When I originally built up my Ghost ASX plus I purchased a pushed fox Van RC from TFtuned. TF took my weight, bike specs and riding style and valved the shock accordingly with the correct spring weight. The shock performed amazingly over roots, rocks taking big and small hits in its stride. The downside is the shocks weight at over 750g it was a bit porky for my tastes. I replaced it with a 2014 model rockshock monarch RC3 plus which as 350ish grams gave a significant weight saving. The shock performed pretty well for the most part but the tune and air can wasn’t suited to my bike. I ran it for 9 months and never got full travel with 30% sag so I could have either purchased the debonair air can and got it tuned or sell it and buy another shock. I decided to go for the new shock and have went for the Cane Creek Double Barrel inline shock. There are plenty of pages on the web that describe the shock so there is no point going into the specifics but the adjustablity of the shock means I can dial it in to my preference without having to send it off and hope the tuning is spot on. Although the inline has no piggy back it weighs the same as my monarch does. However, compared to other non-piggyback shocks it contains ~40% more oil than comparable shocks.
I purchased the shock from TFtuned again as they will help set it up, discuss any issues you have over the phone and supply the correct hardware for your bike also their customer service is second to none so I’m happy to give them my cash.
My bike utilises a horst link and a 190x50mm shock to give me 140mm of travel. This is a high leverage ratio and I found with my monarch that the standard air can ramped up too much at the end stroke to give full travel and the rebound just wasn’t strong enough to control the bike on high speed hits. The DB inline has a larger air volume and it can be adjusted with the supplied rings (you don’t have to take the shock off to fit them either) should I find there is not enough ramp.
Fitting the shock was easy enough as was setting sag. My monarch plus was pressurised to 150 psi for 30% sag, while the DB inline was 170 psi. I didn’t bother adjusting the settings TFtuned had made as I wanted to see how the bike rode to start with.
My first run of the bike was at the commonwealth games circuit at Cathkin Braes. It was well suited to testing the shock as it has a range of surfaces and drop offs around its 3.6 miles. It was a mainly leisurely ride as I took my 9 year old son with me but it was enough to let me get a feel for the shock.
The shock is paired with a RS pike upfront also set to 30% sag and I was running it with no added LSC. The first thing I noticed was how good the small bump sensitivity was compared to the monarch. I was able to ride smoothly over the rock garden and the rebound kept me from bouncing all over the place while seated on tree roots. Pedaling efficiency is very good considering the plushness of the shock and it improved greatly with activation of the CS lever. The CS lever can be moved to any position between off and fully on giving increasing effects pedalling efficiency.
The monarch was very good on big hits and jumps, I always felt in control on my landings. The DB inline is just as good although I am planning to increase HSC to help with bottoming out as I do bigger hits at Glentress so It will probably be worth while having settings for each place I go to. The Shock also give me more pop off jumps compared to the monarch which was welcomed and I can tune this out if I didn’t like it.
Over all for the first ride I am very impressed with the way the shock has performed particularly for the increase in control over roots and rocks. I don’t profess to be a great mountain biker or know a huge amount about suspension tuning but I do see the Cane Creek DB inline as a great improvement over the monarch I had on previously and on a par with the pushed fox Van RC. However, the monarch is not a bad shock it’s just the tune and air can wasn’t totally suited to my bike, weight, riding style. I can’t comment on the debonair air can although I imagine this would make small bump sensitivity better but it will probably still need tuned as they only sell it in MM tune aftermarket which won’t suit every bike.
My settings the Dave from TFtuned set my DB inline to are as follows
LSC – 5 clicks from minimum
HSC – 1 turn from minimum
LSR – 14 clicks from maximum
HSR – 1.5 turns from maximum
I’m 80kg kitted up and air pressure was 170 psi for 30% sag – I’ll be adjusting the HSC 1/2 turn at a time to limit bottoming out and the trail setting guide Cane Creek provide is very good at explaining what the different settings do. You can also view it online here
The eyelet diameter of the DB inline is 15mm so you can fit RWC needle bearing kits to your shock.
Tf tuned can be contacted at http://www.tftuned.com/ or by phone 01373 826800.