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Old 07-18-09, 06:08 AM   #1
seadragon
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Fork break-in question

Greetings everyone!

After a few years of not owning a bike, I decided I'm going to get back into it and just purchased a Trek 6500 disc from my LBS. I tried several bikes and this one was the most comfortable for me. I went with the 21.5 inch frame as I am 6'2" and currently 240 lbs. The latter number is hopefully going to come down now that I'm on a bike again.

Anyway...

I have a question regarding the front fork. It's a RockShox Tora SL Coil. The shock seems a bit sticky, especially near the "topped out" range. For example, if I push and hold the shock down, then gradually release pressure, it doesn't decompress smoothly. It sort of "jumps" in stages as it decompresses. I can feel this also when I'm riding the bike on road. If I push down lightly a bit on the handebars, the shock again sort of jumps from one position to another. It's like the pistons are not gliding smoothly in and out of the lower housing (sorry, I don't know the proper terminology).

I also have a bit of play at the top end. If I compress the shock and let it rebound naturally, when I pick the front of the bike off the ground, there is a slight movement in the shock as if its not fully topped out. It's just enough that you can feel it, no weird noise or anything. It's just enough that I can feel a bit of clunkiness when going over bumps etc. It's hard to describe really.

My LBS has ordered a heavier spring for the fork. They said that should take care of the top end play. I guess I'll see once the part arrives.

One thing I did notice last night and fixed myself was that the pressure adjustment knob on top of the left fork was not working properly. If I turned it counter-clockwise, the whole top cap was turning, thus unscrewing. I torqued down the top cap and now the smaller adjuster knob moves freely.

I'm just wondering if these shocks need time to break in? Do they get smoother as time goes on? I've never had a bike with a suspension before.

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-09, 06:19 AM   #2
ThinLine
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Interesting. I just bought a (07 New old stock) Jamis Dakar XAM 2.0. All high end components with a Fox Talas 32 RLC front shock.

I noticed on my first ride a certain stiffness or stiction to it. I adjusted dials (many of them) and it only adj. what they were suppose to; rebound, travel, lockout, etc.
After a few more rides it behaved like it should. No stiction.

So, yes, maybe there is a break in period.

Trek 6500 is a nice bike, which I also looked at but I got a killer deal on the Jamis.
Good Luck.
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Old 07-18-09, 09:12 PM   #3
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If you check out the RockShox tech documents, they normally make their springs in 3 stiffnesses for light, medium, and heavier riders -- like me, you clearly need the stiffest version, but all their forks ship with the medium version installed.
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Old 07-20-09, 02:12 PM   #4
seadragon
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Thanks for your replies! My LBS has ordered the "black" spring to replace the standard one in my fork. That is the spring recommended for a guy my size.

The fork is starting to run a bit better now that I've put some mileage on the bike.

I'm wondering if I can spray a bit of silicone on the shocks to lube them up a bit. Silicone is good for rubber so I would imagine it would be fine?
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Old 07-20-09, 02:36 PM   #5
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Is any of this noticed while riding on the trail?

As the fork is cycled repeatedly, the oil gets up in the bushings and lubes them. If it sets a while, there is a thin coating, but most of it settles back into the res.
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