First Look: ShockTune is a Free Suspension Setup App

May 20, 2020
by Mike Levy  


Mountain bike suspension can be an intimidating thing to fiddle with, especially if your high-end fork or shock seems to have more dials than the space shuttle. Sure, you know your bike feels like crap over that one rough section of trail, but should you add more or less damping? And are we talking compression or rebound? And was it four clicks or four turns?

Ryland Lueders' free ShockTune app aims to solve the mystery of suspension setup using only your phone.


How ShockTune Works

The idea is straightforward enough: By mounting the phone solidly onto your handlebar or seat post, ShockTune uses its accelerometer to measure the forces acting on the bike. Picture yourself riding towards a big ol' rock with the ShockTune app running on your handlebar. When your front tire hits the rock, the phone's accelerometer picks up the impact because, well, it forces the entire bike upwards, no matter how good the suspension is. ShockTune displays that upward movement on a graph; the bigger the spike, the more (or faster) the bike was moved upward by the rock and vice versa.

The thinking here is that the less the bike is moved upward, the better its suspension must be at absorbing the impact. In other words, a smaller spike means a better bike.


What ShockTune Tells You

''There are really two key things to look for in the results graphs,'' Lueders told me when I asked him what all the red and green lines mean. ''First, as you mentioned, minimizing the number of spikes and oscillations.'' We've already talked about what the big spike tells you, but the oscillations are all the smaller spikes on the graph that come afterward. Let's go back to that same rock for this one. You're going to run straight into it again, only this time we're thinking about what happens after the initial impact is absorbed. Let's also pretend that your fork is, for some strange reason, running zero clicks of rebound damping; once the fork takes in the hit from the rock, it'll want to extend very quickly, so much so that it'll keep trying to do it, only to dip into its travel slightly and then extend again. And again. And maybe a bunch more times, too, even though the rock twenty-feet behind you.

Of course, depending on your level of sensitivity, this might be something you've felt before or maybe not, blissfully unaware of the blown damper in your eight-year-old fork. I'm sorta jealous, to be honest. Anyway, you generally want as little of that extending and dipping, AKA oscillations, as possible so that your suspension is ''quiet'' or ''controlled.''

The second thing you're looking for is minimizing the extremes, those big spikes on the graph that signify the bike being moved upwards excessively fast. Remember, a smaller spike means a better setup, and it goes in both directions. Lueders gave me an example of his fork using a bit too much rebound damping, which the graph showed as a large downward spike post-impact, as well as a larger upward spike but fewer oscillations.

''This illustrates the tradeoff we make with excessive rebound damping,'' Lueders told me. ''That is to say, while the firmer rebound setting nearly eliminates oscillation, it comes at the cost of increased downward velocity after the bump and increased rebound velocity.''




One thing ShockTune won't do is tell you which way to turn the dials - you'll have to interpret that yourself - but Lueders said that the app is intended to help riders better understand what their bike is doing under them. ''I was actually increasing the rebound damping on my fork, trying to reduce the rebound pop I was feeling,'' he said of the experiment above. ''But, in my case, I had actually added too much rebound damping and it started to have the opposite effect of what I intended.''

If you're wanting the deep-dive on ShockTune, you can check out Lueders' explainer here.


ShockTune
ShockTune


Sounds neato, right? For sure, but there are a few other things to mention, the most notable being that ShockTune is something you use in a controlled environment, not at any point during the ride. Because it's using the accelerometer inside your phone, you have to attach the phone solidly to your bike, but obviously not any of the moving suspension components. If you're evaluating your fork, you'd probably mount it to your handlebar; the shock, you'd attach it to your seat post.

The phone must also be mounted ''perpendicular to one of the axes,'' which is a fancy way of saying get it straight or flat. Once you press record, the accelerometer will also measure everything it feels, and it will definitely feel you pedaling squares as you sprint towards that rock again. Because of this, you'd want to focus on a single, short section of trail, and try to be as consistent with your speed, line, and body inputs as possible. And the more samples you take, the clearer the picture will be. You can also combine and average your recordings by clicking one button.


Does it Work?

After farting around with mounts and rubber bands that wouldn't keep the phone from shaking when I hit a bump, I made my own solid mount using some reflector pieces, SRAM shifter hardware, and an old Topeak cellphone case that now has an extra speed hole. I used a spirit level to ensure that the phone was as flat as possible, with the homemade mount allowing for angle adjustments to get it just right on every axes. The phone was attached to the Mondraker F-Podium DC's handlebar with RockShox's new SID Ultimate on the front of it, and my artificial bump was as high-tech as it gets: I found a 2x4 in the neighbor's yard and laid it on the road.

