About this project
New Update! SussMyBike is now also targeting MOTORBIKES following the successful launch of its mountain biking suspension product. The company is extending the current campaign to the motorcycle market after receiving a high level of interest from the motocross and race motorcycle community. The product will incorporate the same technology as the mountain bike version but use different mounts for motorbikes.
So what is SussMyBike?
SussMyBike is a small electronic device that monitors your mountain/motor bike’s suspension as you ride - and recommends improved settings to suit your riding style. It analyses the suspension data and is able to identify deficiencies in the way the suspension is reacting to bumps. This information enables us to inform the user how to adjust the sag and damping to optimise the ride quality.
SussMyBike is used in conjunction with an app on your Android or Apple phone and communicates over Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE).
Why do you need SussMyBike?
The problem is that fine tuning your bike suspension for best results can take hours of trial and error and lots of head scratching. Ask your biking friends how to set up suspension and they will all give you a different answer! There is lots of advice on the forums and manufacturers websites – but that is exactly what it is – advice! They are not riding your bike and do not know how it is reacting. SussMyBike measures what actually happens so you do not need to be an expert rider to adjust your suspension.
Even professionals find this stuff hard!
I was talking to a Swiss mechanic with the premium fork/shock manufacturer on mountain bikes at their stand at Eurobike – http://bit.ly/EurobikeShow 2014 and he told me he had been on the factory downhill team setting up the suspension for the riders. He made me laugh when he told me that “setting up suspension is difficult because he does not know what the rider can feel through his ass! (although I knew he meant feet!) and that trying to understand what the rider was experiencing was hard!” To me this was confirmation from a suspension professional that there is a problem to be solved here.
Quote: "To be able to quantify it in numbers and know exactly what your suspension is doing beyond what you can feel, would be a really great thing to have"
Thomas Mitchell - Cube Factory Pilot Team
Suspension set up has evolved!
We live in a world where (nearly) everything can be measured. We have an appetite for numbers and data. We want figures that will help us optimize results – whether that is on Strava, MapMyRide, MapMyRun, MapMyWalk or whatever – its everywhere!
This is where SussMyBike comes in. When you are hammering a trail you are too busy hanging onto your bike and focusing on the task in hand, so it is often difficult to assess how your suspension was working on that piece of trail. SussMyBike measures what you can’t perceive – so you don’t have to be an expert in suspension science to get your bike set up the way you like it. Trust SussMyBike to measure the suspension performance and make recommendations that will enhance your ride. If your bike does not feel right after a few months - just refit SussMyBike and figure out what has changed – easy!
What undesirable characteristics is SussMyBike looking for?
- Bouncing suspension (overshoot – due to not enough damping)
- Packing down – this is where the rebound is too slow causing the suspension to not recover quickly enough.
- Bottoming out - full suspension travel used
- Incorrect 'sag' - i.e. where a fully loaded bike 'sits' in it's travel
We will be including plenty of metrics on things such as "how often did my bike bottom out?" or "how often was the bike using over 90% of its travel?" and any other stats that riders would like to know. Got a suggestion for a useful metric? Please let us know - if its feasible it may just get included! We want this product to grow and we need our backers and community to help us do that!
Who will benefit?
SussMyBike is for any rider who has adjustable AIR or COIL suspension on their mountain bike – we can deal with either. As big fans of coil suspension we wanted to ensure we could get the best out of our coil shocks too. With lighter coil shocks reputedly making their way towards the Enduro and All Mountain market we didn’t want to leave our coil fans in the cold! We'd particularly like to use SussMyBike to get a Cane Creek Double Barrel (ccdb) or even a Push ELEVENSIX tuned to the max!
What are the benefits?
- Greater understanding of how to set up your bike
- More riding pleasure because your bike is properly tuned
- The bike feels more planted and sure footed because it is tracking the ground better i.e. improved traction and optimised handling
- Less rider fatigue because the suspension is working effectively
Tune to Suit your riding Style
Whether you want to set up your bike for XC, Enduro (All mountain) or Downhill SussMyBike can get your bike set up the way you want it. Our intuitive smartphone app will help you understand what you have to do to achieve critically damped tuning values for your weight, terrain and riding style. This will result in increased stability. Additionally, we can figure out the dynamic sag point of your bike so you can ensure it is the same front and back and the bike is ‘balanced’.
Quote: "If I actually had some numbers to show what was happening, I feel like it would give me much more concrete feedback on whatever was happening rather than 'that feels a bit better, quite like that' - so that sounds really interesting, I'd be keen to use it"
Ben Cathro - Sick Skills MTB Coaching http://sickskills.co.uk/
How do I use it?
Set up Procedure
As shown in the video – the steps are as follows:
- Fit SussMyBike to your bike
- Start the smartphone app
- Ride your bike (varied terrain)
- Check your smartphone app
- Adjust your suspension
- Ride your bike again to see how it feels now
- Check smartphone app again to see how much the set up has improved.
NO CALIBRATION REQUIRED
One of the design goals of the project was to produce a no fuss device. No messing about with calibration before every set up because the temperature is different or the air in the shock is now hot and a recalibration is required. Perhaps you have fitted new volume reducers or tokens to your air shock? Yep – no recalibration required!
How it works
SussMyBike monitors the shock displacement i.e. how much it moves. More importantly - we look for HOW the suspension moves through its travel. We look for undesirable characteristics so we can recommend how you can tune High/Low speed compression and High/Low speed rebound. We will record bottom out events and the dynamic sag while you are riding. Progressiveness of shock is also evaluated.
