Difference Between Monotube and Twin Tube Shocks

Monotube Shocks vs Twin Tube Shocks – Which Is Better?

Monotube Shocks or twin-tube shocks?” This is a question that many motorists and car owners find themselves asking when shopping for the right suspension parts for their vehicle. This is most noticeable nowadays as more people desire to feel more comfortable and safe whether driving in the streets, on the track, or off-road. Though looking like basic car accessories, shocks play a vital role in the car’s suspension system.

They dampen the road vibrations and shocks leading to a smoother and safer ride. In addition, they also improve road handling as well as braking. Bearing these issues in mind, which is better between twin-tube and Monotube shocks? To find the right answer, it is necessary to consider the following factors:

Ride Quality

To find the best shock it is vital to look at the ride quality. These car accessories are designed to absorb the shocks and vibrations when driving the car. The twin-tube feature two chambers (an outer and an inner chamber). When under pressure, the fluid flows from the working or inner chamber to the outer chamber via valves which also provides damping. Unfortunately, when under intense pressure or moving fast, the fluid starts foaming leading to poor ride quality.

Monotube shocks feature a single chamber with a top section containing the hydraulic fluid and the bottom section filled with gas. The gas and fluid never mix courtesy of a free-floating piston hence don’t suffer from foaming and provide a much better ride quality than twin-tube.

Comparing the Monotube Shocks and Twin Tube Shock Absorbers Responsiveness

To enjoy a good ride and be assured of safety, it is vital to look at the responsiveness of the shocks. The goal is to have shocks that quickly adjust to the environment or terrain without losing their efficiency. It should become stiffer when in the rough terrain or racing tack and much smoother when driving on smooth asphalt/tarmac. Twin-tube shocks feature several valves on the pistons that work independently. Monotube shock absorbers feature a single valve assembly that evenly distributes pressure over the entire region circumference of the shock.

Monotube offer better response than twin-tubes since the valve assembly acts as one unit. The wider circumference and larger piston also plays a role in this. This probably explains why people swap twin-tubes in favor of monotubes. Finding the best Monotube Shocks such can make a huge difference.

Damping Stability

Good ride quality and fast response is achieved when the damping force is stable. This means the pressure inside the shocks is distributed equally and evenly. Monotube shocks offer better damping than twin-tube shocks because of several aspects.

  • Monotubes come with a single valve mechanism that exerts pressure equally unlike twin-tubes that features several valves on the piston.
  • The piston contained in monotubes is usually much wider than that found in twin-tubes.
  • The oil capacity in monotubes is much higher than that in dual tube shocks and also plays a fundamental role in quickly dissipating heat.
  • The free-floating piston valve never allows oil and gas to mix thus minimizes foaming. The overall effect is that monotubes offer better and more precise damping.

Ease of Installation

When searching for performance shocks or struts it helps to factor in the ease of installation. Individuals desire to spend minimal effort and time installing a shock. And this is why many people switch to monotubes instead of twin-tubes. Monotube comes in a single shell that houses the piston valve, gas, as well as oil. Since everything is in one chamber it is easy to fit in from different angles without worrying about flawed performance or modifications. Unfortunately, twin-tube shocks have limitations when it comes to installation. This is because the fluid moves from the inner chamber to the outer chamber and vice versa. Also, there are several valves contained therein. Tilting the shock might lead to one area of the shock being under more pressure than another.


One of the biggest hindrances of shocks is aeration. Considering that the device contains oil and gas (oxygen or nitrogen), there is always the chance of the two products mixing. When this happens the shock suffers the same effect to brake lines having air bubbles inside. This usually leads to poor damping and also fading especially after high performance or driving in rough sections. Twin-tubes are more prone to aeration because of its design where there is no separation of oil and gas. However, newer twin-tube shocks contain gases such as nitrogen which is more effective than oxygen. Monotube shocks have two chambers. The upper chamber contains the oil while the lower one has the gas. A floating valve separates the two and minimizes the odds of the two mixing.


Fading is a common problem that affects shocks as well as the overall suspension system. Constant pressure on the shock may lead to the performance of the accessory waning. This may be caused by the liquid developing air bubbles hence foaming, the pistons may become weak and allowing some pressure to escape in between or the heat may cause the chamber to expand. Fading is known to affect twin-tubes more than monotube shocks. This is because of several factors. One, the surface are of the piston is much smaller. Two, the shock has a smaller oil capacity. Three, it is easy for the oil and gas to mix. Monotube shocks have a larger surface area and carrying capacity. The higher amount of oil assists in dissipating heat much faster and lessens fading.

Monotube Shocks Are The Better Choice

Looking at the above comparison, monotube shocks have an edge over twin tube shocks. Monotubes offer better response, are easy to install, can be installed from different angles, and don’t foam. Furthermore, chance of aeration is quite minimal, have good damping ability, and offer better ride quality.

Yes, it is true that monotube shocks cost more than twin-tubes. However, the benefits that come with installing these shocks greatly outweigh the cost. In addition, monotubes are more durable; require minimal maintenance and the cost in the long run is much lower. To get the best shocks it is crucial to go for top brands such as KYB for shocks. The company has been in the market for many years developing high quality and high performance shocks. KYB also offers guarantee on any of the shocks it sells whether ordinary twin-tube shocks or high-performance monotube shocks. Quality monotube shocks assure you of good ride quality, performance, safety, durability and peace-of-mind.