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  1. #201
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    My RCT3 Damper seems to no longer be locking out or changing damping at all regardless of where it is set (open/ climb/ lockout). I haven't had a chance to check oil levels or the like, but thought I'd post here just to gather ideas/ experience from others.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    My RCT3 Damper seems to no longer be locking out or changing damping at all regardless of where it is set (open/ climb/ lockout). I haven't had a chance to check oil levels or the like, but thought I'd post here just to gather ideas/ experience from others.
    I think you already nailed it with the fluid level.

  3. #203
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    Was it working when you installed it

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    My RCT3 Damper seems to no longer be locking out or changing damping at all regardless of where it is set (open/ climb/ lockout). I haven't had a chance to check oil levels or the like, but thought I'd post here just to gather ideas/ experience from others.
    More then likely oil level..... rct3 seems to be very sensitive to that
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  5. #205
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    But a change in oil level means a leak somewhere then.....check bottom bolts for a good seal and no drips ..may need to change crush washers

  6. #206
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    Right now I have the 100mm Bluto on my Framed Minnesota 3.0. I have issues with it bottoming out easy. So would my first step be to add another black token ? I have not opened it up, but it should have 2 of them? so adding one more would make 3 ?


    I am 250 before gear so around 260. I have 155 in the shock but did not want to go any more for a few reasons.


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  7. #207
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    I weigh 240, 250+ geared up and I went from zero to three tokens in my 120mm Bluto to get it from bottoming out while still having small bump compliance. I would say add a token or two. Only takes about 5 minutes to swap them out - I started with two, then went to three. I am probably going to try a fourth once it gets warm again and I start riding harder. :-)
    I have the RCT3 damper and more tokens to add to my 100mm Bluto as well - but still waiting on my Bucksaw frame to get here. If you want to run that low of pressure, I would put in the max (four) tokens at the start. I believe I am running 200# in my Bluto with the three tokens. Before the tokens at 200PSI I would bottom out, 220 I would not bottom out easily but the fork was very stiff and didn't move very well on smaller bumps.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot View Post
    More then likely oil level..... rct3 seems to be very sensitive to that
    Thanks, Dave- that's what I've heard.

    I also picked up the Borealis/ Turnagain ETR/ O-Ring kit and plan on installing that in the next few days, so I'll have the whole fork apart either way. I don't think I'm getting fluid loss at all, but it's possible that with the colder temps, the fluid isn't flowing well and so the damper is acting like it doesn't have enough. Or something.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  9. #209
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    Ok, so my awesome friend at one of my LBS gave me 2 black tokens. I put them in, I now have 4.

    After seeing what they are, I want to know what they do, and how they work ??
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  10. #210
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    I am not sure how they work, but they make the spring rate more progressive. Air forks are more progressive than spring forks, but lots of technology and tuning has gone into air forks to make them more linear like a coil fork. This takes some of that away and makes it more progressive (harder to compress the farther down the travel it goes).

    As for the science behind it, I have no idea other than changing the air volume, like how changing oil levels or adding spacers was done on previous air forks to get the progressiveness where you wanted it.
    I know from experience that it makes a difference and works. I just don't really know how.

    :-)

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Javorsky View Post
    Ok, so my awesome friend at one of my LBS gave me 2 black tokens. I put them in, I now have 4.

    After seeing what they are, I want to know what they do, and how they work ??
    I imagine they just reduce the air volume in the fork while leaving the travel the same. in effect you can start with a lower air pressure for initial stroke and because of the lower volume of air, the pressure builds more quickly proportional to the stroke so you end with the same max pressure at the bottom of the stroke.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot View Post
    More then likely oil level..... rct3 seems to be very sensitive to that
    Stink. I pulled the RCT3 damper last night and, sure enough, oil was low. I topped it off and re-assembled, but the damper still isn't locking out. I assume the oil level is the same for the RCT3 damper as with the stock damper (service manual says RL and RLT are 71-77mm from top of crown surface - as opposed to 64-70mm for the RL3)?

    Any other thoughts from anyone?

    No leaking/ fluid loss apparent anywhere. Pogo stick fork on climbs...
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  13. #213
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    My buddy's Bluto wont fully extend the last 20%.

  14. #214
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    Bluto Tuning Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by kntr View Post
    My buddy's Bluto wont fully extend the last 20%.
    There is too much pressure in the lower leg. Open the air side bottom hex screw and release the pressure from the bottom side of the fork (there is a schrader valve inside the leg). This is the quick (but not the permanent) solution.

