Specialized Rockhopper FS - Future Shock shock without rebound

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by bananafruitcake, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. bananafruitcake

    bananafruitcake New Member

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    Hi -
    Just acquired what I believe is a '94 Specialized RockHopper in very good, original condition.
    Simple Green got the Rapid Fires firing again but the shock does not rebound as it should.
    I googled and found some info here archived (pasted below) but the original pics are too old to open (I wanted to verify the info and make sure it's the same shock)
    Here is what was posted and pics of my bike.
    Please note I did call Specialized and went to 2 local Specialized stores, ... Specialized said they could not help me do to the age of the bike, and the two bike stores just wanted to sell me a new shock ... as others here reported back in 2004...

    First post by LC Donovan

    At long last, my Specialized Future Shock shocks are now fixed!
    It turned out that most (almost all) the advice given me was stale.
    Even the first bicycle shop gave me totally wrong information!
    At a second bike shop, the shocks were fixed today!

    All the shop added was:
    a) Air (pumped to 140 psi according) with a FOX Shox pump
    b) Oil (Dexron ATF)

    There was nothing else wrong with these shocks despite the fact the
    first (wrong) bike shop told me they always sell new shocks to everyone
    who comes in with Specialized Rockhopper shocks which lost their
    rebound.

    However, this second dealer told me this was a common problem (and that
    the first dealer probably just wanted to sell new shocks). The
    technician said the shock was basically a slightly modified "Rocks
    Shocks" (whatever that is); and that they'd have both shocks 'fixed' by
    the end of the day.

    Sure enough, when I picked up the bike just now, the front shocks were
    fixed!

    In response to my incredulous questioning, the bicycle technician
    nodded his head saying he sees at least a bike a week with this very
    same problem and he rarely fails to fix it this way (besides, it's part
    of their 60-dollar yearly tuneup that I never brought the mountain bike
    in for, shame on me).

    If only I knew it was that easy!
    Why didn't anyone here suggest Air + Oil?

    Oh well. My loss. At least for the next rider with the same problem, I
    can provide the steps (from memory) explained to me by the technician
    today so others can benefit.

    For a 1994 Rockhopper Comp Future Sport front shock pair:
    - Pry off the black cap at top (clean it with alcohol)
    - Discard the old oil (by tipping the forks upside down)
    - Bounce a few times to help expel the oil
    - Clean with kerosene, bounce again & then let it all dry upside down
    - Add new Dexron ATF (measured from the top about 40 mm down)
    - With a Fox air pump, hand pump to 50 psi & wait 10 minutes
    - Release pressure & pump to 100 psi & wait another 10 minutes
    - Release pressure & pump to 140 psi (or more depending on your needs)
    - Charge customer $30 dollars for time & materials. [​IMG]

    I asked a lot of questions so they spent about an hour with me in the
    shop. The technician didn't have a diagram of the shocks but he said
    almost any Rocks Shocks diagram would be similar (where would I get
    that?).

    The bicycle technician also said parts were widely available for these
    decade-old shocks; and, when I asked for a supplier, he scribbled the
    name of Hippie-Tech Suspension in Boise Idaho (208.724.8949) on the
    back of his card.

    In summary, what was wrong with the Specialized RockHopper Future Sport
    shocks was merely that the oil and air had leaked out over the last
    decade. The solution was a $30 replenishing of the oil and air. I rode
    the bike home (only about five miles and 1200 feet elevation overall)
    and they seem fine, if a bit on the stiff side.

    Geez, I wish I knew a year ago what I now know (see above) about
    shocks!

    L. C. Donovan

    2nd post by another member

    The two front Specialized Comp Full Suspension Sport Shocks you mentioned DO
    NOT use springs or elastomer materials so don't worry about breakage (there's
    nothing to break inside). These front-fork Sport Shocks merely contain pistons
    (like the type in your bicycle pump) which have compressed air and
    transmission fluid in them.

    These Sport Shocks often fail after six months to a year of hard use so it's
    quite normal for yours to have lasted five or more years before failing
    (assuming you merely rode the bike on mountain trails of moderate height, say
    just a few thousand feet in total riding elevation for your average ride).
    And, yes, you CAN get parts for these (call Specialized with the bike, year,
    and model if you can. Otherwise, send them a photo of the bike and a closeup
    of the shocks. I hesitate to provide you with Specialized support email
    address as that would inundate them with spam (spammers mine these message
    boards regularly) so just call the phone numbers above to obtain the email
    address. These guys at Specialized are a wonderful bunch when you get to know
    them personally. They'll track down the parts for you from your photo but you
    really won't need the parts because this is a common problem with these
    shocks.

