Since the Cane Creek Helm fork was introduced in the spring of 2017, we have been seeing more and more bikes with Cane Creek suspension trickle in. We think they look pretty sharp! Looking good on the trail will only get you so far, and one of our customers Don Herner, is here to tell us how his Helm fork and Double Barrel coil rear shock perform out on the trail. Check it out!
This is a review of the Cane Creek Helm Air fork and Cane Creek Double Barrel Coil CS. I purchased the Helm fork a few months ago to replace an old Rockshox Pike as I wanted to update to the new Boost standard. I’ve put in a bunch of runs on this fork and the best thing about it is how incredibly controlled Cane Creek’s damper is. I’ve read many reviews about this fork being over-damped which in my opinion, is just not true. As with most Cane Creek products, they take a little longer to get them really dialed in as compared to Fox or other big O.E.M’s. Once you have them set up though, in my opinion they do a better job with oil flow management then the others and are more tunable to the smallest degree. I weigh in at 190 lbs and with gear on probably am closer to 200lbs.
Currently I’m running about 62 PSI in the fork with an extra 5 PSI in the negative air chamber in order to get a little more initial suppleness from the fork. I’ve tried many different pressures and so far all around this seems to work best. The two separate positive and negative air chambers are an example of how Cane Creek makes this thing so tunable. Additionally, I’m running it with 170 mm of travel from the factory spec. of 160. This in my opinion, allows a little more “ true “ use of travel as it’s hard to squeeze out the last 10 to 15 mm out unless you really smash something hard. Additionally, I’m running it with 1 turn of compression and 3 clicks of rebound and 3 clicks of low speed compression. This fork compliments the Cane Creek Double Barrel coil shock out back.
The DB Coil CS again in my opinion, is a very tunable shock. The high speed compression and rebound dials do not use a detent as found on other brands and allow me get a much finer degree of tune. Low speed adjusters do have a detent with a ton of clicks however. Currently, the low speed adjusters are set at 9 clicks. High speed compression is a little more than one and one half turns out. High speed rebound is around one and three quarters turns out. This shock compresses smoothly when you are smashing turns without sinking through all of its travel. Rebound is super controlled.
As I’ve stated previously, Cane Creek in my opinion uses more oil than other makers and controls it better as well, provided you take the time to really get their products dialed. This shock gives you a ton of confidence going into any high or low speed section that is really going to cycle the shock through repeated high shaft speeds. As far as climbing with the DB CS it’s no problem, simply turn the climb switch to the right and it slows down the low speed rebound and compression to provide more traction than just a lock out switch.
One more thing. Once again in my opinion, Cane Creek’s overall machining and fit and finish are superior to other makers that cast the shock head then machine the holes for the clickers in an effort to reduce costs.
Thanks for your time!