Let’s face it, dropper posts are one of the best, somewhat recent inventions to now become standard on mountain bikes. With over half of the professional World Cup XC field running dropper posts, it's difficult to argue against their value. It improves your ride so much -once you get used to one, that riding rigid posts becomes difficult. I’ll admit, I even have one on my gravel bike. While it's not used much, there have been times I wouldn’t have been able to ride down something with a rigid post. A few months ago Rockshox introduced an updated version of their Reverb dropper post. Now before you go off bashing your old Reverb, each version has gotten so much better.
Finally, the dreaded squish has been addressed with something called the Vent Valve, more on that in a bit. The new design gets the designation of C1, and I'm not totally sure but I know there have been a few “A” and “B” models, so safe to say this is about the 3rd to 5th Reverb model out. There is no getting around the history of issues with some of the older Reverb posts, but I will say I had two of the most recent models on my bikes for six months of normal use without any issues. That means no need to yank up on the post while in the drop mode. ide note, it's not good to grab your bike by the saddle while it's in the dropped position. Grab that top tube.
Other highlights besides the Vent Valve, new lengths are now available. There is a 175mm and 200mm. The 200mm RockShox Reverb is what we had the chance to ride for the last few months. While adding some longer lengths as seat tubes get shorter, Rockshox also managed to remove some overall length from the post both above and below the seat collar. Some internal improvements have also been done, such as a more durable IFP, different oil from Maxxima, new SKF seals that have less friction, and a reduction in force to drop the post while also increasing return speed.
The Reverb is available in three diameter sizes (30.9mm, 31.6mm & 34.9mm) and in five drop lengths (100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm). The new Reverb also comes with the shifter style 1x remote, which features the Bleeding Edge tool. If you have not used or seen the Bleeding Edge tool for this remote, it makes bleeding this line super easy. There is no reason to dread bleeding. Both the remote to hose connection and seat post to hose connection are connected by Rockshox “Connectamajig”, which is basically a special type of hose barb that threads in with a t10 torx bit, and then tightened to each fitting with a 10mm open-end wrench. Cutting and reattaching the hose is also very simple and straightforward.
$399 for post with 1x remote
Post Diameters: 30.9mm, 31.6mm, 34.9mm
Travel: 100mm, 125mm, 150mm, 175mm, 200mm
Post Length: 301mm, 351mm, 414mm, 467mm, 519.5mm
As a mechanic, I have to say that the Vent Valve is probably my favorite feature of the new Reverb C1. This will save you tons of time and frustration. Since the Reverb’s birth years ago, one of the main recurring issues was the dreaded Reverb Squish. Now to give some credit to Rockshox, this is mostly caused by rider error by pulling up on the seat or dropper with the post dropped. This causes air to bypass the IFP seal (while strong and improved over time, it's inevitable) into the oil in the post. By science or physics, or maybe math (magic?), I learned once that air is compressible and oil is not. Therefore, when the air and oil stay separate, your post has no squish. Once the air gets into the oil only area, you now have a squishy post. In order to fix this in the past, you had to take the post all the way apart and rebuild it with fresh oil. A daunting task for most, a normal yet time-consuming task for myself.
How does the Vent Valve work and what does it do? Well, the Vent Valve is located below the seat cradle or guts, whatever you call them. It's the cap you would remove to fill the post, however, included with the C1 post is a red T handle tool. By using that and pushing the tool down on the Vent Valve like a button and then also pressing the remote, you can depress the post to the fully dropped position. By doing this process, you are essentially bleeding the internals of the post and removing any air that has snuck into the oil chamber. Not only does this remove the air and help any squish, but it should also mean less service needed in the long term for the Reverb.
A huge selling point for this post is not only the new longer travel lengths, but the fact that the dropper itself has a shorter overall length, both above and below the seal head collar. The top of the seat post has been shortened making the top stack height a bit lower, as well as the collar itself. The Connectamajig at the bottom has also been reduced significantly. So much so that the new 175mm Reverb post is close to the old 150mm Reverb. And I actually compared the length to a OneUp V2 210mm dropper that I shimmed down to 200mm for this comparison, more on that down further.
