Experience with getting Specialized Propreiatory Parts (Epic, Diverge, Roubaix etc)?

I’m running an out of date fleet of bicycles, and finally seem to have time to get back into training as I was pre-covid (on equally out of date bikes back then).

Specialized appeal (I’m a sucker for their marketing etc), but ever since the Epic was released (2002 or 2003?) and they did their own proprietary shock, I’ve heard horror stories of getting spare parts or getting them serviced.

For the Diverge, I did hear that it was possible to buy a new Futureshock cartridge, but then heard that it’s an exchange only, or that they don’t have any to sell. I’d really like to have the spare sitting safely in a spares box, rather than find out in year 6 that they stopped supporting them in year 5 or something.

For the Epic, it’s got a special custom shock mounting method (and the brain), so you’d be at the mercy of Specialized.

I know in years past people have commented “specialized are great, my shock had an issue when it was 4 years old and it was only $799 for a new shock, I’m super happy with that” … well, I’d be happy that there was a solution, but disappointed at having one option only and a $799 price. And then I read that in 2016 they stopped supporting brain shocks older than 2014 … and that would be crushing to have a bike as new as 2 years old and no longer be able to get parts.

So, who has 1st or 2nd hand experience with this? Has anyone bought a spare Futureshock or Brain shock in anticipation of them being rare in future years?

Given the bike shortage at the moment, I’m on a slow burn to buy something next summer (accepting that if I decide on exactly what I want next summer, it might be 2023 before one is available).

Thanks all,

Did you make this up?

I have a 2018 epic and had to get the rear shock serviced. Not under warranty cause I purchased the bike 3rd party but after the shop charged me for shipping no to ways and the service it was $150. That was 2 years ago and now I need to do it again. Shock needs to be serviced.

I’m a Specialized fanboy. Love their marketing and bike designs and like how they push the envelope and try new things. Yet I also don’t like that. Bought a second Gen diverge with the future shock, sold it, and probably wouldn’t buy by it again as much as I like that bike. I didn’t really like the future shock and I’d rather get an Open, cannondale, or Cervelo for a gravel bike. Road bike and MTB give me specialized.

No, it was a while back, but someone I came across thought that was great and couldnt see what others concerns were about. Some people see $799 for a shock for a what, $9k bike, as a reasonable cost. Others looked at this and thought “if this was a regular Fox RP3, then it’s half that from any number of online shops, or you can get rebuild kits”.

Is that a factory service of an epic shock for $150 incl shipping? Nothing broken, so the equivalent of a fox seal kit install?

I do know that Fox stopped supporting the Brain shock, why I don’t know, and that was when getting parts for the old model became difficult. Right now you can get the RS shock serviced pretty easy.

Personally, I skip past Specialized and Cannondale for these reasons. I loved my F-Si, but parts and service was a bitch. I didn’t like the Epic, made worse when I had to worry if the shock was going to fail the day before a race (the 2018’s had a high failure rate) and be out for a couple months waiting on Specialized.

My MTB is a Spec, but I have an Ohlins coil shock on it so I am not worried about future support.

The original 2002 Epic’s ran for a while with a Fox F100x front fork with inertia valve, and then specialized seemed to own the patent and pulled it back and started to make their own forks. So Fox stopped making the F100x and there were a few years with no Fox terralogic.

I wonder if the early Fox brains had a stop in support due to the failure of the relationship? I still have my 2002 or 2003 F100x off an S-Works epic. It at least can be fully rebuilt with a $30 fox o-ring kit, some $30 seals and a bushing kit.

This is going back a bit, but in the Fox RP23 days, a fox airsleeve service kit was $6, and took 10 mins to fit once the shock was off the bike. I think the kits are like $16 now. So anyone can do a maintenance service on their Fox rear shock for $16.

Can a consumer buy a Epic rear shock air sleeve kit? (Maybe it’s just a regular air sleeve kit?). The brain itself seemed to never have any user available parts.

I so want to consider a Diverge and Epic, but right now I’m thinking 2023 Stigmata when it comes out (I anticipate a new one this year, hopefully adapting as the market is evolving) and a Blur TR. I’m selling off my stash of bike stuff to raise funds already :slight_smile:

I did find an aftermarket 2018-2019 Epic rear suspension yoke that then allows the epic to use a regular shock, BUT the listing commented that the Epic has little room for the shock, and they only knew of an x-fusion shock that would fit.

In starting this thread, I’d hoped to confirm if parts are truly available to just buy (or only a available of you send the shock in and pay for a service etc) or if not even available. I get it that many who spend say $10k+ on a bike and train hard and travel to races etc (so spending $10-15k/year on cycling) may be more comfortable than I am with $700 replacement shocks etc. I think I’d be more comfortable if that was the same for all brands, but the custom parts makes some specialized stuff more prone.

That current Epic though, looks great and every review seems really positive …

This is interesting. If genuine and not a reject etc, this looks like it represents great value (and means someone could swap it on when they send the original shock off for an air sleeve service).

Maybe my shop is different but my shock was gonna for literally a week. Then again I do live pretty close to Specialized’s HQ.

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Only problem I have with the brain on my Epic is it means the bike doesn’t fit on my Taxc Flux S trainer because it is in the way.