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Cane Creek DBair IL Shock Reviewed by Top Member Reviewer and Jenson USA Award Winner

You can earn $100 at Jenson USA for your Vital MTB member reviews. See the best review from last month's Top Reviewer and learn how you could earn the top spot in August.

Every month we award the Top User Reviewer with a little prize. This month Jenson USA pitched in another $100 gift card! Vital member JasonALap took home top honors in July after writing this in-depth review:


Cane Creek DBair IL (Inline) Rear Shock - "A Cane Creek DB shock was a perfect fit to make sure I could dial in a unique build. This bike started off with the first generation DB Inline, which I loved...until it stopped working. I had to choose between starting over with a new shock or rebuilding my Inline and Cane Creek made that choice easy by converting my Inline into the updated Air IL for $225. You can easily find more information on Cane Creek's follow up to the disaster that was the Inline, but to sum up, it meant redesigned seals, a new seal head and a larger volume air can. The seals are meant to combat the reliability issues the Inline had, and the larger air can provides greater small bump sensitivity and a more linear spring rate, which is a great thing for lighter riders like myself who often have to choose between support or actually using all of the travel.


Upon installing the DBAir IL back on my bike, I set my suspension to the adjustments that I was running on the Inline and quickly found the claims of small bump compliance true, as I was able to add a few clicks of HSC for more support while still feeling comfortable over rocks and roots. The largest pro for this shock can also be a con if you don't know what you're doing: independent adjustment of high speed and low speed compression and rebound. That's four individual dials to adjust that all effect the bike differently. This is not a shock for the set-it-and-forget-it crowd. 

Cane Creek does provide an app called Dialed to help you make adjustments, walking you through tweaks after asking you questions. Just session the same trail a few times and run through the app and you'll get it Dialed. Sounds easy, but the app is a little glitchy and hasn't been updated for a while. You need to have a fair understanding of the differences between high and low speed inputs and the relationship between rebound and compression. That said, if you spend a little time learning and tuning, this shock will provide you with a ride that's perfect for you, your bike and the terrain you ride. Heck, you can even have totally different tunes like I do for when you're running plus tires for the spring, XC 29ers for epics or a 29/27.5 combo for ripping descents.

The climb switch is a great feature that I want to mention because it doesn't just lock out compression like most bikes do, making the suspension way too hard for technical climbing and relegating usage to fire road climbs. The Climb Switch alters the low speed compression and rebound tunes, firming the suspension underneath you, but keeping it active over rocks and roots while climbing. It means I have no hesitation on flipping the Switch as soon as any trail points up.

I haven't had enough time on the new Air IL to speak to it's supposed reliability improvements over the Inline, but for me the function of the shock outweighs any fears I have over frequent $175 factory rebuilds. Only time will tell..." - Read more»

Shop the Cane Creek DBair IL at Jenson USA


Want to be in the running for August's award? Review the components, apparel, or bikes you ride in the Vital MTB Product Guide and keep an eye on the Top Reviewer leaderboard. We'll announce the winner in early September.

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