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  1. #1
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    2013 Brain vs 2013 Fox CTD Evolution

    Can any one comment on a new brain on 2013 stumpy? I can get a good deal on Elite but cant decide if I should commit to Brain.

    On the other side I don't adjust my suspension on a fly, usually leave it fully open.

  2. #2
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    I had a 2008 with the brain (AFR) shock. I blew a few of those up, and decided to leave it off. I generally like a more open, active feel anyway. Depends on what you like, but sounds like you might not really use the brain.

  3. #3
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    when that happen, did specialized replaced it by warranty or you had to pay for it yourself? also I read that sometimes you may have problems during the winter times when temperature drops to 20F? did you experience any of these issues?

  4. #4
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    They warranteed all of them. Quickly I might add. I went through (4) of 'em. All had the "stuck-down" issue. A large impact would blow the seal and they would not return to full extension. Granted, I think the manufacturing/quality has improved over the years but this was my experience with the 2008 model. I think I only killed one during a winter ride, not sure of temps though. Rest were throughout the years during more mild conditions.

  5. #5
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    I blew 10 AFRīs! All warranteed plus additional 400 Euro vouchers! Since 2010, when they started with Fox, I have never had any issues on my 2010 and 2012 Epic! Thumbs up!

  6. #6
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    So in your riding experience would you recommend brain or you think you better of with regular shock?

  7. #7
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    When I got my 2013 s works epic the first thing I did was de-brain it and put on a fox ctd.Man what a ride,no clunk,proper rebound.My mates who just came back from 2014 launch all said the best bike by far they all rode was the camber.Guess what,whole range right up to s works,NO Brain,ctd.
    You be the judge.

  8. #8
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    For me, I couldn't stand all the thinking necessary to use the CTD properly. Which mode should I be in, now, and then now, then now? Love the set and forget brain. Works a charm.

    That said, what makes you go fastest on a trail, or in a race, is rarely technology, mores the pity.

  9. #9
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    I don't really like the FSR suspension without the Brain. I'd rather have a VPP or DW link instead. But with the Brain it works well. I like how I can set the Brain stiff for racing or smooth terrain or set it softer for more technical trails, and it climbs well even out of the saddle.

    However, the Brain on my Stumpy FSR failed twice in the first 4 months I had it, and each time it took several weeks to have it shipped across country, repaired, and sent back.

  10. #10
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    Do you really have to send it in for service every year? I usually ride weekends only, so may be put 50-70 hours per season.

  11. #11
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    For a SJ FSR I would go with the Fox for sure. I think the Brain works very as an XC racing shock but no need for it on anything other than an Epic.

  12. #12
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    2011,2012 and 2013 on my Stumpy elite. Never had an issue with any of those.

    The Brain works best on the 100mm Epic but beside the sleepy shock feeling I can't live without it anymore. No bob at all on the Stumpy and HT feel like on the Epic,simply priceless. I do love the occasional clunk that tells me the Brain is alive and kicking. One thing for sure is that every year they manage to improve it.

  13. #13
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    Does anybody here can share some experience of 2013 stumpy brain? I do understand that it is more an Epic feature and race tuned.
    But for stumpjumper it is must be a different animal. Did anyone experienced delays on the first hit/drops?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadem View Post
    Does anybody here can share some experience of 2013 stumpy brain? I do understand that it is more an Epic feature and race tuned.
    But for stumpjumper it is must be a different animal. Did anyone experienced delays on the first hit/drops?
    No delays at all on my 2013 Stumpy. Teamed up with the Autosag it really works flawlessly. Does it work better than the Epic one ? Not sure. Small bump compliance is a lot better on the Stumpy and that's how it should be I guess,but that's a matter of personal choice,that's why I skip the Autosag and keep the shock at a higer pressure,I don't mind a bit more solid and stiff rear end.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadem View Post
    Does anybody here can share some experience of 2013 stumpy brain? I do understand that it is more an Epic feature and race tuned.
    But for stumpjumper it is must be a different animal. Did anyone experienced delays on the first hit/drops?


    I hated the brain on my 2012 stumpy which is the same as the 2013 as far as I know. delay was the name of the game sucked on stutterbumps opening and closing. Put on a rp23 and fell in love. CTD all the way save the brain for XC racebikes.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    [/COLOR]

    I hated the brain on my 2012 stumpy which is the same as the 2013 as far as I know. delay was the name of the game sucked on stutterbumps opening and closing. Put on a rp23 and fell in love. CTD all the way save the brain for XC racebikes.
    How much did you pay for the RP23, did you get it though the dealer or had to modify stock?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tadem View Post
    How much did you pay for the RP23, did you get it though the dealer or had to modify stock?
    I got one from a dealer and overpaid and got another from a member here I'm going to sell one of them if you are interested.
    I always type in bold cuz I'm blind as a bat
    For the Rich there is therapy!!!! for the rest of us we have Mountain Biking


  18. #18
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    Thanks everybody for advise. After talking to few more guys at LBS decided to wait for 2014 Sumpy Evo with CTD shock. The only issue that it wont be available until October.

