You know if Cane Creek names a product after the Kitsuma trail, it’s gotta be good. A fast and flowy descent that goes on for almost three miles, it’s incredibly easy to have a great time on this trail – which is exactly what Cane Creek is going for with the DB Kitsuma. Modern mountain bike suspension tuning can be intimidating and confusing for the average rider, and Cane Creek has found that many riders would benefit from a system that’s easier to tune.
“The whole idea behind the DB Kitsuma shock was to take a complex and high-tech piece of componentry and make it very intuitive and easy to use for the rider,” said Jeff Laforge, Cane Creek Design Engineer. “From our time meeting and riding with riders and dealers at events across the country it became clear that most riders’ suspension settings are not optimal – in many cases the suspension may be hindering riders. One of the reasons is that dialing in suspension is largely a trial and error process on the trail which is hampered by access and the need for tools. Thus, we set out to make it easy for riders to get the most out of their shock by making adjustments easier and less intimidating.”
The result? Check out the new DB Kitsuma. Gone are the adjusters that require an Allen wrench. In there place are tool-free dials that are clearly labeled to make it easier to understand what they do. But there is a lot more going on than just swapping in some adjustment dials.
The actual adjustment range of the dials has been improved as well. While the shock actually has a wider range of damping, the rotation of the dials has been reduced with fewer clicks as well. The thought is that instead of endless turning of an Allen bolt that requires you to count clicks backwards to find your position, then count clicks forward to dial it in, the new dials have only one rotation for the low speed compression and rebound adjustments and only two rotations for the high speed compression and rebound adjustments. Fewer clicks within those rotations (11 for low speed, 14 for high speed) will make each click more noticeable.
Cane Creek claims that the DB Kitsuma offers a wider range of compression damping adjustment and rebound control over “any major shock on the market today.” Additionally, the rebound damping range has been shifted downward to offer more control for higher spring rates found on modern bikes.
To the side of those new adjuster knobs, you’ll find that the Climb Switch is still there – and it gained a third position. The Climb Switch still includes the same ‘Descend’ mode and ‘CS’ mode for climbing technical singletrack, but a third ‘Firm’ mode that closes off the common bleed port for times when you’re riding gravel or pavement for extended periods of time.
And that’s not all. Cane Creek lists additional improvements to the internals with “an improved oil piston that’s been ported and polished to increase responsiveness, a new monoblock design oil seal head for improved alignment and durability, progressive bottom-out bumper for a more gradual bottom out and longer shaft bushings, larger shaft quad rings and uncut back-up rings on the air pistons to improve performance and reliability.”
Going further, all those new changes were packaged into a more compact shock design that includes a new valve body and tapered air can that shortens the external reservoir by 16mm while also reducing the air can’s outer diameter at the end. In short, that means it should fit for more bikes and may even give you a tiny bit more room for a water bottle depending on the layout of the frame.
Available in an air or coil version, the shocks will be offered to fit both standard eyelet configurations or Trunnion mounts in the sizes listed below. Pricing is set at $699.99 for the air shock or $669.99 for the coil shock without a spring. Available now through Cane Creek retailers or factory direct through Cane Creek (North America only).
- Air (210mm) – 585g
- Coil (210mm w/o spring) – 417g
- Adjuster Positions
- Low Speed – 11 Positions / Single rotation
- High Speed – 14 Positions / Two rotations
- Max Air Pressure
- Shaft Diameter
- Air and Coil – 9.5mm
- Damper Oil
- Motorex 4wt
- Climb Switch
- Three Position – Descend, Climb, Firm
- Eye to Eye Sizes
- Eyelet – 210, 230, 250
- Trunnion – 185, 205, 225