Recon vs Reba – How do they compare?

The suspension is a vital component on a mountain bike and its usefulness cannot be overemphasized. RockShox is a formidable manufacturer of forks and we look at Recon and Reba models to determine which is the go-to option.

Earlier this year, I invested in my first mountain bike, and just like any other rider, I was eager to customize it fully to fit all my preferences.

I had already bought and installed replacements for my saddle, pedals, and chainring but I was a bit overwhelmed with the options available in suspension forks.

In my research, RockShox popped up as one of the most popular brands of forks and after a few consultations, I was left with a choice between the Recon and Reba models.

Here is my summary comparison of the two that helped me pick the better of the two.

What is the difference between Recon and Reba?

Wheel Size
27.5†and 29â€
26â€, 27.5†and 29â€
Travel Options
100 to 160mm
100mm & 120mm
Solo Air
Solo Air
Motion Control RL
Motion Control
Hollow forged aluminum
Forged Hollow Aluminum
Brake Mounts
Post Mount
Post Mount
Stanchion Diameter

Recon vs Reba – How they compare 

Fork Geometry

Recon is incarnated with shorter rails that gives it sharper precision better than Reba’s longer rails that create the less than crisp precision.

Adding to the emphasis on minimum weight, the fork works beautifully with lighter tires such as the 26â€.This is because of the Maxle axle which also has been reduced in size from 20mm to 15mm.

As one of the lightest forks in the RockShox family, the steering and precision of Reba are adequate but not as crisp.

You may feel the front tire slide through flat corners and the fork feels disconnected when traversing through rocky regions.

This is why they have longer rails and why the performance is a bit more nervous when riding in a straight line.

Air Spring 

The air spring system in Recon gives your bike a coil spring feeling that conquers the Reba. It creates a stock structure that is a bit too linear for most.

The air spring on Recon is covered with a metal cap creating a sleek feel to your fork. Also, the Poploc lever, a RockShox trademark, works to turn off the shock when going over steep climbs or when engaged in sprints. 

Though in stroke, the solo air spring in Recon will ramp up significantly deeper, it does not hamper the deliverance of the full travel length.

This simple system compresses both the negative and positive air chambers via a single valve in the fork. It is easy to use for everyone especially newbies but it is harder to tune it to individual preferences.

To counter this RockShox now offer Bottomless Tokens to make the single valve forks perform better.

There are modifications you can do to your fork if the Tokens are not available to you. These mods can help create a balance between sensitivity and support in your fork.


If you push Recon extremely hard, the Motion Control damping proves to be inferior than Reba. The Reba fork gives support that is solid as a rock and dependable.

It is enabled with a rebound setting but instead of a red knob, the only solution is using an Allen wrench. This wrench is very tricky to use because it has no positive response to confirm made adjustments.

The sensitivity of the initial stroke and the Floodgate are both not adjustable with the Recon fork. This is a good thing because you do not run the risk of ruining your fork’s setup.

With the lockout included in its design, Reba forks can adjust the Floodgate threshold to suit your most specific needs.

However, this adjustment is ticked off if and when you repeatedly slam your bike consecutively.

You should have no problems descending with a fully open fork but only use low-speed lockout for smooth climbs.

Spiking is an occurrence you may be exposed to and it happens when the circuit is overbearing to the flow of oil. Can be solved by re-valving the compression.

Recon vs Reba – A Comparison Overview  

Recon Review  

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You will find this fork mostly on complete bikes and it seriously elevates the ride quality of mid-priced bikes as far as suspension goes.

It is incarnated with a longer travel range but because it is built with strong and steerable components, it makes for a very durable fork among the RockShox family.

Though in stroke, the solo air spring will ramp up significantly deeper, it does not hamper the deliverance of the full travel length.

If you push it extremely hard though, the Motion Control damping could turn into a clatter rather than provide the controlled suspension you desire.

The sensitivity of the initial stroke and the Floodgate are both not adjustable with the Recon fork but this does is a good thing because you do not run the risk of ruining your fork’s setup.

Enabled with a rebound setting but instead of a red knob, the only solution is using an Allen wrench which is very tricky with no positive response to confirm made adjustments.


  • Plush rides
  • Reliable dampening
  • Consistent control
  • Accurate


  • Limited adjustments


Reba Review 

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Reba forks do well against small bumps but when faced with downhill regions, it turns more chattery and could cause you to lose the control.

The lightweight build and subtle damping make for a quality standard travel bike suspension fork. 200 grams have been shaved off by locating the Reba fork in the hollow chassis.

It is capable of stability in holding the line and it can work with brake rotors of any size without struggling at all.

Sensitivity to small bumps on the road is more pronounced within the first hours of riding but this quickly improves by adjusting your preferred stroke feel using the Dual positive and negative springs.

There is a blue compression knob on the top of the Reba fork that is adjustable from near lockout to wide open. Setting it in the middle makes the ride harsher and it tends to reset itself to lock.

Added extras that come with the Reba fork are such as the shock pump that helps tune shock pressure, steerer nut for accurate, controlled steering, and various colorful stickers which all add value to it.


  • Lightweight
  • Still &Reliable
  • Adjustable


  • Prone to clattering



While not readily adjustable, the Recon fork is reliable and unshakeable in its positioning and function.

Reba on the other hand is not as stable in performance but it provides a very adjustable fork.

Verdict: So, which is better – Recon or Reba? 

Recon beats the Reba fork. It has been a RockShox legend for years now and its performance is highly dependable which makes it irreplaceable. It is a great option for entry-level bikes. Plus, unlike with Reba which is prone to the clattering, Recon offers a plush riding experience.


What is the Solo Air fork?

This is a single file system that tunes both chambers to get accurate sag and rebound. This makes the fork softer at initial parts of travel but then it gets stiffer with the application of more compression.

Why settle for an Air Spring fork?

An air spring fork is favored because it is light in weight which means that less effort needs to be put into pedaling. This saves a lot of energy, especially when going uphill.