Twenty-sixteen Junior World Champion, twenty-sixteen UCI World Cup Junior overall winner, and two-time Whip Off World Champion, Specialized Gravity rider Finn Iles, has an impressive resume for a 17-year-old, to say the least. To escape the snowy Canadian winter and get in some off-season training, Finn traveled down to SoCal where we checked out his "off-season" Specialized S-Works Demo 8 he was ripping at the Fontana Winter Series.
- photos by Dan Severson
While Finn told us his setup is "pretty standard," with reasonable tire pressures at 25 PSI front / 28 PSI rear, and suspension that's slightly stiffer than average, one area he's particularly finicky about is his brake lever height. Having broken both wrists multiple times, one more than the other, Finn prefers the right lever slightly higher than the left. Finn also prefers an alloy bar over a carbon one, based on the feeling alone. Here are a few interesting bits we noticed while checking his bike out.
- After partnering with Öhlins for 2017, Finn and Specialized Gravity are sporting an all-new downhill fork, which is still in the prototype stages. The new fork, which is a big departure from the inverted prototype seen in 2015, features a standard right-side-up orientation and possibly takes cues from Öhlins' STX 22 cartridge.
- With plenty of speculation as to which brakes Specialized Gravity will be running, Finn is running a mix of SRAM // Avid bits. With Avid X0 Trail levers, a SRAM-branded front caliper and a Code rear caliper, it's still unclear if the team has finalized a setup. Also notable is the area where the brake hose meets the lever, which shows a roughly cut rubber cover where they connect. Finn's also running a CPS washer on the lever clamp bolt, perhaps a quick fix for not having the proper length bolts?
- We've seen multiple alloy prototype rocker links on the Demo in the past, which Finn and Loic were originally testing with RockShox suspension and is now fitted to the Öhlins TTX shock.
Finn's Specialized Demo 8 Build
- Frame: Specialized S-Works Demo 8, Size Long with Alloy Rocker Link
- Fork: Öhlins Prototype Downhill Fork
- Rear Shock: Öhlins TTX 9.5 x 3.0
- Rear Derailleur: SRAM X01 DH
- Cassette: SRAM X01 DH Mini Block 10-24
- Shifter: SRAM X01 DH
- Cranks: SRAM X01 DH X-Sync, 165mm
- Chain Ring: SRAM X-Sync 36t
- Chainguide: e*thirteen LG1 Carbon
- Headset: FSA Zero Stack
- Stem: Joystick 8-Bit Integrated
- Handlebars: Joystick 8-Bit Alloy 800mm Width, 20mm Rise, Cut to 780mm
- Brakes: Avid X0 Trail Levers, SRAM Front Caliper, Avid Code Rear Caliper
- Grips: Lizard Skins Lock-on Bearclaw
- Rims: DT Swiss EX 471, 27.5
- Hubs: DT Swiss 240S
- Tires: Specialized Butcher 27.5 x 2.5 Front, 27.5 x 2.3 Rear
- Pedals: Crank Brothers Mallet DH Race