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Thread: Stanchion lube?

  1. #1
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    Stanchion lube?

    (If there is already a thread on this sorry, but I couldn't find it when I searched.)

    I was wondering if Silicon Spray from the hardware store is an acceptable stanchion lube for my Reba? I think it would be fine since it is thin and slick but I was concerned about possibly damaging o-rings/seals. I've also got some 100% silicon spray and that is supposed to not be harmful for seals. I've read that some people use a teflon spray on their stanchions but I was curious to hear your opinion on that. Am I just better off buying some designated stanchion lube?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Rice.
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    triflow works for me.

  3. #3
    FKA Malibu412
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    Don't lube at all. Simply clean after rides with small amount of water and wipe dry or even just wipe clean with a soft cloth. The coating/surface material is a lube in itself in that it is slippery and provides little friction against the seals and wipers. There's enough lube in the sponge wipers from the splash oil or grease to give it a little extra and I sometimes store my bikes upside down to allow more internal lube to seep into the sponges. Adding extra lube only attracts more dirt and washes the lube from the wipers and seals.

    Trust this idea. I've seen a lot of stanchions that people put extra lube on and they get very gummy and stiction goes up. Mine are always clean other than a bit of surface dirt during a ride and move freely.
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  4. #4
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    I just clean it with chain lube... leave no excess.

  5. #5
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    The silicone spray will help a little bit, but does not last very long. (Same for the actual Finish Line Stanchion lube.) Also, if there are volatile solvents in it, it will be bad for the seals. If you really want to try it, spray some on a cloth or paper towel and then wipe on to minimize the amount that drips on the seals.

    What I find to work much better and last much longer is to make sure your foam rings under the dust wipers have lube on them. I use a tiny teflon tube attached to the end of a syringe to wedge underneath the dust wipers and give a little squirt of oil. Eventually this oil will work its way up past the dust wipers, and you will get oil and dirt on the stanchions. I don't find this to be a problem because the Reba dust seals are pretty good about pushing that stuff out of the way. Now I should point out that some people disagree with me on this. All I can say is that my stanchions have no visible wear from this.

    But realistically, I just leave things alone these days and let the stanchions be dry. There's only a small amount of friction increase, and if your fork feels sticky, the friction is probably from somewhere else anyway.

  6. #6
    PMK
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    Properly accomplished maintenance on the recommended schedules, if only dropping the lowers, will let you keep the seals clean, removing fine grit that will kill the upper tubes, and lets you relube the seals and seal foams if equipped.

    Over the years, people have tried all sorts of stuff. In the end it is temporary and often builds a false sense of good.

    PK
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  7. #7
    SSolo
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    Quote Originally Posted by JuniorPRO View Post
    triflow works for me.
    This. After ride, wipe down, lube with Triflow couple drops to run down each side. then cycle suspension, let sit overnight and wipe dry, my uppers show zero signs of wear after 3 years.
    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son...

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  9. #9
    inexperienced at large
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    Get your fork serviced if you don't know how to. If you think you need to lube a stanchion, you probably would be better suited servicing it. Lube is very temporary. Some people put formula D behind their seals, but I have only tried that once. Two days later I serviced my fork with some needed assistance. It's hard to consider putting lube on a fork as lasting maintenance. And to that I say get stitches, not a butterfly band aid.

  10. #10
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    I don't think it need maintenance. I'm only trying to prolong it's life. Should I not even bother then?

  11. #11
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    You do need to clean them, and they will stick less if you lube them afterwards. So... skip a step and clean them with lube, but don't leave any behind because it attracts dust. Service it at least once a year.

    Putting grease on the inside of the seals (eg. when you service it) will quickly fade as it dissolves in the oil of the lower legs. Just flip your bike around before a ride to saturate the wipers (while you lube the chain and whatnot), then clean the stanchions as described above... takes 2 mins.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natedogz View Post
    This. After ride, wipe down, lube with Triflow couple drops to run down each side. then cycle suspension, let sit overnight and wipe dry, my uppers show zero signs of wear after 3 years.
    Don't lube the stanchion. A properly maintained fork doesn't need it, and the lube will only attract dirt.

