2018 Specialized Epic brain 2.0 issue (shock woes)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    2018 Specialized Epic brain 2.0 issue (shock woes)

    Hi all

    Just wanted to share my experience so far with the new 2018 Specialized Epic. I'm 190 pounds on a large frame, love the XC geometry (enjoy climbing as much as descending), though the Epic with the Evo mod (120 mm fork) would be the perfect bike for the job in Michigan.

    I got a Comp 3 months ago and it has been back to the shop 3 times already... two times for a rear axle issue where the wheel was getting loose. First time they tightened, second time the tiny tension screw busted, had to order a new derrailieur hanger. And now the third time down for a week and a half due to brain shock failure. I have a little over 50 hours on the bike and only one race so far. Noticed the squishy noise 2 weeks ago, and got worse over the ride, sounded like the brain oil leaked in the air can, had to be sent back Specialized through my LBS under warranty. The shop told me they rebuilt the shock. From what I have been reading, seems to be a common issue with the older versions of the brain, although I found nothing about issues on the 2.0 brain.

    Now I wonder if the Epic was the right bike for me. I'm not concerned about lots of travel as MI trails are pretty flat with short steep hills, so that rules out most conventional "trail" bikes out there. Stumpy is just not for me.

    I though the brain would last at least a whole season without being serviced. I'm now under the impression hat the Epic can't be used a daily ride unless you send it for a rebuild every 100h or so. The costs for brain maintenance can't be justified for someone that isn't racing it several times a year.

    Let me know if anyone out there is having issues with the 2.0 brain too, would be awesome to know if I got a lemon or if it's just the way it is!

  2. #2
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    I know three people with 2018 epics, one is an s-works, and the others are experts. All of them are functioning fine, so for sure your situation is not the norm. Sounds like you just got a bad one, should be fine after the service.

  3. #3
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    I had my rear shock fail after about 250miles. It simply would not hold air pressure. Took it back to the shop and many other's had similar issues. Fixed under warranty by Rock Shox due so some seal issue I believe occurred in production. It has worked perfect for the last 750 miles. 300 of those 750 are race miles. I have not serviced it since.

    I did have my rear axle get loose once. I tightened it and did not worry about it. I figured I just did not tighten it enough. It does not happen often. I did have my shop get me a spare deraileur hanger before I did Breck Epic. I wanted a spare on hand just incase. 6 day stage race and I did not want to be down for that if I crashed and bent it. Never needed it and hope I won't need it.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    There seems to be a wide range of experience with the new MY18 Epic Brain Shocks. I have 125 hours on my SW Epic, and the Brain is performing as it did on day one, i.e, perfectly, and way better than on my MY12 SW Epic, or it did on my MY14 SW Epic (the bike the MY18 replaced). My LBS has sold quite a few Epics, and they have yet to send a shock to Specialized for service. Their feeling is that the RockShox MY18 shocks will be much more durable and reliable than the previous Fox shocks. The service interval has been lengthened to 150 hours.
    TOM
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  5. #5
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    Hearing from you guys actually makes me feel much better about the bike, really appreciate all the input! I love the bike and love how it handles, it would suck to settle for a different bike if the brain was that unrealiable. Got it back from the shop yesterday, first 2 rides seemed fine. Maybe it really was a production issue with some and they are making it right when you send it back under warranty

  6. #6
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    I would have to say I have had bad luck with mine, as well as others. My shock has been repaired twice in less than a year. Both times it would no longer hold air. I have the S-works model. A teammate of mine has just sent his off for repair with the same issue on his epic pro. This weekend another teammate blew his shock on an S-works frame that he has had less than a month. I'm really impressed with the performance of the bike, but I would have to say reliability is an issue. If our team wasn't a brand ambassador I would be looking for something else.

  7. #7
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    Hello, i am looking at a 2018 Epic fsr with brain 2.0.
    I read your posts and another ones.
    I am a bit worry about buying this bike now because after a lot of research i do not find where to buy a complete brain rear shock if mine is out of order, there is no service manual , no spare parts and no service kit avalaible.
    So if you could help, give some advice.
    I do not want to go a LBS.

  8. #8
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    Anything you do with a new Specialized, you will have to go through a dealer. You can get a rear shock through the dealer. My teammate ordered one with his S-works because he knew how often they break. Get a Canyon Lux instead-no proprietary parts you can have everything repaired yourself if you don't want to mess with a dealer.

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    Ok thank you for that info, so for me not specialized, i will go for a Lux

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    Anything you do with a new Specialized, you will have to go through a dealer. You can get a rear shock through the dealer. My teammate ordered one with his S-works because he knew how often they break. Get a Canyon Lux instead-no proprietary parts you can have everything repaired yourself if you don't want to mess with a dealer.
    Earlier this year I was looking for new XC bike and considered many. I had joined a race team and they are a specialized shop. My concern on the Epic always has been the Brain and service. I generally don't like proprietary crap and never used a shop before this. However since I am good with my shop and I really like how the epic rode I went for it. These days the only proprietary parts on the Epic is the frame and associated bolts pivots etc and rear brain/shock. Everything else can be obtain anywhere. Most frames have proprietary frame parts anyway so only the shock/brain is specialized only. If you get a model with a Brain in the fork you can always swap the fork. I swapped my 42mm offset reba with a 44mm offset Fox 32 SC. 2mm of offset is probably within the tolerances anyway. I swapped it because I wanted the Fox fork instead. Also remember the 2018 and newer have a THREADED Bottom Bracket. That means no pressing to replace it. Perfect for the "at home guy"

    The good part about Specialized however is that there are a lot of Specialized shops all over the country.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  11. #11
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    JoePAz are you using the roval wheels on your bike? The endcap flange is too large for my fox sc32.

  12. #12
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    I got roval wheels on mine, and they were large at first look to fit on the 34SC. I noticed the hub has a removable flange that can be taken off, and then it fits perfectly

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    JoePAz are you using the roval wheels on your bike? The endcap flange is too large for my fox sc32.
    No using DTSwiss XMC1200 with DT swiss 240 hubs. I never used the rovals with the Fox 32 SC
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  14. #14
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    Really like my 18í Epic however the rear shock system seems fragile.

    After a warranty rebuild it makes this chirp or squawk noise multiple times a ride when hitting roots or bumps. Seems to happen on sharper hits at higher speeds. Doesnít seem to happen on drops or all the time. Rebound and brain setting has no effect. I donít remember this noise prior to the rebuild.

    Wonder if any of you with the current rear Brian system have this same noise or my bike continues to be special.

    Asked Specialized and they responded that it doesnít sound normal and have the dealer look at it.

    I know my dealer is getting sick of me.

    Really like the brain system however keep having issues with it.

    Darn it...

  15. #15
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    Mine does not make a noise, but I can at times feel the brain opening. If Specialized says it not working right take it in. Get it work under warranty ASAP.

    I would not call my brain fragile, but I do believe there have been issues on some of these. I know mine needed a new "updated" seal. The system is new so it is possible there are few bugs that need to be worked out.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I know mine needed a new "updated" seal. The system is new so it is possible there are few bugs that need to be worked out.
    I have a 19 waiting for me at the LBS, I wonder if it has the "updated" seal?

  17. #17
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    The 19í models should have an update to the seal head.

  18. #18
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    Last few rides I can confirm the rear shock chirp or squelch is on fast rebound. Happens every time when hopping the bike or rear. Tried adjusting the rebound within normal range however same noise.

  19. #19
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    Took the bike in last week. Shop confirmed the shock noise was not normal and were very perplexed as they had never heard that one.

    The shop guys turned and looked when the service guy hopped it around and said ďthatís a new noiseĒ.

    Then in the process of bouncing the bike around the front shock blew out itís top seal.

    This bike is the gift that just keeps giving.

    2 rear shock issues
    1 failed crank
    1 front shock

  20. #20
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    I have a 2018 Epic and the rear shock failed after about 250 miles. It was making a squishing sound. The dampening was gone. LBS thinks that oil got I the air chamber. Sent the shock in. It's been two weeks already. Don't know if it will go under warranty. A real disappointment to have the bike stopped for this long. If they don't warrant it's the last Spec I buy.

  21. #21
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    I also managed to the "squishy rear shock" last week. The auto-sag valve also let out some oil after I had pressed it. So it's now in the warranty service. The shock had only like 200 miles of riding..

    I am guessing there are not many rear shock alternatives for the '18 Epic due to the mounting?

  22. #22
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    $240 to fix the shock ... doesn't say much for Specialized standing behind their product.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyRivers View Post
    $240 to fix the shock ... doesn't say much for Specialized standing behind their product.
    That sucks. What reason did they offer for not fixing under warranty? At 250 miles seems like it should be a no-brainer warranty thing.

  24. #24
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    Call and talk to rider care. That should be warranted

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    Apparently you need to service the shock every year, so they just did a "200hrs service" which $170 from Spec + $40 for LBS + tax. I am writing Spec to see what they come back with.

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    Did you get your shock back yet?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyRivers View Post
    Apparently you need to service the shock every year, so they just did a "200hrs service" which $170 from Spec + $40 for LBS + tax. I am writing Spec to see what they come back with.
    Wait you had to get a service at 250miles? 200hrs at 10mph = 2000 miles. So almost 10x. When mine lost air at 250 or so miles with with 4 months of ownership I had it repaired for free. Warranty by Specialized. I took to to my shop where I bought the bike and they got it turned around in a week.

    Is your bike 1 year old?
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Wait you had to get a service at 250miles? 200hrs at 10mph = 2000 miles. So almost 10x. When mine lost air at 250 or so miles with with 4 months of ownership I had it repaired for free. Warranty by Specialized. I took to to my shop where I bought the bike and they got it turned around in a week.

    Is your bike 1 year old?
    I bought my bike from a friend (from a different state) that had a motorcycle accident. Yes, it was less than 1yr old.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyRivers View Post
    I bought my bike from a friend (from a different state) that had a motorcycle accident. Yes, it was less than 1yr old.
    Ok that makes sense now. You were not the original owner.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Iím having the same issue on my 2019 Epic. After my second ride, the rear shock is making a loud squishing noise. Itís at my LBS now. They havenít seen the issue before but said it did sound like damping fluid in the air chamber. Iím guessing itíll need to be sent to Specialized.

    Brand spanking new S-Works. Argh!

  31. #31
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    More likely air in the damper fluid...
    Do the math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    More likely air in the damper fluid...
    Got it. This schematic/breakdown tells us a little bit more about how the system works. Apparently, the damping fluid is completely contained in the Brain system, and so the shock itself can be taken apart by a shop.

    https://bikerumor.com/2017/07/01/clo...ech-explained/

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    In my experience of the new Brain failing 3X it needed to be sent to Specialized for repair each time. The air can is shop serviceable.

    The first 2X failures were the sudden and loud squish noise that then soon resulted in total loss of damping and Brain lockup.

    The last failure was the shock chirping or oinking on sharp hits. It was again sent to Specialized and they said itís fine however didnít know where the noise was coming from. Luckily my shop just received in new demo bikes and swapped me a shock from one of those.

    Horrible experience from a bike I did like and climbed amazing. It has now been replaced by a sweet more balanced Santa Cruz Tallboy. The Epic is now being rode by my son until sold.

