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For those of you that understand the pros and cons of suspension design can some of you enlighten me on some of the pros and cons of Treks full floater vs Niners CVA? Specifically the Fuel 29 and Rip 9. Which makes a better pedaler, climber, decender etc.
 

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I ride a 2012 Remedy 26 and a 2012 Niner RIP9. Without getting too technical:

Trek's Full Floater is designed to keep the wheel on the ground and tracking over bumps no matter if you are pedaling or braking. The flip side to this is that there is some suspension bob when you hammer the pedals. It also uses a custom shock to help give you really good small bump compliance and still have good control on big hits. It rides very supple and plush.

Niner's CVA is designed to firm up when you pedal and go back to being open when you're not. The torque from the chain effectively firms up the suspension which puts more power down vs bobbing. The chain torque also works the opposite way; when the suspension compression force is greater than your pedaling (or coasting), the chain will pull your pedals back a tad. In general CVA runs firmer.

Full Floater = supple, plush, good on big hits but bobs a tad.

CVA = firmer and more efficient, not as plush or smooth.
 

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Just one other thing to consider, which Greenblur kind of touched on - with the Float suspension you're essentially stuck with Fox DRCV shocks. There are DIY mods to get the bike to accept different shocks, but there's nothing else that's just 'plug and play'. With CVA you have far more choices.
 

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Just one other thing to consider, which Greenblur kind of touched on - with the Float suspension you're essentially stuck with Fox DRCV shocks. There are DIY mods to get the bike to accept different shocks, but there's nothing else that's just 'plug and play'. With CVA you have far more choices.
The full floater is fantastic (I had a Fuel Ex) but the proprietary shock dimensions are just stupid and pain in the ###. Same thing applies to Specialized etc that get you stuck with their own shocks.
 

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Just one other thing to consider, which Greenblur kind of touched on - with the Float suspension you're essentially stuck with Fox DRCV shocks. There are DIY mods to get the bike to accept different shocks, but there's nothing else that's just 'plug and play'. With CVA you have far more choices.
I generally agree that custom size shocks are a pain but the DRCV works so well, you don't really need to upgrade. If you must have something else, you can fit a Fox coil or a Cane Creek with not a lot of effort.

CVA takes a standard size shock but the suspension has varying leverage ratios through the stroke. This requires careful selection of the shock tune, you can't just slap anything in there and expect it to work. Niner does a good job specc'ing shocks, so its not that big of an issue.

To Le_buzz's point, CVA in not necessarily better than Treks' design. Each was optimized for a particular feel and riding style.
 

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I ride a 2012 Remedy 26 and a 2012 Niner RIP9. Without getting too technical:

Trek's Full Floater is designed to keep the wheel on the ground and tracking over bumps no matter if you are pedaling or braking. The flip side to this is that there is some suspension bob when you hammer the pedals. It also uses a custom shock to help give you really good small bump compliance and still have good control on big hits. It rides very supple and plush.

Niner's CVA is designed to firm up when you pedal and go back to being open when you're not. The torque from the chain effectively firms up the suspension which puts more power down vs bobbing. The chain torque also works the opposite way; when the suspension compression force is greater than your pedaling (or coasting), the chain will pull your pedals back a tad. In general CVA runs firmer.

Full Floater = supple, plush, good on big hits but bobs a tad.

CVA = firmer and more efficient, not as plush or smooth.
Having spent riding time on treks abp/full floater design, I can tell that it does NOT always stay completely active when on the brakes. There are certain situations when the suspension firms up a bit under braking. This surpru me when I experienced it, because I believed all the magazine reviews. Also, the statement about pedal feedback is grossly exaggerated, you would probably experience little if any, and running a 26 tooth granny would likely eliminate the little that there is. This is really only a problem with the VPP design and certain single pivots
 
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