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Is it normal for the shock to have a little oil on it when new?
I ride the bike pretty darn hard when pointed downhill in Phoenix, South Mountain... chunk and rock.
 

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Yep, that just means the seals are still wet with oil, which is a good thing. If it gets to the point where it's beyond a film of oil on the shock, then it's a problem. If visible oil film dries out completely then start looking for any signs of black stuff stuck to the shock, that means it's dried out and is starting to erode the rubber on the seal, and it is definitely time for a service.
 
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