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Behind the scenes, frame and suspension developers have all sorts of fancy methods for finding out whether the stuff they’re making actually works the way they want it to. You’ve probably seen prototypes with a rat’s nest of wires and boxes crudely fastened to their suspension components and frame members. Pro race teams use similar methods for beating the clock and providing feedback to developers. And slowly, these tools have been creeping into the hands of the public. Some don’t feel too far removed from those laboratory experiments we see in spy photos. Motion Instruments uses tiny rods affixed to forks and suspension pivots to directly record physical movement. ShockWiz takes a different approach, attaching to a fork or shock’s positive air chamber to derive data from the change in pressure as suspension moves. Both systems are pretty universal and can work on pretty much any bike, as long as it’s air-sprung in the case of the ShockWiz. But that means they’re clunky. They need zip ties to stay on, and they stick out like so many tiny cybernetic sore thumbs. That’s why today’s news coming from innovative Spanish brand, Mondraker, is so fascinating.
MIND is an integrated suspension-data acquisition system that is built specifically for the bike that uses it. The fork sensor does essentially just attach to a standard fork, but the guts do hide neatly in the steerer tube with an external sensor that could be mistaken for a fender. Not proprietary, but pretty clean. The rear shock sensor is a little more trick. A slender device is mounted to one of the rocker plate links and monitors its position relative to a magnet hidden in another link. The fork uses the same system, with the magnet inside the top of the fork legs. It is essentially a higher-tech version of the physical rods used by Motion Instruments.
On the other end of all that hardware is software that integrates with a mapping system to tell you where and how often you’re bottoming out, where you may not be using your suspension to its fullest, and makes suggestions on what adjustments could help. There’s also a process to help set up sag and damper settings. The system claims to have a 20-hour run time with 15 days of standby time and adds just under 200 grams to the flagship Foxy and Crafty models Mondraker is currently speccing them on.
But for now, they’re only speccing them in Europe. It’s clearly a specialized feature, and Mondraker knows their local market best, so it makes sense to start small. Anyway, it’s likely an expensive upgrade, though we don’t know exactly what it adds to a bike’s price. The MIND-equipped Foxy XR goes for €9,000 and the electric Crafty RR SL is €13,000, or about $10,895 and about $15,737. Enough reason for most of us to stick with our suspension’s little red rubber bands instead.