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Shorter but Longer, Faster but Easier

The New ROCKSHOX REVERB Stealth Ridden

Words Cam McRae
Photos Margus Riga (unless noted)
Date Jun 25, 2019

When Rockshox let the original Reverb Dropper... drop in 2010, it was the best you could get. The hydraulic action was smooth and mostly reliable (if you weren't riding in winter) and it was far more refined and elegant than the venerable Gravity Dropper. Of course it wasn't always reliable, and for the Stealth version, which was also a huge leap forward when it arrived in 2015, there is a multi-stage bleed procedure involved and part of that process should occur every time you remove the post from your frame.

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Looks like a Reverb. There is some script near the top of the stanchion and the barb looks a little more colourful but otherwise you'll have to look for the dropped saddle clamp rails to know if it's a B1 or a C1 Reverb.

In recent years the Reverb has taken a little bit of a beating. Simple and inexpensive cartridge-based posts with cable actuation have crowded the market, and most consumers appreciate the ease of use and installation as well as the low maintenance of many of these products. They are generally less expensive than the Reverb as well. Giant, Specialized and Trek make their own posts for many price levels, and while the Reverb is likely still the best selling dropper on the market, the pie is sliced much more thinly today.

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Here you can see the dropped rails and the telltale script. Taller riders will be glad to hear of the new 200mm option.

No Wires - Only a Hose

Rockshox recently responded with the Reverb AXS wireless electro-post, but that sits at the ultra premium end of the market at 800 USD. It's also the easiest and fastest post to install by a long margin. Clearly many of the new-fangled guts are shared by both posts so it's no surprise they were developed in tandem.

The highlights of the new post are:

  • Minimal length for maximum drop. New shorter overall post length allows fit of a longer travel dropper on more bikes.
  • What goes up fast, comes down even faster. New internals decrease the amount of drop force needed by over 50%.
  • New grease, a new Internal Floating Piston (IFP), and new Reverb Serene Fluid developed by our friends Maxima all come along for the ride, reduce friction, and result in faster actuation and return speed in all conditions.
  • New Vent Valve technology, a simple and reliable built-in service solution without disassembly of the seatpost.
  • New Longer travel post options in 175mm and 200mm.
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The 1x lever is unchanged and you can still save 50 USD by opting for the 'old' push button remote.

Stack is now Important

The relatively recent evolution of bike geometry has put many riders on larger bikes than ever. If you are someone with a long ape index (arm length vs. height) you might find that you can't lower your saddle enough to get full dropper extension. To deal with this companies have been working on shrinking posts, both in overall length and in stack numbers. Stack is very important if you find yourself needing to slam your post to get full dropper extension and if you want the saddle to be as low as possible when fully lowered.

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Peter Matthews getting his saddle completely out of the way.

New ROCKSHOX Reverb Stealth by the Numbers

I'm currently testing a bike that came with a new Reverb so I have six rides experience on the 175mm version. This also gave me the chance to take my own measurements.

175mm post measurements

Extended Stack 223mm
Effective Length 467mm
Overall length (including barb/fitting) 497mm
Max Extension 387mm
Compressed Stack 52mm
Minimum Insertion 80mm

The 170mm Reverb Stealth B1 was 480 mm in effective length so that's a nice reduction. The extended stack is 10mm longer than the OneUp 180mm post (20mm longer when the OneUp is shimmed to 170mm), and the compressed stack is 19mm taller (213, 203 and 33mm respectively).

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The Vent Valve is in a relatively deep recess so you aren't going to get it off with your fingers... Luckily the post will comePhoto - Cam McRae

Service

The new post benefits from a simplified bleed procedure (I haven't bled one yet) and a much longer service interval. A complete service is now recommended at 600 hours vs. 200 for the current post. Other intervals were not included in our information package but the recommended interval for the hose and remote bleed as well as replacement of other wear items (keys, seal head etc.) is 100 hrs. Hopefully that number has been extended by a similar factor.

Taking a page out of BikeYoke's book, the new Reverb incorporates a 'Vent Valve' to allow you to release any air that makes it into the oil side of your IFP. This is a quick job that involves removing your saddle, the valve cap and then depressing the saddle and actuating the Vent Valve. Reverb AXS also incorporates this feature but the release is at the bottom of the post so you can leave your saddle bolted in place.

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Thankfully a 9mm thin-walled socket fits perfectly. Photo - Cam McRae

Action

One goal with the new Reverb was to reduce friction to allow the post to drop with less effort/weight. RockShox tells us this was accomplished using a different grease, by redesigning the IFP* (internal floating piston) and by co-developing 'Reverb Serene Fluid' with Maxima. The post does indeed move more easily and I find the action compares quite well to the OneUp 210mm post I'm also riding right now. The new Reverb still requires slightly more force but the difference is small. The action could be a little smoother on the post I've been using, but it actually arrived with a few tiny but visible stanchion scratches.

