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Old 04-11-06, 11:22 PM   #1
penanaut
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Shock Fork Shaft Covers: Have a purpose or no?

I have noticed while cleaning by commuter hardtail MTB that its a pain to clean the accordian shaft covers. I thought about cutting them off because I see that many of the newer bikes are being sold without them. Do they serve a purpose other than looking like you have a mini version of a motocross motorbike fork? TO cut or not to cut.
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Old 04-11-06, 11:37 PM   #2
urbanknight
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As far as I know, they help to keep dirt out of the fork's internals. Not sure how well it contributes to this cause, though, because it sure isn't sealed nearly as tightly as the seals around the fork legs.
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Old 04-12-06, 06:59 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanknight
As far as I know, they help to keep dirt out of the fork's internals. Not sure how well it contributes to this cause, though, because it sure isn't sealed nearly as tightly as the seals around the fork legs.
Fork boots would tend to blow up a bit, like a balloon, on the compression stroke, if they were sealed tightly. That said, there needs to be a small air hole in the boot to prevent this. Unfortunately, it will then tend to suck dust and dirt inside, essentially defeating its intended purpose. I beleive that is the basic reason most shocks now come without boots, coupled with the fact that the slider seals do a pretty good job of sealing out dirt. Lose the boots. But keep in mind that all forks will need periodic cleaning/servicing anyway.

Last edited by kenhill3; 04-12-06 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 04-12-06, 01:03 PM   #4
penanaut
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Thanks for the good feedback. I didn't know that about the maintainance. I guess it should be a no brainer but I have never had issues with that part of my bikes. Now I won't worry when the plastic starts to brittle.
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Old 04-12-06, 01:16 PM   #5
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if you're talking about the boots on a standard suspension fork (rock shox, fox, marz, manitou), then those boots are totally expendable. now, if you're talking about the sealed rubber boot on a cannondale lefty, or headshock fork, those are necessary to keep dirt, water, and other trail gunk out of the fork bearings (not the headset bearings) and races. if the fork bearings get contaminated, they will need to be replaced, which is expensive, and the fork will have to go back to cannondale.
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