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  1. #1
    7am Backcountry ;- )
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    How often do you service your forks?

    Got some new Pikes on the way and apparently

    " RockShox is claiming that the Charger damper requires an impressively lax 200 hour service interval (they say 100 hours for BoXXer damper), and that the design's extruded bladder should be essentially trouble-free for a very, very long time. If the Pike's longterm reliability can match its performance, RockShox will have hit a home run.
    "


    My rides are usually 3 hours, so after 66 rides i'll need to service. Is this better than the norm, or a little over the top?
    [SIZE="1"][SIZE="2"]i can't ride for sh*t but i'm good at extreme pushing[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  2. #2
    Mr. Knowitall
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    This is just the charger damper. You still "need" to change bath oil every 50 hours. It is really fast and easy to do, though.

  3. #3
    7am Backcountry ;- )
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    How many people do actually change the bath oil every 50 hours though?
    [SIZE="1"][SIZE="2"]i can't ride for sh*t but i'm good at extreme pushing[/SIZE][/SIZE]

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by capoz77 View Post
    How many people do actually change the bath oil every 50 hours though?
    God knows.

    I change the lower oil in my Revelations every three months and don't count the hours, sometimes it's less than 50, sometimes it's a lot more.

    It's important to keep on top of it (and to learn to do it yourself) since bushings and upper assemblies are really expensive, plus your fork just works better with fresh bath oil.

    Alternatively, buy a Coil 55 and service it once a year.

  5. #5
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    About once a month my fork gets new bath oil. Shock gets cleaned and the air can seals are greased. Averages out to around 30 hours.
    You paid a lot of money for nice suspension, why would you want it to perform poorly? Yes, the fork and shock work MUCH better with fresh oil/grease.
    Last edited by Scotth72; 07-27-2014 at 10:42 PM.

  6. #6
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    I will pull my fork apart (lower service) when I notice a decrease in sensitivity (when it gets sticky). Sometimes it is 50 hours, sometimes more, sometimes less. I do the damper every other time as well. (RS Lyrik) The air piston side is easy enough so I do that at the same time as the lower service.

    I figure that with high performance bikes, maintenance is a necessity if I want the performance that I am accustomed to. It really does not bother me too much. I enjoy doing it.

    At least once a year I will pull the entire bike apart and go through it. This is just to make sure everything is in good shape.

  7. #7
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    Once a year. Though it should be noted that I have 3 bikes with Manitou forks. For the riding I do they recommend once every 6 months or so, which works out to about once a year with the riding season we have.

  8. #8
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    How often do you change the oil in your cars shocks?

    If a damper doesn't have any wearing surfaces (everything is a hard surface running on a bushing) or other things contaminating the oil, then there is no reason to change it.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz and NZ Manitou Service Agent.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    How often do you change the oil in your cars shocks?

    If a damper doesn't have any wearing surfaces (everything is a hard surface running on a bushing) or other things contaminating the oil, then there is no reason to change it.
    Heat and contamination deteriorate the oil. Most dampers either leak or ingest oil. Regular maintenance is needed. Follow the manufacturers guidelines.

    Most people don't change their cars shocks as often as they should. They are pretty much crap right from the factory. That is a different discussion, however.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    Heat and contamination deteriorate the oil. Most dampers either leak or ingest oil. Regular maintenance is needed. Follow the manufacturers guidelines.

    Most people don't change their cars shocks as often as they should. They are pretty much crap right from the factory. That is a different discussion, however.
    How much heat do your bike forks/shock experience? Very very few reach even warm to the touch. An even smaller sub-set of those actually get the oil hot.

    Most people don't know their cars have shocks.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    Heat and contamination deteriorate the oil. Most dampers either leak or ingest oil. Regular maintenance is needed. Follow the manufacturers guidelines.

    Most people don't change their cars shocks as often as they should. They are pretty much crap right from the factory. That is a different discussion, however.
    If this was a common issue people would be noticing premature damper seal/stanchion wear.

