The carbon Demo does what it’s told. You want to turn, it turns. Jump? Yes. Rally the chunky stuff? Yup. Dance, monkey. The Demo’s ability to track trail and pump through bumpy sections gaining speed is immediately evident, and makes for a playful on-trail feel. While I recently lamented the death of the freeride bike, the Demo fits the bill as long as it’s pointed downhill – and that is the point of a modern downhill bike, right?
Getting to know the Demo followed a quick learning curve and we have gotten along very well since. While at first the cockpit felt short, this boiled down to a bar-stem spec as the carbon Demo’s measurements line up with its trusted aluminum predecessor. Our test bike is Specialized’s Demo 8 I Carbon, the less expensive of two carbon completes – leaving some questions on the spec side at the price point no doubt, but coming out a solid performer. Click the first photo and advance through…
The carbon front triangle is the clearly the standout of this build. The 2013 Demo 8 I’s spec list doesn’t stand out as particularly high end, but it still represents a solid out-of-the-box package.
The smooth carbon frame and modest spec make the Demo 8 I a bike that those with upgrade-itis would choose.
Up front, a coil sprung RockShox Boxxer RC with rebound and compression adjustment.
The business end of the Demo and some details on the carbon.
A Fox DHX RC4 shock leaves nothing to be desired out back. Smart cable routing along the shock’s piggyback.
A 750mm bar is a curious spec for a downhill bike, and paired with a 45mm stem the large Demo felt small out of the box. For smaller riders this may not be an issue, as bar and stem are personal preference within a certain range. Specialized’s Sip grips are a half-waffle design with only one clamp, great for riders who like to hang a finger off the end of the bar.
Avid Elixir 5 single piston brakes are another odd spec on a downhill bike, but this set has performed admirably. Sometimes a combination just works.
200/180mm rotors doing well. Specialized’s HiLo cartridge hub and the Avid HS1 rotor.
The Roval DH wheelset sits at 30mm wide, wrapped in 2.3″ Butcher DH rubber providing confidence-inspiring traction.
X9 clutch out back going to a not-so-flashy but surprisingly light Descendant crankset. The Gamut P30 guide is quiet and keeps the chain on.
On the underside of the Demo’s downtube you’ll fine an extra layer of plastic to protect against UFO strikes.
Besides, who would want that pretty frame to get scratched up?
Graphics looking fresh.
The 2013 Specialized Demo 8 I Carbon. Canadian MSRP $5499.
Have you sorted your DH rig for the summer season? Could the carbon Demo fit the bill?