Fork and Shock Cleaning
Be very careful about which fluid you use to clean and lubricate your fork stanchions as not all oils are suitable. I use the same Teflon Finish Line Dry as I use for the rest of my bike. This also comes in an aerosol spray, but I find spray lubes hard to control and it always seem to end up in places I don’t want it.
Make sure you check with the store that what you’re buying is suitable for fork stanchions.
Be aware of the potential for spillage when applying fluids to your fork seals. Any kind of lubrication is going to have negative consequences for your brake pads (rim or disc brakes). Drip a small amount of lube at the front of the stanchion where it meets the seal. Allow it to run around, covering the whole seal, and then manually depress the forks. When they come back up the lube should have picked up most of the dirt from the seal and the stanchion, leaving a ring if there is a lot of dirt present. Using an up-and-down motion, gently wipe this ring away with a folded tissue or a soft cloth and repeat the process a couple of times until there’s no more dirt in the lube that has been pushed up the stanchion. You can apply more lube to the stanchion via a tissue or cloth. The Finish Line Dry can be left for a while to dry out (it goes matte) and then buffed away with a clean, dry tissue or cloth.
Remember to get in between to fork crown and the stanchion/seal, gently wiping to pick up and dust or grime. A cotton bud is perfect for getting into this typically awkward space and clearing away dirt and excess lube. Any excess lube left on the fork is only going to attract more dirt. A good stanchion lube will bond to the anodising, so you’ll get the best level of protection by wiping all excess fluids away.
A variation of this process can also be used for a rear shock.
Depending on frequency and type of use, suspension components should be fully serviced an average once a year. For information on servicing/overhaul of forks, take a look through the Shocks & Suspension forum of MTBR. There are several experienced and competent DIY’ers on the forum who will happily assist with fork overhauls, especially those produced by Marzocchi and Fox. Assistance with suspension set-up is also readily available.
Beyond the air seals on some air shocks, the use of compressed nitrogen in rear shocks typically makes them unserviceable by anyone other than approved service centers. In the UK, Mojo are the authorised Fox service center for work carried out while the suspension is under warranty. I give my suspension to Tim Flooks Tuned Shox (TFTuned) for servicing (and PUSH tuning). It is always my pleasure to recommend this small but friendly and immensely professional company to anyone who needs suspension servicing or custom tuning.
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