The engineers at Fox have been hard at work developing a new electronic suspension system called Live Valve. Unlike the iCD electronic suspension system introduced several years ago and recently renamed iRD, for intelligent ride dynamics, the Live Valve system does away with rider controls in favor a terrain-sensing autonomous system designed to maximize suspension performance and pedaling efficiency.
The electronic iRD system currently used on some high-end cross-country race bikes such as Scott’s Spark 700 Di2 Ultimate allows the rider to adjust the suspension between open and locked-out modes. Servos mounted on the fork and shock toggle the compression adjuster between open and locked out when the rider flips a lever.
Live Valve takes electronic suspension control one step further by further by using accelerometers to detect changes in terrain and automatically making adjustments between firm and open suspension modes.
Fox isn’t disclosing much information about the in-development system, but it appears from the graphics like tuning via Bluetooth may be an option
The Live Valve system’s default position is firm. When an onboard accelerometer senses a bump it rapidly opens the compression damping valve allowing the suspension to react to impacts. If the front accelerometer senses a bump, it opens the fork and the shock. If the accelerometer mounted on the chainstay senses a bump, it opens the shock.
The system works on a timer, if another bump is encountered in quick succession the system remains open, if not the shock returns to the firm position.
Also, if the Live Valve’s accelerometer detects zero gravity for more than 25 milliseconds it opens, Fox claims.
The system is still in development, but Fox-sponsored athletes have been spotted riding very polished looking versions of the system, so production versions may be coming shortly.
Accelerometers are used front and rear control the system