Strengths: Price, I paid $325 for a used one here on MTBR in near new condition (knob lockout), then found an amazing deal on Speedgoat for a new one for $349, free shipping (remote lockout)!
Easy to adjust/dial in, easy and relatively cheap to get serviced, and they work.
Weaknesses: Seems like the lockout slowly stops working after a while. I locked out one of mine to get use to riding with a rigid fork, the fork still had a slight give to it (normal), but then it had a bit more, then a bit more...till eventually there was no lockout. Paid $20 for shipping to have the fork fixed (under warranty) and now it works fine.
I have two of these forks (2011 Reba RL's), one on my Niner One 9 and one on a SIR 9 for the past year with only the one lockout problem. I have had two 26" Reba's on older bikes and they lasted for years, with service about every 12-18 months (seal replacement...). Are they better than FOX forks? Probably not, but no worse in my opinion. I have seen both have problems and I have heard owners of both swear by them, so I would get what is cheaper or looks the best on your bike....for me, that was the white Reba RL's. ;)
Weaknesses: Maybe too plush - bobs excessively when trying to hammering (up a hill, sprinting, or simply trying to accelerate fast)
This is the plushest fork I've ever been on. It feels like the compliance that my tires gives me, just extended another 100mm! Just wish the rear had suspension like this to match, but it's a hardtail. Might be a bit too plush. This needs a remote lockout or something like Terralogic to make it perfect.
Feel no less stiff than the Fox F29 and a huge improvement in stiffness and plushness over the '07 Reba. Still is the "weakest link" in flexiness when twisting my front end, but good enough for how I ride and what trails I ride on my hardtail.
I usually just run it full open or lockout and relatively light rebound damping (I run low psi since I'm only 140 lbs) since the damper makes a somewhat annoying sound.
Also, I prefer the QR style dropouts on this Reba over the forward facing drop outs on the Fox.
This review concerns the Reba RL 29er.
Absolutly loving this fork! Dual air is a breeze to adjust, MoCo damper is lightyears better than old RS dampers and the stiffness is plenty even with 29" wheels and using a DT Swiss RWS skewer.
Do yourself a favor and get an older thumb shifter for the lockout. Instead of On/Off, it can be tuned in combination with the FloodGate to infinite combinations. Way cheaper than RS lockout!
I am able to tune the fork to be nice and supple in the begining, with a nice progressive ramp-up towards the end. Take your time playing with the MoCo & Floodgate adjustments. This fork is highly tuneable.
Rockshox has come a long way since being purchased by Sram and the improvements are very noticeable. I've never been impressed with RS in the past, but they have stepped up their game.
I own all 4 major manufacturers forks on diff bikes & couldn't be happier with the Reba on my Monkey.
Strengths: Excellent build quality, great dumper system, lightweight (1600g, only 100-150g more than SID but cheaper alot), ruff terrain and technical XC is not problem for this fork. I also didn't notice any flexing while braking or turning in corners, very reliable
One of the best forks for money. It behaves like other dual air forks, very smooth over technical terrain. No problem with it after lots of kilometers, and air is held tight. I'm very happy with it
a Cross Country Rider
from Virginia, USA
Date Reviewed: April 23, 2011
Strengths: Sold by good people who were mortified that this garbage fork
Weaknesses: Faulty Manufacturing
THIS FORK AND ROCKSHOX ARE GARBAGE! I trimmed out the positive and negative air chambers before my first ride and carefully read the manual for possible break-in requirements (found none). I rode 30 minutes and the fork bottomed out and would not hold air. I brought it back to my very embarrassed LBS. They sent it back to rockshox immediately and ten days later I'm still without a bike because rockshox is taking their sweet time doing warranty work. No apologies, no updates, just terrible lag time after spending pretty good money on a presumably higher end product. Garbage company. Garbage fork. I'll be getting a fox racing shock as a replacement.
Similar Products Used: Dart-II. Marzocchi and Fox Racing products.
Bike Setup: 2011 Gary Fisher X-Cal
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 7, 2011
Strengths: Smooth and reliable. Makes light work of even heavy duty XC riding.
Weaknesses: None so far.
These forks came on the bike but I would happily change them like for like when the time comes. After riding other bikes with alternative forks I can't rate these forks enough. Very confidence inspiring.