*a secondary benefit of the new IFP is the ability to lift your bike by the saddle without it moving

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The 1x Remote has great ergonomics and the position and shape are more similar to a shift lever than almost any other lever I've used.

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An advantage the Reverb carries forward is the ability to adjust return speed from the lever.

The 1x remote has a nice long lever and it works very well. It seems to me that actuation takes less throw than in the past. The throw is even shorter with the OneUp using a Shimano XTR remote, but that makes sense given the 1x lever is much longer. The actuation felt natural and easy and the switch back and forth between the two posts was seamless.

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I don't yet have more information on the bleed procedure but I'll be happy to share it when I give it a try for the first time.

Questions

Until I get this post in cold weather I'm reserving judgement. Early Reverbs were terrible in the cold and the most recent one I had on a bike got very slow when it got cool and positively glacial when the mercury really dropped. I look forward to seeing the procedure and giving the new bleed procedure a try. I can't imagine it approaching the ease of swapping a cable, and it certainly has the potential to be messier, but perhaps the gap has narrowed.

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Sarah Leishman digging in for the lens of Margus Riga.

Specs & Price

Post Diameter: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm

Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm

Post Length: 301mm, 351mm, 414mm, 467mm, 519.5mm

Remote: 1X, Standard (L-Below, R-Above)

Standard Remote: 349 USD / €390* / £345*

1X Remote: 399 USD / €445* / £395*

*INCLUDES VAT

Some variations of this product are not available for purchase and are installed on bicycles as Original Equipment only. See your dealer for details.

Below you'll find info from Rockshox about the new Reverb

Trending on NSMB

Comments

Vikb
+2 Timer Dan
Vik Banerjee  - June 25, 2019, 7:33 a.m.

Our Reverbs worked well enough in our mild Coastal BC winters [-9 to +9 deg C] as long we kept the remote hose bled well. I still can't see myself buying another Reverb, but I'll keep the ones we have and if we got one with a complete bike we wouldn't burn it with fire if it came with the new ergonomic lever.

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dan
+1 AlanB
Dan  - June 25, 2019, 10:43 a.m.

That was my experience as well - when bled properly, my Reverb worked great. I've since moved on to cable-actuated posts though, and don't imagine I'll ever go back.

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DaveSmith
0
Dave Smith  - June 25, 2019, 7:52 a.m.

It's Sarah Leishman throwing the inked elbow.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - June 25, 2019, 10:41 a.m.

That was my hunch! Thanks. #nometadata

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JVP
0
JVP  - June 25, 2019, 8:35 a.m.

This comment has been removed.

andy-eunson
+2 IslandLife Cam McRae
Andy Eunson  - June 25, 2019, 8:37 a.m.

I actually prefer the hydraulic actuation over a cable. I can bleed the remote more quickly than replacing a cable and housing. But one has to remember to speed up the remote when it’s cold and slow it down when hot. I’ve had a number of Reverbs over the years and they’ve been good. I do think that the fact that the first bunch did not lock in the lowered position allowing the post to move up if you find lifted the bike by the seat was a design error.

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mammal
+3 Alex D Timer Dan
Mammal  - June 25, 2019, 9:47 a.m.

Good for those who buy completes that have Reverbs spec'd. Still don't know why anyone would choose to purchase this over others, and I'm still blown away why they don't completely redesign, based on how much better/cheaper other offerings are.

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grambo
0
grambo  - June 25, 2019, 10:19 a.m.

This. Who the hell is paying $400USD (no one wants the trash button remote) for a Reverb in 2019? Why wouldn't you buy a Fox Transfer, BikeYoke Revive or OneUp? I was lucky that my RF Turbine (first version that sucks) worked well enough for 18 months before I got my OneUp which has been perfect so far and nearly half the cost.

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mammal
+1 Cam McRae
Mammal  - June 25, 2019, 11 a.m.

I only have 150mm, but I went X-fusion on both trail bikes as soon as the came out with theirs. Cheap as chips, and flawless.

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Timer
0
Timer  - June 25, 2019, 12:17 p.m.

The MSRP on the Reverb is such a joke. For that price there are so many better options, including amazing stuff like the Vecnum Nivo.

But i suspect that 99% of Revives are sold on complete bikes and that OEM prices as part of a "Sram package" are not far from those of cheaper wintek posts like the Manic.

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dan
0
Dan  - June 25, 2019, 10:39 a.m.

Vent Valve looks like a great feature, though it's peculiar that the knurled cap appears to be buried so deeply into the top of the post. Does it require a tool to access? I understand that mnfrs usually refrain from caps and bolts that require tools so as to reduce the chance of over-torquing, but this looks like a bit of a hassle that could have been avoided.

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 Dan
Cam McRae  - June 25, 2019, 10:47 a.m.

That is a detail I touched on. It's virtually impossible to see that a socket fits on there - or at least it was in my workshop - but my hunch was correct. You aren't getting it off with your fingers that is for sure. I think it would have been good to have put a removal method that was easily visible and something you have on your bike - like a torx fitting - but then you couldn't have printed Vent Valve on the cap! #marketing

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IslandLife
+1 Dan
IslandLife  - June 25, 2019, 10:57 a.m.

