Air/Air shocks use air for both the spring and damping requirements of the shock. Air/Oil shocks use air for the spring but oil for the damping. Using air for damping is similar to using oil, but because air is compressible, the idea of "lockout" doesn't apply. Fortunately, bike design has progressed to the point where well designed frames don't need a lockout function.
The Cloud Nine shock incorporates a patented design that addresses air springs and stiction in a new way. Compared to any rear shock, the Cloud Nine actually has very low stiction. Stiction is detrimental on small bumps and the initial phase of travel. But the Cloud Nine uses an air negative spring, keeping the shock highly supple and responsive to small bumps. Cane Creek developed the air negative spring for the original AD shock. It's been our design for years, and now it is quite common (and imitated) on other lightweight air shocks.
The manual for the Cloud Nine shocks contains a chart showing suggested air pressure per rider weight. The chart is only a guideline for riders to work around when initially setting up the ride. The pressure settings are ultimately up to personal preference. Reduced pressure will provide a smoother, more plush ride, but with a greater tendency for bottoming out. Increased pressure will give a firmer ride with somewhat quicker rebound. We recommend that air pressure be adjusted in 5-psi increments until you feel comfortable with the ride. If you are bottoming the shock out more than occasionally, you need more pressure.
Feel free to experiment with compression and rebound damping settings until you get your ride dialed in to the feel you prefer. Turning the adjuster(s) clockwise will give you increased damping, while turning them counter-clockwise will give you less damping. For example, if you prefer a very plush ride, you would turn the compression damping adjuster (indicated with a "c", and chrome plated) counter-clockwise. For a firmer ride, you can turn this compression damping adjuster clockwise. For rebound, you adjust the rebound damping adjuster (indicated with an "r", and black in color). Turning this adjuster clockwise will give you increased rebound damping—and slower rebound. Turning the adjuster counter clockwise will give you less rebound damping and much quicker rebound. The proper settings are ultimately your choice and vary depending upon rider weight, rear suspension design, leverage ratio, riding style and terrain.
Even though it is a low-maintenance design, the Cloud Nine shock, like other suspension components, requires periodic check-ups. It has been designed for easy servicing. Maintain proper air pressure (always use the metal cap to prevent long-term valve leakage). Wipe down the shaft and exposed wiper seal after mucky rides. And lubricate the seals after approximately 200 hours of use (depending on your riding conditions). The only tools you'll ever need are a pair of hands and a spanner wrench. With the Cloud Nine shock, you'll never have to wrestle with small parts and dirty oil spills on your floor.
No, this is not a good way to try to obtain more travel. A suspension frame is designed to accept a shock of a given length. Anything longer and you will alter the geometry as well as add stress to the frame and shock.
You can trade-in your old shock and in return purchase a Cloud Nine (or AD-12 for that matter) for a specially discounted upgrade price.
You bet. It is surprisingly easy. Since there is no oil in the shock, it is just a matter of replacing a few seals and airing it back up. Some people have even done this "in the field" when circumstances have required it, something that is unthinkable with an Air/Oil shock.
Measure your current bike shock as installed, fully-extended, from each mounting bolt center-to-center.
Our Track Wheels with patented "Nipples At The Hub" are designed to stay true longer than the best-built wire-spoked wheels. This is because of the straight spokes (no elbow bends), high uniform spoke tension, and Nylock-reinforced nipples (which secure the threads).
But if truing adjustments become necessary, it's a simple job. A 3/16-inch open-end wrench (included with each wheelset) turns the nipples in much the same way as a conventional wheel—only at the hub. The hex nipples won't round out. And because of the fewer spokes, simpler crossing patterns, and higher tension, our wheels are actually easier and faster to true. Effectively, you get more impact with every turn of the spoke wrench.
There is a little learning curve to it, but truing a Cane Creek wheel is intuitive and ultimately quicker than dealing with a conventional spoked wheel. One other thing about that 3/16-inch wrench: It's common in U.S. hardware and auto-parts stores (same size as an ignition wrench).
With a conventional wire-spoked wheel, such "break-in" adjustments are usually necessary. What happens is that regardless of the tension, the J-bend spokes seat into the hub during the first few rides, and the wheel loses its perfect trueness.
With a Cane Creek wheel, the superior design negates the causes of this break-in out-of-trueness. There are no J-bend spokes, the spoke tension is very high, and the nipples have a thread-securing insert. Every one of our wheels is hand-built every step of the way. When it leaves our wheelbuilding room, the wheel is perfectly true and pre-stressed. You can ride it without having to worry about the normal break-in period of conventional wheels.
Our "Nipples At The Hub" designed wheels use straight-pull spokes. These are not one-off or custom spokes or sizes. Most spoke makers produce straight-pull spokes. Many bike shops in many parts of the world can get you a Cane Creek replacement spoke, should you find yourself needing one.
It is true that a deeper rim section adds weight compared to a more conventional rim profile. But the extra strength of the deeper rim section enables the wheel to use fewer (and lighter) spokes and still be plenty strong. Using fewer spokes saves some weight and gives a slight aerodynamic Edge. Some riders also report that our deep-section Crono wheels give a firmer ride, due to the stiffer rim profile.
Generally, no. Our rims have a small custom drilling in the rim wall, and no other rim will do.