First up was running straight into it with the fork unlocked and the ShockTune app recording, and I saw the results as soon as I pressed the stop button: A green spike. Next up, I locked the SID out and rode straight into the 2x4 at roughly the same speed as when the fork was unlocked, only this time the spike was much, much taller because the suspension was too firm. With the fork effectively not able to move, the phone's accelerometer was displaced quicker and more than when the fork was unlocked, which showed itself as an even larger green spike.

I could produce a similar effect using too much rebound damping, too, only inverted on the graph. While ShockTune has some limitations in that the phone needs to be level and the intended impact in near-isolation, the completely free-of-charge app provides some interesting data for those curious about what's happening under them.



155 Comments

  • 316 5
 I don’t need an App to tell me my bike is setup like shit.
  • 5 0
 Well said!
  • 113 5
 Im going to stick it on my butt and fine tune my sex drive
  • 8 2
 @glenno:

Comment of the year
  • 6 0
 @glenno: it’s all in the upwards flick my friend. That’s the cheat code.
  • 2 0
 dude same!!!
  • 9 3
 What's an App anyways? Ride bikes
  • 38 0
 @glenno: I tried. Got an error message. Something about needing more than 15 seconds of data? Any help appreciated. Thanks.
  • 3 2
 They just want to harness all your data and sell it. That's the bottom line.
  • 4 5
 @Brett198: Your phone must be able to return acceleration events with a frequency of less than 15 milliseconds. Most iPhones sample at 10 milliseconds which will provide meaningful data, but Androids vary from a couple of milliseconds (which is great), or up to many tens of milliseconds (which is useless). The app will tell you how fast your phone is sampling.
  • 19 0
 @rjlpb: Ok, it all makes sense now. I'm a little winded but when I get my breath back I'll blow up my doll and try again.
  • 5 0
 @endurocat: didn't realize this was a strap-on.
  • 2 0
 @glenno: rebound fully wound out
  • 2 0
 Bracketing is free and it makes you feel better too.
  • 2 0
 @glenno:
Wait, is there a leader board?
  • 1 0
 @CentralVTMTB: It's an application, something that computers have had for as long as mountain bikes have been around: since the 70s.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: Too fancy for me bro. I just thrash and ride. brrrrrap!
  • 49 1
 Dangit! I got excited when I thought this was a clever way to align my bars straight since I still don't see fork mfg's etching a centerline into the steer tube....
  • 10 0
 Centerline in the back FTW!! when will our day come? we have the technology!
  • 9 8
 @shrockie: I want to patent my idea of an hexagonal upper section of the steerer. It would be a minor nuance for the manufacturers, but a helluva help for us users. The same applies to the seatpost/seat tube. Why are we still using round sections there?

Imagine being able to set your saddle and stem straight in a blink. Also, the polygonal section would increase strength in the desired direction.
  • 16 0
 @southoftheborder: Be careful what you say out loud Specialized maybe listing and will steal your idea and patent it before i've finished typing this reply!
  • 24 0
 @southoftheborder: imagine crashing and snapping something instead of your bars or stem slipping
  • 7 0
 @southoftheborder: corners and the like = stress points.
  • 10 1
 Considering Fox can’t install the ovalized steerer tube in the proper orientation on the new 38... I wouldn’t hold my breath.
  • 1 1
 @Duderz7: it actually Better distributes stress vs the high stress pinch clamp system. Its better interface but the weight isn't warranted because of the low amounts of stress from steering a handle bar.
  • 4 0
 @southoftheborder: there are oblong seat tubes on road bikes...
  • 3 1
 @nfontanella: there are many friday fails where the stem slips on the handlebar. it is sometimes the reason for crashing rather than the outcome.
  • 6 0
 @nfontanella: I haven't seen anyone complaining about what you said with dual crown forks and direct mount stems...
  • 2 0
 @DHhack: point taken.
  • 2 0
 @heavyp: they are surely already preparing the papers to sue me for disclosing their newly devised non-round steerer & seatpost combo... I can hear their lawyers creeping up to me from the depths of hell...
  • 3 0
 Sorry to get technical, unless the fork steerer and crown had a key way it would be unlikely to be reliably centred using the press in method that most steerers are installed with. They could add the centre line post installing the steerer but that would be labour intensive. Overall it's not a massive issue for most so I doubt that manufacturers will invest. that said there are laser alignment tools available should you not be able to get it spot on by eye.
  • 4 0
 @southoftheborder: I like where your heads at. Could even do some sort of breakaway system too for the “bars impaling you” issue.

