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  1. #1
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    Maintenance free suspension fork?

    Is there such a thing? I'm thinking of getting a troll or fat bike frame at some point, but the thing that bugs me is that I do not want a QR up front with a disc brake. Plus some suspension could be nice to have really.


    Does anyone know what the maintenance intervals on the new Magura coil forks is like? They're supposed to be longer than most I gather.

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    I don't think there is such a thing as a maintenance free fork. They are all about the same. I love my Leftys, but they do require the occasional bearing reset.... and that is not something I would want to do in the field. It has to stay clean in there. That would be the only one I would think is different. Heck, Matt Lee rode Tour Divide on one, I figure it's good enough for my 30 mile, 4 hour rides.

    That said, seems to me that a coil sprung fork will still work fine if it lost all of its hydraulic fluid. That is, you can still ride it. An air sprung fork has the potential of developing a leaky air seal, making it sag all the way down to the bottom.

    I actually run an old Reba Race 29er fork (1st generation) on my bikepacking bike. I got the fork for basically free because it was leaking air, and I figured I could service it, replace seals and I would have a cheap fork for a second (actually fifth) parts bin bike. Turns out the insides were so badly scored from neglect that even with new seals it would not hold air for more than a couple hours.

    I ended up buying a Revelation U-Turn coil spring kit and I converted it to coil. Cost me like $50 for the U-Turn coil spring kit, but was well worth it. I probably sank $75 into the whole fork trying to resurrect it. No biggie.

    The fork feels great, is crazy plush, but is now kinda heavy...hence, not on any of my regular XC lightweight bikes. Fine for a 40+ pound loaded hardtail for bikepacking trips!

    BTW, QRs and disc brakes are fine together. Just use a decent quality QR and you're fine. I had a long bunch of crap QRs, and I can tell you that Shimano are the best ones. Mega clamping power, and they don't slip. Of course, a thru-axle style is stiffer.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Is there such a thing? I'm thinking of getting a troll or fat bike frame at some point, but the thing that bugs me is that I do not want a QR up front with a disc brake. Plus some suspension could be nice to have really.
    I live in BC and ride regularly winter and summer. I've been servicing my Fox Float 36 once per year. It's on year 5 and doing great. I'm really impressed by how little maintenance modern forks need.

    I haven't paid a ton of attention to the issue, but a lot of folks run suspension forks on the GDR and their are lots of trip reports out there to gauge how well various forks are handling touring use and how often they get serviced on a long ride like that.

    If the Surly Dirt Wizard comes to pass in 29 x 2.75" I'll be putting a RS Reba on my Krampus for bikepacking use.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  4. #4
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    Maintenance free fork?

    Sure, if you want an odd duck euro fork,

    Eurobike 2013: Lauf TR29 Fork ? 990 Grams, 60mm of Travel | Mountain Bike Review
    Amolan

  5. #5
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    I wonder what that will cost.

  6. #6
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    Do any of you know if that is balistic carbon fiber?

  7. #7
    dirtbag
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Do any of you know if that is balistic carbon fiber?
    From the posted linky:
    “The springs are also very tough. This S2 glass fiber material is used in tank armor so it is really strong against sharp hits like from rocks.”
    Amolan

  8. #8
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    I saw that, but that was just the springs.

    Also, why don't they just make covers that are sealed, like with hose clamps or something, just above and below the stanchions but don't touch them like the lizard skins? Seems like that would keep the dirt out and lower maintenance quite a bit.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Also, why don't they just make covers that are sealed, like with hose clamps or something, just above and below the stanchions but don't touch them like the lizard skins? Seems like that would keep the dirt out and lower maintenance quite a bit.
    They used to but the covers rarely actually kept water and dirt out - instead it trapped it inside with the stanchions and seals doing more damage than good.

    Modern fork seals are amazingly effective and long lasting. They are also relatively easy to replace.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  10. #10
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    I thought that was just those lizard skins that caused the dirt to rub the fork because they touched the stanchions.

    Seems like they could seal it off it they really wanted to.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    I live in BC and ride regularly winter and summer. I've been servicing my Fox Float 36 once per year. It's on year 5 and doing great. I'm really impressed by how little maintenance modern forks need.

    I haven't paid a ton of attention to the issue, but a lot of folks run suspension forks on the GDR and their are lots of trip reports out there to gauge how well various forks are handling touring use and how often they get serviced on a long ride like that.

    If the Surly Dirt Wizard comes to pass in 29 x 2.75" I'll be putting a RS Reba on my Krampus for bikepacking use.
    You're going to fit that tire with that fork? Let me know how that works out for you.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    You're going to fit that tire with that fork? Let me know how that works out for you.


