Looking after suspension

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  • Looking after suspension
  • Premier Icon allankelly
    Subscriber

    Hullo, after years of curmugeonly SS and rigid riding I've got a full sus bike. I've sold out, gone all mainsteam, got old. I've still got the SS collection, obviously.

    Anyway, I'm dead paranoid about the fact that the seals on the sus units are pretty exposed to trail muck. What's the recommended solution? I searched a bit and there's pre-ride thick greasy stuff, thinner silicon spray that you leave on, as well as cleaners and you should leave the bike stored upside down….

    Then there's (fugly but surely effective) covers from Lizard Skins and the like.

    How to look after these things then? They are very expensive!

    Cheers, al.

    radoggair
    Member

    ifn you've got a ss the your already mainstream, seems everyone ( bar me) has one on here

    Suspension wise, store upside down, wipe after every ride and spray with silicone spray then wipe straight afterwards.

    p.s. i dont know if you should really listen to my advise, i know **** all about servicing stuff

    store upside down

    really ?? They never do that in the shop…

    radoggair
    Member

    really ?? They never do that in the shop

    not really a good selling point if they did, all your bikes stored upside down!!
    Noticed they dont padlock every single bike in shops either, better go and take mine off my bike, doing something else wrong again

    better go and take mine off my bike, doing something else wrong again

    they do lock the shop though…
    it's just that I've never seen the suggestion that a full suss bike should be stored upside down before. Is it the same in Australia ?

    MrNutt
    Member

    I hear its important to get the cable routing tuned annually?

    keep the seals clean after each ride.
    keep the shafts clean after each ride.
    Fox Forks like to be stored upside down.
    don't pressure clean.
    perform basic and simple seal services on all forks regularly.
    have pro service regularly dependant on how much you ride.

    etc etc

    oxnop
    Member

    What TLR said

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    RS forks don't always take kindly to being stored upside down…when my RS forks were stored upside down they had a little accident in the night and I came down to a puddle in the morning.

    Ditto for what TLR said. I clean off the stanchions after each ride and before each ride spray on a bit of Fork Juice.

    Premier Icon firestarter
    Subscriber

    heres one for you. If i store my sus upside down my rear shock is the right way round so does the shock not like that 🙂

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    What I do over winter is remove the rear shock and replace it with a machined alloy spacer I had made up specially and replace my Fox forks with rigids. The plus of this is that I can then singlespeed the bike thanks to the lack of suspension movement.

    Softer winter trails mean that the benefits of suspension are much reduced anyway and like this I retain the fashionable look of riding the latest top-end hardware, but with all the advantages of running a rigid singlespeed. I also save a packet on suspensions servicing – Fox forks need a full factory service every ten hours or something I think – and stop my expensive suspension units from being scratched and abused in harsh winter conditions.

    Come the spring, I can replace the suspension components and benefit from optimum, wear-free performance on dry, fast trails. The rigid set-up works brilliantly and I have ridden hard technical trails like TNF in Grizedale and Llandegla Red with this set-up, no problem. Though to be fair, I am an accomplished rider with years of experience.

    Once I've removed my Fox forks, I do store them upside down as above and keep them in a warm, dry environment to optimise seal condition. I've heard the wipers don't like fluctuations in temperature and it's best to store them at the temperatures they are to be used at for at least 12 hours before riding to optimise sealing. My personal theory is that much of the stanchion wear problems reported with Fox are due to this not being done.

    Follow the above advice and you should be fine.

    chopperT
    Member

    Fox forks are also more reliable if you occasionally let them steal your shoes from the back porch.

    Dirtynap
    Member

    I have never stored any fox suspension upside down. I have never had a problem. i have never heard that one before either, I suppose its so all the oil leaks out and then you have to buy some more. 😕

    I just wipe the forks and rear shocks after each ride and get them fully striped and serviced once a year.

    RS lockout/damping cartridges can go funny if store upside down. Fox may benefit.

    If you clean nothing else after a ride , scrupulously clean the stanchions esp around the seal. Then spray GT85 and pump them a bit and wipe the crud that appears – which reduces build up of crud in the seal. If you don't, crud works it's way down onto the foams and wears the stanchions under the seal. They then develop slop and leak. Evidence : when TFT changed my seals after 1 year, the foams and seals were relatively clean (although dry from lack of lube).

