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Thread: Bluto Stiction

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    Bluto Stiction

    I have two bikes with Bluto 120mm forks. I have always noticed my Bluto forks to have a little more stiction than other forks I have used. Does anybody have any ideas on ways to reduce this? I don't expect Blutos to be tunable like a high end enduro fork. But basic things like too much stiction should be avoidable.

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    I just bought some stanchion coating/lube from Finish Line. I haven't used it yet, but the shop rat said how much he likes it. Really keeps the forks smooth. It was cheap, $10 or so, and comes with a little application rag or sponge thingee. Might be a quick thing to try.

    On another subject, maybe, I just put a bluto on a few days ago. each hit of the fork makes a "swoosh" sound, obviously air swooshing. Is that just trapped air, or is that the actual air chamber blowing air?

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    That's like the smell of a new car. It goes away after a little while. (But the payments don't.)

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    I just put some lite chain lube by the seals before each ride, turning the bike up side down before the ride seemed to help also....you want a better fix, sell the Bluto, buy a Mastodon. Great fork

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    I use one of these filled with fork oil - use a zip tie to pull the seal lip out (and burp trapped air), squeeze in a few ml of fork oil, cycle fork, wipe off excess - away you go. I do this on all my forks on at least every other ride. Makes a huge difference, so much so, that I needed to change my fork compression and rebound settings - I even pulled tokens and increased air pressure. People are going to say that a "properly serviced fork lubricates form the inside and this step is unnecessary and will only further contaminants getting into your fork"....blah, blah, blah. Whatever - relying on a little oil and grease applied during the last service to lubricate for fork for months (years) is silly. It works...magically. Enough to make a sticky, flexy, Bluto plush and fun to ride.

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    I would advise not taking my advice.

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    I don't think the stock sticky red grease does the fork any favors. I replaced it with Slick Honey grease, which has a much more slippery texture. Much better fork performance. Doesn't last as long, so it needs more frequent applications, but it works better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    ..you want a better fix, sell the Bluto, buy a Mastodon. Great fork
    Guess what....your Manitou is going to need maintenance too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I don't think the stock sticky red grease does the fork any favors. I replaced it with Slick Honey grease, which has a much more slippery texture. Much better fork performance. Doesn't last as long, so it needs more frequent applications, but it works better.
    Exactly. Opening the fork up....putting good oil and Slick Honey will make a world of difference.
    Same with the Mastodon ( or any fork).....
    I open up almost every fork before I ride it. Most have the wrong oil level....or no oil in the lowers.
    Last edited by the mayor; 12-05-2017 at 01:42 PM.

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    I just put Enduro fork seals and wipers in my bluto plus some new oil. It is a completely different fork. Buttery smooth and no more pogo feel.
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    My 120mm bluto had a lot of stiction making it very difficult to set sag. My mechanic did a great job rebuilding everything and I think he used Fox oil and slick honey. Whatever he did, it has been super smooth for almost a year.

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    I do the same as watermonkey. Except I use motor oil to refill the foam beneath the wipers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Guess what....your Manitou is going to need maintenance too.
    Very true, I think the flexor stantions on the Bluto are half the problem with the fork. The Manitou is a much much stiffer fork. Straight tubes donít bind as much. JMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Very true, I think the flexor stantions on the Bluto are half the problem with the fork. The Manitou is a much much stiffer fork. Straight tubes donít bind as much. JMO
    After a few hundred miles...the Mastodon will start to feel crappy.(like all forks)
    It happens slowly so you don't notice it unless you have another to compare it to.
    I have taken a dozen of them apart, most new right out of the box, and only a few had the right amount of oil in them.( like all forks)

    Out of the box...the Bluto feels like crap because of heavy grease inside. HIt it with the right stuff....it's a good fork. Yes, it does flex more than the Manitou....but that's not the main problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    Exactly. Opening the fork up....putting good oil and Slick Honey will make a world of difference.
    Same with the Mastodon ( or any fork).....
    I open up almost every fork before I ride it. Most have the wrong oil level....or no oil in the lowers.
    Are there lighter viscosity fork oils for cold weather riding? Is there a favorite fork oil out there? I will try using some Slick Honey and an oil change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by endo_alley View Post
    Are there lighter viscosity fork oils for cold weather riding? Is there a favorite fork oil out there? I will try using some Slick Honey and an oil change.
    For the damper....I use Maxima Plush 3w. I use Mobil1 0/30 for the lowers

