Bike Check: Remy Morton's Chainless Specialized Demo 8

Feb 16, 2024
by Matt Beer  



As one of the most stylish riders out there, Remy Morton has signed with Specialized bikes and brought along his ultra-personalized set up to his Demo 8 park bike. The new relationship with Specialized, and their Soil Searching program, fits well with Remy as he runs his own trail building business called "Flux Trail", and so the frame receives a custom paint job.

Remy is running a mullet set up, but not the one you see most commonly around your local trail center - this is a 26" front, 24" rear wheel combo. It's hard to glance over the massive 3" wide rear tire, which he says, remains stable in the air while allowing him to move the bike in ways that weren't possible before.

The pressures are set well above what you find in downhill race bikes. The front tire has 35 psi and the rear has a whopping 40 psi to keep things rolling fast as well as avoiding squirming when blasting up the face of massive jumps. The fork pressure is set to its maximum 120 psi and a stiff 600 lb coil spring is called upon for the DHX2 shock.

You’ll also notice that the bike is set up chainless. A custom-machined cassette body allows for the occasional grind and also saves weight over a chain, derailleur, and cassette. On top of that, he’s running mega short 135 mm kids cranks from Hope Tech for a more natural and centered riding stance.
photo

Remy Morton
Age: 24
Height: 182 cm
Weight: 90 kg
Residence: Queenstown, NZ
Instagram:@remymorton

bigquotesI’ve got some personal trauma from riding too fast at things, removing the drivetrain eliminates most chances of questioning my speed and trying to go faster. This also makes me build with flow in mind, not being able to pedal means that everything needs to be built to perfection to roll through as it sits.Remy Morton

Specialized Demo 8
Bike Details:
Frame: Specialized Demo 8, S3 size, (Soil Searching paint)
Fork: Marzocchi bomber 58, 120 psi (Soil Searching paint)
Shock: Fox DHX2, 600 lb spring
Wheels: Sun Ringle Double Wide rims, Hope Pro 5 hubs w/chainless driver
Tires: front - Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5x26”, 35 PSI, rear - Duro Razorback 3.0x24”, 40 psi
Brakes: Hope Tech 4 V4 brakes (Flux Trail engraved)
Cranks: Hope Evo Kids, 135 mm length 
Drivetrain: N/A
Bars: Chromag Fubar OSX bars, 780 mm width
Stem: Chromag Director stem
Grips: Sensus Swayze lock-on
Pedals: Chromag Dagga
Saddle/post: Chromag Overture LTD/Thomson post
Additional: Hope head set, bottom bracket, and seat clamp

Specialized Demo 8

bigquotesAs jumps get bigger each year, air draft has become a huge factor to account for also, when in the air having smaller surface area (wheels) actually helps me manage the Angular momentum quite a lot which might sound funny, but it works for me haha! I also like running as heavy wheels as possible as it also helps with this factor and plants the bike at high speed. although my rims are 20-years old they still ride like a dream laced to fresh hope hubs!Remy Morton

Specialized Demo 8
Numbers, numbers, numbers... 24" Double Wide rim, Pro 5 32-hole hub with 148x12mm dropout spacing, 4-cross lacing pattern, and the custom, smooth-finish stainless steel driver body.
Specialized Demo 8
Specialized Demo 8
Specialized Demo 8
I haven't seen these since the Santa Cruz Super 8 and Kona Stab Primo stair-hucking era.

bigquotesHaving short cranks gives your body much better posture and creates a lot more central body weight. This allows you to pump much better. Having a chainless specific rear hub means there is zero drag from any engagement points or chain tension and the small wheels accommodate this set up to roll much quicker.Remy Morton

Specialized Demo 8
Specialized Demo 8
Chromag's Dagga pedals have a lethal grip. Those are bolted to short 135 mm Hope Kids cranks. Chains are unnecessary equipment here.

bigquotesPeople often think that not being able to pedal would be a huge inconvenience but in today's age with enduro bikes filling such a large portion of disciplines and bike parks being so accessible, if owning a downhill bike is still a necessity in your life it’s pretty rare you actually need to pedal.Remy Morton

Specialized Demo 8
Hope Tech 4 V4 brakes with custom "Flux Trail" laser etching, Sensus Swayze lock-on grips, and a Chromag OSX bar cut to 780mm.

