New to suspension forks - to oil stanchions or not to oil?


New Member
Sep 27, 2012
...that is the question.

I have tried searching for the information I am after, but might not know the correct terms, so please excuse me if this is a common question.

After owning my last bike 20 years, the old faithful fully rigid bike is being given semi-retirement and I now have a Giant Roam 2 with front suspension.

I am not sure of the best approach to keeping the stanchions in the best condition possible, hence this post.

When I had a motorbike, I would wipe the stanchions regularly with a light oil. They had guards (not gaitors) which kept most muck off the stanchions so this worked well.

The Roam 2's stanchions are more exposed and when I ride on dusty trails they accumulate a lot of dust. This dust is mainly stone dust as the trails are crushed stone so will be highly abrasive.

According to the Giant Roam 2 specification the forks are the:

SR Suntour NEX 4610 Lock-out

I read the manuals provided by Giant and Suntour, but they didn't mention how to best care for the stanchions.

Basically it simply tells you to:

Clean stanchion tubes and dust seals after every ride
Inspect upper tubes for scratches

Not terribly helpful...

Is it better to have the stanchions with a light coat of oil (I actually use an inert silicon oil) and not worry about the dust that sticks as long as I wipe them clean at the end of the ride, or to wipe them dry before riding to minimise any stickiness that might pick up and hold dust?

Is it possible to keep the stanchions scratch free?

I'd like to prevent any damage, so any advice is welcome.


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
IMO, you should apply something ...

I recommend applying some SLICK HONEY (or, equivalent -- your silicon oil is probably just as good-or-better) to the sliders to mitigate stiction ...

SLICK HONEY's equivalent is, BTW, an easy DIY combination of a dab of Petroleum Jelly with a drop of motor oil (e.g., 30W will do) ...

Oil, alone, will eventually "varnish" ...

Grease, alone, will eventually "gel" ...

I can't/won't say that the "combination" doesn't require being wiped down & reapplied at times.

I think that the "gaiters" presume zero will be done ... the seals on the lowers should wipe the sliders & hopefully preclude your fork's sliders becoming gouged by the granite dust, BTW ... absolutely NO PROMISES.


New Member
Sep 27, 2012
Interesting :) two answers with opposite viewpoints Hmmmmmm.

I have had one other suggestion and that is that the forks I have are 'disposable' and not worth worrying about. I disagree. Even disposable items can be maintained and made to last much much longer.