Video: Flight Attendant - RockShox's Self-Adjusting Computer-Controlled Suspension

Oct 1, 2021 at 18:29
by Mike Levy  


RockShox's just-released Flight Attendant system automatically adjusts your bike's suspension as you ride, using sensors and motors to quickly add or subtract compression damping on your fork and shock, all without you having to reach down to flip a pedal-assist switch. More importantly, it automatically cycles through Open, Pedal, and Lock modes depending on what you need at that moment, while also offering a new level of tuning, called Bias Adjust, that might make your long-travel bike far more versatile.

Oh, and the entire thing is wireless, powered by the same AXS batteries as SRAM's electronic drivetrain.
Fight Attendant Details

• Intended use: 130-170mm of travel
• Auto adjusts fork and shock's compression damping
• Manual adjust low-speed rebound, Bias
• Wireless, uses AXS batteries
• Availability: OE only (for now)
• Weight: approx +300-grams vs equivalent non-Flight Attendant system
• MSRP: TBD
www.rockshox.com

As you might imagine, there's a lot to talk about with Flight Attendant. We'll cover the basic details and questions below, and you can check out Mike Kazimer's full-length review for all the riding impressions.


While short-travel bikes tend to see more focus on pedaling efficiency, Flight Attendant will first be specced on bikes with travel ranging from 130mm to 170mm, like our Specialized Enduro test rig.


What is it and what's it for?

The whole idea behind Flight Attendant is simple: make your mountain bike pedal better while still prioritizing the downhills. RockShox's approach is simple, too: add compression damping to make that happen. You know, just like those pedal-assist levers that you see on pretty much every shock on the market, only you don't have to think about flipping a lever at all. Instead, sensors on your bike tell the fork and shock to do it automatically, which is when small motors run through small gearboxes to ramp up the low-speed compression damping. And that makes a big difference on the trail.


The Control Module on the fork is the brain of the system.
The larger shock body houses a small motor and gearbox.


We suspected that SRAM was working on some sort of AXS-powered suspension system way back when their wireless drivetrain was first released in February of 2019. While I was shifting gears at that press camp in Tucson, Arizona, their development riders were on nearby trails testing prototypes. They did their best to avoid us, unfortunately for me, and SRAM did their best to dodge any questions that weren't about their drivetrain. I found myself at SRAM's North Vancouver office shortly after that trip and spotted the phrase 'Flight Attendant' written in massive red letters on their whiteboard, but that was back then we thought it was a relatively simple wireless lockout with maybe some sort of integration with the drivetrain or dropper post, and probably aimed at the short-travel Lycra crowd.

However, Flight Attendant appears to be far more useful than a lockout switch, and it's been designed with enduro and trail bikes in mind.




What are the Flight Attendant components, and how does it work?

Flight Attendant consists of three important components, but I should mention straight away that they're mounted to an essentially normal fork and shock. The Pike, Lyrik, and Zeb Ultimate, as well as the Super Deluxe Ultimate shock, all have normal internals, normal damping circuits, and aside from the funny-looking LED-equipped growths hanging off them, are both standard items. Does that mean you'll eventually be able to convert your current RockShox boingers to use Flight Attendant? Maybe way down the road, but it's not happening anytime soon.


The Control Module tells both the fork and shock what to do, and it's also home to a small motor and gearbox that turn the fork's compression rod. LEDs tell you what mode you're in and help with setup. You can also run in 'Dark' mode if you find them annoying.


The three main Flight Attendant components are the Control Module on the fork (pictured above), the Motor Module on the shock, and a pedal sensor that slips into your crank spindle. You need all three to use the system, which means that you can't run just a Flight Attendant fork or just the shock - they function only as a team.

The Control Module on the fork is the brain of the entire system, and it's what tells both the fork and the shock to firm up or go soft. There's an accelerometer and gyro hidden in this little unit (as well as in the shock) and, along with the pedal sensor, it's how it knows what your bike is doing so it can tell the suspension what to do. The sensors know if you're pedaling or coasting, if you're upright or leaning over mid-turn, if the bike is angled up, down, on flat ground, or if you're in the air, and adjusts the compression damping accordingly. The pedal sensor is especially important to the system, I was told, as it's what allows Flight Attendant to predict what's happening rather than just reacting, but it'll only fit into DUB spindles as of right now.


The sensor in the DUB spindle tells the system if you're pedaling or coasting.
The larger shock body and size of the fork's Control Module mean that Flight Attendant won't fit every bike.


Picture this: you're descending on your enduro bike and everything is normal, with the suspension wide open and able to do its thing. All of a sudden, you're faced with a short, steep climb that's trying to ruin your fun. As soon as your bike's sensors know that it's pointing up a hill and you're on the gas, the Control Module sends an order to both the fork and shock to stiffen up so it doesn't feel like you're trying to double bounce a stationary bike on a trampoline. At that moment, the little motors spin at roughly a million RPM, which is then put through tiny gearboxes (just like on an AXS derailleur) to simply turn the compression rod to firm up your bike. Notably, you can adjust how often that happens via the important Bias Adjust that we'll get to in a bit.

When the bike senses that you're back to the fun part of the ride, it opens the fork and shock's compression back up to where you want it. It's probably important to mention that your rebound damping will always be unaffected - it's a manual adjustment that doesn't change because that'd be really scary.


Flight Attendant forks and shocks are essentially normal units but with the Control and Motor Modules attached to them. That means they can be worked on as per usual, be it some quick love in the garage or deeper maintenance.


But how does it know to do all that? ''Flight Attendant’s algorithm is highly sophisticated and born from thousands of hours of rider input and data analysis,'' RockShox says, and it's all hidden in the Control Module's brain on top of the fork. There's also a fundamental difference between this and Fox's older Live Valve system (aside from this being wireless), with Fox favoring pedaling efficiency while, according to RockShox, ''Flight Attendant’s highest priority is adjusting the system to the open position when bumps or disturbances are detected and will adjust the system to be more efficient when it senses the rider pedaling.''



Is it adjustable?

Flight Attendant-equipped forks and shocks are both more and less adjustable thanks to them losing the external high-speed compression dial (it's now non-adjustable) but gaining something called Bias Adjust that's a super integral part of how the system performs.

First, your normal low-speed rebound adjustment dials are still where you expect them to be, at the bottom of the fork leg and top of the shock. Nothing has changed there. But what you won't find is a dial for low-speed compression; that's adjusted via buttons on the top of the Control Module that controls both the fork and shock. Yup, you now adjust the shock's compression damping at the fork by toggling between the two. And because the future is apparently now, you can also make the same adjustments via the AXS app, if you're into that kinda thing. Different colored LEDs on the module also tell you what you're changing and by how much.


Green means you're in Auto Mode and good to go.


Bias Adjust is the new tuning feature, and it's also changed either on the Control Module or in the AXS app.

RockShox has a long-winded explanation about Bias Adjust, but the gist of it is this: more Bias means that your bike will feel firmer and more efficient more often, while less Bias means it'll stay open and pedal like a gooey enduro bike more often. An obvious example of where this might be useful would be a rider who's taking their enduro bike to a relatively smooth, flowy network of trails. They might want to add a click or two (of five in total) of Bias Adjustment to bring more life and momentum to their bike. A rider who spends more time on rooty, rough, complicated trails, or if traction is low, might want less Bias so their bike is more active, more often.

RockShox says that running it in the middle setting provides, "an effective balance of all three suspension positions,'' and that there's, ''no right or wrong, Bias Adjust is all about choice and fine-tuning the feel of the system to better match your ride style.'' Adjusting it takes only a few seconds by pressing a button on the Control Module.


Blue LEDs mean you're adjusting the fork's low-speed compression.
Magenta means that you're adjusting Bias Mode.


Depending on your Bias setting, those three modes - Open, Pedal, and Lock - are constantly being cycled through while you ride in Auto Mode, but they can also be chosen manually if you decide to not let the robots do the thinking for you. That gives you the ability to choose which mode you want by pressing a button on the fork's Control Module or your chosen paddle on your left-side AXS shifter. You can always open, firm up, or lockout your suspension at the push of a button if you'd rather decide than let the computer do it. There's also an Override Mode that, at the push of a button on your shifter, can revert to a preferred suspension setting - pretty neat.

Speaking of settings, Kazimer's review of Flight Attendant also shows you how to pair and set the system up from scratch. You only need to do this five-minute process once, unless you make notable geometry or travel changes to your bike.