Specialized Demo 8

Specialized Demo 8
203mm floating rotors from Hope.
Specialized Demo 8
A Marzocchi 58 fork is built for a 27.5" wheel, but there's a 26" in place for flicking the bike around quickly. The pressure is maxed to 120 psi.

Specialized Demo 8
You can't argue with Remy's setup when he can get his bike that sideways.


Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
363 articles

161 Comments
  • 280 1
 man I love weird bikes
  • 24 0
 Awesome comment. The world needs more weird bikes.
  • 2 0
 Then you need to head to this instagram page
www.instagram.com/retro_downhill_mtb?igsh=cmZsOHA0cXhrMWlw
  • 23 1
 Coolest bike check in a long while
  • 7 0
 Can I have the drivetrain sponsor he’s not using? Hahaha
  • 9 5
 bicycle: noun

a vehicle with two wheels tandem, handlebars for steering, a saddle seat, and pedals by which it is propelled.

Does not meet the definition.
  • 2 0
 Same here, love when people do these unique setups.
  • 3 0
 @theredbike: gravicle?
  • 79 0
 Where did he even find doublewides?? lol
  • 9 0
 Must be a specialist at hunting on pinkbike, craigslist, shops, etc.
  • 24 0
 he has a stack about 5 feet tall of just double wides at his place
  • 8 0
 ICYMI, Specialized now accepts payment in doublewides. $14k or 140 doublewides for a Levo SL.
  • 64 0
 @pinegrove: So he has 10 of them?
  • 3 0
 @fredgrillet: lol
Man those things were indestructible, brings back some memories
  • 9 0
 When you are as talented as Remy, the standards bend to you
  • 1 0
 @pinegrove: that should get him through a long weekend anyway haha.
  • 5 0
 @gnarnaimo: Sarvasm, right?! In my experience they couldn't hold spoke tension and the sidewalls dented or flat spotted if you even looked at them wrong.
  • 2 1
 @nateb: Hm, nah I was hucking drops to flat, casing stair gaps, pinning rocky dh trails on a hardtail with those things back in the day. Couldn't kill them. That being said, I was probably 120 lbs back then lol
  • 1 0
 lol I've still got a few 26" DX32 rims, a 24" Single Track as a rear on my son's bike, and a rear 24" Trail Pimp in the garage. The DX32 rims have aged the best of the lot, Double Wides were too stiff for tire tech 20 years ago.. too many flats.
  • 1 0
 @rad8: DX32's were pretty impressive for their time for sure. Forgot about those. Odd how Alex rims and Sunringle seemed to vanish
  • 1 0
 I've got some original Double Wide rims in the attic. Are they worth selling?
  • 3 0
 @nateb: homie is running 35psi front and 40psi rear (in a 3.0" tire!!!)... and if I had to guess this bike only sees machine-built trails. If he hits anything hard enough to dent a rim, I'm pretty sure the whole bike will just spontaneously explode.
  • 2 0
 @IllestT: I still got a pair of Double Wides on my 2007 stair-hucker. NS Bitch Hardtail with a Junior-T and 24" Double Wides :-D
  • 53 0
 A specialized Specialized for a special guy.
  • 24 0
 ...to meet his specific specifications.
  • 6 0
 He has a specialized set of skills.
  • 3 0
 "Mini mullets" are a speciality of his
  • 1 0
 @robotdave: special needs you mean
  • 29 3
 i’m wondering if we’ll see someone skip cranks in favour of a moto style system with fixed pedals on a straight thru rigid axle
  • 27 1
 I think staggered footing is essentially on a bicycle, we instinctively use our footing to leverage the bike around for whips and spins and cornering, and positioning our weight around. Come to think of it, most action sports use some sort of staggered footing, bicycles, skateboards, scooters, snowboards, wakeboards... If our feet were side by side facing forwards, we would lose a lot of maneuverability.
  • 2 0
 @iforte312: damn, cool find
  • 2 1
 Only really would make sense with a motor and a throttle too, otherwise foot stagger is key for pumping, cornering, whips, etc.

