Journal

DOUBLE BARREL Climbing Efficiency

CLIMBING SWITCH TECHNOLOGY

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.

GRAPH OVERVIEW

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.

7 Days of Givaways

Cane Creek and Silca have teamed up to bring you Seven Days of Giveaways. Every day between Thursday, Nov 8th 2018 and Wednesday, Nov 14th 2018, we will randomly select a new winner for that day’s prize – culminating in a grand prize on the 14th. All you need to do is sign up once at any time during the promotion and you are eligible to win any remaining prizes. So sign up now and let’s get you some new gear.

 

Being Frank – Best American Bike Racer

 

Brent Graves Cane Creek
Brent Graves, President and CEO

I rode Tomac off my wheel, and despite knowing that he was ill, recently retired, and not training, it was a surreal experience – one I’ll never forget and one he’ll never remember! For those of you not familiar with arguably the best American bicycle racer to date (“All-time” is a stupid thing to say as who knows what the future holds). Argue you may, but John Tomac was the fat tire version of A.J. Foyt or Mario Andretti. They raced everything and won. I won’t go into a full bio here, but Tomac was a BMX national champion, a criterium national champion, a World Downhill champion, and won multiple national and international cross country and downhill titles. He even won at the highest level of mountain bike racing while at the same time competing in the greatest professional road races like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders for top tier teams like Motorola. And he did it all with a unique style and grit that made him a fan favorite the world over. But that’s all public knowledge. Here’s the first time the story of my triumphant day has been shared.

While working for Manitou during its heyday in the late 90s and early 2000s, my initial job was to take OEM business from then-dominant Rock Shox. Manitou was killing it in the aftermarket, but Rock Shox owned the business with bike brands. While Rock Shox performed test rides with product managers, our tactic was to take it to another level and impress product managers with not only our product but our riding prowess as well – if memory serves me correct we won the Sea Otter Industry Cup two years in a row, and had great riders like Tom Rogers and Joel Smith. Thus Answer Camp was conceived. These were camps that we staged near Phoenix from 1999 through 2001. We parked the race trailer at a trailhead complete with the best technicians in the business and complemented the set-up with our complete product team. In 2001 this formula reached its zenith with us entertaining media and product managers for nineteen straight days. The days consisted of three to five one-hour or so rides that inevitably turned into races as egos and adrenaline rose.

Manitou was created some years before by a dirt biker mountain man by the name of Doug Bradbury. He and Johnny T were close friends, and at times business partners, that were both paid ambassadors for the Manitou brand. So they made their way to Phoenix for the ’01 Answer Camp. Tomac had an additional reason to attend – his young son Eli was racing the KTM future champions (and oh what a champion Eli has become!) event at the Phoenix Supercross. In 2001 Bradbury and Tomac were still rock stars in the mountain bike world that the journalists and product managers loved to be around. So what about that story you ask.

At dinner one night the banter was heavier than usual, and I think Joel Smith promised to drop Johnny on the climb in the morning. The glove had been thrown down. We were at South Mountain Park, and the following day’s ride plan called for taking pavement up for a couple of miles to the top of the technical “downhill” trail. So after breakfast I found myself in the midst of howling knobbies as we approached the start of the “race”. First Joel and then others one by one attacked out of the group. I was torched after two weeks of camp, but when Bradbury took off – I mean he was OLD, like in his fifties – I followed. Soon I found my legs and started catching riders until only Joel and Johnny were up the road. Then as my superior genetics and focus kicked in (what’s the font for sarcasm?), I caught and rode away from the best American bike racer to date. Despite reminding myself that he was retired, ill, and out-of-shape, my glow must have been seen for miles.

But the story is not over. While basking in said glow for about a mile, I was nearly knocked off my bike buy a blur that was none other than Tomac blasting past at TWICE my rate of speed. How… could… this… be? My scrambled brain could not make sense of this. How I even continued to pedal I don’t know. Then around a bend I see I helmet drop behind a rock, and as I passed by Johnny had his finger to his lips. Confusion transformed to enlightenment when the passenger van came by with Johnny clinging to the rear view mirror at thirty miles per hour. Wily world champion John Tomac had summoned a tow from the van and right before reaching a rider, he’d spring free and pass said sucker at lightspeed. While there was an explanation, I rode the remainder of the climb in a state like one feels after barely missing a certainly fatal car crash. How Tomac did a manual down a stretch of trail I had to walk down is a story for another day.

For more information on John Tomac as well as a video interview check out Bike Magazine’s article: 5 reasons why he’s john tomac and you’re not

Image credit: John Tomac

HELM Fork Price Adjustment

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.

 

Announcing 1X and 2X 110 BCD Crank Spiders For eeWings

Cane Creek Crank Spiders

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.

OEM Partner Highlight – Why Cycles

OEM Highlight: The reason why we ride – Why Cycles 

Why Cycles got its start in early 2016 in Ogden, Utah as the common idea of a group of cycling enthusiasts and business associates: Adam Miller, Jason Schiers, and Ben Craner. Focused on creating high-end bikes that reflected the joy they found in cycling, the three began dreaming up and sketching out beautiful bikes geared for luxury, comfort, fun, and speed.  They discussed improved methods for constructing frames, customizing components, and finding a streamlined distribution system for getting the finished products into the right customers’ hands.  Soon after, Adam formally founded Why Cycles to meld these preliminary ideas into a boutique business model with a focus on simplicity: no marketing fluff, no unnecessary product features, and no glitchy sales tactics. Why stands for straightforward, clean, eye-catching bikes done right.

