RockShox’s brand-new Flight Attendant suspension system is more than just an electronic lockout on your fork and shock. The smart, fully-automated complete system has the potential to overturn the established norms of bike development. Read our test to find out how Flight Attendant works and what it means for the future of mountain biking.

When hearing the words ‘flight attendant’, most of us will automatically think about Boeings, Airbuses and frequent flyers. Unless you’ve heard about it, you wouldn’t associate the term with suspension forks, shocks and mountain biking. With their new suspension system, RockShox are determined to change the suspension game for good. “Our new bike climbs like a XC racer and ploughs through rough descents like a mean downhill machine”. Although this marketing slogan has been used a trillion times, for many brands it’s still a huge selling point. In real life, however, many so-called “all-rounders” are just a big mechanical compromise and mediocre at best, both up and downhill. There’s a good reason for this: when developing a bike, it’s extremely difficult to strike an optimal balance (read compromise) between climbing efficiency and downhill capabilities, especially when it comes to suspension performance. With the Flight Attendant, RockShox want to address exactly this issue. The smart and fully-automated wireless system adapts the compression damping of the fork and shock to the current riding situation in a fraction of a second, making bikes more efficient and easier to use and thus allowing the rider to focus on the trail and enjoy the ride.

How does the RockShox Flight Attendant work?

Flight Attendant is much more than just a wireless suspension lockout system. Although the technology behind the Flight Attendant is rather complex, the system was designed to ensure easier operation and increase efficiency and thus deliver a better riding experience. In a nutshell, Flight Attendant recognises the riding situation and automatically adjusts the compression damping of the fork and shock. This is made possible by a smart algorithm and several sensors hidden inside the fork, shock and crank arm spindle that detect every slight movement of the mountain bike. The control unit on the fork is the beating heart of Flight Attendant. This analyzes and deciphers the sensor data and decides which damping setting on the fork and shock (Open, Pedal, Lock) suits the current riding situation best. The module controls a conventional Charger damper in the fork and at the same time communicates with the shock module using RockShox’s AXS radio standard. From the control unit itself, you can also change some of the suspension settings, like low speed compression and bias – but more on this later.

The control module is the command centre of the Flight Attendant system. This communicates with all components, deciphers the riding situation and adjusts the suspension accordingly.

Like the control unit, the shock’s motor module sits on the piggyback, where it adjusts the compression damping using a small servo motor. At the same time, several sensors in the shock and crank arm spindle gather data about terrain conditions, which are processed by the algorithms in the control module. The pedal sensor in the cranks detects and monitors the rider’s pedalling input, no matter how small it is. This data is essential for interpreting the riding situation and helps ensure that the shock stays in ‘fully open mode’ as long and and frequently as possible: If you aren’t pedalling, there’s no need to stiffen up the suspension for more efficiency. Unlike the control and damper motor modules, the pedal sensor doesn’t employ RockShox’s proprietary AXS batteries and relies on standard AAA batteries instead – mainly due to lack of space. That being said, these batteries should last a whole season just like the button cells of the AXS shifter. We can’t tell just yet how long the batteries will last on the trail.

The shock motor module not only adjusts the compression damping but also houses several sensors that help analyze the riding situation.
‘Always Open’ is the mantra of the Flight Attendant System. In a nutshell, the pedal sensor tells the system when the rider stops pedalling so it can switch the suspension in ‘fully open’ mode.

The Flight Attendant components in detail

In addition to the electronic parts, Flight Attendant requires a number of additional components to function as a complete system. Most of them are designed and instructed to interact with each other. Obvious highlights are the new Super Deluxe Flight Attendant shock and three new forks: the Pike, Lyrik and ZEB. The new lineup speaks clearly: with the new Flight Attendant, RockShox want to change and improve most full-suspension mountain bikes, except for XC racers and DH rigs of course. The lightest fork in the range is the Pike, which is available with 120 mm to 140 mm travel. Like the Pike, the Lyrik relies on 35 mm stanchions and is available in 140, 150 and 160 mm versions. The burly ZEB features massive 38 mm stanchions and offers between 150 mm and a whopping 190 mm travel. All three forks have a brand-new chassis and updated DebonAIR spring and Charger damping unit. We’re curious to see how long it will take RockShox to perform the same updates on their conventional forks.

