Cane Creek Double Barrel Air Review

Feb 13, 2013
by Mike Levy  
Cane Creek DBair on a 2013 Banshee Rune
We tested the Cane Creek DBair on a 2013 Banshee Rune with 160mm of travel, a combination that proved to be extremely capable.

Cane Creek DBair details:

- Intended use: trail/all-mountain/DH
- Air sprung
- Adjustments: low-speed compression and rebound, high-speed compression and rebound, air pressure, air can volume
- Twin Tube damper
- Auto adjust negative air spring
- Rotatable air can for best fit on different frames
- Weight: 530 grams (8.5'' x 2.5'')
- MSRP $650 USD

Twin Tube Damper
The DBair utilizes a Twin Tube damper, which is the same layout as found within the coil-sprung Double Barrel shock, with four independent external adjustments for low-speed compression, low-speed rebound, and high-speed compression and rebound. These adjustments are possible due to the constant oil circulation as the shock is compressed. The compression stage pushes oil up through the piggyback bridge, through the one-way compression orifice and poppet valve, then through the rebound check valve next door. The oil continues its path by next flowing through a small gap between the inner and outer damper bodies (this is where the Twin Tube moniker comes from) to end up back behind the compression piston. Oil flow takes place in the exact opposite manner during the shock's rebound phase, with the difference being that the oil passes though the rebound orifice and poppet valve to provide damping, then the compression check valve before returning to the front of the piston.

The blue line shows the oil path during compression, the red during rebound.

The Twin Tube layout means that some damper adjustments that would require a more traditional shock to be disassembled and re-shimmed can be performed on the Double Barrel by simply turning one of the external adjusters to attain similar results. The technology, which originated with the suspension gurus at Ohlins, is so effective that versions of the Double Barrel are used in some forms of auto racing. And while the DBair's four damper adjustments may seem intimidating at first, it is key to remember that one of the most popular air shocks on the market, the FOX DHX Air 5.0, offers close to the same number of dials (albeit with different functions). Factor in the very helpful setup guide and base settings provided by Cane Creek, as well as the private forum on their website for Double Barrel owners that lets you ask them questions directly, while also picking up tips and hints from other Double Barrel owners, and the fog of mystery surrounding the shock should lift for pretty much everyone.

DBair vs. DBcoil
While the DBair features the same external damper adjustments as its heavier coil-sprung brother, there are some very important internal differences that are necessary due to how an air-sprung shock ramps up through its stroke. One of the major changes between the coil and air shock is the rebound piston, with a solid piston employed within the DBair that prevents oil flow on the rebound stroke compared to the ported version used on the coil shock. The changes don't end there, though, with Cane Creek's Josh Coaplen explaining to us that they also utilize "different spring rates in the high speed
valve poppet springs, different orifice sizes in the low speed damping jets, and a different annular area between the twin tubes." It is fair to say that Cane Creek did not simply drop an air can onto the coil-sprung Double Barrel and called it a day.

Interbike 2011
A look inside of the DBair. Note the small gap between the outer stanchion and inner tube that allows the damping oil to circulate.

The difference in spring performance characteristics between a coil and air sprung shock also mean that some bikes are not suited to how the DBair (or any other air shock) operates. For instance, a bike that employs an aggressively rising-rate rear suspension layout may be best suited to a coil spring's linear rate and could have trouble attaining full travel due to how an air spring ramps up in rate as it is compressed. Our test shock was fitted with Cane Creek's new high-volume air can that helps produce a flatter spring curve (the Banshee Rune we tested it on uses a relatively progressive rear suspension rate), but there are some bikes that won't perform at their best with the DBair regardless.

A strap wrench allows users to remove the air an for
maintenance or to fit a volume reducing spacer.
The opposite can also be true, of course, and it is always best to determine if a coil or air shock makes the most sense for you and your bike before shelling out any money.

As with any air-sprung shock, the DBair offers an infinite tuning rage that allows users to adjust the spring rate by as little as a few PSI at a time while searching for their ideal setup. Have you found your preferred air pressure, but want a bit more ramp-up at the end of the stroke? Removing the shock's air can with a strap wrench allows volume-reducing spacers to be fitted, an alteration that leaves the shock's initial stroke largely unaffected while providing more bottom out protection. Going this route may let a rider get away with running slightly less air pressure than they would normally run, or it could be just the ticket for an aggressive or large rider whose bike employs a falling rate suspension design that would benefit from some ramping at the end of its travel.

The air can is also able to be rotated by 360° to allow ideal access to the air valve on as many bikes as possible, and simple air seal maintenance can also be performed without having to send the shock to a service center.

The DBair's Adjustments Explained

Low-speed compression With all four damper adjustments, 'speed' refers to the shaft speed of the of the shock during compression and rebound, not the speed that the bike is traveling at, and turning an adjuster inwards applies more damping while turning it out allows for less. Low-speed compression (LSC) moments include, among other things: the rear suspension compressing under braking, the rider moving forward, backwards, and up and down while cornering and pedalling, as well as chain forces acting on the bike's suspension. Landing a jump or drop smoothly onto a proper transition can also considered a low-speed compression because the relatively gentle impact compresses the suspension slower than if you cased the jump or landed flat past the transition. LSC damping can be used to tune a bike's pedalling abilities, but too much can and will make the suspension feel harsh at the top of its stroke. This is adjusted by turning the smaller inner compression dial on the DBair.

