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RockShox Reverb AXS Review

It may be very expensive, but the future is here with this wireless dropper
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RockShox Reverb AXS Review (Catching the sunset while out testing the Reverb AXS.)
Catching the sunset while out testing the Reverb AXS.
Credit: Laura Casner
Price:  $861 List
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Manufacturer:   RockShox
By Jeremy Benson ⋅   ⋅  Apr 2, 2020
83
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 11
  • Smoothness and Functionality - 30% 9.0
  • Remote - 25% 8.5
  • Saddle Clamp - 20% 9.0
  • Ease of Setup - 15% 9.0
  • Weight - 10% 3.0

Our Verdict

The RockShox Reverb AXS is the next step in the evolution of the dropper seatpost. Based on their standard Reverb, RockShox ditched the hydraulic hose and actuation in favor of the super clean AXS wireless system. Without cables or hoses, it couldn't be easier to install or remove, and it makes for a super clean handlebar setup. Its action in both compression and extension was impressively smooth and consistent, plus it has a Vent Valve should it ever develop sag or squishiness over time. The remote is in a class of its own with a large paddle-shaped button that requires minimal force or movement, making adjustments to saddle height incredibly easy. It is (very) expensive, but this post's excellent performance makes it a great option when money is no object. Compare it to top competitors in our review of the best dropper posts.
REASONS TO BUY
No cables
Easy installation
More consistent performance than regular version
Excellent remote
REASONS TO AVOID
Very expensive
You have to remember to charge batteries
Heavier weight
Not compatible with saddlebags

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Bottom Line If you can afford it, this wireless model is one of the best droppers you can buyA high-end dropper post that blends a fantastic feel with some very useful featuresThis simple-to-set-up, cable-actuated dropper is super smooth and has one of the best levers availableA quality dropper post at a decent price that offers killer performance and best-in-class travelA very affordable dropper post that punches well above its price class
Rating Categories RockShox Reverb AXS BikeYoke Revive 2.0 Fox Racing Shox Tra... OneUp Components V3 Tranz-X Kitsuma Air
Smoothness and Functionality (30%)
9.0
9.5
8.0
8.5
7.5
Remote (25%)
8.5
8.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Saddle Clamp (20%)
9.0
5.0
7.5
6.5
5.0
Ease of Setup (15%)
9.0
7.0
6.5
5.5
6.0
Weight (10%)
3.0
7.0
4.0
8.5
5.0
Specs RockShox Reverb AXS BikeYoke Revive 2.0 Fox Racing Shox Tra... OneUp Components V3 Tranz-X Kitsuma Air
Measured Weight (length tested) 768g (170mm) 672g (213mm) 733g (175mm) 612g (240mm) 732g (200mm)
Grams per millimeter of travel 4.5 3 4.2 2,5 3.7
Remote tested AXS 1x remote Bike Yoke Triggy Alpha Fox Racing Shox Transfer Remote OneUp V3 Lever Tranz-X Kitsuma 1x
Positions Infinitely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable
Available Diameters 30.9/31.6/34.9mm 30.9/31.6/34.9 (called Revive Max) 30.9/31.6mm 30 30.9/31.6mm
Available Travel Lengths/Extended Lengths 100/125/150/170mm, 340/390/440/480mm 125/160/185/213mm 100/125/150/175/200mm,
308/363/418/475/531
90/120/150/180/210/240mm, 295, 350, 415, 480, 545, 610mm 150/170/200mm, 455/495/558mm
Drop length tested/Extended length, claimed 170mm/480mm 213mm/582mm 175mm/475mm 240mm/610mm 200mm/558mm
Saddle layback Zero offset zero offset Zero offset zero offset Zero offset
Remote Wireless 1x Bike Yoke Triggy Alpha sold seperately Fox Racing Shox Transfer Remote 1x (comes with standard clamp, MMX, and I-Spec EV mounts), 2x option available OneUp Remote levers are sold separately. Works with any remote that clamps at the remote end. Tranz-X Kitsuma 1x lever
Cable Style N/A Internally routed, cable actuated, hydraulic system Internally routed, cable actuated Internally routed, cable actuated Internally routed, cable actuated
Stack Height/Ride height 64mm compressed, 234mm extended 255mm extended 38mm compressed, 213mm extended 40mm compressed, 270mm extended 55mm compressed, 255mm extended
Included AXS handlebar controller, rechargeable SRAM battry and charger Cable, housing, cable barrel 1 year warranty Cable and housing, cable crimps, ferrulles, and cable end Cable and housing, 2-year warranty
Tested Diameter and travel length. 31.6, 170mm travel 31.6, 213mm travel 31.6, 175mm travel 31.6. 240mm travel 30.9, 200mm travel

