RockShox certainly weren't the first to the telescoping seatpost game but their debut offering proves that sometimes it's better to be great than early. After four months of solid testing on a production Reverb, it's clear this is one of the very best options on the market.
Total adjustment range is a generous 125mm (4.92in) in infinitely stepless increments, all controlled by a slick push-button hydraulic remote that falls naturally at your thumb and cleanly integrates into Avid's latest brake designs (a separate standalone remote is available for non-Avid users).
In addition to being lighter than equivalent cable-actuated remotes, RockShox's hydraulic setup boasts the distinct advantage of being fully sealed, meaning there's virtually no maintenance required after the initial line trimming and rebleed, and no susceptibility to mud or water contamination.
Motion of the post is silky smooth, with no notchiness or hesitation – depress the remote plunger and sink your weight onto the saddle and it faithfully drops down each time, every time. Come time to pedal again, hit the plunger again and the Reverb not only springs back to life but does so with tunable return speed thanks to the tool-free adjustable bleed port on the remote.
Durability has proven to be excellent, too. Our test post started out virtually slop-free (both in terms of rotational and fore-aft movement) and has stayed that way. Credit goes in part to the trio of low-friction brass – not plastic – keys embedded beneath the threaded collar but also to the coated aluminum upper bushing and tight-fitting seal that has faithfully kept contaminants at bay.
RockShox say the seal design is borrowed from their suspension forks, with triple lips and coil springs wrapped around both top and bottom, and it appears to be working – even dried and tightly caked-on mud is sheared cleanly off, leaving only the slick anodized finish behind. If the seal does get contaminated, RockShox have wisely separated the spring mechanism from the telescoping hardware so even a woefully neglected Reverb isn't likely to leak air or oil. Teardown looks easy to do when eventually needed, too.
Finally, RockShox have even topped the Reverb with an excellent two-bolt head. Saddle installation and position adjustment is straightforward and secure, with outwardly facing bolts that easily accommodate even bulkier tools, and the lower cradle is generously sized for good support of titanium or carbon fiber rails. Weight is also competitive – though heavier than claimed – at 550g for our 31.6x380mm test sample (it's also available in 30.9 diameter and 420mm length).