Cane Creek Partner Highlight: Cotic Bikes

Fresh off the launch of the new Cotic Flare, we caught up with Cy, Richard, and Hannah from Cotic Bikes to discuss the brand’s “Sweet 16” years in operation, their history with Cane Creek, and some exciting new initiatives…


What would you do if you wanted to ride a bike that didn’t yet exist? If you’re Cy Turner, you design your own.

2019 Cotic Longshot FlareIn 2002, Cy was a young engineering professional with few “adult responsibilities”: no kids, no mortgage – just a wife and a few dreams. Cy combined his love of cycling with his knowledge of engineering principles and designed the frame he wanted to ride, what would eventually become their legendary hardtail the Soul. Through a little bit of chance and luck, he ended up ordering 100 of them. He sold enough to repay the loan, and poof! Cotic Bikes was born.

Cotic is headquartered in the UK in the heart of the beautiful Peak District, just 20 minutes south of Sheffield, England. The brand was born in 2003 with the Soul, but Cotic now designs and sells hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes, as well as drop-bar/straight-bar road/gravel/cyclocross utilitarian bikes. Almost their entire range is steel, and each of their products are anchored in five key attributes: fun, durable, clean lines, interactive, and confidence inspiring. Cotic sells consumer-direct globally, and they’ve seen their frames travel to all corners of the globe. Almost every single bike features Cane Creek products including headsets, forks, and shocks, and consumers are able to customize build specs mixing and matching parts to their heart’s content. Cy recalls the beginning of Cotic’s relationship with Cane Creek,

 

“Cotic started working with Cane Creek on a small scale for headsets in 2011. As a very small brand back then, we appreciated [Cane Creek’s] open, friendly attitude to having our business and treating us as a valued customer despite our small size and modest ordering. This is very much in contrast to the ‘unless you’re ordering $250k worth you aren’t worth my time’ attitude of one or two of the larger suppliers in our industry. I have always appreciated that, and it’s always nice to work with people who respect what you’re doing. Cane Creek have always been that way. When we were coming back into production with the Rocket in 2015, we needed a high end suspension offer to compliment our other options. Cane Creek were the go-to partner. I had been testing the DB Air, and when the DB Inline became available it was the perfect partner for our new bike. Cane Creek were again more than happy to work with a small, but growing business, with very small volumes to start with. However, we were still granted our own part number for the shock, our own base tune and tuning card. This gave our bikes a premium feel when our customers specified the DB Inline shock. It helped us sell the bike. [Editor’s note: Cane Creek works hand-in-hand with select OE manufacturers to achieve a bike-specific tune. Cotic customizes all of the Double Barrel tunes for their bikes – their custom tunes can be found here]

Over the next few years our suspension offering grew and developed out of all recognition, and with now DB Air IL, Coil IL, Air CS and HELM, we have awesome suspension offered on our bikes, which sets us apart from the crowd both in terms of performance and image. Last season Cane Creek took another step of trust with us and become a sponsor to our race team, which has carried through to 2019. We like to race on what we sell, so the fact our biggest selling bikes are equipped with Cane Creek suspension made it a perfect partnership to have the HELM and DB Air CS on the team bikes. Along with this, we are now actively consulted by their engineering and sales teams regarding our needs and preferences, which makes us feel very much appreciated. My highlight of the last Eurobike show was sitting down at the end of a long first day and having a yarn with TR, Luke and Ian. Add in the sales and tech support we get from Bryan and Andrew, we love working with you guys!”

 

As it turns out, their customers love Cane Creek too. Cotic’s customers get to experience Cane Creek products for the first time on Cotic’s demo tour. Then, when it comes time to order their bike, most of them choose to build or upgrade their bike to Cane Creek because of the products’ performance.

There’s more to Cotic than just developing bicycles. Cotic’s team of professional riders, the Cotic CC, and the Cotic Women of Steel are heavily community-focused initiatives with the goal of promoting and supporting their local riding communities. Richard Baybutt of Cotic notes, “The team will be out on the road this year at the Scottish Triple Crown events, [Enduro World Series] rounds, and other awesome events. The Cotic CC (cycling club) is running and hosting events all over the country exclusively for Cotic owners, hoping to get people riding things they wouldn’t normally get involved with – skateparks, uplifts, ride with the pros, bikepacking, etc. It’s always fun getting out of your comfort zone.”

Just this past Friday, April 12, Cotic launched their Women of Steel program. As their webpage explains, Women of Steel is a new
space for riders to meet up, plan adventures, learn skills and get more involved with this amazing sport. While Cotic CC is limited to Cotic owners, Cotic has made it clear that Women of Steel is for all female riders, not just those on a Cotic bikes. Hannah Saxelby, Cotic’s Demo & Dispatch Assistant, writes, “It’s open to any female riders that are keen to get out, improve their skills and meet new people. We’ll be organising events throughout the year that members can get involved with such as ride outs, skills days and mechanic sessions to boost your confidence and meet like-minded riders. We’re going to be sharing the stories and creating inspiring content to motivate you to get out and ride your bike!”

 

 

 

 

Gallery – Photos by Richard Baybutt

2019 Cotic Longshot Flare2019 Cotic Team

Cotic Bikes is located at Unit 6, Calver Works, Calver, Hope Valley S32 3XH, UK
Email: info@cotic.co.uk | Phone: +44 7970 853531
Special thanks to Cotic Bikes/Cy Turner, Richard Baybutt, and Hannah Saxelby
All photos provided by Richard.
Fun fact: Richard won Pinkbike’s 2018 Photo of the Year Contest and used a little bit of his winnings to purchase some eeWings for his bike. It’s just the sickest, don’t you think?

Cane Creek’s Perfect Pairs

Nate & Liz
Departments at Cane Creek are so in sync that employees often end up “twinning”

 

It’s probably slipped your mind, but today is, in fact, National Siblings Day in the United States. We’re sure you’re just thrilled.

