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  1. #1
    Vegan on the S-Works
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    S-Works 2018 feels like a slug on the climbs

    Got a new one last week. Shock set up by a shop. I sit on it though and it sags like a 200$ gumtree special. The brain doesnt work like my other epics. This new brain design feels like it responds to rider input because if you get out the saddle and push some watts the suspension will bob and if you sit in the saddle and push watts the suspension will bob.

    Any tips? How much air do these epics like front and rear? Im about 68kg.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    My recommendation is to start with air pressure that gets you 20-30% static sag. What Fade setting and rebound are you using?
    Do the math.

  3. #3
    Turns right to go left
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    Quote Originally Posted by durianrider View Post
    I sit on it though and it sags like a 200$ gumtree special.
    Summons and complaint in 5,4,3,2,1....


  4. #4
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    Here's a tip. The next time you want advice, give us useful information.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by durianrider View Post
    Got a new one last week. Shock set up by a shop. I sit on it though and it sags like a 200$ gumtree special. The brain doesnt work like my other epics. This new brain design feels like it responds to rider input because if you get out the saddle and push some watts the suspension will bob and if you sit in the saddle and push watts the suspension will bob.

    Any tips? How much air do these epics like front and rear? Im about 68kg.

    Thanks!
    Something is wrong.

    I have a 2018 epic and when I sit on it feels like a HT. Stiff and responsive. I can stand and hammer like my singlespeed too. When I hit a bump the brain opens and it feels plush. Either you have brain fade set to full soft where it will feel open or the brain is broken.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
    Rides all the bikes!
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    I agree, something is wrong. I demo'ed one for a week, riding an enduro trail, my regular trails, and an XC race. And while I opted not to consider one after the demo and keep my older HT (modern geo), it did not do anything you describe except bob when seated more than I liked. But standing it didn't bob at all. And the Brain worked flawless. I rode it wide open on the enduro trail, and mostly closed for my XC.

  7. #7
    Vegan on the S-Works
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    Thanks for the info gang. Any ideas on what PSI to run in these shocks? I put 150psi in the rear but it still climbs like a DH bike with epic bob and sag.

    The rebound is on fast and the brain is on max firm setting. This is my 4th epic in 15 years so yes im familiar with how they should feel.

  8. #8
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    Don't go by pressure until you have the sag set from 20-30%. The fact that you said it sags way too much tells me that the air spring is set too soft. Have somebody help you set sag and then go from there. Set the rebound all the way slow. Then ride the same section and speed up the rebound two clicks at a time until you find a setting you like.

    If it still sucks, take it back to the shop and have them check it over to confirm that it is a shock/brain issue.

    By the way - love your youtube channel.

  9. #9
    Vegan on the S-Works
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    Cheers Honda Guy

    Another shop helped me set up sag a few days ago. The original shop didnt mention it. Maybe they assumed I would know about it. It just seems like its getting worse. Just did a 10km commute on it to tennis and back and now the shock is making a real clunk feeling in it like its bottoming out.

    I will ride the 70km to the closest dealer to see what they think.

    I made a youtube vid about it here incase anyone had any more tips.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3XBDuAZE64&t=290s
    My channel on cycling tips
    https://www.youtube.com/user/ctfucycling

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by durianrider View Post
    Thanks for the info gang. Any ideas on what PSI to run in these shocks? I put 150psi in the rear but it still climbs like a DH bike with epic bob and sag.

    The rebound is on fast and the brain is on max firm setting. This is my 4th epic in 15 years so yes im familiar with how they should feel.
    I am 165 and run about 200 in the shock. I first set with the autosag, but found I like a touch firmer for more bottom out resistance. As for how the Brain on these bike work. When it is set "frim" I can push on the seat and rear suspension does not move at all. The way it supposed to work is at full firm the inertia valve/mass in the brain keeps the fluid pressure on the shock to keep it locked. Once that brian mass feels sharp up ward movement it allows the shock to open and move. The brain fade sets how much open or closed the brain is at rest. So full firm on the fade mean locked and full soft means the brain mass does very little. In between allow more movement in the shock before the brain opens. At full soft on the brain fade I can easy move the rear by pushing on the seat and it feels like a more normal FS even at rest.

