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  1. #1
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    Is the 2012 Brain really any better than previous iterations?

    Spesh has videos and stuff claiming the 2012 Brain has better small bump compliance, etc than earlier years. Anyone have an opinion on that?
    I dreamed I ate a 10 lb marshmallow. When I awoke, my pillow was gone.

  2. #2
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    When I was researching my next bike purchase (last year) I read a lot of info on this & it would appear that yes, it has been improved. At the same time there are folks who can't stand the maintenance of having to mail it off for a rebuild & have replaced it with an (I believe) RP23.

  3. #3
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    The brain is the most seamless so far in 2012 and my favourite yet. I have ridden brained shocks/forks since 2007 although I'll tell you how the 2013 is in the next week. The Epic is a bit firmer than the Stumpy. The 2012 Epic version definitely offers the best small bump compliance yet but in anything other than the two firmest settings it does allow a little bit of movement, maybe 5mm, even in the firmest two you get get a couple of mm. . I see this as a good thing but it isn't quite as firm as previous generations. Reliability wise I haven't had a single shock brain problem since the 2008 model. Servicing in the UK is great with the shock back within two or three days, seems like a same day turn around. I'm a big fan of the brain and the set and forget nature it offers, as well as the performance.

  4. #4
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    When it comes to 2012 Specialized Epic brain rear shocks there are two different versions - the grey shock that comes on the non S-Works bikes and the gold kashima coated rear shock that comes on the S-Works Epic. The differences seem to be more than just a low friction coating.

    Based on the shocks that I've had the grey 2012 Epic brain rear shock sucks. It gives a soft and mushy ride, making the bike feel reluctant and slow.

    The gold 2012 kashima coated Epic brain rear shock is much better, feeling a lot like a 2010 Epic brain rear shock. It seems to be more supportive through the midstroke at the same shock pressure when compared to the grey 2012 shock, something that I prefer.

    The 2013 Epic brain shocks are supposed to use redesigned internals so could be different again.

  5. #5
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    Again?

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The 2013 Epic brain shocks are supposed to use redesigned internals so could be different again.
    Again? But they just did that for 2012. Maybe they didn't get it right...
    I dreamed I ate a 10 lb marshmallow. When I awoke, my pillow was gone.

  6. #6
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    The brain shock on the current bikes is always touted as the best ever, but only until the next year's model is released. Once that happens the flaws in the older versions suddenly become mentionable.

    That's the magic of marketing.

  7. #7
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    Tested the 2013 SW Epic 29er at Crankworx Whistler 3 weeks ago.
    The intent was to see what was different fork and shock wise compared to my 2011 SW Epic 29er.

    The rear seemed a little more small bump compliant but it was difficult to say. I did not have my 2011 handy to do a back to back comparison. What ever difference, it did not stand out to me.

    The 2013 SID was horrible! Followed the suggested settings for my ride weight, about 175lbs, then set it later at about 150lbs rider weight. No matter how we set the front air I could not get proper sag. The ride was harsh even with the brain set to wide open. Only used about 2/3 of travel even over some rougher trails. Felt like major stiction.

    The Specialized tech's guess was that the fork needed a service to put grease and oil in the top seal. There seemed to be something else wrong with this fork.

    Just have to wait and see what others have experienced. But as it stands, I'll stay with the 2011 set-up.
    14 SW Epic WC - 21.8 lb
    12 Niner Air9RDO -16.4
    12 SJ FSR Exp EVO29 -28
    11 SW Epic 29 - sold
    10 Devinci Wilson 4 -37

  8. #8
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    Paradoxical effect

    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The brain shock on the current bikes is always touted as the best ever, but only until the next year's model is released. Once that happens the flaws in the older versions suddenly become mentionable.

    That's the magic of marketing.
    It has the effect on me of not wanting to buy a new bike. For example, the 2013 Epic Marathon looks perfect to me, but it's hard to drop $7k for a bike and when I know that 6 months later Spesh will be making all kinds of claims about the improved 2014 version.
    I dreamed I ate a 10 lb marshmallow. When I awoke, my pillow was gone.

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