ShockWiz - Automated Suspension Tuning

Discussion in 'Parts 'n Stuff' started by k3n!f, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. k3n!f

    k3n!f Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Has anyone else seen this thing?

    I ride a fair amount but my attitude to suspension set up (on a hardtail) has always been:
    1) Set pressure for body weight
    2) Put rebound in the middle of range
    3) Put compression damping in the middle of range
    4) Ride
    5) Only change something if it feels shit (haven't changed any setting for a year)

    This seems to be the easy answer to get a relatively good tune without being a suspension enthusiast/wiz.

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  2. Wraslin Pete

    Wraslin Pete Likes Bikes

    I really like the sound of this and considering buying in on kickstarter.
  3. will2

    will2 Likes Dirt

    If really want to get the optimum go for a ride and really think and feel about what is going on what its weakness is, you really shouldn't need an app to tell you whats wrong.
    Did you see the second run when he came out of the berm he bottomed out going over that small roller and just cruising had about 50mm of travel, sounds like some BS to me.
  4. merc-blue

    merc-blue Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I cant see it being worth the $$ at $250 per end, to roughly tell you how to setup your suspension??
    And say you have like a Pike RL it cant really give you much feedback on adjustments.

    Also as it uses air pressures to measure position you cant use it with any Coil based suspension, and I''m not sure how well it will work with some more complicated air systems.
    I think it is a pretty cool gadget. but not nearly the replacement to good understanding of your bike and how suspension works.
    If you cant feel the characteristics that the shock wiz says it can tune out (if there is a way with your fox/shock) then fixing them wont help you a help your riding.

    Also $250 is about what it cost to have a shock service and tune if your shock is over 12 months old.. .you need to get it serviced first. no point trying to setup a damper that isnt working 100%
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  5. k3n!f

    k3n!f Likes Bikes and Dirt

    An engineering friend once told me "If you don't measure it, you can't manage it".

    I'm certainly not comparing myself with a world cup DH rider, but a consumer level version of a shock diagnostics program seems like a great idea.

    Maybe it's the nerd in me, but the idea of actually measuring shock performance and adjusting to get as close to an optimal damping coefficient seems much more accurate than going by feel.


    I think it's $250, and then you can disconnect it and put it on the front/rear/other bikes as required. I don't think it stays on the shock once tuned. Might be a great investment for the local bike shop, buy one and lend it to everyone who buys a new bike.
  6. GeoffRidesBikes

    GeoffRidesBikes Likes Dirt

    Some local bike shop is going to buy a box of these and then cream it renting them out. I'd say that's where the market would a new bike and then for an extra $100 or so you get to rent the shockwiz for a week to set it up real all good like. Package deal.

    Though if you're spending say $5k on a bike, you're only dropping an extra 5% on a shockwiz to ensure that you're really getting the best value out of it. Personally i'd love to have one but don't own a dually at the moment and the fork on my hardtail is a coil fork.

    I'll probably buy one next time i upgrade, as that will be a dually and then its really only costing $125 per end when you think about it. Seems like a bargain to me - last time i was running air suspension i had absolutely no idea what i was doing or what should feel good and what shouldn't. I'd suspect that I'm not alone. Most people just play with the settings aimlessly not really putting much process into it.

    This will just bring existing tech used by manufacturers to consumers. Bring it on.
  7. John U

    John U MTB Precision

    I reckon someone could make some dough taking people riding and educating them about shock tuning. It's a service I would pay for. Not so sure I'd pay for this though. It's just more data, not necessarily with any learning.
  8. SummitFever

    SummitFever Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I'm not sure about this. This device can only measure air pressure. I haven't seen any commercial setups that use this as a measurement. Most systems are like the one pictured above where shock/fork position is measured using linear potentiometers. Presumably, there is some clever maths in the device that can translate changes in air pressure in the fork/shock to fork and shock position. My gut feeling is that simply measuring changes in air pressure will not be accurate enough to get the type of data you need for accurate suspension tuning.

    For shock tuning and analysis on the trail I use a tripod and the 120fps mode on my panny digital camera. It really enables you to see what's going on. It also enables you to analyse rider position, which on a MTB is the thing that has the most affect on the suspension.
  9. will2

    will2 Likes Dirt

    Yes, that is an incredible idea! I probably wouldn't buy it but definitely see the worth in it. Business opportunities, someone is going to make a killing.
  10. schred

    schred Likes Bikes and Dirt

    In my limited experience in parallel motorsport one thing a lot of riders lack is the ability to identify, clearly, what is wrong and what they want to change. So I'm torn as on one hand automating this and taking that potential skill away from riders is not in their LT interests if they want to be a better rider, but on the other most people don't ride for a better lap time so it will no doubt have some appeal.
  11. Klips

    Klips Likes Dirt

    I don't understand how this will prevent riders from better understanding what they want. I think combining this with a suspension tuning day like sram recently ran ( then you'll have people knowing both what they're aiming for and exactly where their suspension is sitting, rather than just what the maximum point of use was.
  12. FatMuz