High-speed compression As you likely guessed, a high-speed compression (HSC) moment involves fast shock shaft speeds. A HSC instant is any time your suspension reacts to a fast and hard impact, with the wheel needing to move up and out of the way quickly. Think of an abrupt square-edged hit and you'll get the idea, although smaller trail irregularities such as roots and rocks can also act on the shock's HSC circuit - anything that forces the shock shaft to compress quickly. Overshoot that last jump and land harshly in the flat? That is a HSC moment. Too little HSC damping and you may find that the shock bottoms too often, but too much and you could either not use enough of the bike's travel or feel a harsh spiking sensation on impact.

Low-speed rebound As the most common type of damper adjustment, the large majority of shocks on the market feature a single rebound dial that controls the amount of low-speed rebound (LSR). After spring rate, most riders will find that LSR has the most obvious effect on how suspension behaves simply because it is the most noticeable while compressing the bike by hand and letting it return - a lot of LSR will result in the the suspension returning obviously slower than if the LSR dial was dialed most of the way out. Much like low-speed compression, LSR can be used to keep the bike settled and stuck to the ground, thereby increasing traction because the tires are in contact with the ground much more than if there was little or no LSR damping control. Too much LSR and you'll find that the bike will want to stay grounded and make it hard to unweight the bike over rough sections, or even not allow for enough 'pop' to clear a jump.

High-speed rebound Hard and fast impacts such as casing a jump or landing to flat are controlled by the shock's high-speed compression circuit, but that is only half of the battle because the shock now needs to return from deep in its stroke in a controlled manner. This is where the DBair's high-speed rebound (HSR) comes into play. Increasing the amount of HSR on the shock will allow it to return slower from a large impact, resulting in more control as the rider recovers from the impact. Riding in the Red Bull Rampage? Or maybe just out sessioning a large drop? HSR is your friend that will give you control after the initial impact and the shock rebounds. Too much HSR and you might discover that the bike feels harsh on continuously rough terrain but, interestingly, this isn't always a compression issue - the shock can rebound so slowly that it doesn't extend in time to absorb the next hit, meaning that it has less travel to use. Enough impacts in a row and the shock could be near-bottomed despite the hits not being hard enough to use all of the bike's travel, although the trail has to be incredibly rough and fast for such a thing to happen.

n a
The DBair's adjusters are labeled clearly but you will need to use the supplied tool to make changes.


Dialed In
First of all, it has to be said that the DBair is mind-blowingly impressive when run with the base settings recommended by Cane Creek, although this isn't surprising given that the man behind Banshee's KS Link suspension layout, Keith Scott, worked closely with Cane Creek during the bike's development phase. "Banshee and Cane Creek were in the admirable position of having time to implement changes as determined from product testing," explains Cane Creek's Josh Coaplen. "Keith kept Cane Creek in the loop as he iterated through tweaks in the kinematics to ensure things mapped well onto the shock properties." That research still needed to be backed up with real-world testing, though, which was the next step in the collaboration. "This work culminated with a joint testing session in Whistler where data was collected on four bike models and analyzed for optimizing the setups across multiple platforms, with various riders of varying abilities and riding styles." The results of this close working relationship are not only different base settings for the both low and high-speed compression and rebound than what you'll find recommended for other bikes, but also a new high-volume air can that better suits the Rune's progressive leverage ratio. Does all of the above mean that the DBair's suggested settings are the best for you? Not at all. All of us as riders approach a trail differently, be it more pumping and popping, spending extra time at that one massive jump, or pretending that your favorite local trail is a race run, so there is a good chance that many riders will benefit from a turn or two of adjustment depending on what they are looking for.

Making Adjustments
The Double Barrel's four independent adjustments offer such a wide tuning range that it is entirely possible to create a package that performs poorly, although that very approach is key to understanding the effect that each dial has on the shock's performance. Confused? If you plan on experimenting outside of the base settings provided by Cane Creek, it will help to repeat a short section of trail at the extremes of each setting in order to not only know the consequences each dial has on performance, but also to grasp how you don't want the shock to perform. Reading up on the adjustments only gives you part of the story, and the quick hour that we spent re-doing the same rough section of trail with each dial set to its two furthermost positions gave us a far better grasp of how the DBair works. Cane Creek's Tuning Field Guide also provides some great direction during the adjustment phase.

Cane Creek DBair
Not sure where to start? Cane Creek offers plenty of information on their website, including handy base settings for many bikes.

