Mountain biking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and a fun activity for people who want an active hobby.
One thing that can make mountain biking more difficult is if your bike has bad shocks.
If you are wondering how long do mountain bike shocks last, read on!
We’ll give you some tips on what to look for in good shocks as well as show you the average life cycle of mountain bike shocks.
But before we get going, what are bike shocks?
What is a mountain bike shock and how does it work?
Shocks are components on your bike that reduce the impact of bumps in the road. This makes riding over obstacles like rocks, roots, and logs much easier.
Typically shocks are located at either end of the bike, either at the front wheel or back wheel. The one you have is called a rear shock.
There are many different types of shocks, but they all do the same thing. They work by being filled with a special fluid that compresses and decompresses when you hit bumps in the road.
How Long Do Mountain Bike Shocks Last?
A quality set of mountain bike shocks will have a life cycle of about three years.
The average rider puts on about 2,000 to 4,000 miles a year and that adds up very quickly. If you put your bike away for the winter or don’t ride it as much as usual, expect those numbers to go down by quite a bit.
If you ride your bike all the time and it’s your main means of transportation, then you could see this life cycle exceeded by a few months to a year.
So the average life span of mountain bike shocks can be anywhere between 3 to 5 years. More than 5 years if you don’t ride your mountain bike that much.
Do mountain bike shocks wear out?
Yes, but if you take care of them, they can last a long time.
Mountain bike shocks will wear out over time because the oil inside gets thinner due to heat and lose its effectiveness.
Eventually, it won’t be able to do its job as well as it should and you will feel more impact in your riding.
As soon as you feel a change in your riding, it’s time to replace the shocks. Don’t wait until they completely wear out!
That’s because worn-down mountain bike shocks can cause more damage to your bike, possibly damaging the frame.
This means you might have to spend more money to replace your bike frame! Additionally, worn-down shocks can be less safe to ride.
How do you know when your mountain bike shock needs to be replaced?
1) You feel a big impact when going over bumps or obstacles.
This is because the shock doesn’t have the ability to properly absorb the shock as it should, therefore you feel it more.
This means the fluid in the shocks is no longer thick enough to do its job. Time for new shocks!
2) Your bike doesn’t ride smoothly.
If you feel the ride of your bike is rough and bumpy, it’s time to replace those old shocks with a new set.
When the shock fluid gets too thin from wear and tear and weather conditions, your bike will not ride as smoothly as it used to.
3) You hear a squeaking or clunking noise when going over bumps or obstacles.
This is also a sign that the shock has worn out and needs to be replaced because it can’t absorb the shock any longer.
This causes either a bouncing effect, due to the wheel hitting the frame of the bike, or the frame itself dropping down.
4) Your shocks are very old.
If you get new shocks on your bike, they should last about three years with proper care.
If it’s been 4 or 5 years and you feel like they need to be replaced, replace them!
It might also make sense to get a tune-up of your bike and check other parts as well to make sure everything is working properly.
If you notice any of these signs, don’t wait! Get a new set of shocks and your riding will thank you for it.
What are the different types of replacement shocks for your bike?
There are basically three types of mountain bike shocks:
- Air shocks
- Coil-over cartridges
- Oil shocks
These work by having a cylinder that contains air under pressure with a piston in the middle.
When you hit a bump on your bike, the piston moves up or down depending on how much pressure is being put on it.
Coil-Over Cartridge Shocks
This type of shock works very similarly to the coil springs found in standard cars.
The difference is that the shock fluid compresses the spring so it can do its job better, absorbing shocks and bumps on rough roads or trails.
These are also known as “standard” shocks. It’s the most basic type of shock available for mountain bikes, but there are better ones out there that provide more comfort and better performance.
Mountain bike shocks are important to take care of because they help your ride be more enjoyable.
How do I know what mountain bike shock to get?
There are a few things to think about when you’re deciding on a mountain bike shock.
First, research what type of riding you will mostly be doing and how much weight you need the shocks to support for your body.
After that, decide if you want an air or coil-over cartridge shock.
Air shocks can be more adjustable, but most people find that coil-over cartridge shocks feel better.
Finally, decide on the best shock for your body weight and riding style.
How much do shocks cost and where can I buy them?
There are many factors that affect the price of shocks.
The main thing to think about is how much travel you want your mountain bike to have, which will determine what type of shock you get (oil or air).
A common size for air shocks is 100mm, while coil-over cartridge shocks have different numbers depending on how much travel you want.
Depending on the brand, model, and type of shock you choose, expect to pay between $50-$500 for shocks.
It’s also possible to find them used online or at garage sales if you don’t mind buying someone else’s old set.
Do all bikes require a shock or just mountain bikes?
All bikes require a shock of some kind unless they have front or rear suspension.
It’s the job of the shock to ensure that your bike can absorb bumps and jumps on trails, which provides a smoother riding experience.
If you don’t have shocks, you’re likely to feel every single bump on any trail you ride. This can be problematic for your health and on the health of your bike.
My final thoughts.
If you start noticing any of the four signs above, make sure you get a new mountain bike shock right away!
Shocks are very important for your mountain bike because they provide a smoother ride, which in turn keeps your body safe.
It’s possible to find shocks at all different price points depending on what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend.
Additionally, shocks are some of the oldest parts on your bike, so if they feel worn out then it’s a good idea to get new ones.