    I recommend to open the whole fork and change the factory grease (red sticky pm800 military grease) to eg. Slick Honey.

  15. #215
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    Wow I must just be lucky because I never touched my bluto and I think it's great. We'll, I did one ride and didn't use enough travel, so I let a little air out. Done. I may have also opened up the rebound just a hair on the first ride but I don't even recall. Haven't felt the need to touch it since, or even think about it.

  16. #216
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    Bluto Tuning Thread

    I moved to fatbikes from full susp bike with quality susp parts. Riding the stock Bluto was a bit of a shock and hence I updated my 100 mm Bluto to 120 mm with RCT3, Slick Honey and Redline fork oil and now I'm finally happy. IMO this is how RS should ship Blutos.

  17. #217
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    I had a problem with my bluto from the get go. After my first ride the 100mm had sucked down to about 70mm. So I had to take the bike back to the shop. The mechanic thought it might just be the cold air making it contract but I thought that sounded stupid. After leaving the bike there overnight they told me they had to pump up the pressure really high because they thought it was grease clogging the valve that controls the air between the positive and negative chamber. It's been working fine since but still not too sure about the explanation.

  18. #218
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    Edit: RCT3 damper and DigValve rebound damper sold.

    Phenomenal upgrade though!
    Last edited by 06HokieMTB; 03-16-2015 at 09:07 AM.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    Stink. I pulled the RCT3 damper last night and, sure enough, oil was low. I topped it off and re-assembled, but the damper still isn't locking out. I assume the oil level is the same for the RCT3 damper as with the stock damper (service manual says RL and RLT are 71-77mm from top of crown surface - as opposed to 64-70mm for the RL3)?

    Any other thoughts from anyone?

    No leaking/ fluid loss apparent anywhere. Pogo stick fork on climbs...

    Sounds to me like you're still too low on oil.
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  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by alshead View Post
    Any other thoughts from anyone?
    I assume that while pushing the damper in to the fork, it's possible that the shim stack rotates (not a fact, only my assumption) somehow so that the lock-out doesn't work, even though one has the correct oil level in the fork. So, take the RCT3 damper out from the fork again and keep it in your hands, then try to rotate the shim stack part of it (the most bottom part) while pulling it apart simultaneously (the spring resists this). Pay attention what rotating does and try to find a position, where the shim stack rests well and is properly aligned to the damper. You can also try the lock-out by using the lock-out ring and rotating it.

    Then, be careful while pushing the damper back to the fork (no excessive force needed) and after the assembly, push the fork all the way down and back up slooow-ly a couple of times (if needed, take out some pressure from the air side, to do this) so that the oil really flows through the damper. Do this with the lock-out fully open, in pedal position and fully closed.

    I ended up having the same no lock-out problem with my RCT3 once and above mentioned helped to resolve it. During one push-in, the fork stiffened and the lock-out started to work again. As a side note, the fork does not lock 100 % and I assume this is expected behaviour.

    PS. Remember to attach the lock-out ring with the "ring nut" before pushing the fork down - it's not nice to try to find two little steel balls and one little spring from your shop floor after the needle in the middle of the damper has popped out.. (been there, done that )

  21. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by villho View Post
    PS. Remember to attach the lock-out ring with the "ring nut" before pushing the fork down - it's not nice to try to find two little steel balls and one little spring from your shop floor after the needle in the middle of the damper has popped out.. (been there, done that )
    Dood I soooooo did that with mine

  22. #222
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    Been there..........

  23. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by villho View Post
    I assume that while pushing the damper in to the fork, it's possible that the shim stack rotates (not a fact, only my assumption) somehow so that the lock-out doesn't work, even though one has the correct oil level in the fork. So, take the RCT3 damper out from the fork again and keep it in your hands, then try to rotate the shim stack part of it (the most bottom part) while pulling it apart simultaneously (the spring resists this). Pay attention what rotating does and try to find a position, where the shim stack rests well and is properly aligned to the damper. You can also try the lock-out by using the lock-out ring and rotating it.

    Then, be careful while pushing the damper back to the fork (no excessive force needed) and after the assembly, push the fork all the way down and back up slooow-ly a couple of times (if needed, take out some pressure from the air side, to do this) so that the oil really flows through the damper. Do this with the lock-out fully open, in pedal position and fully closed.

