Storing Suspension Bikes Vertically

Trying to set up some sort of better bike storage.

Internet RUMINT is that if you store a suspension bike anything but horizontally oil will leak past the top seals, make a mess of your floor and force you to re-fill the units. Or improperly bled brakes will have bubbles migrate to bad places…

Is this actually true for modern gear? It sounds like complete and utter rubbish to me (or only true for stuff that is poorly maintained/setup in the first place).

The crown inlet/adjust seals are pretty substantial and in no way inferior to the sealing at the lowers near the rebound adjust, etc and the thrust seals between lowers and fork tubes should seal against gravity just fine if not worn. In fact they are probably happier bathed in oil once a while.

So what do you guys say?


Some (most) suspensions have an oil bath and wiper seals at the top of the lowers around the stanchions, which are designed to keep the stanchions lightly lubricated during normal use. They’re not labyrinthine seals and they’re designed to allow free motion of the suspension. If the oil bath is sitting against the thrust and wiper seal then yes, it will leak. Oil will draw through the gap between the thrust seal and the stanchion by capillary action. It might be enough to drip and drain your oil bath, or it might just keep the seal a little damp. Depends on a bunch of factors. At the bottom near the rebound adjust and the top inlet cap and lockout or damper or whatever knob you have, those are all o-ring seals and it doesn’t matter which way they face. The leaking really isn’t a problem if it’s somewhere it can drip a little, and if you can check the oil in the spring (required tools are typically a single crescent wrench, a dipstick, and the right weight oil)

Hang it up, and see if it leaks. Worst thing you have to do is change the oil, which (technically) should be an annual operation anyways.

Improperly bled brakes with bubbles, it doesn’t really matter where the bubbles are because you need to re-bleed your brakes. A bubble in the line is a problem anywhere.

John, the wiper seal might very well leak but I thought the internal oil seal will hold against gravity. No?

I mean the rear sus air cans in 4 bars are stanchion down and they don’t spew oil all over. Or is the bath design there different?

Anyway, its hung. I really do need to service that fork anyway, its been 2 years. We’ll see.


I think the bath design is different, but it’s just a guess.

Just see if it leaks.

did you find out about this rumour on wikileaks?

You read right, I made a joke that bad.

Eww…yeah that was bad. Well at least it wasn’t about Assange and a leaky condom…