    I was without my ďnewĒ bike for a total of 7 weeks during the summer. Granted I had my carbon fat tire however not acceptable.

    Personally with the cost of a S-Works I would tell them to take the bike back. In my experience this is just the beginning and itís not like you can drop another shock model or brand in there.

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    That's a terrible experience, NVRGVUP. I ride regularly with one other person that has this generation of Epic, and they've had no problems. I'm going to see if Specialized will replace (rather than rebuild) the shock since the bike is brand new.

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    It was too bad as the bike pedaled really well and I wanted to EVO it with a 34 fork and a dropper.

    I still have the bike with the new shock in it and my 15 year old son has a rather sweet ride. No issues so far however heís much lighter than I not ridden it much.

  36. #36
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    My 2018 S-works had its 4th rear shock failure in January. I have had the bike for 1 year. I have had enough. I have switched to a Niner RKT. It's unfortunate, because I really like the epic. But I'm tired of having a bike that I am afraid to ride, because when I ride it the shock breaks.

  37. #37
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    I am on a 2018 Epic comp carbon and the Brain system failed after about a year of fair use.
    Tt took me some time to figure this out because the shock was working perfectly in the open position which is the setup I ride the most. but, when It was flipped to close on the brain it wouldn't not lock.

    To notice the locking and unlocking of the brain you could feel a kind of knocking from the rear every time it was switching. This "knocking feel" was there since day one and its the way the system works, so I was told.

    specialized agreed to sort it out even though the warranty expired few weeks earlier. They seemed to have not replaced the brain unit itself, but changed the lower seal on the shock to a yellow one which wasnt there before (see photo). so far it seems to have sort it out, but I only had couple of short ride on it.
    Hope it helps,

    Thanks


    2018 Specialized Epic brain 2.0 issue (shock woes)-20190302_160658.jpg

  38. #38
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    I got an new SW Epic 2018 from my local dealer may 18.

    First ride home on tarmac the shock blew and lost air.

    Im on my 3rd shock now. Just got off the phone with S and they want me to send in my fork and rear shock again. Customer service from S is great but this brain 2.0 is the worst. I bought a Merida hardtail 9000 and that think is a rocket. RIP Epic. It used to be a gun race XC bike but now it has gone to the dogs. It is a comfort bike that climbs like a trail bike.

    I rode a demo Epic aswell and just assumed the soft shock was because someone had not pumped it up. Never thought the SW model with the mad price tag would ride like such a slug out of the box and have continual shock issues.

    I paid about 11500AUD. No way Im getting more than 3k back for it and its only done a few hundred gravel miles. It looks brand new. Lesson learned! DONT TRUST THE MARKETING XD
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    I purchased a 2018 Epic carbon comp last fall. It was a demo that had just a couple of rides under its belt. I test rode it outside around the shop and the brain appeared to work just fine. I took the bike home and it sat untouched in my basement for 5 months. I took it out last night to dial in the suspension prior to race season. The brain didn't seem to work and I was getting the squishy/"Squelchy" noise that the rest of you have described. I'm taking it to my local shop soon to try to undercover the source of the problem. I fear that I'll be entering a vicious pattern of Epic Brain rebuilds. Time will tell.

  40. #40
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    Bro, @durianrider, I replied to you on YouTube. No offense, but you have set it up all wrong. You have way too much air pressure.
    I think you think that increasing pressure will reduce bob. Wrong.
    You need 25-30% sag, per the manual, and you will see that you have no bob while pedaling.

    You are the only one in the world that experiences bob when pedaling the Brain... yet rather than admit you have set it up wrong, you just bash the whole thing, assuming youíre right and everyone else is wrong. Unbelievable.
    Last edited by Surge74; 03-28-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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  41. #41
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    Update: I took my bike to the Specialized shop from where I purchased it. Similar to Surge74's comment, I needed to set up my shock pressure and sag correctly. I've ridden a hardtail my whole life, so I blame my paranoia on adjusting to a full suspension and the issues people have been indicating about their Brains.

    After tuning the suspension, I raced it the next day and it performed like a champ. I was in a bit of a raceday fog, but I never the suspension it a second thought. Again, I'm fairly new to a rear suspension, so i don't have a strong basis of comparison, but my subjective opinion was that the bike handled awesomely.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaftal View Post
    I am on a 2018 Epic comp carbon and the Brain system failed after about a year of fair use.
    Tt took me some time to figure this out because the shock was working perfectly in the open position which is the setup I ride the most. but, when It was flipped to close on the brain it wouldn't not lock.

    To notice the locking and unlocking of the brain you could feel a kind of knocking from the rear every time it was switching. This "knocking feel" was there since day one and its the way the system works, so I was told.

    specialized agreed to sort it out even though the warranty expired few weeks earlier. They seemed to have not replaced the brain unit itself, but changed the lower seal on the shock to a yellow one which wasnt there before (see photo). so far it seems to have sort it out, but I only had couple of short ride on it.
    Hope it helps,

    Thanks


    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Brain is not supposed to ďlockĒ at the top of its travel. Your Brain was almost certainly fine. The bike shop did you a favor, but it probably didnít need anything.
    The first 30% of travel is like that of a CONVENTIONAL SHOCK. In other words, the Brain only engages from 30% - 100% of the travel. If your sag is set to 30%, then it will feel locked out at the top of its travel (with you sitting on it); but if your sag is <30%, the shock will compress just like any other shock for the first 30% of travel. This info came directly from Specialized HQ. I wish they did a better job explaining this.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    My 2018 S-works had its 4th rear shock failure in January. I have had the bike for 1 year. I have had enough. I have switched to a Niner RKT. It's unfortunate, because I really like the epic. But I'm tired of having a bike that I am afraid to ride, because when I ride it the shock breaks.
    Ah, ok... bro. Sounds very suspicious. You are probably over-inflating the air pressure and blowing the seals.
    Unfortunatley, most donít understand how the Brain 2.0 works:
    The Brain is not supposed to ďlockĒ at the top of its travel. Your Brain was almost certainly fine. The bike shop did you a favor, but it probably didnít need anything.
    The first 30% of travel is like that of a CONVENTIONAL SHOCK. In other words, the Brain only engages from 30% - 100% of the travel. If your sag is set to 30%, then it will feel locked out at the top of its travel (with you sitting on it); but if your sag is <30%, the shock will compress just like any other shock for the first 30% of travel. This info came directly from Specialized HQ. I wish they did a better job explaining this.
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVRGVUP View Post
    In my experience of the new Brain failing 3X it needed to be sent to Specialized for repair each time. The air can is shop serviceable.

    The first 2X failures were the sudden and loud squish noise that then soon resulted in total loss of damping and Brain lockup.

    The last failure was the shock chirping or oinking on sharp hits. It was again sent to Specialized and they said itís fine however didnít know where the noise was coming from. Luckily my shop just received in new demo bikes and swapped me a shock from one of those.

    Horrible experience from a bike I did like and climbed amazing. It has now been replaced by a sweet more balanced Santa Cruz Tallboy. The Epic is now being rode by my son until sold.

    I was without my ďnewĒ bike for a total of 7 weeks during the summer. Granted I had my carbon fat tire however not acceptable.

    Personally with the cost of a S-Works I would tell them to take the bike back. In my experience this is just the beginning and itís not like you can drop another shock model or brand in there.
    Please read my earlier posts. You fall into the same camp of over-inflating the shock. You want 30% sag. Going through several shocks like that means itís your setup thatís the problem, not the product!
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  45. #45
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    Good point. Seems odd it was done incorrectly since the shock setup was performed by my shop per the Specialized instruction as I went through it step by step. In addition the shock has Autosag that was used and then verified by measurement.

    Would be interested to understand how you determined itís being setup incorrectly.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVRGVUP View Post
    Good point. Seems odd it was done incorrectly since the shock setup was performed by my shop per the Specialized instruction as I went through it step by step. In addition the shock has Autosag that was used and then verified by measurement.

    Would be interested to understand how you determined itís being setup incorrectly.
    Autosag is not a great way to setup this shock. If you read my comment and you donít want to feel any compression when you pedal, you should set 30% sag.
    You canít expect your shop to know how to setup this shock. And this 30% threshold is not in the manual (which they should have done).
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    My shock was set to a 25% sag aligned to the 20%-30% spec. Are you saying my shock failure is due a 5% difference in sag?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVRGVUP View Post
    My shock was set to a 25% sag aligned to the 20%-30% spec. Are you saying my shock failure is due a 5% difference in sag?
    I have no idea what caused your shock failure.
    Iím just saying that most users donít set them up correctly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    I have no idea what caused your shock failure.
    Iím just saying that most users donít set them up correctly.
    Reviewing this again - how did you measure "25% sag"? There is no scale on the rear shock body.
    There is 50mm of travel on the shock stroke. So 25% = 12.5mm - that's the correct distance of the o-ring for 25% sag.

    Now, you will still have 5mm of travel where the Brain is not locked and acts as a conventional shock if you set to 25% sag.
    You would want to set to 30% if you want to eliminate this. I think what most people do, like @durianrider, is they increase air pressure, which is the opposite of what they need to do. Eventually, they blow the shock and just say 'it doesn't work'.
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    Ahhh. Yea mine is set at 12.5-13mm using the o-ring to the shock seal lip edge. Didnít add air and maintained the sag. When it blew out 2 of the times it simply started making squish noises and quickly lost all damping. The last time was odd when it would oink on sharp fast edge hits and if it was hopped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NVRGVUP View Post
    Ahhh. Yea mine is set at 12.5-13mm using the o-ring to the shock seal lip edge. Didnít add air and maintained the sag. When it blew out 2 of the times it simply started making squish noises and quickly lost all damping. The last time was odd when it would oink on sharp fast edge hits and if it was hopped.
    Good to know what to look out for if it fails... at least it's easy to tell if it's not working. Now, I assume your riding weight is <300 lbs... as it's (unfortunately) not designed for that weight.
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    A friend and I both have Epic's. We both know what we are doing. He knows VERY well what he is doing and is on #3 now (or soon, once it gets sent out). He doesn't even use the Brain, he keeps it turned off completely. I run mine pretty minimally, but mine hasn't failed yet.

    I'm hoping my light weight (145) makes mine more reliable. But...I do ride harder than most, so who knows. I will be sending mine out before every race season, twice if I put on extra mileage (I normally train on my Enduro). And/or I'll get a spare shock.

    I'm sure some people set them up wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    A friend and I both have Epic's. We both know what we are doing. He knows VERY well what he is doing and is on #3 now (or soon, once it gets sent out). He doesn't even use the Brain, he keeps it turned off completely.
    How do you turn it off completely? You can't, as far as I know. Even in the firmest setting, it's turned on. You may have the Brain 1.0.

    Do you have the 2018+ Brain 2.0? These were significantly redesigned to make them more reliable. Recc service interval is now 200 hours.
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    I leave mine at fully open (less intrusive as possible) and I really like it. Still pedals much better than a lot of FS bikes out there

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    Quote Originally Posted by fhm3rc View Post
    I leave mine at fully open (less intrusive as possible) and I really like it. Still pedals much better than a lot of FS bikes out there
    Totally agree. I am not partial to Specialized; but this is the best suspension you can get right now. Eventually, it will probably be electronic, but the tech isnít there yet.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    How do you turn it off completely? You can't, as far as I know. Even in the firmest setting, it's turned on. You may have the Brain 1.0.

