Video: Testing out the Fox Live Valve System with Keegan Swenson in 'Dialed'

Jul 16, 2020
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesCollaboration is a key component in the continual evolution of Fox's products. In this episode, Keegan Swenson works along side the Fox team to do some testing and tuning of his Live Valve suspension setup. FOX

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Member since Mar 16, 2017
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  • 11 0
 Cant wait for the next episode of dialed: working with levy on developing a fork that will not snap when put on the grim donut
  • 3 1
 Might be a big ask given they can't even solve the creaking crown issue with forks on the average ordinary bikes.
  • 3 0
 I have Live Valve on a Pivot Mach 4SL and I like it a lot more than the Fox dual manual lockout I've had on my previous 2 XC race bikes. Is it worth the $?... probably only if the extra cost is something you wouldn't sweat. Pretty much the same as XO1 12spd vs AXS 12spd. Yes, AXS is great, but only if the added cost is no big deal.

Is Live Valve the future of Enduro? Not so sure there. I've ridden a Pivot Switchblade with and without Live Valve. On that bike I preferred the bike without Live Valve. The small benefits when climbing aren't worth the lack of tuning when descending.
  • 1 0
 I'd prefer if they used the same smarts in a shockwiz type of way with a link back to a garmin to record suspension data, then we can manually tweak suspension in an informed, cheap and cheerfull way, auto tuning on the fly is something costly im not interested in.
  • 3 0
 I can see this being the future - automatic, on-the-fly adjusted suspension pressure, tire pressure, even bike geometry which morphs to suit the terrain.
  • 2 1
 One important quality in gear is predictability. It helps for my confidence. I rather know what something does even if it isn't ideal (so that I can adapt) rather that it might switch to that super optimal setting but I'm not 100% sure that it has. I never got along with automatic transmission for cars. It just doesn't shift the way I would have and obviously how deep I push the throttle depends on what gear I am in. I'm fine with manual transmission. I can't think of another automatic system that I'm happy with and which I need to cooperate with under demanding conditions (like riding or driving a vehicle).

I don't use lock out but I understand that most systems with lock out also have a blow by valve. It may not be as flattering as a system that doesn't remind you that you messed up (or silently does the job for you) but at least it won't let you down completely and does give you the opportunity to unlock it while you're at it. If it happens too often, get a remote switch (and get over the feel that you need the super clean cockpit, as apparently you need the remote).

That said, on the fly in itself can be nice. Technically of course on the fly adjustable fork travel was a way of on the fly adjustable geometry. Bionicon has had adjustable bike geometry for over twenty years or so probably. Canyon also has on the fly adjustable geometry. As for automatic, the (fifteen year old?) Kona Magic Link did automatically affect the rear suspension performance depending on whether you were climbing or descending. What eventually would be convenient indeed is to be able to program personal presets that would affect different metrics. Some stuff would be harder to realize (like spring rate in a conventional linear fork or tire pressure) but damping settings, saddle heights, maybe even air chamber volume and rear hub POE (why not, if you've got two ratchet rings and can automatically shift one of them out of the way) may be doable. But look up some book in the 70s, 80s of what the year 2000 would look like (20 years ago now). Much hasn't materialized and even it would have, how would any of that has made us happier?
  • 5 0
 I think Evan just helped me detect a bump that's over threshold
  • 11 8
 Fox LiveValve = Segway = Google Glass. R.I.P. 20??-20??. Forever and always amen.
  • 1 0
 So I guess the jury is still out on Live Valve then lol. Opinion seems about as split as the use of the term down country. Wonder if a version 2.0 would have anyone convinced.
  • 4 1
 You: "Hey, having some trouble with my Fox LiveValve"
LBS: "Uh, ok, can you leave it with us for a year or two?"
  • 7 5
 Didn't Specialized Brain do this... oh... 20 years ago?

I know it's different ya heathens
  • 3 2
 Sort of. Except the Specialized Brain would break after 20 minutes, then you just had a normal shock/fork.
  • 5 1
 @PullMyBrakeLever: This video was not even five minutes. No proof that it holds up as long as the Brain did.
  • 1 0
 I did a video on my YouTube channel on the Fox Live Valve and really did not come away from it super impressed.
  • 3 0
 Was it ever not?
  • 5 5
 It's fun to hear them struggle to actually justify Live Valve. But the point about never having to worry about my shock being locked reaaaally convinced me lmfao.
  • 6 0
 Had a friend that rides 4-5 days a week, for the last 20 years, get a hold of a bike with the live valve for three days. He said the first ride blew his mind on how well the bike performed on his home trails. He said he will get it no matter what when it becomes available.
  • 1 0

Yeah, I mean I know a lot of the people who have ridden this may be biased, but I've heard good things. Like really good things from people who I know who have been on it. Like "man, that shit is insane how well it works."
  • 1 0
Agreed. The guy I know that road it is a xc rider but downhills like and enduro racer. The trails in our area are really rocky with some mild sections. Plenty of rough and steep uphill and downhill here. He said he had never had an experience like that on a mtb. He is one of a handful of people I would take advice from for bike purchases.
  • 1 0
 @vjunior21: Yep. I've inferred that it's very good for modern XC courses that have quite a bit of technical, fast descending and chunk in them but still require to quickly transition to pedaling sections. I'm not sure that it's as good for enduro where there isn't any kind of emphasis on speed on climbs.
  • 2 0
 Sram, please make urs wireless.
  • 1 0
 Fox used a wired system because with current technology it uses much less power (thus a lighter battery) and is much faster than wireless. I'm sure the future will be wireless, but for now this is the best that is available.
  • 1 0
 I learned a lot from this...
  • 2 2
 I mean Fox LiveValve is cool, it’s definitely better than the brain that’s for sure.
  • 1 0
 Perfect for eMTB.
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