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  1. #1
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    Front Shocks not travelling as far as they should

    I have a set of Rockshox Recon 335's (Coil Forks) and under normal riding they never travel more than 50% or so of their advertised 130mm travel. Even under big hits, or putting all my weight on them they don't travel more than about 85-90mm.

    Do I have them set up wrong or is the advertised travel some marketing trick that doesn't relate to actual travel?

  2. #2
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    sounds like the preload is off. does it have a preload knob?

  3. #3
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    Not as far as I can tell, and there is nothing mentioned in the manual about one. The knobs it has are rebound adjustment, the damping lockout and travel adjustment. The travel adjustment is opened all the way to 130mm before anyone asks :P

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'm inclined to think setup too. Try using a softer spring. Read a maintenance manual and decide if that's something you want to take on yourself, or have done.

    I think this is half the reason air forks are overtaking coil forks in popularity.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    What do you weigh in at?

    The preload adjustment is meant for fine tuning only. If a fork is oversprung for your weight, it's not ever going to work correctly for you. (This is where air suspension is nice to have, because you can change spring rate by simply adding/lowering air pressure, rather than installing the correct springs.)

    If you aren't too light for the springs, and the TA is open, I'd be thinking there might be something going on with the damping lockout. No expert on that particular fork, so I could be totally wrong also.

  6. #6
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    What do you weigh in at?

    The preload adjustment is meant for fine tuning only. If a fork is oversprung for your weight, it's not ever going to work correctly for you. (This is where air suspension is nice to have, because you can change spring rate by simply adding/lowering air pressure, rather than installing the correct springs.)

    If you aren't too light for the springs, and the TA is open, I'd be thinking there might be something going on with the damping lockout. No expert on that particular fork, so I could be totally wrong also.
    I think the frame might be on the bigger side for me so it could be the springs. I don't know how much I weigh but I'd guess in the 85-90kg range.

    I'm guessing whether it's the spring or oil in the lowers it's probably a job for my LBS as I don't think I'm confident enough to pull the shocks apart myself. If it's going to be expensive to fix either of these would I better looking at grabbing a new fork?

  8. #8
    'Tis but a scratch
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    I have a different model Rock Shox but had a similar problem. I think I caused it by locking out the fork and forgetting that I did. Then I rode it awhile in the rough stuff before realizing. Once I unlocked it, it was not fully compressing.

    I was a little tentative about trying this repair myself, but I decided to give it a shot. I happen to have the o-ring and seal kit that came with the fork so that got me 1 step closer to taking the plunge. I did need to acquire some oil though. The volumes/weights required are listed in the manual for your fork. Further it will walk you through the steps to service your fork.

    I don't know the year of your fork, but if you Google it you will find it. For example, here is a 2010 manual that covers many models:

    http://cdn.sram.com/cdn/farfuture/xb...s/tm_my102.pdf

    In my case what had happened was that an o-ring had come off the damper. This allowed the fluid to get past the o-ring. Once the fluid volume below the damper was wrong, it screwed up the amount of compression that could occur.

    I basically just started from scratch with the right fluid volumes and everything put back together right and solved my problem. All in all, it wasn't that hard. As for tools, I think the most "special" of them was some snap-ring pliers and a large socket - which I had.

    All because of an o-ring. BTW - I never lock out anymore.

    Its all up to you if you're feeling a little adventurous or not. I feel I learned about how my shock functions as a result of the experience.

  9. #9
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    So using lockout wrecks the forks? Whats the point in the lockout then, I use my bike to commute as well as MTB so it's locked probably 50-70% of the time.

  10. #10
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    Riding off-road damages forks. Sooner or later, everything breaks. I wouldn't worry about it.

    I wouldn't expect a suspension service to run less than $60, and they can easily run more. Some shops send out all their suspension work.

    I have to admit that this is something I always pay someone else to do. But at least give the maintenance manual a look. Some suspension jobs are very easy, and some end up requiring dismantling and draining the whole thing. I still think it's worthwhile to at least find out which spring you have too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Looking at the manual, and youtube vids removing the lowers, and pulling a spring out at least seems simple and no special tools. As far as I can tell the only things I'll need are suspension oil and something to measure it with.

  12. #12
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    Ok have the lowers off, the oil inside was cleaner than I expected, there was however about 5x more in one side then the other, I wouldn't say there was more than the 15ml there was supposed to be though.

    I can't check the ring as apparently I don't have anything bigger than a 21mm socket so I'll probably walk to work tonight and grab a 24mm tomorrow and check it.

    Also just wanted to check this right, one of the rod things is longer then the other:



    This is the state of the seal thingies:




    Have some new ones order so will clean these best I can till the new ones come.

  13. #13
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    If you had a lot more than 15ml in the leg (and I'm guessing the oil was in the damper leg lower), then you have blown a seal in the damper. If you replace only the seals you pictured, you will end up with the same issue again as soon as you refill the damper. You will need to get a complete seal kit with all the correct o-rings etc.
    Also, your seals look kinda dirty. When was the last time they were replaced? It may be a good idea in future to make sure you clean around them after a ride and not let too much dirt/dust etc build up.
    I don't crash, I just have slightly uncontrolled dismounts!

  14. #14
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    The seals pictured are the ones that came with the bike when I bought it new, nearly 3 years ago.

    I'll read up on how to do the damper stuff, will it be quite obvious if the seals in it are past there used by?

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    The seal kit's cheap and you have it on order anyway. So, why not do it? Sort of like replacing the water pump when you do your timing belt.

    Recommendations for suspension service are all over the place. Your manual probably says every 40 hours. A lot of people do it annually. Some do it as-needed.

    Has your fork always traveled through just part of its travel? Or is this a new issue?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Unfortunately I don't know, I never noticed it before, but I also never really took notice until recently.

    I was told two weeks on the seal kit yesterday, but just got a text today saying it arrived so I'll ask about an O-ring kit when I go pick it up. Also off to buy a 24mm socket so will check the spring soon.


    Also read the manual a bit more carefully, it's a different amount of fluid in each side of the lower leg, it's 5ml in the drive side and 15ml in the non drive side. I can't remember 100% but I think it was the other way around when I took the lowers off so maybe it was set up wrong in the first place?

  17. #17
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    Ok, took the spring out and had a look, I believe the red marks mean medium?


    Also noticed this little mark, should I be worried about it at all?


    And lastly, all back together, lifted myself off the ground putting my gull weight on the forks and about 93mm of travel.


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