RockShox warranty war story (longish)

Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Superslinky, Jun 7, 2003.

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  1. Superslinky

    Superslinky Guest

    My new Ibex Apogee XT came with a RockShox Duke XC and it never worked right. It topped out harshly
    from the first minute I sat on the bike. I have been corresponding with RockShox support and I have
    to give them an A for effort. They have answered all of my e-mails within hours and get this: they
    let end users do their own warranty work on the guts of the fork. They say it is to get their
    customers to be more active in maintaining them. The RockShox rep diagnosed the problem with only my
    brief description. I had a bad damper assembly. I had already taken the fork apart once to change
    over to 15w oil in an effort to get more damping with no effect. They sent out a replacement part
    within a few days, but alas it is the wrong one. So I get to see if they will continue their no
    questions asked warranty policy and send me yet another part.

    Now I don't want to jump onto the slag RockShox bandwagon that is so much in style now, especially
    with the 13 year olds at MTBR, but I was surprised at how under engineered the damper assembly is.
    The damper is basically a plunger with an o-ring that bolts to the lower leg and sloshes through an
    oil bath in the stanchion tube. So far so good, but the top of the plunger is a plastic assembly
    which is only press fit onto the damper rod. I have nothing against plastic, but there is no
    retaining clip, no lip on the rod, no kotter pin, only some knurling in the damper rod to keep the
    whole thing together. The friction between the knurling and the plastic assembly must resist the
    friction of the o- ring and the force of the oil working against the damper for the life of the
    fork. What were they thinking? No wonder mine failed, and I'll bet mine isn't the only one, although
    most riders do seem to be happy with the Duke XC.

    So, I'm kind of fed up with having a crippled bike. I don't know how this repair is going to work
    out--for all I know there may be a defect that causes this fork to eat damper assemblies. I will
    continue to work with RockShox to get this fork into shape, but in the meantime, I am going to buy a
    Marzocchi or Fox and relegate the Duke to some future frankenstein project. It would be a good fork
    for a hardtail second bike. So anybody want to jump in with recommendations? I am eyeballing the
    Marzocchi MX Pro ETA and the Fox Vanilla 125RL. I want to go coil instead of air for a plusher ride
    and generally less headaches. I don't care about the extra pound I will carry around over a XC air
    fork. Oh, and I really don't want to shell out $500 or more. I am leaning toward the Fox since you
    can choose the amount of travel without buying an extra kit and it comes with a choice of springs in
    the box. It also has over-sized stanchion tubes for extra stiffness. OTOH, the Bomber is less
    expensive and probably in most ways equal to the Fox. Some people like the action of the Marzocchi
    better. Both of these shocks are in stock at JensonUSA. And before anyone says anything about
    supporting the LBS, believe me I tried. There is hardly a bike shop in the Midwest that has a
    mid-level suspension fork in stock. I called over a dozen shops within a 4 hour drive and none of
    them had anything close to what I wanted. When I asked where I would get a Fox or one of the better
    Marzocchis, about half of them said 'on-line'. I kid you not. Any comments appreciated.
     
