Cane Creek's New C-Quent Shock Explained

Jul 20, 2016
by Mike Levy  
The new C-Quent is the least adjustable shock that Cane Creek have ever produced. This, from a company that has always prided itself on offering riders the ultimate in tuning options, which is quite the about-face if I've ever seen one. To find out why Cane Creek believes in the C-Quent and how they're aiming to turn things around on the reliability front after the DBinline, I boarded a plane to visit the company's headquarters in Asheville, North Carolina.


Cane Creek C-Quent
The blacked-out C-Quent is unmistakably a Cane Creek product, even without the gold dials.

The press release for the C-Quent shock was quickly followed up by a few hundred comments lamenting the poor reliability of its cousin, the DBinline. And while Cane Creek was admittedly bummed out by the many critical words, it's hard to argue in the DBinline's favor. Simply put, there have been many issues with the shock - we've written about them here on Pinkbike many times - and now Cane Creek is going to offer a new shock that looks a lot like the one that so many mountain bikers have had troubles with?

You're damn right there's going to be some heat in those comments.

The C-Quent is actually a very different beast compared to the DBinline, even if it looks similar from the outside. But will it work for more than a handful of rides? I believe that it will prove to be as reliable as anything from Fox or RockShox, partly because Cane Creek simply has to make it so after the DBinline turmoil, but also because they've taken some serious measures to ensure that the C-Quent (and any other forthcoming suspension product) runs trouble-free.

I'll talk more about reliability later on, but first, let's take a look at the C-Quent itself and how it's different to the DBinline.


Less Adjustments, Simpler Design

The most obvious difference between the DBinline and the C-Quent is the lack of external adjustments on the latter. There are four dials on the DBinline that allow users to tune, with the help of a 3mm hex key, high-speed compression and high-speed rebound, as well as low-speed compression and low-speed rebound, all of them separate from one another. There's also a shock-mounted lever that lets the rider pile on the low-speed compression and rebound to aid climbing efficiency - that adds up to five damper adjustments in total. Use them correctly and you can possibly make your bike perform better than it should; use them incorrectly and the opposite can happen.


Cane Creek C-Quent
Finally, no tools required. Cane Creek's other shocks will continue to call for a 3mm hex key, however.


On the other end of the spectrum, the C-Quent sports only a single traditional damper adjustment to tune low-speed rebound, and unlike the DBinline, it's finger-friendly. It still has a Climb Switch - the gold lever that adds a load of low-speed compression and rebound - but the C-Quent is actually less adjustable than the very familiar Float DPS from Fox. Is this really the same Cane Creek?

''The idea behind the C-Quent was to take the performance of the DBinline and make it more approachable,'' said Jim Morrison, Director of Engineering at Cane Creek, when I questioned him on why the company known for adjustments was now going to offer a shock with way fewer adjustments. ''It is possible for less experienced riders to adjust the shock so it performs poorly. You can adjust it wrong, for sure,'' he said of the DBinline, despite Cane Creek's tuning guide and recently released tuning app. People don't like to get things wrong, and some people don't even like the option of getting things wrong, which is where the C-Quent comes in, but offering an easier to understand (or maybe harder to tune incorrectly would be a better way of putting it) shock surely wasn't Cane Creek's only motivation.

Cane Creek Factory Tour
Jim Morrison heads up Cane Creek's engineering department.

Given that it's a simpler shock, the C-Quent must be less expensive to manufacture, right? ''We had several large OEM customers say, 'Look, we can't spec your shock on anything but the highest-end bike,' and that's not necessarily just because of cost. Yes, cost does have something to do with it, but it's the next level down, the XT bike. Often times, that customer wants the best bike for the money and they may not be interested in all the tuning options our shocks provide.''

Less cost is one thing, but while the DBinline's massive external adjustment range allows a single shock to work well on a number of different suspension designs, the C-Quent's fewer external tuning possibilities require Cane Creek to tune the shock internally to bikes that it is going to be spec'd on. That means that the C-Quent will only be available on frames and complete bikes, and that you can't just go out and buy one. For now, anyway. Fox and RockShox both offer shocks with bike-specific tunes, so I'd expect to see the same with the C-Quent down the road.


Cane Creek C-Quent
The C-Quent on the far left is a rough working prototype, complete with a 3D printed rebound dial and Climb Switch, and bespoke, hand-made steel shaft.




While the C-Quent ditches the four tooled adjustment dials in favor of a single finger-friendly knob, it still looks similar enough to the DBinline that even a layman would recognize it as being from the same family. Regardless, it is, I've been told, very different internally. ''The C-Quent is our first completely new damper since the Double Barrel,'' Morrison said of the new shock. So does this mean that it isn't just a DBinline with fewer dials? ''All of the internals operate differently, we really went back to first principles,'' he went on to say.

bigquotesThe goal was to take this new damper and replicate what the DBinline does at various tunes. So what we do is go out with the OEMs and do a test ride session to develop a base tune. Once there's a base tune for the DBinline, we come back and say 'how can we make a C-Quent.' - Jim Morrison, Director of Engineering



“With the C-Quent we were given the opportunity to re-think the ideal damper having removed the requirement for nearly limitless external adjustments,'' Morrison explained of their approach to designing the C-Quent. ''If you only need LSR and a CS, everything can get smaller, lighter, and simpler. In the final design, we left the LSC and LSR valving in the valve-body up top just like our other shocks. Doing this facilitates our patented CS feature that adjusts LSC and LSR simultaneously and it puts the LSR adjustment in a convenient location for the user. Unlike our other shocks, we moved all of the high-speed valving onto the main piston thus shrinking and greatly simplifying the valve body.''

