Anodised aluminium shock body/Chromed steel piston rod/Ti spring option/Shock weight: 462g (9.5in x 3in) without spring/Total weight with 350lb steel spring: 1,037g
Ohlins Racing is synonymous with performance motorsport suspension systems and the product of its partnership with Cane Creek is the Double Barrel shock.
The key attribute of the Double Barrel design is that, by having as a secondary barrel inside the shock body, oil can flow around the shock. This means that adjuster knobs on the shock reservoir meter more oil flow than they would on a shock relying solely on oil flow through the reservoir from shaft displacement. The result is that the external adjusters have a greater effect. A factory-set shim stack on the main piston still controls high-speed compression and rebound damping, but with the Double Barrel design you also get independent high and low-speed compression and rebound adjustments via the dials on the reservoir. Check valves on the adjusters guarantee that the rebound and compression damping circuits are independent.
All Double Barrel shocks are hand-assembled and dynamometer tested for consistency before leaving the factory. And this isn’t just marketing speak from Cane Creek, as independent testing conducted in the UK confirms that the Double Barrel is the most consistent performer. Even the instruction manual is crystal clear, with no bullshit to wade through.
Fitting the Double Barrel isn’t as straightforward as a shock with regular DU bushings, as the ball joints make it hard to align the fitting hardware. So while the bearings isolate the shock from side loads and make it easier to get at the adjusters, you do need to use an alignment pin to hold everything in place when fitting the shock.
We were making repeated runs on a test track and two square-edge hits were transmitting a lot of force through the chassis into the rider every run. We backed off the high-speed compression damping by two clicks and the impact was gone.
We were still riding the same track, hitting the same lines, but instead of the bump force being transmitted to the rider it was now being absorbed by the shock. It was impressive to say the least, and we don’t know of another shock that could be tuned so effectively trailside.
Additionally, we were able to use the low-speed compression adjuster to make an 8in-travel DH bike pedal like a trail bike. Alternatively, you could reduce shock extension with the external low-speed rebound adjuster without affecting the other setting. Basically the Double Barrel is extremely versatile and because all the adjustments are independent, it’s actually very easy to get what you want from the shock.
But the Double Barrel isn’t just about adjustability; traction is amazing, it offers very consistent damping without fade on longer runs, and with over a year of abuse it still feels as smooth as the day it was fitted. All in, the Cane Creek Double Barrel is the best production shock that money can buy. Yes it’s expensive, but it’s still cheaper than having two custom-tuned shocks for different courses.
MBR RATING: 10/10