not long ago i serviced nat’s pike which turned out to be much more in need of attention than i thought it should have been. this of course goes to show that one should never assume.
at that point i didn’t have the special syringe adaptor required to bleed the damper side and consequently i left that alone at the time. however, in the meantime i did actually acquire that tool and today i decided that nat’s damper side was going to get some overdue attention as well. turns out that was true: the cap appears to have been loose which had allowed dirt inside the fork leg.
on the one hand i wanted to ensure all the internals were in good shape (given the poor condition of the air spring side) but i also wanted to revalve the rebound damper. a stack of shims, thin washer-like metal rings are inserted in the path of the suspension oil and when the fork goes through its travel the oil forces its way past these shims. rock shox kindly offers a guide on how to do just that.
the more and bigger these shims the harder the oil needs to be pushed and the slower the action of the fork. natalie is very light and as we tried to set up the fork for her body weight it became clear that the damping was too heave for her.
the good thing is that this can be fixed by rearranging the shim stack – another reason the service the damper. interestingly the stack i found in nat’s fork didn’t resemble anything described in the manual, but it had the correct shims to build a soft tune.
after that it was the usual bleed procedure which is actually good fun and pretty rewarding. the only thing i am a little disappointed about is that the service kit for the pike didn’t include a new damper seal head which i would have liked to replace.
anyway, all seems to be good now and i hope we will be able to get the rebound setting closer to what feels right for nat. i can’t wait for her to get back and see how her new air spring and her revalved damper feel.