The new Rock Shox Lyrik Flight Attendant

The Flight Attendant Lyrik features a brand-new chassis, an updated air spring as well as a revised damping unit. The new Lyrik is supposed to be lighter than its conventional counterpart but isn’t available in 170 and 180 mm travel versions. Two pressure relief valves at the back of the fork legs allow you to eliminate unwanted air pressure that builds up in the lower leg of the fork while a new adapter called Stiffness Reducer makes it (a lot!) easier to install and remove front wheels without torque caps.
Alongside the new chassis, it’s above all the new ButterCups that are supposed to improve the overall performance of the new Flight Attendant Lyrik over the conventional model. These are basically two rubber elastomers attached to the end of both the Charger damper and air spring designed to absorb high-frequency vibrations and small impacts and thus reduce arm pump. Unlike the damper in the current Ultimate fork models, the Charger Flight Attendant lets you adjust the rebound and low speed compression but not the high speed compression.

For Flight Attendant, the Rockshox Lyrik was redesigned from the ground up. The new fork is only available with 140 mm, 150 mm or 160 mm travel.
Without a doubt, the most striking innovation is the Charger Flight Attendant damping unit, which is basically a Charger 2.1 damper regulated by an electronic control module.
RockShox also revised the air chamber, which is meant to prevent the fork from sinking into its travel.
ButterCups are basically elastomers that sit underneath the damper and air spring. They’re designed to absorb high-frequency vibrations and small impacts even before the fork starts using its travel.
The two pressure relief valves installed at the back of the fork legs can be used to eliminate unwanted pressure that builds up in the lower legs.
The robust RockShox fender is firmly bolted to the chassis, ensuring a great look and quiet ride.

The RockShox Super Deluxe Ultimate Flight Attendant shock

For their new electronic suspension system, Rockshox decided to redesign the Super Deluxe Ultimate shock from scratch instead of just installing a damper motor module to a conventional Super Deluxe. While the Flight Attendant range includes three different fork models, there’s only one rear-shock to choose from, the Flight Attendant Super Deluxe Ultimate, which requires a little more installation space than a conventional shock due to the control module. The RCT3 damping unit offers electronically-controlled compression damping, 15 clicks of rebound as well as an optional hydraulic bottom-out control. On top of that, the new AirCan design lets you adjust the volume of the positive and negative air chambers with spacers.

The RockShox Super Deluxe Flight Attendant is a new development and requires more installation space than a normal Super Deluxe, mainly due to the electronic module.
Looks familiar! Both the fork and shock of the Flight Attendant system rely on RockShox’s proprietary AXS battery, which is the same found in the wireless AXS drivetrain and Reverb AXS dropper post.
Rebound damping works independently from the electronic system and can be adjusted manually with 15 clicks.

RockShox Flight Attendant system controls and SRAM AXS App

The SRAM AXS app is a key tool for the initial setup of the suspension system and, although you won’t need it on the trail, helps with the system-calibration. This can be carried out easily and intuitively and only takes a couple of minutes. Moreover, you can use the app to fine-tune the low-speed compression of the fork and shock or adjust the bias setting. Alternatively, this can be done manually using the buttons on the control unit. To make it easier to control the Flight Attendant on the fly, RockShox have mirrored the AXS paddle-shifter, allowing you to control both the Reverb AXS dropper and suspension system with your left thumb. If you switch from automatic to manual mode, you can shift through the three riding modes (Open, Pedal, Lock) using the paddle shifter. Even more exciting is the override mode, which allows you to disable automatic mode using the paddle shifter even while riding at full speed.