So why the F did they knurl it??! Isn't knurling typically something that is solely reserved for parts that are supposed to be used by fingers?

And with no indication that a tool is needed or even which tool (is it in the manual at least?)... there are going to be some very frustrated googlers: "how to remove reverb vent valve".

Rockshox will have to make one of their little videos for it... likely their shortest ever, ha!

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dan
0
Dan  - June 25, 2019, 11:28 a.m.

My guess is that it's the same cap they've been using for years elsewhere, now just updated with 'vent valve'.

Now I get to wondering what shop rats think of this significantly-longer service interval. My favorite tech feeds his family on Reverb rebuilds. (Shameless plug for Butter Suspension)

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dan
+1 Cam McRae
Dan  - June 25, 2019, 11:26 a.m.

Oh duh. I saw this image with the accompanying text but my mind went to "he's already removed the knurled cap, now on to something else." That doesn't make any sense. But as you know, I've got a 3 week old depleting my already-limited cognitive abilities. lol.

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Timer
+1 Skyler
Timer  - June 25, 2019, 12:12 p.m.

I'm amazed that they managed to steal the (great) feature of the Bikeyoke Revive but instead of a straight up copy they made it substantially worse.

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 Timer
Cam McRae  - June 25, 2019, 1 p.m.

I got a little more info about this. For one thing, unlike the Revive feature on Bikeyoke, the Vent is only supposed to be required 1 - 3 times a year. 

I don't think the cap is knurled actually and the post will come with a plastic removal tool identical to the one that comes with the AXS post. It should be easy to toss in a pack.

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IslandLife
+1 Cam McRae
IslandLife  - June 25, 2019, 2:17 p.m.

Ah, just kind of looked knurled at first glance at that pic... but looking again and not sure what I'm seeing there actually, ha!  Makes sense, thanks for the info.

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shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - June 25, 2019, 3:47 p.m.

I have had my BikeYoke for two years and required ZERO revives so far.  Do you have some statistic that says it should be used more? Why on earth would you put a revive vent on a post that you cannot use/access in the field?  This is a complete fail by RS.

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cam@nsmb.com
0
Cam McRae  - June 26, 2019, 10:56 a.m.

Speaking to two different SRAM employees one said 1-3 times per year and the other said it was mostly an emergency feature. Access in the field should be fine with the small plastic tool though.

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shoreboy
0
Shoreboy  - June 26, 2019, 11:03 a.m.

I would hesitate to call having to take your seat completely off the rails AND carry a specific spare tool as practically accessible in the field. I wonder where they came up with their values on how often it would have to be used.  Based on previous reverbs, it would definitely be more often than what they stated.

bullit398
0
bullit398  - June 25, 2019, 10:45 a.m.

Eh, not impressed.  Have fun taking your seat off when it gets air in the post.  Bike yoke blows them away for the same price.

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IslandLife
0
IslandLife  - June 25, 2019, 10:51 a.m.

I am confused by the the statement: "a secondary benefit of the new IFP is the ability to lift your bike by the saddle without it moving"

Does this mean that with previous Reverb's, if you pull on the seat you can pull the dropper up without using the remote??!  A reverb came with my most recent bike purchase in January of 2019.  First Reverb I've owned and mine definitely won't do this... I lift my bike by the seat all the time without issue.  So I'm not sure if this is actually a feature of the newest version or was revised somewhere along the line?

Second thought... after using only cable actuated posts before I bought my new bike... I am loving the feel and consistency of the reverb.  But, I haven't had to do anything to it so far, haven't even removed it from the frame yet, and only have about 30 hours on it.  Anyway, so far loving the feel, quality, actuation and lever... we'll see how I feel after it gets more hours of use and/or when it comes time to maintain it.

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andy-eunson
0
Andy Eunson  - June 25, 2019, 12:38 p.m.

The first Reverbs allowed the saddle to move up if you picked up the bike by the saddle when the post was in the dropped position. If that happed too many times and with any force air would get sucked past the IFP resulting in a squishy post. My current Reverb does not move. Maybe these guys should simply design a post that doesn’t need a bleed valve?

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cam@nsmb.com
+1 IslandLife
Cam McRae  - June 25, 2019, 1:12 p.m.

The saddle would rise when you grabbed it but then return to the original position when you released it. But as Andy says below, it could cause issues. 

I agree with you on the feel and consistency. I have had good luck with Reverbs and aside from cold weather issues I've never had a failure or maintenance issues. And this is certainly the best performing Reverb I have used. 

Because of the absence of issues I've never actually bled the line before but that process should be instructive. Andy mentioned that he can bleed faster than replacing cable and housing, but often when you need to remove your saddle there is no need for a new cable or housing so the better comparison for me would be the comparative hassle/time spent detaching and reattaching the cable vs. doing a line bleed. I should probably check out my wife's old Reverb as part of my research actually.

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