Shimano Files Patent Detailing Machine Learning for Automatic Suspension Control

Jan 10, 2024 at 9:19
by Jessie-May Morgan  
Are you a real company in 2024 if you don't announce plans to leverage AI? Sure sure, there's a massive difference between announcing plans to use AI and, you know, actually doing it... but a recently published patent application from Shimano describes use of a trainable machine learning program for the automatic control of mountain bike suspension and a dropper seat post.

Automatic control of suspension itself is nothing new. Fox Live Valve, RockShox Flight Attendant and more recently, SR Suntour's TACT suspension products have been automatically adjusting suspension damping, with varying levels of success, for a good number of years now. However, the programming behind the function of these products is relatively fixed. There is no scope for the rider to give the system feedback on its performance. It can't "learn" what the rider's preferences are.

In contrast, what Shimano describes in US Patent 11866114 B2, is a system that can automatically adjust suspension behavior and seatpost and saddle position on-the-fly, that can also be "trained" by the rider to perform optimally for a given track.

I will admit that this patent made for some of the driest reading I'll (hopefully) do all year. Like, as dry as the Sahara desert in a year of particularly low rainfall. Fear not. Here, I have attempted to distill it into an ever so slightly more hydrated and digestible format.

<Photo is private>

Machine Learning for Automatic Bicycle Suspension Control

The setup comprises a comprehensive data acquisition system with a host of sensors measuring a lot of parameters relating to how the bike is being ridden, and over what type of terrain. Speed, cadence, torque, accelerations, tire pressure and brake usage are all measured, as well as the bike's yaw, roll, and pitch. Also in there are accelerometers on the suspension, recording information about how well the suspension is absorbing forces coming up from the wheel. There's also a camera up front.

All that information is fed into a control unit, which is itself connected to a variety of electric motors or solenoid valves that are able to adjust things like spring rate, damper position, stroke length, lock-out, seat post height, as well as saddle position.

<Photo is private>

It's not so difficult to imagine how a piece of software could be programmed to actuate changes in suspension settings to ensure that the bike's behavior is appropriate to the terrain at any given moment. Though they don't use all of the sensors mentioned here, Fox Live Valve and RockShox Flight Attendant suspension components operate on that basis. What's unique to Shimano's patent, is that the program can learn and alter itself accordingly as it collects more and more data - data that would be considered "training data" in AI and machine learning circles. And, some of that data can be in the form of direct feedback from the rider.

<Photo is private>

Fig.11 shows a selection screen, wherein the rider is asked to provide feedback on suspension settings and seatpost height changes that were implemented within the last 10 seconds of riding. The rider can select "Like" or "Dislike" (rendered somewhat hilariously in Facebook's icons) to approve or disapprove of the change in question, feedback that then informs the learning module. This is a form of supervised learning where the system is able to take into account the rider's preferences to make better decisions in future.

The document reads, "[the invention] achieves automatic control of the telescopic mechanism appropriate for the riding characteristics and the preference of the user being the rider of the human-powered vehicle."

Fig.15 shows another screen stating which hypothetical courses have been learned by the program already - "Olympic Course" and "ABC Downhill".

It's entirely possibly my imagination is running a little wild here. But, is it possible that the aim is to develop a system for automatic suspension control that is incredibly specific to both the track being raced, and the rider's preference?

Let's think about how that might work over a World Cup XCO weekend. An athlete gets access to the course for 2-3 hours per day ahead of race day. They might get 6 or 7 full laps of the course, with the option to session the more technical sections of track where plethora line choice is on offer. On the first few laps, the rider uses the manual mode, and the learning module learns from the rider's manual control of the suspension and seat post, while collecting information from the various sensors distributed about the bike. Thus, it will have a load of contextual information relating to when the rider decided to lock out their suspension, drop their post, etc., etc.

Later on, the rider would switch to the re-learning mode, wherein the system would take over operation of the seat post height and suspension adjustments. A short time after making each adjustment, the system would ask the rider for feedback on the change, with the simple "like" or "dislike". That would provide the learning module with the rider-specific data needed to optimize the system further.

