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For people running aftermarket shocks how long are you running them between maintenance or rebuilds? Are you having any issues with them? How many people with aftermarket shocks have even checked the nitrogen pressure and change the oil out on a regular basis?

I have found that most/several shock companies recommend rebuilding the shocks (new seals, oil, nitrogen) every year or in the 1,000-1,500 mile range....which is pretty frequent. Places like Shock Therapy show $125 per shock to rebuild them, so $500 for a set. I don't get to ride that much but have friends who ride 2,000+ miles per year, so they are supposed to send in their shocks twice a year to be rebuilt?
 

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Shock therapy says that range for hard riders. I think trail riding is still like every 3000 miles. I put stage one elkas on mine for trail riding, but I think I’m still way below the hundred mile mark, so far.
 

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To add a little background to my post above. Just under 4 year old aftermarket shocks with 800-900 miles on them. Noticed one was leaking so wound up tearing all of them down to inspect. Keep in mind you need to pull them from the machine and remove the springs at minimum to check how they cycle and if they still have any gas charge. All of them were way low or zero gas charge left, 3 were low on oil, and the 4th was completely dry and rusty inside (not the one mentioned above I noticed leaking). On that 4th one I had to replace some hard parts and completely rebuilt all of them with new seals, oil, and nitrogen charge. I think I will be able to salvage this shock but it will be borderline (waiting on the great US Postal Service to deliver my 3rd round of parts.....the shock company is 4.5 hours from my house but is going on a week since they were shipped with the parts being at two different distribution centers multiple times each...) Fortunately between myself and a friend we can do this and have the right equipment, but still cost me about
$200 in parts (already had the equipment to do the nitrogen charge).
To be clear, the shock manufacturer recommends service of their shocks every year or 1,000 miles and has this in writing. Digging deeper there are several other brands that recommend annual or 1,000 mile service. I obviously did not service the shocks every year and should have. When researching shocks on the 'net and Facebook I never really saw any posts saying people were regularly rebuilding and servicing shocks every year. If you can't do the work yourself plan on spending several hundred dollars each year (several places advertise basic shock service at $100+ per shock and you have to ship the shocks to them). Point being.....make sure you pull your aftermarket shocks and service them! Simply changing the fluid and recharging them will probably keep them in good shape. Changing the seals is not that hard to do, but there is a small trick to make sure the oil level is correct and bled out. And of course you have to get the nitrogen refilled.
Other suggestions:
When researching which brand of shocks to get check on parts availability and service manuals or information, or call shock rebuilding companies and ask. I've had no issues getting parts for mine but the company has provided very little service information, has no technical manuals, does not provide service for their shocks, and several shock companies I talked to will not service that brand. Again, fortunately replacing seals is not that complicated and we have been able to figure it out.
 
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