Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 46
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349

    New question here. Specialized Epic (the Brain dilemma)

    Heya folks,

    while I am healing my broken bone, I am considering new purchase for the spring. By that time I will be up and driving again.

    I am hooked on Specialized Epic. Frame is important, parts are irrelevant as I will transfer mechanics from my other bike onto it.

    The only issue I got is the reliability, or better said - predictability of Brain. As the Brain unlocks/locks rear suspension when it thinks it should, could this lead to situations where I have a feeling that it will unlock it (like going down from the curb, or doing some small DH riding) but it doesn't?

    I could ride towards the bump, expecting shock to absorb it, and then the Brain says "No you don't it's not that bumpy!" totally screwing me, possibly knocking me of balance, etc.

    Do you guys have any experience with Brain? Is it worth it? Is it predictable enough not to cause problems during rides? Thoughts?

    The alternative is Stumpjumper FRS or Camber. They got full suspension that just works all the time and that's it (140 and 120 mm respectively). No surprises there.

    Thanks.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chas_martel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,482
    1. Epic != AM
    2. The "Brain" sucks.
    Last edited by chas_martel; 12-01-2010 at 09:27 AM.
    Nobody cares...........

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    Yes, I know Epic is not AM, but there is no other 100/100 full suspension there. After Epic there is Camber with 120/120. 20 mm extra is nice, but let's not pretend that if you can do something with 120 suspension that something becomes impossible with 100. It's the same, basically. What, have we all of the sudden became pussies? Not so long ago that same trail was ridden no suspension whatsoever... 140, 160 and above, that we can debate.

    Why Brain sucks?
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,751
    you've got a few issues, man.
    first of all, when chas was busting your chops about posting questions about an Epic in the AM forum it has merit. the Epic is a XC RACE bike, period. You'd be better off asking the questions in the XC Race forum because more people who ride one will be able to respond to you.
    second, bikes have come a long way since guys were riding DH on rigid bikes. I'd bet dollars to pesos that the lines that are taken by AM riders these days are far more technical than those of yester-year.
    third, there is a huge reason that bikes have changed over time. riders and designers have figured out what characteristics are desireable for a specific type of riding.
    basically, with more travel on a bike, also comes slacker geo and burlier frame design. that is what makes a bike more AM vs XC. It is the whole package. A bike designed to be very light and nimble, stiff platform damping and sharp angles, isn't going to be a well-rounded do-it-all bike. It is going to be exactly what the designers had intended, a fast and efficient XC RACE bike.
    sounds like you should hold on to that wad of cash you have and start test riding bikes when you heal... not in parking lots but on the trails. it is quite apparent that you are buying a bike strictly off of speculation and on paper-based assumptions. however, the camber and stumpy would be much, much better all-round bikes.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    O, look at that, I went to this forum by sheer momentum =) OK OK, I will post a question there as well, hope Admins do not bash me cause of cross posting.

    You are right about testing them, 100% right. But it is impossible for me to take a bike from the shop and go for a ride :/ That is why I need some words from experienced people to guide me a bit.

    As for the Camber and Stumpy being better all around - yes, I agree. There is absolutely no doubt that they are better all around. But I so much dislike going downhill I can't describe. If you ask me, I would prefer my bike route to be uphill there and back! But goddamn physics do not allow that. If I am going downhill, I prefer it to be a nice clean trail with no jumps, sudden turns or whatever. Just a relax from the 4 hour pedaling uphill.

    Again, all I am interested in, and that will make or break the Epic purchase in favor of 120mm Stumpy FSR, is Brain predictable? Will it screw me by not unlocking when I have a feeling it should unlock. If it is unreliable - I will rather go with all-time suspension even if that decreases my uphill pedaling power by few percent (if at all ...) simply because it is predictable.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  6. #6
    perpetual pucker factor
    Reputation: charging_rhinos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,417
    I'd steer clear of the Brain if you want absolute predictability. There is usually a bit of lag between when you hit the bump, and when the valve opens. This creates a harsh feeling in the rear of the bike that starts to suck pretty fast if the trail isn't a manicured sidewalk. Most of the time it opens properly, but every once in a while it doesn't at all, and you take the full force of whatever you just hit. If you absolutely must get a Specialized, I'd go for a Stumpy. Far better bike, able to handle more terrain better.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,751
    I understand, you definitely posted in the wrong forum. No big deal.

    IMO, the "brain" is a bunch of BS. It is easy enough to throw the lever on an RP23, the brain just tries to do that automatically. Plus, if anything goes wrong with the shock it is up to Speci to fix it. No aftermarket options for replacement either.

