In recent months there’s been a whole load of crystal ball gazing about the future of suspension and the role that electronics have to play in making suspension even more efficient and usable. The precedents exist within car technology, with adaptive, electronically controlled suspension that automatically adjusts damping the conditions being the norm on high end vehicles.
Expecting that sort of weighty, power consuming technology on the humble push bike has been a bit of a reach, the role of electronics generally limited to creating faster or lighter lockout capabilities, an early example being the Cannondale ELO and in recent times, the Fox iCD system. Those with an exceptionally long memory – thanks Matt – might remember the K2 Smart Shock system (pdf link), which used a piezo-electric bypass valve to control the amount of compression damping based on the position of the damping piston.
All that said, it came as a bit of a surprise when Lapierre announced that over the past five years they’ve been working in secrecy with their partners, including Rock Shox, to create what is the first system to take to pedalling and terrain inputs and adaptively change rear suspension settings.
We’ll have a full write up on exactly what it does and how it rides shortly, but in the meantime, here’s Jeremiah Boobar of E.I. Shock’s suspension hardware provider Rock Shox explaining the basics…