I just got a 05 Jamis Dakar XLT 2 from craigslist. It has an Answer Manitou Black Elite 125mm travel fork. It looks great and rides fantastic. But the fork has a broken lock cable. I posted a picture here. I plan to only ride in the trail so I do not care if it can be locked or not. But I still want to know if I can fix it and put a new cable on it. The guy said I should be able to put a new locking cable on the fork. But I do not have any experience on the mountain bike. So I raise this question to you guys.
Another thing I notice is there is a thin layer of oil residue when you push the fork up and down. Is it a critical issue? What should I do to regularly maintain the forks on mountain bike.
Sure you can replace that cable-but no great need to do it-
why bother-locking it makes it SLIGHTLY more efficient(less bobbing up and down when pedaling) when riding on smooth surfaces-
but I doubt it is worth the $20 or what ever the cable costs
Now the oily residue-probably means the seals-that seal in the hydraulic oil- are leaking.
Yeah you can replace them-rebuild it-perhaps rebuild kit $25 or so on ebay-but once again
It is POSSIBLE-maybe probable-that the greasy stuff is MICROLUBE- notice the little "lube fittings" on the back of the fork legs-usually they have MICROLUBE decal NEAR them?? These are just what they sound like-grease ports that make the fork legs slide "better"
It wouldn't hurt to get the tiny grease "***" and lube it occasionally(no great rush)
I am very fond of the black elite forks with actual steel springs-they have a very nice action-less stiff that air forks-more compliant/plush
Usually the Air Black Elite says "Air" on it
Yeah don't worry about the greasy residue-fair chance it is grease-but even if it is hydraulic fluid-no big deal
Get a manual-online free from manitou-it might be about 2002 2005 or so???
Just ride it for a while-then consider maintenance after you get the manual-eyeball it a bit
Nice plush forks-probably can still get different spring rate springs-but they have preload adj and other adjustments-compression and rebound damping(depends on year how much adjustment you have)
Nice fork-roughly 1800 grams-an air fork would be maybe 1300 grams-weight is the only advantage of air over steel springs-but air is finicky-leaks etc-and when it requires maintenance-it REQUIRES MAINTENANCE- steel spring-more forgiving maintenance wise