2023 RockShox rear shocks go ultra-adjustable but remain affordable

RockShox’s Deluxe and Super Deluxe rear shocks have received a complete overhaul for 2023, with an all-new chassis, the RC2T damper with wide-ranging adjustment, two air springs, and an hydraulic bottom on certain models.

The latest RC2T damper – that stands for ‘rebound; compression with two adjustments (high- and low-speed compression) and threshold (lockout)’ – claims to eliminate ‘cross talk’ between the high- and low-speed compression adjustments.

This means riders should be able to adjust the individual compression circuits without one affecting the other.

Adding to the claimed lack of ‘cross talk’, RockShox says the range of adjustment on the new RC2T damper is wide enough so that each base tune has overlap with the next firmer and lighter tunes.

Next up is the hydraulic bottom-out system, an all-new feature to RockShox shocks. This uses a separate piston to ‘trap’ oil in order to provide bottom-out resistance towards the end of the shock’s stroke.

Five things you need to know about the 2023 RockShox shocks

  • The Deluxe and Super Deluxe shocks – both in their coil- and air-sprung versions – are all new for 2023
  • Super Deluxe air shocks have an un-adjustable hydraulic bottom-out system, while the coil Super Deluxe shocks have an adjustable hydraulic bottom out
  • The all-new RC2T damper features a wide range of low- and high-speed compression adjustments
  • SRAM claims it has eliminated ‘cross talk’ between the low- and high-speed compression circuits, allowing them to operate individually from one another
  • The air-sprung versions of the Deluxe and Super Deluxe have RockShox’s new DebonAir+ spring with two types of spring

The air-sprung Super Deluxe is available with two air springs, a progressive and a linear version to offer increased tuning options.

Upgrading to a 2023 Super Deluxe Ultimate starts at £482 / $499 / €539 for the Ultimate DH coil and rises to £578 / $599 / €648 for the Super Deluxe Ultimate air, making them more affordable than Fox’s comparable Float X2 Factory and DHX2 Factory rear shocks.

The 2023 shocks are available in trunnion and standard eyelet mounting options.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe RC2T damper

The low- and high-speed compression adjustments are claimed to not interfere with one another.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

The all-new RC2T damper features a host of external adjustments, building on the offerings of the previous-iteration Super Deluxe.

The top-spec Super Deluxe Ultimate – in both coil- and air-sprung versions – has external low- and high-speed compression adjustment and low-speed rebound adjustment of the RC2T damper.

More 2023 RockShox launch stories

RockShox claims the new damper has no ‘cross talk’ between adjustments. This means that increasing low-speed compression damping won’t affect the high-speed damping or vice versa.

The brand says it has done this with a new valving system, where the oil first flows through the high-speed compression circuit, and then through the low-speed circuit.

The high-speed compression adjuster has five positions.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

To boot, the new shock’s damping adjustments are so broad that at the fully closed or fully open ends of its adjustment range, it sits in the middle of the next stock tune up or down.

This exceptionally broad range of adjustment should mean each adjustment of the high- or low-speed compression dials has a pronounced effect on how the shock feels. Each adjustment should make a meaningful change to damper performance.

And the broadness means that one base shock tune is now even more suited to multiple bikes, where before a full re-valve would be required.

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Hydraulic Bottom Out

The HBO adjuster has five positions.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

A Hydraulic Bottom Out (HBO) system is a first for suspension brand RockShox, but has already been used on Push’s ElevenSix and EXT’s Storia shocks.

RockShox’s HBO system uses a secondary piston that, as the shock gets close to bottom out, slides into the HBO cylinder, ‘trapping’ oil within the cylinder and building up pressure to generate bottom-out resistance.

Air-sprung Super Deluxe shocks have HBO, but it isn’t adjustable.
RockShox

In the new Super Deluxe shocks, the HBO system is used in conjunction with a traditional rubberised bottom-out bumper.

The air-sprung Super Deluxe Ultimate, Select+ and Select all feature an un-adjustable HBO system that begins to engage once the shock enters the last 25 per cent of its stroke. The Super Deluxe is also available without the HBO system.

On the coil-sprung Ultimate, Select+ and Select versions of the Super Deluxe, the HBO has five positions of adjustment, where the rider can tune how much HBO the shock provides. Unlike the air shock, the coil version provides HBO in the 20 per cent of the shock’s stroke.