In patent speak, "automatic control of the telescopic mechanism suited for each of the travel courses depending on various situations or running environments in accordance with variety of input information can be achieved by training the learning model for each of the different traveling environments".

Of course, the rider wouldn't actually race with all of that hardware, owing to the weight penalty, but they could be happy enough to lug it around practice laps if it means their setup is optimized to the nth degree come race day.

Ronja Blocklinger makes her way through traffic and was fighting for first.
Who is the intended beneficiary of this technology?

But, Shimano Doesn't Produce Suspension Components

This is the elephant in the room. While Shimano does manufacture the Koryak dropper seat post under the PRO Components brand, it does not produce suspension. So, what business have they patenting a machine learning method for automatic control of suspension adjustments?

It sure has left us pondering. I can't really see this ever coming to market. It could simply be an R&D tool that Shimano is using to support their race teams. We reached out to Shimano for comment, to which they responded, "Shimano is constantly in development of new products but does not comment on rumors, innuendo, or speculation about products, whether they are in development or not".

<Photo is private>

2019 Pro Bikegear Koryak Dropper Post

A Natural Evolution of the Dropper Seat Post?

While much of the patent contents focus on the implementation of a user-trainable machine learning program for the automatic adjustment of components, also tucked away in there is a description of what might be considered the next logical evolution of the dropper seat post.

It is not only able to telescope up and down to adjust saddle height, it can also adjust saddle tilt angle and fore-aft position on the rails by means of an electric motor. Such a dropper would allow a rider to dial in their saddle position while riding along, essentially allowing them to change their effective seat tube angle while riding.

It's undeniable that the optimal combination for saddle height, tilt angle and fore-aft position for climbing is not the same as the optimal combination for descending. For a sustained uphill effort, the dropper will be at top-out, perhaps with the saddle nose angled down slightly to help the rider keep their weight forward, and possibly also shifted forward on the rails to keep the rider's position biased forward to maintain a commanding position for pedaling. For descending, that saddle needs to be right out of the way; in addition to the obvious dropped position, it could also be beneficial to slide the saddle backwards on its rails with an altered tilt position. You'd essentially be looking the for the sweet spot wherein the saddle never interferes with your legs on a descent.

What Shimano has outlined could be loosely described as an electronically adjustable version of the Aenomaly Switchgrade. But, on top of the ability to adjustable saddle tilt, it can also adjust the fore-aft position.

Mention of such a dropper post doesn't necessarily mean that Shimano is actually developing it. Sure, it could be our first glimpse of the next generation seat post from PRO. More likely, Shimano has added in those extra adjustable features to ensure their patent covers all bases, essentially future-proofing the scope of the patent.

Author Info:
jessiemaymorgan avatar

Member since Oct 26, 2023
54 articles

176 Comments
  • 371 10
 Can somebody file a patent for LESS electronic bullshit please?
  • 74 2
 "Resistance is futile" ~Borg
  • 172 11
 @AppleJack76: Resistance is watts divided by current.
  • 58 2
 @steelpolish: resistance is watts divided by current squared.
  • 22 1
 I'm a simple human being with a human intelligence, I just ride my bike with this and I'm 100% OK with that.
  • 4 2
 @AppleJack76:

"We are SoftBody of BORG. Resistance is futile...would you like a donut?"
  • 7 0
 to be fair I feel that at this points its just an arms race. Maybe shimano doesnt even want to do this, but without it the perception of obsolescence wouldnt be far behind? I mean, all these companies seem to be filing for patents for incrimental improvement tech..
  • 3 0
 "You have to find it. No one else can find it for you" Bjorn Borg
  • 14 11
 @pioterski: @steelpolish: @workingclasswhore: Nope to all of you. R(esistance) = V(olts) / I (current, usually in amps). At least google this shiz properly.
  • 6 3
 @noapathy: also, resistance = P (watts) / I^2. Google that one.
  • 8 4
 @workingclasswhore: My bad. At least one of three of y'all can maths.
  • 4 2
 @noapathy: you are the one saying I'm wrong.
  • 3 3
 @workingclasswhore: But apparently can't read. (FYI, My bad means "sorry", I made an error.)
  • 6 2
 @noapathy: dude, you keep editing your responses. You changed your response at least 5 times. Now you are on change #2 of your latest. I was responding to your message "Your point?". Looking forward to your next edit.
  • 3 2
 Exactly! What ever happened to the simplicity of riding a bicycle. Keep the bullshit off the bike and keep the cost down!
  • 3 2
 I always was like why always the flack for batteries?

