After a long time, I got an opportunity to have my hands dirty with a resurrection of the two 1995 Rock Shox JUDY XC suspension forks. I call them “twins” because they were identical in design, a 50mm suspension, and oil damping. The twins came to me in overall good visual condition, but as you may expect, with some illness syndromes. The very first one was a usual syndrome – broken or missing MCUs. The second well-known syndrome was leaking and/or empty oil damper cartridges (both Gen1). Last but not least, the twins were missing fresh grease and a bit of custom care.
After full disassembling and cleaning, I realized that the working condition of both forks is very good and it's a solid basement for getting them back to the excellent level. I started my maintenance with cleaning and full restoration of internals, inc. oil replacement in a non-leaking Gen1 damper cartridge (I used Rock Shox PitStop oil), and re-greasing lower legs with the r.s.p. Slick Kick grease. The leaking Gen1 cartridge of the other twin has been replaced with a brand new Gen1 damper cartridge (what a miracle to find one) and filled up with fresh Rock Shox PitStop oil. Instead of broken and/or missing MCUs I put inside the stanchions brand new coil springs from SRP (Specialty Retro Products). SRP makes some other good staff for JUDY forks, thus I assembled the twins with a full SRP titanium bolts kit. One fork got new SRP dust wipers, while the other one has got new-old-stock Reset Blue Seals. To improve ease of movement I have installed additional foam o-rings under the wipers filled up with the original Rock Shox PitStop oil. Lower legs, brake-arches, and crowns of the twins took advanced custom care by hand-polishing with various professional-grade 3M compounds. All bolts have been fixed by Loctite with a torque wrench.
...and yet another judy restoration
Yet another 1996 Rock Shox Judy restoration. I`ve used many new-old-stock parts to build this fork up. The fork currently works with new bushings and stanchions, GEN2 aluminium cartridge, experimental coil springs, and new custom painting. I did black anodization of crown and steerer (the steerer has been custom-made from aluminium), as well as I made a black painting of the V-brake arch. I`ve assembled the fork with all titanium bolts. The lower legs have been professionally painted to bright red-orange with a custom-made black/yellow Rock Shox Judy decal set. The fork may come with a spare cantilever-brake arch that has been painted in bright red-orange as well (not visible in pictures). Preload adjuster knobs have been re-anodized in black.
The steerer length is almost 210mm, which will fit most of the frames in sizes of S, M, and L. The fork travel is 63mm. Original fork boots are available but have not been installed.
Do you like this restoration? Check out my other restorations and let me know your thoughts. Do you need help with your restoration and/or project? Do not hesitate to contact me.
coil springs for rock shox judy
When I had been doing my last restoration of the 1996 Rock Shox Judy fork I`ve realized a serious fact - missing coil springs on the market. It`s really strange that it`s almost impossible - today - to find any of them (right, if you`re lucky enough you may find - from time to time - rare Kronos or White Bros springs, but not too many). Does it seem that the coil springs after-market are currently empty? Well, it might be true. This observation led me to think about custom springs for Judy forks.
During the last months I did some measurements and calculations, as well as I got in touch with a company, here in Slovakia, that regularly produces various coil springs for many engineering deployments. I showed them my blueprint of the springs for Judy forks and they produced a few - experimental - pairs of them in custom production. I decided to use stainless steel wire (that allowed us to keep the wire unprotected by any painting, just for this reason for the experiment). To be as close to former after-market products as possible, we`ve made the same number of spring threads and length. I didn`t have precise measurements for spring rates of different weight riders (like "soft", "medium" and "firm"), therefore I first decided to make a set of springs for my current rider weight, which is around 73 - 75kg in high season (so I can say "medium" ride firmness). Once a set of custom springs were done, I prepared a blue-print for spring end-caps used to properly match the springs on top of the shafts in the fork. I made it easy from aluminium and it fits perfectly the inner and outer diameter of the springs. Again, due to the same reason as above, I kept the end-caps without any painting or anodization, however, when needed, I can make any standard colour anodization.
The springs fit perfectly the Rock Shox Judy model years of 1995, 1996, and 1997. I installed the springs in my spare 1996 Rock Shox Judy XC fork. Because the wire used to make the springs is a bit thicker, I cut off some outer material from the springs to get them easily into plastic adjuster top-caps. The springs work together with a 63mm damping cartridge. All works well, but I have to note that additional 2mm plastic shim (e.g. plastic "jax" connector for MCU elastomers) have been required because the springs are 2mm shorter :)
1997 rock shox indy xc restoration
After some Judy's overhauling, I did a nice restoration of 1997 Rock Shox Indy XC. I got this fork for free and let it lie back in my garage for a while. When "found" again, I decided to make a complete restoration in white and green. Why? Because it`s quite unusual and never was in Indy`s product catalogue (...and then, I wanted to use it on my DevilWork Cycles bike).
Indy`s overall condition was pretty good. Lower legs had still original cream white painting and stickers, but with many scuffs and scratches. However, the internals was in very good shape. Stanchions were still untouched, shiny silver. Wiper seals were in proper working condition. Type 2 coil spring system with one-piece elastomers were like new. Threadless steerer had been cut down to 190mm.
