Full Suspension Bike Care & Maintenance
With a little basic care and feeding, your full-suspension bike will ride trouble free for miles and miles of fun.
1. Adjust the air pressure or spring preload of both the front and rear shocks to the manufacturer's specifications for a given rider’s weight. Specifications for your shock are available on the shock manufacturer's website. This adjustment will ensure your bike and suspension function as they're designed to.
Fox Mountain Bike Suspension Guides - Learn how to quickly set sag, air spring pressure, compression adjustments, rebound adjust, additional tuning options and more.
Rock Shox TrailHead App - is the starting point to get your suspension dialed in for the perfect ride. Tuning recommendations, upgrade information, and service support all in your hand, customized for your suspension.
2. Set the correct amount of sag (the amount the suspension compresses when you sit on the bike). This is an often-misunderstood concept as most riders run their suspension too firm. Getting this setting right ensures that your suspension is working for you all the time. To set it, refer to your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website to find the correct setting. Then, have a friend hold your bike for you as you sit on it with full riding gear. Generally, the bike should sag 20 to 30 percent of its total travel. The O-ring found on shocks can be used as a guide indicating how much your suspension sags and for dialing in the correct amount.
3. Dial in your rebound. When you hit bumps you want your suspension to come back to neutral as designed. Start by checking your fork or shock owner's manual to read the guidelines. You want your rebound to extend your suspension fast enough to be able to handle lots of quick bumps in a row, yet not so fast that it bounces or throws you out of control. To get it right, turn the rebound adjuster in small increments to find the best setting for you and your trails. Keep in mind that you'll want to adjust your rebound as you adjust your air pressure or spring preload, too.
4. If you're riding with air shocks or forks, check your air pressure at least every 2 weeks and top it off according to the manufacturer's specifications. Just like tires, air suspension loses a little air over time. If your fork or shock needs to be pumped up daily, we encourage you to bring it in for us to inspect.
5. Another good check is to grab the top of the rear wheel and wiggle it sideways to feel for side-to-side play in the rear-end suspension linkage. Does it feel loose? First, try snugging the rear wheel quick-release skewer, then make sure your rear hub bearings are adjusted correctly by removing the wheel and turning and pushing and pulling on the axle feeling for looseness (there shouldn't be any). If those things are fine, tighten the frame pivot bolts. If that doesn't do it, bring the bike in so we can take a look and determine what might be causing any problems.
6. Be sure to wipe the stanchions and around the seals of the shock and fork regularly. Check for oil deposits or any nicks on the stanchions. If you spot any problems or are unsure, bring the bike in for us to inspect. Clean components work better and last much longer.
7. Inspect the areas where your cable housings touch your frame and fork. The movement of the suspension can cause them to rub and actually create weak spots. Install tape at the contact points or stop by the Shop and we can show you some frame guards and tricks to prevent this common problem.
8. Your bike is bound to take some abuse. Self-healing vinyl frame protection ensures that scrapes, wear and chips don't make it to the factory paint. Frame protection is available in generic fit kits or frame specific - adding protection to the most vulnerable areas of your bike's frame. Bonus - the vinyl doesn't like dust making cleanup easier.
9. Wear and tear is greater if you ride in the mud, muck, snow, and rain. For these conditions you should clean your bike after every ride and check it for girt and grime that can wear the shocks, bearings and other components prematurely. Cleaning is as simple as getting a bucket and sponge, filling the bucket with warm soapy water and having at it. Just be sure to never use high-pressure water to clean or rinse as it can blast the lubricants right out of the bearings and moving. Be sure to dry completely and relube after cleaning.
10. It's important to only lube your fork and shock with the manufacturer's recommended oils, as other types of lubricants can eat through seals or harm the internals.
If you're new to riding full suspension, take it easy on your first few rides. Trust us on this one, even though the control and fun feel bigger, the crashes can be too.
We’re here to help. Stop by the Shop any time to talk the features and performance of your full-suspension ride.