So aside from defending 650b and making fun of nine-nerds, I do also ride my bike. And this Saturday, the RP23 that I sent away to Steve @ Vorsprung finally came back (USPS...another story). I mounted it up and went for a typical ride at my favorite local joint that I call "the proving ground" as it features a little bit of everything you see on the east coast and the lot is not too far away, making broken REBAs and Leftys and Hammerschmidts easy to service/set on fire. The riding is very XC, ups and downs and tight switchbacks the whole way, but nobody cares about custom shock tuning in the lounge. The first thing I noticed was the complete lack of stickers. I am supremely disappointed that nobody will know how much faster and better then them I am because I don't have some loud obnoxious stickers on my bike. I hope this issue gets resolved immediately. Damaged ego aside, I put the super-shiny shock on the bike and squished up and down, measured sag, then headed out for a ride. The first thing I noticed was that the shock actually worked. Unlike my factory-damped shock, this one had plenty of give through piles of roots and the only thing I noticed was the soft thud of the tire. Woody had a problem with his hampershift, so we returned to the car (yay torx bolts) and I opted to add a little air in the shock. Sag seemed to be slightly decreased, but it still burned through the roots easily enough. Climbing was nice and controlled without too much movement, and I didn't feel any weirdness over larger, slow hits. My older shock was terrible at this in that I'd hit a bump at low speed, feel the impact, then the shock would compress on the other side. Opening up the propedal provided nice results but a bit too plush for trail riding. I think the pp1 setting is going to be money for trails around here, and pp2 more applicable to the wide open trails at KT or in NY. As the trail wore on, I got more and more comfortable on it, and my fork and shock finally seemed to be working in unison. My fork previously felt a little more spikey and harsh but adjusting the air pressure to the right settings in fork and shock seemed to make it come alive...I may have been compensating for the overdamped shock previously with low air pressure in the fork. The last section of trail is a superbly fun, lightly bermed out little "wiggle" through a pine grove that either makes you love your bike or hate the way it handles. The turns are all linked so you get out of one and head straight into the other, with natural and man-made berms helping you out. This is where Steve's bit of magic showed it's head, as the bike no longer blew through its travel, but remained composed and gave me a bit of resistance as I popped out of one turn to another. To try to describe what I was feeling, it felt pretty "linear" or slightly progressive, which is really pretty nice as the Rush is a falling rate bike, and the older shock did it no favors. He and I discussed the possibility of adding an air can reducer to my already low-volume air shock to give the spring a bit more progression, which I think I may do after I ride it a bit more. I'm really quite pleased with it, as the additional shock absorption is a neat feature, and I don't feel like I give up anything for it, like climbing/pedaling. It honestly feels like I have an inch plus more travel in the back of my bike than I did previously, and I can run about 70psi more in this shock and I get similar travel feel. The only negative I can really point out is that the rebound range isn't quite as centered as I would like it. I'm running two clicks of rebound, and could probably go one lower. I kind of wish that my preferred setting was in the middle of the scale, rather than at the end of it, but I should be satisfied within the tune I have. Hopes that answers some questions. I'm pretty pleased with how it handles and it was hard to wipe the smile off my face in that last section of trail.