Help needed , RockShox Judy ? (Warning: picture heavy)


Old School Hero
Hi all,

I recieved a RockShox fork from a relative. It seems like it is a Judy, but I can't make it up.
I did some research, but I am confused.
The fork looks like it is a 1996 Judy, see catalog picture:, but the bridge does not contain the brake cable stop.
The 1997 Judy's have screwded on stands, the one I received not, so does the 1996 Judy's. See catalog picture:
The fork however has the 1997 "Preload adjuster knob", catalog picture:

As you can see in the photo's, the fork is black, but at the scratches you can see some yellow paint. Maybe that is the original paint.
The stickers on the legs do not show any name or such.

On top of that, it may seem that the brake cable stop is cut off.
The fork need some service, it doesn't compress. I didn't disassemble the legs just yet. It may help to identify.

So, can anyone of you help me on this?
I would like to know what kind of fork this is.








Senior Retro Guru
the crown and stanchions are definatley 1997 Judy SL...

the lowers however are a bit more of a mystery... they could be 1997 or 1996 SL lowers

(the yellow paint underneath the scratches would say they are SL)

some 1997 forks came with the older style bolt on brace but with the 1997 decals... (probably to use up old stock)

and the red brace could be from a DH model... (unless thats been sprayed red too!) and it has had the Cantilever hanger cut off.

OR i do seem to remember there being a custom Bontrager Judy fork with a different crown and offset that was painted black with those red stickers.. though the ones on your particular fork are in the wrong place....


Retrobike Rider
I would guess from a quick look a 1996 resprayed JUDY SL.
They had the bonded crown/stanchion iirc where yellow.
Ignore the decals as the forks resprayed they are new as well.

Drop out say the lowers are 95/96 as well as they changed in 97 (apart from the OEM JUDY C which it could well be, apart from the fact it says the stanchions were steel.

For 95/96
But they're all pretty much the same, if the steerer is ALU then that SL, I don't think the lowers really altered though it does say SL's where machined but functionally the same.
Internals working are what matter ;)


Old School Hero
Thanks guys for your comment.

In think the most likely is then that it is a 1996 Judy SL, though it could also be a 1995 version.
Those adjuster knobs could be a replacement for the original ones

I open her up tonight to see what's inside. I'll let you know.


Old School Hero

Hi people,

I have tried to disassemble the forks.
After removing the fork brace, one leg comes off. The other is stuck.
When the leg came off, the smell of dirty oil and dead MCU came to my nose...

As you can see in the pictures, the MCU is out of the stanchion, but the damper is still in. I think it is pretty damaged.

I'll let the oil flow out tonight and perhaps I may find a long small device with which I can remove the damper with.

I also need some "kruipolie", that is a Dutch word for a type oil that can make stuck metal object loosen up. Perhaps I can remove the other leg after letting the oil do its job. May you have had a similar situation and a solution at hand? Please let me know.
Oh, and the adjuster knob on the stuck leg is stuck too :)

So here are the photo's:










Senior Retro Guru
unfortunatly that fork is not in a good nick :cry:

cartridge is leaking - either the seals are or the entire (plastic) cartridge is blown, thats where the oil is coming from - to remove the damper you have to remove the cyrclip at the end of the bottom end of the stanchion, then you can slide the damper cartridge out of the stanchion, maybe with the help of a wooden hammer ;)

elastomere stack dont look bad, but what its not good the the 2nd leg did not move - its a sign, that its ever more corroded than the one you allready removed and I dont know if oil can free it !

what to do with it ? spare parts or sell it as such


Senior Retro Guru
thats screwed! bin it and move along!

im guessing you couldnt remove the legs because you didnt free the dummy leg shaft from the fork lower....?

to do this you need to unscrew the bolt at the bottom of the fork leg about half way and then hit it with a hammer / mallet until the dummy damper rod pops free of the fork lower, you will then be able to unscrew the bolt the rest of the way and remove the fork leg


Old School Hero
I know, the condition of the forks is not as one would like it.
Well, the forks were for free, so there is no damage if it is not fixable, but it would be a petty.

To remove the legs, I unscrewed the bolt a few milimeters and tapped with hammer on the allen key. The bolt then moved in the leg. I have tried this several times, every time the bolt moved a bit in. It seems that the leg should be able to come off, however, it it is till stuck.

Yesterday I recieved a 1996 Rock Shox Judy XC, I won on eBay. The outer condition of the forks is mint. After removing the legs, the stanchions prove to be in a mint condition also, but... The MCU are dead, the crumble. I will have to try to remove them from the stanchions and then replece them by a spring or so. It seems that the damper on that forks is also damaged, I hope not too bad. This fork will go well with my Cinder Cone, see

I will post some photo's shortly.


Senior Retro Guru
so, use the MCU / elastomers (if both stacks of them are OK) of the damaged fork for the XC which seems to be in a better condition then those poor SL/XC/96/97 hybrid ;)

as for the cartridge: plastic ones are scrap - they always leak, thats why Rock Shox use from 97 on a alloy cartridge which seems to last longer - problem on these are the cartridge seals, they are the reasons for leaking if those 97 cartridges are leaking. I have a scan of the 97 cartridge service addendum - dont know the link. if you need it pm me.

and always use fork boots !