Chickadeehill is a small suspension company based in Aachen, Germany. They've gained quite a bit of fame in the mountain bike world for making AWK tuning kits
for suspension forks. Their tuning kits and their first shock, the LFB6, share the same unique feature - they have a dual positive air chamber with a floating piston.
According to Chickadeehill, the dual positive air chamber with floating piston closes the gap between mid stroke support and plushness. The spring characteristics can be tuned very precisely and can be adjusted "to work with any leverage ratio, frame geometry and rider preference". Developing the LFB6 took them three years and the team at Chickadeehill says that their new shock is mainly aimed at gravity riders.
The shock has a twin tube hydraulic damping system and offers a wide range of adjustments. Low and high speed compression as well as low and high speed rebound can be adjusted externally and without tools. Riders won't be able to add volume spacers, but Chickadeehill can add them at the factory should the bike or rider need them.
The idea behind the twin positive air chamber is to create a nearly linear spring curve and offer more mid-stroke support. When you're running a rather low pressure on a regular air fork or shock to get good small bump compliance, you'll usually need a few progression spacers to prevent bottoming out too frequently. Therefore, the fork or shock will become really progressive towards the end of the stroke.
Using two air chambers means that you can create a rather linear spring curve. The second positive air chamber replaces progression spacers and starts to work when you're using roughly 50% of travel.
In other words, the idea is to create a coil-like feel, but without the coil weight. It will be interesting to see how well this technology works in the real world but unfortunately there is no review dropping tomorrow.
The external adjustment dials look like they can easily be turned while wearing gloves. In the center of the golden main air piston you can see the inner air sleeve. The white plastic sleeve is where the real magic happens: This is the floating piston that separates the two positive air chambers.
While the major parts of the shock are sourced in Europe, smaller parts such as seals are bought in from German dealers, but according to the manufacturer it is difficult to track the origin of these smaller parts.
This completely new shock is an interesting addition to the current offerings by other brands. The dual positive air chamber can mean that setup might take a little bit longer, but for every rider who likes to tinker with their suspension, it might be worth it.
The LFB6 has a familiar shape and looks different nonetheless. It will be interesting to find out whether we'll see more of these in bike parks this summer.
The team behind Chickadeehill made sure the shock was tested thoroughly.
After reading this article, you might wonder what Chickadeehill means? It's a play on words that involves the name of the founder of the company.
All photos by Kevin Sames