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Two-Minute MTB Fork Service with Lee Trumpore 26

Sometimes your mountain bike suspension fork needs a quick bit of service and love to keep it running smoothly. The foam o-rings at the top of the lowers do a great job of retaining oil and keeping grit out, but sometimes they can get dried out. Lee Trumpore runs you through a fast, effective way to make your fork feel smooth again.

***THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR RECOMMENDED FORK SERVICE.***

See Lee's custom-painted Yeti SB150 with SRAM AXS.

Credit: Lee Trumpore

sspomer sspomer 3/12/2020 12:39 PM

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Anyone else waiting for oil to go everywhere when the lowers were pulled up too much? I usually flip mine and give the fork a couple of pushes to get the oil flowing to the seals, seems to work for me. If I am going to the trouble of getting tools out, I am going to do a full lowers oil change.

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Love this. Riding in fine dust six months of the year, stiction builds up pretty good over time. I've tried the oil change without taking off the lowers with minimal improvement, but your techniques hit the right points. I've also tried the oil under the dust wipers (short term solution) and oil on the stanchions (very short term and dust collector). Looking forward to trying this out.

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There's a good chance this method will only have a minimal effect for you then too.

You'll likely be better off by just doing more frequent lower services... just replace the foam rings, not the seals.

Or even better just get a coil conversion and then get rid of the foam rings like we all used to do with the old Marzochhi 55 rc3ti

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Super cool Lee, thanks for the write up. Looks to be something you could do in-between full services to keep the fork feeling good.

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This is close to a regular leg service.
If you want it very lazy, just slide a ziptie lip through the wipers to pass all the seals and put drops of oil slowly in them til they don't absorb anymore.

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I still can see the outline of a Hayes rotor on my calf when I get a good tan from straightening my bars in a rock garden (before direct mount stems).

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Why not just leave your bike upside down for a few minutes, allowing oil to seep down to those foam rings? Why the need to slide the lowers (almost) off?
Loris suggests this at 0:35 and (with a twist) at 5:52:
https://youtu.be/ydDguzJkj7k

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Bingo. Turning a bike upside down is good idea too, but can take a while or not really flow too well past the bushings especially if its cold. Notice in the video no oil comes out when I purposely lifted the seal past the stanchion? That's not because there isn't any in there, this fork is maybe 5 rides in to a rebuild, it just hasn't made in that far even after being upside down for about 10 minutes while shooting.

Don't care for it, have your own routine, prefer to leave service to your shop, don't regularly clean/lube the lowers already, then feel free to disregard this. But, I should add I learned it from a suspension tech who will remain nameless back in the early years of the EWS when sites were remote and race support, service, and supplies were far more limited than they are now. When you have to work several weeks out of a suitcase in tiny european hotel rooms or the back of a rental car in field somewhere, you have to get creative sometimes.

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I finally tried this and it took no time. I was just barely able to do it without removing my brake caliper. Fork feels better, and I think the total time needed was maybe 5 minutes. Feels like cheating, and I don't know why this would be a bad idea.

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Now that the usual pearl-clutchers have weighed in about crush washers and the dangers of lubricating with lubricants how about give it a go and report back how it went (crazy idea, I know). Let Spomer and I know if we get to stay off the kill list for another year.

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Thanks for making the video. Definitely some interesting tips. Maybe a stupid question, but did you release the air in the fork first?

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You don't need to if you are just removing the lower legs. But you would definitely need to release the air if you were going to unthread the top of the airspring.

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I just once want someone to show how to change out fork oil in the dark on a cold winter evening on the front porch(that the missus is still pissed about all the chain lube drips being on) with the wrong tools and stuff falling between the slats into the leaves underneath and digging around in the leaves with a tiny headlamp and refrigerator magnet desperately hoping to find the piece of crap metal (was it even steel) so you can ride with you buddies stupid early the next day.

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The worst thing I dropped between the slats was a pawl spring from a set of Mavic Crossmax wheels. Pulled part of the deck apart trying to find that guy. Stupid human.

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Same, but I don't usually travel with fork oil and some people still find that part daunting, messy, and/or time consuming. Also, that might not qualify as being lazy enough. The point is not to replace or avoid service, but to keeping them feeling as fresh as possible in between. I've found it works a bit better and lasts a bit longer than simply holding the bike upside down for 30 seconds.

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Cheers mate probably silly question but can you do exactly the same with fox 36?

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This was good for me - useful tips when faced with minimal resources. Is the Lyrik repainted too?

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