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How to do a Rockshox Reba lower leg service in 19 easy steps

In this article I’m going to give you a step-by-step process on how to properly perform a Rockshox Reba lower leg service.

Tools you need to do the Rockshox Reba lower leg service

There are quite a number of tools you’re going to need, some of which are very specific to this operation.

Rockshox Reba lower leg service repair specifications

bottom nut torque
7.4 Nm
damper oil amount
10 ml
air spring oil amount
10 ml
damper oil type
air spring oil type

Step 1. Cleaning the fork

cleaning RockShox Reba fork

Before we open up the fork it’s incredibly important to clean it. If you have a fork for a lower leg service, it’s never going to be 100 percent clean. Especially the steerer tube can hold a lot of dirt and sand.

Spray the fork copiously with bike cleaner. We use Muc-Off bike cleaner, but feel free to use any cleaner solution you prefer. By using a Pressurized spray bottle, it’s easy to get the stuff into every nook and cranny.

rinsing RockShox Reba fork

After you’ve used the bike cleaner and let it sit for a minute or two, rinse it off. Any method will do but a mobile outdoor cleaner will proof to be particularly helpful and efficient.

drying RockShox Reba fork

Make sure to dry the fork properly before moving onto the next step.

Step 2. Removing rebound adjuster and foot bolt

bench mount work stand RockShox Reba fork

It’s recommended that for the next steps you use a bench mount work stand to be able to hold the fork while doing the Rockshox Reba lower leg service.

removing rebound adjuster shaft RockShox Reba fork

The rebound adjuster consists of two parts. First take out the rebound adjuster shaft.

removing rebound adjuster RockShox Reba fork

After you’ve removed this shaft you can take out the rebound adjuster with a long 5 mm hex key.

removing bottom nut air spring side RockShox Reba fork

The air spring is tightened with a foot bolt. Using the same 5 mm hex key, you can remove this bolt as well.

Step 3. Removing damper and air spring

There can be quite some stiction between the bottom of the damper and air spring and the lower legs. So you’ll need to knock these out with a hammer.

We use specific damper side and spring side removal tools to prevent the threads from damaging. With the removal tool in place give it a solid tap with a mallet. This should be enough to break it loose.

Step 4. Removing the lower legs

removing lower legs RockShox Reba fork

With the lower legs loosened you can rotate the fork to a standing position and remove the damper and air spring. Be sure to have your oil drain pan ready, because oil will be coming out of the fork legs.

thru axle RockShox Reba fork

Because only the fork brace keeps the loose lower leg in place, it’s a good practice to strengthen it using a thru-axle.

Step 5. Removing seals and foam rings

removing seal RockShox Reba fork

We’re going to replace the foam rings, seals, and sag ring. To do so we need to remove the old ones first.

Using a long tire lifter, we can pop the seals and foam rings out.

Step 6. Removing the air spring shaft

remove air spring top cap RockShox Reba fork

For now we’re going to leave the fork legs for a while and focus on the damper and air spring. Remove the air cap to get to the valve underneath.

remove air spring valve RockShox Reba fork

Use a valve remover tool to remove the valve.

Remove the top cap using a 24 mm top cap socket. Don’t use a standard socket. A standard socket doesn’t engage the top cap enough and may twist loose when pressure is applied, damaging it in the process.

retaining ring removal RockShox Reba fork

Rotate the fork so the stanchions point upwards. The air spring is kept into place with an internal retaining ring. Using retaining ring pliers you can remove this ring.

removing damper RockShox Reba fork

Using the lower leg removal tool for some extra leverage, we can now simply pull the air spring out.

air spring tokes RockShox Reba fork

Normally the air spring top cap is attached to one or more tokens. In this case the tokens had loosened and simply fell out the bottom of the stanchion.

Step 7. Removing the damper shaft

removing compression adjuster bolt RockShox Reba fork

Rotate the fork in an upwards position again. Using a 2 mm hex tool remove the bolt that keeps the compression adjuster knob in place.

removing compression damper RockShox Reba fork

Using the same 24 mm top cap socket, remove the top cap and compression damper.

damper oil removal RockShox Reba fork

Throw out the damper oil.

removing retaining ring damper side RockShox Reba fork

The damper is also kept into place with an internal retaining ring. Using retaining ring pliers you can remove this ring as well.

removing damper shaft RockShox Reba fork

With the retaining ring removed you can pull out the damper.

Step 8. Cleaning parts

cleaning parts RockShox Reba fork

With the fork totally disassembled, now comes the fun part of cleaning every individual item using tap water. If you use a sink, make sure smaller parts do not get washed down the drain.

cleaning stanchions RockShox Reba fork

Using a shop towel on a long plastic PVC tube, you can easily clean the stanchions without damaging them. The towel is fixed to the tube so you can move it back and forth without it becoming detached.

Step 9. Replacing o-rings

Through time and use the o-rings become hard and flat, which causes them to loosen their sealing ability. Because of that we replace each individual o-ring.

You can obviously buy a service kit for your fork, which will include the o-rings necessary. If you don’t have such a service kit and because specifications can be hard to track down for each individual fork, you can always simply measure the cross-section and length of the o-ring using a caliper.

