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Specialized Demo 8 Frame (discontinued)

Average User Rating: (Spectacular)
Specialized Demo 8 Frame
 Specialized Demo 8 Frame  Specialized Demo 8 Frame
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The Shredtastic Shredder- Updated 10/31/12

Rating: Featured Member Review
The Good:

Almost everything.

The Bad:

Almost nothing.

Overall Review:

The Specialized marketing team has declared the Demo 8 “the world’s fastest downhill machine,” that “oozes premium downhill performance,” and by watching the likes of Sam Hill and Troy Brosnan shred the bike to pieces, Specialized has attempted to force you to believe that this bike is totally mega sictor awesome, is mean looking, will impress all of your friends, and make hot naked chicks shuttle you all because you and your bike are so rad. Unfortunately for Specialized, they didn’t drop the ever growing Sam Hill and pay the big bucks to America’s rock Jesus, Aaron Gwinn, who has now shown that the Trek is the only bike worth a damn.


To be put simply, this bike is almost what the Specialized marketing task force has spent so much money trying to make you believe. Will hot naked chicks shuttle you? No, the Ronald McDonald paint scheme drives them away because they think they will get fat (Possible connection to Sam Hill’s weight gain last season? It’s ironic at least). Will the bike make you finish races with the power and force that Viagra wishes they could achieve? Maybe. All in all, the bike does shred the crap out of almost anything, and it may even make you a faster rider. It is, in my opinion, one of the top DH frames for the money that you can buy.

Let’s start with the things that don’t suck about this bike. I will periodically compare the Demo to the current model Turner DHR, as both the bikes aren’t plow bikes and are highly regarded by downhill riders.

1) Cost: For $2650 you get a Demo 8 frame with a Double Barrel, FSA headset, and Thompson post. That is a darn good deal compared to offerings from other companies.

2) The ride. This should really take up number’s 2-X in the things that don’t suck category, but my college writing professor told me I suck at organizing things so I’m going to throw it all in here. Let’s start with the geometry. The Demo 8 boasts a 64-degree head angle (low setting), 13.5-inch bottom bracket (low setting), 16.57-inch chain stay, and 46. 89inch wheelbase (for a medium frame).

This combination equates to a very low, fast, playful, and light feeling bike that emits confidence to its rider. Coming off of a DW Turner DHR, to me, this bike feels lower. You will bash rocks with your pedals until you get used to it. This was surprising to me as I am used to riding very low bikes and I was still clipping pedals left and right.

This does, however, create an awesome cornering machine. Combined with the 64-degree head angle, the short chain stay, and the low BB height, you can really lay this bike over in a corner. The shortish chain stay also adds an element of flickability to the bike. The Demo is a fun bike to ride, whether you are railing corners and scrubbing jumps or mashing gnar east coast roxs.

As far as shock set up with the double barrel, I found Specialized’s base settings a very good starting point. I only changed the rebound settings from what they had to 1 click faster on low speed rebound. For those that don’t have them, the settings are HSC=2.75 revs, LSC=10 clicks, HSR=3 revs, LSR=9 clicks. All of these numbers are from full open (no clicks), meaning that the adjuster is turned as far counter clockwise as possible.

Once I got the shock dialed on the Demo (didn’t take long) I started to mash the bike as hard as I could down Tunnel in SB. Granted, I would not call the Demo a plow bike as per the v10, but it can definitely handle mashing over whatever is in front of you if you take a less than ideal line choice. The faster you go, the smoother the bike seemed to get. For a comparison, the Demo is noticeably smoother in the rough stuff than the DW DHR (in my opinion).

The Demo also has an ideal wheelbase at 46.89 inches (medium). It’s long enough that you can haul the mail down the wide open trails yet still get through tight corner’s with ease. The wheelbase is a safe middle ground between the two extremes.

