sussmybike suspension tuning (3)

Do you know what all of the little knobs on your fork do? If you do, are they set right? Are you sure, or do you think you’re sure? The Folks at SussMyBike says they can help and have a device & smartphone app that takes the guessing out of suspension setup. In regards to setting up a bike, I’ve never wanted something to work as much as this and am surprised it took this long.

Rebound past the break to find out what we know about it and let us know what you think….

 

Sussmybike 2

It’s not uncommon to be sitting at the trail head and hear, “I like to run my suspension a little stiff”, or my favorite, “I run the factory recommendation minus 1opsi, check sag, add 2 to 3.25 psi, compression 1 click from open, rebound 12 clicks from open… plus a couple more for good measure with my forks”. Current suspension setup involves a little bit of measuring, a little bit of counting clicks, a little bit of “feel”, and just as much personal voodoo/secret sauce.

Though soaking up big hits is important, the key to a good suspension setup is keeping the tire in contact with the ground. Every time your tire leaves the ground, you lose control of that wheel until it connects again. Linear Displacement Sensors have been used for years on Moto GP and other race motorcycles to measure how the suspension performs on various courses. These measure amount of travel as well as speed of travel and can tell if the suspension is having trouble “packing down” (not rebounding fast enough before compressing again and eventually not having any travel left), or if rebound is set too fast. SussMyBike looks to have a version for mountain bikes in the works and is preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign this month.

sussmybike suspension tuning (1)

The SussMyBike project is being headed up by Scotsman Alan Mason with support from the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MBCOS) and Edinburgh and Napier Universities. They have a smartphone app in development that is said to read data from the SusMyBike’s unit and then tells you what you need to adjust to improve the bike’s suspension performance.

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They don’t go into a lot of detail about how the device works but from what we can tell, the unit contains a retractable wire, (think security badge tether), that is attached to the fork’s lowers and stanchion. As the fork cycles, the wire’s movement spins a wheel inside the unit with a sensor that sends data to your smartphone via Bluetooth or Ant+. The data then gets analyzed and gives you some calculated advice to properly set up your fork.

Does it graph out the fork’s performance? Can you program settings for various trails in the app so you can easily tweak the settings for primo performance everywhere you go? We’ve reached back out to Alan to find out, so look for updates and future coverage on this neat little tool.

SussMyBike.com

36 COMMENTS

  1. 1. Nobody is better qualified than the rider of a bike to determine whether they like the way it handles.
    2. It doesn’t take that long to learn how to properly adjust suspension and it doesn’t cost anything.
    3. Once you learn how, you can adjust based on tire/psi changes, trail conditions, different types of trails, etc. Relying on a test ride followed by computer analysis removes this flexibility.
    4. Not every problem can be resolved by cash and apps; not every product is a response to a real-world problem.

  2. This will be great to ballpark people but sag also does that. You can not digitally determine someone’s tastes though. Even assuming this thing can find the best adjustments for you from a performance aspect, a rider may not really like how that feels.

  3. Groovy! For most riders, bike setup is a mystery wrapped up in a protective layer of bafflegab. Anything that can help dial in proper setup a bit quicker gets a thumbs-up from me.

  4. It’s called telemetry, people. And if you think you can set your bike up better without it, there’s some F1 and Motocross teams that need your help.

    I’ll bet 90% of all riders have their suspension set up far from optimum. And the other 10% could probably benefit from the tweaks this information would allow.

  5. How do they deal with the fact the wheel rotates at a different speed based on how much wire is already played out?

    They’d need some sort of normalization function, but it’d need to change its scalar approximately constantly!

  6. Actually, maybe not literally constantly. If you think about it, the effective diameter of the pulley only changes once per revolution, assuming the wire stacks directly on top the previous wrap. It’d step up or down in diameter at the exact point the wire attaches to the spindle. That’s not an awful problem to solve programmatically.

  7. @i, no they didn’t invent the yoyo pot, but they are developing the app and the application to suspension. Most products aren’t some sort of grand new invention, but an adjustment for the application.

    I love how almost everyone is saying this product sucks, you don’t need it, etc. It’s not even out yet, and maybe some people will be interested. This is BikeRumor folks, new products, out there things from time to time. Stop coming here if you don’t like this type of stuff.

    *Drops mic*

  8. Huh? Did anyone say it sucked? Instead of installing the product and downloading the app, I think I’d rather just go out and ride my rigid 1x with a big fat smile on my face.

  9. If nobody is better qualified than the rider to determine if they like the way a bike handles, why do professional motocrossers use data acquisition to dial in suspension? I can think of all manner of professionals in sports where suspension is used that take advantage of it to improve their setup and make them faster.

    I’ve had setups that I thought couldn’t get better, then I made a change – what do you know, it can get better! Data can help you get there that much faster. Have you, or someone you know, ever thought their bike fit them perfectly, and then a professional fit made them more comfortable and maybe faster? It’s a bit like that.

    I’m not saying this particular product is the answer or that I’ll buy it, but to dismiss the whole category as no one needs or wants, or say it doesn’t take that long to learn how to do it…people that have been tuning car, motorcycle or bike suspensions all their lives are still finding ways to do it better.

