Pike Charge damper service/bleed interval?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Pike Charge damper service/bleed interval?

    How long or how many miles before the Charge damper needs some TLC?

    The reason I ask is that I've got to due some routine service and seals replacement on my Pike - which I can do myself. However, I'd rather not get into dealing the Charge damper service/bleed. So, I'll send it out for the whole service if the damper is due for a bleed.

    I've got air leaking from the air chamber into the lowers causing a major negative air spring. Releasing that air only fixed the problem temporarily, so I've got to pull the lowers and likely change the o-ring on the air chamber. The fork has 2 seasons on it and definitely needs routine service. It's not my only bike so its ridden half time, other wise I service my forks every year.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    If you want to do an actual test, pull it off the fork during the seal change and play with it with both arms, pushing and pulling. You will feel if there is air in there by gaps in the damping. Beyond that, I do a complete overhaul of all my dampers every 2 years as a matter of preventive maintenance. If I need to bleed it before two years, and there are is no obvious leaking, I'll just bleed it without rebuilding the damper. That seldom happens.

  3. #3
    DBY
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    200 hours on the charger bleed.

  4. #4
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    So...

    I think I might send the fork "out" to get a full service with a bleed of the Charge damper (which I don't want to get into).

    The few shops around don't do this and I guess they send it "out" as well. Probably directly to SRAM. Anyway I could cut out the middle man/LBS and send it to someone or SRAM direct?

    Anyone doing service on these on the East Coast? I just don't have the time anymore, and by now my garage is below freezing - makes it not that fun for detailed jobs.

    Just found these guys....

    Suspension Experts | RockShox | Western North Carolina

  5. #5
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    I just bled the charger damper a couple weeks back. If you already have the lowers off for seals and stuff, it adds maybe 20 minutes to do just a bleed. You don't need to pull the cartridge out of the uppers. This kit comes with more than enough oil and the fitting and syringe works well, no air bypass issues: RockShox Charger Damper Standard Bleed Kit - AEBike.com

    Instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nninf6lN0SA

  6. #6
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    Thanks.

    Since that bleed kit cheap, and you don't have to tear the damper apart I figured to do it myself - but am going to wait on the bleed until I order the kit.

    Well. Had a few free minutes and did the lowers and changed the seals on the air side. Pretty easy, but a bit of time. Probably not much more than boxing it up and mailing it in. Also, a lot cheaper.

    Question - I've seen this posted as being done 2 different ways... When tightening the air/damper rods at the lowers do you do it with the rods all the way out/extended. Doing it that way creates an additional positive air chamber. Seems that is the way RS recommends.

    The other way I've seen it done is with the rods fully compressed. That way when the fork is extended you get a negative air spring. Might help with that occaisonal top out clunk.

    Could split the difference and tighten the bolts with the rods half way.

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    I've explored what you are suggesting. In my experience, you can create a vacuum by equalizing with the fork bottomed out, but this vacuum is lost in less than a ride. Best to equalize with the fork topped out, it's what the engineers intended. The spring rate added by the incidental air chamber in the lowers really shouldn't affect bottom out too much unless you are having air seal issues. Since you just replaced them, I think everything should be functioning well.

  8. #8
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    Two out of the four times that I've removed the lower legs on my Pike, I've ended up with a burst Charger Damper. This blown damper, of course, leads to a fork that completely blows through its travel.
    What am I doing wrong? I try to hit the bottom bolts really really lightly when removing the lowers, but I still ended up with burst dampers twice.
    Has anyone else experienced this?

  9. #9
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    are you bursting the bladder?

    i dont see how the bottom bolts relate to a burst damper. maybe a little more detail on whats happening will help.

  10. #10
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    Yes, the bladder is bursting.
    The bottom bolt idea is just a theory I have: When I tap on the bottom bolts to release the lowers, maybe that force is bursting the bladder....?

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    so, looking at what you've said, you suspect that you are bursting the bladder just as you are pulling the lowers?

    it can't be. they is very little force, considering the short amount of travel you are causing tapping the bolts to release the lower.

    Is it possible you are tearing the bladder as you pull it from the lowers? Is there any burring in the stanchions or the assembly that could be tearing it?

    The main reasons for bladder bursting from other forks Ive found are, bladder deteriorating from incompatible oil, a bad bladder seam from the factory and bad installation. Fox used to have a similar issue and changed the bladder thickess. I have not heard of the bladder bursting as common to the Pike.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bing! View Post
    so, looking at what you've said, you suspect that you are bursting the bladder just as you are pulling the lowers?

    it can't be. they is very little force, considering the short amount of travel you are causing tapping the bolts to release the lower.

    Is it possible you are tearing the bladder as you pull it from the lowers? Is there any burring in the stanchions or the assembly that could be tearing it?

    The main reasons for bladder bursting from other forks Ive found are, bladder deteriorating from incompatible oil, a bad bladder seam from the factory and bad installation. Fox used to have a similar issue and changed the bladder thickess. I have not heard of the bladder bursting as common to the Pike.
    Okay.
    No, I don't think it's being torn. I wonder if I've had bladder seams that were bad, as you mention.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by addATX View Post
    Yes, the bladder is bursting.
    The bottom bolt idea is just a theory I have: When I tap on the bottom bolts to release the lowers, maybe that force is bursting the bladder....?
    No.

  14. #14
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    If it's a bad bladder seam, call the SRAM and tell them about it. They may send you one that is hand picked on warranty.

    Otherwise, these bad bladders come in batches. If you order from another source, you may be able to get a good one. Good luck!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by addATX View Post
    Two out of the four times that I've removed the lower legs on my Pike, I've ended up with a burst Charger Damper. This blown damper, of course, leads to a fork that completely blows through its travel.
    What am I doing wrong? I try to hit the bottom bolts really really lightly when removing the lowers, but I still ended up with burst dampers twice.
    Has anyone else experienced this?
    Dang, did it again while changing lower oil on Pike today. A steady stream of pinkish damper oil came out as soon as the lowers were pulled off.
    Now, it just blows through travel and the damper doesn't work at all.

    I really don't understand how this keeps happening to me. Am I doing anything wrong?
    Following SRAM's service manual to a T...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by addATX View Post
    Dang, did it again while changing lower oil on Pike today. A steady stream of pinkish damper oil came out as soon as the lowers were pulled off.
    Now, it just blows through travel and the damper doesn't work at all.

    I really don't understand how this keeps happening to me. Am I doing anything wrong?
    Following SRAM's service manual to a T...
    Did you remember to tap out the damper from the outer leg using a rubber mallet?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by hssp View Post
    Did you remember to tap out the damper from the outer leg using a rubber mallet?
    Yes.

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