The Demo also is able to pump and jump with ease, but this is one of the areas where I feel the DW DHR outperforms the Demo. I don’t think there is any bike out there that will accelerate faster out of corners, and pump better than the DHR, but the Demo is quite close to the performance of the DHR. If all you do is jump, pump and scrub your way down A-Line and Dirt Merchant, the DHR might be a good weapon of choice. But if you ride rocks, and some rougher trails, the Demo is the way to go.

The last thing to talk about is pedaling, the downhill bikes arch enemy. The Demo pedals very, very well. In fact, the Demo pedals better than probably 90 percent of all other downhill bikes. However, the DW DHR pedals better. This is just an observation from my time on the two bikes.

3) The black and red paint scheme looks sick, and the paint has yet to start chipping off. Specialized also puts clear bra on the down tube of the Demo from the factory so you don’t have to. But don’t get the Ronald McDonald version. You will auto-gain 15 pounds and ride like crap.

4) The Demo also comes with a bunch of neat features. The derailleur hanger protector is a nice added touch, and the adjustable geometry by flipping the shock bushing is so simple a hipster could not screw it up.

Now we can talk about the things that totally suck about the Demo 8:

In reality, nothing about this bike totally sucks, but I do have some pet peeves about the bike that make me want to start calling Specialized special-ED again. I really have nothing negative to say about how the bike rides. The only faults I could come up with I listed as a comparison to the DHR above.

1) The stupid BB30 crap. Kill it now. It’s stupid and is a pain in the butt. I had to waste money and buy new cranks. The plastic BB30 adapter that comes with the frame is self-extracting and creaks. My best advice if you get the frame is to get the e13 pf30 BB/crank combo. Then you will not hate your new bike.

2) The cable routing. Again, Specialized cannot make a simple cable routing system. They tried at least this time, but it’s such a tight fit to bolt the cable into the frame, that most allen keys won’t be able to do the job.

3) Fox 40 incompatibility. Yes, I used the spacer under the crown race, and put the “special” bumpers on the fork so I don’t crack my head tube, but you will still have about 3/4ths the turn radius of any other DH fork/frame combo on the market. It’s annoying, but I’m not buying a new fork.

4) The double barrel spring rubs on the shock body making a pleasant noise. Nothing you can do about this except to cut the black plastic protector off the double barrel shock body, or just ride the crap out of the bike until the spring rubs down the plastic protector.

That’s all I got. If you take any of my sarcastic jokes seriously I failed. The Demo is an awesome bike, and I’m going to be riding it until it breaks.


BTW, I am 5’11 and ride a medium. I could have gone either way between a medium and a large and would have been happy with either.

downhill demo-lition

The Good:

price, durability, bb height, chainstay, geo

The Bad:

so many working parts

Overall Review:

Being this is my first and only dh bike im not going to try and compare it to others. I have had this frame for 2 seasons now and it is has held up to all the hype IMO. I do not have the carbon version for a good reason because I knew I would take a few spills and plus I knew i was going to ride it until the wheels fell off. I have ridden this bike through rain, chunder and sunshine and it has been flawless. The suspension set up makes it easy to pedal for a dh rig on some of the flat spots if your trying to crank and get that KOM. The rear end and geo of the bike make it easy to jump and keep speed. I did notice the lower bb height helps with cornering. The bike can be a pain with the way the rear shock is set up to adjust but once you find your settings its fine. One thing i find annoying is how many moving parts there are and pivots. They obviously do this for a reason with their engineering beliefs but maintenance can be a pain. I went through and put new grease in all the bearings to make it run like butter again and simply get the mechanics down on how the bike goes together (nerdy side of me).

Cornerning = great

jumping = great

stability = well thats for longer rear ends but imo is just fine

durability = I have beat this thing up but it just goes and goes with a little tlc here and there

geo = great

pedal = hopefully your not doing much of this but it does do fine in those flat spots

fastest = we will see once gwin actually wins on it

overall this is an awesome frame to have and would recommend it.

