Specialized Bikes 2010 Long Travel Launch

Sep 17, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
This summer I had the pleasure of attending the first ever long travel launch on behalf of Specialized bikes. They chose the world's most renowned gravity place to do this too, Whistler B.C. Over the course of a few days we were introduced to all their gravity bikes and given park time to really get a feel for the bikes. Since this was my first time at a launch with Specialized, I also wanted to get to know the guy behind all their FSR developments and to see why they feel so passionate about FSR bikes.

Check out the 2010 Specialized long travel bikes and an interview with Jason Chamberlain inside,Jason Chamberlain is Specialized's Czar of FSR - yeah it's a catchy little nick name, but he comes by it honestly. This man knows the ins and outs, ups and downs of FSR technology like no other. In between riding the 2010 Demo 8 II and going for a good pedal on the all new Enduro Carbon, we were able to sit down and talk about his role at Specialized bikes and about the new 2010 line up.

Tell us about your position at Specialized bikes and how long you have been with the company?
I have been with Specialized for 13 years. I started in the test lab breaking things. It gave me a great foundation to learn frame design, because I saw first hand how and why frames do what they do. The flex, the bend and eventually the break (at least in our test lab). Nothing survives the test lab!

Then

Then

Now

Now

Not bad for his first bike.

Not bad for his first bike.


I then moved into hardtail design and my first full suspension bike is the heralded "monocoque" Enduro, the 2nd generation in 2002. I've been involved in every full suspension design since then. Our team is much bigger now as the company has grown. At this point I've designed more FSR bikes than all my predecessors combined, including Horst Leightner himself. That is why someone recently gave me the nickname "Czar of FSR", and sadly it stuck.

At a glance, the 2010 Demo looks similar to the 2009, but after riding both you can tell that there's been changes to the whole set up. Let's go over the changes from the 2009 model and how they'll benefit the end user. Why were these changes made?
2010 Demo - you are absolutely correct - at a glance it looks very similar to the prior bikes. But it only takes one ride to realize it is a totally new animal. The biggest change is the BB height. It is one full inch lower than the previous bike. That is what is required to rail corners at World Cup speed. It is a dedicated World Cup race bike. The geometry adjustment is also missing. You run the Monster Team geometry and that's it. Pure, dedicated, fast, race only design.

Whole bike

Whole bike

1.5 inch head set

1.5 inch head set


We also switched to a 1.5 head tube, which allows you to run a semi-integrated head set that reduces to 1-1/8, which all triple clamp forks are, and set you bars lower since you don't have the stack height.






Simply by changing the BB height by 1 inch meant I had to redesign the configuration of every tube and forging to fit and function and keep the FSR performance the same.

What's the benefit(s) to working with Sam Hill and Brendan Faircloth?
Working with Brendan, Sam, Sean (team manager) and Jacy (mechanic) has been fantastic. We immediately clicked and we're on the same page. We talk before and after every race. Sam and Brendan tried a number of prototypes to be 100% confident on the set up of their race bikes for this season. Ultimately, they run the same 64 deg head tube and short 16.5 chain stays that we've been running for years. The bottom bracket height was the only major revision we did for them. Some minor changes were to the top tube length which we increased by 5 mm on the Medium (Sam) and Large (Brendan), the seat tube angle and position was tweaked so that you can run a non-offset seat post for strength and keep the optimal saddle position at ride height. And the head tube changed to 1.5, as mentioned prior.

The benefits to working with them is we get feedback that ultimately makes a consumer's bikes faster in races. In addition to our own internal powerhouse of riders and developers we now have more people to bounce ideas off and collaborate with. The only way to truly know what is fast is to work with the fastest guys on the planet.


Additional Demo Notes:
-The Demo 8 is fully redesigned and race ready.
-8.0 inches of travel versus 8.4 inches in the past - sits higher in the travel
-Cold forging over CNC for strength - main pivot area, head tube
-Magnesium forged link
-Bearings at the shock pivots - DUs are gone!
-Sub 39lbs out of the box
-135mm with 6mm offset rear ends - team is on prototype 150mm rears.
-The Demo 7 remains unchanged and is the freerider's go to bike


Brendan goofing about:
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Besides the redesigned Demo 8, the other big, if not bigger news is the all new S-Works Carbon Enduro. This is a whole new bike too, how long was it in development for?
The lead engineer, Jan Talavasek, has been heading up the new Enduro project for nearly 2 years. We're all very excited to see it come to production.