Really, more batteries and apps?

Hey, at least it's wireless. Flight Attendant requires two of the same AXS batteries used for the derailleur, with one attached to the Control Module on the fork and the other powering the Motor Module on the shock. RockShox says to expect 20 to 30 hours of battery life for the former, and 30 to 40 for the latter. The pedal sensor (that only fits DUB spindles for now, but that might change) is powered by a AAA lithium battery that should last for around 200 hours, so you won't need to think about that one until it dies in the middle of nowhere.

Don't forget that if that happens the suspension reverts to full-open mode rather than some terrible firm setting.


You can use the app to help you during setup or to adjust settings. Or not.


If you're like me and the thought of using an app to do anything other than find the closest Tim Hortons makes you groan, the good news is that you definitely don't need to. All of the setup and adjustments can be done without using your phone, but the AXS app does let you customize controls, get a better idea of the remaining battery life, and do any firmware updates. You can also tweak compression and Bias for the fork and shock via the app, which is a neat and maybe-sometimes handy trick, but I suspect most would rather leave their phones alone.


Where can you find this stuff? How much will it cost?

Not for sale in your bike shop anytime soon, that's for sure. You see how the Control Module hangs off the back of the fork, and how much larger the shock is thanks to the Motor Module? Because more downtube and shock clearance is required, there are bikes that Flight Attendant won't fit. Factor in the already long lead times and you can see why RockShox couldn't give me a date for aftermarket sales. I don't have any aftermarket costs for you at this point, either, but you know how an AXS derailleur costs a lot more than a normal one? Yeah, think along those lines and you probably won't be too shocked when you see the price tag.


The only brands currently selling Flight Attendant-equipped bikes are Specialized, Trek, Canyon, and YT, but that'll change down the road.


For this year, you'll only find Flight Attendant on a grand total of six bikes spread across four brands - Trek, Specialized, Canyon, and YT - with travel ranging from 130mm up to 170mm. It's probably safe to assume those will be expensive bikes... The Specialized S-Works Enduro that Kazimer tested Flight Attendant on will retail for $12,500 USD, or $2,000 more than the version without smart suspension, so that gives you an idea of what to expect.



What do I think?

I hate computers, and my level of technical expertise when it comes to this kinda stuff can be summed up with, ''Unplug the router, wait ten seconds, then plug it back in.'' Sometimes, I think it's the wifi that's making me itchy. Furthermore, it's almost a certainty that anything battery-powered I touch stops working soon after, usually in the acrid smoke of an electrical fire. So yeah, I'm naturally wary of anything with a circuit board for valid reasons. I'm a fan of the AXS drivetrain, sure, but this is different, isn't it? This is doing something on its own...

But it also was completely invisible during the single, 3,000-foot descent that I used it on. The Flight Attendant-equipped Enduro felt as capable and competent as our long-term Enduro test bike that we've all put countless hours on. That is until I had to pedal it up anything, which is when it acted like it had about 140mm-ish of firm suspension travel. More importantly (and impressively) was how it transitions seamlessly between the different modes on rolling sections of trail, adding some pep to the usually soft-feeling Enduro as needed.

If you're looking for a proper review and more feedback, Mike Kazimer has a month of riding on the same bike and you can read his thoughts on the homepage right now. As for me, I'm impressed and have yet to unplug the router.


314 Comments

  • 353 2
 Hi Honey... just off for a ride.... ok babes... have you charged your phone. Yeh babes what about your Garmin. Yeh babes your chest heart rate monitor. Yeh babes your E-bike battery... hell yeh, got 2 and going full turbo. your head light. Yeh babes your bar light. Yeh... your rear mech. Yeh, whatever your shifter. omg, yeh your dropper post. yup your dropper remote. YES your gopro remote. of course your power pedals. YEEEESS your rear light. omg, stop it already your RPM sensor. yeh your crank rotation sensor. just remembered your fork compression adjuster. yawn, yeh your rear shock compression adjuster. alright already. everything is charged. . . . Take the E-car babes, you know you love batteries, got mine charged too.
  • 88 1
 No Tirewiz and Shockwiz? Helmet crash sensor?
  • 44 3
 But seriously though, ebike integration is probably the next step for these wireless units. Why worry about 5 different batteries, when you have one honking giant battery right in the downtube!
  • 5 2
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: SRAM doesn't have a motor, Shimano does. So Live Valve and Di2 can probably run off a motor battery. I'm not in the market for any of this, but indeed I'd rather have one single battery to care about and just tape a couple of wires on my bike than keep all those batteries in check. Except for Tirewiz, chest battery and helmet crash sensor obviously, wouldn't want to have these wired!
  • 79 4
 ***and then whines about climate change at dinner table.***
  • 3 2
 @vinay: from the writeup:
'RockShox's just-released Flight Attendant system automatically adjusts your bike's suspension as you ride, using sensors and motors to quickly add or subtract compression damping on your fork and shock, all without you having to reach down to flip a pedal-assist switch."

I am not an electrical engineer, but sounds like the system needs electrical current to function, and an ebike main battery provides that current. They'd probably need to figure out the correct voltage, etc....but seems like a surmountable problem.
  • 4 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Won't come from SRAM, though. They've made wireless part of their special sauce, no way they're going back to wires of any sort on their own.
  • 1 0
 @betsie ...and then you go out the door, ride your bike, come back and realise honey's not home and you forgot to take the keys
  • 1 0
 @vinay: so one failure and your whole bike doesn't work? Vs if you just lose shifting it's not as bad as losing other parts of the system.
  • 2 1
 @makripper: think of that first: also with a e-bike one faillure and you have to run a 20kg bike by your legs
  • 7 1
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Yup and when it fails/runs out of juice you have a 50Lb Dead Pig.

Oh and to think how bicycles were such Pure elegance simple, quiet, light, near perfect.

I must be fing old.
  • 4 0
 @lake-st: your bicycles still can be elegant and near perfect: you don't have to buy any of that electronic shit.
  • 2 0
 @lake-st: I mean, nobody is forcing you to buy one. But I'm guessing whoever is into this kind of active electronic suspension will probably be ok with the ebike experience as well.
  • 1 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: and that classic traditional cable look to tie all the batteries together!
  • 3 1
 am I the only one that cringes harder at "babes" than the 452 batteries? LOL
  • 3 0
 @conoat: sounds like you need some love in your life.
  • 88 2
 Im just waiting for that first 20k+ mountainbike......

(I would love to try it though)
  • 37 11
 I am sure bike companies will find a reason to hike up the prices another couple grand in the next couple years. You know, due to supply chain issues..
  • 38 6
 @stumphumper92:

You say that as if supply chain issues aren’t a real thing.

They very much are.
  • 7 0
 But does it bring you a selection of soft drinks and a bag of pretzels?
  • 20 4
 @hllclmbr: you say it like the bike industry didn’t have its best year ever then hiked it’s ridiculous prices even higher.
  • 7 2
 @hllclmbr: There's no denying that. Doesn't mean they should always be passed onto the consumer
  • 5 8
 @thenotoriousmic: thats not how it works at all. so many other factors contribute to the price increases in the last few years but bike companies dont just increase prices with demand. huge increase in shipping costs and raw material costs plus covid/brexit and general inflation.
the supply chain issues are bad and prob gonna get worse before they get worse.
  • 3 2
 @thwillis: Sound like a right laugh mate. Buckle up.
  • 2 3
 @stumphumper92: That’s not what I meant, I don’t share your tin foil hat view of supply chain issues.
  • 4 0
 S-Works Kenevo SL is already $19k without flight attendant. I'm sure you can order your >20k dream ride soon at your local Spesh dealer.

www.specialized.com/ca/en/s-works-turbo-kenevo-sl/p/199107?color=318020-199107
  • 1 4
 @thenotoriousmic: Are you trolling or just ignorant as usual?
  • 2 0
 Interesting move by SRAM to introduce with but provide no info on prices and availability. If they had I suspect all the reactions would be to the price. Letting people get used to the idea and maybe start coveting these items, THEN springing the shocking price tag is probably a savvy strategy.
  • 1 1
 @LucaP: should have said ‘normal’ bikes - with this I can see ebikes going 25+ in the near future….
  • 2 0
 @Drew-O:

“Springing the shocking price tag.”