Me currently fatbiking having to charge 2 headlights, a tail light; my garmin, heated socks, and now i just got heated glove liners lol.

It is f*cking annoying. I legit have a 8 port charging block and bought 12” cables for all the charging ports needed. Finish ride, load up the charger… go to ride, unload the charger. Bah…
  • 3 3
 Exactly what I came to state. Just ripping the sole right out of riding. So over it...
  • 5 2
 I used to think the same until I tried Flight Attendant. It does everything I want it to do, effortlessly and pretty near perfect. I can't fault it.
  • 6 0
 @AppleJack76: skynet is coming …Sarah Connors
  • 2 1
 @AppleJack76: "Resistance is fertile" me
  • 5 0
 Vote with your wallet!
  • 1 0
 @mxmtb: We are doomed
  • 3 2
 For real... Repairing and tinkering on my bike is half the fun for me. Progress is cool, but it's costing the consumer right now.
  • 1 1
 @mxmtb: is that Phil Connors’ sister?
  • 103 0
 What if your suspension becomes sentient and decides to rise up against it's rider? OTB!
  • 43 2
 Bumble Detected - Initiate Eject Protocol
  • 30 0
 more of a problem if your dropper post becomes sentient and rises up
  • 3 0
 @onelesscarnist: the ol Specialized Command Post move. Don't worry, the lawyers are here to help.
  • 2 0
 @onelesscarnist: survival of the fittest
  • 4 0
 Friday Fails has entered the chat...
  • 7 0
 TERMINATOR - Rise of the Dropper Post.
  • 1 0
 @warmerdamj: The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it, for the first time, with a sense of hope. Because if a machine, a Terminator, can learn the value of human life, maybe we can too.
  • 1 0
 Hahahahahaha
  • 77 4
 this is all getting a little ridiculous.
  • 25 2
 Seriously. How about a dropper that goes down without pushing down with your ass before we start with this non-sense.
  • 5 1
 @dolface: One that will drop into my RIpmo? I knew about that, but it looks like 100% proprietary shit, only for that frame.
  • 13 25
flag justinfoil (Jan 10, 2024 at 12:08) (Below Threshold)
 You know you don't have to buy any of this, if it ever happens? Companies do research, it's how shit gets better. If the research looks promising, they patent it to protect their ideas. The website _you're a mod on_ likes to speculate wildly on what those patents might mean, except all they ever mean is: "company A figured something out and want to make sure anyone else trying to do similar has to pay for it". Quit whining about it.
  • 50 1
 @justinfoil: buddy i dont work here i just keep the buysell safe
  • 15 0
 @mior: I can see the buysell now, “Used SantaCruz with ai Shimano. Talks to you so you dont feel lonely while riding by yourself. And shifts for you. $25,000 or best offer. Or trade for Ford Raptor”
  • 9 1
 @justinfoil: typically that isn’t exactly how it works. Companies develop new technologies that they market as both innovative and better and necessary, then withdraw access to and support of older versions of that technology, regardless of its usefulness/ efficacy, in effect forcing consumers to buy it. Capitalism 101. They need us to keep buying new things. So this AI generated nonsense is not just research.
  • 1 1
 I reckon it's cool af. obvious race team R&D applications, notsomuch for the everymen here, or on my bikes, like, ever...but f*cking cool that they're giving it a go and learning some shit. I'd love to work on it.
  • 6 0
 @mior: I would love to see an article one day about the crap that doesn't meet PB buy n sell posting standards...
  • 7 0
 @mattmatthew: there are much more important things to deal with than a mislabeled bike or a red bull fridge in the enduro section. if i see things off i usually just change them.
  • 3 0
 @grector:
Exactly. Try buying a 2024 bike with an X01 mechanical groupset. There aren't any.
  • 9 0
 @mior: does it get anymore Enduro than a red bull fridge?
  • 1 0
 @mior: what's the strangest thing you've seen for sale
  • 1 0
 @ReformedRoadie: all open to AI suspension, but you are truly right. Any additional innovation without addressing the butt-actuated seatpost is insulting
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie:Just release the qr of your seatpost collar. Done.

