Review: The BikeYoke Revive Dropper Post Is Exceptional
Dropper posts have changed mountain biking for the better more than any other component in recent memory. Getting your saddle out of the way lets you descend more confidently and corner faster. Even top XC racers are getting on board with droppers, despite the added weight.
But as most of us know all too well, owning a dropper isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. Overall, dropper post reliability has been, well… let’s just say “not that great.” They get stuck up or worse, down; they sink into their travel; they develop side-to-side slop; the remotes have crappy ergonomics; and, they are generally a pain in the ass to work on.
With its twin-tube design, easy reset function, and user-friendly maintenance, the BikeYoke Revive dropper post claims to solve all those issues. BikeYoke sent a post over last summer, and I’ve been riding it for the past several months to check the validity of those assertions.
A look at the mechanism at the bottom of the post (photo: Aaron Chamberlain)
You probably haven’t heard of BikeYoke before now. The small German company got their start selling custom shock yokes for Specialized’s full suspension bikes. Their yokes let riders run aftermarket shocks on Specialized’s bikes, whereas before you were wedded to whatever came stock. They also make a mechanical conversion kit for the RockShox Reverb’s hydraulic lever. A full dropper post is a seemingly big leap from their previous products, but in my experience, BikeYoke stuck the landing.
The Revive uses a twin-tube design inside the upper, sliding stanchion of the post. The inner tube is filled with oil, while the outer tube has both air and oil in it. When you press the remote, oil flows from the inner tube into the outer tube, which also compresses the air. That compressed air returns the post to full extension and pushes oil back into the inner tube.
Resetting the post requires just a single 4mm hex (photo: Aaron Chamberlain)
Air can eventually migrate into the inner tube, which causes the post to squish down into its travel. Most posts require a full rebuild at this point, but not the Revive. It has a handy reset function that takes literally seconds to perform. On the post head, simply insert a 4mm hex, give it a quarter turn, push down on the post, and boom: you’re done. Turning the hex opens a valve at the top of the stanchion, allowing air to escape back into the outer tube. For visual learners, check out the video below.
BikeYoke sells the Revive in three travel lengths: 125mm, 160mm (tested), and 185mm. Their posts use a short collar on the lower, fixed portion of the post, which allows them to eke out more travel for a given overall post length. For comparison, a 150mm Fox Transfer post measures 457mm from the rails to the bottom of the post. The 160mm Revive is 435mm, even with the extra drop.
The Revive post weighs 545g itself and around 600g with the remote and housing. That’s more or less in line with other premium dropper posts from RockShox, Fox, and KS. It’s not the lightest, but the Revive is no pig either.
Another drawback to dropper posts not mentioned above is the price. There are some budget options available, but most droppers retail somewhere north of $300. At $397, the Revive is no different. Compared to the competition, the Revive is only second to the Reverb with the new 1x remote in terms of price. But again, it’s not wildly out of line: a Fox Transfer runs from $329 to $379 (with remote); the Reverb is $349-$399 depending on the remote chosen; and a KS LEV Integra is $359.
The Revive is compatible with round, oval, and carbon saddle rails (photo: Aaron Chamberlain)
The Revive uses two bolts to mount a saddle to the post head, similar to what you find on most posts. There’s a Ti hardware hop-up kit available through BikeYoke’s site, should you want to save a few grams. The saddle clamp is, of course, compatible with standard round rails, but it works with oval or carbon rails as well. I tested the Revive with a fancy Fizik saddle that has tall, oval carbon rails, without issue.
The BikeYoke lived on my Kona Honzo for five months (photo: Aaron Chamberlain)
BikeYoke carefully considered and artfully crafted every detail of the Revive dropper. The post arrives in a black cardboard tube with silver lettering, not unlike what you’d use for a nice bottle of Scotch. Cracking it open reveals everything you need: the post, remote, cable, housing, and clear instructions are all there. BikeYoke even etched a cutting guide into the base of the post so you know exactly where to trim the cable.
A handy cable cutting guide is etched into the base of the post (photo: Aaron Chamberlain)
In all, it was less than a one-beer job.
On the Trail
With 160mm of drop, the Revive gets way out of the way (photo: Eric Nicoletti)
The Triggy remote has excellent ergonomics with only the tiniest amount of free stroke before the cable engages. It has extremely light action — lighter than a Fox Transfer, KS LEV, and certainly a Reverb (even with the upgraded Wolf Tooth ReMote). This makes it a cinch to micro adjust the height — up or down — as well as getting it out of the way quickly when you’re really hauling the mail and can’t quite get your whole thumb on the remote. Chamfered edges keep it friendly to your thumb and kneecap in case of a crash, while the drilled face provides extra purchase without being as rough as the Wolf Tooth.
BikeYoke sells the Triggy remote by itself if you’re looking to upgrade the stock remote on your current dropper. It’ll work with the vast majority of mechanical droppers on the market.
You can’t adjust the return speed on the Revive, but it came up plenty fast for my liking. It doesn’t rocket up to full extension like the taint-punching Specialized Command Post or a fresh Reverb, but it’s quicker than the Fox. Some very slight side-to-side play was present on day one, but it hasn’t gotten any wigglier in the intervening months.
The Triggy remote is among the best I’ve used (photo: Aaron Chamberlain)
After five months of riding, the Revive operates exactly as it did on day one. I used the reset function once after installation as the instructions recommend and a couple other times to show my buddies how easy it was to do. However, there was never an occasion where I needed to do it because of an issue with the post.
I really can’t recommend the BikeYoke Revive enough. From the post to the remote, from the aesthetics to even the packaging, it’s one of the most dialed products I’ve tried to date. It’s painless to install or remove and it’s a joy to use on the trail.
I’ve ridden plenty of droppers from the major brands and I can tell you, the Revive is a step (or two) above all of them.
Bike Yoke Revive Dropper Post
$374.99 Jenson USA AD
Thanks to BikeYoke for providing the Revive for review.