Review: You may hate the Brain, but the 2018 Specialized Epic Expert is ready to prove you wrong

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In Issue #116 of Singletrack Magazine, Wil and the crew tested three new generation full suspension XC race bikes. Read on for the full review of the 2018 Specialized Epic Expert. As one of the most decorated full suspension race bikes on the market, the Epic has been a mainstay of the cross-country racing scene since it blew things wide-open in 2003 with the Brain. That original bike featured 90mm of travel and utilised a custom shock that was the result of a four-year development project between Fox and Specialized dubbed the ‘Holy Grail’. The concept behind the Brain’s patented inertia valve was to keep the shock locked out by way of a weighted brass mass that closed off oil flow. When you encountered a bump, the mass would dislodge, allowing oil to flow through the damper, so the shock could absorb the impact. Or at least in theory anyway. With the shock tucked in under the seatstay, it was a radical looking – and performing – bike of its time. Fifteen whole years separates...

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