The $600 question: WB vs. Reba?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The $600 question: WB vs. Reba?

    I'm planning the build for my Vulture here... I need to switch from rigid to front suspension, and the big question is which one? I ruled out Winwood and Marzocchi a long time ago, which leaves me with White Bros. vs. RS Reba.

    Background on me: I've ridden rigid since I started MTBing in the early 90s -- except for a few months back in 2000, when I rode a Rockhopper equipped with a Manitou SX (no idea if that's a good shock or not). Sold the 'Hopper when I decided that I really didn't need front suspension for my riding style after all. I do everything from forest or desert cruises to real-deal technical riding, but not a whole lot of 3000-5000' climbs followed by huge fast descents. But ... since then I've injured my neck twice in car accidents, just plain gotten older too, and also improved my skills so I'm sometimes taking on more technical terrain than I did 5 years ago. I'm mostly recovered from my injuries, but I'll probably still have to take it a bit easier than I otherwise would like, for potentially a very long time to come. So as much as I'd like to avoid it I've concluded that I need suspension.

    Couple more concerns: As an SS'er, I like simplicity and low maintenance, and I sometimes ride in very remote areas where mechanical breakdowns can be a Very Bad Thing. My inclination has been to go coil for these reasons ... but again, my experience with suspension is pretty limited. Am I being irrational about this? Is air pretty well perfected these days? If my air-equipped Reba or WB blows up can I still get home? Also, which is a better choice for cold (15-25 degree F) weather? I don't ride very often at this temperature, but I do do it so this is a concern. Looks like the BW1.0 would be my only reasonable choice in coil (even though 80mm is probably enough travel for me).

    I haven't seen a whole lot of postings yet comparing the ride characteristics of Reba vs. the WB offerings, other than some general statements about the Reba being better for racing (which I take to mean it's a bit firmer) and the WBs being better for long rides, plus of course WB having incredible customer service. Unfortunately Vulture can't get me a deal on either of these, so I'm looking at $450 for the Reba vs. $600 for one of the WB models.

    Is there that much difference in ride between the two (especially for a suspension newbie like me)? Enough to make a $150 difference? Is coil going to be more dependable or lower maintenance? If I go with the BW1.0 coil, how hard is it to convert to 80mm, and is it even worth doing? Any and all feedback is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    To get home, how about carrying a strap-around thingy for one of the exposed stansions? Clip around, Zip tie to finish it up, and bye bye sag! Never tried this, came up with it here, gonna tell my buddy about this idea, he now carries a shockpump everywhere he goes, for that once-a-year blowthrough.
    $450 for the Reba is like such a deal comapred to the similar Manitou and Fox prices. Looks like Rockshox is ready to improve value to gain back some of that lost marketshare. Weight and reliability are on WB"s side. Great Divide race without touching it...rigid forks get lower success rates than that.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  3. #3
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    why no zoke

    Glowboy,

    Why you no likie the zokie? To little travel? 100 mm would be nice... But not cheep.

    I had a Rockshox judy xc for four years. It's a coil oil. I didn't touch it except to ge the wheel on and off. Worked the way it was suposed to, but had no adjustability. I replaced it with a 2004 of the exact same model. The feel and stifness was WAY friggin better. I would asume the Reba would be the same.

    Short story: 1999 coil-oil good 2005 coil-oil really really good.

    but what if right after you get the reba/white fox comes out with a TALAS 29er?!?!?!?
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy
    Glowboy,

    Why you no likie the zokie? To little travel? 100 mm would be nice... But not cheep.

    I had a Rockshox judy xc for four years. It's a coil oil. I didn't touch it except to ge the wheel on and off. Worked the way it was suposed to, but had no adjustability. I replaced it with a 2004 of the exact same model. The feel and stifness was WAY friggin better. I would asume the Reba would be the same.

    Short story: 1999 coil-oil good 2005 coil-oil really really good.

    but what if right after you get the reba/white fox comes out with a TALAS 29er?!?!?!?
    No likie the zokie because of the weight, and for the price the Reba and WB sound like WAY better forks for the money. Glad to hear coil-oil has improved, but what about coil vs. air? Reba's air, isn't it?

    I don't know what a Talas is (remember I said I don't know much about suspension), and I'm looking to buy within the next few weeks, so I guess I'm not really concerned about forks that aren't on the market. Just want to get the best choice for me, for the money, out of what's available today.

  5. #5
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    Glowboy - I've been there and back on this question before. Search some posts, you'll find cases for both.

    Cloxxki
    - what's the "strap-around thingy"?