Effective Tuning
After first spending some saddle time with the DBair at its recommended base settings, we waded into the tuning aspect by experimenting with the shock's two low-speed adjustments (controlled via the two smaller hex adjusters), as those have the most noticeable result on how the shock reacts. Our DBair test shock was fitted to Banshee's new 160mm travel Rune, a bike that pedals relatively well to begin with, but we were still able to use the shock's low-speed compression dial to balance the Rune's pedalling and small bump compliance. The Rune accelerated fairly well, even with the LSC backed completely out, but it was plainly evident that there was a noticeable amount of suspension movement from our body English, especially on climbs that required an out of the saddle effort. Turning the LSC completely in resulted in a bike that felt like a portly cross-country rig rather than a 160mm travel all-mountain bike, but the other side to that extreme was an overly rough ride that transmitted too much feedback through the bike. As a result, traction was also limited as the rear tire tended to chatter over the ground. Cane Creek's recommended setting of ten clicks from fully out (there are a twenty five clicks total) proved to be a nice middle ground between the two extremes, although we settled on twelve clicks because of the extra support it added when riding aggressively. This not only provided slightly stiffer suspension to push against, thereby letting us get a little more 'pop' when we needed it, it also made for a firmer pedalling ride that we appreciated given that the Rune was ridden on an earn-your-turns basis. We could see ourselves backing it out a few clicks to improve traction in loose or muddy conditions, which goes to show just how much of an effect DBair's adjustments actually have on the bike's performance.

n a
The shock's low-speed compression adjuster had a massive effect on how the bike climbed, especially during out of the saddle efforts.

Up next was the DBair's low-speed rebound, which we found ourselves adding a few more clicks to than what was suggested in the base settings. While we expected this change to be detrimental to the bike's playfulness, the Rune was just as eager to leave the ground as it was before we started tinkering (possibly due to the added LSC damping), but with the added benefit of a calmer ride that wanted to stay level and composed regardless of if the bike was being pointed through the worst that the trail had to offer. We also ending up bleeding 5 PSI from the shock's air can after making changes to the damper settings, but this didn't require bumping up the level of high-speed compression to prevent bottoming as the two turns (of a possible four) of HSC did well to keep the bike from using its travel too quickly. Keeping in mind that we were running 35% sag at the time, and that the shock's O-ring was telling us that yes, that landing to flat was using all of the bike's travel despite not being able to feel any bottoming through the bike, Cane Creek proved to be spot on with their recommendation. We came to the very same conclusion about the shock's two turns of high-speed rebound - there was no reason to deviate from the stock setting.

All-Around Performer
While all of the above may sound like a lot of work to a rider who may not even check their tire pressure that often, it produced what we can only describe as the most capable air shock we've ever ridden, and we'd even go so far as to say that the DBair and 160mm travel Banshee Rune combo is a step ahead of pretty much any coil-sprung bike of similar size that we've spent time on. It goes about its job in an incredibly efficient manner, remaining all but invisible until you stop after a particularly rough section of trail and realize what just happened - that is, exactly nothing. No 'moments' and no feeling of the rear end doing anything that it shouldn't be, just all-around supreme calmness. The smallest of impacts are erased in a way that would have you expecting the shock to suffer at the opposite end of the spectrum, but we didn't record a single instance of hard bottoming during our time on it, even with the shock slightly under-pressurized by a few PSI. And that is really where the DBair stands out against the competition: while others seem to always sacrifice performance in one realm to gain in another, the DBair manages to shine everywhere.

n a
The DBair shines especially bright on small and mid-sized impacts, helping to keep the rear tire glued to the ground for maximum traction.

It is only after riding the same trail back-to-back to compare the DBair to the competition that you begin to realize just how composed the shock is when the going gets rough. Sharp impacts that activate the shock's high-speed circuit are muted more than on anything else we've used, with less of a spike being left over to upset the rider and bike, and there feels to be less of a tendency to pitch the bike forward as a result. It is how the shock behaves on the small to mid-sized bumps - in other words, the large majority of any trail - that gives it the clear advantage over other options. There is a sensation of improved traction due to how well the rear tire is able to stay in contact with the ground and follow the contours, a feeling that is akin to running an ultra-tacky compound tire set to the optimum air pressure for every inch of the trail. It simply offers a more planted ride than can be found elsewhere.

The DBair is an impressive piece of technology, but it isn't perfect. With such an incredible range of adjustment, we often found ourselves wishing the DBair came equipped with tool-free adjustment dials that would make tuning it a bit quicker. We'll admit, because we jumped into the tuning phase early and found settings that we liked, we were far less likely to tinker after a few weeks of time with the DBair under us, but finger-friendly dials would make those early days of adjusting a bit more convenient, not to mention go a long ways to further encourage riders to seek out settings that they prefer. "With the availability of easy high-frequency knob spinning comes a higher chance that the tuning process will lack rigor," Cane Creek's Josh Coaplen told us. "The double edge sword of providing enough tuning range to really allow 'rider based tuning' is that there is some sub-optimal space in the tuning range as well.'' What Josh is getting at is that tool-free knobs will increase the chance of a rider arriving at damper settings that don't suit their bike but that need to be available in order for the shock to work well on other frame designs. Cane Creek also admits that adding dials large enough in diameter to turn with fingers would increase the size of the shock's footprint, something that they really don't want to do given that the DBair is already a very tight fit on many bikes.

Cane Creek has said in the past that they see the DBair as an ideal shock for the 150/160mm travel all-mountain bike platform and that they don't feel a pedal assist (picture the ProPedal lever on a FOX shock) would suit the shock's intentions. While we certainly aren't fans of extra levers to be fiddling with while on the move, such a feature would mean that the DBair could be better utilized on bikes with poor pedalling characteristics, not to mention that riders who face long access road climbs to reach their descents would likely make use of it often. Having said that, we wouldn't be surprised if Cane Creek is quietly working away on a lighter version of the DBair that incorporates this very function and is intended to compete head-to-head with FOX's popular RP23 shock.

Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesWe could rattle on and on about the DBair's massive tuning range, or talk about the ingenious Twin Tube damper layout and its obvious benefits until your eyes glaze over and you decide to buy a rigid fatbike, but it's much easier to say that, without a doubt, Cane Creek have the best performing air shock on the market bar none. Our only concerns revolve around the need to use a tool to make damping adjustments, and how we would like to see a pedal-assist lever, neither of which are related to the shock's out-and-out performance. But what about all those adjustments, you ask? Unlike what we've read elsewhere, we don't believe that the shock's "complexity" should be a barrier to anyone considering a DBair for their bike. After all, Cane Creek offer a wealth of knowledge on their website, including recommended settings for every adjustment and a private forum where you can ask Cane Creek tuning questions one on one, so there really isn't much of an excuse to be intimidated by it. It is by no means inexpensive, but the bottom line is that the DBair offers more control, more adjustability, and more performance than any other shock on the market. - Mike Levy
Follow Mike Levy on Twitter: MikeLevyPB

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Member since Oct 18, 2005
2,032 articles

  • 32 1
 A list of bikes that the CCDB Air will work well and not work well with would be good and whether that will need the HV can. Definitely worth the money if a RP23 doesn't cut the mustard on your frame. My Yeti ASR7 was abysmal with a RP23 mostly due to my 95kg weight and partly due to the suspension design. CCDB Air fix the problem for me, no more wallowing.
  • 22 26
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 13, 2013 at 1:03) (Below Threshold)
 Have you also had the issue with certain kind of hits on which the shock just dived in? Have a large can Pushed Float with the Boost valve. I can land a 1m drop off to flat and it will barely go past 70% of its stroke, go through a vicious rockgarden - no probs either. But land a dirt jump, even in a super smooth manner with front wheel touching just before rear - and it bottoms! Some hits just make it collapse all the way, while on some it keeps perfect composure, and the harsher it is the better it copes with it. Really weird.
  • 10 0
 Dirt jump transitions are all about turning large (read very) amounts of momentum into smooth long rollouts. It is more of a low speed motion, compared to the fast hard impact of a drop. I have to run 3x more viscus oil than stock in my fork to get the mid and low speed compression necessary to make it feel stiff enough without running over 250psi.

Most suspension, like ohlins, tries to get away with as little compression as possible and uses hard springs to resist motion as necessary, and typically need lots of rebound damping. Boost valve makes damping position sensitive by hardening significantly in highspeed impacts in the last 30% of stroke- thus your 70% travel. dirt jumps are low speed. Lots of low speed compression is really bad for washboard surface like braking bumps; so, a smart racing oriented company will typically avoid it.
  • 3 1
 Had the same Problems with the Rp23 - it just bottoms so quickly because there is little to none Progression .
To avoid this, i had to get the pressure up to 16 bar - which is far too much for my weight(82 kg).

So far, iam not amazed by the Rp23 and iam going to change it to the CCDB.
  • 13 13
 My RP23 is doing wonders on trail riding - make no mistake. The traction, the efficiency, at the same time amazing bump absorption even with pro-pedal full on. It's just gravity riding that gets it out of it's depth and only a tad bit. It works great on natural trails but it is the machine/man dug stuff making it go nuts.

thx for input R-trailking-S!
  • 2 0
 dontfeelcold, I agree. PB should have a list of bikes they reccomend using air over coil. I'm building my M9 right now and have a Fox RC4 Coil but looking to get a CCDBair to switch out. Will the air shock work well with a 9" of travel M9? Any input would be greatly appreciated

  • 12 12
 crewmember - I can only tell you to go and send mail directly to Intense to ask about such things, what is their experience. Then eventualy ask CC, they are smaller manufacturer so you might count on honesty

SCs VPP has always had issues with air schocks on longer travel bikes, they said they fixed it with VPP2 yet still my friends Nomad C seems to suffer same mid-travel diving on Rp23. I Pushed my RP23 after hearing claims from Fox, Push and TF Tune that boost valve solves this and it seems this has managed to cheat the issue to a great extent, but it still exists. If you have a frame with first falling rate, then rising rate, and spring medium with very similar characteristics - there will be a certain degree of trouble. Coil spring levels the VPP "trough" very well and takes great advantage of such characteristics.

