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  • Specialized Epic 2008 Brain Shock
  • Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    I know this topic has been done to death however..I've had a 2008 Carbon Spesh Epic for almost 2 years now. In that time I've blown my rear shock/brain 4 times, and yesterday whilst riding in the Quantocks, the brain died again. The shock had a £140.00 service at the end of last week, and it broke within 1/2 an hour of riding, so as you can imagine, I am less than happy. I'm now considering asking Spesh for some form of compensation. In my mind, as the shock is an integral part of the frame, I'm looking to exchange my entire frame, perhaps for a Stumpy HT.(I think I'm done with FS!). Was wondering if anyone else has attempted this approach or similar, and had a favourable outcome?

    Thanks guys..

    Premier Icon Stuuey
    Full Member

    When you say the brain died do you mean it dumped oil (prob all over your rotor)?
    What's the service interval? My 2004 fox with brain has a 4hr wet weather service interval so that warranty was shot in the first month.

    Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    No oil spillage Stuuey. The blue dial seized. I should get around 3 rotations out of it. I believe the shock has a 12 month service interval, The most recent (4th) shock was fitted about 10 months ago.

    Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    Judging by the deafening silence, I assume nobody has attempted this then?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    The blue dial seizing is related to a bent pin in the shock IIRC, that's a problem from the service, they should be sorting that FOC.

    Premier Icon bennyboy1
    Free Member

    vings – one of the guys I go riding with has an 2007 SWorks Epic, it came with the Spesh AFR Brain but because 2 or 3 of those broke within the first couple of months of owning it, Spesh UK replaced his shock with a 2006 Fox Brain – that's been much more reliable. It might still be an option available to you?

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    That's quite a performance downgrade IMO, the Spesh AFR shocks work better than the earlier Fox ones! Not something I'd do.

    Premier Icon ed34
    Free Member

    i went through 4 shocks and posted on an existing thread on MTBR.com moaning about the reliability, (was going to ring specialized UK the next morning for a warranty replacement) lo and behold a few hours later an email from spec USA asking where to send my new shock to! They said they would make sure it had all the latest internals as they said all the probs had been sorted out. Anyway its been going strong for 18 months now (fingers crossed!)

    I did try hinting at getting a replacement frame (a stumpy) at an 'upgrade' price if there was going to be repeated problems but they didnt respond to that. Not bothered really though as this shock seems ok. Had it serviced at 12 months and they said had swapped some bits out for even more 'improved' bits.

    BTW the blue dial stopped working on two of mine, but on the last one i discovered i could still turn to the setting i wanted it if i loaded the shock slightly (just leaning down hard on the seat). Worked fine apart from that, but they replaced it anyway.

    oddly enough the ones that broke were ones when i was riding my bike on easier ground before i moved to west cumbria and all the rockier stuff that i ride a lot harder! 😕

    Premier Icon Sponging-Machine
    Free Member

    As I said to you at the time, small-claims court. Considering the problems you (and two of our mates) have had with it, you could probably argue that it's not fit for purpose. How're you supposed to complete a 12hour race when it dies after 30mins?

    If you're looking to replace the frame, I'd insist on a 2010 Epic frame replacement, rather than a cheaper hardtail, especially considering the money you've spent on services and time wasted while it's being repeatedly fixed. Then you could sell it and buy something tasty (Yeti arc?) or ride it and hope Specialized have sorted their shit out.

    Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    Thanks for your input guys. ed34 sounds like we've had pretty much identical experiences with our shocks. My gain control dial has always been the first thing to pack up. Admittedly, my latest shock has lasted a reasonable time (10ish months I think). The blue dial seized quite a while ago, but as I generally don't adjust it, I didnt report it. The bike spends enough time at my local Spesh dealers as it is. bennyboy1 thanks for your suggestion, like njee20 I've also heard that the 2008 was better than previous – more responsive. I really can't imagine what the previous versions must have been like – rubbish but reliable? Sponging-Machine I'm liking the idea of a 2010 Epic Frame. Of course I would immediately sell it, as the shock internals will no doubt still be made of cheese.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    The Fox ones used a different type of inertia valve, they had a much more noticeable transition from locked to active, then took longer to lock out again, the AFR ones were virtually instant on both.

    I had 3 S-Works Epics, the 2007 one was perfect, no problems at all, the 2008 one had about 5 shocks, the 2009 one had 4 pairs of forks and several shocks. I now have a Trek Top Fuel! The biggest consolation is that Specialized customer service is fantastic, if the Fuel goes wrong I know I'll have more problems getting it sorted!

