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Old 07-24-09, 11:31 PM   #1
MudPie
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5W-40 Fork OIl = Motor Oil

Manitou specifies 5W-40 multiviscosity fork oil for their shocks and they seem to be the only manufacturer specifying 5W-40. I can find plenty of bicycle fork oil, but just about all are single viscosity, like 5, 10, 20 weight. Motorex does offer a 5W-40 fork oil, but it's not readily available.

Questions:

1. is 5W-40 fork oil the same as 5W-40 engine oil?
2. any known and available "bicycle fork oils" compatible with Manitou forks?
3. I'm hoping the LMS (local motorcycle shop) has 5W-40 fork oil, but if not, any recommended viscocity?


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Old 07-25-09, 04:30 AM   #2
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what year fork and model?

Last edited by nitropowered; 07-25-09 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered View Post
what year fork and model?
Fork is a 2004 Manitou Black Super (Air).

An Internet search shows plenty of single viscosity fork oil, but seems only Motorex makes 5W-40 fork oil.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:32 AM   #4
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While the oil base may be similar, motor oil may contain chemicals harmful to O-rings. It's important to use an oil specific to the task. You might ask Manitou about motor oil compatibility for their shocks, otherwise stick to one designated as a fork or shock oil.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:33 AM   #5
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I don't see why you'd need multigrade oil in a fork. Multigrade oil is designed to offer certain characteristics at a wide range of temperatures. You'd see that in a car engine of course, but I can't imagine the oil in a fork would change more than a few degrees during use.
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Old 07-25-09, 08:34 AM   #6
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I'd get some 5W-30 motor oil and try that. The higher viscosity number is basically meaningless for this application - it's a measure of viscosity at high temperature, which your fork should never reach. If you want to stick with fork oil, try 5 weight. Should be basically the same.
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Old 07-25-09, 09:41 AM   #7
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Fork oi is pretty much fork oil, and I have never bought any at a bike shop, or a bike fork manufacturer.

The best place to find a good selection of fork oil, at a price that is usually far less than the manufacturers offering, is a motorcycle shop, especially one that caters to more of a racing crowd.
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