How to Repair Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Dings & Scratches

Repairing your xc mountain bike fork & shock dings and scratches is one is the holy grail / coveted MTB suspension repairs you can perform.

My MTB riding buddies couldn’t believe the results.

Also once I performed the repair, there was no more apparent damage occurring to the seal.

Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Repair Items Needed

  • 1 piece of 1000 wet & dry sandpaper
  • 1 piece of 2000 wet & dry sandpaper
  • 1 bottle quality brand acrylic nail polish (clear or match stanchion color)
  • 1 small container filled with water for dipping your wet / dry sandpaper
  • 1 small bottle rubbing alcohol (only a few ounces needed)
  • 1 rag

You don’t have to be very handy or mechanically inclined to pull off this MTB bike suspension miracle. Its worth doing or else you will tear up your xc mountain bike fork / shock seals and end up costing yourself lots of money, grief and downtime.

Warning: Use care to follow my instructions carefully, as you do not want to sand any more of your mountain bike suspension fork or shock coating than you need to in order to make the repair.

Step 1 – How to Repair Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Dings & Scratches

Identify the scratches and dings to be repaired. I recommend starting with dings or deep scratches, for two reasons.

First, it is easier to get the nail polish to build up and stick better when there are multiple layers applied in a ding.

Second, dings are most likely to destroy your MTB fork / shock seals.

Light scratches might be cosmetically ugly, but they may not do any harm. You may do more harm by attempting to fix them, so start of with more catastrophic damage.

Step 2 – How to Repair Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Dings & Scratches

Tear off a small piece of 1000 sandpaper, the smallest you can but still be able to actually sand with it. This is helpful so you try an avoid scratching off more MTB suspension coating than necessary.

Remember to wet the sandpaper. I find having a little container of dipping water works the best. Just dip it as it starts to dry, and put a rag around your seals to avoid anything from dripping down the leg.

Sand the area gently at first. Apply more pressure if you feel comfortable.

Remember, the sanding is just to clean the area so the nail polish can stick. You do not have to remove every ounce of coating, just some mild clean up.

Step 3 – How to Repair Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Dings & Scratches

Apply some rubbing alcohol to clean the area. Do not let it drip all the way down the stanchion legs, just the damaged / surrounding area. Next blow, on the area to remove any debris that might be there from the rag you used to apply the alcohol.

Step 4 – How to Repair Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Dings & Scratches

First,  grab your nail polish.  Be sure to read the back of the nail polish bottle’s directions and see how long it takes to dry. You can apply multiple layers in a day based on dry time on your climate.

Apply your first coat of nail polish. Be careful and avoid applying excess around the surrounding area of the damage. You do not want to have to sand more than you need to in order to avoiding removing coating that is in good condition.

Repeat applying coats until the area is built up just slightly above the mountain bicycle’s fork or shock factory coating.

Before step 5, allow an additional 24 hours dry time.

Step 5 – How to Repair Mountain Bike Fork & Shock Dings & Scratches

Tear off a very small piece of 2000 sandpaper. Keep the sandpaper wet. Sand just the raised acrylic nail polish area so it becomes dead even with the factory coating. The 1000 sandpaper may be required first if the 2000 is taking to long.

Your done, hit the trail hard!

This truly is the Holy Grail of repairing XC mountain bike front fork and rear shock scratches and dings.

As with any new project, be patient and start off on the cautious side. If you feel to uncomfortable doing it yourself, ask a meticulous, handy friend to assist you.

All the materials you need are easy to get. Visit a local home improvement center for the sand paper, and a large box retailer or pharmacy for the nail polish and alcohol. The rest, just raid your house.  You might have it all in your garage already.

Disclaimer Notice:  You assume all liabilities for any repairs you perform on your own in the absence of a licensed & insured bike shop / suspension facility.  The advice we provide on xc-mountainbike.com has worked for us, but we are no way responsible for damages you incur when performing your own home / garage / on trail repairs.  Thus perform all repairs at your own risk.

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