Downhillers know this but skibikers may not. You need to periodically have your front fork serviced. The back shock might need service too.
The oil can leak out and if it gets too low - one could then damage the internal cartridges. That gets REALLY expensive on a fork. Cartridges run $70.00+. I had oil leaking out of mine this spring- it was a big worry.
The oil does wear out as well. You need to get it changed - just like your car. The fork just stops functioning correctly. At a minimum, very active downhill mountain bikers get their oil changed once a year.
Is your bike leaking oil right now? Best to get it serviced.
One can buy the replacement oil seals and try to do the service themselves if they have access to the proper tools. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there. You'll need to know the make, model, and year of manufacture of the fork to order the right size oil seals. They come in different sizes.
A video for one Marzocchi fork model.
Not confident in your mechanical skills? There are a number of service shops out there. The cost runs $150-$200 for parts and labor.
If one needs quick service for a Marzocchi fork, I can recommend Mountain Bike Forks by Mark. He has a mail-in service and a mail order business for Marzocchi fork parts as well. I recently got OEM Marz. oil seals for $38 including shipping from him. Everyone else wanted $80 and they weren't OEM.
I don't own all the proper tools so I loaded up the oil seals, the skibike, and drove to Dirt Labs currently located in Boulder, Colorado. They will be moving to Longmont in November. I ordered my own oil seals because at that time, they couldn't get parts for Marzocchi forks. Marzocchi went out of business last year.
I dropped off the bike at Dirt Labs on Friday and they called me on Monday afternoon and told me it was ready. The service bill was $112 for the fork. They also do mail-in service. Call ahead for information. The forms are on their website.
My oil was just beginning to get cloudy. No cartridge damage either. The rear shock wasn't leaking so I'm holding off on that.
I fixed the damaged ptex on my bottom of my skis and then waxed them. Found a pair of barely used snowboard boots at a decent price. The old ones were broken down and hurt my feet.
My bike is now ready for winter. There's already been dustings of snow on the high peaks of Colorado. The ski season is not far away.
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