Local, In-House Shock Service & Repair by Storm Cycles in Park City
Storm Cycles is one of our favorite shops in town. Why? Because they’re a dedicated, year-round bike shop. Storm’s mechanics are full-time bike techs and some of the best in the biz. When other shops are quoting two-week turn-around times and having to send parts back to the manufacturer for repair, Storm can likely service in house for a fraction of the cost. For example, they’re the only shop in town who will service your Fox, along with most all other major manufacturers, suspension in-house complete with nitro charge. That means less time with your bike in pieces, and more time on the trail. While turn-around times vary depending on shop demand, the actual process only takes about an hour and Storm charges $150 for the service. Compare that to Fox’s 7-10 day turnaround time and $250 service fee + whatever the shop’s handling fee is, and it’s a no-brainer.
I haven’t had my rear shock serviced since I’ve had my bike which is currently in it’s fourth season, and as such, figured it could use a tune. Most people (myself included) typically run their shocks until catastrophic failure ensues, however, if it’s been more than a couple of seasons without service or fluid change, your shock is probably only performing at 50-70% of capacity, and is due for a check-up. Storm recommends checking your shock for performance along with adding clean Float Fluid every 100 hours or so, which is about every 50-75 rides.
To check your shock, remove the air can by unscrewing from the shock body. In our case, we’ve removed the shock from the bike, however, this isn’t necessary for a simple performance spot check. With the air can removed, cycle the shock in it’s various settings. What you’re looking for is a smooth stroke, as well as additional resistance with pro-pedal or climb mode enabled. If the stroke get’s hung-up in spots, or if pro-pedal isn’t noticeable, it’s likely time to bring the bike in for a service.
Additionally, Storm recommends adding one of these little packets of Float Fluid to the air can’s seals and threads, along with a liberal coating to the shock shaft every 100 hours.
Shown above is the compression assembly also known as the shim stack. All these washers compress and flex which allow for more or less oil to enter the shock. More oil in equals a plusher ride, whereas less oil, makes for a firmer, more resistant shock.
When assembled, this creates the IFP (Internal Floating Piston) which resides inside the shaft. Failure of that little blue O-ring is what accounts for nearly 90% of all shock failures. Keeping this little guy clean and lubed is key for maintaining shock life and preventing disaster from striking on the trail.
One great benefit to having Storm service your shock and suspension is that they replace the stock fluids with premium oil. Most manufacturers skimp on oil quality in order to cut costs on the factory floor, however, using a high-quality oil can offer a boost in performance, especially on long descents where your shock is likely to heat-up.
With fresh oil and the shock’s internals reassembled, it’s now time to pressurize the shock with a nitrogen charge. This is Storm’s secret sauce, and the main reason they are able to service suspension in-house. Full disclosure: no whippets were consumed during the servicing of this shock by myself or the service techs 😉
Storm Cycles – Park City, Utah Bike Shop
For hours and shop info, visit stormcycles.net or give them a ring at 435-200-9120.