Siblings can be your best friends, worst enemies, or somewhere in between. These Cane Creek “Perfect Pairs” won’t annoy, interfere, criticize, make snide remarks, borrow your clothes, monopolize the bathroom, leave the toilet seat up, or get in the way… In fact, with them you’ll share a mutual unconditional love, and we promise they’ll be there for you when you need them most.

Peas & carrots, peanut butter & jelly, grilled cheese & tomato soup… these go together (like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong):

1 | eeWINGS ALL-ROAD CRANKS + eeBRAKES EL PLATINO

It doesn’t get any better than this pair. eeWings All-Road crankset is made almost entirely of titanium, save the CNC aluminum bottom bracket preloader. The cranks sparkle and shine just as much as they provide a stiff, stable, and lightweight pedaling platform. When paired with the platinum-finished limited edition eeBrakes El Platino, your bike performance (and sexiness) will soar. In fact, your future’s so bright with the eeWings All-Road and eeBrakes El Platino that you’ll need to put on a pair of shades…

eeBrakes El Platino are limited edition and only available until April 19, 2019. Take advantage of this perfect pair before they disappear forever.

eeWings All-Road
Cane Creek El Platino Limited Edition eeBrakes
Limited Edition eeBrake G4 El Platino

 

2 | HELM FORK + HELM CUSTOM STICKER KIT

Now your entire bike family can be matchy-matchy! Take your “twinning” to the next level by adding a colored HELM sticker kit to your order. Sticker kits are available in blue, green, orange, pink, stealth matte black, and stealth gloss black and will apply easily on any HELM fork, even the brand new HELM Works Series 130 (even though it has a larger, die-cut sticker).

Drew Stevenson’s Specialized Chisel featuring a HELM WS130 with pink stickers is hot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drew is riding the new HELM WS130. Not only did Drew customize the stickers on his fork legs, but he also matched them to a pink 110 headset and custom pink adjuster knobs
Custom pink adjuster knobs on Drew’s WS130

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 | eeSILK SUSPENSION SEATPOST + HELLBENDER 70 HEADSET

At first glance, this may seem an unlikely pair. However eeSilk premium suspension seatpost and Hellbender 70 headset have one major quality in common: They disappear. The very best components are the ones you never notice: they’re working flawlessly in the background providing you with reliable performance and unmatched confidence. eeSilk weighs only 295 grams and is comparable in weight to traditional rigid performance seatposts. It offers 20mm of vertical compliance, improving control on rough surfaces and reducing fatigue on long rides, allowing you to ride farther, longer far more comfortably. Hellbender 70 headset is a dream for cyclists, especially riders who like to get out in all conditions. The low-friction upper bearing seal completely seals the headset cup and sealed stainless-steel Hellbender bearing from contaminants (read: dirt, dust, road grime, sand, spiders, etc.) and is fully captured by the top cover with no loose parts. The Hellbender 70 gives you the design characteristics, sealing elements, and quality bearing found on a 110-series headset at a more palatable price.

Cane Creek eeSilk
eeSilk Premium Suspension Seatpost completely disappears into your ride so you can ride longer, farther, more comfortably
Cane Creek Hellbender 70 Headset
Hellbender 70: The design, sealing, and bearing of the 110, but at a fraction of the price

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 | DB IL SHOCKS + OPT REMOTE

This one’s a no-brainer. Cane Creek’s patented Climb Switch technology has changed the way riders think about suspension. No other shock on the market offers climbing-specific damping for both compression and rebound. Keeping suspension active while climbing results in better connection to the trail and increased efficiency without annoying pedal-bob. When Climb Switch technology was introducted to Double Barrel IL shocks, we knew we needed an OPTion for remote control over compression damping… see what we did there? Enter: Opt. Opt is the Climb Switch handlebar remote that gives riders the option to tune their Climb Switch to their desired riding preference without their hands ever having to leave the handlebars. DB IL shocks and Opt go together like a more delicious version of peas and carrots… which would be like ice-cream and sprinkles.

OPT Top mount
If you own a DBair IL or DBcoil IL, you need an Opt. Yes, need.

5| ROAD CACHE STORAGE POCKET + MULTI-TOOL

Brent Graves, Cane Creek President & CEO, acknowledges, “The inspiration for the Road Cache came from [a rider’s] use of a ThudGlove to carry his spare tube and supplies.” The Road Cache is a minimalist, water resistant accessory pouch designed to fit in a jersey pocket. It has room to carry a 700×25 or smaller tube, tire levers and a CO2 inflator.  Unlike competitors, the Road Cache is about less is more – it weighs less than a gel (only 27 grams!). The Road Cache is a clamshell design made of black neoprene with sturdy water-resistant zippers. While the Multi-Tool is neither minimalist, nor lightweight, and it definitely won’t fit inside the Road Cache with your repair equipment, it is an vital tool to carry with you on rides of any length. The tool comes equipped with 2mm, 2.5mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm allen wrenches, T25 “torx” wrench, and Phillips-head screwdriver. Additionally, and arguably most importantly, the integrated bottle-opener doubles as a spoke wrench and the corkscrew… opens a bottle of wine. All this with a beautiful wood finish – you can’t ask for much more!

Consider this situation:
You have a mechanical, you aren’t carrying any repair equipment, but a good samaritan stops to help you with his/her own equipment. This is a six-pack+ or bottle of wine transaction.
You have a mechanical, you are carrying your own repair equipment, and a good samaritan stops to help you get rolling again. This is a single beer or glass of wine transaction.

Moral of the story: Buy a Road Cache and Cane Creek Multi-Tool and carry your own $h!t.

