RockShox Flight Attendant tech auto-adjusts mountain bike suspension
Even though mountain bikers can manually adjust their bike's suspension settings, most of them don't constantly do so throughout each ride. That's where the new RockShox Flight Attendant system comes in, as it automatically adjusts the front and rear suspension as needed.
For now at least, Flight Attendant is only being factory-installed on certain forks and shocks, on select enduro bikes from Specialized, Canyon, Trek and YT. It's not currently available as an aftermarket add-on.
The system consists of three sensor modules, respectively located on top of one fork leg, on the crankset, and on the rear shock. All three wirelessly communicate with one another via parent company SRAM's AXS technology. The fork-mounted "control" module is essentially the boss of the setup.
As the bike is in motion, the system continuously detects when pedalling is taking place, when bumps in the trail are being encountered, and when climbing or descending are occurring. It responds within milliseconds by setting the front and rear compression damping to one of three modes: Open, Lock or Pedal.
Open – appropriately enough – leaves the suspension wide open, so its full amount of travel is available to soak up impacts while riding downhill. Lock is the opposite, in that it switches the suspension to its firmest setting, so more of the cyclist's pedalling power can be utilized while they're climbing or riding on smooth roads. Pedal is a compromise between those two extremes, keeping the suspension semi-firm in order to offer some shock-absorption and a still-decent degree of pedalling efficiency.
Utilizing either an app or pushbutton controls on the control module, riders can set the system to have more or less of a bias toward any of the modes. They can also keep the system in one mode, make it switch to another mode, or manually adjust the performance of the fork and shock.
And no, Flight Attendant is not the first system of its kind. Fox's Live Valve setup offers similar functionality, while Magura's eLECT module does more or less the same thing, but for the fork only.
There's more information in the video below.