Suspension setup via the app: Flight Attendant allows you to adjust your suspension settings either from the SRAM AXS app or manually, without a mobile phone using the control module.
When setting up Flight Attendant, you’ll have to calibrate the system: thanks to the intuitive app, however, both the calibration and setup procedures are quick and easy.
Via the app, you can freely assign the functions of the AXS paddles: Dropper Post at the bottom right? Why not!
By mirroring the shifter paddle of the AXS drivetrain, RockShox allow you to run a two-button controller on the left hand side, which can be used to activate the dropper and suspension system.

Ride modes of RockShox Flight Attendant

Open, Pedal and Lock: If you think that Flight Attendant adapts the damping setting of the fork and shock to the sensor values in infinitely-fine increments, you’re mistaken. Instead, the system controls the compression damping in stages, the same way we know it from conventional RockShox forks and shocks with a three-stage lockout (RT3, RCT3) – just a lot faster and, if needed, allowing you to adjust the front and rear independently. In manual mode, you’re the boss and can shift between riding positions using the AXS paddle. Manual mode is comparable with a conventional remote lockout, just without the annoying cable mess. That being said, the great strength of Flight Attendant is the ‘auto’ mode. This is where the sensors and algorithms come into play, allowing Flight Attendant to recognise the riding situation and thus decide in real time which setting on the fork and shock suits the situation best. ‘Auto’ mode can be adjusted to your personal preferences using the bias adjust function. By increasing the bias, you’re basically telling Flight Attendant to focus on pedalling efficiency and thus to switch into ‘Pedal’ or ‘Lock’ whenever possible. By reducing the bias, on the other hand, you’re programming Flight Attendant to stay in ‘fully open’ mode more frequently and for longer. The override mode is much more exciting than the manual mode. Using the app, you can assign override to Open, Pedal, or Lock mode. Override mode can be activated and deactivated on the fly using the Flight Attendant paddle shifter, which allows you to switch between ‘Auto’ mode and a fixed damping position without taking your hand off the handlebars.

‘Override’ mode can be activated on the fly using the paddle shifter. From the AXS app you can choose whether the system should switch to ‘Open’, ‘Pedal’ or ‘Lock’ mode in override.

Our YT JEFFSY UNCAGED 6 test bike with the RockShox Flight Attendant

YT is one of the first manufacturers to use RockShox’s Flight Attendant on their bikes. The € 8,999 YT Jeffsy Uncaged 6 features 29” wheels and the Flight Attendant suspension system, which controls 150 mm travel, both front and rear. YT also rely on a wireless AXS drivetrain and dropper, ensuring a super clean minimalist look. Only the many superfluous cable ports on the frame spoil the overall elegant look of the bike with its discreet custom paint. The high-end spec is rounded off by a Crankbrothers Synthesis Carbon wheelset and tidy-looking Renthal carbon cockpit.

YT Jeffsy Uncaged 6 | 150/150 mm (f/r) | 29” | € 8,999 | Manufacturer’s webpage
The front and rear brakes are the only components of our Jeffsy test bike that are still attached to cables …
… the Reverb AXS dropper and XX1 Eagle AXS drivetrain ensure a super-clean look.

New 2024: The RockShox Flight Attendant on the Specialized Epic 8

What’s new on the Flight Attendant suspension of the 2024 Specialized Epic 8 compared to the predecessors of the system on trail and enduro bikes is that it’s now also connected to the power meter in the cranks, thus enabling the Adaptive Ride Dynamics feature. The system uses an algorithm to learn how you ride and then calculates four individual power zones to adjust the suspension accordingly: the Sprint Zone, as well as High, Medium, and Low power zones.

Sprint Zone: When your power level reaches the sprint zone, the system will select the Sprint-on-Lock position on the shock and fork. This gives you maximum efficiency for the finish-line sprint. Or, of course, on the home-stretch sprint against your buddies.