Road Cache Storage Pocket
Road Cache Storage Pocket – repair equipment and $20 bill not included
Cane Creek Multi-tool
Cane Creek Multi-Tool’s best features are the corkscrew and bottle-opener… for obvious reasons

Cane Creek Announces Three New Products Debuting at Sea Otter

We are proud to announce the addition of three new products to the Cane Creek lineup: The HELM Works Series 130 suspension fork, the eeBrakes El Platino limited edition brakes and the Road Cache minimalist, water-resistant storage pouch. All three items will be on display for the first time at the Sea Otter Classic April 11-14, 2019. Find Cane Creek at BOOTH Y14.

 

HELM Works Series 130

Cane Creek HELM WS130
Cane Creek HELM Works Series 130 Fork

The HELM Works Series 130 is a 29/27.5+, 130mm travel, air fork optimized for aggressive riding on shorter travel bikes. Built on the critically acclaimed HELM platform, the Works Series 130 provides the same stiffness and support of the standard HELM 29 Air while including several new features designed to optimize the fork for aggressive XC and lightweight trail riding.

The fork is equipped with a 44mm offset hollow crown, a bolt-on D-Loc axle and optimized internals resulting in a 100g weight savings over the standard HELM 29 Air. The Work Series 130 also includes a “Climb Switch” feature allowing riders to quickly stiffen the suspension mid-ride to create an incredibly stable platform for climbing.

The Works Series 130 includes the same independently-adjustable dual-chamber air spring and accessory-free air volume adjustment as the standard HELM 29 Air providing riders with a great deal of versatility and adjustability to suit their particular riding style.

The fork is available with a polished black anodized crown and gunmetal grey lowers with black graphics unique to the Works Series 130. It will retail for $899 – the same price as all other HELM series forks – and will be available in May 2019 wherever Cane Creek products are sold.

The new bolt-on version of the D-Loc axle will also be available as an aftermarket upgrade to existing HELM forks.

“Since the HELM was released we’ve heard from a lot of riders who love the fork for its stability and stiffness combined with the ability to adjust it down to shorter travel for aggressive XC and downcountry riding. After hearing that feedback, we sat down and asked ourselves what the perfect HELM fork would look like if it were optimized for that style of riding and that’s how the HELM Works Series 130 was born.” – Sam Anderson, Product Manager

 

HELM Works Series 130 Specifications

  • Weight: 1999g (100g savings from HELM 29 Air)
  • Stanchion Diameter: 35mm
  • Wheel Size: 29 / 27.5+
  • Max Tire Size: 64mm wide by 749mm tall (29) / 75mm wide by 739mm tall (27.5+)
  • Wheel Spacing: 15mm x 110mm Boost Spacing
  • ATC / Offset:  538mm at 130mm travel / 44mm
  • Damper:
  • High Speed Compression – 7 Clicks
  • Low Speed Compression – 17 Clicks
  • Low Speed Rebound – 10 Clicks with high speed compression climb switch
  • Axle: “D-Loc” 15mm thru axle, Bolt-on, 5mm HEX Dark
  • Color: Gun metal grey casting, Polished black anodized crown

 


eeBrakes El Platino

Cane Creek El Platino Limited Edition eeBrakes
Cane Creek El Platino Limited Edition eeBrakes

The eeBrake El Platino is a new limited edition of Cane Creek’s critically acclaimed eeBrake G4 in a platinum and pewter colorway. The brakes are available in both regular and direct mount versions and are sold as a set – front and rear.

eeBrakes are an ultra-light, high performance, rim brake developed by acclaimed component designer Craig Edwards and are assembled by hand in Cane Creek’s facility just outside of Asheville, North Carolina. The eeBrake G4 is the fourth generation of the brake featuring 100 percent CNC machined parts, a wider design optimized for 22 – 28mm rims, a stiffer black arch spring, a revised one-piece center adjuster with built in resistance for easier use and ghosted laser etched graphics.

Four previous limited edition eeBrakes – called El Dorado, El Chulo, El Diablo and El Rosado – were released over the last two years and have become a hot commodity for riders due to their limited production and unique appearance. The El Platino Edition marks the second limited edition of the brake that Cane Creek has released since introducing the eeBrakes G4 in April of 2018.

The eeBrake El Platino will retail for $680 per set and are only available for a short time – all orders must be placed by April 19, 2019 with expected delivery beginning in May 2019.

 

El Platino Specifications

  • Weight:
  • Direct Mount
    • 78.4 grams* (Front)
    • 78.2 grams* (Rear)
  • Regular Mount
    • 85.3 grams* (Front)
    • 83.7 grams* (Rear)
  • *Pads not included
  • Materials: CNC high grade aluminum, titanium and stainless steel
  • Rim Width Compatibility: 19mm to 28mm
  • Leverage Compatibility: Optimized to work with Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM levers.
  • Color: Platinum with pewter accents

 


Road Cache

Road Cache Storage Pocket
Cane Creek Road Cache Storage Pocket

The Road Cache is a minimalist, water-resistant accessory pouch designed to fit in a jersey pocket. It has room to carry a 700×25 or smaller tube, tire levers and a CO2 inflator.  Unlike competitors, the Road Cache is about less is more – it weighs less than a gel. The Road Cache is a clamshell design made of black neoprene with sturdy water-resistant zippers. Repair equipment not included.

 

Road Cache Specifications

  • Weight: 27 grams
  • Exterior Dimensions: 90mm x 130mm x 35mm

Cane Creek Partners with Tandem WOW

Two women, two wheels, one World Record

The story of Catherine Dixon’s and Rachel Marsden’s attempt to be the fastest women to circumnavigate the globe on a tandem bicycle. Cat & Raz are the Tandem Women on Wheels.

In early January 2019, Catherine (Cat) Dixon and Rachael (Raz) Marsden received notification that their world record challenge had been accepted by the Guinness World Records. Cat and Raz are working to become the fastest women to circumnavigate the globe on a tandem bicycle. Cat and Raz are from the UK and are in their early 50s. They’ve both given up their jobs and will be unpaid for the duration of their trip. The women have been training hard, and they aim to start their world record attempt in June 2019. They will be cycling 18,000 miles unaided, traveling through five continents, 23 different countries, and crossing the equator twice… all while mostly sleeping and caring for themselves in a primitive camp set-up.

