Thudbuster ST - Better Than the Real Thing?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Thudbuster ST - Better Than the Real Thing?

    Reporting in with something shy of two months on my <a href="https://www.thudbuster.com/">Thudbuster</a> ST (short travel) I installed on my Buzz Bomb hardtail. Here is a mini review of sorts...

    I came into this after about 18 months on the previous generation Thud -- Cane Creek it now referring to it as the "2G", or second generation, model.

    The 2G Thuds are being replaced with the new 3G versions, of which there are two: the LT, or "Long Travel", and the ST, or "Short Travel".

    Like the outgoing 2G, the new LT offers about 3" of rearward arcing travel sprung and damped through two neoprene elastomers, which are selected & installed to match the rider's weight.

    For the new ST version that I am riding, travel has been reduced to about 1.3 inches. It, too, uses an elastomer for springing and damping, but has changed to a single large block as opposed to dual cylinders.

    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/516/234077thudbuster_st.jpg">

    Changes (improvements, actually) for both 3G models over the last version are noteworthy:

    * The 3G models allow the user to adjust for any pivot slop that develops. Whereas the 2G thud used riveted pivots that required a trip to the factory for service if slop developed in the parallelogram, both 3G versions employ a bolt-together design that allows the user to take care of this at home.

    * The "base" of the parallelogram (the head of the post) is now machined from the same extrusion as the shaft. Making the post stronger compared to the old bonded affair, I am guessing it also reduces a bit of weight

    * The saddle rail clamp has been changed to a two-bolt design, as compared to the previous single bolt clamp. My ST has an odd thumbscrew design, requiring one bolt to be hand tightened before the second bolt can be tightened with a wrench. Odd, but with a little trial and error it works.

    * Both posts now offer approximately 15mm of setback. The last Thudbuster was, at zero sag, a zero-setback seatpost.

    I always felt the parallelogram Thudbusters did exactly what they were claimed to. Due to the rearward arcing path the travel follows, the posts respond appropriately to bump forces imparted by the rear wheel. This is in contrast to telescoping type designs where the bump force acts somewhere in the neighborhood of 50°̊ to the travel of the post. The result is a very low stiction, responsive "seat of the pants" suspension system.

    Additionally, the linkage design very effectively combats rotational slop.

    <img src="https://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/507/234077bbsh_1.jpg">

    Where the ST comes in is taking the edge off sharp impacts, without being nearly as "cush" as its longer-travel sibling. To put it bluntly, it makes my hardtail "feel like a hardtail" again. With the LT, there was a slight "give" -- a suspension bob of sorts -- that came with the 3" of travel, and while it wasn't necessarily bad, it was present. The ST feels much more solid under-arse.

    Unlike the LT, the ST does not require the rider to factor in seatpost sag (it's still there, but only to a minor degree). Ride tuning is not nearly so involved, as there are only three elastomers in the box to select from (no mixing and matching different pairs as before) plus the pre-load adjustment is gone. And for the Thudbuster riders who complain the post "launches" them when rebounding from deep hits, I can't imagine that will continue to be a factor with the ST. (I, for one, never had that complaint of the original Thudbuster, and don't completely understand it.)

    An added benefit for the weightweenie in each of us, the ST saves about 100g. My 3G ST weighs in at 471g, compared to 573g for the 2G LT. These weights are both Cane Creek's "XL" versions: 27.2mm x 425mm. Definitely not "lite", but I'll happily take an 18% weight savings where I can.

    Last but not least, I think you'll agree that the smaller form of the ST is aesthetically more pleasing. The size difference means the ST will work within tighter space constraints, requiring something shy of 4.5 inches of "exposed seatpost length" (the space between the seat tube clamp & saddle rails). Contrast that with the 6" required by the LT versions (due to the tall parallelogram linkages).

    Is the ST for everyone? No. I like it, but It is not a "better" suspension seatpost compared to the smoother LT. In fact, if I rode only a hardtail, I would probably stick with the greater comfort of the longer-travel version. But for a hardtail rider who <i>also</i> has a capable full-suspension rig, and/or is looking to only take the edge off of sharp impacts while maintaining a firm position from which to pedal, the ST makes for a good compromise.
    Last edited by Speedüb Nate; 10-19-2004 at 11:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    Great review of your new toy, Nate. I'm going to be out in Rapid City this weekend and hope to speak to Ryan (inventor of Thudbuster) and try out one of the new ST's on my Karate Monkey while there.

