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  1. #1
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    What do FS bikes 'need' as far as maintenance?

    I'm new to MB'ing here, I just bought a full suspension bike to get a plush ride. I know how to take car of my commuter and road bike but I've never had a FS bike? I keep noticing people on this forum mention extra costs associated with maintaining these FS bikes. What exactly are you all referring to? Just wondering how to cut my costs for fixing things. I have been doing most of my own maintenance on my other bikes for several years. Just now decided to simplify things by investing in a work stand, partly cuz the MB is a hoss and I'll probably either brake something or smash my cat trying to work on it. So what do I need to do to maintain this kind of bike?

  2. #2
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    It's mostly the same as any bike except that you have a few more bolts to keep tight. The basic maintenance is the same; keep the chain clean and lubed, if something is making noise fix it, if something is loose or rattling or clanking tighten it. The main difference is that there are more places where loose or clanking can come from. I try and give my pivots a quick bolt check every couple rides to make sure they are staying tight. Once you get some grime in your pivot bearings then you start getting into needing the additional maintenance. Eventually you'll have to either clean or replace the pivot bearings, you'll probably have to replace pivot hardware at some point in the bike's life, and you should always be aware of keeping everything tight.

    I don't really like washing my bike when it's not needed so I occasionally take a rag and floss around the bearings to clean them up. You will also want to wipe off the dust seals on the fork and shock every ride to keep the suspension system working properly.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Likes2Bike View Post
    I'm new to MB'ing here, I just bought a full suspension bike to get a plush ride. I know how to take car of my commuter and road bike but I've never had a FS bike? I keep noticing people on this forum mention extra costs associated with maintaining these FS bikes. What exactly are you all referring to? Just wondering how to cut my costs for fixing things. I have been doing most of my own maintenance on my other bikes for several years. Just now decided to simplify things by investing in a work stand, partly cuz the MB is a hoss and I'll probably either brake something or smash my cat trying to work on it. So what do I need to do to maintain this kind of bike?
    You'll need to do standard drive train, wheel maintenance, fork maintenance, cleaning etc. that you'd have to do on any bike. In addition you now have a shock, and suspension pivot points to maintain as well. And it's not a cut and dried type thing. Different procedures and requirements exist for different suspension designs, different manufacturers etc. But the basics will be checking torque on all pivot point fasteners occasionally (get torque specs from the manufacturer) and YES you'll need a torque wrench! Disassembly of pivots for cleaning, bearing or bushing inspection and possibly lubrication, at least annually, maybe more often, again check with the manufacturer. And annual shock maintenance/lubrication, and again, check with the manufacturer for how and intervals. Also you'll likely be looking at a full shock service (rebuild) at a given interval (usually bi-annually). This usually requires return of the shock to the manufacturer or an aftermarket servicing facility like Push Industries, depending of the shock. Most shocks whether air or coil sprung use an oil damping system that is charged with high pressure nitrogen to prevent foaming. Unless you have the know how, it can be dangerous to disassemble a nitrogen charged damper. Also you'd have to have the ability to recharge the system once the service is complete. If you don't know what you are doing, it's usually better to leave the shock rebuilds to a professional.

    So, yeah you've picked up some extra maintenance with your FS. But it's not that hard, it just takes a bit more of your time. If you live in an area of the country where there's an "off season", it can be done then. I live in the Midwest myself, and along about January or February the snows just too deep and it's just to darned cold to ride anymore. So the FS goes in the stand and gets a little love. Just make sure you do your home work and check with your fork, shock, and frame manufacturers for maintenance procedures and intervals.

    Good Dirt
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