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  1. #1
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    Rock Shocks with air valves WON'T hold air...

    Hello, please forgive my 'Newbie" sounding question...(But I am new...), to Mountain Biking!!!

    I ' traded ' some computer 'stuff ' for a 199? Cannondale CAD 3 (Bright Yellow), and in GREAT working condition, except the front suspension, which is, what I believe is, Rock Shocks up front (I don't know what model they are).

    They have air valves under the caps. I tried to put air into them and the moment I remove the compressed air filler tube, the shocks go ' flat' ! Which tells me that they need to be rebuilt (or maybe replaced...)!

    I have done VERY LITTLE "off-roading " or Mountain Biking with my Mountain Bike (I'm sure I could give you "Good sound reasons"...or Reasons that sound Good...)! Anyway, I would be grateful for any information or direction that any of you would care to point me!

    I'm 50 yrs. old, 5' 10" tall, 275lbs. "returning" college student. And I ride this Mt. Bike from my apt. to my community college (about 1 mile in each direction). I really enjoy my morning and afternoon 'commute' on my Cannondale CAD 3! (No more morning/late afternoon traffic nightmares)! My semi-long term goal is to lose, at least 75lbs. by the end of next summer riding this Mt. Bike!

    ________________________________

    Thanks for your time...Donald_D

    "Owning/Riding an nice Mountain Bike is like dating a Super Model...Sure She has expensive tastes, complains a lot, and very demanding...but damn...She is a Super Model!

  2. #2
    TNC
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    Well, a couple of things. First, you're too old to ride mountainbikes, so this post is a no-starter. Second, you're too old to go to college, so you can forget about that commute.

    LOL!...OK...just pulling you leg a bit there!

    I'm taking from your description that the shock apparently inflates...that is the fork legs extend...but then deflates. To start, what type of inflation method are you using? Can you tell where the air is supposedly escaping from?...the schrader valve, the fork seals? It will help greatly if you can give the specific brand and model. There should be some fine print in addition to the Rock Shox decal. Your description of the bike being a '9?...there's a good chance the fork isn't worth fixing or parts may not be available...assuming the service or repair to get it going will require any special parts.

  3. #3
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    The air valves should/could be just a schrader valve. These are the same as all car tires, and the 'core' of the valve can be unthreaded and replaced. If the air is indeed comming right back out the valves, that would be a good place to start. Go to an auto parts store and pick a couple valve cores as well as the little wrench to put them in ($5 total).

    Are you sure air is going into the fork? What are you using for a pump? Any chance your school has a bike shop??? They might be a good source for some help.

  4. #4
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    TNC; I thought that I would die because of natural causes, maybe hit by a bus...NOPE, it will be college Algebra (or Biology, Statistics...), you get the point! Get the bloody alphabet
    out of my mathematics...

    O.K., I have no ideal what shocks I have. They have been sanded down, and painted Bright Yellow! NO decals at all! I believe the shocks are inflating. I am using the local bike shops air compressor. The air valves are schrader valves. What year was the Cannondale CAD 3 introduced? I want to believe that this is a 1996/1997?!? The bottom of the shocks, where the axel goes through, has a allen bolt on each shock tube. I will listen when I put air into the shocks to determine just where the air is escaping too. I'm not opposed to replacing these shocks! Just not sure what is available for a "semi-starving" college student...(O.K., I'm NO where near starving...), thanks much, Donald_D

    davep; Yep, the air valves are schrader valves. I'm just not sure that is where the air is escaping!?! But, I like the ideal of just replacing them just to see (and it sounds very reasonable, price wise)! And, YES, air is going into the forks, because they, the forks, extend when I apply the air (from the air compressor down at my local bike shop), which went out of business sometime in the middle of summer! My local community college is more interested in upgrading their 50 "plus" year old campus! (No bike shop...)!
    Thanks much, Donald_D

  5. #5
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    You *must* inflate a shock with a shock pump. These are very small air volumes you are pressurising. A shock pump is designed to close the schrader valve off while the connection tube is still pressurised; once the schrader valve has safely trapped your pressure in the fork, further untwisting of the connector releases the trapped pressure from the hose.

    If your LBS is using an air compressor for suspension, then they are a bunch of clueless muppets - no wonder they went out of business. The connector you are using will be designed for tires, where a little bit of escaping air isn't important. USe a proper shock pump and you may discover that all is fine with the fork.

  6. #6
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    Hello petercarm; Hey thanks for the info! I did not know (or think about), how the air was "installed" into my forks (shocks), via - shock pump...(very small air volumes)!

    Makes sense. The local bike shop had a air connection right up front of the shop. I would stop-by, fill-up or 'top-off' my tires (around 85lbs. I believe), and one day the two guys who worked there (I don't know if one or both were bike mechanics), looked at my front forks (shocks), and told me that I needed air in them.
    Them both tried to get the air to 'stay' inside of my shocks, but no luck. I think I will go over to (Chuck's), Pacific Coast Cycles (now located in Oceanside, CA), and see what he thinks!?!

    Thanks much...Donald_D

  7. #7
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    Here's my update on those "old" Rock Shocks w/Air Valves

    So, heres what I have done regarding my "old" Rock Shocks w/Air Valves. I took my Bright Yellow Cannondale CADD3 over to Chuck at Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside,CA .
    And after he tried to install some air into the front shocks, he took them all apart. ' We' found that there were O-rings inside that had what looked like 'skirts' on the bottom of the O-rings. He said that he had never seen anything like them before. We tried a few different O-rings and nothing worked.

