reba maxle lite vs fox qr15- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    reba maxle lite vs fox qr15

    So I'm looking to upgrade my reba 9mm qr fork to a thru axle. The flex from the quick release fork accentuated by the 29" wheels is driving me nuts in the technical stuff. I'm pretty happy with rock shox stuff, (several 26er xc forks, a totem, boxxer) in fact the only fox fork I ever had was a talas fork probably 10 years ago and it was soso, it was a lot better than the talas shock (piece of s**t kept getting stuck down in short travel mode). I like plush and reliable, lockouts only on fireroads (no remotes on the bars needed), stiffness is big (I'm spoiled by freeride and downhill forks), I'm not a gram counter, price is not as important. I was going to up the travel from 80 to 100mm anyway. How about swapping the reba lowers for thru axle, is this an option? Give me some opinions which one you would pick.

  2. #2
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    Here is a different approach....

    Question: What wheels are you running presently?

    Roval wheels come with OS28 end caps that work with 9mm QR. These increase the overall rigidity through the axle and 9mm QR interface and is comparable to 20mm T/A. The OS28 interface only works with Rockshox forks, and the Roval wheels are absolutely stellar performers, and tubless ready. So the benefit is that you will be able to still run your already great Reba, save some weight with better wheels that probably roll faster than what you already have, and save some more weight by not having a 15/20mm T/A system.

    I am currently running Roval Control EL 29s and they are really awesome. Tubeless, DT Swiss Supercomp spokes, and the hubs are Roval, but with DT Swiss 240 internals, so there is a 36T freewheel upgrade which is completely worth the $25 it costs. The are about 1750g and strength is rated between the Archs and Flows..and have a lifetime warranty.
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Santa Cruz Chameleon SS
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  3. #3
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    I've got a pair of stan's flows laced to shimano xt hubs. The rims are pretty stout, 32 count straight guage spokes, run tubeless with either 2.1ish tires or mk2.4's (which are more like 2.2's). The stiffness in the back is fine, I'm going to leave it alone, but grabbing the bars I can twist the steerer tube and stanchions between my legs like a freakin pretzel, the front wheel feels very imprecise in rocky, techy stuff. In the past every time I've swapped from 9mm qr forks to thru axle forks the difference is night and day. Like I said I'm spoiled with burly forks on my other bikes. My steel 29er rigid SS fork doesn't flex torsionally like the reba, despite much narrower rims and qr dropouts. I think the extra leverage from the 29" wheels twist a suspension fork's lowers more, if it was a short travel 26er qr it wouldn't bother me too much.

  4. #4
    JRR
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    Amen brother I ran rigid in early 29er days untill the lefty got my attention now with tappered and 15 or 20mm they are not as bad but still not as good as lefty

  5. #5
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    20 mm is more than 15mm.

  6. #6
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    There is someone herein with the tag line that sums things up nicely.

    "15mm is the second best solution to a problem that is already solved."
    Nobody cares...........

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRR
    Amen brother I ran rigid in early 29er days untill the lefty got my attention now with tappered and 15 or 20mm they are not as bad but still not as good as lefty
    The lefty conversion I read about in Bike magazine was interesting, very interesting. The only problem with the lefty is I would have to order it from a different lbs (cannondale dealer) than the other lbs I bought it from (it's a kona hei hei). How would I explain it to the shop owner when I show up at the traihead for the first time? No more discounts lol !

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    There is someone herein with the tag line that sums things up nicely.

    "15mm is the second best solution to a problem that is already solved."
    Please educate me, amigo...

  9. #9
    JRR
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    15 to 20mm 2nd best, there is very little differance.you can do the tire between the legs and twist the bars and the fox 15mm with same wheels twist less round tubes upper and lower legs will rotate around each other and foxes arch and crown are more stout than the reba to resist the flex in the legs. the 15 vs 20 is not the problem.The lefty is so stiff because the upper and lower legs are not round tubes that can rotate around each other they are 4 sided and really can't twist around each other.

  10. #10
    change is good
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    I like the action of my Reba better than the Fox. I always managed to get full travel and it seemed more linear. It was also easier to set up and I can easily lock it out on climbs.

  11. #11
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    The 2010/2011 Rebas are significantly stronger than past versions, and JRR is right, it isn't so much the axle size. Much of it is the interface to where the axle and the hub meet, and how stiff that junction is. That is why I mentioned the Roval Wheels. I have tried them both on 9mm and the 20mm T/A I am running, and couldn't tell the difference. I looked for a Reba 120 w/ 9mm QR/Tapered but they were hard to find, there was a much higher availability of the 20mm T/As. The nice thing about the Roval wheels is that they come with all the endcaps to do 9/15/20. So whichever for you choose, you're good.
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Santa Cruz Chameleon SS
    Cervelo S2
    Trek Boone 5 Disc (Gravel)
    GT Piece Tour (Gravel)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterofnone
    Please educate me, amigo...
    There was no reason for Shimano to push another axle type onto the world.

