Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil shock review

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More than any other brand it’s arguably Cane Creek that is responsible for kickstarting the interest in coil shocks again. Before Öhlins, EXT or PUSH, there was Cane Creek and the Double Barrel series of coil shocks. It took quite some guts to push against the air-spring tide and dare to have a crack at selling steel spring shocks in the 21st century.

  • Price: £689.99
  • From:
  • Weight (w/o spring): 496g
  • Adjustments: Low Speed Rebound, High Speed Rebound, Low Speed Compression, High Speed Compression, 3-position Climb Switch (open, firm, firmest)
PIctured with VALT progressive spring (we actually tested it mostly with a standard spring though)

The Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil has loads of dials on it. And real dials they are, easy to turn with actual human fingers. No dinky Allen key hole recesses that fill with mud, as with previous Cane Creek shocks. There are more than enough damping adjustments on offer even for compulsive tweakers.

And there is the justifiably famous Climb Switch, which genuinely is far better than most other brands’ lockout/firm-up levers. Why? Because it quells rebound and (not just) compression. This leads to a far less brittle and chattery feel. Like riding on top of really thick syrup… in a good way. The Climb Switch actually has three positions: open, firm and firmest. You really don’t need to use the firmest setting apart from a nice placebo effect during extended tarmac torture.

The damping adjustments are impressively independent of each other; adjusting low speed rebound doesn’t noticeably affect any other damping aspect. The range of adjustment is also huge. This makes this shock a safe bet for optimum performance on any bike and under riders of vastly varying weights.

The Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil seems to eke the traction out of the terrain at all times. Uphill, across hill, downhill. The main caveat we have is that – due to the adjustment range on offer – it’s possible to set this shock up really badly if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this sense, it is probably not the best choice if you’re looking for your first ever coil shock and don’t want to learn about suspension damping 101 (and who can blame you?)


The best coil shock in this test. In our opinion it’s better than most über premium shocks that charge nearly twice as much. It does need a vaguely knowledgeable – and patient – person to get the best out of it, and it’s more expensive than some. We think it’s worth the investment.

Review Info

Brand: Cane Creek
Product: Kitsuma Coil shock
From: Extra UK
Price: £689.99
Tested: by Benji for Issue 145

Orange Switch 6er. Stif Squatcher. Schwalbe Magic Mary Purple Addix front. Maxxis DHR II 3C MaxxTerra rear. Coil fan. Ebikes are not evil. I have been a writer for nigh on 20 years, a photographer for 25 years and a mountain biker for 30 years. I have written countless magazine and website features and route guides for the UK mountain bike press, most notably for the esteemed and highly regarded Singletrackworld. Although I am a Lancastrian, I freely admit that West Yorkshire is my favourite place to ride. Rarely a week goes by without me riding and exploring the South Pennines.

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  • Cane Creek Kitsuma Coil shock review
  • Blackflag
    Free Member

    I have the Kitsuma air. It’s a thing of utter wonder. It came pre dialed in from Cotic to suit the frame (Jeht) and it performs so well i haven’t wanted to touch any of its many dials. You don’t really feel it working, everything just feels comfortable and i often get full travel without it ever bottoming out or it feeling like it’s up to its limit. Also its very rare i even touch the climb switch.

    Free Member

    Not used the Kitsuma, but I agree the OG CCDB was sometimes equalled but never truly bettered by newer, more fashionable and expensive shocks.

    Still the benchmark for me on shock performance.

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