    So, please just forget what you've been told by the bike shop and others on
    this board and simply go back to any reputable Specialized bike shop to tell
    them to add AIR and FLUID. From my experience, 99% of the time that fixes the
    flaccid front shocks. Any bike shop who tells you otherwise is just trying to
    make money on a new set of shocks (they sell for $300 but they bought them for
    $150 to $180).

    Once they replace the fluid and pump the air back in, your Sport Shocks
    will be good as new. A reputable shop should charge about $30 bucks (give or
    take 5 or 10 bucks) for the front shocks overhaul.

    T&S

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Is this the same shock referenced in the "solutions" posted above?
    If so, is there a special adapter for a shock pump to attach?
    Sorry, but this is new territory for me.
    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    All air-oil shocks I've seen have used regular schraeder valves (same as for car tires)for air adjustment. Obviously, this isn't a guarantee that there isn't another concept that's been used somewhere. But all recent Fox pumps use that kind of nipple. Another possibility is that there's been a valve that's been removed through botched maintenance. Keep in mind that many(most?) forks use one leg for damping - oil, and the other for springiness - air. Pop off the other cap and have a look.
     
  3. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Yes, an old Future Shock that was manufactured for Specialized by Rock Shox and no longer a supported product line.

    You're on the right track. Tip upside down and drain old oil. Flush with kerosene and allow to dry. Refill and re-pressurize. You may have a threaded pump adapter or one that uses the needle type sports ball inflator thru a rubber seal. A flashlight and inspection of the fill hole will tell you which type you have.
     
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  4. bananafruitcake

    bananafruitcake New Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by dabac .

    All air-oil shocks I've seen have used regular schraeder valves (same as for car tires)for air adjustment. Obviously, this isn't a guarantee that there isn't another concept that's been used somewhere.
    But all recent Fox pumps use that kind of nipple.
    Another possibility is that there's been a valve that's been removed through botched maintenance.
    Keep in mind that many(most?) forks use one leg for damping - oil, and the other for springiness - air. Pop off the other cap and have a look.
    both sides are the same when taking off the cap and I'm 99% sure no bortched job or any job has happened to the brakes
     
  5. bananafruitcake

    bananafruitcake New Member

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    Quote: Originally Posted by CAMPYBOB .
    Yes, an old Future Shock that was manufactured for Specialized by Rock Shox and no longer a supported product line.

    You're on the right track. Tip upside down and drain old oil. Flush with kerosene and allow to dry. Refill and re-pressurize. You may have a threaded pump adapter or one that uses the needle type sports ball inflator thru a rubber seal. A flashlight and inspection of the fill hole will tell you which type you have.

    Thanks
    I shined a flashlight in both sides (which look the same) I cannot tell if it takes the ball needle or the adapter
    Anyone know please?
    I ask as I've already been to 2 Specialized shops and want to be prepared if I enter a 3rd (as this overhaul is beyond my comfort zone of repair)

    lol I wish T/S or Linda was still on the boards...love to get her bike shop's number for advice... lol
     
  6. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian New Member

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    I have been dealing with the same frustration with a rockhopper FS. The hole at the top of the shocks have no schreader valve in them at all. I have been trying to locate the proper valves to insert so I can test the integrity of the seals/shock & get on the road with this cool bike. I got the same blow-off at the few shops I called/visited, they "do not support this its too old, just buy a new front fork or another cheap $300 shock. Cheap?! This is going to be my wifes bike, besides I believe it is a womans bike as the original owner stated. Where can I find a schematic of these forks/shock so I can just work on it myself instead of tolerating the kids at the bike shops who dont have a clue but are too immature to admit it, and too lazy & unskilled to try to help me out.
     
  7. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian New Member

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    The bolts are put in to learn size/thread count, those were holes with threads and nothing in them when I recieved the bike
    rockhopperfrok2.jpg RockhopperFork.jpg
     
  8. The Sicilian

    The Sicilian New Member

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    No one is responding, but its nothing new, "specialized" has failed to repond to me about this EVER,... so I did what I do & fixed it to where I got both fork shocks to hold air like a boss. I'm now afraid to remove my fix for fear of not getting a solid seal again, but if I can get some expert advice on HOW MUCH oil/hydraulic fluid to use (please advise which is best to use) fluid to add to each shock, I will attempt a "re-do" since these shocks are in desperate need of fresh oil/fluid. Thank you.
     
  9. natalia-liu

    natalia-liu New Member

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