    Take a look at some other bikes as well. Pivot Mach4, SC superlight, Trek's offering.

  8. #8
    perpetual pucker factor
    Reputation: charging_rhinos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,417
    If you hate going down hills, maybe it's precisely because you're on an xc bike, and not an am bike. It would give you SO much more confidence going down if you were on a bike that didn't place you so far over the front of the bike. I switched a year ago, and I'm so happy I did.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  9. #9
    ≈ > ♥
    Reputation: zahgurim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    918
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon[CRO]
    ... I so much dislike going downhill I can't describe. If you ask me, I would prefer my bike route to be uphill there and back!...I prefer it to be a nice clean trail with no jumps, sudden turns or whatever. Just a relax from the 4 hour pedaling uphill...
    Wow. Are you ever in the wrong forum... I think most of the people here ride up just to get to the DH with jumps, sudden turns, and whatever.

    And to answer your question: My experience riding friend's bikes with the Brain is that they are ok for XC, but not the plushest over chunder (which it sounds like you avoid, anyway?). It should pedal ok for you uphill.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    Quote Originally Posted by charging_rhinos
    Most of the time it opens properly, but every once in a while it doesn't at all, and you take the full force of whatever you just hit.
    Ah, see, stuff like that was what I was afraid of. That one time when it unpredictably does NOT open, and I smash my jewels.

    OK, will have to find a Stumpy to try it for a few hours.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    497
    Well, starting w/ the 2010 line, the Stumpy FSR now has 140mm travel front and rear. The Camber has 120mm. You can get a Stumpy w/ a brain.

    My experience is with the 2010 FSR Expert SJ which has the brain. The brain on my bike (and I believe it's the same on the Epic) has 14 clicks from no brain to full brain. With the brain dialed all the way off, it basically behaves like any other full suspension bike I have ridden. With the brain dialed all the way on, it rides like a hardtail unless I hit something big or at high speed. In between those two extremes, the brain is highly adjustable. I have tried to fool the brain in the full brain setting, and it works superbly. My preference for most riding that I do ( here in NM lots of technical, steepish long climbs, with long technical descents) is brain dialed 6 clicks from no brain. The transtion from locked out to full 140mm suspension is seamless IMO. I don't think I could ever ride a non-brain bike any more. I'd be hitting the propedal lever 50 times a ride. My SJ climbs like a goat and rips descents like a demon.

    I imagine that the Epic would climb like a scalded monkey, while still pretty fast on the descents.

    It seems that people either love the brain. or hate it.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    Quote Originally Posted by zahgurim
    Wow. Are you ever in the wrong forum... I think most of the people here ride up just to get to the DH with jumps, sudden turns, and whatever.
    Awwww hell no! Man, I value my bones far too much to go there. As we speak, I am healing this little baby:

    http://nivas.hr/pub/titanium.jpg

    And that stuff happened going DOWNHILL not UP. Therefore, up is the way I wanna go. =)
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Daemon[CRO]'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    349
    Quote Originally Posted by mlx john
    Stumpy FSR now has 140mm travel front and rear. The Camber has 120mm.
    Yes yes, I inverted the options. My bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by mlx john
    I don't think I could ever ride a non-brain bike any more.
    Ah man you are killing me!!

    Crap. Gotta find a way to really testdrive Brain.
    Daemon
    "Worship the Machines."
    www.nivas.hr | www.worship.hr

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    497
    The brain has 14 clicks from no brain to full brain. With the brain dialed all the way off, it basically behaves like any other full suspension bike I have ridden. With the brain dialed all the way on, it rides like a hardtail unless I hit something big or at high speed. In between those two extremes, the brain is highly adjustable.

  15. #15
    Is it Friday yet?
    Reputation: kwrides's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    598
    Note: If you buy a Camber to avoid the Brain, the Camber Comp and Elite both come with an Ario shock, which is either open or closed, no pro-pedal. If you want a Camber and want pro-pedal, go up to the Expert.

  16. #16
    perpetual pucker factor
    Reputation: charging_rhinos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,417
    I still say go with a Stumpjumper. Your riding will grow a lot more with a more confidence-inspiring geometry
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: chas_martel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,482
    Quote Originally Posted by Daemon[CRO]
    Yes, I know Epic is not AM, but there is no other 100/100 full suspension there. After Epic there is Camber with 120/120. 20 mm extra is nice, but let's not pretend that if you can do something with 120 suspension that something becomes impossible with 100. It's the same, basically. What, have we all of the sudden became pussies? Not so long ago that same trail was ridden no suspension whatsoever... 140, 160 and above, that we can debate.

