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  1. #1
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    Rock Shox brain forks

    Any critiques on these yet? Any know issues? Had my Sid for a week now and the brain fade is not doing much... What are the odds that my fork came out of the box without enough oil?

    Just wanted to see if anyone has experienced similar issues with the rockshox built forks. All others I have worked with have been wonderful without issue

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    What do you mean it's not doing much?

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    Well, I set my sag, I set my rebound, I dial the brain between soft and firm and have no change. The brain cartridge is basically not operating. It is actuating like a normal dampener. I know if oil is low, the brain will do relatively nothing close to what it is supposed to, but the fork is brand new.
    A more familiar mech is supposed to check it out next week, but figured I would ask around if there are any issues going around.

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    I had the same issue with my 2011 fork, I also must note that being an endurance racer the inertia valve fork really probably would not be the best for me. Replaced the brain with a Black Box Motion Control RLT cartridge and the fork rocks
    "To finish first, you must first finish"

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    You had the same problem, did you determine what the issue was? Bad cartridge? Low on oil?

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    i also had the problem... first of all, all my specialized/rockshox forks, when newly delivered, always is low on oil. the inertia valve on my 2012 rockshox/spec. was also worse and worse, then i did a small service, new oil, and so. but didn't help. now the valve is "brain dead" and is send to specialized, where they probably will put in a new cartridge...

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    Curious, what type of oil does the 2012 rock shock SID fork take that comes on the SWEpics? Also anyone have a "how to" to add oil? What is the recommended amount of oil that should be in the fork to begin with?

    I really wish the owners manuals from specialized would have more details regarding this type of setups. I find a huge lack of technical information in the owners manuals. You would think after spending a decent amount liked I did on my SWepic it would come with a decent manual!

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    ^^ agreed... Idk if that should be a rockshox or specialized fault there, but there should definitely be more availability on info for something exclusive to these bikes. Hence why I have to have another mechanic more familiar with the dampener check mine out... Wouldn't want to pull it apart and cause harm to a brand new fork.
    Seems like this is a common problem though... At least somewhat. So mine may end up being a warranty issue.

  9. #9
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    i know the recommended amount is 5 ml. in each lowers. If you don't service as often its ok with 7,5 ml in each lowers.

    I normally use 7,5 WT here in the wintertime around 0-3 degrees celcius. 10 WT the rest of the year.

    Its more than easy to make a small service.( change oil in lowers and clean bushings etc.) take out all air, use a long size 10 top.and unscrew each lowers in the bottom. then before you totally unscrew the screw, hit it loose with a plastic hammer. and unscrew, then pull the lowers, clean lowers bushings etc.put in again, add oil, and tighten.. That easy...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gronkjaer View Post
    i know the recommended amount is 5 ml. in each lowers. If you don't service as often its ok with 7,5 ml in each lowers.

    I normally use 7,5 WT here in the wintertime around 0-3 degrees celcius. 10 WT the rest of the year.

    Its more than easy to make a small service.( change oil in lowers and clean bushings etc.) take out all air, use a long size 10 top.and unscrew each lowers in the bottom. then before you totally unscrew the screw, hit it loose with a plastic hammer. and unscrew, then pull the lowers, clean lowers bushings etc.put in again, add oil, and tighten.. That easy...
    Thanks for the info I appreciate it, ok so the oil in then put back into the end that has been taken out (lower legs) I'm assuming the bike would be upside down at this point. Also what name brand oil is recommended? Is 10WT the oil that comes with the SID fork?

    Actually I just talked to someone from rockshock and he gave me all the information I could ever ask for!! The info you have is way off for my SID world cup fork.
    Last edited by EpicFSR; 01-09-2012 at 02:51 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicFSR View Post
    Actually I just talked to someone from rockshock and he gave me all the information I could ever ask for!! The info you have is way off for my SID world cup fork.
    Would you mind posting the instructions for the SID WC fork?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicFSR View Post
    Thanks for the info I appreciate it, ok so the oil in then put back into the end that has been taken out (lower legs) I'm assuming the bike would be upside down at this point. Also what name brand oil is recommended? Is 10WT the oil that comes with the SID fork?

