Is this suspension fork still safe?

kilou

New Member
Hi,

I ride a S-pedelec (fast electric bike with pedal assist up to 45 km/h). It is a 2013 Stevens E-Triton 45. The bike is 6 years old and I've covered 26000 km with it. The fork (Suntour NCX E air 63mm travel) is still the original and appears in good shape (no crack). However when doing the maintenance, I saw a very small groove on the steerer tube where the upper bearing sits (see close-up on pic 2 below). The groove does not go all around the tube, it's only on the back side (towards frame). The front part of the steerer tube is still pristine. It is just a small groove, no crack, and is due to some wear from the upper bearing after 26000km. I guess it is nothing to worry about but I'd like to have some confirmation.

Another potentially more serious problem is that I noticed a small hole right next to the inner right dropout on the fork see pic 3 below). This hole was filled with some grey powder (probably corrosion). I could remove some of it with a screwdriver and the hole is approximately 1mm wide with 0.5-1mm deep. Again nothing major but I was thinking it could impact the resistance of the drop out. If the fork was relatively new I guess it wouldn't matter much but as it already has 26'000km, I guess there is some metal fatigue going on. Would such a corrosion hole be a warning that the fork needs to be replaced for safety reasons?

I'm relatively worried about metal fatigue, especially on the steerer tube or front dropouts because miles add up pretty quickly and my e-bike is relatively fast (45km/h). So should I be worried with this fork and think about replacing it or is it still good for service?

Thanks for your input!

1) overall fork with groove on steerer tube: https://ibb.co/192w7pW
2) close up of the groove on steerer tube: https://ibb.co/6nhs6xx
3) corrosion hole (grey hole on the right of the dropout opening, see on a zoom): https://ibb.co/Wz6K8d7