Earlier this week we got a chance to swing a leg over the new Cane Creek DBCOIL [IL] and their lightweight VALT spring. If you’re familiar with their twin tube air Inline shock this one will look quite familiar but features a coil around the outside instead of an air spring. Learn more about it inside along with some sneak peak pictures of a remote switch they’re working on that we spotted.
If you haven’t checked out the basics to the new DBCOIL[IL], we’d recommend starting there to get a better sense of what the DBCOIL [IL] has to offer. Many riders love the feel of a coil spring but many may not want the extra weight. The DBCOIL [IL] aims to solve that.
We took the new shock out for a spin on a Ghost bike. The DBCOIL [IL] has a similar layout to the DBINLINE and we were excited to see what a coil spring could do on an Inline shock platform. The shock is quite light (claimed weight of 285g for a 216x63mm damper – excluding spring) and is available in most every size you’d expect within is its intended bike demograph. Adding the weight of a coil to the DBCOIL [IL] should net you somewhere similar to the DBAir according to Cane Creek which is no small feat.
The DBCOIL [IL] as you’d expect features Cane Creek’s twin tube damper to control the high/low rebound and high/low compression circuits. In addition to that, the climb switch firms up the shock for climbing duties. While the climb switch may seem like no big deal, Cane Creek has a special way they implement their climbing platform, and it works quite well to give improved traction while climbing if you’ve never experienced it. The fast rebound feel often found on other shocks when locked out is muted with this design as the LSR is also adjusted in the Cane Creek CS system which lets a rider pedal up and over obstacles easier in our experience.
CS is a selectable climbing mode on Double Barrel shocks that allows the rider to retain the advantages of a fully-suspended bike while climbing, without unwanted suspension motion. CS is not your conventional pedal-platform as it adjusts both LSC and LSR. By selectively tuning both compression and extension phases when climbing, the shock maintains better traction and control while enhancing pedaling efficiency through the shock’s entire travel.
For this initial test we took the DBCOIL [IL] out on some fun trails to see what it could do. At ~180lbs I was outfitted with a 550lb spring on the Ghost. The new Valt sprints are lightweight (~192g lighter than typical steel springs) and are available in 50lb increments. Depending on the bike and your weight we expect some bikes will have some higher spring rates. Determining and acquiring the right spring rate may be a challenge for some riders as this is not as easy as adding air in a coil system such as this that riders of this genre may not be as familiar with. OEMs that choose to spec this new shock on their bikes may face similar challenges as riders come in different shapes and sizes. Getting everything right here is key to getting the most out of your advanced suspension.
One word of caution in general on installing coil shocks on bikes that are outfitted with an air shock typically. Adding a coil shock to some bikes may not work as seamlessly in all cases. Some bikes are designed to work with the progressive nature of an air spring so be aware when making decisions to outfit your bike with a coil shock. Be sure to check fitment and clearance as well.
Evan and the Cane Creek crew quickly setup the Ghost and we were on our way. Moving the shock’s adjusters uses a 3mm allen wrench for those not familiar with Cane Creek shocks. After some initial sag and compression/rebound adjusting, we were on our way. It was quickly determined that riding the DBCOIL [IL] was going to be impressive to say the least.
For the minimal weight penalty it brings over the DBInline, the coil shock feels great on the way down the hill. The CS helps negate any penalties typical of a traditional coil shock on the way up. With trail/enduro bikes getting lighter and lighter these days the DBCOIL [IL] is sure to be a hit among many riders. The DBCoil [IL] instills a bit more confidence on the descents and damping predictability that riders will certainly want after they experience the ride for themselves. We walked away impressed and we’re sure you will as well. On long descents the shock felt consistent and instilled confidence in taking more challenging downhill-style lines on the trail.
On our ride with Cane Creek we also spotted a remote lever bar mounted CS lever on one of their bikes that looks to be almost ready for prime time. Being able finely adjust the Climb Switch without moving your hands off the bar is something many riders may want and this one looks to work with any CS equipped shock (DBAir CS, DB Inline, DBCoil[IL],etc).
Cane Creek has made a big effort to help riders fine tune their shocks but some riders may still find all of the adjustments complex. Thankfully Cane Creek has a good starting point and instructions to help riders fine tune their bikes. We’ve highlighted quite a few positives and some negatives as well so hopefully you found this first-impression report useful. If you get a chance we’d recommend trying it out for yourself as it can truly refine your bike and expand what it can do. The results might shock you if you’ve never tried a coil shock on a trail/enduro/AM bike.