Tested : Pete’s Cane Creek Tigon Coil Shock Review.

Sitting between the Double Barrel IL and the Kitsuma, the Cane Creek Tigon has the ability to add progression via its ramp tube.

Drafted in to help get the best out of the Orange Switch 6, the Cane Creek Tigon delivered on all its promises.

Photos by Pete Scullion.

Key features:

  • +/- 438g* *210 without spring, varies by size 
  • DB Twin Tube Technology 
  • Independent High & Low Speed Compression 
  • Low Speed Rebound
  • RAMP Tube 
  • 2 Position Climb Switch 
  • 12.7mm (½”) shaft diameter
  • Motorex 4wt oil
  • Sizes: Standard: 210×50, 210×52.5, 210×55, 230×60, 230×62.5, 230×65 
  • Trunnion: 185×50, 185×52.5, 185×55, 205×60, 205×62.5, 205×65
  • £799.00 RRP
  • CaneCreek.com 

At first, the Cane Creek Tigon might look like any other piggyback-equipped coil shock. Look closer and more is revealed however. A chunky 12.7mm shaft provides strength enough for clevice mounts and the Schraeder valve is for the Ramp Tube that allows the rider to tune the shock progression to better suit the leverage curve of your chosen bike, as well as for rider preference.

The Ramp Tube keeps the buttery smooth off the top feel of a coil but the ability to add ramp offers something that most coil shocks don’t which is tunable end stroke progression. Only the Rockshox Vivid with its hydraulic end stroke circuit comes close but offers a very different feel indeed. You get high and low speed compression adjust, along with low speed compression. High speed rebound is set internally for hard riding. You also get a climb switch for those longer climbs.

Reversing the shock layout allows that larger shaft (snort) with the added Ramp Tube and all the adjustment (bar high speed rebound), a mechanical negative spring and a handy sag indicator in millimeters.

Strangely, the Tigon arrived with 100psi in the Ramp Tube despite being designed for a maximum of 30. This essentially locked the shock out and had to be emptied fully, as per the setup manual, to get sag. 20mm on the 65mm stroke gets you near as makes no difference 30% sag. I had to borrow a Formula 300lb spring off Joe Barnes as Cane Creek do not make a spring light enough for my weight.

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At this sag though, the Orange Switch 6 Pro to which it was fitted, felt identical with the Fox Float X it came with. What an anti-climax. All was not lost though. Winding more turns of pre-load on got me to 17mm (25%) sag and both the shock and the bike came to life. Going from running the shock fully open to finding my tune as the speed rose was a dream with the supplied 3mm allen key that slots into a milled recess and is held in with a magnet.

The non-detented high speed compression dial means you can get your tune spot on, but you’ll have to remember where it was as there’s no way of knowing where it was last set to. Low speed compression and rebound come with a slew of familiar soft clicks, these would end up being run a handful of clicks from fully open to.

I did test the ramp tube at various pressures but opted to run it empty to get the best out of the Orange. A very firm bike that only gets firmer deep in the travel isn’t the best fit for a progression tunable shock but it performed as designed regardless. If you have want a coil and have a bike that blows through travel at the mid to end stroke, or just want a firmer end to your current bike, the Tigon has to be the one. You can even add a progressive spring for mad progression should you so want it.

The factory set high speed rebound was spot on, never did I feel the rear end kick under load whether it be hard G-outs, drops or jumps. Whilst the tune was for hard charging, it also didn’t feel overdamped for general riding either, which shows that Cane Creek had done their homework before putting this shock to market.

What do we think?

The Cane Creek Tigon is up there with the best coil shocks. Fit and finish is spot on and it’s another string to the already strong coil offering from the North Carolina-based outfit. The Ramp Tube is a really nice feature as is the extra strength for clevice mounts. Light riders will need to look elsewhere for springs though.

We love:

  • Highly tunable
  • Built to last
  • Ramp Tube

Could do better:

  • Needs lighter stock springs

You can check out the Cane Creek Tigon shock over on their website here.