How to lubricate the front fork of a bicycle

How and how to lubricate a bicycle fork?

Every part of the bike has its own functional meaning. The fork is designed to smooth out shocks and minimize stress on the arms. By fulfilling the amortization task, it extends the useful life of the frame. The fork is a fairly strong part, but it needs periodic preventive measures. This article explains how to lubricate a bicycle front fork.

Withdrawal rules

A fork is a multicomponent element. Attached to it are the speed sensor, brake caliper, hydraulic line, fender, V-brake.

In order to remove it, you must sequentially perform the following steps:

  • remove the bolts that hold the stem on the rudder tube;
  • dismantle the anchor bolt;
  • dismantle the steering wheel with a stem (this must be done with the utmost care, since there is a danger of damaging the hydraulic line);
  • dismantle the spacer rings;
  • remove the guide sleeve;
  • remove the lower part of the handlebar from the retaining glass;
  • remove the bearing;
  • carefully remove the rolling ring.

After that, the eccentric is loosened and the wheel itself is removed.

The bike owner must have a complete set of screwdrivers. For example, to remove a guide sleeve, you need the most compact of them. Only with it can you pry the sleeve in the cutting area.

It is recommended to lay out all the dismantled elements in sequence. as they were removed. A tried and tested trick is to photograph every stage of the work. This will allow the reverse assembly to be carried out without error.

Signs of dysfunction

In order for the fork to work for a long time, the bicycle owner must from time to time service this important part.

The necessary preventive work includes:

  • applying lubricant;
  • replacement of oil seals;
  • on the alignment of the steering tube;
  • replacement of bearings.

Particular importance is attached to lubrication. It provides superior cushioning and reduced component wear. It is performed every 400 km. If the bike is not used so intensively, then once a season this procedure must still be performed. Separately, oil seals are lubricated after 700 km of run.

These are very average recommendations. It all depends on how you use your bike. If he is daily taken out on difficult routes, then lubrication should be performed more often.

The service life of bicycle components is reduced by poor-quality surface or embossed track. It wears out especially quickly when driving on sand and abrasive materials. Experienced cyclists can identify fork dysfunction by hearing characteristic sounds. The need to debug or replace worn-out elements is determined by a knock or squeak during riding.

In addition, typical wear symptoms are:

  • backlash;
  • tight adjustability;
  • difficult steering wheel;
  • jamming.

Finally, as a result of daily visual inspection, visible defects can be found. If you find cracks in your legs or pants, urgently take action.

Disassembly rules

There is still a long way to go before the start of the lubrication procedure. It is performed at the very end, when the removed and cleaned parts are inspected for suitability and defects.

In the meantime, it is necessary to free all the dismantled components from the stratification. Used grease tends to compress or shrink. This stage will take effort. Disassembly begins only after complete cleaning.

  • Removing bolts.
  • Dismantling of pants. The internal faces are checked immediately. They must also be freed from used grease.
  • Removing the oil seals.
  • Removing the bottom stops. This action must be performed carefully, without exerting physical effort.
  • Dismantling stops.
  • Gradual weakening of the legs. To do this, you need a special key.
  • Removing 2 rods.
  • Removing the spring.

The removed parts are also freed from old grease. To do this, you need to stock up on a large amount of rags and a plastic scraper in advance. It is undesirable to use metal objects for cleaning.

Finally, the fork is fully prepared for the lubrication procedure.

To answer the question of how to lubricate a mountain bike fork, you need to familiarize yourself with all the proposals of specialists. This will make it possible to choose the best option.

All types of bicycle lubricants are classified as follows:

  • Thick. Benefit: Works well at high and low temperatures. Disadvantages: Able to attract dust. These include graphite compounds, as well as technical petroleum jelly.
  • Liquid. Advantage: ease of application. They work well at high and low temperatures. Disadvantages: a change in viscosity with a sharp temperature drop, the ability to drip. These include industrial oil.
  • Two-component. The composition contains a thick oil, as well as a solvent. Ideal for machining prefabricated mechanisms. These include wax and Teflon products. Silicone two-component lubricants are recommended for use on e-bikes. They act delicately, and the excess is easily removed.

So, the procedure begins by applying the product to the spring. The grease should literally be rammed between the rings. There is no need to worry about surplus formation. They seep through the packing holes. It is advisable to apply another layer to all grooves of the cuffs.

Elements in motion (rubbing) require a particularly thin layer. When the procedure is over, the installation of the plug begins in the reverse order.

Bicycle owners often ask how to lubricate a bike suspension fork without disassembling it? Industrial oil can be used as it has a light consistency. However, this will be a partial lubrication. It will only be possible to lubricate the legs of the bike fork.