Nice work, I see what you did there…
  • 1 0
 @Drew-O: Safe bet they have a good idea of the price, but I wouldn't be surprised if supply problems and timelines mean that could change in the near future. They don't want to change the price later on, especially if it had to go higher.
  • 3 0
 Can't mount a water bottle to it though.
  • 2 0
 I’m waiting to print my 20k mountain bike with my home 3D/4D or whatever dimensional printer that I bought on Amazon for $100.
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92: the bike companies won't do that......the affects of inflation will.

went to In-n-out yesterday for the first time in a year. double-double went from $4.25 to $5.25. that's 23% inflation. looked at a new motorcycle. same bike, no changes other than colors. price is up 18% from this time last year.

I don't know why people think bicycles are some how immune to government money printing. SMH
  • 85 1
 So, a $2000 climb switch?
  • 26 15
 Sort of, but also a lot more than that. You can use it as a climb switch, sure, but it's how it cycles through the different modes while you're riding, and without you doing anything, that sets it apart from a simple lockout.
  • 25 0
 @mikelevy: I’m not hating on the concept. I may be the only rider in existence that didn’t hate the Brain on my old 2010 epic. I’m just not sold on the 2 grand investment to forgo having to flip a blue lever on my trail bike.
  • 10 0
 @Savagm: I see this as a racing only kind of product. Therefore they won’t pay for it.
  • 2 0
 @redmountaingoat: I can see it make a difference- firming up for the pedally sections to save precious seconds and energy. Pretty cool actually!
  • 18 0
 @redmountaingoat: It'll be interesting to see how many EWS racers use this and when.
  • 3 0
 you remember when people were like ‘meh.. 800 for seat post and 1000 for shifter with deraileur?nah,not for me..’?look around now
  • 16 40
flag rivercitycycles (Oct 5, 2021 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 @redmountaingoat: I’m thinking how much to replace a flight attendant when it breaks off in a crash. FRO
  • 3 0
 @rivercitycycles: That was one of my first questions - it looks so exposed at the back of the fork crown. RockShox told me that they made a ton of plastic prototypes during testing and had no issues, and haven't had any issues with the production aluminum version. Still, it looks like it's hanging out there...
  • 9 41
flag rivercitycycles (Oct 5, 2021 at 9:17) (Below Threshold)
 @mikelevy: tell that to my rear derailleur and the hanger that got wasted in a collision with a rock garden. But at least it has a UDH
  • 4 2
 I’m sure if I was racing at the top levels, it could maybe help. But, for my lame recreational ass, it seems to be a $2k add on for what DW link already does for me, maybe just a little extra at the fork so I don’t have to touch a dial when I switch to flow trails.

It does seem like it could allow a bike designer to setup a bike for plush and crush without worrying about pedal inefficiencies. Unfortunately, anyone not spending the cash on the electric shock version would end up with a bobbing machine without a whole bunch of compression damping.
  • 2 1
 @mikelevy: I have a feeling it might be too good and maybe get banned from racing à la F1. I could be wrong though. This is a pretty big leap from passive systems, but maybe the rate of adjustment is too slow for concern in the eyes of the UCI rule makers.
  • 1 0
 So I am fighting PK on my bike, because it has too much AS because someone wanted it to be better uphill. I also need to custom tune my RS shock, cause it's simply overdamped. I really do not care about a product which will automatically increase compression on my already too damped bike with too much AS Wink I want my enduro bike to destroy descends, not to be an uphill weapon. I just love chilling on gravel roads, looking at the views.
So RS, what I would by is a suspension with proper range of adjustment on which rebound does not increase low speed compression (you know, this check valve thing you add over the shimstack ...)
  • 3 1
 I doubt very much that an electric lockout will make me (or anyone) climb fast enough to justify 3/4 pound weight penalty.
  • 5 1
 @whambat: your DW link defiantly does not achieve what this thing can, absolutely not, don’t be so silly.
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: 3/4 of a pound added to a bike all other aspects equal would save you mere seconds on an absolutely huge climb - you don’t think the benefits of this outweigh the small weight penalty?
  • 3 0
 @Savagm: I also didn’t hate the brain. So hey, there’s two of us. Maybe we should start a Reddit. However the entire frame with brainy shock still cost somewhat less than this… climb switch. Yikes.
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: you are right, instead of counting the number of times I’ve used my lockout in the last few years (0), I should succumb in to my FOMO and buy a bike with this ASAP. What was I thinking?
  • 2 1
 @whambat: you do realise this isn’t a manual lockout, don’t you?

Derp
  • 3 1
 @justanotherusername: Do you think an automatic lockout will save you more than mere seconds on your 37 pound Enduro bike with DD tires and cushcore?
  • 3 1
 @justanotherusername: yes, I’m quite aware of what it is. It’s a very fancy mousetrap that I’m sure is truly amazing and will undeniably make some people’s lives vastly better and is an amazing piece of engineering that many, if not most, people may not see any performance gains even if a clock is involved. If I was a SRAM sponsored rider, I’d be stoked that this is now in my arsenal, because it will probably matter to them, and dentists.
  • 4 3
 It is more like adaptable suspension of vehicle. Two year ago people were complaining about the AXS shifter and dropper post and then there were adopters, the technology became more affordable and now most of the hard core bikers cannot imagine riding without it. Progress is good thing and hat down to SRAM for moving the industry .Give it some time it will evolve. Otherwise I will be turning the blue switch by hand since the cost to me is not justified but it does not meant it not for someone else.
  • 2 3
 @hamncheez: yes, of course I do, especially as it’s not an ‘automatic lockout’

And we don’t all have have a 37lb bike with DD tyres and inserts but if you do it makes your 3/4lb comparison even more ridiculous.
  • 2 1
 @justanotherusername: "Intended use: 130-170mm of travel" take a poll of people with an enduro bike, and I bet the average weight is over 35 pounds.

People have tried to test many times, but I have yet to see any convincing evidence that lockout switches at all meaningfully impact climbing times for modern bikes.

Finally, this is just an automatic lockout. The only fancy thing about it is the "middle" position.
  • 1 3
 @hamncheez: it's less than a 1 pound weight penalty actually, but I love when people make up baseless quantitative data, so thanks for the giggle!
  • 3 0
 @mckenzie01: I said "3/4 pound"

Is that less or more than "1 pound"?
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: I didn’t know a 140mm bike is an ‘enduro’ bike and must weigh more than my last DH bike did but whatever you say….

Your own point is still ridiculous, this systems extra weight on a bike weighing 35lb plus will be negligible compared to the performance advantage, even if you are a luddite and won’t accept it’s not then just a ‘lockout’
  • 2 0
 @justanotherusername: What does it do besides providing a hard and middle compression setting automatically? What does it do that cannot be replicated with a remote switch?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Is there an option to run it without the pedal sensor, and use the 4th button on the shifters to engage/disengage?
  • 2 2
 @hamncheez: Answer your own question much?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: aren't we worried about that thing hitting the downtube on some(a lot?) of bikes? I went and checked the clearance on all my bikes and it would be super close on 3 of them and totally smash the downtube on the other....
  • 2 0
 @Christofison: Nope, requires the pedal sensor.
  • 3 0
 @hamncheez: It's how it's constantly switching between the three modes that make it more advantageous than a climb switch... for some riders. There's less of an advantage (or none) for people who go straight up and come straight back down, no doubt about that.
  • 1 0
 @conoat: Yes, that can be an issue on some bikes - it's not going to fit every bike out there, especially the larger rear shock.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: Good point- all my rides are winch and plummet, forget some people ride rolling hills
  • 2 2
 @hamncheez: ‘I forget people ride mountain bikes’…. Derp
  • 2 2
 @justanotherusername: Dude quit trying to compensate
  • 1 0
 pretty much rochshox version of specialized' Brain?
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: From my experience, a good part of a rider's performance and safety comes from a consistent and predictable suspension setup. Price tag aside, I don't believe your average/common rider is going to want their suspension feel changing constantly, even if the settings can make it somewhat predictable. Imho, there is a better way.
  • 67 0
 Being a moto guy long before I really got into MTBs, I'm amazed by what this industry gets away with. Pedaling into a gap jump thinking boy I hope my suspension knows what I'm fixing to do.
  • 9 1
 For sure, I can understand that angle. I think that's less of an issue with FA than it has been with other electronic systems because FA defaults to being fully open rather than firmed up - if you're descending, it should stay open and work like normal suspension.
  • 10 0
 some people have no interest in gap jumps and just want to go for a nice pedal. ...not me though. im into the gap jumps lol
  • 2 3
 Electronically adjustable suspension has been a thing in motos for years now.
  • 3 2
 @mikelevy: only if rs suspension actually worked even in "open" mode...
  • 5 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: My comment was more related to pricing in the mtb world vs moto. I can buy a complete ohlins moto shock for under a grand. You open the box and it's pure elegance.

