Video: Tips to keep your suspension fork running smoothly

A mountain bike suspension fork requires regular care. Steve Bowman has two simple tips to keep your fork sliding smoothly.

 

Two tips to keep your suspension fork running smoothly:

  • It's recommended to turn your fork upside down for 10 minutes once a week. This will help keep your wiper seals and sponge ring lubricated and the fork running smoothly.
  • Avoid pressure washers. Pressure washers force water and grime into the fork causing premature wearing. Instead use a bike wash product and a light hose to remove the dirt.






25 Comments

Comments

Christofison, Nov 16 2016 01:09

The two main tips in the video have helped keep my FIT4 Float 32 running smooth for the last 12 months. Question though, where can I get a bag full of nylon crush washers locally? That's the only thing keeping me from whipping my lowers off every other month.

Wheeler2, Nov 16 2016 01:29

Funny, i thought silicone spray was not good for the seals ?

JXV, Nov 16 2016 02:13

The two main tips in the video have helped keep my FIT4 Float 32 running smooth for the last 12 months. Question though, where can I get a bag full of nylon crush washers locally? That's the only thing keeping me from whipping my lowers off every other month.

If you use a torque wrench and do not overtighten the crush washers they can be re-fitted several times without leaking.

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nox1111, Nov 16 2016 02:17

upside down tip ftw!

stringbean, Nov 16 2016 05:02

Steve you legend.Arguably SA's first pro Mtbiker riding for Orange. The things he could do on a bike

Bizkit031, Nov 16 2016 06:07

Yea sure we all have tons of money to take our bikes to a bike shop to pull the lowers off and have a quick sorting.

rock, Nov 16 2016 06:40

Steve you legend.Arguably SA's first pro Mtbiker riding for Orange. The things he could do on a bike

 

glad you said that, I didn't want to give my age away :)

 

wash your own bike people, its part of being a bicyclist. take pride.

Christofison, Nov 16 2016 08:40

Yea sure we all have tons of money to take our bikes to a bike shop to pull the lowers off and have a quick sorting.

Do you take your bike to the LBS when you need to take your wheel off? Just take the lowers off yourself, it's so straight forward.

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Bonus, Nov 16 2016 08:47

glad you said that, I didn't want to give my age away :)

 

wash your own bike people, its part of being a bicyclist. take pride.

 

No choice here! But I enjoy it :-)

Bibi, Nov 16 2016 09:20

Dude !! Is rad seeing you doing this Steve ;)

Tankman, Nov 17 2016 05:47

Yea sure we all have tons of money to take our bikes to a bike shop to pull the lowers off and have a quick sorting.

 

 

Replacing your stanchions because you did not maintain you fork, will cost you way more!

JXV, Nov 17 2016 06:56

Yea sure we all have tons of money to take our bikes to a bike shop to pull the lowers off and have a quick sorting.

It really is an easy job but you do need a basic workshop with bike stand or soft jawed vice to hold the fork, a drip tray/bucket to catch the oil, a soft mallet and on some forks a long 10mm socket so as not to damage the damper shaft. 50ml syringe for measuring and inserting oil is useful too.

You do not really need the special tools you see in factory manuals and videos for servicing lowers and seating new seals - you can make a plan with ordinary tools and still do the job perfectly.

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Skinnyone, Nov 17 2016 09:47

I have done a fork service without having to use a stand...so not really essential....the trick is to keep everything clean whilst doing so, a stand prevents you putting the crown assembly down in dirt...

 

I use a kitty litter tray (about R50 at PNP) as a drip tray a syringe is no more than R50 at dischem and basic tooling - multi tool, 10mm socket/spanner most people should have already. The new dust wipers can be fitted using finger pressure and no special tooling...

Lars, Nov 17 2016 11:31

Steve you legend.Arguably SA's first pro Mtbiker riding for Orange. The things he could do on a bike

And what i nice guy

Edge_Design, Nov 17 2016 12:51

It really is an easy job but you do need a basic workshop with bike stand or soft jawed vice to hold the fork, a drip tray/bucket to catch the oil, a soft mallet and on some forks a long 10mm socket so as not to damage the damper shaft. 50ml syringe for measuring and inserting oil is useful too.