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    On all the Bluto threads I read, dire predictions abound...stiction, pressure chambers, swooshing, lack of rigidity. I have three Bluto that Iíve used on 4 different bikes. I bought all the greases and seals and other voodoo remedies for the predicted problems that are certain to occur. As it turns out, I canít relate to any of those problems...all three have worked flawlessly for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    On all the Bluto threads I read, dire predictions abound...stiction, pressure chambers, swooshing, lack of rigidity. I have three Bluto that Iíve used on 4 different bikes. I bought all the greases and seals and other voodoo remedies for the predicted problems that are certain to occur. As it turns out, I canít relate to any of those problems...all three have worked flawlessly for me.
    My Bluto has been great for a year. Works well for $200 brand new. Owes me nothing!
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    Quote Originally Posted by the mayor View Post
    After a few hundred miles...the Mastodon will start to feel crappy.(like all forks)
    It happens slowly so you don't notice it unless you have another to compare it to.
    I have taken a dozen of them apart, most new right out of the box, and only a few had the right amount of oil in them.( like all forks)

    Out of the box...the Bluto feels like crap because of heavy grease inside. HIt it with the right stuff....it's a good fork. Yes, it does flex more than the Manitou....but that's not the main problem.
    Rebuilt my Bluto with Slickhunny.... still not as nice as the Mastodon IMO.

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    I've had one on for just a few weeks. I honestly don't know what all the bad rap is, the thing works just like every other fork I've had. It slides up and down. I don't notice anything bad really. I expected it to be like one of those Suntour or SR forks on my kids bikes - bouncy, flexy, horrible crap. The Bluto has been great. One upside to all the hate is I got it new for $325 bucks, so that's good for me.

    I'm sure RockShox will update the Bluto within the next year or two, and it will be better in most every way. I lubed the legs with some Finish Line stuff, and it's as smooth as silk. Looks pretty nice too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    On all the Bluto threads I read, dire predictions abound...stiction, pressure chambers, swooshing, lack of rigidity. I have three Bluto that Iíve used on 4 different bikes. I bought all the greases and seals and other voodoo remedies for the predicted problems that are certain to occur. As it turns out, I canít relate to any of those problems...all three have worked flawlessly for me.
    Gotta agree with this guy. My BLUTO has been flawless for 4 years. Ive done nothing to it and ride all year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADKMTNBIKER View Post
    Gotta agree with this guy. My BLUTO has been flawless for 4 years. Ive done nothing to it and ride all year.
    That is great that you guys have had such good luck with Blutos. I can deal with the reported flexiness that some people complain about. I weigh around 150 or so. So I am not as big as some of the larger guys out there. And it isn't as noticeable for me. But I do notice stiction. I try to keep my seals and stanchions fairly clean. On maybe a weekly basis I will lower the fork air pressure, wet the stanchions with isopropyl alcohol, and cycle them up and down leaving (perhaps ) a ring of crud on the stations. I clean this crud off and repeat the process until there is no more crud deposited on the stanchions. This is when the forks work their best and freeist. (is that a word?) But still there is noticeable stiction. One thing where this is most noticeable is on an extended descent. The forks mash down to the lower third or even lower quarter of the travel and don't return fast enough. So on a descent, it is as if I were using a nearly rigid fork that is almost completely compressed. I can add more air pressure and get the same result except that it is higher up in the travel when the fork partially freezes. It is especially noticeable after I switch to this bike after having ridden my trail bike with a fox Kashima / float 34x140, or another bike with Kashima 36x160 fork.

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    Do not do the alcohol thing. You are just washing away the lube that's in the seals/ foam rings.
    At your weight....you won't notice the flex.
    I've had a few Blutos....and all have been pretty much trouble free over thousands of miles.
    Spending a hour once or twice a year taking it apart will keep it working fine.
    Yes...the Mastodon is a better fork....but it's also more expensive and heavier...and it also needs the same maintenance.

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