But wouldn’t it have been easier to just make a mono-tube shock? ''Well yes, probably, however, we still strongly believe that the twin-tube architecture provides the best performance in a rear shock due to its extreme resistance to cavitation.”

This resulted in a pretty neat looking main piston that doesn't resemble what you might be used to seeing attached to the end of a damper rod. The compression side of the piston features pathways that have been machined into its face to allow pressure to form beneath the shims, and an offset between the face of the piston and the outer rim results in an inner surface that's slightly lower, giving the shims a digressive character.
Cane Creek C-Quent

This offset, along with the type of shims used and their layup, determines when the high-speed ''break'' in compression damping occurs.


Cane Creek C-Quent
Hydrualic hieroglyphics. The channels machined into the C-Quent's piston give it a very unique look.


Creating the correct shape for the piston was a trial and error process, Morrison admits: ''There were days when we had these programmed up and our machinist at the time would bring me a piston, and I'd build a shock, run it, and go 'argh, not enough,' can you drill the holes smaller, bigger or move it in or out or whatever. He'd go modify the program and then bring me another one. There were days when we went through twenty prototypes.''


But What About Those Issues?

There's no way to talk about the C-Quent without addressing another topic: the widely known reliability issues of the DBinline, a shock that the C-Quent very much resembles, at least externally.

The DBinline's woes aren't a secret - I've written about multiple test bikes whose shocks eventually gave up, as have other editors here on Pinkbike - and Cane Creek never denied the problem, either. But what exactly was the issue? And is it truly sorted out? Will future DBinline and C-Quent shocks run trouble-free or will they be wheezing after only a handful of rides?

The streak of unreliable shocks was, according to Cane Creek President Brent Graves, a combination of the inherent complexity of the design and not fully realizing, at least at the time, the quality assurance and level or robustness that it required.

In other words, the DBinline is a complicated shock that calls for a medical-like level of manufacturing and assembly precision. So that's what Cane Creek did, eventually bringing in a quality assurance specialist, Jack Hedden, from the medical instrument field, an area of expertise where white overalls and hairnets are a requirement.

Hedden's job is to bring the manufacturing procedure up to snuff and to make sure that not a single hair was ever out of place. Literally.
Cane Creek Factory Tour
Jack Hedden came from the medical field to run Cane Creek's quality assurance program.

''The design has to be robust. What we did with the DBinline was that we didn't realize, and, honestly, we chased it for a long time, that we lacked that robustness,'' Graves explained when I asked him point-blank what Cane Creek has learned from these issues. ''We even found that an applicator that's used to apply grease inside of a shock, which is generally a brush, can cause a problem. Well, sometimes you're painting a wall in your house, and a bristle comes out and you just paint over it.'' As it turns out, that small bristle, or even a human hair, could be the downfall of a rather expensive shock. ''We found that not only a bristle but also a human hair could cause a shock to cavitate.''

In other words, one hair can take down a shock that was designed to be ridden hard and put away dirty for months on end. ''It took us awhile to appreciate what we had to do to make it robust in assembly and obviously robust in terms of out on the trail. But things had to be too exact. Yeah, we have the precision, but it has to be more robust in terms of opening it up for production in large quantities,'' Graves said of Cane Creek's requirement to not just make a handful of shocks that work well, but thousands that work reliably for a long, long time. ''The tolerance that we're calling out for this particular part, is that realistic given that it's a bicycle and it costs this much? Maybe if it's a satellite or something, but those things cost a lot more. So it's just in the realm of what is realistic.''


Cane Creek Factory Tour DB assembly work station
Cane Creek Factory Tour DBInline Damper valve body being prepared for assembly
The DBinline's damping circuits and valve body are extremely complicated, which made for a tricky assembly and affected reliability. The C-Quent's guts are a lot simpler, a fact that should make it a much more robust.


''We've definitely made a big investment in quality, and what we've got to do, what we've been doing, is focusing on quality assurance. Quality assurance is doing it at the front end, putting in controls to ensure that you're making it right to begin with. Quality control is checking it after the fact. Quality assurance is going back up the supply chain to the supplier and saying 'Okay, let's walk through the process.'' So the DBinline's assembly process, and therefore the C-Quent's as well, has been examined, simplified, and purged of any troubling steps, and the entire supplier manufacturing process has been scrutinized to hopefully eliminate anything that could cause an issue down the road. At one point, one of the suppliers was simply dropping newly manufactured shock shafts into a container, stacking up countless shafts on top of each other. This seemingly harmless act, likely done by someone who didn't know the tolerances required, sometimes caused tiny imperfections in the shafts, which would then lead to a transfer of air into the oil system or vice-versa despite them being essentially invisible to the naked eye.

bigquotesIt's regrettable, and I tell you, no one feels it more than the people here on the shock assembly line who actually ride as well, and the engineering group of Brandon, Jim, and all those guys. They take it to heart, they really do, because we're not a big company; we're not a public company with millions of dollars floating around all over the place. These products are products that we're proud of, you know? - Brent Graves, President, Cane Creek

As small as those imperfections might have been, the DBinline required NASA-like perfection during both manufacturing and assembly, which can be a tough ask when the product is passing through so many different hands. But Graves and everyone else at Cane Creek believes that the issues are behind them, both when it comes to current products and things that we won't see for awhile yet. ''We have a history of being the standard for reliability and robust design. Our 110-series headsets – with a 110-year warranty and DBcoil can speak to that. This is the standard that we want to maintain for every one of our products.''


