Ask Pinkbike: South American Dream Destination, Reluctant BoXXer Fork, Bushing Kit for Coil Shock and Mallet Rebuild Advice

Feb 24, 2015
by Pinkbike Staff  
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Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.



Reluctant BoXXer

Question: Pinkbike user stuartd asked this question in Mechanic's Lounge forum: I've got a BoXXer Team fork from either 2009 or 2010, the one with the blue and silver knobs on top of the right stanchion. The fork has 200mm of travel but I'm only getting around 120mm out of them, even if I turn the adjusters all the way clockwise. What can I do? Should I be taking them in for a service?

bigquotesThere's a big difference between the 2009 and 2010 BoXXer forks, with the older model sporting slim 32mm stanchions and the 2010 and newer versions featuring larger 35mm upper tubes. That said, both the '09 and '10 models have blue and silver compression adjusters at the top of the right leg, and although these adjuster control differently designed dampers, turning them clockwise on either fork is only going to add compression and make for a less forgiving stroke. That could be what's happening, although I'd bet that the fork's spring rate is also too stiff for your weight. Start by backing out both of the blue and silver compression knobs by turning them counter-clockwise until they stop, then going for a ride on one of your typical trails to see if you're getting full travel. If the dials have to be completely backed out in order for you to get more than 120mm of stroke, you'll need to drop down to a softer fork spring so that you can make use of the fork's damping range. You may need a softer fork spring depending on your weight and how aggressive you are, but the lack of travel could also be a sign of trouble, either too much oil in the fork or something worse. Time to take them to a shop to see what's up, which, given that they're six years old now, wouldn't be a bad idea even if they were running okay. - Mike Levy

2009 09 Boxxer World Cup

Things have changed a bit since 2009, haven't they? But there's no reason why stuartd can't get his 2009 BoXXer Team to feel pretty decent by using the right settings and correct spring rate.





Bushing Kit to Adapt a Coil Shock to a Giant Reign

Question: Huck1990 asks:All Mountain and Cross-Country Forum Hey all! I've got hold of a Fox Van R shock to fit to my '05 Reign frame. The problem I have is that the bushes (which came off the Manitou 3 Way, previously fitted) do not fit snugly in the Fox shock. They are too small. Do I have to speak to a shock company who will lathe some up for me, or is it a case of contacting the company directly?

bigquotesAs you may have discovered, your 2005 Reign is unique in that Giant used special bushing and spacer hardware on that model for one year only. Many shocks use 12-millimeter eyelet bushings, but Fox shocks uses a larger, 12.7-millimeter diameter one and sometimes that cause compatibility issues. Fox sells bushing and spacer kits through retailers for around $10.00 USD, but you'd have to know exactly which one would retrofit to your Van R shock, or buy a number of kits and try to mix and match the bits. Because you are upgrading your Giant's air-sprung shock with a coil-over from a different maker, I would contact an aftermarket shock bushing supplier to get the proper kit, rather than attempt to get the information from either Giant or Fox.

TFTuned is a great source and they should have the expertise to answer your questions. The TFTuned site has a slick shock/bike fit engine. Unfortunately, your '05 Reign is not in their database, so you'll need to contact them directly. Another source for bushings is the Enduro Fork Seal site, which sells RWC needle-bushing kits for a comprehensive list of shocks and bike models. A Fox kit for your '05 Giant Reign is listed there.

Finally, to get you started in the right direction, Fox has a handy page that shows how to identify the different eyelet configurations it uses, and how to remove and replace the components with simple tools that any garage mechanic should have. Start with the Fox page, identify the style of bushing and caps that came with your Manitou eyelets, and then use that information, along with the hardware size and bushing-width measurements to help order the larger, 12.7mm bushes and caps you that will need to adapt the Fox Van R to your Giant. - RC

Fox Racing Shox DU eyelet bushing kit
Fox Racing Shox low-friction composite eylet kit
The number of bushing-kit combinations that Fox makes for its OEM customers would make you dizzy. If you are ordering a stock replacement, get one from Fox. But Huck1990 is mixing and matching shocks, so an aftermarket suspension supplier would be better prepared to assist him to get the right bushing kits for his Van R.




South American Mountain Bike Vacation?

Question: Pinkbike user redridesrule asks in the All-Mountain, Enduro & Cross-Country forum: I am wanting to plan a biking trip to ride in South America. However, I know nothing about the trails down there. Does anybody have any information on where the best riding is? I am thinking Chile or Peru, but am open to any recommendations. We want to do a few all day all-mountain "enduro" rides, possibly even an overnight ride. We like steep and technical and jumps and everything else. It's really more for the experience if I'm honest. Thanks for any and all information.

bigquotesI won't claim to know where the absolute "best" riding in South America is, but I will say that my time in Chile last spring (which was autumn in the Southern Hemisphere) left a lasting impression, and I'd jump at the opportunity to return. The riding around Santiago is full of dry, rugged and rocky trails, and many of them can easily can be shuttled. Nevados de Chillan, located about 7 hours to the south, and the location of last year's first Enduro World Series race, is amazing as well, with towering mountains, volcanic steam vents, and a grey, silty soil that's unlike anything I've ever ridden in.

