Cane Creek Comes To the Gun Show With Both Barrels' Blazing!
The Double Barrel shock has been around for a few years now and is manufactured to be a high end aftermarket item for your bike. Cane Creek
partnered with Olhins Racing who have been involved with Nascar, Formula One and Motocross to bring the Double Barrel to the market and offer something extra for the rider looking for a no compromise high performance shock to take their ride to the next level.
So I was stoked to roll up to the Cane Creek tent and have Malcolm make a few damping adjustments and set up the proper amount of sag (something only Malcolm and the boys at Yeti did!) so I could enjoy the ride as much as possible. After a few minutes I was ready to see what this thing could make of Bootleg's brutal cheese grater rocks and loose gravel corners.
Its in there somewhere
Sitting on the bike at the top I was sagging about 30% into my travel which is no different then what I would usually run on my own rig but what I did notice was how sensitive the rear end was. On the short pedal to the top the suspension reacted to the smallest ripple or tiniest pebble on the trail. Most of the shocks out there right now depend on a stiffer platform to pedal well while still being able to offer up alot of negitive travel. But not so with the Double Barrel, it had alot of sag and
still sucked up every little bit of trail I rode over. Because of this I was not expecting the Demo that it was mounted on to be a good pedaling bike but like usuall, I was proven wrong again.
Getting to the rough stuff involves rolling in off the wood start ramp and pedaling down a smooth gentle slope for about fifty feet before hitting the first rock garden. I gave it a little gas and the bike hit warp speed much faster then some of the other shorter travel and lighter bikes I had ridden the previous day on the same trail. The bike "jumped" with the same speed as my Orange 223 (that is noted as a amazing pedaling bike) but at the same time managed to be a much suppler bike. A supple bike is a bike with traction and that means a faster and more confident ride. The extra traction was really noticable on Bootlegs many off camber rock sections where staying high is the key between rolling through the section or sliding down a 100ft steep gravel slope to your right. I would describe the feeling as being able to ride with ridiculously low tire pressure but without the wishywashy feeling and being able to accelerate out of corners like you have a motor bolted to your bike.
I had a hard time finding rocks at Bootleg
The Cane Creek shock doesn't rely on a adjustable volume air chamber to keep it from bottoming even though you can run 30% sag with no problems. The secret is in its tube within a tube design (hence the name). You'll have to go to www.canecreek.com
to get all the technical info but in simple terms, this design forces the oil to constantly move through the valves even at the end of the stroke where most designs are depending on the spring to keep you from smashing your bottom out bumper into next tuesday. So while the bike was amazingly smooth on the small stuff it would not plow through its travel no matter how flat I landed or how big the rock pile that I didn't see was. I didn't get a chance to stop and make adjustments out on the trail but it seemed to me like I got to have my cake and eat it too. The D.B. offered up the best traits of quite a few different shock designs on the market with none of the downsides. It is an expensive piece of technology but the best never comes cheap. Even though I spent just one run on it I know it gave me an advantage on the trail and made it easier for me to ride faster so I think it would be money well spent.
Don't skid kids, its bad for the trails
Check out www.canecreek.com
for info on the Double Barrel and the whole Cane Creek line up components.Editors Note
: Since returning from Interbike 2006, Splatt has been patiently waiting for his new Visa to arrive so that he too can purchase a Double Barrel rear shock. Maybe we'll see a long term review next spring?