    They are meant to have fully sorted all the problems now, it was basically due to their outsourcing their manufacturing, so they could produce enough shocks to fit to all the bikes. Now they've gone back to only doing certain models, with Fox on board as well, the quality is far superior. May be worth seeing if you can get a 2010 frame, may as well ask the question!

    Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    Yes the Specialized customer service has never been a problem. Always very prompt. A number of my friends have had replacement frames under warranty, which I guess you could view as either great customer service or a crap product. In any case I think I'll try the new frame route and see what happens.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    It's a by-product of selling so many bikes. Having worked for 9 years in one of their biggest dealers I assure you they have far fewer warranty problems than some other 'boutique' brands, let alone other mainstream brands.

    Premier Icon epicsteve
    Free Member

    I really can't imagine what the previous versions must have been like – rubbish but reliable?

    Possibly. I've got one of the original '03 Epics and the shock has never been serviced, never given any problems and is still working well. The early ones had less to go wrong of course – mine doesn't have any adjustments other than air pressure and rebound, neither of which I've changed since working out the best settings when I first got the bike.

    Premier Icon Sponging-Machine
    Free Member

    My understanding with the Epic shock problems is that it all started to go wrong when they employed X-Fusion to make them, rather than Fox. I only read that on the intermenet though.

    Neil, here's a couple of words to consider: Giant Anthem

    Premier Icon LoCo
    Free Member

    epicsteve 7 years on a brain with no service, that's got to be a record,nice!

    Premier Icon iolo
    Full Member

    I went through 7 shocks on my 2008 epic in 13 months.
    Specialized were very good each time and just sent another.
    I finally got a yellow spot version and had no problems.
    Specialized were very apologetic and gave me a £200 voucher.
    I have since sold the bike to my mate who has had no problems at all with it,

    Premier Icon epicsteve
    Free Member

    epicsteve 7 years on a brain with no service, that's got to be a record,nice!

    On the other hand my '04 S-Works Enduro came with not one but two knackered Brain shocks (in both cases the shock worked but the Brain didn't). Pointless getting them fixed though as a new RP2 was cheaper and better (and a £40 2nd hand pro-pedal Vanilla was even better than that).

    Premier Icon Sponging-Machine
    Free Member

    Specialized were very apologetic and gave me a £200 voucher.

    Precedent set, Vings. Take the cash, get the shock changed (again), flog the frame and start over with something more reliable.

    Premier Icon Deevass
    Free Member

    Knowing your cycling progression bro a hardtail may suit you better moving forward, still doesn't resolve the reason why your Epics Brain has malfunctioned so many times!! I know a few people who had the same problem on their Stumpy's in 2007 and 2008 and swapped the whole back suspension kit out for a Fox RP23 removing the brain entirely, obviously no use to Epics given the placement of the shock!! Let's see if the 2010 collaboration with Fox on the brain and shock means more reliable shocks, we'll see how Afan goes in Sep bro, bring on the noise 🙂

    Premier Icon njee20
    Full Member

    The 2009 ones were Fox made and still had some reliability problems, although they were more to do with shock placement rather than the internals, the hose to the brain could get pulled out when the shock bottomed. They sorted that on later 2009 models, so there should be no problems at all with 2010 ones.

    Premier Icon Pippalarge
    Full Member

    I've had similar problems – went through 3 or 4 shocks that each lasted a couple of months before the brain adjuster seized – i think they've fixed the problem as had the latest one for about 8-9 months and its still going strong (think is yellow or blue spot).

    Have to say that despite the problems my LBS and Spesh have been excellent – each shock has been replaced (and fitted) within 2 days of breaking. Added bonus: I haven't had to pay for a service since i bought the bike as always had a replacement shock before it needs doing!

    Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    Sponging-Machine: yes I must admit I do like the Anthem. If you're thinking about selling yours I might be interested. We're pretty much the same size aren't we, give or take a couple of ft. Deevass: the hardtail route is tempting, as you know I loved my last one, but I'm gonna try and convince the tweenies to exchange my frame for a 2010 Epic, or if that fails, pursue some sort of good will payment similar to iolo. I suspect I'll struggle, but in the words of Del Boy – "He who dares Rodney, he who dares!" We'll see. I'll report back.

    Cheers for your thoughts guys

    Premier Icon Sponging-Machine
    Free Member

    Perhaps if we dropped the saddle a little?

    Premier Icon vings
    Free Member

    Slightly shorter stem?

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 25 total)

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