    Here is a Knard on a Stan's Flow rim in my RS Reba RLT. Minimal clearance, but it just works. Same tire on a Rabbit Hole just makes contact with the fork and won't spin.

    I'm hopeful the Dirt Wizard at 2.75" vs. 3" allows enough clearance to work without taking a dremel to the fork brace.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  13. #13
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    I thought that was just those lizard skins that caused the dirt to rub the fork because they touched the stanchions.

    Seems like they could seal it off it they really wanted to.
    Yeah, but where would the air go when the fork compressed?

    Cannondale leftys solved this with an air filter vent kinda thing, but that is another point of maintenance.

    The no-boot/wiper seal thing on modern forks is the best solution. It's so good newer Leftys had a major redesign to incorporate it.

  14. #14
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    Maintenance free suspension fork?

    Action-tec, custom built.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by D_Man View Post
    Action-tec, custom built.

    Is this a joke?

    WTF?

    "The Pro-Shock is designed to use standard 1.25" threaded head set "

    Is that site even legit? I mean, the fork looks like a cheap department store fork and doesn't even have disc mounts.


    This isn't one of those things where you post a fake website to load peoples PC's with viruses is it?

  16. #16
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    Action-tec is absolutely the real thing. I'm not sure about the current status of the company though, the website is obviously dated.

  17. #17
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    Are we seeing the same thing? Crazy neon colored shock covers? And a fork with a walmart like "pro shock" or something similar on the fork legs in font just like walmart would use?

  18. #18
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    Low-maintenance fork

    If your are looking for a low-maintenance fork, the linkage-type PARAFORKs Spezial and FreeCross by Christian GUSIC may be an option.


    PARAFORK Spezial


    PARAFORK Spezial


    PARAFORK Spezial

    Three threads about PARAFORK models (dunno any thread about Christian´s linkage forks in English forums, so unfortunately in German only, but lots of information):

  19. #19
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    That reminds me of the A:German forks (they really need a better name for their company.).


    But how is it lower maintenance? It seems like the bearings would make it higher maintenance.

    Also, what's up with those bars? What are they all about?

  20. #20
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm6 View Post
    If your are looking for a low-maintenance fork, the linkage-type PARAFORKs Spezial and FreeCross by Christian GUSIC may be an option.


    PARAFORK Spezial


    PARAFORK Spezial


    PARAFORK Spezial

    Three threads about PARAFORK models (dunno any thread about Christian´s linkage forks in English forums, so unfortunately in German only, but lots of information):
    Really? In what world does 10 pivots and an air shock become 'maintenance free'? Seems like all the parts of a regular air fork, plus 8 cartridge bearings that are prone to crudding up in the field. At least if it had a coil shock (which can probably be swapped in fairly easily) then it would at least be rideable if it failed.

    Gotta say, tho. It does look super plush. I wonder how it reacts to twisting under heavy braking? It looks like they didn't bother to make any sort of bridge between the two legs, other than through the shock linkage and the axle... and I gotta say, 5mm QR axles hardly resist any kind of twisting.

  21. #21
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    I would rather use a commonly available fork that a LBS is going to have parts for or that can be easily sourced should an issue occur.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
    www.vikapproved.com

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post


    Here is a Knard on a Stan's Flow rim in my RS Reba RLT. Minimal clearance, but it just works. Same tire on a Rabbit Hole just makes contact with the fork and won't spin.

    I'm hopeful the Dirt Wizard at 2.75" vs. 3" allows enough clearance to work without taking a dremel to the fork brace.
    Nice pic! I have been wondering about the dirt wizard as well. I run spec. purgatories 2.4's on the velocity p-35's. BIG volume as well. Running and older reba ( 09?) with some room to spare. 8mm maybe.

  23. #23
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    I just bought a Manitou Tower Expert (aka Marvel Comp) for my 29er build. From what I've read on here and confirmed with the Manitou techs, it should be basically maintenance-free if you don't use the air-sprung preload. If you weigh more than 160 lbs, you'll probably use the preload, in which case you'll need to maintain it every couple years.

  24. #24
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    To original thread starter,
    Recently I was on REI web store and remembered this thread.
    REI has on sale currently a R.S. Coil/Oil Sus. Fork for approx. $175. I was surprised, spec. weight is just over 4# which was lighter than I expected. I suspect you will find a coil/oil to be lowest maint , very functional , less costly with the trade off typically more weight. But 4#'s + is not bad and just a couple full water bottles,cages over a steel rigid fork.
    You may want to have a look.
    Enjoy the outdoors........

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