TESTED: Cane Creek Double Barrel

WHAT: Cane Creek Double Barrel
HOW MUCH: $650 to $850
WHERE: www.canecreek.com

Their hands full with a growing line of wheels and headsets, the gang at Cane Creek realized they were losing ground in the suspension market. They took a step back, evaluated shocks in the bicycle and motorsports world and noticed that a leader in high-end suspension, hlins, had an office only minutes away from Cane Creek's facility in Fletcher, North Carolina. The two companies joined forces, intent on creating the world's best bicycle suspension. The Double Barrel shock is the result.

Using hlins' latest technology—up until now, the system has only been used in top-level auto racing—the Double Barrel features a twin-tube design with four separate damping adjustments: high- and low-speed compression damping, and high and low speed rebound damping.

Tuning each element can drastically change the shock's characteristics. Low-speed compression can be tuned from ultra-plush to bob-free platform firm. High-speed compression can be made to handle any kind of big-hit terrain, with any weight rider, regardless of spring rate, and likewise for the separate rebound circuits.

If there is a complaint to be leveled at the Double Barrel, it's that novices could tune themselves into a total mess with just a flat blade screwdriver.

Is the Double Barrel complicated? Hell yes. But if you take the time to set it up, this shock can perform any way you want.