Miranda Miller's Prototype Specialized 29er DH Bike - Fort William DH World Cup 2018

Jun 1, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
Miranda Miller Specialized

The Fort William downhill track is a brutal one, with a surface that looks like a cobblestone street after an earthquake. Specialized's Miranda Miller will be taking on the high speed, rock-riddled course aboard a 29”-wheeled prototype, the same bike that we first caught a glimpse of at the Whistler Bike Park last week. Loic Bruni and Finn Iles will be sticking to their 27.5” Demo races bikes, but I'm sure they'll be spending time on this yet-to-be-released machine in the near future.

The frame design is a distinct departure from the current Demo – it's no longer one-sided, and there's also no concentric bottom bracket pivot to be seen. Instead, the shock is driven by a vertical link that's attached to the seat stays and a horizontal link that's attached to the main pivot. The design keeps the shock positioned close to the bottom bracket, which should keep the bike's center of gravity nice and low.


Miranda Miller Specialized
The shock position, bottom bracket height, and chainstay length can all be adjusted on this prototype aluminum frame.


The concentric BB pivot may be gone, but it does look like an eccentric bottom bracket has been installed, although I doubt that's something that would make it into a production model. Eccentric bottom brackets are more typically used to adjust the chain tension on singlespeed bikes without horizontal dropouts, but they can also be used to adjust a bike's geometry – the BB height and chainstay length can be altered by rotating the device inside the bottom bracket shell. Miranda's bike also has what looks like a flip chip at the front shock mount. It's currently in the middle setting, but I'd be willing to be that there's a high and low option as well, at least for this particular frame.


Miranda Miller Specialized
Miranda Miller Specialized

Miranda Miller Specialized
The Fort William track hasn't been very kind to Miranda - will this be the year she gets redemption?



103 Comments

  • 109 4
 Looks like 2005 Demo 9
  • 3 0
 Man, you're totally RIGHT!
  • 2 0
 I was thinking the same thing!
  • 7 0
 Sometimes you gotta take a step back to take a couple steps forward?
  • 9 0
 They are coming back to the roots!
  • 3 0
 That was the first thought in my mind too... old school Demo 9, without the middle stay.
  • 3 0
 2018 Demo 9er Big Grin
  • 61 2
 Looks like a banshee!
  • 6 2
 No way! It does!
  • 8 2
 Really looks like a bansheebikes.com/legend
but with a CS pivot. They're f*cking with us now. Asymmetric one is amazing. What's happening?
  • 7 1
 Canyon Sender even more so. CS pivot.
  • 6 1
 Just missing bottom link.....I love my banshee I hope the do 29 soon as I want another!!!
  • 38 0
 Better a Banshee than another fucking Session
  • 3 0
 @Bird-Man: The bottom link is there, it's just longer...
  • 11 4
 A banshee that got beaten with an ugly stick, then thrown out of the ugly tree in the height of summer when the branches are most dense.
  • 12 1
 Looks like a demo to me... well the original demo design before the single sided version...
  • 1 0
 One Specialized Rep told me that the kits, colors and decals for the bikes had been ready for the last 6 months and it was a prototype more than a year ago.
  • 3 0
 @Bird-Man: they have a 29er legend now. there was an article on vital a few months ago
  • 2 0
 @enrico650: ya i saw a trail bike with low shock layout like this last winter in santa Cruz..spesh guy had it.
  • 1 0
 That's the first thing that popped into my head!
  • 1 0
 Yep! First thing in thought of was my Legend. I went to angelfire bike park last weekend and rode a new carbon V10. That bike had nothing on my Legend! Best downhill bike I've ever ridden. It's amazing!
  • 1 0
 No, it looks like a Knolly : it’s a FSR with a shock linkage independant from the 4-bar linkage that connect the rear axle to the frame, i.e. shock is not directly linked to the 4-bar element.
The banshee is a short-link (aka VPP) kinematic with shock operated directly by the lower linkage.
I wonder if knolly will sue them ????
  • 1 0
 @gnralized: The shock linkage is nothing like a Knolly. A Knolly simply uses an in-line extension to drive the shock between two similar links. This design is using the seatstay to pull a link that is attached to the shock with another link attached to the frame behind the BB. Quite ingenious if a little complex.
  • 3 0
 @jclnv: No you're wrong that's exactly the same.
1. "A Knolly simply uses an in-line extension to drive the shock between two similar links"
Not true, on Knollys (obvious on podium and v-tach, a little less on warden, endo, delirium) the shock is driven by a rocker, which is pushed by a floating link between the seatstays and the rocker, which forms a secondary quadrilateral (frame-shock rocker-floating link-upper fsr link) hence the 4-by-four name from Knolly.
Since the the "floating link" has a pivot on both ends (seatstay and shock rocker), it doesn't behave like a rigid extension of the seatstays so the amount of rotation and angular velocity of the 4-bar quadrilateral is different than the one transmitted to the shock rocker by the secondary quadrilateral. In this it is close to Evil delta system, but on a 4-bar kinematic.
That's exactly the same layup as on the new spesh, except the secondary quadrilateral is inscribed inside the fsr quadrilateral for the spesh, and outside for the Ks.

