Colorado, USA-based mountain bike manufacturer Guerrilla Gravity recently launched extensive Cane Creek customization options on every model in their line-up. We shared a digital coffee with Bobby Brown, Guerrilla Gravity Marketing Manager, to learn more about the manufacturer, it’s history with Cane Creek Cycling Components, and why a Cane Creek partnership just makes sense for Guerrilla Gravity.
Guerrilla Gravity was founded in 2011 by Will Montague, Matt Giaraffa, and Kristy Anderson. The Shredquarters, located in downtown Denver, Colorado, was established in 2013. Matt explains, “It took the better part of a year to finalize designs, prototype the GG/DH downhill bike, and begin setting up the factory,” and Guerrilla Gravity has been a production mountain bike company ever since.
There’s no doubt that Guerrilla Gravity is ultra-intriguing for mountain bike riders, from its name to its bikes. Their most common question: Where did that name come from?
Guerrilla: A community driven effort to spark change, and Gravity: The fun part of mountain biking. “We believe businesses exist to serve their communities, so we’ve made it our mission is to make mountain biking more awesome. What does that entail? Improving trail access, increasing ridership, and of course making badass mountain bikes,” they state boldly on their website.
Their bikes are making no less of a bold statement. Like Cane Creek, Guerrilla Gravity is trying to bring race-ready, high-performance technology to market at more affordable prices. “There are a handful of expensive boutique carbon brands in the US, but we wanted to offer groundbreaking performance in a more affordable package. Much the same way that you can get a DBCoil to feel really similar to more bespoke suspension options and it’s half the price. Our design philosophy centers around a high level of refinement and focus on efficiency, creating bikes that are made for goin’ fast, built to last, and are easy to work on. Plus, we provide extensive customization options, from build kits to frame colors. This means you’re building a bike that’s dialed for you.”
Speaking of customization… Guerrilla Gravity announced the expansion of their Cane Creek OEM partnership at their 2019 Launch Event. Cane Creek Helm fork will be offered as an upgrade on every model in Guerrilla Gravity’s line up. Additionally, The Smash and Megatrail will have the DBAir CS as an upgrade, and the Shred Dogg and Trail Pistol will have the DBCoil IL as an upgrade option. “A lot of riders were really excited to see the new Helm up close, and there has been a lot of interest in trying it out for the ‘19 season. Most of our riders try to go out of their way to support domestic manufacturing and everyone was stoked to see The Smash set up with some made-in-America suspension!” Marketing Manager Bobby Brown recalls.
Guerrilla Gravity proclaims they’ve been big fans of the Cane Creek 40 and 110 headsets, as well as the Double Barrel shocks, since the very beginning, using them on the first GG/DH and Megatrail bikes: “The DBCoil IL was our go-to shock for hard-hitting Trail Pistol builds from 2017 onward, and it remains a great option for riders who want the snap of a short travel bike along with the traction and ride quality of a coil shock when speeds pick up.”
We mutually agree that Cane Creek spec option just makes sense for Guerrilla Gravity.
“We celebrate our short supply chain by aligning ourselves with other domestic manufacturers like Cane Creek. Like our bikes, suspension products like the Helm and Double Barrel are made for goin’ fast and offer a ton of adjustments so every rider can fine tune their bike for their trails. We’re really pumped to build on our history with Cane Creek… we’ve got a very special partnership project in the works that will be publicly launched at the beginning of March. We can’t wait!”
CS is the most innovative climbing feature available and is now standard on all Cane Creek CS & IL Double Barrel shocks. This proprietary climbing feature (patent-pending) for Double Barrel shocks alters the entire low frequency dynamic response of the shock to specifically address the demands of ascending on a bicycle.
WHAT IS IT?
CS is a selectable climbing mode on Double Barrel shocks that allows the rider to retain the advantages of a fully-suspended bike while climbing, without unwanted suspension motion. CS is not your conventional pedal-platform as it adjusts both LSC and LSR. By selectively tuning both compression and extension phases when climbing, the shock maintains better traction and control while enhancing pedaling efficiency through the shock’s entire travel.
WHY IS IT BETTER?
