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  1. #1
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    I stand corrected about sus fork usage on a commuting bike...

    ... it appears that after the winter I now have slight punctate spots of rust on both of my stanchions (Rock Shox Dart 3) and that some cheap-looking aluminum foil-like substance is peeling upward.

    it's above where the stanchion travels into the lower body.

    what should i do about it?

    just run them until the don't compress anymore and trade them out for a solid disk brake-compatible MTB fork?
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    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    The very same thing happened to my Rock Shox fork about a month ago. Cold temperatures made it so it would just compress and rebound back hard at me. I took it apart and found that peeling away of material just as you explained. I would have wanted to upgrade to a higher quality unit but they are very pricey for anything good and decided it was not worth it for me as most of my riding is on paved roads with some gravel trails for short cuts on my commute and the occasional recreational ride on the MUP's. I decided to get a rigid fork and went the Surly Troll in a suspension compensated size and have yet to install it. To answer your question, I don't think anything can be done about the peeling. I just lubed mine up and still using it until this weekend.
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    I'll run it and see what happens.

    I'm not super excited about the quality of the product but at €699 Cube had to cut corners somewhere.

    Also, I could see how it could work for a weekend rider who clean their bike thoroughly every weekend, but that's not going to happen with a daily-ridden bike, especially not by me.

    Let me know how the forks work out once you get them on the bike as I might be looking for a set at some point.
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  4. #4
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    I'll run it and see what happens.

    I'm not super excited about the quality of the product but at €699 Cube had to cut corners somewhere.

    Also, I could see how it could work for a weekend rider who clean their bike thoroughly every weekend, but that's not going to happen with a daily-ridden bike, especially not by me.

    Let me know how the forks work out once you get them on the bike as I might be looking for a set at some point.
    I will do that. Plan on changing it out this weekend. Stand by. It is Cro Mo with disc capability and I'm told this steel rides smoother than alluminum or carbon which is stiff.
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by droy45 View Post
    I will do that. Plan on changing it out this weekend. Stand by. It is Cro Mo with disc capability and I'm told this steel rides smoother than alluminum or carbon which is stiff.
    Not so much of a difference for forks with beefy straight blades.

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    ... it appears that after the winter I now have slight punctate spots of rust on both of my stanchions (Rock Shox Dart 3) and that some cheap-looking aluminum foil-like substance is peeling upward.

    it's above where the stanchion travels into the lower body.

    what should i do about it?

    just run them until the don't compress anymore and trade them out for a solid disk brake-compatible MTB fork?
    First, don't panic. You don't need to run out and purchase a rigid fork today. Your fork probably has several months...if not years...of life left in it.

    Your first course of action should be to determine if this is a warranty issue. I have no idea what the warranty for bikes and parts is in Germany but you should go talk to the dealer that sold you the bike anyway. You may be surprised.

    Even if this isn't covered by a warranty, it's not the end of the world...nor the fork. The Dart 3 is a coil/elastomer fork...that's why it didn't work so well in the cold for droy45. It has an oil damper in one of the legs that can be drained and the fork will become just a spring fork. It will be a little bouncy but still usable as a suspension fork. The original Rockshox and Manitou forks were just coil/elastomer forks and they were ridden off-road in gnarly conditions.

    If you do feel the need to replace the fork, you could go with a rigid fork or you could go with a higher level air fork. Fleabay can be your friend for either.
    Stuart Black
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  7. #7
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    First, don't panic. You don't need to run out and purchase a rigid fork today. Your fork probably has several months...if not years...of life left in it.

    Your first course of action should be to determine if this is a warranty issue. I have no idea what the warranty for bikes and parts is in Germany but you should go talk to the dealer that sold you the bike anyway. You may be surprised.

    Even if this isn't covered by a warranty, it's not the end of the world...nor the fork. The Dart 3 is a coil/elastomer fork...that's why it didn't work so well in the cold for droy45. It has an oil damper in one of the legs that can be drained and the fork will become just a spring fork. It will be a little bouncy but still usable as a suspension fork. The original Rockshox and Manitou forks were just coil/elastomer forks and they were ridden off-road in gnarly conditions.

    If you do feel the need to replace the fork, you could go with a rigid fork or you could go with a higher level air fork. Fleabay can be your friend for either.
    Thanks for the response.

    I'm just upset because I can't believe that it rusted and that the shiny layer is peeling off

    I just checked and it has the mandatory 2-year on all EU consumer goods, except 5 years against frame breakage.

    How should I treat the rust? Can I just sand it off with the lightest paper/steel wool that I can find? Is there any sense in doing this? Basically, I'll ride the forks until they fall apart, I just wonder if I should remove the surface rust?
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  8. #8
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    Thanks for the response.

    I'm just upset because I can't believe that it rusted and that the shiny layer is peeling off

    I just checked and it has the mandatory 2-year on all EU consumer goods, except 5 years against frame breakage.

    How should I treat the rust? Can I just sand it off with the lightest paper/steel wool that I can find? Is there any sense in doing this? Basically, I'll ride the forks until they fall apart, I just wonder if I should remove the surface rust?
    Are you outside the warranty?