  6. #6
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    Fyi

    All you need to know about the TALAS is that it's really cool. Used in a trailside conversation, "Yeah, man, it's a great fork, it's no TALAS mind you, but I really love it."

    Sounds like you'll be happy with either. Neither is crap. But I don't know anything about air. There was a thread about the Reba recently too. I think it's coil.

    Did you see the thread about the lefty monkey? The lefty is WAY cool. Really way cool. But I don't know where you'd get one. And there's no reason the vulture couldn't give you a 1.5 head tube...
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  7. #7
    rider
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    Actually, all you need to know about the TALAS is that it's 26" only !!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamSwami.com
    Actually, all you need to know about the TALAS is that it's 26" only !!!
    heard a rumor that Fox is potentially working on a 29er fork. anyone hear anything about that?

    oh- i'd go for the WB fork for the weight and simplicity. BW1.0 would be nice. but not cheap, but what 29er fork is? Im running a CX-1, and while I have to pump it up about every ride, when its dialed, its great.

  9. #9
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    I vowed to NEVER own a RS fork again...

    but after seeing this price, I'd reconsider(if I were in the market). Don't know if they're actually in stock...might be worth pre-ordering.

    http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=107317

  10. #10
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    Asylum buyers...

    Quote Originally Posted by brewdog
    but after seeing this price, I'd reconsider(if I were in the market). Don't know if they're actually in stock...might be worth pre-ordering.

    http://www.speedgoat.com/product.asp?part=107317
    ...have priority is my understanding. They're not in stock as they are typically presold. Just talked to Chris on Friday.

    Sean
    Professional Amateur

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    ...As an SS'er, I like simplicity and low maintenance...I haven't seen a whole lot of postings yet comparing the ride characteristics of Reba vs. the WB offerings, other than some general statements about the Reba being better for racing (which I take to mean it's a bit firmer) and the WBs being better for long rides, plus of course WB having incredible customer service. Unfortunately Vulture can't get me a deal on either of these, so I'm looking at $450 for the Reba vs. $600 for one of the WB models.

    Is there that much difference in ride between the two (especially for a suspension newbie like me)? Enough to make a $150 difference? Is coil going to be more dependable or lower maintenance? If I go with the BW1.0 coil, how hard is it to convert to 80mm, and is it even worth doing?
    I just put a Reba (set up for 80mm) on my Supercal and built a 292 with a WB1.0 at the end of last summer so I have very limited time on each one (so far about 500 miles on the WB and about 250 on the Reba). I would rather have more time on each before giving my best opinion, but I will let you know a few of my thoughts. First, I really love the ride and perfomance of both as set up on each bike. Each fork is an awesome ride and both are very stiff compared to some others I've had. The Reba is a gadget man's dream with a ton of adjustablity whereas the WB1.0 is a simple yet extremely effective bump eating weapon on the front of a bike.

    The Reba is an air/oil fork that has both positive and negative air to adjust the ride to fit your style. It is not at all firmer than the WB, but you could make it firmer or softer if you want by adjusting the air. The Reba has nearly an infinite adjustability which some people like and others do not. It also has a adjustable lockout that blows off and lets the fork work normally when it takes a big hit in the locked position then resets back to the locked position - a nice feature. A race fork? By all means because you can easily tune it to the local terrain or adjust it on-the-fly. I'm sure it will do well as an all-day fork also - I will find out in the near future. So far it has performed way above my expectations and has brought new life to my Supercal.

    The WB I have is a coil/oil fork that is by far the plushest fork I have ever had the pleasure of riding - it is so sweet. The WB lockout is only for riding on rigid surfaces (like flat pavement), but you can adjust the compession/lockout to a point where the fork is still working but not reacting quite as fast thus less bob. This fork is simplicity at its best and works so well that I have to say it is still the top dog, all-around fork to beat. If you want an 80mm version you should contact WB - they are extremely helpful and I've heard that they are super good to people that order directly from them. You seem to like simplicity so check it out.

    It's really bad when I have to flip a coin to determine which bike to ride.

  12. #12
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    I feel your pain...

    I was facing this dilemma a few days ago. Here's what I know...

    I am a simple man and prefer simple things. On my SS 26er (when I'm not riding rigid), I ride a coil/oil 2000 Zoke Atom 80. I love the fork. Simple and beautiful. I looked at Zoke's 29er offering and immediately ruled it out. Too heavy and unattractive.

    So I was left with Reba and WB (I had previously ruled out winwood). The Reba was backordered, but i could probably get it by the time Walt finished my frame. At the time, I found it to be a bit more attractive than the WB and I almost went that way. Then, I came to my senses.