  10. Man we BR folk are touchy about someone telling us we have out bikes set up incorrectly!
    Yeeeoch.

    Dave-“It’s about telemetry, people.”
    Me-(seen nearby nodding head knowingly….. but wondering WTF that is)

    if someone feels more control on their bike, they might ride more.
    Anything that gets more people on bikes is a good thing.
    I mean except for eBikes and (deleted).

  11. will this help me figure out how much air pressure i should have in the tires on my rigid fork fatbike? i’m always stumped on this.

  12. If they can price this reasonably, and the data that is provided is actually meaningful, I think this has the potential to be one of the most impactful innovations in suspension in a long time. Both in short term and long term. Short term to help you quickly and effectively tune your suspension and understand how the infinite number of variables can change what is ideal.
    I am very interested in it as a consumer, but in regards to long term, I would have to imagine the suspension manufacturers would be Very interested in it. Imagine how much better they could understand how their intended markets were Actually Using their products if they could access data from a HUGE sample population, across several different regions and terrain types, and under riders of varrying skill and size/weight. They currently take an educated guess on their base tunes and work with frame designers etc, but they are pretty blind as to what their products are actually doing and how people are running them once in the real world. This info could REALLY help them to produce much better, and much more focused products in the future.

  13. These are string potentiometers. They’ve been used for a long time and I bet every bike suspension manufacturer has a drawer full of broken ones. Problem is that they are not very durable and they are not particularly accurate since the string can go slack if the fork moves faster than the spool can wind string.

    But as an end consumer level product for people who don’t actually have the ability or knowledge to pour through millions of data points or actually know what to do with the data this might be an ok product. The app software won’t be able to solve all the problems and issues but it can probably get you closer to a good setup. Consider that those Formula 1, Motocross and MotoGP teams have full time data engineers looking at data coming from these sorts of devices (though none of them use a string potentiometer).

    For some riders this is considered a fun part of riding bikes. For others it takes all the fun out of riding a bike. To each their own.

  14. I do find it kind of strange they are not just using a solid state accelerometer. Cost? Anyone? I have experience with those, but not this yoyo, string potentiometer thingy which seems decidedly old tech.

  15. JBikes,
    You could use an accelerometer, but you’d need two.. one mounted on each side, and then you’d have to filter out the signal from the bike bouncing up and down AND integrate twice to get relative distance… Seems like a direct distance measurement’s going to be a lot more robust to “noise”.

  16. Thanks Paul – I realized this on my walk to lunch. Although the 2nd accel on the fork tube would be the “reference” to the lower stanchion accel. I could be wrong, but I believe g’s and velocity would be the desired tuning parameters, overlaid with distance for separate tuning of small and bit hits.

  17. Handsome – true, but sag seems to be the lowest hanging fruit and easily done manually.
    Regardless, dual accel set-up would be expensive, and this is a more cost effective solution for something that honestly doesn’t need that level of accuracy.

  18. Although its nice having accurate sag already in the data for easy comparison.
    OK – I’m out. This nerdiness will decrease any already slim chance I had of using my bed mounted unit.

  19. The dual accel setup is what is use in Lapierre’s EiShock system.
    One on the fork leg, the other inside the display unit.

    I think Fox’s 2016 protoype alosu uses an accelerometer to pilot the damping.

    Any way i like this innovative product very much. For my self but even more also to help setup my wife and old dad bikes…

  20. Using “sag” for proper preload adjustment and your “seat of the pants” suspension dyno for proper setup will never net accurate results. Plus, tuning suspension to a particular trail for your riding style (regardless of weight and sag), would be kinda sweet. I’ve ridden motorcycles forever and just about every serious rider/racer’s first mod to make on the bike is to pay TONS to have the suspension custom tuned to their needs. The really serious ones use data acquisition systems that give you all kinds of data including suspension readings. Cyclists are just about 20 years behind on this, so it’s a little hard to accept is all.

  21. That’s for people with too big of a wallet and no clue about their bike. They may get the fork dialed, but still can’t bike worth shit because they lack proper biking skills.

  22. Data acquisition for the common man, at a hopefully reasonable price?

    Color me VERY interested.

    Looking forward to hearing more as the story unfolds.

  23. Just mount a gopro on the frame aimed at the shock with a good dose of the actual terrain around it.
    Pretty obvious if the shocks packing up or the wheel is out of control or continually soft bottoming.

  24. @Daniel I totally suck at suspension setup. Never had a full suspension bike until this year. As a XC racer on and off for 15 years, some on pretty gnarly terrain, my bike handling is just fine, thanks very much.

  25. This sounds good, but how does it work? And what does it actually do??

    Just saying it will improve your suspension isn’t actually saying anything at all, I wanna do why I would buy it and what it will actually achieve…

    If all it shows are graphes and tables and numbers is there also something there to tell you what it all means and what the changes are??.

    PLease give more info

  26. Well, if nothing else, they’re probably on crack with that June ’16 release date. manufacturing delays are a fact of life, especially for small runs, not sure why people think they’re immune just due to getting funding via kickstarter. If they had the units 100 ready to go, & had already worked out a deal with a manufacturer, releasing them to start working as soon as the KS funds, then maybe june would be realistic.

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