Never Say Never
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Grande Prairie, AB.
Bikes: 1999 Diamonback Ascent FS, 2006 Trek Fuel Ex 6
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Use of suspension fork in winter, Proper or not?
I am posting this in disgust to something I was told by the service manager where I just bought my new 2006 fuel ex 6. I have been an AVID winter rider for the last 10 - 15 years now, and throughout this time, I have NEVER EVER had any problems with the longevity of ANY of my componentry because I have always cared for my bikes, cleaning daily, lubing after every ride (in the winter anyway), ensuring that all parts of the whole are working properly.
So anyways, I buy the bike, and the rear shock feels too soft so the service guy takes it to pump it up some more, and it does feel a little better after.
I ride the bike home (maybe 5 blocks) noticing that on my Big front, big back gear, my rear derailleur cog is catching on my cassette's 9th gear, so I adjust it a little to compensate, and it all felt fine then. I decide to take the bike for its "maiden voyage" and at the first intersection I start to take off at, CRUNCH!!
My rear derailleur is now at my BB, the hanger has been ripped right off and the derailleur itself is totally destroyed. I picked up the bike and carried it on my back to the store. They fix it in two hrs, as it didn't seem to bend the dropout on the frame, (thats what they told me), a few more weeks go by and I am wondering why the lockout on my fork is not seeming to be working properly as well, it just feels too soft like my rebound wasn't right(even though at max), so once again, I go back to the shop to have them look it over again, he brings the bike out and scolds me because there was NO AIR whatsoever in the fork. (keep in mind that this bike is still 2 weeks old at that point) and scolds me for riding in the winter and that you should never do it and especially NO SHOCK can handle winter riding, as well as that IF I do winter ride, then I will have to pump it up every ride thus making me believe that it loses pressure every ride and I should have checked it. Riding away I could tell that the fork felt better than it ever did, but still was not nearly up to par. I had to go to the only other bike store in town to find out that the other guy had only pumped it to 60 lbs!
Needless to say, the new store pumped it to 180 lbs 80% cap. roughly, and it hasn't lost any air since, so now I can only deduce that when they sold me the bike originally, they had put 0 air in the fork to begin with, didn't have the gearing and suspension set up, and that service manager who says he is a "Pro" level athlete, lied to me about this whole "using a fork in the winter" thing.
Like I was saying before, I have never lost travel because of riding in cold, even up to -45C, making it -85C if you count the fact of going 50Kmph through it and the prevailing winds and even at those temps, my components have NEVER Catastrophically failed. I just wanted to post my story to see if anyone has themselves had a fork or shock destroyed by cold weather alone, ie: if you are up on your cycle maintenance. (not jumping or DH though, I only ride XC)
I would appreciate any feedback.