RST's Inverted Fork and Budget Dropper Post - Taipei Show 2016

Mar 2, 2016
by Mike Levy  
Taipei Cycle Show header



RST Elev8 Dropper Post

Tired of expensive dropper seat posts and ready to try something different? RST's Elev8 dropper post could be worth considering, especially if you'd like to spend half as much as you could on a better-known post: the Elev8 retails for a reasonable $220 for the 8A and $275 USD for the higher end 8H and 8 H-S. Does it work well? I don't know yet, but it's certainly interesting enough to review and compare to its more expensive competition. Weights for each model range from 610 grams to a portly 860 grams, which aren't overly competitive, but I could see some riders looking past those numbers if the Elev8 is reliable.

Elev8 Details:

• Travel: 80, 100mm (8A); 100, 125mm (8H, 8 H-S)
• 8A features indexed travel adjust
• 8H and 8 H-S feature infinte travel adjust
• Four-sided stanchion and roller bearing internals
• Internal and external cable routing options
• Two remote options
• Diameters: 30.9, 31.6mm
• Weight: 610 - 640g (8A); 760 - 860g (8H, 8 H-S)
• MSRP: $220 USD (8A); $275 USD (8H, 8 H-S)
Taipei Cycle Show


There are three versions of the Elev8, with the lightest 8A model weighing between 610 and 640 grams and offering either 80 or 100mm of travel. It also employs on an air spring but forgoes the hydraulic cartridge that's found inside the other two Elev8 seat posts, meaning that the $220 USD 8A doesn't offer the infinite travel adjustment of the 8H and the 8 H-S posts. Both of those sport either 100 or 125mm of travel and their hydraulic cartridges allow the rider to set the seat height anywhere in their stroke.

A lot of frames are being made with the option to run an internally routed dropper post, so it only made sense for RST to offer both externally and internally routed seat posts. The $275 USD 8H is the former, and its actuation cable terminates at its collar where an aluminum shroud protects the pulley wheel. The stationary cable position means that you won't have to deal with massive loops of excess housing when the post is lowered, something that seems to be everyone's pet peeve. The 8 H-S is basically the same as the 8H, and it retails for the same price, but its actuation cable turns a pulley at the bottom of the post.
Taipei Cycle Show
The standard remote butts up against the left grip and should work well regardless of if you have a front shifter.


RST could have gone with a basic key-way design, as found inside of so many other dropper posts, to keep the Elev8 from rotating, but they borrowed tech from their 'Single Shock' series of suspension forks instead. This consists of a four-sided contact surface with strips of roller bearings that allowing the post to actually roll up and down through its travel instead of sliding on bushings. The square shape keeps the post from twisting. If this sounds familiar, it's because Cannondale uses a similar setup for their Lefty suspension forks, so the basic concept has been proven for many years now. Has RST been able to nail the reliability? We'll have an Elev8 in for testing to find out.
Taipei Cycle Show
Riders with one-by drivetrains can use a remote that mounts on the underside of the handlebar and mimics a shifter.



Taipei Cycle Show

RST Rebel Inverted Fork

Is the world ready for a $925 USD inverted fork from RST? I guess we'll find out soon. Unlike RockShox's carbon fiber RS-1 that retails for around $800 more, the Rebel's one-piece upper casting is made out of magnesium, the same material that most fork lowers are made from. They are heavily shaped rather than just being round, and the fork's crown is a burly looking thing that's clearly been designed to help keep everything below it lined up. The stanchions are 32mm in diameter, and RST has gone with a keyed 15mm QR thru-axle to tie the legs together.

RST has both 29'' (4.6lb) and 27.5+ (4.85lb) versions of the Rebel, with the former being available with 80, 100, or 130mm of travel. Those who run wide rubber can choose from 100, 130, or 150mm of travel. All of the models can be had with RST's OCR+ sealed damper in the right-side fork leg that separates lubrication and damping oil while allowing riders to tweak compression and rebound damping, and lock the fork out by turning the crown-mounted lever. A simpler version of the OCR+ damper forgoes the lockout if you don't need that function.
Rebel Details:

• Travel: 80, 100, 130 (29er); 100, 130, 150mm (27.5+)
• Spring: air
• Adjustments: compression, rebound, lockout
• Inverted design w/ magnesium upper
• Tapered steerer tube
• 32mm stanchions
• Keyed 15mm Boost thru-axle
• Weight: 4.6 - 4.85lb
• MSRP: $925 USD




