Cane Creek Double Barrel Inline Review

So I’ve been running the DB inline since before the Summer, so a fair amount of time now to make an informed review.

No denying how pretty this shock is
No denying how pretty this shock is

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!


Urge All M Helmet Review

They say a helmet should be replaced after five years, a few dents didn’t help matters and maybe it should have seen the skip sooner. The old Urge all m had been my go to helmet for a few years now. The full face and piss pot took a back seat now I wasn’t doing as much push up, nail it back down stuff and doing more pedalling to the top. 

With so many trail style helmets on the market, a wee trip to Chain Reaction was called for to see what was out there. It didn’t take long to confirm that urge helmets just seem to fit my head. I felt slightly guilty just using CRC to try stuff on, but I’ve probably spent thousands on the site over the years so they’re just returning favour. 

So I managed to sort myself out with a new Urge All m in matte red. The new colour schemes are a huge improvement. Just make them look a bit more slimline. 

red urge all m
Out with the old, in with the new

So as I’ve said before this helmet just fits. There is no real adjustment other than padding so if it’s a good fit you’re onto a winner. The ventilation is great, such a nice open helmet. Some kids even thought the helmet had inbuilt speakers due to the not so normal vent design. 

The fit with goggles and glasses on is spot on. I run Oakley o frame goggles and flak jacket glasses and they fit perfect. No issues with the goggles pushing the helmet up. 

Some people don’t like the look of urge helmets but I like the unique look about them. The only down side I can think of is its often difficult to get my goggles sitting nicely when they aren’t on my face, but let’s be honest they’re just as well hanging round your neck!

Five Ten Impacts VXI, First Impressions

After five years of punishment it was time to replace my beloved Impacts. I had always read and heard that once you wear a pair of Five Tens you’ll never look back, but you don’t realise this until you wear them.

The old impacts held up well. In the end, a hole in the left sole was the turning point. An amazing pair of shoes but they had their issues. The inner sole was basically just dense cardboard so not the best for an outdoor shoe. They were also quite clumpy and heavy, yes this gave added protection and cushioning but I felt it was a bit too much. The biggest issue was the sponge effect. At even the smallest hint of water they would be saturated.

So out with the old and in with the new. I opted for the new Impact VXI in plain black and red. A bit of shopping around an I managed to get them for about £90.  

So first impressions are pretty darn good. They feel about half the weight of the old ones. The upper material seems to be almost rubber like so shed the mud and wet well. Alongside this is a gusseted tongue to help keep the worst out. However this has led to have a slightly sweatier shoe, but in Ireland I don’t think we’ll have many days when that’s a huge issue! The sole is apparently a new version of their stealth rubber, but to be honest I’ve yet to notice any difference to the old stuff. Unless you were to try them side by side I doubt anyone could tell.

So far so good then. The only issue is the price point, but if I get 5 years from them like the last I’ll be happy.