You do not really need the special tools you see in factory manuals and videos for servicing lowers and seating new seals - you can make a plan with ordinary tools and still do the job perfectly.

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Anywhere to get a basic crash course in doing it (without damaging the fork)? Always been too scared to give it a go... Fox Kashima CTD 120mm on my bike (2015 I think). 

JXV, Nov 17 2016 02:10

Anywhere to get a basic crash course in doing it (without damaging the fork)? Always been too scared to give it a go... Fox Kashima CTD 120mm on my bike (2015 I think).

Lotsa Videos on the web. preferably use the ones on manufacturer's websites...they tend to avoid dodgy shortcuts that some of the private vids show......

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udxcob, Nov 18 2016 05:17

Yea sure we all have tons of money to take our bikes to a bike shop to pull the lowers off and have a quick sorting.

 

Thats why he said do it yourself

Bizkit031, Nov 18 2016 08:18

Thats why he said do it yourself

Yea I did watch the video,but some guys are technically challenged so might be an issue for them.

Skinnyone, Nov 18 2016 01:55

Yea I did watch the video,but some guys are technically challenged so might be an issue for them.

So the technically challenged must pay the non-technically challenged to do the job....?

 

Or just ride it till it breaks and then REALLY pay the non-technically challenged....

 

At the end of the day, this is a hobby for a lot of people, you don't have to have the blingest kit around...you could ride a rigid fork and not worry about servicing of suspension forks...

Flemish Lion, Nov 18 2016 02:11

What's the advise on servicing a shock?

 

Bike shops will tell you after 80-100 riding hours depending on the shock... but for some that would mean R1k every 6 months.

 

I commute to work so don't strain my shock as hard or is the type of riding irrelevant?

 

Finally which bike shop has good suspension mechanics?

 

And don't tell me to search the forums ;)

Skinnyone, Nov 18 2016 02:42

I would say at least once every 6 months is a good interval...the biggest thing is dirt getting into the dust wipers - so commuting shouldn't pick up too much dirt/dust or mud.

 

as for good suspension service guys I know Droo CPT i think?, Roger at Bicycle Service Co. JHB 4Ways, The Sheriff (Anton) at Summit cycles JHB midrand...

 

Otherwise send it to the agents.

Grease_Monkey, Nov 19 2016 07:16

Who did the sub-titles for this video? "Towel it down" = "Toilet down" haha. "Give it a light hose" = "give it a light hoes".

maramind, Nov 29 2016 11:01

I read somewhere (Shimano?) that turning your bike upside down can lead to air getting into the calipers, requiring a bleed?

maramind, Nov 29 2016 11:02

The two main tips in the video have helped keep my FIT4 Float 32 running smooth for the last 12 months. Question though, where can I get a bag full of nylon crush washers locally? That's the only thing keeping me from whipping my lowers off every other month.

Locally, don't know, but it must be easy enough to get them on e-bay?

JXV, Nov 29 2016 12:57

I read somewhere (Shimano?) that turning your bike upside down can lead to air getting into the calipers, requiring a bleed?

Your brake lever assembly incorporates a reservoir, the lever and the master cylinder driven by that lever. The reservoirs on many modern brakes have a rubber diaphragm that sits on top of the fluid to isolate air from it. The diaphragm allows expansion/contraction of the fluid volume without air contact when the brakes are operated and when they heat up, cool down and when the pads wear.

With these designs, if your brakes are properly bled, there is no air in the system and you can turn the bike upside down without air bubbles 'rising' to the caliper. Some fluid may run back to the lever under gravity though (and this partially retract the pads) so you should always pump the levers a few times once the bike is right way up to readjust the pad position. If you do get air this way then your entire system needs to be bled and filled correctly.

An intermediate solution is to store your bike vertically on one of those hook thingies. If you adjust it right, you can keep the levers above the calipers while still raising the front axle above the fork crown so that oil in the fork can run up to the wiper seal and foam rings.

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