Using the system is quite easy, just press and hold the lever, and either weight the saddle into the lower positions, or unweight, and let it pop up to the desired location, and then release. I used it in four locations, at the very bottom, somewhere in the middle, slightly down from the top, and the top position. The actuation of the lever is buttery smooth, without the usual rough and stiff feel that a cable gives, and it provided the same response in any position, and it always remained uber quiet. The speed remained constant throughout the stroke, although when pushing it down to its lowest setting you did need to provide an extra dollop of pressure. I played with the speed control, and left it in the fastest setting, but it was still too slow and viscous for my taste, and I would have preferred more speed, although I think, the tight seals exacerbate the problem. Occasionally, on technical terrain, it would not return quick enough from a lower position to make a precise move, usually resulting in a blown line, or at least causing a moment of hesitation. The stroke has a consistently plush and smooth feel through the entire travel, without any stiction or notchiness, greatly helped by the coated aluminum bushing and low friction brass keys. I think that 125mm or 5 inches of height adjustment are optimal for All Mountain riding, and the Reverb infinite functionality made great use of the full stroke length. It locks into position wherever it was last adjusted or set at, so it can’t be pulled up during a hike-a-bikes or any sort of saddles grab.
The seatpost is quite an engineering marvel, but with the hydraulic nature of the internals and the remote, it will require more long-term maintenance than a more mechanical setup. Fortunately, the Reverb is easy to bleed (the seatpost comes with a bleed kit), and the replacement of the seals is a fairly straight-forward process, albeit it’s somewhat convoluted, so I would have my LBS perform the procedure. In the four months of my usage, it did not require a bleed, and I would assume that the seals might need to be done every year or two? SRAM provides nice videos for both procedures, refer to “How to bleed the remote system,” and “How to replace the post seals.” The seals have performed admirably, even with the constant use and abuse, and the ugly weather conditions, and sand and dirt tossed at them. Watching the seal replacement video, you can see the expertise and experience of their suspension forks and shocks in the fancy and high tech triple-lipped energized sealing system, and the sundry foam rings, wipers, o-rings, bushing, etc. It uses an energized seal, which is the spring you can see at the top of the seal that holds it on the shaft.
The triple brass keys kept the lateral play to a tolerable minimum of slop, which was noticeable when torquing off the saddle. The saddle clamp took a few rides to get tightened properly, but once it was settled in, it never loosened again. The bottom cradle for the saddle clamp are long, so odd sized, and titanium and carbon rails are well supported, and the two bolts angle out, so they are easy to tighten with normal-sized tools. Even with all the impressive features, functionality and engineering, the seatpost and remote weigh a very respectable 544 grams for the 31.6 x 380mm size. The unit was durable, but I worried about the somewhat fragile barb by the saddle clamp, as even with the rubber booted protector (aka strain relief), it sits out there in the harm’s way, and on more than a number of occasions I thought I had damaged it? If something happens to the hydraulic hose or remote, meaning a failure or leak, perhaps during a crash, the seatpost will remain in its last position. This might be a problem if the last position was the lowest setting, since it would make the pedal home excruciating difficult. One odd thing, it makes a funny bubbling or leaking noise from the seals when you jam the saddle down, and I assume it’s just pushing captured air out from the tight seals?
Caveat Emptor: I did not have any issues with this adjustable seatpost in any manner during its four months of abuse, but that doesn’t mean that over a longer period of time that issues may arise? Plenty of people on biking forums and the blogosphere have reported issues with the Reverb, and the same can be said for other manufacturers designs. The newer adjustable seatposts are complex, whether hydraulically or mechanically activated, and they are in the infancy (or infamy) of design, so bugs, durability and flaws are bound to crop up. I found the Reverb to work flawlessly, end of the story.