Published on July 21st, 2016 | by Greg O'Keeffe
Ask a Mechanic | Adding Volume Spacers to your RockShox Shock
Julian asks, “I have to run too much air pressure in my rear shock to get the right amount of sag. I’ve heard about volume reducers, but what do they do and are they hard to install?”
Suspension setup is something that intimidates us all, but whether you’re a beginner or an expert, knowing how to work on your suspension is key. As air cans on shocks grow larger and larger, they create a more linear suspension curve. Though this makes the shock feel really supple in its initial travel, it can sometimes feel like it never ramps up or increases in compression, making for a somewhat “sluggish” feeling ride. One way to solve this problem is by adding volume reducer spacers into your rear shock. What’s even better is that it’s incredibly simple. Let’s get started.
After you’ve used the appropriate tools to remove your shock from your bike, wipe down your shock and then attach the shock pump. Before deflating the shock, make sure and note your shock’s air pressure somewhere you won’t forget it. Then, deflate your rear shock completely.
Next, remove the small retaining black rubber o-ring by hand or delicately pry it off using a pick or small screwdriver if it’s being stubborn. Wiggle the air sleeve down the shock body away from the seal head.
Once the can is off, you can begin installing the volume reducer spacers onto the upper portion of the can. We’d recommend that you start by adding at least 4 volume spacers so that you’ll notice an immediate difference in performance.
Make sure that there is still some lubrication oil on the seals underneath the air sleeve and reinstall the sleeve without disturbing the o-rings under the air can. You’ll know that the air sleeve is installed once it ‘clicks’ back up to the dial end of the shock. Carefully reinstall the retaining black rubber o-ring into its recess. Reinstall the shock using appropriate torque settings and re-inflate your shock to the same air pressure as before.
Finally, get out and hit the trails. Take note of how the shock performs over small chatter as well as large hits. Most likely, you’ll have to make small adjustments to your rebound and air pressure to compensate for the volume reducer spacers, but the end result will be a much better ride.
Thanks for watching!