    Keep an eye out of slop in the links after a year, esp when you lift the bike by the saddle – usually means the sacrifical shock bushing has worn – cheap to replace and saves the other bearings. Link bearing changes perhaps every years.

    Do have a proper play with the setting. Esp the rebound damping.

    "Softer winter trails mean that the benefits of suspension are much reduced"

    Not really IMO. Slow down the rebound because you ride a bit slower. The improvement in rear-wheel tracking over a HT helps with grip on slippy sloppy trails. My main problem is cleaning my FS when filthy – it's maestro all those links make it fiddly to clean.

    emac65
    Member

    Yep, maestro suspension is a pain in the ass to clean,that's why I use the ss mostly for winter…

    use a jet wash & make sure you aim it right into the seals & pivot points to get all the crap out…

    grumm
    Member

    If you clean nothing else after a ride , scrupulously clean the stanchions esp around the seal. Then spray GT85 and pump them a bit and wipe the crud that appears – which reduces build up of crud in the seal. If you don't, crud works it's way down onto the foams and wears the stanchions under the seal. They then develop slop and leak. Evidence : when TFT changed my seals after 1 year, the foams and seals were relatively clean (although dry from lack of lube).

    Maybe the seals were dry from using GT85 and it stripping the thicker stuff? I've been doing the same thing but using fork juice lube – seems really good imo.

    pastcaring
    Member

    i hope your joking emac?

    MrNutt
    Member

    during the winter most full suss riders tend to adopt the French "Ortolan" style of riding, thus by riding beneath a blanket much of the otherwise troublesome rain is dispelled outwards away from your intricate and expensive components.

    radoggair
    Member

    they do lock the shop though…

    and i lock my garage!! your point being?

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I clean my suspension forks as advised by the Bogtrotters by actually washing them while I'm out riding:

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    Best way to keep your suspension in good order is to remove the fork and replace it with a rigid one, then remove the rear suspension unit and replace with a strut. While you're at it remove that dangly thing at the rear of your bike.

    Hey presto, back to reliable riding 🙂

    Allan, you riding SS in the 'Puffer?

    usually means the sacrifical shock bushing has worn – cheap to replace and saves the other bearings.

    is there any engineering justification to this statement ? I've heard of referred pain but never of referred wear. I suspect it to be a marketing term. One could just as easily make a case for the reverse by suggesting that any accelerated wear would result in higher shock loading on other components as the assembly takes up the slack on each bump.

    Glad to see BWD back on form – he had me for 2 whole paragraphs 🙂

    sv
    Member

    3in1 do a silicon spray and I find it works well on the forks and rear shock. The brakes are not to happy about overspray.

    neilforrow
    Member

    clean after every ride
    forkjuice before every ride
    learn to take the fork / shock apart to perform regular basic servicing

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    All I do with mine is clean the crap away from the seals and occasionally apply some Finish Line dry lube to the seals area. I've never used Lizard Skins fork or shock covers.
    They get a service once a year from TF Tuned.

    Obviously works OK, all my forks have lasted years with no major problems at all.

    Dirtynap
    Member

    I thought that GT85 or WD40 where the worst things to use.

    I don't bother to lube the seals as spraying lube on top of the seals and stanchions just means that the lube increases the amount of crap that sticks on and therefore increases wear.
    lubing the inside of teh seal is a different matter and something I can't be bothered to do, servicing costs are so over inflated as it is they can do it for me.

    DrP
    Member

    I find it satisfying to really clean and lube the stanchions so they gleam! Sexual perhaps??

    After EVERY ride I give the stanchions a quick wipe with a microfibre cloth, a quic squzz with GT85, then lube with either XC chain lube, or teflon lube.
    Bounce up and down, and repeat again….

    DrP

    sc-xc
    Member

    I send mine off to this fella on ebay. He services the shock, and realigns the frame – only costs me £130.00

    My bike,s shocker is as good as new now.

    robhughes
    Member

    BB didn,t you get him to pro spray it while it was there.

    sc-xc
    Member

    Yes! It looks ace. Did you get your,s done?.

    retro83
    Member

    Barry Bethel – Member

    Yes! It looks ace. Did you get your,s done?.

    the commas are a nice touch

    Olly
    Member

    if you store the bike upside down, your brakes wont thank you.

    i wouldnt bother.

    gently wipe crap from the seals after each ride, a good dosing of silicon lube on the seals to keep them happy.

