first there was a vivid (air), then there was none. then a nice person gave us one (crazy i know) but did tell us it was leaking air – albeit slowly – which meant it needed a service. i popped it on the nomad and immediately felt at home on my bike again, but nat insisted it was hers. who could argue with nat?

never mind, another one showed up: a completely new unit someone had bought but then decided not to use and wanted to get rid off at a discount. it immediately got ‘nomadified’ and is now on permanent duty in my bike.

that leaves the other one, which now needed to be restored to its full glory so it could start work in nat’s bike. after all that old monarch has already collapsed on a few occasions.

there is only a gazillion parts in the service kit, so what could possibly go wrong?

well for starters the very first lock ring did not want to open – at all. seriously. rock shox specifies that this ring should be secured with permanent threadlock, which likely caused this issue. luckily after i stuck the shock in the freezer for a while i finally managed to turn the ring.

after that it did get a little easier but the vivid is definitely not an easy shock to service. there is a lot going on in there.

the disassembly is not too bad, it actually comes apart nicely (once that first bloody ring is off) and replacing the various seals and o-rings is not difficult either.

putting it all back together is a different matter. the most difficult part is the reassembly of the damping circuit which is tricky due to the fact that the countermeasure spring (that’s really what it is called) needs to be compressed while the whole piston assembly is re-inserted at an angle into the dampening oil …

i also struggled a bit putting the air can back in but i think second time round will be much easier.

tomorrow it goes into nat’s bike – let’s hope i did it all correctly and it works … so exciting. and if it does next on the list is nat’s pike, that has a strange knock in it.

ps. it’s in, first tests are encouraging. woohoo.

pps. nat rode the rebuilt shock around the dam and it’s holding up well. the shock is a bit overdampened for her light weight but that’s actually the case for most suspension components and there is not too much i can do about this. i mean i could reshim the compression circuit … maybe next time i service it.