First Ride: The 2020 Demo 29 - Specialized's New Aluminum DH Race Machine

Jul 9, 2019
by Mike Kazimer  


Specialized's designers had one goal in mind when they starting working on the next generation of the Demo: create the world's fastest downhill race bike. “More R&D, more engineering, and more research has gone into this bike than any other bike we've ever made,” says Brad Benedict, Specialized's mountain bike product manager.

That's a lofty statement, but four years of athlete input and constant refinement adds up. Aaron Gwin, Troy Brosnan, and Loris Vergier all provided input during their stints on the Specialized DH team, and now feedback is being delivered by Loic Bruni and Finn Iles.
Demo 29 Details

• Wheel size: 29"
• Rear wheel travel: 200
• Aluminum frame
• 62.7° head angle
• 12x148mm rear spacing
• 450mm chainstays
• Sizes: S2, S3, S4
• Price: $5,000 - $6,500 USD. Frame only: $2,500
www.specialized.com

All of that input has culminated in the bike pictured here, an aluminum, 29”-wheeled machine with 200 millimeters of travel. It still uses a Horst Link suspension design, but significant changes have been made to alter the bike's ride characteristics in order to meet the needs of elite racers.

2020 Specialized Demo
Specialized Demo Race 29
2020 Specialized Demo
Specialized Demo Expert 29

The Demo Race 29 is priced at $6,500 USD, and is spec'd with Öhlins' DH38 fork and TTX shock, SRAM X01 DH drivetrain, and Code RSC brakes.

There's also an Expert 29 model for $5,000 that comes with a RockShox BoXXer Select 29 and Super Deluxe coil, along with a SRAM GX DH drivetrain and Code R brakes. The frame only with an Ohlins rear shock is available for $2,500 USD.

Where's the mixed wheel size option? That's a good question, especially since that seems to be the setup Finn and Loic prefer – Loic's piloted his race bike to three World Cup victories so far this year. When the Demo was being developed, the UCI rule that stipulated riders had to be on equal sized wheels was still in place. That's no longer the case, hence all of the experimentation. On the topic of a future mixed-wheel option, Specialized's answer is, “We'll see.”



2020 Specialized Demo
2020 Specialized Demo
Specialized's impressive in-house machine shop allows them to quickly create frame parts in order to test ideas out in the real world, like this custom link for Loic Bruni.

Designing the Demo

In order to achieve that goal of creating the fastest bike possible, Specialized's designers worked on improving three main areas: momentum carry, braking, and comfort.

Momentum carry refers to the bike's ability to maintain its speed, even when it's being plowed through rock gardens or braking bumps. Making the switch from 27.5” to 29” wheels was an easy first step, but creating a big-wheeled version of the previous Demo wasn't going to be enough. The Horst Link suspension layout was completely re-designed in order to improve the bike's axle path, anti-squat, and anti-rise numbers - more on that stuff below.

2020 Specialized Demo
This contraption was used to experiment with different pivot placements without needing to create multiple frames. Photo: Harookz

2020 Specialized Demo
During testing, layers of carbon were added to the front triangle in order to determine the level of stiffness that felt best.
2020 Specialized Demo
This pedal has a had a sensor installed on it that can be used to measure the forces that are reaching a rider's feet.

During the development process, Specialized's engineers employed a number of tactics in order to quantify what test riders were feeling out on the trail. Those tactics included the use of pedals with sensors installed in them that measure the forces reaching a rider's feet, and a floating brake apparatus that made it possible to experiment with varying amounts of anti-rise.

The new design is no longer one-sided, and the shock is situated as low in the frame as possible. In addition, the main pivot no longer rotates around the bottom bracket – instead, it's located just in front of the top of the chain ring. It's a layout that's intended to help minimize the amount of side loading on the shock, and the fact that it's now trunnion mounted allows for an increased amount of bushing overlap.

2020 Specialized Demo
2020 Specialized Demo

Refining the Demo's suspension kinematics may have been the main goal, but Specialized's designers didn't overlook the important frame features for a DH race bike. The rear brake line is internally routed, but there are also cable guide mounts on the outside of the frame that make it possible to run it externally as well. The Demo uses a 12x148mm rear hub, rather than the 12x157mm that's more commonly found on downhill bikes. That allows for a slightly narrower rear end, and it also means that the rear wheel from a trail bike will work in a pinch. Other features include a threaded bottom bracket, a rubber downtube protector, and the raised chainslap guard that first showed up on the new Stumpjumper.


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Axle Path

Previously, the Demo's rear wheel began moving forward relatively quickly after encountering a bump, much to the consternation of a certain Pinkbike commenter. The new suspension configuration addresses this trait, made it possible for Specialized to give the bike a more rearward axle path, although we're talking about a few millimeters here, as opposed to the more dramatic rearward axle paths found on high-pivot bikes. Going that route was considered but then scrapped due to the extra complication and drivetrain drag that it would have incurred.

The rear wheel may only move a few millimeters to the rear before heading forward, but it also doesn't move as far forward as before. That means it won't be as close to the seat (and the rider) when the bike reaches the end of its travel, which is an important consideration on a 29er.

2020 Specialized Demo
2020 Specialized Demo


Anti-Squat and Leverage Ratio

In the past, Specialized's trail and DH bikes have had relatively low anti-squat numbers, and leverage ratios that weren't all that progressive. That's all changed with the new Demo. The leverage ratio is much more progressive, the amount of anti-squat has increased by 300%, and the amount of anti-rise increased by 70%.

Let's start with the leverage ratio. If you follow World Cup DH racing at all, there's a good chance you've seen a picture of the custom links that Specialized's racers were using over that last few years. Those links were designed to give the bike more bottom-out resistance than the stock configuration, which was relatively linear. In other words, there wasn't a whole lot of ramp up as the shock reached the end of its stroke. That shouldn't be an issue anymore, thanks to the Demo's 31.4% leverage ratio progression.

According to Specialized, they didn't specifically set out to increase the amount of anti-squat. Instead, it was a beneficial byproduct of changes to the instant center location and axle path. The amount of anti-squat is now over 100% in all gear ratios, which should make the bike less likely to bob up and down when a rider is really mashing on the pedals.

The amount of anti-rise, the bike's resistance to pitching forward during hard braking, now sits at 50%, which should keep the back end a little more planted in steep sections when the brakes are applied.

2020 Specialized Demo

Geometry

Along with the changes to the suspension, the Demo's geometry has also been tweaked. Any guesses as to what the changes were? That's right, it's longer and slacker... But it's not lower. In fact, the BB was raised slightly to improve pedal clearance – that last thing you want during a race run is to smack a pedal at 40mph and get tossed off the bike.

The reach has increased by 5mm per size, and Specialized has switched over to their S naming scheme. Rather than having a Medium, Long, and X-Long, there are now S2, S3, and S4 size, which have reach numbers of 425, 445, and 465mm respectively. Those numbers are fairly typical, but the one thing that's missing is an option for taller riders. I'd consider a 465mm reach a size large, which means that riders who are over 6' tall or so will likely want something even longer.

The chainstay length has also increased significantly, and it now sits at 450mm vs. the 430mm length of the previous version. The headtube angle is .8-degrees slacker, at 62.7-degrees. There are a number of downhill bikes on the market with multiple axle and shock mount positions, and even the prototypes of the Demo had some adjustment, but there aren't any flip-chips to be seen on the final product, and the geometry is fixed in one position.



Loic Bruni smashing the final turn. Everyone knew Loris s time would be a tough one to beat but at 2.8 seconds up at split one Loic had the answer.
Loic Bruni has already racked up three World Cup wins on the new Demo, quite the debut for a new bike.

First Ride

I'm still in the early stages of getting acquainted with the new Demo, but I was able to get in some lap on the new bike at Dry Hill, located in Port Angeles, Washington. It's a classic Pacific Northwest race venue, one that's hosted countless exciting DH battles over the years. The tracks weren't wildly technical, but there were plenty of good corners and short, steep pitches to start getting a feel for the bike. As an added bonus, the dirt was as good as it gets.

