suspension maintenance

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by beartooth, Dec 14, 2018.



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  1. beartooth

    beartooth Member

    Name:
    rob
    Current Bike:
    process111
    haven't touched my suspension in three years. I usually ride 1 to 3 times a week. The bike seems to ride fine, but I know I am way over due. What do techs do for a 50 hour, 100 hour, etc service?
     
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Admin/iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Lebec, California
    Name:
    Mikie Watson
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz Hightower/Yeti 5C
    If full suspension, I first pull my rear shock and run my swing arm through it’s travel to see if my bearings are smooth. I can’t imagine your swingarm bearings don’t need replacing. If you pull the bearings and spin them my guess is they are going to be gritty and possibly frozen. It’s amazing how we lose touch with how good fresh bearings operate when new.

    Rear shocks (at least Fox) are pretty easy to service, in fact first stage service on Fox Forks are pretty easy as well. It would be easier to just embed YouTube vids of what needs to be done.
    Example for Rear Fox Float:


    Example for Fox Float Fork:


    I hope this is what you are looking for!
     
  3. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    50-100 hrs usually it is just drop the lowers, replace the wipers if necessary and change the oil. You bet that, you usually need to have the air spring and the damper serviced.

    Same goes for the rear shock. Removed the air can and replace the seals and wipers, give everything a good cleaning. Going into the shock body takes a lot more experience and knowledge.

    You suspension quality degraded slowly over time, so while it may feel ok to you....you don’t realize how bad it is til you get it serviced.
     
  4. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Exactly. I just had my suspension serviced and was amazed how much it deteriorated over the last year.
     
  5. beartooth

    beartooth Member

    Name:
    rob
    Current Bike:
    process111
    On my other bikes, I usually had to take the suspension apart and service everything twice a year in an attempt to chase down and eliminate squeaks and creeks, but this Kona has been so silent and smooth I did't want to mess with it.
     
  6. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    The shocks/fork generally don’t squeak. And just because the suspension is silent doesn’t mean the suspension does not need servicing.
     
  7. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
    Danmtchl, Faust29, Mikie and 3 others like this.
  8. beartooth

    beartooth Member

    Name:
    rob
    Current Bike:
    process111
    I went ahead and had complete rebuild front and rear, bled dampener new and improved seals, and a bunch of other Sh!t I cannot comprehend, but I evidently needed. Well, I wanted to report that I could not tell the difference and all this 50 hour rebuild interval was horseshit the industry feeds us to get our money, but I cannot. The ride is buttery smooth and soft. I still climb like a snail but there were no bone rattling hits front or rear.

    Thanks for the advice. I had a little extra cash and was debating whether to pay down some debt or spend it on myself. I appreciate all of you supporting my habit.
     
  9. Cyclotourist

    Cyclotourist iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Redlands
    Name:
    David
    Current Bike:
    Tallboy Upgrade
    Anything to help!
     
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  10. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Glad to hear that your efforts made a noticeable difference.
     
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  11. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    The important thing to remember.....the 50 hr servicings, most people can do in their garage for next to nothing. Buy a couple extra pillow packs of Fox Float Fluid($3.00 each) for the rear shock. Takes about 10 mins to remove the air can, clean all the surfaces/seals, relube with Float Fluid and reinstall the air can.

    Same goes for the fork. Get some suspension Fox Gold 20($20 for a quart). Remove the lowers, clean, relube and reinstall the lowers, inject required fluid and ride.

    So for about $25 you can get 2-4 servicings of fork and shock. After that, you should probably replace the seals and glide rings on the the rear shock. Unless something is broken, you can go well over 200 hrs before having to do internal servicings of the dampers.
     
  12. Danmtchl

    Danmtchl Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Name:
    Dan
    Current Bike:
    2015 Devinci Troy Carbon 27.5
    If you cannot find 20wt oil in a shop, I have been using Motul 20wt synthetic oil on my forks for the last few years. You can get it at any motorcycle shop.
     
  13. Ebruner

    Ebruner Well-Known Member

    Name:
    Erik Bruner
    Current Bike:
    SC Hightower, Kona Hei Hei
    Sage advice. Air can and lower leg service is very simple and for the most part can be completed with standard bike tools. Just those simple services will have a profound impact on the life of your components and every day performance. I do mine every 3-6 months depending on mileage. Twice a year is a good standard benchmark. The 100-150 hour service is the one you could debate as being pushed on consumers. With forks, a few of the open bath units of old could benefit from the actual 100-150 hour service interval. For most of the new cartridge style fork dampers (fit, charger, grip, etc) I find very little wear and tear that's interior to the damper when i tear into these at the 100-200 hour mark. Some of them can ingest some air and need a bleed which is very simple to perform but requires a bleed kit. Some of the early charger dampers had faulty seal heads on the damper side which made them ingest bath oil on full compression which lead to them hydrolocking (very few of those left in the wild). I find that shocks are more guilty of needing the 100-150 hour service intervals as they can be subject to more side loading (depending on frame) and can airate the oil. Most of the time those even don't show much interior seal wear but if you have a frame that side loads significantly, you can wear out IFP seals which leads to the damping oil being airrited.