    I remembered that I gave up on Rock Shox long ago after I blew out cartridge after cartridge in two different sets of Judy XCs. I remebered that I really do want to have a coil/oil setup, and the only Reba that is available right now is dual air. F that.

    I remebered that I prefer simple things, and you cant get a much more simple look than the WB. I haven't done a lot of research into WB, but I know they have been around for a long time, they make solid stuff and I haven't read any bad reviews. Sounds like their customer service is A+ and I read somewhere else that they build their forks to be very user serviceable. Sounds like a winning package. Especially since I'm getting it for less than $600. Walt's the man.

    I have always been a Fox fan. If they come out with a Vanilla 29er (the vanilla is coil/oil), I would be a little pissed, but whatever. The WB is a nice fork, and maybe someday I'll get another 29er to put the non-existent vanilla on. Although if I get another 29er, it'll probably be a rigid SS.

    And while I know it is silly, whenever I think about the WB, I picture that image of Mike Curiak on the 29er racing (winning) the great divide. What was on the front end? A WB.

    Good luck with your decision.

  13. #13
    Appalachian Singletrack'n
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    Search the shock forum about 26 Rebas. Several people have had some catastrophic problems with them. I personally have rule against buying any new bike technology its first year out, that goes double for suspension parts and triple if it was made by Rock Shock or Manitou. There is no reason the consumer should be the R&D department.

  14. #14
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    Look around for better prices on WB

    Check around for better prices on the WB fork. I got a WB BW.8 for a lot less than the 600.00 you mentioned at my LBS. If you want simplicity go for the WB. Mine is air, but only one air chamber to fuss with. E-mail me if you want to know the price I got it for at my LBS. [email protected]. I do not work for them or get anything for giving out referrals.


    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    I'm planning the build for my Vulture here... I need to switch from rigid to front suspension, and the big question is which one? I ruled out Winwood and Marzocchi a long time ago, which leaves me with White Bros. vs. RS Reba.

    Background on me: I've ridden rigid since I started MTBing in the early 90s -- except for a few months back in 2000, when I rode a Rockhopper equipped with a Manitou SX (no idea if that's a good shock or not). Sold the 'Hopper when I decided that I really didn't need front suspension for my riding style after all. I do everything from forest or desert cruises to real-deal technical riding, but not a whole lot of 3000-5000' climbs followed by huge fast descents. But ... since then I've injured my neck twice in car accidents, just plain gotten older too, and also improved my skills so I'm sometimes taking on more technical terrain than I did 5 years ago. I'm mostly recovered from my injuries, but I'll probably still have to take it a bit easier than I otherwise would like, for potentially a very long time to come. So as much as I'd like to avoid it I've concluded that I need suspension.

    Couple more concerns: As an SS'er, I like simplicity and low maintenance, and I sometimes ride in very remote areas where mechanical breakdowns can be a Very Bad Thing. My inclination has been to go coil for these reasons ... but again, my experience with suspension is pretty limited. Am I being irrational about this? Is air pretty well perfected these days? If my air-equipped Reba or WB blows up can I still get home? Also, which is a better choice for cold (15-25 degree F) weather? I don't ride very often at this temperature, but I do do it so this is a concern. Looks like the BW1.0 would be my only reasonable choice in coil (even though 80mm is probably enough travel for me).

    I haven't seen a whole lot of postings yet comparing the ride characteristics of Reba vs. the WB offerings, other than some general statements about the Reba being better for racing (which I take to mean it's a bit firmer) and the WBs being better for long rides, plus of course WB having incredible customer service. Unfortunately Vulture can't get me a deal on either of these, so I'm looking at $450 for the Reba vs. $600 for one of the WB models.

    Is there that much difference in ride between the two (especially for a suspension newbie like me)? Enough to make a $150 difference? Is coil going to be more dependable or lower maintenance? If I go with the BW1.0 coil, how hard is it to convert to 80mm, and is it even worth doing? Any and all feedback is appreciated.

  15. #15
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    TeamSwami : I thought a sliced open plastic tube just might do the trick. Flipping it over the stancion it might even not need a zip tie and stay put under compression loads.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  16. #16
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    That's an easy choice...

    ...I'd go with a used Zokie MXR, such as the used one I bought from someone here for $100.

  17. #17

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    Cloxxki, I'd thought of a similar solution before as well, but came to the conclusion it would probably destroy the wiper seals in short order. If you could somehow design it so that it actually sat on top of the stanchion rather than the wiper seal that could work - though then you're talking about something a bit more involved than what you might be able to produce in your garage.

