Bicycling (USA)




After first rolling out on vehicles like UTV’s and the Ford F-150 Raptor, Fox’s Live Valve debuted for bikes in 2018. Like the other systems here, Live Valve “reads” the terrain and opens or firms up the suspension to improve rider experience. This is a wired system with a battery and controller located in the middle of the bike, sensors on the fork and rear wheel, and a solenoid in the fork and shock. Live Valve samples inputs 1,000 times per second to change the fork and shock between two modes in three millisecon­ds.

F Where to Find It: Giant Trance, Pivot 429 Trail, Pivot Mach 4 SL, Pivot Mach 5.5, Pivot Switchblad­e, Pivot Mach 6, Pivot Firebird


Newest to the party, Flight Attendant is a wireless system that collects data from sensors in the fork and shock, and a cadence sensor in the crank. An algorithm reads the informatio­n and based on conditions—uphill, downhill, coasting, pedaling, smooth, bumpy—adjusts the fork and shock between open, pedal, or lock settings. Flight Attendant has several tuning options available to the rider, and can be switched into manual mode, allowing the rider to wirelessly cycle the fork and shock through the three modes. F Where to Find It: Canyon Spectral 29, Canyon Neuron, Specialize­d Enduro, Trek Slash, YT Capra, YT Jeffsy


The Brain—a staple of Specialize­d’s XC bikes for 20 years—is a dumb smart system. Instead of electronic­s, it uses a gravity-controlled inertia valve. In Brain-equipped forks and shocks, there is a springsupp­orted weight that covers the damper valving. If you hit a bump big enough to overcome the spring force, the weight drops away from the valving, “opening” the suspension and allowing oil to flow. Oil flow from compressio­n holds the valve open until the trail becomes smooth enough to allow the weight to float back up and cover the valve, locking the suspension again. F Where to Find It: Specialize­d Epic

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