Manually Bleeding a Rockshox Reverb Seatpost Remote

So yes, Rockshox makes an adapter that hooks a syringe up to the remote on your reverb seatpost, that is supposed to make the process of bleeding the remote a cinch.

Some have complained that the tool that comes with the seatpost is chintzy, and does not function well.  I recently found myself wanting to bleed the seatpost and didn’t have the tool handy.  The symptom I was experiencing was a newly installed seatpost that wouldn’t retract.  I did a little online searching, and ruled out the first two common causes of that issue:

1)  I checked the seatpost cinch bolt tension, and found that it was properly torqued.  If you over torque this, it can pinch the seatpost outer body, and prevent the seatpost from collapsing/extending.  No issue here.

2)  I checked the air pressure in the seatpost.  Remove the saddle and the saddle mounting brackets from the seatpost.  Take a 9mm socket and loosen the cap on the schrader valve stem at the top of the seatpost.  Attach a suspension fork pump, and pressurize to 250 psi.  No issue here.

That left air bubbles in the remote line as the most likely cause.  But without the tool, how can you solve this issue?

I confirmed that there were air bubbles by checking the thumb-button on the reservoir.  When it was under no thumb pressure, it was not fully extended.  If you cycled it, it would not fully extend.  In this picture, the remote on the outboard side is the fork, and the inboard remote is the seatpost.  (Still working on optimal positioning).

So with air bubbles confirmed, here was my manual bleed technique:

  1. Change mounting position of seatpost so that enough of the outer body of the reverb is showing that you can clamp it in a work stand.
  2. Gently clamp in work stand.
  3. Strap handlebars in straight position (I used a Park handlebar holder, but you can just as easily use a bungee cord or a rope).
  4. Angle bike so that seatpost remote is higher than the top of the saddle on the seatpost.
  5. Loosen mounting bolt for seatpost remote and reposition so that the fill/bleed port is horizontal (that’s the silver torx screw on the top of the remote).
  6. Take a T10 torx bit and remove the fill/bleed screw.
  7. Insert approximately 1.5cc of rockshox fluid into a regular syringe.  Doesn’t matter what kind of syringe.  I used a 3cc syringe with a 16 gauge needle.  For me, the needle was more convenient in getting precise drops of fluid into the reservoir.
  8. When I opened the reservoir, there was a bit of air in the reservoir.  I put a couple drops of fluid into the reservoir and filled it.
  9. Pull back a bit on the thumb control, which lowers the fluid level in the reservoir.  (I did this a little at a time, so as to not accidentally introduce more air into the system).
  10. Refill the fluid in the reservoir.
  11. Repeat #9 and #10 until the thumb control is fully extended (pulled out), and the reservoir is full.
  12. Reinsert the T10 screw and torque to spec.
  13. Pump the thumb control vigorously for ~10 seconds.
  14. Remove the fill/bleed screw and repeat steps 8-13 until thumb control fully extends after being actuated.
  15. Readjust seatpost and remote to desired position.

For me, after I did that three times, the thumb control was fully extended after being pumped vigorously.  That meant no more air was in the system.  I checked the reservoir one last time, and all was good.  The remote and the seatpost have been working perfectly ever-since.

If you had a LOT of air in the line, you might have to position the bike so that the entire line was pointing up towards the reservoir (i.e. bike pointing straight up).  That hasn’t been an issue for me.  I know there were a lot of complaints about the Gen1 Reverb, but I’m hopeful that the Gen2 Reverb will be a great piece of kit.

Bleeding only took about 10 minutes (once I figured out exactly how I was going to do it), and was a no-mess affair.

A quick note: I keep a supply of hypodermic needles and syringes around my bike tools.  I get animal syringes/needles at the farm supply store, and use them frequently.  They’re great for many purposes…with a needle on the end, you can very precisely lubricate cables and housing, or very precisely lubricate bolts and screws.  Without a needle, you can keep grease in a syringe and very precisely apply it to just about anything.  You can also use syringes for homemade tubeless sealant injectors (add a small piece of flexible rubber line) and many other purposes.


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