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First Date: 2012 Cane Creek Double Barrel Air Shock

April 4, 2012, 1:04 a.m.
Posts: 4300
Joined: June 24, 2010

When the opportunity to get our hands on the air-sprung version of Cane Creek's venerable Double Barrel shock arose, Arthur Gaillot was at the top of our list of potential reviewers – and he was nice enough to oblige.

**[Check out Arthur's intro to the Double Barrel Air here...

](http://nsmb.com/5140)**

flickr

April 4, 2012, 6:27 a.m.
Posts: 2112
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

I look forward to Arthur's insight into the DB Air. I have one on my Intense Uzzi and so far am a bit underwhelmed with its adjustability. It seems to be overdampened for some applications (frame designs). When set up with proper sag it is next to impossible to get the shock to full travel unless you fall off a cliff (joke)… I have had to drop air pressure to get sag into at least the 40% range for proper performance. And this is running zero HSC (high speed compression)… suspension gurus please enlighten me on how this shock works….

April 4, 2012, 8:17 a.m.
Posts: 2452
Joined: Jan. 8, 2004

GladePlayboy I was having the same experience on the DB Air. The reason is that the air spring curve on the DB Air is generally S-bend shaped, it's initially steep, then flat through the middle, and ramps up substantially in the end. As such it will always be tough to get through the last bit of travel, and the shock will generally feel sluggish through it's mid stroke.

I've used three DB Airs on three different frames and so far they've all had slightly different characteristics. I've created some air spring models based on the internal dimensions of the shock and been using that to help me tune the air spring of the DB Air. What I've found is that to get the DB Air mid stroke to perform similarly to my DB Coil I wind up with minimal sag, and never able to get through the last inch of travel.

Slide off the air can and check if there are any red elastic bands present. Let us know how many you see.

Biking: As addictive as cocaine, twice as expensive!

My Super Interesting Website

:safrica: - :canada:

April 4, 2012, 8:44 a.m.
Posts: 3490
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

GladePlayboy I was having the same experience on the DB Air. The reason is that the air spring curve on the DB Air is generally S-bend shaped, it's initially steep, then flat through the middle, and ramps up substantially in the end. As such it will always be tough to get through the last bit of travel, and the shock will generally feel sluggish through it's mid stroke.

I've used three DB Airs on three different frames and so far they've all had slightly different characteristics. I've created some air spring models based on the internal dimensions of the shock and been using that to help me tune the air spring of the DB Air. What I've found is that to get the DB Air mid stroke to perform similarly to my DB Coil I wind up with minimal sag, and never able to get through the last inch of travel.

Slide off the air can and check if there are any red elastic bands present. Let us know how many you see.

Don't start hating on what the cool kids say is cool Tim. We all know how that went last time.

April 4, 2012, 8:51 a.m.
Posts: 10010
Joined: March 11, 2003

Don't start hating on what the cool kids say is cool Tim. We all know how that went last time.

I'm sure RM is frothing already..

Is there a Vancouver in Taiwan?! I had no idea!!

Nothing sums up my life's achievements like my stuffed corpse, suplexing a cougar.

April 4, 2012, 9:25 a.m.
Posts: 3490
Joined: Dec. 17, 2003

I'm sure RM is frothing already..

I would like Tim to review an Avalanche shock + 888 cartridge on board a Turner DH-R.

Could you arrange that Cam? Puhleeease?

April 4, 2012, 10:03 a.m.
Posts: 2112
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

GladePlayboy I was having the same experience on the DB Air. The reason is that the air spring curve on the DB Air is generally S-bend shaped, it's initially steep, then flat through the middle, and ramps up substantially in the end. As such it will always be tough to get through the last bit of travel, and the shock will generally feel sluggish through it's mid stroke.

I've used three DB Airs on three different frames and so far they've all had slightly different characteristics. I've created some air spring models based on the internal dimensions of the shock and been using that to help me tune the air spring of the DB Air. What I've found is that to get the DB Air mid stroke to perform similarly to my DB Coil I wind up with minimal sag, and never able to get through the last inch of travel.

