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Poll: How often do you service your fork?

Nov. 30, 2019, 1:48 p.m.
Posts: 403
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: thaaad

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.

Yeah, it kind of makes you wonder what was the point of the thread anyway?

Nov. 30, 2019, 1:54 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: syncro

Yeah, it kind of makes you wonder what was the point of the thread anyway?

The poll. Plus I was hoping people would recommend good forks that can go years without service.

Nov. 30, 2019, 2:18 p.m.
Posts: 14512
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

I had a spanish dirt bike with a Ceriani fork, those fork seals on the euro bikes were famous for leaking and mine leaked as soon as I went off-road

so I retro fit a set of fork boots from an old BSA , the boots clamped easily around the fork leg but i had to make spacers from plywood to hose clamp the top of the boot to and the leaking stopped right away when the seals were protected

so IME a visible stanchions will contribute to its own demise,but you are never going to sell a fork with protective boots

The lefty had a bellows and i had no idea what the rest fork looked like but of course ... its heresy

Nov. 30, 2019, 2:27 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: XXX_er

fork boots

That's interesting. I always heard that fork boots ended up trapping the dirt and accelerating wear. Thanks for that XXX_er

Nov. 30, 2019, 2:28 p.m.
Posts: 605
Joined: March 15, 2013

Maybe I'm just missing the point. Why don't you want to service your products? Money? You very clearly know that service is recommended on bikes and suspension, you're just willfully being ignorant of it and denying it in this thread. When you buy expensive products it is a given that the labour is very likely costly as well. You must know that.

You brush your teeth don't you? Or do you just wait twenty years and then get root canals and replace them with gold caps? The cost of toothpaste / floss and brushes adds up you know.

Take care of things and they don't degrade / degrade far less. Simple.

I will never understand people that want nice things but don't want to take care of them...

Nov. 30, 2019, 2:43 p.m.
Posts: 403
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: -Alex2-

I was hoping people would recommend good forks that can go years without service.

Any fork that you ride 2-3 times per year.

Nov. 30, 2019, 3:08 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: thaaad

Maybe I'm just missing the point. Why don't you want to service your products?

I'm not sure whether you're being genuine, since you joined this thread by calling me a goon, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

I'm not able to ride my bikes as often as I used to, so I get maybe a few rides out of each of them a year these days. My 2007 Boxxer now needs new seals almost every time I ride it, because it can't seem to hold air for more than a year whether it's being ridden or not. Why would I pay that kind of money for a few rides a year when I have perfectly good forks that are ready to go whenever I am? I figured I can't be the only one in this boat, so I created a poll to find out. The results surprised me, so I asked whether everyone else is using newer forks, because I tended to have better luck with older ones (hence the examples). At some point in the future I'd like to replace the high-maintenance Boxxer with a 180mm single crown of some sort, so I thought someone might comment that one of their forks is a 180mm single crown that has never needed service, and then I'd know what to get next. But mostly I was just curious whether most riders really do service their fork as often as the manual tells them to. I never would have predicted that people would immediately start multi-post ranting and calling me a goon.

Nov. 30, 2019, 3:10 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: -Alex2-

I was hoping people would recommend good forks that can go years without service.

Any fork that you ride 2-3 times per year.

Nope. See previous comment.

Nov. 30, 2019, 3:20 p.m.
Posts: 605
Joined: March 15, 2013

Sounds like you need to do the unthinkable and go have a talk with a suspension expert and tell them exactly what is happening and exactly what kind of testing you've done and exactly what the conditions of the leak are.

Edit - Here's a little info why I think you could go talk to someone

It might not be the air seal. It might be the valve.

All Schrader valve lose air over time. All of them.

It might be wear on the inside sealing surface the air side tube.

It might be damage to the sealing surface on the air piston from someone getting too zesty with a pick while changing the seal.

It might be the wrong seal used in the air side.

It might be the right seal installed upside down.

It might be the seal that holds the Schrader valve in to the top cap.

It might be the seal around the top cap that seals the interface between the top cap and stanchion.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Nov. 30, 2019, 3:29 p.m., edited 2 times in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 3:39 p.m.
Posts: 1490
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

A fork you don't need to service for years? I have a friend who never services anything. We can him equipment failure Johnny. Nothing like begging the local bike shop to fix your bike on the spot because you neglect it.

Nov. 30, 2019, 4:02 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

To clarify, when I say it loses air, I mean it suddenly lets out all of its air on the trail around a year after its last service. I've spoken to several suspension experts, and the best answer I got was that better quality air seals might hold air a bit longer. The manual says that to avoid air loss you should add a teaspoon of oil to the top left leg once a month or something, presumably to keep the seals lubricated. Sounds to me like forks have gotten lighter over the years by using less and less oil to the point that it runs out after 50 hours of riding instead of 20+ years.

Nov. 30, 2019, 4:28 p.m.
Posts: 1136
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Start to finish oil change is under 30 min at home and about $4 worth of oil. I buy the expensive manufacturer stuff though I imagine the same weight oil from a motorcycle shop would be a fraction of that.

Thought this would be obvious, but the reason for the oil service is to change out the dirty oil, not because the oil is gone. Wow.

Most of us ride 2-3 times a week I imagine and need to do maintenance. If you're riding a fork 2-3 times a year you could probably get away without doing maintenance on it, and more importantly probably get away without posting maintenance advice on a biking forum.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on Nov. 30, 2019, 4:29 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 4:30 p.m.
Posts: 37
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: thaaad

Maybe I'm just missing the point. Why don't you want to service your products? Money? You very clearly know that service is recommended on bikes and suspension, you're just willfully being ignorant of it and denying it in this thread. When you buy expensive products it is a given that the labour is very likely costly as well. You must know that.

You brush your teeth don't you? Or do you just wait twenty years and then get root canals and replace them with gold caps? The cost of toothpaste / floss and brushes adds up you know.

Take care of things and they don't degrade / degrade far less. Simple.

I will never understand people that want nice things but don't want to take care of them...

This. 

My partner bought a used bike from someone like the OP when her frame cracked, we planned to offset the cost by selling the flash parts on it. 

Worn stanchions, seized wheel bearings, rough condition everything made that frame much more expensive than planned...

Nov. 30, 2019, 4:31 p.m.
Posts: 605
Joined: March 15, 2013

If you're legitimately riding it once or twice a year and it's consistently losing air on the same ride with new air seals then that strikes me that the air seals are not the problem.

Unless I'm not understand what you're saying which is entirely possible considering that the story is spread out over like 5 or 6 posts with new details in every post, and troubleshooting over the internet is a nightmare at best.


 Last edited by: thaaad on Nov. 30, 2019, 4:34 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Nov. 30, 2019, 4:37 p.m.
Posts: 22
Joined: April 19, 2008

I used to ride regularly, asshole. Never did any maintenance back then either, never had any worn stanchions or air loss. And the 2007 Boxxer manual says to add a teaspoon of oil to the top of the left leg every so often to avoid air loss, not drain any old oil out. That means the oil in the top of the left leg is gone.

How do I lock this thread? This is pointless.

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