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  1. #1
    Singletrackmac
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    Silicone lube spray on stanchions

    Is it safe to use silicone lube spray on my rockshox stanchions? I am getting more stiction than I care for and don't want to service until the end of the season.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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  2. #2
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    I don't think external lube is a substitution for proper maintenance. I feel any external lube attracts dust / dirt.

  3. #3
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    I have a marzocchi fork that gets sticky and the recommended practice is to lift the top wiper and shoot silicone underneath it. The silicone puddles on top of the seal ( or bushing?) but under the wiper. I think spraying the stanchion would attract dirt and wouldn't last too long.

    Lizard skin boots, although not exactly the latest fashion, really help with keeping things clean and sliding smoothly.

  4. #4
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    Silicon Lube doesn't seem to attract dirt like oil does.

    I had a Marzocchi fork that recommended it and have done it to other forks too. Can't hurt.

    If your fork needs servicing and you are trying to get another few rides out of it why not try it? The worst that happens is you end up having to service a fork you should be servicing anyway...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I am getting more stiction than I care for and don't want to service until the end of the season.
    Time for a lowers oil change. Don't need a full strip down, just drop the lowers and change that oil.

    Yes it's safe to use Silicone spray, it's a good thing to use after rides to clean the stanchions and get any gunk off the wiper seals. Spray a bit on the stanchions, leave it for a second then push down on the forks. Wipe off whatever comes back up in the oil with a rag. Repeat until only silicone oil comes back up.

    Just be sure to keep it well away from brakes, it will ruin brake pads.

  6. #6
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    The two reasons for regular service are to remove the foam wipers (which collect dirt and turn into abrasion pads) and change/clean the bath oil in the lowers.

    These two things will make your fork feel sticky. I would do it right away as lack of lube is what causes stanchions to become scored and cost you a ton of money.

    Suck it up and do it now. Your fork is telling you to service it. Waiting is asking for trouble. Even if the spray works, it is likely that you have dirty foam that can hurt your fork.

    mk
    trailwerkssuspension.com

  7. #7
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    Stop being lazy and maintain your fork. It's easy and cheap to do yourself, and there are a ton of resources available on how to do it. Also, be sure to remove the foam rings and throw them away.

    Don't use lube on the stanchions since it will only attract dirt and help get it past the wiper.

    Additionally, you should be changing the bath oil every 50 hours of riding.

  8. #8
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    Contrary to what some are saying, the carrier solvent in SOME silicone lubes is very aggressive and can mess with the anodizing on the stanchions - Rockshox seems especially prone to this (don't ask me how I know this). Also, silicone won't attract dirt like some are saying, so I love it for lubing ders. And, like bad mechanic says, lose the foam rings (newer RS forks don't even come with them I'm told) and change the lower splash oil for best results (use syn automotive motor oil - better than 15w fork oil).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  9. #9
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    Silicone lube spray on stanchions

    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    (newer RS forks don't even come with them I'm told)
    My Pike (their newest fork afaik) came with foam rings.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    My Pike (their newest fork afaik) came with foam rings.
    Interesting. A lot of it has to do with the lip seal design. The guys at PUSH told me the RS forks didn't need them while the Fox forks do. Maybe RS went to a lip seal more similar to the Fox version with no cavity?

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  11. #11
    Singletrackmac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Contrary to what some are saying, the carrier solvent in SOME silicone lubes is very aggressive and can mess with the anodizing on the stanchions - Rockshox seems especially prone to this (don't ask me how I know this)
    I am using Ace Pure Silicone Liubrication. I was trying to find a lube I can get locally that is slimilar to Fork Juice. Fork Juice - 400ml - Juice Lubes

    What carrier solvent is harmful to the anodizing?
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  12. #12
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    Just service it, takes 10 min to clean the lowers and put new oil in. Add some slick grease inside when you put it back together.

  13. #13
    Singletrackmac
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    Quote Originally Posted by keen View Post
    I don't think external lube is a substitution for proper maintenance. I feel any external lube attracts dust / dirt.
    Yes, proper maintanence is what I am trying to do. According to my Rockshox manual maintanaince chart, proper maintainence requires "Lubricating dust seals and upper tubes every ride." But it does not specify what type of 'lube' to use (at least I do not see where is says what to use). I haven't been lubing the dust seal and upper lubes because when I asked my LBS what type of external lube to use, he told me I did not need to do this. He said to simply flip my bike upside down after I clean the fork for about 10 min and that would allow the internal lube to get to the dust seals and relube them. He also said I only need to bring the shock in for shop maintenance once a season, which I am approaching.

