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MBA TECH

Tools you’ll need


ty of
rk requires a varie
Servicing your fo eter he x
Unlocking RockShox basic tools, such
wrench , 12-mill
as a 5-millim
im
, rubber glo ves,
illi-
eter socket, 24-m opyl
iso pr
meter flat wrench l bucket, bike stand,
Fork Secrets alcohol, shop rags
, oi
l or sharp pick, fla
thead
plastic mallet, aw ll tire lever, wood or
hi
Lower fork service for air-sprung sliders screwdriver, down , fork oil and a ruler.
se
plastic dowel, grea

O
ut of the box or off the showroom floor, your bike
will ride fine, but it will not have optimized suspen- 1
sion performance. Dedicated downhillers are known
for meticulously tuning their suspension and always looking After you’ve removed
the fork from your bike
for performance advantages that come through regularly ser- and have placed the
vicing their forks. Also, well-serviced and clean suspension fork in the bike stand,
components simply last longer. use a pick and a flat-
We’ve chosen the popular 2010 RockShox Boxxer World bladed screwdriver to
Cup and will take you step-by-step through a few basic main- remove the retaining
tenance tips that will unlock improved fork performance. clip. Be sure to place
a bucket below the
Although we’re working on a downhill fork, the lower leg fork to catch the old
removal, seal servicing and lower leg installation steps will fork oil.
apply to most RockShox Solo Air trailbike forks, like the
Lyrik and Revelation, for example.
Before working on your own suspension, we recommend
checking out the tuning guide for your fork that can be 2
found on RockShox’s website. This guide is easy to under-
stand and is a good starting point for helping wrap your head
around what the moving parts inside your slider are up to
when you’re bombing a trail.

Remove the beginning and ending stroke rebound adjusters and


use a 24-millimeter flat wrench or crescent wrench to loosen and
remove the rebound shaft bolt. Remove the crush washer and
retainer from the bottom of the bolt, and then reinstall the shaft
bolt a few turns. Take note of how the rebound assembly comes
apart to make reinstallation easier later on.

Speed and style: Specialized’s


Brendan Fairclough is on the short
list of World Cup racers who have
style at full speed. In this photo,
Place a 12-millimeter socket over the rebound adjuster shaft and
Brendan and his RockShox Boxxer
against the rebound bolt. Use a rubber mallet and firmly strike
World Cup launch the GLC drop in
the socket to free the rebound shaft from its press-fit inside the
the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.
lower leg.

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Once the press-fit is
broken, remove the
rebound adjuster
completely from
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the bottom of the
fork leg.

Remove the lower leg from the fork by pulling out each upper
tube. Spray the fork legs with isopropyl alcohol and wipe down
with a clean, lint-free rag. Allow any remaining oil to drain into
the bucket. This is a good time to inspect the upper tubes for
damage. Scratches can lead to oil leaks and allow debris to con-
taminate the fork internals.

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Use a 5-millimeter hex wrench to loosen the spring shaft bolt,


and back it out four turns. Use a rubber mallet to strike the shaft
bolt and break it free from its press-fit in the lower leg. Remove
the shaft bolt completely.

Position the fork


upside-down in the
stand and allow the
oil to drain into the
6 bucket. At first, very
little oil flowed for us,
but after three
attempts to break the
rebound and shaft
bolts free from the Use a “spoon-shaped” tire lever or a large flat head screwdriver
press fit, all of the oil to pry underneath the lip of the gray seal. Stabilize the fork leg
drained into the pan. and use a downward force to remove both seals at this time.

March 2010 / MOUNTAIN BIKE ACTION 89


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MBA TECH

9 10

After we cleaned the


fork seals, we used our
homemade seal installation
tool, which is simply a piece
of 1-1/4-inch PVC pipe to
firmly press in the seals. Wipe
down the outside of the seal
with isopropyl alcohol and
install them dry. Do not use
grease for the seal installation.

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Spray isopropyl alcohol inside the fork lowers, and use a clean
rag and a dowel to wipe the inside of the fork clean. Do this a Apply liberal amounts of waterproof grease to the dust
couple of times on each side. wiper and oil seal.

INSIDER TIPS
GT’S FACTORY WRENCH
John Canepa is Eric Carter’s per- seals. The reason is that grease will Maxima, commonly found at most
sonal wrench and a factory mechan- stay in place, whereas oil will get all motorcycle shops. I prefer 3wt, but
ic for GT Bicycles. John knows the over the place if not handled 5wt is acceptable.
ins-and-outs of the RockShox correctly. Hold the lowers in
Boxxer and has given us some of a horizontal position and
his personal tuning tips for a buttery squirt about 20cc of lube
smooth fork. inside. Be careful to keep
Lubing the seals: The grease of the lowers steady, or the oil
choice is Liquid-O-Ring PM600 will drip out the bottom
Military Grease. It is smoother than holes, use a 50/50 mix of
anything else I’ve tried. Better than 3wt or 5wt shock oil with
Phil Wood, Park or anything else RockShox Red Rum. The
usually found in bike shops. It is red trick to making sure the
and comes in a cylindrical tube. I bushings have full oil cover-
have found it at select auto parts age is to rotate the legs in a
stores, but not everyone carries it. 360-degree motion while
Apply a healthy dose of grease to keeping horizontal at the
both the inner and outer seals. Do same time. You can look
this before lubing the bushings in inside the lowers while doing Factory GT mechanic John Canepa (left) helped us
the lowers. this and actually see the oil out with some of his tuning tips for the RockShox
Lubing the lower legs/bushings: cover the bushings. The Boxxer World Cup. Here he tweaks a bike setup with
Do this after applying grease to the brand of shock oil I use is Eric Carter at Mammoth Mountain.

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Gently slide the upper leg assem-
bly into the fork lowers. Be sure to
install the legs in the proper side
for the fork. Slide the legs in until
you feel the spring and damper
shafts make contact with the
inside of the legs, and then pull
the upper tubes back out a few
inches to make room for oil and
lubrication. Place the fork back in
the stand and carefully clamp the
12 fork lowers in at about a 45-
degree angle. This allows lubrica- Rotate the fork 360-degrees a few times so the oil coats the
tion to coat the inside of the fork bushings inside the fork.
lowers and bushings.

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13

Measure 20cc of a 50/50 mixture of 15wt fork oil and RockShox Slowly slide each upper tube completely into the lower leg until
Red Rum lubricant and inject the mixture inside each fork leg. the shaft threads are visible through the shaft holes. Be careful,
RockShox says 15wt oil sticks to the bushings better than lighter and slide the legs slowly, because sliding them too quickly will
weight oil, but we know of race teams that run 3wt or 5wt oil in cause oil to shoot out of the shaft bolt holes. Check for oil on the
their Boxxers. The lighter-weight oil is said to make the fork more shaft threads, and use the corner of a clean rag to dry the
sensitive and active, but requires more frequent servicing. threads if necessary.

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MBA TECH

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Install the ending stroke rebound knob, washer, and beginning


stroke rebound knob on the rebound adjuster shaft.

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Lightly push down on the rebound adjusters to access the


retaining clip groove. Place the retaining clip into the groove and
Thread the rebound damper and spring shaft bolts into the push it into place with a small flat-head screwdriver. Wipe down
threaded shaft ends. Use the 5-millimeter hex wrench and the entire fork with isopropyl alcohol and reinstall the fork on
crescent wrench to properly tighten the bolts. your bike. Voila! Your fork lowers and seal service is complete. ❏

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