I just had an idea though, flats on the sides of the fork, then you have two screws, one on either side of the stem to “set” and center the stem (I.e 180 deg apart). Then you tighten your stem pinch bolts to torque, and unscrew the stem centering screws. Voila, a centered stem with the traditional breakaway method of our friend, Mr Friction. Patent pending Smile
  • 3 0
 @nwmlarge: You could always cold press the hexagonal part of the steerer AFTER pressing it into the crown. It'd mean adding a way to hold the CSU in a still manner and then pushing the upper part (let's say the upper 10-15 cm) into a cold forging press.
  • 3 0
 @southoftheborder: just put in for the patent. Thx for helping! ????
  • 2 0
 @nwmlarge: Disagreeing with you on this. It would not be labor intensive at all. I work with lasers and laser marking on the daily, and have designed laser tooling just to do this.

A simple adjustable adjustable jig is all you need. Could even be a really small laser, low power. You're only using laser ablation on the surface layer. Set it in the jig, push the go button, would take less than 15 seconds to make the appropriate mark.
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: I've sheared the direct mount bolts from a marzocchi stem in a 07 marzocchi 888 while riding Goats Gully in Whistler, i was trying to make the bike go one way and the roots and rocks were trying to make it go another. Those only had 2 m5 bolts and a steer pinch bolt though.
  • 1 0
 @getsomesy: Yeah, I know a couple of guys who have mangled DM stems beyond any possible fix in crashes. I was referring to the common objection I get when I propose this polygonal steerer, the one about crashes and stem rotation.

The elephant in the room is how hard are the short stems we got used to spec in our bikes to align with the front wheel. But as @krashDH85 has elegantly proposed, a simple jig and a low power laser would do wonders for us mere mortals working in our bikes at home.
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: in my case it was the stem breaking that caused the crash. Ive also had some stems twist which were tightened as much as possible without causing deformation while landing hip jumps and off camber landings, which is really sketchy and shouldnt happen. these days i run a really burly stem that doesnt twist easily but i hate the process of aligning them.

I agree that dual crown forks are a good solution to the problem, and would love to have one on a all mountain bike, its just getting matching suspension performance and geometry thats the main problem to me, also weight and lack of on the fly travel adjust are other downsides.

I like your idea of hex steer tubes or something, but then everyone would need a special type of stem, which there would be mass balking about. i truly believe that would be a bummer to not be able to use all the stems that we all have.
  • 1 0
 @getsomesy: Bike going the opposite way that I want it to go on Goat's. Sounds like every run I do on that damn trail...
  • 2 0
 @getsomesy: (cough, cough, boost spacing... cough, cough, 15mm front axles... cough cough, 20MM BOOST AXLES!!!). The Industry™ doesn't care for what we like.

Without going too technical, we *could* have a way of running our actual stems with my idea of polygonal steerers. Since the conforming/shaping of the steerer would mean its effective diameter would be less than 28.6mm, we could run an adapter shim, consisting of six semi-circular sections, which would bring the actual steerer diameter to 1-⅛. Once you are ready to jump shark and buy a new HexHead™ (see what I did there?) stem/headset, you'd simply take off the adapter shim and mount the new components to your HedHead™ equipped fork.






Or The Industry™ could simple etch a couple marks on the last 10-15 cm of the steerer tube and we could call the day off :-P.
  • 3 0
 @southoftheborder: The problem with any type of interface that is "shaped" to prevent clocking issues is there needs to be fabrication tolerances between the "shape" and the crown and the axle, then between the "shape" and the stem "interface". Tolerances that allow a very minimal slip fit. Conventional processes can yield tight tolerances, but there will be a stack up of those which will eventually be magnified at the end of the bars.

Moral of the story: There will be some amount of play no matter how you look at it, and that will translate to the end of the bars, and the stem won't be aligned correctly. And if that alignment is off on the steertube to the axle, there'd be no way of re-aligning short of pressing the steer tube out and back in again
  • 1 0
 @southoftheborder: hexagonal would be overkill and difficult to manufacture. the steerer tube and the stem just need a groove to insert a metal key. it's not like you're ever going to require more than one position for your stem. a removable key in a grooved keyway would also be useful in packing the bike, if you have to temporarily position the stem 90 deg out from the forks. =)
  • 2 0
 @mattmatthew: see? This is what I love about throwing my stupid ideas out here. Somebody will grab them, and come up with a better (ahem... and plausible!) solution in no time!!! Having so many people from the industrial sector riding bikes and also participating here is amazing.
  • 1 0
 @krashDH85: I agree its not particularly arduous but any labour over and above not doing anything is considered a cost to the manufacturer and therefore would be value engineered out.
  • 1 1
 @nwmlarge: am I the only one who doesn't find this to be a difficult task?
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: Me either, it's simple eye ball it
  • 64 32
 If you can't tell your suspension is setup wrong, is doesn't matter that your suspension is setup wrong.

