Project Overview


To design and create a safe and reliable suspension system that allows mountain bicycle enthusiasts to focus energy more efficiently.


The ultimate vision of FlyTunes is to create an innovative electromechanical suspension for mountain bicycles that will enhance the lives of bicyclists while conserving energy. Through engineering design and analusis from the FlyTunes Team, the suspension will ensure a safe and efficient option for riders om transportaion, excercise, and leisure purposes. Finally, Flytunes aspires to provide a state-of-the-art product for consumers while establishing the suspension kit as a relaible and competitive product on the market.


The design process for the lock-out suspension went through many phases.  The design initially started with an actuator that inserted a pin into a long, narrow hole plate.  However, after finite element analysis, it was determined that the design would fail and would require an additional 10 lb. load.

Proof of Concept, where we started.

After determining that a design objective was to keep the weight of the bicycle closer to the original weight, FlyTunes designed a new lock-out.  This would allow the actuator to more easily be engaged to the new center plate.  The center plate is now a smaller version of the original hole plate and it offers three holes that allow the suspension to lock-out. FlyTunes designed a special actuator housing that allows for any bike to use it.  It puts the actuator in a better position relative to the center plate.  The design also allows for the battery, which powers the actuator and controller, to be mounted in place of the water bottle mount.  This gives the rider a natural ride and focuses on the already given parameters of the bicycle.

 Original CAD model.


The goals FlyTunes has for the suspension attachment is to make it a reliable and low risk for the customer.  The ultimate goals of FlyTunes are:

  • Create a unique, reliable, efficient suspension attachment
  • Decrease the amount of energy used with riding a mountain bike in the uphill orientation
  • Remain at the forefront of mountain bike technology
  • Work with customers to make an aesthetically pleasing attachment



Roberto Avila, Corey Harlan, Cory Hartzell, Danae Moser, Nicolas Posey

All of the team members are mechanical engineers at the University of Nevada, Reno and chose the Adjustable Suspension Kit as their capstone project.



FlyTunes Adjustable Suspension Kit

Many avid mountain bicyclists love the adrenaline of riding down the mountain, but when tasked with riding up the mountain they quickly use energy that could be conserved.  With this suspension kit, riders will alleviate some of the fatigue that they feel when riding up the mountain. An actuator will lock-out the suspension making the bicycle more robust and optimizing the ride for the rider.

CAD model of the lock-out suspension kit.

Exploded view of the CAD model to show the components.

Some of the benefits of lock-out suspension are:

  • Alleviating fatigue felt when riding in the uphill orientation
  • Easy to attach to any bike
  • Offers the rider a different way to ride
  • Can be controlled automatically or manually

The final field test of the FlyTunes lock-out system proved successful. The functionality in the manual mode made a noticeable difference in uphill travel while the system was engaged. Upon disengagement, the rear shock was able to work normally. Integrity of the mechanical components was also tested rigorously with no visible deformation upon inspection. Future design considerations are needed for weight concerns and improved engagement.

Lathe metalwork of  the actuator pin.

FlyTunes will remain competitive because there are very few suspension lock-out systems that are automatic or even off an automatic control.  It will remain at the forefront of the bicycle industry because it will utilize the Arduino controller, allowing the control system to continually improve.

Our final product on the moutain bike.



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