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I have a SunTour XCR fork. Not wanting to ruin it I am worried that a significant amount of water has penetrated beyond the seals. I have recently ridden the bike in rain, snow, and washed it in a bathroom with a showerhead.

The symptom that I am observing is the following. I just cleaned the stanchions, oiled them, compressed them rapidly to get oil beyond the seals, then wiped off excess oil and dirt, from the seals.

But unlike usually, when compressing the fork, there was a "whum" sound of air leaving the fork boots and passing throught some liquid at the seals.

On one hand, I had just put oil just there. On the other hand, I have never heared this sound (with a brand-new fork), when applying this procedure.

Should the fork be disassebled and dried? What other tell-tales are there that there is water in the a (spring-operated) suspension form?

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The XCRs are very simple forks and unless specified don't have an oil or air damper so very user friendly.

It is possible that water has got below the dust wipers but this is generally unlikely.

The mechanism for a XCR is a sealed lock out unit and a coil. You should simply be able to drop the lowers off the fork without disrupting anything else to check them out for water and to ensure there's plenty of grease to protect the spring and other internals.

The 'whum' could be the stanchions being a bit sticky moving through the wipers but not much else I can think off.

  • I'll have to dismount my hydraulic brake lever. Still not difficult, with those clamp-style levers. – Vorac Dec 9 '13 at 14:04
  • Take a note that newer XCR forks do have an air spring and oil damping. – Klaster_1 Apr 5 '18 at 13:24
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The only way to know for sure what happens with your fork is to take it apart and have a look. Any other suggested procedure will be a guess. So if that noise bothers you, get your tools out and open the fork.

Apart from checking the internal condition, you will gain a better understanding of the fork structure and operations, and you'll know what to expect from it. And next time you face with strange sound, you'll know what's happening there.

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    I was actually looking for a guess. Manuals generally recommend re-lubing the fork every 30 hours of riding, but I would like to limit maintenace to symptoms. – Vorac Dec 9 '13 at 14:04
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To answer my own question:

Flip the bike upside down onto something soft as not to damage the cockpit components and the saddle.

Compress the fork several times.

If water has entered the lowers, now it has perfect conditions to leave it. If after this procedure water droplets have appeared on the stanchions, then there is some water inside the lowers and they need service as described by other answers.


Please not that this answer applies to SunTour XCR 2013 and earlier. With the constant advances of the XCR series (rebound, tapered steer tube etc.) it is entirely possible those forks no longer use plastic bushings, thus the question and all answers becoming irrelevant.

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    I think this question will never grow old/useless. – Willeke Apr 15 '18 at 10:08
  • @Willeke thanks for the support (I deleted my previous comment as unimportant). Also, your comments helped me edit my answer. – Vorac Apr 15 '18 at 12:21
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lock out the fork when washing it or going into the rain, i used to always do this on my XC bike cos it has a cheaper fork than my trail bike. i recently washed it without locking the fork and dropped thee bike to dry it off. this compressed the forks driving water inside, i did a lower leg service to sort it

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    Welcome to the site! Unlike other web boards you might be used to, we're not a discussion forum, so we're only looking for answers to the question at the top of the page. The advice you give here is clearly relevant but advising on how to avoid water getting into your forks doesn't actually address the question of how to tell if there's water in there or not. There's more information about the site in our short tour. – David Richerby Apr 5 '18 at 14:52
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I have a SR Suntour XUE 30 and I've washed the bike because it was dirty. After it dried I turned it upside down and compressed the fork and the water started to come out of it and I've done it few times to get as much water as possible. I'm not sure what to do now so it won't be damaged by the water inside in the future...

  • There's a valid answer here, but its hidden. Would you like to edit your answer and focus on the original question, "how to know if there's water in the fork?" Your answer is something like "turn the bike over, protect handlebar components from abrasion, remove front wheel, and compress fork to drive water out through the stanchion seals" However this will not completely dry the inside of the fork. – Criggie Aug 1 '17 at 0:53
  • It sounds like you may be answering the question, but also asking a new one, something along the lines of "How do I keep water from getting in my fork again?" If that is the case, please use the "Ask Question" button to ask a new question. As Criggie mentions, it would also be helpful to edit your answer to more clearly answer this question. – jimchristie Aug 2 '17 at 12:21

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