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I recently got myself a new bike with a RockShox Judy Silver fork and all has been good so far, however I noticed after the first ride that quite a bit of oil ended up on the stanchions, which I cleaned up and there is noticeably more oil on the right side (where the lockout switch is) than the left side.

I've had a few rides since, yesterday was probably my longest one for a good 1 hr 30 mins (mostly road riding with some light off road bits) and once again, when I came to cleaning the bike I noticed there is a lot of oil on the stanchions on the right side and a tiny bit on the left side.

Is this normal? Why is there more on one side?

Right side stanchion with more oil build up

Left side stanchion with less oil build up

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    I'm not sure about the Judy, but the in general, air-sprung forks have the air spring on the left (non-drive side) and the damper on the right. As such, more oil on the right makes sense to me. It'll take a bit of time for the excess to work itself out. Keep the stanchion clean and you'll be fine.
    – Paul H
    Dec 28 '20 at 18:57
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Check that the right side seal is actually tight to the stanchion. Perhaps you just got one that is too loose fitting. Generally, some level of oil leakage is normal, but too much is definitely a problem: there’s only ~10mL of oil total in each leg acting as lubrication, and you really don’t want to run out. You could also test the seal by leaving the bike upside down overnight and seeing if any more oil makes its way out.

Additionally, you could bring the bike back to the shop you bought it from to get fixed under warranty. A fork service kit is like $20 and includes new wiper seals.

@Paul H The damper is totally sealed from the lower leg, which is where the bath lube oil sits. The oils are different viscosities anyways, so mixing them would be bad. If that is indeed damper oil (which is tinted red/pink) leaking out, OP has some serious issues.

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  • Hm ok, so if the bike was upside down, no oil should leak out? The bike is a Voodoo Bizango Carbon that I got from Halfords, I wanted to make sure this is actually a problem before asking them I guess.
    – KillerKode
    Dec 31 '20 at 14:38
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    @KillerKode If the seals are all working properly, that is correct. If they’re faulty, oil will weep past the seals over a longer period of time.
    – MaplePanda
    Dec 31 '20 at 19:39
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    I went to the store yesterday and the tech is on holiday, but they suggested bringing it in next week to have it looked at, they said they will probably do a lower leg service on it.
    – KillerKode
    Jan 3 at 17:43
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    @KillerKode Awesome! Hope they can fix it. This should be the required SRAM part number: 00.4315.032.648
    – MaplePanda
    Jan 3 at 21:21
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    Well they have finally worked on it, they got SRAM to take a look who changed all the seals and what not, have got the bike back now and so far just light misting there now, so seems good. But haven't ridden it much yet as it's snowing these days!
    – KillerKode
    Feb 8 at 16:17
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In my experience, it is normal for some oil or grease to be deposited on the stanchions during the first few rides. When the fork is assembled, all internal seals, including the dust wipers at the top of the fork lower legs (through which the stanchions slide into the lower leg) are liberally greased, and usually a little oil is added to the top of the lower legs, i.e. just below the dust wipers. This means that often there is some excess grease and oil, and this gets pushed out during the first few rides. Given that this grease is applied liberally, i.e. the amount is not measured exactly, it is not unusual nor problematic that there is more of it one one side, as long as there is enough of it on both. I last observed this when I installed a Lyrik Ultimate, and it worried me a bit given how expensive that fork is, but it stopped after a few rides when all the excess grease got pushed out. And what I see in the first photo you posted indeed looks like grease.

In fact, and not directly related to your problem, sometimes there is so much grease in the lower legs that it blocks the air flow between the chambers of the air spring, preventing the fork from fully extending. This I experienced on a brand new Reba RL. The solution was to forcefully extend the fork manually, which opened the equalization port and permanently solved the problem.

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