If you know your suspension is setup wrong then you can tell whats wrong with it and adjust it to feel better.

Even if this app does actually provide useful data (which i'm pretty sure it wont because there are way too many variables involved) it would still be useless.
  • 6 9
 This is the real answer.
  • 55 4
 I think there is a third option:

If you know your suspension is setup wrong, but don't know how to fix it, this app might give you some insight into the issues at hand.
  • 21 6
 Nope. There are people out there, who can't feel it but want to be faster in a race. And this could help them. Not everyone is trained to feel one or two clics of dials on their suspension. Although the results can be clear on the clock (even pros run timed laps and record their setups rather than just go with what feels the best for them). But the number of combinations of suspension setups is almost infinite (to test them all, so something that gives you a hint like this might be very helpful.
  • 9 3
 @IluvRIDING: Someone like that wants the help of a shockwiz or a professional mechanic. Not a janky app that will yield inconsistent and easily misinterpreted data.
  • 3 1
 Does it record the moment your phone smashes to bits?
Another person that thinks a Smart phone will be the answer.
Watch a Dialed episode Jordi explains in plain English how to go about setup.
All manufacturers have a base line set up to start with and suggestions from there.
No smart phone no torpedo level.
  • 30 0
 Who cares. It’s free. Try it out if you like. Maybe it’ll help you get your bike better. Maybe it will suck. But it’s free and could be fun to tinker.
  • 18 0
 Reminds of a story about two race car drivers. Both drivers were given a car set-up the same and told to run laps. Both cars had severe issues, bad suspension, bad brakes, etc. One driver complained endlessly about the car, while the other just put his foot down and kept going faster. Lap after lap, one driver would complain and the other would just go faster.

At the end of the day, the race team kept the guy who complained and cut the guy who just kept going faster. Why? In the end, the team wanted a driver that could help them improve the car to make the car faster. They knew that even the fastest driver wouldn't be able to drive a insufficiently setup car fast enough in a race.

I think it was from the book "Go Like Hell," great book.

Anyways, your comment is pretty spot on. I have friends who bought bikes and have NEVER even checked sag. In their eyes, as long as it moves when you run into something, it's working.
  • 1 0
 How fast would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood? I think this is you're really trying to ask.
  • 3 1
 I only watch porn on my iPad mounted to my stem when riding.
  • 2 2
 So are you also claiming that all the pro teams that use telemetry, and also every motorsport team are also wasting their time?
  • 5 1
 @Yaan: don't watch Jordie you might actually get dumber watch Steve m vorsprung tech tips
  • 2 0
 Free App, universal phone mount for your mountain bike will cost you $49.95
  • 5 0
 Somebody buy thisam a drink. I'm drunk. Sup.
  • 3 1
 @fraserw: this app gives zero insight into suspension issues. It only gives insight into how the phone and whatever it's mounted to are moving. Without vast suspension knowledge, that information is basically useless.

Besides that taking one impact at a time isn't how it works in real riding. Sure this might help you dial in your rebound to get closer to critically damped, but so can riding off a curb and tuning the clickers to reduce oscillation. Depending on riding style and trails this may not be ideal. Maybe you want less rebound damping to slam that wheel back down for traction in rough corners. Maybe you need to speed it up because you ride the fork and it's packing down because too much damping isn't letting it extend fast enough before the next impact. (Btw, most people probably need faster rebound. We don't just ride off curbs in the trails, so who cares if it oscillates once or twice off a curb?)

Regarding the mounting: Why should it be mounted perpendicular, and perpendicular to what? The images seem to indicate perpendicular to the ground, except impacts aren't perpendicular, and suspension movement isn't perpendicular.
  • 2 0
 I'd say I fall into the bracket of knowing my suspension isn't quite how I want it, and being able to do something about it. The problem is that for even a fairly experienced rider, with mechanical knowledge, there are now too many knobs to twiddle on most suspension. This app doesn't fix that, mind you! If I want to increase bottom out resistance on a super deluxe with megneg, I can add compression damping, add volume reducers, I can remove neg chamber bands or add main volume pressure. And I might even want to reduce compression damping. And that doesn't even have HSC & LSC. You almost need to run a design of experiments with that many variables, maybe looking at the data in the frequency domain makes more sense. In some ways the simple rockshox products with just air pressure and rebound are the right answer...
  • 3 0
 @mountainsofsussex: actually, volume reducers is really the best way to increase bottom out resistance. Adding low speed compression damping doesn't really help because on a big hit the high speed circuit opens anyway. Adding main pressure changes your sag too, which you don't want unless you're out of volume spacers. Megneg bands also would help, but again they're there for a different reason (off-the-top feel and midstroke) and if you use them for bottom out protection you're making a compromise. Volume spacers are the way, nothing else should come into the options until volume spacers are maxed and it's still not enough.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: thanks for the advice. I was mainly making a point, but glad of pointers!
I did the recommend thing and took out spacers when I fitted the megneg, with the aim of firming up the mid-stroke. Mid-stroke is better, but the o-ring pretty much falls off the bottom of the shock still. There's obviously a window of sag, so that is an option, though it can get harsh. And I thought the HSC circuit was still affected by the LSC knob. Suppose it depends on the individual shock. But, yes, the plan was to put one of the spacers back in.
  • 1 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Where is it recommended to remove volume spacers? I don't have a megneg (or even an RS shock in use anymore), so I've not looked at the docs. A bigger negative chamber is going to require higher starting pressures to hit the same sag, so I could see needing less spacers, but it's a different spring (than non-megneg) so everything is different.

