Race tech: Cane Creek Double Barrel air shock

Plus Renthal direct-mount stem and Panaracer downhill tyre

There was loads of new kit on show at round two of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Fort William, Scotland at the weekend. We've already brought you a round-up from the pits, plus news on FiveTen's new shoes and Superstar's forthcoming bikes, but here a few more things we spotted, some of them pretty hush-hush.

Cane Creek Double Barrel air shock

Cane Creek's Double Barrel is one of the most talked about downhill shocks of recent years, offering superlative performance and heaps of adjustability, so we were excited to see what appears to be a prototype air-sprung version on Orange Mountain Bikes' stand at Fort Bill, fitted to an Alpine 160.

The guys at Orange were staying schtum, but if the new shock offers anything like the performance of its coil-sprung older brother, it could offer a real performance boost for longer-travel bikes. The only issue is likely to be weight – judging by the size of the air can and the number of components, it's unlikely to give the likes of DT Swiss's superlight units or Fox's RP23 a run for their money. Definitely one to watch if it makes it into production.

Renthal direct-mount stem?

Snooping around the Mondraker pits we came across this stem fitted to two-time world champion Fabien Barel's bike. Nothing special about that, you may say – but Fabien's sponsored by Renthal and they don't sell a direct-mount unit. Not yet, at least.

This prototype bears a strong resemblance to Renthal's Strata Duo stem, with its split design and two-tone colourscheme. If it's as well made and thought out as the motocross legends' other recent mountain bike kit, like the Fatbar , it should be a winner. We'll get our hands on a production version to test as soon as we can.

Panaracer CG downhill tyre

Cedric Gracia's team-up with tyre makers Panaracer has already borne fruit in the shape of the CG SC, CG AM/4X and CG XC. New for 2012 is the CG DH, which takes the tread of the All Condition AM but applies it to a 2.5in carcass made of tacky 43 durometer rubber, with tough, four-ply sidewalls and shoulders.

The Frenchman was racing on the tyre at Fort Bill – albeit a special 40 duro version – where he managed to finish in 28th place, throwing in some of his trademark stylish tricks on the way down the hill. The CG 2.5 is due to be launched at the Eurobike trade show in Germany in September. RRP TBC.

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