Pike DIY servicers

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  • Pike DIY servicers
  • Premier Icon deadkenny

    So, we all (maybe) know what the service manual says about a 50hr and 200hr service on a Pike, but what do real world DIY service folk actually do?

    I’m of the school of never doing servicing anywhere near as frequently as the manual says I should, because I can’t be arsed usually, and generally the bike doesn’t explode or riding get really crap unless I left it 5 years or more. Though I usually get round to it every year or two and they feel great again once I do.

    Thing with the 200hr service is it involves pulling the damper apart, which means replacing seal head (as it says it’s a must and I notice posts from people with leaking chargers due to seal heads so I suppose these need doing, especially once pulled apart), along with all the rest of the seals on damper and air shaft. In the past I’ve just inspected seals, cleaned, regreased and kept going. Never noticed internal seals looking damaged really or swollen/loose.

    i.e. do you skip a lot of the full service and just go with a clean, check, regrease and refit? And in the case of the charger, don’t pull apart but maybe bleed it? I’ve not done a charger before. Other models has just been an oil change and check the seals.

    50hr though is a simple lowers service. Even then I don’t always replace the wiper seals if it really has only been 50hrs.

    Also – manual says 3wt for damper, but I’ve got loads of 5wt from TF Tuned from doing previous forks. Any issue with 5wt vs 3wt? Lower says 0w30 but TF just give you their lower “mix” stuff which doesn’t say. Seems same bottle regardless of fork. I’ve got a new bottle but still some old left from TF though notice the colour of oil is slightly different, though maybe just because it’s old.

    I tend to service lowers about 3-4 times a year, which is shorter than the recommended. For me, 50 hours is roughly every 5-6 weeks.

    I service lowers at the end of summer, the end of winter, usually around xmas time, plus if I’m going on any away trips they’ll get a precautionary sluice out and this is usually another 1 to 2 times through the year.

    I’m pretty religious about cleaning stanchions with lube every time I go out to keep the dirt wipers moist and I run a little front mud guard all the year round to keep as much crud away from the wipers as possible.

    Damping is once a year generally. Seals wise, I never change any seals or dirt wipers unless they are leaking – I mean, whats the point otherwise? Generally, the seal kit that comes in the box lasts the lifetime of the fork taking this approach.

    I have some 2014 pikes that have not seen a seal change yet, but this may be different if you don’t change your oil a often.

    Oil wise, 5wt will slow the damping a little. Whether this is a problem depends on how close you are to the limits of the adjusters. That said, I did some reading about RS dampers thats hows they’ve got massive ports in the piston and big ports is more about volume of oil moving rather than viscosity apparently.

    I once used thinker semi-bath lube than recommended, and I could feel the forks were slower, so I use a viscosity that RS recommend for that.

    Premier Icon jakehinton

    As there is so little oil in the pike I tend to do a lower leg service every few months, though sometimes i just crack the lowers and pop a bit of fresh oil in instead of fully disassembling them.

    Premier Icon deadkenny

    Interesting, TF Tuned Refresh kit shows 2.5wt for the Charger damper when selected.

    Actually got some 2.5 as it’s easy to get from bike shops and works for Reverbs also. Pike manual doesn’t say how much is needed. Just says bleed but then in the detail it’s talking about filling up the damper cartridge. Just wondering if I’ve got enough. Though that’s the section that insists you must replace the seal head also, which I don’t have a replacement, and getting one seems to involve getting the whole full service kit. That said I don’t have the bleed port adapter either.

    Got one Pike that’s on about 50hr and the other just over 200 and neither been touched yet. Hours being a rough estimate based on mileage and pace.

    Premier Icon deadkenny

    Generally, the seal kit that comes in the box lasts the lifetime of the fork taking this approach

    No kit came with any of my Pikes, though one was OEM, one with a bike and the other was retail boxed. Two came with tokens though.

    The 50hr one is done now. Simple lowers service and instructions didn’t say to do wiper seals until the 200, so inspected, cleaned, greased.

    My main concern is the one on 200hr+ without a service and it’s feeling harsh now. I could do a lowers fine, but really it needs a better service.

    I’m still unlikely to go replace all the O-rings, washers and parts that just don’t need replacing but it’s this bit in the manual about the damper service that concerns me:

    “Failure to replace the old seal head with the new seal head may result in reduced fork performance. “

    To get the seal head (which has an upgraded part apparently), I need to get the service kit. Of which there’s the expensive 200hr kit (£50+) or the “upgraded service kit” which comments say is as good or better than the expensive one and has all you need. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Shox-Pike-Upgraded-Service/dp/B0171KXA9E (£35)

    Though includes wiper seals that I’ve already got. The part of the manual for the damper service involves draining the cartridge, refill and replace seal head then bleed. Yet I see posts from people who just bleed it. Epic Solutions just seem to bleed it http://www.epicbleedsolutions.com/blog/how-to-bleed-rockshox-charger-damper/

    Question mainly is that seal head. Does that really need to be replaced every time on a 200hr service? Which means yet another service kit to get the part and either replace everything each time or building up a stock of bits that really aren’t needed.

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