The technology surrounding bicycles continues to amaze us as we’re seeing more and more bikes – both electric and non-electric – make use of cutting-edge tech to provide more seamless user engagement. From AI-powered automatic transmissions to e-bike motors that can predict the terrain and adjust performance accordingly, it seems that the applications for cutting-edge tech in the bike world are endless.

Indeed, if we shift our gaze over to the gravel and mountain bike scene, there’s one crucial component that a lot of riders, especially beginner riders, tend to take for granted: suspension. These days, bike suspension systems are far superior compared to the way they were just a couple of years ago. Even gravel bikes now come with suspension components – either through suspension forks and linkage-equipped frames or flex zones engineered into the frames to provide some kind of impact absorption. That said, Shimano, an established pioneer in the world of cycling components, is eyeing to drive the tech surrounding suspension systems even further.

A report from Cycling Weekly states that Shimano is currently working on AI-powered suspension adjustments that make use of machine learning to automatically adjust a bike’s suspension according to the terrain, the rider’s habits, and other factors. The setup consists of a small screen attached to the handlebar. This device is said to be capable of learning from a rider’s preference in various terrains and riding situations and adjust the suspension on the fly. After adjustments are made, users can then report, via a thumbs-up or thumbs-down button, whether or not the adjustments suit their preferences. From there, the AI system will learn how to tailor adjustments to individual riders. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

Shimano ascertains that the automated suspension adjustment system will help riders by improving safety, comfort, and efficiency. The fact that riders will be able to give feedback to the system means that it can keep learning individual preferences, and later on be completely self-sufficient when it comes to providing its user a seamless and comfortable ride. Too bad it can’t take over and ride the bike for you while you just sit and relax while admiring the views and taking in the fresh air.

Is Shimano Working On AI-Powered Automated Suspension Adjustment?

In the real world, we’re already seeing AI make its way into the cycling world. We previously talked about the Urtopia Fusion, a commuter e-bike with built-in ChatGPT with which you can converse and ask for tips and tricks for your next ride. Clearly, the next step here would be for Shimano to collaborate with big-name suspension manufacturers like Fox, RockShox, and Ohlins to get them to use their next-gen tech.

With that said, though, is self-adjusting suspension really something we need in the bike world? Sure, on motorcycles and cars, active suspension’s been a thing for more than a decade now. I’m of the belief that bikes – non-electric and electric, for that matter – are all about enjoying the simpler things in life. Clearly, big tech wants to make bikes smoother, better performing, and more seamless than ever before, and chances are this isn’t going to change any time soon.

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