Specialized FSR Brain... is it reliable (or worth it)?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mazer75, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. mazer75

    mazer75 New Member

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    Okay, I'm a super-newbie for sure, but today I rode an amazing bike. It was a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Expert (I believe an 06), with the Brain thing. I really liked it, could feel unlocking when things turned bumpy, and locking when it wasn't.

    My buddy that took me has a Elsworth Moment, and he's a big fan of it (of course). He says that this Brain thing is a gimmick. Is he correct? I guess it only matters what I think, but I'd love to hear some opinions on this.

    I guess I plan to ride mostly XC, nothing too crazy but I like to go fast. I'm used to hardtails, so maybe that's why I liked the brain thing, but I seriously thought it was pretty good.

    Is the technology reliable? What would replacement parts cost? I'm worried about how the "brain" units sticks out, that I might break that thing is a big crash.

    All thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

    If you haven't noticed, this is my FIRST post here too, so please be nice. Thanks!

    -mazer
     
  2. dstepper

    dstepper Over the hill

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    :welcome: aboard!

    I don't see too many of those bikes on the trail. I know a couple of people on this forum that have experience with Specialized Epics. I my opion Specialized makes a good product.

    If you buy this as your first bike, you did alot better than I did on my first bike purchase, a GT I-Drive. That bike liked to buck me over the handlebars. Fixed that by putting a 125mm front fork on a bike designed for a 80mm fork.

    Dean
     
  3. guero

    guero iFroth

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    welcome to str. i dont know too much about the brain shock, but the fox rp23's have a pretty good pedaling platform from what i hear, and has many adjustments and can be virtually 'bob-free'. im sure there are many other great pedalling xc rigs out there in the same price range as the stumpy you rode.
     
  4. LBmtb

    LBmtb good times

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    :welcome: I've never ridden or tried a bike with the brain so can't comment. But as a bit of advice: try as many bikes as you can before you lay down the moolah. Everyone rides differently and bikes aren't a one size fits all deal. Find the bike that's right for you and the way you ride.
     
  5. Fearless Fly

    Fearless Fly anachronistic and impulsi

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    I have had a lots of experience with the brain rear shock. It is an ok shock for a professional xc racer looking to win races, in that it is an efficient bike. The suspension proformance provides no traction enhancement and the suspension proformance is pretty bad. It has the worst small bump compliance of any bike I have ever ridden and it is a heavy frame and rear shock. For a great trailbike look at the Foes FXR, Ventana X5, Ellsworth Moment, or the Yeti 575. These are all proven trail bikes that are lighter and have better rear shocks.
     
  6. allison

    allison Active Member

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    Welcome!! Stumpjumper's are good bikes. It's definitely a great first bike also. To be honest, after you ride for awhile you'll end up finding all kinds of bikes and frames and suspension and parts that you want. It's an obsession! Get a reliable bike from a good company and you can't go wrong. Stumpjumper's are popular bikes. I've got an 05 expert (no brain) and haven't had any issues. If you enjoyed riding it and like the bike, go for it!
     
  7. Fearless Fly

    Fearless Fly anachronistic and impulsi

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    No brain shock you say?
     
  8. allison

    allison Active Member

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    Me? No. Just the Fox Septune, Push'd. It's an 05 FSR Expert Disc 120. Loved it. Then I got a super light 29er for climbing and started riding hubby's all mountain bike for descending. We'll probably sell it soon. It's gone on some amazing trips, though ;)
     
  9. Fearless Fly

    Fearless Fly anachronistic and impulsi

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    I rest my case.
     
  10. mazer75

    mazer75 New Member

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the replies!! Next weekend I plan on renting a Ellsworth Epiphany and doing the same trail I did today (Whiting Ranch).

    I should mention that I got the Spec I rode today from The Path, and I'll rent the Epiphany next week (which my buddy rented and rode today). The Path is a pretty sweet shop... lots of great stuff and the guys there definitely know their stuff.

    Hopefully I can compare across seven days of memory between the Stumpjumper and the Epiphany. I need to try a bunch of other bikes too. It's going to be fun! :)

    Thanks again y'all...
     
  11. dstepper

    dstepper Over the hill

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    Great Plan!

    Dean
     
  12. allison

    allison Active Member

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    Typically it's more expensive to build up a frame that's like $1800, as opposed to buying an entire bike for a little bit more than that.
     