Sworks Specialized Demo Rem-E edition: $14k, drops next week. Payment accepted in NOS Sun Doublewides.
  • 6 0
 @jackfunk: Yup, even skiers feet are slightly staggered when leaning into corners. Same for ice hockey, feet are always staggered while turning and during hard stops.
  • 2 1
 www.curbrider.com I remember this company sent me some pedals to try once. I never tried them though.
  • 1 0
 @iforte312: wow! That's a super unique bike!
  • 1 0
 @jackfunk: Yeah, I think so too. Makes me wonder whether there is also some limit to how short we may want our cranks. I've been using 165mm cranks on my mountainbike for years (Shimano Zee) and I can definitely see me happily ride with shorter cranks but I doubt 115mm (as can be found in trials and mountain unicycling) would work. Not just for which foot is forwards for cornering, but also for which foot is up for tilting the bike in steep and/or off-camber corners.
  • 1 0
 @iforte312: Why the saddle so high :0
  • 4 1
 @jackfunk: nah, it’d be fine, you don’t get any leverage advantage with cranks because they move if your weight isn’t balanced.

If anything you’d have more leverage with pegs because you could stand on them and they wouldn’t move; instead the bike would move.
  • 1 0
 @jackfunk: motocross bikes are fine without them though
  • 21 0
 had 24" by 3" on a transition double 14 years ago, was real fun..
www.pinkbike.com/photo/2706818
  • 5 0
 I still have them on my Armageddon. Can concur.
  • 3 0
 Take me bac... Clicks on link... Keep me here!
  • 2 0
 The double and bottle rocket were my dream bikes as a teen.
  • 1 0
 hell yeah
  • 1 0
 Absolutely sick bike !
  • 1 0
 still have the double as 26" single speed dj bike now as knees cant do hardtails.
  • 2 0
 Same, but on a banshee, 20 years ago. Drops to flat all day. Those were some carefree days that I miss.
  • 21 0
 I can't relate to this at all and I love it. Sick bike.
  • 14 0
 L.O.V.E. IT!! Totally free thinking parts choices that fit is ultra unique riding needs. Love when riders are truely thinking out of the box. Rock On Remy!!
  • 1 1
 ...and not scared of droping sponsors...
  • 1 0
 @PauRexs: WHO dropped? Remy or commençal?
  • 17 0
 24 ain’t dead.
  • 13 0
 The 90s really are coming back...
  • 6 0
 26 front and 24 rear definitely was '00s as well.
  • 14 1
 the Einstein of bro science.
  • 8 0
 “(…) not being able to pedal means that everything needs to be built to perfection to roll through as it sits.“ Amen to that!
  • 7 1
 Anyone who has spent time riding BMX trails and also rides MTB understands the benefit of smaller wheels. More finesse required, but so much more fun for steep jumps. If you already have an enduro bike, why do you need more on your DH bike? This bike is so sick and I want to see more like it. Fastasf*ck
  • 2 5
 No offense though but I wouldn’t want a guy riding that building my trails because I don’t ride a BMX inspired DH bike. I like trails and even jump lines designed for trail bikes with big wheels because I don’t really want an excuse to buy a DJ bike.
  • 7 0
 @PHeller:

That’s not really how this works, outside of really tight, vertical backyard jump trails that only a BMX bike will ‘fit’ on.

Once your features become large enough that your bicycle’s wheelbase is only spanning a small fraction of the takeoff and landing transitions, the exact bike used to hit the jump becomes less relevant to the trajectory of flight. The jumps Remy Morton is building are well past that point, and despite the wheel sizes, his bike is not ‘small’ by any standard.

