Five mins of a job.

Is your fork feeling a bit past its best? Here are three, really simple ways you can get your fork working better again.

Apologies if you know these already. Some people won’t. If you want a more in-depth article, check out our How to set up mountain bike suspension guide.

And for specific fork service instructions, click on the ‘How to’ link in the navigation bar above where you’ll find info like How to service Fox 36 lower legs and How to perform a RockShox Pike service (VIDEO).

Tools required

  • Rag
  • Suspension-friendly cleaning product
  • Small zip tie
  • Shock pump

1. Stanchion wipe

First thing, clean the stanchions and polish them too to remove any stickiness that could impede their movement.

Don’t use any harsh or rubber-unfriendly cleaning products when doing this. Using some bike cleaners can dry out your rubber seals causing them to wear your stanchions as well as generally degrading the fork’s performance.

If in doubt, just use a clean(ish) rag soaked in unadulterated water. And a bit of elbow grease.

2. Burp your seals

Then try burping your fork — sometimes a little bit of air can leak into the lower legs. This is especially true if you’ve been on holiday with your bike and your bike has been in an aeroplane hold. But it can just happen to any fork at any time really so it’s worth a shot regardless.

So get the end of a zip tie and carefully slide it down the seal. (nothing metal, nothing harsh that can damage the seals).

And you’ll maybe hear a little bit of air hiss out. Simple as that.

3. Sort your sag

Finally, make sure your sag is set right — some forks have recommended pressures written on the side, start from there.

It’s not unknown for such recommended pressures to end up being on the too-soft side so don’t be surprised if you eventually end up putting in the recommended PSI for a rider heavier than you.

We reckon 25% of the travel is about right.