I'd been riding an S3 sized Stumpjumper EVO, so I figured it made sense to start with an S3 Demo. Turns out, that wasn't the size for me. It felt like I was perched on top of the bike, rather than having room to maneuver. Once I looked at a geometry chart I could see exactly why - an S3 Stumpy EVO has a reach of 475mm, while an S3 Demo's reach is 445mm. I switched to the S4, which has a 465mm reach and instantly felt much more at home. It was easier to carry speed, and I didn't have to make as many body position adjustments to find the sweet spot when cornering or dropping into steeper section of trail.

The new Demo has a nicely balanced feel to it in regards to both the overall geometry and the weight of the bike. There's plenty of speed on tap, thanks in part to the 29" wheels, but there's more to it than that. On the more chewed up, rooty sections of trail all I had to do was drop my heels and hang on - the bike would plow right through it all without any hanging up or unwanted harshness from the back end. Cornering stability was excellent as well - the longer chainstays and the low center of gravity make it extremely satisfying to really push hard into a bermed turn.

I'll be spending a bunch more time on the Demo over the coming months in order to really dig into its handling characteristics, and to see how that Ohlins suspension stacks up. My first impressions are that Specialized has created a very worthy successor to the previous Demo, one that should meet the needs of everyone from grassroots racers and park rats all the way up to the top pros. That is, unless you're looking for an extra-large frame size.









356 Comments

  • + 214
 Max 465 reach? Is this a DH bike for ants?
  • + 12
 Wheelbase looks good though, and reach grows when you go downhill so it’s not all bad
  • + 29
 I'm surpised they haven't increased it by at least 25mm, I'm 6'3" and ride the current XL and I feel I'm only just about fitting it really incertain situations, I could easily have 25-30mm more reach.

There is plenty of people out there taller than me too, they will 100% have to look else where.
  • + 42
 This is why I don't ride Specialized bikes anymore. At 6'4", there isn't a bike in their lineup that fits me properly.

At 5'11", the reviewer feels their biggest bike is on the small size for him.
  • + 28
 So the S3 is too S1 ,which dosent sctually exist,but the S4 should be the S3 ,making an S5...or an S1,which neither exist,an obvious need..or you're just S2it outta luck.

"Bro, what size is this,feels a little small?"
"Uh..I...I really have no idea..Super Bruni?"
  • - 8
flag MikeyMT (Jul 9, 2019 at 9:35) (Below Threshold)
 @aireeek: compared to his Stumpy EVO which is LOOOONG. 465 for someone 6-ish foot is probably just right. 3 years ago 465 would be an XL.
  • + 16
 Ants could ride Sea Doo's though
  • + 2
 I'm 5'10 and ride an XL frame with 495 reach (enduro bike). I mean, yes I do prefer a stretched out attack position, but it makes consideration of basically any Specialized bike out of consideration...
  • + 9
 @Sprockingcrail: it'd take a team of scientist though
  • + 16
 @bigburd: I'm 6'5" and DH bikes always feel kind of like I'm riding a clown bike and should be jumping it through a flaming hoop. I had big hopes for the switch to 29 wheels but it hasn't done much for room in the cockpit. Meanwhile it's opened up tonnes of options in the enduro offerings. Combined with the burly builds available I only really need a dedicated DH bike for park days, so it's getting very hard to justify owning one that doesn't really fit.
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: how does reach grow when you go downhill? Reach is just a measurement of horizontal distance from vertical intersection of centre top tube and centre of BB those are fixed points on a mountain bike not impacted by suspension movement. Do you mean the rider's body position changes when descending?
  • + 19
 It needs to be at least... three times bigger than this!
  • + 6
 @gramboh: When the bike points downhill, the bars go down, meaning that the effective reach is the distance between the BB and headset, which is longer than the standard reach.
  • + 6
 @plyawn: same boat, I'm 6'5 couldn't find a dh bike that felt good until I road my new commencal supreme dh 29, slap on some 50mm rise bars and your good to go haha
  • + 3
 @Sprockingcrail: You’d need a team of scientists though.
  • + 5
 @gramboh: reach is measured perpendicular to gravity, not the ground. So a longer reach is necessary on a bike that is ridden on less steep terrain to get the same area for the rider to move around, compared to a downhill bike
  • + 3
 @gramboh - I think he's assuming that the vertical line through the BB stays vertical when the bike points down.
  • + 4
 @ratedgg13: i call bs
  • + 5
 With a 450mm chainstays it only makes sense to put a 27.5 rear wheel and the adjustable bottom bracket found on their race bikes
  • + 0
 @PuppyCat: About me being 5'10 and riding an XL? I'll admit, I made a typo when I put 495 as its actually 485 but still... you'd be wrong.
  • + 1
 Loris rides Demo too?
  • + 1
 "re-designed in order to improve the bike's axle path, ant-squat, and anti-rise numbers"

They did got the Ant-Squat checked though.
  • + 4
 @plyawn: I'm 6.3 and found same problem 29 xl devinci Wilson though is perfect..the 29 is so much better fitting n feeling for tall riders
  • + 1
 @endurocat: adjustable bb is a bad idea, massively different AS and pedal kick between two positions
  • + 8
 Long bikes didn’t work. I’m hyped to see reach numbers coming back into sensible territory again.
  • + 1
 @MikeyMT: yep. I’m 6,3 and 450mm is absolutely bang on.
  • + 0
 @scary1: A few things though.

1) I guarantee you Super Bruni gets a custom frame. If he needs a longer reach, he gets a longer reach.

2) Super Bruni isn't that tall, according to the web, he's 180 CM, or 5'10". I'm 6 inches taller than him, I guarantee you I want a bigger bike than he rides.
  • + 1
 @aireeek: i wasnt arguing with you.
  • + 3
 My trailbike in XL with a shorter chainstay and a steeper head tube angle has the same wheelbase. Needles to say the reach is 50 mm longer on it.
  • + 3
 @thenotoriousmic: what are you on about??
  • + 12
 At least it has a 76.3 degree seat tube angle. Should climb like a mountain goat.
  • + 8
 @aireeek: just imagine.. a pro WC racer riding a bike that's too short for the general public.. woah!!
  • + 1
 @aireeek: xl Enduro? Fits me great at 6'4"
  • - 1
 @kleinblake: It works for them. Their bikes have it . Maybe you are a better rider than them
  • + 1
 @endurocat: there’s a reason the option isn’t there anymore
  • + 1
 @endurocat: also their bikes don’t have it anymore...
  • - 1
 @thenotoriousmic: I'm 6-3 and ride a bike with 445 mm reach. I never feel like I'm too big for the bike.
  • + 1
 @plyawn: I’m 6’5 been dh racing 20 years now .
I’m currently on the commencal supreme 29 , and it’s pretty good .
Replaced my s works demo x long
  • + 7
 All i see is a gigantic crying.
  • + 2
 @TheR: it looks like a 90 degree effective...
  • + 3
 That’s what happens, when a bike is in development for four years - by the time it reaches the market it’s based on yesterday’s geometry and entirely obsolete.
  • + 3
 @ratedgg13: I'm too 5'10 and have ridden 2016 mondraker dune size L for 2,5 seasons with reach 493. Have -2º angleset installed. For this season I increased stem length from 40 to 50mm to get more weight on front wheel and to get more stability, different offset might have worked too, but that's far more expensive route.

The more speed the better the bike feels. In steep switchbacks the bike is tough to maneuver, but this is probably because of skills and not the bike. As second, Bronson CC 2016 XL feels much better sized for trails.