How Does the C-Quent Ride?

Unlike a lot of places I travel to in order to ride new bikes and components, Asheville, North Carolina, has plenty of terrain able to provide solid feedback. There's not a ton of smooth ground, especially when it comes to the handful of trails that I sampled, and anything that was close to being manicured was so high-speed that it felt anything but smooth. One trail in particular was littered with so many rocks of all shapes and sizes that I began to wonder if there was any dirt under them at all. In other words, absolutely perfect.

I'll never understand why we often fly halfway around the world to ride trails that don't even come close to requiring the bikes or gear that we're being introduced to, but that is all too often the case. Not this time.


Cane Creek C-Quent
The C-Quent was mounted on a 150mm-travel BMC Speedfox.


My pony for all of this was BMC's new, $4,299 USD Speedfox 03 Trailcrew, a 150mm-travel all-mountain bike that leans more towards the lively handling side of the genre. Sag was set on the firm side (did I mention that these trails are fast?) but within the recommended range by using the handy gauge at the rocker arm and seatstay pivot. The aluminum frame was also home to a Pike and a wallet-responsible build kit that mixes Shimano's SLX and Race Face drivetrain components, aluminum rims with proper Maxxis rubber, and the interesting HDK dropper seatpost that was surprisingly flawless.

The neon machine proved to be an agile performer, especially compared to most other 150mm-travel sleds out there, and this was further aided by great pedaling manners. Yes, it's going to feel a touch nervous if you're coming off a mid-travel bike designed to brush off bike park abuse or to allow you to keep up with your buddies on downhill bikes, but it sure was fun to lob into tight, rocky sections that might trip up a bike with lazier handling.

But what about the C-Quent?

To be honest, I doubt that I could tell the difference, in a blind test, between a RockShox or Fox shock of equal intentions and setup, but I'm pretty confident that I could tell you if there was a Cane Creek shock under me. They just feel different. I'm not saying better or worse, and I'm also not sure if it's the twin-tube damping layout or just how Cane Creek valves their shocks, but there is something about the control of the stroke that makes them feel... unique.


Cane Creek C-Quent
Cane Creek C-Quent
It may not have all the bells and whistles of the DBinline, but its Climb Switch works just as effectively.


The C-Quent has that same Cane Creek feel. If I didn't know any better, I would have assumed that it was a DBinline on the bike, which is a compliment to what Cane Creek have done. The new shock feels every bit like a Cane Creek unit - controlled and consistent - just without the multiple gold dials. This is good news if you aren't interested in adjusting your suspension, but I also know that some riders will miss those dials. For example, I prefer to run a bit more low-speed compression and low-speed rebound, depending on the bike, than other people I know, and that's not an option on the C-Quent. I guess that's why Cane Creek has their DBinline, though. And to be fair, I also can't tinker with those settings on an in-line shock from other brands.

How often do you feel the need to adjust anything on your shock other than its spring rate and the low-speed rebound setting? The answer is likely either ''not often'' or ''never'' for many of riders, which is where the C-Quent comes in. That much is kinda obvious, though.

The C-Quent has to be absolutely flawless when it comes to reliability, and the real story is what Cane Creek have done to ensure this. Only time will tell how the new shock will perform over months and months, or even years, of abuse.

Must Read This Week

150 Comments

  • + 143
 So Jim Morrison hopes this shock will break on thru to the other side of customers that like less adjustments.
  • + 26
 The concept of a shock (or a fork) that just flat out works without multiple adjustments is brilliant. For the vast majority of riders (all riders, not just Pinkbike riders) this could.be very desirable.
  • + 48
 At the End of the Night, we are all just Riders on the Storm. But this shock is about to Light My Fire.
  • + 35
 He's really opening up the doors
  • + 32
 I bet it works best on frames with a Five to one leverage ratio...
  • + 32
 Cane creek releasing a shock without adjustments? Strange days indeed.
  • - 26
flag glweek (Jul 20, 2016 at 22:51) (Below Threshold)
 I don't understand whats going on here....
  • + 12
 @glweek: Well, we could tell all the people, but just take it as it comes and you'll be fine.
  • + 13
 As long as it allows me to get my kicks in before the whole shit house goes up in flames. ALL RIGHT!
  • + 2
 I looked at the internals of one of those shocks once, it was like.... a weird scene inside a goldmine. Won't light my fire anyhow, too unreliable.
  • + 16
 @glweek: you know... People are strange...
  • + 11
 People are strange. They've been down so long on the DB Inline, but with the new C-Quent they are like, "hello, I love you" and are ready to love her madly.
  • - 27
flag uphill-blues (Jul 21, 2016 at 2:03) (Below Threshold)
 Simpler adjustments? Hello, I love you simplicity! Ahh f*ck it, The Doors suck. Sounds like circus music.
  • + 7
 @glweek: this is the end my friend...
  • + 6
 He is indeed the lizard king!
  • + 6
 I am the lizard skins! I can do anything!