What you mean you want it to go up on its own as well?
  • 1 0
 @mior: that honestly sounds more fun than articles like this shimano one. it could be called the classified crypt or something...
  • 2 0
 @mattmatthew: taking a scroll through the "other" section of the buysell is quite fun
  • 1 0
 @justinfoil: they don't research for free.
The cost to cover this research gets baked into the everyday products that are selling. Driving the price of those components up.
  • 2 0
 @mior: Doing the lord's work. Between a PB buy sell mod, a racer, and a massive social media god, is there anything mior can't do? I salute you
  • 4 0
 @sethbikesslow: i cant ride fast or jump high, among other things.
  • 1 0
 @anotherstoneinthewoods: You're right it's not free, but I didn't say thet. But it's not "driving prices up". The prices are already determined to deliver profit sufficient to amortize R&D and otherwise fulfil the budget. If no one budgeted for R&D, nothing new would come to market.
  • 2 0
 @justinfoil: You're both saying the exact same thing.
  • 1 0
 @grector: They need us to keep buying things, period. Doesn't have to be new things, but new things are a way to expand markets, get more people to buy things. Your explanation isn't Capitalism 101, it's Cynism 101.
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: This. Frame-up build for my next one. Staying with 11-speed too.
  • 35 0
 I love the ephemeral patents around ML. I too would like to patent the use of machine learning to aggregate an arbitrary amount of data from an arbitrary number of sensors and have it do an assorted array of good things. I will be expecting exclusive rights to do this thing I have described but have no mechanism of implementation for. It's a shame these type of things even get granted. It stifles actual innovation and competition in the space.
  • 5 0
 Agreed. Even if they could figure out an implementation mechanism...this is still a dumb use case.

Use ML to bring better products to market cheaper (design, manufacturing/supply chain, etc.). This is dumb and "AI-washing" at its finest.
  • 26 0
 I need your clothes, your boots and your electric pedal cycle.
  • 2 0
 Bill Paxton RIP
  • 29 5
 Idk why you're all crying like you'll be forced to use it. Your 2017 Trek Fuel will stay the same, don't worry
  • 4 0
 It'll stay non-existent... excellent!
  • 5 1
 Once the technology gets good enough it will force you to use it.
  • 5 5
 Lotta troglodytes in the comment section today
  • 2 0
 @warmerdamj: by which mean?
  • 25 8
 Calipers, hydraulic hoses and special oil? No thank you! I will only ever stop my bike like a real mtber... jamming my foot between the tire and fork! ...People railing against technology on their pocket super computers that were unimaginable a generation ago while riding bikes that are about as technologically advanced from the first mtbs they might as well be penny farthings always amuses me.
  • 18 6
 My issue with it is that I want to control my bike, not a robot. I want to decide what gear I'm in, where my dropper post is at, what my suspension settings are. What's next - ai steering and predictive line choice? Why are we removing the human element of mountain biking? What's the point of even doing it if we're going have AI do half the work for us? We might as well just watch gopro videos of robots riding bikes to get our kicks.
  • 10 0
 @notthatfast: Ha! You're too late, I already submitted a patent for that.
  • 5 6
 @notthatfast: Unless your riding fully rigid your current suspension is already technology that removes the "real" human experience. End of day it will still just be an option though, the same way some psychopaths that claim to enjoy trail riding rigid single speeds still can. My only complaint is that i would guess r+d costs can't be covered by the first gen adopters and inevitably raise the prices all around.
  • 12 2
 @lostlunchbox:
You're missing my point, while I'm not disagreeing that current suspension high tech, I'm all FOR technological advancements, but I don't want computers making every micro decision for me.
While my fork damper is tech, I control it. I get it right, or wrong, not a computer. That's where the enjoyment lies for me. Human error. We can have technological advancement without putting a computer chip on every single bike component.