I'm less than average height, but would definately pick extra long sized demo.
  • + 1
 @plyawn: all you need is the super extra longest V10CC with a crew of machinists to follow you round making you new dropouts and links every time you go a bit slow thinking that a few extra inches will make you faster. Then you’ll be fine.
  • + 1
 @kleinblake: yes that must equal to 48 in 65 degrees enduro...
  • + 2
 @Primoz: I’m saying we’ve experimented with long bikes and it worked better in some situations but on a whole wasn’t an improvement and I’m personally happy to reach numbers being dialed back a tad.
  • + 1
 nah what do you mean ants are way smaller than that
  • + 1
 @kleinblake: Can you explain how reach grows downhill?
  • + 2
 @cole-inman: If you tilt the bike forward (i.e. point it downhill) while the rider stays - hopefully - above the center of gravity, reach will increase.

Hmm... harder to explain in English than I thought - does that reference to the center of gravity make any sense? What I meant is, if a bike goes down a steep slope, the rider has to move his weight backwards, therefore the distance to the handlebar grows.
  • + 4
 @cole-inman - I'll take a stab: Since reach is the horizontal distance between the top of the head tube to the vertical line from the bottom bracket, as you rotate the bike around the bottom bracket, the reach line would grow as you point the bike down and shrink as you point the bike up. You have to assume that the vertical component (from the BB) is always perfectly vertical and the horizontal component (from the HT) is always perfectly horizontal, both relative to a plumb line. Imagine if you rode an incline where the top of the head tube was directly above bottom bracket, then the reach is effectively zero at that point. So how the bike is oriented (either pointed up or pointed down) can reduce or increase reach respectively. The minimum effective reach could technically even go negative (if you're skilled enough to ride a wheelie with the HT behind the BB) and the maximum effective reach would be the distance between the BB and the HT (with the bike pointed down a steep enough grade that the HT is exactly horizontal with the BB.) As the bike points down even steeper than that, then the effective reach, at that moment, would start to shorten up again.
  • + 2
 @ratedgg13: Im around the same height and have been riding ~485 reach enduro bike for about a year now. I'm kind of over it for everyday riding. It can be soo good when Im riding good, but on off days I think it holds me back a little. I get lost in all of the space when Im not super focused or feeling good.
  • + 2
 @cole-inman: there have been some excellent explanations already, but to think of it more intuitively, your arms stretch more when things get steeper. You are literally “reaching” a further distance to grip the handlebar than you would on flat ground.
  • + 1
 @DallasJW: thanks for the tip.
  • + 1
 @wolferrepublic: Yes, that seems to be the consensus. The problem now is rationalizing a DH bike when I can use a long-travel 29'er for just about everything but the most tech bike park...
  • + 2
 @pimpin-gimp: I already know how I slow I am. At my age it's all about comfort; the same reason I own a gravel grinder and not a tour-worthy road bike.
  • + 3
 @mayhemsport: With 830mm bars! Not sure which I would do first: plow it into a steep bike park jump face or clip a tree!
  • + 2
 @Sprockingcrail: letterkenny eyy
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: and I've gone for a 500+ mm reach bike and I'm loving it. Could have gone for a longer one if the seat tube was steeper.
  • + 3
 Bbbbbbut...you've just finished convincing me that aluminum is junk and if isn't carbon Im a fool......
  • + 2
 @aireeek: Loic and Finn both ride the new Demo in stock S2 sizing. Brad Benedict who is the product manager rides an S3 at 6’ 2”. Just some FYI as we discuss sizing. From my understanding of his explanation reach tells less of the story of how the bike would fit given DH geo.

The S4 is only 6mm shorter then XXL SC and M29.
  • - 5
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 11, 2019 at 2:03) (Below Threshold)
 @Primoz: yeah steep seat angles is the latest fad we’ll be backing away from in 18 months when we realise we spend most of our time cranking up fire roads and not riding steep punchy climbs where steep seat angles shine so I wouldn’t worry.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: yeah clearly you aren't well over 6 feet tall and haven't dealt with sub 70 degree actual seat tube angles for the past too many years.

I'm currently on a 76 deg advertised, 75 deg effective (at seat height) with the seat slammed as forward as possible and I'd go steeper rather than slacker.

And yeah I know you're 6 3,just like me, so i can't imagine how you can say 450 is enough reach (which is a stupid measurement taken by itself, seat tube angle and top tube length tell a better story of bike fit). I've been on 460 before (large Reign) and it was horrible. I finally have a bike that fits me. My riding has improved massively from the day I got the new bike.
  • + 2
 @thenotoriousmic: oh, I tried the XL reign with 480 mm of reach and it's horrible. Two guys riding it (one of them upgraded since though) also commented how comfortable the insanely long reach bike I have now feels. And I've heard nothing else as a comment from people sitting on it.

Slack seat tube angles need to DIE.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: agree with you about bike dimensions. I think reach helps describe bike size/fit while descending but effective top tube defines fit for climbing.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: well I’m glad it’s working for you but again it depends totally on what you ride. If I go to a bike park then my 485mm reach process feels decent on wide open bike park trails but the stuff I ride the majority of time (steep, tight, gnarly off piste stuff) it feels too big. My 450mm reach crush feels prefect for what I ride most of the time. Long bikes aren’t as responsive, don’t handle as well, can’t weight the wheels as well and a generally hard work to ride about unless your on faster tamer trails.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Interesting. I think it depends on riding style. I (178cm) went from a size large Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt with reach of ~460 to a XL Rallon with a reach of 485 - and my times on even XC segments and climbs had dropped significantly. BUT, I happen to like having more weight over my front wheel, and I find I am much more relaxed and balanced over a longer bike. So again, probably depends on riding style.
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13: i think longer bikes are easier to ride. They feel more stable in all situations but I think if you’ve got the confidence not to back off when things get twitchy shorter bikes are faster. Like surfing. Beginners ride massive boards while the pros rip it up on tiny boards. Different sport same concept. Quite a lot of the EWS lads ride shortish bikes.
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: Absolutely not comparable.
Sure some riders prefer shorter bikes (Rude is a great example) but you also have Leigh Johnson on a Pole with a 535mm reach. Its rider preference, not some overly broad generalization or comparison to a sport that has very little in common.
  • + 1
 @ratedgg13 absolutely is comparable. It’s exactly the same just exaggerated but whatever.
  • + 0
 You guys not bored of this endless and pointless argument ?

It's not like any of you is going have thier opinions changed, just getting more and more sad really.
  • + 5
 @bigburd: No, dude. You don't understand the internet. This time, minds will be changed, lives will be saved.
  • + 0
 Can some mod please remove me from getting notifications of this E-peen swinging contest please.
  • + 1
 @bigburd: I’m not arguing. Just talking about bikes dude. Wink
  • + 1
 @thenotoriousmic: we just did the mega qually today. Can't say it's a tame trail... I think it was the roughest 20 minutes of my life. Started at the back, snuck my way up to 13th through a lot of berms with the unwieldy long bus of a bike...

And like I said, my riding has drastically improved going from 460 reach to 520 mm of reach. Everywhere (up and down) but in the tightest switchbacks which aren't my forte anyways. In really really tight stuff it is harder, but it's just more incentive to learn the front pivot.
  • + 1
 @Primoz: I don’t really know the format for mega bit that sounds really good mate. Well done. How was it? Rather you that me though. Looks like hard work.
  • + 152
 Seems like we are just about there in terms of killing 27.5 now that 29 has been established as the fun wheel size.

Biggest thing about these super long 29 DH bikes if they are not easy to ride fast and smooth. You have to really lean them, set up your corners differently and lay off the brakes. If you are not a good rider you lose a TON of speed in the corners and they are not fun. These are not for your average park cruiser and they can be frustrating to ride. They take time to adjust to. Like most Pinkbike commenters I could be racing world cups if I wasn’t spending all my time hanging with models so it isn’t a problem for me, but I can see how many people will hate this bike. (Even if they don’t admit it publicly) If you are not a good rider it will feel ungainly and slow.