    Actually I just talked to someone from rockshock and he gave me all the information I could ever ask for!! The info you have is way off for my SID world cup fork.
    Sorry to hear, that you heard that i was way off !!!

    But why not only google it then.. Regarding oil amount on all rockshox forks. Its all listed in a pdf file on SRAM/Rockshox homepage go get them and check yourself, so you could be absolutely sure... Its all for your best... Regarding the amount, i still recommend instead of 5 ml to put in 7,5 ml if you don't service that often.But recommended by Rockshox is 5ml.

    i think they recommend 15 WT. but it only works good for me in summertime. I need thinner oil here in the winter 7,5WT is very good for me and then i prefer 10WT the rest of the year..

    And YES i would recommend to turn the fork upside down, unless you are faster than lightning

  13. #13
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    I found this to be helpful for my application. I recently purchased the fork used from my LBS to run on my Niner Jet.

    http://service.specialized.com/colla...Brain-Fork.pdf
    -boom

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    The worse forks ever... The 2012 rockshox forks !!! Now one week ago, i also bought a 2012 stump jumper s-works HT 29. I have ridden it 3 times, and now the brain is also dead on this one, as well as the other one i have "Sworks epic 2012". So now i can send my second fork 2 service, and i haven't got the first one back yet...

    "Nice Work Specialized"... Now you have to have at least 3 bikes from your company, to be sure to have something to ride on, while the other bikes is at service. :-(

    I really hope that i am very unlucky, or specialized will have a troubled year replacing forks.
    Last edited by gronkjaer; 01-18-2012 at 12:05 AM.

  15. #15
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    Is the SID Fork on the Expert the same as the SWorks?
    Hopefully I won't have the same problems when I get my Expert in Feb

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    Gronkjaer, that sounds like real bad luck.

    My 2012 29er S Works SID forks have now done 50 hard hours riding and are due an oil bath change. My forks have been perfect and the brain platform as good as ever. My brothers 2011 Reba brain forks on his 2011 S Works Stumpy HT are still going great a year on.
    The forks on the Expert and S Works are different. The S Works version have the brain adjuster on the top of the right fork leg, the Expert has the adjuster on the bottom of the fork leg like all previous Brained forks.

    I'll be intrigued to know the diagnosis Gronkjaer, good luck.

  17. #17
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    i'm still waiting to get my first broken/fixed fork, returned from Specialized.
    But i can tell you, that fx. yesterday when my second fork broke. it was in the end of an 3 hours training session. The brain is still working, but not as it should.. In the firmest setting, it has become a little soft. So when pedaling standing, its bobbing a bit, not completely firm as it was in the start... Anyone know the principles in the brain platform, how its working and why ?? Just interesting to know..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete N View Post
    Gronkjaer, that sounds like real bad luck.

    My 2012 29er S Works SID forks have now done 50 hard hours riding and are due an oil bath change. My forks have been perfect and the brain platform as good as ever. My brothers 2011 Reba brain forks on his 2011 S Works Stumpy HT are still going great a year on.
    The forks on the Expert and S Works are different. The S Works version have the brain adjuster on the top of the right fork leg, the Expert has the adjuster on the bottom of the fork leg like all previous Brained forks.

    I'll be intrigued to know the diagnosis Gronkjaer, good luck.
    Are you really going to do the 50 hours service ?? I ran out of 50 hours in just one month when the bike came home brand new in september,I really think this 50 hours thing is ridiculous. I'll wait one full year for both my SID Brain 2012 and my Brain.
    Roadie DNA,mtbike curious.

  19. #19
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    Gronkjaer
    The 2012 Rockshox brain forks have a much lighter bump threshold to overcome the brain compared to own brand Futureshock forks. The force required to overcome the brain when in the full firm setting is now very much like the 2011 Fox Terraligics I owned. I much prefer this as I personally found it too hard on the Futureshock forks, and then the firks woyld dive past the brain too quickly, hence why I chose a Fox Terralogic for 2011. The forks stay tall like a brain fork should but open up over a smaller bump. A bit of bobbing when out of the saddle peddling hard is normal in the Rockshox and the Fox versions so you may not have a fault, the seals may have just become better lubricated after a few hours usage. The sure fire way to test them is put the brain to full firm and then push down firmly with a quick action and you should only get a couple of mm of travel at most. It needs to be a short firm push as opposed to a prolonged one that will induce sag.