At the same time both RS with Vivid and CC with DB air claim to have "linearized" the spring rate a lot, so that sounds promising. M9 and V10 are told to have a bit dead uber-plush feeling of plowing through stuff, but not enough pop for those who like... to pop. Make sure air shock does not magnify that issue before you buy it.
  • 1 0
 crewmember- The CCDB Air was by far the best thing i have done in terms of upgrades on my M9, i didnt think much of air at the time but after speaking to Aaron from NSdynamics i was sold and have not looked back. Highly recommend the switch!!
  • 4 1
 Pop means a strong spring and reduced damping and maybe a nonlinear ramping of the suspension. It is not a feature but a willful decision to make a bike go "pop". Spectacular and fun and foresaking control.
  • 7 0
 Have you considered adding a volume spacer to your RP23? Seems like a cheap and simple fix.
  • 1 0
 Good call, reformedRoadie.. For those having bottom-out issues with an air shock, and internal spacer will make it more progressive towards the end of stroke. and it's cheap and easy..
  • 1 0
 the DB Air on the M9 is great but youll need the XV can to optimize the setup since the current can is just too progressive on the bike.
  • 1 0
 The boost valve RP23 was decent on my ASR-7, now running RC4 coil. I really want to try the Fox CTD on it! It was amazing on my Remedy!
  • 2 2
 Fox CTD is sick! The lock out works very well, the trail setting is perfect for flowy trails or jump trails and then switch it to the defend setting and it eats up rocks and roots! I can't wait to try the CCDB on my new bike. They are coming on the S-Works enduro I'm curious on how it will perform on that bike. It also comes with a quick adjustment lever to make it a little stiffer for the climbs.
  • 1 1
 The RP23 works well but it depends on the rider (weight and riding style) and the bike. Changing the air volume doesn't change the dampening of the shock. I had the HV section of the air can of my RP23 filled in with a custom plastic sleeve I made plus the largest Fox volume reducer in too. It just "soft" bottoms out at about 80% of travel and rides like a pogo stick. It was awful and ruined riding experience for me on that bike. BUT like I said, the RP23 WILL work for some, but there are a few factors involved. I also had mine Push tuned and they still couldn't get enough dampening out of it.
  • 31 2
 Side cut diagrams and models are pure bike tech porn. I love them! Helps to understand everything way easier! Killer article Levy!
  • 4 0
 "Pure bike tech porn". I love it. Well said!
  • 3 1
 so true! One of my favorite parts of interbike, was the outside of the Fox booth.. It was lined with cut-away views of all their forks and shocks.. Those engineers earn their money.. Those things are complicated..
  • 32 15
 Its bloody hideous -Jeremy Clarckson
  • 8 3
 I'm sad I have only one prop to give. :'(
  • 17 0
 I love the way it looks, it's not sexy by any stretch of the imagination. just a solid and well crafted looking piece of machinery.
  • 9 1
 You sir are crazy! I think its probably the best looking shock on the market, and the engineering is spectacular!
  • 2 0
 it could have some laser engraving on the big can or something to spruce it up.. Doesn't really bother me without it though.
  • 1 10
flag scapegoat2010 (Feb 13, 2013 at 13:42) (Below Threshold)
 I am looking into the new one that their working on for later set up (as long as it is light Razz ). I think they should put something like "kashima coat" on it like fox to make it incredibly SEXY!!!! Thats one of my favorite parts of fox suspension, other than their amazing performance. Their fork's are incredible and thats all I ride, but a db air wouldnt be a bad improvement Smile I just think that its heavier than the rp23. Especially the 2013 model which is pretty sweet Smile !
  • 5 2
 "As with any air-sprung shock, the DBair offers an infinite tuning rage that allows users to adjust the spring rate by as little as a few PSI at a time while searching for their ideal setup."

If there were no tuning forums, I would have "infinite tuning rage" too.
  • 4 0
 Anyone old and nerdy enough to remember if the Romic Twin Tube shocks worked on a similar principle? I'm sure I'm looking back with rose tinted specs but my old Twin Tube was awesome (better than the DHX5 that I replaced it with when it blew up....).
  • 1 0

the Romic certainly used the same design principle (Twin tube, as opposed to "De Carbon" type that all other MTB shocks use..) but unfortunately the Romic suffered from poor QC and manufacturing issues, which led to many shocks our customers owned being very unreliable

when it worked, it worked very well compared to competing dampers of that era, but could not relied on....
  • 3 0
 Here you can get a nifty tool for easier CCDB knob adjusting (made by 3rd party):

There will be another LSC tool less knob adjust soon: (looks even more convenient for climbing)
  • 5 0
 For bikes that have a more progressive leverage ratio, Cane Creek now offers new XV (Extra Volume) air cans.
  • 2 0
 Specialized has some sort of "lever" that clips onto the LSC bit, and allows you to have a sort of propedal (adds a few clicks of LSC, for pedally sections)

Other than that, great shock Smile

And I trully hope that people will finally learn that LSC is NOT when you're going slow on the trails, or the first half of the bike travel ...........
  • 2 0
 Looks sweet but I`m not sure if it`ll fit on my Stumphumper.. Not that I`m not satisfied wit my FOX Triad.
  • 3 0
 This shock seems great but I think guys n girls will have trouble setting it up if you are a novice. Never really knowing are you getting the best setup / best out of the shock
  • 2 0
 i say it everywhere i can. got one on my Tracer 2. i love this thing to death. it just feels perfect. planted and confidence inspiring. i've been racing cars and motorbikes for about half my life now, Ohlins is synonymous with top quality and performance... you knew it would be a winning combination from the jump. but also wondering why CC doesn't get into the fork business.
  • 2 0
 Double Barrel Air is a mint shock, without doubt. But, I would like to see a comparasion between Double Barrel Air and classic spring forks like 5th Element, Vivid or... Double Barrel. Not theoretical or laboratory tests, but analysis of data from sensors mounted on a bike, from riding on the diversified mountain track.
  • 2 0
 DB air wins hands down for me, got it fitted to a patriot and its just immense. comparing it to an RP is just pointless imo, the rp23 is great for pedalling but terrible at taking the hits and needs far too much moding for a bigger hitting bike (im speaking purely on the basis here of count up the cost of the shock + mods + labour vs the price of a DBair). Comparing to a DHX5 or an RC4 and your still way off neither has the range or feel of the DBa. And the biggest point here we're talk direct comparison between 2 stock shocks not an off the shelf versus something thats had to be tinkered with to do what its supposed to.

