Cane Creek DBcoil CS rear shock review£520.00

Cane Creek gives its rear shock an uphill boost

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The oil-recirculating Double Barrel shock from Cane Creek has long been a benchmark for consistent, massively tunable performance. It’s when you’re on the way back up for another run that the latest CS version really comes into its own though.

Easy independent adjustment of both high and low-speed rebound and compression damping means you can set it up for whatever balance of jump pop, cornering stability or deep impact swallowing you want.

Performance will depend on how well you can tune the shock to your tastes, but the default super-plush start to firm mid-stroke progression is a decent starting point. Just don’t automatically back off the slow-feeling rebound and compression damping — it may not feel right based on car park bouncing, but is likely to be spot on once you’re flat out and the shock is working hard.

Once fettled, the faster and sketchier the trail gets, or the longer the descent, the more the lack of seal drag and the consistency of the coil spring reactions become obvious. Fork tunes that feel fine with a heat-sensitive air shock need reworking rapidly to keep the front end in sync with the suddenly smoother, faster and more aggressive feel of the rest of the bike.

In this case Cane Creek’s unique Climb Switch adds both low-speed compression and rebound damping in a single flick of the lever for much more stable, high-traction pedalling performance for getting back up the hill. It does it without any compromise in descending performance/adjustment either, and because low-speed rebound is damped too there’s no sudden jerk back if you do get bucked or lurch up a step on a bike with a lot of chain growth.

The £485/AUS$899 price doesn’t include the mounting hardware (£15/US$20/AU$17-28) or spring (£20/US$35/AU$28 for a steel coil, £240 for titanium) but it’s comparable with other top-end coil-sprung dampers such as the Fox DHX2, BOS Stoy and DVO Jade, and cheaper than the Öhlins TTX. It’s relatively bulky so check it’ll fit your frame even if you’re already running a piggyback shock.

Also consider

Fox DHX2, £538 

RockShox Vivid R2C, £379.99

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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