Why so few of you have faith in our RockShox Reverb long-term test
A long-term test review that we published yesterday sparked such a flurry of comments regarding our experiences with the RockShox Reverb Stealth dropper post that we feel compelled to take a stand. As always, your feedback is always welcome – whether it’s positive or negative – and we’re always stoked to be able to swap opinions. While we respect each and every single person’s perspective, certain sweeping statements do hurt, especially when you consider that we’re pooling a team of over 20 people from across the globe, each giving their utmost to deliver first-rate content for free on a daily basis. This is why we’d like to break down our conclusions from the test, laying out all the cards and testifying to the RockShox Reverb’s unblemished long-term test performance on more than 15 bikes.
For those who doubted our conclusion, we admit there were a few easy-to-target arguments:
It’s all paid for!
Yes, SRAM do advertise with us, but this situation does not detract in any way from our promise of delivering objective test reviews. We are fully committed to the principle that a decent magazine treasures honest and valuable relationships with its readers and the industry as well as keeping its focus on transparency and fairness. This is why we produce such articles. This is why we are keen to invite readers to our offices for a ride and a chat. If we were just going to sugar-coat everything to please our advertisers, what kind of authenticity could we claim? None. Exactly. A worthy magazine takes a clear stance, and looks objectively and critically, taking stock of situations honestly and reflecting on their findings. Occasionally this can result in the ‘uncool’ brands bringing out products that stun us and we’ll happily tell you about those – likewise, as in this case, it could be a product that previously had dragged a ton of problems with it, but its latest model now works flawlessly.
Once there are issues, there are always issues
We all admit that the Reverb (just like pretty much every dropper post) went through some teething problems in its early days. Had these not been tackled, then there’d be a team of very bored thumb-twiddling engineers in Colorado Springs – but, as you’d expect, these have been dealt with and those guys have been kept on their toes.
Certain technical issues that had plagued our long-term testers over the past few years did not raise their head in the current round of testing. Such progress can be traced back to the constant improvements being made to products from SRAM/RockShox, as Frank Ripper, SRAM PR Coordinator MTB – Europe agreed in our telephone chat: “Any defect which can’t be put down to an operating issue is passed on to our engineers, who then do all that is in their power to find the root of the problem. Improvements are then introduced to the current production cycle and fed into our manufacturing process.
You don’t test production products
From time to time we read things like: “you must have been given a different product to test than the ones we buy as the production model.” This statement is certainly null and void when it comes to putting components on long-term test. There are two reasons for this: firstly, the test products don’t come directly from manufacturers, instead they’re production parts that are built onto a test bike; and secondly, we’re testing more than just one product. In the case of the RockShox Reverb, over 15 different bikes were fitted with this piece of kit, and they’ve all ridden way over 1,500 kilometres, boasting an accumulated total of more than 22,500 kilometres of exhaustive testing.
A product can only work as well as it’s used, understood and serviced. With dropper posts, defects and issues can be traced back to so many sources; think about the exposed remote lever, occasionally complicated internally-routed cables and careless usage.
In the case of the RockShox Reverb, there are certain scenarios that could impact on the durability and performance of the post. Here’s an overview of the most common errors:
Hanging the bike by the saddle when the post is in the dropped position
Hanging the bike by the saddle when the post is in the dropped position will result in compressing the inside of the hydraulic system, which can damage the seals and draw air into the system.
When the post is fitted the cable gets bent
When dropping the post into the frame, take care to draw through the cable carefully so that it doesn’t bend and potentially impact on its performance.
Seat clamp too tight
If the seat clamp is closed too tightly, the clamping can result in a jarring or slow extension of the post.
If the post decides it doesn’t want to move, or just starts to sag of its own accord, then the system is asking for a re-bleed. HERE’s a guide on what to do, and we’ll soon publish our own how-to as well here at ENDURO.
Tarring them all with the same brush
No matter how much work is put into a product, the odd problem case will most likely occur. Often these negative nuggets of news spread far quicker than the satisfying news stories that countless others experience with a product. According to our readers’ survey, the Reverb is by far the best and most widespread dropper post, with more than 60% of our readers declaring it the best dropper post on the market. Conversely, a defect rate of just 1% in absolute terms (and therefore unhappy voices) represents a far bigger number than if you’re considering a less well-known and well-used dropper post.
All in all, we stand wholly behind our test review and happily admit that we’ve been positively taken aback by how well the RockShox Reverb has performed – particularly when compared to last year. The comments and disparaging remarks have prompted us to provide some extra background information in the form of this statement, including comments that had been omitted from the original not by oversight but purely because we believe in delivering succinct, short and sweet test reviews. Once you’ve nailed the skill of capturing the crux of the article in just a few sentences, there’s need for pages upon pages of waffle. Thinking of the Reverb, we can only say that RockShox have continued to improve the ever popular Reverb, which doesn’t just satisfy us with how well it works, but also its reliability – in our eyes, a serious contender.
Words: Robin Schmitt/Christoph Bayer | Pictures: Christoph Bayer/Trevor Worsey/Marked Mediahouse