Gutted, are my forks totally goosed ? Picture included

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  • Gutted, are my forks totally goosed ? Picture included
  • hughjengin
    Member

    I look after my kit realy well, so its not a case of time neglect, I keep the seals cleaned and have regular servicing, I dont power wash. but after one ride yesterday, with previously perfect stantions, I arrive home and discover this damage (see pic) I presume that somewhere along the line something fairly nasty has got behind the wiper seal. Its on the air side of a FOX Float RL 140. fitted to a Zesty
    Question is Are my forks totally knacked now, I know I can get an upper assembly but that’ll prob cost more than a set of replacement forks.
    I have the offer of some used RLC Talas, or a great deal on some new 150mm revs ? Or shall I just keep riding the forks till they die now, as I said its on the air side not the damper side. What would you do ?
    Have heard some very mixed reports on the TALAS saying that they arent as good as a fixed length fork etc


    IMG_0037 by hughjengin, on Flickr

    KINGTUT
    Member

    I presume that somewhere along the line something fairly nasty has got behind the wiper seal

    Yep it’s called a Fox stanchion.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    If they still work fine just keep riding them!

    They’re only knackered when the stop working.

    Keep using them till they die,

    That will give you time to look out for a really good deal and get something else cheap.

    hughjengin
    Member

    So this is not a first then ? ๐Ÿ™‚

    mysterymove
    Member

    My Fox 36’s did the same about 3 months ago – flushed out some nasty grey dirty oil and now work better than they ever have!

    Dont worry about it and keep riding…

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    If you’re worried about stanchion damage, then don’t buy secondhand. Some people do drop their lowers, and change their oil regularly (like me), and some don’t – so the stanchions may look fine, but actually aren’t.

    Revs are far nicer than TALAS, plusher, and have less reported issues. You get spacers in with the Revs, so you can drop them to 140 too. Don’t bother with the RLT version though, just get the RL – who actually bothers adjusting the lockout threshold and needs a knob to do it on the fly?

    Also – Merlin Cycles will drop 10% off the price when you go to the checkout too, so about ยฃ300 for new. Bargain.

    grum
    Member

    They’ll be fine for ages IMO. Are they leaking oil?

    Even if they are, my Pikes did something similar and I did the nail varnish fix/bodge – still going strong.

    bigrich
    Member

    150mm revs are awesome.

    thered
    Member

    Run em til they’re dead, then buy some Rev’s which are ace

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Your other option is to buy some Kashima 140 uppers from Mojo, I think the uppers and a service are ยฃ250. Which is pretty good, considering you end up with a nearly new fork.

    Although I do have to say, how often do you have your forks serviced? Regular to you may not be as regular as they need. Fox are proper smooth and well balanced as a fork, but you really should drop the lowers every couple of weeks to clean the seals, lube the foam rings and lube the seals. It’s a 15 minute job, you wouldn’t run your bike with a dry chain, so why skimp on a ยฃ700 pair of forks?

    Anyway, that’s in the past – but if you buy Fox again – drop the lowers regularly to keep them going for a long time.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    but if you buy Fox again – drop the lowers regularly to keep them going for a long time.

    or just buy some marzocchis and ride your bike without a worry instead
    ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    munkyboy
    Member

    mine did the same, very very very gradually, i got mojo to switch the uppers when they went in for a service (they needed a service more than new uppers)

    hughjengin
    Member

    I dont think its a lack of maintenance issue, if like munkyboy I’d noticed a slow wear rate then I’d have said yes I’d ignored a problem and it got worse, my own fault, however they were running fine and the stantions had no marks scratches or wear at all, one hour into a ride, I have this sort of damage, I just lifted the seals and its all pretty clean in there, I am wondering if there is something amiss inside the lowers

    hughjengin
    Member

    but if you buy Fox again – drop the lowers regularly

    Are fox known to be more prone to this than Rockshox or other manufacturers ?

    And when you drop the lowers, do you need to replace the oil each time, or do you just take the lowers off leaving the fork upside down and retain all the oil that way

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    Rockshox are less prone to wear issues IME.

    You don’t need to replace the oil when you drop the lowers, just turn the bike upside down and leave it for a few minutes. Take the lowers off, clean the stanchions and the seals with IPA and a lint-free rag, take the foam rings out, pop them in some float fluid, give them a squish, pop them back in the lowers, pop some float fluid on the seals (or some click grease), pop the lowers back on and you’re done.

    If you lose any oil from the lowers make sure to put the same amount back in, of the correct weight.

    It’s a very quick job, and the third or forth time you do it you’ll not make any mess ๐Ÿ™‚

    Probably worth buying some crush washers too, if they are deformed or damaged when you take the foot nuts off.

    Simples ๐Ÿ™‚

    If you get stuck, have a look at the lowers service how to and just have the bike upside down when you do it, and skip removing and refilling the oil.

    hughjengin
    Member

    Thanks Rickon, I have an annual service, but have never dropped the lowers at yet. Not sure thats been the issue this time, becasue the wear was very sudden and with no clue beforehand. But will get in the habit of giving my forks a refresh

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    its the bush running dry and seizing IMO

    Fox design means the upper bushes do not get splash lubricated from the oil in the lowers. If you don’t either keep the bike inverted or do the oil the foam rings bit the upper bush will run dry, seize then that happens. the damage could be done very quickly.