If you're into it then cool, don't let me take that away from you. But I don't want it.
  • 1 8
flag SonofBovril (Jan 10, 2024 at 12:17) (Below Threshold)
 @notthatfast: Why do you ride a MTB with 12 gears and suspension, you should clearly ride a fully rigid single-speed because your arms and legs can do the suspension and your legs can push that gear faster or slower?
  • 6 6
 @notthatfast: I hear what you are saying, but it's short sighted at best. Suspension is the one area I fully support this in. Suspension setup is always about compromise. Having a system that can actually adapt on the fly and take user preference into account sounds pretty amazing. I know it will take a decade to really flesh out that idea, but I welcome the future where our AI overlords keep our suspension working to it's full potential on a variety on tracks. When they get this working well your tune will change. Do you still use a rotary phone? Change is tough and we can be pretty stubborn... Embrace it my dude
  • 5 3
 @SonofBovril:
Did you even read what I said?
  • 8 2
 @willdabeast410:
To say that is essentially to tell somebody to completely abandon free choice and accept that AI will eventually control every element of our lives and every decision we might otherwise make ourselves. We lose the humanity of the sport, of art, of everything. Is a picture really art if AI created it? I realise I'm getting somewhat meta here, but that's the path this leads down.
I want the humanity, otherwise what's the point?
  • 1 0
 "... jamming my foot between the tire and fork!"

Yabba dabba draft horse!
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: I don’t think this is going to be forced on anyone. My truck is still manual. ‍♂️ I do like driving my wife’s suv though.
  • 7 1
 I like that the only two possible stances are "if you dont want an AI bike go ride a rigid singlespeed" and "Might as well sit at home watching footage of the bike riding itself"

Absolutely no middle ground. Ever.
  • 2 3
 @L0rdTom: I don't think anyone suggested there could only be one or the other. I'm merely pointing out that its ironic that people think that the level of technology they are familiar with is where things should stop.
  • 2 3
 @notthatfast: LOL. I don't think technology is going to rid us of human error as long as there's a human still involved.
  • 1 0
 @notthatfast: don’t bother with these apes brother.
  • 18 0
 Excited to see how many mornings an obscure patent ruins.
  • 3 0
 Morning? This bit of news will have me out of sorts for at least a week.
  • 15 0
 I worry that if my bike uses my riding patterns to predict what I should do it will just start preemptively ejecting me off the bike
  • 9 1
 You wrote that this is supervised learning, but it looks closer to reinforcement learning. Supervised learning would be: here are a bunch of stats like course length, altitude, elevation, racing format etc and the system learns the ideal sag/pressure/compression/rebound from previous examples on other courses. Above it is more like the system tries different things to try to maximize the number of "likes" or positive rewards, without really knowing which action lead to a "like". I didn't read the patent in detail though.

As someone with a PhD and patents in ML/AI, I would say don't bother using it the cycling world on the bike at least. Maybe assistance scheduling on ebikes given a gps course would make sense, route planning in strava or komoot could make sense also.
  • 5 0
 Agreed. I also work in the ML/AI space (more on the GTM side). I just DON'T see any bike companies having the know-how or resources to make a use case like this work.

Maybe in manufacturing, supply chain, etc., there could be some great use cases, or perhaps informing product design. This just isn't a viable application.

AI-washing is real Smile .
  • 9 3
 I know that the general consensus of readers of pinkbike are anti-electronic crap, and I am mostly too - but I think this is a space where machine learning could actually positively impact riders. The amount of input data gathered per second is just too large and too trail/rider specific to do any sort of generalized algorithm with. Being able to adjust settings on the fly based on your regular riding habits could lead to some really cool implications, especially if it tends to learn your home trails. Usually AI/Machine learning is just a corporate buzzword but this is the sort of thing that it actually excels at.

Not something I'd buy until it's completely fleshed out and integrated into existing suspension products, but not the worst electronic idea for bikes I've ever heard.
  • 1 4
 Machine learning will positively impact riders whether like or acknowledge it. Just let it happen.
  • 4 1
 Only helps if you actually want constant adjustments.

