These days most full suspension bikes are fairly reliable, but there's one bit that regularly gives up the ghost - the shock bushings. You're probably familiar with the symptoms - an irritating knocking noise from the back end, a distinct vertical looseness to the suspension... Nearly all rear shocks have pressed-in self-lubricating bushes running on aluminium spacers. It's a sensible design assuming that all the loads are along the axis of the shock - any sideways slop in the rear suspension will put off-axis loads through there and lead to premature bushing failure. Some shocks have spherical bearings at the ends so that can handle a bit of wibble, but most don't - if you're getting through bushings at a prodigious rate check for slop elsewhere.

Assuming the thing's just reached the end of its natural lifespan, we've always had the best results from replacing the bushing and the spacers all at once. Generally the low-friction coating has worn off the bushing and the spacers have become misshapen with wear. Do the lot and you'll be back to a delightful factory-fresh tight rear...

shock bushings
shock 1

 

 

shock bushings
shock 2

 

 

shock bushings
shock 3

 

 

shock bushings
shock 4

 

shock bushings
shock 5
shock bushings
shock 6
shock bushings
hock 7