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104 Comments

  • 67 2
 Inverted fork named rebel... Another company has one named revel. First one that actually sells one should be the clear winner here...
  • 13 0
 The revel will have another date of release when all the rebels die
  • 8 1
 2027 all the things!!!
  • 7 0
 I saw on the x fusion stand it says "New 2017" next to the revel! I can't wast to get the first USD fork that actually comes out. I heard DVO are working on one, too
  • 2 0
 they are releasing the revel for far too long haha
  • 9 0
 I refuse to buy DVO until the slack ass Ronnie uploads a pic of the cheeseburger!!
  • 5 4
 Makes me SHIVER (pun intended). Nice but seriously, is that the best decal that RST could come up with ? Maybe it looks better in person ?
  • 22 0
 The Revel is now a complete joke. Exposed at InterBike 2013.....still not out. RST naming theirs the "Rebel" is a giant middle finger to X-Fusion. Pretty funny.
  • 4 0
 I wonder if it will ever be out. Stainless steel keys in aluminium keyways always sounded dodgy to me.
  • 4 0
 I brought up that exact issue over on the MTBR forum. I'm sure X-Fusion is going to require them to be lubed like every 10 hours to maintain warranty.
  • 2 0
 I hope I'm wrong, because I'd love to try them, but I don't think it's going to happen. Their testing will reveal the unsuitability of the design and not wanting to release junk they will can the project... I think
  • 8 3
 #RIP stanchions on that fork
  • 2 0
 Apparently DNM makes an inverted fork too. Its called the USD-6
  • 16 0
 They should do a comeback with inverted dropper post.
  • 1 0
 SASO do a nice looking one too
  • 4 0
 My RevelX is already on its way to me. So quit complaining! BTW I honestly think it's better to take some time and develope a really good product, than pushing the release date
  • 2 0
 I think that X-Fusion tried to make fork the best before release it plus it seems -I read it in other forum- that they have problems in the factory because of the big brands orders.
  • 2 0
 @Br4inm4n
I don't believe you at all. Where'd you buy from? How much? When did you "order" it?
  • 1 0
 I find your lack of faith disturbing in the Revel 34 alliance! The Rebel 32 is not a Jedi yet!
  • 2 0
 @chrisingrassia Not that i care. But why should I lie? To make people jealous of some random Austrian (who comes from Germany) that no one knows?!

I cannot tell you where I bought it, I have a good connection, but it cost 1,2k € and I ordered it about a week ago.
The fork should arrive in April, I hope.
  • 2 2
 @Br4inm4n oh, well if you're "hoping" that you get it in April, then all you did is pre-order something and actually have no idea when you'll get it. That's clearly not the same as "my RevelX is already on its way to me".

That's the same position we are all in just without forking over our money yet. Did you buy the gold or black? If black, was gold an option for you?
  • 1 0
 I had the option to buy a golden one, but I think that is a little overkill or at least not my taste.
  • 1 0
 I believe the UK distributor has it available for pre order too.
  • 1 0
 How long has that pre-order been up for? =)
  • 1 0
 A couple of months. We'll see.!
  • 30 8
 Hate to be "that guy" but $220 is still up there and pretty pricey
  • 29 2
 wow, guy
  • 7 1
 RRP ain't what you pay though. And roller bearings instead of bushes shows they haven't just knocked out any old cheap tat, they've tried to do things better. I'm interested to hear the reviews
  • 15 6
 220$ is still pricey... Ugh. You know what bothers me more than how pricey mtb parts are? How cheap is the shit in super markets. That scares the crap out of me. Let's fix that first and then complain that overly complicated parts in a very exclusive sport are too expensive. I see no people complaining that some plastic gloves in sport section of Wallmart cost 10$. How do you think they are made, what conditions must take place to allow Wallmart sell something worth two man hours of work to come at such price? Do they spill the black paint giving the color directly to the river? Has the worker finished 18 years of age?

In the grand scheme of mountain biking alone, looking at the whole spectrum from 300$ hardtail to Enve V10cc, the moment you find use for adropper means that you are a member of elite. So...take it easy. 220$ is cheap for MSRP of a dropper post.
  • 16 1
 Hey PB, I really don't want to see Gerber (or any other kind of) life insurance ads. Hit me with all you want, as long as it's bike related though. I know you need to pay for this thing somehow.

Thanks!
  • 5 1
 They probably don't control all the ads that show up. Or, you know, ad blocker . . . .
  • 3 0
 Yeah... AdBlock. Didn't even know PB had ads. BUT be sure to click on the banner ad occasionally
  • 2 1
 To be fair, the banner ads are only appearing on my mobile so far. And I'm sure they have almost NO control over what appears...they likely subscribed to an ad-serving service and chose some category of ads which remotely matches the PB member base, like "outdoor active" which covers everything from us, to hunters, to 4x4 enthusiasts.

