How To Tell If Mountain Bike Shocks Are Bad?

Mountain bike shocks are designed to help you to control the bike as well as protect the biker from the impacts of the trail. They work by dampening the spring oscillation. When you are out and about riding casually along, the shocks are what help you to keep the bike controlled and improves performance.

Keeping the tires on the ground and stopping them from bouncing and the rider feeling the impacts. When you are going over a bumpy surface. Shocks are especially important for mountain bikes that will be traveling over uneven surfaces.

In this post, we will go through how to tell if mountain bike shocks are bad. Let’s get started!

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Do Mountain Bikes Need Shocks?

Mountain bike shocks play an important role in the performance of a mountain bike. It helps in maintaining control of the bike by keeping the wheels on the ground following an impact and smoothing out impacts.

It is why it is so so important, that the mountain bike shocks should be looked after and monitored. When it looks like they need to be replaced then get it straight away.

By replacing and servicing the shocks before they are worn down you will be also protecting other parts of your bike. This is because when the shocks are not working properly, the impacts caused can damage other parts of the bike.

The main advantages of mountain bike shocks and forks are as follows.

  • Improves speed and control.
  • More comfortably.
  • Reduces biker fatigue.
  • Increased safety.

Improves Speed And Control

When a mountain bike does not have any shocks or forks, the bike will have to slow down, in order for the biker’s body to recover from the repeated impacts and trying to maintain control of the bike.

With the shocks, it can absorb the impacts and smooth out the ride. This makes it easier for the biker to maintain control with less effort. And bumps no longer need to be avoided with maneuvers that may complicate control.

More Comfortable

Without the shocks, every bump and vibration can be felted by the biker. This is from small bumps to holes on the trail these get transmitted through the body as feedback.

With suspension can absorb a significant amount of the impact making for a more comfortable ride. You do not need shocks to ride along paths and unpaved roads. If you are riding forest trails you will need them as the ride are more comfortable with front forks.

Reduces Biker Fatigue

Without the shocks, the bike rider is using more muscles in response to violent and untamed forces being felt through their bike from the terrain.

This drains the biker both physically, and mentally, which otherwise would be used to propel the bike forward and maintaining balance.

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Increased Safety

With shocks, this gives the bike rider more control. And the bike is more forgiving of errors, decreasing the likelihood of crashing and injury.

This can be from a lapse in concentration to a lack of light due to sunset or shade.

How To Tell If Mountain Bike Shocks Are Bad?

Mountain bike shocks and forks can have a long life that gives every biking experience a solid performance. There are a few signs that the shocks and forks may need to be a service or to be replaced. These are as follows.

Does The Fork Or Shock Look Damaged?

Are clear signs that the shocks are in need of maintenance or to be replaced is a sign that your air piston seals are damaged or worn. Or the metal sliding surfaces are damaged.

Is There Oil Leaking From The Shocks?

If your damper seals or shafts get so worn out that oil is leaking out of the damper into the lowers, it will eventually be so full of oil that it can’t compress all the way.

Typically this means your rebound shaft is scratched and needs to be replaced. In this case, you should go back in time and have it serviced earlier. Or just have it serviced and expect to need to replace some parts.

Mountain Bike Fork Diagram

Does It Make Any Weird Noises?

Weird noises coming from the shocks or forks that sound like grinding, clunking, and slurping. This is a sign that it may need to be replaced or in need of a service.

All so if the rear shocks are swishing or slurping means that the damper oil is cavitated, in which case it needs to be replaced.

Does The Lockout Work?

Another sign that something is wrong is that the lockout gets soft or will not engage until part. This is mainly caused by an oil loss or degradation and is a good indication that the shocks need some work.

How Often Should Mountain Bike Shocks Be Serviced?

Most manufacturers recommend at least changing the lubrication oil for the shocks every 30 to 50 hours of biking. And at least do a full service a more extensive damper overhaul once a year.

How Long Do Mountain Bike Shocks Last?

You should expect the bike shocks to at least last 5 years of moderate use or 3+ years of heavy use. With regular maintenance and serving.

Wrapping Up

Finally, that is a lot of information to gather and learn about mountain bikes shocks and forks, this only covers the basics, but this should give you a good start to understanding when they are going bad. And don’t be afraid to ask your local bike shop for help or assistance with your bike if you experience any problems.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on how to tell if mountain bike shocks are bad was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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If Mountain Bike Shocks Are Bad