Fox shocks only last 2 years?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fox shocks only last 2 years?

    I was on the phone with the Ellsworth guys today and asked about a new rear shock recommendation. They strongly suggested I buy one from them pre-set for my Truth. I have an 07 Float RL that needs servicing so I entertained just buying a new RP23. what got me was that the dude told me a rear shock is done in 2 years pending riding activity. Really? I'm better off buying theirs?

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    I call BS as I rebuild shocks for a living and know that is BS

  3. #3
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    You used the term, "2 years pending riding activity". I read that as saying that 2 years is about the normal service time for a shock based on how much it gets ridden. For a serious bike guy to say that, he's probably basing it on how much he rides...which might be a lot...and 2 years might be a good rule of thumb. In reality a shock can be shot in less than a year or last for many years. Many variables can come into play to dicatate shock life. He probably shouldn't have made any statement about shock life, but it may not be based on a dark motive.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALEV8
    I was on the phone with the Ellsworth guys today and asked about a new rear shock recommendation. They strongly suggested I buy one from them pre-set for my Truth. I have an 07 Float RL that needs servicing so I entertained just buying a new RP23. what got me was that the dude told me a rear shock is done in 2 years pending riding activity. Really? I'm better off buying theirs?
    At least the part about "buying from them" is BS. Any competant suspension tuner, such as Push Industries, can set up your 07 Float to far exceed the performance of a new RP23 in terms of suspension. Why? Because they'll take out the cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all internals and put in ones even closer suited to your riding style, weight, and bike. Their internals will flow more oil and provide even better control. Ellsworth must be hurting for business, and while your 07 shock might need a servicing, it can be rebuilt by one of many companies, and Push Industries can rebuid it AND make it perform better than any stock fox damper.

    New fox shocks come with one of three rebound and compression tunes. This is to suit whatever bike they get put on. In the case of the Truth, it's either middle-of-the-road or heavy compression damping, with most likely a medium rebound tune. This is most likely what Ellsworth is talking about when they say "specifically tuned for the Truth", but again, it's still cookie-cutter and Push uses an entirely new compression piston with shims covering oil ports for more control and better damping.

    Realistically, you could probably hook up almost any shock to the truth, because it's probably going to have that middle-compression damping, and that's what most air shocks already have.

    The real insteresting thing to see would be to call Ellsworth back up and ask them specifically what the "tune" is on the RP23, is it "light, medium, or heavy" compression? "light, medium, or heavy" rebound? Will they tell you or just be d*cks about it?

    If you have an old fox shock, call these guys, great customer service, great products, great performance, it's way cheaper than buying a new shock. www.pushindustries.com
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    At least the part about "buying from them" is BS. Any competant suspension tuner, such as Push Industries, can set up your 07 Float to far exceed the performance of a new RP23 in terms of suspension. Why? Because they'll take out the cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all internals and put in ones even closer suited to your riding style, weight, and bike. Their internals will flow more oil and provide even better control. Ellsworth must be hurting for business, and while your 07 shock might need a servicing, it can be rebuilt by one of many companies, and Push Industries can rebuid it AND make it perform better than any stock fox damper.

    Cmon, you are making it sound like Tony is trying to BS someone

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007
    Cmon, you are making it sound like Tony is trying to BS someone
    That's NEVER happened!


    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Ellsworth
    I know in my heart, and have verified with destructive testing and by FEAing others designs up and applying the same dynamic loading to my designs and theirs that Ellsworth bikes are more durable for the prescribed use then any in the industry by as much as double. AND they are all lighter then the same prescribed use bikes of other brands...that’s something we’re proud of and it is proof of some sweet and expensive engineering, design and materials. But nothing lasts forever, and while I'm perfectly willing to do a lifetime of the product warranty—will owners read warranty so they don’t just end up pissed off when the situation arrives that they've gotta buy replacement parts to keep it good?
    Last edited by Jayem; 06-24-2009 at 10:25 PM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    That's NEVER happened!
    haha that Ellsworth quote is just too good. They must not have tested their seat tube or chainstay in their test vs others brands.

    oh and then when their seat tube breaks/cracks in half (on older 05'ish) truth, theyll tell you its cause you have an air shock on there and they dont recommend air shocks on their bike (never mind its a light weight xc bike), however they wont tell you that when you are going to buy one, they'll just gladly take the cash.

