When in search of a XC fork, you probably are very careful to details such as product quality, functionality, materials and obviously, weight. Comfortably placed one step behind high-end Rock Shox SID, the Reba RL offers an interesting package of performance and price. How this fork really works and whether it is worth paying around 400 euro for Reba RL, these are two answers we shall find together in this article.
The Dual Air technology which can be found on our Reba features two air chambers which have to be properly adjusted when you are setting the fork. Two air valves allow you to do this, as they are placed one on top and the other on the bottom of the left fork’s arm. As the positive chamber is responsible for the compression of the fork you’ll have to follow the indications presented on the fork. The negative chamber must be initially inflated at the same pressure as the positive one, by increasing pressure for a higher sensitivity on smaller bumps (if you are searching for comfort) or by decreasing it for tracks with bigger bumps, in case you need a more firm response from the fork.
Anyway, it seems Rock Shox will abandon this technology for its 2013 forks not only for a simpler fork’s setup but also to lose some weight. As a result the Solo-Air system will only use one valve to set both chambers, negative or positive.
Coming back to the 2012 Reba RL, this offers supplementary control over compression too, thanks to the Motion Control function. This is connected to an aluminum made PushLoc command and a mounting clamp very easy to use. The rider can lock the fork at anytime, when going uphill or while riding on asphalt and yet the fork still reacts when passing over big bumps.
This fork damps the shocks on the track same as any Rock Shox in this price range does. The bike remains controllable under any circumstance, even when jumping over bigger obstacles. Also, there was no sign of bottom out on our 30 km test track. With a medium sized rotor, 180 mm in our case, the fork never seemed to flex, always remaining firm, no matter how hard I pushed the brakes.
The 32 mm stanchions are aluminum made while the low arms come directly from Rock Shox SID, and this can only mean one thing: low weight! In fact, Reba RL weights 1519 grams only.
I can conclude that only the most pretentious riders won’t be satisfied with Reba RL. In terms of refinement it simply blows away 2012 Fox Float Evolution while also being lighter, offering more adjustments not to mention that it is also cheaper. Its price is very fair and you should keep in mind that if you search you’ll find it sold under a lot of attractive discounts.
Weight: 1.519 grams