The strength of CS lies in the fact that it provides climbing-specific chassis damping in both compression and rebound. The result is better rear-end traction and connection with the trail while minimizing annoying pedal-induced bob. Simply put – the rider is less fatigued and more comfortable. Traditional climbing “platforms” only deal with one half of the climbing dynamics, and thus require the rider’s body to respond to the minimally damped rebound forces that are common during technical climbing.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The Climb Switch changes the low speed damping of Double Barrel shocks in one simple switch, to optimize suspension dynamics during climbing. It does this by turning on and off a set of internal ‘climbing circuits’ that are accessed when CS is engaged. Cane Creek tunes the ‘climbing circuits’ specifically for the demands of off-road climbing to achieve improved pedaling efficiency with less chassis motion. When the rider is ready to descend, with the flip of CS, the shock returns to the traditional low-speed circuits of the Double Barrel.
To best illustrate the advantage of CS, we created the animation below using real data from dyno plots of a shock with CS off and then with CS on.
HOW IS IT DIFFERENT?
The CS feature on DB shocks completely alters the low-speed damping character of the shock. That is, CS changes compression and rebound damping simultaneously to mitigate unwanted chassis motion while climbing without compromising the traction and control one expects from a modern suspension bike. Other shocks with climbing specific adjustments only alter the compression behavior of the shock with no impact on rebound. The Dyno Chart below illustrates the the action of the DBair with CS ON and CS OFF as compared to the competition. A damper generates force in opposition to velocity. As velocity increases, so too does the force generated by the damper.
The horizontal axis of this graph shows shaft speed (velocity). Negative velocity indicates the shaft is moving into the shock (compression) while positive velocity is extending the shock (rebound). The vertical axis represents force. Positive force is the force generated to resist compression and conversely negative force is the force generated to resist shaft extension (rebound force). In a nutshell, the upper left quadrant is compression, the bottom right is rebound. As velocity increases (moves away from the middle) the force increases.
CS ON VS. CS OFF
The grey line is a graph of a shock with CS Off and is indicative of a typical Double Barrel damper at a mid-range setting. The orange line is the CS ON setting and is much steeper than the grey line. This indicates that for the same shaft speed, the CS ON setting develops more force. In other words, the CS ON setting is stiffer and resists movement more than the CS OFF setting and both compression and rebound are affected. For the rider, this translates into better traction and control at low speeds.
TRADITIONAL CLIMBING PLATFORMS
The red line is a competitor’s shock with the climb feature on and the blue line is the competitor’s climb feature off. Most notably, the rebound curve overlaps because there is no change in rebound damping. The compression curve is steeper because our competitors require more compression damping to make a bike feel efficient by limiting the suspension movement. The rider’s body is then required to respond to the minimally damped rebound forces and can experience less traction, less control and more fatigue.
CS stabilizes the suspension during both phases of the shock’s travel – so your full suspension bike can be a full suspension bike all the time.
We’re pleased to announce that, beginning today, Cane Creek is adjusting the retail price on the HELM suspension fork from $1,100 USD to $899 USD.
Our guiding principle at Cane Creek is “We believe that riding bikes makes life better – so we work to make riding bikes better.” Part of making bikes better is making our product as accessible to as many riders as possible while maintaining the standard of excellence that we’ve set for ourselves. So, in order to give as many riders as possible the opportunity to ride this amazing fork, we’ve worked to reduce its retail price.
In the eighteen months since the HELM was released, the fork has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the cycling media and riders alike – appearing on several editors’ choice lists and dream builds. The results of this success have allowed us to pay off some initial costs, such as tooling, that were required to bring the HELM to production. Also, as is the case with any hand-assembled product, we have become more efficient at producing the HELM over the last year and a half. Those efficiencies translate into cost savings.
We could choose to add those cost savings to our bottom line, but we would rather pass them on to our customers and get more riders on a better fork.
That’s it. There are no catches or fine print.
There will be no changes to parts, design or the production process used to make the HELM as a result of this price change. This is the same outstanding fork so many riders and reviewers have raved about over the last eighteen months.
We’re a small, employee-owned company made up of people who love to ride bikes, and we love the idea of more people being able to ride the HELM. So get out, go ride a bike and thanks for supporting Cane Creek.
We’re happy to announce the upcoming release of both 1x and 2x crank spiders for 110 BCD chainrings. The spiders are optimized to fit Cane Creek’s eeWings cranks, adding more options for riders on the critically acclaimed titanium cranks.
The spiders will allow direct-mount cranks, such as the eeWings, to accommodate 110 BCD chainrings in both 1x and 2x configurations. 2x drivetrain configurations allow for more gear options during a ride while 110 BCD 1x chainrings are typically available in larger sizes than their direct-mount counterparts – both of which are highly desirable to gravel, all-road and traditional road riders.