However, regarding electronics, yes in Moto gp. Not mx and enduro. However, mx/ enduro suspension is infinitely more adjustable through the valving and clickers. Hence why I run a coil shock and coil cartridge on my DH and trail bike. Just feels like home.
  • 2 0
 @deepstrut: They aren't marketing this to the lycra crowd though. Seems better suited for xc bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Struggleteam: they do have semi-active suspension in ADV bikes.
blog.ktm.com/ktm-1290-super-adventure-semi-active-suspension-from-wp
Will be interesting to see if it makes it over to the enduro world. Maybe there's just not enough of an advantage to make it worthwhile.
  • 1 0
 @Struggleteam: you can buy a new CRF and put Showa A- kit on it for the price of a top of the line E-bike without flight attendant on it. . . . . .
  • 6 0
 noone buying this shit is hitting gap jumps. This is for bikes that will be used once a year stored in the garage of a vacation property that gets used once a year.
  • 30 3
 Doubt it will be in my budget, but I can respect the progression and would love to give it a try at some point.
  • 1 2
 this is the correct answer
  • 18 0
 so its live valve, but better?
  • 5 0
 Yeh, cut all the strings off.
  • 16 0
 I admit this is really cool, but honestly I don't want more computers/batteries in my life, especially on my bike. I'm cool with the old fashioned "analog" levers.
  • 14 1
 For $2,000 I can get a replacement set of the magnetorheological (yep that's really their name) dampers for my chevy ss, that adjust all over the place 60 times per second. All this does is switch between two settings? I realize that comparing automaker volumes to the bike industry is a big difference, but still, how does this have that much value?
  • 4 1
 Volumes and I think the intricacies are very different. I had some "expensive" adaptive shocks on my car and they're basically steel tubes with mounting points welding to the body, steel rods, and heavy steel internals. I get what you're saying - some of the car stuff I buy is cheap compared to bike stuff - but automotive suspension and this are very different Smile
  • 5 0
 That's the price for the dampers, but how much are the sensors and computers? That's a real question, I have no idea. As for the value, is a Fox Factory 36 5x better than a Rockshox Recon? Not in any rational measure, but I have one anyway. This is the same thing.
  • 2 0
 @Genewich: That is a fair point. I believe on the Camaro SS the option upgrade from traditional dampers was less than $2k, but cars are full of computers already, so it may be easy to piggy back off one of them, i don't know...
beauty in the eye of the beholder i guess

@mikelevy: That's true, there would be a substantially more packaging issues considering the size a weight targets they are likely going for. Just don't get me started on tires, why a premium summer tire costs only 3 times what a premium bike tire does still blows me away.
  • 2 0
 @LS3VER33: I just bought four Yoko A052s and they make Minions seem almost free tho haha
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: I think people forget how difficult it is to make something very small, reliable, software integrated and strong. This takes way more effort, testing and prototyping than many may realise. You are not just paying for the manufacturing of the final product, but also the effort that went into getting it to production.
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: lol i feel your pain, just did a set of Michilen super sports... the price tag certainly helps my self control on burnouts lol
  • 1 0
 @LS3VER33:
This is why I love 17” wheels. My last set of pilot sport 4s’s cost just shy of $1k installed and aligned.
  • 13 0
 Lapierre came out with the EI Shock 5 years too soon to be cool
  • 6 4
 That was a very different system, to be fair, and designed by Lapierre, not RockShox Smile
  • 4 1
 This system sounds similar to the K2 smart shock from almost 20 years ago! Except it's more adjustable and you you get to use another app for your phone.

Look at the similarities:

www.neebu.net/~khuon/cycling/bikes/K2/1999-OzM/smartshock.html

products.mtbr.com/product/older-categories-bikes/front-shock/k2-bike/smart-fork.html
  • 1 0
 Magura had e-lect in their fork and shock. Obviously a more recent (and more expensive) system does more and does better. Having ridden none of these systems, what I do understand from both descriptions is that the suspension firms up when the bike pitches upwards (and in case of RS, you probably need to be pedaling too). What I do understand from the Magura system and what I don't find in this article though is, Magura had a free-fall sensor. So even if the bike is tilted upwards, if you're in the air the compression would still open. I'd be surprised if the RockShox system doesn't have that too, but I didn't see it mentioned.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: when it worked.. It did so surprisingly well. Obviously much less sophisticated, but definitely noticeable on the trail. Amazing that in this day and age, it took this long to get back to this for Rockshox (sans Lapierre)
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: i dunno, just seems wireless and with a smaller battery. Accelerometers and cadence sensor and lil motor to flip your levers. I'll buy it's not the same but it's not different. Nine years a TOP SECRET though, it'd be weird to tell you it's basically the same...lil pat on your head and an eyebrow raise as I inhale and nod, looking for a way out...

Whatever. Either way, that LP system worked well and I'm sure this is even better. You could completely blow it in a corner and then "zzzt" pedal out through roots or whatever with your suspension all firmed up. The only drawback I found was forgetting to use a lever if I wasn't on the LP. The battery took up water bottle space but we were still wearing packs...and actually the first lipstick battery housing let water in...but still: it worked, it worked well, and this does the same but cleaner. I can dig it, for those still holding on to OPTIMIZING PEDALING PERFORMANCE over ROASTING LAPS ON OUR HORST LINK EBIKES

(you fools)
  • 13 2
 I love it. I do not need it, but I think it's cool that SRAM keeps pushing development of our great hobby forward. Great video @mikelevy
  • 3 0
 My thoughts exactly.
  • 8 0
 Batteries for the e-bike, batteries for the drivetrain, batteries for the damping lockout, waiting for Duracell to sponsor a WC team soon
  • 9 3
 I really got excited for AXS Dropper and Drivetrain at launch and still am. I own a AXS derailleur but idk. This isn’t exciting at all to me and just seems forced.
  • 4 0
 I personally have issues with a damper that does things I'm not expecting. Like what can happen when pausing pedaling then popping up into a wheelie. I can imagine FA can add a whole extra dimension of unexpected surprises to your riding. I do admit to getting caught out on a descent with the climb switch still on, but you can solve that issue by running suspension without one. If you put a premium on predictable behavior from your bike, I don't see how this will help.
  • 3 0
 Nothing makes one feel more like a noob than forgetting to open the climb switch! "Why am I riding so poorly?! Oh wait...." haha
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: There is a simple solution - handlebar remotes I just do not get all the remote lever bashing. They are a simple, cheap, lightweight and effective system. And now it is suddenly great that you do not need to reach down to your climb switches for just 2000 bucks, all the battery charging, ...
  • 2 0
 @futureearth: Agreed. I've had two Scotts and I would take Twinloc on every bike over this. I don't look at my cables when I ride.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: @tantrumcycles: Try riding a Tantrum, the only thing you need to push are your peddles.
  • 4 0
 You can only polish a turd so much. There has been zero innovation from rs and fox in the mtb suspension world in the last decade. The these "conventional" forks are fundamentally the same as they have been for years and years, save for a few small improvements here and there. The big killer of performance in mtb forks is friction and there's been almost nothing done to address this, increasing bushing overlap a little bit every so often is a step in the right direction, but they can only be spaced so far apart with the mfg techniques being used. Why bother with an auto on/off pedal mode, why not focus that development money on making the fork work better in the first place?
  • 3 0
 I love the idea, such a great tech development, but the cost and weight will prevent me from making the switch. Even in the Smokey Mtn's I rarely need to use the climb switch on my 21 Stumpy Evo, and I would worry about the electronic system not making the adjustments I need them to. Particulary tech climbs where traction is key, or descents where pedaling is still needed.
  • 2 1
 300g is a significant difference to pedal up the hill. The crank sensor also seems like a problem, if you want to run non-dub cranks are you going to need to wait for a new version of the sensor? Seems like they should just have made it small enough to fit any open ended crank and then just made adaptors to fit different models. OR, put the sensor on the handlebars where it could detect all sorts of inputs and weight shifts as well as just pedalling.
  • 1 0
 @G-Sport: In a race scenario, I have a feeling the weight penalty would be worth it.
Seems like the only compatibility issue with the crank sensor is the end with the cap and o-ring. The other side is an expanding plug. I agree they could have made it more adaptable (different caps for different axles), but I'm not surprised SRAM would do this. In the video there's a photo of a bar mounted controller. I wonder if they tried what you propose.
  • 3 0
 I'm not buying it until it connects to the RockShock AI Brain-as-a-Service cloud through my app, and randomly changes my suspension settings while telling me they are "optimal". Obviously I'd be happy to pay the £40 a month subscription.
  • 3 0
 Stop fighting and let the robots make our lives better.
And build sick analog hardtails and jump tons.
For where I live and the trails i find myself on, this will be brilliant. Then I’ll go ride jumps and xc loops on my old crusty bikes too.
All the bikes.
And a moto.
  • 4 0
 Scott lever thing is incredibly simpler and cheaper way to do the same thing. You have to shift gears anyway before pedalling, why not also use switch on handlebar to firm suspension if you want that
  • 3 2
 I'm of the opposite mind; that Scott system is so over-cooked. It's pretty neat to see the efficiency challenge tackled from those two completely different approaches, one with levers and one with computers. Something for almost everyone.
  • 3 0
 This is a far cry from modern automotive electronic suspension that performs a large amount of adjustments in small timeframes. Instead of arguing about the presence of electronics on bikes a discussion about performance would be much more interesting, even in the article that is very lacking. Also loosely mentioning the motor rpm is a completely misleading metric and is marketing wank. We need adjustments per second and times from fully open to fully closed.
  • 3 1
 It's a "far cry" because it's not trying to be an automotive system - that's a very different kind of thing with a very different goal and requirements. They use magnetorheological dampers, which just means that the oil has reaaaaaaally small pieces of metal floating in it, then an electromagnet literally changes the viscosity of the damping fluid to change the damping. Zero relation to what FA is trying to do Smile

