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Poll: How often do you service your fork?

How often do you service your fork?


Never serviced in 20+ years
2.3%
Once in the last 5-20 years
0%
Every 1-5 years
20.5%
6 months to a year
47.7%
Every 1-6 months
27.3%
Every month I ride
2.3%
Total votes: 44
Nov. 29, 2019, 6:46 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Suspension forks only, obviously. Doesn't matter if it's downhill or dirt jump or whatever. By service I mean replace seals and/or oil. Vote more than once if you have more than one bike. Post what brand and model and year they are below and anything else you think is relevant, like how often you ride. Feel free to include forks you no longer own.

Nov. 30, 2019, 8:53 a.m.
Posts: 217
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

I change the oil in the lowers every two or three months on both bikes. I’ll bring the forks in for a full service in the spring.

Nov. 30, 2019, 9:24 a.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Is everyone here running relatively new forks? I'm a bit surprised by the results, cause I have several forks that have never needed servicing:

a 1997 Marzocchi Z.1

a 1998 Rockshox Boxxer

a 2000 Marzocchi Z.1

a 2003 Marzocchi Dirt Jumper

a 2005 Cannondale Lefty Max Carbon (sold after a year)

a 2007 Manitou Gold Label (sold after 5 years)

a 2008 X-Fusion Velvet

and only two forks that have needed servicing once a year or so:

a 2006 Rockshox Pike 454 Air U-Turn (sold after 6 years)

and a 2007 Rockshox Boxxer World Cup

Nov. 30, 2019, 9:40 a.m.
Posts: 1008
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Every 50 hours or so oil change for Lyrik. Seals are fine 2 years in.

Yeah, you can go years with an under performing fork filled with dirt, but why? And if you haven't changed your oil, it is definitely filled with dirt.

Oil change is relatively easy and makes your $1000 fork perform like it should. There's a reason the racers do it so often.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on Nov. 30, 2019, 9:47 a.m., edited 1 time in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 9:45 a.m.
Posts: 1008
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

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/?page=1

Fork 50hr service (oil change):

Need a good quality syringe with rubber seal. Small diameter hose.

‎Not necessary to remove fork or clamp bike in stand. Just flip bike over when putting in oil.

•‎LET OUT ALL AIR. (Remove valve core).

•Remove brake caliper and secure it as far away as possible. Remove wheel. Assume oil will get everywhere.

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

•‎Do not remove any bolts completely at first. Tap both bottom bolts first. Sometimes they go with one tap, sometimes need to tap away. Be gentle.

•Pull lowers off. If there's resistance go back to step above.

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

•‎Replace old foam rings with new ones, after soaking in oil. (Old rings tend to swell when cleaned and not reinstall perfectly).

•‎Reassembling:

•‎O ring on stanchion, foam rings installed, Slick Honey on seal. (Dry the seal with a rag so it sticks and put on a proper amount. Don't be stingy). Remove seal springs (leave on stanchions above seals), slide lowers on, reinstall springs.

•‎Slide lowers all the way on, then back 1 cm to leave space for oil. Fill slowly, may have to fuck with it a bit.

•‎10ml 0W30 each side. (Or whatever says on fork).

•‎Don't need to fully compress (till bottom out) fork before reinstalling bolts, just go till feel bolts contact.

•‎Torque bolts to 7.3Nm.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on Nov. 30, 2019, 9:51 a.m., edited 2 times in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 10:34 a.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: Hepcat

Yeah, you can go years with an under performing fork filled with dirt, but why?

A few reasons. For one, I wouldn't call it underperforming if I can't tell the difference and it doesn't hold my riding back. For another, I don't have a lot of spare time or money, so I'd rather spend them on riding than on maintenance. Finally, I know that a low-maintenance fork won't let me down in the middle of a ride. My Boxxer has let out all of its air on two occasions when I must have gone over the recommended service interval without realising it. Why would I rebuild that fork when I've got others that are always ready to go?

Nov. 30, 2019, 10:39 a.m.
Posts: 463
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

Once a season Is good. Sometimes you get In there and realize everything looks good and you probably could have gone a few more months - but at least you checked. Sometimes you get In there and It's a dark mess and you realize you probably could have done It sooner. Always better than later.