Anyone?
No?
Is this thing on?
  • + 5
 This is the End, my only friend the end.
  • + 6
 I was just going to ask where they dug up this Jim Morrison guy
  • + 2
 “Curses, Invocations. Weird bate-headed mongrels. I keep expecting one of you to rise. Large buxom obese queen. Garden hogs and C-Quent veterans.”
  • + 4
 Will this one blow up, and I throw it out the door, like the other one did a thousand times before?
  • + 4
 Infinite ajustment is a bunch of shite. Think about it, HSC, LSC, HSR, LSR, all with something like 16 clicks worth of ajustment, that's 16^4 (65536) possilities of getting it wrong. I like this type of setup, simple compression and simple rebound, no fuss.
  • + 6
 @rejean: it's not like you are forced to select a random number between 1 and 16 and then apply that to each setting. you can bracket your way to the perfect settings and then never touch the shock's adjustments again
  • + 1
 @xeren: True that, but not that many people actually know what they are doing and end up selecting random settings.
  • + 33
 @CaneCreekCyclingComponents Thank you for the explanation of the issues with the DB Inline. I have been patiently waiting for this. As a manufacturing engineer, I understand the difficulty of assuring the quality of something that is so complicated and intricate, something that goes through so many process and changes through so many hands, in it's transformation from raw material to a finished product. When you're constantly progressing the state of the art, you are bound to have some setbacks.

I had a DB Inline kick the bucket on me. You did not hesitate to fix it, and did so very quickly. While it was a major bummer that it happened in the first place, your transparency on the issue and willingness to make it right has made me appreciate your company, and the men and women working there. Men and women who obviously take pride in what they do. You have my respect, and my business.

BTW, my DB Inline has been flawless ever since.
  • + 1
 Assuring to hear you had a good experience on the repair of your product. However, reading this I confess I did not know that 1) DBInlines were problematic (Yes, I live under a rock/I'm a FOX customer) and more importantly, 2) that a respected manufacturer like CC was subbing out the fabrication of such a high-end product to a facility that was not using best practices for such a precision-dependent component. That just boggles the mind. Too bad for CC customers. How much work would it have taken for CC to learn what kind of facilities are used for the dominant products in the market? (Sure, FOX and SRAM products have their shortcomings but really, they didn't get to the top by assembling components in 'dirty' rooms.)
  • + 5
 @sngltrkmnd: Do keep in mind that Fox and SRAM are huge companies which probably have teams of people in their Supplier Quality department. People who's entire job is to go visit manufacturer sites and assess their capabilities, ensure their processes and quality procedures are up to snuff, then stay there during the initial production runs to ensure all procedures are followed.

Cane Creek obviously does not have the resources of Fox or SRAM (yet, at least.) They did not define their process requirements clearly enough to their suppliers, or perhaps they did, and they were just not followed. They did not initially understand the level of cleanliness and process control required during their in-house assembly, since it was clearly greater than the level that someone like me can provide in my garage while I rebuild my Rockshox Monarch or Fox Float on the work bench. Lessons learned... hopefully. I'm not saying these are completely absolving excuses, but the situation doesn't exactly boggle my mind.

Hopefully, with the volume they gain by breaking into the OEM market, it will mean better control of product quality across their entire product line-up. It better, because i'm sure the OEM's placing orders for hundreds or thousands of units at a time will not be as "understanding" as the average consumer.
  • + 1
 @mrleach:

even the big boys sub out components manufacturing on forks - typical example the magnesium alloy fork lowers, which is a specialist operation; a number of first class operators in Taiwan produce most for in-country assembly or shipping to an off-shore assembler.

bigger companies typically have their own staff in the supplier's factory, or supplier's staff trained and working exclusively for them, to maintain a cost effective QA process.

this article and Cane Creek's honesty about their QA is refreshing.

I don't ride a FS bike at the moment, but would definitely check out their shocks if I get a FS bike, I've tried the original DB coil and very impressed on a short test ride.
  • + 1
 Same thing with my CS Inline, i got about 4 months out of it, inner seals went out, they sent me a new one right away and it was better. I did leave it in the climb mode once on a descent though which kinda fawked it but then my frame got warrantied and it came with the new ohlins air shock, which, is awesome and i wont look back. But i still preferred my CS Inline over the standard Float's i had ran in the past.
  • + 13
 I wanted to like cc inline shocks but I was never able to get on with them. I had two and they always felt harsh on those high speed harsh impacts. Then I had two of them bail out in the same week. My foxes felt better even with bad tuning. We'll see about reliability....
  • + 4
 An honest response without vitriol. Just a statement of fact. Yet some CC fan boi still chose to neg prop it.
  • + 2
 Interesting how things change in just a few years. It wasn't that long ago that I'd rather run a rigid Walmart bike than anything with a Fox RP or Float on it. In my experience, both model lines were unreliable and established the benchmark in sh!t performance. Hell, one could argue Fox was the main reason why PUSH even exists. Got a DB Air and have been very satisfied with it, as it's never exploded or got stuck down, to say nothing of the wide range of adjustability. Sure, the air spring could be better, but overall, it was orders of magnitude better than the Fox air offerings I'd tried. Then comes the disaster of the Inline and now Fox has a widely applauded X2 and I've been told the Float X is solid as well. Like with Evil, I hope CC can recover and turn it around, but I'm not gonna lie, I'd like to give the X2 or Topaz a shot just for poops and giggles. Well, actually, I'd like to throw on the PUSH Eleven Six, but I need to determine which non-essential organ I need to sell first.
  • + 1
 @jackalope: My Inline has been great in terms of setting them up, so I'd take singular anecdotal experience with a grain of salt with regards to performance. Significantly better than any fox shock I've used (a LOT of them), barring the X2 which I haven't used (but doesn't actually compete with the inline, but rather the CCDB Air which it copies). Of course this is for a short travel rig, not a 150mm+ bike which should be on the CCDBA anyway.
  • + 3
 @jackalope: I think Cane Creek will recover well from this and do fine. As a matter of fact, I hope they do! While I feel their system(s) have some drawbacks, the adjustability is pretty rad if you know what you're doing.

