Servicing Rockshox Reba fork

Oldbloke

Guru
Location
Mayenne, France
According to their user manual, these should be serviced every 25 hours.

Now in the 12 months or so that I've used my MTB, mostly on lightish forest trails, I reckon I've done double that. The only obvious problem I have is with the Poploc which doesn't work properly.

How difficult a job is it to service these for a fairly hands on person? Or is it a job for my LBS?
 
Location
Loch side.
The user manual is not over pessimistic with that service interval. If you don't do it, the dirt builds up behind the top oil seal and grinds the stanchion's hard coating away and then rapidly eats into the softer metal underneath, ruining the fork.

Servicing is relatively easy if you can get your hands on a service kit. You need new crush washers for the compression rod bolts each time you open the fork and these are not available in the hardware/engineering trade, you have to get them from the OEM.

To service the fork you:
1) Remove it from the bike and remove all attachments such as brake calipers and mudguards.
2) You let out all air pressure (top and bottom). If you don't do this, you have a lethal weapon in your hands that will kill you, your dog or someone else.
3) You pull out the rebound adjuster at the bottom. It comes off with a forceful full and pliers may be required to grip it.
5) Now with a 5mm allen key you remove the two bolts at the bottom.
6) Now you forcefully pull off the slider unit from the crown assembly, spilling oil all over the carpet and your clothes and new lime-green Addidas.
7) Now remove the top wiper seals on the slider unit with an internally expanding seal puller or if you are skilled in such stuff, a large screwdriver.
8) Now clean out the insides of everything and get all traces of old oil out of there.
9) Disassemble the piston assembly and remove the motion control damper. Drain oil and clean. You need a circlip pliers internally expanding type. bent t nose.
9) Now replace all the O-rings, there are about 12 of them in a Reba, depending on the model.
10) Grease the piston with rubber grease and re-insert.
11) Insert the crown assembly back into the slider which by now has a new seal kit. The top wiper seal will be not be assembled but be on the stanchion.
12) Replace foot bolts and insert right amount of right oil.
13) Replace MCD and the top cap with air valve.
14) Inflate and test.

I probably took 400 shortcuts in the list above. I really don't suggest you try this by yourself at first. If you can find someone to give you a hands-on demo, that will be great. The job is dangerous, messy, tricky and easy to make you confused. Lots of wrong things can fit into wrong places and once you've disassembled it you will feel as if you have just taken a clock apart and you have too many bits and pieces to cope with.

Yet, it isn't difficult. It is just kind complex and requires some structure. I've taught probably about 500 DIYers how to service their forks and 80% of them were OK after the instruction. The rest thought it was too much bother to do by themselves or, got it wrong and came back with bundles of little plastic bags and asked us to show them again.

If you are a high-miler serious MTBer, I think you'll be better off servicing your own fork and taking the effort to learn how to do it.
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
I bought some new Rebas for my hardtail after the long-suffering SIDs got too tired. From day 1 they leaked oil from the right hand top cap so I took them back to Merlin (the old shop) where a beardy ginger shop assistant berated me rudely for not having serviced them. How servicing would prevent an oil leak from a new fork I'm not quite sure....

While the Rebas were away I went onto Carbon Components and bought an eXotic rigid carbon fork, the right length for my frame. I found it so smooth-riding and so lightweight that when the Rebas came back I sold them on Ebay with a clear explanation of their history. I never bothered with suspension after that. Anything that complex and fragile that requires such frequent attention is not fit for use in a wet, muddy British environment in my book. Might be OK for hot dry California I suppose, like the bottom headset bearings on my Specialized road bike.....
 

lpretro1

Guest
So that's why there are hundreds of thousands of RS forks riding around the British countryside then? Bit of a sweeping statement to make just because of one fault :smile:
 

lpretro1

Guest
For cleaning inside the lowers get a long piece of wooden dowel - do not use anything metallic in there and take care not to damage the bushings. Using the dowel you can wrap a clean rag soaked in something like Isoporpyl alcohol to really clean the insides safely. A torque wrench should be used for replacing top-caps and foot nuts as it is very easy to strip the fine threads. When removing the damper do so slowly and carefully don't try and just yank it out - best doing with a wiggly movement gradually work up over the threads - and same for re-install. Get a goo quality fork grease - fork greases are designed to be less prone to emulsifying in water etc and have very low stiction. You can use this to lubricate all seals & threads so everything slides together nicely. And double check your oil volumes and weight to be used for your model & year of fork - they can vary quite a lot and if you get it wrong it can play havoc with the performance of the fork. Good luck :smile:
 

Globalti

Legendary Member
A more sensible design would be an upside-down fork but this has never really taken off. The wider upper would give greater rigidity at the point of highest leverage and of course the overlap sheds water and mud more easily. I can only think it's because somehow the design looks less butch.
 

lpretro1

Guest
A more sensible design would be an upside-down fork but this has never really taken off. The wider upper would give greater rigidity at the point of highest leverage and of course the overlap sheds water and mud more easily. I can only think it's because somehow the design looks less butch.
There are a few around but like you say they don't look as cool - just a bit weird. RS do one believe but it costs over £1K which is ridiculous. :smile:
 
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