2."This design is using the seatstay to pull a link that is attached to the shock with another link attached to the frame behind the BB"
The fact that the shock is attached to the upper link has no importance. Since this member is a floating one, the shock path is driven by the lower link's arc which is in fact a rocker attached to the frame. The shock is bolted to the frame one one side, to the rocker on the other side, and the rocker bolted to the frame, too. The shock could be bolted at any place along the rocker/lower link, it's angular displacement will be the same (but not the same linear displacement of course). The angular speed gradient is given by the "floating link", still like on knollys and evil.
  • 3 0
 @gnralized: Great reply. Not sure I can get my head around all that without viewing the frames side by side, but I'm with you on the independence of the shock linkage from the suspension (IC).
  • 39 2
 Are they showing us this bike now because they only film the top 3 women's runs on Redbull?
  • 5 0
 Ouch.
  • 11 1
 @Scottybike36: Not a miranda miller dig, a redbull equality dig.
  • 2 1
 @raditude: That's not true is it? They have a 90 min program slotted for the women before the mens on the Red Bull app.
  • 1 1
 @raditude Quit your bitchin and get in the kitchen.
  • 1 0
 @treekilla: Trevor, smokes now. I really thought Oregon was supposed to be more progressive.
  • 12 0
 running maxxis minion's too by the looks of the things
  • 5 0
 Yea, this is quite interesting...
  • 1 10
flag Mech25 (Jun 1, 2018 at 11:56) (Below Threshold)
 They run Specializeds Butcher
  • 13 0
 @Mech25: Those are definitely minions.
  • 5 0
 @Mech25: So...Minions Wink
  • 5 0
 Is a 29er Butcher with DH casing even available? I just know of the Grid version...
  • 2 0
 I'm guessing butchers are not available in 29 yet. Specialized are usually super anal about their tires. Ask Sam Hill or Jared Graves.
  • 2 0
 Keene has been running dh casing on 29 butchers @ka-brap:
  • 1 6
flag thestraightline (Jun 1, 2018 at 14:28) (Below Threshold)
 Def not Maxxis minions. That is a butcher. Have the same tyre on my bike. @Powderface:
  • 3 0
 @thestraightline: If you look at other photos from the interweb (Vital, even here honestly), it's clearly a Minion DHF.
  • 3 4
 @thestraightline: erm no and no. Keene was riding Grids and this is a freaking Minion DHF. I know because I have it on my bike and shitty Butcher hangs on the wall to be sold. Both Keene and Graves deserve utmost respect to ride Spec tyres instead of Maxxis
  • 3 0
 Erm yes. You are wrong. Grids is the only option we have in the store yes, but they have been running dh casing on both the butcher and the hillbilly for a while in 29 2.6 @WAKIdesigns:
  • 2 2
 The butcher is based on the dhf, as many other tires these days. The butcher has slightly shorter center knobs and with a bit more space. To me it works in between the dhf and the dhr 2@ka-brap:
  • 1 0
 One would have thought Bruni had butchers in dh casing when he rode that 29er
  • 3 5
 @thestraightline: there is no comparison between these two tyres no matter how similar they look. minion DHF in maxxgrip kills Butcher for breakfast. Minions in hard compounds beat most soft tyres of other brands. The only tyres that challenge Maxxis are Bontragers. Whenever I am trying a different tyre I’m like ok, maybe. Then back on Minions or Bontragers and I feel like I wasted my time. Schwalbes come very close but they lack all out dh all round tyre since Magic mary is too squirmy.
  • 1 0
 @thestraightline: both the Minion and Butcher had the same tire engineer. He worked with Maxxis, Specialized, then Michelin. One of the nicest and fastest dude on the planet.
  • 2 0
 You can argue that dhf is a better tyre, but I’m merely pointing out that the big S obviously has 29 tires with dh casing on offer for their riders @WAKIdesigns:
  • 10 0
 Heard you like links... so we put links on the links.
  • 10 0
 Protour, where are you???
  • 7 0
 Didn't you hear? Specialized wanted to show him the Demo's geometry wasn't lethal, so they sent him one to try. He was taken to hospital that afternoon and should be out of traction in a few months.
  • 15 7
 Looks like they went backwards with desing not forwards, the current demo looks way better
