Retro Fork Rebuild

First big job of the rebuild project is the fork service.

The fork in question is a 2005 Marzocchi EXR Pro Coil with 120mm of travel, it is a really simple fork with spring preload as the only adjustment. That being said it is a surprisingly plush and lively little fork and whilst not the biggest hitting, suits the character of my “retro, not retro” build and the period of the drive train.

The service breaks down into two stages, the first is essentially a lower leg service and oil change, the second is a full strip down and rebuild. The first stage is essentially the same for all forks, with some differences in removing adjustments knobs at the bottom of some forks, but the principle is the same.

MTB fork service lower oil change stravaiging shed time

Once the lowers are removed and the oil drained, the next step is to remove the coils and disassemble the push rod assemblies. This process of a full strip down of a fork varies wildly from fork to fork and you should always refer to the manufacturers service manual. If you are unsure as to how to perform the service, do not attempt it, take your fork to your LBS or a suspension service center.

With the fork broken down it is a case of cleaning and de-greasing each component with Isopropyl alcohol and checking for wear. At this stage it is good practice to replace any o rings or internal seals with new ones, these usually come in kits specific to each model of fork.

Being a open bath fork it takes allot of oil, 125ml in each leg, the oil is kept within the lowers by the dust wipers and oil seals. However Marzocchi seals will outlast religion so there is never any worry about oil leaking past the seals. These forks do not have any internal seals or o rings, such is their simplicity and there were no signs of internal wear or tear.

With all of the internals inspected and cleaned it is a simple matter of reversing the disassembly process and rebuilding the fork with fresh grease and oil. Once reassembled all bolts should be correctly torqued before refitting to the bike.

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I am an artist living and working in Aberdeen, I ride bikes and like to write about it sometimes.

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