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First Rides: Specialized Status 2

Swinging a Leg Over the Big S' Budget DH Bike

Words by Morgan Taylor. Photos by Morgan Taylor.
January 12th, 2012

First Ride: 2012 Specialized Status 2

New for 2012, the Status replaces the BigHit in Specialized’s lineup as the less expensive alternative to their Demo series. Slacker, lower, and smoothed out compared to its predecessor – all traits that bring it closer to the Demo in design – the Status is a ready-to-rock race, bike park, and shuttle machine.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  Replacing the long-tenured BigHit series, the Status gives Specialized’s budget DH bike a fresh look and updated geometry: a full degree slacker head tube at 64.5º, a 10mm lower bottom bracket, and 1/2″ more rear travel.

The Status takes cues from Specialized’s top end DH bike, the Demo, in both aesthetics and geometry. Its head tube angle sits right between its big brother’s high and low settings. With this in mind, the Status keeps its wheels planted firmly on the ground, soaking up trail bumps like kitty litter on motor oil… or something like that.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  Controlling the Status’ 200mm of FSR travelhalf an inch more than the BigHitis an 8.75″ x 2.75″ Fox Van RC shock.

The Status retains the BigHit’s 135×10 bolt on rear wheel. This may be a compromise in terms of stiffness, but simplicity and replacemant part availability are your payback, as well as the lower sticker price. On the trail, rear end stiffness doesn’t seem to be an issue so this may be a moot point.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  The crank arms have been shortened to 165mm, offsetting the lower bottom bracket height. On the two rides this bike has seen so far, pedal strike has not been an issue except on a couple of heavy landings—probably a good sign for the potential buyers of this bike who want it long and low.

The build is decidedly gravity-oriented, with an 11-28 cassette, 165mm cranks, and 300mm seatpost. In the bargain DH/park bike category, durability wins out over weight savings. The Status isn’t a lightweight by any means, with 32mm wide 36 spoke wheels, dual ply Butcher DH tires, and the steel-stanchioned Domain dual crown – traits that speak to your inner beefcake.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  The Status was designed to plow, and plow it does. A little warmup on 7th secret before some old school DH lines on Fromme. Mouseover for mini-gif action. Photo ~ Lyle Vallie

A welcome update from the BigHit is the full 1.5″ headtube, allowing the use of any fork you like. The Status 1 uses a 170mm X-Fusion single crown with a tapered steerer, while the Domain dual crown is a 1-1/8″ steerer, which allows you to use an angle set to tweak the geometry.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  The RockShox Domain R dual crown is a popular fork on budget-conscious DH bikes for 2012. With Boxxer lowers and steel stanchions with coil spring internals, this should prove to be a reliable, albeit heavy fork. An eventual upgrade may be an RC cartridge to match the shock’s compression adjustment.

Avid Elixir 5 brakes sit on a 750mm riser bar, and a 9-speed X5 shifter moves an X7 derailleur out back. These are trustworthy mid-range components, though it would be nice to see the Elixir 5S levers spec’d to allow tool-free reach adjust and MatchMaker compabitibility.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  With one of the longest names in the industry, Specialized is able to create a full length zebra stripe downtube on the Status.

Frame

M4 hydroformed tubing, 1.5″ forged HT, ISCG mounts, 135mm rear spacing, full cartridge bearing pivots, 200mm travel
Rear Shock
Fox Van RC, coil w/piggy back, compression and rebound adj., 8.75×2.75″, S:450, M:500, L:550
Fork

RockShox Domain Dual Crown R, 200mm travel, Coil oil, Rebound adjustable, alloy steerer, 20mm Maxle
Headset Semi-integrated alloy cups for 1.5″ HT and 1-1/8″ steerer, cartridge bearings
Rear Der. Sram X7, 9 Speed, short cage
Shifters Sram X5, 9-speed, Trigger Shifter
Levers Avid Elixir 5 hydraulic
Brakes Avid Elixir 5, hydraulic disc, metallic pad, HS-1 rotor, 200mm F / 180mm R
Cranks FSA Gravity Moto-X MegaExo, forged solid arms, 165mm, 36T steel chainring
BB FSA MegaExo, outboard cartridge bearing, 73mm shell
Chainguide Specialized Status
Bar Specialized Demo low-rise bar, 750mm wide, 9º backsweep, 6º upsweep
Stem Specialized Direct-Mount stem, 40mm length, 31.8mm, 4-bolt, forged
Pedals Alloy platform (not shown in photos)
Post 6061 alloy, two bolt micro adjust, no offset, 30.9mm, 300mm
Saddle Specialized DH, 8mm steel rails
Front Hub Specialized Hi Lo disc, sealed cartridge bearing, 20mm thru-axle, 36h
Rear Hub Specialized Hi Lo disc, sealed cartridge bearing, 10mm bolt-on, 36h
Chain SRAM 9-speed w/ PowerLink
Cassette Sram PG-950, 9-speed, 11-28 T
Spokes Stainless, 2.0mm (14g)
Rims P-Disc, 32mm, 36h
Tires Specialized Butcher DH, DH casing, wire bead, soft dual-compound, 26×2.3″

With its 64.5º head tube angle and 8″ of FSR suspension out back, the Status is a very stable and confident descender. Specialized tells us the leverage curves have been flattened out to make the Status a more plush riding and race-worthy bike than the BigHit. This brings us further toward a bike that rides itself on slow tech, and handles fast steep sections without inducing pucker.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike
  Overall the Status 2 is a decently equipped gravity machine that is a refreshing update from the BigHit. The biggest difference will likely be felt in the lower bottom bracket and modified suspension curve, a move that makes the Status feel more like its successful big brother, the Demo.

Specialized Status II 2 Gear Review nsmb north shore mountain bike freeride downhill whistler park bike

The Status was unveiled at Crankworx last year; Matt Dennison shot a video with Joe Buckley of Specialized giving us an overview of the bike:

MSRP for the 2012 Specialized Status 2 is $2999 CDN; its more modestly-equipped sibling, the Status 1, goes for $2399 CDN; and a frame only with Van RC shock is $1799.


We’ll be doing a more involved review of the Status 2 in the coming months. Do you like the look of it? Could this be your budget DH race bike for 2012? What’s your status on the Status?