How a simple flip of a lever adjusts seat suspension in seconds
During an offshore mission, it's critical to have the correct suspension stiffness for the conditions and the weight of a rider. The SHOXSPRO isolator is one way to adjust air pressure quickly with a simple lever.
Adjustments in damping and rebound are popular because they help customize the ride experience, and this can be done in more than one way.
Nearly all shock mitigating seats are adjustable, but it often requires an air pump and some maneuvering inside the cockpit to achieve the desired air pressure adjustment. Trying to do this in the dark, while wearing gloves, and/or bobbing up and down in the water, can be a nonstarter. It is time-consuming, and in critical deployments the pump may be abandoned, much to the risk of the seat’s occupant. An electric pump may be a viable alternative, though it introduces new complexity and expense.
Enter the SHOXSPRO isolator. It's a simple switch at the base of the seat to switch the air pressure from light to heavy, depending on the weight of the occupant.
To understand how it works, let's explore spring progressivity.
Adjusting spring progressivity is a more subtle approach to improving the ride quality on a suspension seat. A spring’s progressivity determines how its force response changes with displacement. For a simple spring, the response is linear with restoring force proportional to displacement.
For airsprings, a form of nonlinear spring, the force response is approximately hyperbolic, growing rapidly as the air chamber approaches full compression.
By controlling this progressivity, the isolator stroke used during an impact can be altered, leading to better shock mitigation.
SHOXSPRO is an example of a spring-progressivity adjustment. With the flip of a lever, the system alters the exposed air volume of the suspension, reducing the rate of increase of force under compression.
This is especially beneficial to light seat riders, as it enables them to travel further into the suspension for a given impact.
In fact, a goal of the SHOXSPRO system is to unify performance across rider weights. The simple binary nature of the adjustment makes it quick and feasible irrespective of weather and lighting conditions. This ensures the adjustment will be employed, and it reduces the chances of operator error.