Slide off the air can and check if there are any red elastic bands present. Let us know how many you see.

I haven't removed the air can but as I understand it the DB air ships with no extra spacers installed. This is supposed to be as linear as it gets. Adding spacers will make just make it more progressive. Maybe I should just suck it up and remove the air can and verify that this is in fact the case.

I have talked to Arthur about this and he mentioned that he was having similar issues with his testing… I'm sure more will be revealed in his next installment.

Its perplexing that CC dubs this shock as the most adjustable on the market but trying to set it up with proper sag will result in a complete brick at the end of the stroke. Maybe they need to offer different base tunes ala the Vivid Air to accomodate different frame designs?

April 4, 2012, 1:19 p.m.
Posts: 2452
Joined: Jan. 8, 2004

Don't start hating on what the cool kids say is cool Tim. We all know how that went last time.

Oh noes, I didn't know the DB Air had a cool kid following already. I revoke all previous comments. I think maybe I get a gimme on this one as I'm such a open lover of the DB Coil.

I ran an early DB Air on the Range and found it far too progressive, even in the most linear setting. This shock had a slightly different air spring arrangement that is different to the production shock (which I didn't know when I was trying it out) that produced a very progressive spring curve.

I tried a DB Air on the Truax and was actually quite happy with it. It was the most linear of the three DB Air's I tried and the bike ripped up and down with that shock. I never pulled it apart, so I don't know what the internal geometry was on that shock.

I've got a DB Air for the Aurum and I'm having a hard time getting the air spring to my liking. With no volume reducing spacers I set the bike up with the appropriate sag, and could get near the end of the travel, but the mid stroke was very slow (felt over damped as you explained). This is because the spring rate tapers off in the mid stroke. When I tried adding volume spacers the spring got increasingly progressive, so I wound up running less air pressure, which resulted in more sag, and still couldn't get through the last inch of travel. In general I think I'd like the air spring on the DB Air to be capable of producing more linear spring curves.

Biking: As addictive as cocaine, twice as expensive!

My Super Interesting Website

:safrica: - :canada:

April 5, 2012, 1:17 p.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

I thought the Nomad 2 was optimized for air shocks, hence the Push link for coils

anyway, curious to see the review and more discussion

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

April 5, 2012, 1:17 p.m.
Posts: 2313
Joined: Sept. 18, 2008

Arthur, some people may want to knoe what you mean by nomad being "neutral"?

April 6, 2012, 7:54 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug. 24, 2009

I test rode the DBa on my NomadC today. Set the sag, dialed in the Nomad settings from the CC site, and was surprised at how plush the DBa felt. Excellent bump compliance and no harsh bottom out. The shaft on the DBa is `5mm longer than the 2.5" stroke, so your not losing as much travel as you may think from glancing at the O-ring. My shock got within 5mm of the end of its' 2.5" stroke with no hard landings to flat, so it's probably in line with what the bump stop on the DBc does. The DBa was 6.32oz. lighter than my DBc w 375lb Ti spring. I've been riding a DBc since '05, so I can't give much in the way of a comparison with the current air shocks, but I got a great 1st impression. I think CC has another winner here.

April 6, 2012, 8:48 p.m.
Posts: 2112
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

How much sag are you running?

April 6, 2012, 9:24 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug. 24, 2009

About 30%/20mm. I'm around 210lbs with gear. 120-130 psi depending on which pump I use. Lower pressure is always a bonus.

April 7, 2012, 12:35 a.m.
Posts: 15019
Joined: April 5, 2007

Im debating throwing one of these on my Range

Why slag free swag?:rolleyes:

ummm, as your doctor i recommend against riding with a scaphoid fracture.

April 7, 2012, 11:01 a.m.
Posts: 2112
Joined: Nov. 6, 2005

I'd wait for Arthur's full review first..

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