    My thinking is that this feature is not working and brain mass could be stuck and never locking out rear shock.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by durianrider View Post
    .. Just did a 10km commute on it to tennis and back and now the shock is making a real clunk feeling in it like its bottoming out...
    My Epic in full firm will make clunk ever time the rear hits a bump. No close to bottoming, but that is the feeling of brain mass opening. Not the most fun feeling, but most noticeable on smoother terrain where the rear is locked and then opens. On rough terrain I never notice it.

    My thinking if you are getting any sag at all with the brain fade on full firm it not working properly. Remember Sag is to be set on fade on soft.

    Anyway take it to the shop. The big downside of the Epic is the brain can fail and if it does is not simple at home fix. Best to take it to a shop have it looked at. I have strong feeling something is just not right as sloppy and bouncy is not what the Epic is... unless something very wrong.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  12. #12
    Vegan on the S-Works
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    That is some great help!

    Specialized saw my video and got in contact with me. They said it was a problem with a seal potentially and Im going to do the 3 hour ride and get the epic looked at by a local S dealer where I am now.
    My channel on cycling tips
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  13. #13
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    If you get this fixed, I would caution against standing and pedaling too much. It's very tempting to do so in a race, but it burns candles faster than anything else and you get a marginal amount of speed for a relatively large effort. Practice seated spinning and intervals and scream at yourself to stay in the seat on the climbs during the race.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    Shock and brain have been replaced under warranty. Specialized where fast to respond and get it sorted.

    I now run it with 300psi and brain on max Firm setting. Still pretty sluggish on climbs due to noticeable bob compared to old epic.

    I doubt any of the WC riders ride this soft shock tune because you dont get the full race feel of a locked out rear like on the old epics or a scott spark etc.

    I think this Epic would be sick if you could actually lock out the fork and rear end. It handles so well but is a pig on the climbs compared to the bikes that have lock out.
    My channel on cycling tips
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  15. #15
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    300 PSI? Wow, that must be the highest I have heard yet. I thought Epics were pretty firm rides too.

  16. #16
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    You can request custom "tunes" of the brain when they are sent in for service, some of our older crowd with brains always wanted them tuned softer, but you can request firmer/race oriented tunes as well. Also, double check the air pressure, specialized typically returns it with 100psi; you mentioned 300, we've seen them lose pressure a few times after return from servicing. And double check the valve core as well. Good luck

  17. #17
    Trail Rider
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    Bob with 300 psi in a brain shock. Is this real?
    Trek Fuel EX 9.8
    Trek Checkpoint SL 6

  18. #18
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    I ran mine 50psi over my weight, 210psi in shock & it felt good but the shock didn't like that, it blew up. The concept store loaned me a shock off of their demo bike & set it for me, too me it is too soft in firm setting, my old Epic was firmer but I blew it up every 6 months. Cavitation, oil & air sound

    The one thing the store didn't ask when setting up the rear shock was what skill level & trails do you ride.

    My bike is a 2018 Epic Expert so a decent build, I must say not too pumped on the overall results of the bike, rear hub is HURTING, rear shock is blown, front fork clunks not smooth. When I get my shock back I will give it another go, I had hoped that Specialized had taken a step forward with Rock Shox but i'm thinking its a step backwards.

    D&R not R&D, develop it then research it with the consumer OUCH!

  19. #19
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    The air seal in my shock failed about 245 miles in. It would lose about 100 psi during a ride. Warranty fixed it and 285 miles later is still working perfectly. It does seem like there were a number of bad rear shocks. I am not sure if it was design issue or just bad seals. I heard there was an updated seal.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  20. #20
    Vegan on the S-Works
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    Thanks for all the tips guys.

    Im back in oz and got my front and rear shocks sent off to S, got them back 4 weeks later they gave it a 'race tune'. I did a TT yesterday to compare against my Anthem and did 22:10 on the SW epic 2018 against my 18:34 on the Anthem. Sprinting out the saddle the shock compressed so much it felt like I was riding thru quick sand.

    Im same fitness based on my 5k running time. Im a bit lighter. Did a 16:53 this morning in my local parkrun race. Wind isnt an issue on this climb.

    The epic feels great on the DH but for climbing fast or doing anything epic (pun intended) I really wish I bought a HT.

    It is the worst bike Ive ever owned due to not living up to what it is marketed as being. If it was marketed as a trail fun thing then for sure but it is marketed as 'fastest xc bike on the planet' yet it climbs almost 4 minutes slower than my 2013 Anthem lol.
    My channel on cycling tips
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by durianrider View Post
    Thanks for all the tips guys.

