RockShox has ground to make up with the Reverb, in both performance and consumer confidence. Over the years the post has gotten some rightful criticism
here for reliability issues, slower rebound speeds in cold weather, and the more daunting service regimen of a hydraulic line. And on top of that, they're not cheap. The emergence of excellent cartridge-based posts at much lower prices have made the Reverb a harder sell in recent years.
To be fair, some of the reliability issues the Reverb is known for can be attributed to its own success. RockShox sells a ton
of them—there are probably more Reverbs in existence than any other post. If a small company sells 100 dropper posts and 3% fail, that's 3 pissed off people on the internet. If another company sells 100,000 dropper posts and only 1% fail, that's still 1,000 angry people on the internet even though their post is more reliable. Is that the case here? I'm not sure. Pinkbike's tech team is a small sample size, and we've had our fair share of issues with Reverbs over the years, but not out of line with what we've experienced from other designs.
So with the announcement
of a major Reverb update, it's a make-or-break moment for RockShox's dropper post. While I was at Bike Connection Summer in Andalo, Italy, I spent some time on the new Reverb. Not enough for a full verdict, but some quick first impressions.
It's got lighter action. As advertised, it drops with dramatically less force than any other post I've tried. This will be especially helpful for lighter riders and people whose bikes have slack seat-tube angles. It doesn't feel much quicker than the previous generation, but it does apparently have faster return speed. It's still not an ejector seat, and you can still dial back the return speed, if you like. It felt about right wide open.
There's more drop from a shorter post. Every year I think "I wouldn't want any more drop" until I try a dropper with more drop. It turns out more drop is really nice to have. Seat-tube and leg length determine how long a dropper you can run, but the new Reverb's shorter overall length means most riders can fit a longer travel post than before.
Reverb Details Diameter
: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mmTravel
: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mmLength
: 301mm, 351mm, 414mm, 467mm, 519.5mmRemote
: 1X or Standard (L-Below, R-Above)MSRP (standard remote)
: $349 USD / €390* / £345*MSRP (1x remote)
: $399 USD / €445* / £395**Includes VATMore info
The new 175mm Reverb is 467mm long and will fit most of the current crop of shorter seat-tube bikes. It's still a few mm off the total length of the super-compact OneUp 180mm post, but it's shorter than most. [Edit: there's some discussion to how these are measured, but the OneUp is definitely a bit more drop for total length]
As for the 200mm Reverb, it measures at 519.5mm, which is much shorter than the Vecnum 200mm MoveLOC
post's 543mm total length, the 9point8's 560mm total length. There are several other 200mm+ posts coming down the line, so it'll be interesting to see how they measure up.The updated internals are said to be more reliable
. We'll have to wait and see if this bears out in long-term testing, but with new Maxima oil, a new IFP design, the addition of vent valve, etc., the service interval has been increased to 600 hours. That's a good sign.I'm still not sold on hydraulic actuation
. For all the praise here, and it really is a damn
good post out of the box, I'm still not convinced that actuating a dropper via hydraulic hose is the way forward. Fully hydraulic systems are still harder to fix trailside and more daunting to service at home.
If I had to guess, I'd say in 5 years the best high-end posts will be wireless only, while the best value-conscious options will be cable actuated.Final thoughts