    However the for will continue to work just with play in the bush. strip,lube then ignore the damage

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    hughjengin – Member
    Are fox known to be more prone to this than Rockshox or other manufacturers ?

    i think youll find that its the defining characteristic of their forks ๐Ÿ˜‰

    just google fox stanchion wear

    Premier Icon rickon
    Subscriber

    its the bush running dry and seizing IMO

    Why a lot of people advocate popping your bike upside down to keep the bushes lubed…

    hughjengin
    Member

    or do the oil the foam rings bit

    My fork service place, took the foam rings out and replaced with an oil seal.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    indeed rickon – so long as there is oil in there that will do the job

    grum
    Member

    i think youll find that its the defining characteristic of their forks

    just google fox stanchion wear

    Based on my personal experience this problem happens to 0% of all Fox forks and 100% of all Rockshox forks.

    bigyinn
    Member

    Not unheard of with Rock Shox either!

    LoCo
    Member

    Yes keep the bike upside down between rides to lube the upper bushes and foam rings as well as flushing them of any soilds that have got past the seals.
    The wear is down to dirt ingress, solids sat on/in the seals and bushes, cleaning products also cause issues if they get in the fork as the have degreasing properties.
    Recommendations on Fox forks are removing lowers every 15 hours and cleaning/relubing seals and foams and full lower drain, clean and refill every 30, yes I know.
    Washing your bike upside down so the dirt,water and cleaning products falls away from the seals also helps

    Three_Fish
    Member

    My fork service place, took the foam rings out and replaced with an oil seal.

    I wonder about this. When the fork is ‘properly’ maintained, the foam rings will be wet with oil and will help to keep the top bushings lubricated. I would expect that stanchion wear to be more likely if the rings are replaced with seals. I’d be interested to know the results from more of those people who made this switch.

    foxyrider
    Member

    Thanks Rickon, I have an annual service, but have never dropped the lowers at yet.

    Thing is with older forks a seal clean interval is 30 hours of riding so even a service every year is not going to sort you out IME. I try and do a seal clean on mine at least every 40 hours.

    http://www.cyclistno1.co.uk/features/maintenance/fox-forks-wiper-seal-service.htm

    flow
    Member

    Rock Shox are just as bad!

    LoCo
    Member

    Foxy, it should be 15 hrs for seals, especially Talas forks even the older kind, that’s what Mojo are quoting now a days anyway.
    Edit: Flow my scrap bin tells a different story.

    foxyrider
    Member

    @flow – I did tell my mate who had some reba races to service them – he hasn’t touched them for 3.5 years – his pop-loc internal spring failed but he put it all off. Last weekend “all of a sudden” both uppers are scored – just happened all of a sudden…..

    Edit: I did tell him to send them to LOCO and even got him a quote!

    foxyrider
    Member

    @loco – 15 hours really – blimey ๐Ÿ™‚ oops – better do mine again then ๐Ÿ™‚

    Edit: If I read my own article “Finished – You’ll find you get quicker every 15 hours of riding!!”

    Duh – flippin eck my brain is rotting away ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wonder about this. When the fork is ‘properly’ maintained, the foam rings will be wet with oil and will help to keep the top bushings lubricated. I would expect that stanchion wear to be more likely if the rings are replaced with seals. I’d be interested to know the results from more of those people who made this switch.

    Think about the system when its moving, the foam ring collects oil from the stanchion as it compresses and lubricates it as it extends, the outer dust seal is designed to stop crap getting in, it doesn’t work so well in reverse so the foam ring is needed to catch the oil as it rises up through the fork.

    A seal will do the same job, it just holds less oil above the bush, it still takes the oil off the stanchion and puts it back at the same rate, infact it should be better as it doesn’t lose oil out of the fork, hence why forks with seals (marzocchi) can last for years without needing an oil top up (that and they’re open bath).

    On the OP’s forks, there’s two exlanations why the wear was sudden.

    1) it was gradual, but the anodising was hard so gradualy wore through slowly untill a patch of raw aluminium was exposed, which wore quickly.
    2) the oil only just ran out.

    bigyinn
    Member

    tinaspoon. The Float 32 seals are double ended, i.e there are two wipers, an external one for the cack / mud and a similar internal one to stop the oil escaping. The foam ring is there purely to retain oil and feed / lubricaqte the upper bushing.
    Otherwise the fork would have oil deposits on the upper stanchions all the time.

    flow
    Member

    Edit: Flow my scrap bin tells a different story.

    Fox are fitted to way more off the shelf bikes than RS

    Check your forks when they are new too.

    My Revelation’s arrived with barely any lubricating oil in the lowers!

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    flow – Member

    “Edit: Flow my scrap bin tells a different story”.

    Fox are fitted to way more off the shelf bikes than RS

    really? I suspect LOCO knows rather more about forks than you do

    flow
    Member

    really? I suspect LOCO knows rather more about forks than you do

    Yeah really.

    They are fitted to more bikes that RS’s are, there are obviously going to be more issues, don’t you think?

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Foxes are not fitted to more bikes than RS I do not believe and I trust Loco to know about forks

    Three_Fish
    Member

    Foxes are not fitted to more bikes than RS I do not believe

    Facts!! It doesn’t matter what you believe. This poll suggests that twice as many bikes have (in 2010) Fox forks fitted. Not in any way conclusive, but way more substantive than a hunch.

    There isn’t any doubt as to Loco’s tehcnical know-how, just that you and he may not be considering proportions.

    johnners
    Member

    flow hearts Fox

    True!

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