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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wonder if it is really necessary to protect your fork with Lizard Skin booties?
I used them with my SID in the past 6 years and I have to admit that my SID are in good conditions, but I cannot necessarily attribute it to the booties. I have a new Fox fork (Float 120 RL) and I wonder what to do.
Has anybody use Fox fork (or any other brand for that matter) for extensive period (years) in dry and muddy conditions without booties and managed to keep the fork in good shape?

Tnx!
 

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I have used forks extnesively with and without...

Lizard Skins. In my experience about the only thing that they really offer as far as fork longevity goes is they do protect the stanchions from rock dings and such. They do offer a bit of added protection in muddy conditions. But once you get dirt, mud, etc. under them, they need to cleaned. For that matter regular cleaning of the lizard shins and the stanchions is needed under any conditions, as they can trap dirt and crud under them. I have a 5 year old Marzocchi Z4 that all I have done to is normal maintenance and a bushing replacement. It has never had a set of fork boots of any kind on it. My Wife had a Manitou SX that is 4 years old that has been completely rebuilt internally twice in that time due to wear. The Manitou has always had fork boots on it. I think that the longevity of a fork has WAY more to do with regular maintenance and the quality of the fork and seals than anything else. Just my 2 censts.

Good Dirt
 

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i'm inclined to think that forks with lizard skins on them tend to wear faster due to keeping the dirt closer to the stanchions and alot of people don't pull them off regularly thinking that they don't need to clean under them
DMR
 

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i know alot of people who use them for motocross. they only use them on the right side up forks though not inverted. i have heard alot of good things about them, but imo......they are just an accessory.
 

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SaddleAss said:
I wonder if it is really necessary to protect your fork with Lizard Skin booties?
I used them with my SID in the past 6 years and I have to admit that my SID are in good conditions, but I cannot necessarily attribute it to the booties. I have a new Fox fork (Float 120 RL) and I wonder what to do.
Has anybody use Fox fork (or any other brand for that matter) for extensive period (years) in dry and muddy conditions without booties and managed to keep the fork in good shape?

Tnx!
I use 'em on my 'Zocci... when it's on the roof rack. Keeps bugs off the parts nicely. Take 'em off at the trail head though.

JmZ
 

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SaddleAss said:
I wonder if it is really necessary to protect your fork with Lizard Skin booties?
I used them with my SID in the past 6 years and I have to admit that my SID are in good conditions, but I cannot necessarily attribute it to the booties. I have a new Fox fork (Float 120 RL) and I wonder what to do.
Has anybody use Fox fork (or any other brand for that matter) for extensive period (years) in dry and muddy conditions without booties and managed to keep the fork in good shape?

Tnx!
The Lizard Skins fork wrap stuff (I don't think they deserve the name of 'boots') is worthless for keeping dirt out of a forks internals, but they do help keep rocks from damaging the upper tubes.

A true convoluted rubber boot, sealed at both ends, and designed without vent holes will lengthen the service life of suspension components. For some reason this is considered unfashionable in the MTB world.

I've run several Marzocchi forks without boots for the past eight years, and the results are always the same. Small amounts of fine dirt always make it past the wipers and lodge in between the lips of the main seals. Eventually, enough dirt caught there causes leaks and the fork requires disassembly and cleaning. This is in addition to regular oil changes.

If boots aren't an option, the next best thing is frequent cleaning and lubrication of the exposed upper tubes. When I say frequent, I mean at least before and after every ride -- sometimes during longer rides. That, along with a compete disassembly/cleaning/oil change every six months, will keep your fork working like new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks

Thank you all for the info, it's nice to learn from other people's experience.
I think I'll skip the lizard skins and just keep the fork clean and maintained, like I always do :)
 

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SaddleAss said:
Thank you all for the info, it's nice to learn from other people's experience.
I think I'll skip the lizard skins and just keep the fork clean and maintained, like I always do :)
My experience with LS is that they will help to protect the fork from dirt and grime, but only if you regularly remove them so that dirt doesn't build up under them. I always use them on all my forks.

I'm surprised that you're considering not using them after your good experience with the SID. There's a reason the SID is still in great shape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Blue Shorts said:
My experience with LS is that they will help to protect the fork from dirt and grime, but only if you regularly remove them so that dirt doesn't build up under them. I always use them on all my forks.