I also didn’t realize that the average height of a Pinkbike reader is 6’6”.
  • + 21
 Just spent a week in whistler switching between 27.5” and 29” DH bikes from a competitor, and the 29” was so much harder to ride quick in tight trails, and it wasn’t as easy to get sideways in the air, but in a straight line that 29” bike liked to haul. Since I ride park for fun, I’d prefer a 27.5” setup. But I’m not as tall as the “average Pinkbike reader”.
  • + 2
 I've found the exact opposite, these new longer 29ers hold their speed much better than older 27.5 bikes on tamer, flatter flow/jump park trails that have traditionally been a chore to ride a full-DH bike on, especially when you're just cruising and not pushing too hard. That said, I still think a 29er enduro bike is more fun than a DH bike on everything other than double-blacks.
  • + 14
 @dthomp325: That isn't the exact opposite; you've confirmed what he said.
  • + 2
 @dthomp325: agree on both counts. once you learn how to set up corners on them (early, wide and leaned over) they hold so much speed on the jump/flow trails. I also found the 29 to feel incredibly stable in the air and the extra length to make casing (not like I ever do that) and over shooting carefree. The tame trails are completely drama free and brainless at a certain point. But getting to that briainless point can be frustrating.
  • + 16
 Pinkbike Poll: "How tall are you?"
  • + 17
 @Smallbright: Pinkbike Poll: how 27.5 are you?
  • + 1
 swap the rear for 27.5 and you're good, lol
  • + 1
 I feel this way about my mid travel modern geo 29'er. You have to fully commit and it shined a pretty bright light on my "I have no technique" technique. Definitely had a weird adjustment period where I had bad crashes and had to develop some better cornering technique. You can't just look and it'll go like old steep and short geo.
  • + 2
 I consider myself an average rider at best. And I just spent some time on a Santa Cruz Megatower, instead of my good old Heckler, and I really enjoyed the experience, I found that big, capable 29er really easy to ride. Yes, there was a certain radius of some corners, where I felt I had to lean the bike a little more and commit a little more, but the bike always gave me the confidence to do that. Not to mention all the gnarly stuff you can simply roll through in a straight line.
  • + 2
 @FuzzyL: I have just exchanged 26 enduro for 29 enduro bike and I find 29 easier to ride in the corners. You just lean the bike and it rails. I think this is not a matter of 29 wheels per se, it is BB drop and the relation of gravity center to wheel axle, I had a similar sensation on 27.5 Whyte bikes with crazy low BB. Also most probably the trail of the fork which is bigger.
29 wheels realy makes harder to bunnyhop/manual (said BB drop) and to whip. And maybe this mythical tire buzz, but I have never experienced it. Other than this, they are better. If you cannot corner on a 29er, then you simply cannot corner.
  • + 5
 @Smallbright: Pinkbike Poll: "How much reach does your bike have and how tall are you?" They should do a Reach to height ratio.
  • + 9
 @Smallbright: Everybody on Pinkbike is at least 6.6, jacked and rich. You don't even need a poll, just take my word for it.
  • + 1
 @wibblywobbly: the only place I find my 29er to be a drag is when the trees are really tight and there isn't room to lean over the bike. I generally love the 29er feel, and I'm small (169cm)
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: Not jsut height but total arm length. I'm an even but lots of people have a +5 or greater wing span. Makes buying bikes and long sleeve shirts a lot harder.
  • + 1
 @browner: Not at all.
  • + 84
 “More R&D, more engineering, and more research has gone into this bike than any other bike we've ever made,”
And yet our racers swapped out the rear wheel for a 27.5 and it made the bike faster than the wheel it was designed around.
LOL
  • + 23
 It was designed over four years to UCI rules, which UCI abruptly changed this year.
Mind:Blown
  • + 14
 meanwhile at Canyon..."you see this flipchip for the rear axle, well we realized it fits a 29" wheel, so we were like **** it, and it works!"
  • + 3
 Looks more like reverse engineering to me, from another brand called Canyon.
  • + 2
 @RobertBro: Indeed Sir. Are we agreed, not reverse engineered in the proper direction? Possibly you're correctly calling me out on a bad opinion too,
  • - 1
 Don't forget: "the stock linkage (there's one? there's like 12) is shit, can we get something with more progression?

Meanwhile, YT of 3 years ago is like...nah, I'll hold my own beer.
  • + 1
 I would ride the specialized and be happy to be wrong. It just looks and sounds like nothing but BS at this point. Also: You still have that gx derailleur in stock? With that mod? You know Sram GX exists right?
  • + 3
 Except our ebikes. Because we have like 20 people working on them in Europe and have basically mailed in development of our regular bikes for the last two years.
  • + 1
 They did Research & Development, engineering (consisting of research and development) and research? Amazing! How many different words do competitors have for the same thing?
  • + 1
 Going 27.5 on the rear means more rearward axle path lol. Should make some PB commenters happy. Also remember what Ratboy did to his new Cannondale?
  • + 41
 That Protour dig may be the single greatest piece of literature ever written.
  • + 6
 It's an artful insertion into the piece. Beer
  • + 54
 I like the new axle path and will take credit for it, but I won't take any legal action if I'm not given it.
  • + 6
 I didn’t even read it as a dig, more of a tip of the hat to someone who has carved a comment board niche. Made me laugh.
  • + 3
 @Protour: Maybe it explains why Bruni is cleaning up this year...
  • + 34
 Looks like a Banshee Legend
  • + 39
 Looks like, but isn't quite. I'll take the Banshee.
  • + 6
 Looks like a banshee with sober engineer's.
  • + 7
 @privateer-wbc: I want a legend. Love my darkside.
  • + 3
 @scotttherider: We have 3 Darkside's in the family for our annual Whistler trips. Best park bike ever!!
  • + 2
 or Turner DHR
  • + 5
 @jorgeposada: Sorry? Mind elaborating?
  • + 3
 @scotttherider: I have owned 2 Runes, G1 and G2, and just built a spitfire. Would love to own a Legend as well!
  • + 0
 @scotttherider: completely different bikes, I’d personally stick to the dark side, if it’s big enough.
  • + 2
 @kleinblake: I’m 5’10” and it feels great to me.
  • + 1
 Nah, more like sender..
  • + 4
 The Suspension looks more like a Canyon Sender with a different shock position.
  • + 1
 @kleinblake: have a Large darkside and XL legend. Darkside is a nice bmx...
  • + 0
 Agreed
  • + 1
 I would take the legend or the demo. I'll probably sell my supreme 29 frame at the end of this season to get one or the other
  • + 1
 @Mntneer: why? Also do you rude clips or flats?
  • + 1
 @slocyclist: let me marry in or adopt me
  • + 27
 Is there going to be a 27.5 option? I hope so. Not everyone is counting seconds when they ride.
  • + 22
 I'm not counting seconds, but I'm sure enjoying every second on my 29er.
  • + 1
 @radrider: same and it seems like if you ever pitch on a 29er you get yelled at for chasing time
  • + 6
 @kieran, no, at the moment there's no 27.5" option with this frame design. But you don't need to watch the clock every time you ride this thing - it'll work just fine as a park bike if that's what you're looking for.
  • - 21
flag nordland071285 (Jul 9, 2019 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah since I went 29 I actually feel sorry for anyone I see riding anything smaller
  • + 13
 I'm curious at what head tube angle will bike brands stop at? 64 degrees was 'crazy steep' about 5 years ago. At some point I would imagine you would start having issues with seals and increase lateral stress on the fork to an unsafe amount. Maybe they know the angle (say 60) but they can move it down incrementally year by year to make the buyer feel like they are feeling the latest and greatest. I guess at some point there will be a known optimal HT/BB/CS dimensions for a given suspension design/MTB discipline but until then we can all watch the slow evolution like Charles Darwin.
  • - 36
flag chriskneeland (Jul 9, 2019 at 9:24) (Below Threshold)
 29ers are such an unnecessary compromise. Yeah, the dork brigade loves them and will buy them up like hot cakes, but real mountain bikers want the better wheel size. Looks like I'll still never ride a Specialized. They really killed this bike by not offering it in 27.5.
  • + 22
 @mikekazimer: who the hell wants to ride a 29er in the bike park though. I mean given the choice, 27.5 or 26 is gonna be more playful and arguably more fun
  • + 6
 I don't really have a good feel for the DH market but based on comments here (not that that means a whole lot) it seems like there should be a market for a more flickable fun DH bike. But maybe people are just riding lift assist with their long travel enduro sleds that are more into the playful type of bike.
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer: but... STRAVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
  • + 55
 @HVrider, I do - I've spent a bunch of time up at Whistler this year on 29" DH bikes, and I had a great time. The idea that how big or small your wheels are is somehow related to how much fun you can have seems silly to me.
  • + 10
 @mikekazimer: I just dont want a 29er. Tried one and was not a fan.
  • + 10
 @HVrider: I would argue that a 29er with good, modern geo can get close, but ya its just getting close, not the same completely.