Our Analysis and Test Results

SRAM has recently ushered in a new era of mountain bike technology with their AXS wireless shifting and dropper posts. The Reverb has been around for a long time and is one of the more common droppers out on the trail due to its prevalence as an OEM spec on complete bikes. RockShox ditched the finicky hydraulic hose and actuation on this version in favor of their cutting-edge wireless technology. The result is one of the best Reverbs we've ever tested, with outrageously easy installation, an outstanding remote, and very smooth and consistent performance.

Performance Comparison


rockshox reverb axs - while this dropper seatpost may be heavy, the lack of cords makes it...
While this dropper seatpost may be heavy, the lack of cords makes it so easy to install, and it works like a dream.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Smoothness and Functionality


The Reverb AXS impressed our testers with its smoothness and functioned flawlessly throughout our test period. We unboxed it, installed it on our test bike, paired the wireless remote with the post, and off we went. There are no hoses to deal with or cable tension to worry about. Simply press the paddle on the remote, and the dropper drops or extends as expected. It is impressively smooth in its travel both up and down, with only light force needed to compress it.


The Reverb AXS requires less force to compress than older versions of the standard Reverb, but a bit more than some of the competition, which drop like a rock beneath your weight. That said, you don't need to consciously weight the saddle for it to go down. It returns quickly, but not scary fast, and it tops out with an audible thunk. The Reverb AXS is infinitely adjustable, and it can be stopped anywhere within its 170mm of travel. Making micro-adjustments to saddle height was especially easy thanks to the ease of pressing and releasing the remote paddle compared to a cable-actuated system.

It may sound super obvious, but to keep the Reverb AXS functioning, you will eventually need to charge the battery. SRAM claims 40 hours of riding time for the AXS battery, and up to 2 years for the coin cell battery in the remote. Checking the battery charge is as easy as pressing the small button on the side of the seatpost. A green light means close to full, a solid red light is around half, and a blinking red light lets you know that it's getting low and it's time to charge.

rockshox reverb axs - unscrew the cap of the vent valve and release unwanted air from the...
Unscrew the cap of the Vent Valve and release unwanted air from the system. This feature should theoretically keep you out of the shop with your post functioning flawlessly.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

One of the biggest complaints about the original Reverb was its tendency to develop unwanted sag or squishiness. The redesigned internal floating piston (IFP) found in the AXS should theoretically do a better job of keeping the air and oil separated and prevent sag in the first place. In the off chance your post does develop sag, a new Vent Valve has been placed at the bottom of the post that should allow you to bleed the unwanted air out of the system.

rockshox reverb axs - the tilt adjustment at the front of the head makes it really easy to...
The tilt adjustment at the front of the head makes it really easy to fine-tune the angle or adjust it out on a ride.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

We didn't have the chance to test the Reverb AXS on any below freezing rides, but we did leave it sitting outside for an extended period with temperatures right around 35°F. The colder temperature didn't seem to have any impact on the rate of compression or extension, and the dropper worked exactly as it should.

rockshox reverb axs - the single bolt saddle clamp is very easy to use and mount a saddle...
The single bolt saddle clamp is very easy to use and mount a saddle to.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Saddle Clamp


The Reverb AXS has a unique saddle clamp as a result of the electric actuator being mounted at the top of the post. It has a single bolt on the right side of the post that tightens and loosens the rail clamps. Unlike some single bolt seat clamps, the fore/aft tilt of the saddle is controlled by another screw at the front of the post. Attaching a saddle to the top of the Reverb AXS is surprisingly easy and user-friendly, and adjusting the tilt is super simple using the tilt adjustment screw.


