There's a certain lingo that runs through specific circles of cyclist that we may all be familiar with. "Send it!" "Get rad!" "Shredding!"—all are usual catch phrases we've heard from our squishy fork wielding mountain bike friends as a way to describe hitting big jumps, gnarly rock gardens, and technical, sketchy lines. In recent years though, there's been a massive trend of the misuse of such phrases. The offenders? Lycra-clad, skinny-tired roadies.
Scroll through any cyclist's IG feed and you'll see an array of images of Johny-come-lately youngsters riding a perfectly manicured stretch of pavement with captions reading "Sending it into the weekend!" or "Shred fest with the crew!" Now, I'm not here to say it can't be sent on a road bike, but casually entering a cleanly paved corner with both tires adhered to the ground is a blatant appropriation of the sentiment.
So when given a chance to test out Rockshox's brand new Reverb dropper post with wireless actuation through their new AXS system, well, it seemed fitting to slap it on a road bike and actually go send it to find out just how sketchy you can get on a set of 28c slicks.
As a control, I wanted to see how inhibiting a traditional seatpost really was. After finding some cutty slasher lines, I approached them fully hi-posted and tried dropping in. As it turns out, wet loam and slick roadie tires don't really get along, and trying to navigate a nearly vertical pitch with all your weight over the front wheel is sketchy as hell. After a few attempts resulting in dumping it OTB or barrel rolling down the hillside, it was time to get that Reverb installed.
With no hydraulic or cable line needed to run to the remote, the installation could not have been easier: insert the post as you would a traditional one, figure out where you want the remote mounted on your bar, and you're good to go. The factory remote is designed to clamp onto a MTB handlebar so I have our service manager, Michael, MacGuyver an old barfly into a 31.8 clamp to fit my road bar. Of course if I had a full Sram AXS equipped bike I could just program it into an eTap shift lever.
With everything mounted up and the ability to drop the seat down at will, it was time to tackle those loamy slasher drops again, speedplay cleats and all.
With no seat in the way you gain an instant boost in confidence. Squaring up to a line and having total freedom to position my bodyweight exactly where it needed to go, it was astounding how much traction and control could be finessed out of those little tires. Of course, this came as no surprise, having ridden dropper posts on my mountain bikes for years, but to experience it on a road bike was a whole new feeling.
Full send mode unlocked.
Now that we've spent enough time screwing around riding road bikes where we shouldn't, let's talk about the new post itself. Droppers are nothing new, and today they're essentially ubiquitous on all but the most XC racer boy of mountain bikes. Scratch that, even the most elite racers on the world cup circuit are now showing up to the start line with a telescoping post.
The Reverb has been around for a number of years and has been regarded as one of the top choices on the market. While there are a few updates to the mechanism itself for improved performance and reliability, the big news here is it's wireless actuation, which has a number of advantages.
For one, installation. ONE LESS INTERNAL CABLE TO ROUTE! I REPEAT: ONE LESS INTERNAL CABLE TO ROUTE! Having just built up a new MTB myself with the traditional Reverb post, I can strongly say that routing a hydraulic line through the frame and up through the seat tube is a royal pain in the ass. Anytime you may need to service the post, or remote line, you once again deal with that pain in the ass. Just as we learned with the eTap road group, less cables makes a happier bike mechanic. It also makes it a breeze to swap it over to a different bike should you ever have the need.
The biggest difference while riding though, is the actuation. The little electronic button has a very short throw and is incredibly easy to push. There are other wireless dropper posts on the market, and while I haven't ridden one myself I've read enough reviews to see that there are major problems with lag time in the system. Not the case with the Reverb. It's instantaneous. Given how much less effort it takes to push the button than throw the previous hydraulic remote lever, it's a significantly faster experience to get the seat up and down. I'm a fan.
While I don't anticipate too many people sporting these on their road bikes, I do think they'll be a fantastic upgrade to a mountain bike or even a gravel bike, especially for anyone planning to run the full Sram AXS system. But who knows, maybe it will spark a new generation of riders to actually send it and shred some sketchy lines on their road bikes.
Thanks for reading! If you've got any questions about the new wireless Reverb or any of the other new Sram AXS wireless groupsets, don't hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org