What is it
The Wolf Tooth Sustain is a hydraulic-to-cable-actuated conversion kit for your internally routed RockShox Reverb dropper post. It works because the Reverb relies on two hydraulic systems to operate. There’s the post internals and a secondary lever-to-post system.
When the Reverb lever is depressed, this secondary system applies pressure to a plunger at the base of the post. The Wolf Tooth kit replaces that system with a simple mechanical actuator, the excellent ReMote lever, housing and cable.
If you’re not familiar with the ReMote, Mtbr feels it’s the best dropper post lever on the market. The design mimics a standard shift paddle, but the textured face, smooth actuation, cable friendly clamping fixture, and integrated breakaway point deliver unrivaled performance.
The standard ReMote lever retails for $60. The Sustain kit, which includes the lever and everything you need for the mechanical conversion, retails for between $90-95 depending on the clamp you need.
- Improved ergonomics
- Better lever feel
- Reliable cold weather performance
- Easy cable detachment
- Reduced complexity
- Integrated breakaway lever pivot
- Reduced frame insertion
- Easy install
- It’s not OEM
If you’re currently running an older Reverb with the push style lever, you may have experienced a pang of jealousy when RockShox finally released their new hydraulic paddle lever. The old design was a hangover from yesteryear, when mountain bikes came equipped with front shifters. It helped free room on the bars, but was an ergonomic nightmare.
The new Wolf Tooth kit allows you to replace that dated lever with something far better. For that reason alone, the kit is worth the cost and trouble of install. But there are other reasons why you should consider the upgrade.
Hydraulic systems have two key advantages over their cable actuated counterparts. Because they are sealed, the systems are more weather resistance. They also work the same no matter how tight the bends are inside your frame.
However, hydraulic systems add complexity. Their performance can suffer in the cold and the added seals means more drag. A cable actuated system is dead simple, there’s not much to go wrong. And because they don’t have extra seals, the activation force required is much lower.
Aside from these concerns, there’s also tangible benefits for converting. The big one for vertically challenged riders is in frame post insertion. By eliminating the hydraulic Connectamajig fitting, the Sustain can be inserted an additional 40mm into the frame. On bikes where seat tube length is limited, this gives riders the ability to move to a longer travel post.
The Sustain kit also makes the Reverb easier to install and remove for traveling. To see how, watch the video above.
While cracking open an expensive mechanical component like the Reverb can feel daunting, the entire swap process is relatively simple. Any home mechanic who’s comfortable performing an oil change should have no problem. From start to finish, it took us just under an hour.
A bike shop with Reverb experience could probably perform the entire operation in under 30 minutes. The trickiest part for most will be fishing new cable through their frame. But fear not, Wolf Tooth has excellent written and video tutorials posted on their website.
On the Trail
The Sustain kit brings the feel and performance of a mechanical post to the Reverb. The lever is effortless to operate and introduces a host of clever features. Aside from lever feel, we also enjoyed the crisp return speed and added precision.
If you’ve made it this far, you probably know Wolf Tooth isn’t the first brand with this idea. The BikeYoke Dehy was introduced last year and does virtually the same thing. We’ve tested both and prefer the Wolf Tooth system because it’s easier to install, less expensive ($90 versus $130), and has better lever.
Bottom line if you’re currently using an older Reverb with a push button lever, the Sustain is a major upgrade. The install is a little nerve wracking, but honestly it’s reasonably simple. Riders with RockShox’s newer paddle style shifter will have less reason to upgrade, but ought to consider it if they frequently ride in cold weather or have struggled with reliability issues.
Rating: 5 out of 5
More info: wolftoothcomponents.com