HSC is affected by LSC in that HSC won't be used until the oil can't flow through the LSC. So leaving LSC wide open means it will take more shaft speed to use the HS circuit, but a bottoming event is pretty much always going to be a high (maybe mid) speed event, so even a wide open LS circuit will be overwhelmed and the HS circuit will be controlling the hit. The only way LSC could help prevent bottoming is if the spring rate is a little bit low and LSC is helping to counter (some) of a rearward weight shift, so when that big hit comes the shock has a little more travel left. But that's a band-aid, and spring rate really should be the thing deciding ride height.
  • 2 2
 @deonvg: Thats a Trump-ism, maybe find some information about the topic before donating your opinions. At least these guys give raw data, showing a basic level of accuracy not guaranteed by Shockwhiz.
  • 1 0
 @pbullard2017: Lol, give me a break. Anyone with half a brain who works on bikes knows this app will yield data that's just gonna tell you how stiff your phone mount and CSU are.

Giving raw data means nothing if the data is drawn from an inherently flawed sensor. Sure, maybe the shockwiz also isn't the greatest tool. But if your riding is at the point at which you want suspension analysis, you should just shell out for the Motion IQ kit.

I'm "donating" my opinion on the matter because my job is to work on the bikes of jerk-offs like you.
  • 2 0
 @just6979: the megneg manual says remove 1-2 tokens when fitting the megneg. I removed 2. I'll put one back in. Removing negative bands increases negative volume. Which means a higher pressure to get back to the right sag point. It actually is noticeably harder to pump the damn thing up! I'm about 20% higher shock pressure now. Thanks for the input on the HSC/LSC separation. Every day's a school day!
  • 1 0
 @rjlpb: exactly 69
  • 32 0
 Dear App Developer, Sorry all of my friends are ass hats complaining about a free app they've never even used. Thank you for trying to offer something useful and allowing people to use it for free. Sincerely, Me
  • 30 9
 AS AN ENGINEER that works with IMUs for control of autonomous vehicles, I'm skeptical about this product.

The first and most obvious issue is the mount - it's impossible to get it aligned (aligned to what is another question, I can think of various reasons to align it to different parts of the bicycle depending on suspension geometry and your tuning goals). If that position was somehow known and universal among all MTBs, the app would need some kind of internal calibration that takes averages of values at high speed and low yaw to determine what relation it is mounted in, because it's impossible for a human to figure that out especially Mike Levy with some old Topeak mounts and a rubber band.

The other thing I wonder about is filtering and data rates. Every phone model is going to have different IMUs, and board design and OS both will affect how the acceleration data travels and can be consumed by apps. The app would have to know this and apply some kind of filtering so the data is equivalent between different phones and OS.

Lastly is how do you tune the filtering in general - even purpose built equipment mounted properly and calibrated in a vehicle creates lots of noise for various reasons, a mountain bike will create absurd amounts of noise. On that graph, the time access doesn't seem to even have time labeled, and those spikes are meaningless to interpret without knowing their duration. A 60 m/s^2 spike over .01 seconds is completely different than one over .05 seconds. Haha! Actually, I just wrote all this to humble brag about being an engineer on pinkbike, but it was a trick, I'm actually a neurosurgeon that watches youtube videos about IMUs, oldest trick in the book, can't believe you read this wall of text. Happy tuning.
  • 30 0
 But you are not German, not vegan, and you don't do crossfit, otherwise you would have mention it on first sentence.
  • 3 0
 Did you sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night? Lucky
  • 1 0
 ALL THE UPVOTES!
  • 2 0
 Is the accelerometer in a common cell phone even sensitive enough to measure meaningful data? I mean there i a split second delay just for an iphone to realize that I turned the screen sideways. Is it really capable of capturing suspension movement that matters? "minimizing the extremes" is likely something anyone with any experience would be able to do just be feel.
  • 3 1
 The app isn't for you then. You already know everything and probably have the perfect suspension setup.
  • 1 1
 @sino428: as good as any Garmin or gps device in you car.
  • 2 0
 @sino428: that delay is intentional or else the screen would be flipping constantly. Most phones do have fairly precise accelerometers (repeatable readings), but the calibration to a reference and the overall accuracy (is Z axis of the sensor actually aligned to exactly the phone's axis, and does it actually give the correct values) is quite questionable.

