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Bike shocks

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I asked this in another topic, but I don't think many people are looking at that topic, so I thought I'd start a new one to ask it.

I saw a guy on MTBR selling both Noleen shocks that I have on my bike. Both my front and rear use coil-over shocks (the front is a Noleen Crosslink) They are new (maybe he replaced them for something better when he bought it), and he's selling both of them for $50. Should I jump on this, or not? What's the liklihood of my coil-overs going bad and needing replacement? If they went bad and needed fixing, what's it cost to repair one? I just spent $35 for one new rear coil spring, so I get the impression it's a hell of a deal. Opinions?
post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

The shocks are new, never used. I talked with the guy at the LBS, and he doesn't think that I sould ever have a shock blow out. But if it did, I'd just need to send it back to K2 (they own Noleen), and they'd replace the internal seal. Because it's a coil-over, if the seal blew out, the shock would still "work", but the dampening would be gone. So it's not like I would get stranded. The only advantage I see, is that if I did blow one out, and had to send it back for repair, I'd have another one to swap it with, so I wouldn't be without a shock for a while. But $50 for 2 new shocks just seems damn cheap. I'm paying $37 for a new, stiffer, rear spring.
post #3 of 5
Noleen Shocks are notorious for blowing the seals. Especially the rear on Flying Monkeys, Animals, Beasts (or others with the same swingarm). The problem is that the shock body is too long for the amount of stroke the shock has, and since K2 bikes use a linkage free design, lateral movements are transfered to the shock, causing ovalization of the seals, and leakage. The big problem is that Noleen and K2 only work with each other and are specially sized. An upgrade to a Fox or Stratos shock takes some machining work to get it working. Also, eye-to-eye distances are unique to K2, so again you are screwed if you want to maintain the same geometry.

So, how do I know all this? I have a K2 Flying Monkey, and installed a Fox Vanilla rear shock. The eye-to-eye distance is 1cm shorter, but the shock stroke is 1/2" longer. What this does is increase travel by over 1", and squats the rear of the bike and slackens the front end. The net result is a better downhiller, but worse XCer.

My advice if you do lots of serious mtn biking is to get a spare shock so that when (not if) the shock blows, you have something to ride with while the blown shock is getting repaired. Past sponsored riders I know had boxes of shocks since they blew faster than they could get them serviced.
post #4 of 5
JohnH - I'd vote for buying them. If you never ever use them, you're only out a little money. But, If you do need them, you'll have them at the ready. I speak from experience as I missed a LOT of great all riding last year due to bike equipment issues. If I had had spare parts I could have kept riding while waiting for replacement parts to come in.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for confirming my thoughts guys. If the guy selling them ever responds to an e-mail I sent him, I think I may buy them. I wonder how much it costs to have them shipped to the east coast from Hawaii?(!)
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