    Do you have the 2018+ Brain 2.0? These were significantly redesigned to make them more reliable. Recc service interval is now 200 hours.
    Both 2018 Epic's.

    Easy to turn off, just look at it. On the rear there is a 5 position switch, move it all the way forward and the Brain won't engage. I leave it in the middle position mostly, so it pops up real easy. It is only locked on the smoothest trails. The front you use the compression knob at the bottom of the fork leg (wish it was on the top). I can't remember the setting, but it is on the loosest setting that still has some Brain engagement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    Totally agree. I am not partial to Specialized; but this is the best suspension you can get right now. Eventually, it will probably be electronic, but the tech isnít there yet.
    I was talking to a friend about that the other day. I wonder how many years until all bikes have some sort of electronic sensor in the shocks.

    The cool think about the Epic suspension system (and this is my opinion, I'm not trying to start an argument) is that they went back to simple single pivot design and it works like a charm. With the 120mm Fox fork upfront and brain on open, it feels just like a light trail bike but more efficient.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Both 2018 Epic's.

    Easy to turn off, just look at it. On the rear there is a 5 position switch, move it all the way forward and the Brain won't engage. I leave it in the middle position mostly, so it pops up real easy. It is only locked on the smoothest trails. The front you use the compression knob at the bottom of the fork leg (wish it was on the top). I can't remember the setting, but it is on the loosest setting that still has some Brain engagement.
    I believe that even at fully open, the brain will engage but in a very minimal way. I'm not aware that one can completely turn off the brain mechanism. Like I said though, at fully open you can barely tell it's doing its job and it still pedal super well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Both 2018 Epic's.

    Easy to turn off, just look at it. On the rear there is a 5 position switch, move it all the way forward and the Brain won't engage. I leave it in the middle position mostly, so it pops up real easy. It is only locked on the smoothest trails. The front you use the compression knob at the bottom of the fork leg (wish it was on the top). I can't remember the setting, but it is on the loosest setting that still has some Brain engagement.
    Hey mate!
    Hmmm... there is no way to lock-out the Brain 2.0. The 5 position switch you mention at the rear is the setting for when the Brain engages, but even it its firm setting it is still active! I always ride on the firmest setting. It absolutely engages even when you hit a small object. 100% there is no way to lock-out the Brain. It's always active.

    As for the front - you don't have a Brain 2.0 in the front. There is no setting on the bottom of the fork - the setting for Brain firmness and rebound is on top.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    There is no setting on the bottom of the fork - the setting for Brain firmness and rebound is on top.

    Cheers
    Top adjust brain fade is only available on the Pro level on up. Expert on down is bottom brain fade, top rebound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    Autosag is not a great way to setup this shock. If you read my comment and you donít want to feel any compression when you pedal, you should set 30% sag.
    You canít expect your shop to know how to setup this shock. And this 30% threshold is not in the manual (which they should have done).
    I have been happy for the last 1500 miles with the following procedure for the shock/brain. The rear feels firm and responsive seated and standing pedaling. Feels pretty close to my SS HT except when it gets bumpy and then it feels plush. Zero complaints.

    1) inflate to 300psi as stated on the shock.
    2) Loosen autosag cap, but don't press it.
    3) flip brain to fully soft position
    4) Hop on the bike kitted using a wall to get in neutral seated position
    5) reach down press in autosag valve.
    6) bike moves up and down and then air stops. This takes about 1-2 seconds and I release the valve
    7) dismount and tight autosag valve.
    8) move brain back to fully firm position.
    9) ride and not worry about it.

    From time to time I will check on travel usage and for the most part am 95% of the way to seam with the o-ring. Sometimes only 70% if I am on smoother trail, but small jumps and move right back to about 95%.

    Seems to work well. Resulting air pressure is about 200 psi, but every time I put my pump/gauge on it I lose a bit of air so tend to no do it. I prefer to use autosag rather than set a specific air pressure or measure sag. It seems to work pretty well for me.
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    Mine also seems to be at around 200 psi when I disconnect it. Doing the same procedure as Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    Hey mate!
    Hmmm... there is no way to lock-out the Brain 2.0.
    You understand me backwards, the Brain is turned off as in my friend leaves it open; no Brain activation because the system is open to travel. I use it mid level so the Brain pops off early. I don't like fully locked suspensions 99% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by drag_slick View Post
    Top adjust brain fade is only available on the Pro level on up. Expert on down is bottom brain fade, top rebound.
    For '19, but in '18 it was on the bottom on the Pro level as well (which I have).

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...c-pro/p/129050


    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have been happy for the last 1500 miles with the following procedure for the shock/brain. The rear feels firm and responsive seated and standing pedaling. Feels pretty close to my SS HT except when it gets bumpy and then it feels plush. Zero complaints.
    My autosag runs at something like 150 PSI (I'm 145), I run it at 170 or so and still blow through all of it on a ride/race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    You understand me backwards, the Brain is turned off as in my friend leaves it open; no Brain activation because the system is open to travel. I use it mid level so the Brain pops off early. I don't like fully locked suspensions 99% of the time.

    For '19, but in '18 it was on the bottom on the Pro level as well (which I have).

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...c-pro/p/129050


    My autosag runs at something like 150 PSI (I'm 145), I run it at 170 or so and still blow through all of it on a ride/race.
    I am about 165 so naturally running more pressure. Have found that running full firm make the bike feel like a HT except when I hit bumps. Then it feels plush and soft. I keep an eye on travel and if I am using too much then I may have lost air. In the first 250 miles I had seal leak and it was losing 100psi over a 1 hour ride. When the air is super low (like 50psi) it just sags everywhere. But of course that is simply not enough pressure to work. I had them repair under warranty and it has been fine for the 1500 miles since then. I probably re-do the autosag every 500ish miles. I find it hard to expect perfect sealing at 200 ish psi. Seals will leak a bit.
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    Guys, some of you probably already saw it, but I didn't know and I couldn't believe my eyes today.
    Casually accessed Bikeyoke with absolutely no sort of hope, and there it was, the yoke for 2018-2019 Epic - https://www.bikeyoke.de/en/Specializ...2018-2019.html

    I'm still curious what shocks are going to clear. Seems that they recommend XFusion Microlite. I'm going to compare can sizes later today with Fox shocks to have an idea.

    It isn't cheap, but definitely something to consider next time the Brain shock needs service.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fhm3rc View Post
    Guys, some of you probably already saw it, but I didn't know and I couldn't believe my eyes today.
    Casually accessed Bikeyoke with absolutely no sort of hope, and there it was, the yoke for 2018-2019 Epic - https://www.bikeyoke.de/en/Specializ...2018-2019.html

    I'm still curious what shocks are going to clear. Seems that they recommend XFusion Microlite. I'm going to compare can sizes later today with Fox shocks to have an idea.

    It isn't cheap, but definitely something to consider next time the Brain shock needs service.
    I already have one on order, but haven't picked a shock yet. I have a large frame, so I am hoping for something good. I have been testing racing without locking the rear, and like how it feels so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fhm3rc View Post
    Guys, some of you probably already saw it, but I didn't know and I couldn't believe my eyes today.
    Casually accessed Bikeyoke with absolutely no sort of hope, and there it was, the yoke for 2018-2019 Epic - https://www.bikeyoke.de/en/Specializ...2018-2019.html

    I'm still curious what shocks are going to clear. Seems that they recommend XFusion Microlite. I'm going to compare can sizes later today with Fox shocks to have an idea.

    It isn't cheap, but definitely something to consider next time the Brain shock needs service.
    Good to know. I wonder how it will perform vs stock set-up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Good to know. I wonder how it will perform vs stock set-up.
    ANYTHING will be better than this rear shock failure called the Brain 2.0.

    I just got mine back for the 4th time (Ive only done 2 light XC rides on it and the rest just riding to the shops and back because the rear end is too boggy for type of fast XC riding I like to do). S gave me an S-Tune and assured me it would ride 'hardtail firm' like the old Epics but it is the same crappy boggy el cheapo feel this SW Epic 2018 has had from day 1. The shock STILL leaks air during a ride and you feel like you are riding a beach cruiser lol.

    Ive given up and just use it as a commuter. Bought it brand new from local store when it first dropped and it is the biggest single bike purchase regret I ever made. I had demo'd a couple in the carpark and just assumed the SW model would be super blinged up and more racey feeling. I was wrong. Shock blew literally riding home from the shop. I couldn't believe it.

    DONT buy the new Epic unless you want it in the shop more than your room. When the warranty wears out then you have a pile of junk just collecting dust. Unless you drop more cash to fix a shock design Specialized should have got right like the marketing advertising promises 'shock isnt activated by riders power, only activated by trail hits...'.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
    Totally agree. I am not partial to Specialized; but this is the best suspension you can get right now. Eventually, it will probably be electronic, but the tech isnít there yet.
    You must be new to XC riding then? xD

    I got one of the first Epics to land in Oz back in 2003. It was night and day better suspension design to the Brain 2.0. It was a fast and furious XC FS rig and now today it feels like the new Epic is designed for low carb keto obese bankers who want to feel suspension constantly. I can't believe Specialized put out such a junk design. After 1 year and 4 shock returns my bike still looks brand new yet I can't sell it because it is worth nothing and it is a problem that not even Specialized can fix. I just attached a bucket on teh handlebars with zip ties (see my instagram and youtube) and use it as a cool looking shopping bike. It does corner really well around the carpark so not all to waste.
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    I bought a 2018 comp in October of 2017. The shock failed 3 times. Specialized waranteed it the first two times. They wont do the third because they are are saying it is performing per spec. This is really strange to me because the issue is exactly the same. I even wrote their customer care. Nothing happened. So I went back to the shop an they mechanics all told me, 'yeah your shock is junk" but the manager said, "sorry, it works." I then asked him to compare that to new models. It was night and day and he said there was no difference. Such BS. I'd go Santa Cruz next time. That proprietary stuff is garbage. I am going get a Bike Yoke setup. This allows me to by pass the Brain.

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    I have a slightly different experience. Finished a ride on Ď19 epic, shock did fine. Put a bike in a garage after a ride, did not touch it one bit. the next day took the bike out and I sat on the bike with shock having squishy sound + soft. I got off the bike, changed the setting from fully firm to fully open, cycled the shock a few times, and changed back to fully firm. It worked. Went for a long ride, shock worked as it should. However, the next day the same story - in the morning the shock was again squishy and soft, however the previous procedure fixed it, again. Whatís puzzling is that until now I never needed to daily open and close the setting to get it work. Anybody had similar experience? I hope this is not (but certainly points in that direction) just a transitional phase to a complete failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by keb View Post
    I have a slightly different experience. Finished a ride on Ď19 epic, shock did fine. Put a bike in a garage after a ride, did not touch it one bit. the next day took the bike out and I sat on the bike with shock having squishy sound + soft. I got off the bike, changed the setting from fully firm to fully open, cycled the shock a few times, and changed back to fully firm. It worked. Went for a long ride, shock worked as it should. However, the next day the same story - in the morning the shock was again squishy and soft, however the previous procedure fixed it, again. Whatís puzzling is that until now I never needed to daily open and close the setting to get it work. Anybody had similar experience? I hope this is not (but certainly points in that direction) just a transitional phase to a complete failure.
    Brain failure is imminent. My 2nd failure was a bit like this before the cycling of brain switch did nothing to resolve it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Brain failure is imminent. My 2nd failure was a bit like this before the cycling of brain switch did nothing to resolve it.
    After how many hours of use?