If/when I get another DH bike, I'd prefer a 650b since I'm not racing, and they are just a tad more durable and lighter than 29 inch wheels.
  • + 22
 @kieran: I've ridden bikes in every wheel size I didn't like.
  • + 37
 @mikekazimer: As a short person, how much fun I'm having is related to how little tire goes up my butt. No judgement if you feel the opposite.
  • + 4
 @kieran: you tried one? Like a single bike? Cool story bro.
  • + 6
 @nordland071285: Poor Troy Brosnan.
  • + 17
 Jeez, all I asked is will there be a 27.5 option. Ride what you goddam like and I'll do the same. 29 fanboys are the worst.
  • + 6
 @kieran: all fanboys are the worst
  • + 6
 @DuelingBanjos: haha I was just kidding, I don't ride 29..I'm just a bitter 26er because I'm skint Smile
  • + 3
 @kieran: 29r haters are the worst...ive owned a lot of high end 26s for 20 years, only owned one 29er now and its by far the best bike ive owned. 120mm travel and feels comparable to a 160mm 26er. The only thing its not good at is switchbacks.
  • + 3
 @coyotecycleworks: The won't go lower than 62º. I think they won't go lower than 63º for trail/"enduro" bikes. As for the limits of geo just have a look at what Pole and Nicolai/geometron have come out with. You won't see slacker or longer than that as it becomes too terrain specific.
  • + 4
 God forbid anyone have a preference that doesn't align with everyone else's. Apparently 29ers are now the be-all end-all now. Amazing how fickle this place can be.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: I see it more as a marketing gimmick vs. the limits of geometry. On paper it sounds great when you can state you have the steepest most progressive geometry but at what point are you losing structural integrity in both the frame (head tube area) and fork. I'm not an engineer but I'd hate to see people getting hurt from catastrophic failures because of a design flaw. That being said I don't think 62 degrees would do that but until they say no steeper it seems like they're on a worrisome trend.
  • + 1
 @coyotecycleworks: I was asking around in some forums about using an angleset on my bike, and several people tried to go super slack. They all said though once you pass 64 degrees, the first gen 160mm 29er lyrik would flex and bind too much. Greg Minaar said the same of the fox 49 past about 63 degrees. I'm guessing that would be the limiting factor before you would start experiencing a rise in equipment failure.
  • + 1
 @coyotecycleworks: Having a "long" and slack bike at 520mm reach, 62.8º HA, 460mm CS and 1332mm WB and being 1.80m (5'11") I can say I wouldn't want to go further unless I was riding only super steep stuff or flat out all the time over rough terrain.
Pole and Nicolai don't sell it as a gimmick since they have done a lot of testing beforehand. Of course, you can always size down if you don't want the added reach.
If the frame is made well then this geometry won't cause problems. I see the fork snapping off before the head tube does.
  • + 1
 @hamncheez: I had alot of flex with a 160mm Yari 622mm fork with a 62º head angle. Ended up selling it, getting a +1º angleset and getting a dual crown fork. Much better!
  • + 18
 hold on. why would i not want to run it like loic and finn? why not offer it with a 27.5 rear? does no one else see the difference in rider stance between those on 27.5 rear ends vs those on 29?(at least those under 6') or am i crazy?
  • + 1
 Totally agree, not even a mention of whether or not you could run a 27.5 in the back, which I assume you can't. Also, I'd be willing to bet that the majority of Demo haven't even made the jump up to 27.5 yet, much less are even considering the 29 right now.
  • + 19
 Wow, it took them 30 years to drop the stupid short chainstay hype. Finally some balance right there...
  • + 7
 30 years, you call that a hype?
  • + 4
 They need to bring back adjustable stays like bikes used to have
  • + 1
 @zyoungson: Been on the hunt for some IDS dropouts for my ol' Ransom...
  • + 3
 @ArturoBandini You can blame Sam Hill for pushing them towards short chain stays. He was the main driving force for that. Are you sure you want to anger the internet gods with that?
  • + 19
 No mullet, no care.
  • + 12
 1st // Loic BRUNI // FRA // 765
2nd // Troy BROSNAN // AUS // 700
3rd // Amaury PIERRON // FRA // 605
4th // Danny HART // GBR // 565
5th // Loris VERGIER // FRA // 482

2x 29,
2x 29/27.5
1x 27.5

Perhaps wheel size is just relative to rider size?
  • + 9
 It's funny that everyone says they want a 27.5 bike for 'the park'... Because it's presumably more 'fun'. But what isn't fun are the millions of braking bumps in a bike park and the 29er will smooth those out more than the smaller wheel. Leaving more energy (mental and physical) to do all those sick jumps bro.
  • + 19
 Sorry but saying that 29er deals with brake bumps better than 27,5 is a bit like saying 27,5 is more fun in the park than 29... both statements require similar level of suspension of disbelief Smile
  • + 7
 Maybe, or will they just become bigger do to 29ers?
  • + 59
 You will just end up with brake bumps in 29er size. So if you go ride your 20 inch, there are now doubles everywhere
  • + 9
 Buying a 29er race bike so you won't feel the braking bumps that strongly anymore? Seems legit
  • + 2
 The best thing that I've found to deal with braking bumps is strength
  • + 2
 @Mntneer: I found the best way is line choice. I try to avoid the main line if possible and am half as dead after a full day of shuttles.
  • + 11
 "Demo uses a 12x148mm rear hub, rather than the 12x157mm that's commonly found on downhill bikes"

WHAT. THE. EFFF.
  • + 12
 It's not really that surprising - the previous Demo used 12 x 135mm spacing.
  • + 8
 You can swap wheels and go for a quick pedal if you steal your trailbike wheel. Doh
  • + 22
 @mikekazimer: IFHT has to update their video: choose a hub spacing and be a dick about it.

Now trailbikes use DH spacing (aka superboost), DH bikes use trail spacing (boost), and random bikes use road bike spacing (135?). Makes total sense.