    FatMuz Likes Dirt

    The way I see it, those with little suspension knowledge might actually be inspired using this tool to explore what all the settings mean and how they affect the ride.
    I'm generally comfortable dialing in my own suspension, but have still 'pledged' support through Kickstarter because I think it's a bloody great idea, and could provide something not normally accessible to the average rider.
  13. will2

    will2 Likes Dirt

    Someone should put it on their CCDB. Great if you have absolutely no clue where to start but I would 100% bet I would want to tweak things straight after using the thing. Perfect for the bike shop, another little thing to go on top, "do you need help setting that up?", it does however pain me to think LBS salesman will be selling shitty little things for the hell of it. When I first got my performance MTB it was so much fun tinkering with everything, rebound, air and compression and feeling what it did, and see what I preferred.
  14. schred

    schred Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I know there's pros here in this space and I'm not close to taking this seriously for mtb so treat my thoughts accordingly, but IMO susp setup is circular, if you want it to be optimal you have to be willing to optimise it - constantly. And to do that intelligently vs trail and error means understanding what the bikes is doing, and therefore what each change is doing. Everything else is a compromise, incl potential one off app suggestions derived from data over a short period of time. What you want from your suspension depends on a bunch of things that aren't static, and driven not only by the end goal (could be fastest time vs. say a more comfortable ride), but things related to environment, bike and rider. These things constantly change, not just because the event style/track/temp change but things on the bike itself, e.g. diff tyre (diff volume/sidewall carcass stiffness/diff profile) all change the net effective spring rate, changes in the function of the suspension as it deterioriates if equipment isnt regularly serviced, and the rider too - not just diff rider weight but evolving skill means the bike may be used differently notwithstanding change in CG from how the rider weights themselves which has a huge bearing if it's not consistent, e.g. rider is now more soft/smooth (requires less spring and less damping) or rides more aggressively (more spring & damping requried). So in black and white, you either accept that and live with the compromse (set and forget for 80% of your riding) or keep adjusting as the situation requires and chase the best tune for that specific activity and conditions. Hence why I cbf dealing with this stuff on an mtb.
  15. redbruce

    redbruce Eats Squid

    The motorsport analogy is a good one. In top level they inevitably have (mechanically and race knowledgeable) test drivers to set up cars.

    In the absence of a driver that understands (ie also technical competence), as opposed to skilled adaptation and application (there are many), the test driver becomes critical and also does the fine tuning.

    When there is a driver that has that extra dimension to skill and understanding, not.

    The problem with this app, is that it is single dimensional in a situation that requires multiple inputs (accelerometer, travel, etc) to refine in the manner to which you allude (I confess I have a connection with two motorsport companies involved in telemetry, let alone my scientific bent, aside from my occupation around data and application to purpose and outcome) . Then there is the cost$

    How much does an engineering sympathy and understanding ultimately contribute to driver (rider) performance on the "track", as opposed to innate skill. Good question, who cares, its outcome driven any way (so multiskilled and disciplined team is the key).

    Most of us, skill not withstanding, are however in the realm of near enough.

    Maybe football might have been a better analogy. Not every great footballer makes a great coach.

    You can do that empirically now, at no $ cost. See limitations stated above. What is it that you believe is being delivered that is "not normally accessible" and is valuable?

    So, you have identified, at this stage a market limited to you, what would this information be worth to you? And what would the training/education component value add?

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  16. iUDEX_nCr

    iUDEX_nCr Likes Dirt

    I contacted them regarding the product.

    There is no benefit except convenience in getting two units. They operate independently.
    I think I'm going to get one... how I see it is that I would have to go through multiple iterations over different trails anyway.
  17. k3n!f

    k3n!f Likes Bikes and Dirt

    I agree with this. What would be fantastic is if they had an education component to the app, so it tells you what it thinks is happening and explains what you should change and why.

    I agree that it is never going to match a system with multiple inputs. But for the average rider who just needs a "near enough is good enough" tune surely this would generate some useful data?

    If you know the size of the air chamber on your fork, then changes in pressure correlate with how much travel is being used. Multiple hits through a rock garden would cause rapid changes in pressure, and the rate of change would theoretically give you an idea of damping coefficients. I know its not perfect and lots of assumptions are being made, but its probably better than nothing.

    I get the impression that the majority of people think it is a silly idea because they know to to tune their suspension. Maybe it is the "often wrong, never in doubt" attitude of internet forums.

    They have met their funding requirement on kickstarter though, so hopefully they will be coming early next year.
  18. ctguru

    ctguru Likes Bikes and Dirt

    thread dig

    This has now been released by Quarq and is selling for a retail of about $529 in Oz.

    Anyone got some good contacts to get it a little cheaper than that?
  19. 99_FGT

    99_FGT Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Quarg = SRAM.
    Be interested to try one, but for the most part it should be something you use for a little while on a bike (new bike setup?) and then leave it.
    Wonder if anyone can get their LBS to rent them out ($100 - 10 days?) Paid for itself in 5 rentals.
  20. ctguru

    ctguru Likes Bikes and Dirt

    Cycleworks in Box Hill appear to be renting them out, I'll ring them for a price

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