1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46

    What to do with a 02/03 Rock Shox Psylo SL/Race?

    I posted a bit earlier on this forum about my first mountain bike project, where I restored this old specialized M4 with 8 speed XTR:


    I'm now trying to decide what I'm going to do with the fork. It appears to be an 02/03 Psylo Rock Shox SL Race model, which uses the Pure damper.

    The good: Both U-turn and rebound adjusment are functioning.

    The bad: I rigged the remote lockout knob up to a friction shifter, and the compression/lockout adjustment doesn't work. In addition, I am not getting full travel out of the fork (I get a few cm when the U-turn is at 80 mm travel, plus the additional differential travel I get from adjusting the U-turn to 120 mm), so I'm short about 50-60 cm of travel.

    I was hoping you folks could help me decide the best fate for this fork. As I see it, here are my options:

    1. Keep the fork and get it serviced (new oil+seals) before riding it. I'm guessing this is an $80+ expense. My worry is it would be a lost investment if the fork is beyond servicing.

    2. Ride it as-is for now with ~50-60 mm of travel, and put money into a new fork when needed, rather than trying servicing the Psylo.

    What do you folks think? Information that would help me decide:

    - Is there a way my LBS can check the condition before servicing at lower cost? Or is the work to tear things down and examine + put back together already approaching the amount of work required to do the service?

    - What level/price of new fork would approximately match the performance of a well-functioning Psylo SL? I don't want to put in $100 of service, when I could spend double that to get something similar/better new. On the other hand, if a similar new fork is going to cost $300+, I would gladly spend $100 to get a season or two of use from the Psylo.

  2. #2
    Redcoat
    Reputation: Brockwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    957
    Thing is thought its not really working as it should. That is constantly going to play on your mind also. I know i wouldnt be able to live with that but that may just be me. If you are going to eventually put money into a new fork when needed you may as well do it now and improve your ride through a well working fork.

    Say over the next year you keep this fork on and you get 6 months of decent riding out of it. Decent but not as good as it could be, then you have to get a new fork anyway. the rest of the year you get 6 months. May as well get a working fork and get the full good 12 months.

    I would just go pick something like this up for 130 bucks.

    New SRAM RockShox XC28 100mm 26" Fork 1 1 8" Disc Canti | eBay

    job done.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Do you think the XC28 will be on par with the serviced Psylo, performance-wise (assuming that the Psylo can in fact be serviced)?

  4. #4
    Redcoat
    Reputation: Brockwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    957
    I mean, the xc28 is a lower end fork today but back in 2002 when your psylo came out it would have been seen as a really good fork, and i do believe on par with the psylo definitely. Both are coil, lockout and recoil adjust. Not too mention if in the future you had a common issue with the xc28, there would be more availability with parts and easier to get fixed.
    I think your psylo has had its day. dont regret ploughing money into it when you could have got a brand new one that you know works and will do for some time. You will prob get a warranty with the xc28 so months down the line you can use that. if your psylo goes wrong again, you just have to fork (no punn intended) out more money.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Thanks Brockwan, that's definitely good to know. If by servicing the Psylo I am (in best case scenario) ending up with an out-of-warranty XC28 level fork, I might as well put that money toward the new XC28. In reality, I can probably afford something a bit better, and may ride the Psylo this winter until I find a great deal on something.

  6. #6
    Redcoat
    Reputation: Brockwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    957
    good thinking. theres good deals now with new stock coming out for 2014 and there will be through December into January.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DiRt DeViL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,519
    Use it until you can afford a new fork, had one back in the day and beat the heck out of it.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    546
    Even though it's old, I'd still say it's better than an XC28TK. Not a whole lot better, but enough that'd I'd rather pay to have it rebuilt than buy a XC28. XC32 is a different story though. Personally, I'd rebuild it myself, just for the experience. Worst case, you have to buy a new fork, which it sounds like you're going to do anyway. If needed, you can find the seal/bushing kits on e-bay and grab some cheap fork oil from a motorcycle shop. The limited travel sounds like it might have too much oil in it. Rockshox lists that as a reason for limited travel in almost all of their newer owner's manuals.

    SRAM still has the service manuals on their website, and it doesn't look that terribly hard, just a litle messy.
    Service Resources - RockShox | SRAM

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Hey watts888, you also make a good point. Also, beyond performance the Psylo Race is at least a full pound lighter than the XC28 according to information I can find online.

    Also true that I could try rebuilding myself. I got a bit intimidated by the procedure for bleeding the Pure damper, and in general I'm not sure if I have the right tools to do the job but I'll take a closer look at those manuals.

    If I plan to try servicing the Psylo myself, can I ride it in the mean time or is there a chance of further damaging it?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    995
    Most every shop I've dealt with will take a look for free and give you an estimate.
    If there's one around you with an experienced suspension mechanic, this might be something that he/she's seen before. See what they say.

