MAR 20, 2019

Why I choose Bilstein Shocks Every Time

Bilstein (Pronounced Bil-Shteen) is a German company, founded over 140 years ago by August Bilstein. In 1954, the company developed the first production monotube gas-pressure shock absorber, which is resistant to foaming and provides more efficient damping characteristics. Bilstein dampers are chosen by manufacturers such as Ford, Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Subaru and are fitted to hyper-cars like the Bugatti Veyron from the factory.

What may surprise you though, is that a lot of damper design and production takes place at the Bilstein Hamilton, Ohio facility. Here, the company employs hundreds of engineers, analysts, and operators and invest in the local economy.

So, by purchasing Bilstein, you are actually getting a hybrid of German efficiency and quality, mixed with good old American engineering and manufacturing.

Bilstein Shocks Price

You get what you pay for. The price is forgotten whilst quality remains. I’m starting to see the wisdom in these old sayings. If you spend a little more on higher-quality dampers, you’ll get a more supple ride for your daily or a more responsive track car. Besides, I find Bilstein shocks to be an excellent value with reasonable prices, I’d definitely spend more on them if I had to!

Bilstein Shocks in production


Bilstein shocks are sold in differing levels from B1 to B16. The B1 product range is made up of accessories for shocks, including dust boots and bump stops. B2 shocks match original equipment manufacturers specs and are designed as a value option. Then, moving through the grades, we see performance and quality increase. The top of the range B16 shocks are competition grade, large bore, adjustable coilovers.

Right through the range, the quality of manufacturing is second to none. Powder-coating applied to the damper bodies is tough and exceeds OEM finishes, resisting corrosion and protecting the shock body. Tube bodies use an induction welding method for strength and to eliminate the likelihood of leaks.

The Ohio plant has advanced, 7 axes, CNC welding robots, that produce quality welds every time. Finally, Bilstein shocks are extensively tested in-house. Dampers are subjected to stringent tests such as the extreme temperatures assessment, where they are expected to operate between -40°F and 320°F.

This commitment to quality is refreshing. In the past, I’ve used various different brands and have been disappointed by the longevity of some dampers. I haven’t had the same problem with my Bilstein shocks.

Bilstein Steering Damper 5100 Series (#24-196284)

Wide Range

The shapes and sizes of dampers manufactured by Bilstein are staggering. You can get just about every type of shock, from gas-filled monotubes to twin-tubes, adjustable dampers, remote reservoirs, long travel, coilovers, and struts. They also produce aftermarket springs, meaning whichever vehicle you have, there will be a shock available to fit. Bilstein also makes steering dampers.

Bilstein B4(#sp4266)


Recently, I replaced my daily’s suspension for a set of Bilstein B4s. The ride has been utterly transformed! I’m not comparing the brand new B4s to my worn out OEM shocks, but against the performance, I experienced when the car was new. Jounce and rebound are controlled, with responsive steering, whilst the shocks still smooth out potholes. The B4s deal with extra weight nicely too, whereas the previous dampers bottomed out with two rear passengers.

The B4s are only really a slightly better than OEM spec shock, so moving through grades to a B6 or higher for those looking for a street weapon, come weekend track car, makes sense.

Bilstein Shocks Verdict

I’ve been more than happy with my purchase of Bilstein shocks, in the future, I’ll be fitting some of the higher-end shocks to some planned builds. I appreciate the build quality and understandable branding, not to mention the improvement in ride. If you’re in the market for a new set of performance or OEM dampers, give Bilsteins a consideration.