Due to the fact that they have more dials than most, all of which offer a relatively wide range of adjustment, Cane Creek's shocks have always had a reputation for being difficult to both understand and set up. However, the company's new app aims to bury that rep by turning your iOS or Android smartphone into a tuning guru that guides riders through the setup process from start to finish.
To be honest, I've never agreed with the "hard to understand,'' logic as Cane Creek is the only suspension company that offers base tunes online for pretty much every single bike that their shock could be bolted to. Not only that, the Cane Creek shocks that come stock on bikes actually have their dials set to the recommended spot, unlike pretty much everything else out there that is likely set up by the shop... or not at all. But what if you need a bit of guidance when it comes to turning the dials?
This is where the aptly named Dialed app comes in.
I've been tinkering with the free Dialed app, which is available for iPhone and Android phones in iTunes, the App Store, and Google Play, for a few weeks now, running through the tuning process and saving individual profiles for different bikes and shocks. It's a slick system, with a simple question and answer process that starts off with you selecting your bike (there are over 6,000 of them, so yours is probably on here), the type of shock, and entering in your weight. Don't fib.
Next, you'll be asked if you want to save and exit, meaning that you're fine with the base settings or how the shock is performing. Or maybe you want to do some custom tuning?
The app takes you through the tuning process, beginning with entering sag before moving on to high-speed compression and asking if you want to go with the base tune or enter a personal setting. This is where it gets neat: the app asks you to ride a familiar section of trail while paying attention to whatever sort of impacts are relevant to the damper setting that you're working on. For HSC, it tells you to take note of big impacts, g-outs, hard landings, etc..., and to note where the o-ring sits on the stanchion after those type of hits.
Next, you'll answer a few question, and the app will tell you if you should make an adjustment or if you can carry on to the next step, as well as reminding you to only make a single adjustment at a time.
This step-by-step adjustment exercise should make it easy for even the most amateur of riders to end up with a decent performing shock, but Cane Creek went one step further by adding a tactile touch to the Dialed app in the form of interactive sliders on your phone's screen.
I know that I prefer a bit more low-speed rebound than a lot of riders, and the app ended up recommending five additional clicks of LSC because I selected "The bike feels bouncy and loose," during a second run through of the process. A slider wheel then shows up on the screen with the suggested change above it, and it even makes an audible click as you use your finger to make the change on the "dial" on the phone's screen. I added five clicks of LSC to my shock and then saved the new setting. This slider wheel, as well as suggested changes, will pop up for any of the four damper adjustments if you select any of the complaint options that come up as the app runs you through the setup, and it's a way for Cane Creek to have riders mentally connect making changes on the shock with those that the app proposes.
The whole deal takes maybe five minutes if you don't do any custom tuning, longer if you do, of course, and then you can save that profile in the app just in case you need to revisit it down the road. Cane Creek even has tutorial videos online, linked up through the app itself, that show riders how to set sag or make air volume adjustments.
There's no doubt in my mind that this sort of app is going to be a boon to any rider who is even the slightest bit curious about what the dials do on their Cane Creek shock, and I'm a bit surprised that other suspension companies don't already have something similar out.
A lot of us have phones that are full of useless apps and games, but riders with a Cane Creek shock on their bike are much better off having Dialed on their phone than the latest Angry Birds or Pokémon Go.