Front shocks, repair or replace

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IamGroot
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Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby IamGroot » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:16 am

We have a pair of the Merida Crossway 100 bikes and on one the front shocks feel really bumpy. Over 3 years we've both ridden 1000's of ks on them and they've both been amazing bikes with rarely a problem, well that is except for my loose crank and now the wife's shocks.
What's the best option theses days have the shocks repaired or replaced. Repairing them is something I don't want to tackle that's to YouTube. Going by the bikes specs the fork is a: SR NEX ML 63.

koshari
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby koshari » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:10 am

given a set of these forks can be bought for around 85-95 delivered i cant imagine it being commercially viable to rebuild these shocks,

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SR-Suntour-N ... SwXeJYIgeq

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/SR-Suntour-N ... SwnbZYIgec


thats assuming you can even get the parts and thats not even taking into account labour.


Looking at the specs i beleive that these forks are pretty much springers with a mech lockout there isnt a while lot that can go wrong with them, more complex forks have oil reservoirs and gas dampeners that can leak etc, but i think these ones are pretty rudimentary.
when you say they are feeling bumpy, do you mean you are feeling more bumps (increased spring fimness) or that the travel has some inconsistencies (sticking) ?

if its the earlier possibly the springs may have work hardened over time if the bike has been consistently exceeding the load rating, otherwise the seals can stick to the stanchions if there are rust spots / dents developing on them impeding the travel?

i have pulled some entry level forks down and they had some thin tube shaped shims that stop the spring rubbing on the outer alloy fork housings, its possible this may have worn? its also possible that you could replace them with some substitute material such as teflon lining but as you appear to not be that comfortable tackling a rebuild yourself labour again will be the real kicker.

would you be comfortable replacing the fork yourself?

May also be worth considering upgrading to some nice rigid front forks.
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Nobody
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Nobody » Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:56 am

koshari wrote:May also be worth considering upgrading to some nice rigid front forks.

I was thinking this also. Since one can still buy MTBs that are rigid with bigger tyres, it makes sense that suspension forks aren't as necessary as we may think on a hybrid bike. My wife's hybrid has a rigid fork. I also currently have two cheaper MTBs which I swapped the cheap old suspension forks out for steel rigid forks. One I still ride off road.

Hi IamGroot,

If you get a rigid MTB fork to replace the suspension fork, you may not notice much difference if you fit a bigger slick tyre up front and run a lower pressure to compensate. It may be a bit lighter and more efficient too.

My MTB below has a Surly 1 X 1 fork on it which isn't really cheap, but you can get much cheaper generic rigid forks. Or even a carbon rigid fork if you prefer. You just need to make sure the axle to crown length is an approximate match to your current suspension fork (when weighted) to make sure the handling stays the same.
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silentbutdeadly
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:39 pm

Replace. Suntour forks have no local representation so you'll struggle getting parts if any are required.

The problem with replacing these forks is that the bike uses a 700C road style wheel and so you'll struggle finding a rigid fork with a sufficient axle to crown length to maintain the geometry you clearly like.

Most rigid MTB forks for a 29er may be too tall for your bikes while a road fork will be too short. That said something with a 460 mm A to C measure might be OK.

These might fit (they are good) http://www.carboncycles.cc/index.php?s=0&c=43&p=959 if you have disc brakes. If yes then just pick the version that is closest to the distance on your current forks between the centre of the front axle and the top of the fork crown (axle to crown) where it disappears into the headset...

Otherwise, if you want to go with a replacement suspension fork (not recommended from my POV because of weight and limited performance) then the one of the Rock Shox Paragon series of forks would be the equivalent of what you have. Other RS fork series that should suit are the XC or the 30. Which one you pick depends on what you or your LBS can get and what brake system your bikes use.
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Nobody
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Nobody » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:31 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:Most rigid MTB forks for a 29er may be too tall for your bikes while a road fork will be too short. That said something with a 460 mm A to C measure might be OK.

Surly KM is 468
http://surlybikes.com/parts/forks/karate_monkey_fork
Surly 1 X 1 is 453
http://surlybikes.com/parts/forks/1x1_fork

There are forks there that do both disc and rim brakes. But they will probably cost the same or more than a cheap suspension fork.

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Duck!
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Duck! » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:10 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:Replace. Suntour forks have no local representation so you'll struggle getting parts if any are required.

They do have local backup actually. Not that it means much; the term "polishing a turd" comes to mind. They probably just need some fresh grease on the springs & internal shafts; that's about all that can be done with them.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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silentbutdeadly
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:48 am

Duck! wrote:They do have local backup actually.


Really? Who? Some of the more high spec Suntour forks actually do interest me...and local support for them would be helpful!

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IamGroot
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby IamGroot » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:06 am

Thanks Guys, Mary is only interested in a suspension fork cause we live in the bush and have very few smooth roads or paths.

