Here is how my 98 Custom is set up, as these parts may change the results between yours and my markers.
'00 1st Gen 98 Custom (Pre-Barrel thread change & Sear change), Dead On Pro Seal Powertube & Front Bolt, Palmer's Stabilizer (Set at around 650 psi), Response Trigger with "Super" R/T Cyclone Adapter Kit, 12" Lapco Accushot Barrel Kit.
How They Work: What's the difference?
The BT Rip Clip basically uses spring tension to force feed the paintballs. The sound activated, electric motor simply rewinds the spring. Since the paintballs are always under tension, they are forced into the breach as soon as they have the room, making the Rip Clip a very fast loader. When you first turn on the Rip Clip, the motor does an initial spin to load the paint, and pre-wind the spring. This initial spin only winds the spring about 50%, so for faster loading you can manually wind the spring the rest of the way with the crank on the bottom. The Rip Clip requires 4 AA batteries, so it could be expensive if you play a lot. I bought rechargeable batteries, and have not seen any problems so far. Also, the Rip Clip has 3 adjustable speeds for the motor. Not sure why they needed this, as I'll just leave it set to it's fastest setting.
The cyclone is an air powered system. During each shot, air escapes the valve through a port. This air pushes a piston that then turns the cyclone paddles. Because the Cyclone is not under constant tension, it does not move until a split second after the marker is fired, making it slower than the Rip Clip. Also, if using CO2, the differences in pressure due to temperature changes can make the cyclone's speed change. This system can be very hard on thinner, brittle paintballs.
Install: Winner: None (Rip Clip is easier with an older 98C and/or R/T kit. Otherwise Cyclone)
When I got my BT Rip Clip, I removed the Cyclone Feed, and capped the Cyclone side of the R/T Cyclone T-Adapter coming out of the valve. The BT Rip Clip requires the first 2 inches of the top sight rail for mounting, so my M16 style handle/raised sight rail had to be removed because it was too long. I'm going to modify something eventually, because I like that handle. The install was very easy, loosen the clamping screws, pull on the spring loaded sight rail clamp while you line up the pins with the stock elbow holes. Then slide the whole unit forward, and tighten the clamping screws.
The Cyclone is a little easier to install on a newer 98 Custom. Simply attach in the feeder the same way as the stock neck, and attach the air line to the port on the side of the marker. Installing on an older 98C was a bit trickier, as you had to remove the valve & swap powertubes.
Size / Weight: Winner: Cyclone Feed
The BT rip clip can take any of the Cyclone hoppers, which is nice. I personally like the X-7 hopper the best. The Rip Clip is quite a bit heavier than the cyclone because of the batteries. You'll notice the weight difference while holding the marker. I tend to tilt my marker to the left a lot while playing. The weight difference isn't quite as noticeable that way. The Rip Clip is also bulkier in size, (anyone who has played with a cyclone knows it can get shot easily), so the slightly larger Rip Clip will probably get hit a little more often. The Cyclone feed wins hands down for Size & Weight.
Price (Including All My Mods & Batteries): Winner: BT Rip Clip
BT Rip Clip MSRP = $79.99 (I found it for $49.50)
4 AA Rechargeable Batteries with Charger = $14.99
Tippmann X-7 Low Profile Hopper = $6.95
Total (MSRP = $101.93) I spent = $71.40
Tippmann Cyclone Feed 98C Kit = $59.00
Tippmann "Super" R/T Cyclone Adapter Kit = $19.00
TechT Squishy Cyclone Paddles = $19.95
TechT Vortex Ratchet Kit = $34.99
TechT Lightning Rod = $24.99
Tippmann X-7 Vented Piston Housing = $18.00
Tippmann X-7 Low Profile Hopper = $6.95
Total Spent = $182.88
Performance: Winner (So Far): BT Rip Clip
I have only shot 1000 paintballs through the Rip Clip, so I cannot give it a 100% accurate review, but so far, I am very impressed. My first hopper, I had the Rip Clip motor speed set at default, and I did have a ball chop with my R/T set really fast. I then set the Rip Clip speed to the fastest setting, and wound the spring to it's maximum tension, and I was able to shot as fast as my R/T would go without a problem. Shooting semi-auto was also not a problem at all. I spent the rest of the 1000 balls without any kind of problem.
I have used the Cyclone Feed heavily throughout this last summer. I added each of the mods throughout the year trying to improve the performance. With the stock Cyclone Feed, I quickly broke the stock, plastic ratchets. Also, I had problems with balls breaking in the cyclone, prior to being loaded. I bought the squishy paddles for the ball breaks, and the Vortex ratchet kit, both of which are highly needed mods in my opinion. While they made a big difference, I still would chop regularly when my R/T was set really fast. I bought the Lightning Rod and the X-7 vented piston housing, and again, they did make the cyclone faster. However, even with all the mods, the Rip Clip is still faster than my Cyclone.
Aside from ball chops, there is another difference worth noting. I like the Response Trigger as opposed to the E-Grip. But it requires air to function. So does the Cyclone. They both function okay together, but I noticed about 50 less shots per 20 oz tank while using the Cyclone & R/T together vs. using the Rip Clip & R/T together. Finally, because the R/T and the Cyclone both need air, the R/T will stop kicking out sooner while using it with the Cyclone.
Overall Recommendation: BT Rip Clip
The performance I've seen from the Rip Clip so far over powers the size and weight disadvantages. The price differences seal the deal in my opinion. I feel all the mods in my Cyclone has made it the best it can be, but it still cannot keep up with the Rip Clip. My Cyclone will be a nice addition to my old Model 98, which is still only semi-auto. But for my R/T 98 Custom, The rip clip was an excellent buy.
This post has been edited by M. Deth: 18 February 2009 - 09:27 AM