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  1. #1
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    2003 Epic rear shock replacement

    Hey guys looking for some suggestions on replacing the rear shock on an 03 Epic. My gf wanted to send in the shock but Fox doesnt service that old of a shock, so now we are looking for a replacement.

    Heres some specs on the shock from Specialized archives:

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized
    Specialized BRAIN shock, manufactured by Fox Racing Shox, air spring and rebound adj., 11.7" eye to eye, 1.875" stroke
    Looking at the shock it seems to have a different a different shaft design that is threaded-eye compared tot he conventional double eye shocks. If anyone has any suggestions that would be great.

  2. #2
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    I feel your pain. I just had the same news broke to me yesterday about my 06 Epic. Apparently Specialized stopped servicng my shock as of September 2012. They did have some just like it in stock, but for $350.00 and a 1 year warranty. I didn't bite on it because I would be right back in the same situation if I needed to have it serviced. Wasn't worth it to me.

    As you look at the different models through the years they are different. That is the reason you can't get a newer one and install on your older bike and vice versa.

    Through warranty you can trade in your frame towards the purchase of another frame. That is what they offered to do in my case. I just didn't wan't to fork out $900.00 on one. I have made the decision not to go back to a Specialized bike with the Brain technology.

    My advice: ditch that frame and go with something else not so proprietary.

    Just ordered a new VooDoo hardtail frame and moving all my components onto it when it arrives.

    Good luck to you.

  3. #3
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    Bad news.

    Good advice above to buy things that are less specialized and there is a better chance you will be able to service them in the future. The Frame swap is a nice offer from Specialized except the no longer make a 26 inch wheel epic. So instead ofust needed a new shock you would need a new Frame, Fork, Wheels. Not a practical option.

    I think you have a few more options.

    1. Call Push industries and see what they suggest. Its likely they can rebuild your shock for a reasonable price. There are other compains that do suspension work for MTB as well. Dirt labs, Risse racing, etc.

    2. I am not sure the specifics but It is possible to retrofit new epic shocks onto your frame. I had my 08 epic that came with an AFR rear shock set up to run a Fox like on the older frames. The shocks mount a different direction but I think (Correct me if I am wrong) an epic shock up to 2008 can be made to fit your frame you just need to make sure you get the mounting hardware. Check Ebay and see if you can find a shock for cheap enough to make it worth the risk.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    Specialized except the no longer make a 26 inch wheel epic.
    You are correct. The model they offered me was an old-stock 07 Epic S-Works (carbon) frame as part of the warranty exchange. I figured it was only a year newer than my bike and it wouldn't be much longer when they would no longer service that shock.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the quick reply guys.

    Yeah its looking more and more like a newer bike is in her future. Kinda stinks because she has had the bike for so long and she is so used to it.

  6. #6
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    Why??

    Just call Push. look around and there is almost certainily a solution. Why can FOX not service it?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by akaBrowntown View Post
    Hey guys looking for some suggestions on replacing the rear shock on an 03 Epic. My gf wanted to send in the shock but Fox doesnt service that old of a shock, so now we are looking for a replacement.
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbzarg View Post
    I feel your pain. I just had the same news broke to me yesterday about my 06 Epic. Apparently Specialized stopped servicng my shock as of September 2012. They did have some just like it in stock, but for $350.00 and a 1 year warranty. I didn't bite on it because I would be right back in the same situation if I needed to have it serviced. Wasn't worth it to me.
    I think that's terrible. Really poor on the part of Fox and Specialized. "We can't be bothered anymore, even though its our proprietary parts that need servicing to keep your bike working."

    Even if Fox and Specialized won't service older brain shocks I'd have thought you should be able to find a suspension specialist who can. Try doing a Google search for "motorcycle suspension tuners" and there are lots of independents who will have the expertise and equipment to do the work. It might be worth contacting some local ones to see what they say.

    If you look at the list of services offered here for example they can do things like inhouse machining and manufacturing also.

