So I’ve been running the DB inline since before the Summer, so a fair amount of time now to make an informed review.
So as you can see the shocks mounted on my Orange Five, replacing a fox RP23. I’ve it set up with one Burgtec offset bushing and the other is just the standard hardware. There’s no doubt about it, this shock needs some attention to get it running right, but the provided notebook talks you through how to set it up properly and is an absolute doddle.
I initially set it up for my usual riding in Tollymore, tight, technical trails with no big prolonged downhills. The biggest and most noticeable advantage this shock gives the Orange is grip. I was gobsmacked at the cornering grip provided by a well damped shock. It felt like having a new bike! After getting used to the shock and the control it had I started to get alot more comfortable on trails and was really noticeable the confidence it offered. I had always thought my forks were excellent (Fox 32 FitRLC) but once I fitted the shock they felt as if they were letting the bike down!
During the summer I made the trip to the Tweed Valley. This is somewhere were I really felt the limitations of the Fox Shock. I remember in a previous trip getting to the bottom of the Minch Moor Descent and thinking I had blown my shock to pieces. Turns out it had just overheated so much. So I was prepared for the Cane Creek to exhibit some of these symptoms. I dialled in a bit more Low Speed Damping for the big sweeping berms and g-outs and was once again I was pleasantly surprised by the performance. Yes there was a small amount of fade at the bottom of the longer descents, but this was to be expected, but was nowhere near the fade experienced by the Fox.
The climb switch is a something to behold. Unlike other systems, this impacts both the low-speed compression and rebound damping. It transforms the shock and offers incredible grip on technical climbs, if that’s what you’re into. Some people may rather a total lock out, but for me on a single pivot the current system works brilliantly.
There are however a couple of things that I have an issue with. On the high-speed adjusters there is no “click” or marker to suggest how much you’ve adjusted, having to count the revolutions. I made a mark with permanent marker which has made the task alot easier. The other is the lack of user serviceability. I like to strip parts and make sure that everything oiled and greased accordingly and working as it should. I suppose with the complexity of the shock they don’t want Joe Bloggs making a mess, but it would be nice to have a guide for a simple service to keep it running at its best.
So all in all this is an incredible shock. The control it gives is second to none and the options allow you to fine tune it to your liking. It might not suit the fit and forgot type who doesn’t fancy all the tuning, but its a small trade-off for a huge increase in performance. Anyone who’s ridden one has told me how they’re blown away by the performance. Heres hoping they’ve sorted out the small issues with the first batch, but judging by mine they certainly have!