2016 Cane Creek DB COIL Climb Switch

Words Tim Coleman
Photos Kaz Yamamura
Date Aug 24, 2015

Introducing the new Cane Creek Double Barrel Coil Climb Switch, or more simply the DB Coil CS. Cane Creek has been producing the Double Barrel (DB) Coil shock since 2005, and the DB Air Climb Switch (CS) since 2013. Ever since the DB Air CS was released I have been praying to the gods of cycling that Cane Creek would produce a marriage of the descending performance of the DB Coil, with the Climb Switch function that works so well on the DB Air CS. Two months ago that dream came true and I got my hands on an early prototype of the DB Coil CS, and I’m here to tell you about it.

Ta Da. The DB Coil CS in all its glory with its easy to reach Climb Switch lever.

The test steed; An all coil sprung Norco Range with the DB Coil CS #yum #steelisreal

Most folks are likely familiar with the Double Barrel Coil by now. The base of the DB Coil CS might not be anything new, but as far as I’m concerned there is no need to change what already works so well. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the new Fox DHX2 appears to be using a very similar architecture to the DB Coil. The highlights of the DB Coil to me are the small push rod diameter, which reduces inherent shock preload, a twin tube damper that allows for a wide range of adjustability and 4-way externally adjustable damping. The external adjusters are for high and low speed compression and rebound, all with a wide range of adjustability. This allows the user to tune the Double Barrel to both their personal preference and the particular bike they’re riding. All of these qualities are present in the DB Coil CS, which performs in the same manner as the old DB Coil when the Climb Switch is off.

The Climb Switch lever is easy to use, and reachable on most trail bikes when seated.

The Climb Switch on the DB Coil CS works in the same fashion as the DB Air CS, but it’s a little different to the climbing modes on most other shocks. When the Climb Switch is in the Open / Off mode all four external damper adjustments are available to tune the shock performance to your taste. When the Climb Switch is in the On / Climb Mode, the low speed compression and low speed rebound circuits are closed. By addressing both compression and rebound pedaling efficiency is maximized, but stills allows for the shock to generate grip and product a comfortable ride. I frequently use the Climb Switch lever in positions between Off and On to fine tune how much ‘Climb Switch’ I want for the upcoming trail.

Bikes like the Range certainly benefit from a Climb Switch function when climbing. With the Climb Switch On the Range climbed equally as well as any of the air shocks I’ve tested.

The marriage of the coil spring and the Climb Switch puts the DB Coil CS squarely aimed at the enduro racing / riding market. Weight for the shock is 454 grams, depending on size, and will require a coil spring that will add 300 – 500 grams depending on material. Currently Cane Creek only has steel springs for their coil shocks, but I’ve been told a lightweight spring upgrade is coming soon. Cane Creek is intending for the DB Coil CS to be used on bikes with 150 – 170 mm of rear travel, setting you back $665 USD without spring, and is now available globally in the following sizes:

200 x 50mm (7.87” x 2.0”) BAD0617
200 x 57mm (7.87 x 2.25”) BADO616
216 x 63mm (8.5” x 2.5”) BAD0620

I’ve been using the Garbo and Peak chair routinely as a means to start my pedal adventures in Whistler. The DB Coil CS has been the perfect compliment providing downhill bike suspension in the rough bike park trails, and efficient pedaling on the long, steep climbs.

A-Line post Air DH is always rough as guts. The DB Coil CS ate up the braking bumps and bombed out corners like a champ.

Since installing the DB Coil CS I have logged over 600 km of riding. The DB Coil CS has transformed my Range into a bump eating monster that somehow devours trail at a rate and ease that defies belief. With the DB Coil CS the bike seems to make more traction climbing, is no less efficient than any of the air shocks I’ve used, and I really don’t notice the extra pound nestled between my ankles.

TimColemanCaneCreek_NSMB_KazYamamura-21

A 160 mm trail bike shouldn’t be this capable.

The top of the climb is where the DB Coil CS really shines. I still regularly finish a trail with my mouth wide open, a stunned look on my face, trying to understand how a 160 mm bike can be so good. The Range has always been good through rough ground, but with the DB Coil CS it seems to float over bumps all while developing more grip than expected. Holding high lines on root infest trail with ease. The small bump absorption is like no other shock I’ve ridden on this bike.

With the DB Coil CS I spent less time looking for smooth places to land.

