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  1. #1
    Mud Boy
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    Triad vs RP23-06 Stumpy

    got the first mtb ride of the season in today,a nice 20 mile local loop. I wanted to start a new thread instead of bumping the old one's, so here goes.....

    Bike; 2006 Stumpy FSR, base frame up build, 05 Vanilla R-Pushed, king, Thomson X4 stem, XT cranks, XT FD,XT cass, Sram X9 RD, Sram triggers, Avid Speed Dial levers, Avid mechanicals with Power Cordz fiber cables, very sweet. 03 S Works wheelset, Mavic X317's with Hugi 240's, Roll X Pro's D2's with Stan's, and a Rival SL saddle, Specialized seatpost, clamp, mid rise bar, grip's, as well as Ritchet stubby bar ends. 28.25 lbs on the Ultimate digital scale-bottle cage and cyclometer included.

    I rode the Stumpy all last year with the Triad, and the Vanilla set at 4" of travel. I fiddled with the Triad almost constantly. Mid season I sent it to Push to have it serviced, seal's, nitrogen charge, and fluid, that's all the service they would perform on the 06 version of the Triad. When I got the shock back it was different, but not much better. It worked best in open mode all the time, but would ride too far into it's stroke. I continued to fiddle with psi, and the damn cheesy lever. I finally got an RP23 from a Cdale Rush around December.

    I got two chances to ride the bike with the 23 installed in early January. We had a great warm spell here in Central New York, and I got about 30 miles in. Within the first few pedal strokes, I could tell the 23 was light years ahead of the Triad. Very frim under pedaling, great acceleration, much more responsive to trail impacts, and the bike rode higher, cause the 23 didn't sag so much into it's stroke. At the end of the second ride, the 23 stuck down...

    Move ahead to spring here in Central New York. I did the air sleeve maintenance on the
    23, bumped the Vanilla back out to 5" travel, and finally got the Roll X D2's to seal with Stan. That is alot of variables to consider on the first ride, although I have used Stan for many seasons, I just couldn't get the D2's to go tubeless when I got the new set mid season last year..

    So...here we go. I set the sag for both the 23 and the Vanilla according to Fox. To get the correct sag from the 23, I put in 200psi, that's about 10# above my riding weight with gear. I backed the Propedal lever down to level 2, I had only tried level 3 last time out. The bike felt a little higher in front-remember, I now have 5" travel up front instead of 4, but that sensation would fade. I feel pretty comfortable with the psi on the 23, I used most all the travel, but I think I could slow the rbound down another click. The climbing was great, I didn't notice the longer travel front fork, didn't have to search for an efficient position. Stan helped here too I'm sure.

    So, advantages with the RP23 vs the Triad. Massive improvement in pedaling efficiency and especially acceleration, great traction and ability to hold the line while climbing too. But the best advantage so far, the bike performs great with the 5" stroke fork. Definately still has an XC feel to the geometry, steering was very sweet indeed.

    I have quite a few road miles in this year, so my legs are strong, time now to work on the bike handling skills again. The 23 and the bumped out travel on the Vanilla, just raised the competency of the chassis even more. Now I'm more the weekest than before, gotta get busy, the next ride is Sunday

  2. #2
    arc
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    I got rid of the triad too, went with the 7.875x2 RP23. I weigh 200 pounds and run 150 psi in the shock (ran about 210 in the triad), strange how a quarter inch of shock stroke changes the pressures so much. I have propedal turned off and see no need to use it, maybe the chain tension in combination with the different swing-arm angle does a good job of canceling the bob.

    I put a float 140 on the front of the bike, the taller front matches the rear well. Steers great and I love being able to lean over in a fast turn and keep pedaling. Can pedal over more rocks and logs too. Bottom bracket is 13.5 inches high, and feels like I'm riding 2 inches higher than last year.

    Some of the change is the longer shock, and I think some is from the RP23 riding higher in its travel. Did you notice this as well?

  3. #3
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    This should be an interesting thread.

