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Just about to go look at an used fork - What do I need to know/check for?

684 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ducktape
Hi guys,

Sorry for the vague and extremely newbie question, but I'm about to look at a fork a person on Craigslist has. They're unsure of the year, but it's a Fox 36 Float RC2. He is unsure of anything, but says it doesn't have a scratch on it. He believes it's 2009 but he couldn't even tell me what steer tube was on it.

Can anyone shed some light into what I need to look for to ensure I don't get ripped off? Also, how do I tell what year it is? Thanks!
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If one purchases a new item from a reputable company & said item arrives damaged, one usually has the comfort of knowing that the item will be replaced with one that is undamaged/undefective.

When buying anything used, the majority of transactions are considered "As is", meaning what you see is what you get. Many manufacturer's warranties are not transferable, so even if the seller states or implies you are covered, the fact is you are not.

You're thinking now,"Dude, read my question, I want to know what to look for so I don't get ripped off". What are you asking for, a checklist, like "scratches on stanchions, not good; fluid spewing down lowers, not good; arch cracked, not good" ?"

Without X-Ray vision, the condition of the internals of the fork can be assessed by: 1). Opening up the fork AND know what you're looking at;[/B 2). Trust the sellers description of the product. If you don't trust the seller, then asking questions about the item is a waste of time. One last thing: just because something has a label, decal, or looks like the real thing, doesn't guarantee it's in fact authentic.
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I agree with Boulder Pilot in the sense that if you don't know basic suspension maintenance the first think your going to have to do is take that fork to a shop to get new seals and an oil change (~$60). It's something that can be done by yourself but just like a lot of people don't change their own oil in their car a lot of people find it intimating to jump into their suspension.

If you do want stuff to check for:
Scratches. Primarily on the stanchions (the gold part). Scratches on the lowers are not as big of a deal but scratches on the stanchions will eat away seals and bushings.

If its a through axle then there's not much to look for besides cracks down there. If its a quick release axle then make sure that the tabs that get clamped are not overly worn. IE their is still some paint left on the clamping surfaces. Short of getting a Micrometer that's the best test you can do : /

Noises. The only noise the fork should make is that swooshing sound on rebound. Notorious for Fox :)

You can also take a bunch of pictures and throw em up here to see what peoples opinions are. Or simply ask him if you can have it taken to a reputable shop so they can determine its current condition.
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Thanks a ton to both of you. I'm definitely going to ask him if I can get it taken to a shop to have it looked at; if he doesn't allow that, then I'm not going to both as he seems untrustworthy.
I bought a used Fox Float 32 RL that was about one year old. This fork was immaculate, not a ding or a scratch and I couldn't even see any dirt around the seals so I bought it.

The fork turned out great and I am still riding them....

I once bought a set of used Juicy Brakes that also looked immaculate. Also about a year old, not a ding or a scratch. Took them home, and on the second ride, the rear brake completely failed. The seller was long-gone.

Buyer be ware....
Some people truly don't have much idea about bikes or bike parts so the seller could be genuine and not know, ask more details about where he got it from and what bike it came off etc.
And that brings me to the other point, some sellers are genuinely vague on any question you ask, never giving you a straight or detailed answer, these are potentially dodging around telling the truth and they're the ones to watch out for.

I guess when buying 2nd hand items all you can hope is to know what to look out for and hopefully your're not a bad judge of character.

Funny example is that I spotted a 2nd hand Swag for sale for a really good price and only used a couple of times, well good enough for first time swag users like me to buy it and try it out, if it doesn't work for us then we won't have any trouble re-selling it. I sent my husband to buy it (he was travelling to the City some 300km away anyway). When he got it home he told me the bloke was selling it to clear space in the garage for another car, made me laugh because of how small a swag packs up to! Anyone could guess that he didn't like it for some reason or another and I guess he assumed that if he pointed out the bad points then we wouldn't like it either! I can see why he might not have liked it but it doesn't mean it won't work for us.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that some people will say anything to sell something at times. Just use your better judgement to determine if it's a good deal or a "too good to be true" deal/
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