I left my mountain bike hanging from the front tire for a long time. Now my front shock is seized. What should I do to fix the shock? I'm considering spraying it with WD-40, but I'm not sure if that will further damage the shock.

I can attach a picture of my shock if that would be helpful. The shock is close to 20 years old too if that matters.

front view

side view

Manitou mach 5 sx answer cartridge shocks

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    If it can be taken apart, cleaned, re-lubricated and re-built, that might do it. Otherwise it's junk.
    – Kaz
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 16:35
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    If the fork's that old, there's a slight possibility that it could be an elastomer type... you should make absolutely sure that this isn't the case before spraying anything with petroleum distillates into it, since that can end up turning the elastomers into sticky goop that you really, really, really don't want to have to deal with. Maybe list the model here if you're not sure? Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 18:51
  • @erik and if you do hang it up again, hang it by the back wheel instead ? Or ride it a little more frequently.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 20:05
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    Nice... yeah, those are elastomer jobbies. You can grab a PDF manual here, should help you know what you're getting into... Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 23:02
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    @Erik That's only for the purpose of "freezing" the internals to prevent rotation while turning the screws in the bottom of the fork, which may not be a requirement in your case... in fact, it looks like you can do some basic troubleshooting without dissassembly, just by removing the adjusters on top. That should be enough to find out if the elastomers have suffered meltdown or not. Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 1:23

2 Answers 2


Depending on the age, personal attachment, and value of the fork, you could have it rebuilt at you local bike shop. However with it being close to 20 years old you might be just as well suited to purchase an inexpensive replacement fork.

You should be able to get something like a Suntour for a relatively inexpensive amount. You might check your local classifieds for a used fork as well to save some money. Weigh how often you use (or plan to use) the bike against how much money it would cost to replace/rebuild and decide if it fits your budget. No need to pay $100 to hang it back on the ceiling for another 20 years :)

  • That's along the lines of what I thought. I'm not in the mood to spend $100 on this or another front shock right now.
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 17:12
  • Then it sounds like you have your answer! I would have a go at trying to freshen it up some yourself. Like others have said do your best to find out what type of suspension it is first. We can probably help with some images. You may be able to get it to break loose and then take everything apart, clean, lubricate and you may have a working fork again for a couple bucks and an hour or two.
    – Nate W
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 20:26
  • Googling suggests its an elastomer based fork , and not an oil based one. So a clean and rebuild is a lot easier than an oil one provided OP can buy a service kit with all the seals etc.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 9:56

just rag the bike take it over a big bump or hit a pothole a few times and your bike should be ready

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    Welcome to the site. Don’t forget to take the tour and to read up on what makes a good answer in the help center. At the moment this one is a bit unrefined and risks being removed
    – Swifty
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 11:33
  • "Rag" meaning what? Clean it with a rag? Please explain your jargon - remember the internet is global and perhaps the rest of us haven't caught up with your newfangled meanings :)
    – Criggie
    Commented May 14, 2019 at 13:51
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    OK, so rereading this, it paraphrases as "ignore the problem and ride the bike anyway" which is generally a bad idea. If the shock/fork suddenly releases then you can be thrown. It may also drop its internals resulting in a drop to the lowest point, which would be like falling into an invisible pothole. And there's no guarantee this would happen when you're straight and level with no cars around... it could change suddenly when under hard braking, or when you're crossing an intersection or sticking a landing. Make sure your bike is safe to ride before riding.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 14:32
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    To me, it sounds like it's more "Ride the broken shock hard into a few potholes in the hope that this will un-jam it." Sounds extremely dangerous, to me. Commented May 15, 2019 at 14:56
  • This is a bad answer, but it is an answer. Not deleting, leaving to let the votes speak.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 17, 2019 at 14:07

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