The women aren’t strangers to complex logistics and hard work, sometimes with limited resources: Cat is an ex-army officer currently running one of the largest land-based colleges in the UK which specializes in outdoor education. Cat has also been the CEO of the Law Society and a CEO in the NHS (National Health Service. A lawyer by profession, Cat has also spent time out of the office working as an outward bound instructor in Canada. Cat volunteers for a number of charities as a trustee and believes that the trip can be used to support a small number of dedicated charities and to raise the profile of women’s cycling. Raz has spent her career in the NHS. She is an expert in the management of complex disability and coordinates the specialist Motor Neurone Disease service in Oxford and has published books focused on improving the lives of her patients. With Dutch genes she has cycled all her life. Rachael wants to use the trip to show women that anything is possible.

 

Shortly after receiving notification that their challenge had been accepted, Raz reached out to Cane Creek with a predicament:

“We have just had a beautiful bright pink tandem hand made for us! We have started our training in earnest.  This is wonderful and we have already cycled 300 miles,” she wrote. “However my greatest challenge at the moment is comfort… as the stoker I am quite static and my bottom is REALLY suffering. We have recently had a bike fit, which was great and improved a few niggles. We were told that your Thudbuster was the best thing & once I have the correct saddle will really improve comfort.”

 

After a brief chat, we were thrilled to jump in to support Cat and Raz on their journey. For the entirety of their challenge, Cat will be steering with a Viscoset steering-damping headset and Raz’s rear-end will be far more comfortable on her Thudbuster ST suspension seatpost. We’re proud to support these powerful and courageous women.

 

 

Cat and Raz received their Cane Creek products just before a training trip to Calpe, Spain. Raz wrote to us,

“I would describe my backside as’ delicate’, my cycling buddy would say it’s scrawny. However you describe it, it definitely got sore cycling on the back of our tandem. We fitted the Thudbuster ST just before our ride at the weekend. As we set off it took less than a minute for me to notice the difference it made. There was none of the usual vibrations or bumps. The interesting thing was that by 10 minutes it just felt normal & I have forgotten what is was like before. It was not until we rode down a gravel road when I expected to suffer…. but didn’t… amazing! For me, the Thudbuster made it possible….not quite sure what I would have done without it. As I would have been very sore after three solid days in the saddle.”

 

As part of their efforts, Cat & Raz are aiming to raise £10,000 for Motor Neurone Disease Association and Oxfam. If you would like to contribute, visit their donation page. We’ll continue to follow Cat and Raz throughout their journey, and you can too! Visit them at tandemwow.com, @tandemwow, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

 

 


Photos provided by Catherine Dixon & Rachael Marsden

Bike Check: HELM WS130

Introducing HELM Works Series 130

HELM Works Series 130 is here, and it’s time to party.

HELM WS130 is a 29″ air fork optimized for cross-country mountain biking. The fork has a maximum of 130mm of travel, although decreasing it’s travel is an option, and it features a bolt-on axle, Climb Switch (high speed compression damping), 44mm offset, high gloss anodized, hollow-pocket crown, and a weight 100grams lighter than a 130mm HELM 29.

Five Cane Creek employees have been testing and riding HELM WS130 over the last several months and have really put the fork through the ringer on the trails in and around Pisgah National Forest. We’re confident we’re bringing you your next upgrade for your XC or XXC shred sled.

 

Eric Smith with HELM WS130Eric Smith, Director of Supply Chain

Bike: 2018 Trek Top Fuel RSL

Notable Specs: Helm WS130, DBair IL shock, 110 Headset, I9 Ultralight wheels, XTR shifter, derailleur, and race brakes, eeWings cranks with Stages power meter, 24.5lbs

Riding Style: XC

HELM WS130 Setup: 120mm, air volume 4 clicks from the top setting, 65.5 psi equalized, rebound/compression full open, Cane Creek fender

HELM WS130 Review: I’m most excited about HELM WS130 from a XC perspective. I’ve enjoyed the extra confidence and capability the added travel and chassis stiffness provide over my XC fork, and the Climb Switch provides a stable platform for the long gravel climbs we have around here. HELM WS130 transforms a bike like mine into what I feel is the ideal choice for races like ORAMM or Pisgah Stage Race, or for just moving quickly through the mountains.

 

 


Jeff LaForge with HELM WS130Jeff LaForge, Design Engineer

Bike: 2018 Canfield Nimble Nine #SoFingNimbleRightNow

Notable Specs: Steel frame, steel spokes – steel is real. Stealth, unmarked ti cranks. Maxxis DHF 2.3 tires front and rear.

Riding Style: Trail

HELM WS130 Setup: 130mm of travel, 5 clicks down on Double Air, 68 psi. 2 clicks rebound, 3 clicks low speed compression (LSC), 1 click high speed compression (to descend), climb switch closed to climb

HELM WS130 Review: Great pedaling platform, I really like the reduced offset. [HELM WS130] makes cornering really fun and initiates the weight transfer/lean better than a standard HELM. Damper feels supple off the top and supportive mid stroke. Super nimble. SO nimble.