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    2019 SW Epic, started the squishy sound and the brain is not working either. Just started today. See what happens from here. Not very happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    After how many hours of use?
    I got the epic 7 months ago, Iím around 200 hours mark I would say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    After how many hours of use?
    First one lasted 1700 miles then brain failed
    Second one may be 350?, but replaced at 608 when it was too obvious to overlook
    The one I have now has 272miles and has not failed yet.

    I don't track hours, but miles in strava, but if you assume 8 mph or 10 mph average you can guesstimate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    First one lasted 1700 miles then brain failed
    Second one may be 350?, but replaced at 608 when it was too obvious to overlook
    The one I have now has 272miles and has not failed yet.

    I don't track hours, but miles in strava, but if you assume 8 mph or 10 mph average you can guesstimate.
    Probably multiple factors such as how rough the park is and how fast you go.

    I might have 70 hours on mine. The brain got slightly bent towards the rotor in a crash but still going strong. Pretty happy with the performance of the system in general so far.

    1700 miles seems pretty good for the shock that has to be over 200 hours and it could have been repaired

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    Well I went to my lbs where I bought the bike. Brand new shock and brain installed all under warranty. I'm happy right now. See how it goes.

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    I coach a high school mountain bike team, and we have several coaches and riders using 2018 and later Epics. Most of us have had at least one failure of the Brain 2.0. I had mine on the second ride. The head coach just had his second failure 8 months after the first. We talked with Specialized at Sea Otter and were told they were aware of the issue and had a ďfixĒ for the failed shocks. Iím not so sure, but Iím glad I have a strong relationship with my LBS. I made it clear to them I wasnít going to accept a bunch of failures after the warranty period and they made it clear back to me that they would go to bat for me.

    It seems pretty clear to me that Specialized has a design flaw given the number of failures I have seen in the 2.0 and based on what Iím reading here. They should be replacing rear shocks for free until they come up with a permanent solution.

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    @justonwo That is a RockShox problem not a Specialized design flaw.... Not that that makes it any better, but if your going to point a finger, at least point it the right direction.

    At any rate: Specialized is offering a lifetime free service for the shock, or replacement for the same shock and free lifetime service for that one for EVERY owner of the bike at no charge... just so you know.

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    The sad part is, even if you get your shock repaired for life, it is a PITA having a bike that is probably going to let you down over and over again. After mine failed 4 times I sold my frame and swapped the parts over to a Niner RKT. It is unfortunate because I really liked my S-works epic better. I just wish it was a reliable bike to own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialWarr View Post
    @justonwo That is a RockShox problem not a Specialized design flaw.... Not that that makes it any better, but if your going to point a finger, at least point it the right direction.

    At any rate: Specialized is offering a lifetime free service for the shock, or replacement for the same shock and free lifetime service for that one for EVERY owner of the bike at no charge... just so you know.
    Well, sort of a RockShox issue. The "Brain" technology is owned by Specialized and is built in cooperation with RockShox, so the culpability is with both parties. Regardless, it's ultimately a Specialized product and they are the ones that administer the warranty. I hadn't heard about the free lifetime warranty. Where did you hear that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    The sad part is, even if you get your shock repaired for life, it is a PITA having a bike that is probably going to let you down over and over again. After mine failed 4 times I sold my frame and swapped the parts over to a Niner RKT. It is unfortunate because I really liked my S-works epic better. I just wish it was a reliable bike to own.
    Agreed, it's bad for everyone involved. I do, however, think they will ultimately fix the design. They don't want to replace parts anymore than we do. It costs them time, money, and goodwill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialWarr View Post
    @justonwo That is a RockShox problem not a Specialized design flaw.... Not that that makes it any better, but if your going to point a finger, at least point it the right direction.

    At any rate: Specialized is offering a lifetime free service for the shock, or replacement for the same shock and free lifetime service for that one for EVERY owner of the bike at no charge... just so you know.
    I am a mechanical engineer (not cycling related) so understand design flaws and manufacturing flaws. I guess I am curious to know if it is design problem or manufacturing problem. The difference is that with a design problem it needs a change in design to get it work properly and that could be pretty simple or really complex depending on root cause fix. Or it could be manufacturing problem where the parts or materials are not being made to design specifications. This kind of thing happens in all engineered parts/systems more than most people know, but often have simpler fixes. The other thing is that since Specialized created the brain custom for this bike Rockshox may not have done all the design work and might be just contracted to make system. Or there was some level of joint venture/ joint design. Sometimes flaws can crop up at design interfaces were requirements are misunderstood. It is good to know that Specialized is working to support their customers. Most of us spent a lot of money on these bikes and they work really well as designed, but repetitive failures on propriety part will just drive people away.

    As I have said before the shop I work with is excellent in supporting me. So excellent that I was able to get my failed brain back working with new assembly in 25 minutes just 2 days before my biggest race of the year. I do hope that Specialized and Rockshox are able to come up with long term fix so these parts meet the reliability targets the designers initial planned. What I can say is that it will be expensive for both companies to keep throwing parts at the problem.
    Joe
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialWarr View Post
    At any rate: Specialized is offering a lifetime free service for the shock, or replacement for the same shock and free lifetime service for that one for EVERY owner of the bike at no charge... just so you know.
    Is this true? Even for service? So every 50 or whatever hours is recommended for a air sleeve cleaning is covered?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I am a mechanical engineer (not cycling related) so understand design flaws and manufacturing flaws. I guess I am curious to know if it is design problem or manufacturing problem. The difference is that with a design problem it needs a change in design to get it work properly and that could be pretty simple or really complex depending on root cause fix. Or it could be manufacturing problem where the parts or materials are not being made to design specifications. This kind of thing happens in all engineered parts/systems more than most people know, but often have simpler fixes. The other thing is that since Specialized created the brain custom for this bike Rockshox may not have done all the design work and might be just contracted to make system. Or there was some level of joint venture/ joint design. Sometimes flaws can crop up at design interfaces were requirements are misunderstood. It is good to know that Specialized is working to support their customers. Most of us spent a lot of money on these bikes and they work really well as designed, but repetitive failures on propriety part will just drive people away.

    As I have said before the shop I work with is excellent in supporting me. So excellent that I was able to get my failed brain back working with new assembly in 25 minutes just 2 days before my biggest race of the year. I do hope that Specialized and Rockshox are able to come up with long term fix so these parts meet the reliability targets the designers initial planned. What I can say is that it will be expensive for both companies to keep throwing parts at the problem.
    Oh cool! Me too. Chemical engineer doing mostly automotive work these days.

    As for the defect, I'm honestly not that sure. It could be manufacturing or design, but the fundamental design of the Brain isn't terribly complicated and is well known by Specialized. The inertia valve concept itself isn't that new. I believe Fox was doing the Brain before RockShox and the 2.0 is Rockshox's first version of the Brain? I could be wrong about that. The great thing about the design is that the Brain is remotely mounted and not governed by any overly cumbersome envelope constraints. So even if they had to resign the hardware, they have a fair amount of freedom to do so, at least to my way of thinking. My gut is that it's probably a simple fix not requiring any redesign. Maybe a few parts aren't quite right. I wish I knew. Specialized hasn't shared any details about the problem with my dealer.

    My shop has also been great about supporting issues for me and my fellow NICA coaches. For the most part, they've gotten parts delivered from Specialized so we don't have to send parts in and wait weeks. Having a shop that will go to bat for you is invaluable, so major kudos to Mike's Bikes for helping absorb the nuisance of this problem.

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    I have a brand new rear shock/brain version 2.0 that has never been mounted for sale if anyone is interested in having a backup. Asking $200 plus shipping. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
    Well, sort of a RockShox issue. The "Brain" technology is owned by Specialized and is built in cooperation with RockShox, so the culpability is with both parties. Regardless, it's ultimately a Specialized product and they are the ones that administer the warranty. I hadn't heard about the free lifetime warranty. Where did you hear that?
    I was handed an information sheet after an international warranty meeting detailing the updated parts list and future rebuild procession and new settings. The people in Morgan Hill _have decided_ that Specialized will be offering a no charge service for every 2017-2020 Epic that comes in for service. Updated parts will be installed at the time of rebuild and service charges and parts fees will be forwarded to Rockshox....

    @JoePaz The flaw was a collection of small errors that individually went unnoticed but collectively ended up causing (due to side-loading forces acting through the shock): 1) marks on the damper shaft which lead to oil leaking, 2) increase in negative chamber pressures (due to reduced volume from bypassed oil) causing bottom out, 3) air gaps in sealed oil chamber from hammering (again from oil losses) leading to pressure spikes and subsequently nitrogen pressure reduction below foaming threshold (which plays out as no / weak platform) and finally insufficient sealing pressure on sealing area of the bladder after oil losses leading to nitrogen burping...

    The fix was increase nitrogen pressure, add two machining processes and one nylon guide ring.... total of parts to replace on each shock $15~ish.... cost to ship to Rockshox $250~ish each shock.

    Pain-in-my-ass: 100%

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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    Is this true? Even for service? So every 50 or whatever hours is recommended for a air sleeve cleaning is covered?
    Air sleeve and damper should be sent in for 250 hr service... assuming that they last that long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua_B View Post
    The sad part is, even if you get your shock repaired for life, it is a PITA having a bike that is probably going to let you down over and over again. After mine failed 4 times I sold my frame and swapped the parts over to a Niner RKT. It is unfortunate because I really liked my S-works epic better. I just wish it was a reliable bike to own.
    You are not kidding.... Think of it like owning a Ferrari... you gotta _pay_ if you wanna play. Personally... I have a Kenevo, an Enduro S-Works and a Globe single-speed... that's good enough to get me where I want to go.

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    Last month I bought a new 2018 Epic Expert that was on sale. I noticed from the start that something was wrong even though I set up the shock using autosag. This is not my first Epic and seeing how active the shock is when riding on flat road on frimest setting I suspect that the shock is defective.

    Were there any developments on this topic? Did specialized issue a recall or something?

    Thanks

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    i am surprised that Specialized does/thinks about lifetime free service.. here in Czech rep Specialized offers 90 days warranty for Brain (which is probably even against the EU laws..). I am owner of 2018 S Works Epic, still under 2yrs warranty, Brain stopped working again (for the second time) and they made me pay for it.
    nothing like a feeling when you spend big bucks and LBS/Specialized basically does not give a damn about you...

