First Look: Radical New 2015 Specialized S-Works Demo Carbon 54
First spotted at Crankworx Whistler last year in prototype form, today Specialized unveiled the covers on an all-new 2015 S-Works Demo Carbon. Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan will race the bike this weekend at the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup, and it will be available to the public in January 2015.
Prototype sightings have filled the forums in recent weeks, but Specialized insisted we keep things quiet until August when the bike is officially launched at Crankworx. Consider this a nice little sneak peek with full details to follow soon.
2015 S-Works Demo Carbon Highlights
Several details can be inferred about the new design watching the intro video and looking at the photos:
- 650b wheels
- 200mm travel
- Full carbon frame
- Custom tuned Öhlins TTX22M rear shock
- Asymmetric design
- Internal cable and brake routing
- Press-fit bottom bracket
- Molded chainstay, seat stay, and downtube guards
- 12x135mm rear axle
“The goal when we started was just to make the fastest downhill bike that we’ve ever come up with. We wanted to lower the center of gravity, increase its capability in terms of handling, make it lighter, pedal better… everything we could think of we threw at this new bike. It’s got a whole new look and feel to it.” - Sam Benedict, Specialized Bicycles
The new asymmetrical seat tube is a weight savings measure meant to help keep the center of gravity low. Apparently it’s every bit as stiff the previous design. The design also allows for easy access to the Öhlins TTX22M rear shock.
[Updated] The bike's geometry is not yet confirmed, but various sources have leaked geometry for an updated 2015 aluminum version of the current 2014 design which will also continue into next year. Three sizes designated Medium, Long, and X-Long will be offered with similar seat tube heights. Here are the reported numbers:
- 63.5 or 64.3-degree headtube angle
- 76 or 76.8-degree seat tube angle (effective)
- 393, 417, 417mm seat tube length (M, L, XL)
- 430mm chainstay length
- 347 or 357mm bottom bracket height
- 1207, 1228, 1235mm wheelbase (M, L, XL)
- 573, 594, 612mm top tube (horizontal - M, L, XL)
- 419, 439, 456mm reach (M, L, XL)
If these figures are accurate and comparable, geometry will be on par with the 2014 Demo in many ways but feature slightly longer chainstays, a longer wheelbase, and longer reach.
“Handling wise there are a couple of things a little bit different about this one. The rear ends a lot lighter. It pumps in and out of the holes smoother. This bike definitely has potential to go faster than the other one.” - Troy Brosnan
The FSR suspension design utilizes a concentric main pivot at the bottom bracket - something not often seen anymore in the downhill world. Also interesting is the use of a 12x135mm rear axle with square shaped design for added stiffness. The move back to a 135mm rear end is likely the result of wanting less weight and more clearance in tight situations.
“It’s pretty crazy how good it handles. That’s probably the thing I noticed the most as soon as I jumped on it was how quick you change directions and how hard you can slam it into turns. It’s just a really lively bike but when you get it into bumps it eats them up really well. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. That’s kind of what we were really working towards. To get a fast bike but one that really takes the big hits. I think we nailed it.” - Aaron Gwin
Keep an eye on www.specialized.com for more details. Is it truly the fastest downhill bike Specialized has made to date? We’ll have to see how things shake down in Mont Sainte Anne. Also stay tuned for our ride impressions right here on Vital MTB.