    I'd be keen to see how the Triad compares if you retrofit it after riding on the RP23 for a couple of months.

    At least with the second shock as a back-up, getting warranty for a stuck down new one shouldn't be such a drama. (can't believe this is still happening)

    I did a 24hr race last weekend (in a 4 person team) on a course I wasn't used to. It had quite a few sections with hard packed rutted and rocky single track. I was really surprised how often my heels were hitting the ground. I guess fatigue was making me sit more heavily in the saddle than I normally would have. I think the Triad was using so much of it's stroke coping with the terain that the low bottom bracket was exacerbated. A slightly higher BB would have been appreciated.

    Having said that, I finished up in a far better physical condidtion than I ever would have on my old hardtail, and I know the Stumpy saved me quite a few times when I suffered my own 'brain fade'.

    Cheers.
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  4. #4
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    My Triad is hanging on the wall just in case I have any problems with the RP23. But to tell you the truth, if I have problems with the 23, I'll probably just ride my hardtail because I've really gotten used to the bike with the 23.
    I finally had a chance to ride a fairly technical trail with the RP23 last weekend. It did great. I'm sure the Triad would have bottomed and bobbed its way through, but I don't like that kind of performance.
    To anyone out there who may be considering the RP23 as a replacement for the Triad, do it, you won't be sorry.
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  5. #5
    Mud Boy
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    rode with two 06 FSR comps today

    I had the oppourtunity to chat and ride with these two guys for almost three hours. This was the start of their second season on the bikes. Both were older guys like me, good skills, and fitness. Anyway, one had a Triad that was stuck down, he kept saying that he just didn't put any air in it today, but it didn't even extend out when he was off of it. He fiddled with it all last season, never felt right to him.

    The other guy, I road behind him twice, holy $hit, did my Stumpy REALLY bob that much on technical singletrack? No wonder I spanked my pedals off of everything. I just couldn't follow him anymore, I kept looking at the shock and all the compression and wasn't concentrating enough on the trail.

    Rider number two, was completely happy with the Triad.

    My Triad is in my bike bag, I bring it with me, along with my tools. If the Rp23 ever gets stuck down again, I just might wheel/limp back into the parking lot and change it out again. Hell, then again, I just might wrap a towel around the base of the 23 and unscrew the airsleev on the bike, burp out the air and go.

    Anyway, ride number 2 of the season, a 27 member club ride, lots of starting and stopping, hundred's of log overs and technical bridges. I gotta back off the psi some more on the 23 to soften the ride a little more, but...with the 5" stroke up front, and a competent platform out back, it's gonna be a good year.

    I love this bike. That RP23 saved me from spending thousands of $$ on a brain Stumpy.

  6. #6
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    The RP23's are on backorder right now from Cannondale

  7. #7
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    The RP23's are on backorder right now from Cannondale
    That sucks.
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  8. #8
    Mud Boy
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    well..don't forget Push

    you can still have Push provide an RP23 and shorten the stroke to the 1.75 required for the 06 Stumpy. They might sell you one without the additional custom tuning.

    Has anyone ever checked with Fox to see if they would shorten the travel for you? They do sell direct, no discount from full retail though.

    There are other options out there...

  9. #9
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I'm sure Lumbee1 is going to wait for Mark to come through. They cut some decent deals for us.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    I'm sure Lumbee1 is going to wait for Mark to come through. They cut some decent deals for us.
    It was a little more convenient to get Bicycle Chain to pricematch

  11. #11
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    You know the guy I bought my Rush pull off from has sold two on eBay in the last two weeks, and is currently selling a third.

    I don't know where the hell he is getting them all. I am just imagining a stack of cannibalized Rush corpses in his garage.

    Anyway, I can verify that he is selling a quality product as I just bolted mine on this afternoon. When I first got it I was a little scared as the exposed shock body looked a lot longer than 1.75". But after some fumbling around with the reducers I threw it on to see anyway. Turns out that there is a bumper somewhere preventing it from compressing beyond the 45mm or 1.75". I guess Cannondale must just buy stroke reduced 7.5x2" shocks from Fox, and just not care about having an extra centimeter of superfluous shock body.

