The Quarq ShockWiz has to be the coolest and most efficient way to properly set up your suspension. It's easy, fast, intuitive, and best of all...you get to ride your bike! Don't take it from me though, check out the review below from our friend, Kevin Tabata! If you're interested in trying one out, contact us and ask about our demo program for the ShockWiz.
There are numerous reviews of Quarq ShockWiz on the Internet, including WC review, so rather the repeating a description of how I set it up and tuned my suspension, I figured would instead just share my thoughts on this technology.
First, a little background. I’ve been mountain biking for longer than I would like to admit. Let’s just say that I’ve seen and experienced incredible improvements in suspension technology as well as frame design, brakes, wheels and tires, shifting/gearing and, well, pretty much everything. For better or for worse, these refinements over time have also resulted in greater complexity, particularly when it comes to suspension. ShockWiz not only helps to take some of the mystery out of suspension tuning, but I would also argue that it helps to dial-in your suspension settings more quickly.
I’ve now used ShockWiz for almost two months on probably half of my rides, typically about three times a week, and have covered various types of trails from rocky downhill tracks and flow trails to technical cross-county singletrack. For reference, I ride a Yeti SB130 with a 160 mm travel Fox 36 Float Factory fork with the GRIP2 damper and the stock Fox Float DPX2 Factory shock, which I plan to have overshocked by Fox when I can set aside my bike for a couple of weeks (maybe time off to recover from any injury?).
On my first ride on technical singletrack, which has a little bit of everything, I scored 82 out of 100 on my fork and 88 on my shock. (As I only have one ShockWiz, this was actually two rides, first installed on my fork, then on my shock.) This was done using the Balanced tuning style setting. I often like my bikes to be a little more poppy depending on the trail, and I can easily achieve this by making the recommended adjustments (with a few minor personal tweaks) that show when I switch to the Playful tuning style, or by playing with the rebound.
I should mention that the first set of scores came after riding and tuning my suspension for about two months without ShockWiz. After a few more rides with ShockWiz, making adjustments and adding/removing volume spacers along the way, I settled on a score of 92 on my fork and 98 on my shock. I definitely noticed a difference and I’m pretty happy with the results.
That said, ShockWiz recommended a lower fork pressure than what I settled on, but I felt that the fork would dive a little too much, sacrificing some control. So, in the end, I ignored or refined a few of the suggestions. I can’t remember where or who, but I’m not the only one that feels ShockWiz missed the mark on the fork. In all fairness though, I suspect the recommended adjustments would be just fine for most people.
The DPX2 shock doesn’t have a lot of adjustments, so I figure I somewhat lucked out with the score. If I ever upgrade to a Fox Float X2, I think ShockWiz would really prove its worth. One useful feature (or maybe two depending on how you look at it) is that, with ShockWiz installed, you can check both air pressure and sag on your the fork or shock directly on your mobile device.
ShockWiz is certainly not necessary if you have a general understanding of current suspension technology and are capable of tuning your suspension by simply riding and adjusting by feel. It is just a tool after all. The biggest benefit, for me at least, is that it allows me to more quickly setup my suspension and just enjoy the ride. It also satisfies the geek in me.
At the not-so-low-cost, I would have gone without it if I was only going to use it for one bike. However, I’m planning to use it to tune the fork on a hardtail I’m currently building up. Also, and more significantly, I purchased the ShockWiz with friends to spread the cost. So, in the end, a justifiable purchase in my opinion.