Is RockShox relaunched Flight Attendant the ultimate ‘automatic’ suspension for trail and enduro riders?

A new RockShox Flight Attendant equipped mountain bike being ridden down a trail
(Image credit: SRAM)

RockShox debuted their Flight Attendant automatic suspension system on longer travel bikes, before a notably more successful launch into the XC race space last year. Now they’ve jumped back into the trail and enduro mosh pit with the same power referencing, rider learning Flight Attendant hive mind as the XC launch but fitted to the latest Charger 3.1 Pike, Lyrik and Zeb forks, and Super Deluxe Ultimate rear shock. It’s also being introduced on the Vivid and Vivid Coil DH shocks but they aren’t available outside of complete bikes yet.

What Flight Attendant does

We went into depth about the science and statistics of Flight Attendant when it first laucnhed. To recap, the system now draws data from a power meter (within either crank or pedals) as well as 3D motion and impact sensors on the fork and shock at a fraction of a millisecond sampling rate. This information is combined to select the optimum setting from locked, pedal, or open damper states depending on how hard you’re pedaling and how hard you’re hitting stuff.

While the forks and their dampers are unchanged (beyond the addition of the fork top brain that collects and acts upon the data), the new Flight Attendant Super Deluxe shock has a more open high speed compression tune. That allows an even smoother reaction to sudden slaps and drops while relying on the electronics to deliver an efficient pedal on ‘Power Up’ sections. 

The operating system uses the same ‘Adaptive Ride Dynamics’ AI algorithm launched with the XC system. As a result, it starts ‘learning’ your effort zones and adjusting the default trigger points for the different modes from your very first ride and will continue refining as you go.

RockShox Flight Attendant on Lyrik fork

Flight Attendant is now available on RockShox Lyrik (pictured) Pike and ZEB forks (Image credit: SRAM)

What we know so far

That’s been really noticeable in the several months we’ve been riding Flight Attendant XC on a Santa Cruz Blur test bike and apart from one ride where the power meter drowned in biblical conditions, the system has been totally trouble free. It undoubtedly offers a real edge in terms of pedaling efficiency and peace of mind when you’re going hard. Particularly on roller coaster trails where you’re on and off the power through a mix of technical or flat sections and trying to operate a manual remote would be a nightmare. It’s been interesting to see how well DH racers using the as yet unreleased Flight Attendant Boxxer fork have been doing at ‘mixed message’ courses like Leogang and Fort William too.

Plus, our only issue with the otherwise super smooth and grippy performance of the latest Pike and Lyrik forks has been around finding the damping sweet spot, which is exactly what Flight Attendant should sort out. That’s why we ordered Flight Attendant versions straight away to see if they deliver on their fit-and-forget promise. We’re also interested to see if the technology is a definite advantage in a longer travel format, or not really worth the extra cost and battery juggling it brings.

RockShox Flight Attendant on Super Deluxe Ultimate shock

The Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant shock gets altered damping as well as the motorised valve system (Image credit: SRAM)

Buy it now

If you don’t want to wait for our review though, pricing for forks and shocks is below and pre tuned kits are also available for Specialized Stumpjumper Evo, Levo SL and Enduro, Santa Cruz Hightower, Trek Slash Gen 6 and Fuel Ex and the Yeti SB140. You’ll presumably be able to buy at least some of those bikes with Flight Attendant pre fitted too, but we’ve not had that confirmed yet.

  • ZEB Ultimate Flight Attendant: $1,599, £1,609, €1,799
  • Lyrik Ultimate Flight Attendant: $1,549, £1,569, €1,749
  • Pike Ultimate Flight Attendant: $1,499, £1,519, €1,699
  • Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant: $949, £939, €1,049
Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven has been working on Bike Perfect since its launch in 2019. He started writing and testing for bike mags in 1996. Since then he’s written several million words about several thousand test bikes and a ridiculous amount of riding gear. He’s also penned a handful of bike-related books and he reviews MTBs over on YouTube.

Current rides: Cervelo ZFS-5, Specialized Chisel, custom Nicolai enduro tandem, Landescape/Swallow custom gravel tandem

Height: 180cm

Weight: 69kg