The benefit of smaller bikes on big jumps is simply faster response to rider input and more maneuverability in the air- the trade-off being stability and margin of error.
  • 1 2
 @harrisongregoire: ok ok

I guess I've just ridden too many bike parks designed by guys who seem to test ride and shape features based off of BMX or 26" DJ bikes, and then you get with them later and even they admit the jumps feel awkward on a big bike. You look around and all the locals are on 29" trail bikes. Well then why are we making features with funds donated by the community that most trail-bike riders won't feel comfortable riding even if they could shred most jump lines?

I'm all about weird bikes that shrug off convention to suit the owners desires, but I can only imagine if Remy brings this bike to build days how that will impact the overall design of a trail. Perhaps in some great ways, and perhaps in some negative aspects too.

Probably a great example of the personal touch that a rider can bring to a trail build, for better or worse.
  • 4 0
 @PHeller: Remy's history of success with the trails he's built speaks for themselves. The guy knows very well how to create a good flow and a bike without a drivetrain coasting through the jumps is one sure way to validate that. As for your complaint about improper jump trails for 29ers, why don't you go out there, grab a shovel and give your time and input to the builders if you're not satisfied with how your local jump trails are built? There are ways to jump a 29er off steeper take offs with proper technique, not everyone is a fan of long and low floater jumps that don't maximize hang time. I'm not implying you're not doing anything for your local trails but as I trail builder myself, who also hear complaints of peoples finding the jumps we build too big, too steep or too hard, all I have to say is complaints are not worth anything until you show up with a shovel in hand and some determination
  • 2 2
 @maxgod: sometimes that's not really a thing. Our local org spent the better part of a million bucks to develop a local skills park and easily half of it is unrideable with a modern trail bike.

I'll take your challenge though and investigate the possibilities of perhaps reshaping and reconfiguring some of those features to get more use.
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Ultimately unridable is pretty subjective.

End of the day, a 29er trail bike isn’t really the right tool for the job, even if a skilled rider should have no problem. Nobody wants to be kicked in the butt by a 29er wheel when they come up short on a landing. Maybe you should try a different bike. Or learn better bike handling skills.

No offence, but dumbing all the features down to low & fast rollers that feel ‘easy’ for trail and XC bikes is simply a race to the bottom that will never please everyone.

I don’t know what happened at your local community bike park, but unless it was built by Remi Morton, it’s frankly irrelevant to this article. The point remains- even if jumps built by BMXers are ‘unridable’ on a trail bike, (which as noted is more of a skill problem then a bike problem) a modern downhill bike still has a huge wheelbase, even with smaller wheels. Using it to test jumps will absolutely not introduce abnormally tight or small qualities into the design of the jumps.
  • 3 0
 @PHeller: Back in the day while travelling, I came across a set of steep & deep dirt jumps near the community I was staying in. The only bike I had access to was a borrowed 2013 Kona Honzo 29er.

I managed to hit them a few times without dying. Did it feel awkward? Hell yeah, but I’m not going to pretend it was the builder’s fault. I suspect I could do quite a bit better with my 2023 Norco Torrent, but it still wouldn’t be ideal.
  • 13 4
 What is this? A motorcycle for ants?!
  • 10 0
 Big boy rides a Big Hit
  • 1 0
 I'm starting to regret selling mine hahaha
  • 5 0
 « having smaller surface area (wheels) actually helps me manage the Angular momentum quite a lot which might sound funny, but it works for me haha! I also like running as heavy wheels as possible as it also helps with this factor and plants the bike at high speed»

I am only a cupboard physicist but, but, but
smaller wheels have less angular momentum
heavier wheels have more angular momentum


less is more?!?
  • 9 0
 Wild man, wild bike.
  • 8 0
 ...bet this bike doesn't get stolen
  • 6 1
 Remove drivetrain to avoid pedaling and going too fast. Then optimize the rest of the bike to go faster.
  • 5 0
 Least relatable but also most interesting rig I've seen in soooo long. Hell yeah man
  • 6 2
 surprised cranks designed for a kids bike are durable enough to withstand that kind of punishment
  • 6 2
 shorter arms, exponential reduction in leverage. I'm running short kids cranks (tubular cro-mo) from a buddies company, he was like....you cannot do this... hahahaha
  • 19 0
 @tadgercat: Wouldn’t leverage be the force applied at a distance? Call it L = F * d.

