Should my Pike need servicing every few rides?

RealizE

Likes Bikes
Hey Guys,

I recently picked up a NOS ~2017 Pike and out of the box installed a Debonair spring in it. I re-greased and lubed everything as you would in a normal lowers service. Off the top, the small bump sensitivity was great and the forks would move with the strength of one finger pushing on the stem. I was very impressed!

After around 10 hours riding (a couple of weekend rides) the stiction was terrible. I could gently stand on my pedals without the fork moving into its travel.

With the air cap removed, the forks moved freely. After pulling the air spring and re-lubing the piston with Slikoleum it felt good again.

After another several hours riding, it is sticky again.

Do Rockshox forks normally require this much maintenace? I am comparing the Pike to an X-Fusion Trace that has a legit 1000+ unserviced hours on it and a 10yr old 36 both of which feel better than the Pike does after a few rides.

Is it possible I might have an out of spec o-ring that's too tight and needs the fresh grease to keep it moving?

Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Scott
 

c3024446

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Do us all a favour and use Molykote 55 and see if that works better long term than the Slickoleum.....it's not a cheap experiment.
 

RealizE

Likes Bikes
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like this is specific to me/my fork which is good news!

I've tried burping during and after a ride. I get nothing out of the air side and a tiny pfft out of the damper side, hot a huge hiss.

It has to be related to the air spring somehow as it's smooth with the cap removed. I guess next step will be to put the standard air spring in and see if it still does it.
 

link1896

Eats Squid
Molykote 55 is nothing special


Yet again one of the awesome features of dual air. Adding a few mls of light weight oil into the air chambers keeps the air piston running low stiction for a long long time.
 

moorey

Pagophagic
Molykote 55 is nothing special


Yet again one of the awesome features of dual air. Adding a few mls of light weight oil into the air chambers keeps the air piston running low stiction for a long long time.
I love dual air...solo air bites...unless charger damper.
 

kbekus

Likes Dirt
I just watched the debonaire spring upgrade video - it asks you to grease up a plastic dowel and shove it right up (well, 150mm up but who's counting) the cavity before you insert the new air spring. Did you do this? If not that might explain the stickiness after a few hours.... the slickoleum gets spread a little too thin inside the bore and loses effect.
 

RealizE

Likes Bikes
Yep, did that. The excess doesn't really stay on the bore though; it gathers up like a potato on the top of the piston and leaves a big high tide mark at the top.

I played a little more in the shed last night and found that if I lift the back wheel so the fork is perpendicular to the ground, it moves freely. When I put the back wheel on the ground, it binds up.

I think the fork moving freely with no air in it is the result of me pushing it straighter due to less resistance.

In the vice with no air in it, applying force at any angle <>90 binds it up, so I guess this is something slide related.
 

Oddjob

Eats Squid
You're getting bushing binding. It doesn't matter so much when just serviced as there is plenty of lube everywhere. Once the lube thins out it matters a lot.

Your options are to ride the fork and re-lube regularly until the bushings have worn in.

Or

Send off to suspension shop of choice and ask them to ream the bushings. This is often called a blueprint or race service.

Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk
 

RealizE

Likes Bikes
I've found a few threads on other forums with people complaining about bushing tolerances with the same era 160mm 29 RCT3 forks, so I'd say you're quite correct.

I'll re-grease it all today, keep riding and hope it improves over time.

Thanks everyone for your input.
 

Cardy George

Is not in gaol
I'm late to the party but my 2018 SIDs perform the same. Leaving them upside down for a night helps, but doesn't do many favours for the brakes, but the best solution I've found is to grease the foam rings that are supposed to be soaked in oil.
 

RealizE

Likes Bikes
So today I pulled out the air spring and damper to eliminate those. Sure enough, with them removed and all 4 bushings greased it still binds up at anything other than perfectly vertical. The slightest bit of angle and it won't budge.

When I first put the fork together I was blown away by how smooth it was. For the first few rides, I was ear to ear smiles. At the moment, it is so bound up that I can't even set my sag. It will support my whole body weight hanging off the bars without moving a millimeter. If I put a brick under the rear wheel and repeat, it's lovely and smooth.

Can anyone suggest something that I might have done wrong during that first spring install that could mess it up like this?

The bushes look shiny and uniform in appearance. With the spring and damper removed, the lowers will slide up and down under their own weight when vertical, so I don't think anything is bent.

I am totally lost as to why it was initially awesome and now almost rigid.
 
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