This is not the first time you've worked with carbon, how do you feel about the properties and ways that carbon can be manipulated to create pretty amazing bikes?
Carbon Fiber is hugely flexible. You can throw out all the rules of aluminum tube design. Carbon can be formed into any shape you like. And the layers can be varied to provide whatever performance you are looking for - weight, strength or stiffness. And you can vary the type of fiber used to refine the design even further. We usually revise the shape and layup between 10 and 20 times before the final product is ready.

This is Specialized's flag ship all mountain bike. It's going to be used and abused by both the XC and DH crowds. How do you think it'll fair and how have you made it tough and still remain light and sexy?
The bike is very strong. We know people are leary of carbon in extreme conditions, so we built it to meet and exceed their expectations.


S-Works Carbon Enduro Details:

What's new for 2010?
-All new S-Works carbon frame
-Lighter and stiffer
-sub 28 lbs out of the box
-Better standover and seat post adjustment
-20% better stiffness to weight over '09 versions
-Stiffer, stronger tapered head tube and ISCG tabs
-Stiffer, hallow drop outs with beefed up seat stays/ chainstays
-Future Shock E160TA fork
-Command Post seat post

Component Upgrades
-Fox RP23 rear shock
-Updated Eskar 2.3 tires
-Shimano XT 22/36 cranks with Gamut shift guide
-Wider and lighter bars
-Lighter stems, posts and wheels


Ok enough questions, let's go ride the Enduro on some trails and see how it works!

Crew waiting on me to arrive

Crew waiting on me to arrive


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They call you the Czar of FSR. You work on all the suspension bikes that use this platform at Specialized. Tell us why you and Specialized believe in the FSR suspension platform and how it makes your bikes work so well?
The FSR has been proven over the course of 16 years. Structurally, it can be built light and stiff, with a long bearing life. It can also be configured to a variety of objectives. Specialized of course designs to be active and independent. We don't believe the linkage should affect your pedaling stroke or degrade your braking performance. We also want the wheel to be free to track the ground, even when you are seated or standing and putting power to the pedals. This active nature is the only way to keep traction over bumpy terrain, otherwise your wheel skips and you lose traction and likewise your momentum. We get a lot of flack for not being the "new kid on the block" and for not reinventing ourselves. We've been committed to FSR since day one. It is still the best design to deliver on our goals. Even if the patent expired today, we wouldn't leave FSR unless there were a better design.



It was great checking out the new Specialized Long Travel bikes up in Whistler and getting to know the guys and girls behind the brand too. I'd like to leave you all with pics of the polished and tweaked Big Hit 3 and the SX Trail II, both have been refined for 2010.

SX Trail II:
2010 SX Trail II

2010 SX Trail II



Big Hit 3:

