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Amphibious Technologies
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Review: Cane Creek Double Barrel on a Six Pack

Initial impressions with the Cane Creek Double Barrel (CCDB) rear shock on a Turner Six Pack

DISCLAIMER: These are my impressions and are subject to change without notice. The following are my personal opinions which are not, in any way, expressed or implied, an endorsement of any brand.

Background

I have had a CCDB for over a month now and I'm still playing around with set-up. I initially used a 500# spring (I'm 145# in gear) and it turned out a bit too stiff/firm for me. I just switched to a 450# (Malcolm at Cane Creek was nice enough to overnight me the spring for Saturday delivery for free!) last Sunday (1/8/06) and have to re "dial-in" the shock. I noticed spiking, with the 500# spring, on square edge hits, which I could not tune out even at minimum compression damping settings, at cruising speed (10-15mph) which was probably due to the stiff spring. (More feedback on spiking issue with the CCDB can be found here.)

The CCDB Advantage

The main advantage of the CCDB is in its tuneability. You can set it based on your riding style and terrain. What's nice is high and low speed compression and rebound damping adjustments are, for the most part, external and you, most likely, won't need a re-valve of the main piston shim stack, to achieve settings you like. In other words, the adjustment range is broad enough that you can make significant changes to the damping without taking the shock apart. That said, you can also easily F-up the damping if you are not careful as it is sooo tempting to make several changes at a time which really messes things up. I now follow the tuning procedure in the manual and it works awesome.

The main characteristic I like about the CCDB shock is its plushness, yet it surprisingly does not bob. You can actually push the bike down (compress the shock) with two fingers yet when you are riding you hardly notice bobing. It is super plush on small bumps (you won't really feel them anymore) and can handle big hits very well. Landing from jumps and drops are well controlled without harsh bottom-out or bucking. The rear wheel/tire just seems to be glued to the ground while climbing and downhill; this equals more traction and control.

CCDB v. stock DHX coil/air and PUSHed RP3/vanilla RC: A Brief Comparison

I was not that impressed with the DHX-c; the platform is just too harsh. I still have mine and will be sending it to PUSH as soon as they release their production mods for it.

I have not tried an Avy so I can't really compare. But the CCDB, for sure, is way better than the stock DHX coil and air. However, I cannot honestly say it is better than my PUSH'd RP3 in terms of damping characteristics. My PUSH'd RP3 was just as plush on small and high speed hits. But it isn't a coil shock so it really can't handle the Pack's high leverage and starts to deteriorate on long downhill runs (oil gets too hot and breaks down) hence it is now going on my Spot.

I think the CCDB is the perfect upgrade for the Pack but I can't wait to test a PUSH'd DHX-c as I have always been impressed with their work. I used to have a PUSH'd vanilla RC rear shock and that worked so beautifully. I got great traction both uphill and downhill that the rear felt glued to the ground just like with the CCDB. Landings were also very well controlled; no bucking or hard bottom outs. To me there is just nothing like a custom tuned shock valved just for you, your bike, your riding style and terrain. You may be able to set the CCDB to work like a custom tuned shock but it takes a lot of patience and time.

Conclusions

If I were to describe the CCDB in one word; it would be SMOOTH. This shock feels unbelievably smooth (luxury car smooth): it smoothes out small and big hits so well that it makes my stock RS Pike feel harsh in comparison. So if you want to get the best production coil shock out in the market right now, get the CCDB. Or you can wait till summer, after I have had some time a PUSHed DHX-c, if it becomes available soon, so I can make a recommendation to which one is better. I suspect the PUSHed DHX-c, based on prior experience with other PUSHed products, will be very close, if not better than the CCDB, with the only CCDB advantage is you can tweak settings every now and again. But PUSH usually gets the valving spot-on� such that the external adjusters give you enough fine tuning capabilities without the need to change internal settings anyway.

EDIT: I have since bought an Avy and got a Pushed DHX for my Six Pack; click here for my thoughts on the Avy v. Pushed DHXc.
 

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not so super...
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DISCLAIMER: These are my initial impressions and are subject to change without notice. The following are my personal opinions which are not, in any way, expressed or implied, an endorsement of any brand. I will post a comprehensive review once I've had more ride time on the CCDB.
I peer pressured him to post this so don't wear the poor guy out if hes has a change of heart after getting to ride a PUSH mod DHX-C:cool:
 

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Great write-up of your initial impressions. And yeah, pics would be good, too. The tuneability of the DHX-A is one of the features I really like about it, but the high and low speed compression on the CCDB sounds very cool.
 

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Thanks for the review,glad you're liking it.

The shock seems to be based on the principle of "no matter what lets make sure there is no compression spike" by having 3 different compression circuits (low speed poppet valve,high speed poppet valve and shim stack on piston). I really like that since the shims on the piston are really stiff so that a huge amount of oil is forced through the poppets on compression stroke.I think that's howcome it bobs so little and still can absorb hits so well.

My question is- how does it keep from bottoming? If the oil can allways escape somewhere how is it restricted on high shaft speeds to control bottoming?

Natrually you can turn up the 2 damping adjustments,and the shim valve is allready stiff.So does it work to control bottoming and still ride plush when these adjustments are turned up??

I ride a Pushed RC and like how it does the oppisite.It rides way plush but seems to restrict flow when things get moving to control bottoming but still takes mid speed bumps very well.Of course this is how i had him set it up for me and have had 3 different valve specs so far.

I'm not saying that one is better or anyrhing yet- The CC looks great and is natrually very high quality.

