Components 101: Shock Absorber
The shock absorber or rear suspension shock has two main functions:
- it enables the rear wheel to move up when it hits something, therefore reducing the impact felt through the bike. It achieves this by use of a coiled spring (for big hits on downhill mountain bikes) or compressed air (XC mountain bikes and hybrids).
- it can dampen the ride by controlling the speed of axle movement of the rear wheel at the stage when it takes the hit and when it rebounds to its original position.
Many shock absorbers come with rebound control and lockout, as with some suspension forks.