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Lennard Zinn shows you some suspension fork maintenance tips and solutions.
Tags:How to Maintain Bicycle Suspension Fork,bike fork cleaning,bike maintenance,bike suspension fork,mountain bike maintenance,mtb maintenance,suspension fork cleaning,velonews,VeloNews.com,singletrack.com
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How to Maintain Your Bike's Suspension Fork
After every ride, it’s really a good idea to clean up your fork upper tubes in order to work properly. The upper tubes need to slide smoothly into in and out of the outer legs and there’s bushings in here that’s really critical that the clearance is just perfect inside the bushings and what makes all this happen are these dust wipers here, and then there’s a foam ring underneath that’s soaked in oil.
The foam ring really needs to be wet all the time with oil in order for that system to work properly and then the dust wiper is designed to allow the tube to slide up smoothly and not bring the dirt back that’s on the tube when it slides back in. You make it easier for it to do that job by keeping it clean.
The other thing that is really a good idea with almost any modern fork, the foam ring is a common element there and if you hang the bike upside down to store it, you get a lot better longevity and the fork works better. But after every ride, it’s really a good idea to keep everything clean from the top and then dry it off and get it around behind the fork brace and clean in there.
If you see oil flowing down the outside of the fork on a regular basis or pouring out of it, getting out of the ends and getting on to your rotor and all that, both those things indicate really a need for service. But just a little bit of oil is not an indicator of that. It is pretty frequently about every eight hours of riding, you want to inspect the foam ring and re- soak it with oil if it needs it and along the edge of this dust wiper, there are little places that you can fit a screwdriver and you can slide this up, wipe it, inspect it, and wipe any dirt away that is sitting on this edge here conceivably wanting to work its way inside. On the seal it’s the same, you want a rebound.
So especially if this seal is very dirty, you want wrap a rag around to keep anything from falling down into the foam seal and then clean this baby up as well as you can, kind of pull it away from the fork like a little bit to get this top edge and you can flip that little rubber band off at which it makes it open up easier. So and you just leave that up there. Now, the foam ring is down in here and it will always maybe look kind of dirty because it soaks up oil and so it looks kind of dark even though it’s kind of whiter -- off white color. I’m going to get it out of there.
Now, I’m using some tools that are fairly sharp but you want to make sure you’re not ever touching those against this surface because you could scratch it. I’m just real carefully sliding this up to inspect it and you can see when I push it, you can see what causes that dark color is all that oil in there.
So anyway, that foam ring is in good shape and full of oil and now I’m going to slide this back down into place and put the little rubber band back on, pushes back down in but you can’t very easily reach back in here. So that’s done and again Fox recommends doing that every 25 hours or so and if you see that either of these are damaged, then you can get a dust wiper kit that contains the foam rings and the dust wipers.
So that’s regular maintenance to your fork that will make it last a lot longer. You just keep these clean and keep these clean.