Fast and Fun DH Frame that Just Goes

The Good:

Stiff, fast frame that just loves to go

The Bad:

Press fit bottom bracket

Overall Review:

I am really impressed with the quality of this frame, the first thing I noticed when I sat on the Demo was how stiff it was and how well it keeps its momentum, even in the parking lot as soon as you put the cranks down it just speeds up and wants to keep on going. The welds are beautiful and comparable to some of the high-end boutique bikes. Access to the shock is very good, so when on the trail adjustments are required it results in a very fast and easy process. When you need to remove or insert the shock back into the frame it is a very easy procedure as well. I am riding a small and find the frame perfect for me ( I am five foot ten and prefer smaller frames), the low top tube is very noticeable and favorable.


The ride: Overall a couple of words come to mind when speaking about the Demo’s ride quality, speed and momentum. This thing just loves to go fast and within a couple of first rides I was riding my local trail at a faster speed, this was more so evident in the corners, the bike just seems to convey confidence in the corners. It also seems to carry its speed out of turns and bumps, no matter what you throw at it, the bike just accelerates.

I remember reading reviews about the Demo and everyone raved about how well it corners, I can now say this is absolutely true. This thing just loves to corner, it somehow allows you to enter in corners faster as well as accelerate out of them at top speed, the bike just seems to carry its momentum very well. I assume this is due to the angles and the short chain stays, so far I am a big fan of this.

In regards to jumping the bike feels really good in the air, it pops really well and stays stable in the air. Landings are very smooth and confident. The bottom bracket height although noticeable being very low, I haven’t had any issues and haven’t hit the cranks/pedals, but I’ve definitely noticed the benefits of the low BB height.

Pivots are solid and provide a very smooth ride in all conditions. In regards to the price the frame comes in at about $2600 that includes a Cane Creek Double Barrel and headset and seatpost which is a pretty good deal for a frame of this caliber. Another cool thing are the bolts that hold the brake and derailleur cables, this is a very simple solution and keeps the cables tidy.

One thing to note is that this frame is a press fit bottom bracket; this means you will require a bottom bracket adapter in order to get most cranks into the frame.


Product Specialized Demo 8 Frame
Riding Type Freeride / Bike Park, Downhill
Sizes and Geometry
M, L, XL View Geometry
Size M L XL
Top Tube Length 573mm 594mm 612mm
Head Tube Angle 63.5° Low, 64.3° High 63.5° Low, 64.3° High 63.5° Low, 64.3° High
Head Tube Length 108mm 108mm 108mm
Seat Tube Angle 76° Low / 76.8° High 76° Low / 76.8° High 76° Low / 76.8° High
Seat Tube Length 393mm 417mm 417mm
Bottom Bracket Height 347mm Low / 357mm High 347mm Low / 357mm High 347mm Low / 357mm High
Chainstay Length 430mm 430mm 430mm
Wheelbase 1207mm 1228mm 1235mm
Standover 721mm 730mm 736mm
Reach 419mm 439mm 456mm
Stack 613mm 616mm 616mm
Wheel Size
Frame Material Aluminum
Frame Material Details M5 Manipulated Alloy
Rear Travel 200mm
Rear Shock Custom Õhlins TTX22M, Coil Over with Piggy Back, Spherical Bearing Mount, High/Low Speed Compression, Rebound Adjust, 9.5x3.0"
Head Tube Diameter 1.5"
Bottom Bracket SRAM, PF30 to BSA 83mm Adapter
Rear Dropout / Hub Dimensions 135mm x 12mm
Front Derailleur Size N/A
Seatpost Diameter 30.9mm
Max Tire Size
Bottle Cage Mounts N/A
Colors Gloss Black/Charcoal/Rocket Red, Gloss Gallardo Orange/Moto Orange/Black
Warranty Lifetime Frame, 5 Years Suspension Attachment Points and Related Equipment (Pivot Points, Bushings, Chainstays, Seat Stays, Shock Links, Fasteners)
Weight N/A
Price $2,900
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