Secondly i think where CC and DVO are getting things right here is allowing the end user to make mods, how many years has it taken for fox to put our the spacers for the 23 ? CC provide can spacers straight off the bat. Push tuning is great but why the hell can the end user not just purchase the parts ? were not retarded and its not rocket science. £180 to mod a fork/shock is far too steep even if the parts come in at £60/70.

All i can say is i hope more CC and DVO companies turn up and keep rolling out kit that works out of the box with just a change of settings. Good work boys (and gals) keep it coming
  • 3 0
 After riding many dampers, including the rp23, dhx coil, dhx air, rc4, db coil and vivid coil I concur with Levy's review. The db air is a welcome upgrade on my Nomad C.
  • 1 0
 You using the regular can or XV? Tried the PUSH link with the RC4?
  • 2 0
 Bigger than the low volume but not the XV, there are 3 different cans for the db air I think? Mine is the standard can I believe. Suspension Werx set it up. I just go with James's recommendations.

I've never tried the RC4 on the nomad, only a Podium and V10C. I'm sure that Push link is a very good upgrade as well.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, so you're using the standard can (my bad on calling it regular). I've been running the RC4/PUSH link for a few seasons now and I'm very happy with it. With the release of the new XV can I'm contemplating trying it with the stock link. If it gives the same performance and saves weight, that would be sweet.

Do you know if James used CCs base settings for the Mad or came up with his own? Small bump good?

  • 2 0
 James used the stock settings on mine however he swapped to the `high flow` air can but still the standard size.

I have changed the settings quite a bit from stock. I lowered the psi until I got the proper sag and played with the adjustments until I was happy with it. I`ve had a few db coils and like tinkering.

Small bump is excellent.
  • 1 0
 Awesome, thanks for the replies.
  • 3 0
 For me a lock out, or "propedal" is missing, when I think about allmountain, I go uphill for an hour or two at least, otherwise it's freeride, dowhnill
  • 1 0
 But its not really needed tbh. if the setup is right the efficiency is amazing. 180mm travel patriot climbs like a goat, only the weight of the whole bike lets it down but its worth it for ripping dh.
  • 2 0
 If you really wanted a propedal switch, you could always cut a cheap $10 wrench down to about an inch and attach it to the LSC. Just turn it 2 or 3 clicks and you'd have a really stable platform. Honestly though, I haven't touched my CCDB settings since I dialed it in on a trail I'm very familiar with. This is on a 35lb bike that sometimes sees 7000ft of climbing in a single ride. I can't say I've ever thought of blaming my shock when I can't clear a feature or when my legs cramp up because I thought it would be a good idea to bring a 35lb bike.
  • 2 0
 I ride my Nicolai uphill, and with proper LSC adjustment and good suspension there is absolutely no need for a lockout. "Propedal" is a crutch for bad damping.

With Lyric DH with separate LSC/HSC in front it climbs like an XC bike, then you hit rocks on the way down, and it laughs at it.
  • 1 0
 You're maybe right, however I won't buy one unless trying, I know that with a RP2 I can't make a descent uphill without propedal, I m also quiet heavy which doesnt help

@exrcyst You're a machine, 7000ft on a 35lb bike is very respectable
  • 1 0
 Having had my RP23 pushed for AM/DH duties and the addition of a HV can, I can honestly say the difference is chalk and cheese away from std. You pay your money and you make your choice. A tuned shock is always going to be better than standard in my opinion if you tune it for your weight, style of riding and frame. The guys at TF Tuned also retune if its slightly off for free. Can't say i've been happier. One of the best mods I had done was the bottom out mod. An extra tenner stops that harsh bottom fact it hasn't bottomed out since! At 100kgs + the standard tune just wasn't compliant enough, now I don't have to run it with almost max air pressure. Still £170+ for a service and Push tune its not the cheapest option...but the best for me.

As for the Cane creek, I remember moving from a Jap inline 4 with Showa suspension to an Italian twin with Ohlins...if the same performance could be felt moving from a Fox to CC, i'd do it tomorrow. I get the feeling its not going to be that much of a leap in performance.
  • 1 0
 "Cane Creek have the best performing air shock on the market bar none"

It would definitely be worth comparing with a BOS Void ... Performance-wise, they're really close, but on a different level ... The Void is definitely a DH Race shock that keeps the wheel glued to the ground with immense grip and control, whereas the CCDBA has more versatility (does that word even exist?), with more pop and fun for the average rider.

