Cane Creek: the ultimate suspensions

The SHAN Nº5 917 GT1 comes with a Cane creek suspension combo: Double Barrel Air CS shock and HELM Air 160mm fork.
Most of us know Cane Creek for their top-class headset, some know them for their rear shock and only few know they are producing forks. But who knows the technology inside has been designed by OHLINS?


Their goal was to produce the best performing rear shock on the market for a mountain bike. Ohlins Racing is known for producing some of the best motor bike shock absorbers on the market and with more than 200 World Championships and other major titles, they have earned the right to claim that they are one of the best in the industry.


Cane Creek has been the first company to use Ohlins patented twin tube technology for MTB. The system had only been used in top-level auto racing and bike racing at this time. Twin tube design completely isolates the compression and rebound adjustments. These adjustments are split into high and low speed, over both compression and rebound, making four completely separate points of adjustment. Twin Tube flows more oil through adjustable valves (instead of piston valves) giving you more control.

The independent rebound adjustment is one of the key thing here. It’s hard setting up rebound on a regular shock because you will compromise low or high speed damping depending on whether you set your shock up fast or slow.


The DB Air CS is without a doubt the best Air Enduro rear shock available today on the market, and the best rear shock we ever rode on a SHAN Nº5.

The DB Air CS offered 7 separate adjustments: air pressure, low-speed compression (LSC), high-speed compression (HSC), low-speed rebound (LSR), high-speed rebound (HSR), air volume,via internal spacers, and Climb switch. And it’s very easy to dial thanks to the factory pre-tune set up and the dial app. ( See below: how to dial your DBair CS on a SHAN Nº5? )

Here you can find a complete review on the DB AIR by Pinkbike

PINKBIKE’S TAKE: It produced what we can only describe as the most capable air shock we’ve ever ridden. No ’moments’ and no feeling of the rear end doing anything that it shouldn’t be, just all-around supreme calmness. The smallest of impacts are erased in a way that would have you expecting the shock to suffer at the opposite end of the spectrum, but we didn’t record a single instance of hard bottoming during our time on it. And that is really where the DBair stands out against the competition: while others seem to always sacrifice performance in one realm to gain in another, the DBair manages to shine everywhere.


The DB AIR CS comes with the Climb switch technology. This is the most innovative climbing feature available. The Climb Switch, increases the shock’s level of low-speed compression and rebound damping in tandem.

What is the Climb Switch?

What the CS lever isn’t, and what Cane Creek really wants to stress, is a small aluminum lever that would act as a lockout by any stretch of the imagination, but it actually tames BOTH low-speed compression and low-speed rebound when flipped on. The DBair CS take a different approach to the problem of trying to create an efficient pedalling bike for climbing or less aggressive terrain’’We wanted a climbing mode for the DB shocks that allowed full suspension bikes to shine uphill – to highlight the benefits of climbing a suspension bike (traction and comfort) while ’damping’ the negatives (perceived or actual inefficiency, excessive chassis motion),’’ explains Josh Coaplen, VP of Engineering

PINKBIKE’S TAKE: Cane Creek’s Climb Switch offers a substantial advantage when it comes to any sort of technical terrain, be it trail littered with rocks and roots or extremely loose conditions, and the improved traction allowed us to focus on where we needed to be on the trail instead of being worried about constantly spinning out. Cane Creek’s out of the box thinking has resulted in not only one of the more unique suspension products on the market, but also one that has proven itself to be very effective.- Mike Levy

Here you can find a complete review on the DB AIR Climb switch by Pinkbike


The DB AIR CS comes with a factory setting called factory neutral base tune. Before the first ride, you can all ready improve the shock’s performance following Production Privee recommended dial.

Follow the SHAN Nº5 recommended dial on Cane Creek web site

Be sure your SAG is 25%, 14,5mm on the shock and go for a ride.Then you can use the DIALED app available on iTunes and Google Play and follow step by step the app to improve your riding experience.

The print screen below come from the app and shows our personal set up.


The developement Story of the Helm is very fascinating and the complete story is there.

What you need to know is the Helm has been in development for the last five years, with Cane Creek putting together prototype twin-tube dampers and a triple-chamber air spring system early in the fork’s evolution that ended up kiboshed for the production model.

Twin-tube has no real performance advantage over a simpler mono-tube system when it comes to front suspension, saw them turn their back on the twin-tube layout.

The Helm features a mono-tube damper. External adjustments include low-speed compression and high-speed compression, which are both at the top of the right fork leg, and low-speed rebound at the bottom of the same leg.

There are 16 clicks of low-speed compression via a dial at the top of the leg, 11 clicks high-speed compression from the larger dial with a short lever extension, and 14 clicks of low-speed rebound from the dial at the bottom of the same leg.

The Helm was always going to be air-sprung, but Cane Creek wanted to do something a bit different when it came to tuning how the fork ramps up through its stroke. Compared to competitors rather than adding or subtracting volume spacers, you adjust the height of a fixed piston that sits underneath the top cap.

PINKBIKE’S TAKE: Out of the box, the Helm is impossibly smooth and friction-free. The Helm’s air spring also feels relatively progressive, which, when compared to other forks on the market, is a pleasant surprise. The Doubleair volume adjustment system is effective, no problem about finding token or volume spacer here.
The slippery, active stroke and relatively low air pressure might have you thinking that I spent most of the time deep in the Helm’s travel, but that wasn’t the case at all, with a feeling of ample support rather than that ’hammock’ sensation that air suspension can sometimes provide when your spring rate isn’t firm enough. The Helm’s tune seems to suit a more aggressive rider straight out of the box!

Helm First ride by Pinkbike


Cane Creek suspensions have been on the market for more than a decade ! They are now very popular and every well-known service center will be able to service your fork and rear shock. You can of course contact the official service center of your country.

Official Cane Creek Service Center

For basic tips and set ups, you have plenty of great video on You tube Cane Creek chanel

Customers testimonial found on the web that describe perfectly Cane Creek philosophy:

A side note on Cane Creek…this company, in all seriousness, probably has the best customer service in the business. If you have any questions or concerns, they are more than willing to help you out or walk you through it. When you buy a part from them, you really are investing in a long term relationship with their company and employees. Their quality control and testing are extremely important, so you always get a top notch product every time. I also use their 110 headsets that you can see in another post. So if you have any questions…I would drop them an email or a phone call and they will walk you through it.