Spotted: Fox Live Valve on Myriam Nicole's DH Bike

Sep 6, 2021 at 3:10
by Seb Stott  

If you haven't seen the race from last weekend, be warned this article contains spoilers.

Photographer Ross Bell spotted an unusual device on Myriam Nicole's winning bike after the Lenzerheide DH World Cup last weekend.

The remote looks borrowed from a Shimano ebike motor and is connected to what could be a wireless transmitter.
The cable from the plastic box connects to the rebound valve on the Fox Float X2 shock.

There's a box zip-tied to the downtube, connected with a cable to the head valve on the shock. The box has the words Fox Live Valve written on it. Also, there's a remote by the grip which looks like a Shimano EP8 ebike remote, connected with a short wire to something else on the handlebar - presumably a wireless transmitter to communicate with the box. To the foil hat wearers, we're obviously not suggesting this is an ebike-style cheat device, but the fact that Fox has repurposed an existing Shimano remote suggests this is nowhere near production. Sorry, no review tomorrow.

The commercially available version of Fox Live Valve is essentially an automatic lockout which toggles the fork and shock between open and fully locked-out depending on whether bumps are detected by accelerometers. But while we've seen remote lockouts used at World Cups before, any kind of lockout doesn't sound particularly useful at Lenzerheide; also, this system isn't automatic (at least not fully automatic) given the remote on the handlebar.

What s this from Fox
This shot of Greg Minnaar's bike in the pits before the race appears to show a similar cable port on his coil shock, but with no control box.

But look closer and you might spot the cable connecting the box to the shock attaches to the part of the shock that controls the low-speed rebound valving, opposite the red adjuster knob. So perhaps this device is to slow down the shock's rebound for the kicky jumps near the bottom of the track so Nicole doesn't need to compromise the suspension sensitivity on the fast and rough sections. Or perhaps it's to compensate for the inevitable build-up of rebound ferocity in an air shock as the air and oil heat up during a run.

It could be both, or possibly neither - I only have these photos to go on for now as Ross wasn't able to get any more information on the ground. Let us know what you think it could be in the comments.

The World Champ living up to her name. Pompon seems unstoppable now.
Look closely (right click and open the image in a new tab) and you can see the device was used on Nicole's bike in her race run.

Author Info:
seb-stott avatar

Member since Dec 29, 2014
269 articles

  • 193 1
 It's pretty obvious that the remote button uncorks the champagne on the podium.
  • 125 3
 Spotted: PB found Vital tech forum.
  • 31 3
 I didn't claim that nobody else had spotted it. Wink FWIW I've seen a few people speculating that it's a lockout but I haven't seen anyone suggesting it's a rebound adjuster.
  • 10 46
flag heavyp (Sep 7, 2021 at 2:48) (Below Threshold)
 Why do all Pinkbike spotted/prototype articles read as if they were written by a 10 year old ?
  • 20 2
 @heavyp: Give us a better article then.
  • 10 0
 Spotted: on fox's own dialled series where they barely hid any details.
  • 3 1
 Fox mentioned it in a Dialed episode a few days ago. Jordie said it was on Minnaar's and PomPom bikes then. Wouldn't say what it was for though,
  • 8 2
 @heavyp: Why do all these negative comments read as if they were written by a 10 year old?
  • 9 0
 @seb-stott: take a look at the other side of an X2, the rebound adjuster isn't in the same place (on a stock shock anyway), it's on the other side of the compression adjusters. Where this sits is between the compression base valve and the reservoir, which (shape notwithstanding) does happen to be right where the lockout also goes on an X2; it doesn't look like it'd connect to the rebound flow path. Could be wrong since it's clearly got a third adjustment module in a custom reservoir bridge, and I hope it's more than just a lockout, but currently that appears most likely.
  • 1 5
flag heavyp (Sep 7, 2021 at 23:24) (Below Threshold)
 @JonnyTheWeasel: Pay me like the guys who work for Pinkbike and i'll be happy to.
  • 2 0
 @heavyp: mtb journalism is know for those big paychecks
  • 29 1
 love those bolts
  • 9 1
 High end looking eh?
  • 14 0
 And the way the linkage has been shaved down for clearance, for the cable entering the shock.
  • 1 0
 @ozhuck2flat: oh, that's what's going on.
  • 7 1
 @ozhuck2flat: could've at least prettied it up with a black marker!
  • 11 0
 Prototypes like this are easy to have a dig and a laugh at but I'm really glad when I see stuff like this on pinkbike.
It's not a spy-shot, review tomorrow deal: this looks like a genuine prototype. They may actually be experimenting here and it would be really cool to see a different take on live valve for enduro or DH with different goals to the previous of giving a good pedalling platform. I hope fox does actually talk about what they're doing to find what kind of electronic controlled bike stuff riders actually want.

