Protect your bike by kashima coating fork tubes and rear shocks
Mountain bike and motorcycle lovers are always looking for the best coating for their bikes to improve their performance. Kashima coating provides that searched-for thing: it combines all the qualities and characteristics you most desire for fitting out the bike you love, with a beautiful golden glow. So, what is Kashima coating? Kashima is a hard but lubricating anodised coating which is resistant to abrasion and therefore more durable than traditional shock and fork stanchion coating.
You might look and the Kashima coating cost and wonder if it is worth it. Maybe gold isn’t really your aesthetic. But Kashima coat is so much more than just a pretty colour.
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5 reasons to go for Kashima coat
To understand why everybody is talking about FOX Kashima coating, you need go no further than to look at its benefits. Kashima coated forks, shocks or even car engine parts like pistons will give you:
- Increased hardness and extreme durability
- A smooth, golden surface which decreases friction and gives high abrasion/wear resistance
- Outstanding corrosion resistance, even in salty conditions
- Shock insulation and reduced heat build up
- Less need for servicing, as the ‘dry lubrication’ reduces maintenance
Titanium Nitride was once the top dog in the suspension coatings realm but then Diamond-Like Coating came along, even more frictionless, and now we have FOX Kashima coat. The secret to Kashima’s success is the hard anodising process and the ‘dry lubrication’ effect of molybdenum disulphide.
What is Kashima coating? The technology behind it
Kashima coating is a treatment developed by the Miyaki Company of Japan. The treatment protects your fork or stanchion against damage or corrosion through a process called anodisation. When aluminium is anodised, an electric current is passed through a solution, using the metal as the negative electrode. As the current passes through it, oxygen from the solution forms a coating over the aluminium. The deeper this coating, the ‘harder’ the anodisation.
The process is finished by sealing and lubricating the deep anodised coating with molybdenum disulphide (as shown in the image, right). This also gives the Kashima coat its distinctive golden colouring.
If the science is too much, don’t worry; all you really need to know is that the special hard anodising process used for Kashima coat is what gives it the durable, smooth, corrosion-free, and beautiful ride you are after. Kashima coating has better lubrication and corrosion resistance compared to other common types of coating such as Teflon, graphite, and tungsten disulphide.
Is being Kashima coated worth it?
According to experts, Kashima coat is the best you can get for your bike. However, at the end it’s all about your own experience, as any trip to a MTB forum will show you. Kashima coating is the best currently available coating for fork tubes and shock bodies. Especially when maximum performance of a bicycle or motorcycle is required.
For the occasional Sunday rider, Kashima coating may not be worth the cost. For the hardcore rider, there is simply no better treatment for your fork uppers or shock body. Kashima coat can now be found on transfer posts (probably not worth it, but certainly attractive) and its popularity no doubt means it will be applied to more and more bike components.
All we can say is a Kashima coat on your fork uppers or shock body will make a difference, especially if you ride in harsh weather or road conditions. It is also a good option to extend periods between full services, which may make up for the initial expense.
FOX Kashima coating cost
Kashima is the most expensive option for your bike. The high price is a result of limited availability and the quality of the end product. And quality does not come cheap. However, Kashima coating is also less likely to wear, tear or need replacing than the alternatives, and it requires less maintenance overall, so the result may be cheaper than other coatings. The following table outlines a variety of Kashima coating costs:
|SERVICE/ PRODUCT||PRICE (RRP)|
|Kashima coated fork crown steerer||£200|
|Transfer post with Kashima coat||£250|
|2018 suspension float with Kashima||£479|
|Strut body shock with Kashima||£589|
|2018 Kashima coated air shock||£699|
|2017 27.7″ bike fork with Kashima uppers||£795|
Kashima coating service and distributors in the UK
If you choose to invest in Kashima coating, there is only one company in the bike industry that uses it: FOX. Within the UK the distributor for FOX products is Mojo Suspension. In the UK the following companies provide FOX Kashima coating products and services.
|Mojo Suspension Hoodoo Ltd||2 RBF Business Centre, Pontymister Industrial Estate, Risca, Newport, NP11 6NP|
|G Force Suspension Services||2 Wanless Ln, Hexham NE46 1BZ|
|Sussed Out Suspension||Unit 2c, The Gattinetts, Hadleigh Road, East Bergholt, Colchester, Essex, CO7 6QT|
|Freeborn||2 Red Kiln Close, Horsham, West Sussex, RH13 5QL|