Ask a Mechanic: Proper RockShox Maxle Use

Alex wants to know “After tightening my Maxle, I can’t get it to sit where I want it to. Can you show me how to adjust it?”

At first glance, the Maxle system seen on most Rockshox forks seems complicated. However, thanks to its tool-less design and intuitive layout, using and adjusting your Maxle shouldn’t be too complicated.

Whether or not this is your first time installing your Maxle, we’ll all follow the same steps. First, you’ll want to lightly grease your axle. Before installing your Maxle, flip the lever open. Put your wheel into your fork and slide the Maxle through the drive side fork leg until it engages the threads on the non-drive side drop out and begin tightening.

Tighten the Maxle until there is a small gap between the lever head and drop out. Then, close the lever head, noting that there should be enough lever tension to leave an imprint on your hand after closing the lever. If there’s not enough tension, turn the Maxle counter-clockwise and retry until proper lever tension is achieved.

At this point, you’ll want to take note of where the lever sits relative to the fork legs and the ground. Ideally, you’ll want the lever to sit either parallel with the fork legs or parallel with the ground and facing rearward. You should never have your lever facing forward or directly down because it may catch on weeds, branches, or rocks and flip open or send you over the bars.

If your lever position is incorrect, you’ll need to adjust it. Before removing your Maxle, look at your lever position as if it was the hour hand on a clock, with straight up being 12 o’clock. If you want your lever to sit at 11 o’clock and it currently sits at 3, you’ll have to adjust your Maxle 4 clicks counterclockwise. In removing your Maxle, you’ll notice that there are conveniently 12 markings on the axle.

With the lever in the Open position, see what number the lever sits in on the axle. If it sits on 6 and you needed to move it 4 clicks counterclockwise to get it to sit in the right position, squeeze the lever head together between your hands and rotate the lever to the #2 position. Reinstall your Maxle and make further adjustments as necessary. Thanks for watching and happy trails!