The start of this season we had a couple of enquiries on fork oil. To most, fork oil is just fork oil for road bike use that maybe true, yes 10w fork oil and off you go, but when it comes to racing its not all that clear cut (in our book anyway).
I'm not going to go into rebounds, setups etc in this Blog, this is just on the characteristics of the oil, something I feel is over looked and facts on the subject that many wouldn't know about. Here are some facts on the matter that may help you get your bike handling great and help you understand your forks a bit more.
First of all fork oil weight.
You will see different fork oil weights such as 5w, 7.5w, 10w, 15w and 20w, but do not think all brands are the same when it comes to weight. Each manufacturer seems to be on a different scale. For example Silkolene Pro RSF 7.5w is actually heavier than Showa SS-8 10w. This is not a judgement on the quailty of the oil but more of how you can be lead down the wrong road with your set up. The scale on the fork oil weight differ from brand to brand they seem to have there own idea on weights with fork oil. Best to find which brand and weight suits you and stick to that.
Synthetic or mineral?
Again for racing it has to be synthetic but before you rush out to buy some here and some benefits of synthetic and what to look out for.
When picking a synthetic fork oil you should only consider fully synthetic. Most brands will state full synthetic but will only be a blend of syn & mineral oil, not good enough in our book or more of leading the consumer down the wrong road. What you need is fork oil that is 100% synthetic or Ester based. They will have this clearly stated on the front of the bottle and these will only be a few euro more so why not.
100% synthetic or Ester oil will be a major benefit! It has more consistent damping over temperature changes and it will hold it's viscosity much longer than normal fork oil. Standard fork oil or ones not 100% syn will start to shear down in viscosity as they heat up.
We do sell two top types of fork oil that we resceached with our knowledge on the subject.