Welcome to Probikeshop TV! Today, I’m going to show you how to maintain your forks. For this task, you will need: a plastic measuring jug, a plastic cup, an oil suction syringe, a set of wiper seals, some oil (I’m using 15w oil for my forks), some degreaser, a large tyre lever, 5 and 6 mm Allen keys, a fork seal installation tool, some special fork seal grease, a set of sockets with a torque wrench and a container to collect the waste oil. The first step is to check the adjustments even if, like me, you’re dealing with a basic set of forks. These forks have helix springs so you need to count the number of preload turns. Here, there are none. You should also check the rebound knob before you start to disassemble your forks. This will help you to make the right adjustments when you reassemble your forks. If your forks have a rebound adjustment screw, you need to remove it. That’s the case for my Rock Shox. Normally you just need
to pull downwards as there is an o-ring which holds it in place. On other fork models, such as Fox, there’ll be a threaded screw that you need
to unscrew with an Allen key in order to remove the adjustment screw. That brings us to the bottom nuts which keep the fork lowers in place. These need to be unscrewed. When unscrewing the nuts, start off by gently unscrewing one then the other, like so, before using a mallet and a socket with a 5mm Allen key bit to dislodge the cartridges. You can hear when the cartridge has been dislodged from the lower. Do the same for the right-hand lower.
You don’t have to force it as it will usually come away quite easily. You can now remove the two bottom screws. Generally speaking, when disassembling suspension parts, you need to retain a mental picture
of how the different components fit together and in which order. Knowing which pieces go on the right-hand side and which
on the left will be a great help when reassembling your forks. The next step involves removing the fork lowers, thus releasing the lubrication oil. Allow all of the lubrication oil to drip out of the lowers. Stand the lowers up in the container for a few moments to enable the fluid to drain before using a cloth to wipe both stantion tubes, the spring shaft and the damper cartridge shaft. To clean these components, you can use a specific degreaser for suspension parts or you could use break cleaner as it is well-suited to cleaning such components. The fluid is still dripping out of the lowers so I’ll leave them
for a few more minutes and set about changing the two wiper seals. Before changing the seals, finish the degreasing task
by cleaning inside the fork lowers to remove any waste oil. This is quite a strong degreaser so it should dry very quickly. Let any excess drip out before you begin to disassemble the seals. To remove the seals, I’m going to use a large tyre lever.
Levers for DH tyres are well-suited to this task. Given that the idea is to get some leverage, you could also use a spanner. Make sure that you don’t damage the inside of the fork lowers. There are many little tips and tricks for this task but the best advice is to use this type of tyre lever as it enables you to remove the seal without damaging the fork lowers. Line up the tyre lever and get in under the seal, like so. Once you’ve removed one, move on to the other. Go easy though: don’t force it. Once you’ve removed both seals, use a cloth to wipe the surface as sometimes on some of the lower-end forks
you might get some flakes of paint coming off the edges. Make sure you clean the area where the new seal will be inserted. Feel free to use some degreaser to give the surface a good clean. You can even hold the fork lowers like so to make sure that no dirt finds its way in. Give both sides a good wipe. It’s now time to clean inside the fork lowers. You could use a smooth cloth to remove any debris from inside but the best thing to use is a swab brush or a wooden stick inside a cloth. The important thing is not to scratch the guide rings and to remove
any old oil and any debris from old seals from inside the fork lowers. Give it some elbow grease to make sure that everything is clean and ready for the new seals and oil. Now that the lowers are clean, it’s time to think about inserting the new seals. This kit features some mousse as it’s designed for use on different fork models. However, I don’t need to use mousse on this particular model. Just so you know, these mousses are designed to be soaked in oil
so as to ensure permanent lubrication of the wiper seals. Insert the first seal. I’m going to use a special Rock Shox tool to ensure an optimum fit. The goal is to slot it in to the seating so hold the fork lowers firmly
and use your palm to push the tool downwards. Follow the same procedure for the second seal: use your palm and rotate it slightly to ease it into place. Now check that the seal is correctly inserted and is flush, like so. Before reattaching the fork lowers to the fork, don’t forget to grease the seals. I’m using Rock Shox’s RSP grease, which is specially designed to lubricate this component. This particular grease is miscible, meaning that it won’t become viscous when it comes into contact with oil. The product is designed to be compatible with the material used for the seals. There’s no need to go overboard but just make sure that the sides of the seal are well covered. If you can reach the guide rings, then apply some there as well. On low-end forks, you’ll usually find a large plastic guide ring on the upper end. It’s a good idea to add some grease there too. Do the same thing on the other side. It’s now time to reinsert the lowers.
Tilt them slightly to ease them back into place, like so. Don’t bring the lowers all the way back up though
as you need to inject the lubrication oil into the lower section. With this in mind, pivot the fork on the stand. I’m going to lower the stand so that it’s easier for you to see.
It’s now time to use the suspension oil. The viscosity I need is 15w according to the Rock Shox website, which also tells me the quantity to apply on each side:
6ml on the damper side and 10ml of oil on the spring side. The next step is to apply the oil.
Start by pouring the oil into the measuring jug. There’s no need to pour in too much as the required quantity is quite small. Insert 6ml of oil on the shock side, once you’ve removed any air bubbles. Insert 6ml of oil into the suspension. You shouldn’t reinsert the lowers all the way
because you don’t want the oil the get into the threaded shaft. Instead, the oil has to get right inside the fork lowers so
that it can reach the seals and coat the inside of the suspension. I’m just using lubricant oil and I need 6ml of it. Do likewise on the other side, i.e. the damper side, and insert the quantity
recommended by the suspension manufacturer, 10ml in this case. Insert the oil into the left-hand side of the fork. After you’ve inserted the oil, you can push the fork lowers back into position, thus making the two shafts visible: the damper shaft and the spring shaft. The goal is to remove any oil or grease which may have built up
inside and to make sure that the screw enters a dry area. The next step is to reinsert the screws. The first screw you need, which you can easily recognise as it usually has a hole in the middle,
is the rebound screw which regulates the rebound shaft. Pop the screw in, making sure that the seal is in working order. Kits often feature a replacement seal but my kit doesn’t have one. Nevertheless, I’ll make sure that it’s in good working order as, if it isn’t,
I’ll have to replace it otherwise there might be a leak. Slot the screw in and begin to tighten it. Sometimes you may need to hold onto the lowers as the shafts may be a little further away. This is why you need to have moved the fork lowers all the way back up
and made sure that there’s no tension in the shafts. You could also tighten the compression screw as this will stop the shaft
from sliding inside the sleeve and thus making it easier to get at. Move over to the spring side and repeat the process: check that the seal is good to go and then proceed to insert it and screw it in before finishing it off with a torque wrench. The recommended torque for this model is 7.8 nm. Finish up by popping in the rebound pin, making sure it is correctly adjusted. Your forks have now been reassembled but to finish,
use a little bit of break cleaner to remove any oil from the fork lowers, just to make sure that they’re clean and to stop dust from gathering on the forks. So, that’s how to maintain a simple set of forks, including how to change the wiper seal. You need to change this component after 50 hours of riding or
for every year of use if you’re only occasionally using the suspension. I used oil as a lubricant but some more entry-level forks can be lubricated with grease. The steps are exactly the same but you don’t use oil to lubricate the steering components. You’ve successfully carried out maintenance on your forks. See you again soon on Probikeshop TV!