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Do you really have your fork/shock serviced as per manufacturers recommendation


Wimmas
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Something I have been wondering about and have heard many different opinions.

I have a hardtail so only a rockshox fork. Take good care of it. If I service it according to the recommended schedule, it will be quite often and costly.

Some of the guys in my club reckon that they do not stick to schedule as the fork functions fine and sticking to schedule is overkill.

Many of us do not service our own suspension as we do not have the tools / time / know where to source the parts.

Is it really necessary to stick to schedule? Do most people have their forks serviced on schedule or do they wait until problems arise? Would be great to get some honest and professional opinions.

P.s after I posted I realised the title has spelling errors. I hate typing on my phone. If an admin can, please correct it.

Edited by Wimmas
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No, i don't, cause I'm too lazy to take the bike to a shop. I do realise that it might come back to bite me though. Years ago, it was cheap enough replacing a fork. These days, not so much.

 

Servicing a fork is quite expensive, but with the price of forks now, probably worth it. Also depends on how hard you ride, what the conditions are like etc.

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To be fair, the very regular interval services are generally easy enough for someone to do at home with almost no special tools. A lubrication service can be done quite quickly and by following the manufacturers manual, you will be fine.

 

If you really dont want to touch it, then its mostly accepted that a service once a year is good enough, as long as you're cleaning stanchions inbetween rides, and keeping a close eye on the condition of the seals. Bear in mind this will then become anmahor service, sorting lowers and damper service in one go.

 

But honestly, your fork is one of the most expensive components on the bike, generally. Why risk it for 30 mins every 3 months or so? Especially when something like damaging the coating in stanchions will basically write the fork off in most cases...

 

My fox forks and shock on my old bike demanded a lube service every 30 hours. I paid little money to buy the right oils, and did it mostly on time. And it was so sweet riding with that peace of mind.. Just my two cents.

Edited by Butterbean
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I only service a fork when it becomes sticky .Usually takes like 3 years before that happens and then it is  cleaned and oil replacement done  only .I never wash it with soap ,only wipe clean and turn it upside down overnight 

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I have serviced a lot of forks over the last few years. When I worked at Yellow Saddle we managed to do 44 in one week.

I still feel such a sense of disappointment when I drop the lowers and find stanchion damage that could have been avoided if the service had been done a few months earlier. My phone is full of pictures used to break the news to the owner. On shocks you can stretch the intervals to some extent. Forks you could be in for a replacement. Some people get lucky, some don't.

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Anybody here wash n clean fork post ride then apply fork lube onto the stanchions? Then cycle the fork, then clean off excess lube?

Recommended to let bike stand upside diwn for 10mins every now and again to let oil in lowers moisten the top seals.

 

Disclaimer. Chain lube and fork lube not the same and not to be used interchangeably

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I agree that doing the manufacturer recommended interval services could become expensive if you ride your mtb a lot. I have a engineering/mechanical background and do all my bike maintenance myself. Lower leg service every 3-4 months and full service every 12-18 months. Personal habit is to wipe stanchions clean with a soft cloth after every ride, muddy or not. Then i have also personally seen what a difference these little plastic mudguards make, get one. As mentioned before, not everyone has the tools or mechanical knowledge, but do stick to the service intervals as close as possible or it will become a very expensive exercise. Mudguard and keeping stanchions clean will help stretch the services.

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Interesting responses and pretty much what I thought.

 

I read somewhere that Rockshox do not recommend applying oil to stanchions, but also if you stick to scheduled services.

 

Does tilting the bike upside down work?

 

Think I need to book mine for inspection and service just for peace of mind. Can someone recommend a place or person in JHB? West Rand somewhere would be great but I also do not mind travelling a bit around JHB. It is for a Rockshox Recon

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Minor service (10hr and 50hr) I do myself.

major service (120-150hr) goes to the agents.

 

Theres a huge difference in performance between a well looked after suspension vs a poorly maintained suspension. Why buy decent suspension if you're not going to look after it?

That's on a lefty, right? I don't think many garage mechanics will do their lefty service at home

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Interesting responses and pretty much what I thought.

 

I read somewhere that Rockshox do not recommend applying oil to stanchions, but also if you stick to scheduled services.

 

Does tilting the bike upside down work?

 

Think I need to book mine for inspection and service just for peace of mind. Can someone recommend a place or person in JHB? West Rand somewhere would be great but I also do not mind travelling a bit around JHB. It is for a Rockshox Recon

Good option in westrand are

1) Dagley's on Blueberry rd opposite Eagle Canyon entrance

2) Bicycle Service company in Fourways

3) WestRand Cycles on Ontdekkers

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That's on a lefty, right? I don't think many garage mechanics will do their lefty service at home

 

 

Lefty requires too many proprietary tools for the major to be done at home. I'm not willing to invest in the tools for Lety 2.0 because they changed so many parts over the period it was on the market.

Lefty Ocho, is probably worthwhile investing in tools. Its much easier to service too.

Rear shocks I can do but my workshop is currently my office under WFH :(

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Minor service (10hr and 50hr) I do myself.

major service (120-150hr) goes to the agents.

 

Theres a huge difference in performance between a well looked after suspension vs a poorly maintained suspension. Why buy decent suspension if you're not going to look after it?

 

Do the services myself. Fork oil is pretty cheap from motorcycle outlets. 

 

Luckily I don't own "lefty's" - but would probably be very cautious if I had to service one.

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Anybody here wash n clean fork post ride then apply fork lube onto the stanchions? Then cycle the fork, then clean off excess lube?This does not really work, if the wipers are doing their work you are not going to get much lube past them. And if they are not doing their job then that is a GOOD indication to service.

Recommended to let bike stand upside diwn for 10mins every now and again to let oil in lowers moisten the top seals. 10 mins might be enough for the iol to run past the wipers. And there is only 5ml in there to start with.

Just a correction, there is no "seals" only a foam ring(iol soaked) and a  dust wiper.

 

Disclaimer. Chain lube and fork lube not the same and not to be used interchangeably

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I can totally recommend sticking to the schedules. Like many others that have posted here I also do the lowers service myself which saves on cost after you've bought a couple of consumables (oil, seal grease, spare seal set, isopropyl, etc) and some very basic tools that you probably already mostly have (some allen keys, bike stand, shock pump, etc). A fork that has just been serviced just runs amazing, I also like to see that things are still looking good inside the fork. I have my dampers serviced at a shop where I trust the mechanic knows what he's doing.

 

Suspension is the kind of thing that incrementally deteriorates over time, so you may not notice that it has become complete rubbish before it's too late and costs an arm and a leg to repair. Trust me, I know this from perhaps too much personal experience.

Edited by Rock Guy
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Interesting responses and pretty much what I thought.

 

I read somewhere that Rockshox do not recommend applying oil to stanchions, but also if you stick to scheduled services.

 

Does tilting the bike upside down work?

 

Think I need to book mine for inspection and service just for peace of mind. Can someone recommend a place or person in JHB? West Rand somewhere would be great but I also do not mind travelling a bit around JHB. It is for a Rockshox Recon

 

Cogent Industries in Pretoria. Bit of a schlep to go to the other side of the boerewors curtain, but excellent service. 

 

I have never paid too much mind to fork service intervalsin the past. I have a straight steerer rockshox on my on-one, and due to the scarce nature of replacement straight steerer forks, I am paying more attention to keeping the fork in tact at the moment.

 

I was pleasantly surprised that a full service on this fork only costs R850 odd.

This is money I will gladly spend once a year to keep my fork in business

Edited by RocknRolla
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