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Servicing An Air Shaft In Real Time | Mountain Bike Suspension Fork Service


– Hello, and welcome to another realtime service video This time we're focusing on air springs

(whooshing sounds) In the past, we've done really in-depth videos on lower leg services So if this is all a bit of a dark art to you, click here for Doddy's video It's a really in-depth how-to and a great way to familiarize yourself with what is quite a basic service Today, though, we're going to be focusing on our air springs Now, air springs are basically to replace what you might think inside your fork, the spring itself, with just an air chamber that's pressurized

This is not only very light very adjustable, so it's perfect for mountain biking Now, a couple of things you're going to need before we even start this service Big thing you'll need is some circlip pliers These are to basically remove the air spring from the lower of the fork Also you can use a valve tool here, which is very useful

And some bits that we don't technically need, but they are very useful if you want to do the extra layer, and that is a 12mm spanner and an 8mm Allen key In regards to grease, you can use the dynamic seal grease from SRAM, or just something like the butter or similar They do recommend this for the inner workings of their shocks and forks, but to be honest, both will do a perfectly decent job And, as always, Mr Blue Towel, just to keep things clean

So first thing's first is we need to remove our valve core from the top of the fork, let all the pressure out, make a note, take it out and away you go, and put it somewhere safe You can probably get away with doing it by just holding it down, et cetera et cetera, but I think it's not only easier but safer to do it removed entirely, out the way You're taking apart some stuff that can hold really high pressures of air, and yeah, it's not to be messed around with That stuff can be pretty sketchy if you take something apart that is even remotely charged, so yeah, be careful Now, first thing's first, we're going to get our circlip pliers, which might not be part of the bread and butter of a lot of toolboxes, but they're certainly useful, especially for suspension

You can use two picks, I suppose, but this will make it far, far easier Now, at the bottom of our air spring, we have this retaining clip here which we're going to get at with these So forcing down nice and evenly, and it comes up like so Now, this service we're doing is a great little add-on for a lower leg and will really help increase the performance of your fork A lot of focus is on these seals here, these wiper seals and how they might reduce friction, but the in diameter is quite large too, and having that big air spring, it needs to be lubed, it needs to be sure it's nice and light in terms of action

Also, this is the part that you replace if you want to change the travel of your forks, so it's worth bearing in mind Now, what we've got to do here, and we've emptied the positive air chamber, and it definitely is empty because there's the valve core, but the negative might still be charged So as we're going to pull this off, there might indeed be a little bit of a pop, so please don't do it It's like in the cold cartoon, the guy looking down the barrel of the gun Maybe do it away from you

(pop) Pop Hey presto, and there we have it If you took out this top assembly here, where your volume spacers sit, you would be able to see straight down the fork there It's really as simple as that So the way it sits is here, is where your positive air chamber is

It equalizes, as the fork's got a little notch inside there, to fill your negative Now, negative air chambers are a real big buzzword in mountain biking at the moment, and here isn't the stock assembly Normally, it comes with this spacer just inside Now this is a topout spacer It means that as your fork reaches full extension, it doesn't make any noise, it's nice and smooth

However, if you want to, a nice little trick you can do if you're wanting Pike, such as these, or even later generations of RockShox forks in general, is you can remove this, which increases the volume of your negative air, which will help a more fluttery stroke all through the travel So that's a nice little tip, and it's not something you have to do, but I mean, to be honest, the forks are very active anywhere in their stroke anyway, but yeah, it's a nice little trick, and if you want to remove that, you can just put the 8 mil in there, a spanner on the end there, and away you go That does take a small amount of retaining compound on what is a very finely-pitched thread, but yeah, it's worth doing I'm just going to Pinch that off And that whole assembly can slide off there This is where you would then remove the bottom out spacer or install it, depending how you're going What I'm going to do, 'cause why not, why not make it as good as it can be? And I'm just going to use SRAM butter just for simplicity's sake