"a discussion about performance would be much more interesting, even in the article that is very lacking" - That's because it says "First Look" in big letters at the top of this article. Here's Kazimer's review of the system: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-rockshox-flight-attendant.html

"Also loosely mentioning the motor rpm is a completely misleading metric and is marketing wank. We need adjustments per second and times from fully open to fully closed." - I agree, but this was a tricky number to get from them. Regardless of the actual number, it's seamless feeling on the trail and acts like normal suspension on the downhills.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: didn't notice Mike's article because of the big sworks on the picture.

About the tricky numbers... tell me how many turns of compression the damper has and I can calculate open to closed times from the video of the motor spinning, assuming it has the same speed under load.
  • 3 0
 Words of wisdom from Kristian:

#1 This is how you over engineer things. Complex electronics and small mechanical gearsets is never a good idea in rough and dirty conditions.
#2 Never buy the first of something. It seldom works correctly or for long & they usually already have the better option being made. Next year they will have the set that keeps a graph of your cycles. Like Ford, next year you can buy the Raptor Bronco.
#3 it only adjusts low speed compression, isn't that wat the little lever does? This is definitely for the techy.
  • 1 0
 Yea this is a joke of an idea
  • 7 2
 that is the least refined looking block of tech shit i have ever seen in my life. ever!
  • 2 2
 Looks pretty refined to me...where do you expect them to put the thing? You must not have lived through the 90's or earl 20's if this looks unrefined..
  • 3 0
 @radrider: If they weren't trying to share the battery, the fork bits could fit mostly inside the leg and run off a few button cells or even something semi-squat like a cr123 or even 14250
  • 4 1
 Meh, what a disappointment. It's just an electronic gnome turning your compression dial for the uphills. The era of semi active and active suspension is still far far away it seems.
  • 1 0
 That's the very basic principle of this stuff, yes, but it's how it's constantly changing. The Enduro is a regular Enduro when you're going down, but if the trail goes up for even just a few feet, the system will firm your bike up and make you feel stronger It's how it does it seamlessly that's so impressive.
  • 3 0
 getting as complicated as a car ... I think anyway, I still want to adjust my knobs despite knowing I can't set my bike properly, and do barely feel any difference, I just like my knobs
  • 2 0
 Interesting that rebound stays the same. I recall that BMW's and Ducati motorcycle electronic controlled damping can cause problems for hard charging riders due to the electronics adjusting the suspension during cornering, which makes predicting how the bike will stick in the corner a bit more difficult for the real fast riders, who want it the same way all the time. Being predictable is way more important than anything else, for the fast riders. For less than full-out riding, the electronics show their benefit. I wonder if this same story arc will be discovered for the mtb version. Seeing that they've already eliminated rebound damping from A.I. tampering, I believe this may have been a design consideration.....the future is upon us, folks!
  • 2 0
 This is my thought as well. I'll be interested to see how many EWS pros are using this system.
  • 4 2
 IMO this is a huge miss on SRAMs part, and frankly, pretty dumb. Electronically controlled (magnetorheological) dampers were a huge leap forward for cars, and warranted high costs. I have an aftermarket controller on my car that samples data 200 times per second, and the shocks' reaction time is 100ms. It can adjust each damper independently based on a ton of inputs. It makes a HUGE difference. All this appears to be doing is taking some basic samples and turning a knob for you, which you are perfectly capable of turning yourself.

Yes, in the example in the post, you won't be able to reach down and change low-speed compression settings when you encounter a steep climb suddenly. But you also don't need to. The only time you really need to change compression is on long climbs, which you can do any old time on your own.

I love seeing R&D and new ideas on mountain biking, but this is solving a problem almost no one really has. Magnetorheological in mountain biking, on the other hand, would be epic.
  • 4 0
 There are also many drivers who can't stand those magnetorheological dampers for aggressive driving due to them sometimes being less predictable than a passive system. They literally change the fluid viscosity, which is super cool, but that comes at it from a different angle than Flight Attendant.

FA reverts to being fully "analog" and normal when descending, whereas those mag dampers firm up when the car is driven hard; the opposite approach. I don't want my suspension changing on the descents, though.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: good point, but the advanced electronic controllers (like the one I'm using) vastly improve how the systems work. On the track, we want it firm until we hit a curb or the track has some imperfect surface, then we want it immediately open. On the street we need more dynamic control. It's very predictable, very comfy on imperfect surfaces, and awesome when driving at the limit (for those curious, this is the controller www.dscsport.com).

I'd argue on a descent, current suspension is challenged by the fact that we want the systems open for technical features, but firmer for berms, brake diving, etc. Currently the suspension is always in some state of compromise, although the best four-way dampers tend to do a pretty solid job.

My point is, FA is just doing something relatively simple for a lot of extra cost. I get people will pay for it, I just don't know why. I'm all for having options so not trying to dump on new cool tech, this one just again seems like it's solving a very low-priority problem.
  • 1 0
 @forbiddenbeat: For sure, the act of adjusting LSC is simple. I was of the same mind before I tried it - it's not that it's just adding compression, it's that it can do it so quickly, so seamlessly, while you're riding and without you noticing the change. The bike just pedals better one second, then is fully open and active the next.

It would be neat if it firmed up for berms, brake dive, etc, but this is more of a smart pedaling aid than a descending aid. I'm not sure if I'd want my compression to change during the descent in the same way that a track car's suspension firms up as needed, but maybe there's something to that?
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Cool, that makes sense. I suppose as with all things, it'll get better and cheaper over time. Hopefully one day I'll get to give a try. Smile
  • 1 0
 I agree it's a small step from magneride. I just don't think SRAM has enough knowledge of magnetorheological fluids to implement something simple for the average rider. It would also need a pretty big redesign of the whole system and there might be hesitation from the average rider about having to use specialized oil. I'm with you that magnetorheological damping has the best performance compared to other semi-active systems.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: is it actually adjusting lsc or going between open firm climb with a manual lsc on open?
  • 2 0
 @forbiddenbeat:
ten year secret: Fox has that but has deemed it too expensive.
  • 3 0
 Would love to see some LED color customization or programming options. With most electronic systems being Green/Red and now Blue/Purple, telling battery levels and system settings sucks for the colorblind.
  • 2 0
 Seems like quite the gimmick. Now if they could've done more than just 3 position auto adjust. If they added in an air spring sensor, like and integrated Shock Wiz to also adjust your HSC/LSC and rebound adjustments on the fly and instantaneously, that would be something. The app could give you far more detailed data and could dial back HSC for braking bumps, (mapped via GPS) and add LSC in corners and big roll downs.