    BB

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    Great review of your new toy, Nate. I'm going to be out in Rapid City this weekend and hope to speak to Ryan (inventor of Thudbuster) and try out one of the new ST's on my Karate Monkey while there.

    BB
    It is a very peculiar arrangement Ryan has with Cane Creek, in that he is still an official distributor of the seatpost, even after selling his company to CC. What I'm not clear on is who does the manufacturing? Cane Creek attributed delays in getting my post to me to material supply problems, very much sounding as if they manufacture the posts. Yet Ryan lists his operation as a "the official factory retail outlet for the latest Cane Creek Thudbuster seatposts to come off the assembly line". Do you know the real story?

  4. #4

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    Hey Nate

    Nice review, I was searching around today to order a thudbuster, couldnt find any place online. I called a dozen shops "a buttbuster??" and the best I finally found was 140 and theyd have to order it, Im in san diego. All I see listed on the cane creek site is the ST but id much rather get the LT, for some reason they dont sell the seat from the site http://www.canecreek.com/site/produc...info/tech.html . And this talk of 3rd gen is all new to me. Can you point me in the right direction for an online order? Also, is there a warranty?

    Thanks

    Morb

  5. #5
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    i've been looking at the Thudbuster as well. Check out www.jensonusa.com , they carry both the LT and the st.

  6. #6
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    I ordered mine through my LBS. They wern't available in the normal distribution chain at the time (this is nearly 3 months ago) so they ordered direct from Cane Creek.

    They ordered a LT by mistake, and they still have that on their shelf in the shop (27.2 x 425mm). (Hayward Cyclepath 510-881-5177).

    Online, Universal Cycles has the LTs listed for $105. Might also try Speedgoad & AEBike.

    If you're not hung up on the vintage, I'm seeing the 2G posts in the $80 to $90 range. I didn't have a problem with any slop developing in my 2G post in the year and a half I used it.

    I assume there is a warrenty. Cane Creek has always provided superior customer service for their shocks, headsets and seatposts, and I don't expect it'd be any different now.

  7. #7

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    Hope Try mtnhighcyclery

    If you guys want decent priced Thuddy try getting in touch with larry of Mtnhighcyclery, I requested for Thuddy price quote specifically the 3G few months back, his price much better than you guys mentioned. One thing thats holding me back was shipping since I'm in japan

  8. #8

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    Did Thudbuster steal this from Moxey

    Not to change your thread, but do any of you know what transpired between Moxey and Thudbuster? I heard Moxey came up with this technology first but could'nt afford the legal fees to stand up to Cane Creek. Now Moxey is gone.

  9. #9

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    Didnt hear, Tamer has the only other pivot post ive seen.

    http://ekosport.com/fs_show_item_det...g=&brand=tamer

    I sent larry an email at Mtnhighcyclery, havent heard anything. 3G LT - UC -106, Speedgoat - 130 (they show the 2G), AEbike 97. As it stands, I should end up saving $100. Good links, thanks all.

  10. #10
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    Question....

    Nate,
    I've just gotten a 3G warranty replacement for my 2G. Unfortunately, I just bought a new hardtail with a smaller seat tube diameter so I was thinking of selling this one and going with the ST. I read your review and had a question. Does the ST use all its 1.3" or do you find that its truely about 15mm or so? Since you mention that there's no sag, I was wondering if it 'breaks loose' with the 1.3" of travel or not. Basically I have to decide if I should stay with a LT. My new hardtail will be set up with 2.5 rear tires, so it'll be more forgiving that my old HT with only 2.1s.
    I like the ST look, like you said, and I know its a HT, and I don't ride with my butt in the saddle all the time. I'm 200 lbs and ride technical single track, no jumps, 4 hour rides. I do have a 5 Spot as my main bike.....
    Thanks
    SB
    We told you 650b rocks! Riding converted RFX for years!

  11. #11
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    It's difficult to tell how much travel gets used. I haven't felt mine bottom out, but if the hit is hard enough, I'll likely be out of the saddle.

    There is enough preload in the system when I plant my butt on my saddle that the LT has no trouble "breaking" -- it's just not the generous sag that the LT provides (and which must be accounted for when adjusting seatpost height.

    So again, it's a different animal than the "more plusher" LT -- it'll take the edge off sharp hits, but it won't dampen general trail noise.

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