High power zone: When your output enters the High power zone, the Adaptive Ride Dynamics adjusts the suspension to allow for more efficient performance. This means that the suspension is firmed up to ensure precise handling at high speeds and with aggressive riding.

Medium power zone: As soon as your output drops to the medium power zone, the system ensures a balance between comfort and efficiency. The suspension is calibrated to provide a comfortable ride without compromising on performance.

Low power zone: In your low power zone, when you ride more relaxed, the Adaptive Ride Dynamics tends to be more comfortable. The suspension is softened to gently absorb bumps and ensure a comfortable ride.

The system settings have remained largely the same and are made on the fork or via the AXS app.
The Flight Attendant System is a blast for XC bikes!

In addition to adjusting the suspension, Adaptive Ride Dynamics uses different colours on the fork to indicate which power zone you are currently in to provide intuitive feedback while riding. If you still want to intervene despite all the smart algorithms, you can use the Override function via the left AXS Pod, which, as the name suggests, overrides the auto function for a short time and switches to a predefined Override setup. What you should note, however, is that you can’t adjust the compression on XC Flight Attendant suspension, like you could on older Flight Attendant forks. All adjustments can be made via the AXS app. Since the settings depend on your personal power zones and the incline, they will also behave differently depending on the rider and trail.

Even though we said that it makes the most sense on long-travel bikes, we must admit that we were wrong. Sorry! The electronic suspension makes perfect sense on an XC bike! The new Epic 8 S-Works proves that it caters to a wide variety of riding styles, from marathon to technical XC races and long trail tours; RockShox Flight Attendant makes the Epic 8 incredibly versatile! You can read the whole review here.

RockShox Flight Attendant first ride review

Jump on the saddle and take off: just like the Sram AXS drivetrain and Reverb AXS dropper, the Flight Attendant detects movements and activates itself automatically, switching directly into the right riding mode. Of course, Flight Attendant can be used in ‘Manual’ mode too, but the system shows its strengths in ‘Auto’ mode, which we used for the larger part of this test. Just like the drivetrain and the dropper post, the system signals the change between ‘Open’, ‘Pedal’ and ‘Lock’ modes with an audible buzzing noise, displaying the current mode via LEDs on the control module.

Flight Attendant shows its strengths especially on technical climbs. Depending on the bias settings, it even opens or closes the fork and shock independently, ensuring plenty of traction and propulsion.

On flat trails and climbs with a smooth surface, like tarmac or fine gravel, the fork and shock stiffen up transforming the bike into a mean climbing machine. Both in the ‘Lock’ and ‘Pedal’ mode, the shock sits high in its travel, ensuring a central pedalling position. While this can be achieved also with a conventional shock using the climb switch, Flight Attendant is a real game changer on technical climbs. When riding over edges and obstacles on technical and slippery terrain, the suspension switches into ‘Pedal’ or ‘Open’ mode, generating lots of traction and thus preventing the rear wheel from spinning out of control. As soon as the trail smoothes out, Flight Attendant stiffens up the fork and shock to convert the rider’s input into propulsion as efficiently as possible. Thanks to Flight Attendant, the bike negotiates highly-technical climbs that would be impossible to pull off in manual mode or with a conventional suspension setup.

On flat trails, Flight Attendant adapts the suspension to the riding situation quickly and frequently. When pedalling out of the saddle, however, the system remained in “fully open” exactly when we wanted it to switch into “Pedal” mode.

