Saturday, March 31, 2007

36 Bits

Following on from mrNixon's recent improvement, Dozer noticed that his 18 month old Fox 36 bruiser was perhaps a little sticky during our recent visit to Cannock. Although it wasn't notchy his Talas adjuster didn't seem to have it's full range of adjustment and as it's well overdue for a 12 month strip down and it's endured two British winters we decided it was time to treat the big brown bouncer.

After reviewing the owners manual and identifying that a strip down DIDN'T need any special tools we set to popping it apart. All that's required is to remove the two fixings at the base of the lowers, give 'em a tap and simply slide the lowers from the uppers. Have a drip tray handy though as the "open bath" lubing system should drain out once they're separated. In this case one leg seeped oil with the other offering up just a few drips. Wipe everything down making sure any nasty grit has been eradicated before you contemplate putting it back together. Pay particular attention to the wiper seals and foam rings. Sliding the lowers back on, stop just short of feeding the fixings back through so you can squirt the required amount of lube that constitutes the open bath. Nip everything back up, put it back on the bike before testing and setting up the compression/rebound which will most likely need a tweak. All in all, it'll probably take you about an hour the first time and half that once you're familiar with the routine.

From the pic you can see that I removed the fork from the bike but this isn't strictly necessary. I just prefer removing it as it's easier to view and clean everything plus I get an opportunity to check and clean the headset, stem, etc.

The benefits of a regular service schedule are many, not least a reliable and better ride but you'll also reduce the likelihood of an expensive repair bill. Your shock(s) are the most expensive components hanging from your rig, so look after 'em. Now winter is behind us (hopefully!) it's a great time to bet your bouncer back on form for a long summer of fast trails :p

Don't be put off servicing your own bouncer, all it takes is a little care and now the tinterweb has a host of useful guides to help you along. Here's just a couple to get you going; EnduroForkSeals, Fox.

But before you dive in, checkout your manufacturer's manual for the tools required, correct oil weights, volumes/heights, etc; Fox, Magura, Manitou, Marzocchi, Pace, Rockshox.

PS: I take no responsibility if after being "inspired" you go and bust yours !