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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a Trek Y-22 with a Manitou Pro Fork (color black) and need some help with maintenace.

Took it apart and found on each side a spring and 3 pink rubber shocks (varoius lengths) with plastic spacer/connectors/pistons or what ever you call them.

I also received extra with the bike a 6 inch section of bright red rubber about the same diameter as the pink rubber shocks above. Not even sure if it belongs as part of the fork ? Maybe a extra to modify stiffness of shock ?

Can I assume that all I need to do to maintain the fork is just add some grease and reassemble ?

BTW is this a keeper, I mean the fork or should I look at replacing it with something more modern ? :confused:

Thanks
Velroc
 

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They're a simple fork from the 1997 era. Great for a commuter bike or anything where short travel (2.5"), no damping and no disc mounts aren't going to be much of a handicap.

Maintenance is as you've already found out, just keeping them clean and greased. The solid MCU (elastomer foam) is from another fork but will be the same material as your 2" sections of MCU in the spring stacks already.
 

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check to make sure the plastic bushings are ok; lock the front brake and gently rock the bike back and forth. if you feel any play, a slight looseness in the front end, ditch the fork.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Answer Manitou Pro Maintenace Info

A good solution if you're shopping for a mountain bike is to get one that has an elastomer fork. This type is quick and supple--best for lighter riders because it suffers less "stiction" (static friction) than hydraulic (air/oil) forks. In other words, an elastomer fork moves more readily. In addition, it can easily be tuned--adjusted for your weight. Fortunately, the forks that are found most often on mountain bikes in the low- and mid-price ranges are elastomer models. These forks can be tuned by changing the elastomers or adjusting preload.

CHANGE ELASTOMERS

Crudely put, elastomers are rubber bumpers that compress to absorb impacts. Often, there are several stacked like doughnuts in each fork leg. They come in different hardnesses ("durometers"). Most manufacturers use a color code.

"I recommend that you go as light as possible," says Jamie Griffis, a mechanic and founder of a women's mountain biking club in California. "From the get-go, put in the softest bumpers. A woman should do that before she even leaves the shop with her new bike." Fork makers Rock Shox and Answer produce soft-ride kits with replacement elastomers, priced between $20 and $35.

Changing elastomers is easy. At the top of each fork leg is one knob. For example, on the Answer Manitou Mach 5 SX, the knobs adjust preload, which is the adjustable spring tension in a suspension fork or rear suspension. It determines how far the suspension compresses under body weight and how much travel remains to absorb impacts. The knobs sit on top caps, which are what you need to unscrew. Turn each top cap fully counterclockwise (with Channel-lock pliers if necessary, after protecting the cap with a rag) and pull out the attached elastomers. The Manitou Mach 5 Comp has only a single long one. Remove it (you may have to turn the bike upside-down) and replace it with a soft blue one. The SX and the Manitou Mach 5 Pro have a stack of three elastomers on a skewer. Remove them, lightly grease the skewer, and replace them with softer ones.

ADJUST PRELOAD

After you install the softer elastomers, adjust preload to fine-tune your fork. Less preload means easier fork movement. "Start at the easiest setting and work your way harder, if you need to," advises Robin Stuart, author of Mountain Biking for Women and a mountain biking instructor.

For example, there's a knob atop Rock Shox fork legs in some models. Unscrew it fully counterclockwise to decrease preload. It's that simple. Older Rock Shox Quadra models have a black plastic plug at the top of each fork leg instead of a knob. Pull out the plug using your fingernail. Underneath is a 4-mm allen bolt set inside an 8-mm allen bolt. Use a 4-mm allen wrench to adjust preload and an 8-mm allen wrench to unscrew the top cap for elastomer replacement.

The Manitou Mach 5 SX has a preload knob like that of the Rock Shox. Simply unscrew it fully counterclockwise. Other Answer forks require that you remove the top caps to make preload adjustments. At the base of each cap are five grooves. A C-shaped metal ring ("circlip") sits in the middle groove. To lessen preload, remove the circlip and slide it into one of the lower grooves.

How do you know when you have your fork set up correctly? Most elastomer models should have at least 2 inches of travel. To check this, push the protective rubber boot up to the top of the fork leg. Place a zip-tie snugly around the bottom of the exposed stanchion tube. Cut off any excess, then pull the boot back down over the zip-tie. Go for a ride, making sure to include some serious bumps. When the fork compresses, the tie will be pushed up the stanchion and stay there. Afterward, carefully peel the boot up and measure how far the tie has moved. This indicates maximum travel. If it doesn't approach 2 inches, soften your fork some more. On the other hand, if the fork moves too readily and you feel it bottom out with a harsh thunk on big bumps, it's too soft.

If your fork brand and model isn't mentioned here, don't fret. The tuning procedure is probably similar. For specifics, read the owner's manual supplied by your bike's fork manufacturer. If you don't have it, check with a shop that sells your brand or check the Internet, as many companies have sites devoted to their products.
 

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drunkle said:
check to make sure the plastic bushings are ok; lock the front brake and gently rock the bike back and forth. if you feel any play, a slight looseness in the front end, ditch the fork.
Slight looseness isn't a problem. Both rockshox and marzocchi have sold brand new forks with large bushing clearance.
 

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Dougal said:
Slight looseness isn't a problem. Both rockshox and marzocchi have sold brand new forks with large bushing clearance.
it irritated the crap outta me... i do have those forks (manitou pro's, pink elastomers, loose bushings) sitting in my friend's garage atm. if new forks are being sold with the loose headset/hub feel built in , i'd hesitate to buy em.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Answer Manitou Pro Maintenace Info

dogonfr said:
Looks like you answered your own question, cool :)
Yea, looked on internet long and hard and found some info on it,

Thanks for all replies,

Velroc
 

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Question from a noob:

Where can I buy the MCU's? I would need the heavy one's. My fork is from a 97 v-link 3.1
It hasn't been used in years and the shock has become very stiff. Thanks
 
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