And you nailed the other part. If you care just a little bit and spend a little time, anyone can feel the extremes, and then bracket your tuning to get to something that feels better.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: I agree, phone GPS systems work great, but I’m taking about the accelerometer.
  • 1 0
 @sino428: they use accelerometers. Sorry I didn't make that more clear
  • 1 1
 @sino428: You can definitely get good data from a modern smart phone IMU, but the "meaningful" part is where it gets tricky. If you made a really good machined aluminum mount, mounted the phone to your car, devised a way to calibrate it, you could absolutely do things like run a home brew traction control device with that resolution of IMU data from a phone. Looking for peaks in Z accel and trying to tune a mountain bike shock though? I'm skeptical no matter the accuracy whether that would be meaningful.

One smart thing this company could do is have the users of this app opt in to sharing their data, so they could collect large amounts of traces with the phone type and hopefully bike info labelled, get some idea of what is "normal," adjust the filtering on certain phones that need it, and try to set meaningful baselines. This still has the problem with the mounts being inconsistent, different bikes having different geo, stiffness, vibration characteristics, etc.
  • 1 0
 Could they not use the internal spirit level on the phone?
  • 3 0
 As an engineer, I’m excited about where else I can use this app. A crude oscilloscope, as inaccurate as it may be, is still a tool that provides insight. Every tool has a tolerance, so with that in mind, and the fact that it’s free, I think it’s a cool idea. If you’re comparing it’s data relative to itself, its other graphs, and the data makes sense given your inputs, it shouldn’t matter what phone it is.
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: As an engineer, you could also use phyphox, save it, and interpret it with a program written by yourself. Matlab for example..
  • 2 0
 @Pussyslayer: No doubt, there’s lots of ways to accomplish this!
  • 2 0
 @Pussyslayer: I didn't know this app. It's awesome!
  • 1 0
 @GorgeousBeauGaston: I just look at the pictures on pinkbike from the pits at world cups where riders have "data acquisition" setups on their bikes, and how robust they are. Sensors all over the place, wires everywhere, etc. Then see someone trying to do it with an iphone strapped to the handle bars and have to wonder what the gap is. If you take the setups that WC teams are using as the highest standard of gathering useful and meaningful data, how close can using a simple phone get. Not that it has to be to the WC standard for regular people, but is it even close?
  • 15 4
 Great app! This will surely bump my suspension performances up with less impact on my wallet.
  • 4 0
 You're totally right, but another way I'm thinking about is that for me, the high end shocks aren't worth it because I'll never be able to take advantage of all the tunability. This app adds basically no cost on top of ~$2000 (fork/shock) and would bring so much more value to the package for your average Joe.
  • 7 1
 @Lanebobane: is that the sound of air rushing from my out of service fork or those puns flying over your head
  • 3 0
 This just leveled the competition.
  • 3 0
 @jfleming10: That comment was filled with puns? I hate it when guys f*rk with me like that.
  • 3 0
 @Lanebobane: you can easily take advantage of all those dials. It just takes a little time.

Going for the cheap shock just because you're afraid of dials would be like buying a stove with an on-off switch instead of a dial because you're not a chef. Sure it "cooks" food, but the experience of eating most of that burned food will be shit. Same with buying a shock without adjustability. It moves, but is just aimed at fitting the average person, so if you're outside that range of average (size, ride style, trails, f*cking tire pressure), that shock is going to burn you and the ride will be (relatively) shit.

