Brain suspension technology was developed to deliver the utmost in efficiency on the trail. Whether it's at the front or rear of a bike's suspension, it's able to differentiate between rider input and trail bumps, ensuring that your pedaling forces aren't being wasted in compressing the suspension.
When only the ultimate in suspension efficiency and control will do, nothing compares to our Brain suspension technology. Found on a myriad of our XC designs, it's been refined and tuned to perform on varying terrain for mountain biking's most demanding riders. Need proof? The Brain-equipped Epic was the first full-suspension bike to win a Cross Country World Championship. It's won several, actually, and in each of these victories, riders were propelled to victory aboard the one-of-a-kind Brain shock.
You're probably asking yourself, "what does it do?" And the simple answer is that it provides you with more speed and more control. The concept is pretty simple, but putting it into action is a different story. After all, since the advent of full-suspension mountain bikes, hardtails and full-suspension rigs have been diametrically opposed when it comes to skillsets and favoritism. With no risk of brake squat or chain growth, the former excels at pedaling speed. Conversely, the latter is dominant over rough terrain, while suffering a bit on pedaling efficiency. The Brain, however, bridges the gap between the two, with its inertia valve technology helping create the cross section of technologies. It knows the difference between rider input and terrain forces, which means that it's firm over smooth terrain to maximize efficiency and active over the rough earth for more control.
When paired with our FSR linkage system, it's the best full-suspension design in the world at eliminating power-induced movement of the rear suspension. The active and independent system remains neutral and unaffected as power is applied through the system. We use the Brain technology to stabilize the chassis from your weight transferring inputs (like aggressive pedaling), with the pedal torque induced movements being neutralized by the FSR linkage.
Since we introduced it back in 2003, our Brain shock has been refined to give riders and racers the optimized ride quality they're looking for. Director of Suspension Technology, Mike "Mick" McAndrews, thought up the original Brain shock and has been hands on every step of the way.
Mike "Mick" McAndrews
The original Brain was more of a macro-event type of damping switch. Based on trail conditions, it would go into either a bump mode or a pedaling mode and stay there for a while, resulting in some inefficient transition time. With the newer generation of Brain shocks, the system can detect micro-trail events and adjust accordingly. There has been a lot of effort the past few years on improving the Brain sensitivity and blending the flow circuits to improve the shock's first strike capability. Also, important to the XC rider, the current Brain shock uses our own micro damper design that is half the weight of the original Brain shock design.