 

 


Drew Stevenson with HELM WS130Drew Stevenson, Retail Services Coordinator

Nickname: Drew Billy the Taco Hammerson

Bike: 2018 Specialized Chisel aka the Party Animal

Notable Specs: X01 Eagle drivetrain with 36t oval ring, KS 120mm dropper seatpost, Roval Control SL carbon wheelset, Salsa carbon handlebars, whatever tires I have at the time, 24lbs total

Riding Style: XC/XXC/Endurance/Gravel

HELM WS130 Setup: 120mm of travel, 90 psi, 5 clicks volume reduction, 5 clicks LSC, 3 clicks rebound [Note: Drew opted for traditional HELM sticker kit in pink rather than standard HELM WS130 sticker kit]

HELM WS130 Review: The [HELM WS130] has an awesomely stiff chassis that translates into super sharp steering and a feeling of confidence even when I get into some super sketchy situations. The air spring erases small bump/chatter from the trail, and handles bigger drops and boosts like it’s big brother. The fork upgrade encourages me to go for the “optional” lines, even on my hardtail. The HELM WS130 is great for anyone who wants to push their XC/DC bike faster and through gnarlier terrain without slowing down. It’s adjustable enough that it’s equally at home on groomed flow trails, getting g’d out on berms and launching over tabletops, or pushing through the rooty-est, rockiest back-country trails I can find. I also don’t mind the fact that I was able to color match it to my bike, because looks matter too, right?


Brian Williams with HELM WS130Brian Williams, Sales Coordinator

Bike: Vassago Radimus Ti Single Speed

Notable Specs: eeWings cranks, i9 Enduro 305 Hydra hubs, i9 A35 stem, Dropt remote lever, Wolf Tooth Components stainless cog (20T)

Riding Style: Mountain

HELM WS130 Setup: 130mm of travel, 65 psi equalized

HELM WS130 Review: The HELM WS130 feels just like my standard 150mm Helm (which is a great thing!) but lighter. Confidence-inspiring stiffness, excellent bottom-out control, solid mid-stroke support and plush off the top. Lock-out (Climb Switch) feature is great for long gravel road climbs. I love the new bolt-on D-Loc thru-axle.

 

 

 


Joseph Grimes with HELM WS130Joseph Grimes, Purchasing Manager

Bike: 2017 Surly Karate Monkey

Notable Specs: This bike has been ridden with a previous test HELM, then rigid for around eight months. Wheels are DT Swiss 240s + Stan’s Notubes ArchEX (I traded Peter Gilbert a bottle of gin for the rear wheel), Maxxis Ikon rear, Ardent front tires.  Old Specialized (~2016) Command Post IR – it’s only needed service once!  Drivetrain currently consists of eeWings 175mm cranks, 32t SRAM Direct Mount ring, Wolftooth Components 22t singlespeed cog (it’s blue). I alternate between 32x17t for summer XC racing, 32x20t for early season XC racing and riding in Bent Creek and DuPont (I need the 22t for Pisgah and, well, winter when I’m way outta shape). As for bike weight, it’s at least 30lbs or so… I haven’t weighed it.

Riding Style: XC/Trail.  I race XC/Endurance mountain bikes. I also race gravel and CX. And I ride road bikes too. My MTB style is shaved legs + baggies + lycra jersey + sometimes roadie helmet.  Sometimes t-shirts + MTB shredder helmet.  Maybe call it Pisgah XC?

HELM WS130 Setup: I’m at 120mm with the air Volume adjuster all the way down currently, although I was also happy at 5-6 clicks down.  90 psi equalized, but I’m about to try less sag at 95psi. Rebound wide open.

HELM WS130 Review: For my riding (more about miles and elevation gain and ride hours, less about air time, etc) – the fork lets me use full travel, but still feels poppy. I’ve been running LSC wide open and positive and negative air chambers equal and going through more corners with no brakes and pedaling into the corners. I’ve lost the front end only twice due to surprise roots/rocks.  The Climb Switch is more firm and usable for trail and gravel road climbing. It may still disappoint some riders on paved or super smooth gravel climbing, but feels like it’s intended to be used for trail riding. The bolt on axle is nice too.

 

Photo Gallery

THUDLIFE

 

T H U D L I F E …

Did you know: Cane Creek’s Thudbuster is one of our longest running and largest selling items in our global market. Surprised? Don’t be.

Thudbuster is the most effective and versatile suspension seatpost on the market. Its patented, parallel linkage technology delivers a clear advantage in comfort and control. Riders of all types of bikes around the world rely on Thudbuster to provide higher levels of performance and comfort. With a wide variety of uses, Thudbuster is a perfect add-on in preparation for your next adventure.

The Thudbuster technology stays in the direct path of the natural travel of the rear wheel. As a bump lifts the back of a bicycle, the rear wheel pushes up and forward into the rider. The Thudbuster works by compressing along the exact opposite path — down and rearward — absorbing force at the same rate: The net movement of the saddle is zero. Fully active elastomers provide approximately 3 inches (76mm, Long Travel) or 1.3 inches (33mm, Short Travel) of customizable suspension. Whether it’s a a quick trip to the grocery store on your e-bike, hauling the kids to school on your cargo bike, riding hundreds of miles on an epic bikepacking or biketouring route, ripping down the mountain on your hardtail mountain bike, or surviving the stoker position on a tandem… Thudbuster is for every bike, every body. Are you THUD-curious?

Thudbuster is for Hardtail Mountain Bikes/Bikepacking Bikes. The hardtail resurgence is real, and sometimes a dropper post is a little too much. Endurance, single-speed and 29er riders are quickly discovering that simple damping technology yields vast improvements in ride quality and control. Thudbuster is for Road Bikes/Biketouring Bikes. Long, rough road rides become less fatiguing and more comfortable. The Thudbuster is perfect for touring and “cause” riders who find traditional saddle/post combos uncomfortable. Thudbuster is for Tandems. A happy stoker is essential to fun on a tandem. A Thudbuster can make the difference between a beaten-up rear end and just a little bump now and then. Thudbuster is for Folding Bikes. Small-wheel bikes with high-pressure tires directly benefit from Thudbuster suspension. Thudbuster is for E-Bikes. In order to accommodate an engine, e-bikes feature, in general, very stiff and unforgiving frame designs. They are also ridden primarily in the saddle, rather than standing. The Thudbuster takes the edge off without changing the angle of your body in relation to the pedals. Thudbuster is for freedom to explore, Thudbuster is built for adventure.

