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TOPIC: Air Fork Inflation Tool

Air Fork Inflation Tool 10 months 2 weeks ago #25342

  • scotch
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Just because the gauge on a "bicycle pump" has a range of 0-200 PSI doesn't mean a few strokes of the pump will apply this pressure. A hand pump can not deliver this PSI immediately because the volume of air being delivered per stroke is simply too small. The pressure build up is accumulative. For the sake of example - 0.5 PSI per stroke. This is why a bicycle pump is an excellent way to pressurize the front forks. It allows incremental control of the applied pressure. Your arm would fall off before you could achieve 200PSI - in this context. This is completely different from using a "shop" air compressor which typically stores 100+ PSI air and will deliver this pressure immediately and potentially disastrously to a fork....or both if a cross connector is installed. However: My front forks are cross-connected for convenience and PSI balancing, with a permanent PSI gauge AND I use my shop-air to charge the forks. BUT - I apply the pressure via the air-chuck in "Blips" .... A touch and go application, until the gauge reads the desired PSI. A couple of PSI high ? Bleed it off via the valve-stem. A 12 volt portable inflator could also be used with some care in place of a hand pump because the compressor piston on these are typically small in diameter and in stroke; also giving incremental build up to the desired PSI.
1980 KZ 1300 sr# KZT30A-009997
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Last edit: by scotch.

Air Fork Inflation Tool 10 months 2 weeks ago #25344

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scotch wrote: Just because the gauge on a "bicycle pump" has a range of 0-200 PSI doesn't mean a few strokes of the pump will apply this pressure. .


I don't think anyone was under the illusion that a few strokes would pump the forks up to 200PSI. The problem is trying to spot 6 PSI on a gauge that's calibrated for up to 300 PSI. Older bicycle fork pumps (back when air suspension forks started to become a thing on bicycles) had gauges that went up to 20 or 30 PSI so very easy to set 6 PSI.
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Last edit: by Bucko.

Air Fork Inflation Tool 10 months 2 weeks ago #25346

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I use a similar process to Scotch. The only difference is that I have a regulator on the supply side of the compressor. if I want say 20 psi in the forks, I set the regulator to about 24 psi and "blip" the air in. When the regulator is at 24 psi, all the air in the hose is at 24 psi and the differential between the air in the hose and the desired air in the shocks will allow me to control the air going in better. It also guarantees that I won't over pressure the air forks more than the 24 psi. Did it that way on the CBX for years.

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Air Fork Inflation Tool 10 months 2 weeks ago #25348

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Clearly a valid and better approach Kawboy !
1980 KZ 1300 sr# KZT30A-009997
Always High - Know Fear !

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Air Fork Inflation Tool 10 months 2 weeks ago #25349

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The problem is trying to spot 6 PSI on a gauge that's calibrated for up to 300 PSI.

I can attest to that. That's why I have a 0-60lb gauge on the forks.
This is what should be used if a permanent mounted gauge isn't installed;
1980 KZ 1300 sr# KZT30A-009997
Always High - Know Fear !
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Air Fork Inflation Tool 2 weeks 5 days ago #27811

  • rdurost
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FYI, here's what I ended up with:

"88psi High Pressure MTB Bike Compact Suspension Fork & Rear Shock Pump"

It's e-Bay item # 203088718877. They're sold under many different brand names, but all the ones I could find anywhere have to come directly from China. Still only $14 including shipping.

There are many other seemingly identical pumps out there that have 210PSI integrated gauges, so make sure you search for "88PSI" to get this one.
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