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    My LBS is stocked up on them and is replacing the entire unit for free. In my case it's holding air pressure and not leaking oil but the Brain is not locking out and I've got that "Squish" sound many have talked about. It's still rideable but squish, bob, squish, bob....
    I hope they get this sorted out because I really like the ride quality when it's working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialWarr View Post
    ...
    @JoePaz The flaw was a collection of small errors that individually went unnoticed but collectively ended up causing (due to side-loading forces acting through the shock): 1) marks on the damper shaft which lead to oil leaking, 2) increase in negative chamber pressures (due to reduced volume from bypassed oil) causing bottom out, 3) air gaps in sealed oil chamber from hammering (again from oil losses) leading to pressure spikes and subsequently nitrogen pressure reduction below foaming threshold (which plays out as no / weak platform) and finally insufficient sealing pressure on sealing area of the bladder after oil losses leading to nitrogen burping...

    The fix was increase nitrogen pressure, add two machining processes and one nylon guide ring.... total of parts to replace on each shock $15~ish.... cost to ship to Rockshox $250~ish each shock.

    Pain-in-my-ass: 100%
    Thanks for the info. Have any shocks been sent out with the fixes or will that start rolling out going forward?
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Thanks for the info. Have any shocks been sent out with the fixes or will that start rolling out going forward?
    Those should have been rolling out as of about mid-June this year.... the backlog and time delay was a result of the series of problems that cropped up on first launch but kept showing up in different areas at different times. Finally traced back to serial number 12T8***** and prior numbers. Everything that was shipped out prior to that production date was suspect and returned to RockShox / dealt with (we recycled ours). Updated parts were thrown into production and that was done this year in late May and shipped out from Taiwan direct to markets. We got ours just before mid-June when I started the "new" rebuilds.

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    Recall?

    Why doesn't Specialized/RockShox just send out a recall??? Would be a lot easier than having customers gripe and complain in forums searching for answers!

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    Oil discharge during autosag set-up.

    I have the 2018 Epic Expert and I have read two different sides on the autosag setting and oil discharge. I get what I think is a lot of oil discharge when I set the autosag.2018 Specialized Epic brain 2.0 issue (shock woes)-rockshox-oil-discharge.jpg When I called the LBS, they said that there should be no oil leaving the shock during the set-up and advised me to bring it in. After having it for a week, they called me to let me know that it was normal. This seams like a lot of oil to me.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    I have the 2018 Epic Expert and I have read two different sides on the autosag setting and oil discharge. I get what I think is a lot of oil discharge when I set the autosag.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Rockshox Oil Discharge.jpg 
Views:	365 
Size:	186.7 KB 
ID:	1287835 When I called the LBS, they said that there should be no oil leaving the shock during the set-up and advised me to bring it in. After having it for a week, they called me to let me know that it was normal. This seams like a lot of oil to me.
    That does not look normal. I get maybe a few droplets that come out when setting the autosag, but nothing like what is in your picture. That doesn't even look like shock oil...?

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    I have the 2018 Epic Expert and I have read two different sides on the autosag setting and oil discharge. I get what I think is a lot of oil discharge when I set the autosag.Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Rockshox Oil Discharge.jpg 
Views:	365 
Size:	186.7 KB 
ID:	1287835 When I called the LBS, they said that there should be no oil leaving the shock during the set-up and advised me to bring it in. After having it for a week, they called me to let me know that it was normal. This seams like a lot of oil to me.
    Why even use auto sag, just find a pressure that feels good and use that. It took me about 4 rides to figure out what that is, but that's how I set my fork up too. I'm 160lbs
    and ended up with 200psi pressure. I started at body weight for pressure, but in the parking lot could feel that was too soft.

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    I posted the picture as a basis for what is normal. The oil discharge quantity may indicate an internal problem.

    I was looking for a serial and model number for the shock. Where would this be located?

  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    I posted the picture as a basis for what is normal. The oil discharge quantity may indicate an internal problem.

    I was looking for a serial and model number for the shock. Where would this be located?
    That is clearly not normal.

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post
    That is clearly not normal.
    That shock looks older. The serial number is on top near the air valve.

    Specialized has handled my brain super quickly

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    I looked everywhere for the serial number. Can someone shoot a picture of their SN location?2018 Specialized Epic brain 2.0 issue (shock woes)-20191022_171239%5B1%5D.jpg

    I only see the Specialized Pat. Pending and the instructions for using the autosag system.

    I sent the picture of the oil discharge to Specialized and they told me to take it to a dealer for evaluation. The dealer already told me that oil discharge is normal and not covered under the warranty.

  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    The dealer already told me that oil discharge is normal
    Get it in writing. If they won't put it in writing, send them a letter stating that you are requesting them to put it in writing and give them 10 days to respond. Send a copy to specialized US HQ at the same time, put on the letter that a copy is being provided to Specialized US. Protect yourself.
    "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.

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    I did send a picture to Specialized and they will not comment on the oil discharge quantity, only that some oil will make it past the seals. I asked twice for a comment of the oil released in the picture, neither time would Specialized comment. Warranty claims cost a manufacturer a lot each year so they try their best to place the costs with the customer.

  106. #106
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    I've seen a lot of oil spew out of auto sag valves. It was always just air can oil so no biggie. Agree that auto sag is kinda bogus/gimmicky. IMO, it's best to set pressure via your normal non-autosag method.
    Do the math.

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    Yea.... you may want to tell whomever was rebuilding that to leave the FOX FLOAT FLUID out of the shock... it has no place inside a RockShox air can. No it does not need to have a wet lube. What the air can needs is a light grease on the seals, that's it.... or to do a better job of cleaning up and replacing the air seals on an autosag ring... it's not that hard.

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    The shock is a Rockshox and it has not been rebuilt. According to Specialized, it is normal to have a little oil make it past the seals. They would not comment on the quantity in the picture.

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    ^^^ making it past the seals is different than blowing out the auto sag valve. The auto sag valve has a path into the air can so lube in the can can come out of the valve. Hopefully that's air can lube and not damper fluid that has leaked into the air can.
    Do the math.

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    what about the rear brain chamber internal chamber making noise? That's the valve opening and closing, yes? Should it sound like its "jingling" around? Seems like mine has started making alot of noise lately.....anyone else have similar issues?

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    A thud feel or sound is normal but jingling is not. Mine makes a squishing noise when extending from a quick compression. I am getting it serviced once winter sets in. Oddly, my sons epic makes the same noise and it started at about the same time mine did (we bought them at the same time). I am hoping to get them both warranteed, we'll see!

  112. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicPROboy View Post
    A thud feel or sound is normal but jingling is not. Mine makes a squishing noise when extending from a quick compression. I am getting it serviced once winter sets in. Oddly, my sons epic makes the same noise and it started at about the same time mine did (we bought them at the same time). I am hoping to get them both warranteed, we'll see!
    The squish sound isn't good. I've got two epics. After the repair the shock doesn't make any noise other than the brain feel/sound. One shock lasted nearly 80 hours. My 2020 bike shock went after just two rides. They both made the squish when hitting a decent size root but after service they don't.

    When the brain fails it will squish all the time and obviously the brain doesn't activate.

  113. #113
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    wow, what a shit show with this shock. I've been mostly out of the MTB scene and on the road bike past 13 years. I missed MTB and want to race endurance XC next season and was searching for a new modern bike. s-works epic was on top of my list until I read this thread. Looks like rock shox is still piece of shit that it was back 20 years ago. Will look for a bike with Fox suspension. No way I am dropping $10K on a bike that is pain in the ass.

    Someone referred this to a Ferrari with high maintenance on this thread. I would say it is more like a Jaguar. The old joke was that you had to buy 2 of them. You can drive one while other was in the shop being fixed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoked View Post
    Looks like rock shox is still piece of shit that it was back 20 years ago. Will look for a bike with Fox suspension.
    You should read the old Brain Shock woes thread, which is about Specialized Brain system shocks built by Fox.

  115. #115
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    Yep. My wife couldn't get more than a handful of rides in before the shock on her 2011 Stumpy would stop working. I was a little luckier with my 2012 Epic. I was able to get a couple hundred miles in before the shock would just lock itself out. Both Fox shocks with the brain.

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    I blew my 2018 Brain within the first 300 miles but the last 2000 or so have been faultless ...and I'm super rough on suspension and do not baby this bike ...use it as a trail bike with a Pike 120 on front.

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoked View Post
    wow, what a shit show with this shock. I've been mostly out of the MTB scene and on the road bike past 13 years. I missed MTB and want to race endurance XC next season and was searching for a new modern bike. s-works epic was on top of my list until I read this thread. Looks like rock shox is still piece of shit that it was back 20 years ago. Will look for a bike with Fox suspension. No way I am dropping $10K on a bike that is pain in the ass.

    Someone referred this to a Ferrari with high maintenance on this thread. I would say it is more like a Jaguar. The old joke was that you had to buy 2 of them. You can drive one while other was in the shop being fixed.
    I own two new Epics. The shock is really durable it's a few small parts that caused an issue where the auto lock would no longer work. After said updates it should be a super reliable platform. No other platform auto locks or is more efficient. If Live Valve had reasonable battery life...

  118. #118
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    Is specialized fixing these for original owner's only? If it is resolved then may look for a used one to roll the dice. I had fox F100X and f130Xtt forks in the past and like the setup and ride idea of those forks without any remote lock outs to deal with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stoked View Post
    Is specialized fixing these for original owner's only? If it is resolved then may look for a used one to roll the dice. I had fox F100X and f130Xtt forks in the past and like the setup and ride idea of those forks without any remote lock outs to deal with.
    I bought mine new so Specialized fixed it for free. Initially, they said they would ship temporary replacement shock but none were available so they just fixed mine fast and i was only without the bike for a short period of time ...a little more than a week as I recall.

    Specialized is really good to their customers; I've seen broken Comps replaced with S-Works ...and I honestly believe their SWorks shops have a bit more sway with other manufactures when getting stuff replaced under warranty. However, they are not going to help you out with a used bike for free. I bet the total cost of a full rebuild and fixing the issues is under $150. I've paid almost double that to have some work done on other shocks by some of the big-time tuners out there.

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    Specialized is really bad with customers. The shock must completely fail and the bike unridable before they will do anything. Only a few respondents on this post had good experience with the Specialized rear shock. The design is faulty regardless of the manufacturer. There really is no "Brain" in the shock. It is a dumb system that responds to what has happened, not what will happen. You hit a bump and the shock unlocks after the impact. It is all a marketing thing to sell bikes at high prices.

  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    Specialized is really bad with customers. The shock must completely fail and the bike unridable before they will do anything. Only a few respondents on this post had good experience with the Specialized rear shock. The design is faulty regardless of the manufacturer. There really is no "Brain" in the shock. It is a dumb system that responds to what has happened, not what will happen. You hit a bump and the shock unlocks after the impact. It is all a marketing thing to sell bikes at high prices.
    Maybe it comes down to the LBS, because I've had the exact opposite experience.

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    It is a dumb system that responds to what has happened, not what will happen. You hit a bump and the shock unlocks after the impact.
    Soooo what bike are you looking at that has a smart suspension system that can anticipate the bump and respond accordingly without any physical input.


    I'm thankful I have a good LBS to work with. Now interestingly, my 19 epic has 92hrs 5min/1048 miles on it, the last ride it was 21 degrees F out and it was making a squishing noise, had never done it before. Not sure if it was because of the cold temp or not, need to bring it in the house to warm it up and see. If it's not it will be going back to the LBS.