On flat trails with nasty roots, ledges and short climbing sprints, the differences between the different bias settings become clearly evident. With a low bias (tendency to open), Flight Attendant reacts to the smallest root and bump on the trail, leaving the suspension in ‘open’ mode for a very long time. With a high bias setting (more efficiency) on the other hand, the Jeffsy becomes increasingly playful. The undisputed highlight: Flight Attendant can control the fork and shock independently, allowing you to roll over small edges with the fork in ‘Open’ and the shock in ‘Pedal’ mode. Despite the high bias, the suspension is always very responsive, even with bigger hits and when landing small jumps. Cool! The only time we disagree with the algorithms is when we pedal out of the saddle. Despite the increased bias, the suspension tends to stay open when sprinting out of the saddle on short climbing sections, exactly when you want it to switch to “Pedal” mode. When you’re busy shredding down a trail, the override mode doesn’t provide a solution either. To activate this, you’ll have to press the paddle for almost a second, which is far too long. Instead, we recommend using ‘Override’ as an ace in your sleeve, a custom mode that can be tuned to suit specific trails and conditions, i.e. a jumpline or flowing trail sections. This ensures plenty of support and tons of pop downhill and still provides sufficient reserves for harsh landings.

Never forget to unlock the suspension again! RockShox’s Flight Attendant takes care of that, opening up the suspension as soon as the going gets rough and the trail points downhill.

As soon as the Jeffsy drops into a singletrack, Flight Attendant hollers with one last buzz. Because on rough descents, the system is always fully active and permanently in fully ‘Open’ mode. Dropping into a trail with the locked-out shock is a thing of the past. Only a direct comparison between the conventional Lyrik and its electronic counterpart will reveal how the hardware upgrades like the ButterCups and the new air spring influence its riding behaviour. Only riders who need lots or very little high-speed compression could notice a disadvantage compared to conventional Charger damping, as this setting can’t be tuned with Flight Attendant System.

What does Flight Attendant mean for future bike developments?

When it comes to rear-end kinematics, bike manufacturers are (almost) always forced to make compromises, since decisive parameters such as anti-squat and pedal kickback can easily overlap in complex relationships. When designing a mountain bike, developers try to strike a balance between climbing efficiency and downhill capabilities, unless they’re designing a hardtail XC racer or downhill rig. With several options for the pedal damping-circuit, the Flight Attendant rear-shock allows bike manufacturers to tune the rear-end kinematics of their bikes and thus design the suspension system for maximum downhill performance – at least in theory. Because the smart system can compensate for the drawbacks of a downhill oriented suspension design when riding uphill. So why hasn’t anyone done that yet? For the time being, the expensive Flight Attendant system will be found exclusively on high-end models, which means that their low and mid-range equivalents without the fancy suspension system will inevitably deliver an inferior climbing performance. Until electronic suspension systems aren’t available in all price ranges, bike manufacturers won’t commit themselves to developing a complete mountain bike concept around the Flight Attendant system. However, changing the kinematics of a bike doesn’t always require a new frame platform. Even the slightest change in pivot point position can change the riding behavior of a bike significantly, which means that bike manufacturers could optimise the rear suspension kinematics of existing frame platforms to accommodate the Flight Attendant (or other electronic suspension systems) just by modifying the rocker arm. We’re curious to see when and how bike manufacturers will consider such possibilities. One thing’s clear: with Flight Attendant, the bike climbs a lot better and thus covers a much wider range of applications.

For the time being, Flight Attendant will primaraly be available on high-end bike models from selected bike manufacturers and will set new price records.


With Flight Attendant, Rock Shox launched an electronic wireless suspension system that perfectly complements their wireless AXS system. The system is unobtrusive and easy to install on complete bikes. On the trail, it shows its strengths uphill and on flat trails, while downhill there are no obvious disadvantages. Flight Attendant has broadened the range of applications of the downhill-oriented YT Jeffsy enormously, making it suitable for long tours and technical climbs. After testing the system on the new Specialized Epic, we have to say: the electronic suspension on the XC bike makes a lot of sense! It enables a wide variety of riding styles and gives the bike a very wide range of use.


  • Expand the range of applications of a bike enormously
  • Excellent integration and interaction with the SRAM/Rockshox ecosystem


  • Countless batteries
  • No adjustable high speed compression on the fork

More info at

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Words: Felix Stix, Peter Walker, Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker, Daniel Geiger, Robin Schmitt