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I have a Manitou Skareb. I think it is a 2005. It was working fine the last time I rode it. I pulled the bike out after about 1 month of not riding and I could push the fork down about 1.5 inches with very little pressure on the fork. When I lift the front wheel off the ground, the wheel drops down immediately.

The air pressure in the fork is 140 psi.

Any idea what the problem might be or how to fix it?

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The fork has lost positive air pressure due to a failed seal. It is unlikely this is due solely to storing the bike for a month, although the oil would have been helping maintain the seal, once the seal dried it would have started leaking. You could cycle the fork a few times (pump up and down) to relube the seals then refill the air spring and see if that works but it is time to get the fork serviced. Negative pressure on the Skareb is provided by a coil spring and that is why when you lift the wheel it drops sown. – DWGKNZ Jun 22 '14 at 20:23
I took the fork apart - finally. There is a 3-inch spring in one of the legs. The spring had broken into two pieces and the collapsed into the bottom half of the space it normally fills. – user1757436 Sep 12 '14 at 13:09
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Your fork has both air and oil in it; if the air component is fine it follows that the oil component is not.

If it was not stored upright the problem is probably that the oil is in the wrong part of the fork and will gradually make its way beck to its designed location if you leave it the right way up for a day or two.

Check for oil leaks at all points around the fork (and oily residue wherever you had stored it).

The other possibilities are:

  • an internal seal has failed and is no longer controlling the flow of oil/air within the fork leg as it should be;
  • the oil has become contaminated with water;
  • the oil has broken down into a foam.

In any of these cases it will need to be disassembled and serviced: I would leave that to the professionals.

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