I haven’t had any issues with the DB Coil CS in the 2 months I’ve been testing it. Then again that isn’t a surprise considering there really isn’t anything new in the DB Coil CS; it’s a marriage of two mature products in Cane Creek’s line. Cane Creek assembles all shocks in North Carolina and then dyno tests every shock before it leaves the factory. The reliability and consistency of the Double Barrel is a large part of the reason it’s been my shock of choice for the last few years, and it seems the DB Coil CS should be no different.

I’ve always liked riding the trail bike in the bike park, even more now with the DB Coil CS.

I love long descents, the longer the better really. I noticed that the DB Coil CS stayed much cooler than any of the air shocks, providing consistent damping and support regardless of the abuse the mountain dished out.

Deep into the Gucci Plateau on this drop and the DB Coil CS handled the impact with grace.

For years I’ve yearned for downhill bike-level suspension on my trail bike, and it’s finally here. For me the weight gain of the DB Coil CS over an air spring is a small compromise for the improvement in suspension performance. Simply put, since installing the DB Coil CS I’m faster, having more fun on the trail, and I’m less fatigued after long descents. I have gladly removed the shock pump from my pack, and I don’t foresee an air spring returning to my bike any time soon. If you like going fast on your longer travel trail bike, I highly recommend checking out the DB Coil CS.


Has Tim convinced you that a coil will make your life better?

Comments

jorge-ruiz
0
Jorge Ruiz  - Oct. 20, 2015, 2:18 p.m.

Hi, I just got the CCDB Coil CS and I happen to have the same bike. I come from an Air CS and find that the base tunes for air doesn't work as well. Or maybe I am too much used to air that I find the coil too "alive".
Can you tell me which settings do you have on yours?? Thanx so much.:)

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Jan. 13, 2016, 2:25 p.m.

Sorry for the late reply, I hadn't checked back here in ages. My settings from fully out are as follows, and I'm around 185lbs without riding gear:

  • 0.75 turns High Speed Compression
  • 8 clicks Low Speed Compression
  • 1.25 turns High Speed Rebound
  • 8 clicks Low Speed Rebound
  • 500 lb spring

As a side note, I tend to run my dampers on the open side and use a slightly higher spring rate than most.

Reply

jorge-ruiz
0
Jorge Ruiz  - March 15, 2016, 10:54 a.m.

thanx so much!!!! I will check with this settings if it performs better than the ones I have.

Reply

jng
0
JNG  - Sept. 8, 2015, 4:26 p.m.

The Range is notorious for having lots of pedal bob under hard peddling efforts. How much of an improvement was there in climbing with this shock?

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 1, 2016, 4:47 p.m.

I thought the climbing with the coil was excellent. I didn't noticed any detriment over the air sprung variant. I've been running Cane Creek Climb Switch shocks for some time and the Climb Switch works effectively at reducing suspension motion during hard efforts.

Reply

ibasso
0
ibasso  - Sept. 6, 2015, 5:43 p.m.

why only intended for 150mm to 170mm? Will this be overkill on a 140mm bike like the Knolly Endorphin 26in?

Reply

megrim
0
megrim  - Aug. 26, 2015, 12:42 p.m.

Great review Tim. It's kinda of funny comparing your review to the one recently posted on Pinkbike. Seems almost polar opposite. I also went to a coil recently on my trail bike and it is awesome. Feels just like some of my old freeride bikes. Good stuff.

Mike

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Feb. 1, 2016, 4:45 p.m.

Thanks. I too was surprised by the near polar review on the other review website. However I think you can tell from the lack of content / riding photos the other reviewer was likely less thorough than I was. Also maybe our riding styles differ in that I would gladly add a pound to my bike for improved suspension performance. We all ride differently in different areas and will likely all favour different compromises.

Reply

lie2play
0
Lie2Play  - Aug. 26, 2015, 8:23 a.m.

checked Live 2 Play catalogue yesterday and is not available yet, not even on the web catalogue. I'd give it another 2-3 months until L2P get their shit together to put it on there and another 2 until its available for ordering. sticking to the CCDB Air until further notice

Reply

paul-watt
0
Paul Watt  - Aug. 25, 2015, 8:23 p.m.

It seemed to work pretty well on the Range, but I wonder if a lot of bikes these days are designed around rising rate air shocks and might blow through the travel pretty quickly with 30% sag? Or is the compression valving taking care of that?

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 25, 2015, 10:42 p.m.

The suspension performance at sag vs. bottom out performance of the Coil CS on the Range was fantastic, but the Range is probably more progressive than most. Given most air shocks have tune-able air chambers I'd hope the majority of trail bikes aren't going to flat leverage ratios.

Reply

Faction
0
Derp  - Aug. 25, 2015, 10:37 a.m.