The oil is applied drip at the point where the legs enter the pants. Then several back and forth movements are performed to push the oil further. Surplus funds are removed.

So, the procedure can be carried out independently if you have high-quality lubricant and a set of tools.

How to remove and install the plug. step by step instructions

The first step is to get rid of the front wheel. To do this, turn the bike upside down. Release rim brakes by swinging out the clamping bow. With the discs, you can immediately start removing the wheel. Wings and other devices are immediately removed.

We put the bike in the usual position. Now you need to pull out the steering wheel and remove the plug from the glass:

Unscrew the steering pin fasteners or anchor bolt completely.

The steering wheel is carefully removed from the fork. You can immediately wipe the pipe with a soft cloth.

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Use a thin sharp object (screwdriver or office knife) to pry the retaining metal washer over the glass.

Use the same tool to press out the gasket under the washer. As soon as the ring comes off the edge of the glass, gently pull it out with your hands.

Raise the frame and carefully pull the fork out from below. Why? To avoid damaging or losing bearings.

Next, you need to separate the crown from the stem. To do this, it is necessary to knock out the connecting ring on which the steering column bearing rests.

Carefully use a thin sharp object and a hammer to separate the ring from the edge of the fork. This completes the removal process.

Why you need to remove a bicycle fork

Obviously, there is no need to simply dismantle it from the bike. There are a number of reasons for this. replacement, overhaul and service. Replacement means removing an unusable part and installing a new one instead.

Repair. partial replacement of components. These can be bearings, washers, spring, damper or oil seal. Service includes adjustment, cleaning, lubrication.

The main symptoms that indicate removing the fork from the bike and putting it in order:

  • knocking on the move;
  • the fork is stuck and not adjustable;
  • bearing wear;
  • lack of lubrication (creaks);
  • cranking, heavy steering;
  • cracked legs and pants.

The device of the classic front shock absorption system is a metal spring and a rubber damper. Shrinkage of the spring and elongation of the elastomer rod degrade the properties of the shock absorber, making it stiffer. Regardless of the setting, the fork will knock on obstacles.

Backlash and tight handlebar travel indicate worn bearings and o-rings, as well as a dirty fork cavity. A suspicious creak when the bike is moving indicates that it is necessary to lubricate the part, and you cannot do without removing it.

Any mechanical damage leads to unexpected breakdown of the system. If cracks are found on the body and legs, the fork should be immediately replaced with a new one.!

In disassembling the shock absorber with your own hands, you will need tools:

  • Screwdriver Set;
  • flat sharp object;
  • sliding wrenches;
  • hexagon;
  • small hammer.

During operation, it will be necessary to clean and lubricate the part again, so you will need a can of grease, a few soft rags and gloves.

  • check the bike fork for integrity every 500. 1000 km;
  • clean the feet on the oil seals every 150. 200 km of the track;
  • apply a little grease to the stuffing box of the legs several times a season;
  • specially for hydraulic shock absorbers. change the oil every 5000 km.

How to put the fork back on the bike

First, inspect the bearing ring. There should be no damage or broken edges on it. Otherwise, you will need to replace it (if an old plug is installed). Assembly sequence:

Put the ring on the joint of the fork with the steering column.

Cover it with an adjustable wrench from above.

Using a hammer, press in the ring evenly with soft blows on the jaws of the key. We hammer on the sound: while he is deaf, we continue to press, sonorous. the ring is in place.

Lubricate the surface of the stopper (grease. lithol-24, buksol or special composition).

Place the bearing carefully with the balls facing up. You can also apply a little lubricant to it. A sealing washer must be placed under the bearing.

Carefully insert the stem into the glass and repeat all removal work in the reverse order.

How to remove and disassemble the front bike fork

A bicycle fork serves more than just a link between the frame and the front wheel. On MTB models, it also acts as the main shock absorber, smoothing out vibrations, stress on the arms and negative effects on the mechanisms and the frame. Like any mechanism, it requires periodic maintenance, adjustment and replacement of component parts. And all this will require removal and disassembly. Is it possible to disassemble the bike fork by yourself? Quite, it only takes a little time, a few simple tools and accuracy.

Dismantling the front fork for parts

To replace the part, you do not need to disassemble, but its repair will require you to get into the mechanism and carefully delve into it. Let’s consider how to sort out a spring-elastomer type suspension fork:

  • Unscrew the bottom fasteners with a hex wrench.
  • Remove the spring compression adjustment bolt. Preload. It is the main damper travel adjuster.
  • Remove the elastomer restrictor or damper.
  • Take off your pants.
  • Using a screwdriver, remove the seals from the pants.

