Cane Creek introduces new DBAir InLine shock plus OPT and DROPT remotes

Reliability and performance upgrades as well as all new remotes

Cane Creek Cycling Components' newest addition to the Double Barrel family is the DBAir [IL] rear shock. The Cane Creek DBInline shock range debuted in 2014 and with this new version Cane Creek acknowledged the need for a big jump in reliability. 

Cane Creek's new DBAir [IL] rear shock promises increased performance and durability
Cane Creek's new DBAir [IL] rear shock promises increased performance and durability

With the development of the DB Air [IL], Cane Creek advanced its design and manufacturing processes, all in an effort to make the shocks more robust compared to the previous generation of in-line Double Barrel technology. These advancements, used to create the DB AIR [IL], have also been employed for the new 2017 DBInline and DB Coil [IL] shocks, ensuring increased reliability across the entire in-line Double Barrel shock family. The $475 (UK and Australian pricing TBD) DBAir [IL] is available for purchase and shipment now.

The DBAir [IL] is the first shock to feature Cane Creek’s LinEair Spring, creating an air shock that feels more supple, linear and seamlessly supportive throughout its travel. The goal is greater performance and reliability to unleash the full potential of trail and enduro bikes with 100–160mm of travel.

The new air spring rate is designed to have a consistent feel similar to a coil spring
The new air spring rate is designed to have a consistent feel similar to a coil spring

Enhanced reliability

Oil seal head redesign

Made of an advanced material, it is more durable and smoother than standard seals too

For consistent performance, the DBAir [IL] features a completely redesigned oil seal head. In air shocks, this critical component separates the damping oil from the air spring. The continual compression and rebound damping action, along with seal friction on long descents, generates a large amount of heat, which is then insulated by the air spring.

To combat this, the new oil seal head features a special quad ring made from a high-performance synthetic rubber material. It is far more resistant to heat and compression set (the tendency for an elastomeric material to relax over time) and is 26 percent larger than the previous design, which provides better sealing under adverse conditions.

Made of an advanced material, it is more durable and smoother than standard seals too. The shaft bearing has also been redesigned to improve shaft to seal alignment. 

The oil seal is also 26% larger to prevent cavitation (air mixing with the oil)
The oil seal is also 26% larger to prevent cavitation (air mixing with the oil)

Reconfigured air piston

A common disorder with air shocks is the tendency for seals to leak. Cane Creek’s engineering team addressed this on two fronts with a more robust air piston with an upgraded seal.

The first step was to make the seal 26 percent thicker so that it would be able to maintain better contact with the sealing surface. The second step was to change the material to one that is tougher (more cut- and tear-resistant) and more wear- and heat-resistant. This seal also has lubricants embedded in the material itself that reduce friction and wear, and further reduce the probability of seal damage. The end result is greater flexibility for the shock to meet the demands of any trail.

The air piston seal is 26% larger for better contact and sealing
The air piston seal is 26% larger for better contact and sealing

DBAir InLine features

The DBAir [IL] has the extraordinary damping system and unparalleled adjustability that Double Barrel shocks are known for and embodies Cane Creek’s patented (CS) climbing system within compact shock architecture. The fully loaded functions of the DBAir [IL] far outstrips other inline shocks and now offers even greater reliability and performance to unleash the full potential of trail and enduro bikes.

LinEair spring: The DBAir [IL] is the first shock to feature Cane Creek’s LinEair Spring. Requiring a lower force to activate, the LinEair Spring provides the consistent feel of a coil shock from the initial stroke, full support during mid-stroke and the added bonus of a progressive air spring curve when deep in the travel. The result is an air shock that feels more supple, linear and seamlessly supportive throughout its travel.

Twin-tube design: Setting the DBAir [IL] apart from other inline shocks, oil circulates continuously through externally adjustable shock valves. Twin-tube shocks have two main chambers, a compression chamber and a rebound chamber, separated by the adjustable valves. The main damping piston forces damping oil between the compression and rebound chambers via the externally adjustable damping valves. Compared to other shocks in its class, Cane Creek inline shocks use significantly more oil in the damper — 40-50 percent more oil. On the trail, this routing of oil translates into less fade, more control, and greater consistency.

