Runner Up: RockShox Reverb Stealth
When it was first launched five years ago, the RockShox Reverb redefined the dropper post category. The Godfather of the group, and the only post to use hydraulic actuation, the Reverb Stealth offers infinite adjustment with a silky smooth stroke and no need to maintain cables. The Reverb Stealth is available in a variety of travel lengths and diameters (100/125/150 mm and 30.9/31.6/34.9 mm respectively), and has dominated the OEM market.
Due to its hydraulic operation, the Reverb is one of the more complex posts to install, but if you have experience of bleeding brakes it’s very familiar, and a bleed kit and fluid is supplied with the post. Once installed, the post can be removed a couple of times if required using the new ‘Connectamajig’ quick-release connector, but shortening hoses will still require the post to be bled. The Reverb remote is very well-designed; aligned directly at the rider, the thumb plunger is quick and intuitive to use. The use of hydraulic fluid make adjustments light and very precise, with a return speed that can be adjusted quickly via a barrel adjuster. Remotes are available for either left or right use, and we would always recommend running the right remote upside down under the bar on the left to keep it out of harm’s way. For those using SRAM brakes, the remote can be integrated into the brake lever clamp to keep the bar uncluttered.
In use, the Reverb Stealth is by far the smoothest in the group, allowing precise tuning of the ride height. Once fitted, while it does not suffer any cable maintenance issues, it does need occasional bleeding for best performance. Misuse, such as regularly lifting by the seat when the post is in the down position, can introduce air into the fluid, and we found after a full season of use a quick bleed was needed. (Editor’s note: RockShox have just announced a new model which has an improved internal seal to address this problem, with a faster return speed and a new 170 mm drop option).
Price: € 495 | Weight: 621 g | More info: sram.com
+ Super-smooth action
+ Infinite adjustment
– Needs careful handling
– More involved maintenance