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Whatever happened to those scrunchy rubber tubes that used to go over the top part of forks? You used to see them all the time, and now it's like they've vanished. Weren't they useful at protecting the tubes and keeping dust out of the inner workings?
 

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Nikhil42 said:
Whatever happened to those scrunchy rubber tubes that used to go over the top part of forks? You used to see them all the time, and now it's like they've vanished. Weren't they useful at protecting the tubes and keeping dust out of the inner workings?
Fork experts seem to agree that the rubber tubes do more harm than good. The common critique is that the rubber tubes keep moisture, dirt and grime traped. By that they actually accelerate the wear of seals and stanchions.

Advice of the experts is: Don't use rubber covers. Wipe your stanchions clean after every ride. Service the seals regularily.

Just attended a Push suspension seminar. Darren and his team were pretty clear on the rubber tubes. But they also demonstrated that cleaning or even servicing the seals takes only minutes.
 

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Back in the day....

when suspension forks were young and seal technology not so good, they were necessary. A properly designed rubber boot DID keep crud out and off of the seals. However it was still a requirement to lift them and clean under them after just about every ride. They didn't accelerate wear, at least not the ones with the accordian fold. They only touched the stanchions in one spot, at the top of the boot. The lower part of the boot had a lip that fit into a grove in the top of the lowers. They worked okay and did help fork and seal longevity. To be quite frank most of the arguments against them were pretty much ******** at the time. However as forks came out of the "toy" stage and manufacturers got serious and started using good quality wipers and seals, the boots became nothing more than an unnecessary expense and were dropped. There was a lot of hold over and lag in getting rid of them, and not all forks got the "good seal" treatment right away. But eventually even the lower end stuff ended up not needing them.

As for other types of fork boots, like the Lizard skin, those are detrimental to the fork stanchions, they trap water and hold grunge against the stanchions and tend to wear them faster. They also tend to bunch up and effectively reduce the travel of the fork in the last part of the stroke. All the complaints that were piled onto the old rubber accordian boot are quite valid when it comes to the tight fitting neoprene type boot.

Anyway, that's what happened to the old rubber fork boot. They became obsolete and unnecessary.

Good Dirt
 

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Hiya Squash.

Yeah, these days the seals and wipers on forks are good enough to not need dust boots. I still run them, but my for is...........let's just say I need an upgrade eventually.

About the only reason I'd still want to use them is if you ride in an area with lots of sharp, pointy rocks and fall over a lot. A nice ding in the stanchion isn't really a good thing,
 

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just adding my 2p

fork boots are sometimes still necessary if you ride in awful conditions.

Even just after a service I can notice a drop of performance in one ride in our local bike destroying conditions. Last time the fork seized.

I now run home made boots full of oil.

perfect lube, slick and watertight.
 
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