The Double Barrel shocks – both the DBcoil and DBair – are arguably the most advanced shocks on the market for descending. Since they’ve never had that handy switch for climbing, we’ve always found ourselves compromising something somewhere. Either tune the low-speed compression for the ultimate bump sensitivity or compromise downhill prowess a bit by firming it up for climbing performance. Since a tool is required in order to access any of the four damping adjusters, it’s not something you’d be doing at the bottom of each climb. Well, today Cane Creek joins the lever party with a little thing they call Climb Switch.
The Double Barrel started its life as a downhill coil shock, where it gained legendary status for its tune-ability. When the Fletcher, North Carolina, company introduced the Double Barrel Air a couple years ago, the shock had the same damping adjustments, but the shock was designed for a different application – bikes that need to go uphill as well. Since the shock offers such an incredible range of adjustment, you can get the thing to feel good on practically any bike. However, with some bikes, like the Specialized Enduro for instance, finding that happy medium between climbing and descending performance can get a bit tricky. In fact, you may have noticed on that particular bike, the DBair has a hastily bolted-on lever to the low-speed compression knob for quick and dirty adjustments.
Unlike the lever bolted to the Enduro, Climb Switch isn’t a hastily added feature to adjust low-speed compression. Climb Switch accesses an entirely different damping circuit designed specifically to address climbing forces, on both the compression, and rebound stroke. Every other platform switch on every other shock on the market affects the compression stroke only. The engineers at Cane Creek felt like this was only half of the equation. Since we’re going much slower while climbing, shock inputs are much different, requiring a completely different tune. That’s what Climb Switch is.
What this means is that these new shocks should be much more well-rounded and easier to tune. Since the climbing characteristics are housed in a separate circuit, we should be able to say goodbye to that balancing act and focus solely on tuning the shock to offer the best possible downhill performance, leaving the uphill to the Climb Switch circuit.
Our box hasn’t arrived from North Carolina just yet, so ride impressions are still to come.
The DBair will be available August 1. At 700 bucks, you’ll need at least that much time to save up for one.