This is just pointless complication for a simple adjustment that doesn't require this level of complexity. It's an out dated idea that has been tried several times in the past. Classic RS solving non-existent problems for the sake of marketing. The "ecosystem" is a great lesson learned from Apple.
  • 2 0
 I have a Jeffsy with some RT3 shock, and on some rides I forgot to unlock the shock.... yeah... I realised after some descending and corrected. Then... I switched to a low price monarch plus, with only rebound adjustment, and the ride just got simpler! Simple is good!
  • 2 0
 Wait, wait....WAIT! @11:22 & @13:32 in the video, I see a supposed hard, out-of-saddle effort, and the front fork is bobbing up and down on pretty small terrain imperfections..... that's not what the people want when they lock up suspensions and actually hammer, unlike the Mike in the video......... Unsure if it's been said in the 3thousand comments, but I'm going to suspend judgement on this gizmo.
  • 2 0
 Outside+ subscribers have access to pre recorded trail settings for every trail in the world. Automatically adjusting, compressing and rebounding their suspension and offering cues on where to pedal, pump, brake and corner for faster times, narrated by Ben Cathro.

Outside+ PRO comes with a full body electronic nerve control suit, you don't even have to do anything, the suit controls your body for you, the ultimate outdoors experience.
  • 2 0
 Is obviating the need to hit the climb switch yourself worth over a thousand dollars? I'd say no. Well, I guess the idea is that a few rich people will buy this, earning an enormous profit for SRAM, which in turn funds the next, more useful iteration of this- something that controls suspension activation according to conditions instead of just switching the suspension on and off.
Also, this makes me want to get a ruly rigid bike, maybe singlespeed.
  • 1 0
 For sure, the price will make it so not many riders can try it out, but this is very different than hitting a climb switch. Expensive suspension, carbon frames, as well as XTR and AXS have all proven that stuff like this isn't only purchased by "a few rich people," either, even if it's far too expensive for me or you to want to spend the money on it. That argument holds zero water Smile

Why is this not just a climb switch? Because the system is constantly adjusting the compression as needed, which isn't going to be a useful trick if your riding is all up and then all down; of course a climb switch makes sense for that. But if you ride a long-travel bike on rolling trails, FA does what a climb switch never could... unless you want to hit that switch every few seconds or minutes? Expensive? f*ck yes. A climb switch? Hell no.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Cheers for responding to the guy who responded after the discussion was basically over.
I guess you're right- spending 1000 or whatever dollars on this is almost definitely a better use of money than upgrading from SLX or especially XT to XTR. It's a bit disconcerting to see bikes get batteries and telephones added onto them- I get on my bike to get away from devices, not to keep using them- but then, bikes are exploding with springs, dampers, levers, etc. anyways; complexity and the money that buys it are the price of higher performance. They do take away to an extent the feeling of riding a bike, though.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I don't know, I'm locking out and unlocking my fork on my singlespeed all the time - it becomes second nature. At this point this really is nothing more than a VERY expensive lockout lever.
  • 5 1
 Wonder if the "Freeride mode" and "Downhill mode" will be locked behind a paywall on the app?
  • 4 0
 Rarely ever has there been an "innovation" in the MTB industry in which I was less interested.
  • 1 0
 Is this going to be offered as an "upgrade kit" for existing Zebs and Super Deluxes? Or do you need to buy entirely new Forks and rear shocks?

edit: read Kaz's review - fork has new internals, probably need an entirely new fork
  • 1 0
 It looks like it would be new fork and rear shock. I say this because the anatomy of the two looks different than normal and most importantly that fork seems to have a different air valve cap and bleeder nipples on the lowers. If you look up the serial number of the fork (22T15905820) on the trailhead app the damper is Charger Flight Attendant W/ Buttercups. Air spring is DebonAir+ W/ Buttercups. Interesting idea to wrap one's head around. I assume in a year we might see the ability to install one onto existing systems but with how that gearbox attaches to the compression rod it looks super extensive and maybe proprietary. Maybe they will offer the damper itself which will work with the Attendant add on.
  • 1 0
 I do have a few questions if anyone have any more insights? Smile
Does it work with SD Coil shock? You mentioned that RC2 Damper was redesigned to work with this, so does the fork still have adjustable HSC? The Live Valve is kinda crap as it is based on FIT damper instead of the GRIP2 which is far superior. Your review of the Giant Trance X clearly mentioned this, the Live Valve suspension in open mode is just not good enough thanks to that inferior damper.
  • 1 0
 It's all in the article above. It's only the Super Deluxe Ultimate right now, and the fork does not have adjustable HSC; it's set from the factory now.
  • 1 0
 thanks for the extensive review and video, @mikelevy . a bit curious why it took you so long to eat that donut. and pie charts can also be donut charts, for that matter.

I'm definitely interested. was looking for live valve for some time, but the cables and frame specific issues held me back. for me, big plus are the clean looks and no wires, next to the "smart" suspension of course. depending on functionality, i'd look for the manual lever as well, simply to switch it on or off. but if the suspension is really smart, that might be not needed.

bummer that they do not offer to link it to existing cadence sensors that might be on the bike (power meter or stand alone), that would save the weight for the pedal sensor.

i also wonder how thorough the tuning is that one can do through the app. i could imagine that it is more versatile than analog suspension setup and if you want, you can completely nerd out on multi dimensional settings (not only compression/rebound, but also add up/down riding and pedal yes/no in the equation

last question: can i likely upgrade my analog fork/shock with this stuff?

i'm not a dentist Smile
  • 1 0
 I wouldn't count on being able to update your current fork and shock, although who knows down the road.
  • 1 0
 Would be nice if it did link with a power meter so you don't need the pedal sensor. That way it would work with non Dub cranksets as well.
  • 2 0
 End if the day, I can flip a climb switch and make my 40lb bike slightly less unbearable to climb with. Seems unnecessary to have this type of system on a class if bike that tends to be so heavy.
  • 1 0
 Agreed, it won't be for most riders. I think a lot of people on those kinds of bikes are just fine with flipping a lever - it makes so much sense - but I see this stuff for maybe a rider who does enjoy traversing terrain rather than just wanting to get to the top. Switch = free!
  • 1 0
 The concept is cool. I hate locking my suspension or setting in pedal mode. I almost always forgot to unlock it, so I have to stop and unlock it. It's a pain. So I always leave it unlock. With this, I wouldn't have to worry about leaving it locked. Won't get this system anytime soon, due to the cost.
  • 1 0
 What no mention of the Cannondale effort at this from ~20 years ago? Smile

I certainly respect and appreciate what’s been developed but I’m a little confused…. Isn’t Levy famously anti-climb switch? If so why not critique the purpose of this for that same reason? That is if a bike is properly sorted why does it need this electronic nanny? [serious]

Me, I have no problem with climb switches. I use mine regularly - not because my bike kinematics suck or because I’m unable to set my suspension up correctly - but because 99% of my rides begin with significant and steep climbs on relative mellow terrain.
  • 1 0
 LOL, Levy is holding the shock in one hand and what I thought was a circuit board on the other hand. Turns out it was a frickin donut! Big Grin Guess he did say he was bad with computers. Ditch the pie, you had a donut on your hand!
  • 1 0
 Better integration with the crown & Shock Body would make a big difference in the look (& protection) of these dewdadz. If motor racing is any indication, this could be ground breaking tech for suspension performance...still not interested in having it on my daily driver though.
  • 1 0
 I am not a fan of electric stuf on bikes .E-derailleur =NO,better a hub gear like Rolhoff,
Epost ? maybe ,cadence power sensors ? for pro´s
This Flight Attendant can be nice if you have the money ...how mutch ? Steve Jobs suspense and you have thousands wanting it no matter the price.They must have it ,point.
  • 3 0
 Too many fat people joiining the sport of moutain biking wanting everything to be automated and the industry is following suite with them. Enough said.
  • 1 0
 I'm a product designer, so while I lament the additional engineering time, more complex parts, extra cost and complexity of the expanded user interface I'm interested to try it...even if the whole project appears to be focused on making climbing easier. I thought that's why we had e-bikes though? Having multiple, expensive options to solve the same issue for what I see as a mostly trivial issue is ok I guess?

