Everybody’s Scalin’ For the Weekend – Flexy Friday
Ah yes, suspension flex. The first thing a new crawler owner does after opening the box is head outside and snap a poser picture of the truck on rocks. This is the “flex shot”. “Flexy Fridays” are now a thing on r/c Facebook groups. Hey, we all do it. If you got the suspension why not show it off? The problem is that many people have gotten the wrong idea about suspension travel. You’ll see people using “it has two feet of suspension travel!” on for sale ads to entice noobs to buy their piles o’ junk. Click the “Read More” and let’s talk flex.
Suspension travel used to be all the rage when r/c rock crawling was just starting out. The closer your axles got to 90 degrees of twist the better! As purpose built motor-on-axle crawler buggies gave way to the shaft driven scale trucks, it still seemed that more flex was always good. When the OG Axial SCX10 released a lot of guys were slapping on monster truck shocks to get more travel. Yeah, the trucks could bend in half….but they drove like a bathtub on stilts setup that way.
Today’s high performing scale trucks are all about low CG and better suspension angles versus travel, travel, travel. Even a well setup leaf sprung truck like a Gmade Sawback or RC4WD Trail Finder 2 (relatively stiff suspensions) can out perform 4 linked vehicles with ludicrous travel and poor weight distribution. You want that weight low! The higher your ride height the harder it’s going to be to achieve this. I would know, as many moons ago I learned the hard way by slapping a lift kit and long travel shocks on an old SCX10. The thing had extreme driveshaft angles and couldn’t climb to save its life.
I don’t mean to imply that more articulation is always bad, just that it isn’t the end all be all that some people may think it is. If you are wanting that jacked-up look then by all means lift ‘er up…just know that it normally isn’t required for a well functioning trail rig.
For more scale r/c news on BigSquidRC you can click here.