I'm perfectly OK with getting a setup that let's me rally the fun shit and reasonably safely approach my own limits on a regular basis, even if it means I have to work a tiny bit harder in the (arguably boring) places it's not optimized for. That just makes me better.

Specific automatic adjustments help _racers_, not _riders_.
  • 2 0
 This specific application of ML for bikes is dumb. Manufacturing, product design, etc., are all fantastic use cases for ML (and Shimano can just buy applications and services to help them do this well).

Getting BETTER products to market CHEAPER is a great thing for all of us.

This is just patent trolling, there is no way Shimano actually has the resources and know-how to pull something like this off. If you were a highly skilled AI/ML engineer or data scientist...would you go work at Shimano or the tech industry?
  • 1 0
 I think before any real world application the whole idea is to make investors read machine learning and AI and be happy and not let shimano stock go down. They are just the new buzzwords now that crypto and NFC has been dismissed by everyone.
  • 1 0
 @robotdave: If you were a highly skilled AI/ML engineer or data scientist, that loves bikes and bike tech, and were offered a competitive salary and benefits, why tf _wouldn't_ you go work at Shimano?
  • 1 1
 @justinfoil: oh for sure! Key point being...competitive salary haha. Shimano ain't gonna pony up $300k+ a year though.

I guess they could use consultants, but net net this really is a "hey shareholders we do AI/ML too" type move.
  • 1 0
 How about we setup our own bikes?
  • 6 0
 Next step is a gyro system so the bike is self-balancing and can go out on its own ride. Then I can go on a ride on one bike and the other can self drive, and I can switch bikes through the ride. Oh ya, the luxury! Or, if my one bike has a mechanical, I can summon my second self-driving bike to come to the rescue.
  • 6 0
 "It sure has left us pondering. I can't really see this ever coming to market."

It doesn't have to come to market from Shimano. The US patent situation has been "first to file" instead of "first to invent/create/market" for a while now. They were doing some research, realized it had commercial potential, and filed it to make sure anyone else who wanted to commercialize this specific thing would have to license it from Shimano.
  • 4 0
 Not to mention just generally amassing a large patent portfolio as a defensive move. That way, when some other company comes along alleging you're violating their patent, you can throw your portfolio on the table (whump!) and say, "We're pretty sure you're violating one or more of these. Care to negotiate?"
  • 10 1
 This makes me want to take up Darts.
  • 1 0
 By then even the darts will be electronic
  • 3 9
flag justinfoil (Jan 10, 2024 at 12:09) (Below Threshold)
 Is someone forcing you to buy a future product enabled by this patent? Love the bike you have, shut up and ride.
  • 6 0
 Everyone: Please just sell small parts to rebuild/service your brakes.

Shimano: Here's a dumb ML use case that will never get to market.
  • 3 0
 Someone out there put me straight, but surely AI would only work if there's a visual element to predict impacts.... Otherwise you just need to evolve a reactive system like Fight Attendant?

There's no doubt the world will look very different in ten years with AI being mainstream, but for mountain bikes this seems like a pure investor play.
  • 2 0
 Not quite.

An machine learning (not “AI”) based system I would imagine could look for anomalies in usage (e.g., multiple fast bottom outs) and adjust dampers accordingly (e.g., close the high speed valves, reduce air spring volume)
  • 1 0
 It looks like an image sensor is part of the patent, look at S7 on the diagram, a module on the fork in Fig 1... and part of the input data in Fig 9
  • 1 0
 @RLindsay24: good points both... I suppose it's going to be common enough that the real question is 'why would you not use it?'...
  • 3 0
 This is all great but the problem is that when it auto increases the compression 5 clicks and you didn't notice because most people wouldn't or don't even know what compression is and you just keep reinforcing it by giving it likes because you don't know what is better or worse anymore without being told Wink