    I suspect the corrosion is salt related. I don't know if the legs are steel or aluminum alloy but I suspect that they are steel if you are seeing red/orange rust. You can remove the rust with several different chemicals. Here are some homemade ones but I can't vouch for their efficacy. You could use a dilute solution of salzsauer but be careful to rinse it off thoroughly. Buff it with steel wool or with a Scotch-brite pad afterward. Don't be too aggressive or you just scratch the legs and cause more problems. You'll probably have to do this on a regular basis because there's no good way to finish the steel that I can think of that wouldn't interfere with the fork seals.

    The plating coming off is going to be an issue because you can't really replate the fork leg and the plating lets the legs move smoothly. You might be able to paint the legs with a smooth enamel but it's not going to last for any significant time. Try removing and buffing first. Keep it as simple as possible.
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  9. #9
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    Are you outside the warranty?

    I suspect the corrosion is salt related. I don't know if the legs are steel or aluminum alloy but I suspect that they are steel if you are seeing red/orange rust. You can remove the rust with several different chemicals. Here are some homemade ones but I can't vouch for their efficacy. You could use a dilute solution of salzsauer but be careful to rinse it off thoroughly. Buff it with steel wool or with a Scotch-brite pad afterward. Don't be too aggressive or you just scratch the legs and cause more problems. You'll probably have to do this on a regular basis because there's no good way to finish the steel that I can think of that wouldn't interfere with the fork seals.

    The plating coming off is going to be an issue because you can't really replate the fork leg and the plating lets the legs move smoothly. You might be able to paint the legs with a smooth enamel but it's not going to last for any significant time. Try removing and buffing first. Keep it as simple as possible.
    Yeah, it looks like steel and that the finish has worn off due to corrosion, probably from salt (although I don't really see any in use except for our walkway, which should be illegal, but that's another story).

    I work as a bio/chemist, so I have access to every solvent imaginable.

    What would you use?

    edit: Do you mean Salzsäure ... Hydrocholic acid or HCl(aq)?
    Last edited by acidfast7; 03-05-13 at 09:07 AM.
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  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    I work as a bio/chemist, so I have access to every solvent imaginable.
    Yes, I know. Solvents won't do much. That whole "like dissolves like" thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    What would you use?

    edit: Do you mean Salzsäure ... Hydrocholic acid or HCl(aq)?
    First, umlauts are difficult on an American keyboard and I'm lazy.

    Second...Shhhh!...I was trying to keep the name on the QT. I figured to keep it from the plebes so that they don't run out and do something silly without knowing what they are doing and end up with a yellow puddle where their bike used to be.

    Third, "a solution" implies a mixture with water or other solvent, not a gas. I suppose you could use HCl(gas) but it's a bit hard to handle.

    Finally, why doesn't 'umlaut' have one?
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  11. #11
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    Basically, I'll ride the forks until they fall apart, I just wonder if I should remove the surface rust?
    You may want to see about replacing the fork at some point before it falls apart . . . unless you can ride a wheelie for some distance.

  12. #12
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    You may want to see about replacing the fork at some point before it falls apart . . . unless you can ride a wheelie for some distance.
    Based on how it shudders under hard braking, I am confident that it will bend before it breaks. When it begins to progress from shuddering to slightly bending, I'll change it out.

    It really is a piece of crap.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Be gentle with trying to remove the rust, a rough surface makes it harder to maintain a good seal which leads to more wear on the surface..... or at least it is for motorcycles.
    I rebuilt the front end on my older BMW (referred to as gummi kuh by the Germans), and it was pretty solid for something designed to give a softer ride. I looked at the suspension forks on my GFs Specialized Crossroads and figured I'd just replace them with a solid fork if she ever rode it enough to finish wearing them out.

  14. #14
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
    Be gentle with trying to remove the rust, a rough surface makes it harder to maintain a good seal which leads to more wear on the surface..... or at least it is for motorcycles.
    I rebuilt the front end on my older BMW (referred to as gummi kuh by the Germans), and it was pretty solid for something designed to give a softer ride. I looked at the suspension forks on my GFs Specialized Crossroads and figured I'd just replace them with a solid fork if she ever rode it enough to finish wearing them out.
    rubber cow



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  15. #15
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    When I'm too lazy to C&P a character mit umlaut, I just type the 'e' that it implies: "Salzsaeure".
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    When I'm too lazy to C&P a character mit umlaut, I just type the 'e' that it implies: "Salzsaeure".
    Yup.

    Luckily, I have a Swedish keyboard with

    ÄÖÅ by default

    and can do an Alt-S to make "ß"
    and can do an Alt-U to make "ü"

    in addition it has a legal/degree key

    ° / §

    and a greater than and less than key

    <>

    plus can do all of the accents

    ´ ` ^ ¨

    also of great use is the ±

    it makes typing in German/Swedish/English quite easy and makes technical writing a breeze

    however it should be cleaned just like my bike

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  17. #17
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    First, don't panic. You don't need to run out and purchase a rigid fork today. Your fork probably has several months...if not years...of life left in it.

