Video: When to service your suspension fork

A mountain bike suspension fork needs regular cleaning and servicing to continue operating optimally without causing damage. If done correctly, your fork should last the life time of the bike. Here's a guide on when you should be servicing your fork and what signs of wear to look out for.

 

In South Africa, we ride for all 12 months of the year, where in Europe and America they tend to have a six month season. Our conditions are also very rough, dusty, and sometimes muddy. This means that regular service intervals are vital to avoid damaging your fork.

 

If you ride your bike three times a week, Fox South Africa suggests that you have it serviced every four months (three times a year).

 

The recommended service intervals for a new fork:

  • A new fork will require it's first service after four months, this will be an on the quick bike service to clean the lowers.
  • The second service after 8 months will see the wiper seals replaced.
  • After the forks first year, the fork will be stripped down, with new oil and lube applied.






16 Comments

Comments

#varkhart, Oct 26 2016 02:50

Had a proper fork before (read ROCKSHOX) and only serviced once a year with no issues.

now I have a fox and the thing needs a service every 6 months and despite this has shown wear on the stanchions.

 

Fox is way to lightweight (not in the good sense) for SA conditions as it must spend more time with the agents than actually being ridden.

Otero, Oct 26 2016 04:59

Still rocking a 2003 Marzocchi Drop-Off (oldest fork in my bikeshed), with NO sanction wear..., never changed oil seals or dust wipers in the time I owned it, just drain the oil and clean it once a year or when it feels spongy. Now that is a fork

BaGearA, Oct 26 2016 05:58

If you try to service your lower legs with the fork in the bike chances are you are going to Fu#kp something.... 

SEANSTEP, Oct 26 2016 06:45

Servicing forks is a licence to print money. Make a fork bad enough & you will have to service it (via the agents) every 4 months guaranteeing a nice income stream.

 

Work out how much that lot comes to & you will be horrified. Front fork plus rear shock. Always make a product that is not durable & preferably needs constant servicing. Continuous money spinner. 

 

 

 

 

AlanD, Oct 26 2016 07:08

The video seems to show that removing the lowers is a pretty simple job. Is it really?

Wheeler2, Oct 26 2016 07:16

The video seems to show that removing the lowers is a pretty simple job. Is it really?


It really is.

AlanD, Oct 26 2016 07:26

It really is.


Yeah, just Googled it and it looks pretty simple to do. Can be a little pricey if you.need to change the dust wiper seals as that kit can be a little pricey.

Forks/shocks are something I have stayed away from but if the damper doesn't need service then the lower leg surface looks doable☺

Wheeler2, Oct 26 2016 07:48

Yeah, just Googled it and it looks pretty simple to do. Can be a little pricey if you.need to change the dust wiper seals as that kit can be a little pricey.
Forks/shocks are something I have stayed away from but if the damper doesn't need service then the lower leg surface looks doable☺


I promise i thought the exact same thing. The only tricky part i found was the setting of the new seals. Didnt want to push on them to hard incase i damaged them. And also when putting the lowers back in, one must just be abit carefull of not folding over the seals. But i do agree with you, its expensive stuff so would hate to mess something up.

Otero, Oct 27 2016 08:08

The video seems to show that removing the lowers is a pretty simple job. Is it really?

 

It really is that simple yes. Was very surprised as to the simplicity of the internals of a fox float 32 I recently bought.

 

The video is not that accurate about servicing it though. You actually have to drain oil from the lowers before you can remove them. Also inserting the uppers back into the fork is best done when the uppers are not installed to the frame, as you can easily damage the seals.

 

But all in all, the difficulty level of servicing my forks, marzocchi's, manitou, fox and rockshox are on par with each other. 30 - 60 minute from start to finish. 

rudi-h, Oct 27 2016 09:18

quite informative...  I'll try the lower service every 6 months or so but what about shocks??  How easy is it to pull a shock apart for a DIY service?

Otero, Oct 27 2016 09:23

quite informative...  I'll try the lower service every 6 months or so but what about shocks??  How easy is it to pull a shock apart for a DIY service?

 

Air Can is easy to service. The damper I would leave to the professionals. Haven't been that brave yet.

Ryno., Oct 27 2016 12:44

Another reason why I ride a lefty.

Skinnyone, Oct 27 2016 01:21

A simple dust wiper change can be done on the bike if you are well practiced...I do mine in less than 20min. 

 

Air Can is easy to service. The damper I would leave to the professionals. Haven't been that brave yet.

The Damper on any shock is best left to the pro's - typically need to be rebuilt in an oil bath to prevent air in the system and then you need the tooling to charge the nitrogen chamber to +-500psi...not really achievable in your garage...

 

Another reason why I ride a lefty.

Lefty's need servicing too ;-)

Rick Sanchez, Oct 27 2016 01:37

Another reason why I ride a lefty.

From what I understand, Leftys need to be serviced even more frequently because of the needle bearings used, or something along those lines

shaper, Oct 27 2016 02:24

Is pretty easy to service the fork, Fox website even has step by step guide with pics on how to do it http://service.foxra...Disassembly.htm

 

Here too http://www.ridefox.c...listall=service

 

Also what oil and volumes when replacing http://service.foxra...oil_volumes.htm

Headshot, Oct 28 2016 12:35

Just had my wife's suspension serviced by Andrew at Stoke. What a pleasure.