When will the hub spacing madness end?!?!?!?!
  • + 8
 @mikekazimer: I'd prefer to have smaller hub spacing on a DH bike any day, tight tracks, not very many gears, wider is not always better.
  • + 9
 I agree. Let's all just come together at 12x148 and live happily ever after. I was bummed my M29 is 12x157 because trail bike wheels and DH wheels these days are getting to be pretty similar.
  • - 2
 @larryssman7: totally agree with the wheels. The hub spacing is nothing more than a way for some manufacturers to force sales of complete bikes. It is all BS I think.
  • + 16
 The fact that Bruni has won so many big races on a 135 rear end shows how stupid, overhyped, and unnecessary the wide hubs are unless you are really big. Besides the better bike handling you get from not hitting your heels on the chainstays all the time, a narrower rear hub is more aerodynamic and lighter. The frames, wheels, and pivots should be where you beef things up for rear end stiffness, not just take short cuts like every other company out there and make a wider hub. Specialized deserves big props for trying to keeping it narrow.
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: what other DH bikes are running 148 spacing?
  • + 4
 @Protour: more aerodynamic?? Ok guy
  • + 2
 @pargolf8: My personal dh bike runs 142x12. Never had any stiffness issue.
  • + 1
 @pargolf8: alutech sennes, votec vd elite
  • + 1
 @Stokedonthis: ohh those.....
  • + 12
 Looks like Banshee!
  • - 1
 or an old Giant Glory
  • + 11
 Aluminum? Did I read correctly???
#MakeAluminumGreatAgain
  • + 7
 Maybe it's just me, but it's refreshing to see such a non-gimmicky bike:
- aluminum frame
- not super long and slack
- 15mm* x 148mm rear hub spacing
- no asymmetrical frame
- threaded BB
- 2.3" rear tire

*per spesh's website, not 12mm @mikekazimer
  • + 9
 It's definitely a 12 x 148mm axle - I've got the bike in front of me, but I agree, all those details you mentioned are nice to see.
  • + 2
 @mikekazimer: Hmm. Their website says the Race is 15 x 148mm, the Expert is 12 x 148mm, and it does not specify for the frame only. Since you are currently staring at a Race, I would assume that the 15mm specification on their website for the Race is an error, and all frames/models are 12 x 148mm. Thankfully their QC for their bikes is probably better than it is for their website content Smile
  • + 2
 Not super long and not super slack??? The headangle is 62.7º! It is slacker than most DH bikes which are usually 63-63.5º! The wheelbase is way longer than previous demos too! Sure reach is short which sucks for taller riders. Everything else I would agree sounds good on paper.
  • + 10
 b i g h i t t e c h n o l o g y
  • + 10
 You guys forgetting something, Dh bikes always has smaller reach measures
  • + 1
 I fail to see why that should be. I stand up more on my DH bike than my trail bike and don't want my knees hitting the handlebars!
  • + 3
 @SintraFreeride: because stack is higher. So the same "downtube" gives less reach on a DH bike than on a bike with less travel.
And the DH bike is meant to be ridden in downhills only, where you put your weght more rearward relative to the BB to balance your weight on the wheels.
  • + 2
 @faul: I tend to ride in the middle or on the front even on the steep stuff and I like my roomy toptube. I find it a shame Specialized didn't even offer a 500mm reach bike much less a 480mm...
  • + 5
 Add one more wanting 27.5 wheel f/r option, and with that huge antisquat number it must have a massive pedal kickback probably solved by the chairing size, would buy one with on 27.5 option but my 3 year YT Tues started looking much better now...
  • + 7
 You have a YT that's lasted 3 years?
  • + 1
 @heinous: yeah I'm that kind of shitty rider. And I know of another one probably older but same MY that still runs in Portugal national cup at least in Lousã.
  • + 1
 @heinous: rode an alu capra for 3 and a half years, including lots of park days and it still had lots of life left. Gotta give them credit for their aluminium frames, carbon is/was a different story.
  • + 6
 Where's the 27.5 rear wheel option? You never go Full 29. We've all been waiting for the Big Hit Mark whatever it is, failed promise!

Also, extra long reach 465.... seems tight!
  • + 6
 I bled the brakes and aired up the tires on my 2004 demo 9 the other day, rode it up and down the sidewalk, it's begging for a trip to the bike park
  • + 3
 Im six foot three slash fourish range and I ride 480mm reach on my enduro and I had a XL pivot phoenix as my DH bike and I always felt it was a tad too long in the corners and am wanting a little more playfullness now. Really how long will they go with this extra long and slack fad before we start seeing dudes offering tandem rides down the hill for uber on these stretched out limo rides.
  • - 2
 It isn't a fad it just requires riding in the middle or on the front end. If you continue to ride off the bike the bike becomes unmanageable. I'm 5'11'' and have a 520mm reach bike. It is by FAR the best bike I have ridden EVER!
The slack headangle limit is around 63-63.5º.
  • + 1
 @SintraFreeride: it is purely preference. A bike with a 520 mm reach for someone your height will NEVER be as playful. Yes, it will monster truck and have valid strengths for certain aspects of riding, but when it comes time to have fun (depending on your riding style) and manual and jump, do whips, or any super tight fast corners, it's just not going to be as fun (if that is what you're into). I'm 5'10", and I would not want to go above a 470mm reach as it just takes the nimbleness away. If flat out speed and stability is your jam, then, by all means, ride a bike with a massive reach number that you sprawl out across, and let the bike do its thing. For those less concerned with every tenth of a second, a bike that requires a little more body language is going to be more of a treat to ride. It's like handlebar width. For a while, it seemed wider was the only way forward. Semenuk rides a 735mm bar on his jump bike, and 760mm on the DH bike, and I bet he has more fun and certainly more control than anyone on a bike. I find an 800mm bar to be great when smashing through rock gardens at speed, but zipping through trees and tight corners while trying to jump and do whips and move the bike around, give me a short bar and watch my smile grow.
  • + 1
 @leon-forfar: My 520mm reach bike isn't a manual machine for sure but it can be jumped, whipped and rip tight fast corners just fine. My idea of fun is performance i.e. grip, stability at speed and comfort. I run a 20mm stem to liven up the steering. Having said that my 520mm reach bike also climbs better than any other bike I've had. I am now able to ride stupid steep stuff because of the massive traction and because the front wheel doesn't wander or wheelie. I do agree it is personal preference but the question that was asked was "What is the limit?" "Not what is your preference?".
  • + 3
 @Protour, PBUH, RIP, was right all along!!

I used to be a big advocate for ultra low bbs, but really its the ratio of bb height to total wheelbase thats more important. For all of you that rode the original enduro 29er, you know of what I speak. High BB combined with a short wheelbase is a recipe for distaster. These longer bikes ride just fine with higher bbs.
  • + 8
 2011 is back bitches
  • + 3
 I'm trying to find that chain stay protector on this demo and the one used on the new Stumpjumper, can find pics of it online and local shops say they can't find it, anyone know where I can purchase one ? I want to adapt it to fit my current demo, thanks.
  • + 2
 Its molded to the frame...not screwed in. Unless you make something custom not sure it will work. This might help you... stfubike.com
  • + 2
 @MikeyMT: it is a bolt on with the stump jumper, you can see some little 3mm bolts on the inside of the chain stay that hold it on, the same as on my current demo, but mine is a flat surface and the one I'm after is raised. Cheers for the link
  • + 1
 That links got me thinking, I recon you could use a fork bumper to do the same thing as thier 7 speed system. Infact I think they are fork bumpers!
  • + 2
 @bigburd: report back if you try it
  • + 1
 You could go old school and tie-wrap a piece of old tire to your chainstay, because knobby protectors apparently are quieter than a continuous one. What they have here though is frame specific. They experimented a bit with the spacing and size of these knobs to find the quietest solution. I ride a steel hardtail with a short cage rear mech with clutch, so it is quiet enough already with a simple vinyl sticker and some silicon tape over it. But I was considering playing with the way I wound the tape. As it is now it is just level and silent enough for me. But as it is starting to wear in places, I could experiment a little next time, just make some bulges or first stick some knobs to my chainstay before I wrap the tape. The tape I'm using is from ESI. It only sticks to itself. It is transparent though it soon enough adopts the color of whatever dirt you've been riding. Next step of course would be investment casting. Shape your ideal chainstay protector over your chainstay using wax. Then cover it in ceramic slurry and wait for it to dry. Leave some holes in the ceramic material or drill them, then warm the chainstay until the wax melts and runs out. Then fill the empty ceramic shell with silicon and wait for it to solidify. Break the ceramic shell and presto, you've got your chainstay protector!
  • + 2
 Adhesive backed Foam weather stripping. It's cheap and will silence chain slap.
  • + 1
 @krashDH85: To each their own, but I find the foam far superior.
  • + 1
 @tachapma: What style/size do yoi use?
Looks like there are a bunch of kinds.
  • + 7
 nice kids bikes. Now show as bikes sized for adults.
  • + 7
 Will there be a 29front 27.5 rear ?
  • + 2
 buy frame. put 27.5 wheel in back. boom. mission accomplished
  • + 4
 More end-stroke progression I understand, but I thought we were moving away from anti-squat due to how it restricts the suspension (hence idler pulleys, high-mount single-pivots, and Canyon’s disengaging rear-hub thingy).
  • + 4
 I’m really surprised at the AS increase.
  • + 6
 This is not the bike that Bruni is winning with. So why do you say it is???
  • + 5
 Ok, so has the big elephant in the room here been missed here? Its not carbon anymore...why is that?......Oh and hallelujah!!!!
  • + 3
 Exactly what I was thinking. Specialized realized you can keep the cost down by using aluminum. They will definitely sell more of these. Especially while Bruni is winning .
  • + 2
 @BeerGuzlinFool: I thought it was a bit of a shocker tbh. A welcome one though. I read elsewhere that its easier for them to manage and make adjustments. Perhaps Aluminium is the all new wonder product!
  • + 1
 If you don't think a carbon version in the works, you're mistaken.
  • + 2
 @ka-brap: Waste of time and money. Will be no better than the Aluminium verson
  • - 1
 It's not carbon because they aren't going to keep this exact frame, you know they will release the 29/27 soon with all the WC success, I feel sorry for anyone who buys this one as it will be replaced with in two years max.
  • + 0
 @Matt76: That's simply not true that a carbon version will be no better than an aluminum version. When everyone is complaining that a 29er DH bike is heavier, more monster truck-like and not playful, a carbon version of the alu bike will be lighter and be more maneuverable because of it (not to mention stronger and offer better vibration damping when done correctly). Whether or not that is not worth the price tag is another story and that depends on you and your needs.

