Development of an air version of the Double Barrel began some two and a half years ago, soon after the coil version was released. The “DB Air” is expected to be available to consumers in January, though price is yet to be determined.
Cane Creek works closely with fellow North Carolina-based suspension company Öhlins by licensing and co-developing suspension technologies for use on their rear shocks. The compression and rebound circuits are of DB Air and Coil shocks are a direct result of this partnership.
The damping circuits of the DB Air are very similar in execution to the coil-spring Double Barrel, but retuned to better match the characteristics and needs of an air-sprung shock. Just like the coil version, oil is continuously circulated one-way through the damper units to provide a more consistent rebound stroke and better heat management.
In a stroke of genius, air sleeve seal maintenance is performed by using a Shimano external bottom bracket tool to open the air canister, and air volume will be user adjustable via internal spaces.
Weight will vary by shock length, though all sizes are reported to be very similar in weight to the Rock Shox Vivid Air.
Without an opportunity for back-to-back comparison, it’s somewhat difficult to weigh in on outright performance, but this shock displays shockingly little stiction and a seamless ride that left me not thinking about the shock at all, which is really what matters. Given the broad range of adjustability, users should be able to fine-tune this shock to their exact preferences. We’ll be getting a DB Air in for thorough review, stay tuned for the in-depth report.