Play in fork ... need your help ...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Play in fork ... need your help ...

    Ok, the Mrs. got a lower end bike last fall, w/ a Suntour suspension fork. Anyhow on the first ride this season, a couple of days ago, she noticed some play coming from the front end. At first I thought it was the headset, tightened her up, no improvement. It was still under warranty, so I took it into the LBS to have them fix the issue. They stated they took it apart and looked at the bearings and everything checked out ok for the headset. However, the play was coming from the fork itself. And "this is normal, every fork has some play, even the higher end forks have play". And they don't want to do anything else more. Are they blowing smoke up my @$$? I have a 13 year old Roc Shox Indy fork w/ absolutley NO play. I've played w/ walmart bikes with NO play. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    What type of play?

  3. #3
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    Play like there's something lose. The same play as if the headset was not tightened down.
    Almost like a rattle sound when you bounce the front end.

  4. #4
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    dude, I recently started working in a 'beach' style bike shop and finally got to actually test ride some of the lower end forks out there... ( I am used to mid to high end rockshox, fox and a cannondale lefty)

    I would say from my experience riding I was suprised just how crappy some of the lower end forks are... if your lbs says its fine it proabably is... some of these lower end forks the stancions dont even line up with the lowers...
    What mountain bike forum do pirates use? .....



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  5. #5
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    I think I know what sound you're referring to.Have you tightened the headset cap bolt? It shouldn't be cranked down, but just a bit after you feel resistance you should stop. This helped my rattling noise go away on my 4300.

  6. #6
    IdontShootPeopleAnyMore
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    Quote Originally Posted by manoffew
    I think I know what sound you're referring to.Have you tightened the headset cap bolt? It shouldn't be cranked down, but just a bit after you feel resistance you should stop. This helped my rattling noise go away on my 4300.
    be sure to loosen the stem where it attaches to the steer tube first...
    (I was editing my response to say that but my browser crashed and you said it first!!!)
    What mountain bike forum do pirates use? .....



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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by manoffew
    I think I know what sound you're referring to.Have you tightened the headset cap bolt? It shouldn't be cranked down, but just a bit after you feel resistance you should stop. This helped my rattling noise go away on my 4300.

    Thanks, but it's not the cap, I've worked on bikes before and know a little bit about them.

  8. #8
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    suntours ship out more or less "broken". theres nothing you can really do, a lot of them arent even serviceable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    suntours ship out more or less "broken". theres nothing you can really do, a lot of them arent even serviceable.

    If that's the case, then is the LBS too lazy to make a warranty claim? There was definitely no play in it last year.

  10. #10
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    they'll just send you another one, and it'll develop play, or already have play. im sure you could push the issue and get it warrantied, but its replacement isnt going to be much better, it at all.

    id try to use it as leverage for a discounted upgrade. they might even have a dart laying around they need to get rid of.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1996Marin
    "this is normal, every fork has some play, even the higher end forks have play".
    This, unfortunately, is typical of the rubbish that bad bike shops pawn off on you when they have no idea what the problem is or how to fix it.

    If there is rocking from the front of the bike almost certainly one of four things
    1) Headset (I think you've discounted that but double check by applying the front brake, rocking back and forth with your fingers around the upper, and then the lower bearings. Sometimes no matter how much you tighten the bolt it will be still be loose e.g. if the bearing are worn or, more likekly, if there aren't enough spacers and the top cap is tightening directly onto the steerer)

    2) Fork - The idea that all forks have play is ********. On one of my bikes I have a pair of Marzocchi Z150s from 2003 which don't have a single mm of play. If there is any play the likely cause it that the bushings are worn. These can be replaced by a 'decent' bike shop or, if you're feeling confident, look on the internet for some tips and do it yourself (with a bit of preparation and the right tools and isntructions, doing any bike maintenance yourself is not so scary). Also double triple check all the bolts on the fork. Modern forks have more bonded stuff and fewer bolts, but check all the same.

    3) Brakes - Simple thing but brake bolts can frequently come loose. Check all the bots to make sure their tight, and check the wear on the pads for good measure. If you have V-brakes then the play is almost certainly coming from there - there's not much you can do about, but it's not serious.

    4) Wheel - if the play is less clunky and more 'soft' i.e. if there's a lot of forward/back movement but no clunk, it could be that the wheel spokes are loose, and as you pull the disk brake (which is attached to the hub) the wheel flexes. This is really unlikely but not impossible. To fix it just tighten all the spokes evenly by a couple of turns (tighten by turning spoke nipple anticlockwise as you look down the spoek towards the rim).

    Hope that helps, best of luck in fixing it
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  12. #12
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    You still haven't answered the question

    What type of play?

    Side to side play?
    Up and down play?
    Play when the brakes are actuated?

    Turn the wheel perpendicular to the headset, actuate the brakes and try to move the bike back and forth. Play or no play?

    Is this an air, oil or elastomer fork?
    Have you had it serviced?
    I assume it was stored inside all winter?
    JPark - 3.5- don't listen to dremer

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