This shock comes out of a collaboration between Cane Creek and Ohlins Racing, the Swedish suspension gurus who have cut their teeth on the likes of Supercross and GP bikes to produce a handmade (every single one is made by just one man, called Paul, and individually numbered), fully adjustable, high performance, piece of mountain bike engineering.
Cane Creek Double Barrel Shock
Price: £549.99 with steel spring, +£175 for Ti spring
From: Extra, www.extrauk.co.uk
Tested: 12 months
This shock comes out of a collaboration between Cane Creek and Ohlins Racing, the Swedish suspension gurus who have cut their teeth on the likes of Supercross and GP bikes to produce a handmade (every single one is made by just one man, called Paul, and individually numbered), fully adjustable, high performance, piece of mountain bike engineering. The Double Barrel name comes from the two tubes that constantly circulate oil between each other and through the independent rebound and compression circuits, leading to a more controlled ride. Both rebound and compression have high and low speed damping adjustment, giving a potentially mind-boggling scope for getting things wrong.
Thankfully the manual is well written and clear, providing a base setting from which to work from, and to read about exactly what each adjustment does. In fact, even if you have just a passing interest in how suspension works you should download the manual and have a read. Adjusting the shock is easy to do, but best done with a bit of patience and the manual to hand.
In the past I’ve struggled with coil shocks, they either moved around too much when pedalling or when I adjusted them to be vaguely useful uphill felt awful going down, there seemed to be too much compromise to get a good all round set-up. The Double Barrel is different. Climbing there is barely any rider induced compression and feels like a well set up air shock. This is partly down to the ability to adjust the low speed compression and rebound damping, which pedalling has an effect on, but the shock itself has a firm feel to it though with a smooth transition into the high speed damping when you hit a bump at speed. The back end of the bike really feels like it is truly hugging the ground, not vaguely following it, meaning you are more in control and can put more power down.
The level of control that can be eked out of this shock is unbelievable, multiple high-speed hits, drops, climbing, it does it all without fuss. Obviously it’s only as good as its set-up, but it’s worth spending time getting it right as the dividends are massive.
Overall: If I had the money and wanted what is probably the best all-mountain shock in the world, this would be it. I cry myself to sleep knowing I can never afford it though.
Posted on: May 24, 2009