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Rock Shox Reba Review

Updated on October 10, 2009
Rock Shox Reba Team
Rock Shox Reba Team

1 - Introduction

The unit that I am goin to review is the RockShox Reba Team model with the new 20mm Maxle Lite axle. The Team model sees the advent of the all new BlackBox damping system. This titanium spring tube foundation was based off the first Motion Control design and includes a Twin Flow compression and rebound. This equals a more controlled damping system that provides fantastic trail feedback at a lighter weight.

With these new features, this new RockShox Reba Team weighs in at 3.84 lbs including the the new Maxle Lite. For the purposes of this review, I kept the new Reba at the 120mm travel setting. You can adjust the travel down to 100mm and 80mm through the RockShox all-travel spacers, but this does require dis-assembly. U-Turn travel adjust models employ a dial found at the apex of the spring side fork leg for travel adjustment.

Rock Shox Reba Team weighted
Rock Shox Reba Team weighted

2 - Instalation

Installation of the new RockShox Reba is done precisely like any other new fork. This Team model also came with the handlebar mounted remote lockout feature. Installation of the remote lockout is straightforward due to its wire driven design and the new design of the top compression knob on the Reba hides the surplus wire far better than during the past. The threshold is altered thru the Floodgate knob on the head of the damping fork leg. This threshold controls the compression point at which the fork blows thru the lock out.

You can adjust this setting from full lockout to absolutely open. On the bike, the new Rock Shox Reba Team looks stiffer than prior generations with the new power bulges and stiffer 20mm through spindle. The Maxle Lite is as straightforward to install as typical Maxles and I'd disagree that they are more easy to install than standard QR's. At about that point in time, I see no reason to keep on using the typical quick release when the Maxle Lite increases overall fork rigidity and still keeps the weight down.

3 - Test-drive

All these stats, figures and new features sound great on paper, but how does this new fork from RockShox really feel on the trail? The new BlackBox damping system mixed with the more linear design of the new twin air spring creates fork action that is incredibly smooth in both little bump compliance and mid-stroke travel.

The RockShox Reba Team is noticeably stiffer than prior models through the blend of the Maxle Lite through spindle and power bulges. This comes as fabulous news for prior Reba owners and particularly the 29er crowd that was bleeding for a stiffer Reba to compliment the bigger wheel diameter.

The stiffer fork results in a front end that consistently tracks through obstacles and offers a more trustworthy turner in hard railing eventualities. Spring settings are altered through the twin air spring design on the Rock Shox Reba Team. This twin air system provides much more adjustment than a single air system to truly tune the fork to your liking. This twin air system might be foreign to those riders that are used to single air springs, but with some straightforward research and experimenting, it's a breeze to use.

Rebound adjustment is found at the base of the damping fork leg and is controlled just like any other fork on the market. Adjustments are felt immediately on the trail and there's enough adjustment range to make any rider cheerful. As discussed before, compression lockout adjustment is controlled through the remote lockout lever and Floodgate. This creates an additional wire from the fork to the handlebar, but does make for easy use on the trail.

Rock Shox Reba Team in action

4 - Conclusion

As a reviewer, I infrequently run into product that is not easy to review. As a prior owner of many Reba's, I was cheerful with the performance of this suspension fork for its intended use.Therefore I strongly advise anyone to buy one of these and install it in your bike as soon as possible. It rocks!

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