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RockShox Reverb AXS Review

It may be very expensive, but the future is here with this wireless dropper
RockShox Reverb AXS
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $800 List | $800.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  No cables, easy installation, more consistent performance than regular version, excellent remote
Cons:  Very expensive, you have to remember to charge batteries, heavier weight, not compatible with saddlebags
Manufacturer:   RockShox
By Jeremy Benson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 2, 2020
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89
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 12
  • Smoothness and Functionality - 30% 9
  • Saddle Clamp - 20% 9
  • Remote - 25% 10
  • Ease of Setup - 15% 10
  • Weight - 10% 4

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 easier than the competition. It is (very) expensive, but this post's excellent performance earned it our Top Pick When Money is No Object.

Compare to Similar Products

 
RockShox Reverb AXS
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $800.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$315.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$294.00 at Amazon$199.50 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$199.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros No cables, easy installation, more consistent performance than regular version, excellent remoteInfinite travel, smooth action, triggy remote, revive reset valveshort stack height, easy setup, great leverAffordable, very short stack and extended length, adjustable travel with shims, lightweightAffordable, highly-adjustable, lightweight
Cons Very expensive, you have to remember to charge batteries, heavier weight, not compatible with saddlebagsLonger extended length, expensiveLever sold separately, above average weightRemote lever sold separatelyFirm lever feel, average stack height
Bottom Line If you can afford it, this wireless model is one of the best droppers you can buyThis small German component manufacturer is making one of the best dropper seatposts on the market todayThis simple-to-set-up, cable-actuated dropper is super smooth and has one of the best levers availableIf you're looking to get the most drop possible, this affordable dropper can helpOne of the best dropper post values on the market with plenty of adjustability
Rating Categories RockShox Reverb AXS Bike Yoke Revive Transfer Performance Elite OneUp Components V2 PNW Components Loam Dropper
Smoothness And Functionality (30%)
9
10
9
9
8
Saddle Clamp (20%)
9
8
9
8
8
Remote (25%)
10
9
9
8
8
Ease Of Setup (15%)
10
7
8
8
8
Weight (10%)
4
10
7
10
9
Specs RockShox Reverb AXS Bike Yoke Revive Transfer... OneUp Components V2 PNW Components...
Measured Weight (length tested) 768g (170mm) (Post, battery, remote, and bar clamp) 684g (185mm) 733g (175mm) 662g (180mm) 640g (170mm)
Grams per millimeter of travel 4.5 3.7 4.2 3.7 3.8
Remote tested AXS 1x remote Triggy 1x Fox Racing Shox Transfer Remote OneUp 1x PNW Loam Lever
Positions Infinitely Adjustable Infintely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable Infinitely Adjustable
Available Diameters 30.9/31.6/34.9mm 30.9/31.6/34.9mm 30.9/31.6mm 30.9/31.6/34.9mm 30.9/31.6/34.9mm
Available Travel Lengths/Extended Lengths (mm) 100/125/150/170mm, 340/390/440/480mm 125/160/185mm, 396.2/466.2/516.2mm 100/125/150/175/200mm,
308/363/418/475/531
120/150/180/210mm, 360/420/480/540mm 125/150/170/200mm, 385/440/480/540mm
Drop length tested/Extended length, claimed 170mm/480mm 185mm/516.2mm(484.8mm not counting the actuator at bottom) 175mm/475 180mm/480mm + 16mm actuator 170mm/480mm
Saddle layback Zero offset Zero offset Zero offset Zero offset Zero Offset
Remote Wireless 1x Triggy 1x remote lever(2x, 1x I-Spec B, 1x I-Spec II also available) Fox Racing Shox Transfer Remote 1x (comes with standard clamp, MMX, and I-Spec EV mounts), 2x option available Not included. 1x, SRAM Matchmaker X, Shimano I-Spec EV or I-Spec II available for $49 PNW Loam Lever sold separately (SRAM MMX, Shimano I-spec II and I-spec EV, and standard 22.2mm clamp available
Cable Style N/A Internally routed, cable actuated Internally routed, cable actuated Internally routed, cable actuated Internally routed, cable actuated
Stack Height/Ride height 64mm compressed, 234mm extended 42mm compressed, 226.7mm extended 38mm compressed, 213mm extended 33mm compressed, 213mm extended 50mm compressed, 220mm extended(claimed)
Included AXS handlebar controller, rechargeable SRAM battry and charger cable and housing, Triggy remote, Air valve adapter, Quick Reset lever 1 year warranty Travel adjustment shims, 2-year warranty Lifetime warranty to original owner
Tested Diameter and travel length. 31.6, 170mm travel 31.6, 185mm travel 31.6/175mm travel 31.6, 180mm travel 31.6, 170mm 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 the best Reverb we've ever tested, with outrageously easy installation, an outstanding remote, and very smooth and consistent performance. It's expensive to travel to the future, however, which is why the Reverb AXS earns our Top Pick When Money is No Object.

Performance Comparison


Catching the sunset while out testing the Reverb AXS.
Catching the sunset while out testing the Reverb AXS.
Photo: Laura Casner

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.

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.
Photo: Jeremy Benson

One of the biggest complaints about the original Reverb was its tendency to develop unwanted sag or squishiness. Recent updates to the standard Reverb and the new AXS version have tried to address this problem. A redesigned internal floating piston (IFP), 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. This is quite similar to the Revive valve found on the Bike Yoke Revive.

The other primary complaint about the Reverb is that cold temperatures impacted its performance. 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-degrees 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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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.

The AXS remote is incredible. It has good ergonomics and requires...
The AXS remote is incredible. It has good ergonomics and requires the least force to actuate of any remote we've tested.
Photo: 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 hs a claimed life of two years, but will eventually need to be replaced.

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 the heaviest post in the test.
Photo: 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 version of the Reverb is the heaviest dropper post 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.


For comparison, the Reverb Stealth in a 175mm length weighs 685-grams, 83-grams lighter than the AXS. That's a relatively significant weight penalty, especially when you consider the roughly $400 price difference between the two posts. Interestingly, most of our testers said they would overlook the weight for the performance the Reverb AXS provides.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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. Bear in mind, you can buy three of our Best Buy Award winner for approximately the same price as the AXS and probably never notice the performance difference. 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.

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...
Photo: Laura Casner

Conclusion


The Reverb AXS is an outstanding new dropper seatpost and our Top Pick When Money is No Object. 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.

Other Version and Accessories


The Reverb AXS is available in 4 drop lengths, 100, 125, 150, and 170mm, and 3 diameters, 30.9, 31.6, and 34.9mm.

The Reverb AXS controller is also sold separately for $200. The AXS battery is also sold separately for $55, as is the charger for $45.

Jeremy Benson