Although suspension forks and rear shocks have certainly revolutionized the field of mountain biking, many riders still don't know how to set them up properly. This means that parameters such as preload, rebound and compression tend to get left at their factory settings, resulting in sub-optimal performance. That's why Australian startup Dusty Dynamics has created the ShockWiz – it's an app-assisted device that advises users on tuning their air-sprung suspension systems.
To use ShockWiz, you attach its braided air hose to the Shrader valve on your fork or shock, then zip-tie the main device to the frame or fork crown. Utilizing the iOS/Android app, you subsequently select your type of riding from one of three choices: cross-country, all-mountain or downhill.
Once the ShockWiz has been calibrated for your specific suspension and paired to your smartphone, you then take your bike on an assessment ride – this involves taking it through scenarios such as jumps, drops and climbs, to make sure that its suspension is properly put through its paces.
As you ride, a sensor in the device measures changes in the fork/shock's spring pressure 100 times per second. Based on what it already knows about the suspension from the calibration procedure, ShockWiz is able to detect problems such as pogo, pack down and bobbing.
Once the ride is over, you can consult the app to see what needs improving, and how to do so. In cases where more air needs to be added, a shock pump can be attached to a Shrader valve on the ShockWiz itself, allowing it to remain attached while air is pumped into the suspension.
After the necessary adjustments have been made, the device is reset and another assessment ride is performed. Once everything is as it should be, the ShockWiz is removed. The device is waterproof and dust-proof, and uses a commonly-available replaceable battery that should last for "months" of use.
Dusty Dynamics is currently raising production funds for the ShockWiz, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$224 will currently get you one, when and if they're ready to go.
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