Fork & Shock Servicing
< back to Services List
During a service the suspension units are fully disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and inspected for wear, fork stanchions and shock shafts are polished to remove any pitting which could damage seals, and reduce stiction. If necessary shock bodies and cartridge tubes are honed to improve sealing. The components are measured for correct tolerances and the units assembled using the finest lubricants available.
Suspension performance deteriorates gradually over time, you often don't notice how bad it's got until there is a significant drop in performance. Regular maintenance ensures that the suspension components are working at their optimum.
The reciprocating motion of suspension units causes parts to wear adding minute particles of debris to the oil, the oil holds some of the debris in solution so it constantly flows through the pistons and shims. The shims work at very low lift values so any debris passing between the shims and piston can get wedged holding the shims open, disabling the damping. Debris also sticks to the surfaces inside the units coating them in a sticky paste, sediment also collects in areas where the oil settles.
The oil itself deteriorates with use, there is only a small volume doing a large amount of work, oxidation, shearing and contamination all breakdown the performance of the oil effecting the viscosity and operation of the suspension.
Manufacturers workshop manuals only recommend changing the fork oil, if only the oil is changed a lot of the gunge will remain inside, clean oil will wash off some of the gunge contaminating the clean oil within a few miles, any debris held in the damping components will remain there, the only way to ensure the correct fork action is to strip and clean all the parts.
The forks should be serviced at least once mid-season for racing and annually for road use.
Standard shocks use a much smaller volume of oil than most aftermarket units, the oil works a lot harder, leading to higher temperatures and faster break down of the fluid. Even from new a lot of standard shocks have air in the fluid which lowers the viscosity of the oil, even new shocks can benefit from a service.
Shocks should be serviced mid season for racing and annually for road use.