    Devastione

    I always do the 50hr as you never know how much oil was out in the legs at the factory but after that just annually. My LBS does the lower leg service for £20.

  20. #20
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    My 2011 RS Brain will soon be off to the big S for a Brain transplant. They are putting in the 2012 damper cartridge with the top mounted adjuster. We'll see if the oil level comes back low after the break-in period. I'll report back in a few weeks when the fork comes back.
    Brought to you by rocks.

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    just to tell you.. The brain died completely today during training.. So no clicks when turning the knob, and only fully open. now i have send this one in as well..

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAmtbiker View Post
    My 2011 RS Brain will soon be off to the big S for a Brain transplant. They are putting in the 2012 damper cartridge with the top mounted adjuster. We'll see if the oil level comes back low after the break-in period. I'll report back in a few weeks when the fork comes back.
    is it because of low oil level the brain is going dead ? is it the oil in the lowers which is low then ?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete N View Post
    Gronkjaer, that sounds like real bad luck.

    My 2012 29er S Works SID forks have now done 50 hard hours riding and are due an oil bath change. My forks have been perfect and the brain platform as good as ever. My brothers 2011 Reba brain forks on his 2011 S Works Stumpy HT are still going great a year on.
    The forks on the Expert and S Works are different. The S Works version have the brain adjuster on the top of the right fork leg, the Expert has the adjuster on the bottom of the fork leg like all previous Brained forks.

    I'll be intrigued to know the diagnosis Gronkjaer, good luck.
    I hope my 2012 Specialized Epic Expert 29er's Rock Shox Sid brain fork is going to be reliable. Threads like this one make me wonder whether it was a good decision to get another brain fork though. My bike arrived at the shop today but hasn't been built up yet.

    After the multiple failures of my 2009 Specialized Futureshock E100 fork I really didn't want another brain fork. I couldn't get just a frame though so I'm going to give it a try initially. If the 2012 brain fork does fail I'm going to replace the cartridge with a standard Rock Shox damper, rather than go through the never ending cycle of warranty repair / failure / warranty repair / failure etc that the E100 fork ended up in.

  24. #24
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    Lower the negative air pressure on your 2012 SID brain fork 5psi lower then your positive if you want a harder platform. (no bob) try that and post back.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete N View Post
    Gronkjaer
    The 2012 Rockshox brain forks have a much lighter bump threshold to overcome the brain compared to own brand Futureshock forks. The force required to overcome the brain when in the full firm setting is now very much like the 2011 Fox Terraligics I owned. I much prefer this as I personally found it too hard on the Futureshock forks, and then the firks woyld dive past the brain too quickly, hence why I chose a Fox Terralogic for 2011. The forks stay tall like a brain fork should but open up over a smaller bump. A bit of bobbing when out of the saddle peddling hard is normal in the Rockshox and the Fox versions so you may not have a fault, the seals may have just become better lubricated after a few hours usage. The sure fire way to test them is put the brain to full firm and then push down firmly with a quick action and you should only get a couple of mm of travel at most. It needs to be a short firm push as opposed to a prolonged one that will induce sag.

    Devastione

    I always do the 50hr as you never know how much oil was out in the legs at the factory but after that just annually. My LBS does the lower leg service for £20.
    Why not just do it yourself? It took me 20min to drop my lowers grease/change oil/replace foam ring/and dust seal. Cost $5

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I hope my 2012 Specialized Epic Expert 29er's Rock Shox Sid brain fork is going to be reliable. Threads like this one make me wonder whether it was a good decision to get another brain fork though. My bike arrived at the shop today but hasn't been built up yet.