  13. #13
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    Some claim lube helps more dust get passed the seals. I'm no expert though. Clean with a glasses cleaning rag if a must.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    Don't lube the stanchion. A properly maintained fork doesn't need it, and the lube will only attract dirt.
    This is best. What you really want on the stanchions is the least amount of dirt, any oil coating on the stanchions will only make it worse.

    The very fine layer of oil already present from the oil-soaked cushions under the seals does a fine job, leave it that way. Just keep the stanchions dirt-free.

  15. #15
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    people lube sanctions?

  16. #16
    Give it a crank
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo5 View Post
    Just flip your bike around before a ride to saturate the wipers
    If flipping a bike does result in saturated fork wipers it means the oil seals are bad. The wiper cushions are between the inner oil seals and the outer dust seals. You shouldn't be able to get a drop of oil past the oil seals on a good fork in any way.

  17. #17
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    It doesnt need to go past the seals, just up to the foam ring and bushings. You mostly dont want dry bushings... A wet foam ring will bring enough oil to the bottom of the seal to stop it from being sticky. Flipping the bike isnt a bad idea.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    If flipping a bike does result in saturated fork wipers it means the oil seals are bad. The wiper cushions are between the inner oil seals and the outer dust seals. You shouldn't be able to get a drop of oil past the oil seals on a good fork in any way.
    Not all forks have the black oil seals.

    Workshop: How To Service RockShox Reba Suspension Forks - BikeRadar

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    It doesnt need to go past the seals, just up to the foam ring and bushings. You mostly dont want dry bushings... A wet foam ring will bring enough oil to the bottom of the seal to stop it from being sticky. Flipping the bike isnt a bad idea.
    ^This

  19. #19
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    If flipping a bike does result in saturated fork wipers it means the oil seals are bad. The wiper cushions are between the inner oil seals and the outer dust seals. You shouldn't be able to get a drop of oil past the oil seals on a good fork in any way.

    Wrong brand of fork. Inverting is a recommended in a single seal type fork. As also stated, it puts the small quantity of splash or bath or whatever you wish to call it lube up into the bushings, lubes the foam ring and reduces seal wear and drag.

    If you have a fork where the damping fluid is not contained by a separate cartridge assembly, such as older Marzzocchi stuff, then yes there are two seals, one an oil seal and the outer is a dust seal.

    PK
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  20. #20
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    MTN Rider is right because the fork mentioned is a Reba, which has the foam ring above the dust seal. The only thing that inverting the fork will do is possibly get some oil on the upper bushing. However, the clearance between the stanchion and bushings is pretty tight, so I don't know how oil will flow there just from tipping the fork. Usually, I would count on oil migration due to normal riding.

    I have never noticed an increase in the plushness of my fork by inverting it.

  21. #21
    PMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    MTN Rider is right because the fork mentioned is a Reba, which has the foam ring above the dust seal. The only thing that inverting the fork will do is possibly get some oil on the upper bushing. However, the clearance between the stanchion and bushings is pretty tight, so I don't know how oil will flow there just from tipping the fork. Usually, I would count on oil migration due to normal riding.

    I have never noticed an increase in the plushness of my fork by inverting it.
    Guess everyone is right, copied from the Reba manual.

    LOWER LEG SEAL REMOVAL
    Select one side of the lower 1. leg to work on first.
    Oil seal: If your fork has a black oil seal between
    the dust wiper and the upper bushing, position
    the tip of a downhill tire lever or large, flat head
    screwdriver between the lower lip of the black
    oil seal and the upper bushing.
    No oil seal: If your fork does not have a black
    oil seal between the dust wiper and the upper
    bushing, place the tip of the tool underneath the
    lower lip of the wiper seal.
    If you use a flat head screwdriver, make sure it
    has a round shaft. A screwdriver with a square
    shaft will damage the fork leg.

    Seems it could be single seal or dual seal.

    PK
    Reps! We don't need no stickin' reps!

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