2017 Pinkbike Awards: Gear Accessory of the Year Winner

Dec 12, 2017
by Pinkbike Staff  
PB Awards





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.


ShockWiz


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:
bigquotesAs it is, ShockWiz is sort of like a game for bike nerds, with the end goal of achieving a perfect score, that elusive 100%. Is it an absolute necessity? Of course not – the ShockWiz is simply one tool that can help take some of the mystery out of suspension setup. In particular, I can see it as being useful for bike shops working with customers to dial in their ride; the customer can go out with the device attached, come back, and the shop employee can take a look at the data gathered and see what steps might be worth taking. The same goes for coaches, or avid consumers keen to keep a close eye on their suspension's behavior. Mike Kazimer




57 Comments

  • + 60
 While I can certainly see the usefulness and place for the Shockwiz, for me the EDC tool was the winner, as it is something I could easily imagine myself purchasing, using, and enjoying. Especially for $400 the Shockwiz seems a bit superfluous and is a lot of money to get a bit better suspension performance. Cool and inventive? Certainly, and like Mike said it would be awesome for instructors and bike shops, but for the average rider I feel like the EDC is the most relevant. The dynaplug is really nice too but again seems unnecessary unless you are a racer. Not trying to complain about the winner, just stating my opinion
  • + 15
 I love my ShockWiz, but I agree with you. I own all the of the products nominated and for me the EDC tool has been the most useful and the one I use the most often.
  • + 4
 @mattdawg: I also love my shockwiz, I wish the shop I work for would rent them out, I think people would really enjoy that. I've just been bringing mine (and some zip ties) with me when I ride and i'll let my buddies run it on their suspension when I run into them. My suspension was set how I like it, so I didn't really NEED the shockwiz, but it was nice being able to check my work, and it has definitely helped some of the guys I ride with dial in their rigs.
  • + 5
 @Skurploosh: just rent yours out and put the money in your pocket...
  • + 14
 I think this is all wrong. BEER is the winner!
  • + 4
 @MrDiamondDave: I like you. Happily married btw...
  • + 1
 I just got a EDC tool the other day and that is the best purchase I have done, outside my first dropper post and tubless. I put a cap on each of my bikes and switch between them depending on what I’m riding. The last thing I need is a shock wiz. So stupid. Shock set up is purely personal preference. Only definitive thing about shock setup is the recommended starting point from sag and whatnot. Everything else is personal preference.
  • + 3
 @MrDiamondDave: IPA > EDC but afterwards you will take a wizz.
  • + 31
 Would like to see shops have them to rent or loan out for a few days at a time so you get set up and record everything.
  • + 6
 Quite a few shops are renting them. I work for one that will go out with you and help you get your suspension set up or rent them out to you. It's definitely not a necessary tool, but having quantitative data to tell you where you could benefit is reassuring.
  • + 6
 Mine does!
  • + 2
 I rented 2 of the for $30 for the day. Gave me at least a starting point for my set up.
  • + 11
 Or do this:

Rear = 30-ish sag + crap load of volume spacers + a little extra rebound on jump trails so you don’t get bucked.

Front = soft-ish + a couple spacers + rebound in the middle.

Done and done, baby!

You’re welcome.

A gofundme has been set up for your $5 contribution.
  • + 14
 How to go faster: Run 20% sag and ride harder until you start bottoming out the fork. Then run 15%...
  • - 1
 How to go bigger: slow the rebound to midway between the Middle and 1/4 of 'the way' and send it! That's 37.5 percent of the way to fastest rebound for you mathletes.
  • + 1
 Rebound is fluid return. More pressure means less rebound flow will achieve the same amount of velocity. Strict rules to control how fast you run it are totally ridiculous. 3 clicks of rebound will be perfect for a 140lb rider, but send a 200lb rider to the hospital.

For all things regarding the damper: Use common sense! The spring is the key on any suspension. Car, Truck, Motorcycle, compression and rebound damping cannot replace a proper spring. Mountain bikes are no unicorn.
  • + 7
 In five years this will probably be stock on all suspension products. I myself kind of like the wizardry and guru of making it all work with feel and tinkering. But I am old school, and have spent time tuning evil Amal carburators on old british iron with a sick smile.
  • + 9
 With the imminent roll out of electric shocks on suspension bikes it's more likely that this kind of thing will be integrated into shocks from factory and not sold separately. It's got Trek/Spesh 3 letter acronym written all over it
  • + 2
 Fricking Amal carbs!!! I'd forgotten those things! Back in the day I was looking to put an 8 port head in my mini and EVERYONE told me DON'T get Amals!!! Nightmare to set up! Ended up leaving it 5 port and chucking a Weber 45 on it! Worked a treat but couldn't fit a filter on it so it'd spit fuel out the trumpets on to the exhaust! How it didn't catch fire I'll never know.....
  • + 7
 "... spent time tuning evil Amal carburetors on old British iron with a sick smile."

Masochist.
  • + 2
 @IllestT: yep. i honestly would have expected things to be further along than they are given the lapierre/SRAM e:i system has been around for years.
  • + 1
 @literally: yeah I agree. Electric shocks were on the horizon 2 or 3 years ago, but seem to have faltered. I wonder if they have trouble with R&D or production?
  • + 4
 I borrowed one from our LBS this summer and was pretty impressed with it. I'm pretty awful at testing my own equipment. I tend to make a setting change and rather than pay attention to the details while riding I end up getting excited and turning my brain of and shredding. So, for suspension setup I've always found it difficult to feel the subtleties, I have no attention span and also haven't developed the skills yet to feel it out.