Picking a trail

Picking a trail


-Happy Trails,
Tyler



65 Comments

  • + 12
 pretty sweet bikes, i'm liking the demo a lot Razz
  • + 4
 agreed
  • + 1
 Sam's green demo for schladders is sick!!!!!! back to good old monster green Smile
  • + 1
 im loveing all the colour scheems
  • + 7
 Finally! Someone in the MTB that uses the proper term, "Triple Clamp". It's not triple crown people...
  • + 2
 let me know.... 343mm bb height means 13.6" ?! demo will be the 2010 smaller bb!!!!!! ??????
  • + 2
 colors are kinda gay, looks like how a trendy bmx would paint theri bike, specialized never fails to make awsome frame, and theses look amazing, just the paint...its just to matchy (mainly on the bighit)
  • - 1
 Fredydh, I think you gonna buy a demo 2010 after seeing this article... Intense m6 is a big bus...! hauihaiuha
  • + 1
 I am liking the SX trail: I only wonder how much it does actually weigh in at on the scale. I think I'm gonna go down the shop tomorrow and put it on the scales to find out.
  • + 6
 Aweome looking line up. The 2003 Enduro was my 1st full suspension bike so I kind of have a soft spot for it!
  • + 2
 Well...the SX got a tiny bit less horendous, but the Bighit makes up for it. Blaaaah! Not sure what happened to Spec after 06...like the design guy is droppin acid whole layin the lines... Rocky Mountain saved themselves with the new Flatline, but Specialized and Norco now lead the world with the ugliest tubes on two wheels! Congrats, boys!
  • + 2
 i really don't know what the heck your talking about cause my sx trail looks friggen sweet to accually see outside of a website.
  • + 4
 Am I the only one here that thinks this Big Hit 3 is butt-ugly and that the first model was the best one? ( Big hit....clues in the name )
  • + 1
 the new model was made to fell more like the demo...\poorman's demo..
  • + 1
 that big hit 3 looks the dogs bollox to me. looks like a great improvement from previous models.. i may think about buying one Razz . on the other hand, getting rid of the adjustable geometry on the demo i think is a bit of a short cut, i mean having adjustable geometry on any bike is better right?? fir different courses and riding styles and technique, i just think its a step back for the demo.. maybe im wrong as specialized obviously know better than me but i really do think personally that the demo should have been developed for freeride aswell as race with adjustable geometry for all terrains.
  • + 1
 the new SX trail looks sick! it really did come back to the 06-08 frames. i have an 07 and love it. the 09 looked too curvy, and not sexy curvy. the 10 looks hot and has the right amount of curves without over doing it. maybe a new SX trail will be in the future.
  • + 2
 yes, rocky mountain is totally copying ibis.................idiot........... and rocky mountain and titus are not exactly huge companies.
  • + 4
 does the demo have a 9.5 by 3 inch shock yet
  • + 3
 Nope...
  • - 1
 stop hating on Spesh piltz!
  • + 1
 At last an off the peg dh bike that I actually like, this and the RM Flatline 2010's are gonna be mega popular on the race circuit next year. Shame its still on a 135mm rear end and not 150mm like the team is using.
  • + 2
 glad they went back to the old sx frame. i had a 08 and loved it, great bikes
  • + 1
 what? the 09's are the 10's, neither of which resembles the 08.
  • + 3
 the new sx trail looks pritty sweet
  • + 1
 Meh, still seems half-baked to me, why not design a new bike from the ground up to be a race bike? The demo is different enough that it wouldn't have really mattered
  • + 1
 I am getting the Demo II one day! That thing looks so sweet. Great pics and report!
  • + 1
 Anyone see Sam Hills new bike for the last round of the world cup? Bright green and Black. Looks sick
  • + 1
 Difference between 2009 Demo8 and 2010 Demo8 : www.pinkbike.com/photo/3812624
  • + 2
 man they did a nice job on the sx trail
  • + 2
 the sx is beautiful, dream bike
  • + 1
 everything looks sick tbh! but the new big hit is not as nice as the old one, sorry Frown
  • + 1
 All of those bikes look dialed...... That SX is catching my eye, and the Big Hit 3 is a very sexy machine
  • + 1
 Looking good, I really like the colors. Nice bikes coming out of the Specialized camp- keep it up.
  • + 1
 i love the SX ! how much do you think they will be ?
  • + 2
 probably around the same prices as this year.
  • + 1
 yeah its like 100 (US) dollars cheaper...thats what ive heard
  • + 6
 I would go for the SX but the custom-shock is holding me back... If I got any issues with it I can't use an old shock out of my "old stuff box" to still go out for a ride as long it is getting fixed. Frown

Maybe Specialized has taken the system-integration a little bit to far.
  • + 4
 all of the prices are on their site.. I think that the 2010 domain graphics on the big hit III look so wall mart-ish.
  • + 1
 brendog for podium at schladming
  • + 1
 the big hits r lookin nice imo but the demos are definately my favourite
  • + 1
 The sx trail is sick, but i still like the frame disign more from 06
  • + 1
 Is that one picture in front of the Panamerican in Whistler?
  • + 1
 You mean the Pan Pacific, yes it is. The team monster/specialized riders and crew stayed with us during crankworx when these pics were taken.
  • + 0
 The Demo is now officially a race bike, not a freeride bike. This makes me a little sad.
  • + 5
 Demo 8 = race
Demo 7 = Free ride
  • + 3
 yeah. i'm totally with you dude. i was sad too, but there were really no big differences between the demo 7 and 8 in the past. they were both freeride bikes. now the question is, why a demo 7 when there is an sx trail?
  • + 1
 awesome! i love the specialized demo 8!
  • + 2
 go da sex trail
  • + 1
 Does anyone knows what the demo`s cost?
  • + 1
 its about 4000 GPB
not sure in euros/dollars
  • + 1
 5500$ USD demo 7 II or 8 II the 8 I or 7 I are 3900$ USD
  • + 1
 The DEMO is my bike of choice here. Amazing bike
  • + 1
 is that a domain on the big hit?
  • + 1
 SX trail looks dope!
  • + 1
 ^^^^ agree
  • + 1
 nunukulu so r u m8 Smile
  • + 1
 sex on a stick Razz
  • + 1
 that big hit 3 is dope
  • + 3
 i dont like it looks to much like the sx trail origanals are better
  • + 0
 too much red
  • - 3
 I d still wait for a completely"sam hill"inspired prototype to make its way into production.His still slow in the S company no matter the changes...
  • + 0
 WANT.
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