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Front shock cleaning/dis-assembly... Should I take it apart?

esuhlesuhl Posts: 16
edited May 2010 in MTB beginners
Sorry if this is a really dumb question, but I've searched everywhere and can't find an answer. :oops:

I have a cheapo mountain bike and am giving it it's first clean/lube/service in well over 5 years!!! It's going well so far, but I was wondering if I can (or if I need to) dismantle the front suspension to give it a thorough clean?

There's a hex bolt on the underside of each fork prong... Is it safe to undo this to (presumably) take the shocks apart, or is this just asking for trouble?

I don't know what model bike or shocks they are but they say "Zoom" on the side. Since it was a cheap bike (£125!) I guess they're pretty basic - springs or air compression maybe...?

So... is it safe/sensible to undo the bolts?

Thanks in advance for any advice :-)


  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    just dont.

    The zoom forks are AFAIK without exception atrocious. The insides will have given up the ghost so just leave them as is and try to find some nice steel rigids, which will weigh less, cost very little and probably offer more suspension!
  • joshtpjoshtp Posts: 3,966
    as above, get some cheap steel ridgids, they will be better in every way.
    I like bikes and stuff
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Some Zooms function perfectly well.

    Those bolts should allow you to slide the lowers off. Then simply clean and grease them.
  • esuhlesuhl Posts: 16
    Thanks all.

    The suspension seems to be working fine (I haven't used the bike *that* often) and I really don't want to get a rigid set of forks as the suspension has saved my neck (and wrists!) a number of times.

    Am I likely to break anything or find it difficult to put back together, or is it really as easy as supersonic suggests?

    And should I just take the lower fork bit off and grease the outside of the stanchions or can I also take the spring out of the stanchion to clean inside...? Just want to make absolutely sure I don't break anything!
  • esuhlesuhl Posts: 16
    Hmmm.... Well, I undid the two hex screws on the bottom of the lower forks, but nothing happened - I couldn't pull the stanchions out. So I removed one of the caps on the top of the stanchions... to find that the stanchion on that side was empty with an inaccesible hex key right at the bottom! So it looks like the whole suspension mechanism is on just one side of the bike?!

    I started removing the other cap (which had an adjustable thumb-screw thing on top) and it remained pretty tight, making me think that there was a big spring underneath that would be tricky to put back if I removed the cap.... so I chickened out and put everything back as it was!

    It would be good to see a video of someone taking a similar suspension set apart, but I couldn't find anything on any bike maintenence websites or youtube...

    Anyway, the suspension works well enough for now - I guess I'll just leave it till it stops working then get something better to replace it.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Many forks are spring one side only.

    It seems like that bottom bolt in the leg is the key.
  • esuhlesuhl Posts: 16
    supersonic wrote:
    Many forks are spring one side only.

    Phew! That's a relief - I thought I'd been short changed!
    supersonic wrote:
    It seems like that bottom bolt in the leg is the key.

    Yeah... I'd need a 30cm long Allen key for that! The shocks are working well at the moment, so I'll leave them as they are unless (or until) something goes wrong.
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