If you have installed a Reverb before, this one, in my opinion, is even a bit easier. For this post, I decided to disconnect the hose at the bottom of the seat post. This way the hose stays connected to the remote, it tends to twist the hose once you tighten the hose to the remote, so I try to avoid that. At the bottom of the post, you remove the 13mm open-end wrench fitting and then the hose will pop off from the dropper. Remove the t10 barb from the hose as well, I unscrew this clockwise. Feed the hose through the frame and use the Park Tool cable guides, which are extremely helpful and will prevent a few f**k’s from coming out.
Once through, cut the hose to the desired length with a hydraulic cable cutter and thread in the barb. When threading in the barb, be careful not to pinch the sheath (inner white part of the housing). Thread in the barb smoothly, reconnect the 13mm nut back to the post and bring it up to torque.
I won't go too deep into the bleeding process because there are tons of good videos on that. Pretty much, I push some fluid up from the post into a syringe and the lever with the Bleeding Edge tool. Once about 5-10cc of fluid has been pushed through, I cap the bleed port at the seat post. I pull the housing through the frame and put the post into the frame and set the desired saddle height. Then I attach the remote to the handlebar and continue to bleed the remote according to the SRAM/RockShox bleeding video.
Once all this is done, you can adjust the speed of the post. Rockshox says they not only decreased the pressure needed to drop the seat post but also increased the speed to get the post to fully extend.
Well, a dropper post’s job is pretty simple and the main thing we all want out of this product is for the post to extend and drop when we want it. I can say after riding this post for a few months, it did what I needed it to. The easier actuation is a nice feature, but what is even nicer is the ability to have 200mm of drop! Over the last 4 or so years, I went from XC racer with a rigid post to now having eight inches of dropper post-travel. I didn't think I knew what I was missing as dropper posts are amazing and the more drop the better right? Well, maybe not all the time. I think a 150mm-175mm post is enough for most of the riding I do. Having that extra drop is mostly noticed on steep trails, but even more so on jumps. Nothing is worse than an unexpected hit from your seat on your butt or leg when going off the face of a jump.
The 200mm drop gets the seat low enough for these situations and the faster speed of the post-return to full extension is a great improvement as well. I like the faster speed of the post now. It’s not fast enough or powerful enough to smack ya where you don’t want it, but fast enough that once the remote is pushed you know the post will be at full extension when you need it.
After all the time I have on the post with real-world riding, I didn't have the need for the Vent Valve, and while I wanted to try it, I don't think it's a negative that I didn't have to use it. That means the post is reliable and works as intended. But for review purposes, I ended up doing what you are not supposed to do, and I yanked up on the seat with the seat post fully dropped. It took a few tries with a couple of hard jerks up and down but I got a little bit a squish. Time to use the Vent Valve. Popping the seat and guts off the post I was able to push the Vent Valve, hit the remote, and drop the post all the way. Once I extended the post again to the top out position, the squish was gone. Boom! Vent Valve works.
For the sake of this comparison, I'm going to compare this post to the OneUp v2 dropper post in the 210mm version, but shimmed down to 200mm. As you can see in the photos, the overall length of these posts is very similar, pretty damn good since OneUp is considered to have the shortest overall length to drop ratio on the market.
Weights are close as well. The OneUp has a claimed weight of 590g while the Reverb without the remote is about 650g. So it's a little heavier but also has a feature that the OneUp doesn’t with the Vent Valve. A sacrifice I am willing to make to ensure proper post functionality.
The overall performance of these two posts is very similar. The pressure needed to drop the posts are close to the same, but I will say the Reverb had a bit smoother action to it and a faster, slightly more controlled extension as well.
The Rockshox Reverb dropper post is possibly one of the most classic dropper posts on the market, in what might be it's 5th iteration and the best one yet. After not having the best history out there, the introduction of the Vent Valve has proven to help mitigate one of the major issues, the seat post sag. With more travel options including the 175mm and the tested 200mm version and the shorter overall length including from the collar to rails and the collar down to the hose connection, the Reverb only continues to get better. After a few months of testing, I can say the Rockshox Reverb C1 has some great updates, was reliable for my riding, and the Vent Valve eases the mind of any future issues.