Is your mountain bike suspension ready for service?
Like most things on your bicycle, you can service your suspension for a fraction of the cost of a new one. Most suspension manufacturers recommend service around every 100-125 hours of use, and although you may not feel like it needs it, you may not be getting all the benefits your shock has to offer.
Recommended minimum suspension maintenance.
- Every ride. Clean exterior with mild soap and water only, then dry with a soft towel.
- Regularly. Check sag and damper settings. Inspect for visual damage, and function of all controls.
- Yearly. Full service. Internal/external inspection. Damper and air spring rebuild. Bath oil and wiper seal replacement.
Here are a few things you can do to check your suspension.
- Visually inspect your suspension for any sign of oil leakage or damage.
- Start with the external rebound setting turned all the way to one side and compress your fork while watching how fast it returns. Then turn the setting all the way the other direction. If You don't see a noticeable difference then it is time for service.
- Check all the other external adjustments the same way. lock out, platform settings, etc.
- Listen for clunking between the uppers and lowers, or a metallic feel at the bottom of travel.
- If you are losing air or oil, then the seals need to be replaced, or worse, the metal is worn where the seals go.
Servicing your shocks once a year is a good rule of thumb, usually at the end your riding season.
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