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    I was not looking at a bike that anticipates the terrain in front of the rider. I was commenting on the Specialized marketing department use of "BRAIN" in their advertising. It is not a smart system. I could use the same word play and sell nails with a brain. Once a hammer hits it, it knows to move into the wood a little deeper.

  124. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    I was not looking at a bike that anticipates the terrain in front of the rider. I was commenting on the Specialized marketing department use of "BRAIN" in their advertising. It is not a smart system. I could use the same word play and sell nails with a brain. Once a hammer hits it, it knows to move into the wood a little deeper.
    The brain is a pretty solid system. Its firm when pedaling and opens on bumps. The development is an interesting story with the specialized engineering guy and one of the co founders of rockshox back when they were discussing moto suspension. Then years later they developed some of the early models with fox I believe.

  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    I was not looking at a bike that anticipates the terrain in front of the rider. I was commenting on the Specialized marketing department use of "BRAIN" in their advertising. It is not a smart system. I could use the same word play and sell nails with a brain. Once a hammer hits it, it knows to move into the wood a little deeper.
    The concept of the brain is very smart indeed. Rather than a dumb system the brain attempts to provide locked firm pedaling platform when needed and then automatically open to allow compression and movement when needed. Modern remote locks do the same think, but require user input. The Fox Live valve is an electronic version of what brain has been doing for years. The brain is hydromechanical and as with any system has limitations. It is not perfect, but in my experience works pretty well at its advertised function. That is of course when the system does not fail which sadly has been more often than it should. However it appears that this not so much a conceptual flaw, but flaw in the manufacture and execution of a couple detail parts. I will say that with over 3000 miles on Epic I really love rear brain alot. The only place I did not like it was on a small pump track. Seemed like it when from lock to unlocked too easily and distorted the feel of the track. I am not really concerned however since that pump track was maybe 1 or 2 of my 3000 miles. I can live with not being ideal for that unique case. Even I might have resolved that with tuning if i wanted.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    I suppose my mine complaint with the Brain is that all models use a relatively vanilla shock. I'm a bit of a suspension tweaker/knob tuner and this shock doesn't give you many options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    I suppose my mine complaint with the Brain is that all models use a relatively vanilla shock. I'm a bit of a suspension tweaker/knob tuner and this shock doesn't give you many options.
    It gives you spring rate/preload, low speed compression to lockout, and rebound. Not sure what more youíre looking for on an XC shock for the masses.

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    Modern remote lockouts do require input. However, the rider can see what is ahead and decide to use the lockout before the need. To use another analogy, if we install a mechanical system in your car that steers to avoid pot holes and hitting a pot hole will cause the car to swerve, what is the point. It reacted too late. A driver seeing the pot hole would swerve before hitting the pot hole. Lets call that mechanical system a brain so we can market it better.

  129. #129
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    The brain system is far better than that. What's dangerous for the casual rider is forgetting to unlock before hitting some rough sections.

    We have a pretty steep rocky climb and the wrong line sure stinks when you jounce the front end on a rock. Brain Sid over fox 34 sc for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    Modern remote lockouts do require input. However, the rider can see what is ahead and decide to use the lockout before the need. To use another analogy, if we install a mechanical system in your car that steers to avoid pot holes and hitting a pot hole will cause the car to swerve, what is the point. It reacted too late. A driver seeing the pot hole would swerve before hitting the pot hole. Lets call that mechanical system a brain so we can market it better.

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    I'm willing to concede that in concept the brain sucks --wait until you hit a bump and then open up the shock. In reality it works (at least on the back, I personally don't like it on the front much) and they have sold tens of thousands of bikes with the brain shock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    I'm willing to concede that in concept the brain sucks --wait until you hit a bump and then open up the shock. In reality it works (at least on the back, I personally don't like it on the front much) and they have sold tens of thousands of bikes with the brain shock.
    I agree. The brain just works. You can adjust the level of intervention. I'm personally willing to deal with the knock to have a firm platform that becomes compliant when you hit a bump. There's no way to manually open/close a shock quick enough on varied terrain. That said, what's not ok is the low reliability rate of the shock. Combo that with the paying a premium on name, has me into a 2019 Scott RC WC for a whole lot less money and no shock worries. I'm hoping to make the change back to the big S but not until prices come back to reality for the component set provided.

  132. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    I agree. The brain just works. You can adjust the level of intervention. I'm personally willing to deal with the knock to have a firm platform that becomes compliant when you hit a bump. There's no way to manually open/close a shock quick enough on varied terrain. That said, what's not ok is the low reliability rate of the shock. Combo that with the paying a premium on name, has me into a 2019 Scott RC WC for a whole lot less money and no shock worries. I'm hoping to make the change back to the big S but not until prices come back to reality for the component set provided.

    Considering you get a free shock service in about a week and a half turn around it's not such a bad thing. Didn't someone say they would service them for free for the original owner on 18-20 bikes?

  133. #133
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    I'm thinking Specialized needs to step up and replace any shock that has blown up more than once. My blew up very early on ...within the first 300 miles or so and it's been golden for the last 2,000 miles or so. I am definitely not babying this bike ...so the shock can take a beating. As with any other shock, sometimes you get a lemon.

    I run my brain mostly in the second to softest position (plus or minus one) and use either the Auto-Sag or Auto-Sag plus 10 or so PSI. I'm not running much rebound, like 3/4 of the way open.

    I wonder if the setup could be causing issues ...such as too much air or too much brain or too much rebound?

  134. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    I'm thinking Specialized needs to step up and replace any shock that has blown up more than once. My blew up very early on ...within the first 300 miles or so and it's been golden for the last 2,000 miles or so. I am definitely not babying this bike ...so the shock can take a beating. As with any other shock, sometimes you get a lemon.

    I run my brain mostly in the second to softest position (plus or minus one) and use either the Auto-Sag or Auto-Sag plus 10 or so PSI. I'm not running much rebound, like 3/4 of the way open.

    I wonder if the setup could be causing issues ...such as too much air or too much brain or too much rebound?
    If the shock is sent now it will have updated parts and shouldn't fail. Still probably needs to be serviced around 200 hours

  135. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    If the shock is sent now it will have updated parts and shouldn't fail. Still probably needs to be serviced around 200 hours
    Yet there are many on this site and I have talked to those on the trail who state that the shocks were rebuilt multiple times and they still fail prematurely.

  136. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    Yet there are many on this site and I have talked to those on the trail who state that the shocks were rebuilt multiple times and they still fail prematurely.
    Updated parts weren't available until like July of 2019 so plenty of guys had multiple failures. Brain failure or, lockout feature fail and develop a squish sound shouldn't happen.

  137. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    Yet there are many on this site and I have talked to those on the trail who state that the shocks were rebuilt multiple times and they still fail prematurely.
    I am on my 4th Brain/Shock on my 2018 Epic. First one failed to hold air and was repaired. then 2 times I had brain unit fail (ran open all the time). Both of those times the entire unit was replaced not repaired. I got new "2019" shocks both those times. I hope the 2nd 2019 version works and has all the fixes in. So far it has been good, but it was replaced Aug 7th with a unit the shop had for spares. I am not sure that has all the fixes. If not and it fails I will take it back to the shop.
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    I can't help but wonder if Specialized will ever abort the Brain. Speaking for myself only, the hassle of facilitation of the fork and issues in general are not worth the benefits. I have had several Epics and a Stumpy, and while the Brain was overall a pain in my ass, I really liked the bikes. A lot. I can't help but wonder if they had a remote for the front and rear similar to Twin-Lock, if they would sell even more bikes, even lose a bit more weight on their race bikes. Most riders I know do not like proprietary and want to be able to service their stuff without having to send a fork to Salt Lake. Look at this Specialized Forum and see how many threads are dedicated to issues with the Brain shock or fork. It seems we are a very loyal bunch to keep supporting the brand when there is so many Brain-related issues. Clearly, they make a great bike and when the Brain works, it's great, but man what a pain in the ass!

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    This fall, I rode in a group and one of the rider was a well healed doctor with a large family. He purchased 4 Specialized bikes over the past 5 years for himself and his immediate family. His ride is an EPIC S-Works with the electronic shifting. The shifter has been flawless but he has had a lot of issues with the rear shock. This Summer, he purchased a new Santa Cruz for his son. He stated that he is finished with Specialized due to the way he felt they were ignoring his issues.

  140. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by trmn8er View Post
    I can't help but wonder if Specialized will ever abort the Brain. Speaking for myself only, the hassle of facilitation of the fork and issues in general are not worth the benefits. I have had several Epics and a Stumpy, and while the Brain was overall a pain in my ass, I really liked the bikes. A lot. I can't help but wonder if they had a remote for the front and rear similar to Twin-Lock, if they would sell even more bikes, even lose a bit more weight on their race bikes. Most riders I know do not like proprietary and want to be able to service their stuff without having to send a fork to Salt Lake. Look at this Specialized Forum and see how many threads are dedicated to issues with the Brain shock or fork. It seems we are a very loyal bunch to keep supporting the brand when there is so many Brain-related issues. Clearly, they make a great bike and when the Brain works, it's great, but man what a pain in the ass!
    I have a SID WC Ultimate on mine with no brain and love it. I wish they would remove the brain out back and save 1/2lb on the bike's weight. I bought a spare shock just in case I start having issues, but you should not have to do that.

  141. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by peabody View Post
    I have a SID WC Ultimate on mine with no brain and love it. I wish they would remove the brain out back and save 1/2lb on the bike's weight. I bought a spare shock just in case I start having issues, but you should not have to do that.
    It's as if you guys don't understand. All shocks prior to some random july 2019 build date will have the issue eventually. I had a 2019 a works evo that didn't fail till the end of the season.

    I bought a new 2020 AXS limited edition and it brain failed middle of the third ride. Build date is mid July 2019 on the bike but obviously the shock wasn't as new. Fixed in about a week and a half. Sadly almost all Epics on sales floors probably have bad brains just waiting... at least you get free shock service!

  142. #142
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    I'm a big Specialized fan boy and 80% of my bike, gear, etc is Specialized because they generally produce some of the best products. But to be honest, I would not buy a bike with the Brain. I am just turned off by the hassles of dealing with proprietary stuff and the failure rate on these things seem high. My next bike will probably be a custom build with a Specialized frame.

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    Is running a BikeYoke and non-brain shock a viable alternative?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    It's as if you guys don't understand. All shocks prior to some random july 2019 build date will have the issue eventually. I had a 2019 a works evo that didn't fail till the end of the season.

    I bought a new 2020 AXS limited edition and it brain failed middle of the third ride. Build date is mid July 2019 on the bike but obviously the shock wasn't as new. Fixed in about a week and a half. Sadly almost all Epics on sales floors probably have bad brains just waiting... at least you get free shock service!

    Maybe you are the one who is not getting it. Specialized says there is nothing wrong with the shocks no matter the build date. You are pulling a July 2019 date out of the air just to get potential customers to keep buying the bikes.

  145. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakabra View Post
    Is running a BikeYoke and non-brain shock a viable alternative?
    Not really because of the super tight clearance when the bike is at rest and full contact of the air can under compression, at least for most air cans! There exists the possibility of _modifying_ the bike frame because.... after all.... you don't need that much material there unless you weigh 300 lbs!