    I ended up having the same no lock-out problem with my RCT3 once and above mentioned helped to resolve it. During one push-in, the fork stiffened and the lock-out started to work again. As a side note, the fork does not lock 100 % and I assume this is expected behaviour.

    PS. Remember to attach the lock-out ring with the "ring nut" before pushing the fork down - it's not nice to try to find two little steel balls and one little spring from your shop floor after the needle in the middle of the damper has popped out.. (been there, done that )

    Okay- this is awesome. I was just getting on to share my latest findings. So, I pulled the damper out again (before seeing your post) and remembered that when I had it out the first time, I pulled on the shim stack and it was possible when it went back in, it didn't line up right. SO- I started playing with it. On what I assume is the Shim Stack, there are little detents- when you turn the lockout, you can see some of these detents in the aluminum plate just below a black plastic plate that has cutouts on opposite sides. As you rotate the lockout lever, the Shim Stack/ Aluminum plate with detents rotates, exposing different combinations of the detents. Most of the detents are just small, circular pockets/ holes (but don't go all the way through the aluminum), but one is a larger cavity. I lined it up so that "Open" position was over the largest cavity and put it back together. I now have lockout in the lockout position, but "pedal" position basically also feels locked out (a little less than full lockout) and the "open" position has some compression, but doesn't feel like as much as it used to.

    Does anyone know the proper alignment for those detents in the open position? It's also possible that I topped off the oil a little too high (thinking fluid level was the problem) and this is the proper alignment. Slowerthansnot- any insight here?

    Sorry I don't have any pics. I'll probably pull it apart later tonight and I'll try to snap a couple.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  24. #224
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    With 2 tokens I'm very happy with the Bluto performance. Bombed down a rough 20 minutes descent yesterday in the snow and I thought the fork did a great job. If anything I'd like to see a Pluto (Pike plus Bluto), something stiffer and more capable!
    14 Aurum, 15 P.3, 16 Fuse, 17 T130

  25. #225
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    Bluto Tuning Thread

    Not detents at all- they're holes.

    I think I know how it's supposed to line up, but it's still not locking out when I put it together.


    There are two types of mountain bikers. Those who are faster than me, and me.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  26. #226
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    Just thought I'd share my experience with the bluto. It's been cold lately, a few 20 degree or less rides, and the fork has been feeling awful. It just feels "dead" soft and wasn't rebounding fast enough for me.
    I pulled the lowers, greased and lubed the seals and foam rings. I generally use a 10/30 high grade motor oil as lower lube, and motorex prep-m for sliding parts and seals. I also disassembled the air spring and used prep-m on everything in there. I dumped the damper oil and replaced it with a cocktail of 20cc 5 wt, and the rest 2.5 to. Get an oil height of about 75mm.
    What a difference! I can now run the damper adjustments in the middle positions and everything feels great.
    I'm very aggressive 200lb rider, who likes to jump things on the trail. I'm running 2 tokens at 105 psi, and I like light compression with fast rebound.
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  27. #227
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    ^Nice! Great report. I think the stock grease is absolutely horrible for cold temps. Hell, I thought it was bad in warmer temps. My fork was kinda sticky right out of the box, but a rebuild with Slick Honey and it felt worlds better.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  28. #228
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    I was out in 0f the other night, with the slick honey and the stock oil weight and the rebound on the fast side I thought it was working great.

  29. #229
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    Thanks for this thread. My fork was rigid at 5 F the other day, swapped the stock grease for slick honey and I had suspension today at 5 F.

    Doing the rebuild, I had a bear of a time with the snap ring. Finally got it out. The other thing I almost bodged up was the 5 ml of oil in each leg. I was happily torquing the hex bolts at the base of the fork leg and luckily I remembered I hadn't put any in. doh!

  30. #230
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    Rode mine today at 11F smooth as a baby's a,,

  31. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat907 View Post
    Rode mine today at 11F smooth as a baby's a,,
    My original plan was to go back to the carbon fork for winter but after a month on it I went back to Bluto and it's staying on.

  32. #232
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    Re: Bluto Tuning Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bdundee View Post
    My original plan was to go back to the carbon fork for winter but after a month on it I went back to Bluto and it's staying on.
    My original plan was to go back to the carbon fork for winter but after being too lazy to swap forks and riding the bluto in the snow a few times, it's staying on.

  33. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    My original plan was to go back to the carbon fork for winter but after being too lazy to swap forks and riding the bluto in the snow a few times, it's staying on.
    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to matto6 again.