If you can afford it, get the better damper, and spend a tiny bit of time tuning it. Your rides will thank you.
  • 10 1
 Wouldnt this just measure how "bumpy" the track, not how well your suspension is working?
  • 9 0
 I'm wondering that too, how does it know it's a big rock with good suspension or a small rock with crap suspension?
  • 3 0
 Well a rigid bike on the same track as a well set up FS bike would give very different spikes. If you twiddle some dials you can mitigate the extremes of the spikes and feel that you are improving the performance of your suspension. Same idea as Shockwiz but it tells you how to twiddle where this just tells you to twiddle at random.
  • 8 0
 @paulskibum: except that the shockwiz monitors air pressure and uses your shock rate to actually understand what your suspension is doing where this is just measuring how bumpy it feels at your handlebar...
  • 1 0
 That's why it has to be used in a controlled environment. Like the example above, hitting a 2x4 on edge is just a single wack, and so the damping and oscillations can be read and understood with some clarity. You're right though, that if more than one bump is hit, things get much harder to understand.
  • 3 0
 @inked-up-metalhead: You're supposed to use two phones. One on your bike and one on the rock.
  • 2 0
 @rrolly: but then I need a third phone for Strava results and a fourth phone to day trade on.
  • 1 0
 @danny: Yeah shockwiz uses compression and ramp to recommend adjustments.
  • 12 3
 Pass. I'll just ride my bike and skip over this level of bike geek.
  • 4 0
 I doubt this will be much use without being able to measure travel. I've thought about trying to measure travel with 2 accelerometers above and below the stanchions, but they'd have to be aligned perfectly and the error would be high.
  • 1 0
 A photodetector along with a black and white strip might work.
  • 6 0
 Seems like a bit of a hassle to set up, but the technology is awesome considering the price of a ShockWiz.
  • 1 0
 My favorite LBS rents one for cheap.
  • 3 0
 An interesting use of the app would be as a rider "smoothness" test instead of being used on suspension. Attach it to the rider themselves and measure impacts/motion overlaid on video or Trailforks and compare against others.
  • 6 3
 So, will I:
1. Jerry rig my $500 to $1000 phone to my handle bar, expose it to shaking and impacts it was not designed to handle, and risk breaking said phone for marginally useful data?
Or
2. Buy or rent a Shockwiz which actually does work and provide useful suggestions?
Or
3. Just ride and try, asking friends and bike shop folks for advice?

Definitely number 3
Possibly number 2
Absolutely not for number 1. Free is nice, but the risk reqard here is not worth it.
  • 2 1
 Don't do #3. Nothing anyone else can tell you is better than doing it yourself. Set sag, set rebound to something reasonable for that pressure (sticker on fork\shock or bounce test (look it up)), set compression in the middle, find a good section of trail, bracket those settings. Takes maybe one ride worth of time, and will be better than any setting that anyone else can guess at for you.

The only thing someone external can tell you is that if you're bottoming out a lot then you need to reduce volume in the air spring (or increase spring rate on a coil. There is actually more to each of those, but then we get next level)
  • 2 0
 you can buy a $200 Android phone that will work better and have more features than a dedicated Garmin bike computer (which costs 2-3 times as much)... I haven't broken any phone on my bikes in the 8 years that I'm using them, I crash all the time, and I would never go back to a limited "dumb" dedicated bike computer
  • 1 0
 @f00bar: there are bike computers that do just as much as a phone re: biking, and others that are much much smaller (you really want a big ol' phone strapped to your mtn stem?). Not to mention the battery life: garmins are optimized to take good readings continuously, phones are optimized to keep your battery going all day and gpsing constantly is a big drain. I'd rather save my phone battery in case something happens and I need to call for help (you should since you "crash all the time").


All that said, I recently removed the garmin mount from my mtb (still on my commuter, for exploring new routes to work), and just use my watch for tracking and osmand (or opencyclemap) on my phone in my pocket to double check trail maps
  • 1 0
 @just6979: the low price of the phone means you don't use your main phone - you buy a second phone and use it without a SIM card as a better, smarter bike computer. So you actually have a second device you can use in case of an emergency, since you don't need a SIM card to call 911/112.
With offline maps and no need for a data connection (or any connection at all for that matter), the battery life is no worse than with the Garmin.
  • 7 0
 Wow, even when stuff is free people cant stop complaining.
  • 3 0
 I just bought a shockwiz second hand. Easy to mount, easy to use. Tells you what to adjust. Tells you what to ride to further fine tune. I thought my fork and shock were set up pretty much perfect....they were far from it....and now they feel a tonne better. And when Im done with it, it will resell for roughly the price I bought it for. This just feels like hard work in comparison. But each to their own.
  • 3 0
 Holy shit y'all will bitch about ANYTHING

It's a free app. It uses a phone on whatever homebrew mount you put it on. It provides limited data that is RELATIVE, very important here-- RELATIVE INFORMATION. Make setup changes and see the data change. Use your brain and decide if it's helping or not. If it's not, uninstall the app, and continue riding.