    So, I asked him if he had a pair of good front shocks that he would recommend for a guy that is 5' 10" and 275lbs.! He told me that he had just the thing. A new pair of Rock Shock Judy TT. These have springs...no air! He installed them and called me on the 21St. of Nov., and they were all installed and, and he replaced the bearings on the headset, my tires were all aired up and he even lubed the chain.

    Wow, my Bright Yellow Cannondale CADD 3 rides and feels GREAT!!!

    Oh, I almost forgot to memtion, I went for a nice kinda long ride on Thanksgiving Day (because I have chosen NOT to spend time with my family on Thanksgiving Day...leave it to family to ruin a Good holiday...), anyway, I fell while turning into my apt. driveway!

    I proceeded to bury the left part of the handle bars into my left side (yep right at my heart)!
    And I had to fall Late, on Thanksgiving Day...

    I took myself to the community clinic and they took some X-rays, and YEP, I fracture a rib!

    Dank, it is really sore, and I can't seem to find a comfortable position, at night, when I 'try' to sleep!

    Yep, those NEW front shocks are going to stay new for sometime to come!!!

    More/Later...Donald_D

  8. #8
    TNC
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    Don, while the Judy TT may not be a top drawer fork, it is so far ahead of that dinosaur you had on the bike that indeed I'm sure it feels great. You already fell over and hurt yourself?...in the driveway? I warned that you were too old to ride that bike...LOL! Due to your advanced years, I'd recommend body armor. I'm 56 and here's a pic of me dressed for my 3 block commute to my job. You can't be too safe at our age. Be careful out there.

    Seriously though, glad your shop hooked you up with a fork to get you going. Have fun.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    You look VERY serious in all of your armor...

    Hello TNC;
    Yep, "...in my apt. driveway!" You know accidents happen within 5 miles of your home...

    Crap, I go for a nice ride, about 5/7miles (away from my apt.), not a fast ride, not trying to set any land speed records! Heck, I haven't even worn off the little nubbies on my brand new slick (road tire...not a lot of tread), that I purchased over a year ago! And I get all the way back into my driveway and I fall...

    Anyway, I really did NOT know which front shock to go with, he Chuck, the shop owner knows the kinda rider I am (an Annual ride will just about do it for me...), NO, I'm kidding!
    I have read about a lot of 'other' front shocks (you know the ones that all start with " M " I can never pronouce them, nor do I know which ones to look into)!

    Hey, wait a minute, I bet I could have asked some of you all, right here on this fourm!?! So now you know just why I'm failling College Algebra (College Biology, College Chemistry, College Statistics, etc.,...), I need to learn to ask more questions!!!

    And Hey, if 50 is the new 30...why do I feel 57!!!

    More/Later...Donald_D

  10. #10
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    An update from Donald...

    Hey TNC;
    O.K., so here's the lastest...

    My 'rib(s)' are healing, VERY SLOWLY, but they are healing! I have found a "new" way to sleep, all propped-up in bed!

    I HAVE gotten back on my bright yellow, Cannondale CADD3 F1000(I think its a
    F1000)...with the new Rock Shocks Judy TT and it does feel and ride very well!

    I got too lookin at the bill, and thought at first, WOW, this is kinda pricey! $255.48...
    Judy's TT, $199.99, labor $40.00! I have been lookin on eBay, and have seen Judy's TT for a whole lot less!!!

    At least I think I have the TT shox!?! The new shocks are black, with the name Rock Shox on top of the shock, and the name JUDY on the bottom, written sideways, from the bottom of the shocks. The letters TT appear on the "arch" behind the brakes, between the shocks tubes.
    That's why I believe I am the proud owner of the most pricey Judy TT's!

    I just happen to stop-by the bike shop that did the R&R on my forks, and I saw my "old" Judy's all cleaned-up, and the air valves replaced (and they were "on-sale" for $275.00, installed)!

    I found out that the old Judy forks had an air kit in them (Englund Total Air Kits) !

    I'm not sure just how I feel about this!?! Kinda like I've been taken advantage of...

    Anyway, the weather here in San Marcos, CA has been nothing short of PARADISE (and now the threat of three BIG rain storms are on there way), but, I have had been on the bright yellow Cannondale more than three times (YES, in the same month...) ! ! !

    More/Later...Donald

  11. #11
    TNC
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    Good to hear that you're at least enjoying the bike a bit...and at that price, you'd better...LOL! They're selling your old fork for $275? Man...those guys know how to turn a profit...LOL! I actually have a set of those Englund air carts in a Rock Shox Indy SL fork on a commuter bike. They aren't a bad setup for those old models.

  12. #12
    Tonight we ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald_D
    I'm not sure just how I feel about this!?! Kinda like I've been taken advantage of...
    That's exactly how you should feel.

  13. #13
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    Its been a while...

    O.K., its been a while since I've posted or replied (7 months and 12 days...) ! My big Yellow CAD 3 Cannondale was leaking air out of both the front and back tires.

    I thought I'd try "Slime" ! I do have Presta Valves and it was a bit of a challenge to get 4oz.
    of Slime into the innertubes... But I did it!

    And now, I have 60 "+" lbs. of air into my tires (I went a bit more because I am quite heavy,
    5Ft. 10in. 275lbs. ! ! ! ). Went for a ride late Friday afternoon, and the tires were holding air very well.

    This Saturday, again, late in the afternoon, I went around a few blocks with my 'friend' Ms. Becky Quinn! Yep, the World Cup Champion Points and Pursuit Rider! (A bit of a LONG story just why she is NOT at the Bejing Summer Olympics...) ! Anyway, she was lapping me for the 4TH time around the block...

    Yeah, so, the tires are holding air very well!

    I have a bit of another problem. The screws that hold a second bottle of water just spin around and around! How do I get them off (so I can mount my tire pump)?

    Donald

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