Why you need to service your suspension!

fork lower service

Everybody loves the feel of a buttery new fork.  In order to keep the newer “outta the box feel” a lower service may be your ticket.   You may need to do this service with as little as 500 miles on the fork and definitely needs to be done by the time you hit 1000.  In my case, when I pulled the lowers I realized that I had a two forks that were not supplied with the correct amount of oil from the factory.  This process outline below is easy and should take you less than 25 minutes.

I had one Pike that I never felt was plush enough (only had about 300 miles) and another that I felt like it might be about time to check out since it had a about 600 miles.  I decided to take advantage of a beautiful setting at the Kokopelli trailhead and take care of my forks while we are on our summer road trip.

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If you suddenly feel the need to take air out after riding with the same pressure for a while or you’re not using all your travel when your sag it correctly set, I highly recommend servicing your lowers.  Chances are you don’t have enough oil in your lowers.

Take your fork to your favorite bike shop or read on…

Needed: Fork oil, rubber mallet, allen keys, rag and perhaps dust wipers if you have more than 800-1000 miles.  The most expensive part of this is the fork oil.    Chances are you have friends that you can share a bottle of oil with though :).

The first fork I worked on ended up having almost NO oil inside and the second fork ended up having 3 times the amount of oil it should have in the drive side leg. I chose to just do a clean and lube since both forks had relatively low miles.  With more miles I would have replaced the dust wipers too (also easy) The difference in both forks after the service was huge!

Below is a quick photo montage of how easy this procedure was to perform on the Pikes.  Most forks are very similar, just go to your manufacturers website for the how to.

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Lower suspension service
Remove rebound adjuster to reveal 5mm allen bolt – On Rock Shox its just a 2mm allen holding on the knob

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Lower suspension service
Loosen both bolts at bottom of legs using 5mm allen. Make sure to leave bolts in a few threads for the next step.

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Lower Suspension service
Tap the bolts to pull the upper sliders away from lowers. RS suggests to firmly pull down on the lowers if you’ve already removed the bolts.

 

 

 

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Pull lowers down carefully to inspect wipers, and to clean and lube foam rings. See how easy this is yet?!

 

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Lower suspension service
Gentlly pull out your foam oil ring, clean and soak with oil if you’re reusing and replacing just wipers.

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Lower suspension service
Add some slick honey or equivalent grease made for rubber seals.

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Lower suspension service
Slide your lowers back on, add the correct amount of oil to each leg using a syringe, assemble and enjoy the buttery feel!

 

 

 

 

 

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