If there is a place to discuss this,this is the place.Discuss. :D

Krispy
 

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Rides like wrecking ball
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SCUBAPRO said:
I have not tried an Avy so I can't really compare.
SCUBAPRO said:
So if you want to get the best production coil shock out in the market right now, get the CCDB.
If you haven't tried an Avy how can you say the CCDB is the best out there so confidently?
 

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Amphibious Technologies
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My question is- how does it keep from bottoming? If the oil can allways escape somewhere how is it restricted on high shaft speeds to control bottoming?

Naturally you can turn up the 2 damping adjustments,and the shim valve is allready stiff. So does it work to control bottoming and still ride plush when these adjustments are turned up??

If there is a place to discuss this,this is the place.Discuss. :D

Krispy
I think, and I may be totally off here as I am not a suspension/fluidics engineer, the main shim stack is not there only as a backup. I think it handles the main damping function during high speed hits. As you can imaging a relatively large volume of oil has to be displaced in a short time period during a high speed/velocity impact such that the needle and poppet valves are not able to handle such volume per unit time that the main damping function is turned over to the main shim stack/piston where high speed damping is controlled...That would be my guess.
 

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Amphibious Technologies
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baycat said:
I feel like I am in a lecture of O Chem, way above my head....
Ah yes, Organic Chemistry. I'm one of those guys who actually liked O Chem. :D

I had a really good professor who made sense of all the reaction mechanisms.
 

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Great review of your initial impressions! I really liked the diagrams for the oil flow and Krispy's comments because it helps explain how it works so well. I too will be interested to know how it resists bottom out. Great job again!

Bryan
 

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Amphibious Technologies
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Yeah i think that is partly correct,I read somewhere that that stack is really stiff so that it only opens when the oil is being displaced at too high of a speed for the poppets.
Based on my conversations with Cane Creek, the "too high of a speed" is easily achieved when you are going over 20mph through a rockgarden or landing drops. So the main shim stack is not really that stiff and the poppet and needle valves are easily overwhelmed at high shaft velocities.
 

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QUOTE=I think, and I may be totally off here as I am not a suspension/fluidics engineer, the main shim stack is not there only as a backup. I think it handles the main damping function during high speed hits. As you can imaging a relatively large volume of oil has to be displaced in a short time period during a high speed/velocity impact such that the needle and poppet valves are not able to handle such volume per unit time that the main damping function is turned over to the main shim stack/piston where high speed damping is controlled...That would be my guess.

Yeah i think that is partly correct,I read somewhere that that stack is really stiff so that it only opens when the oil is being displaced at too high of a speed for the poppets.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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SCUBAPRO said:
The main characteristic I like about the CCDB shock is its plushness, yet it surprisingly does not bob. You can actually push the bike down (compress the shock) with two fingers yet when you are riding you hardly notice bobing.
I never understand this phrase. I can compress my DHX-C with my pinky some, in fact I run around 40% sag so it feels very soft, but I use the BO adjuster to keep it from bottoming, so I get a very nice spring curve that sucks up the small bumps very nicely. I don't understand the "compress it with two fingers" part though, is this referring to stiction in air shocks that keeps you from doing this? Or platform dampers that keep you from also doing this (because it would be a low-speed impact and low-speed compression=platform). So what does this phrase mean? I've always been able to easily compress the rear of my coil sprung bikes.

Anyhow, it sounds like a great shock and I'm interested in it. When tax time comes around the big boys will be playing it out, the rocco, CCDB, avalanche, and DHX-C-push. I'd like to try something else, and everything that we've heard on the CCDB sounds great.

How does it handle the high speed impacts/ripples when you're going really fast? My main beef with the DHX-C (but all around it's a great shock) is that it feels a bit "spikey" when you start going faster, so it looses some of the "smoothness", but this happens at high speeds that some people may not encounter much.
 

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Amphibious Technologies
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Jayem said:
I never understand this phrase. I can compress my DHX-C with my pinky some, in fact I run around 40% sag so it feels very soft, but I use the BO adjuster to keep it from bottoming, so I get a very nice spring curve that sucks up the small bumps very nicely. I don't understand the "compress it with two fingers" part though, is this referring to stiction in air shocks that keeps you from doing this? Or platform dampers that keep you from also doing this (because it would be a low-speed impact and low-speed compression=platform). So what does this phrase mean? I've always been able to easily compress the rear of my coil sprung bikes.
BINGO. It refers to the platform that prevents you from doing this wherein you loose some small bump sensitivity up to a certain threshold. With the CCDB you can control oil passing through the low speed compression adjuster (needle valve) such that you get very good small bump sensitivity. Something a DHX is lacking, as platform is on/off.

Jayem said:
How does it handle the high speed impacts/ripples when you're going really fast? My main beef with the DHX-C (but all around it's a great shock) is that it feels a bit "spikey" when you start going faster, so it looses some of the "smoothness", but this happens at high speeds that some people may not encounter much.
Yes, I notice spiking at low speed (too much platform even at min. BV) and at high speed with the DHX-c. The CCDB on the other hand is soooo smooth during high speed impacts (25+mph), ripples, and over braking bumps.
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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SCUBAPRO said:
BINGO. It refers to the platform that prevents you from doing this wherein you loose some small bump sensitivity up to some threashold. With the CCDB you can control oil passing through the low speed compression adjuster (needle valve) such that you get very good small bump sensitivity. Something a DHX is lacking as platform is on/off.
Well, I don't give a rats *ss about pedaling :D, so that would by why my shock setups are "compressable with a pinky", and the sag that I run must be also contributing.

Anyway, as I said, I'm still intersted in this shock, and I'll be reading every review of it. Good info.
 
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