This thing impressed me. I set the sag on my suspension fork and shock and tuned it to where Fox recommended based on my pressures. This thing told me my sag was right (which I was shocked that I did right) and gave me some suggestions for tuning. I did feel noticeable differences with it afterwards and it was within the realm of what Fox recommended.

I would however like to spend another day or two with it to see how it really works. I'd like to fumble with my pressures or clicks and see if it can still get back to that sweet-spot.

Also there's a Vital MTB Inside Line podcast with Chris Cocalis of Pivot Cycles and he was chatting about how an employee had gotten his hands on one. He was curious to see if it was in the ballpark of what this employee (with a well-dialed suspension setup) was running. Ends up the ShockWiz was within a click or so of the settings. Pretty rad if ya ask me.

I wouldn't pay for one but if you can rent it/borrow it and you're interested in setting shit up it's definitely worth your time.
  • + 3
 I would be pretty keen to try one of these if I could rent from my LBS. Tuning the Monarch Plus on my Transition Patrol took some doing but I was able to get it pretty good after adding some volume spacers. I would be curious to see if it can be even better though.
  • + 3
 Very cool but like said, pretty pricey for a single rider.
Sharing it (and the cost) between your riding buddies could be a great option, depending on how tight your group is.
  • + 2
 Why doesn't ShockWiz work on a coil?

Because it doesn't have to!

End the never ending tinkering trying to dial in wonky air shocks on bikes with funky leverage curves. Accept it... they will never feel just right.


Put a good coil shock on a rear end with a proper leverage curve and... you will believe.


Until I did, I would have down voted this post as well. You don't even know, you don't know.
  • + 3
 Yeah not so sure.... depends on what you are after. Something that has a massive market, aka something we all want, and will actually purchase. Or something that is innovative but has a very small market.....
  • + 1
 I have used one of these to setup 3 different bikes over the course of this summer and while the $400 price seems high, a rental fee for it is totally worth it. I don't need it in my tool box but I do want it for the first couple rides on each bike. The settings it recommended didn't make it a completely different bike but it was very noticeable.
  • + 1
 Notes: only works short ride sections so be sure to pick something a kilometer or two long that mimics your entire trail type and ride style. Also the different settings (efficient vs. playful) really throw each other out of whack, so choose your type and read about it and stick with it. Prepare to have a bunch of tokens on hand to play with. Take screen caps of your results and then rent the unit again in a couple weeks and go through settings again, repeat as necessary. Shockwiz is more of a journey rather than quick fix but it definitely helps.
  • + 2
 I own the shockwiz; helped fund it on kickstarter and I think it's awesome. Only bummer is that is' so effective you want to always use it for setup and it doesn't always work; ie. with MRP ramp control.
  • + 1
 I've watched a couple of youtubers (Trailpeek, and some other Enduro bro) vids on these...They said they didn't like the way it instructed them to setup their susp? Never tried it tho.
  • + 1
 Good call on this one. Argue the value proposition all you want but this leverages technology to demystify something that few people (myself included) know enough about to do right.
  • + 1
 Pump shock and fork to factory recommended psi for my weight, adjust rebound/ compressing to the factory recommendations, go ride! It’s so freaking easy!! Save your money for beers! Or Dentist visit!!
  • + 1
 I might be willing to purchase one and rent it out locally in San Diego. Been thinking about it since I first found out about the ShockWiz. Might just have to bite the bullet...
  • + 0
 I agree with this. The ShockWiz is great. It's overkill in the world of intentionally dumbed down suspension though - do you really need this to help adjust the single knob on your shock?

It will be ironic if the DPX2 of the Super Deluxe wins the suspension product of the year.
  • + 1
 Just bitten the bullet on one of these. Had been wondering what to 'self gift' myself for xmas; read this and jumped on line.
  • + 1
 Im not at all into tech thats why ignore this shit and ride my honzo and just try to be a better rider I miss my flip phone haha
  • - 1
 How much volume does that add to the air chamber? Would be nice if that added value was tuned to be the equivalent of one token so that when you've found your ideal setting, you remove the token and your fork still behaves the same way it did with the shockwiz attached. Of course this only works with forks that use solid spacers in the air chamber. If you use the Luftkappe or a Manitou Mattoc (or you usually just add excess oil in the air chamber) this isn't going to work as nicely. Or is the added volume next to nothing?
  • + 2
 It was designed so that the added volume was insignificant.
  • + 4
 I want one
  • + 2
 Will this make my rigid bike ride better
  • + 1
 Yes. Go buy it now!
  • + 2
 nice one Nigel!
  • + 0
 I don't place any faith in this app whatsoever. I find it incredibly unlikely that it would be accurate.
  • + 1
 WTF ???
  • + 1
 No way!!
  • + 0
 Congratulations ShocWiz Big Grin
  • + 1
 Awesome!
  • + 1
 Shockwiz!!!!
  • - 2
 Value product of the year...

Is that in the sense of 'has value', or the sense of 'is value'?

Discuss.
  • + 2
 This is "Gear Accessory of the Year Winner"...
  • - 1
 more SRAM parts winning all these awards...........
  • + 9
 Hmm, what else has SRAM won for the 2017 awards? Are they going to win other awards this year? Do you own a crystal ball?
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