Analog Device’s motion sensing technology enhances Cannondale’s mountain bike Simon suspension system

Jan 11, 2010

Analog Devices has worked together with leading bike-maker Cannondale to integrate an iMEMS accelerometer into Cannondale’s revolutionary Simon electronic front-suspension system.  The programmable suspension system uses an ADI single-axis iMEMS accelerometer to monitor the terrain at 2-ms intervals, and this data is processed by the Simon system to access more than 10,000 terrain-response maps to provide optimal bicycle suspension control. Dissimilar from previous mountain bike front suspension technologies, which relied on mechanical devices with slower response times, the Simon front suspension system incorporates ADI’s accelerometers for real-time response, which allows riders to instantly adapt to dynamically shifting trail conditions.

“Leveraging ADI’s accelerometer technology, Cannondale was able to create the first-ever suspension bike that can remain fully rigid on smooth surfaces for pedaling efficiency while seamlessly opening up to maintain comfort and stability,” said Stanley Song, advance projects engineer for Cannondale Bicycles. “The accelerometer also provides insights into the bicycle system that would otherwise be unattainable. For example, by sensing free fall and the duration of the fall, Simon knows when a mountain biker jumps off a rock. ADI’s accelerometer effectively allows Simon to ‘read’ the terrain in advance and preemptively adjust the suspension settings in real time.”

The programmable settings on the Simon electronic suspension system with ADI’s high-g ADXL78 accelerometer are controlled using a handlebar-mounted joystick and LCD display.  As an avid cyclist myself, this is something to look forward to in the near future.

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