We’ve seen what we thought were some fairly major steps forward in mountain bike technology over the past few years, but this new STD Suspension system makes everything else that has come before it seem positively prehistoric.
Incredibly this system is the brain child of just one man, Ivor Hugh Jardon. He has doctorates in both engineering and marketing from Cambridge university and has worked for several years in the aerospace industry. As we all know, there’s nothing better than aerospace stuff.
But what is STD Suspension? Well to be honest it’s not really fair to call it just a suspension system (Ivor named it that purely because he didn’t want to come across as too big headed and he knows that riders are familiar with the term suspension) as it has been designed with a holistic approach and encompasses the entire bike. Even the pedals are wirelessly controlled by the system to keep them perfectly flat whilst pulling rad no-footed tricks.
The name ‘STD’ though comes from the three primary settings which are selected via the neat control box which attaches to any top tube. This can be seen in the photo below…
The three settings allow you to instantly select in three custom modes: Style, Trail, and Descend. The Style mode is perhaps the most revolutionary as it instantly transforms you into one of the most stylish riders in the world, and as with all the settings this can be fine tuned to your particular tastes (more about that later). You’ll notice that there are two lights next to this button and they are to make sure you keep within the limits of what’s physically possible. You see as incredible as this system is it can’t change the laws of nature completely. If you’re pushing those laws too far the red light will show, but keep it the right side of the limit and the green one will light up. Average riders shouldn’t engage the red too often, but highly skilled riders with the system running at full bore might have to keep an eye on things.
The Trail and Descend modes may sound like the kinds of things we have already seen, but with this system they actually increase your performance. The Trail mode will have you ripping up level singletrack 21.576% faster, and you’ll be going up even the most technical of climbs 33.967% faster. The benefits of are higher in the Descend mode though as you’ll now find yourself at the bottom of a track 38.142% faster! The UCI have already taken the decision to ban the system from any form of competition, but amazingly it is not because of the advantage that it gives a rider, it is actually because a non-approved solder was used on one of the circuit boards. By the time the system is available to the public though that might not be an issue because hopefully the UCI will be a thing of the past in mountain biking.
The true flexibility of this system is unleashed by the Forward User Control Konsole (F.U.C.K.) which is seen above. This is where you can optimise each of the three main settings, and keep an eye on some vital ride analytics. Ivor felt that not even a Spinal Tap esque ’11′ was rad enough for this system so the dials on this go all the way up to 12! To fully understand the capabilities of the system Ivor reckons you’ll have to spend approximately two and a half weeks reading the manual, but he says the results are well worth it. The Sickness, Radness, and Pumpness dials all control different aspects of the ride, and then for those who want an unlimited ability to optimise you can insert any smart phone (Iphone, Android, or Windows) into the dedicated slot and tweak settings infinitely. The smart phone app also allows you to download the abilities of all the world’s top riders so if you want to be able to whip like Brendan, corner like Sam Hill, or scrub like Gwin all that is possible with just the click of a few buttons.
The final part of the F.U.C.K. is dials which allow you to instantly see the two most important ride statistics at a glance. The first is a Velocity Boost which shows you how much faster you are going that you would be if you didn’t have the system installed, and the second is the Vag Pulling Power (VPP) dial which simply lets you know just how much you are currently impressing members of the opposite sex. Female riders (and for that matter those of a different sexual orientation) will be pleased to hear that Ivor has also managed to develop a separate version with a Sausage Pulling Power dial.
Obviously this system needs some kind of power supply, and this is taken care of via a remote battery pack. Ivor was keen to make sure that the weight of the bike was increased as little as possible and so this battery is designed to either be towed in a trailer or carried in a back pack. And, if you’re wondering why the whole system uses quite so much cable it is because the computing power is so fast that Ivor has actually had to slow down the transfer of information by using longer cables. If he were to fit shorter ones it would be reacting to things that hadn’t even happened yet.
So there you have it, the revolutionary STD suspension. Exact pricing is still to be confirmed as it won’t be available to buy until at least 2014 (when it will be labelled asa 2016 product) but Ivor reckons that given the performance capabilities it will be competitive, and probably around the £6000 mark. The best news for you guys though is that one very lucky person will get to win this system (minus the battery sadly). All you have to do is tell us why you reckon you deserve this incredible system in the comments below.
So what do you reckon it? Are you already thinking about selling your kidneys?