But I'm still super excited to see how much better the Ohlins system will be. That'll practically turn my 40 year old sack of bones into a balding, grumpy, less charismatic Bruni!
  • 1 0
 Up to now I've wanted to stay away from computers on my bike. But I would love this. It's also really nice to see it aimed at bikes that would get a lot of benefit from it. Mid to long travel bikes get pedalled a lot, and totally suck at pedalling with the shock unlocked (no matter what the manufacturer says). There are lots of steep/fast/rough trails with pedally sections in them, the section is too short to bother changing it manually, but it's annoying trying to pedal and getting bogged down in the suspension

Those buttercups also look like a really good addition. Hopefully they'll do a retro-fit option like they did with the c1 air spring
  • 1 0
 Yeah dude, Charley Murry got a pretty sound result at Tweed EWS which looks to be like what you describe and he had it on his bike at least at the last EWS so I presume he was running it at Tweed as well.
  • 1 0
 I fully expect electronic suspension to be the next big breakthrough for mountain bikes. This is a very basic implementation but we will see systems like GM's magnetic damper fluid which changes many times per second. There are already systems for cars which will firm up the front suspension under braking or soften the inside suspension around a turn. When done properly you shouldn't even be able to tell it is making changes. I expect to have a next gen system like this on my next bike in 5+ years.
  • 4 1
 No, Im not gonna say, that a Flight Attendant on the gruond is about as usefull as a flight attendant on the ground.
  • 3 0
 What about just a simple remote controlled Low Speed Compression adjustment?
  • 1 0
 Noticed the part in the article where it mentions why it isn't compatible with all bikes?
  • 1 0
 Ehrm, seems like both Mike and I replied to a what appeared to be different comment initially.
  • 1 0
 My first idea when I saw this was to rig a rc car servo on my DPS climb switch and a blip switch on the bar to control it.
  • 2 0
 I would be interested if automatically would adjust low speed compression for different kind and sections of the trails/downhills/enduro stages...
  • 2 1
 That's what it does Wink
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: I mean while you are decending.
Also would be great to be integrated with that telemetry gadget
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: It adjusts the platform, which isn't just an LSC adjustment. It more of an overall compression adjustment.
The OP wishes it would adjust the LSC independently of the 3 position platform adjust.
  • 3 1
 Soon they are going to put a battery in the downtube and a little motor in the cranks and the computer will turn the wheels for you...
  • 1 0
 I used to lust after that electronic valved Girvin ProFlex suspension. Had the fork but just with the crappy elastomer shock that you had to pour boiling water on in cold weather to soften it up. Times have changed!
  • 2 0
 I drooled so hard over the red 856 with the carbon fiber swingarm. Oh man, the dream! Dig-in Technology haha
  • 1 0
 That was a good fork!
  • 1 0
 K2 Smartshock I think it was called
  • 2 0
 Cool idea for those interested, I’ll reserve judgement until I see the review… however for myself I would pass. I just can’t see the cost being worth it.
  • 2 0
 If you fell asleep like I did, Cliff-notes: Cost is closely guarded. And it won't be available until 2030 due to supply chain issues, button shortages and widget scarcities.
  • 1 1
 The world needs chains and cassettes more. Remember Sram redesigned the derailleur to accommodate a 52t cassette (slow clap for one-upping Shimano there)? Well, said cassette isn’t available in the UK until February. 2023. Can’t pedal the really expensive, electronically-suspended bike without those…
  • 1 0
 There’s loads of places online in stock.
  • 2 0
 For 2000$ it better reads my mind and give me different settings when i'm doing 360 or just bunnyhopping, and give me a bl*wj*b after a rough day.
  • 1 0
 I think its sick, I mostly like shorter travel trail bikes but if I buy an enduro bike, id be down. its funny to see all these kooks tho going full REEEEEEEE over something thats not the most basic MTB component lmao
  • 1 0
 The tech is amazing, not for me but amazing none the less! I just want to know how long until, like those dumbass hoover boards, we see some dude flying down the trail...on fire.
  • 1 1
 If SRAM made/ offered the Flight Attendant Superdeluxe and the crank sensor available (in my Eewing cranks please) for my SJ Evo I'd be a buyer today me thinks.

I still don't understand the need for a front end lockout but that's just me.
  • 2 0
 This is probably more about a patent grab before Fox gets around to patenting and applying the tech to all of their military contracts.
  • 1 0
 Not that I'd ever spend the kind of money on this, but it would be interesting to know if this would make pedaling on the trail efficient enough to affect e-bikes range & allow for lighter less powerful battery systems.
  • 1 0
 Isn’t it cheaper to design a dwlink bike that negates the need for lockouts? Does flight attendant just try to treat a symptom from the problem of bad suspension design rather eliminate the problem w a dw link design?
  • 1 1
 Everyone wines about mountain bikes having too much computers. The car you drive has countless sensors, computers and techno-gizmos that after u get used to it, you won’t go back!
Why can’t our bikes push boundaries in technology. The option for analog bikes or ‘62 VW beetles will always be there.
I would try this technology any day if I had the money.
  • 3 0
 I have only one BIAS setting… F*ck batteries

(yes, username checks out… and yes it’s a SS)
  • 1 0
 Sadly missing is a butt cheek sensor to override the system. When cheeks are clenched, suspension stays wide open. @SRAM... the DUB spindle sensor looks like it can be modified to insert rectally to achieve this.
  • 1 0
 Not quite as spiffy as the Lotus active suspension. All they have to do is have a compact compressor to run the active hydraulic s. A small motor stashed inside the frame would do the trick.
  • 3 0
 Why bikes gotta become so complicated dawg
  • 1 1
 I have this ability on my SXS with Fox Live Valve suspension, it is amazing. I wonder how well it works with the bike... seems overkill for something that only weighs 25-35 lbs.
  • 2 0
 I'm a single high pivot bike owner and I've only ever used my climb switch once in a year of ownership of this bike.
  • 3 0
 oh youre single? playa over here
  • 2 0
 Looks awesome. Will it provide ShockWiz analytics or similar for air pressure, volume reducers & rebound adjustments?
  • 1 0
 cant go back to regular compession only climb modes . cane creek with the rebound plus compressions changes and the bar remote are to good and easy.
  • 1 0
 Just wait til they team it up with AXS electronic shifting - so when you go into the easiest gear, the damping automatically goes into climb mode.....whoa
  • 1 0
 Super psyched on this technology and can't wait to try it! I also don't have a clue how I would ever be able to afford or justify this.
  • 3 0
 Yet another useless gimmick aimed at those with money to spare.
  • 1 0
 Wonder if this flight attendant will be a Richard about me wearing a mask during flight… maybe a full face helmet, I’ll agree to that on DH days. Haha
  • 1 0
 This is actually really smart innovation, er, digital transformation on part of SRAM to be compatible with existing hardware and not create a whole other product layer.
  • 1 0
 Nice to see the industry going forward and innovating though I won’t be spending that kind of money on an accessory like this anytime soon…
  • 1 0
 They spent 9 years on something that 90% of riders can’t afford. Maybe they should have spent 9 years on reliable reasonably priced stuff.
  • 1 2
 What's old is new again... at least once the original patents have expired that is. Noleen suspension, then subsidiary of K2 bikes had computer controlled smart shocks over twenty years ago. A digital microprocessor working with an accelerometer in the shocks and forks (both the telescoping leg fork and the linkage fork) varied the compression damping depending on the force of impact many times a second, using a piezoelectric valve to change the rate of oil flow. Here's a link to one of the owner manuals for one of the smart forks...

idriders.com/proflex/resources/99_smart_fork_addendum.pdf
  • 1 0
 That isn't a self-adjusting suspension by any stretch. It's self-adjusting compression damping. About 1/3 of the equation. Ugh. More useless shit to break.
  • 2 1
 So, it's self-adjusting the compression but not self-adjusting because that's all it is self-adjusting? I'm confused by that, but I do know that I wouldn't want my rebound speed changed at all while on the trail, and that the changing compression damping provides more support, like an increased spring rate.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: why wouldn't you want your rebound speed changed on the trail? Consider the difference in the way you might setup your suspension differently on XC chatter vs enduro big hits, plus the interrelationship between compression and rebound circuits on some suspension components.

