The Mountain Bike Life

“Knowledge is power!” It definitely can save you a ton of money and time too. The internet is such an outstanding resource for almost every kind of information on mountain bikes. On top of that, in the MTB community there just doesn’t seem to be a shortage of great folks that are willing to help you out. Using this kind of knowledge certainly is one of the most powerful tools available for frugal DIY’ers (Do-it-yourself ’ers).

RockShox RT3 upgrade! Oh yeah, now we are talking…

I was researching upgrading my simple rear air shock on my single pivot bike to a “pro-pedal” modern style shock. This would greatly enhance my riding capabilities by eliminating pedal bob for ultra-efficient pedaling, and still maintain good bump control. Before spending any money on this, I did my research online. This time I did not just read up on the reviews. I also jumped into an online forum for Airborne bikes where they were chatting about rear shocks for my bike. The user “BigDaddyFlyer” turned out to be a Rep from Airborne bikes. The other user “jkidd_39” had just recently done a rear shock swap almost exactly the same as what I was thinking of doing.

Here is a shortened version of our chat session:  
BigDaddyFlyer
The rear shock has an eye-to-eye measurement of 190mm and takes 8x23mm bushings front and rear.

Blundar
I am looking at possibly upgrading my Zeppelin rear shock to a new Fox Float CTD. Should the size be 7.5×2″? When I look on the list of bushings I see 8×22.2mm and 8×24.0mm but no 8x23mm. Should I pick the 8x24mm bushings or the 8×22.2mm?

BigDaddyFlyer
That’s the correct shock length. For bushings, 23mm is very common. If you can’t find the 23mm, then get the 22.2 and use a .4mm washer on either side of the bushing to shim it. The 24.0 won’t fit.

Hope that helps,

Jeremy, Airborne Dude.

Blundar
Outstanding! Big thanks BigDaddyFlyer…

Blundar
Just a quick update… I just purchased a new RockShox Monarch RT3 190×51 for my Airborne Zeppelin Elite. Thanks a ton for all the info and assistance BigDaddyFlyer!!
Do I need any special tools to swap bushes from my RockShock Bar 2.1 to my new Monarch RT3?

Jkidd_39
Nope. Just remove the DU bushings, pull the shock. Replace shock with the new bushings you ordered for the Monarch. Just an FYI. Tools I used. Needle nose pliers, flat bottom punch, rubber mallet. Hex keys.
 Good luck

Blundar
You used the flat bottom punch to get the bushings off? I don’t have one of those. I might just have to get one. Any particular size recommended?

Jkidd_39
I used a punch to push the du bushing out. So I could remove the shock. You could use a screwdriver to push it out. Just use care to not damage the threads. Your bushings may come right out. I don’t know why my bushings were so tough to remove. I don’t even know what size punch. I have a set of them.
And make sure you let all the air out of the shock first. Very important.

Blundar
It probably will be very easy. Both the new and the old shocks are RockShox. So I am hoping that I can just take out the bushings off the old one, and re-install everything with the exact same components on my new Monarch.

Jkidd_39
The RockShox Bar has different bushings! They have a smaller OD. They will not work. I’m referring to these…

Even these upgraded bushings were a big improvement from stock.

You will need the 12.75mm or commonly 1/2″ OD bushings. The Bar 2.1 has 12mm OD bushings.

Blundar
OMG! Why can’t they just keep things simple? They just had to make it 0.75mm bigger. So let me see if I have this right…
Existing bushing on Bar 2.1: 8mm inner thread size x 23mm length x  12mm outside diameter
I need to buy this bushing for my Monarch RT3: 8x23mm with a 12.75mm outside diameter?
 What brand bushing do you recommend?

Jkidd_39
Web Link: RockShox Rear Shock Mounting Hardware-3-Piece Set: Sports & Outdoors
You need two of them…

Blundar
Thanks! You have been an awesome help…

Even though the RockShox Bar 2.1 is a fairly modern air shock, it looks downright archaic compared to the Monarch RT3.

Here is my shock installation swap write-up.
I finally had a chance last night at installing my new rear shock! I first let the air out of the old and compressed the suspension all the way down to make sure it was completely empty of air.

 After removing the screws on the end of the bushes, I looked for a good way to get the inner threaded pin out without damaging the threads or the bike frame mounting brackets. I tried several things but it was stubbornly on and not letting go. I ended up putting 1 screw back onto the inner threaded pin. I only screwed it on around 3 turns, and I popped it loose with the rubber mallet by hitting the screw on the head. Once it was loose, I took off the screw and used a Phillips screwdriver to drive it through by popping it lightly with the rubber mallet. The same procedure worked perfectly for both of the inner threaded pins.

 Then it was time to get the new bushes that came on the new shock off. The good thing about getting those off was that I was not too concerned about damaging them, as long as the new shock was not damaged or dinged up. Break out the rubber mallet again! I put the new shock on an old rubber bumper and hit the bush to try to get it off. Nope! No-go! I kept thinking “Don’t hurt the new shock, …don’t hurt the new shock, …damn this darn bush is really stubborn, …it is really on and hanging on for dear life”. I ended up using my 7” adjustable pliers with a piece of old inner tube (to not scratch the new shock). This broke it loose, and it then came off the rest of the way by tapping with the rubber mallet and a screwdriver.

 I thoroughly inspected everything to make sure nothing was dinged or needed to be replaced. It all looked good. The new bushes went onto the new shock effortlessly. I put on a bit of grease on the inner threaded pin, and everything went on super easy. I tightened everything on, fully cycled the suspension to make sure nothing was bound up, and everything looked good.

 I then put on my shock pump and pressured up the shock to get the right amount of sag. I love that the Monarch RT3 has the laser etched sag markings on it. This makes it so simple to do without guess work, and then measuring, and re-measuring again and again. Yay, Mission accomplished!

I tested it out the next day. Awesome upgrade for my bike. I mostly use the “Climb” and “Trail” setting. I every once in a while use the “Descent” setting when the trail gets very bumpy. Just reach down, CLICK, CLICK, done, super convenient.

The new RT3 platform quick settings are outstanding! No more pedal bob, well composed on the bumpy stuff, and I don’t waste hardly any energy on hills. Stay tuned for the next write-up in this series of “The Frugal  Mountain Biker”.

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