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Mountain Biking Shocks: What PSI Is Right for You?

Are you an adept mountain biker aiming to maximize your cycling experience? Setting the right pressure for your shocks is key. But how do you know what psi (pounds per square inch) is best for mountain biking shocks? In this blog post, we’ll discuss types of mountain bike shocks, setting the pressure for your shock, benefits of properly adjusted mountain bike shocks and troubleshooting common issues with them. With a little knowledge about “mountain biking shocks what psi” you can ensure that each ride will be as smooth as possible.

Types of Mountain Bike Shocks

Mountain bike shocks are an important component of any mountain biking experience. Shocks on a mountain bike give the rider more stability and comfort when tackling rough terrain, offering cushioning to make it easier to maneuver. There are three main types of mountain bike shocks: air shocks, coil shocks, and oil damping shocks. Each shock type offers its own individual traits that can influence the way your bike behaves while you’re out on the trail.

Air Shocks:

Air shocks use pressurized air inside a chamber to create resistance against compression or rebound forces. The pressure inside the shock is adjustable so you can fine-tune it for your riding style or weight requirements. Generally speaking, lighter riders should run lower pressures while heavier riders may need higher pressures in order to get optimal performance from their suspension setup. To adjust an air shock for a rear tire, one must consider the type of terrain and speed when adjusting both high-speed compression damping and low-speed rebound.

Coil Shocks:

Coil shocks work differently than air springs because they don’t require any adjustment other than preload when installing them onto your bike frame or fork. This makes them great for average riders who just want a reliable suspension system without having to worry about adjusting things like pressure levels or rebound speeds all the time. However, if you’re looking for more customization options then an air spring might be better suited for your needs since it offers more flexibility when tuning it according to different conditions or rider weights/styles etc

Oil Damping Shocks:

Oil damping systems use hydraulic fluid instead of pressurized air in order to create resistance against compression and rebound forces applied by the rider’s body weight when going over bumps or jumps etc… Oil damping systems provide superior performance compared to coil springs due to the ability for more specific adjustments in terms of force and speed. For example, if you have tubeless tires then running lower pressures will help absorb impacts at higher speeds while still providing enough grip/traction needed when cornering hard turns at lower speeds etc…. In addition, oil damping systems also tend to last longer than either coil springs or air springs since there’s less wear & tear involved with using hydraulic fluid rather than compressed gas which tends wear out components quicker over time due its corrosive nature etc…

The type of mountain bike shock you choose depends on your riding style and preferences. It is important to set the pressure for each shock correctly in order to get the best performance from it.

Setting the Pressure for Your Shock

When it comes to setting the pressure for your mountain bike shock, rider weight and riding style are key considerations. For instance, if you’re a heavier rider or ride in rougher terrain, you may want to increase the pressure inside your tire to provide more support. On the other hand, lighter riders who stick to smoother trails can get away with lower pressures.

Adjusting the pressure on an air shock is relatively straightforward. The higher psi you have inside your tire, the stiffer it will feel when riding over uneven terrain at higher speeds. If you find that your bike feels too stiff or uncomfortable when going over bumps or jumps then try lowering the psi by 5-10 PSI until it feels better for you. Conversely, if your bike feels like its bottoming out during hard landings then increase the psi by 10-15 PSI until it stops doing so.

Begin with the factory-supplied setup, then adjust to suit your riding style; however, bear in mind that coil shocks usually require more attention than air shocks so watch out for signs of damage like oil seepage etc.

Remember to factor in fork pressure based on tire type (tubeless or tube), size (26″/29″), and wheel dimension (27+”) when riding, since this will impact the force applied at higher speeds. This all affects how much force is put onto them while riding, especially at higher speeds. Therefore, don’t forget to adjust those accordingly too.

By properly adjusting the pressure on your shock, you can improve comfort and control while riding as well as reduce the risk of injury from unexpected jumps or drops. Moving forward, let’s explore how these benefits are achieved by setting up your mountain bike shocks correctly.

Benefits of Properly Adjusted Mountain Bike Shocks

Fine-tuning the shocks on your mountain bike can make a considerable difference to your riding experience. Properly adjusted shocks will improve comfort and control while riding, as well as reduce the risk of injury from unexpected jumps or drops.

For mountain biking, high-speed compression damping and rebound damping must be balanced to optimize riding performance given one’s style and weight. High-speed compression damping controls how quickly the shock absorbs bumps in the terrain at higher speeds, while rebound damping helps you maintain control over rough terrain at lower speeds. The aim is to strike a balance between the two damping settings that suits your individual style and weight.

The first step is to determine what pressure should be inside each tire – front and rear – depending on rider weight, type of tires (tubeless or not), size of tires, average speed you ride at and unevenness of terrain you usually encounter. Generally speaking, heavier riders should opt for slightly lower pressures than lighter riders since they need more cushion from their tires when hitting bumps in the trail; conversely, lighter riders might prefer slightly higher pressures for better acceleration out of corners or up hills. As a rule of thumb, aim for about 25 psi in both front and rear tires if you’re an average rider with standard tubeless tires; adjust accordingly based on your individual needs/riding style/weight etc

As a rule of thumb, adjust the air spring pressure according to your weight; heavier riders should opt for slightly lower pressures while lighter ones might prefer slightly higher ones. To hit the sweet spot between comfort and control, dial in about 25 psi in both front and rear tires if you’re an average rider with standard tubeless tires – but tweak it as needed based on your individual needs/riding style/weight etc By doing so, you’ll be able to ride with ease and stay grounded without sacrificing too much comfort during long rides out on trails.

