Mountain Bike Rear Shock

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Mountain Bike Rear Shock
Mountain Bike Rear Shock
Mountain Bike Rear Shock

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Most mountain bikes these days come with some sort of bicycle suspension fork. A full suspension mountain bike also includes a mountain bike rear shock.

Full suspension bikes are also referred to as soft tails (as opposed to hard tails), or dual suspension bikes.

When talking about mountain bike suspension, the topic of travel frequently pops up. Travel is measured in inches or millimeters, and denotes the maximum possible movement of the suspension from the top to bottom of its shock stroke. In other words, travel is the measurement of total compression of the shock. Now let’s get right to the most important question…

Do You Need a Mountain Bike Rear Shock

Many allegedly authoritative sources will attempt to convince you that you need mountain bikes rear shock without even knowing what kind of riding you do! Please ignore these people. What you need in a mountain bike is not determined by what someone else tells you that you need. Rather, what you need in a mountain bike is determined by what kind of riding you do! The terrain you normally ride on, and the kind of riding you do, will determine what kind of bike and bike suspension you should be looking for:

Type of Mountain Bike Type of Terrain Rear Suspension Travel
Hard Tail Smooth trails or single track None
Cross Country Single track with roots and rocks 3-4″
All-Mountain 4-6″
Downhill Very steep big mountain riding with big drops and sizeable obstacles 7″, or as much as you can find!

Mountain bike rear shock adds weight to your bike and potentially soaks up some of your energy. Consequently, it is important to choose full suspension only if the type of riding you do warrants the need for it.

Different Types of Mountain Bike Rear Shocks

Mountain Bike Rear Shock
Mountain Bike Rear Shock
Mountain Bike Rear Shock

The suspension found on most cross country and all-mountain bikes tends to be air suspension. This type of shock can be twice as light as downhill shocks, and perfect for bumpier trails. Like front bicycle suspension forks, the rear shock works by way of air, a metal coil, or both. Because rear suspension has the potential to "bob" as you pedal, many types of rear shocks have a switch that allows you to lock out the suspension entirely on the fly! This is perfect for those circumstances where rear suspension isn't needed.

Another, much more simple type of rear shock is the mountain bike spring shock. Basically they are heavier than the air/oil based shocks, and will give you a rougher ride, but they are much less expensive. As such, they are more appropriate for basic, low-end mountain bikes.

How Will a Rear Shock Change My Ride?

You are already riding rough trails, or are interested in trying out the next level of mountain biking. A full suspension mountain bike may be just what you need to explore your potential. But how will mountain bike rear shock effect your ride?

The rear shock, for the most part, does exactly what the front suspension does:

  • Increases comfort
  • Absorbs impact, making larger jumps possible
  • Keeps your wheels in contact with the ground
  • Enhances maneuverability and traction

Did you know...?

Mountain Bike Rear Shock

Did you know that a rear shock can significantly extend the lifespan of your tires?

By keeping your wheels in constant contact with the ground, a rear shock ensures that your tire experiences relatively even wear and tear across its entire surface area. Thus, a rear shock can save you a bundle in tire maintenance.

When I first purchased a full suspension cross country bike and took it out for my first ride, I really didn't think it was doing much. However, as I rocketed down a rough stretch of single track, I looked down at my rear shock and saw it bobbing like mad!

Obviously this innocuous little shock was doing much more than I thought. Instead of flying through the air out of control, my wheels stayed on the ground - allowing me to negotiate the challenges of more technical trails.

Since moving up from the Rocky Mountain Vertex to the Kona Cadabra - an all-mountain bike - I have noticed an even greater difference.

Tearing down river beds strewn with large rocks no longer sends me flying from my bike. The plush suspension soaks up large obstacles and allows me to steer around others that are best avoided.

Where to Buy Mountain Bike Rear Shock?

If you are interested in buying a mountain bike rear shock, you can buy it on one of these trusted online stores:

Buying a Mountain Bike Rear Shock on eBay

Last Word On Mountain Bike Rear Shock

You may not need a mountain bike with rear suspension. Nor will a full suspension mountain bike absolutely improve your technical ability. However, if you find that you are launching off of large gaps or jumps, or are regularly riding on rough terrain, a full suspension bike may be just what you need to make the impossible ride a reality.

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