So that’s a linear relationship, right?
  • 2 1
 @pmhobson: Yes! Math rocks! In physics we call this torque.
  • 3 1
 @peterdavidhaile: in civil engineering we call it bending moments

Torque spins things Smile
  • 3 0
 @tadgercat: So the leverage is not exponential, but the deflection due to a given load is related to the CUBE of its length. Meaning if you have a given rod, load it with a given force and 2x its length the deflection will go up by a factor of 8x.

However, the bending moment is linearly related to its length.
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: Bending moments resist the application of torque. Newton's 3rd law at play.
  • 3 0
 @rideordie35: Sure, but it is not the deflection that causes a failure, it is (the stress due to) the bending moment. And the bending moment is just linear with the arm.

@pmhobson : A crank arm is subject to both bending and torsion as the pedal platform is offset from the crank.
  • 6 1
 Short cranks? Why does he even have cranks?
  • 8 0
 otherwise its just a big badass balance bike Smile
  • 5 0
 I love it!! Total commitment to ripping, zero to brand or trend!
  • 1 0
 Can we get some info on how this build affect the geometry, Angles, BB Height?
Is that a 27.5 Fork or a 29er? Are there any special modified linkages?
I'm really interested in these highly personalized builds that are not going with the trend.
  • 5 1
 A chain less specific hub. Well i never
  • 4 1
 The world needs more nonconformists, in an industry full of bullshit standards. send it bud!
  • 3 3
 Could use a super boost hub with custom narrow driver and axle to fit the 148 spacing for wider flanges and better spoke bracing but those rims and small wheel diameter probably make that thing bmx freestyle strong
  • 1 0
 Too specialized.
  • 7 0
 Getting into the weeds here, but Paul Components makes a disc boost ss cog threaded hub with equal flange spacing that would do the trick.

www.paulcomp.com/shop/components/hubs/rear-hubs/boost-disk-word-148mm
  • 2 0
 Could even mod a threaded track cog to sit super inboard towards the spokes as a pseudo grind-guard on one of the Paul hubs since he’s into that kinda thing
  • 1 6
flag 14pslope (Feb 16, 2024 at 17:04) (Below Threshold)
 @nation: lol you think that's going to hold up to his abuse? He also has sponsors. Jeez you people really miss the most obvious before you start spraying on the keyboard
  • 5 0
 @14pslope: forgive me for having a fun albeit impractical thought experiment. Do I actually think Remy is reading these comments for bike setup advice? No. Do I think it’s fun as someone who is interested in building and riding weird bikes to consider every possible option during a bike build regardless of niche, practicality, or durability? Yes, and clearly others in the community like being weird too otherwise we wouldn’t have this epic fuhking bike check to nerd out about.
  • 2 0
 @nation: I have said Paul boost freewheel hub it is pretty cool to have a freewheel on a modern bike and the easiest rear wheel Ive ever built. Plus the min axle diameter is 17 instead of 15 like a cassette hub so the axle is stiff
  • 1 0
 Alas he is sponsored by hope
  • 2 0
 Sweet bike!
Here's my version from back in the day
m.pinkbike.com/photo/8552873
  • 3 0
 This comment section is wonderfully wholesome. RAD bike.
  • 1 0
 Short cranks lovers, DO NOT try the hope kids cranks, they will not support a chonker like myself or Remy, I have no idea how he doesn't bend them every lap
  • 1 0
 Maybe they built him a custom version that's a bit beefier?
  • 1 0
 @EwanWhosearmy: very possible, I'll call Gwen and find out, 5 dev are great, bit don't go short enough for me
  • 2 0
 What is that? A micro mullet bike?
  • 7 0
 I'd go old skool mullet, we didn't even call them mullets back then..
  • 3 1
 That's one way to reduce pedal kickback #highpivotwho
  • 2 0
 Aaron Gwinn approves this idea.
  • 1 0
 The increased wheelbase must give this thing "I'm a motherfckin superhero" feel. \m/ the only Specialized prop worthy. Lol
  • 2 0
 Where is he still getting Double Wides?
  • 2 0
 Cool to see him get BIG brand support for doing his own thing!
  • 1 0
 Love the Hybrid of old school and modern! I build my bikes that way too. Mag 30s, double tracks, doublewides and deemaxs!
  • 1 0
 I love weird bikes too, although I don't get the whole chainless thing. Just go single speed and have a semi useful bike.
  • 1 0
 Still rock a 26” double wide rear rim! Ow Ow!!! Was on my stab primo for a time...
  • 1 0
 Apparently that Razor Back 24x3.0 rear tire is a popular unicycle tire. Its DH casing, wire bead, and 1300 grams. Legend.
  • 1 0
 Maybe Specialized should resurrect Big Hit frame for Remy Big Grin
  • 7 7
 Why not just pull the cranks and put pegs on that joker? You’re not going to pedal it.
  • 12 0
 in case he needs to do some sick crank flips??
  • 10 1
 Cornering, whips, etc. Makes sense to me.
  • 2 1
 Cornering for one, the pegs would need to be spaced for stability so they’d be digging in when leaned on flatter corners
  • 2 0
 PEFERCTION.
  • 1 0
 Remy and I both mountain bike, but we are not the same.
  • 1 0
 And it’s not just the bike unfortunately
  • 1 0
 @emptybe-er: our bikes are more the same than we are!
  • 2 0
 @PtDiddy: His bike is definitely “form follows function”. If most people followed that philosophy they’d be on wagonwheels and demand snack storage. Oh wait they already are!
  • 1 0
 the kind of wheel setup we ran 20 years ago. sick to see
  • 1 0
 This bike is cool, but not as much as his polished Commencal was.
  • 2 0
 Big Hit ain’t dead!
  • 1 0
 Optimized for pedalling efficiency.
  • 1 0
 anyone knows the reason why they did a 4-cross lacing pattern ?
  • 1 0
 Maybe to avoid any overly-stressful spoke angles on the smaller rim? My best guess would be the spoke heads don't protrude very much on the flange so the overlap doesn't put extra stress on the top spoke.