    After the multiple failures of my 2009 Specialized Futureshock E100 fork I really didn't want another brain fork. I couldn't get just a frame though so I'm going to give it a try initially. If the 2012 brain fork does fail I'm going to replace the cartridge with a standard Rock Shox damper, rather than go through the never ending cycle of warranty repair / failure / warranty repair / failure etc that the E100 fork ended up in.

    Welcome to the Epic 29er club WR304, you took the plunge then. I still think these Rockshox SID brain forks are the best I've ever ridden and mine have been very reliable and consistent so far and I've ridden them in all conditions. Like the FOX but even smoother and full travel achieved, hope you find them the same. There is no doubt you'll love the bike.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete N View Post
    Welcome to the Epic 29er club WR304, you took the plunge then. I still think these Rockshox SID brain forks are the best I've ever ridden and mine have been very reliable and consistent so far and I've ridden them in all conditions. Like the FOX but even smoother and full travel achieved, hope you find them the same. There is no doubt you'll love the bike.
    Wheelbuilder.com released a 142x12mm Powertap axle conversion kit which got rid of the main sticking point. It means that I can use my existing Powertap hub with the 2012 Epic frame. With the power meter sorted out everything else falls into place neatly. I can fit my 44/33/23 triple chainset with Rotor Q-rings, instead of needing an expensive Quarq Quattro double chainset that only has the option of 39/26 chainrings. It didn't make much sense having a bike equipped with 2x10 gearing that would be too high for me to ride up some of the local climbs on.

    Wheelbuilder PowerTap MTB 142mm x 12mm Axle Conversion

    In terms of the fork the main thing I'm planning to do is convert the Roval front hub by drilling out the end caps so that it takes a 9mm DT RWS skewer. The combination of 9mm DT RWS skewer and 28mm endcaps worked well on my 2009 Epic, being as stiff or stiffer than a Fox F100 Terralogic fork with 15QR axle (I couldn't notice a difference between them).

    The rest of the bike is going to be mostly parts carried over from my current bike. XTR brakes, SRAM X-0 drivetrain etc.

  28. #28
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    I went past the bike shop on the way home today and had a look at my new bike. It's sitting in the workshop waiting until the parts from my current bike are swapped over.

    The fork's brain seemed ok but the brain rear shock on this brand new 2012 Epic 29er was faulty and not locking out properly. It had a big gap and notch at the beginning of the travel, when the brain was set to full firm. First failure before it's even been ridden.

    On the plus side I'm not in much of a hurry for it. At least I can ride my current bike whilst this one stays at the shop until the faulty shock is replaced.

    Edit: The rear shock wasn't faulty. See Post #34.

    Looking over the bike I didn't like the feel of the stock Formula "R1 S" brake levers much. They seemed to have a fairly heavy lever feel (more like pulling a cable v brake than a hydraulic disc brake) and the lever blades didn't feel very natural. New style Shimano brake levers feel much nicer.
    Last edited by WR304; 01-23-2012 at 02:57 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    I went past the bike shop on the way home today and had a look at my new bike. It's sitting in the workshop waiting until the parts from my current bike are swapped over.

    The fork's brain seemed ok but the brain rear shock on this brand new 2012 Epic 29er was faulty and not locking out properly. It had a big gap and notch at the beginning of the travel, when the brain was set to full firm. First failure before it's even been ridden.

    On the plus side I'm not in much of a hurry for it. At least I can ride my current bike whilst this one stays at the shop until the faulty shock is replaced.

    Looking over the bike I didn't like the feel of the stock Formula "R1 S" brake levers much. They seemed to have a fairly heavy lever feel (more like pulling a cable v brake than a hydraulic disc brake) and the lever blades didn't feel very natural. New style Shimano brake levers feel much nicer.
    I can tell you that the 2012 tune is completely different from the 2011, my 2012 SWorks epic rear shock even at full firm setting still bobs. It this new small bump compliance tune for 2012, honestly the more I ride my bike the more I hate it.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicFSR View Post
    I can tell you that the 2012 tune is completely different from the 2011, my 2012 SWorks epic rear shock even at full firm setting still bobs. It this new small bump compliance tune for 2012, honestly the more I ride my bike the more I hate it.
    The rear shock on my new bike didn't seem right at all. You could push down on the saddle and feel a distinct notch as the shock started moving, along with over 1 cm of relatively free travel before the brain platform appeared to apply. With previous Epic brain shocks a notch in the travel is usually a sign of an internal leak somewhere.