  8. #8
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    So Jayem, the Push rebuild looks compelling. What would I gain from the full meal deal via them, versus a simple service if I am not a racer?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALEV8
    So Jayem, the Push rebuild looks compelling. What would I gain from the full meal deal via them, versus a simple service if I am not a racer?
    You gain a shock tailored to your weight and riding style, which makes a world of difference. Like the difference between an Armani suit and a snuggie blanket with arms.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALEV8
    So Jayem, the Push rebuild looks compelling. What would I gain from the full meal deal via them, versus a simple service if I am not a racer?
    Yeah, it has nothing to do with a racer, and everything to do with good suspension.

    Let me put it this way, the less-complex and cheaper the shock, the more performance sacrifices you have to make, this goes all the way down to having to use a "lockout" to acheive decent pedaling traits. Now, there are better ways to go about things than to just use a lockout, and you probably know that using the lockout causes your rear end to be flung in the air when you hit a hard bump, or it makes it harder to get over obstacles, and so on.

    So, next you have propedal, which again is a one-size fits all adjustment. Flipping a propedal-lever on an RP23 gives you an instant "on/off" switch for 3 levels of "propedal". It still flings your butt a bit in the air and makes it a bit harder to get over some obstacles, but it firms up the compression damping dramatically.

    But, if you use more advanced stuff, you can have decent pedaling performance AND decent suspension perfomance in the same shock, without having to resort to peopedal or locking the shock out. I'm not saying that a lockout wouldn't be usefull (although I feel the value is very limited), but you'll enjoy better suspension characteristics AND more resistance to pedaling inputs if you do something like go with a Push upgrade (and they of course rebuild it at the same time). Again, Push essentially "guts" the internals, replaces them with internals that have bigger oil orofices and just the right amount of metal shims (that flex and allow oil to bypass) for your weight, ridings style, and bike setup. They'll also use the correct oil weight, resevior charge, and so on to acheive the correct tuning parameters. My big gripe with OEM (stock) air shocks is that they tend to be very overdamped for my tastes. I pretty much only use coil rear shocks, as nearly every air shock I've tried was very over-damped. Even with the propedal off, they had the traits I was describing above, at least compared to my coil shocks. When I rode over choppy terrain, the air shocks like the RP3 and RP23 just didn't suck up the terrain. The Push upgrade fixes this and gives it the oil flow that is necessary. In addition to the stock internals being "crude" compared to the stuff that Push uses, the stock internals are also limited to the pre-set values I explained in the earlier post, and they have to give themselves a safety-margin so a heavier rider can't hop on the bike and blow out the damping. All of these things mean that the Push-tuned shock will outperform the stock shock.

    Will you notice the difference? Probably.

    Will you think that it was money well spent? I can't answer that.

    Would a basic rebuild get your shock back and running? Of course.

    If the Push tuning upgrade is only a small bit more than the rebuild, I'd do it. I've used Push before with customer's shocks and had great results. It's great for someone to hope back on their bike and say "wow, I never realized what I was missing" (their shock was dead too, probably oil contaminated with the nitrogen charge, we got the standard rebuild by Push). If someone is offering to rebuild the shock for a lot cheaper than the Push tune, then that might be a good low-cost option, and then you can save your pennies for something else, but again, the Push internals will outperform any stock (including brand new) Fox internals, so if you have an older fox shox, you will nearly always get a better performing shock by doing the Push tune.

    While I don't use a Push-tuned shock myself, I do use two Avalanche shocks, which are tuned and setup similer to Push. Interestingly, Push has recently began to use Avalanche internals in the Fox DHX shock, due to how well they perform and get the job done. Bottom line is that both companies know what they are doing, and their products easily outperform the stock stuff out there. It does make you a little of a suspension-snob I guess, but if you read up on the people who have gotten Push upgrades, I think you'll see that they are generally very happy with the performance. It's also cool that you can buy a fox shox for cheap off of Ebay, and it might even be blown/dead, and then get it rebuilt by Push to perform better than new. You can still end up below the retail price of a new one.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  11. #11
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    Push is an inexpensive option for me so I will go for it. I just dropped $$ for XO shifters and RD plus Hope Tech X2's....what's $195 now? Still better than buying a new shock! Oh well it's my 38th bday....

    This Ellsworth better start shitting me Tiffany cufflinks the way I treat her these days. At least get me over some of these drops alive.......
    Last edited by ALEV8; 06-24-2009 at 10:58 PM.