The coil version of the Super Deluxe has an adjustable hydraulic bottom out.
RockShox

Compared to tuning bottom-out resistance using volume-reducer spacers in air shocks, HBO doesn’t affect the shock’s spring rate like reducing the air-spring volume does. HBO substantially increases the compression damping for the last portion of the travel.

Riders running an air-sprung shock may find they’re able to reduce the number of volume-reducer spacers on their bike, because the HBO system is able to compensate for the reduction in spring rate.

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe DebonAir+ air spring

RockShox’s 2023 Super Deluxe has two different air springs to offer loads of adjustability.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

Adding to the tunability of the Super Deluxe is the DebonAir+ air spring. RockShox’s latest air spring has two different types: a progressive and a linear version.

The progressive version is like the MegNeg spring that has a larger negative air volume than the linear one, claimed to create a “more playful and dynamic air spring”. It’s best suited to frames with linear – or less progressive – leverage rates.

Frames with more progressive leverage rates are better suited to the Linear air spring because the kinematic creates bottom-out resistance so the spring doesn’t need to.

This Super Deluxe has the linear air spring fitted.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

The two spring types are interchangeable on all of RockShox’s 2023 air-sprung shocks, but aren’t backwards compatible with previous models. It’s the same story for the volume-reducer spacers, which are all-new for the 2023 line-up and aren’t backwards compatible.

But there are now negative and positive air-spring spacers, further extending the possibilities of fine tuning.

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe models, specifications and prices

The coil version of the Super Deluxe features adjustable hydraulic bottom out.
Mick Kirkman / RockShox

Both the air-sprung and coil-sprung versions of the 2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate and the coil-sprung version of the Super Deluxe Ultimate DH are the only models available as aftermarket upgrades. However, other versions will be fitted on full-build bikes.

The Super Deluxe Ultimate DH air, which uses the same RC2 damper as the Ultimate version but doesn’t have a lockout or threshold lever, is among those shocks only available as original equipment.

Other models include the Select+, which only has rebound and threshold adjustment (RT), and the Select model, only featuring rebound adjustment (R).

According to RockShox, RC and R rear shocks can be upgraded to the RC2T version, but the upgrade involves replacing the reservoir and will require a bleed and service.

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate.
RockShox

  • Damper: RC2T
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: Fixed position, optional
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: £578 / $599 / €648

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate.
RockShox

  • Damper: RC2T
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: adjustable, optional
  • Price: £530 / $549 / €594

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate DH.
RockShox

  • Damper: RC2
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: Fixed position, optional
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Ultimate DH.
RockShox

  • Damper: RC2
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: adjustable, optional
  • Price: £482 / $499 / €539

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Select+

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Select+.
RockShox

  • Damper: RT
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: Fixed position, optional
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select+

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select+.
RockShox

  • Damper: RT
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: adjustable, optional
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Select

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Select.
RockShox

  • Damper: R
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: Fixed position, optional
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select

2023 RockShox Super Deluxe Coil Select.
RockShox

  • Damper: RT
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: adjustable, optional
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Deluxe models, specifications and prices

The lighter-weight, trail-focused, in-line deluxe shock has also received an overhaul for 2023.

Changes to the previous model include the DebonAir+ linear and progressive air springs, shared with the Super Deluxe. RockShox has also increased bushing overlap by 25 per cent to improve small-bump performance.

None of the Deluxe shocks are compatible with HBO, however.

The brand has also introduced a Deluxe Coil shock, which also uses an in-line design, foregoing the piggy back of the Super Deluxe. This model is only available as original equipment.

The only aftermarket Deluxe shock – the Ultimate version – retails for £385 / $399 / €431.

2023 RockShox Deluxe Ultimate

2023 RockShox Deluxe Ultimate.
RockShox

  • Damper: RCT
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: N/A
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: £385 / $399 / €431

2023 RockShox Deluxe Select+

2023 RockShox Deluxe Select+.
RockShox

  • Damper: RT/RL
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: N/A
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Deluxe Select

2023 RockShox Deluxe Select.
RockShox

  • Damper: R
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: N/A
  • Air spring: DebonAir+ linear or progressive
  • Price: OE only

2023 RockShox Deluxe Coil Select

2023 RockShox Deluxe Coil Select.
RockShox

  • Damper: R
  • Hydraulic Bottom Out: N/A
  • Price: OE only

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