Retro grouches should go ahead and change the channel ’cause here comes another bicycle + electronics mash up, and it’s got everything from Bluetooth to iPhones to ANT+ in the mix.
Fox Racing Shox showed off a prototype electronic suspension set up dubbed iRD (intelligent Ride Dynamics). In a nutshell, it uses an electronic shock pump that transmits air pressure, compression and rebound data wirelessly to your iPhone (or iPod Touch or iPad) via Bluetooth or to your Garmin via ANT+. Using their app, it’ll guide you through suspension set up to optimize performance for your weight and travel using the exact specs from your suspension components as a baseline.
How? Watch that video up there or just click on past the break for lots of pics and another new goodie that you can actually buy…
The product is actually called Smart Pump, with iRD just being what it offers. The system works via Bluetooth on smart phones and ANT+ with Garmin. Since it’s simply an inhouse thing right now, you can’t actually download the app and there’s no mention of an Android version.
Before starting, the iRD app scans the bar code that would theoretically be placed on every Fox suspension product. This gives the app the exact set up information for that model, including damping tunes, air volume, etc. Since most shocks and some forks are custom valved for a particular bike, the app needs to know what it’s workin’ with.
After setting up the fork, move the hose to the rear shock and run through the process again. The app can save settings so you’ll know recommended air pressure and rebound settings for particular bikes and courses. Where this could come in handy is comparing settings based on varying riding weights with a skinsuit versus casual baggies and a full Camelbak, for instance. The difference can be 10-12 pounds, which would certainly affect suspension performance.
I asked about pricing and they said obviously they’d want to make it affordable enough that any cyclist that wanted it could have it. That said, we think the initial appeal might be for shops and demo teams that want to ensure their customers have a bike that’s set up correctly right out of the gate.
And now for something you’ll actually be able to buy this year. The new Fox Digital Shock Pump measures down to 0.5 psi increments. Available in October, price TBD.