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Rockshox Recon SL Solo Air gone stiff

hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
edited July 2012 in MTB workshop & tech
My RS Recon SL Solo Air (came standard on my 2010 Scott Scale 50) has suddenly gone stiff. It won't compress or if I really lean on it it will only compress about 10mm. It all seemed to be working fine a month ago which was the last time I was out on my bike.

At first I thought it may be the lockout (the fork feels as though it's been locked out) but the lock/unlock cam on the top of the stanchion seems to move freely, i.e. it doesn't feel like it's stuck in the locked position.

Any ideas what the problem may be? Is it likely to be the 'lockout cartridge'? What else could make it go stiff like this?

The fork has never been serviced but I always wipe the stanchions down a lube the seals. I've seen the tutorials for servicing the forks and am quite comfortable with stripping the fork.

If I strip the fork down should I do a full seal replacement too while I'm at it or would that be wasting my money?

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The damper has leaked oil into the lower leg - it will need servicing ie o rings replacing.
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    Thanks for the reply ss. On further investigation, I let out the air in the fork and the fork does now compress although it's quite stiff and requires my weight on it to push it down. If I lift the bike the fork will extend again although slowly to about 50% of it's travel. I can then easily full the fork out to it's full length. It feels like there is a lot of stiction or friction on the stanchion or seals. So I'm not sure it's an oil leak otherwise the fork wouldn't compress even with the air out.

    I have a fairly long ride planned tomorrow and won't be able to get a seal kit in time to service the fork. Is there anything I can do to check and clean / free up the seals without a new seal kit so I can use the bike tomorrow? If not I'll cancel. I don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere with a fork that decides to stop working.

    Do you think it's more than likely the wiper seal on the stantion causing the resistance or and internal seal or impossible to say without looking? I'm just trying to establish where to start. Can the fork be stripped cleaned and reassembled without replacing the seals?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Still sounds like some damper problem, maybe the lockout function is half closed. I doubt it is the seals, but only a full strip will find that out.
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    OK thanks. I spoke to my LBS, they don't do the service but send the fork away and with August holidays around the corner advised against sending it now as it probably won't be back before September. He also wouldn't be able to get a seal kit for at least a week.

    So it seems I'm stuck for the moment. I looked for kits in the UK but they won't send oils overseas. I can buy the seals but would have to source the oil locally. Is there anything special about the oil or is it just a standard synthetic oil of 2.5W and 15W?

    Where is the best place in the UK to purchase the seal kits from and would you also buy the stanchion wiper seals? For some reason they are sold separately.
  • oodboooodboo Posts: 2,171
    Have you tried TF Tuned or Mojo?
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  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    I found TF tuned. They won't ship the oil outside of the UK. They do have the seals though on their own. Not tried Mojo. Will look them up. I'm shocked at how expensive a few 'o' rings and seals are.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Plenty of kits on Ebay
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  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    supersonic wrote:
    Still sounds like some damper problem, maybe the lockout function is half closed. I doubt it is the seals, but only a full strip will find that out.
    I think you're right. I've just noticed after a bit of messing around that the lockout doesn't make any difference any more. With it engaged I can still push the fork right down now that the air is out. I would expect it to still lock.
  • RevellRiderRevellRider Posts: 1,794
    hard-rider wrote:
    OK thanks. I spoke to my LBS, they don't do the service but send the fork away and with August holidays around the corner advised against sending it now as it probably won't be back before September. He also wouldn't be able to get a seal kit for at least a week.

    Are they having a laugh? Take it to another bike shop that wants your trade rather than fobbing you off. I have just seen you're not based in the UK but this is still a long turn around for a fork service
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    Are they having a laugh? Take it to another bike shop that wants your trade rather than fobbing you off. I have just seen you're not based in the UK but this is still a long turn around for a fork service
    Tried a couple of over LBS's and the same story. I found one that does the service in house on a one day turn around and will require 4 days to get the parts so that seems more like it. Now deciding if I should do it myself or just get them to do it. €94 for them to service vs €71 for me to purchase seals and oils.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    I've seen kits on ebay from about £15, maybe the UK sellers will post to you?
  • hard-riderhard-rider Posts: 460
    supersonic wrote:
    I've seen kits on ebay from about £15, maybe the UK sellers will post to you?
    Thanks supersonic. The cheapest places that stock correct seals for my forks seem to be in Germany. I found the main internal seal kits for €15, plus €13 for the wiper seals. The oils are quite expensive at €13 for each weight 5W and 15W plus shipping brings it all to the €71. Found the oils locally but same price for half the volume.
  • Use motorcycle fork oil (I use Yamalube), half the price and twice the volume of MTB specific oil. If it's good enough for a 160mph motorbike it's good enough for an MTB.

    I've been using it for years with no ill effects.
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