    Shock Treatment Workshop

    .

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedalfaraway View Post
    Just call Push. look around and there is almost certainily a solution. Why can FOX not service it?
    Push has been contacted. Fox said they do not have parts for a brain that old.

  9. #9
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    I just ran into this same problem today. The inertia valve is shot, my shock is "Brain Dead", when I bleed the air out I get lots of oil spitting out of the shock. My shock is loosing "grey matter". Okay I will stop with the puns.

    I took the bike to a good friend who owns a bike shop and is trained and authorized to rebuild Fox shocks. He tells me there is nothing he can do, Fox no longer has parts.

    Specialized (and Fox) have really let us owners down, the shock is an integral part of the suspension. I suppose I could air up the shock to 150psi and treat it more like a conventional shock but I would probably be better off buying a Chinese Carbon 26" frame and move all my parts over.

    Kinda sucks, I really liked my old Epic.

  10. #10
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    We actually pulled the shock off last week as she just had shoulder surgery. The lbs said they will send it in to Specialized, not Fox. Im not sure how much faith I have in this but we will see.

    Im going to repaint the frame while its down, and already have new suspension bushings on the way. A couple other parts are being replaced, so hopefully she comes back from rehab to a freshened Epic.

  11. #11
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    Based on earlier posts it appears that even Specialized either does not have parts or no longer wants to service the old brain shocks. I've already confirmed that Fox no longer has parts. As of Sept 2012 even Specialized has stated they were no longer servicing the early model Brain Shocks.

    Specifically the inertial valve or the brain portion is what they will not service, if your shock only needs the air cylinder section rebuilt then, just about anyone who services Fox shock can do that much.

    aka, please post back what you find.
    Last edited by Epic_Dude; 03-13-2013 at 03:45 PM.

  12. #12
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    Update: I just got off the phone with Specialized Customer Care and was told the 2003 shock can no longer be serviced (at least the inertia valve part) and what I would need to do is bring the bike to a Specialized dealer, let them remove the shock and talk to the warranty department. In all likelihood they will suggest replacing it with a rebuilt 2004-2005 shock from Specialized. How much is that going to cost? Stay tuned.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epic_Dude View Post
    In all likelihood they will suggest replacing it with a rebuilt 2004-2005 shock from Specialized. How much is that going to cost? Stay tuned.
    They do have older replacements in stock (at least for my '06). They want 350.00 and that includes a 1 year warranty. To me it wasn't worth it. I ended up purchasing a new frame (not a Specialized) and swapped my parts over to it.

    I don't think I will purchase a bike with such proprietary equipment again.

  14. #14
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    On Friday I dropped my bike off at the LBS and while I was there they removed the shock and said they would call Specialized. Hopefully I will have an answer on Monday. For me, I can't go out and buy a good FS 26er for the cost of replacing the shock so I will probably do the upgrade and keep the bike functional. It might be 10 years old be the bike still rides XC like nothing else.

  15. #15
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    1 week later...

    I called my LBS today and was told the replacement shock was almost ready. That sounded weird since I had expected the shop to send in my shock to Specialized and they would confirm the shock was not able to be rebuilt and offer a rebuilt 2005/2005 replacement.

    When I got there I was handed a 1/2 new 2003 Brain Shock. The shock body was replaced with a new one (new old stock?) and the LBS moved my extension rod (the opposite end of the shock that bolts to the frame) to the new shock body.

    I thought this was highly unusual. I expected a rebuilt shock that, in the future, was serviceable if I had a problem in the future. Instead I got a 10 yr old but new, brain shock body with my old shock rod, that is most likely not serviceable in the future.

    They charged me $300 for the 1/2 new 2003 shock. I think they are just trying to do what they can to help a customer, which I do appreciate. However, I'm wondering what will happen next time I have a problem with it?

    I plan on calling Specialized next week to get a better explanation of why the shock was not replaced with a newer model, or why I was not asked which I preferred, a new 2003 or rebuilt 2004/2005.

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