    Depending what it needs, I'm almost sure I have one of those in my garage somewhere, though I don't believe it's the SL model. Sing out if you end up needing some random part for it and I can take a peak.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Thanks slaphead, I'll definitely check in if I need a part.

  12. #12
    Redcoat
    Reputation: Brockwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    957

    What to do with a 02/03 Rock Shox Psylo SL/Race?

    Thing everyone keeps overseeing is that if you pay for the psylo to be serviced how long will that last before it goes wrong again? If you look long term you are only prolonging what is inevitable. The xc28 was jus an example there's a wealth of forks to choose from.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Brockwan, I agree with your economic philosophy, and if I do service the fork I will likely do it myself and count it as a learning experience.

    Part of my hesitation is that this is my first mountain bike and I'd like to get some more miles on it before any expensive upgrades. The bike was intended as a cost-concious gateway into the sport; something that I can keep for the long run if it works out, or sell once I have a better idea of what I like. So, if all the Psylo needs is some new oil and some seals to keep it going for the next year or two (and I can do it for under $50) this would be preferable to a new fork.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    546
    I was looking for an upgrade to a friend's fork, and saw that ebay has some suntour XCR forks with v-brake studs for $100. (just sort buy-it-now forks by price+shipping and you should find them). They're from Taiway, and may take a couple weeks, but still a decent fork. Hydraulic dampened with 32mm stanchions and remove lockout. Not as good as some forks, but it would probably be an upgrade over a 2002 Psylo. Only bad part, Suntour XCR forks aren't really re-buildable. Once the hydraulic cartridge goes bad, you have to replace the cartridge.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    995
    If you can keep it running for cheap do it and save up for a replacement. You can get a pretty nice fork for well under $300 used.

    FWIW, I've found Fox stuff is pretty straightforward to work on at home, and rebuild kits are short $$. Something like this would be a nice upgrade.

    Fox Float 100 RLC Fork 100mm Travel Lock Out Rebound Adjust 9mm | eBay

    Plenty of other decent deals out there too.

  16. #16
    Redcoat
    Reputation: Brockwan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    957

    What to do with a 02/03 Rock Shox Psylo SL/Race?

    Quote Originally Posted by lyra View Post
    Brockwan, I agree with your economic philosophy, and if I do service the fork I will likely do it myself and count it as a learning experience.

    .
    I hear you. Just seen people dumping money into things and then regretting they didn't go new in the end. Hope all goes well with your psylo. Keep us updated.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Thanks everyone for all of the really great suggestions so far. I've poured over the RockShox manuals and it looks like I'll need to pick up the following items:

    -snap ring pliers (can be had for $4 on Ebay)

    -oil syringe (any recs? I'm guessing ~$5-10)

    -plastic mallet (would a piece of plywood do?)

    -5wt and 15wt fork oil: the combo goes for $8.99 on Ebay

    -Dental pick to remove o-rings ($5 Ebay) - necessary?

    -Oil soluable grease (any recs?)

    I figure I'm looking at $20-30 in tools and oil, plus additional cost if the fork needs new seals and o-rings. Will any Rockshox 30mm seals/o-rings work, or are these things fork specific?

  18. #18
    mini clyde
    Reputation: eedavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    165
    This syringe Hopkins Mfg 10111/6 Mixmizer Injector 2 Cycle Motor Oil Mixing Tool works well, is graduated in cc, and has no rubber piston head that will get damaged by whatever fluid you put through it. The piston is the same material as the barrel and seals by being a bit bigger than the barrel, the elasticity of the barrel allows the piston to move.

    I think RWC (Enduro fork seals) sell the same part. No affiliation with either vendor.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    546
    Snapring pliers. if you have a local harbor freight or northern tools, go for it. Local hardware stores or Wally mart might have something cheap too in their $2/3/4 dollar bins.

    Syringe. I'd check prices on a larger syringe from a pharmacy or a turkey injector. Probably want to get some air-line tubing from an aquarium too.

    Mallet. as long as it's not metal, it's fine. Even a tapping a chunk of wood with a metal hammer would work, but a cheap rubber mallet can be bought for about $3-4.

    Fork oil. check out a motorcycle shop. Cheaper, no shipping, and you'll have some extra for future rebuilds. I can't find it, but someone on the forum put together a nice comparison chart of the different fork oils. the number's don't mean the same thing between manufacturers.

    Dental pic. FYI, if you use this, your o-rings are toast. If the fork feels ok (no leaks and no unusual lateral movement in the fork) you might be able to get away without needed a new kit.

    I'd take it apart first, clean it, put in new oil and try it out. If it currently works well across the travel you'e got, probably just has too much oil in the tubes.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    ^Priceless advice. Thanks. What would the air-line tubing be for?

