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Newbie question re: air fork

620 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  bad mechanic
Hi all, first off my apologies if this is going in the wrong part of the forum.

I am a fairly amateur rider who is at the moment mostly using my mountain bike to commute to and from school and to get around my city (currently don't own a car).

I don't have a huge amount of experience repairing bikes but I've been trying to do some of my own work on them for a few years now. I've run into a problem with my suspension however that I have not encountered before.

I'm currently using a Marzocchi AM4 air suspension fork which came as the stock fork on the Norco Charger 2006 model. I've noticed lately that the fork seems to be releasing air at a very rapid rate. I've never had to pump it up in the 2 years I've owned the bike (bought in 2007). I take the bike in to have basic tune-ups done every now and then and the last time I was in the shop the mechanics mentioned that some of the oil on the fork was leaking out and that although not urgent the bike would have to be sent away to get it fixed.

Another complicating factor is that I am currently away from my hometown (going to school in Glasgow, Scotland) and I really rely on this bike to get me around! I don't know if I can afford to send it off (money wise, or timewise!) but I may do so eventually.

In any event, I managed to pick up a bike shock pump with a pressure gauge which I have used to inflate the shocks (I had the guys down at the shop do this for me the first time, but its aways away and I dont want to have to keep relying on them/paying them to do it).

I've tried to follow instructions as per Marzocchis manual the best I can and I think I have the shocks set at a good PSI.... however when I press down on them now and let go, I hear a strange squishing noise when they are coming back up. I'm just wondering if this is anything to be concerned about... could it just be some sort of residual oil in the shocks sloshing about? I just want to make sure I havent done something horribly wrong and compromised the safety of my bike.... I'm thinking I'll probably take it into the shop anyways to get a tune-up as I'm not riding it much in the snow and I think it is dude for one.

Just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone had any ideas of whats going on!

Thanks for your time and patience with a newb such as myself :)


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Sounds like you have an air leak. Take it in, and get it fixed!!!!!
Usually it's a worn out o-ring internally. You can do the repairs yourself but its wise to find a guide on the internet. You may want to throw Marzocchi a call and see what their opinion is. They usually have pretty good tech support.
I've had zoke forks with leaking or just loose inlet schrader valves where the pump connects. They occasionally loose a little oil there as well.
If you're just riding it around town and using it as transportation, I'd strongly suggest swapping out the suspension fork for a rigid one. It'll suit the roll of the bike much better.
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