    If you want to go beyond assumptions, you could measure heat and contamination in your fork and shock to prove it, or not.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    If this was a common issue people would be noticing premature damper seal/stanchion wear.

    If you want to go beyond assumptions, you could measure heat and contamination in your fork and shock to prove it, or not.
    So the manufacturers guidelines are a bunch of nonsense, and the fork really lasts forever with no maintenance? Tell that to the multiple people I have ordered new CSU's for because they didn't do their maintenance. The Fox dampers that need new bladders because they ingest the bath oil, get overfilled and explode. The Pike only using 5ml of bath oil to keep their bladder from overfilling.
    Just because you never maintain your suspension and get away with it does not mean that is the norm. When I empty a fork, the oil is ALWAYS discolored. Usually from dirt. Sometimes from aluminum. Shocks usually fare better, but I have seen some sad air can seals, and shock stantions ano rubbed right off. These are not assumptions. These are actual cases of suspensions that have been destroyed due to lack of maintenance. If you want to gamble with your stuff, go right ahead. Just please don't tell people on a public forum that maintenance guidelines should not be followed. Especially because you "believe" that the service intervals come too often.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    So the manufacturers guidelines are a bunch of nonsense, and the fork really lasts forever with no maintenance? Tell that to the multiple people I have ordered new CSU's for because they didn't do their maintenance. The Fox dampers that need new bladders because they ingest the bath oil, get overfilled and explode. The Pike only using 5ml of bath oil to keep their bladder from overfilling.
    Just because you never maintain your suspension and get away with it does not mean that is the norm. When I empty a fork, the oil is ALWAYS discolored. Usually from dirt. Sometimes from aluminum. Shocks usually fare better, but I have seen some sad air can seals, and shock stantions ano rubbed right off. These are not assumptions. These are actual cases of suspensions that have been destroyed due to lack of maintenance. If you want to gamble with your stuff, go right ahead. Just please don't tell people on a public forum that maintenance guidelines should not be followed. Especially because you "believe" that the service intervals come too often.
    Straw-man argument? Giving the worst possible outcome as the status quo. A never maintained fork/shock is not evidence for/against 20/50/200/whatever hour servicing.

    FSR-XC didn't advocate not maintaining suspension. Rather he (rightfully) challenged your assertation that oil was breaking down due to heat and contamination.

    I have a 14 year old Manitou Xvert here and the oil in the damper is still clean. The maintenance you've mentioned above is bushing lube and air-sleeve, yet you refer to oil breakdown from heat which is only a damper problem.

    BTW, I've never found dirt inside a fork. The only dark contamination I've seen comes from within. The worst you ever get in past the seals is tiny amounts of water. Unless you've done something very badly wrong.
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  14. #14
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    It pretty much is the status quo in the area where I ride and work. The worst possible outcome? The suspension either has anodizing or it doesn't. If it doesn't, it is ruined.
    If you have never found dirt inside a fork, then you must live in some seriously clean riding areas. In the desert dirt gets by the seals.
    As far as the maintenance argument, we agree to disagree. The maintenance schedule is posted by the manufacturer. If you choose not to follow it that's up to you.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    If you have never found dirt inside a fork, then you must live in some seriously clean riding areas. In the desert dirt gets by the seals.
    How do you know it's dirt getting past the seals? Oil analysis for silica content?


    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    The maintenance schedule is posted by the manufacturer. If you choose not to follow it that's up to you.
    Clearly.
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  16. #16
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    I am starting to learn how to work on my own forks as it is better to have complete control and understanding of it so I can deal with it's performance and issues directly instead of hoping someone else figures it out. ...or have them not figure out thus causing more downtime (which could be up to a few weeks) as they correct the problem.

    I have 2,680 miles on my X-Fusion Slide 29, 1,785 miles since the last time the lowers (and maybe air spring) were apart for travel adjustment. I have no idea how many hours that is unfortunately (however i'm sure it is a lot lol) as Strava doesn't track that for bikes/components, only miles.

    I just had my recon rebuilt because one of the wipers busted out of place and it started sagging further into travel it seems. It still seems weird on the travel front so I must investigate.

