How to clean and lube your suspension forks

Follow these simple steps after every few rides. Keep on top of your forks and you’ll be able to prologue their use and have longer rides between services too.

Like with every piece of kit on a bike cleaning is essential to prolonging its use, neglect this aspect and you could see a drop off in performance but also some costly repairs.  Here’s our simple guide to cleaning and maintaining your forks, some easy tips that can keep you enjoying your bike for longer.

Clean your forks and shock after every ride, in fact clean your bike after every ride! Sounds obvious but it’s frightening the amount of worn out parts your see that could have been avoided by just using a bit of soap and water.


Once you’ve cleaned the bike, ideally put it in a bike stand and alter the angle like the one in the picture.  This will help with any run-off, any excess oil with run down the stanchions and make it easier to wipe off but more importantly not drip onto your brakes or other unwanted places.

Don’t be put off by the addition of a bike stand, prices start at a little over £60 and will pay itself back in the time you save.


To clean your forks you’ll need

  • two cloths
  • a syringe
  • fork oil

As mentioned wash the bike first including around the forks, this will help wash away any abrasive sand or muck that has built up and stop you from scratching the stanchions as you wipe.

With one cloth wipe around the seals gently and up and down the stanchions, this will get any little bits of muck left over the water might have missed and dry them off.


With the syringe go round the seals gently applying some oil, use the same oil that is inside your forks or you can use Finish Line Shock oil if you have none spare.

8434_finish_line_shock_oil_16oz_475mlNext take another cloth and add some more oil to the cloth then gently wipe down the stantions to give them a light coating.

For the rear shock do exactly the same, clean first (including the housing), wipe and apply oil.

You should follow these steps after every ride and if you’ve left your bike longer than a week in the shed then before also as the oil may have dried out.  Keep on top of your forks and you’ll be able to prologue their use and have longer rides between services.

Check out our range of cleaning products –


  • Christian Moss

    Christian is the Social Media manager at Merlin Cycles. Christian brings an air of levity to the blog, coupled with a generous splash of irreverence. As part of his responsibilities, Christian manages the Facebook and Twitter accounts. Christian is also the resident photographer here at Merlin.

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