Four-way independent adjustment: The DBAir [IL] offers an unparalleled range of adjustability through external adjusters that independently control each phase of damping without crossover effects. Other inline shocks typically provide the user with a single rebound adjustment or rebound combined with limited pre-set, low-speed compression. The easy tunability of Double Barrels means a rider can make a quick trail-side change, increasing pop, plushness or other features for personalized fine-tuning. For added ease of set up, Cane Creek offers DIALED, which is a free mobile app to turn your smartphone into a tuning expert.

Climb Switch (CS) technology: CS shocks have four low-speed damping circuits and two high-speed damping circuits. When engaged, the low-speed damping is changed via a set of internal 'climbing circuits'. Cane Creek tunes these circuits specifically for the demands of off-road climbing to achieve improved pedal efficiency with less chassis motion. Unlike other climbing platforms, Cane Creek’s CS feature adjusts both low-speed compression and rebound. 

DBAir InLine specs

  • Weight: 397 grams (216 mm x 63mm no hardware)
  • Damping: Twin-tube independent compression and rebound in two high-speed and four low-speed damping circuits
  • Adjustments: 4-way independent adjustment, high- and low-speed compression, high- and low-speed rebound, Climb Switch on/off
  • Air spring: LinEair Air Spring
  • Finish: Anodized and laser-etched
  • Mounting interface: High performance low friction IGUS bushing 1/2" Universal Axle
  • Manufacturing: Handbuilt in North Carolina, USA
  • Lengths: 165x38mm (6.5"x1.5"), 184x44mm (7.25"x1.73"), 190x50mm (7.5"x2.0"), 200x50mm (7.87"x2.0"), 200x57mm (7.87x2.25"), 216x63mm (8.5"x2.5")
  • Metric lengths: 170x30mm, 170x35mm, 190x40mm, 190x45mm, 210x50mm, 210x55mm

OPT and DROPT remotes

In addition to the DBAir [IL], Cane Creek Cycling Components is also introducing two new handlebar remote systems for 2017. The Double Barrel in-line valve body was designed to be retrofitted with a remote accessing the CS feature at the sway of a thumb — never leaving the handlebars.

The OPT is Cane Creek's shock remote for controlling its Climb Switch
The OPT is Cane Creek's shock remote for controlling its Climb Switch

The OPT handlebar remote is optimized throughout its travel from off to on to give riders the option to tune their Climb Switch to their desired riding preference. OPT offers two mounting options (top or bottom) to allow for a variety of fitment orientations and costs $49 (UK and Australian pricing TBD).

The DROPT combines a shock remote with a cable-actuated dropper seatpost remote
The DROPT combines a shock remote with a cable-actuated dropper seatpost remote

The DROPT dropper seat post remote, designed with OPT in mind, is a universal remote that is compatible with any cable actuated dropper seat post. DROPT can be easily mounted on the same handlebar clamp with OPT to reduce handlebar clutter and holds several adjustment features to create the ideal dropper post handlebar set up for all types of cable orientations and requirements. The $69 (UK and Australian pricing TBD) DROPT remote will be available for purchase and shipment 1 February.

The remotes can be placed on the bar separately
The remotes can be placed on the bar separately

With so many options for on-the-fly adjustments on handlebars, it’s easy to clutter this valuable space with a variety of levers. To maximize handlebar real estate, this cable-actuating dropper post remote was designed to couple with the OPT Climb Switch and create one clean connection to the handlebar for two remote systems. Adjustable lever positioning, cable pull options to limit lever movement and two types of cable insertion methods make the Cane Creek dropper remote a versatile option. Provided with a handlebar mount, this remote system can also be used separately from OPT for a high-quality dropper remote.

Russell Eich

Tech Writer, US
Russell fell head over heels in love with bikes in the '90s, and has been involved in the bike industry ever since. Between wrenching in bike shops, guiding professionally, and writing about bikes, Russell has honed an appreciation for what works, gained knowledge of what doesn't, and can barely contain his enthusiasm for what comes next. His two-wheeled passion continues in the Rocky Mountains high above Boulder, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: High altitudes, forgotten singletracks, bike parks, roads without cars
  • Current Bikes: Custom Meriwether steel hardtail, Specialized S-Works Enduro 29, Kona Jake the Snake, Trek 69er, and a bunch more
  • Dream Bike: Yeti SB5c, Intense Tracer 275C, Black Cat custom road
  • Beer of Choice: Gin + Tonic
  • Location: Rollinsville, CO, USA

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