Adjusting the low-speed rebound setting is critical for a smooth ride, as it affects how quickly your shock rebounds after being compressed by obstacles like rocks or roots. Incorrectly adjusted, this could lead to an uncomfortable and bumpy ride due to slow return times or even worse – potential injuries caused by sudden jolts coming off unexpected drops. Thus, take time here to make sure everything is tailored according to specific needs based on rider weight and terrain difficulty.

Overall, properly adjusted mountain bike shocks can drastically improve both comfort levels and safety while out enjoying nature. Whether tackling steep descents full throttle or casually meandering through lush green forests, make sure all settings are dialed perfectly so no matter what situation arises one always has total confidence knowing their setup will handle anything thrown its way with ease.

Adequately tweaked mountain bike suspensions can create a vast distinction in terms of comfort and handling while riding, as well as lessening the likelihood of harm from sudden jumps or drops. Now let’s look at how you can troubleshoot common issues with your mountain bike shock system.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Mountain Bike Shocks

Troubleshooting common issues with mountain bike shocks can be a daunting task. Though it may seem intimidating, familiarizing oneself with the fundamentals of how your shock works and being aware of what to search for when diagnosing any issues can make resolving them much simpler.

Leaking Oil or Air from the Shock:

If you notice oil or air leaking from your shock, it could be caused by several things. Examine the seals to make sure they are undamaged and properly fitted in their grooves. If all is well but you still experience a leak, it could be time to swap out the seal. Verify that the air pressure is set correctly; too much can result in leakage.

Not Enough Rebound or Compression:

When setting up your suspension system, you’ll want to adjust both rebound and compression damping settings based on rider weight and riding style considerations. For instance, heavier riders will need more rebound speed than lighter riders in order to prevent bottoming out on uneven terrain. Additionally, higher speeds require more low-speed rebound damping for increased control over bumps in the trail surface. Make sure these settings are adjusted accordingly so that they provide enough support without sacrificing comfort or stability while riding.

Too Much Rebound or Compression:

On the other hand, if you find yourself bouncing off jumps instead of staying planted on them then chances are your rebound speed is set too high for average rider weight conditions (or even higher if heavier). This means either decreasing the pressure inside of an air spring shock or adjusting the preload knob on a coil shock until you find a balance between control and comfort while riding at higher speeds with bigger drops/jumps involved in your ride session(s). Tubeless tires also help absorb some of those big impacts as well so consider running lower pressures than usual when using those. The same goes for front fork setup; make sure size tires match up with proper psi levels for optimal performance under varying conditions like jumps/drops etc…

Overall, having a properly tuned mountain bike suspension system makes all the difference between smooth sailing trail rides and bumpy ones full of unexpected surprises – none of which anyone wants. Therefore, take some time to really dial in those settings according to rider weight and style preferences before hitting up any trails.

FAQs in Relation to Mountain Biking Shocks What Psi

What PSI should MTB shocks be?

The correct PSI for mountain bike shocks depends on a variety of factors, including the rider’s weight and riding style. Generally, lighter cyclists should target lower PSI levels (in the region of 25-30), while heavier riders may need to opt for a higher value, up to 40 or 50. It is essential to try out various levels until the ideal setting for your particular needs is discovered.

Is 40 psi too high for MTB?

No, 40 psi is not too high for mountain biking. Most mountain bike tires can handle pressures up to 50-60 psi without any issues. For novice and intermediate cyclists, it might be more secure and comfortable to ride with reduced tire pressure since this would give them greater grip on the trails as well as decrease their chances of having a pinch flat. It’s wise to try various tire pressures until you discover the one that best suits your riding style and trail conditions.

What PSI should my shocks be at?

The ideal PSI for your shocks depends on the type of terrain you are riding and your weight. Generally, lighter cyclists should aim for lower air pressures (e.g., 25-30 psi) while heftier riders may necessitate higher PSI levels (up to 40). Additionally, softer terrain will require less pressure than rougher terrain. Finding the ideal pressure for your riding style is essential to ensure a comfortable and optimal ride, so trial-and-error may be necessary.

What PSI should a 29er mountain bike be?

The optimal PSI for a 29er mountain bike tire is between 30-35. Within the 30-35 PSI range, riders can take advantage of increased grip, better cushioning and reduced rolling friction without too much loss in speed or maneuverability. Depending on terrain type and personal preference, some riders may opt for slightly higher or lower pressures within this range. Ultimately, it’s important to experiment with different PSIs in order to find what works best for you and your riding style.


In conclusion, mountain biking shocks are an important component of any rider’s bike setup. Tweaking the pressure of your shock can enable you to make the most out of your journey and guarantee a safe experience while on trails. Knowing what psi to set your mountain biking shocks at is key in order to maximize performance and minimize risk of injury or mechanical failure during rides. Experimentation is necessary for cyclists to determine their preferred pressure settings, so they can take pleasure in each journey.

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