Beauty and the beast: Evolution of the Specialized Demo

Specialized‘s new S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica is a stunning-looking machine that’s proven at the highest level of racing, weighs a feathery (for a DH bike) sub-36lb and has a pricetag that nudges five figures.

But it wasn’t always that way – the original Demo 9 was a 48lb beast designed for freeride hucks that could take 24in and 26in wheels and came in at half the price. Here’s how the bike has evolved – scroll down to compare the specs.

From beast to beauty

2005 Specialized Demo 9

2005 Specialized Demo 9 – the original Demo was designed to soak up freeride drops. It was tough but weighed a tonne

2007 Specialized Demo 7

2007 Specialized Demo 7 – the Demo 9 shed some weight, lost some travel and evolved into the 7in-travel Demo 7 and 8in-travel Demo 9. Thankfully this paintjob didn’t last long

2010 Specialized Demo 8

2010 Specialized Demo 8 – by the turn of the decade Spesh were sticking to the same basic design but the graphics were looking a lot tidier!

2012 Specialized Demo 8

2012 Specialized Demo 8 – this year’s bike looks like the carbon team machines ridden by Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan but the welds are a dead giveaway

2013 Specialized S-Works Demo 8 Carbon Team Replica

2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica – this carbon fibre dream machine is 25% lighter than the original bike, slacker angled and lower to the ground


How do they stack up?


2004 Demo 9 DH 2013 S-Works Carbon Demo 8
Frame TIG welded aluminium,
1-1/8in head tube,
12x150mm rear end
FACT 11M carbon fibre front triangle,
M5 alloy rear end, magnesium link,
1-1/2in head tube, 12x135mm rear
Rear travel 9.5in / 240mm 8in / 200mm
Rear shock Manitou Swinger w/ steel spring RockShox Vivid w/ titanium spring
Fork Marzocchi 888R, 200mm RockShox Boxxer World Cup, 200mm
Brakes Hayes HFX Magnesium Custom Avid Code X0 World Cup
Crankset MRP Bones Chromoly SRAM X0 DH
Chain guide Specialized Fatty System 2 e*thirteen
Transmission Shimano Deore LX/XT mix SRAM X0 DH
Finishing kit Specialized BigHit Renthal
Rims Mavic EX 729D, 36h Custom DT Swiss FR 600, 32h
Hubs Specialized Stout Disc front, Sun Ringle rear DT Swiss 240s
Spokes DT stainless steel, brass nipples DT Swiss Competition, stainless
Tyres Specialized S-Works Evil Twin Roller Specialized Butcher DH
Price US$5,200.00 $10,000 (TBC)
Bike weight Approx. 48lb 35.8lb / 16.2kg (claimed)
Frame weight N/A 10.2lb / 4.6kg (with shock)
Head angle 66.0° or 67.5° 64°
Seat angle 63° or 64.5° 61°
BB height 371 or 390mm (with 26in rear wheel) 338 to 353mm
Top tube length 560 to 605mm (depending on frame size) 560 to 597mm
Chainstay length 428mm 421mm
Wheelbase 1,158 to 1,203mm 1,171 to 1,208mm


Gimme more…


Not got your Specialized Demo fix quite yet? Here are some more images of the 2013 bike, plus a video from Pinkbike featuring Sam Hill & co putting it through its paces.

2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica

2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica. Picture by Rob Weaver

2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica

The carbon Demo 8 uses the same four-bar FSR suspension setup as the original Demo 9. Picture by Rob Weaver

2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica

The Team Replica gets a seven-speed cassette and 135mm rear end (the standard carbon bike has a 150mm rear end). Picture by Rob Weaver

2013 Specialized S-Works Carbon Demo 8 Team Replica

Up front is a RockShox Boxxer World Cup fork with super-slippery BlackBox Black Gold stanchions. Picture by Rob Weaver

Source: Sam Hill, Troy Brosnan, Curtis Keene and Brad Benedict film with Pinkbike on their carbon Demos on Pinkbike