    As far as doing mainatanence myself, I bought this bike way back in '04, and rode it for 4 seasons neglecting my front a rear shocks. When I first started riding in '89 suspension was not around yet. I am able to maintain every other part of my bike, but suspension maintainence is very foreign to me. I just got back into riding last season and that's when I realized my suspension was shot from the 4 seasons of neglect from '04 to '08.

    So I bought a new fork mid season last year and have been inspecting and cleaning my shock almost every ride trying to keep up on all the 'every ride' maintainence except for the external lubing because of what my LBS told me. I am now thinking I maybe got bad advice from the LBS and am hoping a little external lubing would get me to the end of this season.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  14. #14
    Singletrackmac
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Stop being lazy and maintain your fork. It's easy and cheap to do yourself, and there are a ton of resources available on how to do it. Also, be sure to remove the foam rings and throw them away.

    Don't use lube on the stanchions since it will only attract dirt and help get it past the wiper.

    Additionally, you should be changing the bath oil every 50 hours of riding.
    Thanks. I have been reviewing the rockshox technical manual as well as checking out some you tube vids and it's getting my confidence up.

    The only tool it looks like I do not have is the 'seal installation tool'. In the tech manual this is not listed in the chart of tools needed for service, but says I will need to use one in the instructions for the lower leg service.

    What is this tool, and is there a substitute for it like using PVC pipe and tape instead of a $50 crown race installation tool to install a crown race?
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  15. #15
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    I bet you can get the seal in with your finger.

  16. #16
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    If you put the seal in the freezer for a few hours, you can push it in with a socket from a socket wrench. I don't know what size fork you have (stanchion diameter), but you pick a socket that's wide enough not to fit inside the seal, but still fits inside the lower. Turn it upside-down (open side up) and use it to push the seal into the lower.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    What carrier solvent is harmful to the anodizing?
    From Linetec's website:
    "Certain precautions must be taken when cleaning anodized aluminum surfaces. Aluminum finishes must first be identified to select the appropriate cleaning method. Aggressive alkaline or acid cleaners must never be used. Cleaning hot, sun-heated surfaces should be avoided since possible chemical reactions will be highly accelerated and cleaning non-uniformity could occur. Strong organic solvents, while not affecting anodized aluminum, may extract stain-producing chemicals from sealants and may affect the function of the sealants. Strong cleaners should not be used on window glass and other components where it is possible for the cleaner to come in contact with the aluminum. Excessive abrasive rubbing should not be used since it could damage the finish."

    Strong organic solvents are things like Toluene, xylene, benzene, etc. which they love to use in these products because they dry really fast.
    In RockShox's case, I'm fairly certain they use some sort of sealant over the anodizing because I've seen that discoloration first hand from using silicone sprays on their forks and shocks. Also, those solvents pull out the plasticizers used in fork seals and harden them which will also wear away at the anodizing. Not a good idea for long term use unless you formulate with a much more benign solvent (which perhaps they've done with fork juice?).

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  18. #18
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    Here's a product I've been meaning to try out and makes sense to me as you could even use water as the carrier for fluoropolymers: Stanchion Lube by Finish Line
    Anyone use it?

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Here's a product I've been meaning to try out and makes sense to me as you could even use water as the carrier for fluoropolymers: Stanchion Lube by Finish Line
    Anyone use it?
    I have.

    If you absolutely need to use a lube on your seals and stanchions, this is the one to use. It's safe and attracts zero dirt. However, if your fork is well maintained and broken in, it doesn't make much of a noticeable difference. I pretty much only use it if I've just installed new seals.

  20. #20
    Singletrackmac
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    Just service it, takes 10 min to clean the lowers and put new oil in. Add some slick grease inside when you put it back together.
    Done. It was unbelievably easy. I pulled the lowers, cleaned the seals, added almost 6ml of oil to each of the foam rings, greased the inside of the seals with 'Buzzy's Slick Honey Grease', put the lowers back on and added 6ml of oil to each leg.

    I went for a ride right after I serviced it and the fork felt like it was new. No stiction and the fork felt so much smoother.

    "Also, be sure to remove the foam rings and throw them away"
    I left the foam rings in as they seem to serve an important purpose which is to lube the seals and upper tubes. The foam rings soaked up almost 6ml of oil each, which is the same amount that goes into the oil bath. The fork would have a lot less oil to keep things running smooth without the foam rings. When I checked them, they were in great condition and still had some oil. I clean my forks after most rides and this might be why they didn't "collect dirt and turn into abrasion pads".

