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My current all-mountain bike with RockShox Reverb.by Acadian
Being a tech geek, I’m typically an early adopter who really likes trying new things, but if new technology decreases my trail riding experience instead of enhancing it, then that’s a problem. Adjustable seatposts are just one those components that took me a long while to embrace. Why? Let me explain….

My Adjustable Seatpost History

Before getting a RockShox Reverb earlier this year, I had tried most of the current offerings (minus the Specialized Command Post). I had an Enduro for a short period of time and it came with one, but I unfortunately sold it with the frame even before I had a chance to try it. With that said, I would like to give quick reviews of previous dropper posts I’ve tried in the past.

Crank Brothers Joplin
Let’s start with the first post I ever tried and also the one that that really left a bad taste in my mouth. The first one I ever tried was the original Crank Brothers Joplin – if my mind serves me correctly, this was sometime in late 2008 or early 2009. Within the first ride it developed quite a bit of play and on my 3rd or 4th ride, it simply stopped working. Man, there is nothing I hate more than having a sweet ride ruined by a mechanical I cannot fix trail-side. This post is the reason why I went so long on standard seatposts.
     The head on that post was horrible! I was not a fan of the offset, it constantly moved and simply wouldn’t hold my saddle straight. Every other ride I’d have to re-level my saddle, as it would shift during rides. On the bright side – I really liked their remote. Easy to mount (either Right or Left) and very easy to actuate.

Pros
•    Remote
•    Infinite adjustment
Cons
•    Failed on the trail
•    Developed play almost instantaneously
•    Head didn’t hold the saddle straight
•    Setback head
•    Moving cable

Circa 2010 with the Gravity Dropper.Gravity Dropper Turbo
Then in 2010 I decided it was time for me to give dropper posts another chance. I went out and purchased a 4-inch standard-drop Gravity Dropper Turbo post. This post was much better than the Joplin and gave me hope again. The remote was a bit clunky, but worked great. Unfortunately, unlike the Joplin, the GD remote is dedicated Right or Left. I also liked how the cable didn’t move with the post, this simplified cable routing during install.
     The GD worked flawlessly for a few weeks, then all of a sudden started acting weird, and at times, didn't want to stay up. I'd be riding, then all of a sudden the saddle would drop without me even touching the remote. The other thing I didn’t like was the rubber boot – it was nice to keep mud and gunk out, but after a while, one extremity got loose and it just wouldn’t stay in place any longer. The GD’s head has no offset and is micro adjustable – two thumbs up for that.  Anyone who’s dealt with their customer service can attest to how great they are – if you have any issues with your post, they will sort you out no questions.

Pros
•    Remote
•    Fixed cable
•    Micro adjustable head with no setback
Cons
•    Had issues on the trail
•    Remote is right/left specific
•    100mm max drop (at the time)
•    Not infinitely adjustable
•    Rubber boot

KindShock i950rKindShock i950r
Since I wanted infinite adjustability, I then I purchased a KS i950r - I was a bit skeptical since it was a similar post to the Joplin (eg. hydraulic). The KS actually worked great for a few months, until it stopped coming all the way up. It would come up like 100mm but not all the way up to 125mm. The Gravity Dropper I used was 100mm while the KS was 125mm. I never thought I would care about the extra inch until I tried the KS. I really prefer the 125mm drop to the 100mm.
     The KS does not use a micro adjustable so I could never get the angle of my saddle just right. It was either too high or too low. The remote on the KS isn’t bad, although at times it would get sticky, especially after muddy rides where some chunks would bake under your saddle, right where the cable feeds into the post.  Compatibility with ODI lock-on grips was nice and you could run it on the right or left side, but it wasn’t quite that simple. Depending on the angle of your brakes/shifters and how you’d like your remote positioned, the metal housing might get in the way. It’s an easy fix though, just remove it and feed the cable right into the remote. I was never able to run the remote in conjunction with my ODI grips – I’m picky about where I position the clamping bolts on my ODI’s and the KS remote would never line up how I wanted, so I always mounted it by itself on the inside of my grip.

Pros 
•    125mm drop
•    Infinite adjustment
•    Zero offset head
Cons
•    Wouldn’t come back all the way up during rides
•    Head isn’t micro adjustable
•    Moving cable

Now on to RockShox Reverb
And now to present. Earlier this year I procured a RockShox Reverb. I won’t bore you will all the technical details of the post since there’s already been a lot of info shared about this on the web – but if you want to know more, you can also find the specification here on the SRAM site.
My ride with Reverb.Reverb Features
There are a few unique features about the Reverb that I would like to point out. First, the Reverb uses hydraulic lines to control the post. This allows for smooth and effortless actuation of the lever, in addition it helps save weight on the overall system. Being a fully sealed system means water, mud and other contaminants cannot get in, which in turns mean no (or less) maintenance. Another nice feature is the adjustable return speed of the post via the SpeedAdjust knob located on the remote. This way you can dial in the speed at which the saddle returns to its original position.
     Many times people ask me if there are any real benefits to running a remote instead of a lever. Personally, I wouldn't want to run a post without a remote. Often, by the time I realize that I have to lower my saddle, there is no time to take my hand off the handlebar since I’m already in the middle of the gnar. I can’t even guess how many times I use my post during a ride; even on trails where I used to say “meh, you don’t need an adjustable post to ride this trail.” I often lower my saddle just a few millimeters to give me a bit more control – this is something I probably wouldn't do if I didn't have a remote. Also I'd probably crash (well crash more often) if I had to get my hands off the bars every time I'd want to lower my post.