Since those idealistic beginnings, and with those principles firmly intact, Why Cycles has now evolved into a team of hard-working bike enthusiasts based in Carbondale, Colorado.  Adam continues to design the bike models and run the company (along with his active puppies Finn and Kudu), Jason looks over everyone’s shoulders to ensure the engineering is faultless, and Ben creates unique graphic designs to keep the bikes looking gorgeous.  Kevin Boyer manages production and shop operations, Greg Herrman makes sure customers are happy about their bikes and customer service (Greg is probably the one you’ll talk to when you call), and friendly faces like Kelly Rossberg and Adam Smith help out with business processes, exchanging and challenging creative ideas, and pouring beers at trade shows.

The entire team is guided by our main value and fundamental mission: the products we create represent the fun and excitement we have biking – the reason why we ride – while simultaneously delivering impeccable, beautiful bikes that provide a riding experience that no other bike can.

Learn more about Cane Creek eeWings

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COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY

Here at Why, our goal is more than designing and sharing super-luxurious titanium bikes that we love to ride, and it’s more than merely trying to offer the best customer service and purchasing experience possible. Our higher goal is to go home every day and feel good about ourselves, and that goes one step further – we want to find balance for ourselves and others by making this world a better place by any small means we are able.To that end, we are committed to trying to having an environmentally sustainable business to the extent we possibly can.  We ship all our bikes in reusable Evoc travel cases to eliminate cardboard waste – the bike case is our special touch and a lasting symbol of the quality product inside. We recycle all inbound cardboard and plastic that comes to our office, and we don’t use plastic and paperware in our office break room. Further, we chose to work with a manufacturer that abides as much as possible to these principles too; they too are committed to melting down and recycling all scrap titanium, minimizing or eliminating the use of any harsh chemicals in the manufacturing process, and recycling and disposing of any shop items responsibly.

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MANUFACTURING PRIDE

Our frames are manufactured in a small mom-and-pop style “factory” in Northern China. Adam has travelled to China nearly a dozen times, and after visiting multiple factories in Taiwan and China (as well as the United States), chose the current manufacturing partner for several reasons.

Quality: First, the quality of the products from our factory is hands down the best we could find anywhere.  Only three individuals prepare and weld our frames, at our specific direction, and, of those three, the one with least experience has been welding titanium for six years! The raw material supplier is just minutes away from the factory; that supplier is a raw titanium ingot producer for multiple industries, and produces most of the titanium tubing that is used in high-end titanium bikes made in China, Taiwan, and the USA. When we visit our factory, we also visit the raw material producer to ensure our tubes are made exactly to our specifications, from the raw titanium ore to the finished butted round tube.
Tube Shaping: One of our goals was to create bikes that are a “modern take on a traditional material.” This involves shaping and manipulating titanium tubing in the most effective manner to take advantage of both its stiffness and its flexibility (depending on its angles, shape, and geometric features) to create the best ride quality, similar to modern carbon fiber bikes. Since titanium is extremely difficult to manipulate, and requires extra time commitment and unique handling skills, no other factory we found was willing to push the limits of shaping titanium in a way that would fully support our mission.

Testing: We work extremely closely with our factory on testing and quality control procedures. While most manufacturers are somewhat set in their ways, our factory was willing to set up new testing and QC procedures specific to our bikes. Beyond that, we worked with our factory to build a complete ISO-certified testing facility on site in the spring of 2017.  This new facility helps ensure our frames are properly tested beyond standard ISO protocols, and also helps shorten new product development time.Why Cycles provides a lifetime warranty on our bikes.  To confidently do that, we take our product development and testing very seriously – as you can see.

They rock: Each time we visit our factory, we are left with a further feeling of joy in working with them. The entire facility has only 18 workers total, and the company fits no stereotype of the negative side of Chinese manufacturing. The employees go on regular group bike rides, they offer excellent maternity and family leave, and they take every worker out to a group lunch on Fridays. Most importantly (to us), all the workers seem genuinely happy and are thoroughly proud of the products they make. In the nearly three years of working with this factory, with about ten in-person visits and almost daily Skype calls, they have become our closest company partner and we are truly proud to call them friends.

Quick Q&A with Courtney Smith

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.

OEM Partner Highlight – Litespeed

OEM Highlight: A LEGACY FORGED IN TENNESSEE. A LIFETIME OF GREAT RIDES

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

Production of the new Litespeed T1sl at the American Bicycle Group in Tennessee.

WE MAKE ‘EM LIKE WE USED TO

What’s the best way to protect quality and design standards? By building a talented team and keeping it intact.

Surprise Me 2018 – Speedvagen

DON’T BOX ME IN, BRO…

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.

#eeBrakes – REMARKABLY POWERFUL, POWERFULLY LIGHT.

    

ONE AND DONE

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.

Find out more about the Speedvagen Surprise Me 2018 Design* here

*You have from now until the end of the year put in your deposit for any 2018 bike with a Surprise Me paint scheme.