Why it's the winner:
There are certainly good arguments to made for each of the three Gear Accessory of the Year nominees
, but while there are plenty of clever multi-tools and flat tire solutions on the market, there's only one computer-assisted suspension setup device. At $399 USD, the ShockWiz is not an inexpensive investment by any means, a fact that may see this gizmo be rented out by shops for setup use more often than being purchased by individual riders, but it also takes the guesswork out of knob turning.
The waterproof and dustproof ShockWiz keeps tabs on your fork or shock by constantly measuring the air pressure in either as they compress and rebound. It then uses that data to come up with metrics for sag, how many times you've bounded off the bottom-out bumper, rebound speed, and more. It can even tell you how long you've been in the air over a jump by way of a built-in accelerometer, a number that's more interesting than useful. What is useful, however, is how ShockWiz takes the information that it's collected and tells you things like if your fork or shock could require some love, possible setup errors, and recommendations when it comes to stuff like overall spring rate, progression, rebound, and both low- and high-speed compression, among others.
The ShockWiz communicates with your smartphone, but if you'd rather leave the electronic leash at home it's not necessary to bring your phone with you - it will still record the data, and then it can be reviewed at a later time, once you're reunited with your phone. No, the ShockWiz isn't even close to being considered a necessity, but what it does do is take away a lot of the assumptions and intimidation, especially if a rider isn't well-versed on what to look for when setting up a fork or shock. I can even see some shops including the lending of a ShockWiz out with new bike purchases. From the review: