Live Valve, Fox's electronically controlled suspension system has received several updates for 2022 that are designed to soften up the overall feel a little bit, while still allowing it to automatically adapt to the terrain. Where the previous version was all about delivering an extra-firm, hardtail-like sensation whenever possible, that's been toned down for version 1.5.
The basics remain the same – there are sensors at various locations that communicate with a central controller that's mounted on top of the battery that powers the system. The system monitors the pitch angle of the bike and detects bump inputs at the front wheel, and then makes changes to the fork and shock accordingly by increasing or decreasing the amount of compression damping
For the latest version of Live Valve, Fox reduced the slope angle required to put the bike into descend mode, decreased the size of the impact required for the system to switch modes, and changed the timer settings so that the suspension will remain in descend mode longer than before. All of those changes help to keep the bike from feeling too firm too much of the time, a sensation testers noticed on the Live Valve bikes we've reviewed in the past.
Along with altering Live Valve's algorithm, Fox also made revisions to the internals of the fork and shock. Live Valve shocks receive a new main piston, the same one used in the Float X2 Performance shock, which is said to allow for a broader tuning range. Bike manufacturers are able to choose from three different base tunes – XC, Trail, and All-Mtn/Enduro - depending on the bike the system will be going on.
The final piece of the Live Valve 1.5 puzzle is Bluetooth connectivity and an app to go along with it. The allows riders to select from 5 different factory pre-set modes that can be further customized to suit different preferences. There will also be more modes added in the future that can be downloaded via the app.
Mike Levy and Henry Quinney were able to put in a bunch of miles on the new Giant Trance Advanced 29 as part of the Fall Field Test – you can read all about how it works in the real world here