When and Why Your Mountain Bike Needs A Linkage Service
Dual suspension bikes open up a new world of possibilities on the trail that hardtrails simply can't match. Its worth noting that these bikes also have some added maintenance requirements that you'll want to keep on top of, one of these being the linkage.
What is a Linkage Service?
Depending on the complexity of your bike's suspension system you may have just one set of linkage bearings around one pivot or many. In a linkage service you will remove your shock and all linkage bolts, replace or grease re-grease the bearings before re-installing the freshly greased / loctitied (if required) bolts and shock.
Why Do A Linkage Service?
There's no point in having the best suspension on the market if your linkage is running rough and notchy, negatively effecting performance. Not only can the condition of your bike's linkage have an effect on performance it can also cause extreme wear and potential damage to your frame.
When to do a Linkage Service?
There are some tell tale signs that your mountain bike is due for a linkage service. These include:
- Notchy during suspension compression
- Lack of traction
- Creaking under load
Typically, a linkage service is required at least every 12 months but could be sooner if riding conditions have been poor in the past e.g. muddy, wet and dusty conditions. As Australian mountain bike riders we ride in some pretty extreme weather conditions, you'll be amazed where dust, mud, and other bits of grit can get to.
Completing a Linkage Service
There is a large amount of variation in MTB linkage designs, therefore there is no set method on how to complete a linkage service. As a point of reference it is often beneficial to look at a guide provided by the manufacturer if available or an exploded view of the bike. A linkage service can be quite a complicated task so we recommend only competent mechanics attempt them.
If you're not feeling up to the task the For The Riders Brisbane MTB workshop is ready to assist. You're looking at $120 for a linkage service without replacing bearings. You can book this 'specific job' in online. Alternatively, a linkage service is included in our 'Platinum Service' along with just about everything else you can do on a mountain bike service.