The local riders and residents that I encountered were all extremely welcoming and enthusiastic; mountain biking, especially DH and enduro racing, is catching on in a big way in Chile. Montenbaik.com is a good resource for more detailed information about the Chilean riding scene, and I'm sure Pinbike's South American readers can chime in with more specifics as well. In any case, enjoy - there aren't many better ways to experience a foreign country than on a mountain bike. - Mike Kazimer


A rider drops into stage six at EWS 1.

Nevados de Chillan, Chile, is deserving of a spot on any mountain biker's dream vacation list.





Rebuilding my Crank Bros pedals

Question: Pinkbike user Blaenavonbutt asks in the Bikes,Parts, and Gear forum: I need to do a rebuild on my Mallet DH Race pedals and can't seem to find a rebuild kit. Is the one for the Mallets the same, or do I have to get one specifically for the Mallet DH Race?

bigquotesThe correct service kit for the Mallet DH Race is the 3/11 rebuild kit. This kit is suitable for all Mallet or 5050 pedals dating back to 2011 in the 3 or 11 levels. For your convenience there is a handy re-build guide on the Crank Brothers site. I've not heard any issues yet with newer DH Race version, but the pedal body of the standard Mallet had been known to come off the axle after prolonged use when the bearings were already worn out. If this happens you can end up with a damaged axle, and it will cost you a lot more than a rebuild kit, let alone the potential hazard of losing a pedal mid-ride. If you keep on top of the servicing, they should last you plenty of rides. The kits are priced at $19.99, less than the price of a new pair of cleats, so there's no reason not to keep on top of the maintenance. - Paul Aston

Crank Brothers pedal rebuild kit

Keep your Mallet's spinning on fresh bearings and seals, they should last you years.





Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


42 Comments

  • 18 3
 I disagree with the boxxer advice. My lack of travel was due to oil transfer to the damper (from the lower leg, over a couple of years), which eventually hydraulically locked my fork (to about 140mm travel). First thing I would do is check the oil level in the damper cartridge and take some oil out if too high.
  • 12 0
 This is indeed what I think is going on. Best way to check:
1)Remove spring top cap
2)Fully open compression
3)Compress the fork
That way you should feel if there's a hydraulic bottom out, there's either too much oil in the damper, or lowers. Either way it's a rebuild time. Of there's no such bottom out and the fork goes smoothly all the way down, it's probably just a setup issue.
  • 4 0
 Yes, the lack of maintenance of RS forks often causes injuries to the poor o ring between the rebound shaft and the stanchions. Then the oil go in the lowers and creat a "hydraulic bottom out". Classic.
  • 2 0
 When I received my 2009 BoXXers new from the factory they had about four inches of heavy grease in the bottom of each leg. I was so confused!
  • 6 1
 I'm in south america right now reluctantly dreaming about a new way to use bushings and coil shocks to boost my mullet to new levels.
  • 1 2
 I have also seen that way overused oil can limit travel even I he oil level is correct. Try just doing a simple oil change in the damper.
  • 1 0
 your not alone with the boxxers, my manitou mattoc fork had the same issues only 3 months old, to much oil in my damper
  • 1 0
 The problem with too much oil happens in the 2010 as well.
  • 19 5
 dispose of cb mallet > get shimano pd-m647 > next maintenance is in about 10 years. problem solved.
  • 6 3
 But you get horrible performance in between and no grippy platform, only a shitty piece of plastic to stand on when not clipped in.
  • 9 0
 Best riding in South America? It must be Peru, the scene is better dedeveloped in both Chile and Argentina, but Peru has thousands of miles of Inca/Llama trails. There are dozens (more probably) trails in the sacred valley that drop from 4500m to 2700. Check out inkasadventures.com. Wayo and his team are excellent.

The riding was so good I am relocating to Peru this July.
  • 2 0
 Second that. I did the Inca all mountain trip with Sacred Rides, and the riding was out of this world good
www.sacredrides.com/singletrackrides/peru/incatrail
  • 9 0
 Best place in South America: Ecuador no worries about seasons, big mountains with incredible natural Singletrails, an huge mountain bike community, friendly people, safe, the best party places, amazing biodiversity and full access everywear.
You never gonna be disappoint in Ecuador
  • 3 0
 hard to beat Ecuador.. only in Quito you have lift accessed DH, several DHtracks, amazing trail network and all backed up by an amazing community...and yes, all year 'round
  • 3 0
 ECUADOR!

If you want to experience incredible diversity in landscapes, trails, regions, and culture than please come visit us!

I invite you ALL to come take a look at BIKING DUTCHMAN - ALL MOUNTAIN TOURS. We are an All Mtn / Enduro based mountainbiking company.

www.bikingdutchman.com/bd-all-mountain

www.facebook.com/bikingdutchmanallmountain

Instagram: @mateo_bd_all_mountain

Ecuador is a really accessible country, small enough to travel all over it, and we have 3 main regions; Andes Mountain Range, beautiful coastal range, and amazon rainforest; not to mention the Galapagos Islands.