My next shock will be an X-Fusion Vector HLR. High and low speed compression controls AND(!!!!) a separate bottom out resevoir!!!!! Buttery smooth early on with a progressive rate that I can control. Trying to get that on the CC DB Air without popping the can off is impossible.
  • + 1
 @BDKR: I rode a Vector HLR for a few of seasons and absolutely loved it. I wish I could use it on my new bike, but unfortunately can't. I am currently using a Monarch Plus RC3 and the Vector HLR is in a class of its own compared to it. I had no issue with the reliability of the Vector either.
  • + 2
 @jackalope: @jackalope: I can only say good things about my PUSH Elevensix (on a Nomad which needed a coil shock to bring out its best although they run well with the new X2). Two perfect circuits, firmish for pedalling and plush for descending.

CCDB Air CS was excellent but the PUSH is better and it is the custom tune aspect before one uses the adjusters to micro tune that is the difference.

The X-Fusion Vector HLR Air I had before that was an excellent shock for the the downs but that lack of climb switch meant it was a bit bobby for trail riding if tuned for optimum descending and too stiff for descents if tuned for trail but it was a huge improvement on the OEM Debonair Pus.

Monarch Debonair Plus: worst rear shock I have ever had, only plus was small bump sesitivity. It is now a workshop paperweight.
  • + 3
 @amrskipro: well thanks for that jerk. What am I going to tell my wife where our vacation fund went when that Eleven Six shows up on the doorstep Smile

But yeah, as much as I truly do like my CCDB CS, the Eleven Six makes my pants move. Don't need, but do want!
  • + 1
 @amrskipro: people have mentioned the weight of the elevensix. Did you notice a difference?
  • + 1
 @dbblackdiamond: @amrskipro:

Ooohhh..... No climb switch the HLR eh? That sucks!

It's interesting the issues or experiences some have had with the Monarch. I ran an RC3 Plus (non-Debonair) and loved it. Sure, the 3 position switch is nowhere near the same as the DB Air's huge amount of adjustability but I have to admit it worked.

What tunes where you guys running?
  • + 15
 So they admit they had issues yet they still want to charge people to fix inlines.
  • + 89
 My first Inline died pretty fast. Cavitated and started making some gnarly sounds, but was still rideable. Cane Creek sent me a new one, no questions asked. They including the shipping label for the old one in the box with the new one so that I literally did not have to miss a single ride.

That new shock is by far the best air shock I've ever used. I guess it's one of the good ones.

Between the performance of the product and the absolute top notch customer service, they have 100% earned my business.
  • + 96
 I have had one on my hardtail for years. It sucks. The rear end is so hard. I have taken out all the air and flipped the CTD to off. Even after all these efforts the rear end still feels locked out. Help anyone?
  • - 77
flag Longtravel (Jul 20, 2016 at 20:16) (Below Threshold)
 @bikerguy24: how can a rear shock be on a hard tail?
  • + 13
 @Longtravel: you got that too eh.
  • + 15
 @Longtravel: Didn't you read the last ask pinkbike? Its the new thing. Zip ties work just as well as linkages. The weight of a hardtail with the squish of a full suspension rig.
  • + 0
 @Longtravel: cane creek thud buster
  • + 1
 @speed10: No, it was an inline
  • + 15
 @Longtravel: you must be new to riding. The pro's do it all the time. If you set it up right it makes your bike really flickable
  • + 3
 @mfoga....Fox has been doing this since 2013....and they are a big company whose doors no crap product should pass through. I am riding a mrp stage now and a inline. Love them both.
  • + 9
 @bikerguy24: I feel your pain bro. I'm still looking for the right shock for my hardtail as well. Is your shock metric or standard?
  • + 22
 @powaymatt: top end is metric bottom is imperial
  • + 16
 @Longtravel: I guess we know who buys the Pinkbike Plus accounts now...
  • + 13
 I like how the author used 'unique,' in describing the shock and then saying its not a good or bad thing. It's like saying your date has a 'great personality'
  • + 8
 Not to put CC down as i love my DBair but its all well and good having an amazing feeling shock but shocks/forks that are needy or require "3rd party servicing voodoo" just wont cut it, people are slowly realising that servicing this stuff doesnt have to require an engineering degree if the manufacturer has considered this aspect and provides adequate documentation.

Theres a growing number who will happily stump up £££ for an awesome shock/fork but really dont want to be spunking £150 every year / 18 months for a rebuild (essentially a few seals and a bit of oil). Rockshox and Marzo latched on to this historically and a lot of people bought them on this basis even if the damping wasnt as good. Manitou (under hayes) and DVO have realised this and now have offerings which are as good or only a fraction behind in performance but can be serviced easily by the home mechanic.

I think CC and some other manufacturers need to seriously consider this aspect more. I'll pay more for a fork/ shock at the outlay if i know i can service it and source spares, as the intial cost is far less than the servicing costs. Not only that im more likely to go back to that company come upgrade time.
  • + 7
 When I bought my Tracer I was quite bummed about selling the Inline immediately, as I've head when it works it's as good as it can get, but I didn't want to risk being shock-less. If the reliability is there, there's hope.