I'm surprised that you're considering not using them after your good experience with the SID. There's a reason the SID is still in great shape.
Well, you do see that people managed to keep their forks in good shape regardless the LS. So it seems like a redundant accessory :confused:
 

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I talked to my brother about them and he is a big motorcycle buff. He said it use to be fashionable to not run boots on the off road bikes but now everyone is doing it because of problems.

I put lizzard skins on my new Zokes XC forks and plan to keep them on. Doesn't make sense to not protect the fork sliders. Lots of opinions here but no one has done side by side comparisons for long term effects. I sure would prefer a rubber boot though.

I wonder why they no longer offer them as standard equipment? Maybe to sell more forks??
 

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SaddleAss said:
Well, you do see that people managed to keep their forks in good shape regardless the LS. So it seems like a redundant accessory :confused:
Obviously it's a personal choice, but they keep a lot of crud from ever hitting the slider or wipers. Common sense will tell you that less crud will get past the wipers that way.

I'm sure some people have success without them, but you have no idea of the conditions that they ride in and what the result would have been if they had used LS.

I perform all the maintenance on my forks. I have a combined 7000 miles on my 2 marzocchi forks....all dirt miles. Both forks are like new.

Fork manufacturers don't use boots because they want their forks to be replaced eventually. The new seals are definitely better than the older ones, but if oil can get out (and it does), dirt can get in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Blue Shorts said:
Obviously it's a personal choice, but they keep a lot of crud from ever hitting the slider or wipers. Common sense will tell you that less crud will get past the wipers that way.

I'm sure some people have success without them, but you have no idea of the conditions that they ride in and what the result would have been if they had used LS.

I perform all the maintenance on my forks. I have a combined 7000 miles on my 2 marzocchi forks....all dirt miles. Both forks are like new.

Fork manufacturers don't use boots because they want their forks to be replaced eventually. The new seals are definitely better than the older ones, but if oil can get out (and it does), dirt can get in.
I posted the question to Fox tech support:

Q: Will you recommend using booties (such as lizard skins) on the upper tubes to protect them?

A: We do not recommend installing stanchion boots due to the fact that they have a habit of trapping water and dirt and usually end up doing more harm than good.

I doubt that any manufacturer will have a business plan to sell less-than-maximum-reliable products so it could profit from replacement parts; no body would survive in the market with such strategy. But, maybe I'm naïve.
Like you said, it's a matter of personal preference, but I guess if you do use them, it is important to remove and clean every ride.
Tnx.
 

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SaddleAss said:
I posted the question to Fox tech support:

Q: Will you recommend using booties (such as lizard skins) on the upper tubes to protect them?

A: We do not recommend installing stanchion boots due to the fact that they have a habit of trapping water and dirt and usually end up doing more harm than good.

I doubt that any manufacturer will have a business plan to sell less-than-maximum-reliable products so it could profit from replacement parts; no body would survive in the market with such strategy. But, maybe I'm naïve.
Like you said, it's a matter of personal preference, but I guess if you do use them, it is important to remove and clean every ride.
Tnx.
Well when you ask any company about using after market accessories on their products they usually just CTA and tell you not to use it. Did you ask them why they did not offer booties as standard equipment??? Did you ask them why it is such a good idea to not offer any protection for their sliders against the elements??

What we need is less speculation and more facts. I have had my booties on for quite a few rides now and have never removed them. I will remove them after a few more rides and let you know the results. Besides they are a PITA to put back on, so it is doubtful most people would remove them after each ride unless they are really picky.
 

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Blue Shorts said:
My experience with LS is that they will help to protect the fork from dirt and grime, but only if you regularly remove them so that dirt doesn't build up under them. I always use them on all my forks.

I'm surprised that you're considering not using them after your good experience with the SID. There's a reason the SID is still in great shape.
Agreed........I've been using them for a few years and my stanchions look new and seals are fine. routine cleaning is easy (and a LOT easier than trying to clean under rubber boots.....). I think they serve their purpose well enough.
 

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JmZ said:
I use 'em on my 'Zocci... when it's on the roof rack. Keeps bugs off the parts nicely. Take 'em off at the trail head though.

JmZ
Hmm, did you ever ride a motorcycle? You are right on in your preventing high speed bug splatter from being deposited on your fork tubes. That bug goo glues itself on really well and the crunchy bits tear up seals and bushings. Almost everything else will be pushed away by a good wiper seal.

I was a pro motorcycle tech before I transfered my addiction to bicycles.

29erchico
 
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