I looked around a little, but I couldn't find the answer to my question on this site.

I have a Raleigh Tekoa 1, which is an entry level XC hardtail with an SR Suntour XCM30 fork.

Recently I've noticed that biking when it's chilly out somehow locks out the suspension. It seems anything under 60 °F (16 °C) temperatures makes the fork go rigid.

My best guess is that the springs inside the fork freeze a little, causing them to become stiff. All my life I've owned bikes with spring forks, but this has never been a problem for me.

Has anyone else experienced this problem, and if so, is there an easy fix for it? This is a fairly new bike (3 months), so I doubt that I need to replace the springs.

  • What model is your fork? There’s an RL, LO, and HLO. – MaplePanda Oct 7 '20 at 17:58
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    If tis 16 degrees C then thats a long way from freezing water. Oil won't freeze till an even lower temp, though it does get more viscous. Not a dupe, but related: bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/2540/… – Criggie Oct 7 '20 at 18:54
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    @Criggie that is very true! 16 degrees Celsius is comfy riding weather for me. The oil should really not be affected at those temps, unless someone put bacon grease inside by accident. The oil also doesn’t need to freeze solid to affect the damping, but I agree, 16 degrees is too high. – MaplePanda Oct 7 '20 at 23:24
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    @MaplePanda there are at least six different xcm30s - MLO, HLO, LO, RL, and then two different no-designation models, one resembling the MLO, and then one with an empty damping leg. But also different model years which might differ also. – thelawnet Oct 8 '20 at 7:23
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    SunTour forks are horrible. Especially so the XCM line found on entry level bikes. OP is sensing stiction to an extreme degree. It came from the factory with inadequate lubrication and was manufactured cheaply. – Jeff Oct 11 '20 at 17:12

What’s more likely is that your damper oil is thickening in the cold. If you can find a service manual for your fork, it may be possible to open it up and change the oil for a higher quality one. It’s probably not worth it though, you highly risk messing something up.

Maybe try contacting SunTour? That certainly doesn’t seem normal.

  • Does this fork even have a damper (I hope it does, but some reviews says it doesn’t)? Can’t find any good information on the internet. – Michael Oct 7 '20 at 17:17
  • @Micheal From what i found, it does: srsuntour.com/typo3conf/ext/dstore/… – MaplePanda Oct 7 '20 at 17:59
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    Should I maybe consult the shop which I bought the bike from? I believe that I have a warranty on all the parts, so I could get it fixed/replaced for free. That way I don't have to risk messing it up even more. – LemmyX Oct 7 '20 at 19:22
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    @LemmyX That’s definitely your best option. SunTour also has a fork upgrade program which you could consider as well. – MaplePanda Oct 7 '20 at 23:25
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    @Michael it looks like it's the HLO damping cartridge fitted to this model. This is nitrogen-sealed so you can't change the oil. However SR Suntour considers this to be such a poor quality damper they don't sell it as a spare part, only the LO damping cartridge, which is rebound damped also. – thelawnet Oct 8 '20 at 11:31

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