Cane Creek DBAir CS rear shock review£485.00

Impressive climb-friendly shock

BikeRadar score4.5/5

We’ve been impressed by Cane Creek’s highly tunable, top performing DBAir shock, but its lack of a climb setting means efficiency suffers when you hit the hills. The Climb Switch (CS) version changes all that. While the climb setting on most shocks only adjusts the low-speed compression damping, Cane Creek’s Climb Switch alters the low-speed rebound too, helping to improve efficiency, traction and stability when ascending.

At 546g (215x63mm) the DBAir CS is no featherweight, weighing 148g more than a Fox Float X. Tuning in the high- and low-speed compression and rebound settings is relatively straightforward if you kick things off by using Cane Creek’s base setting guidelines, though it does require a 3mm Allen key.

On the trail, though the very start of the DBAir’s stroke was a little sticky initially, once sagged, the shock felt smooth throughout its travel, and the support and damping on offer was always impressive. When you do hit a technical climb and engage the Climb Switch, the changes to the rear suspension are subtle yet very effective.

The shock remains sensitive enough to suck up bumps in a controlled manner, helping to maintain rear end traction, and any pedal bob is more or less neutralised. There’s less fidgeting around in the saddle trying to manage what the tail of the bike is doing and more focus on the job at hand – great when the climb is brutal and you’re tired.

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

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 172cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness

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