  19. #19
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    I was all over the place trying to decide like you, rode Elite/Expert with brain and an Evo and Comp without. Felt like the suspension was more plush with CTD and still climbed great with minimal pedal bob when on "C" mode. It was not nearly as stiff as the brain, but what it lacked in stiffness it made up for in overall plushness. I ended up with a Comp 29er and am happy. The big plus is being able to service the shock too. the brain's have to be sent in.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KUSTOMZMAN1 View Post
    I was all over the place trying to decide like you, rode Elite/Expert with brain and an Evo and Comp without. Felt like the suspension was more plush with CTD and still climbed great with minimal pedal bob when on "C" mode. It was not nearly as stiff as the brain, but what it lacked in stiffness it made up for in overall plushness. I ended up with a Comp 29er and am happy. The big plus is being able to service the shock too. the brain's have to be sent in.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. My LBS does not carry any stumpjumper demo, so I can't even try one to see the difference.
    Why did you decide to go with Comp, not Evo, except the money part?

  21. #21
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    It had more to do with money. I stole my 13 Comp FSR 29er with a BL command post for $1800. For that I couldnít pass it up. Being new to MTB (I ride MX at a inter-adv level) I just couldnít see dropping huge $$ on something I wasnít 100% sure of. That being said, I love MTB and my comp. Granted I can tell the difference with the AL frame right off the bat. It feels like a tank going uphill compared to the Expert and EVO carbon framed bikes that I rode beforehand. Now that I am hooked with riding MTB I can see myself going carbon on the next bike for sure. And Iím okay spending the money now, knowing that I really enjoy it..even after some nasty get offs..lol.

    But back to the brain. I went and did a 13 mile loop yesterday (in Az on Hawes mountain) and I am completely happy with the rear shock feeling firm under hard pedaling even while standing. personally I think the front fork could be a bit more stiff, but I havenít messed much with air pressure yet (up front).

  22. #22
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    I like the 2013 cdt better than the 2012 brain that came with the frame
    I wanted to hate it but the brain will just have to hang as a spare


    true story
    I am slow therefore I am

  23. #23
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    I have a 2011 Stumpy Expert 29er. I've been through three brains, each lasting no more than two months (and most recently, only two rides, plus the shock is leaking!) - I end up riding a POS because I don't want to interrupt my season, and then finally cave to get it rebuilt/replaced.

    My bike is currently down with my LBS giving me static about it possibly being my fault. To say I'm livid is an understatement - I'm in the best shape of my life and don't want interruption.

    Failures have all been the same - the brain is stuck on full hard and the blue knob just spins without effecting any change. Specialized says they have a new upgrade kit with stronger internals and fewer clicks but I remain unconvinced.

    I can't even tell you how well the brain works (or not) since for ~75% of the miles I have on my bike the damn thing's been stock on full hard, and even then I'm not sure if it's working correctly at that setting.

    So, naturally, I'm biased in a bad way but avoid the brain like the plague, and I dare say Specialized in general, as I've had other problems with the bike too - the command post died just after a year, and I've had problems with the front hub since new. I had 10x the abuse on my Fuel EX8 and never had any such problems. As soon as my Stumpy is "fixed" I'm upgrading to a Fuel EX9 29er.

  24. #24
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    I have the same bike as SAL9000 and a similar story in terms of the reliability of the Brain and LBS support on it when it fails in short intervals. It costs about $120 when something goes wrong, takes at least three weeks, and the warranty is only good for something like 60 days; of course it fails about every 90 for me. I do not even ride that particular bike very often so I'm always amazed when the platform is completely missing on it after only a few months tops, especially since at the time I was not even doing anything over 1' drops or going for air.

    I ended up paying about $250 to get an 'inferior' Triad (which is the only other shock that will ever fit on the bike going forward) installed which has been a much better shock all around from fire-roads to black diamond runs at Mammoth. I wish I could clear my stable of this bike without taking what feels like a big loss because I'm itching to rid myself of the brand, but I will just be much more careful selecting my next (guaranteed to not be Specialized) bike. It's riding great now and I finally found the right parts to fit it to my body so I'm happy now, just hoping I can push the last two years of dealing with it out of my mind.

    The brain shock simply felt too locked out and had the 'trap door' feeling when it was activated. It was to the point that my 80mm spearfish had better downhill characteristics, until I had the FSR 'S-Tuned', then the FSR was only marginally better. In my case the LBS told me that I could not get an upgrade on the Brain unless I wanted to pay about $500 out of pocket and even said I could not keep the Brain when it was removed from my bike.

    Long story short: Bad experiences with previous Brains. Every year the Brain is 're-engineered' and 'updated' to be better than every. Then the next year the cycle repeats with last year's problem having been resolved. How long has the brain been around and they are still working on getting it right for FSR's?


    YMMV,

  25. #25
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    Wow...plenty of unhappy customers here,sorry to hear that. I've either been pretty lucky so far or never kept a bike long enough. I guess bad news make more noise than good news tho.
    Again,from 2011 till 2013 I can honestly say the Brain has improved each year. Yes it always get sorta clunky and you never get the whole sag (Stumpy) but on the Epic it's really perfect. I'm sure Specialized will find a way to make it Epic-perfect for the Stumpy FSR aswell. Yeah..taking a bit too long.
    Last edited by Devastazione; 08-09-2013 at 04:43 PM.

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