I have a 2003 Giant Rainier as shown here: https://www.bicyclebluebook.com/searchlistingdetail.aspx?id=38863

that appears to be leaking a little bit of fluid from one of its front shocks. I think it has only leaked a few milliliters.

What would be the best & cheapest way to fix that?

Thank you!


The spec fork on that was the Answer Manitou Axel Super - information here

From the 2003 Axel user manual....

CHECKING OIL LEVEL IMPORTANT: Setting the proper oil level in your Fluid Flow damped fork is critical. Fluid Flow damping is located in the right leg of your Manitou AXEL fork. Not enough oil will allow foaming and reduce the performance. Too much oil will restrict travel and may cause damage to the system and create an unsafe riding condition. Finish reading this entire section prior to altering the oil level. To check the oil level on the Manitou AXEL, remove the compression assembly located in the top of the right leg (as you are looking at the fork from the rider’s position). Leave the left side spring stack in place to keep the fork fully extended. Use a tape measure or “dip stick” to measure from the top of the fork crown down to where the oil sits (Figure 2). The oil level for the Manitou AXEL should be per following table. Fork Model Oil Level Manitou AXEL 115-125 mm (4.5-4.9”) NOTE: Use SAE 5WT fork oil suspension fluid only.

Forks need regular servicing - anything as often as every 25 hours with seal replacement commonly being recommended at 100hours riding (I think Manitou had relatibvely long service intervals . Seal replacement and lower leg service is not too hard, but is a bigger job than many owners are prepared to tackle themselves. A shop secive with seal replacement will be around $US100 (various with you location in the world).

The seals have gone - possible just from old age and wear. Given the age and value of the bike, its likely not worth the cost of new seals, especially if you are getting a shop to do it. If you don;t want to pull the fork apart, replacing the oil is straight forward, but I would be tempted to do a lower leg service and then top up the oil regularly.

The oil leaking is a messy problem, but no causing functional issues as long as there is oil to leak out. If the leak stops its time to worry.

  • 2
    Googling suggests the fork is mid-range so given its lasted 15 years, a service kit would be more affordable than a replacement fork.
    – Criggie
    Nov 6 '18 at 6:18

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