  12. #12
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    Drops on a Truth? Warranty voided

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALEV8
    I was on the phone with the Ellsworth guys today and asked about a new rear shock recommendation. They strongly suggested I buy one from them pre-set for my Truth. I have an 07 Float RL that needs servicing so I entertained just buying a new RP23. what got me was that the dude told me a rear shock is done in 2 years pending riding activity. Really? I'm better off buying theirs?
    If by "done" he means it needs a rebuild (like the seals changed, etc) that is not too out of the question if you ride a lot, and in harsh conditions. But a rebuild is not that big of a deal. No way could a shock be completely done in two years.

    Back to your case, If I were you, I would think about having your shock PUSHed. You don't need to be a racer. In fact, that's the point of a PUSH tune. It is tuned for YOU.

    If you do want an RP23 and Els does not charge more than the going rate, yeah, it might be good to get one with a factory tuning more geared towards your bike, but I would not spend very much extra for that. A PUSH tune will blow away anything that Els is going to do with it.

    I mean, the best would be a PUSHed RP23, but if you ask me, the best bank for your buck at this point is getting the one you have PUSHed.

  14. #14
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    I'm gonna send it to PUSH......

  15. #15
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    I bought an NRS in 2004 and the stock shock is still working beautifully after 5 years of brutal riding

  16. #16
    PMK
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    I've been rebuilding and modding MTB rear dampers since 95. From well before Darrin had PUSH, Romic, or Chuck Bikes.

    Push has a cult following, and for what they charge it should be worlds better.

    To compare a stock damper to a PUSHED unit is crazy.

    The real test of was it worth it is to compare a PUSHED damper to a revalved OEM.

    FOX does an OK job, but it is very possible to trash a FOX damper in 2 years. This doesn't mean every single part has failed, but there are some surfaces that will wear through. Other times, some models will see failure of the pro-pedal system and have parts floating about inside, and of course you have the infamous loss of nitrogen or the very typical high pressure air from the spring blowing by the sealhead, sometimes negating rebound damping and letting the thing top out like a jack hammer.

    If you change the oil in your car to maintain it, have the fluid changed in your rear shock often. There is hardly any amount inside the damper, and it works much hard than the oil in your car. Have your forks done also.

    Make sure that the shop that does the work is suspension capable, completely tears it down, cleans, inspects, and properly fills and services the fluid and gas.

    Dust that has worked under the dust seal, causes the most wear, and most riders, no matter how well they keep their bike clean will have this problem.

    PK

  17. #17

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    Ellsworth must be hurting for business,
    Might be. Regardless of what their intent with the shock recommendation was, the outcome was the same: send money our way and buy a new shock.

    Hell, Fox can even revalve an old shock, though it's still their basic array.

    We have a few suspension companies on the forum. I think there's room for everyone in there. Push and Avy displayed this, as they are sort of competitors, yet they found a way to combine their abilities.

    PMK- what do you offer, in terms of suspension mods and customization?

  18. #18
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    PMK- what do you offer, in terms of suspension mods and customization?
    I'm not fighting for a spot since I'm no longer part of the fight. I prefer to see folks make educated choices and not follow along based on internet hype.

    What is offered, well since I no longer work on suspension to pay the bills...

    Buy wisely.

    PK
    Last edited by PMK; 06-26-2009 at 05:09 AM.

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    PMK,

    I just wanted it to be known that I wasn't attacking. Ultimately, if we have another company in the game, the consumers get to make the best choices. Sometimes the best ones are in between what's out there, and there's plenty of business to go around.

    Thanks

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerk_Chicken
    PMK,

    I just wanted it to be known that I wasn't attacking. Ultimately, if we have another company in the game, the consumers get to make the best choices. Sometimes the best ones are in between what's out there, and there's plenty of business to go around.

    Thanks
    I know it wasn't an attack, I'm good with it.

    You asked, I posted, you read, I modified the post now you know.

    PK

  21. #21
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    "Push has a cult following, and for what they charge it should be worlds better.

    To compare a stock damper to a PUSHED unit is crazy.

    The real test of was it worth it is to compare a PUSHED damper to a revalved OEM." I am backing every word on that one, Drake

  22. #22
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    To the OP, Elsworth guy was blowing a bit of smoke. Shocks last as long as they last. Savvy? Too many variables going on to predict any reasonable failure rate. Some blow in less than a season. Others seem to go forever without so much as ever having the air sleeve serviced/lubed.

    Regarding the "cult following". Yes, they have one, and for good reason. Fox has only just opened their doors to custom tuning. So up until now you have either had to grin and bear it or you had to track down someone with the knowledge and tools to tune your shock. I have always just dealt with it. Riding the latest and greatest coil shocks there were enough adjustment range to get close enough. Air shocks and I just never got along too well. After a trip to push I finally have an air shock that works. That in itself is worth the price of admission. I don't doubt that Fox or other tuners could have a fair shake with the stock internal, but Push provides above and beyond that with hi-flow pistons and precision machined replacement parts. Nuff said, these debates are already well documented on the forums...
    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine
    that's the stupidest idea this side of pinkbike.