    Works great so far. The platform is infinitely better. Traction is great. The lever detent is nice and snappy. Switching between propedal levels is the only thing I don't like about it so far. You definitely would need to practice if you wanted to do this without getting off of your bike. Still getting it tuned to my weight, will write a more indepth review then.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by half_man_half_scab
    You know the guy I bought my Rush pull off from has sold two on eBay in the last two weeks, and is currently selling a third.

    I don't know where the hell he is getting them all. I am just imagining a stack of cannibalized Rush corpses in his garage.

    Anyway, I can verify that he is selling a quality product as I just bolted mine on this afternoon. When I first got it I was a little scared as the exposed shock body looked a lot longer than 1.75". But after some fumbling around with the reducers I threw it on to see anyway. Turns out that there is a bumper somewhere preventing it from compressing beyond the 45mm or 1.75". I guess Cannondale must just buy stroke reduced 7.5x2" shocks from Fox, and just not care about having an extra centimeter of superfluous shock body.

    Works great so far. The platform is infinitely better. Traction is great. The lever detent is nice and snappy. Switching between propedal levels is the only thing I don't like about it so far. You definitely would need to practice if you wanted to do this without getting off of your bike. Still getting it tuned to my weight, will write a more indepth review then.
    half_man_half_scab, can you take a picture of the RP23 and Triad side by side?

  13. #13
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    I'll try and do it this evening. Gotta go to school in ten minutes.

  14. #14
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    It was a little more convenient to get Bicycle Chain to pricematch
    Well, it's good to see they did after they told you full list on the thing the first time.
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  15. #15
    Mud Boy
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    Hey Lumbee1

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    half_man_half_scab, can you take a picture of the RP23 and Triad side by side?

    what do you hope to see from the picture? The Rush RP23 has 2" of shaft exposed, the travel reducer is at the top of the shock. So full travel of the shortened 23 will leave your travel indicator about 1/4" from the end.

    The Triad only has the 1.75" of shaft exposed, give or take. The E2E is identical, it's a direct bolt up...and it's heaven baby!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by magdaddy
    what do you hope to see from the picture? The Rush RP23 has 2" of shaft exposed, the travel reducer is at the top of the shock. So full travel of the shortened 23 will leave your travel indicator about 1/4" from the end.

    The Triad only has the 1.75" of shaft exposed, give or take. The E2E is identical, it's a direct bolt up...and it's heaven baby!
    That's what I thought (1/4" unused shaft). I just wanted to see it as a visual reference. I am ordering one as soon as they are available.

  17. #17
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    So I went out and rode the exact same loop on my bike with the Triad that I rode on the Expert with the Brain shock.

    I realized exactly what the Triad is missing and what the Brain shock and RP23 have. The Triad doesn't have snap. When you really mash the pedals the bike accelerates but slowly. It doesn't have the quick response because the bike squats and sucks away the power in the pedal stroke which makes the ride mushy. The best analogy I could come up with is that the Triad is like running in sand, propedal is soft sand and open mode is deep beach sand (lockout is worthless). The Brain is like soft packed singletrack. You can't sprint or run efficiently in soft sand while soft packed singletrack has some give but running is much easier.

    Now if the propedal on the Triad is there to eliminate bob, it does the job and does it quite well. The difference between the propedal on the Brain and I am sure the RP23, is that they both also eliminate the squat that our bikes suffer from. The Triad performs great when coasting and eats bumps as good as the Brain. But any pedaling on the Triad immediately causes the rear to squat. The squat can be felt not only uphill but downhill and on flat terrain.

    I can't wait to get my RP23. My next upgrade is to sell every bit of my Shimano drivetrain. The X9 shifter and X0 derailleur is soo much better.