Like most things AI it will be limited by human stupidity.
  • 7 0
 Oh LORD this isn't AI. It's a logic program created by a human.
  • 3 0
 Agreed. At *best* it's ML. Not AI.
  • 2 0
 A.I. is cheaper. Cheaper is rarely better. But the companies will love what it does to operating costs , benefits and income taxes… I will pass on this, along with most things A.I. . I want humans to have jobs in the future…
  • 2 0
 Is it also going to connect to my electronic hydration bladder and electronic in frame storage box to dispense my snacks once I have burned enough calories and lost enough electrolytes?
  • 2 1
 "Shimano is constantly in development of new products but does not comment on rumors, innuendo, or speculation about products, whether they are in development or not". ~ Wink Wink .. nudge nudge ~ .. Wait, what!?!... go away kid, you're bothering me!
  • 2 1
 Ebikes ..Strava.. social media..all these lame batteries and motors and computers..and you all lap it up... society is gone...but there will still be the few that will not follow the trends and follow like sheep ..no Strava on outlaw trails no ebikes..time for some old school localism..haha yep .
  • 1 0
 They just patented a ton of stuff that is obviosly in development. Boardroom decision here purely to make money and control the market. Cant blame them. I dont want any of it, but of course a lotta folks do want this. No deny slick move to say "Its all my idea, now pay me to produce it."
  • 6 1
 Nope
  • 3 0
 I often think my bike works well and then realize my shock was locked, what IA would do about it ?
  • 12 0
 Sell that information
  • 3 3
 I haven't tried to troll on here in a while, so why not... You don't see this coming to market? 100% chance one of two things happens: 1. Humanity as we know it ends. 2. AI will control your suspension at some level.

You trust your bike and suspension companies to know what valving is best... why not trust an AI to make suspension adjustments for you? It's going to be designing everything you use on the trail shortly. I'm sure there will be a manual override for the people who think they can find a better than stock setting.

Let the downvotes begin!
  • 1 0
 Shimano has deep enough pockets to mess around with this tech.

A niche market but if wealthy consumers want it, then it will sell. Maybe it will be better suited on ebikes where weight isn't as much of a concern?
  • 1 0
 It's hard to imagine a scenario where the rider providing the "training data" to the system isn't more tedious (and the result more error-prone) than just making the adjustments themselves.
  • 2 0
 Maybe an anti-theft mode where it shifts to 1st gear and then locks the front brake every 20 seconds if you don't know the voice command, really the only use I can see here.
  • 1 0
 The problem with any system like this on a bicycle.... Thieves will just in bolt it an strip the bike for parts....
  • 2 0
 The next battlefield is in the software - perhaps Shimano's plan is to make this robust enough to sell to other OEMs/Suspension companies.
  • 3 0
 Apparently someone at Shimano is trying really hard to justify their job role.
  • 1 0
 Haven't read all the comments, but is anyone else curious to see how the suspension fork is going to work? Those stanchions won't fit in the reducing space as the fork compresses (or doesn't!)...
  • 5 2
 This is a solution for a problem we don’t have
  • 4 0
 @torontomtb LOL I gotta say man, I actually enjoyed Shockwiz for baseline, and then going from there. I've found that, coming from a long time of sportbikes, my "gut feel" on fork setup was particularly too stiff, and too much compression. My shock adjustments/sag were actually super close to the Wiz settings even before I tried it, but for some reason the way I ride and how light I am on the fork, it definitely wasn't good. I thought it'd be good, then in retrospect it wasn't. Using the Wiz I def felt more planted and less harsh on chatter with the setting changes, then tweaked a little from there. It was a decently pleasant experience. After 2 days of it, I haven't felt the need to ever use it again, but borrowing it for the cost of a pizza from a buddy was worth the $20 haha.
  • 3 0
 And this is how SkyNet takes over.
  • 2 0
 If bikes get all this automation shimano is patenting, may as well just watch your bike take itself for a ride.
  • 3 0
 I don't know what you are all worried about?
  • 3 0
 That fully rigid, steel SS'er is calling
  • 3 0
 I am sorry I cannot do that Dave
  • 1 0
 Dual Control for the new age. No one wants this stuff, which is exactly why Shimano is spending money developing it. Forever out of touch.
  • 3 0
 I'm pretty certain Sarah Connor warned us about this.....
  • 1 0
 Great! Soon enough you’ll be able to send your bike out for a ride, it’ll learn how to ride on its own, and all from the comfort of your couch. Nice times ahead.
  • 1 0
 The fact, that one of the screenshots reads "suspention" is telling. Things like this are obviously not created by bikers but some IT-guys.
  • 1 0
 AI is based on user input data. Just don't use Shimano. Problem solved. Or Shimano can pay us for it.
  • 2 4
 Below is a portion of a message I have sent to pinkbike staff last year.