During testing, we experienced no issues with the saddle clamp coming loose, nor did it creak or make any noise to speak of. Making on trail micro-adjustments to the tilt of the saddle also proved to be especially quick and easy, thanks to the user-friendly tilt adjustment screw.

rockshox reverb axs - the axs remote is incredible. it has good ergonomics and requires...
The AXS remote is incredible. It has good ergonomics and requires very little force to actuate.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Remote


The remote of the Reverb AXS is unlike any other remote on the market. This is because it doesn't use a cable or hydraulic fluid. Thanks to wireless technology, actuating the AXS system is just like pushing a button. Instead of just a tiny button, RockShox has made a large paddle on the remote that is very easy to find with your thumb. Unlike lever designs that have throw to pull a cable, the AXS remote only needs to move a millimeter or two and requires very little force to depress. The ergonomics are excellent, and hitting the dropper lever has never been easier.


While seemingly a somewhat trivial aspect of the post's performance, the ease of actuating the Reverb AXS is quite revolutionary. Simply tapping a paddle is much easier and requires far less attention than a longer throw lever. Full-length and incremental adjustments are much easier to come by. We never knew what we were missing until we tried it, and now every other lever feels archaic in comparison. It is worth noting, however, that the AXS Remote uses a standard CR2032 coin cell battery, which has a claimed life of two years, but will eventually need to be replaced.

rockshox reverb axs - interestingly, the lack of wires doesn't make the reverb axs any...
Interestingly, the lack of wires doesn't make the Reverb AXS any lighter. This is one of the heaviest posts in the test.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Weight


In the cycling world, the more something costs, the less it typically weighs. In the case of the Reverb AXS, the ultra-premium price is related to its cutting-edge technology and not a reduction of weight. In fact, the AXS is one of the heaviest dropper posts that we've ever tested.


Our 31.6mm diameter 170mm travel test post weighed in at 768 grams, including the post, battery, remote, and handlebar clamp. This comes out to approximately 4.5 grams/millimeter of travel. Interestingly, most of our testers said they would overlook the weight for the performance the Reverb AXS provides.

rockshox reverb axs - with no cables or hoses, the reverb axs is the easiest post to...
With no cables or hoses, the Reverb AXS is the easiest post to install that we've ever used.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Ease of Setup


One of the most significant benefits of the wireless system is the super-easy setup that comes along with not having any cables to deal with. You don't have to fuss with complicated internal cable routing, connecting cables to the remote, or any cables at all. Simply install the seatpost on the frame, clamp the controller on your handlebar, and that's pretty much it.


Ok, so that's not everything, but installing the dropper and remote on the bike is as easy as it gets. To get the Reverb AXS working, you will also need to install the AXS battery on the seatpost and pair the post and controller wirelessly. This is as simple as following the instructions and pressing and holding a button on each. Of course, due to the battery-powered nature of the system, you must also be sure to charge the battery, as it has a claimed life of 40 hours of ride time. It comes with a charger and cable.

rockshox reverb axs - you'll need to remember to charge the battery every once in a while...
You'll need to remember to charge the battery every once in a while, easy enough for the performance this post provides.
Credit: Jeremy Benson

Value


With a retail price that is roughly double that of the most expensive models on the market, it's hard to call the Reverb AXS a good value, but this is not a value purchase. That said, it does bring cutting-edge wireless technology on the market to the table, and this post performs flawlessly and couldn't be easier to install and remove. We feel it represents the best value to the rider who likes the coolest new technology, and for whom price isn't an issue.

Should You Buy the RockShox Reverb AXS?


The Reverb AXS is an outstanding dropper seatpost. Yes, it is really expensive, but RockShox has taken a good product and made it an amazing one by incorporating their AXS wireless technology. It does not appear to have the same issues as the original, and this post performed smoothly, consistently, and flawlessly throughout testing with one of the best remotes we've ever used. Plus, without hoses or cables, it couldn't be easier to install or remove. Sure, it's a touch heavier, and you'll have to charge the batteries occasionally, but if you can justify the expense, we doubt you'll be disappointed.

rockshox reverb axs - the reverb axs is one of the best droppers we've ever tested. we...
The Reverb AXS is one of the best droppers we've ever tested. We doubt you'll be disappointed if you can justify the expense...
Credit: Laura Casner

What Other Dropper Seatposts Should You Consider?


If you're really searching for a bargain, you should check out the Tranz-X Kitsuma Air. It has a more palatable price tag and fairly decent performance. For a lower-weight option without compromising so much on performance, you might consider the BikeYoke Revive 2.0. However, if you're searching for the lowest weight option you can find, the Wolf Tooth Components Resolve is one of the lightest we've ever tested, and it still performs great.

Jeremy Benson