Please check out some of our great scenery/riding pics on the links above! Or at my profile here in PB.

Cheers!
  • 18 7
 Mallet rebuild advice:

1. Remove Mallets
2. Install Shimano pedals
  • 4 4
 Honestly just going to say that haha
  • 6 0
 It is not hard to pull that boxxer all the way apart. I would say pop the lowers off, pop the caps off, dump the oil, pull the thing apart and inspect the insides. If the stuff is not busted you can replace everything and put in the correct amount of oil and see if it works better. There are great manuals available through RS that show exploded views so you can see what should be where. Also it is good to change your seals and o-ring now and then. I like enduro seals personally.
  • 2 0
 This. ↑↑

Get hold of the manual online and get your hands dirty; you won't regret it.
  • 1 0
 Racing Bros seals are the shit dude, so smooth.
  • 7 2
 Just come to Chile and forget everything else... 10.000 feet vertical dh runs during the summer and 5.000 feet during all year. I've traveled the world... But CHile is something else, mark my words
  • 6 1
 Here are the instructions on how to overhaul Crank Bros Egg Beaters, but the process with Mallets is pretty similar:

bit.ly/1LE1F5h
  • 2 0
 I love that.
  • 4 2
 "I've not heard any issues yet with newer DH Race version, but the pedal body of the standard Mallet had been known to come off the axle after prolonged use when the bearings were already worn out. If this happens you can end up with a damaged axle, and it will cost you a lot more than a rebuild kit, let alone the potential hazard of losing a pedal mid-ride."


It blows my mind that anyone actually buys Crap Bros.
  • 2 0
 Try www.offsetbushings.com for all your shock hardware needs - offset or standard! Every set is made to order so we can produce them or any bike. We already have a huge database of sizes - the Reign included (22x6mm).

We are also the best value around, just £10 GBP + world wide shipping!
  • 2 1
 35mm stanchion Boxxers have had a well known issue of mis manufactured lowers. Essentially the hole at the bottom of the lower leg is not central, meaning the damper has to bend as it goes through its stroke. The problem can usually be solved by manipulating the hole into a more central position, and making sure the internal face it butts up against is machined flat. Srams poor quality control rears its head again :S
  • 3 0
 That only affected friction though, it wouldn't make the fork stop halfway through travel.
  • 1 0
 boxxer from 2009 and 35mm boxxer are two different things
  • 1 0
 Yep, but the original question was about 2009 or 2010 boxxer. The issue will cause friction to increase dramatically as the fork goes through its travel, in bad cases making it extremely difficult to reach full bottom out.
  • 1 0
 I've ridden all over Bolivia, lived in Chile and have ridden a little in Peru. You cant go wrong in any of these places but hook up with locals or reliable tour operator to get to the goods. There are massive descents on the edge of Santiago (see Santa Cruz Nomad promo video) and Lima (Olmeros) that you will rememebr the rest of your life.
  • 1 0
 I also endorse Wayo Stein in peru.
  • 1 0
 I had a travel issue on my 2011 boxxers it turned out to be as simple as the spring isolaters had moved all the way up the spring and were sitting close together so I just Put them back in the right position and they worked perfectly again, now got the 2015 teams and the same started happening on them so I just check them after every few rides now takes 2mins.
  • 1 0
 ECUADOR!

If you want to experience incredible diversity in landscapes, trails, regions, and culture than please come visit us!

I invite you ALL to come take a look at BIKING DUTCHMAN - ALL MOUNTAIN TOURS. We are an All Mtn / Enduro based mountainbiking company.

www.bikingdutchman.com/bd-all-mountain

www.facebook.com/bikingdutchmanallmountain

Instagram: @mateo_bd_all_mountain

Ecuador is a really accessible country, small enough to travel all over it, and we have 3 main regions; Andes Mountain Range, beautiful coastal range, and amazon rainforest; not to mention the Galapagos Islands.

Please check out some of our great scenery/riding pics on the links above! Or at my profile here in PB.

Cheers!
  • 1 0
 Chileans are mean and unwelcoming generally. It is a very closed society! Con mis disculpas a las hermanos chilenos que no lo son. Granted, as far as safety goes, its probably the safest down south. i've heard very good things about Peru too.
  • 2 0
 Gravity Bolivia, La Paz! Their secret single track tour got me hooked on riding www.gravitybolivia.com/index.php?mod=homeb
  • 1 0
 They suck dude. I went into their office and there was a sexy looking girl taking orders for the death road. She didn't know anything about bikes or the trails. She was simply there to look hot and pull in the punters. The kiwi dude who runs it doesnt really have anything to do with it now, just collects the cash. To be fair if I made a mint from the industry, I'd probably do the same.
  • 2 0
 Giant didn't use different bushings in 2005. Manitou and Fox used different reducers in 2005.
  • 1 0
 The Mallet DH are pretty good, and will last if you keep them greased - especially out of the box. It's takes about 10 minutes to open and pack both pedals.
  • 1 0
 Chile

Nevados de Chillán
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