    Your first course of action should be to determine if this is a warranty issue. I have no idea what the warranty for bikes and parts is in Germany but you should go talk to the dealer that sold you the bike anyway. You may be surprised.

    Even if this isn't covered by a warranty, it's not the end of the world...nor the fork. The Dart 3 is a coil/elastomer fork...that's why it didn't work so well in the cold for droy45. It has an oil damper in one of the legs that can be drained and the fork will become just a spring fork. It will be a little bouncy but still usable as a suspension fork. The original Rockshox and Manitou forks were just coil/elastomer forks and they were ridden off-road in gnarly conditions.

    If you do feel the need to replace the fork, you could go with a rigid fork or you could go with a higher level air fork. Fleabay can be your friend for either.
    cyccommute: You know alot about suspension forks, what is this elastomer you mention? Also, I don't remember there being any oil in mine. Could it have all leaked out?
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  18. #18
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You can work your way into owning that Tout Terrain Bike, that you have mentioned so often,
    By Buying their Fork.


    My probably just as cheap, Spinner Fork on my Koga WTR has accordion boots from
    above the slider, to the fork crown.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-05-13 at 02:29 PM.

  19. #19
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droy45 View Post
    cyccommute: You know alot about suspension forks, what is this elastomer you mention? Also, I don't remember there being any oil in mine. Could it have all leaked out?
    I'm not that familiar with the guts of a Rockshox Dart. I have, however, used coil/elastomer springs in many Manitou forks. In the old Manitou, they used a ureathane stack with a small coil spring at one end. From what I can tell from the parts I see for the Dart, the Dart uses a long spring with a couple of elastomers...commonly and incorrectly called 'rubber'...incorporated into the coils. The elastomers will act as dampeners to slow down the spring rate of the steel spring. Makes the spring less 'pogoiey'. You can see what the spring looks like here.

    This will be in one leg of the fork. The dampener with the oil will be in the other leg. This is the common construction of a fork now. The spring...air, coil, elastomers, etc...are in one leg and any dampening or height adjustment is in the other leg. Very inexpensive forks will have nothing in the other leg.

    This manual shows the procedure for service on page 25.
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  20. #20
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I'm not that familiar with the guts of a Rockshox Dart. I have, however, used coil/elastomer springs in many Manitou forks. In the old Manitou, they used a ureathane stack with a small coil spring at one end. From what I can tell from the parts I see for the Dart, the Dart uses a long spring with a couple of elastomers...commonly and incorrectly called 'rubber'...incorporated into the coils. The elastomers will act as dampeners to slow down the spring rate of the steel spring. Makes the spring less 'pogoiey'. You can see what the spring looks like here.

    This will be in one leg of the fork. The dampener with the oil will be in the other leg. This is the common construction of a fork now. The spring...air, coil, elastomers, etc...are in one leg and any dampening or height adjustment is in the other leg. Very inexpensive forks will have nothing in the other leg.

    This manual shows the procedure for service on page 25.
    I see, I always thought it was called rubber too when I pulled mine out.
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  21. #21
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droy45 View Post
    I see, I always thought it was called rubber too when I pulled mine out.
    Rubber is a member of the class of compounds called elastomers. It's a broad category of which rubber is a single example. Basically any polymer (plastic) that stretches and springs back is an elastomer. The rubber of your tires...which is 'real' rubber...is an elastomer. As is the rubber of your tube. The Lycra of your bike shorts (if you use them) is an elastomer. The ureathane in the springs is an elastomer. Grips and tape are elastomers as well. The ureathane of your saddle padding is an elastomer...unless you don't need no stinking padding and ride a Brooks
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  22. #22
    jyl
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    It seems really disappointing that the original fork is falling apart so quickly.

    You might be able to find a decent used fork, from someone who has decided to upgrade his mountain bike to the latest long-travel fork. I'm not sure how active the used bike part market is in Frankfurt, where I live I'm sure I could find such a used fork before I could get around to stripping the peeling plating and rust off the existing fork.

    I guess I'm saying, I'd rather swap in a decent used fork, than spend time scraping away at the crappy original fork.

    When you do, consider installing fork boots - the accordion rubber tubes that cover and protect the chrome stanchions. I have those on my MTB's forks, which are over 20 years old, and still look and work great.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    Yep, that's how they ride too.

  24. #24
    Senior Member no motor?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    When you do, consider installing fork boots - the accordion rubber tubes that cover and protect the chrome stanchions. I have those on my MTB's forks, which are over 20 years old, and still look and work great.
    Fork boots will keep the forks looking new for a long time, that is if you peel them back to look inside.

  25. #25
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Lizzard skins sewed a velcro closed Neoprene wetsuit foam piece for other forks ,
    you wrap it around the exposed metal on top.

    I think the cast slider has a groove around it to retain the bottom end of the accordion boot,
    and they quit doing that a while ago. My 04 Koga WTR , they have the boots,

    a short (4cm) travel Spinner fork , machined with more threaded holes,
    but as a Big Batch Order for a Manufacturer of thousands of bikes ,
    a lot can be done for those OEM customers.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-05-13 at 04:42 PM.

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