Review: Cane Creek DBAir

Components

Bottom Line
The DBair is the best All-Mountain air sprung rear shock I have used, and it provides incredible plushness and ride composure on any terrain, especially in the gnar. The alterable air volume and four-way independent adjustability make for a massive amount of tuning capabilities, allowing great control over the characteristics of the shock’s interaction between the bike, rider and terrain. I would have liked some sort of pedal platform and low-speed hand adjustable knobs, but that is some minor nitpicking, and has nothing to do with the performance of the shock. It’s not the lightest air shock, and it’s expensive at $650, but the performance, plushness, composure, adjustability and control make for a superb package.

Strengths

  • Superb small to medium bump compliance
  • Four-way independent adjustability
  • Twin-tube technology
  • Excellent composure

Weaknesses

  • Heavy
  • Expensive
  • Lack of a pedal platform lever
  • Hand knobs for low-speed adjusters
  • Tuning is complex

Overall Rating: 5 Flamin’ Chili Peppers

Features/Specs

  • MSRP: $650
  • Visit the Cane Creek DBair website
  • Twin-tube damping for unparalleled small bump sensitivity and adjustability
  • Precision-machined parts for maximum performance and reliability
  • Auto-adjust negative air spring
  • Four-way independent adjustability
  • Tunable Air Volume
  • Weight – approx. 500g (weight varies by size)
  • Damping Twin Tube independent compression and rebound
  • Adjustments – Air spring rate, High speed compression, Low speed compression, High speed rebound, Low speed rebound
  • Finish – Anodized and laser etched
  • Mounting Interface – Norglide bushing 1/2″ Universal Axle

Lengths

  • 190 x 50mm (7.5” x 2.0”)
  • 200 x 50mm (7.87” x 2.0”)
  • 200 x 57mm (7.87 x 2.25”)
  • 215 x 63mm (8.5” x 2.5”)
  • 222 x 63mm (8.75” x 2.5”)
  • 222 x 70mm (8.75” x 2.75”)
  • 240 x 76mm (9.5” x 3.0”)
  • 267 x 90mm (10.5” x 3.5”)

XV Lengths

  • 200 x 57mm (7.87 x 2.25”)
  • 215 x 63mm (8.5 x 2.5”)
  • 240 x 76mm (9.5 x 3.0”)
About the author: Brian Mullin

Brian has been part of the Mtbr team since 2007, where he has become an integral member of the review and test staff, specializing in technical articles. He likes to push the limits in all the sports he obsesses in, whether it's mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, extreme skiing, or sport climbing. He takes those same strengths and a good dose of insanity to his reviewing and writing on mountain biking products, creating technical, in-depth and hyperbolic articles. Whenever he's not on the bike, he might be found watching MotoGP racing, otherwise look for him out on extremely technical singletrack.


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  • Richard Bishop says:

    Your complaints about the smooth trail and fire road performance of the shock would be better solved by increasing the low speed compression, not by messing with the air pressure. LS compression helps with pedal Bob, set and leave the air pressure.

  • Mutly says:

    I also find it an excellent shock now on my Mojo HD but the questions here about ‘early shocks’ are difficult to answer since Cane Creek certainly got their knickers in a twist over teething problems. Early shocks got slated for far too much progression on progressive rate bikes. So CC offered FOC warranty upgrade, to those who noticed, fitting a fresh inner can allowing higher air pas – this is an imprecise tech description, please forgive me. That cured mine fine. Now they also offer a higher volume outer air can. Mine works fine but both potential iterations could negate the value of CaneCreek’s recommended base tunes etc.

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