Also maybe for extra weight because of longer spokes? I have no idea honestly lol this is confusing me
  • 1 0
 @benhildred will tell you.
  • 1 0
 This is what I come here for. Thanks for this bike check.
  • 1 0
 I had the same wheel set up on my VPS Launch back in 2002. SICK!
  • 4 6
 Meanwhile other dudes are sending bigger on more conventional setups. Seems like more of an attention grab for the sake of being different ( just like the no pads thing). That said the world needs more weird.
  • 1 0
 this is so gnarly and cool - fucking love it
  • 1 0
 This is the stuff I joined PB for.
  • 1 0
 Totally Sick! I am headed to U-Tube to search for some vids!!
  • 1 0
 this is sick!
  • 1 1
 I believe rear has 3 cross lacing pattern. Great bike check anyway.
  • 4 0
 Definitely 4
  • 2 0
 @emptybe-er: right, I see it now, my bad
  • 1 0
 back in the days 2001
  • 2 1
 April's fools day!
  • 4 4
 So it’s a scooter then?
  • 1 0
 Technically NOT a bicycle, that's for sure.
  • 1 0
 @lukemech: the last one was a scooter as well. Interesting but less bicycle than an ebike.
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: indeed. But his scooter is cool
  • 1 0
 RIG
  • 1 0
 this is SICK.
  • 3 4
 No knee or elbow pads, but rides with a neck brace. I wonder why? what's the consensus with wearing neck braces these days?
  • 2 0
 @robotdave: there are a couple podcasts where he explains why
  • 2 0
 “I don’t wear pads, I only wear a neck brace”
  • 2 2
 Maybe I’m just and old traditionalist, but I just don’t get it.
  • 1 0
 So sick.
  • 1 0
 Terrible !!
  • 1 3
 Pretty sure the front tire has a Schrader tube inflater. I feel like you can only get tubes like that at Walmart hahah
  • 5 0
 you "feel" wrong
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