  34. #234
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    Sold my carver carbon so I wouldn't be temped......lol

  35. #235
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    I have a similar setup and am going to at least try it.
    Good to see the successful rebuild info on the Bluto.

    Quote Originally Posted by matto6 View Post
    My original plan was to go back to the carbon fork for winter but after being too lazy to swap forks and riding the bluto in the snow a few times, it's staying on.

  36. #236
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    I fitted my bike with a 100mm Bluto because that's what was in stock when I went to buy. I just purchased a 120mm Bluto equipped bike for my wife and I want it the other way around. Is it easy to change the parts over over should I have a shop dot it. I think its jus the air tube but not sure what that all consist of to do?

  37. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody01 View Post
    I fitted my bike with a 100mm Bluto because that's what was in stock when I went to buy. I just purchased a 120mm Bluto equipped bike for my wife and I want it the other way around. Is it easy to change the parts over over should I have a shop dot it. I think its jus the air tube but not sure what that all consist of to do?
    Not quite sure exactly what your asking but, if you want the 120 and her the 100 then why not just swap the forks?

    However if you want to change the internals this video is exactly how to do it. Just make sure you you buy the proper airshaft for the Bluto and use the recommended oil levels for Bluto. You'll have to decide for yourself if your capable of doing the work. Good luck


  38. #238
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    A few rides with the Bluto and I have put my carbon Fatboy fork up for sale. Even a stiff Bluto is better than the carbon fork when trying to ride non groomed foot traffic trails.
    '17 Cutthroat
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  39. #239
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    Would anyone out there with an RCT3 be able to help me out with a configuration issue? I have an RCT3 that I pulled out because my fluid levels were low. While I had it out, I started toying around with it and I must've screwed up the alignment of the lower compression plate. Right now, I'm getting full open, but lockout and "climb" seem to be pretty much the same (mostly locked out). When the compression is open ("descend"), the largest port on that lower plate (aluminum plate that lines up against the black plate with an opening on opposite sides) lines up perfectly, letting all of the fluid flow through, but when it's in middle and lockout, both have two holes (ports) showing- which is why (I think) it appears to perform the same in both positions. I just need to see what a stock one looks like so I can get it lined up correctly. Thanks!
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

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  41. #241
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    ^Yup. Actually picked up the kit a week or so ago with the intent of rebuilding, but haven't had any issues with stock setup yet, so have just left it alone.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

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    Honestly, I can't imagine buying the ETR seal kit, as the coldest temp that I've ridden my Bluto with the stock seals has been somewhat -15-16 C (5 F) and that is as cold as I plan to ride. No issues in that temp.

    I do have changed the red sticky stock grease to Slick Honey and I'm currently running the fork with 5W Redline (and this is something that I recommend all the Bluto owners to do). So if one changes the stock grease to better one, selects the fork oil that suits the riding season and is ready to play around with the damping controls/fork pressure when it gets a bit colder, I see no issues using the stock seals.

    If you decide to change your oil to Redline, one thing to note is the Redline 5W's pour point that is in somewhere -20 C. Redline is a bit like water; viscosity does not change that much when the temperature goes down (at least not as much as most of the other fork oil brands), but when the temperature goes down enough, suddenly you don't have liquid anymore, but jell-o/vaseline. This means that if you stay above the pour point, you should be good to go, but if you go below, your fork will lock up.

    If you're interested in the behaviour of Redline oil, some guys in Finnish bicycle forum have been doing testing on different weights. The text is of course in Finnish, but you can see a couple of charts attached to the message. On the X-axis you have the temp of the oil before pouring and on Y-axis the time (in seconds) that how long it took for 10 ml of oil to go through a narrow syringe (without a piston, by gravity). Guys said that they kept all the oils in -21 through the night and only 2.5W and 5W were in liquid form in the morning, but there is some variation and debate on this as others have had a bit different results. Google Translator might or might not be your friend in case you want to read more from there.

  43. #243
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    I rode in 10F last night, my Bluto lost some of it's air. I haven't checked it yet to see exactly how much, but it was probably about 50% sag when sitting on it. Not a big deal assuming it airs up today. I imagine it will since it wasn't completely stuck down I know there's some air in there.

