BikeYoke Revive Dropper Post Teardown
I would service these posts ALL DAY" - Jeff @ Wheelthing
The BikeYoke Revive uses a unique layout to deliver one of the highest rated dropper posts on the market, by consumers. Depending on the travel and size the price ranges from 375 USD to 500 USD which positions it towards the premium end of the dropper post market. They back that up with excellent service videos, rapid response to customer questions, and a really nicely made product.
Niels will be evaluating this 160mm travel Revive, which sells for 400 USD, but Jeff and I know enough folks riding them to be curious about the guts. BikeYoke, based in Germany, began by making yokes to connect shocks to swingarms for designs that require that connection to split around the seat tube. The company has made original equipment yokes for brands like Pole, Nicolai and Spot among others .
The easiest way to explain the Revive is to say it's a cartridge post like the Highline, Manic, Contact SL, or Line but in this case, the cartridge is rebuildable instead of only replaceable. As with those Wintek-cartridge posts I've listed, the regular, 100hr, service on the BikeYoke doesn't specify doing anything to the cartridge. Take the post apart, clean it, replace the keyways or rubber parts if needed, put it back together and go ride your bike. Disassembling and reassembling the Reset function (see below for more on this) adds a bit of time as do the non-fixed keyways, but all-in-all it's a quick and clean process.
Rebuilding the fully-serviceable BikeYoke cartridge is only recommended when an issue presents itself, keeping in mind the demands put on a dropper post in terms of cycles and heat generation are a fraction of what a fork or shock must endure.
This teardown is applicable to all three travel options for the Revive: 125mm, 160mm, and 185mm. Many parts are shared and the only difference in the service procedure is the amount of oil in the cartridge, if you ever have to service it.
It's likely that most BikeYoke owners will own the post for years without doing a cartridge service. If air transfers into the oil in a Revive post, resulting in the dreaded vertical free-play in the shaft, just flip the Reset Switch (or insert a hex key if removed) and in a few seconds, the post is 'revived' to be as good as new.
The post doesn't even have to be removed from the bike:
The Revive does not use an IFP (internal floating piston) to separate oil and gas (air) so the 210-250psi air charge and oil cycling through the twin-tube design can, and indeed, will mix. The effect of air bypassing into the oil in the hydraulic system feels exactly like it does in a Reverb, Transfer, or any other hydraulic system using an IFP. The difference with the BikeYoke is that the dreaded vertical free play develops more frequently but can be resolved in seconds. Where a 'blown' Reverb requires a full rebuild, here a simple flick of the Reset switch - with the included lever or a 4mm hex key - purges the air and makes the system good as new. As an added benefit the Revive is ridiculously smooth thanks to the hydraulic system having half the seals of IFP posts from the likes of RockShox, Fox, RaceFace, and KS and of course the tight manufacturing tolerances that accompany the premium price.
Most suspension products, including dropper posts, have a recommended service interval around 100hrs. The forces on that single strut are pretty significant especially with a heavy rider and a lot of shaft-extension. The more post travel the worse it is on those poor bushings, keyways, and seals.
Unique among hydraulic dropper posts - think Reverb, Transfer, Turbine R, or any of the rebranded TranzX posts among others - the 100hr service on the BikeYoke Revive doesn't actually include the hydraulic system itself. This makes for a fast and fairly simple process that can be accomplished at home with no special tools beyond a pair of circlip pliers.
In this case, as with the Wintek-based posts I mentioned, it's a simple matter of removing the cartridge and then cleaning or replacing the wear parts that keep everything tight and smooth. BikeYoke is keen on user serviceability and in addition to having excellent walkthrough videos covering their various levels of service, they sell every small part for their posts. If you have a Revive already why not tackle the 100hr service yourself? It's a 10-15 minute job. Check out BikeYoke's service video here.
Here again, I go back to my experiences with the Highline, Manic, and other cartridge posts. BikeYoke, like those brands, doesn't recommend doing anything to the cartridge* until it needs a service. Depending on the charge, companies using Wintek cartridge posts expect 1-3+ years of life before recycling and replacing the cartridges. With 35-46mm of oil, depending on travel, the Revive's cartridge could potentially last even longer. Keep in mind that compared to a fork damper with a 100hr service interval the BikeYoke post will see significantly fewer cycles and no heat build-up. When the post does present performance issues that cannot be resolved through a simple Revive or the 100hr cleaning then the cartridge is 100% serviceable either by the owner or their preferred local bike shop.
*beyond using the Revive function as needed
Doing the full cartridge service is a bit more involved but anyone who can work on a suspension fork or rebuild a set of brakes should feel confident tackling the complete teardown. If and when it's needed. Again, if the full user serviceability is a selling requirement or selling feature in a dropper post I suggest checking out the excellent service video for the full cartridge service to gauge against personal mechanical ability. That can be found here.
Even if it's not in your wheelhouse, help me win a bet by checking out the first 10-seconds of the video and answering a simple question: who's got better hair - Sacki from BikeYoke or Jeff?
Oil volume and weight are provided by BikeYoke as part of their rebuild tutorials. I have to say, as a general comment, that they are quick, clear, and thorough when answering questions about their products. A very professional, and also friendly, outfit to work with. There are no surprises to be found rebuilding the post. Jeff and I are both big on reading the instructions when they're available and we watched the service videos and then tackled the rebuild with no problems.
Niels has already run some cable and housing and is out riding on the BikeYoke Revive as we speak. I'll admit I'm a bit jealous as it is certainly the smoothest dropper post I've cycled out of the box, it's very nicely made, and in theory, it could run for years with the basic 5-15-minute service and a few inexpensive wear items.
For most riders Wintek-cartridge posts like the X-Fusion Manic, Crankbrothers Highline, the new Giant Contact SL, the new Bontrager Line, etc. present excellent value. They're lightning fast to rebuild, it's cheap and easy to replace cartridges, and some of them are almost half the price of the Revive.
Anyone who's a fan of really nice things, full user serviceability, has to have the smoothest dropper post on the market and wants a post that is likely to be very reliable, will likely love this post. It even comes in 35mm* for you Evil owners.
For more information check out BikeYoke's site here** and be sure to check back for Niels review.
*I'm with Joel Smith, calling it 34.9 is being silly for sake of being silly.
**Free shipping worldwide for all orders over 20 Euro.