My guess, anyway.
  • 2 0
 Or you're being re-targeted, which in that case, the category wouldn't matter. Wink
  • 13 0
 I don't see the budget part on the dropper. KS eten is cheap enough and there are many other alternatives for even less. It's heavy too for the price. DNM makes an air cartridged model (ASP) which i am using now without any issues for 3 years,,,, well except for the cable when it gets dirty. It's cheaper than the KS.
  • 1 0
 And it might just be the photo, but that remote looks massive. The one-by lever looks better, though. Maybe worth a shot on other posts, if it isn't too expensive; Southpaw's kind of pricey.
  • 2 0
 Well, I could see a lot of people looking past the weight, if the street price is right and if it is more reliable than what is currently on offer.

And it is one of the very few droppers which have the cable affixed to the right part of the post (imho), if your frame doesn't offer internal routing.
  • 2 0
 my friend got the DNM post despite me telling him not to....it actually works pretty good....not sure how long it will last but I was impressed with the quality...the price was right
  • 1 0
 @Bluefire I bought a Specialized SRL instead(of the southpaw.) $60, same lever feel as a SRAM shifter, Matchmaker compatible, & if you don't use the matchmaker, it uses a standard SRAM shifter clamp, instead of a weird half-ass clamp that doesn't stay put like the southpaw.

I'm using it with a LEV DX.
  • 9 1
 Christ, I stop regularly riding for a year or two, I come back and now you guys are saying $220 is reasonable for a seat post?? What the hell happened?
  • 15 0
 just the usual.............

new wheel sizes, new standards, planned obsolescence, proto types being sold as production, and......a new demographic.

oh by the way, have ya seen the hanebrink fat bike thing take off?..........

dirtragmag.com/spotlight-hanebrink-prototype-circa-1993

who knew ol dan was 13 years ahead of his time?
  • 4 0
 If those hubs become the new standard, I'm selling my bike and joining pinkrollerblades.com or something You know what really melts my snowman, every single crown fork these days in 27.5 . . . . What about my Yeti SB66..... If I want a new fork, I have to invest in a new frame and a new wheel set . . . .
  • 1 0
 i mean 23 years ahead of his time!!! wow. damn, that IS impressive.
  • 1 1
 its not a fat bike though really & it only looks as stupid as it does because it was designed to be dropped 30ft from an army chopper & not break
  • 7 0
 I was just thinking today that Cannondale should get into the dropper market with all their experience from the left fork, cool to see someone is trying a new design.
  • 2 3
 Cannondale Lefty's are basically designed and manufactured with help from Fox.
  • 7 0
 "$925 USD inverted" - So a normal fork then (Upside-Down Inverted)?
  • 1 0
 It's because they made an USD starting from a reversed arch design.
  • 1 2
 It's becaus USD stands for United States Dollars...
  • 6 0
 I feel like that fork direly needs some guards for the lowers....
  • 1 4
 Never had any issues with my rs1
  • 7 1
 For most people, riding an rs1 is quite different from a. 150mm fork
  • 1 0
 Except this isn't a 150mm fork
  • 4 0
 You're absolutely right, it's 80-150mm.
  • 2 0
 Mmm RST. How I dearly remember your red/yellow/grey Moto forks of the late '90s before there was a great choice. Was it the 3.5 and the 4.5? Springs and elastomer stacks. Always on offer at chain reaction or JE James. I had a couple of pairs and they took a beating. Then with great pride I installed some orange Marzocchi Bombers when they first came out. They snapped on their first outing....back to RST for a while.
  • 5 0
 A friend of mine installed the 4.5 inch travel yello Mozos on his hardtail. Threw his geometry completely out of whack, but I still thought it was cool because, hey, we're 15 and more travel is better, right? He only did this to one-up me because I got the green Manitou Palmer FS Ti. God, that thing looked terrible on an orange bike. With yellow grips. And a red Scott riser bar... I miss the 90's.
  • 2 0
 Oh yes. RST slack head angle. Your mate and I were way ahead of the times!
  • 2 0
 To be honest I would be quite doubtful spending nearly a grand on an RST fork.

