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  1. #1
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    Reba RL air pressure and light rider

    Hi guys (and especially girls since that would be more of a question for women riders )

    Wife has Reba RL forks (on her Commencal SuperNormal 26 hardtail), and I'm bugging with setting them right for her. She's pretty light rider (50kg, which means about 110lbs), and she doesn't ride something extreme, more or less normal xc, no jumps, no rocks, no steep downhills.
    Now for myself, I have no problem setting my forks (Fox 32 Float FIT RLC), but I'm around 80kg and running them at 70psi gives me, with bit more sag then recommended, whole travel on tracks where I ride. For my wife, I set them at 45psi (positive) and 50psi (negative) and it's still too hard, while fork has some 2cm (bit less then 1" ) sag when bike just stands leaned on wall, without her even sitting on bike.
    Considering 50kg is not extremely low weight for xc rider, I guess forks can easily work normally even with such low weight. So I'm wondering how are those of you in this weight range, running your forks. Should I go even lower then 40-45psi? It feels extremely low for me, but like I said, I'm more used to setting things for my heavy weight
    Thanks for help and suggestions,
    Primoz

  2. #2
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    Do you have the Floodgate full open?

  3. #3
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    Have you tried 60% of her body weight(66 psi) in the positive and minus 10psi in the negative (56psi)? I've found the 60% minus 10 rule to be a good starting point.

    I also thought putting a greater psi in the negative than the positive will result in a stiffer ride, but maybe I have that backwards.

  4. #4
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    Dude, you have the NEG pressure higher than the POS, of course it'll "SAG" into the travel, that's what happens when you run NEG higher than POS and it's not true SAG, the fork is being sucked down into it's travel. Also you CANNOT setup her Rockshox fork like you set up your Fox, two completely different manufacturers, two completely different designs and hence pressure needed.

    As suggested starting somewhere around 60% of her body weight for the POS pressure and then about 80-90% of that for the NEG pressure should give you a go place to start. Do a search on here, there was a very good thread on how to setup the REBA, but that 60% rule is a good starting point. FYI, when I ran a Reba I ran about 110-120PSI POS and 70-80 PSI NEG and I weigh about 175-185lbs geared to ride
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  5. #5
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    I believe I might get this wrong, but I got impression, that higher pressure in negative air, then in positive air would result fork working better on smaller bumps. And that's basically what I'm trying to get. As I wrote, I might be totally off, I just remember reading about this somewhere (might be even here )
    PS: I know I can't set her fork same as mine. If I could, I would have set it already, but I have really no experience with Reba, and my wife's comment "it doesn't work good enough" is not all that much of help, to know which direction to go when setting it. That's why I asked for suggestions here

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    When she says "it doesn't work good enough" what is she comparing it to?

    In addition to air pressure you have lockout, floodgate, and rebound. If the flood gate is closed then the fork will feel stiffer. If rebound is too slow the fork can pack up quickly. If rebound is too quick the fork can feel springy. If the lockout is on the fork will really feel stiff. Also fork travel plays a part, for the same make fork at the same settings a longer travel will have netter small bump compliance.

  7. #7
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    Yes, you are right, the more NEG air relative to POS air, the more sensitive the small bump compliance is, as does the brake dive increase as the fork moves easier into it's travel. However when people are talking about upping the NEG pressure to the POS, they're talking about bringing it more inline with or almost the same as the POS, going higher with NEG pressure is not a good idea, it will suck the fork down into it's travel as you've seen without anyone on the bike.

    Didn't touch on it because I figured you'd know about it, but as others have stated, if the damper is engaged (doesn't have to be all the way like Fox) the fork will become harder to compress, it's one of the great things I like about RS dampers, you can dial it in to how you like it and depending on the current terrain.

    As to your wifes' feedback, how experienced a rider is she, has she been riding for years? If she's not new and has been riding for a while then I think you can get more info and help from her if you ask the right questions. I'd simply ask her to elaborate on "Doesn't work good enough" feedback and ask her where it doesn't work good enough, on the small chatter, bigger bumps, when she brakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by primoz View Post
    I believe I might get this wrong, but I got impression, that higher pressure in negative air, then in positive air would result fork working better on smaller bumps. And that's basically what I'm trying to get. As I wrote, I might be totally off, I just remember reading about this somewhere (might be even here )
    PS: I know I can't set her fork same as mine. If I could, I would have set it already, but I have really no experience with Reba, and my wife's comment "it doesn't work good enough" is not all that much of help, to know which direction to go when setting it. That's why I asked for suggestions here
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    Lynx thanks for this info. I went to check where I got that +10psi for negative air, and I found it in RS manual, where it says:
    For a more supple ride with better small bump absorption:
    Pressurize the negative spring 5 to 15 psi more than the positive. Reference the positive air pressuresetting you recorded during sag setup.
    Based on my experiences (yes I know not much but still), manuals are sort of reference point but nothing more when it comes to setting forks. So I will take your suggestion, and lower negative air to equal positive air, and see how things will be then
    As far as "damper" goes. I went to check now what about this floodgate, and I have feeling this fork doesn't have it. When I was checking photos of forks on web now, floodgate looks different, while this fork looks like the one on this photo. I thought this is more or less lockout only, and floodgate is extra "button" on middle of this lockout. I don't know if I'm right about this one, but I guess some of you will know better for sure. And if it maters, this "lockout" is set all the way anti-clock wise, so to "open" (sorry English is not my native language, so I don't know what is proper term for this). If I turn it clock wise fork gets harder and all the way clock wise it's locked.

