Discover the world’s first cordless mountain bike suspension
You may never have to touch a mountain bike suspension lever again (Photo: YT)
- The dream of digital suspension control is finally real.
- American suspension specialist RockShox has designed a new wireless control system.
- It can transform trail and enduro mountain bikes.
In mountain biking, there are two flagship brands: RockShox and Fox.
Although SR Suntour makes more forks for a broader portfolio of mountain bikes, RockShox and Fox are fitted as original equipment on most mid to top quality constructions.
Suspension can be an unsettling part of the mountain biking experience. It promises to make your ride more comfortable and more controllable if you set it up correctly. But pilot error, or rather – technical illiteracy – is often an obstacle to optimum suspension performance.
RockShox has revealed a technological breakthrough with its wireless suspension control system, promising to help riders get the most out of their mountain bikes.
The Flight Attendant system uses servos and control sensors, mounted on suspension components (Photo: YT)
Truly smart MTB suspension
The new system is called Flight Attendant and analyzes data from the sensors in the fork, rear shock, and crank arm every five milliseconds. RockShox engineers wanted to create an automated suspension platform that would prevent adjustment, depending on terrain and rider input.
Extensive testing gave the RockShox development team a foundation to code their Flight Attendant algorithm. The control modules on the fork and rear shock continuously adjust the compression of the suspension, mastered by the flight attendant’s algorithm interpretation of bike position and pedaling dynamics.
The system has three basic functions, all of which will be familiar to mountain bikers who manually adjust their suspension during a ride: open, pedal and lock.
The fork controller knows when you are climbing, taking turns, jumping or rushing through a rock garden – adjusting accordingly (Photo: YT)
Define and forget
Where RockShox’s algorithm and servos work their magic is that you never have to worry about triggering the various modes of the system. It knows when you need a locking system for maximum pedaling efficiency on a flat gravel road or up a steep climb.
As soon as you start to descend or need to traverse rocky terrain, it unlocks the suspension in an instant to allow maximum terrain absorption.
Mountain bike suspension ends are expensive to buy and not cheap to maintain. Riders who accidentally descend with their forks or shock in the locked position, not only risk damaging components, but can also experience a completely preventable accident due to incorrect suspension settings.
RockShox’s wireless suspension is completely foolproof, unlike a fork or shock with mechanical locking dials or levers. It will never allow you to run out of suspension travel because you forgot to unlock before getting off, unlike most analog forks or shocks.
RockShox’s Flight Attendant system adds great functionality, without the burden of more control cables and remotes (Photo: YT)
Making long distance bikes, better for climbing
While there are handlebar lock remotes for mountain bike suspension, they add the compactness of additional cable routing. Since the Flight Attendant system is wireless, the overall appearance is crisp and you no longer have to hang cables.
There are some things the flight attendant cannot do. It influences and adjusts the compression of the fork and damper, but not the rebound – which you will still have to select yourself.
RockShox flight attendant works as part of the brand’s AXS
wireless transmission system and is available on YT long-stroke enduro bikes, Canyon and Trek.
The biggest benefit of artificially smart suspension tuning applies to bikes with more than 150mm of fork or shock travel – typically categorized as enduro bikes.
On steep climbs, enduro bikes can move up and down, when they pedal aggressively uphill, wasting precious energy for the rider. The Flight Attendant system eliminates this, keeping a rider cooler for the inevitable technical descents that follow any long climb.
RockShox Flight Attendant Modules add 308g to the suspension fork or shock, with 20 to 30 hours of runtime for the fork controller and 30 to 40 hours for the shock, before needing a recharge.