We love high-tech suspension for our bicycles. As aficionados, we couldn't see ourselves without it. No bones about it, Fox makes the best dampers in the bike industry. They offer a buttery smooth ride and adjustments enough to tune the suspension for any terrain or to suit the most discerning rider.
Even the best parts will eventually need some maintenance, however. Fox states recommended service intervals for their suspension products in its owner's manuals. For our 32 TALAS RLC 150 15QR, we were due for a fluid service. It was also a great opportunity to freshen up the fork a bit by replacing the main wiper seal and foam rings. With the lowers off, we inspected the bushings to make sure that things were in order and there was no need to replace any worn parts there. Post inspection, we set out get it put back together. We used Fox Factory parts — the Fox 32mm Dust Wiper Kit and Fox Suspension Fluid because we didn't want to incur any compatibility issues.
With telescoping forks, there are too many ways that dirt and other contaminants can enter the fork itself. This can cause accelerated wear by either physically scratching the sliding parts, or by degrading the fluid that acts as a lubricant and as a medium for the damper assembly. In any case, it is important to keep these components clean and do periodic maintenance and inspection to prevent small issues from becoming big, expensive problems.
Forks and rear shocks can be intimidating. Many folks are just too hesitant to take on any work themselves and then the parts go too long without proper service. We can offer one piece of advice — plug the Fox owners manual DVD into your computer and familiarize yourself with the information available there. You'll find an easy how-to for seal cleaning and recommended service intervals for your fork or shock model. Go ahead and give it a shot. You might be shocked to see how easy it really is — watch below: