Rock Shox Reba Team: Out Of The Box

Twenty Nine Inches has recieved a Rock Shox Reba Team fork to test. This has been a highly anticipated product ever since word got out about it earlier this year. With the promise of a stiffer chassis, longer travel, and a through axle style drop out, the Reba looked to be a killer new update of the first generation classic. With a promise of a weight just north of the original for all of that, it seemed to good too be true. Well, now that the fork is finally available, just what can we all look forward to.

Reba Team

Well, let’s first take a look at all the features unique to the Reba Team.
* All new chassis for all models
* Maxle Lite 20mm X 110 OD
* Power Bulges (All Models)
* New Black Box Motion Control (Team Model Only)
* New Dual Air System (All Models)
* Post disc brake mounts on all models
* Travel increased to 120mm
* Hollow crown on all models
* Detented controls on Team model
So just what does all this mean? Let’s take a closer look……
Reba logo
Hollow crown

The fork is a complete redesign. Most notable is the new “Power Bulges” that add stifness, durability, and consistency to the chassis. Also notable are the post mount type disc brake mounts on the left lower. The crown is now a hollow affair forged of a proprietary AL66 TV material. This supposedly lowers the weight while increasing stiffness and adding strength. Whoa! Sounds like a tall order, but materials technology is getting even better it would appear. The uppers are 32mm with straight wall aluminum tubes that are anodized with a low friction finish.

Maxle Lite
Hollowed out lowers
Sticker

All Rebas get new dampers for 2009, but only the Team model gets the Black Box Motion Control damper. This dampr is based upon the foundation of the original Motion Control damper. It features a titanium spring tube as well as Dual Flow compression and rebound. The external controls are detented for ease of making adjustments. Our example also sports the handle bar mounted remote that features the new “Nip-Tuck” spool that hides excess cable for a cleaner look.

Furthermore, Rock Shox says it has “significantly revamped” the Dual Air system yielding reductions in friction and an improved linear spring rate. Otherwise it is similar to the first generation Reba in that you can adjust the positive and negative air chambers to suit your riding style and weight.

We will be mounting our test sample shortly and fitting our Hope Pro II hubbed, Salsa Gordo rimmed wheel set to it as soon as we procure the special end caps for the front hub. This example of the Reba Team weighs 4.05lbs including the Maxle Lite and as mentioned, has the handle bar mounted remote. Look for a “First Impressions” post soon!

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No Responses to “Rock Shox Reba Team: Out Of The Box”

  1. Ed Says:

    G.T.,

    I recently got a team model (no maxle). I find the rebound knob is difficult to turn — but I can feel 10 detents . The compression knob with the detents feels fine — that is a welcome addition. I also find that more pressure is needed than my 08′ model and the sag is still too much. It also appears that I am getting some bushing stickiness — hopefully that will go away with some time. My fork was a 100mm model that was modified to 80mm. I will be interested in your review. Mine is on a 08 stumpjumper and after one ride I find that the increased offset really makes the bike handle better.

    Ed

  2. mg Says:

    I bet that bushing stickiness will indeed smooth out over time. I think Rock Shox learned, as most manufacturers did, that bushings that feel “just right” out of the box very quickly feel clapped out on the trail. From a long-term durability perspective, it’s much better to deal with a little stickiness up-front than to have a fork that requires a complete rebuild six months in. That’s how I see it, anyway…

    Good to hear you’re able to discern the offset change though. That’s rad!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I have over 2 months on mine & that stickiness is still easily detected.

  4. mg Says:

    good feedback… i’ll keep hoping it’ll break in on your behalf. thanks for giving us your perspective though. that first-hand experience is something i don’t have with the new fork yet.

  5. Ed Says:

    Anonymous,

    What travel does your fork have? I ask because mine was 100mm factory and converted to 80mm by the bike shop. With the fork air’ed up and more pressure in the positive than negative, the fork only shows 74mm of stanchion. Now I can pull the fork up to its bump stop and I get 77mm of exposed stanchion. If I take out all of the negative air I get about 84mm of exposed travel. I ask because I felt my 08′ showed more travel when air’ed up with more positive pressure than negative. Also, how hard is it to turn your rebound knob.

  6. Guitarinstructor Says:

    Rock Shox is really rocking. And it’s unique style & smoothness will definitely rock!

  7. jncarpenter (anonymous) Says:

    I didn’t notice it posted as “anonymous”…Ed, my fork is a 120mm version. I too experienced similar symptoms that you describe & have noticed that I barely can get 120mm of exposed stanchions if I fully extend the lowers by hand.

