Pike open bath damper question…

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  • Pike open bath damper question…
  • slimboyjim
    Member

    Sorry to ask but struggled to confirm this with the usual Google search efforts…

    I have a RS Pike that has the TF Tuned coil conversion. It’s been a LONG time since it was serviced and has got a bit more spikey (I think that’s the term – it transmits more vibration now) on the rough stuff. I was looking through servicing and options and note that you can get damper upgrades from Fast and the like. During my adventure on the Internet I also looked at Avalanche open dampers, which have a great reputation and are super expensive (around £360 before import tax and postage, so probably around £400-450?). However, as an open bath damper, it appears that servicing is as simple as pouring or old oil and replacing it? This is clearly a home job and very simple – I’m more than capable of the odd wiper seal / oil change…

    So, my question is this – IF I installed an Avalanche damper is it a high initial expense that would then be recouped through being able to home service the forks over the coming years (I’ll be keeping my bike for a number of years as I’m not one to keep up with the Jones’s, and at £100/service it wouldn’t be long before you’re looking at breaking even)? I struggle to believe that it could be so simple and I’m naturally cautious… Am I being stupid!?!

    (Also, if an open bath damper is so easy to service, are there any other options (preferably cheaper!) out there other than Avalanche?)

    Thank you in advance!

    Onzadog
    Member

    I’ve run Avalanche dampers in Fox 36 before and they were fantastic. Servicing is so some it’s unreal. However, keep in mind that you’ll do it more often as you’ll need to do it every time you do a lower/air spring service.

    It also adds a bit of weight – but again, it’s a small price to pay.

    I don’t know of anyone else doing an open bath alternative.

    You’re other option is learning to service a Charger damper. That’s not as tricky as it sounds.

    mashr
    Member

    However, keep in mind that you’ll do it more often as you’ll need to do it every time you do a lower/air spring service.

    In this case however, the OP has no air spring so service intervals can be far longer

    The charger damper is pretty bloody easy to service too. If you take the air out, you don’t even need to take it out of the fork.

    slimboyjim
    Member

    Mashr has hit the nail on the head with my thinking – with the coil can I basically create a low maintenance and relatively high performance fork? (Kids and work mean I get very little time to ride and, whilst I like to spanner on my bike a lot it does remove from the limited ride time I get…)

    That is a good shout about learning to service the charger damper though – I’m not rich so, whilst I’m more than happy to try and justify a high end damper, it’s probably a bit of of reach really… I found this online –

    https://www.epicbleedsolutions.com/blog/how-to-bleed-rockshox-charger-damper/

    Does that cover a full service that TFT (etc) would do if you also replace seals at the same time? I always assumed that there was more dark wizardry to it all… (Probably incorrectly!)

    Thanks for the responses so far!

    slimboyjim
    Member

    Just posting an update in case anyone else searches for something similar, given my difficulty finding the answer…

    In short, I did a damper service and it has significantly reduced the harshness that had crept into my fork.

    I basically tried what science officer said and serviced the damper in the fork (still attached to the bike). I used the service kit from Epic Bleed Solutions.
    Process is very simple and you just remove a bunch of bits and put them back in the same order after the bleed. There’s a couple of awkward to access bolts but the only tricky bit is getting a cir-clip in and out really. With the right tools (circlip pliers!) anyone can do it.
    For the actual bleed I bounced on the fork a lot once the syringe was plugged in and got LOADS of air out. In hindsight, I probably should have undone the top cap on the spring side as, with the spring loading through the top, this would make cycling the damper much easier (the equivalent of removing the air as Science Officer recommended – Oops!). You live and learn, eh?

    Probably took an hour in all, but now I’ve done it once I could probably get it down to 30mins, maybe less… (I did a lot of instruction checking!)

    I didn’t do a seal/lowers service as I didn’t have much time and didn’t want to mess too much in one day – I was off to Revs the following day and didn’t want to risk creating a problem too much! I’ve done lowers before and it’s pretty easy too but it was late. Clearly servicing both would be optimal but it’s not necessary if, for whatever reason, you only want to do the damper. A complete service is under an hours worth of work at a guess.

    Anyway, I have now learned to completely overhaul my fork and have years of low cost maintenance in front of me! I just have to learn how to do my shock and reverb now… Thank you to those who posted advice again – much appreciated!

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