The main reasons why the fork squeaks, makes knocks and does not smooth out vibrations while the bike is moving include wear of parts, water and dirt ingress, lack of internal lubrication. We put in order:

  • Remove all dirt from the inside of the pants.
  • Thoroughly wipe the fork legs, spring and seals.
  • Replace the defective part if necessary.
  • Install the elastomer damper (fill oil through the nipple for the hydraulic fork).
  • Lubricate the inner cavity. inject oil from a can.
  • Install Mounting Bolt and Preload.

It looks like a do-it-yourself bicycle fork bulkhead. Is it needed for a new part? There is an opinion that a plug that has been sorted out at once will be better tuned and will last longer. Much depends on the quality of the kit, but it will be found out in real riding conditions.

Scheduled repairs are done as needed, bulkhead once a season. And of course, you shouldn’t forget about prevention. After each ride, remove dirt from the surface of the oil seals, lubricate, check the fasteners and integrity.

How to remove, disassemble and lubricate a bicycle fork

If you do not know how to remove and disassemble a mountain bike suspension fork for maintenance, repair or replacement, then this article will help you find out what you need for this, and how to do it at home. Also, such questions will be considered here: how and how to lubricate the front fork, the frequency of maintenance and other tips on this topic. All this will be presented in the form of detailed instructions with pictures for each action, as well as a video for disassembling a bicycle suspension fork. In this article, we will analyze the RST GILA 100 mm spring-elastomer fork with disc brake mountings.

Why remove and disassemble the bike fork

A bicycle fork, like all other components, can be replaced, repaired or serviced. Therefore, before proceeding with these procedures, we need to remove it from the bike, and in some cases disassemble the shock absorber for parts. In what cases will we have to remove it? First of all, this is when it is replaced by another. Secondly, it may be necessary to replace bearings and / or support cups, apply new lubricant, and also, there are times when it is necessary to align the steering tube or perform other repair work.

Disassembling a fork shock absorber is most often necessary to replace lubricant or worn components. For example, these can be oil seals (cuffs), etc.

Next, let’s start disassembling the shock absorber for further lubrication replacement.

  • Turn the fork over and unscrew the mounting bolts.
  • We remove the pants from the legs of the fork. If necessary, remove the oil seals.
  • We remove used lubricant from all accessible surfaces. This procedure can be left for later and performed after complete disassembly, but it is preferable to do it right away in order to avoid oily marks on clothes, tools, etc. Do not forget to remove dirt and grease from the cuffs of the bicycle fork, as well as from the inside of the pants themselves.
  • Then remove the lower travel stops and stop stops. To do this, we apply a little effort and pull them off the rods.
  • We unscrew the adjustments on each of the fork legs. They are unscrewed using a special key, which, unfortunately, we did not have. Therefore, we had to make our own self-made key for these cases. We will attach a photo below, suddenly someone will come in handy. We take out the springs with caps and elastomers, as well as two rods (one from each leg).
  • Removing old grease from all fork surfaces.
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This completes the process of disassembling the bicycle fork shock absorber. Next, apply new grease. What can be used as a lubricant, we will consider below.

How and how can you lubricate a bicycle suspension fork

I use Litol-24 grease to lubricate all of the bike’s front fork assemblies, including both the shock absorber and the head tube bearings. It is believed that it negatively affects aluminum parts when moisture gets in. But using it for five seasons, no negative consequences were noticed. The advantages of this grease include good temperature resistance. It does not thicken both in severe frost up to 50 C, and in extreme heat (up to 150 C).

Many people advise pouring liquid machine oils, sewing machine oil, and others into their forks. Personally, in my experience, there was a deterioration in the performance of the fork shock absorber (jerks were observed during compression and rebound of the spring). And if liquid oils worked better, manufacturers would have filled them in initially, which they do not.

We figured out how to lubricate a bicycle fork. Next, let’s look at how to do this. We apply grease to the spring with excess (we ram the lubricant between the spring rings), the excess will come out through the hole under the stem and, if there is an excess in the pants, it will be squeezed out through the stuffing box seals (but you shouldn’t overdo it either). We also apply grease to the grooves of the cuffs and add forks to the pants. We lubricate all rubbing parts with a thin layer.

Before installing the plug into the glass, do not forget to lubricate the bearings, rings and cups.

This completes the lubrication process and you can go back to assembling and installing the bicycle fork.

How to remove a bicycle fork

Below you will find detailed instructions for dismantling the front suspension fork with explanatory pictures.

