Squeaking is a common problem of every mountain bike fork and you hear an unpleasant noise coming from the front suspension forks, it is because of too much riding of the bike on the single bumpy trails and without giving any lube or wetting the stanchion tube, in the end, it results in rubbing of the seals with the stanchion tube, because of friction and creating annoying sound when a front tire hits a bump.
it is not a big complicated problem, it can be solved easily with a simple method, you just need to buy lube or you can also use bike chain lube for the suspension forks. find some old rough piece of cloth, wet the cloth with lube, and rub on both the legs of the front forks so that the contacting point of the legs and forks become completed wet with lube.
Leave the bike for a few minutes so that the lube would completely slip in downward and inward of the forks after that ride your bike through a few bumps and listen to the sound, if it’s still not gone then further lube the suspension forks and further check by going through a bumpy ride.
Why squeaking of bike forks occurs?
Every time we ride we always treat the other parts of the bike well and well without noticing the forks, time passes and after many rides forks start creating noises that alarm us about the life span of the forks.
We all know about the rough and raw trails of mountain biking and the mud, dirt, muddy water, and the other tiny junky things that fly over the bike and stick in the bike parts.
without using the front mudguard all of this dirt hit the forks and starts moving in the internal place of the forks, the up and down movement of the suspension forks passes the outer dirt in the inward place of the forks very simply and after riding for years the forks start making noise and the internal spring of the forks starts taking rust which will cost much more in repairing, opening and removing rust from the internal place of the forks.
When you buy a second-hand bike from any of your friends or mate, you don’t know how much he used his bike for riding and through which trails(hard or easy). there are chances of squeaking of the forks which will show you when you go for a few rides. because the forks are old and the previous rider has used it a lot for riding purposes, so when the bike came in your hands now it’s yours and it’s your responsibility to lubricate the forks after every single ride for increasing the durability and better working of the forks.
When you come back from a ride try to wash your bike with water especially the forks and put the pressure water within the forks soo that the inner mud would leak easily and the forks would work fine for the next ride.it is necessary to wash the forks if you want to get rid of the unpleasant squeaky sound in the future. after washing it would be good to lube the forks and press the handlebar of your bike many times so that the lube would easily reach the inner place of the forks.
After giving lube to the stanchion tube, leave the forks for an hour or two to become dry fully, it is necessary because if you go for a ride with wet lube on the forks you are attracting the dirt and mud to stick on the forks. when you notice lube has been fully dried then you can run your bike wherever you want to go.
do not use WD40 spray for the bike forks:
WD4o spray is a liquid and it flows and absorbs easily and is not good for lubing the forks because it is thin and it does not work properly for the forks, it is mostly used for other purposes like rust removal, etc. even WD40 is not used for temporary purpose for the suspension forks. so avoid these sprays and buy lube or chain lube. the wet lube is mostly used and is best for removing the squeaking sound of the forks.
the other sprays are also not good for the forks although sprays are most essential for other purposes never use them for the squeaking sound of the forks. the lube is thick than that of the spray and it easily slips in the internals as compared to the WD40 spray.
Bad seals and internal pressure are also involved in squeaking:
The seals of the forks sometimes are not properly adjusted and you will notice they become old or ruptured due to which it starts making a squeaking sound because these are originating friction and rubbing onto the legs of the forks you have to change the seals and look in your way, if the issue in judging then you can take your bike to the mechanic store, surely he can advise and point the problem after inspecting the forks internally.
The internal pressure becomes high and low from the cap of the forks.it is maintained according to the bodyweight of the rider, if the pressure is low and the bodyweight is high, there are chances of squeaking sound of forks and vice versa.
Amount of lube:
It is important to keep in mind always use the lube for a required purpose in a limited amount. if you use too much for the stanchion forks it is bad because the lube would not become dry easily and it again cause trouble of sticking the dirt on the forks, when the stanchion tube becomes wet on all sides with lube, it is enough for the stanchion tube and the internals, never give more lube to forks otherwise it becomes terrible for the lower brakes, wheel, and the axle because all of these parts become wet because of the excess of lube.
How to lube bike shocks? rear suspension and dropper post:
The same method that I have discussed above is applied for lubing the shocks of the mountain bikes and the dropper post. you can lube the center part of the shocks and then press the saddle of the bike in a downward direction so that the lube would reach the internal end of the shock. lubing the shocks is a necessary step to stop unpleasant squeaking sounds from your bike.
It is also necessary to wet the dropper post pipe by giving lube and then pressing downward and upward, repeat it 6 to 7 times until the up and down movement of the dropper post becomes smooth.
Lubing and wetting of shocks and dropper posts prevent rusting and help in ending the squeaking sound.
Types of Squeaking sounds coming from the front suspension forks of the bike:
However, squeaking is not small trouble, if you ignore it at the beginning you are going to buy new forks for your bike or if your forks have a warranty then it would be good to exchange them with a new one.
the squeaking sound tells whether it is coming from the internal side or just the seals’ issue if the sound is coming from the internal side then it is not a small issue you have to bring your bike to the mechanic’s store for repairing the forks. but if just these are seals that are causing trouble then the mechanic would easily replace them with a new one and your bike forks become new without any issue.
Use of mudguards for avoiding squeaking noise:
A mudguard or fender is important for the front tire which absorbs the dirt and muddy water hitting on the mudguard and the forks remain protected on the trails. mountain bikers usually do not install mudguards because of the weight issue and other purposes, so for those, if you don’t want to install them then after every ride always wash your bike thoroughly especially the internal side of the front forks which will remove the dust and dirt particles from permanently staying in the inside of the suspension forks.
11 Best lubes for suspension forks of mountain bikes:
- WPL Forkboost lube
- Brunox 2
- RSP Slick Kick
- Silicone Grease
- Ycncixwd 60ml Lubricant Dry Teflon Lube
- Fulala Lubricant Front Fork Oil
- WPL Absolute Grease
- ROCKSHOX Dynamic Seal Grease
- SRAM Butter Fork Suspension Grease
- WPL Dry Chain Lube
- Juice Lube, Fork Juice Suspension Lubricant
These are the best lubes used for wetting and lubing the front suspension forks of mountain bikes. road bikes, BMX, and the other bicycle front suspension forks. all of these are budget-friendly, if you don’t have one, you can easily get one from amazon and through near bike mechanic stores.