For me, a CCDBA would be more than enough ... but I'll keep my Stoy Wink
  • 3 0
 buying a BOS product was the biggest mistake ever made, no matter how good it is (if working)... absolutely no customer support... my fork got lost in the factory when sent for warranty repair and nobody actually cares... not even responding to my multiple emails for weeks... never again!
  • 1 0
 FOES Racing F275 very compatible with the D.B. by Cane Creek & is a nice feature on such a quality rig....we know, we have one..Demo bike or not..At least try one out & your nearest dealer. The folks at Cane Creek are great to work with.
  • 1 0
 I have a specialized pitch with a rp2 on the back that feels well out of its depht when the trail gets gnarly,does anyone know whether a push tune up would sort this out or would i be better putting my money towards a DB air. I also thought that the rp2 was already tuned to a certain degree to suit the pitch ? Grateful for any help
  • 1 0
 Push tune is definatly gonna help but cane creek if it suits the frame and will fit is gonna blow it out of the water. speak to CC and spesh on whether the CC will work with the pitch.
  • 1 0
 how does this thing do on a entourage? i didnt read all the comments but it looks like not vary meany people run this on bikes with rocker arm linkage (giant, trek, kona...) has anyone tried it out or if it wouldn't b vary good y so?
  • 1 0
 I am currently running one of these on a 2012 Canfield the One. I tried working out the settings myself when I first got it (based on some other rider suggestions) and was a bit lost and started blaming the shock a bit. then I used the Base Tune settings suggested on CC website and was grinning like a drunk man in about 8 seconds. HUGE difference. I had to make a few tweeks mainly because I am a lot heavier than some riders, but it really can be set up across such a wide range. This is where I also would argue that it has some downfalls. If using it on a heavy duty enduro/trail bike like I am it can be a case of great on one trail, then a little off on another. With a tool based adjustment this makes it a just a tad painful to adjust, but still has the flexibility to do this. rather than adding dials - how making a single small tool to put over the top of the current knobs?
  • 1 0
 See Starilater's post, above.
  • 1 0
 I have a cloud nine on a fuel ex8 and the adjustment is not a major concerned it is best ever, even the Fox that came with it and broke in 4 months, and the rock shock monarch after that...until I get dbair....a kind expensive but , I can groom some dogs! And clean my mother in law garage Smile
  • 1 0
 Not ONE word on maintenance and serviceability? One should certainly assume that anyone interested in this thing, with all its shiny knobs and what not, is quite likely an intermediate to advanced level bike nerd who intends to, or at the very least would like to have to option of, servicing this thing in their garage; and at least one GD paragraph coulda been directed to the subject.
  • 1 0
 Ok so I snapped the CDB shaft on my 2012 demo II yesterday.

Do you guys know if specialized has said anything about warranty or should I eat it and buy a new shock (probably trash my frame and never touch specialized again)

  • 3 3
 I bought a demo and removed the ccdb coil and fitted the fool proof r2c vivid simply because I wanted a fit and forget shock and when I want to adjust its I only have a few dials to mess with, if setting up Suspension gives you a head ache like me then a ccdb will implode your head how ever if you get it right then there's no denying it can be adjusted to suit any body and they work amazing.
  • 4 0
 Which is why there now is the CC Lounge where you can find presets for your bike ... The CCDB just outperforms in every way the Vivid. If you still have it, I'd say to put it back on, check on the website, set it up and forget Smile
  • 2 1
 I rode the demo with the ccdb and compared to a vivid it's no where near as good and it so happens the demo was designed around the vivid shock as It was hill etc who helped there design. In not saying the ccdb is a bad shock in saying it didn't work as well on a demo but I rode 1 On a orange 224 and a 332 and the shock worked amazingly well so it's possibly not for all bikes also the ccdb has snapped on a lot of demos
  • 2 0
 Setup is everything, someone who doesn't know what they are doing can make the best parts work terribly.
  • 1 1
 Used a Fox Float R, then a CC DB now its Float R again on this bike:

Don`t like either of them - Float R has a slight edge in this application. Setup is never right, to much stiction, friction, too little controlled rebound.
  • 7 0
 That is a slopestyle bike, it was meant to be ridden with just a very stiff shock.
  • 1 1
 I'm curious to hear what cane creek has to say about all of the double barrel coils that broke on a lot of the specialized demo 8 II's. I was at the red bull final descent at winter park this year and remember seeing at least 3 people throughout the course of the race come through the pits with the double barrel coil that had snapped?
  • 3 0
 You can blame the Demo for that. The link that attaches the shock to the rear end puts some immense forces on the shock, for which it wasn't designed for.
  • 1 0
 I believe CC now have a different version of the shock for the Demo which should not be used on other bikes. The shaft is larger in diameter, not sure if there are any other changes
  • 1 0
 I find that somewhat amusing that they had to manufacture a shock specifically for the demo when the fox DHX 5 which was originally spec'd on the demo worked just fine, and the fox van r on my demo 8 I seems stronger than the cane creek.
  • 1 0
 Fox may be somewhat stronger, but its performance absolutely sucks in comparison. DHX Air in particular.
  • 1 0
 This is like a 3 for 1. DBa, Rune, and a suspension basics course. Nice article!