@bigburd : To be honest, I would not want a mixed wheel sized bike. I'll either take a full 29er or a full 27.5 for the wheel, spoke, tire, etc. simplicity.
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: whatever you say. But i call bullsh*t
  • - 2
 @ka-brap: If a carbon frame is made to last it's not much lighter than an aluminum frame. As far as vibration damping goes.. your suspension setup will make a bigger difference than the material the frame is made of.
  • + 1
 @Matt76: You need to ride/test more bikes then. Sometimes the gains are small, sometimes the gains are very noticeable. It just depends on who is making the bike and how they have done it. And again, it depends on if that difference is worth it to you and your needs.
  • + 1
 Could be because last year Commencal's Supreme 29 (which is aluminum) smacked the competition, both in comparison tests ( www.pinkbike.com/news/ridden-and-rated-five-29-downhill-bikes.html ) and in the WC overall.

There was a lot of talk about how good Commencal's flexible swing arm was... something that may be easier to do with aluminum than carbon, as aluminum is a more "damp" material. Or it could just be they do it because aluminum is cheaper. Who the heck knows
  • + 1
 @ka-brap: It just rubbish that carbon is significantly better than aluminium. I recently tested a carbon super bike that probably cost around 6k so at least double that of my aluminium bike. If there was 5% difference in performance then that was it...max! If i had spent 6k on that bike i would have been absolutely gutted.
  • + 2
 @Matt76: Totally agree with you on this. I have always considered carbon a luxury item. It's nice but not necessary. I've never ridden my aluminum bike and not had fun because it wasn't carbon fiber.
  • + 2
 What an epic fail, typical Specialized marketing bs.Gwin, Brosnan and Vergier were on an entirely different platform and had little to do ( if anything at all) with the current design Using names just to sell more stuff if weak af.

Also , your current racers from whom youre getting real feedback are on the mullet bike ... if it works better for them and allow them to ride at a faster pace, why not sell THAT same bike ?

What a joke , get bent Specialized
  • + 1
 Too true
  • + 5
 Welp, it doesn't look like a Session, so I'd say Specialized is off to a good start in the Pinkbike comment department!
  • + 1
 I live in flat land, so 170mm is overkill for me. but I'll watch your review of it!
  • - 1
 Looks like an old Giant Glory
  • + 5
 I'm out of the loop

Whats up with this Protour guy?
  • + 5
 He’s just a guy who’s really open-minded about suspension design and everyone spent ages trying to convince him that the previous Demo had serious flaws with its chainstays and axle path.

I think that’s right...
  • + 1
 @Linkpin: Surely you meant to say he tried convincing everyone that the previous Demo had serious flaws?
  • + 3
 Say good bye to the plush ride and fresh arms. Say hello to platform! Because it's all about pedaling at the Park and doing DH. Pedaling people. What a fun bike !
  • + 1
 So this new Demo has better antisquat than Stumpjumper. In all gears. As if that really mattered so much for a DH bike.

If only it had a bottlecage, I would buy it, add an air shock, 180mm fork (-1deg headangle) and call it a uberenduro. Wait, I hope I am not giving them ideas now...
  • + 1
 I’m sorry this is f*#%king ridiculous. The average height of women is 5’4”....men 5’9”. Most people don’t race. Not making a 27.5 version is total b.s and I’m sick and tired of this trend of catering towards the extremes. If this industry wants to survive and thrive it needs to be MORE inclusive not less. Want to keep the demo as a “race only” rig for tall people? Fine, at least make another more park oriented 27.5 bike then in lots of sizes. I have three girls, all of them ride dh as does my wife and NONE of them can or want to ride wagon wheels. Get a clue specialized.
  • + 11
 I agree but ... Don't buy a specialized?
  • + 1
 @schofell84: I don’t, or at least haven’t for a long time. Commencal is a great example of a company doing it right, but a brand as big as Specialized influences trends and it bothers me to see them being exclusive as others may follow.
  • + 9
 Lol. It has a short reach. The stack height is mighty close to 27.5” bikes if not lower than some.

If you use your eyes you’ll see anyone in this thread bitching about it not being big enough for anyone tall. My trail bike has 10mm more reach than this DH bike.

