Despite the fact that courses are getting tougher by the week, enduro bikes are still managing to shave off precious grams – but could the Double Barrel CS be an exception to the weight game? If you were paying attention at the recent Enduro World Series races, you’ll have noticed how more and more pros are opting for steel spring rear shocks on the bikes. Just in time for Eurobike, Cane Creek have unveiled the new Double Barrel CS, a coil spring shock that can be tamed and tailored for uphills thanks to its adjustable low-speed damping while still delivering the maximum performance on descents.
The benefits posed by steel spring shocks won’t come as a surprise to anyone: more responsive, less sensitive to heat, and a linear spring rate. But there are certain disadvantages to consider, such as weight, and – until recently at least – they were pretty useless on climbs. With the new Double Barrel CS, Cane Creek claim to have eliminated this issue. The now familiar ‘climb switch’ on the CS version of the shock offers a further increased low-speed compression damping setting that changes the suspension dynamics of the compression and the rebound to enable a more efficient climb without any impact on traction. Available for purchase now, Cane Creek developed the shock, which retails at 665$ (without spring), for long-travel bikes of between 150 – 170 mm travel.
As is the norm for Cane Creek, the new Double Barrel CS features the American’s well-known damping system, consisting of two suspension oil circuits that should guarantee an sublime performance and enable all riders to nail their optimal set-up. Using a 3mm Allen key, you can switch between high- and low-speed compression as well as high and low-speed rebound settings.
Our first impression
Two weeks ago we received our first test issue Cane Creek Double Barrel CS and fitted it immediately onto one of our long-term test bikes – chief editor Christoph’s Giant Reign. As tends to be the case with anything from Cane Creek, the initial setup was tenuous although certainly doable thanks to Cane Creek’s tutorials and their Base Tune webpage.
After consulting the website and deciding how to run the shock, we hit the trails, immediately noting the plush and compliant nature of this coil spring shock. Yet with a flick of the Climb Switch, that feeling was no more and the shock became noticeably firmer. No matter how hard we flailed on those pedals out of the saddle, the rear end wasn’t provoked to misbehave. The SAG isn’t reduced in true Cane Creek style, unlike other air shocks. As the rebound is tamed simultaneously, it is still able to generate a huge amount of rear wheel traction even on technical climbs. A definite case of living up to the marketing hype, we’re amazed at just how pedal-efficient the DB CS has proven itself.
Naturally, we expected an equal if not better performance on the descents and we didn’t go home disappointed. The super responsive shock offered incredible small-bump sensitivity, as well as masses of comfort and grip. The faster you ride, the more glued to the ground the bike feels, gliding over bumps. Traction is there en masse, without once prompting us to complain of a lack of ground feedback. On those long descents where you’re racing down more than 300 vertical metres, we were astounded by the faultless performance of the Double Barrel CS that showed no sign of diminishing. Over-heating shouldn’t be a word associated with this shock!
In our eyes, the Cane Creek Double Barrel CS heralds a new era of rear shocks, generously lending the successfully tried and tested steel spring technology formerly nigh on exclusive to downhill to the world of enduro. Given that we’re more than convinced by its ability to provide both an incredible downhill performance and great climbing capabilities, the extra 500 grams can be forgiven – and anyway, Cane Creek have already announced that they’re soon to launch some more lightweight spring models.
For more information and to learn about setting up the shock, head to: canecreek.com
Words & Pictures: Christoph Bayer
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