    Anyways, regular maintenance does keep things in good condition and working well. It's hard to figure out what a good interval is for that though without being too frequent or going overly far.
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  17. #17
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    With my old Manitou Nixon I am changing the bath oil every 8-10 months and I have not changed the damper oil in years.

    And when I drop my lowers, the bath oil that comes out is clean and I have no real idea if I have lost anything. I check the damper oil every now and than but it never changes so I no longer even bother.

    My wife runs an old Hydro coil Judy that has had almost nothing done to it since 2000 and it works great. This is an open bath fork as well.
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  18. #18
    What?
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    I change my bath oil twice a year, Once at the beginning of the riding season and once halfway through. I rarely change damping oil though, there is very little need to do so since the oil is contained in the stanchion and will see very little if any contaminants.

  19. #19
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    Once a year for me, I also bleed out the brakes so all fluids are new.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by capoz77 View Post
    How many people do actually change the bath oil every 50 hours though?
    you should! My Fox 36 had 25h oil change (more often than my rockshox revelations), and the previous owner didn't bother. First weekend at N* park riding and I got super sticky dirt on the stanchion. Upon inspection it was solid dirt inside and I had to replace the seals (leaking after oil change) - good thing it didn't damage the stanchion or bushings.

    After that I religiously did every 25h or so - only take 10-15min if you don't drop it all off - and that's with 30ml on each side and I can tell color/thickness change. The Pike I now have ONLY uses 5ml on one side, so I'm keeping on top of it. You spend a lot on suspension so learn to change your oil - it works a lot smoother as well.
    I've yet to do a damper oil change though as they are closed and don't contaminate. Harder to get right not not have air in them.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by adumesny View Post
    you should! My Fox 36 had 25h oil change (more often than my rockshox revelations), and the previous owner didn't bother. First weekend at N* park riding and I got super sticky dirt on the stanchion. Upon inspection it was solid dirt inside and I had to replace the seals (leaking after oil change) - good thing it didn't damage the stanchion or bushings.

    After that I religiously did every 25h or so - only take 10-15min if you don't drop it all off - and that's with 30ml on each side and I can tell color/thickness change. The Pike I now have ONLY uses 5ml on one side, so I'm keeping on top of it. You spend a lot on suspension so learn to change your oil - it works a lot smoother as well.
    I've yet to do a damper oil change though as they are closed and don't contaminate. Harder to get right not not have air in them.
    The most vital part of a periodic service is removing the legs and cleaning the seals?

    Draining and refilling the oil bath isn't achieving much of anything.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal View Post
    The most vital part of a periodic service is removing the legs and cleaning the seals?

    Draining and refilling the oil bath isn't achieving much of anything.
    the dirt/particles tend to gravitate to the bottom where they get drained out. When you refill the fork inverted, you send brand new fluid to the sponge to lubricate the ring and bushing (I can see the tubes get wet after this) so it does work pretty well. Sure it's better to take them off, soak the sponge in oil (I find mine usually not that dirty even when oil looks bad) and grease the dust cover, but it works and can be done more often as a flush is quick without risk of damaging the springs on the dust cover, etc...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by adumesny View Post
    the dirt/particles tend to gravitate to the bottom where they get drained out. When you refill the fork inverted, you send brand new fluid to the sponge to lubricate the ring and bushing (I can see the tubes get wet after this) so it does work pretty well. Sure it's better to take them off, soak the sponge in oil (I find mine usually not that dirty even when oil looks bad) and grease the dust cover, but it works and can be done more often as a flush is quick without risk of damaging the springs on the dust cover, etc...
    The dirt particles are packed into the seals. The only way to remove them is to pull the lowers and clean out between the seal lips.
    Cleaning the seals like this is the most important part of a service. You have to do something seriously wrong to damage the springs on the seals.

    If you see the tubes get wet with oil, then your seals are leaking and need either cleaned or replaced.

    The discoloured oil is almost never dirt. It is accumulated wear particles from inside the fork.
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