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Jun 16, 2015 10:42 EST

ShockWiz: Automated Suspension Tuning for Mountain Bikes: An innovative electronic gadget that automatically creates tuning recommendations for your bike suspension, while you ride

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 16, 2015

 

ShockWiz: Automated Suspension Tuning for Mountain Bikes

 

ShockWiz is an automated suspension tuning system for air-sprung mountain bikes. It is small, lightweight and unobtrusive, attaching to either your fork or shock. While you ride, it performs thousands of calculations to analyse your riding and finds anything undesirable with your set-up. It will then tell you how to change your set-up via Bluetooth 4.0 to your Apple or Android phone, so that your bike can be optimally tuned for you, and you can get on with enjoying the ride.

Mountain bike suspension has come a long way over the last few years, and has become more complex due to additional knobs and tuning options. While adjustable suspension has been a huge leap forward, most riders don’t fully understand what all the adjustments do, and how to tune their suspension for best performance.

ShockWiz solves this by automatically determining what settings you should change to give you the best ride possible. This game-changing product is like a personal race-engineer who is extracting the most performance from your bike. ShockWiz provides a professional level of tuning which is now available to all riders. 

Detection of undesirable suspension characteristics

Automated tuning recommendations

Concise feedback displayed on intuitive smartphone app

App compatible with Android and Apple devices

Jump air timer

Shock health (snapshot of how well your suspension is set up for you)

Tune for your riding style – XC, AM or DH

Lightweight and unobtrusive

Cheap, replaceable battery – lasts for months

The ShockWiz is for anyone who has an air-sprung mountain bike and wants to get the most from their riding experience.

  • Experience better bike set-up.
  • Gain more enjoyment from your riding.
  • Improve your times.
  • Get the edge over your riding buddies.

ShockWiz is designed for all mountain bike riders, regardless of their riding style and how much suspension travel their bike has.

ShockWiz is equally at home on a hardtail or a dual suspension bike. For best results on a dual suspension bike, it is recommended that you use two ShockWiz devices to tune the fork and shock at the same time.

A high accuracy sensor samples the pressure in the shock or fork 100 times per second. By knowing the parameters of the spring (calculated from the calibration sequence), the pressure is converted into a percentage of travel. Using the percentage of travel, various algorithms process the travel data and look for ‘events’ such as large compression inputs. By analysing these events, ShockWiz can detect characteristics such as pogo, pack down or bobbing, and class their severity. If an undesirable characteristic is severe enough, or is persistently happening, then it will determine the suspension adjustment required to fix it and display this output via the smartphone app.

Because of the way ShockWiz analyses suspension travel, it will work with all shocks, regardless of length of travel or type of bike.

Weighs 45 g (1.6 oz)

Bluetooth 4.0 communications

Commonly available, easily replacable battery

Months of battery life

Waterproof and dust tight (IP67)

User can select pressure units  (psi / bar / kPa)

The ShockWiz is installed by screwing it on to your Schrader valve (as a shock pump would) and fastening to your fork or shock with a cable tie. Once installed, you can still use a shock pump to change the pressure in your suspension via the Schrader valve on the ShockWiz.

When mounting, you need to consider the following:

  • Device won’t hit frame or cables during full handlebar rotation
  • Device won’t hit frame, fork lowers or tyre during full suspension movement
  • Device won’t hit your legs whilst pedalling

To enable the ShockWiz to convert from pressure to percentage of travel, it needs to know some parameters about your suspension. This is achieved by the calibration procedure which is a quick and simple process. The app will guide you through the steps which involve cycling through the full suspension travel, and then pumping to your desired pressure as normal.

Your compression ratio will be displayed on the ‘calibration screen’, and the travel value on the status screen will be accurate. Don’t worry if you are unsure, the ShockWiz can detect when a calibration is incorrect and will inform you if it needs to be redone.

ShockWiz will generate different tuning recommendations based on your chosen riding style.

Within the app, simply choose which style best suits you.

  • ‘XC’ mode if you want efficiency
  • ‘AM’ mode if you want a balanced set-up
  • ‘DH’ mode if you want to use all your travel and have more ‘pop’
Choose your riding style; XC, AM or DH
Choose your riding style; XC, AM or DH

Now, ride your bike as you normally would, and ShockWiz will automatically analyse your suspension.

For the best results, ride on trails with diverse features, such as steep transitions, drops, jumps, rocky ground and smooth climbing.

At any time, you can view the results in the phone app.

The phone doesn’t need to be within wireless range of the ShockWiz during the ride. So if you prefer to ride without your phone, it is fine to check it when you finish the ride.