    "Originally Posted by Gman086
    Here's a product I've been meaning to try out and makes sense to me as you could even use water as the carrier for fluoropolymers: Stanchion Lube by Finish Line
    Anyone use it?"
    Looks like a good product, but I want to be able to pick up what I need locally.
    I have been using the slick grease to lube the seals after I clean the shocks the last few rides. As long as I clean the extra grease off the tubes and seals, it doesn't seem to attract anymore dirt than without the grease. Also, it is crazy dry up in Tahoe right now and the dirt floats through the air like fog, so I would defiantly notice if it was attracting dirt. I will try the Silicon spray a few more times to see if I notice a difference between that and the slick grease. But if not, I'll stick to the slick grease as it is less messy with no need to bag the disc brakes.

    Rockshox recommends 15w oil. I used 10w oil instead of 15w oil for the oil bath and foam rings. LBS guy said it wouldn't make a difference in the oil bath.
    Is there a difference in performance between the oil weights and is synthetic going to make a difference???

    Thanks for the push to service the fork myself. It was very satisfying. Next will be a basic service on my Fox RP23.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

    "I only had like two winekills captain buzzcooler"

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Here's a product I've been meaning to try out and makes sense to me as you could even use water as the carrier for fluoropolymers: Stanchion Lube by Finish Line
    Anyone use it?
    This stuff really works - for the first fifteen minutes of the ride anyway.

    If you follow the instructions (clean - apply - let dry - reapply) the stuff creates really smooth coating on stanchions but the effect wears off very soon. I've been using the same tiny bottle for years as I apply it only after fork service.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Done. It was unbelievably easy. I pulled the lowers, cleaned the seals, added almost 6ml of oil to each of the foam rings, greased the inside of the seals with 'Buzzy's Slick Honey Grease', put the lowers back on and added 6ml of oil to each leg.

    I went for a ride right after I serviced it and the fork felt like it was new. No stiction and the fork felt so much smoother.

    "Also, be sure to remove the foam rings and throw them away"
    I left the foam rings in as they seem to serve an important purpose which is to lube the seals and upper tubes. The foam rings soaked up almost 6ml of oil each, which is the same amount that goes into the oil bath. The fork would have a lot less oil to keep things running smooth without the foam rings. When I checked them, they were in great condition and still had some oil. I clean my forks after most rides and this might be why they didn't "collect dirt and turn into abrasion pads".

    "Originally Posted by Gman086
    Here's a product I've been meaning to try out and makes sense to me as you could even use water as the carrier for fluoropolymers: Stanchion Lube by Finish Line
    Anyone use it?"
    Looks like a good product, but I want to be able to pick up what I need locally.
    I have been using the slick grease to lube the seals after I clean the shocks the last few rides. As long as I clean the extra grease off the tubes and seals, it doesn't seem to attract anymore dirt than without the grease. Also, it is crazy dry up in Tahoe right now and the dirt floats through the air like fog, so I would defiantly notice if it was attracting dirt. I will try the Silicon spray a few more times to see if I notice a difference between that and the slick grease. But if not, I'll stick to the slick grease as it is less messy with no need to bag the disc brakes.

    Rockshox recommends 15w oil. I used 10w oil instead of 15w oil for the oil bath and foam rings. LBS guy said it wouldn't make a difference in the oil bath.
    Is there a difference in performance between the oil weights and is synthetic going to make a difference???

    Thanks for the push to service the fork myself. It was very satisfying. Next will be a basic service on my Fox RP23.
    When properly serviced the foam rings aren't needed. The big problem with them is they're separate from the bath oil (unlike in a Fox) so the oil gets used up quickly and they trap dirt and hold it against the stanchion. If you're cleaning and re-oiling them after every couple of rides they're fine, but you're not really giving up anything by removing them and just filling the cavity with grease.

    For the bath it's best to use a heavier and clingier oil. Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil is a good choice.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    When properly serviced the foam rings aren't needed. The big problem with them is they're separate from the bath oil (unlike in a Fox) so the oil gets used up quickly and they trap dirt and hold it against the stanchion. If you're cleaning and re-oiling them after every couple of rides they're fine, but you're not really giving up anything by removing them and just filling the cavity with grease.

    For the bath it's best to use a heavier and clingier oil. Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil is a good choice.
    Exactly!
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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