When a fork wears out…

Back in 2008 the single speed mountain bike fad was in full swing. Every one and their dog had a single speed mountain bike in their quiver of bikes. I bought a Gary Fisher Rig. It came with the then novel G2 geometry including 51mm offset in the fork.
Eventually that fork found its way onto my custom Titus frame (which came with a Manitou Minute fork sporting 48mm of offset - so barely a difference). And then that bike became my single speed. And it still is. The fad might be dead and buried, but I still love riding my single speeder.

Last night I put new fork seals and oil in my G2 Fox fork. I left this overhaul a little long - I use Maxima fork oil which is as clear as water - the oil was dark in the air spring leg (which only has 30ml of oil in it to act as lubricant). Part of the problem was the non-Fox seals I installed last time. They were rubbish! I think I will write a separate entry about them rather than digress here.
When the fork was apart I could see the bushing wear caused by all four bushings (two per leg). One wear mark has been stable for years - I must have left a prior seal change too long and caused the wear? On the air spring leg the wear is quite bad - 30ml of oil isn’t very much volume.
I’ve put fresh seals in quite a few customer forks too. Often they have some indication of bushing wear caused by neglect or age. I don’t know for certain but I suspect even regularly and properly overhauled forks will still get bushing wear on the anodising.

By comparison to current Fox 32 forks, this 10 year old model is very crude. I’d love to replace it but almost every fork these days uses a tapered steerer that won’t fit my Titus frame. I need a straight 1 1/8” steerer. I don’t know how to remedy this problem. I should be able to purchase a new “CSU” (that’s the crown steerer unit, the part with the stanchions that get worn) and new bushings but then I’ve spent a lot of money to renew a mediocre fork. Still that will be preferable to abandoning my most used MTB.

Moral of this story is don’t put off those fork seal changes that you know are due.