  • 36 3
 ... P R O T O T Y P E
  • 20 2
 Well if it looks better it must be better.
  • 5 0
 It doesn't seem like a great idea swapping over to a prototype between WC stops but then again its been 32 weeks since Croatia so she is probably used to it by now.
  • 3 0
 Looked cleaner that's for sure, but must be a motive to the madness!
  • 8 0
 @scott-townes: jesus, i must have misplaced 31 weeks somewhere.
  • 3 0
 I personally like the current Demo's aesthetics better too. This proto definitely has a lot of cues from the previous design. But if this just rides better than so be it.
  • 8 0
 But does it still have the reportedly deadly axle path?!
  • 2 0
 Sweet ride, love the suspension bits. That front fork is sick with those Ohlins stickers, thanks for the post. Now if any one spots a updated 2019 Specialized Enduro. Make sure you post a pic.
  • 3 0
 Wow this prototype turns up with real photos where you can actually see something, so soon after those spy shots.
Who would have predicted that?
  • 5 1
 So. Many. Pivots. Is this a VPP FSR or am I tripping?
  • 5 0
 Yeah this is confusing, it looks like the shock is connected to that link that comes down from the upper seat stay pivot, and it looks like a pivot on the same link right where the shock mounts to it. We need more close up of that area.
  • 6 2
 @bigburd: Wouldn't it be ironic if they got sued by DW and had to pay royalties...
  • 9 0
 Still an FSR. More pivots, but no more pivots than a Sender.
  • 5 0
 @bigburd: I think there is a hidden mini link to the frame (above the BB) doubled off the shock mount there. Otherwise it wouldn't move at all!
  • 3 0
 @ka-brap: correct. I got too excited.
  • 1 0
 its the same linkage design as the Canyon Sender, just longer, lower links
  • 4 0
 Looks like the rear chainstay is all dented up
  • 4 0
 Looks like a newer version of the original Demo bikes. I like it.
  • 5 1
 Am I alone in loving how this thing looks?
  • 3 0
 Whenever i see 'dh prototype' i prepare myself to see a trek session. Surprised this time.
  • 1 0
 So if XC bikes are faster with 29 wheels, and DH bikes are faster with 29, and the wheels are now strong enough to survive. Why are they making 650B?
(NB I'm still on obsolete wheels).
  • 2 0
 Concentric BB is interesting, would be good to see this on a production bike, maybe a big flip chip with fore / aft settings ?
  • 1 0
 P.S. Sorry almost forgot was having a moment with your bike, TMI. Great luck this weekend Miranda, keep the rubber side down. 1AB
  • 4 1
 We don’t want thoughts on the prototype, we want thoughts from protour!
  • 8 0
 It's rumoured he's no longer with us. Specialized gave him a Demo to sweeten him up, he took it to a bike park and that was that.
  • 4 0
 What? you mean he went on tour??
  • 4 0
 He got whacked, it’s clear. They clipped him in into a concrete block
  • 2 1
 @Protour Please come back !
  • 3 0
 Looks like a......dh bike
  • 1 0
 People keep saying this bike looks like a banshee. But it has a totally different linkage disign. Pretty unique as far as I can tell.
  • 1 0
 Miranda will kill it! , no problem all you Diamond head wanna be riders stay home Squamish is busy move along to your bike park in whistler.
  • 2 0
 Looks like a demo.............7
  • 2 0
 It reminds by far if you have eye problems the old demo 9
  • 2 0
 So many pivots and moving parts Eek
  • 2 1
 Doesn't look like a demo.
  • 2 1
 That's a nice banshee legend.
  • 2 2
 So they did away with the asymmetrical shit? It really never made sense to me.
  • 1 0
 Specialized bikes are sexy! Even the test mules are.
  • 1 1
 Eccentric bottom bracket . Yes!
  • 1 3
 Fake news. Absolutely NO WC DH racer would run any rim with an internal width less than 30mm. Especially a soft dt Swiss ex471 at that!
  • 1 0
 Those rims are not soft. Used to have them, would go back.
  • 2 2
 Looks like a Banshee
  • 3 4
 I hope Specialized gets sued for patent infringement on this one.
  • 2 4
 It's a Knolly non-parallel-o-gram in Special-Ed clothing.
  • 1 4
 apparently it's a prototype that is 3/4 years old, but show that now Wink
looks like a shit !
  • 1 3
 Looks like a Banshee crossed with polygon!
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