  21. #21
    Rep Power: Infinity
    Reputation: NateHawk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    11,200
    I completely agree with the idea of tearing this fork down and trying to find a fix for it yourself. What better opportunity to learn more about servicing forks than to tear apart an old and busted one, and try to repair it? Even if you only get 6mo out of it, the knowledge you've gained from the project is invaluable for future fork servicing.

    the airline tubing gives you a little more flexibility with how you hold the syringe and a little more control about the placement of the oil. Just an ease of use thing.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    2,566
    Quote Originally Posted by lyra View Post
    Thanks everyone for all of the really great suggestions so far. I've poured over the RockShox manuals and it looks like I'll need to pick up the following items:

    -snap ring pliers (can be had for $4 on Ebay)

    -oil syringe (any recs? I'm guessing ~$5-10)

    -plastic mallet (would a piece of plywood do?)

    -5wt and 15wt fork oil: the combo goes for $8.99 on Ebay

    -Dental pick to remove o-rings ($5 Ebay) - necessary?

    -Oil soluable grease (any recs?)

    I figure I'm looking at $20-30 in tools and oil, plus additional cost if the fork needs new seals and o-rings. Will any Rockshox 30mm seals/o-rings work, or are these things fork specific?
    By all means try and service this yourself and this is not meant to scare you off but...

    I've rebuilt and modded just about every fork and shock I have ever owned (means I messed up a lot) and will say this is one of the tougher ones because of all the plastic parts. Follow the manual to the "T" because you can really damage some parts if you skip a step.

    The Mixmizer eedavis recommends works very well for the bleed, fork oil cheaper at motorcycle shops, can't remember what the grease was for but waterproof wheel bearing grease will work if you on a budget, a block of wood and a framing hammer will sub for a mallet.

    The psylo is a 28mm stanchion if my memory is correct. edit; it is listed as 30mm with Enduro seal

    A couple of tips; Put a rag over the Mixmizer or you will make it rain and not with champagne. The inner sleeves are SHARP so be careful, I have sliced the shiat out of myself with them. The '02 model used a plastic "rebound head seal" , mine cracked within the first 6 months and kept cracking till they made an aluminum one in '03, if that is cracked it leaks dampener fluid into the lower leg and limits travel till it hydro locks. You probably just have a worn oring here causing your limited travel

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    More great advice. Thanks, Ratt.

    I'm going to finish off the season with the fork as-is, and break her down once it gets too cold out (probably a couple of week ends left). If it's such careful job, probably all the more reason to do it myself. As a general rule I'm much happier breaking something on my own than paying for the LBS to do it for me.

    Once I've got her opened up and know what it needs, I'll decide whether it's worth building back up, and order any parts I need.

  24. #24
    Bike Geek
    Reputation: norcalruckus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    701
    You can always use it for a 650b conversion. that Psylo would be a good place to start if you rebuild it.
    RIP AL DAVIS

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    46
    Thanks to all the great advice I received here, I went ahead and rebuilt the Psylo this weekend. I'm not sure how long the fork will last me, but I learned a lot in the process. The good: lockout now works. The bad: the left stanchion is scratched, and I still don't get full travel.

    I will say that the instructions from RS were great. Only issue I ran into was that the lowers were pretty dirty and nearly impossible to clean 100%. The damper tube and uppers were a piece of cake to wipe off. O-rings and seals looked ok to me so I just re-bled the oil in the Pure damper and replaced the oil bath on the coil side of the fork.

    Picture attached of scratched stanchion. I didn't feel any rough edges or play in the bushings, but did clean out some grit that seemed to be stuck beneath the upper seal around that area--so hopefully that will stop the scratches from progressing.

    After servicing the damper, my lockout works great. However the remote lockout top cap is a bit of a pain to set up. The bolt that holds the cable is stripped, and the spring has seen better days. So I just removed the spring, and now it functions like a knob. Below the top cap are holes for spring loaded ball bearings that could be used with a plastic knob if I can find the parts.

    Unfortunately, I think there is a slow leak in the damper. It seemed to lose a drop or two of oil when I was cycling it. Since the range of motion will be less on the bike, maybe it's a non-issue. All the seals looked good, so we'll see how long I can go before the lockout stops functioning again.

    Despite servicing, I'm still only getting about 75 cm of travel. I think its unlikely that I added too much oil (I measured exactly 30 cc with a syringe, and even then, some of that oil splashed out as I was pouring it). It's probably just stiffness in the spring (I'm a lightweight, and it's a medium spring).

    What to do with a 02/03 Rock Shox Psylo SL/Race?-scratches.jpg

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. help w/ rock shox psylo rebuild
    By mrowe27 in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 09-09-2013, 05:23 AM
  2. Rock Shox SID Brain 29 Fork Crown Race?
    By CHSAD in forum Specialized
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 02-21-2013, 06:54 PM
  3. 2009 Rock shox Reba Race
    By snaqtime in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-21-2012, 04:11 PM
  4. Rock Shox Duke Race or Dart 2
    By robpad in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-14-2011, 06:45 AM
  5. Rock Shox Psylo Pure Damping System seal head is cracked
    By Unicornz0 in forum Shocks and Suspension
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-30-2011, 02:31 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •