As more and more folks are realizing the benefit of a well set up full suspension you see less hardtails on the trail and more full squish. What I see a lot in the shop is people completely ignoring their suspension until it is to the point of needing a costly replacement. Remember the happier your bike is the better it will ride.
Before every ride check the air pressure & adjustments are set correctly. Riding a shock that has an air leak can severely damage the shock. Every 4 to 5 rides or before (and after) any epic ride gently clean all surfaces. While doing this check for any unusual leaking around the seals or bottom of fork. After you clean & check it, tighten down any pivot area. (Torque spec is recommended!)
The more advanced:
Between 40 to 100 hours of ride time depending how aggressive of a rider you are (and how well you take care of your bike) replace the oil and seals. This task gets easier the more you do it. With the proper tools & oil a mechanic can do this under 15 minutes. If you don’t want to invest in tools consult your local shop. Most will do the work in house at this level.
Every season if you are an aggressive rider, or racer I would suggest to get your suspension rebuilt. If the bike only sees use once a week March – October you should be able to get a few seasons. What you are trying to avoid is play in suspension. Around this time also replace any pivots. Again this is something that you can do with the proper tools.
Most suspension makers now have PDF’s on how to rebuild suspension on their websites. The only one I know of that recommends to send it back to the manufacture is the Fox rear shocks.
I personally like the Enduro seals for my forks. They seem to last longer and don’t have that break in period that you’ll find with many seals. All local bike shops have the ability to order these parts in or you can order them off line at EnduroForkSeals.com
If you question if you can do this repair I would go to the bike shop. Ruining a $500 fork can ruin your day. If you have any questions about questioning yourself add a comment below!
This was originally posted by myself over at BlueCollarMTB.com which is now static.