I keep going back to my coil shock, even thought my air shock works splendidly. The coil is so sensitive it almost sags under the bike's weight. Ok not really, but you get the point.

Reply

popawheelie
0
Popa wheelie  - Aug. 26, 2015, 6:54 p.m.

Kinda off topic, but where did you get water bottle offset mounts?

Reply

andrewbikeguide
0
AndrewR  - Aug. 26, 2015, 8:07 p.m.

Try the Elite Cannibal in the bottom position and as it is ambi sideways entry cage you should be good to go.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Jan. 13, 2016, 2:19 p.m.

Mega late reply, but they're actually Axiom fender fork mount tabs, that happen to space the cage perfectly.

Reply

kain0m
0
kain0m  - Aug. 25, 2015, 8:48 a.m.

I felt about the same way when I replaced the Monarch RCT3 Plus in my trail Bike with a vivid Air. Even though it does not have a platform or a climb switch, it is more efficient while Pedaling and it rocks down the hills. My guess it is due to the reduced friction, plus the much more capable damping. Truth be told, usually I am running out of breath before my shock is. I was considering a coil shock, but looking at how the Vivid performs, I'd have a hard time justifying the extra weight.

Reply

nick-nimmo
0
Nick Nimmo  - Aug. 25, 2015, 7:21 a.m.

Tim I know you're big on Marzocchi suspension (I bought your 2012 Aurum), so what's your plan with the recent news on them shutting the doors and liquidating assets? Hope for a last second buyer to save the day? Switch to a new favourite fork? Reason I ask is I was really interested in replacing my pike with a 350 one day but am a little hesitant now.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 25, 2015, 8:08 a.m.

Hey Nick. I'm really hoping there is a buyer for Marzocchi. I'm still on the 350 and 380 because I like em better than the other offerings on the market. That 350 NCR Ti on the Range with DB Coil CS is so unbelievably good. If there isn't a buyer I'll likely buy a spare of each fork and stock on parts, hopefully to hold me over until something better comes along.

Reply

kperras
0
Kenneth Perras  - Aug. 25, 2015, 4:58 a.m.

Thank goodness you're wearing normal socks! Made the article much more enjoyable.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 25, 2015, 8:04 a.m.

Hahaha … I'm glad you guys were able to fill me in on the fashion trends of sock length Ken. Truthfully those are just really comfy Cromag / Defeet socks.

Reply

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Aug. 25, 2015, 5 p.m.

Eff my gash if I have to witness another advertisement with a rider wearing socks more suited for ski boots!

PS Maybe instabook Gwin letting him know about your recent findings!
PPS People wouldn't need a CS if they didn't attempt to impregnate their steertube on every climb.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 25, 2015, 6:14 p.m.

We don't make the rules man:

PS. Gwin doesn't use suspension, so not the best candidate for a suspension comparison. Furthermore even Gwin struggled to hold on to that thing for 4 minutes. Side bar: rumour has it the Demo is a bit linear, so they're using the air shock to generate a more progressive spring curve. No doubt you can get an airshock to run fast times on a single 4 minute DH track. That said I haven't found an air shock that works over a wide variety of different terrain, on long descents, match the small bump compliance, and ride enjoyment of a good coil shock.

PPS. Maybe not on all bikes, but most of the 160 mm bikes I've ridden benefitted from a CS function to reduce suspension motion when seated.

Reply

Timmigrant
0
Tim Coleman  - Aug. 25, 2015, 6:15 p.m.

We don't make the rules man:

PS. Gwin doesn't use suspension, so not the best candidate for a suspension comparison. Furthermore even Gwin struggled to hold on to that thing for 4 minutes. Side bar: rumour has it the Demo is a bit linear, so they're using the air shock to generate a more progressive spring curve. No doubt you can get an airshock to run fast times on a single 4 minute DH track. That said I haven't found an air shock that works over a wide variety of different terrain, on long descents, match the small bump compliance, and ride enjoyment of a good coil shock.

PPS. Maybe not on all bikes, but most of the 160 mm bikes I've ridden benefitted from a CS function to reduce suspension motion when seated.

Reply

poo-stance
0
Poo Stance  - Aug. 25, 2015, 6:55 p.m.

I meant this shit not the ankle socks.
Pray for salvation before each run and you too can hang on for four minutes at a time!

Reply

pudskies
0
Pudskies  - Aug. 25, 2015, 8:42 p.m.

I'm pretty sure people wear compression socks for a reason, atleast that's what my friend tells me when he wears them after doing an ironman. Although maybe you know people that wear them for a different reason?

Reply

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