My bike's two years old (about 1800km on it, almost all road and bridleway) and kept in a garage. Back in November or so I locked the front suspension fork for road-riding, and over the winter probably did about 50 miles in short ~7 mile jaunts. A couple of weeks ago I tried to unlock my forks, and while the lockout lever moves ok, the forks appear to remain locked; they absolutely refuse to budge even a mm.

I've not had my forks serviced to date. The dealer is saying its because I had the forks locked for several months and neglected to have them serviced. It has always worked quite well.

I think the fork is a "Merida M-510, 100 mm, LO" (This looks like it) - although google finds nothing on that, so I guess its a rebranded something.

So my question - what's likely happened to the forks? Is it something I can fix (and how?)? Is it likely to be a manufacturing defect? And of course, does locking for a long time (even if unused for most of that time) cause issues?

Note: I've read the questions on here about fork maintenance; none of them mention locking for prolonged periods.


  • Might have had a seal go bad, allowing water in and hydrolocking the chamber.
    – JohnP
    May 13, 2013 at 14:36
  • I have been told that when adjusting the preload on the fork, I should never go full out (no preload). So I keep it 1/4 rotation from there. If I set it full out and drive a day, it becomes stuck and needs a hard push to unlock. It is a cheap fork. Not sure if I am helping :(
    – Vorac
    May 19, 2013 at 7:54
  • This fork looks like «coil spring with elastomer» fork (like cheap SR Suntour forks). This type of forks has a very simple locking mechanism, but it can be easily damaged if you was riding on rocky surface while fork was locked. Another case — it may be rust in the fork legs, caused by immobility of fork legs for a long time (you can test fork legs material — steel or aluminium — alloy with the magnet). So, did you ride hard on locked fork and what is the material? May 20, 2013 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


Without knowing more details about the fork (coil spring vs air spring) it is hard to recommend anything other than getting it serviced at your LBS.

With that said I know on my MTB with fox float forks, that if I leave it upside down for a while it won't lockout properly. Usually because the oil has displaced within the chamber.

Maybe try flipping it upside down overnight and then seeing if that helps.

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