MTB Shock Bushings, an expensive problem we wanted to fix.
If you ride a full suspension mountain bike at some point you will need to change your MTB Shock Bushings and they are not cheap. For what is a metal pin, a D.U. bush and a couple of spacers replacing shock bushes is a relatively expensive exercise.
We decided to make the best quality hardest wearing MTB Shock Bushings at the best price anywhere in the World, in house.
Stainless steel was the only way to go if we wanted our shock bushes to be durable, but it is very hard to machine. If we wanted them to be the best priced kits on the market we had to get a fast system in place. We did it and our kits are being shipped on a daily basis all over the World.
How much should they cost?
Let me start off by saying that all the kits we are aware of on the market are well priced and well made. There are various factors that contribute to the final retail price, we are not saying for a moment that anyone else is selling an inferior or overpriced product.
The reason that these parts cost what they do comes down to three factors:
- Tolerances – the parts in question need to be very accurate especially when it comes to the outer diameter of the metal hardware. We settled on a tolerance of +/- 0.005mm but holding this sort of tolerance isn’t easy. Tool wear, heat build up and the repeat ability of your machine all have an impact. This takes time and of course time is money especially in manufacturing.
- Materials and process – tough materials like stainless steel and titanium are more resistant to wear than aluminium alloys but they are much harder to machine. They also cost much more to buy in the first place.
- Distribution – Somebody needs to make them (the supplier), they need an income, so does the brand/”manufacturer”, distributor and the retailer. In this model the parts need to be shipped 3-4 times. This costs money especially if the parts are being distributed around the world and custom charges apply.
The result is that alloy shock bushes cost usually in the region of £12-£15, stainless steel costs £20-£24. £40-£54 on stainless steel shock hardware on top of a service is a big outlay. We settled on stainless steel for our products as it is more resistant to wear than even Titanium when it comes down the part rotating backwards and forwards in the eyelet bushing.
We realised however that if we wanted a competitive product we needed to take control of the above factors.
So how competitive are our shock bushings and how did we do it?
Our target cost was £10 per kit including VAT (£8.33 if you live outside of the E.U.) for either standard shock bushes or offset bushings.
At the time of writing that’s 30% cheaper than the nearest competitor 58% cheaper that OEM stainless steel kits. We achieved our goal to sell at this price, but how?
- We bought our stainless steel bar stock in very large quantities, hundreds of meters per time. In fact our very first order was half a kilometre of barstock.
- We invested heavily in machinery and process to bring the machine time per part down. Stainless steel is demanding on tooling and machinery. To work with it machines need to be strong, heavy and well maintained.
- We make our parts in very large quantities, thousands per run which means that we reduce the setup cost and cost per kit dramatically. This has the added benefit that we always have stock on the shelves ready to dispatch either on the same or the next working day.
- We sell our kits at trade to shops directly with no distribution network.
So there you have it, whether you need MTB shock bushings or offset bushings for your Fox, Rockshox, DVO, X Fusion or any other 1/2″ x 1/2″ rear shock we have you covered. We even make our own CNC bushing tool!