Late winter Is a good time for me. Suspensionwerx Is typically quiet and then It sets my bike up for spring. Also sometimes having the fork In service they'll suggest some voluntary manufacturer's upgrade and you get that too.

Nov. 30, 2019, 11:37 a.m.
Posts: 481
Joined: March 15, 2013

Customer - "What do you mean my stanchions are worn through the anodized coating and into the metal and my bushings are completely worn too?

What do you mean my damper shaft and sealhead are worn too?

What do you mean my dust wipers are completely full of dirt and my foam rings are disintegrating?

What do you mean my air piston springs are also worn / cracked?

What do you mean my damper shims are cracked and on the verge of completely coming apart?

What do you mean my bladder exploded years ago and I've been riding with no damping, just an air spring for years?

What do you mean black oil in my damper?

What do you mean my 5 year old dust wipers allowed water in and now my entire fork is corroded from the inside out and completely worthless?

What do you mean $600?

I haven't serviced my fork in years it feels fine."

Service your shit you fucking goons.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Nov. 30, 2019, 12:05 p.m., edited 3 times in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 12:04 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: thaaad

Customer - "What do you mean my stanchions are worn through the anodized coating and into the metal and my bushings are completely worn too?

What do you mean my damper shaft and sealhead are worn too?

What do you mean my dust wipers are completely full of dirt and my foam rings are disintegrating?

What do you mean my air piston springs are also worn / cracked?

What do you mean my damper shims are cracked and on the verge of completely coming apart?

What do you mean black oil in my damper?

What do you mean $600?

I haven't serviced my fork in years it feels fine."

Service your shit you fucking goons.

A rebuild every year for 20 years would cost thousands. Not to mention the money most riders lose by selling their used fork and buying a new one all the time to keep up with marketing. Happy to pay the $600, if that day ever comes. Most likely by the time it gets to that stage you wouldn't be able to find a NOS rebuild kit anyway, so you'd have to buy a new fork no matter how often you maintained yours.

Nov. 30, 2019, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 481
Joined: March 15, 2013

I'm not sure who told you that you need to completely rebuild your entire fork every time you want to service it but that's not the case.

Drop the lowers, clean them with a good cleaner, replace your dust seals maybe once a year, clean / new foam rings, clean / lube your air spring, bleed the damper, put it all back together with new lower fluid.

40- 50 bucks worth of oil and a few tools and you're set for a long time, especially if you plan on owning it for twenty years. And if you know you're that type of person you should probably buy a couple rebuild kits when you buy your fork / bike.

Yes you should have it rebuilt to inspect for internal wear but not every year.

Your biggest enemy is dirt mixed with oil. It just turns into grinding paste. It's the same reason you wipe your chain before you lube it to avoid accumulation of particles that cause wear. Particulates suspended in your damper fluid, or straight up dirt in your wipers will kill your fork. Picture wet sanding something.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Nov. 30, 2019, 12:17 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 12:40 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Just add up those costs over 20 years. How much are dust seals and foam rings plus oil plus tools. Realistically you're paying more than the cost of a new fork in that time, possibly double or triple.

Nov. 30, 2019, 12:44 p.m.
Posts: 481
Joined: March 15, 2013

neat

This is the kind of shit I would see daily on forks that "never needed service". I had countless pics like this on my work computer before I left.

Your bike, your money, your life.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Nov. 30, 2019, 12:51 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 12:48 p.m.
Posts: 14407
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

When it was new the fork pinch bolts loosened off cuz they were obviuosly not torqued but I never did anything to the 140mm lefty max with SPV,

there were a few years in there I didn't ride much and 2 years I was trying to sell the bike but I sold it 14 yars later with no maintenance

Nov. 30, 2019, 1:14 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: thaaad

This is the kind of shit I would see daily on forks that "never needed service".

Visible stanchion wear clearly means it needed service. Feel free to check the stanchions on my 10-20 year old forks.

Nov. 30, 2019, 1:24 p.m.
Posts: 481
Joined: March 15, 2013

You've clearly made up your mind,  this is a silly conversation.  Some people service their suspension and it feels good the entire time they own it. Some people don't.

Do what you want. Everyone has a different opinion.

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