Reba World Cup-ridden and reviewed

Aug 28, 2006 at 19:34
Aug 28, 2006
by Tyler Maine  
 
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I have recently had the pleasure of riding and racing the 2006 RockShox Reba World Cup and would like to share my joy in the experience; okay, hopefully my whole write up won’t be as lame as that. I have ridden a number of different front forks in the past couple of years and find that I’m in love with the Reba (teary eyed). For all of you that are skeptical because you’ve ridden a flimsy xc fork, or a heavy xc fork, or an xc fork that just gave you a measly 2.5 mm of travel (why bother), rejoice, because this baby will rock your world.

As a quick flash back to the days when the SID was the only light weight fork option, I’m not bashing the SID, but we’ll do a quick comparison. The SID World Cup weighs in at 1310g (2.90lbs), gives you 80 mm of travel on its 28 mm low friction uppers. Being an aggressive 155lbs racer, I’ve found that the SID is an extremely flexy fork. The new REBA World Cup, drum roll please, weighs in at 1531g (3.39lbs), wow, and gives you an optional 80mm/100mm travel (comes stock at 100mm) on 32mm upper tubes. You get an extra inch of travel, a much stiffer and much suppler ride for only .49lbs more, and believe me, it’s worth it. But granted if you are a “weight means everything” rider, the SID is still the lightest race fork on the market.

Carbon crown and steerer.

Carbon crown and steerer.

Handle bar mounted Poploc control

Handle bar mounted Poploc control


Here’s a quick overview of the tech info that you can find on the following page on SRAM's web site. The Reba WC comes with the new Black Box carbon crown-steerer combo which not only looks really cool, but reduces weight and increases stiffness, and the magnesium lowers of the WC come in “Athena white”. Comes stock with the RockShox motion control system with external floodgate and is compatible with their poploc or available dual control system if you have a RockShox rear shock. The motion control allows you to increase and adjust the efficiency and movement of the fork easily. The adjustment knob is the small dial on the top of the right leg of the fork. When the dial is in the fully clockwise position and the compression is closed, the fork is “locked out” and requires a large blow off force in order to create any movement. In this position, the fork will move easily approximately 3mm to still absorb small vibrations. When the floodgate knob is in the fully counterclockwise position the fork is completely “open” and will move freely allowing the best and easiest full range of movement.

Suggested air spring pressure based on rider weights.

Suggested air spring pressure based on rider weights.


Another feature is the dual air control with positive and negative Schrader valves located on the left leg of the fork. The positive valve is on the top and is used to support the rider’s weight, while the negative valve is on the bottom and is used to change the ride of the fork. With increased negative pressure you get an increased activity over small bumps resulting in a suppler ride, yippee. I found that the air pressures which are labeled right on the fork leg (another bonus) based on rider's weight feel just about right. There are three other models of the Reba, the Team, Race and SL, with various different features, but from having ridden my brother’s Team, provide the same ride feel.

Motion Control dials with Poploc in place.

Motion Control dials with Poploc in place.

Standard Motion Control with out the Poploc feature.

Standard Motion Control with out the Poploc feature.


I received this fork just a week before I headed to the Sea Otter Classic, and I was super stoked to have it for this event. For any one who’s had the pleasure of making the greatest biking festival in North America, you know that the terrain is not overly technical and there is a fair bit of pavement, but you’re also rewarded with a lot of high speed singletrack sections. For the road sections, which included the start and finish, it was pretty important to have a very responsive feeling bike so I could hammer my way past Gunn Rita, well not quite. Having the motion control set just under the complete lockout, meaning the floodgate knob turned almost completely clockwise, was a great option and there was very little movement on the pavement and the smooth off road climbs while standing. On the descents, it was super easy, quick and idiot proof, though sometimes easy to forget, to flip the lockout switch open, and be able to bomb down the trails with the fork completely active.






During rougher races, such as the Canada Cups in Bromont and Mt Tremblant, Quebec, the full potential of how nice this fork rides was proven. Because the climbs were a lot more technical and rocky than that of the Sea Otter, I wanted the fork to be efficient while climbing but still active enough to be able to soak up some of the bigger impacts. Having the floodgate dial set pretty near the center between completely clockwise and completely counterclockwise, the fork was still very solid and stiff, but required less force to become active than while completely ‘locked out’. Thus said, my front wheel was able to track better over the rough climbs making climbing easier, and I need all the help climbing that I can get. Changing the floodgate setting has no effect on how the fork feels when completely “open”, and the plushness of the four inches was fully welcomed on the descents.


For most of the trails in the Kananskis, just west of Calgary, which happens to be my stomping grounds, a fully active fork is very welcome on both the climbs and descents. Y’all know just how unsmooth the descents down Jumpingpound and Cox Hill can be, and if you don’t, I highly recommend it. However, with trails like Prairie View/ Jewel Pass, were the climb is all gravel double track and while the descent is twenty minutes rough enough to knock out more than a few brain cells, it’s perfect to ‘lock out’ the fork on the climb and open it wide up on the decent.

With the easy adjustability of this fork, changing the setting, even slightly different for each ride or trail, in just a matter of seconds is an absolutely amazing and useful feature. Even if you’re like most people though, once you’ve got the fork set up just perfect and you just leave it that way forever, the Reba is going to perform great under any conditions. Similar four inch xc forks that I’ve tried and compare this one to include ’04 and ’05 Manitou Skareb Platinum, ’04 Fox RLT and an ’06 Manitou R-seven Platinum, as well as the 80mm ’06 SID. Compared to the Manitou forks, the Reba is a far plusher and laterally stiffer ride. Its superior performance is really felt in the rough single track where it is smoother, the high speed descents where it is more stable and anytime standing when a fork would flex. Compared with the Fox, the ride is actually pretty similar. They are both very plush forks, laterally stiff and weigh in nearly the same, but I’ve found that Fox isn’t as stiff front to back as the Reba and it’s not nearly as easy to adjust how the ride feels on the fly.

Reba World Cup

Reba World Cup


My fork has taken a s#$% kicking in the past 5 months and I have absolutely no complaints with it. It’s solid enough to handle some of the biggest mountain rides, yet light enough to race at the World Cups. I just wanted to say a big thanks to Pinkbike.com and Sram/Rock Shox for giving me the chance to ride this fork, and you’re going to have to arm wrestle me to get it back, believe me, my arms are huge.

Mical's Shout outs:
Terrascape Racing,
Calgary Cycle,
Giro Helmets,
WTB,
Trek Bikes,
Ma and Pa Dyck
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