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Help me sort my front fork out.

June 17, 2020, 8:45 a.m.
Posts: 1695
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

I find all the info and tweaks to front forks a bit overwhelming.

So... I have a 160 mm pike charger . I weight 186 pounds so 190-192 or so with gear. Ride Fromme and Seymour mostly, not hucking myself off anything higher than 3/4 feet max. 

My fork is 3/4 years old, works fine, have no tokens in it. Looking at putting the new damper upgrade in it. Anyone have experience they would like to share with the damper update? Was going to buy a new fork this summer, but that's off the table until I start working again due to the pandemic. So gunna rock what I have.

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

June 17, 2020, 9:08 a.m.
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

What is it you dont like about your current setup that makes you want to upgrade it?  By damper upgrade you want to go from your charger to charger 2.1? Or is it the air spring side that was recently released that you were thinking of. The actual damper upgrade is very expensive, where as the air spring upgrade is reasonable.

June 17, 2020, 9:15 a.m.
Posts: 389
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Spend the $200 and go see Arthur at Suspension Therapy - his analysis of you and your bike suspension will pay back more than a suspension upgrade given that the pike + charger is quite capable.

June 17, 2020, 9:57 a.m.
Posts: 1695
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Posted by: shoreboy

What is it you dont like about your current setup that makes you want to upgrade it?  By damper upgrade you want to go from your charger to charger 2.1? Or is it the air spring side that was recently released that you were thinking of. The actual damper upgrade is very expensive, where as the air spring upgrade is reasonable.

Ya sorry, meant the debonair upgrade. Pretty cheap to do, just wondering if anyone has done it and noticed a big difference. My fork feels a bit soft like it collapses too easily.

June 17, 2020, 11:02 a.m.
Posts: 188
Joined: March 14, 2017

Posted by: Taz123

Spend the $200 and go see Arthur at Suspension Therapy - his analysis of you and your bike suspension will pay back more than a suspension upgrade given that the pike + charger is quite capable.

I've heard mixed reviews...   Jordi from Fox (YouTube) has great setup for forks.

June 17, 2020, 11:10 a.m.
Posts: 1980
Joined: Jan. 5, 2010

I had the same fork and damper and also wasn't running any tokens with the stock setup. I didn't like how often I had to service the spring side, but it felt a lot better if I did it every few rides. If you haven't dissembled the spring side and greased everything back up recently, that's probably all you need to do to make your fork feel brand new again.

If the new air spring was released when I was looking for a solution I might have gone that route, but instead I converted it to coil using the Push Industries kit. I do miss the ability to adjust air pressure as my weight fluctuates over the winter/summer/years, but I also like that my fork always feels good and doesn't require service nearly as often.

I also swapped out the Charger damper for an Avalanche Open-Bath Damper. It makes thr fork feel good. It was not cheap.

I probably could have just gotten away with upgrading the spring side and been happy. I don't remember being unhappy with the Charger, but I was working way more than I was riding at the time and decided it was worth it to just go all out.

June 17, 2020, 11:40 a.m.
Posts: 1247
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

I put a Debonair in my Lyrik a while back, wasn't any harder or take much longer than doing an oil change really, besides the circlip. Mostly it's the same steps.

Upgrade was worth it. Debonair made a noticeable difference, more supple off the top allowing for higher psi.

★You'll need circlip pliers for the procedure. Quality pliers in the right size will save you a lot of faff.★

1. Don't take the fork off the bike.

2. Remove front brake and attach it as far away as it will go.

3. Let the air out, loosen the two bolts under the fork and give them a tap, voila.

Steps for lower leg service :

https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/gear-4/topic/pike-oil-change-only-takes-like-half-an-hour-and-is-easy-why-the-hell-havent-i-been-doing-this-myself-regularly-all-along-amateur-steps-below-129882/


 Last edited by: Hepcat on June 17, 2020, 1:31 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
June 17, 2020, 11:53 a.m.
Posts: 1247
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Here's a usable vid and some notes for the lower leg service:

https://youtu.be/F0ji4sGcCrE

__________________________

PREP

•Need a good quality syringe (rubber sealed plunger) for putting in oil. Small diameter hose.

•‎Not necessary to remove fork or clamp bike in stand. Hang by saddle when removing lowers, flip bike over when putting in oil.

•Remove brake caliper and secure it as far away as possible. Small amounts of oil will get everywhere.

•‎Wear glasses, oil can spray out under residual pressure. Even with valve core removed.

______________________________

REMOVAL

•‎Do not remove any bolts completely at first. Tap both bottom bolts first. (Gently, with plastic hammer).