    The 20mm is a better solution as it is stiffer with virtually no weight penalty over 15mm.

    And 20mm already existed, hence the thought that 15mm was the second solution and
    not needed.
    Nobody cares...........

  13. #13
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    To the O.P. - not sure what year your fork is but I just recently switched my 09/10 Reba Race over from QR lowers to the maxle lite. I have I9 hubs, so all I needed to do was get new hub end caps, the fork lowers and the maxle. I got the fork lowers and the maxle for $200 and the 20mm hub end caps were $30. It's a really smooth, clean set up and I'm very happy with the results. I haven't had an opportunity to trail test it - that will have to wait until spring.

  14. #14
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    Hmmm, sounds like it could be a toss up, I was trying to see if something would definetely sway me one way or another. I agree about fox pushing a new standard on everybody that wasn't needed, the tried and true "standard" 20mm was just fine. What's a couple grams between 15 and 20mm? If the new rebas are really stiffer than my '08 I'll spring for a new fork than just the lowers. I'm gonna lace it up to a convertible hub though.

  15. #15
    JMH
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    I have quite a bit of time on both forks and they are both noticeably stiffer than previous 9mm options. Ease of use for both axles is comparable. I prefer the Black Box damper used in the higher-end Reba to my FIT damped Fox, but the Fox is still very good. I don't think you can go wrong with either one.

    JMH

  16. #16
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    I would almost consider 15qr and 20 through as the same thing practically thinking. If you a Fox guy I wouldn't shy away from there fork because it has the "2nd best" axle setup. In this case second best is pretty damn good.

    I've been running a Reba team with a 9mm DT RWS skewer and it has been the saving grace of that fork. Mate that up to an Enve carbon wheel and there stem and bar as well and I have one pretty tight front end.

  17. #17
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    The one thing I like about QR15 is you can use it with existing AC front hubs. I think you can also use it with i9 ultralight hub as well. Both will require new axles or endcaps. I have QR15 on my 26" setup and was pleasantly surprised how nice it is. I also thought that we didn't need another std.

  18. #18
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    I have ridden alot on both 15mm & 20mm & they are both good I would always go Through axle but would choose my fork on what I like with the other parts of the fork rather tha the T/A size.
    I have a 6 Berth & 2 Berth Motorhomes that I rent out . They are based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  19. #19
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    15 vs 20

    The 15mm axle exists as an end-run around the Rockshox patent for the Maxle (ie, threaded axle with a cam to tension the bearings and tool-free installation). Other fork companies are also doing 15 for this reason.

    It's idiotic for that reason, but in terms of how it functions/rides, I personally can't tell any difference between the 15 and 20mm setups. They are both great. I just wish the companies involved could have sorted it out so that there was one standard.

    -Walt

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt
    The 15mm axle exists as an end-run around the Rockshox patent for the Maxle (ie, threaded axle with a cam to tension the bearings and tool-free installation). Other fork companies are also doing 15 for this reason.

    It's idiotic for that reason, but in terms of how it functions/rides, I personally can't tell any difference between the 15 and 20mm setups. They are both great. I just wish the companies involved could have sorted it out so that there was one standard.

    -Walt
    agree with the above. However it is hard to do an apples to apples comparison, since a fox 15 mm and a RS 20 mm fork have different lowers/arch designs. But actually engr analyses always conclude 20 mm is stiffer (all else being equal).

    in addition to Walt's point about the industry wanting to get around the RS patent, there's also the factor of customer stupidity. Sure, there are many riders out there who went to 20 mm T/A many years ago, but there's a huge segment of the bike riding population who automatically associated 20 mm with 'heavy freeride'. Even on this very 29er forum there are people wanting 120 mm 29er forks without a thru axle . So some of the justification from Shimano was along the lines of, essentially, 'well customers wanting light stiff forks need a true thru axle but since customers are too stupid to understand that, we'll coach them in the right direction by pushing QR15'. This is why the press releases and interviews during the QR15 announcement tried to position it as a replacement (eventually) for the open dropouts we inherited years ago from road bikes....and not as a replacement for 20 mm per se (in practice of course it has sorta worked out that way).

    Customer ignorance is only part of the story, however. Marzocchi should take some of the blame. Back when the first Pike was intro'd, RS tried to educate customers on the concept of thru axles being a good stiffness/weight ration for trailbike use, and Marzocchi countered with propaganda about 20 mm being 'only' for 40 pound freeride bikes.

    This is consistent with Marzocchi's stubborn stupidity about 1.5 steerer tube/crown interface.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
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  21. #21
    Rider and Wrench
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    I have run qr, 9mm RWS, 15mm and 20mm forks for me it still comes down to the fork itself - tough to tell between a 15mm/20mm stiffness wise- If you like RS stick with it, I had a Reba Team, Manitou Minute and a Fox RLC and currently a Reba SL and a Fox FIT RLC, like someone else mentioned I also like the Black Box damper better than the basic Motion control damper on the R/S.
    I Just wish I could ride more!


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