compression), R (external rebound) version
  • Incorporates proven damping performance of Monarch.
  • Mounting options: Trunnion mount, bearing mount, Standard DU.
  • Weight: 317 g (based on 190×45 DebonAir model)

More information on the SRAM website

Words and Photos: SRAM PR

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