Side question, with the lack of adjustment, will there be different tunes available (VPP tune, DW tune, or M/M, M/L etc)?
  • + 16
 @dirtnapped: Although there are fewer external adjustments; the C-Quent's unique piston design allows us to internally customize tunes to OEM partners specifications and ride characteristics.
  • + 3
 @CaneCreekCyclingComponents: Sounds good. What about for the aftermarket crowd?
  • + 3
 @dirtnapped: That would be a standard DB-Inline.
  • + 5
 @dirtnapped: " That means that the C-Quent will only be available on frames and complete bikes, and that you can't just go out and buy one."
  • + 4
 @hamncheez: those commie basterds regulated everything for you! No more free flow of oil capital...
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: I fight the Man, but I am only one man.
  • + 3
 But does it come in metric? Lol.... Anyways I'm kinda intrigued by this shock, I know a lot of people have really enjoyed their time on the inline but I have heard that the inline really shined on agressive short travel 29er bikes.

I'm hoping this C-quent can find a really good middle ground in performance fromt the inline and can offer short travel 29er riders something highly competitive to what RS and Fox have to offer.
  • + 3
 My new monarch plus doesn't hold air,this was a warranty replacement for a similar issue...it seems like all my rear shocks are never up for the task of hard riding...I hope these companies can come out with some reliable shit before my next bike purchase.
  • + 4
 Check out the dvo topaz I had terrible luck with my cane creeks reliability. Haven't had an issue with my topaz plus it feels AWESOME!
  • + 4
 @mtbakerpow Fox Float X, Eleven-six, DVO, BOS, so many good options out there.
  • + 3
 @siderealwall2: I have BOS on my Meta. Unbelievable!
  • + 0
 @hadenmtnbiker: DVO give you that shock?
  • + 4
 Where are all these failing shocks? I ran dB's on my dh and am bikes and I let both ride for well over a year before needing a rebuild and even then it didn't blow I just felt bad I had gone that long without rebuilding it
  • + 1
 blew mine within 2 months, warranty replaced and back on bike within 4 days and has been fine since
  • + 1
 Yeah I just took my db air in. They said it was "well over due for serivce" as I left it for a year and two months haha still nothing was destroyed!
  • + 1
 @Jokesterwild: the reliability issues were only with the DBinline, out of the 5 cane creek rear shocks i own the two air shocks are my favorite, ccdb air cs and ccdb air, they take time to setup properly but being able to fully customize my tunes is a God send, i own 3 coils and they just hang up on the wall waiting only to be used when my other shocks are out for service.
  • + 4
 Any company that allows critical components (shock shafts) to be mishandled (dropped in a pile!) just isn't serious about QC. A first year machinists apprentice should have been able to spot that one...
  • + 2
 It wasn't just the dbinline. I blew up my dbair cs after just a couple months of use and that was supposed to be the downhill grade version. based on other forums, i know i am not alone there. I want to like cane creek but i dont want to be sending my shock off for 2 weeks every couple months.
  • + 2
 apparently the average mountain biker is smart enough to handle twelve speed drive trains and dropper posts, but is not smart enough to handle basic suspension adjustments. This will be perfect for riding the sanitized flow trails popping up everywhere. #getoffmylawn
  • + 4
 suspension adjustment is vastly more complicated than using a 12 speed drivetrain or a dropper post, are you kidding me?
  • + 3
 that climb switch is begging for a hold to be drilled in the meaty side for remote lockout, even if it were an afterthought it could be so well executed on that shock if you wanted that kind of thing
  • + 2
 cc is working on a remote, i would wager the switch is designed with that in mind
  • + 6
 So a DBhair shock is a thing?
  • + 1
 "In other words, the DBinline is a complicated shock that calls for a medical-like level of manufacturing and assembly precision."

NO mate.
In other words, there was a design flaw. The load on a certain part of the shock was not calculated correcly, and as a result they took a SF (safety factor) that was too low. What happens next is that stuff start breaking.
  • + 6
 Absolutely 100% incorrect.
  • + 2
 Non-cynical question to Mike: if you like a little more LSR and LSC, can't you just put the climb switch in the halfway position? This was at least advertised for the CCDBA, not sure about inline or Cquent.
  • + 1
 I hope CC is reading every post-and listening. I was totally shocked (pun intended) that I couldn't "service" my inline after their recommended 100hrs in the saddle. I was a pro mechanic for 10yrs and I always am comfortable maintaining my own bikes. For CC to ask the consumer to pay the $150-$200 every 12-18 months is plain robbery and insulting to the people that ride their shocks. CC, maybe you should consider charging a smaller fee for your service? I guarantee if you could work on this you would have far better reviews than what I hope you are reading right now.
  • + 1
 You know, the DBInline performs so well, going back to Fox would be difficult. I have a Fox CTD and use it when my DBInline is being repaired or a new one is being sent to me (4 times in one year) The Fox is so bad compared to the DBInline that I suffer through the phases of not having the DBInline because its on its way back to Fletcher. CC folks are the nicest to deal with. What company sends you a new shock, only for you to send the broken one back? Unheard of. These guys do it.
  • + 2
 I was well on my way to becoming the greatest mountain biker the world has ever seen, but then my Cane Creek shock quit working, and it was all over. Thanks for ruining my life Cane Creek.
  • + 2
 More like the greatest mountain biker the universe, or any other universe has ever seen. I can't even begin to describe the depths to which I've fallen because of Cane Creek.
  • + 0
 All joking aside, that's really cool what Cane Creek have done expanding their equipment, I always remember they were the standard for quality headsets back in the day, and with their suspension it seems as though they're trying to uphold their high quality reputation. It must be really cool to contribute to designing, producing, and testing different bike parts.
  • + 1
 Trash, every single one of the double barrels that came through my shop failed... My personal bike that I was running the rear shock on failed within 2 weeks of getting my bike... After it failed they sent me a new one took two weeks to get to california which sucked.

