Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

Life Expectancy of Suspension Forks When Not in Use

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

Life Expectancy of Suspension Forks When Not in Use

Old 03-30-11, 10:57 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,045

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 807 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Life Expectancy of Suspension Forks When Not in Use

I have a Scott Scale, 2006 Model the has the Rock Shox if I remember correctly and am curious about how long they will last not being used in the suspension mode?
And what is a good alternative to them that is lighter, and doesn't cost a fortune? I did a general search and I am not paying the prices I see for many shocks. I DON"T NEED THEM!
I found this bike in local thrift in April last year, and posted it on here. I really enjoy riding the bike.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 03-30-11, 11:05 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 38,329

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5592 Post(s)
Liked 2,200 Times in 1,237 Posts
Elastomer and spring forks will last indefinitely if not used. The wiper lip at the top may dry and harden, but those can be replaced if necessary.

Air and oil forks will likewise last a long time, but the neoprene O-ring seals do harder over time, whether used or not, so don't be shocked if it doesn't hold air or leaks and needs a rebuild Rebuild of these shocks is a normal service procedure.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

Just because I'm tired of arguing, doesn't mean you're right.

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 03-30-11, 11:21 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
ncfisherman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chapel Hill
Posts: 457

Bikes: Canfield Yelli Screamy, Pivot Mach5, Specialized Roubaix, '65 Hercules, '79 Schwinn Stingray Lil Chic, '68 Schwinn Stingray Fastback, '89 Specialized Allez Epic, '86 Battaglin World Champion

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
And what is a good alternative to them that is lighter, and doesn't cost a fortune?
A rigid fork.
ncfisherman is offline  
Old 03-30-11, 11:49 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,556

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
It sounds more like you're using the forks in lock out mode and riding them around rather than just having the forks in storage. If so I'm with ncfisherman and suggest you replace them with a set of rigid forks if you're looking to replace them at all.

If you leave the present forks in lockout mode forever then it's possible that the bad things will come to pass such as seals hardening and becoming leaky and other such woes. If this fork is one of the types with an internal oil bath it's a good idea to unlock it and ride it for a while in suspension mode now and then. Doing so would ensure that the seals and wipers receive some lubrication from the internal oil. And since generally forks with a lockout feature are higher end items it's quite possible that this is a fairly deluxe model you have. As such it's worth caring for it. But you have not told us which model it is so it's hard to say anything more. You NEED TO SEARCH ON THE MODEL to find out which it is and find out this stuff.

If you opt to replace it for some reason then I'd also suggest a rigid fork since it seems that is how you're riding the bike anyway. The key there is to find one with the same length or longer steer tube and a crown to axle dimension that is no shorter than your present fork by about 20mm's. If it's a lot shorter than you'll have issues with altering the steering geometry. But up to 20 to 25mm shorter is fine.

There's some very nice light weight rigid forks out there. But the nicer ones cost almost as much as some good suspension forks. If you unlock your forks and find that they work fine and if they are a higher end fork you may want to consider selling your present fork to offset the cost of a rigid replacement. But again the amount you'd get depends solely on which model the fork is. And for the rigid I would avoid carbon leg forks due to durability issues if they should become badly gouged.
BCRider is offline  
Old 03-31-11, 10:32 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,045

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 807 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
It's a Scott Scale 70, 2006 Model. The frame is Aluminum on the 70.
Photobucket slide show below:

https://s404.photobucket.com/albums/p...t=8a4190a5.pbw

Last edited by StarBiker; 03-31-11 at 10:36 AM.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 03-31-11, 10:50 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,556

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
The bike info doesn't do any good. It's the model of the FORK that you need. Study the fork to find out which one it is and then go to the Rock Shox website and find and download the manual for it. Being a 2006 model I would hope that they still have the file for downloading.

There's no doubt that this is a better than basic fork on that bike. As such it will have some proper workings inside the legs. I'd unlock it and let it bounce from time to time to keep things moving inside and keep the seals lubricated. If they sit in one spot for too long the oil eventually squeezes out and the seals stick to the metal. Then when they need to move the lips can tear away due to the sticking. Mind you that sort of thing takes a LONG time but it doesn't hurt to once a month take the lockout off and ride for a while with the forks in suspension mode. Hope off a few curbs while you're at it to get things pumping around as well.

Given that you're riding in lockout all the time that implies you're just on the roads. I'm surprised that you're still using knobbies in that case. If you're only road riding then smooth tread street tires would roll a lot nicer and squiggle less in the turns. Oh, and you can remove that little red flag of tape on the front derailleur...
BCRider is offline  
Old 03-31-11, 12:32 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,045

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 807 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Rock Shox J2, 80mm travel.
I am mostly riding on gravel, or sidewalks. Not smooth roads. Not in the B'more area. I would like to live a while longer.
StarBiker is offline  
Old 03-31-11, 01:14 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,099
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by StarBiker
Rock Shox J2, 80mm travel.
I am mostly riding on gravel, or sidewalks. Not smooth roads. Not in the B'more area. I would like to live a while longer.
Riding on sidewalks is a good way to shorten it.
Nerull is offline  
Old 03-31-11, 04:09 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
BCRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The 'Wack, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,556

Bikes: Norco (2), Miyata, Canondale, Soma, Redline

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 35 Posts
If your route is that rough I think I'd use the forks in suspension mode and just stiffen them up to more of a road handling setup by going for stiffer springs and using a harder damping setup. That way it still soaks up the worst stuff but doesn't suck away any pedalling energy to speak of. Properly set up suspension does not need to be a black hole for your energy.
BCRider is offline  
Old 03-31-11, 04:22 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pearland, Texas
Posts: 7,579

Bikes: Cannondale, Trek, Raleigh, Santana

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 308 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
StarBiker, You can always run the forks in suspension mode from time to time to circulate the oil. As stated above, suspension adjusted rigid forks are available.

Brad
bradtx is offline  
Old 04-01-11, 06:44 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
StarBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,045

Bikes: Bianchi Grizzly, Cannondale F700,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 807 Post(s)
Liked 153 Times in 122 Posts
Thank you. I will ask my local BS.
StarBiker is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Decatur_Tide
Bicycle Mechanics
3
12-07-11 10:04 PM
embankmentlb
Mountain Biking
3
08-01-11 06:33 PM
rudis123
Bicycle Mechanics
2
12-06-10 08:00 PM
JayButros
General Cycling Discussion
2
10-14-10 08:54 PM
ponderaycharlie
Bicycle Mechanics
3
09-05-10 08:46 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.