i had one more shock lying around: the old monarch plus my bike originally came with and that nat ran until i serviced her vivid. the vivid is of course a much better shock but since we have this monarch that happens to fit both our bikes i figured i might as well service that, too. just in case.

it’s a much simpler shock than the vivid and easier to service, too. the outer chamber comes off with the removal of an o-ring and it’s pretty straight forward from there.

the inner sleeve can almost be removed by hand and then the damper is already exposed. also exposed was the fact that the little bumper ring had clearly seen more use than it should have.

it’s not a seal and didn’t affect the performance of the shock but it was a clear sign that a service was long overdue. i would guess that is the case for many suspension components out there. how many riders are getting their forks and shocks serviced regularly?

forks can easily cost upwards of $1500 and a good shock will set you back $1000 or more. there is not all that much grease and even less oil in them, and once the shafts start to wear it’s pretty much game over and the fork or shock has to be replaced.

i figure i’ll rather try to keep up the maintenance. it’s not that hard and not a time consuming job either. it is surprisingly expensive though: the service kit for the monarch was $60, the one for the vivid is $150. still cheaper than a new shock, way cheaper.

and with that i’ve completed the service cycle of all units on nat & my bike (two pikes, one reverb, one vivid and one monarch). i should have a quiet few months ahead now … except i’ve just ordered a new improved air spring for nat’s pike, they say it’s more responsive and supple. after all i’d want her to be on the best bike possible.