  13. CalEpic

    CalEpic member

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    I had a Specialized Epic with the brain shock and it was reliable but what's been said is correct. It does not provide the best small bump compliance but if you like to hammer out of the saddle it's very good. I think after riding the Epiphany though you won't be asking anymore. As others have said try as many bikes as you can.

    C
     
  14. ka0t1c07

    ka0t1c07 Full Travel

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    Dean, you're forgetting who rides a 2006 Stumpjumper Fsr 130 carbon. The brain on the Epic is not so forgiven on small bumps. On the Stumpie with the brain FADE, its a different story. The Fade absorbs 95 percent of all the bumps from big to small. Its also adjustable. Firm or Soft. The Stumpie climbs like a goat. You will love it. Makes my climbing improve a lot. I huck it off of things lots of times especially from last weeks Hurkey ride. So far the bike and shock is holding up fine, no leaks. The Epic that Cal had did not have the FADE feature. Its a little bit on the stiff side.

    -Tin
     
  15. gurp13

    gurp13 SolarFederationMember

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    I ride a Stumpjumper FSR 2006 but without a brain shock. Mine was the entry level build for the Stumpy FSR. The shock that tin is referring to is actually a shock made by Specialized, not by Fox, as the original Brains were. Another guy around here, Epic Mountain Biker, natch, rides an Epic with the Brain and I've never heard him complain about the bike or the ride. He loves it.

    I think Specialized is a good bike maker and the Stumpy is a good bike, especially to begin. You can spend a lot of money on mountain bikes and (at the risk of getting beat up next time I see some of you) I'm not sure you really get that much better performance. I don't know. Maybe I'm just rationalizing 'cause I don't have $3K to throw down on a new bike.

    If I were buying a new bike, I would look really hard at Specialized and Trek. Those two companies spend a lot of time and money researching and developing and they put out really solid bikes. They might not have the cool factor that some of the smaller companies have, though. I'd also look at a Turner, Santa Cruz and Ventana, too. But, for me, the best thing I can do to get better performance out of my bike is to upgrade the engine.
     
  16. ka0t1c07

    ka0t1c07 Full Travel

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    You took it to the point. Engine. Mybrain fade is from Fox. The 2007 is from Spec.
     
  17. gurp13

    gurp13 SolarFederationMember

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    Oh, dang, Tin, you're right. My bad. Thanks!
     
  18. andino

    andino dirt tastes funny

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    I own an 06 Stumpy expert (no brain) and it's pretty nice and dandy. well today i was at cynergy and tested out the carbon stumpy with the Fox Brain. Well let's just say there's a huge difference. the brain makes the stumpy, already pretty efficient, ever nicer. If you have a chance to get the brain, like on the 07 experts, i'd really recommend getting it. really makes a difference for the climb
     
  19. Kid A

    Kid A now with 40% more bacon

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    Never ridden a specialized with brain shock but heard all the same above. Talked to a guy once while ridding STT/luge and he said real harse on small stuff. Rode with another guy @ A/W (he said was a "newbie" and wanted to tag along with me and J-dirt) but he seemed to be fairly happy with it...think most tech we hit that day was lynx but he seemed to charge it pretty well

    I ride an Epi and love it. feel free to PM me if u have any Q's on that bike

    The guys at the Path ware way cool, no positive but think rental fees can go towards any purchase you make from them so keep on renting to test and soon you'll get the pick of the litter for free :lol:
     
  20. g-dub

    g-dub Member

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    Consider putting that $500 you'd spend stepping up to the Brain-equpped Stumpy into a wheelset upgrade. I'm riding a brainless '06 Stumpy expert. I have had a few moments when I wish I had the brain, usually when I'm out of the saddle in a full-effort uphill sprint. But for long seated climbs, or for more technical stuff, your basic ProPedal shock is plenty good, and will be better going down the back side. (This should tell you that I'm not one who puts in a lot of full effort uphill sprints...if you like that sort of pain, I've got nothing for you.)

    The other components that come with the Expert upgrade (SRAM shifting) are a plus, though you could start with a non-brain stumpy and upgrade the shifting and the wheelset for the Expert price. Of course if you're considering Ellsworth, $ isn't a problem. Darn purty bikes, they are, though they seem kinda spendy. I'll take my Epiphany in green, TYVM.

    I bought my bike about 2 months before the Enduro SL was announced (but more like 10 months before any were actually in shops). I wish I had had that bike to choose from, that looks pretty sharp. Same price as the Stumpy, and pretty close on weight too...
     

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