If it works significantly better, then people will put up with having batteries and added complexity.
  • 4 0
 If you lose one, you can pick up a replacement at the Home Depot.
  • 1 0
 Like a good friend of mine likes to say: 'If it works, it ain't stupid'
  • 2 0
 @ozhuck2flat: but I do actually love those bolts Wink
  • 14 1
 Not exactly breaking news when the shocks being used on these two bikes were mentioned in a Fox YT video. Admission they were working on something new, but that's all Jordi could say about it.
  • 12 0
 This is where it all starts... Skynet
  • 28 0
 ‘I need your forks, shock and dropper post…’
  • 6 0
 Greg made mention of some new telemetry they were using in a syndicate video. I think Myriam also said something about it in a video. Plus in Fox video you can see Greg looking at his phone when talking to Jordy about the shock. Unless all that was elaborate smoke screen then it probably just that not line valve.
  • 7 0
 Pretty sure he was talking to Jordie about the compression/rebound speed data from his Motion Instruments data logging system, he uses it in practice and it plots on their phone app.
  • 9 1
 Whatever it is, the UCI will probably ban it soon.
  • 10 0
 this is not f1 we are talking about.
  • 6 0
 So that rocker arm looks like maybe a hacksaw & file
We’re utilized for precise hand machining on a bench vise
  • 5 0
 Might be, it is still a prototype. Function over form.
  • 1 0
 looks like they had to make room for the live valve cable
  • 3 0
 A lot of people were say it was a bit cold in the mountains so it’s a device to use the heat generated by the shock to warm Pom poms drink pouch.

The remote is to activate a pump so she doesn’t have to waste time & energy sucking.
  • 2 0
 Or you could watch the Dialed episode where jordi says that Pom Pom and Greg are running some experimental shocks.
He declines to say what it is just that it’s something they want to try which may or may not be used in the future.
A little learning experiment
  • 2 0
 What is the possibility of it also working like the Shockwiz as well? It probably is not - but it has electronics inside of it and it would not be off base to think some of that optimization could be built in. Then the shock can do automatic setting for you. Don't kill my thoughts lol.
  • 6 1
 It’s business time. You know what that means…
  • 32 0
 time to put on business socks?
  • 9 0
 TPS reports due?
  • 9 0
 @philrossnz: business shocks
  • 5 0
 Close pinkbike?
  • 6 0
 @davehuffstetler: these guys know what business time means -
  • 8 0
 Time to take out the recycling. Which is not actually part of it but also important.
  • 1 1
 @noapathy: Did you get the memo?
  • 1 0
 @philrossnz: "I know what you're trying to say. You're trying to say it's time for business."

Band meeting.
  • 5 0
 If there arent sensors at the wheel(s), this isnt live valve as we know it
  • 1 0
 Tech like this will be nice once it can read your mind and firm up when you want it too. I've seen people playing basic video games with two pads hooked up to their temples, I don't see why the se thing couldn't be used to tell a shock to open or close a compression circuit
  • 4 0
 People lose their minds over wireless drivetrains, ebikes and twinlock and you want to start attaching stuff to their temples? The comments section would probably crash the internet!
  • 2 0
I don't know if I want it on my bike. I'm just saying it might be possible haha. Truly proactive suspension, the first of it's kind. Elan can hook the neuralink up and it'll be good to go
  • 1 0

Many of the riders have mix and match sets, from watching the racers YT channels etc a lot of them like the Saint callipers but the feel of the XT/XTR lever. I think Greg runs saints with XTR levers. Just personal preference for a lot of it. They’ve even mentioned mixing pad compounds (resin-metal) depending on the track.
  • 1 0
 "If you haven't seen the race from last weekend, be warned this article contains spoilers."

Then, after one blank line, "Photographer Ross Bell spotted an unusual device on Myriam Nicole's winning bike after the Lenzerheide DH World Cup last weekend.".

Would it not have been a better idea to put the first sentence BEFORE the large picture directly above...? ‍♂️
  • 3 0
 It might be a telemetry system. Minaar was reading off rebound speeds to Jordi from an app on his phone.
  • 3 0
 They should’ve put the big one on.
  • 4 1
 Xt levers on the number one's DH rig? Is the parts shortage that bad?
  • 2 0
 Pivot race with full XTR sets and have done so for a while. Not covid related
  • 4 0
 XT and XTR (9120) levers really aren't that different. Maybe they wanted the all-black look of XT.
  • 1 0
 I prefer the XT
  • 2 0
 I'll make sure to show this to my buddy who thinks that XT brake levers are below him.
  • 2 1
 Xt brakes are bloody fantastic. Every bit as good as XTR to me, not beneath anyone at all. XTR is a bit lighter, but xt is as good as anyone, including world cup riders, could ever need. I prefer the feel of the saints though.
  • 2 0
 love the m10 nut used on the rocker link industrial Smile
  • 3 1
 ...and Loris is still faster on Rockshox
  • 1 0
 That logo though.... I want to see more of that linkage. Looks like someone cut that out by hand with a plasma cutter.
  • 1 0
 Je ne sais quoi it is then
  • 1 0
 Did they get that shock bolt at Ace Hardware?
  • 1 0
 Are you allowed to put weights on your bike to keep downward momentum?
  • 1 0
  • 1 4
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