A Closer Look at Jesse Melamed's Prototype Electronic FOX Suspension

Aug 6, 2022 at 15:12
by Brian Park  
Fox RAD electronic suspension prototype
Jesse #1, apparently.
Fox RAD electronic suspension prototype
Data acquisition mount point still installed.

Last month we saw some new Fox bits on Ed Masters' Pivot Firebird, and it looks like that product is now being rolled out to other athletes. Jesse Melamed's Rocky Mountain has the new system as well, and he's just piloted it to an impressive result in the EWS Whistler Pro Stage. Unfortunately, Kaz and Alicia are racing the EWS100 right now, Henry's packing up the Pinkbike Racing setup in MSA, Seb's asleep in the UK, and Levy and Matt are off today. So, you'll have to settle for my uninformed, non-tech-editor insights.

Fox RAD electronic suspension prototype
A clean, low-profile remote to change modes without letting go of your grip.
Fox RAD electronic suspension prototype
Wire-free sensor on the brake mount.

There appears to be a remote which presumably would cycle through different modes. That's missing from the current LiveValve system at the moment, and could be a good way for the system to err on the side of openness. On track, we saw Richie Rude and Youn Deniaud with similar-looking setups. I'm personally surprised to see racers trying the system out in a place like Whistler, where many of them have historically chosen coil suspension. Although this year's Whistler EWS course has some punchy climbs, I imagine that any advantages from a system like this would be amplified at faster, smoother races elsewhere. Either way, after the Pro stage it appears the system has passed its first major test.

If you were hoping for more information, hang tight. I know Levy and Matt shot a video with Jesse testing on this system that's going to be done for tomorrow. I'm fairly sure Fox is still a ways from production, so not exactly "review tomorrow," but close enough.


56 Comments

  • 126 2
 Well someone figured out how to keep those finned pads from rattling.
  • 9 38
flag Compositepro (Aug 6, 2022 at 15:59) (Below Threshold)
 No biggie the cost of electricity increases will mean no one can afford to charge all that anyway
  • 34 0
 I think I’m happier seeing that hack as opposed to the electronic suspension!
  • 92 0
 Thanks to my dad.
  • 13 1
 @JesseMelamed: Thanks @Dadamed!
  • 5 0
 @JesseMelamed: Well a pat on the back for pops for sure.