  146. #146
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    That's what was posted above by an insider. One post even details the reasons why the issue happens... all shocks sent back as of now are serviced and the updated parts are installed.

    Before the shocks were rebuilt with the same parts that would eventually fail. Can't get any clearer than that

    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    Maybe you are the one who is not getting it. Specialized says there is nothing wrong with the shocks no matter the build date. You are pulling a July 2019 date out of the air just to get potential customers to keep buying the bikes.

  147. #147
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    Insider? Many on this site believe they are an insider. Well I heard from a friend who is dating a lady who's cousin is a part time janitor at Specialized. He overheard a conversation in the lunch room........

  148. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    Insider? Many on this site believe they are an insider. Well I heard from a friend who is dating a lady who's cousin is a part time janitor at Specialized. He overheard a conversation in the lunch room........
    I'm listening....

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  149. #149
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    Does any of you know from which serial number the Shocks are already repaired?

    Thanks and Merry Christmas.


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  150. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmluquer View Post
    Does any of you know from which serial number the Shocks are already repaired?

    Thanks and Merry Christmas.


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    I have read it 12T8xxxx o prior.
    Thanks all


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  151. #151
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    Code:
    [CITA=jmluquer; 14489563]Lo he leŪdo 12T8xxxx o antes. 
    Gracias a todos los 
    
    
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    Hi Jmluquer, I'm here too.
    Where can I see that serial number?
    Thank you.

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    I've ridden by Epic for 42 miles and this is the 2nd time my rear shock failed. First time it sounded like a cannon went off and all of the air was lost, 2nd time it started hissing after a small bump then went completely flat 30 minutes later. Gotta say I enjoy that specializes services my shock every 20 miles, Leadville they'll get me at least 5 services.

  153. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamleven View Post
    I've ridden by Epic for 42 miles and this is the 2nd time my rear shock failed. First time it sounded like a cannon went off and all of the air was lost, 2nd time it started hissing after a small bump then went completely flat 30 minutes later. Gotta say I enjoy that specializes services my shock every 20 miles, Leadville they'll get me at least 5 services.
    That sounds like an actual defective shock.

  154. #154
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    Nah thats just the Brian thinking I need less air for my fat ass

  155. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by drag_slick View Post
    I'm thankful I have a good LBS to work with. Now interestingly, my 19 epic has 92hrs 5min/1048 miles on it, the last ride it was 21 degrees F out and it was making a squishing noise, had never done it before. Not sure if it was because of the cold temp or not, need to bring it in the house to warm it up and see. If it's not it will be going back to the LBS.
    Took the bike over to the shop and the shock was indeed bad, they had spares on hand and swapped it out. Done deal.

  156. #156
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    I had some training by a local pro this weekend as part of continuing ed for the MTB team I coach. We both realized the reason I hate the fork on this bike so much - the compression damping knob doesn't work. He told me he has seen this issue before and it has to do with the clocking of the knob in reference to the innards of the shock.

    So I took it to my LBS and apparently someone else brought their bike in for the same issue a week prior. They aren't going to be able to send it out for a few days so I decided to hang onto it and go for a short ride with my son - during which time the rear shock failed. AGAIN.

    This bike has fewer than 350 miles on it and is about to have its third rear shock installed. I'm very much, um, NOT impressed by the Epic.

  157. #157
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    Question for all the followers - Has someone started a legal action against the Brand? Among the lines of a class action?

    Thanks,



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    Quote Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
    I had some training by a local pro this weekend as part of continuing ed for the MTB team I coach. We both realized the reason I hate the fork on this bike so much - the compression damping knob doesn't work. He told me he has seen this issue before and it has to do with the clocking of the knob in reference to the innards of the shock.

    So I took it to my LBS and apparently someone else brought their bike in for the same issue a week prior. They aren't going to be able to send it out for a few days so I decided to hang onto it and go for a short ride with my son - during which time the rear shock failed. AGAIN.

    This bike has fewer than 350 miles on it and is about to have its third rear shock installed. I'm very much, um, NOT impressed by the Epic.
    What symptom were you seeing on the front shock that allowed you to know the knob was not working? Most reviewers hate the Brain front shock due to the harsh nature of the ride.

  159. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmluquer View Post
    Question for all the followers - Has someone started a legal action against the Brand? Among the lines of a class action?

    Thanks,

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Why? I have had 4 shocks and paid zero for them. All covered under warranty. What would I sue them over?
    Joe
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  160. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
    I had some training by a local pro this weekend as part of continuing ed for the MTB team I coach. We both realized the reason I hate the fork on this bike so much - the compression damping knob doesn't work. He told me he has seen this issue before and it has to do with the clocking of the knob in reference to the innards of the shock.

    So I took it to my LBS and apparently someone else brought their bike in for the same issue a week prior. They aren't going to be able to send it out for a few days so I decided to hang onto it and go for a short ride with my son - during which time the rear shock failed. AGAIN.

    This bike has fewer than 350 miles on it and is about to have its third rear shock installed. I'm very much, um, NOT impressed by the Epic.
    I picked up a 2018 SID Brain Fork which was pretty gritty so I pulled it apart to clean it. Afterward it was not right. I did a bit of searching and found a good video on setting the Clocking. Very easy to do. After following this you can feel a huge difference as you adjust the Damping Knob.

  161. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Augustus-G View Post
    I picked up a 2018 SID Brain Fork which was pretty gritty so I pulled it apart to clean it. Afterward it was not right. I did a bit of searching and found a good video on setting the Clocking. Very easy to do. After following this you can feel a huge difference as you adjust the Damping Knob.
    Oh wow, that IS really easy. I don't have a 28 mm socket, but I suppose I can get one. The bike is at the shop now anyway. They have to send the blown rear shock in for repair, so I guess they can do this while they're at it. Thanks so much.

  162. #162
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    You're welcome.

    Any Auto Parts store worth their salt or Home Depot/Lowes should have one. I think I picked mine up at NAPA. If you were in a bind you might be able to get away with a 1-1/8" socket which is 1.125". 28mm is 1.102". Since your ride is in the shop you've got plenty of time to get one.

    As for your rear shock they should be replacing the entire unit not just fixing the old one. I went through that one back in October but got about twice the miles you did before it went. The new one has been flawless for about 150 miles now. Unfortunately it's been unusually wet here the past couple of months so riding has been limited to the rollers and spending time on the rowing machine.

  163. #163
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    I'm not sure what do you mean by compression damping knob not working. If you talk about the fork being plush at the beginning of travel (first 25-35mm) even in the firmest setting, then the clocking will not work for SID forks from 2019 on. As you can see on the bottom link from Specialized, with the introduction of DebonAir spring the first 25mm or so of the fork travel is free floating (=open) even in the firmest setting. It's something a lot of people have asked for (=having a better small bump compliance) and Specialized delivered. The 2018 version (and older) was rock solid in full firm mode. I too scratched my head when I got 2019 bike as the fork was very different from 2018 bike and I thought I got a busted fork until I found that the setup was redesigned. There is also an entire thread about 2019 SID Brain fork on this forum, look bellow the link. I apologize to post the fork answer in the rear shock woes thread I heard however rumors that the internals can be changed with the previous version via LBS. I'm not sure if that's 100 % sure, though.

    https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/st...ain-technology

    https://forums.mtbr.com/specialized/...in-970623.html

  164. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Why? I have had 4 shocks and paid zero for them. All covered under warranty. What would I sue them over?
    Crank Brother's Syndrome (CBS). The good news is that it's treatable.
    "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

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  165. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by keb View Post
    I'm not sure what do you mean by compression damping knob not working. If you talk about the fork being plush at the beginning of travel (first 25-35mm) even in the firmest setting, then the clocking will not work for SID forks from 2019 on. As you can see on the bottom link from Specialized, with the introduction of DebonAir spring the first 25mm or so of the fork travel is free floating (=open) even in the firmest setting. It's something a lot of people have asked for (=having a better small bump compliance) and Specialized delivered. The 2018 version (and older) was rock solid in full firm mode. I too scratched my head when I got 2019 bike as the fork was very different from 2018 bike and I thought I got a busted fork until I found that the setup was redesigned. There is also an entire thread about 2019 SID Brain fork on this forum, look bellow the link. I apologize to post the fork answer in the rear shock woes thread I heard however rumors that the internals can be changed with the previous version via LBS. I'm not sure if that's 100 % sure, though.

    https://www.specialized.com/ca/en/st...ain-technology

    https://forums.mtbr.com/specialized/...in-970623.html
    Good information. What we found is that the compression damping knob has no effect at all, even beyond that first little bit of travel.

    As regards the shock, I contacted Specialized to see if they've come up with a long term fix. Apparently, they've changed their repair procedure and have a new o-ring that is supposed to eliminate the problem of failing rear shocks. They started using this new procedure in November 2019, so it is fairly new.

  166. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
    Good information. What we found is that the compression damping knob has no effect at all, even beyond that first little bit of travel.

    As regards the shock, I contacted Specialized to see if they've come up with a long term fix. Apparently, they've changed their repair procedure and have a new o-ring that is supposed to eliminate the problem of failing rear shocks. They started using this new procedure in November 2019, so it is fairly new.
    Thanks for information.
    I have made the adjustment to the Fork as per the other threat talking about the Sid and is now much more firm, it is not a fully lock-out system but I do like it.

    Regarding the latest point - Could you please let me know who you contact with? I have a new 2020 Epic bought in December and to make sure if my shock is solved or not.

    Thanks,



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    You can just email [email protected]. Don't expect much in the way of useful service. Most of the stuff they offer on that email is pretty generic. They aren't very responsive either. If the change truly rolled into production in November, I would say it's highly unlikely that a bike you purchased in December would incorporate the change. The delay between manufacturing and appearance in a shop would be too long. However, you might be able to send them your serial number. It is still doubtful they'll be able to pinpoint your production date and guarantee your bike is pre- or post-change.

  168. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by justonwo View Post
    Good information. What we found is that the compression damping knob has no effect at all, even beyond that first little bit of travel.

    As regards the shock, I contacted Specialized to see if they've come up with a long term fix. Apparently, they've changed their repair procedure and have a new o-ring that is supposed to eliminate the problem of failing rear shocks. They started using this new procedure in November 2019, so it is fairly new.
    I have now 5th brain shock on the run and last time the shock was changed was july 2019 so the shock lasted about 6 months. Now the shock makes squishy sound again and brain works terribly. Every time I have taken the bike to the dealer they have said that there is new updated parts (o-rings etc). I will take the bike to my local dealer soon...again. Hope that this time they have come up solution that last's but really I'm not too hopeful.

    I don't understand that why they don't copy Andreanni's solution for brain failure if it really works. https://www.andreanigroup.com/news/201

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kama_ View Post
    I have now 5th brain shock on the run and last time the shock was changed was july 2019 so the shock lasted about 6 months. Now the shock makes squishy sound again and brain works terribly. Every time I have taken the bike to the dealer they have said that there is new updated parts (o-rings etc). I will take the bike to my local dealer soon...again. Hope that this time they have come up solution that last's but really I'm not too hopeful.

    I don't understand that why they don't copy Andreanni's solution for brain failure if it really works. https://www.andreanigroup.com/news/201
    I am gonna set up Andreani beginning February. No issues or speculation for me.