It’s time for adventure. Channel your inner T H U D.

We wanna see your #THUDLIFE! Tag #THUDLIFE on your Instagram to be featured.

 


Photos provided courtesy of Chris Reichel, Andrew Slowey, Cycle for Heart, Rachael Marsden/Cat Dixon

Being Frank – Sweet and Not Sweet Wings

 

 

Brent Graves Cane Creek
Brent Graves, President and CEO

In the mid-nineties I got wind of a super cool product. At the time cranks were either forged (good) or cast aluminum (usually acceptable) from Japanese suppliers Shimano or Sugino. Then the CNC mini-boom hit and we were inundated with American CNC machined aluminum parts including cranks. However, as cool as many looked, and as light as many were, many of the CNC cranks would break. In the middle of this was a tubular steel crank with some unique features. It was not the first tubular steel crank, BMXers can tell you about Redline, Profile, Cook Bros and Bullseye cranks from the decade prior. However, this unconventional steel crank was developed for multi-geared mountain and road bikes. The cranks were called Sweet Wings.

That the Sweet Wings were competitive weight-wise despite being made out of steel was a surprise. That they were much stronger and stiffer was not a surprise. The Sweet Wings also offered up some novel features. With nearly all mountain bike and road bike cranks using a 3-piece design, the Sweet Wings had just left and right arms with partial spindles and instead of attaching arms onto a four-sided taper, the left and right arms were attached with a splined interface that was held together with an axial bolt. How the Sweet Wings interfaced with the frame was also different. One bearing resided inside the bottom bracket of the frame, while the other was outboard. Lastly, the wild looking spider was actually individual arms welded onto the spindle. Many of those features (outboard bearings, non-tapered spindle, axial spindle bolt) are found on many popular performance cranks 20+ years later.

Sweet Wings were a shooting star. They were the talk of the mountain bike world for a while and even ended up under 5-time Tour de France champion Miguel Indurain. However, technical issues in manufacturing and disagreements between the partners caused Sweet Wings to disappear as fast as they appeared. The fundamental concept never left the designer’s mind, and his heart yearned for many years to do an even better crank. His profession in architecture kept him busy enough, but he still found time to design some mind-bending brakes (eeBrakes) for road bikes and continue toying with crank designs.

Once we connected with Craig Edwards and began making and selling his eeBrakes, it was only natural that the subject of cranks would come up. We then worked together to make his tubular titanium crank concept a reality. It took over eighteen months to design, test, validate, open tooling, and begin production. It was not a smooth path, but we learned a ton and ended up with what we feel is the best mountain bike crank in the world. In homage to the Sweet Wings, the new crank was named eeWings.

Despite the visual similarities, eeWings are a completely new design and share nothing more with Sweet Wings than being TIG welded tubular structures. As mentioned above, Sweet Wings were steel. eeWings are made of two titanium alloys. Sweet Wings used a splined spindle interface, whereas eeWings use a Hirth joint. Sweet Wings had a welded-on spider, eeWings use a bolt-on spider or direct mount chain ring. eeWings have a 30mm titanium spindle compared to the smaller 24mm steel spindle of the Sweet Wings. eeWings also have an integrated bearing preload adjuster and fit numerous bottom bracket styles in addition to the threaded BSA the Sweet Wings fit. And while comparable in strength and stiffness, the eeWings are about 20% lighter and are impervious to corrosion.

But in the end Sweet Wings and eeWings are both designs that shook conventional design and delivered peerless results. We are super pleased to have had the chance to develop and bring to market such a unique product, and one that pays homage to a legendary design from twenty-five years ago.

HELM 29: What is Reduced Fork Offset and Why Does it Matter - Cane Creek

Chatter about reduced offset forks is nothing new. PinkBike, UK’s Mountain Bike RiderBike Radar, and others have been talking about it for years. So why is offset a hot topic right now?

 

WHAT IS FORK OFFSET?

Fork offset is the measurement of how far the axle (dropouts) sit in front of the bicycle’s steering axis. Rather than pushing the dropout closer to or further away from the fork lowers, Cane Creek lengthens or reduces offset in the fork’s crown. Take a peek at the images below – you should be able to visually see what a difference 7 millimeters makes! (Standard offset – 51mm, reduced offset – 44mm).

HELM 29 51mm offset crown and 44mm offset crown

 

HELM 29 51mm offset crown and 44mm offset crown

DOES FORK OFFSET REALLY MATTER? OR IS THIS THE BIKE INDUSTRY JUST TRYING TO SELL ME ON SOMETHING NEW? 

Fork offset definitely matters! Lengthening or reducing your fork offset may alter the steering of your bike, and Original Equipment Manufacturers are purposeful in designing frames that create a very specific ride quality. It’s important that frame geometry be considered holistically: when you make a change to one area, it will affect other areas (think: chainstay lengths, headtube angles, seat tube angles, etc – this Calfee article explains everything nicely). As fork offset decreases, your bike’s “trail” measurement increases, and vice versa. Overall, mountain bike geometries have gotten longer and slacker, which in turn provides increased rider stability, especially in steep and technical terrain. However, the longer the wheelbase, and the slacker the headtube angle, the lazier the bike handles, particularly noticeable in corners. A reduced, 44mm offset fork allows the rider to run a slacker geometry with a similar wheelbase, but still enjoy a stable steering platform without sacrificing traction, stability, and control.

 

SO, DO I NEED A 44MM OFFSET FORK? 

44mm offset isn’t necessarily “better,” but it could improve the handling of the front-end of your bike. Is slow steering bad? Is quick steering better? Is straight-line stability at high speeds desirable, even at the expense of responsive turning? It’s personal preference, it depends on your riding style and skill level, and we recommend considering how you feel on your bike and your desired ride quality. Do you experience “wheel flop”? Does your 29″ bike handle like a bulldozer through corners? Are you fighting against the front-end of your bike? All else staying equal, a change in HELM fork offset could be your solution.