Speaking of inclusivity and downhill bikes is comical. I bet Specialized is going to sell less than 2,000 units of this bike. Like it’s completely unrelated to the average rider of any sort.
  • + 3
 It’s crazy to think they got rid of the Status. Great park bike. Cheap, simple. Why they ditched that, I’ll never understand. I agree, Commencal is doing right with the Supreme and the Furious. It’d be nice to see other brands follow suit.
  • + 3
 They still make a 27.5 demo, or at least its in the 2020 range here in the UK.
  • - 5
flag b-mack (Jul 9, 2019 at 11:36) (Below Threshold)
 @bonfire: I’m talking about wheelsize, tire buzz, and proportionality....not frame size. But hey, thanks for schoolin’ me on how all this shit works because ya know after 20 years in this industry I know f*ck all obviously. Maybe you should go tell Loic Bruni how all this works too because he’s been a huge supporter of the 27.5 wheel as well and runs one on the back of this bike. He obviously doesn’t know what size bike to ride...
  • - 7
flag b-mack (Jul 9, 2019 at 11:39) (Below Threshold)
 ...and to all you 29er fanboys down-voting this comment....you are sexist, ageist, and heightist if you don’t thing there’s a place in this sport for other wheel sizes.
  • + 8
 @b-mack: U OK HUN?
  • - 4
flag b-mack (Jul 9, 2019 at 11:50) (Below Threshold)
 @tomhoward379: just a little butthurt, thanks babe.
  • + 1
 @b-mack: There will still be a 27.5 Demo
  • + 1
 @schwaaa31: Commencal also make the Clash, their single crown park bike.
  • + 3
 I like the look of it. Reminds me of the old school Demo 9! The suspension linkage looks exactly like a Canyon Sender though! Everything is just made larger and longer
  • + 4
 Woah.... that paper-thin chainstsy by the main pivot just bugs me horrendously!
  • + 3
 5k for an alu bike!! Why is nobody talking about this? What happened to the budget version of bikes? Guess we all have to be dentists
  • + 6
 How much are Pole’s again?
  • + 1
 The Norco HSP1 is the same price and has the exact same build.
  • + 3
 That people think aluminum means budget is hilarious.
  • + 5
 465 max......? Was this designed in 2013?
  • + 5
 same system as a Canyon Sender but with longer levers for the shock
  • + 1
 Sorry but, what s the point with these : "Looks like a ...."
Yeah, it's a bike, has 2 wheels and a system to activate a shock in the middle of the frame. At this point it will always look like something else more or less. What is the problem with it?
  • + 3
 Umm 62 degree head angle 77 seat. Is this the new trail bike ????????????????????????
  • + 1
 yes
  • + 1
 12x148mm rear hub! Hopefully this means no changes to hub sizes for a long while. If a brand new DH 29er is stiff enough with normal Boost sizing then surely any other type of wheel is going to be more than sweet...
  • + 2
 DH hubs were 12x150 for a long time, so... yeah it's probably fine LOL!
  • + 1
 I read this with enthusiasm and envy and greed and drool. Then I realized what is basically my dream bike will likely not be even close to my size. Soooo saaaaddddd!! 6’4” anyone?
  • + 4
 Alright, they made XS, S and M frame sizes. When are the L and XL coming?
  • + 2
 Prototypes are more interesting to me than the finished product. But maybe that's just because I am a fabricator/welder. Same reason I love raw finish frames.
  • + 2
 Wondering when we will start seeing size specific chainstays. Mold cost for carbon could be prohibitive but there is no reason an alloy bike should not have them!
  • + 2
 On the V10, Santa Cruz just moves all the pivot locations 10mm back on the front triangle, so it changes the rear axle's position relative to the BB without mess with the swingarm, linkage, or kinematics. Every size already has it's own front triangle, so there's no extra cost.
  • + 3
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Well damn skippy...those SCB folks sure are clever!
  • + 4
 What a Legendary move from Specialized
  • + 1
 I see what you did there
  • + 4
 looks like canyon sender
  • + 3
 Why not sell the mullet version of the bike!!!!!!? Total BS
  • + 3
 Meh, looks like the 09' Demo 8 got an update
  • + 2
 Somehow similar to the system in the Canyon Sender, but located lower in the frame.
  • + 1
 “That shouldn't be an issue anymore, thanks to the Demo's 31.4% leverage ratio progression.“

Wat. Where’d that number come from?
  • + 1
 Nvm bad math
  • + 3
 23.99 is optimum.
  • + 4
 Never chop the mullet!!!
  • + 0
 So in order for Specialized to make their fastest dh bike they had to make a Banshee Legend. Sick bike though! And I absolutely loved my legend so this could be a real winner!
  • - 1
 “More R&D, more engineering, and more research has gone into this bike than any other bike we've ever made,” says Brad Benedict, Specialized's mountain bike product manager.

Looks exactly like a 2018 Banshee Legend to me. So how much research exactly?
  • + 3
 And it also look like Canyon Sender. It's called reverse engineering.
  • + 1
 @RobertBro: is that what it's called?
  • + 1
 Just think about the hundreds of thousands of dollars specialized throws into these carbon bike molds just to switch it few years later.
  • + 3
 Quite expensive for aluminum
  • + 3
 the ohlins fork and shock likely have a lot to do with that
  • + 2
 i think its priced good for company like specialized-2.5k for frame with shock that costs 1k. even builds are priced pretty good and as always with S you can get discount the store
  • + 0
 A Commencal Supreme 29 frame with no shock is $1,700. So Spesh pricing is in line with a direct brand. Not bad.
  • + 0
 This is going to have some uh strange anit-squat values. The deeper you go into the travel the more anti-squat it's going to generate. Orange bikes called and they want their regressive anti-squat values back.
  • + 3
 whatever happened to the knolly podium
  • + 3
 Is it just me that prefers the looks of the old demo, it just looked fast
  • + 3
 2010 called, it wants its bike back.
  • + 11
 wasn't that the version that used to kill people? @protour
  • + 3
 @dtax: I was surprised how far into the comments I had to scroll before I saw someone bring protour up!!!
  • - 1
 FWIW; I ride 29" (niner rip rdo v3) I've found tight/steep switchbacks a great opportunity to oversteer. This creates traction for the front wheel and exiting the corners is quick too. This is "natural" as being hard on the brakes brings me forward a bit and I need to be centered on the bike to execute the tight/steep switchback. Turns of the non-tight/ steep nature are
approached differently. I don't do, just trail ride at 5'6" I prefer a medium smalls are too, uh small. The longer wheelbase and additional reach helps with stability at speed. Obviously getting suspension dialed is key. More rebound damping helps to stabilize the bike lending to more predictability. A mere mortals observation after 30 yrs of mtb, ya feel me?
  • + 1
 Anyone noticed they mentioned Loris Vergier in the development riders and not Loic Bruni who has been riding for Specialized ????
  • + 4
 Looks like the old demo
  • + 10
 It's official now, the asymmetric frame was just an industrial design/marketing gimmick.
  • + 1
 standing 165 cm (5.4"?) seeing the shortest reach is 425, makes me wish I were Mr. Fantastic or Plasticman (ring a bell?)
  • + 3
 Why are you looking at 29” bikes then?
  • + 3
 Looks like a Demo
  • + 0
 Ibis Am I the only one watching that video of the suspension action thinking it looks more like 140mm? At least in that vid? What's up with that?
  • + 2
 Am I the only one that thinks it looks just like the original Demos?
  • + 2
 RememberAaron Gwin! Don't buy Spec! Big Grin
  • + 1
 Wait a minute - we could bond carbon sheets to aluminum frames to stiffen? Why hasn't a third-party capitalized on this?
  • + 2
 Does anyone else think it looks an awful lot like a Banshee?
  • + 1
 It's funny how everyone compares this to a banshee when the banshee is basically the Jedi without the pulley.
  • + 1
 @BeerGuzlinFool: basically. Lower pivot points to facilitate the no need of the idler though,
  • + 1
 @Ghostifari: I rode an older Legend years ago and it could have definitely used a pulley. You could feel the rear end stiffen up with every pedal stroke. I don't know if the newer models have the same issue.
  • + 2
 but roadbike chainstays are the futurrre to make long bikes turn good...
  • + 1
 That main pivot area is paper thin.... it bugs me greatly! Not a good bike for whip-offs going wrong...
  • + 0
 @badpotato: true that man nor does any 29” wheel just waiting to fold up on a sideways hit gone bad.
  • + 2
 More pivots = more betterer?
  • + 3
 no flame no game
  • + 1
 Is the drag from an extra pulley actually that significant in a DH? Just curious. I know nothing.
  • + 1
 No its not. Just a marketing excuse from Specialized.
  • + 1
 dam almost whaT I want but its a 29'er
  • + 1
 no mixed wheels, no deal.
  • + 1
 Looks like the 2005 model
  • + 1
 One of the more enjoyable comment sections for July.
  • + 1
 Props to Spez for making a DH bike with 148 spacing. Very smart.
  • + 2
 Long life to aluminium!
  • + 1
 @mikekazimer, hey, great write-up, lots of meat in here, thanks.
  • + 2
 Take all my money.
  • + 1
 Typo in first sentence? :/
  • + 2
 No water bottle? Next...
  • + 1
 Nice write up Mike!
  • + 0
 You ve got the popcorn?
  • + 1
 looks like a banshee!
  • + 1
 Nevermind
  • + 1
 Its sold out already
  • + 1
 Ugly colours
  • + 1
 size S2 HARVARD
  • + 0
 The grasshopper returns
  • - 1
 Doesn't look like a Demo!
  • + 0
 Fat welds rule!
  • - 2
 its not the bike its the pilot... Bruni actually would win even on his 2015 Lapierre Big Grin
  • - 1
 Why does it look like it was designed in a shed?
  • - 2
 no option for bigger riders it looks like with a max. reach of 465mm.
  • - 1
 Doesn
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