Congrats on the pro stage win, and both ALN, and Remi looking fast af
  • 3 0
 @JesseMelamed: always listen to the mayor
  • 2 0
 @Svinyard: he got mayor hacks up his sleeve
  • 4 1
 You just have to ride faster than the speed of sound like these guys and the rattling cant catch you.?
  • 36 3
 Legal battle on patents will be released on Monday..
  • 27 1
 #morebrianparkcontent
  • 21 2
 "That's missing from other systems at the moment" actually SRAM has an optional controller for their Flight Attendant system. Most companies that use the system don't opt to include it though.
  • 40 2
 Ugh, see this is why I'm not a tech editor. I was mostly thinking of LiveValve here, will update.
  • 26 11
 A battery on the shock, a battery on the seatpost. a battery on the rear derailleur. Do you try to put as many batteries on a bike as possible to make sure someone always forgets to charge one?
  • 61 9
 Hint: most mountain bike development today is actually disguised development of future bropeds. It’s all going to be wired into a single battery, run a single wireless bus, and allow you to climb 15,000 feet with zero physical fitness the first day you buy it. Rewatch WALL-E.
You didn’t think 38mm stanchions were for pedal bikes - right?
  • 13 17
flag Bcroslin (Aug 6, 2022 at 17:16) (Below Threshold)
 @Mtmw: AND IT WILL BE GLORIOUS
  • 1 2
 @Mtmw: hahahaha
  • 6 3
 @Mtmw: FWIW, I love my 38mm stanchion on my pedal bike. Massive stiffness upgrade.
  • 16 2
 @aireeek: I bet you wouldn’t be able to tell a difference in a blind test.
  • 28 0
 @no-good-ideas: sounds dangerous
  • 3 0
 In the meantime nothing got improved, just getting more complicated to go out for a ride
  • 3 2
 @no-good-ideas: I’m pretty sure I could. I’m a big strong guy, who rides pretty hard. The increase in stiffness from my Lyrik to a 38 was not subtle - it was a surprisingly massive increase.
  • 1 0
 At least the sram batteries are all interchangeable, so you only need to bring one spare, which is smaller than a GoPro battery.
  • 15 0
 Can we just go over how great Jesse is at fan interaction. Seriously he's the man
  • 26 0
 At the current temperatures I interact with fans a lot, too.
  • 1 0
 @bashhard: well said
  • 10 1
 Next month solar panels for the top of your helmet
  • 9 0
 Water bottle chiller would be next
  • 4 0
 I'm thinking this system will also have a connected app that provides ride summary data to the user. Maybe something similar to Shockwiz, but with the ability to apply the data to make real-time setting changes. Just a guess...
  • 6 1
 Needs a bottle cage attachment.
  • 2 0
 With a water e-pump to cool the e-shock.
  • 7 3
 Looking forward to the production review tomorrow.
  • 2 0
 That's all I want out of electronics. Is programmable maps with valving adjusts pre programmed but self programmable and a 3 way push of button change.
  • 1 0
 Everyone should go to JesseMelameds youtube channel and check out his EWS stage win helmet cam run. The way he is at redline for 8 minutes Charging the entire time. The speed is on another level the entire time.
  • 1 1
 My quick impression from Jesse’s comments in the video is that this does absolutely nothing. He’s obviously trying to be positive, because he doesn’t want to piss off the sponsor. But all he’s got to say about it is that it doesn’t cause problems and isn’t noticeable…
  • 2 0
 Guessing an accelerometer on the rear triangle to sense motion. And then active tuning of damping on the rear shock
  • 1 0
 So essentially a wireless electronic version of Specialized brain?
Replacing hydraulic inertia valve with electronic valve could speed up response time. But now, there're more battery to charge.
  • 3 0
 @Hexsense: The advantage of the electronics is that you can introduce algorithms to integrate acceleration to get suspension displacement, tune damping curves, and maybe introduce estimators to predict future motion. Challenges of the accelerometer would be separating out suspension motion vs overall bike motion. It would be easier to put a position sensor on the suspension pivot but that would make it custom to the bike.

Technically they could do the damping entirely electro-mechanically, but I think it would be pretty heavy and inefficient. Likely its still hydraulic damping with the same control valves being turned electro-mechanically (notors).
  • 1 0
 wonder if there is a pressure sensor in the air spring to sense shock displacement. Might explain why it's an air shock when Melamed and Masters usually run coil shocks.
  • 3 0
 Wow! They weren't joking, that is a really close look!
  • 1 0
 Richie is running the same shock. I noticed it this week in a few instagram posts.
  • 2 0
 Deep dive - show us the source code! Razz
  • 1 0
 Judging from the looks of that rear sensor they might wanna find a more protected spot for it...
  • 8 7
 insert generic comment about charging batteries
  • 1 0
 Still waiting for a missing link suspension bike...
  • 2 2
 Totally looks like a motor.
  • 1 2
 Misalignment between the "Jesse #1" and "R7" stickers in the second photo got me down.
  • 6 9
 Quite surprised suck a small shock being used on bug enduro bike vs an x2.
  • 41 0
 Because they can’t predict when the X2 top mount shaft is going to blow up.
  • 3 0
 Why can’t that shock be used on an enduro bike.
  • 1 1
 @kirny6: is that MY21-22 specific or?
  • 2 0
 @jrocksdh: seems so be specific to trunnion mounted MY21-22
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: what Dendens said but its air and coil FYI.
  • 1 0
 @kirny6: good to know thanks
  • 4 6
 Electric bull***t





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