Just a little bit of grease, make sure it's clean before you go in, and you can get special tools that will allow you to grease this more effectively It's like a little, almost like a bullet that's shaped on the end, which is absolutely lovely, but you can do this at home very easily, just like I'm doing here Just going to make sure my finger's nice and clean Slide that on with the obviously correct orientation The writing should be at the bottom, and this is going to be really similar no matter if you're wanting Fox or whatever

It's a very similar thing Like I said, this is the piece that you need to change should you want to change the travel of your fork in the latest kind of generations Yeah, so just bear in mind, it's real, real simple service, like I said, and on some forks, like Suntours, they use spacers which clip onto this leg that are largely the same thing Now I was also saying earlier on, sometimes they do use retaining compounds on there I kind of get my forks apart quite regularly, so for me it's not such an issue, but if you're a set and forget sort of person, then maybe that's worth doing Nipped up nice and firmly there If you've got a torque wrench, may want to check the manufacturer's guide on the website, but I think we'll be pretty good there

And there we have it, so that's that nice, sealed, lubed up there It definitely feels pretty light, and we're going to just then lube up this seal here I go quite firm Sometimes these come so over-lubed, like a very generous helping of grease from brand new, and what that means is sometimes the equaloi– Equalizing port, the equaloizing port? The equalizing port, which sits in the fork there, gets blocked by grease, and that means that sometimes the negative air chamber can become overcharged and it can't get back into the positive That's when your forks stick down, so if that's the case, then this is the service you need to do, although when you're pulling that out, sometimes there can be a real big pop, so it's worth maybe covering with a bit of rag or similar

Next, right, I'm just going to hold this up to the light here, shine it down Light is a really useful tool as a way of inspecting to make sure there are no nicks or scratches From there, there shouldn't be anything much, but it's a good habit to get into Always inspect your stuff for wear As you do that, you're going to become more familiar with what it should look like, more familiar with tolerances and things like that, so it is definitely worth doing

And then, holding it nice and firm, try to get it in There we go Then this bit is really important, because if this circlip isn't installed correctly, then you're going to be in a world of bother really, aren't you? So we're going to make sure that's nice and seated, there's a definite snap We're just going to remove the excess grease there This will aid us in terms of visual inspection, and there's definitely a defined slot for this circlip to fit into

So we get it there We're going to come up with our fingers, hold it in place, hold it down, and as simple as that That's installed very nicely, and make sure it's all the way seated around, it's nice and flat, it's parallel with the top there If it's at a slant, it's not in properly, and like I said, that could go a bit wrong So then very simply, we're going to reinstall this valve core, making sure it's clean

I'm just going to be a bit naughty It's like almost at a dinner party, double dipping (whistles) Politics, man So we're going to put that in there The reason I actually like to lube those seals is it just reduces any sort of micro tears it could get, and it's just covering the bases, really

So there we have it Now as we inflate this positive air chamber, it's going to make this leg come out back to where it was Now a really good guide for air springs, there is a thing called bushing overlap, which is basically how far your lowers and your fork legs kind of mesh together and how deep they sit within there, which is obviously really important, but another visual guide you can do is if your air leg is longer than your damper, so it's way out here, then what happens is as it comes to the top of its stroke, it's actually going to be pulling apart that damper, so it can cause some serious damage to your bike, and when we do change the length of our forks, that's one thing we really, really need to watch out for So we always want to make sure even when they're at full extension that the damper is just a little bit longer than the air leg there, the air shaft But that's pretty much it, and you'll be amazed at how much difference that will make, and it only takes just a few minutes to do

Now, is this something you do all the time? Let us know in the comments below As always, please don't forget to like and subscribe, and if you want to see the other realtime service we've done, which is where we took apart a rear RockShox shock, then click down here It's a bit of good fun, bit of waffle, just kind of me just yabbering on, and hopefully able to include some tips and tricks that maybe you didn't think of Awesome, thanks for watching, guys

Source: Youtube

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