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Smarter. Faster. Stronger. The culmination of nearly two decades of obsessive R&D and over 100 World Cup podiums, the new Brain is the most durable and efficient we’ve ever made. Seamlessly switching from firm on smooth terrain to plush and active in the rough stuff, Brain thinks so you don’t have to.
In 2002 we introduced a shock with a mind of its own, and revolutionized bicycle suspension. Integral to the winningest full suspension XC bikes ever, Brain technology has come a long way over the past two decades, but the all-new Brain is still in a class by itself when it comes to instantly and automatically adjusting suspension from firm to active to maximize efficiency and control.
Brain Technology in Epic forks and shocks knows the difference between pedaling force and bump force. It keeps suspension firm on smooth terrain and switches suspension to fully active the instant things get rough. The new Epic boasts our smartest Brain yet, completely redesigned to deliver a firmer firm setting, better bump management in all conditions and unprecedented durability and toughness.
The Brain manages your suspension and lets you focus on hammering to the top of the podium. Brain suspension adjusts between firm and plush faster than human reaction, without you needing to flip any levers, assuring the suspension is always in the appropriate setting for any given terrain. And because this is automatic, you stay in the zone, focusing solely on riding your line and putting power to the pedals.
How the Brain Thinks
Our Brain technology employs an inertia valve that blocks oil flow in the shock when closed, creating an efficiently firm pedaling platform on smooth terrain. The inertia valve opens instantaneously when a bump force is encountered, allowing suspension to compress and absorb the impact. This active suspension maintains momentum, increases control, reduces fatigue, and helps you reach the checkered flag faster.
Brain in the Back
The Brain is located behind the rear axle, making the “brass mass” in the inertia valve more sensitive to bump forces. This translates to faster, more precise switching between firm and active modes.
The new Brain’s transition from firm to active is more seamless throughout the adjustment range than previous Brain shocks. In the firmest race-ready setting, which is firmer than ever before, some riders feel a slight threshold at the transition from firm to active. Full on beast-mode not for you? Just dial it back one click and it’ll be smooth as butter.
More Firm, Better Flow
Revamped valving of the new Brain shock provides a wider tuning range. Now there’s a much firmer platform when dialed to the maximum “firm” setting, and a plusher “open” setting on the other end of the spectrum. We also relocated the Brain’s reservoir, smoothing oil flow and thereby improving bump-force management.
This is the toughest shock we’ve ever made! Dual bushings, a hardened steel shaft and boosted seal ratings all add up to extremely reliable long-haul performance. Recommended service intervals increased to 125 hours for the air spring (a 2.5X increase), and to 250 hours for the damper. You might miss your mechanic, but you won’t miss any rides.
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