    The shop has another 2012 Epic 29er upstairs in the showroom. I'll have to go in tomorrow and have a look at how the brain shock on that bike functions. I'll be very worried if it's normal for a 2012 Epic 29er rear shock to behave like this one though.

    Edit: The rear shock wasn't faulty. See Post #34.
    Last edited by WR304; 01-23-2012 at 02:58 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The rear shock on my new bike didn't seem right at all. You could push down on the saddle and feel a distinct notch as the shock started moving, along with over 1 cm of relatively free travel before the brain platform appeared to apply.
    Interesting. I noticed that the shock still sags on my 2012 Epic no matter what the brain setting. I set the shock to sag 12mm fully open, and it sags at about 12mm on all six settings. That being said, the 6 clicks of 6 setting feels for all the world like a full lockout riding the bike, it's only looking at the o-ring that I see it sagged in. I'm wondering if it is by design to maintain correct geometry or balance? Just speculating.

    The SID fork on full lock has a few mm of give, and that's it. The brain blow-off works nice, but I'm thinking about lobotomizing the fork and swapping the brain for an RCT3 cartridge. I guess I've never understood the appeal of a locked out fork. Even fully open, it still hesitates to compress for a split second. Feels like stiction would on a regular fork, which doesn't translate into acceptable performance for me.

  32. #32
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    UPDATE:
    my fork is for sure a warranty. No variation in tuning when dialing the dampener. Spec. rep didnt even ask questions... told him it was bad, he said another cartridge was on the way. This is obviously getting common, based on the write-ups here and the reps reaction.
    I should note mine is a 2011 expert carbon. So, based on what I am reading here I am glad I dont have the 2012 rear shock.
    It will be fixed middle of next week. And spec. turn around is like 2-3 days right now. If you get on it before the season picks up they should have decent turn around.

  33. #33
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    WR304. The 2012 tune for me is much better than the 2011. Still firm( and yes your shock does sound faulty, as long as it has some air in it). My 2012 has the firm platform when set with full brain, the pushing down on the saddle test it remains solid, with a couple of mm of travel at most, just like the 2011.
    The difference is that it takes less of a bump to active it but it remains firm on the smooth. When pedalling you get a a few mil of movement on the shock, again like the 2011 as it marginally moves out of and back into the sag.
    When going through the brain threshold the feeling is less than the 2011, which gives a smoother feeling, but you can still just about feel it when at the firmer end if the brain.
    I hate bob when pedalling and to tell you I set it three clicks from firm should tell you all you need to know, I don't feel the need to run full firm.
    My Forks and shock have been faultless, so good luck with yours.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The rear shock on my new bike didn't seem right at all. You could push down on the saddle and feel a distinct notch as the shock started moving, along with over 1 cm of relatively free travel before the brain platform appeared to apply. With previous Epic brain shocks a notch in the travel is usually a sign of an internal leak somewhere.

    The shop has another 2012 Epic 29er upstairs in the showroom. I'll have to go in tomorrow and have a look at how the brain shock on that bike functions. I'll be very worried if it's normal for a 2012 Epic 29er rear shock to behave like this one though.
    I had another look at the shock today. The 2012 Epic is a brand new bike that's never been ridden. I let all the air out, cycled the shock and turned the brain dial a few times before re-inflating the shock. This time when I tested it the rear shock was working properly. Full firm brain setting and platform adjustments on the rear shock were fine. Full firm platform on the 2012 shock when pushing down on the saddle being very close to the feel of the full firm brain platform on my 2010 Epic that I'd ridden over to the shop on. No notch or free play.

    What I think had happened was that because the shock was brand new the oil inside the brain might not have been in the correct place initially (in the same way as after you service a fork the oil has to settle back through the cartridge before the fork's damping works normally). It looks like the shock is now working normally.