For the dropper I expected them to hop on the mechanical market. There are several mechanical droppers out there for about €100. I guess that for hydraulical droppers it is cheap though
  • 4 0
 That Rebel sounds like a mess. 32mm stanchions and a 15mm axle, that thing will be as flexy as cheese strings. Why not a 20mm at least?
  • 4 1
 KS e.ten- $135, 100 grams heavier though. And it's proven. More options is always a good thing, though.
  • 2 0
 Well done for RST to have a crack at an emerging market with the fork, seems strange that a "few" of the other players keep pushing standard design..
  • 1 0
 RST already has sufficient experience with inverted forks, Their RST Sigma DH fork was a good fork at the time.
  • 1 0
 I personally will never touch another RST product again as long as I live, but maybe this is the beginning of making USD forks the norm.
  • 1 0
 Why is that?
  • 1 0
 They've all felt gross, been built cheap, and a friend of mine had an RST fork snap. I mean, maybe they do have some higher end stuff, but I've never seen it. I'd have to be convinced.
  • 3 0
 Has anyone smashed that godawful yeti yet? Put it out of its misery!
  • 1 0
 It's very cool to see RST producing forks and stuff that are not cheapest OEM only. Remember that few years ago people were laughing at SR Suntour and now Wink
  • 1 0
 I think RST Will need to half the price of RST Rebel Inverted Fork to have any chance of selling any I remember liking mozo pros though
  • 1 0
 Using just a 15mm axle to keep the wheel stiff? Hmm. It would work with a bridge (and even then not as well) but inverted forks dont have them. Where did 20mm axles go?
  • 2 1
 Inverted fork + budget dropper = Budget Inverted Fork!

--->more warranty time than ride time.
  • 6 0
 I own two sledgehammers. Dafuq I need a warranty for?
  • 5 0
 Obviously, you have money to burn if you own two sledgehammers.....
  • 10 0
 Naw, time=money. Two sledgehammers saves time. One for each hand. Also, if sledgehammer 1 breaks, I can fix it with sledgehammer 2. Thus saving a trip to the sledgehammer store. It's just common sense that you should have two sledgehammers. Hell, I'm thinking of getting a third!
  • 1 1
 ^^^ sarcasm, by the way. Smile
  • 2 0
 Check out Rockefeller over here with his dual wield sledgehammers.
  • 1 0
 let's wait for pinkbike to review how this fork performs..
if this good let's say good..easy guys..Smile
  • 1 0
 So there's 60 comments at the moment and I honestly can't believe this one is still missing:

"Both 29'' and 27.5+" ???
  • 1 0
 The 27.5+ will have boost, the 29 wont.
  • 2 0
 " USD inverted " regular then !
  • 1 0
 Well sr suntour was make marzocchi Rst maybe made x-fusio too lol Spinner made rock shox that is taiwan
  • 1 0
 The MTB has never costed too expensive to believe it has become a sport for the elite ...
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure RST's come with a "not made for off-road use" sticker on all of their stuff
  • 1 0
 RST definitely did a USD fork back in 'the day'.
I'm sure they did...
Didn't they?!
  • 3 2
 Rock scratch city, rock scratch city, rock scratch city!
  • 1 1
 Wow, the dropper actually doesn't sound and look bad, at least the 4-sided stanchion/roller bearing part.
  • 1 4
 Why is PB showing all this coverage of stupid crap when there are FOX/Marzocchi Moto Coil shocks to look at...? AND they are totally awesome "looking" anyway...

Get your priorities STRAIGHT... is it because you keep hiring people from regular bike magazines to work at PB? JK Smile
  • 1 0
 I thought the article was about an inverted dropper
  • 1 0
 Sorry if i missed it but when will the dropper b available?
  • 1 0
 E"lev"8 and Rebel, how original
  • 1 0
 I want a USD dropper post...
  • 1 0
 Go on RST you can do it! I believe in you!!!! Smile
  • 2 1
 That fork is sick!
  • 2 0
 Its probably the most Refined looking RST fork I've seen in ages. Probably needs some stanchion guards though
  • 5 6
 RST? i forgot about you years ago sorry
  • 4 7
 RST a.k.a Really Shit Technology. I mean their old website used to have a picture of a guy riding a bike with Boxxer fork on the head of their website
  • 6 4
 Have you tested this fork? No? F-- off
  • 6 2
 Well I have ridden their recent RST Storm 180mm (2014 model) fork since they are quite cheap in my area and while it did perform decently for a few weeks I began to notice some problems on the third week especially with the dampening and the seals started to leak some oil from the lower parts of the fork. And a friend of mine used to run the RST Dirt fork for dirt jumping until it snapped from the crowns while trying to ride on some table tops. While RST did improve over the years you can't help but notice that they are way behind in the competition (regarding tech) especially their prices for their newer forks are way too high and not much people are ready to invest on something that is unproven and untested. For the price of the Killah Fork you could get a slightly lower end Boxxer or the Rampage proven Suntour RUX. The prices are too high of a product from a company that has a questionable reputation and history
  • 1 0
 I own Storm AIR OCR since 2014 and was able to do full service with replacing all o-rings etc. No biggie. Polish distributor has all parts in house as opposed with SR Suntour. Damping works well and even it's not the most sophisticated system in the world you can push hard without fork blocking on repeated high speed hits. To be honest I'm very happy with it.
  • 1 0
 I rode an M29 for 6 years without an issue.
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