    Because I had an early release, I didn’t have the extensions for the shrader valve & rebound knob…so I just removed the red knob & have been using a 2.5mm hex wrench. Perhaps you could do the same & see if you can work it some to move more freely. Mine did feel stiff initially, but it certainly wasn’t a huge issue and soon began to feel as it should.

    Overall, a good xc fork…likely the best 29” offering to date from anyone. However, I am looking forward to seeing what PUSH can do to improve the overall feel of this damper.

  8. Guitar Ted Says:

    Ed: I concur on the rebound knob. Hurts the fingers to turn it.

    I should have the parts here any day now to get the hub converted that I have and I will report on the fork after a couple of rides. Stay tuned………

  9. mg Says:

    I’ll look forward to your report GT, because JNC’s assertion that it’s “likely the best 29″ offering to date from anyone” is one that I have a hard time believing after hearing Butcher gush about the performance of his Fox F120 on his Big Mama all the time when I talk to him on the phone. I wish I had an unlimited budget so I could get one of each and test ’em head-to-head… put the issue to rest once and for all, but then the questions would just be put to rest for me. You’d all still doubt the accuracy of my results… Of that I have no doubt.

    What I do know is that the old Reba never impressed me with its sensitivity over bumps, but is at least reliable and durable, and it works OK. My silver one from late-2005 is still kickin’ the original bushings, believe it or not. I run it in a semi-bath of Mobil-1 synthetic motor oil, which likely helps on the stiction and durability fronts, because it’s been beaten mercilessly. You can see that the bushings need to be replaced soon though… I’ve replaced the damper oil and all the O-rings a couple of times over its lifetime, so it’s not like the fork’s been totally maintenance-free, but for the amount of use it’s seen, it’s been more than reliable enough.

    My

  10. Dirt McGirt Says:

    Mg, how torqued down do you have your rebound dampening? I found that if I had mine set too slow, it would stick like crazy. Kind of a weird feel for rebound but it’s a fairly normal feel for some rebound dampening systems.

  11. mg Says:

    I actually run the rebound pretty quick relative to many people. Just slowed down enough to keep it composed after a hard hit, but no faster. I definitely know what it feels like when the fork packs down over successive bumps from too much rebound damping. I’ve been all over the board with the setup on my fork — it’s just that the fork is overall uninspired in the performance it offers, and that’s an opinion that I’m not alone in having. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not great. I’m still waiting to feel great from a 29er fork.

    That said, I haven’t been fortunate enough to spend a considerable amount of time on one of Fox’s forks yet. I just don’t have the coin to throw at one right now, and since I already have three suspension forks in my quiver, I don’t necessarily need a new fork currently. I’d certainly like to have a new fork, but need??? That’s a different deal entirely… Now that I’m a bit older and more frugal, I’m learning the difference…

  12. Dirt McGirt Says:

    I guess I’m at a loss. My Reba has been the nicest fork I’ve ever had. And I started with the 1st Marzocchi in 1992…. You know the one, the one with the speed holes drilled in the very bottom of the lowers… yeah!

  13. Guitar Ted Says:

    Dirt: ’92 Marz? The one made with “Drillium”, right? 😉

  14. rl Says:

    I’m about to pull the pin and purchase a Team, but the big question is how well will they work for a clydesdale in the 260lb range? I’m planning on using Gordo rims and Hope Pro II hubs as I want as little flex as possible – are the Rebas up to the task?

  15. Guitar Ted Says:

    rl: My initial feeling on this is yes. I believe it is definitely stiffer than the old Reba was, and is at least on par with the Manitou/Fox forks. Is it better than those? Maybe. I have not had enough riding time to ferret that out as of yet.

    For what it is worth, I am riding the same combo you are looking at: Hope Pro II’s (20mm thru axle) Gordo rims and this Team fork.

  16. rl Says:

    Thanks, I’m looking forward to reading the update! Note that your good review of the Gordo’s is the main reason why I’m looking at them. Keep up the great work!

  17. mcgovski Says:

    Is the fork offset, or rake any different from ’08 to ’09?
    I have an ’08 on a Kona Kula 29 and it is freaky when the fork is loaded into a turn…real twitchy. I thought more rake (increased trail) would solve that fealing…??? Besides that, I am loving the bike and the fork

  18. Guitar Ted Says:

    mcgovski: Yes, the offset has increased from 38mm to 46mm. This won’t help your problem though. It will worsen it. I suggest that you might want to go to a longer travel fork in the Rock Shox which would slacken your head angle a bit, or dial in more Floodgate/ compression damping. That feeling is frightening, but you should be able to tune that out with some tweaks.

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