How to replace shock absorber spacers?
- Vernier caliper
- 4 or 5 BTR spanner depending on your frame
- Torque wrench
- Self-locking strap
- Grommet press
1/ Securing the swing arm
To prevent unwanted movement of the swingarm during disassembly, connect it to the front triangle of the frame using the self-locking strap.
2/ Shock absorber removal
Using the appropriate spanner, loosen the shock absorber screws. Remove the shock absorber.
Measure the centre distance and the stroke of your shock absorber with the caliper. Caution: this measurement must be very precise and measured with the shock in the fully extended position. If your shock absorber is damaged or if you have any doubts, contact the manufacturer of your bike to obtain the values accepted by your frame.
B/ Replacement of spacers
As the interface between the shock absorber and the frame,, the shock absorber spacers are under a lot of stress and you will probably have to replace them several times during the life of the shock. Also, if you change your frame or replace an old shock with a new one, chances are that the ribs will not be the same and you will also have to replace them.
1/ Spacer width measurement
Use the caliper to measure the width of the spacers. This measurement can also be taken on the frame between the attachment points of the shock absorber.
2/ Measuring the internal diameter of the spacers
Using the caliper, measure the inside diameter of the spacers. This measurement can also be taken on the damper fixing screws.
C/ Selection of the spacer system
1/ Teflon Ring + Aluminium Nozzles
The Teflon inside the ring (red material on the picture) has a low friction coefficient and acts as a bearing. The ring is pressed into the shock absorber eyelet with the special tool. The bushes are mounted without a special tool and the fixing screw acts as a pin. This system is the oldest and has the advantage of being very inexpensive to replace.
2/ Spacer + Teflon ring
Here, the bushes are made of Teflon and mounted directly in the shock eyelet, followed by a seal and a metal spacer, all of which is crossed by a hollow shaft that acts as a bearing and through which the fixing screw passes. This system offers a better bearing quality and a longer life.
3/ Hollow shaft + needle bearing
This system consists of a needle bearing pressed into the shock absorber eyelet, this bearing is then passed through by a first hollow shaft which supports the centring and sealing spacers. Finally, the second hollow shaft passes through this bearing, and the fixing screw passes through it. This system offers exceptional bearing quality but requires regular maintenance due to the presence of a bearing.
4/ Reassembling the shock absorber
Once the spacers are assembled, reassemble the shock to the frame by tightening the screws with a torque spanner to the torque recommended by the frame manufacturer. It is recommended to add threadlocker to the fixing screws to prevent them from loosening during use.