Top it off I never ran the shock I replaced it with another shock.. Put the shock on for a ride and blew it out, I called cane creek and they said the rear shock was a year old, which the bike was only 9 months old.. So impossible, i ended up paying $150.00 for a rear shock i ran one time.

Never again.
  • + 2
 Well, reliability issues, eh? They should have asked their engineering guy there, what are they doing to address them? Just get through it somehow, like riders of the storm....Maybe.
  • + 1
 I had an Inline and a DBAir, both felt great but it was the lack of serviceability combined with reliability problems that convinced me to sell them both off. If the Inline design requires a NASA clean room to put together so that it can actually be reliable, no way that a customer or a suspension shop could rebuild one with good long term results. It's like having to send your car engine back to the factory instead of just fixing it yourself or having a dealer do it.
  • + 1
 I have had my inline fail twice under warranty. What's worse is the service here in Canada. In Ontario these are sent to norco / live to play , time to fix the chirp the first time 4 weeks , the second 6 WEEKS . Bought another shock to use as a spare while the original was being fixed. I'm thinking of doinf the same with my dropper ...goddamned expensive equipment which isnt reliable and takes ages to get fixed. I am impressed with cc's customer service though (when dealing directly with them )
  • + 3
 Try Suspension Werx in Vancouver instead of LTP next time. I've heard good things about their service from some Canadian friends.
  • + 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: Agree, send it to suspension werx instead.
  • + 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: The issue is we don't get to choose...CC makes you take it to a dealer (shop) who sends it to who they send it to
  • + 1
 @DGWW: What do you want to choose? It's a complicated piece of equipment that deserves the attention of a trained professional. Who cares where it goes as long as it's serviced properly? With all the new stuff coming out with similar designs (Ohlins, Fox X2, etc) I have a feeling there won't be much we as consumers can do ourselves on the service side of things in the future.
  • + 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: I want to choose a service centre who has a good turn around time. 6 weeks to service a shock is not acceptable regardless of how complicated the piece of equipment is. Especially when CC can get your's back to you in the USA in less than 1 week.
  • + 1
 @DGWW: Yeah, I can understand that. Well like I said, I've heard good things about Sus Werx, so maybe they have a better turn abound time.
  • + 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: I believe that they do, but the shop won't allow you to choose the service centre. in this case they just default to the closest (and apparently slowest) one.
  • + 1
 @DGWW: You can specify where you want your shock sent for warranty. The bike shop must honor your request for where to send your property.
  • + 1
 my InLine works great... after 3 replacements. But wow, CC finally released a shock that you don't have to have a multi tool to adjust on the trail.. similar to the Fox CTD. Adjust on the fly is great.. too bad this wont be available to buy as a one off. Wonder what manufacturers will pick this up to put on new frames/builds.
  • + 4
 Looks like a coil might fit on that damper design in place of the air can...
  • + 1
 My money's on fitting a piggyback low volume air can on that trailfox...
  • + 0
 If I were to be a potential OEM customer I would not spec this shock on my bike after reading this.

The level of control in the assembly process they need to ensure the thing works reliably may be achievable in the factory, but ensuring that level around the world at all the places that are going to rebuild these isn't going to happen. Needs to be more like an AK-47. The original CCDB seemed to work fine in the same environment used for the inline, what was better with the original design?

''There were days when we had these programmed up and our machinist at the time would bring me a piston, and I'd build a shock, run it, and go 'argh, not enough,' can you drill the holes smaller, bigger or move it in or out or whatever. He'd go modify the program and then bring me another one. There were days when we went through twenty prototypes.'' -- Good luck when it comes time to change the tune and figure out the interaction between the shim stack and the piston. If you are designing something by trial and error, you don't understand what's going on or know what will happen if you change something.
  • + 4
 I would wait a year before purchasing to get all the bugs out.
  • + 5
 Meh...
  • + 2
 Whenever I read an article in which the DB inline ist mentioned, I feel even more lucky, that mine works absolutely flawless so far.
  • + 1
 most of us are fire and forget. just get on and ride. temperature is probably i bigger factor that people forget about - winter rebound and pressure is different to summer rebound and pressure, if you don't adjust them.
  • + 0
 Another thing I've noticed, the Cane Creek end hardware is really tight and doesn't allow easy rotation. If the bushings don't allow rotation the shock gets side loaded with every stroke, wearing the bushings and seals. Or it finds a way to rotate, usually at the expense of the frames shock mounting points. I'm planning to either get needle bearing kits or to simply hone some clearance into the bushings.. In other words, I'll try to finish the R&D.. I really want to like Cane Creek, but it seems like they need to R&D the suspension products just a little more before starting up the production lines.
  • + 1
 We're seeing more frames (like the Kona Process for instance) which have the shock mounts 90 degrees rotated to each other. That should sort it for these frames at least.
  • + 2
 seems stupid me if. if you want to set the dbline up without knowing how to set the shock just use the base setting supplied
  • + 4
 Push
  • - 1
 A bit surprised to read that they didn't initially expect that (1) something like a hair could cause trouble in these shocks and (2) the lightweight shock shafts deform/scratch when you dump them in a container. I'm pretty sure they knew that, everyone knows that. When you service your forks (which aren't nearly as demanding as these high pressure rear shocks) you also use a lint free cloth or something to make sure there is nothing left to bridge the seals and cause a leak. Good they have found the source of the failures though.