    It is the worst bike Ive ever owned due to not living up to what it is marketed as being. If it was marketed as a trail fun thing then for sure but it is marketed as 'fastest xc bike on the planet' yet it climbs almost 4 minutes slower than my 2013 Anthem lol.
    I feel your pain. Had the same feelings about a C'Dale carbon HT years ago. Was so excited to get it, absolutely hate how it rode when I got it. Had the bike for less than six months before I sold it (and took a bath on $$) but it was the only thing I could do. Nothing worse than looking at a bike and hating the thought of riding it.

  22. #22
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    Very off. While it certainly climbs slower than my slightly light hardtail, it isn't much slower and only due to weight. I have no pedal bob at all.

    And funny enough regarding the last post, my F-Si is so far the only bike I've ridden where I would be happy if it was the only bike I could have forever. Saying a lot considering how much I love riding my Enduro.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by durianrider View Post
    Thanks for all the tips guys.

    Im back in oz and got my front and rear shocks sent off to S, got them back 4 weeks later they gave it a 'race tune'. I did a TT yesterday to compare against my Anthem and did 22:10 on the SW epic 2018 against my 18:34 on the Anthem. Sprinting out the saddle the shock compressed so much it felt like I was riding thru quick sand.

    Im same fitness based on my 5k running time. Im a bit lighter. Did a 16:53 this morning in my local parkrun race. Wind isnt an issue on this climb.

    The epic feels great on the DH but for climbing fast or doing anything epic (pun intended) I really wish I bought a HT.

    It is the worst bike Ive ever owned due to not living up to what it is marketed as being. If it was marketed as a trail fun thing then for sure but it is marketed as 'fastest xc bike on the planet' yet it climbs almost 4 minutes slower than my 2013 Anthem lol.
    There is something not right- calling an Epic a fun trail bike?? That's the furthest thing from truth there is. It's a XC machine and that's all it's good for.
    OG Ripley v2

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    There is something not right- calling an Epic a fun trail bike?? That's the furthest thing from truth there is. It's a XC machine and that's all it's good for.
    This where I just don't get it.


    One guy says the 2018 Epic is too soft and inefficient. Another says it only good for XC racing. I personally thing is one of the best all day all around bikes ever. XC sprint racing, yes, XC endurance racing, All day fun rides, yes. It just a dropper post away from being a one bike quiver killer for any one that likes pedaling. Funny how everyone's opinion is so different. However in the OP's defense I have a racer friend of mine who just got a 2019 Epic and is debating to race that vs his HT for the next XC race this weekend. Seems like the Epic is to soft for him. That said he is 18 years and wicked fast. I did a 24 hr team (4 man) race with him this summer and was setting crazy fast laps at night 20 hrs in on his HT. Two of the other team members were on 2018 epics and simply not able to match the speed or consistency. Of course we are old enough to be his father, but hey. The kid is fast.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    This where I just don't get it.


    One guy says the 2018 Epic is too soft and inefficient. Another says it only good for XC racing. I personally thing is one of the best all day all around bikes ever. XC sprint racing, yes, XC endurance racing, All day fun rides, yes. It just a dropper post away from being a one bike quiver killer for any one that likes pedaling. Funny how everyone's opinion is so different. However in the OP's defense I have a racer friend of mine who just got a 2019 Epic and is debating to race that vs his HT for the next XC race this weekend. Seems like the Epic is to soft for him. That said he is 18 years and wicked fast. I did a 24 hr team (4 man) race with him this summer and was setting crazy fast laps at night 20 hrs in on his HT. Two of the other team members were on 2018 epics and simply not able to match the speed or consistency. Of course we are old enough to be his father, but hey. The kid is fast.
    My opinion changed on HT vs. FS when I cleared a particularly challenging climb I had never cleared on my HT on the first ride on my new FS. The traction the rear suspension gave compared to the HT was obvious.

    Now the Epic- there is a reason the Brain isn't on any of the other models anymore.
    OG Ripley v2

  26. #26
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    I agree Joe. I've mentioned elsewhere that I demoed an Epic on a popular chunky desert trail here (Palm Canyon Epic if you want to Google it). It's a mixed bag of trail riding, but certainly MORE fun on my long travel bike, but I would totally ride an Epic there again for fun. And I'm 2 minutes off a one hour long KOM, currently held by a local on a mid travel bike (Stumpjumper). Very capable bike.

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