how many of you service your suspension according to spec?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    how many of you service your suspension according to spec?

    Or something close to manufactures recommendations? I see a lot of posts that lead me to think MTB'ers think they should ride there suspension components until they don't work and then fix them. When in reality it's preventive service, and should be maintained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab
    Or something close to manufactures recommendations? I see a lot of posts that lead me to think MTB'ers think they should ride there suspension components until they don't work and then fix them. When in reality it's preventive service, and should be maintained.
    It's cheaper to service components before they break... Sorry but we live in a lazy, cheap , disposable society

  3. #3
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    If you ride alot like I do (around 200km/12 hours per week ) its very hard to service suspension according to the recommended ride-time intervals. I think my SIDs should be serviced every 50 hours which would mean every month for me. I do an oil change and internal inspection every three months (150 hours) and so far they've got 10,000km on them and still ride like new on the original seals and bushings. I do use a fully synthetic for oil which may help. Even after 150 hours the oil always looks like new.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld
    If you ride alot like I do (around 200km/12 hours per week ) its very hard to service suspension according to the recommended ride-time intervals. I think my SIDs should be serviced every 50 hours which would mean every month for me. I do an oil change and internal inspection every three months (150 hours) and so far they've got 10,000km on them and still ride like new on the original seals and bushings. I do use a fully synthetic for oil which may help. Even after 150 hours the oil always looks like new.
    You at least get it. I get the feeling if you stretched it to 200 hours once and it looked like sludge you wouldn't push it that long again.

  5. #5
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    Manufacturers guidelines are just guidelines. The best thing to do is inspect it and determine when it needs serviced.

    If you're riding in really crappy conditions you might need to service it more. If you ride in the dry and clean you might not need to service as often. etc etc.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Manufacturers guidelines are just guidelines. The best thing to do is inspect it and determine when it needs serviced.

    If you're riding in really crappy conditions you might need to service it more. If you ride in the dry and clean you might not need to service as often. etc etc.
    Tell this to Fox/Specialized when the Brain shock on your Stumpy Expert or Epic fails 2 years into ownership and you have no proof you maintained it as per the schedule.

    Re: the OP question, I try to stick to the recommended schedule. I like the resulting reliability and function and the fact I may have warranty help should something fail inside the warranty time frame. My mechanic told me the other day that I take the most regular care of my shock and fork of all the bikes he works on.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Tell this to Fox/Specialized when the Brain shock on your Stumpy Expert or Epic fails 2 years into ownership and you have no proof you maintained it as per the schedule.
    Meh, I'd just fix it myself and keep on riding. Machines are built to serve us, not the other way around.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dougal
    Meh, I'd just fix it myself and keep on riding. Machines are built to serve us, not the other way around.
    Gee, I wonder how *cough* www.dougal.co.nz *cough* you could fix it yourself?

    Since most of us don't have a suspension tuning co. in our spare bedroom, we tend to rely on the manu's warranty assistance.
    Sometimes, you need to go fast enough that the trail is a blur to find clarity. -- Wild Bill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Gee, I wonder how *cough* www.dougal.co.nz *cough* you could fix it yourself?

    Since most of us don't have a suspension tuning co. in our spare bedroom, we tend to rely on the manu's warranty assistance.
    Oh I've fixed a lot of stuff in my bedroom before. It's amazing what you can do with only a few handheld tools.
    Owner of www.shockcraft.co.nz, Mech Engineer, Tuner, Manitou, Motorex, Vorsprung EPTC, SKF, Enduro
    www.dougal.co.nz

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malibu412
    Gee, I wonder how *cough* www.dougal.co.nz *cough* you could fix it yourself?

    Since most of us don't have a suspension tuning co. in our spare bedroom, we tend to rely on the manu's warranty assistance.
    Suspension maintenance and repair does not require a well equipped workshop, but just a few handheld tools and a vice. If you really wanna go overboard in equipment, make a test stand for the rear shock, and that's about it.
    Sure a better equipped workshop will speed up the process, but you can get away with very few tools.

    Even tuning the suspension is possible with kitchen table technology. Service manuals are free and available for most suspension systems, counting out Fox rear shocks, which you'll have to search a bit to find. Parts are also fairly cheap and available, again counting out Fox rear shocks.
    So all that you really have to consider when buying a shock you want to maintain yourself, is to stay away from Fox. Rock Shox spares are available just about anywhere, same goes for Manitou. I have no experience with Marz. but it can't be all that bad, or people would have complained about it.


    Magura

  11. #11
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    I just did a complete tear-down and re-build of my 07 Lyrik Solo Air. Had always just done basic oil changes (at least once a season) and replacement of anything that went bad. A few o-rings here and there over the years.


    The only oddball tools that most folks may not have kicking around: snap ring pliers and the socket size to fit the top caps. bought them both years ago, and they have been of great use. The snap ring pliers on several other forks.

    Man, what a difference! So smooooooooothe feeling. At least with Rock Shox stuff, the spare parts lists, service manuals, diagrams, etc. are all on line. Makes it very easy. Example: the wavy washer on the air spring side was busted in half. The diagrams online made it very easy for me to be sure and put the new one in the correct spot. Nice.
    Florence Nightingale's Stormtrooper

  12. #12
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    The only thing really difficult to repair on forks are the bushings inside the legs. Doing these requires special tools. But usually by the time you reach this point, the fork has probably been replaced already.

    Other than that, servicing can be done on your kitchen table with basic tools.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TigWorld
    If you ride alot like I do (around 200km/12 hours per week ) its very hard to service suspension according to the recommended ride-time intervals. I think my SIDs should be serviced every 50 hours which would mean every month for me. I do an oil change and internal inspection every three months (150 hours) and so far they've got 10,000km on them and still ride like new on the original seals and bushings. I do use a fully synthetic for oil which may help. Even after 150 hours the oil always looks like new.
    Same here, I'd be pulling apart my fork all the flippen time. I do think if you have "better than factory" seals you can go a bit longer, as the enduro seals I've put on 2 bikes far outlast the stock ones.
    Also, not riding in terrible muddy conditions helps a bunch too.

    I end up servicing my fork & shock usually once/year. No issues.

  14. #14
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    I service my 2011 Fox Van 36 as recommended for oil changes, which works out to around once a week. I ride and live in Whistler, last thing I need is to have to replace a $1,000 fork because I didn't want to spend 10 minutes swapping the bath oil.

    I service the damper 1/3 as often as it dictates, just because it's an involved process and, really, I'd basically have to overhaul the fork once every month which is lame.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab
    Or something close to manufactures recommendations? I see a lot of posts that lead me to think MTB'ers think they should ride there suspension components until they don't work and then fix them. When in reality it's preventive service, and should be maintained.
    Yeah, that drives me up the wall as well, especially when they create a thread asking why their fork isn't working, only to find out it hasn't been serviced in years.

    I currently run Fox on all my bikes, and they are serviced more frequently than recommended, with the oil being changed every 30 hours of riding, and that's with Enduro seals installed. Changing the oil takes me all of 15 leisurely minutes and about $2 in oil. That's a small price to pay to keep an expensive fork working like new.

  16. #16
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    Depends on how good your forks are, RS's just keep riding them, AM2's ride in cold wet weather and oil change time, fox's can be similar.

    I'm generally in the fix it when broken mindset, it works out cheaper than fettling it all the time and risking fecking it up, and time spent fiddling is time spent not doing something else.

    Not that I still don't spend all my time fettling.

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