The app (for Android and Apple) gives the user a simple interface to view all the outputs from ShockWiz.

The status screen provides an overview of the current state of your suspension. The Shock Health value is a snapshot of how well your suspension is set-up for you. The closer to 100%, the better it is performing. The status screen is also where you’ll see if you need to perform a re-calibration, or replace the battery.

Status screen - overview of your suspension
Status screen – overview of your suspension

The detections screen informs you which undesirable traits ShockWiz has observed, and how severe they are. If ShockWiz hasn’t observed a scenario where the trait may have occurred, it will output ‘N/A’. If it has observed that the trait could have occurred, but didn’t or wasn’t severe enough to cause a problem, ShockWiz will output ‘OK’.

This screen is also where you will find the jump timer, which tells you how long you remain airborne for during your jumps.

Detection screen - which events ShockWiz has sensed
Detection screen – which events ShockWiz has sensed

On the suggestions screen, you will see which adjustments ShockWiz recommends you make to fix the problems it has detected. If you are required to make a change to your suspension, ShockWiz will inform you whether a small (- / +) or large (– / ++) change is necessary.  

Almost all gas-sprung shocks and forks on the market today are easy to adjust for pressure, compression ratio, rebound and low speed compression. However, some manufacturers market the low speed compression adjustment under a different name, such as ‘CTD / Trail adjust’, ‘Motion Control’, ‘Pro Pedal’ or ‘O.D.L.’.

Not all suspension has externally adjustable high speed compression or bottom out control (sometimes called ‘Boost’ or ‘BPA’), but these are often internally adjustable. Sometimes you will be unable to change a particular adjustment, so just change what you can and you will probably still see an improvement.

Suggestions screen - what adjustments you should change
Suggestions screen – what adjustments you should change

After you have changed suspension settings based on the recommendations, you need to reset the algorithms so they can analyse the new set-up. Just press ‘Reset’ under the calibration tab.

You will see continual benefits as you keep using ShockWiz, on the same trail, and other trails with different terrain and features.

Calibration screen - calibrate to your bike and select your style
Calibration screen – calibrate to your bike and select your style

A big component in the evolution of ShockWiz was understanding how shocks and forks react under various trail inputs and with different tuning adjustments. As part of the research behind the ShockWiz, data has been logged and analysed from over 500 separate on-bike tests. 

Dyno testing (left) and progression of on-trail testing (right)
Dyno testing (left) and progression of on-trail testing (right)

Mountain bike dampers were initially tested using a dyno to establish how changes to the settings influenced their response. We then conducted on-trail testing with a displacement sensor to measure the movement of the suspension. The results from this testing were verified against a gas pressure sensor which confirmed that suspension displacement could be measured using spring pressure.

From the on-bike tests we were able to form the various algorithms that can automatically detect what your suspension is doing and anything that may be affecting your ride quality. The testing also gave us the knowledge of how fix problems once they have been detected, resulting in an intuitive experience for the user.

The other major aspect of the development process was making the hardware as small, lightweight and unobtrusive as possible when it is mounted on a bike. We knew the device had to fit on a wide array of bikes, all with different valve locations and mounting positions. This design philosophy and the careful consideration of components has resulted in a device that riders are prepared to mount to their bike as the main enclosure is the size of a ping pong ball and the weight of a golf ball.

Electronics from the beginning of the design process (left) and electronics in the current unit (right)
Electronics from the beginning of the design process (left) and electronics in the current unit (right)

Suspension:

ShockWiz is currently compatible with most air-sprung suspension on the market. The shock or fork needs to have a positive chamber that consists of a single volume. Therefore, suspension with variable chambers (like DRCV) are not currently supported. If you are not sure about the compatibility of the shock or fork, please contact us.

Adjustable travel forks (such as TALAS / DPA / DLA) need to be kept in the same travel position, otherwise a new calibration will be required. 

ShockWiz has been engineered to work with all dampers on the market. Due to their non-linear nature ‘bump detecting’ dampers such as Terralogic, Brain, iCTD and E:I won’t work as well, but you will still get usable suggestions.

ShockWiz will have adequate clearance on most bikes, but you can check by clicking here to download a clearance template.

Smart phone:

To use ShockWiz, a phone or tablet that is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 (Bluetooth Smart) communications is required. The phone requires both hardware and software support. Android devices require Jellybean 4.3 or newer, and Apple devices require iOS 6 or newer, so check with your manufacturer if you are unsure.

Contact Information:

Dusty Dynamics

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