Looking for a capable fork that lets you adjust air volume, travel, and all the usual advanced compression and rebound adjustments? The all-new Cane Creek Helm 100-170mm travel 27.5″ fork leads the brand down a new trail, taking their rear shock expertise and adapting it to the front of the bike in a long travel, single-crown fork with some unique design features both inside and out. Once you get inside the fork legs, it’s all about user-friendly adjustability that will have riders really tuning the suspension action for their unique terrain and style of riding…

cane creek helm enduro suspension fork with adjustable travel and air volume
All photos via Cane Creek / YouTube channel

Volume adjust is cleverly handled by a piston and wing-nut assembly that lets you change the location of the static piston on any of the eight fixed positions, or remove it altogether. The further down on the post, the smaller the air spring’s volume and more ramp you’ll get – a suspension curve tailored to your riding.

cane creek helm enduro suspension fork with adjustable travel and air volume

Put it up top or remove it and you have the max air volume and least ramp, giving the fork a more linear feel. The volume adjustment lets you give the fork a bit more “platform” feel and stop it from diving through the travel too quickly for heavier riders, or will just help firm it up a bit for very, very aggressive riders that blow through the travel too easily. And no more need for keeping track of spacer stacks.

cane creek helm enduro suspension fork with adjustable travel and air volume

OK, travel adjustment does involve spacers, but you’ll likely set this once. It happens inside the air chamber and requires disassembly to install spacers between the main piston and bottom out bumper. The pics above show it in full 170mm travel on the left (no spacers) reduced to 150mm (two spacers). Add or remove in 10mm increments to go through the Helm’s 140mm-170mm ideal travel range.

Once you set air volume and travel, inside the legs you get independent high-volume positive and negative air chambers that mean lots more tunability. You also get a broad range of Damper Control via 10 clicks of high-speed & 20 clicks of low-speed compression damping, plus 15 clicks of low-speed rebound damping. Unlike their shocks, the Helm uses a closed cartridge mono-tube damper design rather than a twin tube.

cane creek helm enduro suspension fork with adjustable travel and air volume

cane creek helm enduro suspension fork with adjustable travel and air volume

D-Lok thru axle uses a clever locked/unlocked nut on the driveside as a precaution against accidental release. Should the lever come open while riding, the nut should prevent the wheel from coming out unintentionally. To release it, you open the lever as normal, lightly press it into the fork and flip the nut to unlocked, then pull the axle out as usual. To reinsert, line the axle up so you can read the top, then slide in and close the lever. The cam’s tension can be adjusted with the barrel next to the lever.

The key + lock thru-axle layout also claims improved leg stiffness, which along with the 35mm stanchions should provide smoother suspension movement that comes from ensuring that both fork legs stay straight and true through the travel and rough terrain.

 

Claimed weight is 2070g, tire clearance at 65mm (2.56″) for a 714mm (28.11″) tall wheel. It uses 35mm stanchions for stiffness, a tapered alloy steerer, 44mm of offset, and is available with its D-Loc 15mm axle in 110mm Boost spacing only. Travel is set from the factory at 160mm, but it can be adjusted in 10mm increments from 100 to 170mm of travel. The fork ships with one travel spacer installed and two more in the box which will get you down to 140mm, though more spacers are available from Cane Creek. For now, the fork is only available in 27.5″ with clearance for a 2.6″ tire, though Cane Creek says a 29″ version is coming in the future.

cane creek helm enduro suspension fork with adjustable travel and air volume

The fork is offered standard in a Factory Black finish, plus a limited Launch Edition in bright blue for just the first 300 forks. Pre-order one now for $1,100, direct from Cane Creek, although no word yet on a delivery date.

CaneCreek.com

20 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds pretty similar to most forks on the market right now. Anyone that wants to try a twin tube damper, x fusion has been doing it for years.

  2. This looks nicely done and featured. But I have to ask. What reason would I have to switch from my fav Fox 36 FIT with all its features that also include 20mm axle option and 29er compatibility and bountiful parts on every corner to go with the best coatings (Kashima) available. Oh and absolutley awesome performance? Is a Blue version the only reason?

    • It comes in black, too.

      I don’t think they care if everyone doesn’t switch, but they hope buyers will consider them when choosing the next fork. It’s hard to fault them for that.

      I like the adjustable negative spring. They’d get a bunch of sales of they offered a coil main spring.

      • Coil forks and shocks will likely not be big again because of oem. It’s tough to set up a test ride with coil suspension. This is a big reason air came to take over the market. That said, what’s old is new these days so I’m sure there will be a resurgence of aftermarket coil forks and shocks. Personally I prefer air forks because I like the progressive nature of air up front. In the back is a different story.

        I just bought an inline coil shock very similar to what I had back in 01. What’s old is new.

  3. I have to say, it is nice that there is finally a 100mm option of an fork with larger stanchions. I know some pikes can be found at 100mm, but those are only being sold on bikes and not individually.

        • I had an 08 36 dropped to 120 for 4x. Do a little research and you’ll see people have been dropping 36″s for DJ, SS, and 4x for a long time. 36’s aren’t the only long travel single crowns with the ability to be dropped to short travel either. If you need more educating just let me know. Happy to help.

          • 120 isn’t 100. and I guess if you mean by “do a little research” you mean “search internet forums” because i’m sure that will reveal all kinds of bad ideas. happy to help.

            • Well I guess you didn’t do any research. I’ll help you out. Just search “fox travel spacers” and you’ll see fox has been making spacers to allow the 36 to drop down to 100 for over 10 years. Not sure why you don’t want to believe this?

              I reduced to 120 because I didn’t want 100mm. Two more spacers under the air piston and I could have had a 100mm 36 with boost spacing back in 08. Actually boost plus! 110×20! It will be the next big thing.

  4. Quality? No mention?? I have heard horror stories about cc rear shocks. Have these issues been addressed? What steps has cc taken to insure this new even more complex product will last?

      • single or twin has nothing to do with reliability. My x fusion HLR twin tube damper is years old. Never had an issue. CC’s issues were with the inline air. I suspect they couldn’t keep up with growth so QC suffered. They had an oem contract with specialized right when all the issues started. Remember, they never had issues with twin tube coil shocks and those have been on the market for 10 years.

      • All the issues I’ve had with CC shocks were because their air spring is a Rube Goldberg POS and, well they themselves admitted they didn’t have any QC going on for several years. All their air shocks were affected, not just the inline (the inline was the worst but my dbacs still needs repairs about twice a year).

        It seems like there are a lot of really good forks out there for the same or less money that don’t have CaneCreek’s baggage.

    • Had 2 Inlines go south on me but the new versions ( i was told) use a new air spring and the damper has tougher parts. So far so good at a little over 150hrs/9months on my new one. Their customer service is killer so I wont have any hesitations going with the new fork when time comes…

      Plus they’re assembled in US so that makes me feel good.

  5. Would have made a bigger splash with a legit fat fork, but I wish them well nonetheless. Took some guts to make this in a pretty crowded market, so here’s to having the nad’s to do it.

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