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    Since I got my 2012 epic Sworks I haven't been able to get the sid world cup dialed. After reading these threads I see there's some issues with this fork. Blown air cartridge on mine. Not sure if there's something wrong with the brain side as well, but it's being sent back to Sram.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingmagnet View Post
    Since I got my 2012 epic Sworks I haven't been able to get the sid world cup dialed. After reading these threads I see there's some issues with this fork. Blown air cartridge on mine. Not sure if there's something wrong with the brain side as well, but it's being sent back to Sram.
    I've just re-read the posts as well. I would like to make a few points:
    1) When people are talking about oil in the fork, there are 2 types of oil: the "bath oil" for each fork leg that lubricates the sliders and dual air spring, and the damper and brain cartridge oil which is separately contained in these mechanisms.
    2) There is no "fill" for these units, they are completely full of oil, and should have no air in them whatsoever. Any leak of oil in the damper & brain cartridges (past their O-ring oil seals) will impair the operation of the fork. "Fill" is determined by the length of units which are prescribed +/1 1mm.
    3) The proper oil bath fill for both legs of a 29er Brain fork is 10cc of 10wt oil.

    The standard 150hr service for the Brain fork involves the removal of all oil seals, the fitting of a new IFP piston slider and replacement of the oil in the damper & brain cartridges. Specialized sell a 150hr kit which includes the IFP and 9 O-ring seals, a crush washer, a shaft seal, and a nitrogen pellet.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi View Post
    I've just re-read the posts as well. I would like to make a few points:
    1) When people are talking about oil in the fork, there are 2 types of oil: the "bath oil" for each fork leg that lubricates the sliders and dual air spring, and the damper and brain cartridge oil which is separately contained in these mechanisms.
    2) There is no "fill" for these units, they are completely full of oil, and should have no air in them whatsoever. Any leak of oil in the damper & brain cartridges (past their O-ring oil seals) will impair the operation of the fork. "Fill" is determined by the length of units which are prescribed +/1 1mm.
    3) The proper oil bath fill for both legs of a 29er Brain fork is 10cc of 10wt oil.

    The standard 150hr service for the Brain fork involves the removal of all oil seals, the fitting of a new IFP piston slider and replacement of the oil in the damper & brain cartridges. Specialized sell a 150hr kit which includes the IFP and 9 O-ring seals, a crush washer, a shaft seal, and a nitrogen pellet.
    Thats interesting because Im about to do a damper service on my 2012 SWepic Brain fork and was reading over the tech manuals. The SID 100 fork section on SRAMs website staes 98ml of 5 weight oil, so should be filling it right up.?

    Also has anyone noticed while riding over roots/rocks with the brain on 1 click out from full firm a slight air leak sound from the front fork.? It will only happen when the setting is 1 from full firm, its basically when the brain is activated, I can also make it happen with riding at a very slow speed and pushing down hard on the front fork.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAmtbiker View Post
    My 2011 RS Brain will soon be off to the big S for a Brain transplant. They are putting in the 2012 damper cartridge with the top mounted adjuster. We'll see if the oil level comes back low after the break-in period. I'll report back in a few weeks when the fork comes back.
    Just wanted to follow up and find out how this Brain transplant went? I also have the 2011 RS Brain Fork with compression adjuster on the bottom and would really like to have access to it on the top of fork or at least the ability to Remote adjust it.

  39. #39
    old fart
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicFSR View Post
    Thats interesting because Im about to do a damper service on my 2012 SWepic Brain fork and was reading over the tech manuals. The SID 100 fork section on SRAMs website staes 98ml of 5 weight oil, so should be filling it right up.?

    Also has anyone noticed while riding over roots/rocks with the brain on 1 click out from full firm a slight air leak sound from the front fork.? It will only happen when the setting is 1 from full firm, its basically when the brain is activated, I can also make it happen with riding at a very slow speed and pushing down hard on the front fork.
    Have you checked out the Spec video for the 150hr service?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiwi View Post
    Have you checked out the Spec video for the 150hr service?
    No I didnt even know there was one... Link?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by EpicFSR View Post
    No I didnt even know there was one... Link?
    video goodness here

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