“With the addition of these spiders you will be able to run your eeWings cranks in configurations suitable for everything from enduro mountain biking to traditional road cycling. It adds more versatility to what is already an outstanding product and helps get more riders on these amazing cranks.” – Sam Anderson, Product Manager
The spiders are fully machined from 7075 series aluminum with a black anodized finish and minimal laser etching and weigh in at 50 grams for both 1x and 2x versions. They will be available for purchase in December 2018 and will retail for $49 USD.
Cane Creek exists and excels because of its people. And those people make up the all important culture at the company. So what does it take to make sure we have the right people and those people have what they need to succeed? We sat down with our own Courtney Smith to find out just that.
Name, rank & serial number?
Courtney Smith, Director of People & Culture
How did you land at Cane Creek?
Persistence. My husband and I relocated to Asheville and I wanted to get a job in the outdoor/cycling industry. I just started searching companies in the area and luckily Cane Creek was hiring an HR Manager.
In a nutshell, what is a “Director of People & Culture?”
The Director of People & Culture serves as the liaison between the company and the employees. I make sure that the company is taking care of the employees and providing the best possible work environment for everyone here and likewise I make sure that the employees are taking care of the company. People are our most important asset. Cane Creek can’t function without our employees and most people need to work so I try to make sure that our employees enjoy their jobs and are helping to make Cane Creek as successful as possible.
“Culture” is not just a word thrown around at Cane Creek, is it? What makes culture such an important part of the company?
Culture is a flexible concept. Companies are constantly changing and adapting and so should the culture. As a company, we recognize and understand that so our culture is always adapting. We adapt to new trends, new passions, new benefits, new employees, new products, etc. etc. We are a company made up of 44 different personalities but we all share the same goal and similar interests so we use those similarities and common goals to build our culture. We want all of our employees to enjoy coming to work everyday so we strive to make sure that this is a place that people don’t mind coming back to on a Monday morning.
It also doesn’t hurt that everyone here is pretty passionate about what they do and the products that we make. With the right people, the culture just kind of falls into place.
How, in your role as Director of People & Culture, do you help maintain and foster that all important culture?
Our culture plays a role in the type of people that we hire and the people that we hire play a role in our culture. So it is important that when we add people to our team we are looking for people that already fit into our existing culture and will add value and help our culture continue to grow and evolve. I maintain and foster that culture by making sure that we have the best possible people here. Everything else, all of the “traditional” culture things are just fun enhancers. We have free coffee, an on-site gym, excellent benefits, competitive wages, generous time off policies, flexibility, lunch rides, on-site bike shop, pump track, industry discounts, dog-friendly, and much more!!!!!!
So this isn’t just some marketing department mumbo jumbo?
I assume most things the marketing department does equates to some kind of mumbo jumbo. That’s why I don’t answer to them. Except for this Q&A. But no, the people and culture here at Cane Creek goes way beyond any marketing slogan.
Speaking of the marketing department, what’s it like sharing an office wall with Cane Creek Marketing Coordinator Extraordinaire Andrew Slowey?
It’s like sharing a wall with a lost puppy. Sometimes he’s cute and sweet and other times he comes in dirty and lost. Most of the time he’s begging for food but at the end of the day somehow you always just want to pat him on the head and tell him that he’s a good boy.
Over 30 years ago, we started listening to cyclists who wanted something strong and durable, yet light and agile. It was a tall order, but our team of designers was up for the challenge. While the rest of the industry scratched their heads, a new breed of bikes was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. We discovered a new way to work with titanium and created a new and exciting cycling experience.” – Litespeed
Surprise Me 2018 is here. Inspired by surfing. Loose washed lines are paired with hardline graphics in transparent colors. Its raw and subtle, yet still is without a doubt a #Speedvagen Racing Machine.
We do each SM scheme for one year and then it goes in the vault. In a given year, we end up building and painting a handful of SM’s for riders on nearly every continent. The fifteen to thirty Surprise Me owners from a given year have a kinship with each other. Surprise Me owners as a whole have a connection with each other. Risk taking. A little rebellious. Doesn’t take stuff too seriously. Likes to shred.
The precision, quality, and performance you have ridden with for years is now available in PINK!
Now until October 5th Cane Creek Cycling Components is offering a limited production run of our 110 Series and Slamset headsets in an anodized pink colorway. Thoroughly compliment the performance and beauty of the El Rosado edition eeBrakes set.
These headsets will be produced based on demand and will ship in December 2018