Throwback Thursday: Upgrading Your Fork Seals To SKF
One of the unsung heroes of the modern mountain bike is the lowly fork wiper. It’s a small part, but it makes a huge difference in the way your suspension feels, and it needs to be replaced more frequently than you might expect. Time and time again we encounter riders who have run their forks into the ground by not changing wipers or the lubricating bath oil that keeps a fork running smoothly.
Fork seals have to function in a very demanding environment, and while fork manufacturers have worked hard to improve their own seal systems, SKF has developed a range of aftermarket seals tuned to reduce friction, improve suspension feel and increase the life of the fork. SKF seals are said to be better at sealing out water and dirt, which keeps lubrication oil cleaner over the life of the seal. We put a set of these seals through the wrecking crew wringer, but first we had to install them.
This procedure is for a Fox 36 RC2 fork, although it’s very similar to the installation procedure for most major brands. If it’s been a season or more since your last suspension service, whether or not you choose to upgrade to an aftermarket seal like the SKF, it’s time to show your bike some love. We’ll show you how.
Editor’s Note: In this Garage Files article, published in the last issue, we forgot to mention that FOX forks have come equipped with SKF seals since 2011. FOX recommends using genuine FOX SKF seals that are available at your local dealer or calling 1-800-FOX-SHOX