I'll start researching the recommended suspension forks and buy something online.

This Xmas we might even replace both bikes with the Merida Crossway 500's but would still like the old bikes to be in good nic before passing them onto someone else.

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human909
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:44 am

They look like nice bikes for you needs and if you are happy with front shocks then why not keep them. :D However...

Suspension forks really aren't the best solution for bumpy roads and paths. For starters most of your weight is on the rear wheel which has no suspension. Wider tyres and a cushy seat will give better performance than suspension forks.

Suspension forks are good for maintaining control over large bumps such as stairs and curbs or larger drops. That said even these bumps can be handled comfortably on a road bike with 23mm wheels.

All that said, I'm happy with my suspension forks on my commuter. Not something I'd necessarily choose, but it approaching 2 decades old so there is a fair bit of nostalgia there.

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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Nobody » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:27 pm

human909 wrote:Suspension forks are good for maintaining control over large bumps such as stairs and curbs or larger drops. That said even these bumps can be handled comfortably on a road bike with 23mm wheels.

Wow, that's amazing. They are smaller than skateboard wheels. :P
Last edited by Nobody on Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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silentbutdeadly
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:47 pm

IamGroot wrote:Mary is only interested in a suspension fork cause we live in the bush and have very few smooth roads or paths.


Even when working perfectly, that fork would have had very little to do with smoothing out the small bumps and corrugations provided by rough roads and pathways. None of the cheap suspension forks do small bump compliance at all well and often by virtue of their weight and flexibility do not much at all for the handling either.

A good rigid carbon cyclocross or touring fork on the other hand can work wonders given their compliance but even a decent rigid steel fork can be better than a basic fork like the ones you have. Supple tyres are not to be sneezed at either.

I ride our local country roads (and a bit of single track) on a fully rigid gravel grinder style bike. Aluminium frame and carbon fork. 38 mm tyres. Comfortable for hours on end on both hands and bum and handling is as sharp as a tack. The only specialist suspension equipment on it is the USE Shokpost seat post which I highly recommend!
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koshari
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby koshari » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:38 pm

Agree with SBD.

Mary should try a rigid fork Her preference to a pogo stick on the front is unfounded.
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Nobody
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Nobody » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:21 pm

koshari wrote:Agree with SBD.

Mary should try a rigid fork Her preference to a pogo stick on the front is unfounded.

I agree with SBD too, but I'd argue the less experience you have with negotiating irregularities, the more you need (or think you need) a suspension fork. So fair enough.

Lurkin
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Lurkin » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:32 pm

Whats wrong with them?

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IamGroot
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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby IamGroot » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:21 am

Duck! wrote:
silentbutdeadly wrote:Replace. Suntour forks have no local representation so you'll struggle getting parts if any are required.

They do have local backup actually. Not that it means much; the term "polishing a turd" comes to mind. They probably just need some fresh grease on the springs & internal shafts; that's about all that can be done with them.


Hi Duck, I can tell you a funny one about this. I took the bikes to our local bike shop (300ks away) and asked them to give both bike forks a going over and they said they'd pulled them apart corrected the issues and reassembled them and then tested.
I hopped on my bike and what BS I say they never bothered to fix the problem and just said this because I had ordered 2 new bike from them.
The bikes are at our beach house to save use lugging them up and down the highway and with the forks locked in they rideable but as older folks we love the suspension up front.
I was in Brisbane recently and saw the guys at 99 bikes and asked if they keep the RockShox Paragon 700c fork and was told they keep no forks in stock but could order them in from the Australian distributor so I have 2 coming for our Merida bikes and 2 for our new Specialized bikes with the Dumb Brain forks.

You guys go on about the Merida 700c forks being crap but I have to disagree cause we've had the Merida's with the Suntour forks for 4 years and they've been great forks. Have travelled thousands of highway klms and daily use on rough country roads but like everything these day will eventually fail and being a throw away society it seems repairers would rather replace than repair. Well that is if the repairer is even bothered to repair and just tell you lies.

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Re: Front shocks, repair or replace

Postby Mububban » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:03 am

IamGroot wrote:You guys go on about the Merida 700c forks being crap but I have to disagree cause we've had the Merida's with the Suntour forks for 4 years and they've been great forks.


My main takeaway from reading this thread (as I too have a 15 year old MTB with basic Rock Shox fork) is that budget spring front suspension does almost nothing to absorb the small bumps, vibrations and road chatter of bad roads.
More expensive air sprung modern forks can handle the small bumps and chatter, but not our basic old springs.

They only really work on bigger drops like riding down kerbs, stairs or log drops, like my son and I did yesterday off road. Even his 30mm travel el cheapo suspension on his 20 inch kids bike will compress if you go down a drop half the height of his wheel :D
But on small bumps and corrugations, it does nothing but add weight. But he thinks it looks cool so it makes him want to ride more :)
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