The other thing is that when you design a component and determine the dimensions, you also determine the accuracy. You never have absolute accuracy and luckily, you don't have to. But certain interfaces need a certain level of accuracy and if you decide some component has to comply to that, you're also going to figure out how you're going to achieve that. And what the implications thereof are on the workflow and costs. And clever engineering involves that you make the product perform properly without posing unnecessary requirements on your production process. It is part of it, you need to integrate it in your design. The interview makes me think like they were working more old skool "over the wall" fashion where the designers/engineers think up some amazing concept and then dump it in the production mailbox leaving it up to them how they're ever going to build it. Luckily again they now are going to sort it up front, so I trust it is going to be fine now.

This makes me think of the first generation Specialized Demo 9 and 8 frames. It had a complex forging around the shock of which in their marketing they proudly claimed it was the most complex and expensive forging on a bike ever. Which made me think this wasn't necessarily a good idea. Later (when they also came with a Demo 7) they simplified the frame and just put a single tube there.

I don't have any of their shocks but the high speed rebound damping seems nice. I suppose it lets you find your middle ground between lively and dead stable. They just tried to put too much in a cramped space. Which makes me wonder why, if there is too little room for a piggyback reservoir, why they haven't gone with a remote reservoir instead.

That said, this review is on the new C-Quent. It doesn't look particularly complex and the reviewer likes it so that's all good. Would be interesting to see which bikes it is going to be specced on. And it is going to be busy for them to help all these frame manufacturers out with their specific tuning.
  • + 2
 Has someone ever made an apparatus, in such a way, that you'll have two rear shocks as front suspension??
  • + 3
 The Gervin and the fournales used a single shock design for a fork, that was very similar to a rear shock.
  • + 1
 @cmcrawfo: zerode have some design work done.
  • + 4
 Here we go again
  • + 1
 All the way from the start...
  • - 2
 I don't know about you but I'm not spending my dollars on this. My Cane Creek headset is nice. no thanks on their shocks
  • + 2
 Let's wait for the opinion of the wisest of us all..... the Gandalf of MTB..... TIME!!!
  • - 1
 TBH I hate these non adjustable suspension components. I'm not a newbie and like to dial in my suspension. How the feck is someone from North Carolina going to know how I like my suspension here in the Swiss Alps?
  • + 7
 That's why there is still the DBInline...Geez, you are not the only person in the world. Some people do love simplicity of set up, other don't. Don't make it just about yourself.
  • + 3
 sequent eh???!!
  • + 3
 HDK Dropper?
  • + 1
 Googling that next
  • + 2
 I found that this dropper post is a Windows virus!
  • + 1
 Weird I've never had any issues with my Inline. But my next frame will be one that allows a reservoir.
  • + 1
 I've used Cane Creek headsets for over ten years without any issues. From the 40, to steel cups/loose ball. They rule.
  • + 0
 I would recommend totally Cane creek products. I have one and they helped me with a problem that I had. Cane creek. The best.
  • + 2
 my inline was perfect - only sold it when I got a new frame
  • + 2
 Why would I care about something I can not buy for my bike?
  • + 1
 Because if your frame manufacturer makes it oem for your frame a tune for it will be available then you too can "upgrade"
  • + 2
 Because if someone is in the market for a complete bike (or frame with shock) and sees this particular shock specced, (s)he already has an idea what it is, doesn't confuse it with the inline shock and maybe even choses a bike/frame based on whether this shock is specced or not. I'm pretty sure that if they didn't post articles like this and we'll see this shock on loads of 2017 frames/bikes, there'd be questions. Better inform right now.
  • + 1
 What about the dbinline coil shock seen on Ghost prototypes?
  • - 3
 Does it explode to the same level of disappointment as the inline? I think CC is great and all, but them taking the new "Vivid Air" Approach to the inline just makes me wonder why they don't just stock a revamped version instead of re-hashing the perfectly adaptable inline that people could tune to virtually and bike at any pressure. given there is gobs more adjustability and reliability in the DB sector, why not just spend your customers cash scaling the time-tested tech down to the smaller mounts, reliably and safely, instead of pulling a coup on how people set up their suspension...
  • + 1
 Gotta be way better than the ReActive design from Trek!!!
  • + 1
 So do you still need proprietary tools to merely service the air can?
  • + 1
 BREAK ON THROUGH TO THE OTHER SIDE!!!!
  • + 1
 I'm pulling for my home state boys
  • + 0
 Let's wait for the opinion of the wisest of us all..... the Gandalf of MTB..... TIME!!!
  • - 1
 Every rockshox Shock I have ever had has blown up within the first 10 rides. They have more reliability issues than this company
  • + 0
 just release the INLINE COIL already would ya!im waiting patiently.
  • + 1
 Nitrogen fixed it!
  • + 0
 did they improve DBInline then (make it reliable) ?
  • + 0
 hope they can turn this thing around.
  • + 0
 What is this absolute guff?
  • + 0
 Lever needs a trail mode...
  • + 1
 Robust.
  • - 3
 So what's it gonna retail for? Better not be more than 300 bucks...
  • + 3
 Did you read the article? Its an OEM shock, that means it's not sold retail.
  • - 3
 @Satanslittlehelper: Yeah, I did, thanks... the article says "That means that the C-Quent will only be available on frames and complete bikes, and that you can't just go out and buy one. For now, anyway.."

Key phrase, "for now"...
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