“Future:

- Variable geometry relative to wheel speed (shouldn't require any explanation really, full mechanical system).
- Live Suspension damping changes via forward facing terrain scan/sensors and load mass.
- Pre-programmed suspension damping (time relative damping) for pre selected/programmed tracks/conditions/rider loads. (Think similar the old 50-60's TFR - 'terrain following radar'- technology from now retired cold war era Tornado fast jets).
- Trails will have contactless payment (we will need to pay to use them all, not just bike parks).
- I will continue to ride but less and less and be grateful for my experiences so far in mountain biking and check this site every week.

No response or action is required, for traceability purposes.”.
  • 1 2
 While I’m at it…here’s another example of a brain fart I had two years ago on WhatsApp with a friend.

“A toggle arm/lever that has two positions, forward and backward is connected to ISCG type tabs. This lever is actuated by the direction of rotation of the cranks. When the rotation is clockwise (drive rotation) the lever will actuate a cable/hose which is connected to both suspension units which will change the damper setting to form or increase compression depending on the units intended use. This would reduce inefficiency in power loss through wasted energy and reducing the risk for pedal strikes. I’ve had way too much coffee ☕️”.


I would like to see new innovations in the industry, especially the gearbox technology and a greater emphasis on longevity of the products in the design. I am aware that my predictions are silly and are for humour only.
  • 3 2
 @scottlakesmtb: gearbox technology is not "new innovation".
  • 2 0
 @scottlakesmtb: I feel truly sorry for whoever monitors their inbox.
  • 2 0
 hey, if my thermostat can do it, so can my suspension Smile
  • 3 1
 Still need to get the Grim Donut game set up on the office SmartFridge™.
  • 1 0
 Looks like they're patenting a new spelling for "suspension" as well. (Can they patent Levy's pronunciation of "stanchion"?)
  • 3 1
 If they make it the clowns will come
  • 1 0
 Yep, they already bought their headset cable routed bikeSmile
  • 1 0
 All just to make meat puppets incrementally faster on some man made stage to sell "news papers".

you can keep it
  • 1 0
 “I’m falling” I say.
“No you’re not” says the Machine.
Wake me up when that gets here.
  • 1 0
 Read this as "Shimano Files Patent (Detailing) Machine". Since they *are* a patent machine, they may as well file for one.
  • 2 0
 "I hate computers - all kinds" - K. Powers
  • 1 0
 "So, Shall We Shag Now, Or Shall We Shag Later?" - A. Powers
  • 1 0
 Here is an idea.......every new bike sold comes with a factory trained mechanic.
  • 1 0
 Can someone file a patent that makes me ride faster?
  • 1 0
 eBike LOL.
  • 1 1
 Interesting you guys post this and not the info about their new patent for the internal gear box (bikeradar did though).
  • 3 0
 Is there a new one we've missed, or do you mean the one back in 2019? BikeRadar beat us to it, but we wrote about it too: www.pinkbike.com/news/shimano-gearbox-in-the-works-files-patents-on-hybrid-roller-chain-sequential-shifting-transmission.html
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Wow, you're right - that story was from 2019. No idea why that was in my feed today. Never mind, carry on. Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: They had me at "Special Lubricants"
  • 1 0
 I hope they integrate this with the Loris Vergier bikesound keyboard!!!
  • 1 1
 I just hope AI doesn’t learn to control high speed rebound on rear shocks. That would ruin PB Friday Fails!!!
  • 1 0
 What will be next? A bicycle with an engine?????
  • 1 0
 If this is Shimano Canada, you know the press is gonna call it Eh Aye!
  • 1 0
 I don't see how anything could possibly go wrong!
  • 1 0
 We have hucked the shark.
  • 1 0
 No.
  • 1 0
 YES
e/acc
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