  • First of all, we carry out preparatory work, namely, we unscrew everything that is attached to the plug. In our case, this is the brake caliper, as well as the front disc brake hose, which is clamped to the fork legs. If you have V-brakes installed, then dismantle them. This also applies to the speed sensor from the bike computer, front fender, etc.
  • Unscrew the bolts securing the stem to the steering tube, and then unscrew the bicycle fork anchor bolt.
  • Carefully remove the steering wheel together with the stem and lower it down. At this stage, you should act carefully so as not to damage the hydraulic lines or accidentally hitting the metal parts of the steering wheel on the frame, so as not to scratch the latter.
  • Remove the spacer rings and the guide sleeve (cone). To do this, carefully pry it with a small flat screwdriver in the area of ​​the cut. Then we take out the upper rolling ring and the upper bearing. All these actions are illustrated by the pictures below.
  • All operations have been completed and now you can carefully remove the steering tube from the glass. After that, it remains for us to get the bearing, the lower rolling ring and remove the front wheel. To do this, we loosen the eccentric or unscrew the fixing bolts (depending on the type of attachment). This completes the process of removing the bike fork.

Fork maintenance intervals

The frequency of changing the lubricant of a bicycle fork depends not least on the road surface on which you are riding. If there is an abundance of dust, mud, sand and other abrasive material on your routes, then the frequency of service should be increased. Here are the average figures after which maintenance should be performed.

Approximately every 700-800 km, the oil seals should be disassembled and lubricated, and every 4000-5000 km the entire fork is moved and lubricated.

How to put the fork back on the bike

First, inspect the bearing ring. There should be no damage or broken edges on it. Otherwise, you will need to replace it (if an old plug is installed). Assembly sequence:

Put the ring on the joint of the fork with the steering column.

Cover it with an adjustable wrench from above.

Using a hammer, press in the ring evenly with soft blows on the jaws of the key. We hammer on the sound: while he is deaf, we continue to press, sonorous. the ring is in place.

Lubricate the surface of the stopper (grease. lithol-24, buksol or special composition).

Place the bearing carefully with the balls facing up. You can also apply a little lubricant to it. A sealing washer must be placed under the bearing.

Carefully insert the stem into the glass and repeat all removal work in the reverse order.

How to clean and add oil

The casings and tube surfaces are cleaned until they are clean. It is undesirable to leave dirt on the insulating material, adhesions provoke damage to the internal device, which later breaks.

Repairing a mountain bike fork also involves lubricating the internal mechanism, make sure that the oil is not outside. If there are smudges during disassembly, the plug must be cleaned, otherwise it will soon completely fail.

To fill in the oil, do the following manipulations:

  • Draw the oil solution into a regular syringe.
  • Develop the fork well, this is the only way to achieve an even distribution of the lubricant.
  • Clean off excess oil from the fixture with a soft piece of cloth.

As for the oil composition, experts recommend silicone and transparent mixtures.

How to check the condition of a mountain bike front fork

Knowing the design of the front fork, do not wait for malfunctions, regularly carry out a preventive inspection and, if there are defects, do not delay the elimination of them. Checking the external state of a component includes the following steps:

  • determination of wear of dropouts;
  • examination of the surface for scratches and severe abrasions;
  • whether there are traces of leakage of an oil substance on the oil seals;
  • what is the pressure in the air chambers;
  • in what condition is the lateral play of the legs in the pants;
  • check the reliability and tightness of the fastening of the bolts under the pants and levers intended for adjustment.
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As you may have noticed, removing, disassembling and lubricating a mountain or city bike suspension fork at home is not that difficult. The main thing is to treat this process responsibly and do everything consistently. The better you take care of your iron horse, the longer it will delight you with its trouble-free work.

Fork maintenance

In addition to a routine inspection, the fork also requires regular maintenance, namely:

  • every 100-150 km of the distance traveled, it is necessary to clean and lubricate the feet on the oil seals;
  • every 500-1000 km. disassembly and full lubrication of oil seals;
  • every 4000-5000 km or at least once a year an oil change is made (applies to oil plugs)

In general, a bicycle fork should be lubricated at least once a season, however, if you are actively using your bike, this procedure is recommended to be done more often. If we consider a spring-elastomer fork as an example, the lubrication process will look like this:

  • Using a syringe, oil is poured under the boot.
  • For the lubricant to be evenly distributed, the fork must be designed.
  • Remaining oil must be removed with a soft cloth.

According to experts, it is better to use silicone and transparent greases as a lubricant.

In addition to lubrication, maintaining a bicycle fork also includes keeping the devices clean. To exclude the possibility of dirt getting into the oil and malfunctioning of the bike after each walk, you need to wipe the legs of the forks near the anthers.

