Extra Medium Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Louisville, Co
Bikes: Arcalis Andorra 01 custom build, Specialized Stumpy
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First of all, this sounds to me like the fork has not been maintained at all really. A fork in good condition should not just "freeze up" just because it was left out in the rain. If this was the case, no one would be able to ride in anything but dry weather. But, you can do try a few things here...
1. Remove the top caps and remove the spring/mcu assembly, then turn the fork upside down and see if any water comes out.
2. See if the fork will compress without the spring/mcu in it.
If it does...work the fork up and down while spraying some silicone based lube in and around the stanchion tubes. It is important to use silicone as it will help displace water and won't destroy any seals in the fork.
If it does not compress, you've got more work ahead. You can try to tap the stanchion tubes with a rubber mallet, but not too hard.
If this does not free the fork, you will need to have it completely taken apart and examined, cleaned and reassembled. I don't know how technically savvy you and/or your friend are, but this generally requires some special tools and a pretty good idea of how the inside of a suspension fork works. For this level of fork though...he'd be better off just buying a new mid level fork. They're on sale everyday of the week somewhere.