Servicing of Suspension

Posted by Tim McArthur on

I have seen a lot of issues recently due to insufficient servicing. This is usually either no servicing at all or incorrect servicing (usually of forks) by people who don't know what they're doing.

If left unserviced a shock will initially develop performance problems like fade and insufficient damping as the oil wears out, and then if left even longer, shocks with teflon coated piston bands can wear through the piston band and ruin the inside of the shock body.

If forks aren't serviced regularly, the oil also breaks down like in a shock causing performance problems. Forks will then also get lots of fine metal particles from the metal surfaces in the oil over time,  which can then get stuck in the teflon bushes, which in turn wear out the fork outers (extremely expensive to replace) more quickly. If left even longer the teflon wears off the bushes and the metal on metal inside the fork will destroy the outers in no time.... Generating repair bills in the thousands!

In general, by not servicing your suspension, you may save money very short term. Long term it will cost exponentially more. I have seen 2 classic bike recently where the fork outers have been ruined, and replacements are pretty much impossible to source!

So how often do I service them?

MX - Forks every 20 hours, shock every 40-50 hours

Trail riding - Forks every 30 hours, shock every 60 hours

Road / Adventure - Forks every 10-15,000KMs, shock every 30,000KMs

Road Racing - Forks every 10 days racing, shock every 20 days (usually once a season)

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