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  2. Bill Peabody

    Bill Peabody Guest

    I had a Bomber with 4 inch travel on a bike about 4 years ago and loved it. (bike was stolen later)
    I also have an air type by Manitou (spelling) and my objection to air is the stiction. Low impact
    bumps just are not absorbed - only the big hits. The bomber you could see move with all the little
    ripples. I also like the idea of 2 shocks (one in each leg) and the air shocks have air in one leg
    and the shock in the other. The open bath oil system on the bomber eliminates worry of oil leakage
    of the shock. I look at the extra weight as a non essential as my total weight with bike and water
    bottles is probably 220 pounds so what is the big deal of an extra pound?? I will admit the air
    shock has held air pressure with no problems but the shock part started leaking early on and I
    really cannot see any difference in the adjustment ritual. I am looking at a coil spring Marzonni
    myself with say 3 inches travel. "SuperSlinky" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > My new Ibex Apogee XT came with a RockShox Duke XC and it never worked right. It topped out
    > harshly from the first minute I sat on the bike. I have been corresponding with RockShox support
    > and I have to give them an A for effort. They have answered all of my e-mails within hours and get
    > this: they let end users do their own warranty work on the guts of the fork. They say it is to get
    > their customers to be more active in maintaining them. The RockShox rep diagnosed the problem with
    > only my brief description. I had a bad damper assembly. I had already taken the fork apart once to
    > change over to 15w oil in an effort to get more damping with no effect. They sent out a
    > replacement part within a few days, but alas it is the wrong one. So I get to see if they will
    > continue their no questions asked warranty policy and send me yet another part.
    >
    > Now I don't want to jump onto the slag RockShox bandwagon that is so much in style now, especially
    > with the 13 year olds at MTBR, but I was surprised at how under engineered the damper assembly is.
    > The damper is basically a plunger with an o-ring that bolts to the lower leg and sloshes through
    > an oil bath in the stanchion tube. So far so good, but the top of the plunger is a plastic
    > assembly which is only press fit onto the damper rod. I have nothing against plastic, but there is
    > no retaining clip, no lip on the rod, no kotter pin, only some knurling in the damper rod to keep
    > the whole thing together. The friction between the knurling and the plastic assembly must resist
    > the friction of the o- ring and the force of the oil working against the damper for the life of
    > the fork. What were they thinking? No wonder mine failed, and I'll bet mine isn't the only one,
    > although most riders do seem to be happy with the Duke XC.
    >
    > So, I'm kind of fed up with having a crippled bike. I don't know how this repair is going to work
    > out--for all I know there may be a defect that causes this fork to eat damper assemblies. I will
    > continue to work with RockShox to get this fork into shape, but in the meantime, I am going to buy
    > a Marzocchi or Fox and relegate the Duke to some future frankenstein project. It would be a good
    > fork for a hardtail second bike. So anybody want to jump in with recommendations? I am eyeballing
    > the Marzocchi MX Pro ETA and the Fox Vanilla 125RL. I want to go coil instead of air for a plusher
    > ride and generally less headaches. I don't care about the extra pound I will carry around over a
    > XC air fork. Oh, and I really don't want to shell out $500 or more. I am leaning toward the Fox
    > since you can choose the amount of travel without buying an extra kit and it comes with a choice
    > of springs in the box. It also has over-sized stanchion tubes for extra stiffness. OTOH, the
    > Bomber is less expensive and probably in most ways equal to the Fox. Some people like the action
    > of the Marzocchi better. Both of these shocks are in stock at JensonUSA. And before anyone says
    > anything about supporting the LBS, believe me I tried. There is hardly a bike shop in the Midwest
    > that has a mid-level suspension fork in stock. I called over a dozen shops within a 4 hour drive
    > and none of them had anything close to what I wanted. When I asked where I would get a Fox or one
    > of the better Marzocchis, about half of them said 'on-line'. I kid you not. Any comments
    > appreciated.
     
  3. Superslinky

    Superslinky Guest

    bill peabody said...

    > I had a Bomber with 4 inch travel on a bike about 4 years ago and loved it. (bike was stolen
    > later) I also have an air type by Manitou (spelling) and my objection to air is the stiction. Low
    > impact bumps just are not absorbed - only the big hits. The bomber you could see move with all the
    > little ripples. I also like the idea of 2 shocks (one in each leg) and the air shocks have air in
    > one leg and the shock in the other. The open bath oil system on the bomber eliminates worry of oil
    > leakage of the shock. I look at the extra weight as a non essential as my total weight with bike
    > and water bottles is probably 220 pounds so what is the big deal of an extra pound?? I will admit
    > the air shock has held air pressure with no problems but the shock part started leaking early on
    > and I really cannot see any difference in the adjustment ritual. I am looking at a coil spring
    > Marzonni myself with say 3 inches travel.

    I am definitely looking forward to the plusher ride of a coil fork. Well, that and actually having a
    fork that works the way it should. Sounds like you would be interested in a Marzocchi MX Comp. It is
    coil and has 85mm travel, and only $249 retail. I probably would have bought one, but I called Price
    Point and JensonUSA and neither of them had one in stock. I went ahead and placed an order for the
    Fox Vanilla 125RL since JensonUSA had one in stock and I am tired of waiting. I just want to get the
    bike dialed in and RIDE.
     
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