When disassembling the fork, I completely stripped off old Rock Shox painting and decals and prepared the fork for powder coating. White powder coating was the only choice in this project. One more layer of clear coating was applied on top. The legs were polished after coating. I replaced the original steel canti-brake studs with titanium ones. Plastic preload adjuster knobs were replaced with red aluminium adjusters taken from the SL edition. Finally, the fork must have black fork boots.
Some words about custom design and new stickers. I like that design. White is always nice and green stickers look fresh and expressive. A set of Indy stickers is completely home-made. I just wanted this colour scheme, but with original Rock Shox and Indy logos. The stickers have the original size and been made by digital printing with a clear thin vinyl layer on top. Do you believe the fork is yet 21 years old?
How do you like this restoration? Would you make the restoration of your fork, too? Let me know your thoughts. I can support you with your project.
1996 rock shox judy xc overhauling
This facelift is the next in a row. Now I do a facelift of my own 1996 Rock Shox Judy XC fork I rode in the '90s. The fork has been in great condition for a long time, already with Kronos coil springs, but with malfunctioning (empty) damper cartridge. However, with a new coming project of the Heavy Tools HT Comp, I decided to take the fork back in life.
First I rebuild the cartridge. When disassembling the fork I did surprise that the cartridge was a newer one, with the aluminium body (I should have replaced it, but I can`t remember), mechanically in very good condition, but without any oil. I found out that there were missing some small parts to fix the cartridge not leaking again, so I completed them all and I filled the cartridge in with Rock Shox oil. Now the cartridge doesn`t leak anymore.
The original painting was in very good condition, too. I didn`t remove it, I just made some cosmetic repairs. The brake arch allowed using classic cantilever brakes, but I decided to use V-brakes. Instead of removing the brake cable-stop, I found a very used arch on “evil-bay”. After that, I repainted the arch.
Rock Shox Judy XC forks had all stainless steel bolts, while the SL all titanium hardware. I did manage to find all titanium hardware and replaced it. Original, but short steel steerer had been replaced. Now my fork looks more like SL than XC.
I have placed the fork in the Heavy Tools HT Comp project and repainted it in Volkswagen/Audi silver-like frame. Well, to be honest, my paint job was not sooo perfect and you may find some cosmetic marks here and there. Anyhow, all the overhauling was a great experience and I`m glad that my Judy XC fork is back in life again.
fox float r brain rear shock custom tuning
A Specialized`s 2004 FOX FLOAT R w/Brain rear shock has been re-painted based on the main design of a new 2009 FOX F100RLC suspension fork.
We made rear shock`s custom painting done within a regular shock service works. We painted both shock`s chamber body, as well as Brain`s one in a new design. As both bodies were fixed back on the shock with strong torque, the final finish`s quality was double-confirmed in a burning kiln.
1996 rock shox judy sl facelift, vol.2
The forks overhauling didn`t match any ongoing project, it just came in as an instant non-project activity. Very simply, one day I got to my hands an old Rock Shox Judy SL forks and I quickly realized that the forks are in better condition than I could have ever supposed.
I was very surprised when I was checking the 28mm uppers/stanchions. I found neither cosmetic blemishes nor other problems. Moreover, I was very happy to see the forged aluminium crown and the 190mm long aluminium steerer. Well, I realized that the forks truly need a complete service.
The forks have been upgraded and serviced with brand new bushings, dust seal/wipers, coil springs (the old MCU springs were dead), and other seals. The hydraulic damper cartridge has been re-sealed and filled up with new Rock Shox 5wt oil. Moreover, I re-sprayed the magnesium lower legs, as well as the forks, brace in Rock Shox yellow. At the top of that, I put a brand new set of decals.
The previous owner drilled the cantilever brake cable-stop away from the brace, thus I had to make some additional job to fix it. All titanium hardware kept in place, the original fork boots were reinstalled, too. The forks travel is 63mm, the current weight is 1535 grams.
1996 rock shox judy sl facelift
I did a complete restoration of the Nakamura Vertical MTB and my friend asked me for new suspension forks. I made a choice of Rock Shox Judy SL. The forks were in excellent condition; however, I decided to re-spray them. Before that, I checked all internals - bushings, dust seal/wipers, and hydraulic bumper cartridge. All worked well, nothing to restore. I checked uppers/stanchions and I found them without cosmetic blemishes. All titanium hardware kept in place; the original fork boots are ready for reinstallation if needed. Old MCU springs were good, but I changed them with Kronos coil springs to get better forks function. Thanks to my other friend`s help we swapped the old short steerer with a brand new 25cm-long one.
Forks re-spraying fitted exactly the same colour as the frame. We used the Audi Dolomite Grey colour. Before re-spraying I did all preparation works to perfectly prepare the surface. The old colour was stripped down, both legs and brace were brushed. Once re-sprayed, legs and brace were polished. New Rock Shox decals were applied in the end as well.
1996 rock shox judy sl facelift