It’s important to note, some manufacturers are specifically designing frames around reduced offset forks (like Transition’s Speed Balanced Geometry), so offering HELM 29 Air and HELM 29 Coil in a reduced offset (44mm) allows riders a premium upgrade to Cane Creek suspension while maintaining the feel originally intended by product designers.

 

HELM 29 51mm offset crown and 44mm offset crown

WHAT ABOUT STANDARD 51MM OFFSET FORKS? GIVE IT TO ME STRAIGHT.

Again, it’s all personal preference. Here’s the skinny: 51mm offset reduces “trail” and adds turning agility, while 44mm offset adds “trail” and adds straight-line stability, especially at high speeds. Even if you ride a bike designed for a 44mm offset fork, you won’t kill your ride experience or bike geometry by running a longer offset fork, and vice versa. But changing the fork offset on your bike will definitely change how it handles.

What every article seems to dance around, yet what every reader wants to know is: How is this going to feel? There are a too many factors at play (fork length, wheelbase, tire choice, etc.) and considering bike geometry holistically is very important. Our opinion is: a reduced offset fork may make your long and slack bike have improved handling, which feels “slower” at high speeds (less twitchy), with more stability and smoother handling. MBR further suggests, “Lots of trail [from a reduced offset fork] results in more stable steering but it also results in the front axle being a bit closer to you. So for all-out straightish speed sections the bike will feel shorter. But on twisty hairpins in steep terrain the bike will carve calmer and hold its line better…. A bike feels great when descending if it has steering that is stable at high speeds and when in the turns. You get that from having a large trail figure, something you can achieve either by running a shorter offset or making the head angle slacker.”

Cane Creek is committed to offering products that allow each rider to fine tune his or her ride experience. Now HELM forks have yet another feature to help you make your ride your own. If you don’t feel confident making a decision between these two offsets for your bike or riding style, we recommend contacting your frame manufacturer for advice.

 


Edited 10:20am – March 20, 2019

Editor’s note: We received an email from Knolly Bikes indicating that some of our content was incorrect. Knolly states on their website: “With a longer offset (51mm) the bike corners better in tight singletrack and has slightly quicker handling but it gives up a bit of stability at high speed. In the shorter offset (42 to 44) the bike is more raked out so it is more stable and performs better at high speeds but in tech climbs, switchbacks, and slower stuff, the bike is a bit more to get around and the front end can feel floppy. Depending on travel, a shorter offset will change the wheelbase between 5-7mm which amounts to an almost insignificant half a percent (0.5%) of the total wheel base.”

Of course, this caused us to second-guess the information originally published, so we took it to two of our engineers, Jim & Sarah. We’ll admit: we struggled with the numbers, we modeled it in CAD, we read more articles, we used several “phone-a-friends,” and we talked it out for an hour… and here’s what we came up with:

We originally published: “Again, it’s all personal preference. Here’s the skinny: 44mm offset reduces “trail” and adds turning agility, while 51mm offset adds “trail” and adds straight-line stability, especially at high speeds.

This was incorrect, and the article above has been edited to reflect this correct information: Here’s the skinny: 51mm offset reduces “trail” and adds turning agility, while 44mm offset adds “trail” and adds straight-line stability, especially at high speeds.

Thank you to Noel at Knolly for bringing this to our attention. However, we maintain that it really comes down to personal preference and ride quality. What every article seems to dance around, yet what every reader wants to know is: How is this going to feel? There are a too many factors at play (fork length, wheelbase, tire choice, etc.) and considering bike geometry holistically is very important. Our opinion is: a reduced offset fork may make your long and slack bike have improved handling, which feels “slower” at high speeds (less twitchy), with more stability and smoother handling.

Photo Diary: Cane Creek Cycling Tour @ Santos Fat Tire Festival

Santos Fat Tire Festival is one of the largest bicycle and gear expos in the Southeastern United States and draws the likes of major Original Equipment Manufacturers as Specialized, Giant + Liv, Santa Cruz + Juliana, Yeti, Ibis, Rocky Mountain, Norco, Pivot, and more. The event, located at the famous Santos Trails in Ocala, Florida, typically occurs the second weekend of March and has grown tremendously since its inception. In 2019, just under 5,000 vehicles entered the trail head over the course of the three-day event with an estimated 3,000 people in attendance each day. The expo is accompanied by organized group rides, skills clinics, and an Epic 50 mile mountain bike ride covering all the best trails Santos has to offer.

For the first time ever, the Cane Creek Cycling Tour van hit the road to attend the classic event as a vendor. Manager of Rider Engagement, Andrew Slowey, gushes:

“People are extremely interested in what Cane Creek as a company is doing and can feel the wave of [success and] momentum we are riding. [There seemed to be] an urgency for riders to come over to our booth to check out the Guerrilla Gravity bikes, as well as learn more about the HELM forks, eeWings titanium cranks, and Double Barrel shock technology that the bikes are equipped with. The Litespeed Ultimate Gravel bikes stood out from the crowd as some of the most beautiful and well thought out bikes at the event, and several people tried them out on the paved/gravel rail trail that recently opened at the Santos trail head. I would also like to thank Florida local, Dustin Mason (one of Cane Creek’s grassroots Influencers), for leading group rides and welcoming clients and connections into our booth.  Dustin offers skills clinics throughout Florida in-between racing and training for the enduro season.”

Scroll through a few photos from the weekend


You know you want to join in on the fun, join us at a Cane Creek Cycling Tour event near you! Visit our Facebook for the most up-to-date event information!