  44. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch View Post
    I rode in 10F last night, my Bluto lost some of it's air. I haven't checked it yet to see exactly how much, but it was probably about 50% sag when sitting on it. Not a big deal assuming it airs up today. I imagine it will since it wasn't completely stuck down I know there's some air in there.
    You have still the stock grease in the fork, I assume? Bluto, with the sticky stock grease, seems to have tendency to go out of balance of the air pressure between the upper and lower fork (solo air principle is that the fork should automatically balance this pressure). Air pressure goes to the lower leg, but doesn't balance back and this causes the sag to increase. I had the same, when I was running the stock setup, but problem went away after cleaning the stock grease out and putting Slick Honey in.

    If you don't want to change the grease yet, quick resolution is to take the hex screw out from the bottom of the fork in the air side and then to release the air pressure via schrader valve that can be found behind the screw (you need a narrow screwdriver or something similar to reach the valve). No need to take the tire off, just turn your bike upside down. Be careful that the air doesn't shoot the lower leg lubrication oil to your face

  45. #245
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    Thanks!

  46. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jisch View Post
    I rode in 10F last night, my Bluto lost some of it's air. I haven't checked it yet to see exactly how much, but it was probably about 50% sag when sitting on it. Not a big deal assuming it airs up today. I imagine it will since it wasn't completely stuck down I know there's some air in there.
    I had mine do that on a ride once and after letting all the air out of the upper and lower and pumping it back up it was fine and haven't had an issue since. Villho was spot on.

  47. #247
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    I have had this happen with other forks in the past. Unless it sticks down, it's usually not a problem.

  48. #248
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    Quote Originally Posted by villho View Post
    Honestly, I can't imagine buying the ETR seal kit, as the coldest temp that I've ridden my Bluto with the stock seals has been somewhat -15-16 C (5 F) and that is as cold as I plan to ride. No issues in that temp.

    I do have changed the red sticky stock grease to Slick Honey and I'm currently running the fork with 5W Redline (and this is something that I recommend all the Bluto owners to do). So if one changes the stock grease to better one, selects the fork oil that suits the riding season and is ready to play around with the damping controls/fork pressure when it gets a bit colder, I see no issues using the stock seals.
    Yeah- I don't think they're necessary unless you're having a problem. Turnagain even notes that some of the seals will be fine because the tolerance has a margin- so some are going to be fine in colder temps, while other seals/ o-rings may contract and let fluid and/or air seep through into the wrong chamber. I do think the Slick Honey helps the seals do their job a lot better, especially at colder temps, but next time I pull my fork apart, I'm going to swap the seals over just as a precautionary measure.
    "There are two kinds of mountain bikers in the world: those who are faster than me, and me."

  49. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by villho View Post
    You have still the stock grease in the fork, I assume? Bluto, with the sticky stock grease, seems to have tendency to go out of balance of the air pressure between the upper and lower fork (solo air principle is that the fork should automatically balance this pressure). Air pressure goes to the lower leg, but doesn't balance back and this causes the sag to increase. I had the same, when I was running the stock setup, but problem went away after cleaning the stock grease out and putting Slick Honey in.

    If you don't want to change the grease yet, quick resolution is to take the hex screw out from the bottom of the fork in the air side and then to release the air pressure via schrader valve that can be found behind the screw (you need a narrow screwdriver or something similar to reach the valve). No need to take the tire off, just turn your bike upside down. Be careful that the air doesn't shoot the lower leg lubrication oil to your face

    There's two valves? My bluto collapsed entirely. I tried to air it up but it didn't work. Also tried to let out all air but alas the fork was stuck with about 50% travel remaining . I returned the fork to my lbs but even they couldn't fix it so they returned the fork to the manufacturer. Still is there.

  50. #250
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    ^ Yes there are, but you can't add any air from the bottom one, only take it out. As I said, a solo air fork works so that when you add the pressure from the top valve, the same pressure balances to the bottom as well. Ie. in solo air you (should) have always the same pressure on both sides, where in dual air you can decide the pressures separately depending on that what kind of behaviour you expect from your fork. Same pressure on both sides is in most cases good enough and solo air forks simplify reaching this with only one air valve.

    Now, in Bluto it seems that quite often too much air goes to the bottom and it doesn't balance back (I say this is due to the sticky stock grease). And too much air in the bottom means too much sag that you can't get back no matter how much air you try to pump to the top (or at least you will be out of any suitable pressure scales and the fork will feel shitty). Quick resolution is to take extra pressure out from the bottom and after this to check the pressure from the top again. Long term solution is ditching the sticky "PM800 military red grease" or whatever RS calls that **** and putting something more suitable in (eg Slick Honey).

    Taking the air out from the bottom is as easy I said; if you have a right size hex key, it will take less than a minute.

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