For mountain bikers, front and rear suspension smooths out terrain, but sometimes suspension can feel bouncy when pedaling. A lever on most shocks lets you switch between open, trail, and locked mode to stiffen up the suspension when you need it—and to engage “full squish” for gnarly descents. But anyone who’s forgotten to open their locked suspension before a big downhill knows that user error often outweighs the benefits of moving that lever from fully open. It’s easier to deal with the discomfort and inefficiency of leaving the suspension open. That doesn’t need to be a pain point any more, thanks to the RockShox Flight Attendant.
The battery-powered electronic system has sensors on the bike’s shock, fork, and crank that adjusts your suspension every 5 milliseconds using algorithms and a miniature motor. There’s no need to worry about opening or locking your suspension again.
The beauty of self-adjusting suspension
The system bounces between “Open,” “Pedal,” and “Lock” modes to suit the terrain and your pedaling. In the time it takes to blink, RockShox Flight Attendant makes about 80 suspension adjustments based on input it’s getting from you and the trail.
The predictive system opens the fork and shock when it senses obstacles in the trail, and closes or partially closes when it senses pedaling, a weight shift, or corporeal microadjustment. You can fine-tune the feel with three modes to choose from. Adjustments to the system, manual overrides, and on and off are all controlled from the top of the fork in conjunction with an up button on the dropper post, or with SRAM’s AXS app.
Racers and everyday enthusiasts will benefit from the efficiency and related energy savings this system delivers.
Flight Attendant is available on select Enduro bikes, from Specialized, Trek, Canyon, and YT; select forks with 120mm-190mm travel; and one shock: RockShox Pike Ultimate Flight Attendant, Lyrik Ultimate Flight Attendant, and ZEB Ultimate Flight Attendant. The rear shock option is RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant. Flight Attendant cranks include XX1 and X01 models with either 165mm, 170mm, or 175mm cranks and 30T, 32T, 34T, and 36T chainrings.
How much the system costs is up to the manufacturer.
The fork, rear shock, and pedal sensors, both SRAM AXS batteries, and the difference in weight between a 1- and 2- button left controller add around 11 ounces to a bike’s weight, depending on spec.
To get the most out of Flight Attendant, set your sag and adjust your rebound. You won’t have to mess with locking and unlocking your shocks ever again. The system makes a bike feel extremely efficient pedaling, and always ready for rough riding when it’s pointed down the fall line. SRAM says the AXS batteries in the fork and shock will last 20 to 30 hours before requiring a recharge. The AAA Lithium battery in the pedal sensor and CR2032 battery in the controller should last 200 hours.
It’s easy to set up. After my sag and rebound were dialed, I woke up the system by turning my cranks, I pressed a button on my fork to calibrate Flight Attendant and was ready to ride. After that, Flight Attendant knew my settings and I didn’t need to recalibrate again.
For now, if you want Flight Attendant, you’ll need to buy a new bike. In the future, there’s a good chance you can add it to the shock, fork, and crank you have. For riders who opt in, brace for a ride that helps you get the most out of your bike’s suspension, and for having the energy to ride farther and faster as a result.
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