I have a Schwinn Mesa GS that I got in 1999. I did a fair amount of off-roading with it the first couple years I had it but now I use it for urban riding. I have some street tires on it and I love it- I can cruise at a nice pace on pavement and I can still take it off the beaten path a bit.
Here's my problem\question:
This bike has an obviously low-end RST fork. I've searched all over the web and I can't seem to find any sort of description or model number to identify it, let alone any sort of technical manual. Forgive my lack of proper terminology- here's a description: At the top of each post there is a plastic cap. It's an end cap only- it doesn't serve as any sort of adjustment mechanism. If I pop the cap off, I can see about 4" down the pipe. At the bottom of the pipe there's a hole. I assume the hole is just there to relieve air pressure. At the bottom of the fork there's a hex bolt. I doubt this serves as any sort of adjustment but I could be wrong.
I want to take the fork apart for the purpose of painting it. Is anyone familiar with one of these things? Do I just remove the bottom bolt on each side to take it apart? If I remove the bolt will I ever be able to align it back up with the spring inside?
Thanks in advance for any replies. Let me know if any more info is needed.
Should be a very simple fork...I'd start by removing those two bolts at the bottom of the legs, and go from there. Can't be too hard to put it back together, as long as you remember the order in which the parts go...
It's probably something like a 281 - -very base fork, no dampening, just elastomer or elastomer/coil stack. The bolts on the bottom are what keep the lowers connected to the stanchions. Sometimes they will unbolt so you can separate them; sometimes you can't (the bolt will spin partially loosened on the compression rods) You will need to fabricate a long T-handled 8mm allen to get down to the allen head on top of the rods to keep them from spinning (this was a standard shop tool for Manitous and RSTs).
Here is a manual from the (now dormant) RST Europe we site that shows how to completely disassemble most 281s / 381s of that vintage: