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What Is Bypass Suspension? Explainers You Won't Get Bored Watching

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

You’ve been eyeing some bypass shocks for your truck because you heard “they’re good,” but some colorful gif distracts you every time you try to read more. Help is here short-attention spanned friends; I found some neat quick videos that break down how bypass shocks will make you faster off-road.


This one shilling the new OME BP-51 suspension system has great clips of trucks driving too fast, an awesome Australian narrator, and actually pretty educational cutaway images of what an internal bypass shock looks like pumping away against the outback:

If that sexy accent was a little too distracting for you here’s Fox demonstrating their own, but similar, technology:

Shock absorbers are basically cylinders filled with fluid, right? They’re designed to get stiffer as they pump faster so you don’t go bouncing all over the place when you hit a bump at speed; this is a basic principle of shocks and you might have heard it called “velocity-sensitive dampening.”


A bypass shock does this and it’s better because it has valves that create an adjustment point for easy tweaking of the compression (squeezing) and rebound (bouncing back!) rates.

And one other, possibly more significant thing; in addition to speed sensitivity a bypass shock has position sensitivity. Most simplistically that means it can add extra resistance toward the end of the shock’s travel to minimize bottoming out. Kinda like putting a memory foam mattress on the floor before you fall on it.

When you get into the differences between one bypass shock and another you’re going to start looking at flow rates, fitment, and diameters. So you’ll want a little more knowledge than you can glean off ten minutes of YouTubing before you mess around with that.

But now you should be fired up enough to start pricing out bypass setups for your own truck, or at least be comfortable commenting on the off-road forums without getting too beat up by people who actually know what they’re talking about. And all without reading thanks to a couple informative commercials!


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Add this to the list of things I want James May to explain in a lecture.