Step 10. Reassembling and installing the damper shaft

damper shaft seal head reassembly RockShox Reba fork

Reassemble the damper shaft with the new o-rings.

damper shaft super slick light suspension grease

Use super slick light suspension grease on the damper shaft seal head, before installing it into the stanchion.

install damper shaft RockShox Reba fork

Insert the damper shaft into the stanchion and fix it into place using the retaining ring. The retaining ring has a sharp edge and a round edge. Make sure the sharp edge points outwards and the round edge inwards, to prevent the damper from getting loose.

Step 11. Reassembling and installing the air spring shaft

reassemble air spring shaft RockShox Reba fork

Reassemble the air spring shaft, making sure every part sits in the correct place. Use super slick light suspension grease on the air spring shaft seal head and part which connects to the inner wall of the stanchion.

inserting air spring shaft RockShox Reba fork

Then insert the air spring shaft into the stanchion. The air spring shaft is also kept into place using an internal retaining ring.

Step 12. Reinstalling the air cap

installing sag ring RockShox Reba fork

Place the sag o-ring onto one of the stanchions and rotate the fork into an upright position.

attaching tokens to air cap RockShox Reba fork

Since the tokens had gotten loose from the air spring top cap, we need to attach them again. Use the 24 mm top cap socket and an 8 mm hex tool to do so, and give it a gentle snug of about 2 Nm.

greasing o-ring air cap RockShox Reba fork

Before reinstalling the air cap, but some light suspension grease on the seal to prevent air loss in case it gets nicked.

Loctite on air cap threads RockShox Reba fork

Then put some Loctite on the threads before reinstalling.

reinstalling air cap RockShox Reba fork

Reinstall the air cap using the 24 mm top cap socket.

insert valve into top cap RockShox Reba fork

Insert the valve again.

Step 13. Reinstalling the compression damper

open damper using rebound adjuster RockShox Reba fork

Before we put fresh suspension fluid into the damper use the rebound adjuster to open up the damper. Turn the rebound adjuster clockwise from the perspective of the rider.

inserting suspension fluid RockShox Reba fork

Place suspension oil into the damper stanchion. We use Fuchs Silkolene RSF 5 suspension fluid.

pumping damper shaft RockShox Reba fork

Pump the damper shaft a number of times so the air moves out.

setting oil level gauge RockShox Reba fork

Set the oil level gauge at the length of the compression damper minus half an inch.

extracting damper oil RockShox Reba fork

This way, when extracting the excess suspension fluid, you’ll know for sure the entire compression damper will be submerged.

o-ring onto compression damper RockShox Reba fork

Place the new o-rings on the compression damper.

lubricating o-ring compression damper RockShox Reba fork

Lubricate the o-rings with suspension grease.

Insert the compression damper and tighten it using the 24 mm top cap socket.

reinstalling compression adjuster knob RockShox Reba fork

Reinstall the compression adjuster knob.

Step 14. Replacing foam rings and seals

pre-soak foam rings RockShox Reba fork

Pre-soak the foam rings, which we’re going to install later. Use a plastic container with Öhlins Renep CGLP 68 lower leg oil.

replacing foam rings RockShox Reba fork

With the legs cleaned place the new foam rings into the lower legs using a pick to get them out of the plastic container.

inserting seal RockShox Reba fork

Since the foam rings were lubricated when moved into place we don’t need any extra lubrication for the seals, since the foam rings have left enough on the insides of the lower leg. Using a 35 mm seal driver tool we can then proceed to hammer the seals into place.

Step 15. Reinstalling lower legs

reinstalling lower legs RockShox Reba fork

It’s now time to very carefully insert the damper and air spring into the lower legs. Be careful not to damage the smooth walls of the lower legs during this process.

And also make sure that the damper and air spring go in correctly, with the air spring sitting on the left and the damper on the right. The damper is the side with the rebound adjuster.

It might take some moving back and forth before the air spring and damper actually go into the lower legs.

Step 16. Inserting oil into lower legs

rotating for oil insertion RockShox Reba fork

Next up is the oil insertion into the lower legs. To be able to do this its best to rotate the fork so the legs are pointing upwards for gravity to do its job when you put in the oil.

Be sure to move both damper and air spring out a little again so they don’t stick out of the lower legs, and the oil actually has some room to go into.

inserting lower leg oil RockShox Reba fork

Put 10 ml Öhlins Renep CGLP 68 lower leg oil into both legs using a syringe.

Step 17. Reinstalling foot bolt and rebound adjuster

reinstalling bottom nut and rebound adjuster

After you’ve pushed both rods out of the bottom of the lower legs, it’s time to reinstall the foot bolt and rebound adjuster.

crush washer RockShox Reba fork

Don’t forget to put new crush washers on both of them before you tighten them.

torque wrench RockShox Reba fork

We use a torque wrench set at 7.4 Nm to tighten both bolts.

Step 18. Inflate air spring

inflate air spring RockShox Reba fork

Inflate the air spring up to 90 Psi. This is the starting air pressure, which can be modified based on personal preferences and riding style.

install air cap RockShox Reba fork

Install the air cap valve cover afterwards.

Step 19. Test fork

test fork RockShox Reba fork

If you have a front suspension test station, use it before either you or your client reinstalls the fork. Better be save than sorry.

cleanup of RockShox Reba fork

A final cleanup with a bit of Muc-off Bike Protect and your Rockshox Reba lower leg service is done.

bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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