Fox Intelligent Ride Dynamics (iRD) App
Have you ever struggled with getting your fork and shock pressures nailed? Are you the sort of rider that attacks them with the shock pump, bounces up and down a few times and figures, "that'll do"? Then this app is the thing for you, assuming you're running a Fox 2013 fork and shock that is! Introducing the Fox Intelligent Ride Dynamics (iRD) app for iOS and Android. We take a look at the iOS version.
It's a bit of a tired old cliche already, "there's an app for that" – thanks Apple! But in this case there really is. Keen to make sure riders are getting the most from their 2013 forks and shock, Fox Racing Shox have developed a free little app which even includes a bit of the old augmented reality for measuring your sag points and make pressure suggestions and everything. Sounds cool, but how does it work?
Assuming you're un to speed with the Apple and Android Stores, getting the app on your phone is a doddle and it's at least free. The iRD app gives you the option to start a new setup and you can save your setups for reuse later.
The key to this whole thing, and presumeably why it's 2013 models only, is Fox's new ID tag system. Every fork and shock model/variation has a 4 digit ID and it's this that tells the iRD app exactly what model you're working with. It's pretty fool proof and you can't proceed without entering a valid ID. There's a few instruction screens: such as turning propedal off or switching CTD models to Descend mode.
The iRD app asks for your 'kitted up' weight. This is you plus all your riding kit, hydration pack, whatever you're going to be riding in. It's not your 6am, dehydrated, nude weight that you tell your friends! Now the accuracy of the app essentially hinges on this so it's worth doing a full-kit weigh-in.
With your weight entered, the iRD app gives you back a baseline PSI amount for the fork. It then asks you to hop on the bike and take a sag measurement from the fork. Once you've hopped on and pushed the O-ring down to get your sag, the clever augmented reality bit kicks in. Your phone's camera pops up and there's a picture of a fork leg and a couple of guidelines overlaid. The idea is that you line up the fork with the lower leg and the stanchion, and the iRD app scans the stanchion, finds the O-ring and measures the sag for you. Brilliant!
If it's not happy with the air pressure recommendation, it gives you an adjustment suggestion. The iRD app then gives you a rebound setting recommendation before moving onto the rear shock. The rear pretty much repeats the same process and when you're done there's an option to save your configuration for later reference.
What's interesting is that it doesn't ask you to do the rear shock with a baseline pressure before taking measurements and making final adjustments on the fork. Now presumeably, if your rear shock was massively out (let's say new bike with minimal air in the rear shock), you could maybe get a false result due to your weight distribution being off. We'd advise making sure there's at least a reasonable amount of air in the shock, or rerun the setup a second time if you're feeling particularly fussy or getting funny results.
We ran the iRD app on our new Orange Gyro longtermer which comes equipped with 2013 Fox CTD fork and shock. We found the iRD app to be surprisingly effective and the results it returned were only a couple of PSI different to what we had been running anyway. The recommended fork rebound seemed good as well, although we felt the suggested amount of rear rebound to be a touch fast, even by quick, chattery trail standards.
We suspect keen suspension tinkerers are going to have little interest in the iRD app beyond being a toy to play with the one time, and to perhaps confirm their setups. But for those that have never been sure of what they're doing when it comes to fork and shock setup, it would seem the iRD app is a very good way of getting a solid baseline setup. On the admittedly simple to setup Orange single pivot, it absolutely nailed the setup first time. It'll be interesting to get hold of some more 2013 bikes that are perhaps a bit more sensitive to setup such as Whyte's 146 to see how the iRD app really copes. In all though, this is a great tool that genuinely works.