Icon Releases New Compression Damping Electronic Valve Suspension System

I recently decided to upgrade the stock suspension on my 1986 Vanagon Syncro. Unsure of the best system, I set about asking various forums, Volkswagen mechanics, and fellow owners. Unsurprisingly I was met with numerous suggestions, all claiming to be the best solution. The “best” suspension is completely subjective and depends on vehicle weight, modifications, and objectives. But what if there was a suspension system capable of constantly adapting within milliseconds, with further adjustments made at leisure from the comfort of the cab? Well, the “future is now,” and Icon Vehicle Dynamics has once again spearheaded the sector with their exciting new compression damping valve suspension (CDEV).

The company recently introduced its all-new CDEV powered by Icon Intelligent Control (IIC). The combination of CDEV and IIC allows for automatic, instantaneous adjustments to the shocks’ damping to provide the best setting for any given situation. CDEV is an electronically controlled valve that meters the flow of oil and controls damping force when the shock is compressed. Moreover, this valve reacts in less than 40 milliseconds and has the ability to make precise adjustments for varying terrain. CDEV’s hydraulic circuits are custom-tailored to create the highest resolution and dynamic range possible for each specific vehicle.

The CDEV works in conjunction with the IIC, a computer that monitors, analyzes, and processes data in real time. Information processed via the onboard G-force sensor and gyroscope “perform calculations based on algorithms and user-defined settings to predict terrain and wheel position.” This impressive device has the ability to register data at over 1,000 times per second, make changes accordingly, and deliver adjustments to the suspension in under 40 milliseconds. Lastly, the IIC is also a data driver that connects the user to Icon’s app, allowing remote monitoring and configuration.

The app enables users to monitor, record, and adjust settings, all via Bluetooth. Icon’s user-friendly interface can “easily alter the shocks’ baseline settings for firmness, as well as adjust the sensitivity of vertical G-Boost and lateral Corner Boost.” There are a number of preloaded “Drive Modes” (“Normal,” “Desert,” and “Haul”), but there’s also the option to create custom user presets. Lastly, the application has the ability to collect trip data, such as time, speed, distance, and g-forces.

Icon’s new suspension system is very impressive and looks to be a fantastic option for overlanding. In the past, you’d be forced to choose a setup based on your primary objectives whilst simultaneously recognising any choice meant compromising elsewhere. Icon’s new CDEV is a game-changer and provides a next-level suspension solution for overlanders seeking all-terrain performance. The opportunity to dial in your ride with “unlimited” presets for every possible scenario, all via the app, is truly astonishing. Learn more about Icon’s Compression Dampening Electronic Valve Suspension at iconvehicledynamics.com.

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No money in the bank, but gas in the tank. Our resident Bikepacking Editor Jack Mac is an exploration photographer and writer living full-time in his 1986 Vanagon Syncro but spends most days at the garage pondering why he didn’t buy a Land Cruiser Troopy. If he’s not watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, he can be found mountaineering for Berghaus, sea kayaking for Prijon, or bikepacking for Surly Bikes. Jack most recently spent two years on various assignments in the Arctic Circle but is now back in the UK preparing for his upcoming expeditions—looking at Land Cruisers. Find him on his website, Instagram, or on Facebook under Bicycle Touring Apocalypse.