    Sam

  18. #18
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    Same fear here yes. With some fork, the wipers stick out enough to make it wrap around them rather than sit on top. Some really good zip ties would be required to withstand the forces, though.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  19. #19
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    WB Lockout

    Quote Originally Posted by Super E
    The WB lockout is only for riding on rigid surfaces (like flat pavement), but you can adjust the compession/lockout to a point where the fork is still working but not reacting quite as fast thus less bob.
    You say the lockout is only for rigid surfaces. What does that mean exactly? Was the lockout not designed for use off road?

  20. #20
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    WB lock out

    Quote Originally Posted by nzumbi
    You say the lockout is only for rigid surfaces. What does that mean exactly? Was the lockout not designed for use off road?
    It says in the manual to only use the fork in the lockout position when riding on flat surfaces ie the road not off road.

    I just got the WB .08, the Bike shop friend I went through didn't even give me a choice he said there was no comparison, Zokie sucked, and rockshox was still rockshox, and he called Fox and they didn't seem interested in even entertaining the idea of a 29er fork.

    The WB fork is very self serviceable, as it should be when the manual says it needs to me serviced every 20-72 hours of riding. That part worried me until I saw that it did the entire continental divide trail without being touched. Kudos. I don't think there is a real choice if you have already ruled out rigid.
    Last edited by sachase; 01-11-2005 at 06:37 AM. Reason: not finished
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  21. #21
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    The WB does seem to have a blow-off, but they don't want to promote that too much.
    Klok - XC - Skate - Ski

  22. #22
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    Air valve cap

    by far the cheapest thing on the fork is the cap for the air valve. I lost it on my first ride, Does anyone have a better solution than getting another one that will probably be lost again??
    Custom Independent Fabrications Ti Deluxe
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by sachase
    rockshox was still rockshox
    From what I've been hearing that's not necessarily the case after the SRAM acquisition...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzumbi
    You say the lockout is only for rigid surfaces. What does that mean exactly? Was the lockout not designed for use off road?
    Just like someone else already said, it means that you should only use the full lockout on smooth surfaces. I don't even use it in the full lockout position and really wish it did not have it. The same knob is used to adjust compression (dampening) on the fly and I've found it to be very effective to reduce bob while climbing without locking it out completely. It's simple and it works well.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sachase
    ..rockshox was still rockshox...
    I think RockShox as a SRAM company is different now. I also must say that they produced a 29er fork that gives all of us one more option.

  26. #26
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  27. #27
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    Seems like a no brainer to me. WBs are proven product. The Reba may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, but we won't know that for a year or three. Personally I don't like being a guinea pig, and I especially wouldn't like it in "remote areas where mechanical breakdowns can be a Very Bad Thing".
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  28. #28
    jl
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    I've been riding my WB since October. It keeps getting smoother and smoother. I also like the simplicity of it. I use to run a Marz Atom 80 that was also simple. For me, more gadgets, means more things to worry about, and more things to fix...
    We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.

  29. #29
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    Thanks everyone!

    That's a whole lotta feedback, very informative. Sounds like WB coil is the way for me to go. Reba's great, but the extra $ for the WB is easily justified. I expect a call shortly from my LBS with a quote.

    All that said, it does seem that if the White forks didn't exist for 29", everyone would be raving (as already, many are) about how fantastic the Reba is. Not a bad second choice by any means. Thanks for all the info. I'll keep you all updated on my final decisions and the build as it progresses.

    - Dan

  30. #30
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    Ordered a Reba today.

    RS Reba Race w/ poploc. Called LBS and they found one , $450.00. The reviews that I 've seen are very good. Sram , seems to have nailed down the quality control at RS. The people , that got a chance to ride on the Reba and Pike are really impressed with the 2005 RS line. I would say that those people were not RS fans prior to 2005 offerings.

    The 2005 WB .80 is a great fork. I have one on the Asylum and it is very plush. I was extremly impressed from the first time I rode it. I hope that I don't regret it. It would be great that there are more offerings than just WB. The Marzocchi was a wet noddle.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sachase
    by far the cheapest thing on the fork is the cap for the air valve. I lost it on my first ride, Does anyone have a better solution than getting another one that will probably be lost again??
    I tried out my Fox blue alloy cap after I lost mine of the first ride. It fit and looked nice, but would hit my DT on the KM.

    Or you can just suck it up and steal a valve cap off your car.

    When I called WB to ask for another cap, the guy on the phone was a little bit of a smarta$$...said something like "I bet you were just riding along and it fell off". He got a little sarcasm back...sent me a few extras.

    I talked to a young lady at WB yesterday...asked about the thru axle...said something like "you can't handle the thru axle". Not really, but she did say it was available. Talking about tempting...
    Last edited by brewdog; 01-11-2005 at 06:50 PM.

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