RockShox Reba Team Review – Video Content

Forks Pro Reviews Video

On the trail with the New Reba

All of these stats, figures and new features sound great on paper, but how does this new fork from RockShox actually feel on the trail?

Overall Plushness and Travel Quality

The new BlackBox damping system combined with the more linear design of the new dual air spring creates fork action that is incredibly smooth in both small bump compliance and mid-stroke travel. As you can see by the video below, there is very little stiction during the initial travel and the fork seems to feel most comfortable around mid travel. As you move up through the travel range, the fork does ramp up on its suspension curve (like all air based suspension) to prevent harsh bottom outs on hard hits. The new Reba does feel more linear (as advertised) than previous models and this translates to a plusher ride on the trail.

Typically, I prefer fully active suspension on the trail, so I rarely use the remote lockout feature, or any lock out on suspension forks. The lock out and Floodgate setting work flawlessly with the Reba if that feature is important to you.

Fork Stiffness and Weight

The 2009 RockShox Reba Team is noticeably stiffer than previous models through the combination of the Maxle Lite thru axle and power bulges. This comes as great news for previous Reba owners and especially the 29er crowd that was bleeding for a stiffer Reba to compliment the larger wheel diameter. The stiffer fork translates to a front end that consistently tracks through obstacles and provides a more reliable turner in hard railing situations.

Normally, increased stiffness equals a higher overall weight, but at under 4 lbs…the new Reba is still a lightweight option for most cross country styled rides. If you need a lighter, more race styled option…the new SID would probably fit your needs better and for 2009 it is based around the 32mm platform.

Note: SID only available in 26 inch version.

Ease of Use and Adjustment

Spring settings are adjusted via the dual air spring design on the RockShox Reba Team. This dual air system provides much more adjustment than a single air system to really tune the fork to your liking. This dual air system may be foreign to those riders that are used to single air springs, but with some simple research and experimenting, it is a breeze to use. RockShox provides a recommended air pressure chart on the spring leg to give you a good starting point.

Rebound adjustment is located at the bottom of the damping fork leg and is controlled just like every other fork on the market. Adjustments are felt instantly on the trail and there is enough adjustment range to make any rider happy.

As mentioned before, compression lockout adjustment is controlled via the remote lockout lever and Floodgate. This creates an extra cable from the fork to the handlebar, but does make for ease of use on the trail.

Overall Thoughts on the Reba Team

As a reviewer, I sometimes run into product that is difficult to review. As a previous owner of several Reba’s, I was already very happy with the performance of this suspension fork for its intended use. When preparing this review article, I struggled with writing a review that sounded like more of an advertisement for RockShox rather than a objective product review. The fact is…RockShox took an incredible platform and answered the complaints of its users. Previous Reba owners asked for a stiffer fork that provided a plusher ride at a weight that was acceptable for the lightest of cross country rigs. The RockShox crew delivered and increased the travel options for 2009 to fit the trend of increasing travel amongst xc rigs. My only real complaint on the new Reba is the glossy finish and sticker styling. For a suspension fork…that is very minor.

Good RockShox Reba

  • Tons of adjustability
  • Remote lock out option
  • Plush beginning and mid-stroke travel
  • Super stiff fork option for xc rigs
  • Maxle Lite is the lightest, easiest to use TA on the market
  • Light
  • Post mounts
  • Air spring makes for easy weight and trailside adjustments

Bad RockShox Reba

  • Price – At a MSRP of around 700.00
  • Remote lockout creates another cable from fork to bar
  • Rebound adjust located at bottom of fork leg
  • Glossy finish and stickers may put off some riders
  • Dual air spring has a little bit of a learning curve

Performance

Value

Additional articles on the RockShox Reba Team

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  • Anonymous says:

    What is the max tire size this fork can accomodate?

  • Mike in Vancouver says:

    “Power bulges”? Yes, indeed, this review does read exactly like a Rock Shox marketing brochure. Let’s have more data and less salesmanship, shall we?

    There is much more that I’d like to know. While Rock Shox offers dramatically improved products than they did, not all of us know how they stack up to the best in the business (Fox, Magura, White Bros., …) Please offer comparisons with data!

    - weight is important. How much was it improved? Is it different for different travel Rebas? 26″ versus 29″ weight? Compared to the competition?
    - controls are important, and are getting more sophisticated all the time. What contols does Reba offer, at what prices, and how do they work? How do they compare with the competition? How effective are they compared to the competition?
    - for those of us who aren’t going to abandon the conventiona quick release wheelsets we already own, does Rock Shox offer conventional QR options, and at what prices?
    - if you’re going to tout stiffness, then please back it up with data. I am so sick and tired of hearing guys brag about running sub-30 psi tires (for more compliance, i.e., LESS stiffness) and then in the next sentence tell me how dramatically better their new “stiffer” fork is. Nobody questions that a siffer fork is better, but no one actually backs up their words with test data, and kno one seems to be able to explain HOW they feel it with low pressure tires. And what about the competition? Magura forks appear to have a vastly stiffer design thanks to the dual arch. Comparisons please!
    - it is stated that “The new BlackBox damping system combined with the more linear design of the new dual air spring creates fork action that is incredibly smooth in both small bump compliance and mid-stroke travel.” This doesn’t make sense to me at all. to offer both small bump compliance and ability to absorb large shocks, a PROGRESSIVE spring rate with low static friction (“stiction”) is needed. No “linear” design would offer the best of both worlds.
    - tell us about the brake mounting. If one has old IS-mount brakes, is there an adapter available, or does the new Reba fork require new post-mount brakes?

    Please update the review to add this important info.

  • Schlachter Factor says:

    While I agree with some of Mike in Vancouver’s comments above about wanting more data, I dissagree with the implication that this review is crap because it left stuff out. MTBR is free to access, and these reviews tend to be very well written. If you want more info from a reviewer, than ask for it politely – otherwise you’re just another whiner walking around with a sense of entitlement. And regarding your comment about spring rate – sorry, wrong. What Robb stated TOTALLY makes sense to me. Everyone who’s ridden enough bikes knows that coil springs set the standard for being the best for both small-and-bit hit compliance. And it’s because they have a naturually LINEAR (NOT PROGRESSIVE) spring rate. I for one am very happy to see more and more use of extra air chambers by shock and fork manufacturers lately for the purpose of achieving a more linear spring rates. As far as I’ve ever been able to tell, the main benefit of a progressive spring rate is simply that it can be used to slow down the travel as the fork or shock approaches the bottom-out. But, I think that there are better technoliges out there now that are superior for achieving that without sacrificing the mid-stroke and almost-full-stroke travel, such as bottom-out springs and position sensitive dampening.

  • Brendan says:

    Mike – a lot of the important information you are requesting can be found from RockShox website – http://www.sram.com/en/rockshox/trail/reba/

    Many reviews are rider dependent and can vary because of riding style and place. You should try and take the review for what it is instead of yelp at the reviewer for taking his time to write this up.

  • Grant says:

    So that near four pound weight is for the fork with the thru axle. I’d love to know if the claimed 3.5 lbs. for the QR version is accurate.

  • Tim says:

    Only posting this for thought. Not directed in any manner toward MTBR.
    Power Bulges???? To put it as simply as possible, “A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link.” So how does making it fat at the bottom help? I’m thinking it helps in reducing time and cost in the manufacturing process and being wrote off with a buzzwork like “stifness” Only my two cents though!!

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