How to Maintain Rear Suspension on a Mountain Bike

How to Maintain Rear Suspension on a Mountain Bike
Rear suspension mountain bikes have become increasingly popular over the past several years. In comparison to their rigid or hard tail bike counter parts, rear suspension, or soft tail, bikes greatly increase the comfort of the rider. As with front suspensions, there is a need for routine maintenance and upkeep associated with rear suspensions. Knowing, as they say, is half the battle and with some knowledge, most anyone can maintain and head off problems with rear mountain bike suspensions.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Torque wrench and appropriate socket
  • Manufacturer recommended lubricant
Step 1
Visually inspect the rear shock looking for signs of excessive oil. Some oil is normal; however, larger amounts could indicate a problem with seals or even a crack.
Step 2
Examine the stanchion tube for signs of excessive wear and tear. The stanchion tube allows the shock to travel back and forth as it absorbs shock and impact.
Step 3
Check the linkage and pivot points of the rear shock. The bolts associated with the linkage and pivots must be tightened with a torque wrench to ensure proper operation. These points should be torqued to the manufacturers specifications.
Step 4
Inspect the swing arms, main shock housing, and all parts for damage. If parts of the suspension seem loose, attempt to tighten them to the manufacturers specifications. If the parts still seem loose, then there may be a crack or other type of damage depending on the part.
Step 5
Refer to the owners manual and periodically adjust the amount of sag. This is the amount which the shock gives or absorbs. There are specific adjustments and recommendations for different bike and shock set ups.

Tips & Warnings

Check all bolts and the oil in the shock periodically.
Make sure the seals are clean and lubricated using manufacturer recommended lubricants.
Use caution when adjusting or lubricating rear suspensions as there will typically be several pinch points around the shock.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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