    Why Brain sucks?

    There is way more to this equation than travel, what about geometry?

    Brains suck, in my opinion, because they are "rigid" at the exact point I want plush. They
    are solely used to compensate for an "almost" antiquated suspension design. My 2 cents, I realize many herein will bash me for saving this. Also, is bobbing even an issue in AM? Why does a Spesh "need" the brain yet other Horst links bikes do not?

    My most direct answer is to go with a more modern suspension and don't worry about the brain. Check out a DW-Link or VPP bike.

    I ride both, well my VPP ride was stolen last month, and will attest to never needing "the brain".

    And more importantly do yourself a favor and go ask this question somewhere besides the AM forum.
    Nobody cares...........

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: darkslide18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,056
    Why not get a HT 29er? After reading what types of trails you want to ride why bother with a dually? Hell, go rigid.

  19. #19
    Is it Friday yet?
    Reputation: kwrides's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    598
    Ha. Did you tell a guy who loves to climb to get a 29er?

  20. #20
    usually cranky
    Reputation: b-kul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    9,927
    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide18
    Why not get a HT 29er? After reading what types of trails you want to ride why bother with a dually? Hell, go rigid.
    lol. best advice in this thread. while suspension will aid in climbing it doesnt sound like the op is tackling anything too brutal. to say you dont like the down hills in the am forum is blasmspey.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    104
    Test ride it.

    I rode an Epic and didn't even knew it did that until I was given the explanation of the suspension. It just hauled ass uphill and hauled ass downhill. Granted, downhill is a bit different on a 4" 70*HA bike than a 5.5" 66*HA bike, so there's that.

    Test ride everything, buy what you want. Not what's popular.

  22. #22
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,903
    I can understand that you want the bike design to be intelligent, but I'd stay away from bike that required brain Sooner or later it would do the thinking for you, and you know how that goes

    mlx john, how bad is your pedaling that w/o brain you'd flip PP 50 times/per ride. I've been in most bike design and I don't flip the PP. Sure some are bad but nothing smooth pedaling can't cure.

    Epic are different breed of bike period, it's design for racing. Geometry and feature is not something you'd want to use as trail riding. It performs well on a "race course" type of trails, rolling smoothish singletrack with some short tech, or short steep descend. It's design to be fast not necessary fun with the flat back geo and low BB, like a more forgiving HT.

    Unless you have brand loyalty and want to stay with Sp, there's many other good choices

    Ibis Mojo SL
    Pivot Mach4
    Santa Cruz Blur XC or better yet LT
    Giant Trance or Anthem.

    Personally I think you would enjoy Maverick Durance, or Matic as it's somewhat similar to Epic in someway.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    104
    Oh, if you want a better Specialized bike, go with the Stumpjumper FSR EVO. That's THE bike. Great geometry and suspension.

  24. #24
    Compelling, and rich.
    Reputation: CasteelG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    644
    The newer iterations of the Brain work very well. You just need to take the time to dial it in.

    As far as the Epic is concerned... the 26" wheeled version is a XC race bike. Pure and simple.

    However, having ridden my 2011 Epic Comp Carbon 29er for a few months now, I can safely say that the 29" wheeled Epics are great bikes for trail riding as well.

    I don't do anything too crazy, but I do ride aggressively and I rarely feel like I'm pushing my bike beyond its limits.

    It's still not "All-Mountain" necessarily, but it's a great short travel trail bike. I'd suggest getting a test ride or two on a brain equipped bike to see if it's something you'll like.

  25. #25
    T.W.O.
    Reputation: mimi1885's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,903
    Quote Originally Posted by CasteelG
    The newer iterations of the Brain work very well. You just need to take the time to dial it in.

    As far as the Epic is concerned... the 26" wheeled version is a XC race bike. Pure and simple.

    However, having ridden my 2011 Epic Comp Carbon 29er for a few months now, I can safely say that the 29" wheeled Epics are great bikes for trail riding as well.

    I don't do anything too crazy, but I do ride aggressively and I rarely feel like I'm pushing my bike beyond its limits.

    It's still not "All-Mountain" necessarily, but it's a great short travel trail bike. I'd suggest getting a test ride or two on a brain equipped bike to see if it's something you'll like.

    I think Epic is a good bike and does exactly what it's design to do, unfortunately I outgrew the bike and join the darker side To their credit, lag on the brain shock is much, much better than before, but...it's still there, and it ain't my cup of tea no more.

    I love the new enduro though, man that's so unlike Specialized trail bike line up, quite impressive. Theire DH, and FR has always be great.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •