Quarq Shockwiz – Review

shockwiz-technology-hero

Reviewed by Garrett Hubbard

I have a confession. I’m a gear nerd. Maybe just a nerd. I’m always looking for ways to get more out of my gear so I can go faster, do it more efficiently, and have more fun on my bike with my friends. So when I found out about a device that you plug into your shock and gather real time data about what exactly the suspension is doing, or not doing, and how to fix it, I was intrigued. As were some other riders on our team.

Mojo Cycling recently bought one and gave it to us for a few months so we could put it through it’s paces and see if lives up to it’s claims. During that time I wanted to see if it could help us go faster and have more fun. Here are my findings.

Setup

Watch a few of the Quarq setup videos on YouTube. Then connect it to the Schrader valve on your shock or fork. Secure it and download the app to your smart phone. Follow the instructions on the phone.

Tools needed

  • Shock pump
  • Zip ties
  • Fingers and opposable thumbs to adjust compression and rebound knobs.
  • Some shocks require tools (like my Fox Float X2 rear shock)

Best Practices

  • Per my conversations with Will from Trail Labs, I began using the “Playful” tuning setting. He recommended that for NWA trails. (As an aside, this guy is a true pro and wealth of suspension knowledge.) My first go at it I used the “Aggressive” setting for tuning, which tries to make your bike super plush, like a DH shock tune.
  • Run the same trail over and over again on the same day if possible. Don’t pick too long of a run so you have enough energy to hit it each time with similar intensity.
  • Change one thing at a time. As you can see that after run 1 on my rear shock, I changed both HSC (High Speed Compression) and LSC (Low Speed Compression) and I got a little closer.

Tuning

Don’t let the technology overwhelm you, it was straightforward. Follow the instructions on the app while out riding. If the ShockWiz needed me to ride more of something (i.e. uphill pedaling) it told me as much. It seeks to gather data on all types of trail. The more trail you throw at a given “session” the more “sure” it is of its accuracy.

Rear shock

Shock Wiz rear shock

I did 4 runs at 90% effort on Crazy Mary at Mt. Kessler one day in April. I thought this trail would simulate some the racing conditions I’d be facing at the O-Rock Enduro in O.K. You’ll notice that my air pressure was consistently too high. That is because the ShockWiz was set to “Aggressive” for downhill racing and I knew I didn’t want it that low for Enduro Racing. Once I set the ShockWiz app to “Playful” my air pressure lined up perfectly. Overall, my changes included: Lowering air pressure, taking out one volume spacer, taking out a lot of HSC and a little LSC.

Front Fork

shock wiz front fork

I was low on time and I was less disciplined with the ShockWiz on the front fork. I didn’t do the same run again and again. I tested it on the super technical, and mostly low speed, yet to be marked on the trail “Here’s Johnny” inside Esther’s loop.
I also did a session on “You Adrian, I did it” (Strava name), which includes some flat to down pedaling, a 15’ gap jump, and lots of rock chunkiness. The ShockWiz thought I eventually got a perfect score (100%) as seen in the last screenshot after Test 3. Overall my major changes included: lowering shock pressure, backing out HSC completely.

Lucas Byrne, our 17 year old ripper who is going to be faster than all of us any day now, if he isn’t already, spent a little time with the ShockWiz as well. Check out the video below.

Bottom Line

First, the ShockWiz is a great tuning tool and secondly, based on my pre-ShockWiz air pressure and HSC settings, my perception of being a hard charger may be crashing down to reality. This is a powerful tool that helped me get the most out of my suspension. This means I’m going faster, doing it more safely, and have less fatigue. Ever since I made the tuning changes, I’ve gotten about 8 KOM’s on Strava and numerous PR’s. Strava is not the arbiter of truth, but it can be a helpful tool to track progress. The ShockWiz is about $400 retail. At that price I’d probably pass. But I would rent one in a heartbeat. Mojo Cycling is now renting theirs out for $50 for two-days. We’d love to hear your experience with the ShockWiz after you’ve tried it.