Also, if you ask most experienced tuners, they'll tell you that compression damping is actually quite different than a corresponding increase in spring rate - in some cases higher compression can behave like a softer spring (settling the bike more) whereas actually increasing the spring rate will make the bike more "poppy". They'll both have the effect of keeping your bike up in the stroke more of course, but there are as many differences as similarities.

With a fully on-the-fly adjustable *system* (versus just compression damping), you could add a motor to change the spring curve by expanding or contracting the air chamber size (akin to adding/removing tokens) and change both compression and rebound damping to optimize the return to the sag point based on the conditions you're riding (speed, size of hits, etc). Sensors could easily detect overshoot or packing up and adjust accordingly.
  • 1 0
 I'm gonna hold out for the maglev fork with Lazer scanner that scans the trial ahead and moves the fork a fraction before the bumps so everything is always perfect.
  • 1 0
 What do you mean it fixes the poor pedaling of the Enduro!?!?!??!?! I bought the Enduro bc you told me it climbed like an XC bike but decended like a DH bike! Which is it!?
  • 3 2
 how about that new Zeb, only nerds and dentists care about that flight expensive computer
  • 5 0
 Kaz's review covers the changes with the Zeb, including the Butter Cups and fart buttons: www.pinkbike.com/news/review-rockshox-flight-attendant.html
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy: didn't seen it, cheers!
  • 2 2
 Why not just tune your suspension properly, and call it a day? A properly steep (not theoretical) seatube angle is a much simpler and elegant solution.
  • 2 1
 This is a very different thing than just a tuning app Smile
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy: Agreed! I was not talking about an app, more shim stack. Climb switches are band aids, and lockouts on forks only make sense on a hardtail, why would anyone want their front higher for climbing?
  • 2 0
 Will this topic get the record of most MOD's answers?
  • 1 0
 loving the cheeky tim hortons halfway through. That'll pay for the dentistry that pays for the bikes..
  • 2 0
 @mikelevy I want a donut now
  • 1 0
 I can finally say that I saw this being tested in the wild a year and half ago.
  • 1 0
 Going to the dentist Thursday, fully expect my dentist to find something that costs about $2k so he can upgrade
  • 1 0
 FOUR. Four batteries to keep track up plus backups. If only they could design one large battery to fit on a bike frame...
  • 1 0
 This is probably a good option for the average rider that doesn't know how, understand or want to set up their suspension.
  • 1 0
 All we want is a electronic remote climb switch for the shock we don't need it to do anything else
  • 2 0
 SEVEN independent batteries on a single non-e bike... SMH
  • 1 0
 All that tech and they don't put mounts for a water bottle on it. Hard pass.
  • 1 0
 Fox is soon to release the less PC "Stewardess". The pie served with it will be like the one from The Help.
  • 1 0
 Perfect, now my long travel 29er can dumb down the trail even more, who needs skills when you got bills
  • 2 1
 Sweet. Let us know when it works on ebikes as we are the ones who can afford this stuff.
  • 2 0
 I wonder if this is what Bruni was hiding with that shock cover?
  • 2 0
 bruni is on ohlins
  • 1 0
 will be interesting to see on boxxer for dh run, also for enduro tracks it is kinda cool
  • 2 0
 whats wrong with a manual compression switch? waste of money
  • 2 0
 Gonna pass for now. Waiting for "Auto Pilot Mode"
  • 1 0
 Please do efficiency test and impossible climb with and without new system!
  • 1 0
 Yup, that'll happen.
  • 1 0
 This thing doesn’t even have voice command… “Alexa, skip to next article” pass
  • 1 0
 I love yelling "GoPro off!" at people who have the voice commands set up.
  • 1 3
 @SramMedia @foxfactory @SRSuntour Over a decade ago or more I posted a comment about suspension future tech being advanced to the point where a camera/sensor reads the track 3-15m in front of the bike and makes adjustments to the damping/spring rates for normal riding. This application would be advanced further for elite racing (both dh and xc) where the track would be read/recorded by the camera/sensors would calculate (gps will play a huge part in this also) a virtual simulation of the track so that the damping and other adjustments can be made by the suspension systems computer (this would allow for inputs at certain points on the recorded track for eg.when a rider bunny hops/jumps when the computer would normally run a setting for that section to be rolled over). Further to this, tyre pressures could decrease/increase via a small pressure vessel attached to the valve (this will later be engineered into the design of rims and become the norm).

The technology is slowly coming...better late than never
  • 2 0
 I'm sure it's fine but how long until there's a SRAM+ paywall to use it?
  • 1 0
 I know there is an obvious solution, but how do you thread it into the stanchion?
  • 2 0
 Needs a K2 with a Smart Fork and Shimano Airlines for a back to back test.
  • 2 0
 Just in time for Christmas, for the dentist who has everything.
  • 1 0
 You could even have virtually controlled position sensitive damping. RS missed out on some cool possibilities IMO.
  • 2 1
 A new strain of Corona virus or this dumb idea, I can not decide what I want less.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy @tantrumcycles Cool idea and product by SRAM, but i would much rather ride a Tantrum ;-)
  • 1 0
 I want a built-in ShockWiz! Just fully auto config my whole setup electronically! I guess THAT's coming in another 9 years!
  • 1 0
 Very different from that Lapierre system Smile
  • 1 0
 Remind me a song from Pink Boyd ... Hey Batteries , leave those bikes alone.
  • 1 0
 How did something as simple as a bicycle get to be so utterly complex? The simple joys of riding a bike my arse.
  • 1 0
 It's 10pm and I've just watched this video about flight attendant and now really want a donut,!
  • 1 0
 All I heard was...Retro Encabulator... www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXJKdh1KZ0w
  • 1 0
 just came for the comments LOL - always fun to watch @mikelevy - I'm sure there's nothing else fun here LOL
  • 2 0
 Neat
  • 1 0
 Won't fly. security will pick up the fluids and bin it.
  • 1 0
 Don’t use a north shore rack!
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy which forks and shocks does it work on?
  • 1 0
 Now I can blame a computer for not setting my fork up correctly….
  • 1 0
 It's not Fox Live Valve. No go.
  • 2 1
 flight attendant? Should have called it auto pilot.
  • 1 0
 Better solution for novice dentist
  • 1 0
 Maybe focus on getting the analog stuff to stop blowing up 1st
  • 2 0
 This is ridiculous
  • 1 0
 Why is Levy screaming throughout the video? Get a better mic maybe?
  • 1 0
 Levy giving us the run down with donut in hand is the best.
  • 2 0
 That did not look like a Tim Hortons .. here goes the sponsorship.
  • 1 0
 This is why I love Mountain bikes big time ●
  • 1 0
 it is fun to read article from Levy about electronic "cheater lever"
  • 3 0
 I AM SO CONFLICTED, to be honest.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: nextpodcast - why do we even have cheaterswitch?
  • 1 0
 I've heard about pedal switches and the people who feel they need them.
  • 1 0
 Specialized pre-order for the Enduro $17,500 Cdn…damn
  • 1 0
 E-fork, e-bike, e-shox, e-car, what next? E - people(((((
  • 2 0
 ANALog....
  • 2 0
 hard pass
  • 2 0
 Skynet is taking over
  • 1 0
 What about stall condition???
  • 1 0
 So I have 1 switch. Wtf would I need this.
  • 2 0
 I feel old.
  • 1 0
 ummmmm where are the e brakes?
  • 1 0
 more useless bullshit, pass
  • 1 0
 This will turn the Grim Doughnut into a beast of an enduro bike.
  • 1 0
 Works just like scott’s twin lock system
  • 1 0
 There is a mistake in Detail box)) it says FIGHT Attendant)))
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy
What ski walls are on that ? Butcher ?
  • 1 0
 Just more crap people think they need
  • 1 0
 Wait... what?
  • 1 0
 A Zillion RPM's
  • 3 0
 Right around there
  • 1 0
 dentistry
  • 1 1
 Lol, the Pinkbike keyboard engineer trolls are going to LOVE this...
  • 1 1
 Insert tech-phobic comment here.
  • 1 1
 Just cool! Time will tell how useful it is. But just cool!!!
  • 2 2
 Innovation that trumps a stupid fad Mullet Bike.
  • 1 0
 Sell all the organs.
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