Cane Creek has launched a new Double Barrel air shock that gives riders a climbing switch. CS is a climbing mode option that will be available on Double Barrel Air shocks starting September 1st 2013.
New for 2014, The Cane Creek Double Barrel Air CS shock slots into the Double Barrel lineup. CS is a climbing mode option that will be available on Double Barrel Air shocks starting September 1st 2013. Cane Creek includes a bike-specific tuning sheet that gives riders an ideal starting point in the settings specific for their bike as well as a gold 3mm allen wrench and a tuning guide to help step riders through how the adjusters work and how to get the most out of the shock.
Video: DBAir CS
We have decided to list out some key things in a Q & A format for you guys to quickly grasp the details we felt were important to note.
Q: When will it be available?
A: September 2013
A: Suggested retail of $695
Q: Will these come spec’d on any bikes off the shelf?
A: Yes! Check with your favorite manufacturers but there are many on the list including: Specialized, Knolly, Intense, Norco, Canyon, Banshee, and more.
Q: Could this CS switch work on a DB Coil Shock as well?
A: Yes it would (but no specific details on if this will happen or when)
Q: What makes the CS switch unique in comparison to the competition’s Lock Out settings?
A: The DBAir CS shock alters not only the low speed compression but also the low speed rebound. This allows the shock to track and hug ground a bit more while also resisting the typical bounce most shocks have off of obstacles as the rebound is also adjusted by the CS.
Q: Is the CS switch affected by the compression settings I have the shock at?
A: No, the CS switch is tuned to have a specific set of climbing settings. Modifying the other 4 settings LSC/LSR/HSC/HSR doesn’t affect the CS mode so you can set up the shock to descend without worry of affecting the climbing capability of the shock.
Q: Can I upgrade my current DBAir shock to the new CS?
A: It is mechanically possible but Cane Creek isn’t offering the CS as an upgrade as there are a lot of new parts that wouldn’t make it cost effective. At this time you can only buy the DBAir CS as upgrading is not available.
Q: Are there any clearance issues with the DBAir CS?
A: There shouldn’t be many cases where the DBAir CS won’t fit but verify with your manufacturer or Cane Creek to ensure fitment.
Q: Will Cane Creek have an external remote for activating the CS? A: At some point down the road they have plans to offer this.
DBAir CS - new knobs take 3mm allen wrench to adjust (black dial is the CS switch)
On April 1st, Cane Creek teased riders with a shock with about 1 million dials / knobs on it called CHURN. Unbeknownst to just about everyone, one of those extra dials was actually functional.
C.H.U.R.N April fools shock
What sets the Cane Creek Double Barrel Air CS (Climb Switch) apart from other climbing modes on most every other shock is the way they engage multiple climb-specific damping through not only the compression but rebound.
DB Air CS - installed
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Climb Switch changes the low speed damping of Double Barrel shocks in one simple switch, to optimize suspension dynamics during climbing. It does this by turning on and off a set of internal ‘climbing circuits’ that are accessed when CS is engaged. Cane Creek tunes the ‘climbing circuits’ specifically for the demands of off-road climbing to achieve improved pedaling efficiently with less chassis motion. When the rider is ready to descend, with the flip of CS, the shock returns to the traditional low-speed circuits of the Double Barrel.
The new DBAir CS shock gets a few new updates over the standard DBAir. The dials you see are now able to be adjusted via a 3mm allen wrench. In addition to this, Cane Creek has a variety of sizes of each adjuster that they tune with the manufacter to get the correct Climbing Switch setting. You can see the different sizes etched on the adjuster dials below. These are unique to tune the ride characteristics when CS is activated. This gives manufacters the ability to tune the CS level for the bike and its intended purpose.
Orifice sizing and new 3mm adjusters
At first glance these new adjusters appear adjustable via hand but these notches you see are location indicators to help assist you in determining where you are in the setting range.
LSR and LSC adjusters moved on the DB AIR CS (silver 3mm bolts)
Cane Creek has partnered with a lot of bike companies for 2014 that will have models outfitted with the DBAir CS. Specialized, Intense, Banshee, Norco, Knolly, Canyon, and many others are onboard.
Bike companies are equipping their OE bikes with DBAir CS
The DBAir CS shock works much like the DBAir does but gives riders an option for ascending that hasn’t been available on the Double Barrel or Double Barrel Air shock.
DBAir CS - Photo: Derek DiLuzio
Climbing a 180mm travel bike typically can be a bit of a bear but the CS switch helped control the chassis as we climbed uphill very well. The dial is in a pretty easy location to access on the Canyon but on some bikes we could see some challenges in getting to the dial. Cane Creek has plans to make an external lever down the road as well that should help riders on bikes that might be harder to reach.
DBAir CS - Photo: Dave Trumpore
As things continued uphill I noticed that the CS switch also seemed to affect another setting that typically wasn’t adjusted in other climbing systems, the rebound. The rebound is often overlooked as a setting when climbing. Cane Creek has enabled their CS switch to affect the rebound as well as low speed compression when their system is activated. What does this mean when you’re climbing? Well often you find yourself lifting off the seat as you go up an obstacle on the trail so the seat doesn’t give you a love tap. By slowing the rebound down as well, they’ve muted the return speed as well which means you can stay seated more yielding more traction in most cases as well as less chassis bounce. The new CS shock took some mental re-learning throughout the day as I often found myself shifting naturally upward over obstacles to resist the typical bounce that never happened.
Testing the DBAir CS - Photo: Dave Trumpore
When things turned downhill it was all smiles for everyone in the group. The joy of having a Double Barrel is really emphasized in the descents. Gone are any lingering thoughts of weight saved by going with a lighter shock with lower quality damping characteristics. The DBAir still remains one of our favorite air shocks for the simple reason that it reacts and feels much like a quality coil shock. By adding the CS switch to the DBAir, the DBAir CS just became even better for more riders. The CS switch mode is set inside the shock so your main LSR/LSC/HSR/HSC settings won’t affect the CS mode. This means you can setup the shock’s damping for descending even more without fear of suffering for it on the way back up the trail (sag setting excluded).
DBAir CS still has all the descending capabilities we love - (Photo: Dave Trumpore)
The Cane Creek Double Barrel still remains a highly adjustable shock but by giving riders the golden key of sorts in the tuning guide they’re helping riders get into that sweet spot much much quicker. Their suggested settings for me on the DBAir CS equipped bike I rode were pretty spot on with only minor tweaking done by me. The 3mm allen interface also means its easier to have a tool trail-side for initial tuning. Once the DBAir is setup properly, there’s typically not much of a need to adjust the shock.
DBAir CS - gold 3mm allen incldued
Availability: September 2013
Price: $49 more than the Standard DBAir
3mm allen wrench adjusts all settings (gold one is included)
Climb Mode is set based on the bike (OE spec)