    🙂

    usually means the sacrifical shock bushing has worn – cheap to replace and saves the other bearings – is there any engineering justification to this statement ?

    Dunno mate – I'm only a Software Engineer – struggled to understand mechanics/dynamics a Uni. This is what the nice chap in the shop told me when I first went in for a new bushing.

    GT – it's not a lube, more like non-stick. I don't see how using a bit of GT "strips" the fork lube. It deffo helps crap get released from the seals though. Give it a whorl.

    slackman99
    Member

    Lidl currently have cans of silicone spray for £0.99 rather than the £6.99 for juice lubes stuff.

    Premier Icon allankelly
    Subscriber

    To epicyclo: Yes, SS at puffer. Trusty 853 slidey Inbred. Trusty ancient RockShox Duke fork I can service with stuff from Asda (I exaggerate, but not much). A chain. Some wheels. You know.

    al.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    allankelly – Member
    To epicyclo: Yes, SS at puffer. Trusty 853 slidey Inbred. Trusty ancient RockShox Duke fork I can service with stuff from Asda (I exaggerate, but not much). A chain. Some wheels. You know.

    Ah, so. The springy bike is not for real riding then 🙂

    hugh_b
    Member

    after every ride i normally wash the bike (unless it's just dusty/not very much mud/muck atall) then i smear some fork oil around the stanchions and shock shaft, compress both a few times and wipe all the dirt thats just been lifted from the seals away. If there's alot i do this a couple of times.
    Do a lowers/air seal side service every few months, full overhaul once a year.

    fivespot
    Member

    For those of you not sure as to why you should turn your forks upside down…..Most forks these days have a small amount of lube oil in the bottom of each fork leg, where it does'nt do much. The bushes in the middle and upper part of your fork legs require this lube to keep working smooth and to prevent wear. Thus turning your forks upside down (even for half an hour) will allow the oil to flow back through the bushes, also replenishing the foam ring at the top of your fork legs, which in turn will help keep the top bush lubed for longer……simples 😕

    As mentioned above, prolonged upsidedowness may on some forks (Rockshox) allow a small amount of damping oil to leak past the motion control adjuster. Also some brake systems may feel a bit spongy as well.

    While I'm on a roll, its well worth having a go at splitting your forks to clean inside the seals and the foam rings, and replenish the old murky lube oil. Plenty of info on tinterweb for most forks.

    Premier Icon nuke
    Subscriber

    Thus turning your forks upside down (even for half an hour) will allow the oil to flow back through the bushes

    Agree with you up to to this comment but I can't see how the oil would get passed the upper bushing to the foam rings when upside down. Equally if oil could get passed the upper bushing then, whilst the forks were upright, the oil above the upper bushing would seep down to the lower. 😕

    fivespot
    Member

    nuke…some bushings (I have only worked on a few of my own forks, so can't comment on all makes) have a few very fine vertcal lines in them, I presume for this reason. foam will always absorb a liquid far quicker than discharging it. If you strip your forks, even without turning them upside down first, you will find a certain amount of oil held in the foam rings.

    I am not aware that anywhere in the Fox manual that it tells you to store fork upside down, so is this a myth. I think if you clean your bike well after each ride and use bike spray on your bike avoiding disc brakes and keep it well lubed then it should keep your bike in tip top condition, also check your spokes and chain and drive chain for wear and your gears are changing smoothly, it also depend on how mechanically minded or capable you are as to how much cleaning and fettling you do. Which reminds me I must clean my bike after yeserdays ride. 😳

    uplink
    Member

    flippinheckler – Member

    I am not aware that anywhere in the Fox manual that it tells you to store fork upside down, so is this a myth

    Have a look here & here

    fivespot
    Member

    Nice one uplink. flippinheckler, without trying to preach or blow my own trumpet. I don't base my maintenance on myth, just 30+ years of machanical fettling as a profession and a hobby.

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