Follow along at #CaneCreekTour

Daylight Weight Savings: Guide to Seven Cane Creek Products to Lose Weight and Improve Ride

Ah, finally… Daylight Savings time is here! On Sunday, March 10, we skipped our clocks ahead one hour to take advantage of a later sunrise and sunset. Our after-work rides just became a bit more attainable without the use of night riding lights. This also means that blooming flowers, warmer temps, and longer rides are right around the corner. To celebrate daylight savings, we’re sharing our top seven weight-saving products from Cane Creek (in no particular order, because they’re all our favorites):

 


Cane Creek G4 eeBrake

G4 eeBrakes

eeBrakes: Remarkably powerful, powerfully light

At half the weight than that of its competitors, eeBrakes continue to set new standards by which all other high performance road brakes are judged. The same supreme upgrade for performance-oriented riders, a dramatically higher overall stiffness provides better modulation and more power. No detail has been overlooked, greater tire clearance and tool-less pad centering make installation simple. It’s a win-win!

Direct mount weights are 78.2 grams (rear) and 78.4 grams (front) and regular mount weights are 83.7 grams (rear) and 85.3 grams (front), without brake pads.

 

 


AER Headset

AER Headset

AER headset: Love is in the AER

The AER headset has long been recognized as the world’s lightest headset weighing in at 49 grams. The new AER now offers a hybrid steel and aluminum bearing that provides even greater durability and a 40% weight savings over comparable models. Strategic machining and precision contours provide an optimal balance between weight savings and strength. Ideal for both road and mountain bike applications, AER is high quality, durable, lightweight, and has unrivaled performance. For an ultralight “Race Day” application, road riders can outfit their AER with a Norglide composite bearing.

 

 


eeNut Preload Assembly

eeNut Preload Assembly

eeNut: Beautifully functional

It’s the little things… eeNut Preload Assembly is only 10 grams (!), 30 grams lighter than a comparable carbon steerer preload. The eeNut is a unique and patent pending design providing ultra light weight, solid locking action and ease of installation in one package. The recessed cone shape provides greater tension stiffness. This increased stiffness facilitates precise headset adjustment and sets it apart from other lightweight caps. Ounces equal pounds, pounds equal pain… sweat the small things.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know? You can lose up to 220 grams (.48 lb!) on your brake set and headset when you match eeNut Preload Assembly, eeBrake front & rear, and AER headset and bearings?

eeNut Preload – 10 grams  (Comparable carbon steerer preload weight – 40 grams)

eeBrake Direct Mount Front – 77 grams   (DA9010 DM brake weight w/o pads 145grams) or eeBrake Regular Mount Front – 82 grams   (DA 9100 Regular brake weight w/o pads 153 grams)

eeBrake Direct Mount Rear – 74 grams (DA9010 DM brake weight w/o pads 123 grams) or eeBrake Regular Mount Rear – 80 grams (DA 9100 Regular brake weight w/o pads 153 grams)

AER Headset and bearings (H15, IS42/IS52) – 49 grams (Comparable Cane Creek 40 series headset weight  – 95 grams)

Cane Creek ee products : 210-221 grams

Comparable products : 403-441 grams

Savings: 193-220 grams


eeWings All-Road and Mountain titanium crankset

eeWings All-Road and Mountain Titanium Cranksete

eeWings: Durable, stiff, lightweight

eeWings premium titanium cranks are available in road, gravel, cyclocross, and mountain biking configurations, with or without Stages power meter. eeWings are engineered and handcrafted to withstand the rigors of aggressive mountain biking, but are a great premium upgrade for any cyclists who puts a premium on durability, stiffness, and weight.

Both All-Road and Mountain eeWings titanium cranks weigh at or just under 400 grams. While their weight is on par with premium carbon cranks, eeWings’ durability and stiffness far out-perform them: eeWings are 20-30% stiffer than carbon cranks, which provides a stable, powerful platform for pedaling and executing technical maneuvers. They’re backed by a 30 day satisfaction guarantee and 10 year limited warranty, but we tend to think they’ll be the last cranks you may ever have to buy.

 

 

 

 


DBair IL Rear Shock

DBair IL: Supple, yet seamlessly supportive

DBair IL is our lightest weight air shock (~400 grams, without hardware), and it’s offered in a cornucopia of sizes in order to fit many full-suspension mountain bikes as a premium upgrade. As with all of our rear shocks, DBair IL is built to order by hand in our facility in Western North Carolina. With the DBair IL, you get to take advantage of Cane Creek’s Double Barrel twin-tube technology in an inline body. The DBair IL is packed full of features including Climb Switch technology and independent high-speed and low-speed compression and rebound adjustments. Competitive in weight but first in adjustability, the DBair IL is the perfect rear shock for the rider looking for a light-but-mighty shock package with unmatched tunability.

 

 

 

 

 


Cane Creek DBcoil IL

DBcoil IL with VALT Spring

DBcoil IL with VALT spring: Coil performance at a fraction of the weight

Ahhhh, but if you prefer the performance of a coil shock, we’ve still got something for you: DBcoil IL with VALT spring. For years riders have had to sacrifice carrying the weight of a coil shock in order to get the performance and consistency they desired. The DBcoil IL is the first ever twin-tube inline shock that packs in all of the function of a piggyback coil shock in a lighter (*333g difference) and sleeker package. The shock alone weighs in at roughly 285 grams (depending on size), and the VALT spring offers significant weight reduction over our standard steel spring.

Also equipped with Climb Switch technology, 4-way adjustability and unparalleled Double Barrel performance, the DBcoil IL dominates aggressive descents with superior small bump compliance, heat dissipation and linear spring action. * (216×63) DBCOIL IL with VALT® as compared to a DBCoil CS with a standard spring.

 


eeBarkeep

eeBarKeep

eeBarkeep: I’ll take it neat

Keep your handlebars light and neat with Cane Creek’s new eeBarKeep bar end plugs (6 grams each). Metal bar end plugs means your handlebar tape, grips, and/or bar ends stay neat, clean, and pro for a long time, rather than scuffing, tearing, or falling out. Designed with both flat and drop bar applications in mind these CNC machined, high quality components build upon the ee experience: precision, ingenuity and the love of the ride.