  9. #9
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    Reba RL air pressure and light rider-imag0368.jpg

    Just took a pic of the air pressure sticker guide thing off my Reba, in case you didn't have one

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    I spent year and half trying to my 100mm reba feel good. Had it serviced a couple of times, ran about 65psi I'm 62kg. Eventually good it serviced at another place (expensive but all they do). It now runs perfect at about 80psi using 95% travel. This doesn't help you much besides saying it may be like mine and shlt from the factory and needs a pro to get it right.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for your effort Superman. I have this sticker on fork, but with such PSI (and let's take few off, since my wife is some 20% off "minimum" weight on this table), fork was way too stiff for her. Might be something in direction Coastermtb wrote.

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    It actually does help. It's very similar to this what I'm bugging with. Ok you are a bit heavier then my wife, but that's why I set lower pressure then your 65psi to sort of equal that. So I will think also in this direction if I won't get it work normally in next few days

  13. #13
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    Primoz, are you sure this is a REBA? The photo you linked to looks top be the basic TK (turn key) lock out found on the ReconTK or lower models, REBA used to (think it still does) have a floodgate adjustment (controls what sort of hit it takes to blow off the lock) in the middle of the MC damper unit. Easy way to tell is to turn it only slightly and see if it gets harder to compress and keep turning it partially until it's fully locked, if it keeps getting consistently harder then it's the MC damper. RS numbers in my experience are WAY off and it doesn't look like they've changed or improved them in any way.

    Best bit of easy tuning I saw when I had my Reba was to pump up the POS to your desired pressure, then pump the NEG until you actually see it start to get sucked down into the travel and remove 5-10 PSI and go from there. Your wife is quite light, so maybe she requires a custom tune on the fork to make it work better for her (maybe that's what Coaster was eluding to) so give that a check - I know PUSH does it in the US and they have an affiliate in England, but other than that sorry, no help.

    Almost forgot, one other trick you could try would be a lighter weight oil in the damper than what RS recommends - think they say 7.5w, so could try 5w or maybe blend something a bit lighter than that. I didn't need to do this with my Reba since I'm basically smack dab in the middle of the weight range they design these for, but did have to do it with my Manitou and it helped to give the damper more noticeable adjustment.

    One check you might want to do to make sure the damper is working and not broken is to put your full weight on it and see if you can easily get it to compress all the way - at your weight and with those pressures in it for your wife you should easily be able to do that.
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    I will check it again in few hours when I'm back home, but I'm pretty sure that "lockout" knob on top of right leg is like the one on photo. Bike was sold with Reba RL fork (it was new bike), and also all stickers on fork are Reba RL, so I do hope someone wasn't playing joke with me switching stickers
    Anyway, I will go step by step first, starting with changing pressure settings the way you suggested. Because when I try to push fork in with my weight on (and with lockout knob set to open... I refer to that blue knob on top of right leg as lockout, but it might be actually called something else) it goes nice and smoothly so just by this, I would say it would work. If I turn that knob clock wise (to "close" position) fork is getting hard to push in until it basically starts to be rigid for normal constant push (if you hit it, it kinda "opens"). So based on this, I would say it works, but I don't know if this "test" really does prove anything.

  15. #15
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    My 2012 Reba rl doesn't have the floodgate adjustment, just the turn key lockout. I was confused too because the manual said it had one. Apparently the rlt (or whatever it's called) has the adjustment knob.

    So the rl just has a default setting that can't be changed.

  16. #16
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    Sounds like it's working fine from how you're describing it, best thing I can tell you is to take it to the shop you bought it from and let them earn their money.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by trevor_b View Post
    My 2012 Reba rl doesn't have the floodgate adjustment, just the turn key lockout. I was confused too because the manual said it had one. Apparently the rlt (or whatever it's called) has the adjustment knob.
    Yes sorry, I was thinking of an RLT.

  18. #18
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    I went to check again yesterday evening, and it really doesn't have floodgate knob on top of lockout. It's exactly like the photo I linked (except crown is white and it's featuring "Motion control" sticker. It might be normal for Reba RL, or it might also be, that Rock Shox makes some forks for different manufacturer based on manufacturer's wishes (and for less price) so it might not include all features. This fork did came straight from Commencal with their bike, so it might be so.
    Anyway, thanks a lot for all your help guys! I really appreciate it. I will go step by step with your suggestions and will see how it will go If nothing else will help, it will go to service and they will bug with it

  19. #19
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    Give these guys a shout and see if they have any ideas, could just be your lady is on the too low end of the spectrum for this fork "stock". TF Tuned Shox - Contact Us
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