One curiosity for me though. And I hate to be this guy, but, were you running 650b wheels? did that play into any of your results?
  • 1 0
 I'm building a Specialized BigHit 2008. I want to change the Fox Van R shock it's got now for a new one. Looking at RockShox or Cane Creek. Their shocks sound amazing!
  • 3 0
 got it on my new Banshee rune, absolutly amazing shock!
  • 2 0
 That's the bike I want to replace my Remedy. You like?
  • 2 0
 i just rode it about 2h last day, but for that i am really impressed.
cant really tell you how good it climbs, because here everything is mud, snow and ice.
But point it down the hill, and you will get a smile on the face! Smile
  • 1 0
 would love to try this on a pre '13 enduro but the curse of the linkage is there. However, the RS Monarch Plus rc3 is working quite well.
  • 1 0
 loving my DBA on my SC butcher! makes the trails that i once thought were pretty rough with the rp23 feel like i'm riding flowy rolling trails.
  • 1 0
 had one on my M9 for a year already and its been great. im glad they now have the XV can to help get full travel in it in any setting
  • 2 1
 regardless of the performance, it's seriously one of the ugliest rear shocks out there. it looks like a trash can with a metal pole sticking out.
  • 3 1
 I have one on my Mega, amazing rear shock
  • 2 4
 If Mike is right, the possibility to set CCDB air up for Trail and DH riding, then getting great performance at both is tempting indeed. Right now on Nomad I use Float RP23 for trail riding and DHX5coil for bike-parking. Stock DHX sucks on trail riding (descents with pro-pedal full-on are... special, pedalling VPP bike with little propedal - even more special...) and Float is too easy to bottom out on my frame.
  • 5 5
 BTW - this new Rune is amazing!
  • 2 1
 cane creek, If you make one to fit my stumpjumper, I will take one. Thank you!
  • 1 0
 Bar none you say?
Have you tried the Bos VOID?

(not trolling, actually interested)
  • 3 0
 buying a BOS product was the biggest mistake ever made, no matter how good it is (if working)... absolutely no customer support... my fork got lost in the factory when sent for warranty repair and nobody actually cares... not even responding to my multiple emails for weeks... never again!
  • 1 0
 My experience have been the polar opposite.
  • 2 0
 ...lucky you then ...may be i should have contacted the local dealer and not BOS france ...who should have known desperate, dont know if i should buy a new fork or wait for their response (based on tracking info its been 6 weeks already since the fork was delivered to the factory) or what
  • 2 0
 Malymato, you may have to take them to small-claims court....
  • 1 0
 ...thanks for your advice Tom, but i was still hoping to settle this in an amicable way... im kinda running out of patience though
  • 1 0
 I wonder how it would perform on a Devinci Dixon..... And also...why the haven't come up with forks.
  • 3 2
 I got bored reading that after 10 seconds, then I went and rode my bike instead
  • 2 0
 Ooo! Ooo! That's the bike I want!
  • 1 0
 I have a CCDB air on my SC Nomad, it is amazing. Plush and yet fantastic on climbs too. Just set and forget.
  • 1 0
 If I ever get good at tuning my suspension, this would be a great upgrade for my HD.
  • 1 0
 $650 for a shock? No thanks. I can get a Kashima 36 for that price. Shocks should never be more expensive than forks.
  • 1 0
 $650 retail pricing, I highly doubt you're paying retail so it's not really fair to compare your cost on a fork to retail pricing on a shock.
  • 1 0
 You can easily score a "new old stock" Kashima 36 in the Buy & Sell section for $650.
  • 1 0
 Used for sure, but your bikes don't look like they'd ever have a used item on them.
  • 1 0
 I didn't say "used", I said "new old stock". I.e. non-CTD 36s.

And I have bought used frames and forks in the past on many occasions.
  • 1 1
 Just from the looks of the pictures you post most of the parts/frames look new, not secondhand that's all.
  • 1 1
 I don't have pictures of every bike I have ever owned on this site. I have been a mechanic for longer than I have been on Pinkbike.
  • 1 0
 Ok, then your bikes that are on this website look like they mostly had new parts. Obviously I haven't seen the ones you didn't post unless I've been peering through your window for 20 years.
  • 1 0
 My S-Works Allez frame was bought used, my Madone 4.7 frame was bought used, the saddle on my Edit1 was acquired used, the shifters and rear derailleur on my Nickel were bought used... the list goes on.
  • 1 0
 I wonder if this thing will go on a large Scratch..hmmm
  • 1 0
 Anyone tried one on a Yeti SB66?
  • 1 0
 db airs are the best shocks i have ever used.
  • 1 0
 Will we see a rune review. Maybe a back to back test of rune and spitty
  • 1 0
 Check out that dropper post routing. Pretty sweet.
  • 1 0
 whens CC gonna come out with a fork
  • 1 0
 DRCV and forget about it. CCDB is over priced and looks like a flare gun.
  • 2 1
 Nice review.
  • 1 1
 well.. it's cane creek... they make standards better than others...
  • 4 7
 Its heaver that an a DHx5 and not as good looking so why would i swap to this?
  • 11 2
 'cuz it outperforms DHX in every way? However, ff you choose looks over performance then put some Swarovski crystals on your DHX and be happy Smile
  • 3 2
 Two years ago I was considering buying a new 6" frame, I asked SC, Spec and Ibis which air shock should I run, Float or DHx5Air. They all said pretty much - don't go for DHX air, it's too wobbly through it's stroke for most linkage frames, you win nothing over Float with boost valve. Just an idea...
  • 2 1
 Because the dhx 5 is poo. Ride a db air and see for yourself.
  • 2 1
 Uh maybe for PERFORMANCE benefit. Looks are personal preference and I will happily sacrifice higher weight over outstanding function!
  • 2 5
 I got's to have it
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