2016 Cane Creek DB COIL Climb Switch
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?