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  1. #1
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    07 vs 08 Epic AFR Shock - Any Difference?

    I just received my new Epic replacement shock (warranty) and it was installed by my LBS. The shop said that it is an 08 shock but they did not know of any difference. I did notice that the dial on top of the Brain is different, but does anyone know if any changes? Also, I can't find an 08 manul online so I don't know if the pressures changed. Anyone?

  2. #2
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    Interesting question

    There is limited information on what has changed from ’07 to ’08 AFR shocks. From what we can tell:

    Inertia Valve Unit has been slightly redesigned, cylinder is stepped to a larger diameter towards the top where the adjust knob is located.
    Blue knob on top of Inertia valve is redesigned and is now larger.

    It would be interesting to know if these design changes were related to improving the reliability of the unit or function. Also, when we need to send the shock in for service (after 250 hours of use) will Specialized upgrade to the newer Brain can?

    Regarding the internal hardware, a Specialized representative explained there is a new vendor for the seals and bushings. This was done to address the reliability issues with the 1st generation AFR shocks. No mention of other changes.

    It appears the main body of the shock remains the same. From the 2008 information from the dealer, the suggested pressures remain the same as they were for 2007. Of course this is just a starting point, it is more important to set the sag correctly which may require 5 or 10 more PSI (in my case).

    Please let us know if there is a noticeable difference in the ride.

  3. #3
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    Maluco,

    Thank you for the information that you provided. I appreciate it as my LBS did not know anything at all.

    I wish I could tell you the difference in the ride, however I had only gotten a chance to ride my 07 Epic for about 12 road miles before the shock went out (lost all compression damping). Of course it was set to full firm as this one is. On the road, it feels no different.

    I can say that I did go for a 16 mile ride on some trails this weekend and the AFR felt great and it held up. I still have some tweaking to do on the front suspension, but the AFR did feel great and worked as advertized (firm on smooth surfaces and opened up on the bumps). Then again, I am just glad that it lasted for the entire ride....

  4. #4
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    My '07 shock is being replaced under warranty with an '08 model, so my guess is there's probably some upgrades. I noticed in some recent photos that Ned Overend had the '08 shock on his Epic at the Iceman.

  5. #5
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    found the pic

  6. #6
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    cmv96,

    That is exactly what mine looks like (same top dial). Please let me know if you feel any difference between the two. I wish Specialized would tell you the difference, but maybe more info will come out early 08'.

  7. #7
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    Some speculation…

    The reason behind the new Brain canister is related to making it assemble-proof. Inside the canister is a small piston which separates the Nitrogen charge from the damping oil. This piston has inter and outer seals which prevents the gas and oil from leaking. I will speculate the outer seals may have been easily damaged by forcing the piston thru the top threading during assembly. You need to be careful of this issue if you have ever worked on a Fox fork when placing the air piston back. By making the top of the canister a larger diameter then the piston, you help remove the possibility of damaging or misaligning the seal(s) by brushing with the threading.

  8. #8
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    One other change worth noting

    The 2008 Brain adjustment (the Blue knob) now has only 10 clicks. Each click of adjustment you can note the shock becoming more solid and resistance to downward pressure. The original 2007 unit has around 25 clicks of adjustment, many of which have no perceptible change to the performance. However, it appears there is more fine-tuning available with the 2007 model as you approach the extremes of adjustment. Hopefully, someone can do a back-to-back ride comparison and report their observations.

    To add, turning the Blue knob is much easier for big fingers (or with gloves on).

  9. #9
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    I have around 40(!) clicks from fully "closed" to "opened", not 25 (AFR 2007).

  10. #10
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    I've got 18 clicks on mine, a 08 Epic Expert

  11. #11
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    At SBCU I was told and showed, that the newer AFR "brain" valve has different holes. There is also a little carved circle around the holes. It is meant to make the shift from CLOSED to OPEN smoother, as there is a certain oil pressure from the start (induced through rider weight). I have heard that people like the new shock better. But it could all be marketing BS

    Greetings znarf

  12. #12
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    I would like to know more about this topic as i just got a 2007 epic... Obviously i will put my miles on my shock but if there is a noticeable difference it might be worth the upgrade to send it in earlier

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