  18. #18
    arc
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    Lumbee, I think what you are feeling is caused by two different things. The first is the Triad has poor compression damping and wallows into midstroke too quickly, making the rear suspension more reactive to pedaling forces. It would help if the air sleeve had less volume so pressures ramped up quicker.

    The other factor is the rear suspension on stumpys in general may be designed a bit wrong to deal with pedaling forces, it seems to work better with the rear axle a little lower. The guys posting reviews of the Bet-d link are always positive. I put a longer shock on my bike and it pedals great. Tried running propel on the lightest setting once, and have not used it since. The only time I notice any bob is if I lower my air pressure too much. Maybe we can badger Magdaddy into test riding with his propedal turned off. We're about the same weight, and ran similar pressures in our triads so our riding style can't be too different. The only difference should be ride height related, and how the chain pull either tries to compress or extend the rear suspension, or hopefully has no effect at all.

    Switching to Sram shifting makes perfect sense as an upgrade. Its when you talk of having to wait for some non-standard oddball length shock to show up I get confused. I mean, its designed for a Cannondale, fer shame, fer shame. How can it possibly make a Stumpy better?

  19. #19
    JSQ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lumbee1
    So I went out and rode the exact same loop on my bike with the Triad that I rode on the Expert with the Brain shock.

    I realized exactly what the Triad is missing and what the Brain shock and RP23 have. The Triad doesn't have snap. When you really mash the pedals the bike accelerates but slowly. It doesn't have the quick response because the bike squats and sucks away the power in the pedal stroke which makes the ride mushy. The best analogy I could come up with is that the Triad is like running in sand, propedal is soft sand and open mode is deep beach sand (lockout is worthless). The Brain is like soft packed singletrack. You can't sprint or run efficiently in soft sand while soft packed singletrack has some give but running is much easier.

    Now if the propedal on the Triad is there to eliminate bob, it does the job and does it quite well. The difference between the propedal on the Brain and I am sure the RP23, is that they both also eliminate the squat that our bikes suffer from. The Triad performs great when coasting and eats bumps as good as the Brain. But any pedaling on the Triad immediately causes the rear to squat. The squat can be felt not only uphill but downhill and on flat terrain....
    I couldn't agree more ! I have owned a Stumpy fsr 100 mm with a RP3 shock and a S-works Stumpy 120 mm with a Septune. My current bike is a 2007 Epic Expert with a Brain fade shock. In my opinion my Epic is the best Specialized I've owned so far. The Epic accelerates instantly and there really isn't any wasted energy. The bike is so much more lively than my former 120 mm s-works. I hated the mushy feeling of the stumpy. The Epic feels like the perfect bike for me. The suspension isnt't super plush, but it works when you need it. I had a Giant Reign between my Stumpy and Epic, and I feel confident riding the same technical trails with my Epic as I did with my Reign. Of course with the Epic, you can't hit the obstacles as hard as with the reign, but still I'd say that the Epic's suspension feels more sophisticated and controlled than the 120 mm stumpy. In my opinion Specialized made a mistake, when they upped the travel to 120 mm on the stumpy. I think they should have changed the apperance of the Stumpy, when they upped the Stumpy's travel and I think a rocker link driven shock would perform better than the current design.

  20. #20
    Mud Boy
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    test ride today

    [QUOTE=arc ) Maybe we can badger Magdaddy into test riding with his propedal turned off. We're about the same weight, and ran similar pressures in our triads so our riding style can't be too different. The only difference should be ride height related, and how the chain pull either tries to compress or extend the rear suspension, or hopefully has no effect at all.


    Arc...gonna try that and more. I'm starting to think I have too much psi in my 23. I'm gonna do some test runs today, and continue to fine tune it some more. I'll definately do a pass with the propedal off-in open mode, and report back. The place I'm going-Highland Forest, has some very nice rough technical singletrack-both to climb and descend.

    We have a great stretch of sunny and warm weather here in Central New York, so I'm gonna get in some serious miles.

  21. #21
    Mud Boy
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    23 tuning contd...

    I didn't get to ride Highkand Forest like I wanted. I had a technical section of trail in mind that would have been perfect. I was just gonna run up and down , make adjustments then repeat. That section of trail, known as Rippin, was the worst performer when the Triad was on my Stumpy. I always spanked the pedals too numerous times to count while climbing it.

    Anyway, there is a mating pair of Gos hawks that have a nest right on the trail. The whole area is off limit's. Seems that those hawks are the most aggressive in the bird world. If you get within 150' of the nest you WILL be attacked. A couple of hikers have been attacked, one severely injured. I haven't looked these birds up yet, but I'm told they are big.

    So. I went to another local ride spot. I think I am getting closer on the psi...I was way off. I thought I got the proper amount of sag at 200 psi, I must have been wrong. I'm gonna do some more nutzing around with psi/sag in the garage today. Anyway, I settled with 170 psi for the ride yesterday, definately softened the ride up some. I rode the first half of the loop in open mode without realizing it, the bike felt responsive under acceleration, but did bob just a little.

    In pro pedal mode, on setting #2, the bike firmed up noticably. I have to say it's almost snappy under acceleration. The second half of this loop is almost all climbing, many switchbacks and very steep short shutes. I just turned the pedals over and up she went. I didn't have Stan's in the new tires at the end of last season, but I did have Stans in the old tire set for the beginning half with the Triad.

    The bike climbs so much better it amazing, and that with the full 5" stroke fork-remember it's a Vanilla, so no travel adjustment available.

    I think I'm closer on the psi now, probably within 10psi, looking to start to balance the bike front to rear now.

    Arc, your lower psi(150) probably doesn't directly compare because of the longer stroke and e2e of your shock. Mopartodd, what psi are you running, and what is your riding weight?

    Anyway, took a mental health holiday today. Gonna do yard work around the house, get the mower ready. The weather forcast is absolutely beautiful for the next 7 days. The trails were in very good shape yesterday, so an additional week of warm/dry weather will only make them better.

  22. #22
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    I running around 240 PSI and setting #3 PP. My riding weight is 235# and so far I've used about 3/4 of the travel during an reasonably technical ride. If it would get technical, I think I would probably use the majority of the available travel. I've not played around too much with the PSI at this point. The Fox sag setting seems to be good for me and I'm really liking the #2 and 3 PP settings.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd
    I running around 240 PSI and setting #3 PP. My riding weight is 235# and so far I've used about 3/4 of the travel during an reasonably technical ride. If it would get technical, I think I would probably use the majority of the available travel. I've not played around too much with the PSI at this point. The Fox sag setting seems to be good for me and I'm really liking the #2 and 3 PP settings.
    Where are you riding Todd?

  24. #24
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    CT.on the weekends when the wife wants me out of the house. Then I load up and go to Umstead for a short loop ride to top it off.
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    Took her out for a longer ride today.

    I've been fiddling with the PSI. My weight with gear is about 185-190. I had the shock set to 170 PSI. I use most of the travel when in open with this setup.

    For climbing I throw the rp23 into propedal 2 right now. Honestly there is no bob. In fact it's a little harsh on rocky technical climbs. I set to open for downhill segments and am pretty pleased. However, in the 2nd half of my ride the shock started chirping. It would be fine with a single big hit, but a series of them caused the shock to make a hi pitched wooshing sound. It seems to only occur in the latter half of the stroke (most extreme compression). This is occurring in full open.

    Going off of small jumps is pure joy now. The shock has turned my bike into a gazel. Slight preload before, and I just fly off of ramped rocks. The shock also helps with my pseudo gimpy bunny hops.

    I'm going to lube the shock body to see if that will make the chirping go away. Also I am going to try some rides in propedal 1 to see if it works better than 2 for technical climbs. If I decide I don't like it, I will take out another 5psi and try it in 2 again. I don't really see any point in trying 3, as I just don't think I'd be able to get it to compress.

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