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  1. #1
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    Does anyone really love the brain?

    I'm on the fence about which level Camber to buy whenever the are released. It seems in every review everyone loved the bike but could do without the brain. Also do you really have to send it in for a rebuild every 100 hrs of ride time?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    The problem with the brain is getting the setup right, and then the maintenance you mention. Both are a pain.

    However, when setup right it's great to not have to think about anything else when riding.

  3. #3
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    I loved the brain on my Sworks SJ FSR. I sent it in every winter for a rebuild and never had any issues with it.

    The best part was the way it would pop off stuff, no gushiness when preloading. At least that was my impression.I wish they made one for the E29 !

  4. #4
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    First, I'm not a fan of the brain due to inability to maintenance in house, added complexity and added weight.

    I got to try the new Camber with the Brain recently, put about an hour on it. Set up is much easier than the older brain, with AutoSag and improved damping. The brain doesn't activate until the shock gets past the 25% sag point, so small bump action is good. The Brain Fade settings are all distinctly different. I ended up liking the ride the best on fully soft. All the way firm was disappointing in that there was feed back from the Brain when it actuated in the form of a slight thud sound and I could feel a small tap from the saddle. If you ride smothish trails most of the time and smash on the way up the hill, get the brain - it works, finally.

  5. #5
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    You make a good point G - the Brain has come a long way in recent years and is miles better than it used to be.

    Also, in reference to maintenance, you may be able to get away with maintenance every 2 seasons if you don't ride too much on that platform.

  6. #6
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    I'm hoping in the very near future, an electronically activated brain will be the norm.

    An accelerometer on the chain stay and fork instantly controlling the dampening to a much higher level of control. Plush when ripping, firm when climbing and all without touching the settings. They must be working on it.
    15 Enduro Expert 29, SW build - 27.6 lb
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarManDSL View Post
    I'm hoping in the very near future, an electronically activated brain will be the norm.

    An accelerometer on the chain stay and fork instantly controlling the dampening to a much higher level of control. Plush when ripping, firm when climbing and all without touching the settings. They must be working on it.
    It's called the Cannondale Simon. *ducks & runs away*

  8. #8
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    You spelled it wrong. It's Cannonbroke!

  9. #9
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    I have a 2013 Stumpjumper FSR with the Fox/Specialized Brain. I could definitely do without it. It is NOT user serviceable because the Nitrogen charge must be released to open the air can (the brain hose must be disconnected first).

    It provides nothing that the Stumpjumper requires. And they have removed it for 2015 so that tells you something.

    All that being said, I ride it with the Brain in the fully open position, it is not intrusive. It HAS broken after a year of hard riding, and I had to pay $175+ for repair out of warranty. If I could find a replacemant that bolted directly to the yoke fitting that didn't cost $400+ I would switch over the next time it fails.

  10. #10
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    IMOHO the brain is fantastic for the Epic, Stumpjumper XC Race bike platform for the "trail bike" segment Camber, FSR Stumpjumper, etc... why?

    If you time it right sending the brain fork or shock in to have it serviced takes less than five business days and just part of ownership and regular maintenance if you choose to own a brain equipped bike so quit crying about it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarManDSL View Post
    I'm hoping in the very near future, an electronically activated brain will be the norm.

    An accelerometer on the chain stay and fork instantly controlling the dampening to a much higher level of control. Plush when ripping, firm when climbing and all without touching the settings. They must be working on it.
    It exists...


  12. #12
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    I had a good two years on an Epic (2013 Carbon Comp), and I liked the Brain for the XC purpose of the bike. I'd be interested in seeing how this version on the Camber actually plays out on trail. Its addressed one of the issues I had with the shock--in technical, slow trail climbing, I would have loved to have some initial traction (you know, the reason FOR riding an FS!!)

    I only sent my Brain in for service once during ownership--it developed a sucking noise from time to time, but didn't impact performance at all. I had service done during the winter, and had it back in a week. Also, the perfect reason to have a simple hardtail in the garage as well, right?

  13. #13
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    Yes, I really love the Brain. I had an older version one on my old Stumpy, and it was ok. On the Epic, it is amazing. The bike is truly able to feel like a hard-tail as far as power transfer, and yet still gives me some relief when I hit the bigger bumps by giving me some dampening. The Epic's brain only has 5 clicks in the rear unlike earlier versions, yet still offers a wide range. I leave mine 1 click from full firm whether I'm racing, training or just trail riding. If I'm going to do an extended downhill section, I'll open it all the way up. I find the brain to be super effective on this particular bike and I am impressed by the power transfer most of all. I suspect the bike deserves a lot of this credit, not just the brain itself.

    Does anyone really love the brain?-imag0420.jpg

  14. #14
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    For an xc bike I think the brain has a home. But for general trail riding I think a non-intelligent, brainless solution is better. I had an epic before and I loved it on smooth trails where you can really hammer it but on chattery stuff(which I have a lot here where I live), I felt the brain was adding to the chatter!

  15. #15
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    Personally I have loved the brain for the type of riding I do here in CT. Mostly slower rocky, rooty XC type stuff. It took me some time to get it set up - it was nice though. Can't comment on the maintenance part because its never been done. Im currently without a brain equipped bike (sold my Stumpjumper to try something else) but may get another one.

  16. #16
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    I have a 2015 epic WC and the new brain is absolutely phenomenal! So much better than the 2013 model I had before.
    I would love to have a Camber because they finally did what i thought they should do all along and gave it a brain instead of the stumpy FSR.
    From what i've heard, the new camber with brain is pretty outstanding too.
    2015 Epic Expert WC
    Sworks Phenom saddle, EC70 flat bars and seatpost, crankbrothers candy 3's

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