Interbike 2010: RST Suspension Wireless Lock-Out Prototype

While the big companies always get most of the press at Interbike, every once in a while you come across something particularly interesting from a company you would least expect it. For me, this company would have to be RST who had this intriguing remote lock-out prototype on display. While the concept of an electric lock out (Cannondale ELO) isn’t new, as far as I know RST is the first company to show a wireless bar mounted remote for both front and rear shocks. The new system works off of a 2.4ghz signal and a 24 bit encoding system to prevent cross talk much like most digital computers.

More after the break!

While it’s nearly impossible to make out due to the desert sun’s glare on the screen, the head unit has readings for lock out force and battery life separately for both the front and rear lockouts. While fairly chunky in it’s design, this is only a prototype after all and is dramatically better than the original remote which was about the size of a small radio.

The D-pad like switch mounted to the bar is capable of controlling both shocks with one hand and supposedly will offer damping and rebound tuning on the fly in the future as well. The whole system is rechargeable via a mini USB cord, and will completely charge in about 2 hours.

You might expect the ERL fork to look drastically different than their standard suspension forks, but the only thing that sets it apart is a slightly larger cap on the damping leg of the fork which if you unscrew houses the electronics and mini USB port for charging the fork.

RST had a Cannondale Rize on hand as a test mule, showcasing both the front and rear ERL systems. Both ends of the suspensions were fully working prototypes, meaning production versions might not be too far off.

With the showcasing of Cannondale’s SIMON project last year, and RST’s ERL system this year it seems that electronic based suspension systems may be the next frontier for bike designers in the future.

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