  23. #23
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by AL29er
    I don't doubt that Fox or other tuners could have a fair shake with the stock internal, but Push provides above and beyond that with hi-flow pistons and precision machined replacement parts. Nuff said, these debates are already well documented on the forums...
    For those that have had a FOX damper apart, it's pretty clear the pistons already have plenty of flow.

    Race-Tech is kown for selling high flow pistons to the moto guys. Long ago, as shimmed valving was being learned, it was common for engineers to design pistons that had port areas to small. While it can still happen in modern times, it doesn't happen often.

    The nemesis to most MTB riders is lack of maintenance and sales hype. Most folks will ride their stuff until the performance is horrible or it breaks. For them a simple service is worlds better than what they had days before.

    In regards to air sprung stuff, many times when the manufacturer builds air sprung stuff, the emphasis is on efficiency of pedal in put and / or weight. These systems by design are valved to minimize bob and work as close to a threshold damping as possible while still offering some compliance. If the rider does not need this type setup, most times simple shim work will give a more supple ride with less or no threshold to the damping.

    Then again some dampers are just crap and need help in the valving and piston department, with the flip side being riders that don't understand how suspension works and what will work best for them.

    A rider or consumer that understands what they are buying is smart, cult or not.

    PK

  24. #24
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    First, ALEV8, if you have any specific questions regarding your setup feel free to contact me.

    Secondly, I think it's important to note that some manufactures have moved away from tuneable suspension components and that's one of our areas of focus. Some components simply can't receive an "OEM revalve" because they're either a simple port orifice design, or use some sort of pressure sensitive valve, etc.

    We often use techniques that combine OE revalve with aftermarket component design....ie, FOX RLC forks where we revalve top cap and rebound pistons, but manufacture new components for the base valve. This is all done to maximize the overall package, or give us the ability to offer a broader range of tuning than one is available with the stock parts. We also design components to offer features that just aren't found in the stock units such as using a new piston bolt in a DHX damper that features an asymmetric valve in order to separate the compression and rebound valving forces.

    As for "hype", yes we do market our products as every company does in order to exist. I would say that our commitment to tools such as on-board data logging, Roehrig Engineering Dyno, as well as our engineering software and engineering staff, prove that we're committed to making a good end product for the consumer. If not, we certainly could have excused these things and cut our annual budget by a considerable amount.

    Darren
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  25. #25
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    what got me was that the dude told me a rear shock is done in 2 years pending riding activity
    After two years of use a rear shock needs to be rebuilt and serviced....hopefully that's what he meant.

    Darren

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUSHIND
    After two years of use a rear shock needs to be rebuilt and serviced....hopefully that's what he meant.

    Darren
    I thought it should be rebuilt at least every 12 months of riding? and forks every 6 months?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by fop1
    I thought it should be rebuilt at least every 12 months of riding? and forks every 6 months?
    Rebuilt or check/change the oil? Seems a bit much to do a rebuild that often.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    Rebuilt or check/change the oil? Seems a bit much to do a rebuild that often.
    If you ride 2 hours per weekend, an overhaul every 6 months is a pretty long time on the fluid

    2hrs x 4weks x 6 months = 48hours


    A car driven 60 mph for 3000 miles = 50 hours and the oil in your car doesn't work near as hard


    Most motocross rear dampers are recommended for teardown each 25 hours

    Regardless of what shop did the work, the performance of the damper falls off pretty quick once the oil shears. An MTB rear damper holds about a Dixie cup of fluid.

    Air sprung shocks are worse still as they tend to force air past the sealhead, wear it emulsifies with the fluid, causing more wear and an even greater performance loss.

    Like almost everything, as you buy more performance it costs more to keep it worthy.

    PK

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    If you ride 2 hours per weekend, an overhaul every 6 months is a pretty long time on the fluid

    2hrs x 4weks x 6 months = 48hours


    A car driven 60 mph for 3000 miles = 50 hours and the oil in your car doesn't work near as hard


    Most motocross rear dampers are recommended for teardown each 25 hours

    Regardless of what shop did the work, the performance of the damper falls off pretty quick once the oil shears. An MTB rear damper holds about a Dixie cup of fluid.