"oH a PhOnE isNt AcCuRaTe FoR rEaDiNgs" calm the f*ck down, ya nerds, it's a tool that has an inherently limited use, but it's also free and nearly no hassle to use, and even easier not to. Beats the wee out of spending thousands on power meters and shock sensors. Sheesh
  • 1 1
 Dont be naive, nothing is free. This is just another useless app just to sell your personal information and push ads on you. This isn't some act of charity towards mountain bikers.
  • 2 0
 Great idea actually!! Just a bit sceptical your phone's accelerometer is precise enough to give good data about movements anywhere between 0-200 mm. I would love to be proven wrong though
  • 1 0
 there is precision, and there is range. The picture shows a 6 Gs acceleration. I don't think many phones can go this far.
  • 3 0
 @faul: the precision (repeatability) and range should be plenty, but the accuracy is questionable. That's why any "bubble level" app will let you calibrate/zero the measurement.

The app author's insistence at trying to accurately align the device shows they're missing some of the understanding: you could mount it any way at all, even upside down and aligned to your father-in-law's 65 degree rise hybrid stem, and just tell the software to treat that alignment as the "zero".
  • 1 0
 @just6979: Yes, the t axis in the app does exactly that. That is, combines accelerations split across multiple axes, regardless of phone orientation. Horizontal mountain allows you as a user to distinguish vertical vs horizontal forces acting on the bike.
  • 2 0
 @rjlpb: if it can provide a T, then it can provide a U and V for combined accelerations in the other 2 directions, and use them for calibrated XYZ. This is what pretty much all other accelerometer or level software does in the calibration. Then mounting alignment does not matter at all.
  • 2 0
 I still struggle to grasp the idea of this magical setup we all keep chasing... It's such a personable thing, that even when you have pro riders swap bikes, many dislike one another's setup.
  • 1 0
 Surely the better way of doing this would be for them to fabricate something small and therefore fixes easily and solid to the bars or post, and have that device emit a bluetooth signal to the app on your phone.

Seems like the biggest challenge is getting the phone mounted correctly to your bike for this to work, so why not get rid of that and replace it with an easier solution?
  • 1 0
 great, my $1200 phone went flying off the handlebars then smashed on a rock and I ran it over. I still can't figure out how to adjust my suspension correctly.

actually that's not true. I know how to set my sag correctly and once I have that set i like to slow the rebound down a bit and also adjust the compression so it's on the soft side. then I just leave it like that and don't f*ck with it. I seriously couldn't imagine adding a phone to the mix with even more data to absorb.
  • 3 1
 Won’t be long till Apple or Samsung buy up this app.
“1% discount on new phone purchase when you turn in your old phone run over by a bike and smashed on the rocks”
  • 3 0
 We need a full test. Get a few PB folks to use it to set up their bikes. See if they screw it up or make it better.
  • 5 1
 You know what App isn't free? Strava.
  • 4 0
 But it is another useless app that provides meaningless data, so at least they've got that going for them
  • 2 0
 That’s how they got us. 7 years (for me) of being addicted to leaderboards. Then they move it behind the paywall. Classic Bait and Switch.
  • 1 0
 It took 10yrs before I thought any changes I did made things better. I have still only one thing I am sure of and that’s if you don’t have at least 2 bottomless rings in your RockShox shock you need them.
  • 3 0
 How I set up my shock- Ride Twist a knob Forget about it.
  • 2 1
 Ooo! an app to help everyone give up on suspension tuning. I assume it comes with a help button that prints a shipping label to suspension shop
  • 2 0
 I mean...if ya need an app for this an app isn't gonna help ya
  • 2 0
 In order to find it on iOS App Store, search for "MTB Shock Tune", not ShockTune or MTBX.
  • 3 0
 Avoid the headache of suspension set up and ride rigid!
  • 4 0
 I always ride rigid.
  • 3 0
 @fabwizard: My wife does as well, but I prefer a different lifestyle choice.
  • 1 0
 @hangdogr: nothing wrong with naked Mt Biking
  • 2 0
 An even quicker way to know your suspension is set right: open the box which arrived from Avalanche. Done.
  • 2 0
 A lack of skill compensator to help set up the lack of skill compensators. Half joking
  • 2 0
 I have one of those accelerometers on my shock hand dyno as well. Nice!
  • 2 0
 Just rent a shockwiz from your local shop, and actually bring it back.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how many people are saying "what a terrible idea" and downloading it anyway?
  • 1 0
 More cushion for the pushin? Count me in!
  • 1 0
 So much wrong with this...too many lurking variables.
  • 1 0
 So this is just raw, uninterpreted data?
  • 1 0
 Now I just gotta get me some carbon mounting hardware for the phone
  • 1 0
 I’d rather shit in my hands and clap
  • 1 0
 I don't think you would, but I could be wrong.
  • 1 0
 Yolo send it!
  • 1 0
 LOL!
  • 1 1
 Shockingly simple!
  • 1 1
 But I’m not with Bell

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