Installing Reverb
Installing the post was pretty straightforward, but unless you ride an XL Enduro or don’t mind having extra cable dangling on the front of your bike, you’ll have to shorten the line. It’s really not difficult, just go to the SRAM YouTube tech channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/SRAMtech) and follow their instructions.
Double-click to edit

The only thing I do differently is that I like to simply cut the line about 15mm from the remote using an Avid Handheld Hydraulic Tubing Cutter before cutting slits along the hose, on top for the hose barb.
     The Remote can be used solo via a discrete clamp or can be used with a MatchMaker X clamp. The Remote can also be paired up with Avid XX or X0 brakes. Just like the Gravity Dropper, you need to pick either Left or Right as the remote is side-specific. Riders who don’t use a front derailleur may choose to run a right-hand remote rolled down under the left side of the bar. This gives you a really clean setup and also protects the Remote in the event of a crash.
Reverb remote with Avid Juicy brakes and SRAM X0 front shifter.      I run a front derailleur on all my bikes, so I have to run it on top. With Avid XX/X0 brakes and MatchMaker X clamps, it gives you a pretty clean and simple setup, but I would love a bit more adjustability. See, I tend to run my brake levers a bit higher than most, so with this setup, the remote ends up being angled too far down. Being able to fine-tune the Reverb remote angle independent of brake lever angle would be nice.
     Not everyone will have the latest and greatest Avid brakes, including myself. I still love the feel of old school Avid Juicy carbon levers which I paired with Elixir calipers for a solid setup. Trying to get the Reverb remote to fit next to my Juicy lever was difficult. Depending on how far in/out you like to run your brakes, you might not be able to run a MatchMaker. It won’t leave enough space between your MM and grip to clamp the remote. I had to use a regular XO trigger shifter clamp to hold my trigger shifter. Then I had clearance issues. My Juicy levers have the star shape Pad Contact Adjuster. If you have the same brakes, you’ll either have to replace it with a flush adjuster or run it upside down, otherwise it will interfere with the SpeedAdjust knob of the remote. I wish the SpeedAdjust knob portion of the remote would swivel.
Reverb remote with Avid X0 brakes.     This configuration really made me miss the simplicity of a Juicy/MM setup, especially when it came time adjust the controls after a crash. I would loosen the brake, the trigger shifter clamp, the Reverb remote and they all require different tools. Brake needs 4mm hex, trigger clamp needs a 5mm hex and the Reverb remote needs a T25 Torx. Even with Avid XX or X0 brakes + MatchMaker X, you still need to loosen your shifter in order to access the Torx bolt that is located under the lever.
     The head of the Reverb features zero offset and has a nice, flush fastening bolts that can easily be reached with a 4mm allen. The micro-adjustability means fine-tuning the angle of your saddle while the wide, lower cradle allows the use of Ti or Carbon rails. After finding your sweet spot, your saddle will not move.

On the Trail with Reverb
Once installed, housing cut, system bled (which is super easy by the way) this is by far the smoothest post I’ve used – 125mm of buttery smooth travel. It is solid, there is no play, it worked every time and I haven’t had one single trail failure (knock on wood) yet.
     After a few weeks of riding the Reverb, I went ahead and upgraded all my bikes with fresh RockShox Reverb posts. I have four Reverbs running right now and only one gave me issues. After a few good rides it would get stiff and return would become very slow, even in the fast position. A quick bleed of the lever would temporarily fix it, but the problem would come back after a few rides. Well it turns out that a few early Reverbs shipped with bad Hydraulic lines, which absorbed oil. I went ahead and swapped the hydraulic line for a new one, and that post has been flawless every since. I know there has been a lot of noise on MTB forums about Reverb problems, but this is based on my experience. I’m not a weekend warrior and ride 5-6 times a week, and I honestly haven’t had any problems with my posts.
RockShox Reverb Enduro Collar.     With the 2012 Reverbs you get an Enduro Collar, which lets you preset how far you want the post to drop. I think that’s is a very good thing to carry in your pack at all times just in case the post suffers some sort of failure on the trail. If the saddle says stuck down, the Enduro Collar will at least allow you to keep the post at full extension and help you pedal out of where you are.
     Yeah, I wish the housing was fixed and didn’t move with the post, but RockShox supplies guides with the Reverb and this is pretty insignificant when you weight this against all the other positive things about this post.
     I’m not a big weight weenie, but thought I would share my findings. My 30.9 x 380mm came in around 520 grams will full-length housing, while my 31.6 x 380mm came in at 550 grams with full-length housing.

The Verdict on Reverb?
Is it perfect? No. But in my honest opinion, it’s one of the best adjustable seatposts currently on the market. There are some posts out there I haven’t tried and new posts constantly get released but from my point of view, the Reverb has been the most dependable seat post over 6-7 months of serious trail use, and that’s what separates it from others I’ve tried.

Pros
•    Never failed during trail rides
•    125mm of infinite adjustment
•    Very smooth action
•    Post comes with everything to need to bleed and route cable
•    Avid MatchMaker X mounting option
•    Zero offset head with micro adjustability
•    Very little side to side movement
•    Very easy to bleed
•    I have to say that it’s one of the nicest looking adjustable posts out there
Cons
•    Post may need bleeding right out of the box to ensure proper function
•    Remote is Right or Left specific
•    Setting and adjusting the remote on your bars can be difficult
•    Wish cable was fixed

Reverb Specs and Options
Length and Drop
 - 100mm drop available in 355 or 420mm
 - 125mm drop available in 380 or 420mm
Colors: Black, Silver
Material
 - Shaft: 3D Forged 7050 Alloy
 - Head: 7050 Forged Alloy
Details: Zero Offset / 2-Bolt, Reverb Remote Actuation: Adjustable return speed at the handlebar
Diameters: 30.9mm and 31.6mm
Price: $370

Buy RockShox Reverb

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