By Eric McKeegan,
The biggest news from Fox this year (at least according to my opinion) isn’t a new fork or shock, but a bit of programming for your smartphone. Last year Fox developed a smart pump, a digital shock pump to simplify suspension setup. After much thought about the $200 price on the smart pump, Fox realized a smartphone app could do the same thing, and be free to shops and consumers. This is a good thing.
As of now, the app works only with Fox’s CTD products (including Float and DRCV rear shocks), but will continue to expand. No plans are in place to support previous model year suspensions, a bit of a bummer, but with the huge amount of forks and shocks in various configurations I can understand not delving into that mess of data entry.
The setup process is simple: download the app, enter the product code from the small sticker on your new fork or shock, input your weight and inflate the fork to the recommended pressure. Hop on the bike to check the sag, hop off and grab your smartphone for the real high-tech part. The next step uses your phone’s camera to locate the O-ring, measure the sag, and spit out a revised pressure setting if your sag isn’t up to snuff. It will even recommend a rebound adjustment, and you can save your settings for future use. Since it stores the saved settings on the phone, you can still acess them from the trail when you are out of cell phone service.
If any of that sounds complicated, it isn’t. If you can check your email with you smart phone, you can make this app work. iPhone users are first in line with an app ready for download now, Android users will be hooked up in a few months or less.
The other big news are remotes, both cable actuated and electronic.
Fox’s cable remote comes in single-cable and double-cable varieties to control front, rear, or both shocks at once. The effort required to move the lever is set to mimic a Shimano front shifter, and the adjustable design works well with any combo of brakes and shifters. They can even be run under the bar on bikes with no front derailleur. To my eye these look a little bulky, but after a few rides, they are effective and easy enough to reach, so maybe I should shut up.
The more high-tech remote uses the Shimano Di2 battery and a svelte remote on the bars. As of now the iRD system (Intelligent Ride Dynamics) is aimed at XC racing, with a two position switch, jockeying between open and locked out. The switch is tiny and tucks away nicely on the bars.
The wee little motor to lock out the fork hides inside the right stanchion, the shock uses a external box necessitated but the higher pressure in rear shocks. I didn’t get to ride this system (yet), but messing around with the display models resulted in a satisfying, Star Trek–esque noise when operating the unit.
We also got another look at the DOSS dropper post, but we’ll talk more about that when we get our test sample in the next few weeks. .