•‎Clean inside of lowers with dowel and rag, there's dirt in there. Special attention to channel behind foam rings. Take some time.

•‎Replace old foam rings with new ones. They're cheap. Old rings swell when cleaned and tend to not reinstall perfectly.

(YMMV. Rockshox foam rings are available in bulk and cost less than <$2 a change. Fox rings come in a $30 kit, so maybe try and make do with alcohol on those gold nuggets).

__________________________________

REASSEMBLY

•Reassemby checklist: Travel indicator O ring on stanchion, foam rings installed, Slick Honey on seal.

Remove seal springs, slide lowers on, reinstall springs.

•‎Slide lowers all the way on, then back 1 cm to leave space for oil.

•‎10ml 0W30 each side. (Or whatever your fork specific requires).

•‎Don't fully compress (till bottom out) fork before reinstalling bolts.

•‎Torque bolts to 7.3Nm. (Rebound torque is 1.1Nm).


 Last edited by: Hepcat on June 17, 2020, 1:27 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
June 17, 2020, 1:16 p.m.
Posts: 389
Joined: Nov. 25, 2013

Posted by: LoamtoHome

Posted by: Taz123

Spend the $200 and go see Arthur at Suspension Therapy - his analysis of you and your bike suspension will pay back more than a suspension upgrade given that the pike + charger is quite capable.

I've heard mixed reviews...   Jordi from Fox (YouTube) has great setup for forks.

I've worked with him on two bikes with great success, so I'm coming from a positive experience.

June 17, 2020, 1:18 p.m.
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan. 21, 2013

I agree. For the cost, a Debonair update might be all you need. Made my similar-era Yari feel much better, and now I will run it into the ground rather than replace.

June 17, 2020, 4:20 p.m.
Posts: 477
Joined: April 11, 2011

Posted by: LoamtoHome

I've heard mixed reviews...

Total bullshit. His space is constantly full of industry folks. People that know, know. Dude is managing all of the suspension tunes for Norco! You like the new Norco Sight and associated suspension setup guide...Arthur was a major part of both.  IMO, an amazing resource.

June 17, 2020, 5:34 p.m.
Posts: 648
Joined: May 11, 2018

Posted by: Brocklanders

Posted by: shoreboy

What is it you dont like about your current setup that makes you want to upgrade it?  By damper upgrade you want to go from your charger to charger 2.1? Or is it the air spring side that was recently released that you were thinking of. The actual damper upgrade is very expensive, where as the air spring upgrade is reasonable.

Ya sorry, meant the debonair upgrade. Pretty cheap to do, just wondering if anyone has done it and noticed a big difference. My fork feels a bit soft like it collapses too easily.

I'm just a bit heavier than you - 220lbs and have 2 (or three, can't remember...) tokens in my 160 pike. It doesn't sound like you can go wrong with the debonair but I would also consider a spacer or two. They will help firm up the last half of the travel and give you more support. Your description of the problem sounds like your fork spring isn't ramping up enough.

June 17, 2020, 6:14 p.m.
Posts: 1695
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Did a ride with the this aft, pumped up my pressure a bit from 90 to 100 psi and have to say felt better in that it wasn't collapsing as bad, but only drawback was I noticed I'm not using all my travel. Will put a couple tokens in this weekend and see if that makes a difference.


 Last edited by: Brocklanders on June 17, 2020, 6:16 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 18, 2020, 8:54 a.m.
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: Brocklanders

Did a ride with the this aft, pumped up my pressure a bit from 90 to 100 psi and have to say felt better in that it wasn't collapsing as bad, but only drawback was I noticed I'm not using all my travel. Will put a couple tokens in this weekend and see if that makes a difference.

Putting tokens in will not help you get all your travel at a higher psi. In fact it will do just the opposite. Start by getting your sag set properly (lots of info online how to do that accurately). If you are blowing through your travel at your given sag (30% is a 'normal' value), you can try adding a token to ramp up the air spring at the end of the stroke to prevent bottom out.

When you say collapsing, do you mean it sinks into its travel under its own weight? The new air spring upgrade is aimed at fixing this, as it is a common design trait on the older air springs. It was designed to make the fork feel more supple on initial stroke, but some riders find it too supple (which I what I think you are saying).


 Last edited by: shoreboy on June 18, 2020, 8:54 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
June 18, 2020, 3:11 p.m.
Posts: 1695
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Ya feels to supple for sure. Gunna try the tokens.

This vid explained the concept to me a bit better

https://m.vitalmtb.com/videos/features/Video-Comparison-of-RockShox-Bottomless-Tokens-in-a-Pike-Fork,29117/bturman,109

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