    Air sprung shocks are worse still as they tend to force air past the sealhead, wear it emulsifies with the fluid, causing more wear and an even greater performance loss.

    Like almost everything, as you buy more performance it costs more to keep it worthy.

    PK
    As I said, change the oil, sure. But a complete overhaul (as in the seals)? No.

    FWIW, Even changing the oil that often is strictly preventive. I have never noticed a drop in performance until the oil got MUCH older than 6 months. I try to change my fork oil every 6 months, but sometimes it is a year,and even at that interval it did not affect the performance (though I'm sure it affected the longevity).

    BTW, You don't need to change your car's oil every 3,000 miles. That's the recommendation of people who change your oil (like the shampoo directions that say "repeat"). Look at the manufacturer's recommendations. My old VW and my current honda both recommend every 7,500 miles.

    How do you figure the oil in my car does not work as hard? I don't recall my shocks ever putting out the slightest fraction of the heat my car engine does.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta
    As I said, change the oil, sure. But a complete overhaul (as in the seals)? No.

    FWIW, Even changing the oil that often is strictly preventive. I have never noticed a drop in performance until the oil got MUCH older than 6 months. I try to change my fork oil every 6 months, but sometimes it is a year,and even at that interval it did not affect the performance (though I'm sure it affected the longevity).

    BTW, You don't need to change your car's oil every 3,000 miles. That's the recommendation of people who change your oil (like the shampoo directions that say "repeat"). Look at the manufacturer's recommendations. My old VW and my current honda both recommend every 7,500 miles.

    How do you figure the oil in my car does not work as hard? I don't recall my shocks ever putting out the slightest fraction of the heat my car engine does.
    To begin, I noticed you talk about changing your fork oil each 6 months. A fork does not work near as hard as a rear damper. The leverage ratio is 1:1, the fluid volume is many times greater, and bearing surfaces are larger also.

    In regards to a fork, six months is a reasonable amount of time. Not that the fork will have trashed the fluid, the problem lies in the fact that dust will work it's way under the seal lips. This dust will, with the forks action and seal grease or fluid, form a nice lapping compound and wear the fork tubes hard coat away. This can happen with no signs of leakage. So to do a fork oil change, where the fluid is dumped and refilled, comes up way short compared to a complete teardown, cleaning and IRAN (inspect-replace as necessary).

    The rear damper, many times will suffer the same dust contamination as a fork. The rear also has the fluid work much harder due to linkage rates. Additionally, many rear dampers use a du type pivot for the mounting hardware. This design is unable to tolerate any appreciable misalignment. So things like frame or linkage flex, or even manufacturing tolerance can place side loads into the dampers internal DU.

    As for the oil not working near as hard as your car, granted it may not constantly see the same temperatures, but other things factor in. If you have ever seen the TV commercial about the oil being liquid ball bearings, that is a fair description for engine oil. Most parts are sliding. Inside a damper, the shims, will shear the fluid as the fluid is constantly squeezed between the shims edge and the valve body. This destroys the fluids performance.

    So two main factors here, fluid degradation and dust like grit working behind the seals. Added to normal wear and tear, which is actually the least problem of all.

    I posted the car mileage to give a time frame to distance visual. Granted most car makers now will say 7500 mile oil change intervals for normal driving. They also say 3750 miles for extreme or off road driving. 3750 @ 60mph still is only 62.5 hours.

    The OP stated a FOX rear shock being good for only two years...If it's two years on a rear damper that has seen no maintenance and been ridden several times a week in a dusty or wet environment, then this is entirely possible.

    As for replacing seals and all wear parts ever teardown. That's between you and the shop doing the work. Since I no longer work on suspension sent in from all over the US, and mostly just work on friends or local riders stuff. I make all attempts to keep their costs low and reuse seals until worn out. The guys are fine with this as they know they are getting complete teardowns and service for a fraction of the cost to send it out, plus they normally have it back in a couple of days and lose no riding time. Also with closed chamber forks, many riders and local shops only replace the outer chamber fluid. The closed chamber may or may not need a fluid change but it does degrade. Many shops and DIYers have difficulty in accomplishing a full teardown or fail to properly service the cartridge, this sadly this is just a bad beginning that gets worse very quickly.

    In the end, it's your stuff do as you see fit, I'm describing this based on real world experience of working suspension for a long time.

    PK

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by PMK
    The OP stated a FOX rear shock being good for only two years...If it's two years on a rear damper that has seen no maintenance and been ridden several times a week in a dusty or wet environment, then this is entirely possible.
    PK
    Agreed.

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