For Bashers, By Bashers!

ASK Cub Reporter- 06.15.2011- More Questions, Less Answers


Hey Cubby I’m a big fan, my week hasn’t offically started until I’ve read the Cub Report every Monday. I was recently told RPM dual stage pistions are the best modification for my shocks that I can make. I drive an SC10. What are they, and what will they do for me?
Trevor J.
Peoria IL

Cubby– What’s up Trevor? With you being from Peoria you are well within driving distance of the Ole’ School BigSquid bash this weekend. If you show up you can ask all sorts of questions and have a great time bashing with our crew.

But, lets say you can’t make it this Saturday.

RPM dual stage pistons are great stuff. They will fit Horizon/Losi, Traxxas and Thunder Tiger/Associated tenth scale shocks. They come with full instructions, be sure and read them carefully.

So what are they and what do they do? Like their name implies they are shock pistons, but different than what comes stock in rc shocks. Standard rc shock pistons provide the same amount of compression and rebound damping while RPM pistons provide “X” amount of damping one direction, and “X divided by 2” amount of damping the other direction. You can install them to give a “normal” amount of compression damping and a lesser amount of rebound damping, or you can install them to do the exact opposite.

Most off-road guys install them for “normal” compression damping and lesser rebound. This gives their car/truck a fairly firm suspension when hitting bumps and landing from jumps, but allows for quicker rebound characteristics to help keep their tires glued to terra firma. I’ve known oval guys to run them the other way, for light compression damping and heavier rebound.

I’ve used the RPM pistons lots of times. They are a great tuning tool and can definitely be the bomb-diggity at certain tracks. Give’em a go and take your time experimenting with them, most people that try them like the way their car drives afterwards.

Been looking at getting a new short course truck, I’m not a noob as I’ve owned a few trucks before, some nitro some electric. Ya think I should go with a two wheel drive or a four by four and I will be using it mainly for bashing with a little bit of racing thrown in.


Cubby– Hummm…. good question. But I’m gonna give you my standard answer- buy whatever YOU like best, don’t listen to me or the guys off some forums, you know what you think looks good and has the features you want, so go with that one.

But… I’m paid to attempt to give real answers here so here’s a quickie analysis.

2wd- Typically less expensive. Harder to drive. Oftentimes 2wd RTR’s come with slower brushed motors. Easier to work on.

4wd- Typically more expensive. Easier to drive. Oftentimes comes with high power brushless systems. Harder to work on, and more stuff that can break.

So which one is more fun? IMO it can easily be both. The amount of fun you have is not directly related to how much money you spent or how fast it goes. The amount of fun I normally have is directly related to who I’m driving with, although I must say it’s typically only fun when we are driving similar vehicles. If I’m driving a Blitz and all my buddies are driving 8th scale buggies it’s not likely I’m going to have much fun. So buying something similar to what your crew has is a big plus.

You also said you plan on bashing more than racing. Back in the day 4wds were not very tough, but things are much different now. Sure, there are plenty of very tough 2wd SC’s on the market today (read- HPI Blitz and Traxxas Slash), but there are also tough 4wds (read- Traxxas Slash 4×4 and Losi Ten SCTE).

I like to give actual product recommendations here, so if I “had” to recommend one short course truck for you to buy- right now it would be the Losi Ten SCTE. Not only is it extremely durable for bashing, but it’s also fast on the track. The Losi is also easy to work on and drives really well, if you buy one you’ll dig it.

Whatever you end up with remember to have Fun and to shoot us some pics!

That’s it for this week, submit your questions, answers, requests, summons for jury duty, and heck anything else to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com!

YOUR Cub Reporter

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Posted by in Ask Cubby, RPM on Thursday, June 16th, 2011 at 11:59 am