Also, the bike fork can be adjusted by sag or rebound (if available). However, as experts note, this procedure should be performed in stages: after changing each parameter, you should check the progress of the bike. Otherwise, the rider may miss out on the difference in travel, and the effect of fork adjustment will be blurred. It is worth noting that the masters advise to start adjusting this device from the neutral position, in which the rebound should be set halfway, and the compression arrows are unscrewed completely counterclockwise.

How and how can you lubricate a bicycle suspension fork

I use Litol-24 grease to lubricate all of the bike’s front fork assemblies, including both the shock absorber and the head tube bearings. It is believed that it negatively affects aluminum parts when moisture gets in. But using it for five seasons, no negative consequences were noticed. The advantages of this grease include good temperature resistance. It does not thicken both in severe frost up to 50 C, and in extreme heat (up to 150 C).

Many people advise pouring liquid machine oils, sewing machine oil, and others into their forks. Personally, in my experience, there was a deterioration in the performance of the fork shock absorber (jerks were observed during compression and rebound of the spring). And if liquid oils worked better, manufacturers would have filled them in initially, which they do not.

We figured out how to lubricate a bicycle fork. Next, let’s look at how to do this. We apply grease to the spring with excess (we ram the lubricant between the spring rings), the excess will come out through the hole under the stem and, if there is an excess in the pants, it will be squeezed out through the stuffing box seals (but you shouldn’t overdo it either). We also apply grease to the grooves of the cuffs and add forks to the pants. We lubricate all rubbing parts with a thin layer.

Before installing the plug into the glass, do not forget to lubricate the bearings, rings and cups.

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This completes the lubrication process and you can go back to assembling and installing the bicycle fork.

Dismantling the front fork for parts

To replace the part, you do not need to disassemble, but its repair will require you to get into the mechanism and carefully delve into it. Let’s consider how to sort out a spring-elastomer type suspension fork:

  • Unscrew the bottom fasteners with a hex wrench.
  • Remove the spring compression adjustment bolt. Preload. It is the main damper travel adjuster.
  • Remove the elastomer restrictor or damper.
  • Take off your pants.
  • Using a screwdriver, remove the seals from the pants.

The main reasons why the fork squeaks, makes knocks and does not smooth out vibrations while the bike is moving include wear of parts, water and dirt ingress, lack of internal lubrication. We put in order:

  • Remove all dirt from the inside of the pants.
  • Thoroughly wipe the fork legs, spring and seals.
  • Replace the defective part if necessary.
  • Install the elastomer damper (fill oil through the nipple for the hydraulic fork).
  • Lubricate the inner cavity. inject oil from a can.
  • Install Mounting Bolt and Preload.

It looks like a do-it-yourself bicycle fork bulkhead. Is it needed for a new part? There is an opinion that a plug that has been sorted out at once will be better tuned and will last longer. Much depends on the quality of the kit, but it will be found out in real riding conditions.

Two-Minute Mountain Bike Fork Service with Lee Trumpore

 

Scheduled repairs are done as needed, bulkhead once a season. And of course, you shouldn’t forget about prevention. After each ride, remove dirt from the surface of the oil seals, lubricate, check the fasteners and integrity.

How to disassemble a bicycle suspension fork

After we have removed the suspension fork from the bike, old used grease should be removed from all of the above components, namely the bearings, cups and raceways, as well as the steering tube and other areas. It’s not worth applying a new one yet, we will add it back to the glass at the stage of installing the plug.

Next, let’s start disassembling the shock absorber for further lubrication replacement.

  • Turn the fork over and unscrew the mounting bolts.
  • We remove the pants from the legs of the fork. If necessary, remove the oil seals.
  • We remove used lubricant from all accessible surfaces. This procedure can be left for later and performed after complete disassembly, but it is preferable to do it right away in order to avoid oily marks on clothes, tools, etc. Do not forget to remove dirt and grease from the cuffs of the bicycle fork, as well as from the inside of the pants themselves.
  • Then remove the lower travel stops and stop stops. To do this, we apply a little effort and pull them off the rods.
  • We unscrew the adjustments on each of the fork legs. They are unscrewed using a special key, which, unfortunately, we did not have. Therefore, we had to make our own self-made key for these cases. We will attach a photo below, suddenly someone will come in handy. We take out the springs with caps and elastomers, as well as two rods (one from each leg).
  • Removing old grease from all fork surfaces.

This completes the process of disassembling the bicycle fork shock absorber. Next, apply new grease. What can be used as a lubricant, we will consider below.