Here's some details on my 2019 Reba RL:
- 120mm travel version;
- non-boost (100 x 15mm axle);
- weight: 1710g with uncut steerer, no volume spacers installed and Maxle;
- weight as installed: 1623g (cut steerer, 2 volume spacers, 20ml splash lube in lowers, hardlite thru axle);
Is the Rockshox Reba RL 2019 the poor man's non-boost SID?
In 2017 Rockshox revised the SID platform and made it 100mm only whereas in the past the SID B platform allowed a 120mm configuration. It was no surprise then when in 2019 Rockshox released a 120mm SID again but it is a boost only fork. For those of us that have a variety of non-boost wheels and hubs and who don't feel the need for the 6% stiffness increase this means we still can't buy a 120mm SID.
In an effort to solve this problem I recently bought a 2019 Reba RL just after they were released with a view to seeing if the chassis could be used to build a lightweight SID-like cross country fork with 120mm of travel.
The Reba is now available in a variety of travel lengths from 80 to 150mm. The forks with 130-150mm travel seem to be based of the old Revelation platform and are heavier. The 120mm non-boost fork seems to use the older SID/Reba lowers but with crowns that seem to be beefier than the SID B crowns. This is good news for those of us that want a lightweight but stiff fork.
What's the stock damper like?
In a word - crap. It's the age-old Moco type damper with the plastic spring tube and the lockout knob that opens and closes a bypass port at the bottom of the damper. Not a shim to be seen in the compression circuit.
The good news is that the rebound circuit is actually shimmed, the bad news is that its not particularly well done. It uses a cheapo plastic rebound piston with a couple of rebound shims in the circuit and a checkplate on the other side. The rebound shims and piston are held on with a crappy steel nut which actually forms the clamp for the rebound stack. This is cost-cutting at its worse. The net effect is that I couldn't get the fork rebounding enough until I replaced with the clamp with a proper nut off the SID rebound damper. This has a much smaller diameter and will allow a greater range of tuning potential on the rebound circuit. I'm still playing around with actual shim configuration but at least this means I'm not fighting a huge diameter clamp.
The following pic shows the difference between the old SID B (pre-DIG valve) rebound stack and the 2019 Reba RL stack. The SID B piston/stack is on top and the 2019 Reba RL piston and stack is on the bottom:
What are the damper upgrade options?
There are a few upgrades possible:
- RCT3 damper for SID B forks - this is what I'm currently running with a modified rebound damper using the existing piston and shims but with the SID B clamp/retaining nut;
- "newer" 2014+ RCT3 damper and DIG valve rebound rod; or
- Charger2 RLC damper in either remote (SRAM part# 00.4018.783.011) or crown adjust (SRAM part# 00.4018.783.003) versions.
NOTE: these upgrade options only apply to the 120mm version 2019 Rebas. The longer travel version Rebas will NOT be compatible with the Charger2 SID damper upgrade (and probably not compatible with the RCT3 / DIG valve upgrades either).
How does the fork come from the factory?
From the factory:
- the damper oil levels were correct;
- air piston had the normal/proper amount of grease on it; and
- main seals were well greased.
From the factory:
- there was almost no splash lube in the lowers (not enough to even run out when I dropped the lowers); and
- the foam rings under the seals were dry.
The lack of splash lube and properly lubricated foam rings made the fork feel noticeably less plush. Not only does this significantly add to stiction, the foam rings serve a dual purpose of keeping the stanchions lubed and providing a barrier to entry of contamination into the bushings and lowers of the fork. Had I kept riding this fork, it is highly likely that the stanchions would have started prematurely wearing.
It is well worth giving your fork a dismantle and initial service before riding it too much to make sure