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Is a 50 hr service easy though?

I started this rant in my head after crunching some numbers. What does it actually cost for a home mechanic to do a 50hr fork service properly?

I started by listing out the necessary parts, supplies, and specialty tools required to do a competent, clean, and proper job. I looked at two common forks, A Zeb and a 38. I priced each separately because they of course require different specialty tools. I realized very quickly that by the time you purchase all the supplies and parts, you're well over the cost that I charge customers.

That bulk roll of lint free rags that you can really only buy in bulk? $100.

The lower's removal tools for a Fox fork? $120

The seal driver: $40 per stanchion size.

The list goes on and on.

If you started out with nothing, and wanted to complete a 50hr service, you'd be spending anywhere from $200-$400 depending on which fork you have and where you purchase all those supplies.

The other option, of course is....

Cutting corners.

Example: Fox specifies the use of thread-on steel punches to dislodge the air spring and the damper from the lowers when performing a service. It's no secret that this can be performed using the lower nuts and a long socket as a driver. This can compromise the nuts though, so best replace the nuts if using them to hammer on.

I don't like cutting corners like this personally, but I get it.

And then there's the following of instructions. Yes, you can come up with most service manuals with a simple google search. However, filtering through the 200hr service manual at just shy of 100 pages in PDF splendor for the few pages that are relevant to the 50hr service can be, I admit, painfully tedious.

A lowers service aint rocket surgery. But you should take the fork off the bike so you can apply force as needed and not contaminate anything, and get to see your oft neglected headset (Mine too!). Also, I don't know why, but when I leave a fork on the bike for service I always end up spilling heaps of oil.

Should all owners of mountain bikes have a supplies kit on hand with parts, and tools to do the 50 hr service?

Sounds expensive to me. By the time you have all the things required to do a Fox fork, you could pay someone to do it 3 times over.

If you ride 3 times a week and have time once a season to do the 50hr service yourself? I could see it being an asset in that case.

As far as what I see coming in for service, most forks (especially Fox) are almost always due a full service by the time I see them. I've heard many outlets advertise 50hr services like they are something quick, easy and applicable. That is not always the case.

When I do a lowers service, I always pull the air spring and love it up as well. Why wouldn't you, You're one circlip away?

So do your 50hr services, or don't and take them to a professional who already bought all the stuff.

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