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  1. #1
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    How often do you put air into a fork?

    Several months ago I upgraded my bike to a Cannondale Trail SL2 that came with a Rockshox Air Recon fork. To dial in the fork I used a zip tie on the stanchion, pumped to recommended PSI for my weight (170 lbs) and then adjusted to make sure I wasn't bottoming out on J hops and wheelies in the front yard. Worked great but I've had to add air about once a month to keep it where it's supposed to be. No big deal but I don't have a pump of my own, I have been just borrowing one from one of my riding buddies. My question is how often am I actually going to adjusting the air in my shocks? If it's a pretty common occurrence I'll pony up and buy my own. I was just under the impression that it was a "set it and forget it" type of process. I also just want to make sure I don't have some form of a leak.

    Thanks in advance folks
    If only Sikorsky made bikes...

  2. #2
    AZ
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    If working properly you should not have to adjust P.S.I. too frequently, but having your own shock pump frees you from depending on others to make simple adjustments.

  3. #3
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    If you own air suspension you need a suspension pump. I carry mine in my camelback and dial in my ride as the trail calls for it.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuCsaT View Post
    Several months ago I upgraded my bike to a Cannondale Trail SL2 that came with a Rockshox Air Recon fork. To dial in the fork I used a zip tie on the stanchion, pumped to recommended PSI for my weight (170 lbs) and then adjusted to make sure I wasn't bottoming out on J hops and wheelies in the front yard. Worked great but I've had to add air about once a month to keep it where it's supposed to be. No big deal but I don't have a pump of my own, I have been just borrowing one from one of my riding buddies. My question is how often am I actually going to adjusting the air in my shocks? If it's a pretty common occurrence I'll pony up and buy my own. I was just under the impression that it was a "set it and forget it" type of process. I also just want to make sure I don't have some form of a leak.

    Thanks in advance folks
    Yes get a pump. You should "check" the air pressure in your fork before every ride. However that doesn't mean you need to attach a pump to it to do so. Simply check the sag (the amount the fork settles into it's travel with you sitting on the bike) before each ride. Since there are only "rules of thumb" for sag you'll need to figure this out on your own. Simply make sure that your fork is set to your prefered pressure, then carefully sit on the bike in the riding position. Then carefully get off. Now measure the distance from the zip tie to the dust wiper in the lower leg. That's your sag. Make a note of it, and check before each ride. If you start getting more sag, then you need to add a bit of air.

    DO NOT use the pump to check your air pressure! The reason being is that when you attach the pump to the valve, the valve opens and air fills the hose and gauge on the pump. Shock and fork air chambers are actually quite small in volume, and attaching the pump increases that volume. Any time you increase the volume of a pressurized container, the pressure goes down. How much depends on how much volume is added. So what you will likely see when attaching a shock pump is an apparent 8 to 15psi drop in pressure from where you left it last. It also depends on the size of the air chamber, a smaller air chamber will show a larger apparent loss of pressure. This can lead you to "believe" you have a leak when you don't.

    There are also external factors that can affect the pressure in your shock. The biggest is the temperature. Just like your tires, the hotter it is the higher the pressure will be, the colder, the lower it will be. So you WILL need a shock pump to make adjustments. That is unless you want to be the annoying door knob that is always borrowing your friends tools because your too cheap to get your own.

    So, get a pump, find your sag, and check it before each ride, just like your tires, brakes, etc. If you get more sag than your prefered setting, then it's time to add air.

    Also keep in mind that once you get your own pump you'll likely have to reset your fork. The reason is that no two air gauges read exactly the same, they vary (often widely). The easy way to figure this out is to set your air pressure using your buddies pump, then double check your sag. From there let some air out and pump up the fork with your pump, adjusting the air pressure up or down until the sag is correct again. Then make a note of that air pressure with your pump. Now you can always return to the correct air pressure and sag. So you see how important knowing your prefered sag for your pressure settings can be. If you forget your pump and need to add air with a "strange" pump that doesn't read the same as yours, you can still get the pressure right by using the sag measurement method.

    Anyway, with my air forks and shocks, I usually end up making adjustments maybe once a month or so. Sometimes more often at season trasitions, i.e spring/summer, summer/fall, fall/winter, etc. where there are often large variations it temperature from day to day.

    Yeah, don't be a door knob, get your own pump!

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
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    Doesn't sound like I need to be concerned with a leak or anything, so it looks like I'm in the market for an shock pump. Any recommendations? Probably just grab the Rockshox one since I probably can't go to wrong with it.

    Thanks for the input guys.
    If only Sikorsky made bikes...

  6. #6
    rebmem rbtm
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    No need to get a Rockshox shock pump just because you have a Rockshox fork.
    Rockshox doesn't actually make shock pumps, they are made by a company named Giyo and are re-badged as Rockshox. Many other brands get their names put on these pumps too.

    http://www.giyo.com.tw/web/03product/03shock/GS-01.htm

  7. #7
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    I hardly ever mess with it & I own a shock pump. If I had to put a time table on it I'd say once every 3-4 months.

  8. #8
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TuCsaT View Post
    Several months ago I upgraded my bike to a Cannondale Trail SL2 that came with a Rockshox Air Recon fork. To dial in the fork I used a zip tie on the stanchion, pumped to recommended PSI for my weight (170 lbs) and then adjusted to make sure I wasn't bottoming out on J hops and wheelies in the front yard. Worked great but I've had to add air about once a month to keep it where it's supposed to be. No big deal but I don't have a pump of my own, I have been just borrowing one from one of my riding buddies. My question is how often am I actually going to adjusting the air in my shocks? If it's a pretty common occurrence I'll pony up and buy my own. I was just under the impression that it was a "set it and forget it" type of process. I also just want to make sure I don't have some form of a leak.

    Thanks in advance folks
    How you know you need air? Is it feeling different, or is it just different when you check the pressure? If it is the latter, keep in mind that when you attach the pump to check the pressure, you loose some pressure.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  9. #9
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    No need to get a Rockshox shock pump just because you have a Rockshox fork.
    Rockshox doesn't actually make shock pumps, they are made by a company named Giyo and are re-badged as Rockshox. Many other brands get their names put on these pumps too.

    GS-01 Shock Pump
    Thanks for the heads up I'll check them out.

    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    How you know you need air? Is it feeling different, or is it just different when you check the pressure? If it is the latter, keep in mind that when you attach the pump to check the pressure, you loose some pressure.
    I haven't rechecked the pressure just noticed my zip tie maxed out on my last two rides. I don't have a problem with getting a pump of my own. I am just a little more worried about having some form of a leak.
    If only Sikorsky made bikes...

  10. #10
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    it does seem your fork needs more frequent air than the norm- how often do you ride? i'm not sure what causes air loss in a fork.

    i adjust the air in my fork probably a couple times per year. as others said, spend the $15-$20 and get a pump but i know that doesn't answer your question about a leak- at least you can adjust the feel as often as you like though. i usually know mine needs air by seeing the rubber ring on mine get closer to bottoming out on similar trails.
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  11. #11
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    I have a fox air shock pump. I use it weekly as I change the pressure in my
    rear shock depending on where I ride.
    Keep The Rubber Side Down

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