    I digress, lower leg and simple air can services really help the life of your components. These should be 1-3 beer jobs for even the most timid of mechanics. I encourage you to try them yourself and if you fail or get scared, dump everything in a zip lock and bring it into your local bike shop. Even on the most expensive of shocks, it would be hard to do more then 150 dollars worth of damage even if you were belligerent enough to just take a vice grip to a damper shaft.
     
  14. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Thread resurrection - When I bought @mtnbikej's Rockshox fork, I kept my original Fox Float Evolution. I've now torn it down, and am wondering if it's worth servicing on my own. I know J will chime in that the fork is garbage :whistling::rolleyes::p but at the very least it gives me the confidence to take things apart and put them back together.

    A seal kit appears to run $25 or so. All the internal parts look as good as new. My only real question is on the stanchion...it is scored a bit, not deeply but scored. The silvery spot in the pic below is not light reflection. I can catch my fingernail on the scoring. The question is, is it worth doing the seals? Will that scoring just tear them up in no time? Can it be sanded smooth? I'm not concerned about the kashima coat.

    20190824_184153.jpg
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, DangerDirtyD and 6 others like this.
  15. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower

    It's done. Use it to practice how to disassemble/reassemble, but that is gonna cause play in the bushings and speed up wear on the seals.
     
  16. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    That's about what I figured. Thanks. Definitely worth keeping just to figure things out.
     
  17. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Ever take something apart, and when you put it back together there was a mystery part that didn't seem to fit anywhere?

    That's where I am reassembling the Fox fork. I have no idea where this goes...it doesn't seem to fit anywhere. Even the Fox EPLs don't show it. :bang: Help...

    20190825_182523.jpg 20190825_182509.jpg
     
    ~JB~, Danmtchl, DangerDirtyD and 5 others like this.
  18. UPSed

    UPSed iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Simi Valley
    Name:
    Ed Bottorff
    Current Bike:
    Niner Jet 9 RDO
    Be right back. Looking up the definition of thete.
     
  19. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    I say pull the fork apart, find the matching part from the other leg, and then toss them both into the round file.
     
    da big hills, ~JB~, Danmtchl and 6 others like this.
  20. mountaingirl sara

    mountaingirl sara iMTB Addict

    Location:
    So Cal
    Name:
    Sara Ford
    Current Bike:
    Santa Cruz 5010
    :Roflmao
     
  21. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    It means "associated with a mystery part." :laugh::rolleyes:
     
  22. Faust29

    Faust29 iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    irgendwo
    Name:
    Stef
    Current Bike:
    3 SC is now 2 SC.
    I think he meant "theta"... From the Greek alphabet. :thumbsup:
     
  23. Runs with Scissors

    Runs with Scissors iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    West Anaheim
    Name:
    Mark Whitaker
    Current Bike:
    2015 Giant XTC Advanced 1 29er
    Yeah, there wasn't one....
     
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  24. mtnbikej

    mtnbikej J-Zilla

    Location:
    Orange
    Name:
    J M
    Current Bike:
    SC Chameleon SS, SC Hightower
    Fixed it for ya
     
  25. DangerDirtyD

    DangerDirtyD iMTB Addict

    Location:
    CA
    Name:
    Chicken Nugget
    Current Bike:
    2018 Guerrilla Gravity SMASH
    Nice wood. :thumbsup:
     
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  26. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    I have a 2014 Reba RL solo air fork that makes suctions sounds when I compress it. It also sinks several mm's into the travel when weight is applied. No sign of fluid leaking...

    Help me Obi-Won-Kenobi, you're my only hope.
     
  27. da big hills

    da big hills Well-Known Member

    Location:
    pearl harbor
    Name:
    cagey
    Current Bike:
    enduro 29
    I had an awesome shock serviced, they put it back together backwards.
    side note, when working on a axial assembly, take the parts off one by one, put them down in order, including which way is which er top and bottom. This saves you trouble later, as my mechanic Murphy says if you guess you will get it wrong.
     
  28. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Release all of the air. Cycle it slowly and completely five times. Reinflate to 20 psi. Cycle it completely and slowly. Add 20 more, repeat until at the desired psi.

    Then when that doesn't work, curse me and send it in to a professional.
     
  29. SnakeCharmer

    SnakeCharmer iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Crescenta Valley
    Name:
    Mike, aka "Ssnake"
    Current Bike:
    Vassago/Trek
    Ummm, thanks??? o_O

    :D:thumbsup:
     
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  30. herzalot

    herzalot iMTB Hooligan

    Location:
    Laguna Beach
    Name:
    Chris
    Current Bike:
    '20 Pivot Firebird 29
    Just try it. It'll take 3 minutes, and it might work.
     
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