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    Thereís been no posts in 3 months! Does that mean the November fix is working?

    Mine was repaired in August 2019 and has failed again.

    August service notes say ďReplaced seal head and damper shaft with upgrade parts, lip seal replaced with PU o-ring and bladder cap o-ring replaced. New air can and damper seals. New bleed procedure and bladder pressure. Dyno test ok.Ē

    Whatís the cost of a new shock? Two on rotation would be handy. Does anyone rate the bikeyoke x-fusion microlite shock alternative for a 66kg rider?

  171. #171
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    Mine was repaired in December 2019, but in the snowbelt the trails didn't dry out until recently. 200 miles on it so far with no problems.... fingers crossed!

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    I tried to start another thread about the option for the Brain failure, but nobody has really replied. I might just ask my questions here. The brain of my 2018 bike is pretty much given up on me, there is the dreaded squishy sound of oil and gas cavitation Could you recommend options for the brain rebuild? I would also like to know the price. So far I found out about these options:
    - Bikeyoke + X-Fusion or Fox (320-400USD)
    - Andreani rebuild by S4suspension (175CAD for the kit + 170CAD for the rebuild), this is quite acceptable I think (around 240USD total + shipping to Canada I guess)
    - Rebuild by Specialized, I don't know how much it costs and for how long it lasts.

    Could you tell me the pros and cons for each? Also if you have cheaper options for either of these, that's very much appreciated!
    Last edited by lampee; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:54 PM.

  173. #173
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    specialized should repair or replace it for free. Take it your shop first.
    Joe
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    How long does it take Specialized to answer an email usually? I hope it's not a matter of weeks.

  175. #175
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    I went through 3 brains on 2 bikes. I sold my bikes.

    How can they just repeatedly fix these things to have them go bad again?

    Very poor design and what a hassle not having your bike to ride.

    My advice is take your losses, sell your bike or the frame and move on.

    There are plenty of other bikes out there that are just as good, if not better, for less money too.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  176. #176
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    I bought this for quite a good deal and getting an XL sized frame is not quite easy. Especially with the right groupset and etc. I'm willing to spend around 300USD on a permanent solution, which is good. If the bike becomes a rocking chair with a new shock like a Fox or an X-fusion one, I'm not considering that as a permanent solution.

    Could someone give me some details about the BikeYoke mod? How is the bike after the fox or the x-fusion? Wouldn't the complete lockout make the frame fragile at 0% sag?
    How is the Andreani mod holding up?

  177. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by lampee View Post
    I bought this for quite a good deal and getting an XL sized frame is not quite easy. Especially with the right groupset and etc. I'm willing to spend around 300USD on a permanent solution, which is good. If the bike becomes a rocking chair with a new shock like a Fox or an X-fusion one, I'm not considering that as a permanent solution.

    Could someone give me some details about the BikeYoke mod? How is the bike after the fox or the x-fusion? Wouldn't the complete lockout make the frame fragile at 0% sag?
    How is the Andreani mod holding up?
    Good luck.
    by Silentfoe
    I'm satisfied knowing that what I wear during my "day" job makes me more of a man than you'll ever be.

  178. #178
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    So after a bit of research and messaging people I found the followings:

    Andreani mod:
    It seems to be reliable, but it costs around 260USD and it has to be sent to s4suspensions in Canada, which adds to the cost. i couldn't find any shop in the US which would perform the modification. After this, every 200hours the shock has to be sent be to this shop as Specialized won't work on the modified shock. However, Andreani do provide warranty on the modification, which is quite nice.

    Bikeyoke:
    I messaged a fellow mtbr forum member about it who modified his bike with the BikeYoke mode and the Fox DPS shock. He did not like the setup too much and he ended up reverting it to the brain system. He got the brain fixed with specialized for some amount of money as he was not the first owner.

    Specialized:
    Sending back the shock to Specialized and get it fixed is probably the best option for everyone as they seem to have come up with a reliable solution. However, please tell me if this is not true and somebody has experienced any problem since November 2019. For this option you need to contact your LBS and get your bike or your shock there along with the original receipt of the bike. I'm not sure whether they ask for a proof of being the original owner. I don't have the receipt for the bike as I bought it second hand. and also couldn't get it from the original owner.
    However, this last option of sending the shock back is not working at the moment. Due to CoViD-19 and the fact that Specialized is in California, which is under a lockdown until 15th July (AFAIK), we need to wait. I think I am going to send it back to Specialized during the winter. Not having the brain is not that horrible, but the rear bottoms out quite easily, so I might have to be careful.

  179. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by lampee View Post

    Specialized:
    Sending back the shock to Specialized and get it fixed is probably the best option for everyone as they seem to have come up with a reliable solution. However, please tell me if this is not true and somebody has experienced any problem since November 2019. For this option you need to contact your LBS and get your bike or your shock there along with the original receipt of the bike. I'm not sure whether they ask for a proof of being the original owner. I don't have the receipt for the bike as I bought it second hand. and also couldn't get it from the original owner.
    However, this last option of sending the shock back is not working at the moment. Due to CoViD-19 and the fact that Specialized is in California, which is under a lockdown until 15th July (AFAIK), we need to wait. I think I am going to send it back to Specialized during the winter. Not having the brain is not that horrible, but the rear bottoms out quite easily, so I might have to be careful.
    So, it seems like I have to send mine back to Specialized, now. Squishy noise when pushing down on the saddle and compressing the suspension and losing 40-50psi during a ride. My LBS, which is currently overwhelmed with service, said it could be 8-10 weeks to get it back.

    For those who have had their shock repaired recently, is the fix working? Any recurring issues?

  180. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraction View Post

    For those who have had their shock repaired recently, is the fix working? Any recurring issues?
    There are a number of people who have their shock fixed multiple times.

    I had mine fixed 3 times and sold both of my Epics.

    Get out while you still can.
    by Silentfoe
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  181. #181
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    Many Specialized LBS's have stocked up on the new shock and will replace it on-site.
    You might want to call around if you have more than one in your area.
    I was in my favorite shop the other day and they had about 7 of the old one's stacked in a pile.

    I had mine done the end of October '19 and everything has been fine since.

  182. #182
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    I don't think there is a set way Specialized is handling this issue. I keep reading posts eluding to the way the dealers are handling the issues but no one really mentions the dealer locations. Some posters are saying that the LBS are replacing the shocks with new shocks. Other are posting that the dealers are sending the shocks back into Specialized for new seals and it is an exchange program.

    I live in Southeast Michigan. I took my bike into two local bike shops, one in Lake Orion and the other in Ann Arbor. Both claim they have seen no problems associated with the 2.0 brain nor have they heard of any. I spoke to the mechanics at the dealer in Brighton and the owner of the LBS in Chelsea and both claim the same. If I want my shock rebuilt, they can send it in but it will cost me approximately $300. My bike is still under warranty but was told that as long as the shock functions, it is not necessary to service the shock. The sound does not matter.

  183. #183
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    Wow Jim, that's weird. All 4 of the Specialized dealers I frequent are replacing them outright, on-site. Exhale, Bike Barn, Bike Haus & Roadrunner, all in the Phoenix Metro area.

    Try Denny's Central Park Bicycles in Okemos, MI. Ask for David. I used to work for them back in the mid-80's when it was Denny's Schwinn. They were real stand-up folks.

  184. #184
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  185. #185
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    This is only the 50hour video. Does anybody have a video of the 200hour? Not that I have the tools for it, but I am interested.

  186. #186
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    If the shock has Nitrogen in the damper fluid and it's making a strange sound because of that, that is not a functioning shock. Also, the brain is supposed to lock the rear end at about 30% sag. If that is lacking, also, renders the shock non-functioning.
    If they claim that it is doing its job properly anyways, they should not be in the business.

  187. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    ..
    I live in Southeast Michigan. I took my bike into two local bike shops, one in Lake Orion and the other in Ann Arbor. Both claim they have seen no problems associated with the 2.0 brain nor have they heard of any. I spoke to the mechanics at the dealer in Brighton and the owner of the LBS in Chelsea and both claim the same. If I want my shock rebuilt, they can send it in but it will cost me approximately $300. My bike is still under warranty but was told that as long as the shock functions, it is not necessary to service the shock. The sound does not matter.
    I am 100% sure Specialized Corporate is aware of the issues. I have had Exhale bikes in Phoenix replace mine 3 times. All under warranty and zero hassle from the shop. If your shop is not aware of the issues it is on them.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  188. #188
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    I actually messaged Specialized about it and they were acting dumb. The guy said that it's probably some minor issue which could be dealt with by any local Specialized dealer on site Yeah, sure...

  189. #189
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    NOPE!

    I've gone through 5? 6? brains now in 15 months of riding. Grew up working at spec dealers setting these things up so not doing anything wrong, I'm just hard on gear and this fragile POS can't take it.

    Just ordered an epic HT frame... LBS ran out of brains and spec doesn't have any... awesome.

    For anyone reading this, don't buy an epic. They break, and rn can't find a yoke to swap out a new shock...
    A medical student who wandered into Iowa

  190. #190
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    The rear brain is essentially a compression restrictor - it doesn't necessarily lock, on any setting. It still allows some compression to happen, just a lot less until the inertia weight is moved by a bump or whatever. The brain fade adjuster handles how much compression bypasses the inertial weight, so in general, even at full-stiff on the brain fade switch, it's not locked out. THis is by design, from the look of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by lampee View Post
    If the shock has Nitrogen in the damper fluid and it's making a strange sound because of that, that is not a functioning shock. Also, the brain is supposed to lock the rear end at about 30% sag. If that is lacking, also, renders the shock non-functioning.
    If they claim that it is doing its job properly anyways, they should not be in the business.

  191. #191
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    Guys, for you folks that sold your epics, were you able to get a good price on it? I thought I would seel my '18 Alloy comp to get the 21 when it's out, but I'm seeing very little interest. People keep offering around 1500, is that what the epic is worth now? Pretty amazed how it depreciated 50% in 2 years

  192. #192
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    1) Considering all 2018 models have the defective shock that will always have issues 2) dealers will heavily discount the previous models on the floor to get them moving when the new models are introduced and these will carry a full year warranty 3) my friend purchased a 2019 alloy from a dealer for $2,000, I would say the $1500 offer is a nice offer.

  193. #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by fhm3rc View Post
    Guys, for you folks that sold your epics, were you able to get a good price on it? I thought I would seel my '18 Alloy comp to get the 21 when it's out, but I'm seeing very little interest. People keep offering around 1500, is that what the epic is worth now? Pretty amazed how it depreciated 50% in 2 years
    I sold both of my frames and got a great price. But this is after both failed rather quickly and I determined the Brain was junk.

    I guess I was ahead of the curve.
    by Silentfoe
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  194. #194
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    All? No, some. If it was "ALL" there would have been communication/recall from Spesh about it, rather than just generous service on rebuilds.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimglassford View Post
    1) Considering all 2018 models have the defective shock that will always have issues .

  195. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    All? No, some. If it was "ALL" there would have been communication/recall from Spesh about it, rather than just generous service on rebuilds.
    Recalls are for safety issues, not for bad engineering. And, all of the Epics have bad shocks. If it were "Some," they would not have re-engineered the shock.

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