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  1. #1
    Perfectionist with ADHD!
    Reputation: ChewynMe's Avatar
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    Rear shocks, + or - brains

    Help me understand the difference,

    My friend has a Specialized FS with a rear shock that has a brain in the back by the rear brake. There are a bunch of people to ride the trails where I do have a lot of Scott and Trek FS that only have the single rear shock like a Fox Monarch and I'm trying to figure out what's the difference, advantages and disadvantages.

    Teach the Padawan as I am in the market for a FS!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    As i understand the brain has a weight inside which controls the valving in the shock, a big quick hit constricts flow while a mild slow hit allows it to stay more open so your suspension can use a little more of its travel on many different types of terrain. At least thats the simpleist way i can think to explain it. Hope this helps
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  3. #3
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    The brain has an inertial valve inside that is designed to stay closed - locked out - when riding smooth terrain or when the "impact" comes from above, like when you are pedaling. When you hit an obstacle, the force acts in an upwards direction which opens the valve, allowing the suspension to become active.

    Don't mistake the Brain mechanism for a second shock. It's a valve switch that enables the shock or locks it out, like a manual lockout but done automatically. Brain bikes only have one shock, just like the your friend's bikes.

    Big hits do NOT constrict the flow... that would make the suspension not work as well when you want it fully open.

    I'm not sure about the valving inside the brain. Unless the most recent versions of "Brain Fade" have changed this, the brain is an on/off kind of deal and then the suspension and shock itself (w/ rebound settings) determine the extent of the shock's capability.

    I've had a couple of Brain bikes and it really does work. Some people can feel the shock opening and don't like that on/off feeling. I never noticed it, but the bike absorbed hits when it needed to and was good and firm when the terrain was smooth.

    My current bike with a DW link climbs as good as either of my Brain bikes, but - to me - has a better ride quality overall.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the info i was going by what the lbs owner was telling me just the other day when i picked up my bike as we were talking about it.
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  5. #5
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    I've got an s-works fsr stumpy with brain, and a pivot mach 5 with dw link.

    If it comes down to the same price range, get a bike with dw link. The rear shock is not as important if you have well designed suspension. I have an RP23 on the pivot and never use it in pro-pedal. The rear link is so effective, I get no pedal bob with the shock fully open.

    The brain works very well, but it simply hides a poor suspension design (compared to dw link).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magilla_Guerrilla View Post
    I've got an s-works fsr stumpy with brain, and a pivot mach 5 with dw link.

    If it comes down to the same price range, get a bike with dw link. The rear shock is not as important if you have well designed suspension. I have an RP23 on the pivot and never use it in pro-pedal. The rear link is so effective, I get no pedal bob with the shock fully open.

    The brain works very well, but it simply hides a poor suspension design (compared to dw link).
    Careful about your generalizations. FSR was the standard for a while there and it's not a "poor" design by any means. I don't think it's as good as DW link, but that doesn't make it poor. The Brain just adds to the capability of the design and the system works very well. And FSR works well without a Brain; I've had FSR bikes without the Brain, too.
    www.teamnavycycling.org
    10 Pivot Mach 429
    09 Felt Nine Race
    03 Litespeed Tuscany

  7. #7
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    hence why I said compared to the dw link.

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