Here is a (very!) short snippet of a prototype being 'exercised' in the lab.
The smartphone app displays the results that are calculated from the data gathered on short test rides of different terrain. It is important to remember that the results are based on the terrain you have just ridden. Riding the bike on a good mixture of conditions will provide more data to analyse and so help improve the overall results that the app provides.
App screen mockup:
We are still figuring out how the final app screen is going to look and how we will display the information to the user. Up to now we have been heavily focused on gathering the data and analysing it. Not a trivial task as you can guess. However to make that data useful and of value to the rider we need to present it to the user in a friendly fashion. Here is a first cut - but remember this is a work in progress - and that is why we need your pledges to finalise development.
How to fit it
At present - we are simply using zip ties which fit in a groove in the soft NinjaFlex mounting case which holds the SussMyBike device to the fork or shock. We plan to devise an improved attachment system that is super quick to attach and remove. (note: NINJAFLEX is a trademark of J. H. Fenner & Co. Limited)
What’s in the unit?
Inside the unit is a small bluetooth transceiver, microprocessor, battery and a sensor. A very strong and durable metal cable is retained on a reel. This is held in tension by an extremely fast retracting spring to ensure that the cable mirrors the movement of the fork/shock very accurately.
Runs for months on a 3V coin cell.
We have prepared the unit with the worst of the Scottish Weather in mind - and all that comes with that! All the electronics are in a sealed chamber separated from the sensor and precautions have been taken to ensure reliable operation. We expect to achieve IP65 rating.
Tested in Scotland! – if it works here, it’ll work anywhere! Plenty of muddy gritty wet trails to challenge the protection on the device! Furthermore we have permission to use the Mountain Biking Centre of Scotland facilities at the famous Glentress trail centre to help out with testing. Of course we have access to more than a few young professional riders via our alliance with MTBCoS who are keen to help us test!
Shipping – when would this get manufactured and shipped?
It will be in your hands for beginning of June - just in time for the summer!
Stretch Goals - £60k | €85k EUR | $92k USD | $129k AUS
As we mentioned earlier – people like data! If we reach our stretch goal figures shown above we will be able to include the added feature of saving raw data to your smartphone! We will then provide means to view the raw suspension data or upload the data for viewing on your computer.
We got featured!
Through our collaboration with the Edinburgh University FabLab who helped us design and build our sensor, we were featured as a case study in the Edinburgh Research and Innovation INFINITE Magazine. Here is the article below or go to page 15 of the online magazine by clicking on the image or link below. http://bit.ly/InfiniteMagazine
What have we got left to do?
- Miniaturise – since making the crowdfunding video we have reduced the size of the unit by 24%
- Finalise mounting system – as the green cover on the unit is made of NinjaFlex which is a flexible rubber like plastic we hope to test the use of Velcro straps or some other suitable mounting system to make fitting and removal faster than the zip ties shown in the video
- Finalise rear shock mounting kits - sure to be a test of ingenuity but we are certain we are up to the task :-)
Who helped us?
We've worked with some great partners on our journey.
- Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland - MTBCoS http://bit.ly/mtbcos
- Edinburgh University FabLab http://www.fablab.eng.ed.ac.uk/ and http://bit.ly/InfiniteMagazine
- Napier University - Sports Scientists http://www.napier.ac.uk/
- Entrepreneurial Spark http://www.entrepreneurial-spark.com/
- Business Gateway http://www.bgateway.com/
- Scottish Enterprise http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/
- Edinburgh Hacklab http://edinburghhacklab.com/
- And many others!
Quote: “We at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland (MTBCoS) have been working with Alan for the past year and are delighted to see the progress he has made with SussMyBike. The MTBCoS has supported SussMyBike with market research, focus groups, learning journey trip to Eurobike and access to expertise from Scottish Enterprise. SussMyBike have a fantastic product that can help find the holy grail for mountain bikers – how to get the most out of your bike”.
Danny Cowe - MTBCoS
Question: What suspension systems is SussMyBike compatible with?
Answer: We reckon that SussMyBike will fit almost every fork - in fact we can't think of a mountain bike fork it wouldn't fit.
Rear shocks are a different matter with every frame and shock manufacturer combination out there! However, we still think that we will be able to fit a large percentage of the bikes out there. It will require some common sense in evaluating if -
- there is enough space
- will the SussMyBike sensor hit the frame or bind as the rear suspension moves through the complete range of travel
Finally - we are working on the mount kits for rear shocks which will cover both air and coil shocks. We have a few ideas how to achieve this! Watch this space! :-)
Risks and challenges
We have been working on this project for over a year now and believe that we have understood the technical, practical and financial challenges well. To ensure that we arrive at a product that is easily manufacturable, reliable and accurate we have enlisted the resources of the entrepreneurial community, engineers and biking athletes - please see our list of partners above. This has given us much greater depth and scope than we could have otherwise achieved on our own and prepared us for the journey. We couldn't have done it all on our own! Having experienced electronics and mechanical engineers who have delivered successful projects before has given us the confidence to produce something exceptional. Should any unanticipated problems occur - we believe we have the experience and backing to surmount these challenges.
The biggest risk would be supply issues with a key component - however we have looked at alternative suppliers and understand that the supply chain for our components is robust with more than one manufacturer being able to supply the components. We think therefore that we are well protected against this type of problem.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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