2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon Team Edition DH mountain bike

Originally put into motion as a concept test mule, the 2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon ended up surprising their engineers with its stiffness. Honestly, though, after seeing Trek Session and Santa Cruz V10 bikes take to the World Cup circuit in carbon fiber dress, it’s no surprise the Big S is bringing this out.

Like those bikes, the Demo8 uses a carbon front triangle with alloy in the rear. It’ll include ISCG05 tabs and gets a 3-position adjustable bottom bracket height.

Two models will be available, the Team Edition (above) and the Demo8 1 Carbon, plus an S-Works frameset. Both are running Rockshox Boxxer forks with 8″ and their dual seat stay rear triangle with 8″ of rear wheel travel. In addition to the all-new frame, they’re getting some new components to go with it. Bomb through the break for all the details…

2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon Team Edition DH mountain bike

The S-Works Team Edition frame uses Specialized’s top tier FACT 11m carbon, the Demo 8 1 Carbon gets the FACT 10 carbon and only a 50g weight penalty. Both use a new construction process that builds the front triangle in two parts, letting them tweak the molds better to put more material where it’s needed (like a 4mm thick bottom half of the downtube) and less where it’s not as critical or likely to take impact. They also bonded a forged alloy sleeve into the headtube and bottom bracket area to improve contact surfaces and durability for the rotating parts.

The Team Edition gets a magnesium shock link, the Demo8 1 gets an alloy link. From there, the shock has a slightly more forward mount, which gives the bike a more progressive shock rate. By swapping in an eccentric pivot for the shock or keeping the concentric one, you get three different effective bottom bracket height options.

The S-Works TE is 7.8 pounds (3.5kg) without shock, which is almost a full pound lighter than the alloy frame (0.9lbs to be exact).

2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon Team Edition DH mountain bike

The headtube is straight 1.5″ and the S-Works bike gets a Rockshox Boxxer World Cup with Black Gold stanchions. SRAM’s PR manager Tyler Morland told us this is not the DLC coating they’ve played with in the past. Rather it’s a “anodization treatment with a proprietary additive. We’re not ready to talk about all the features and benefits of it yet, but it does make it slipperier.”

The S-Works bike also gets custom DT Swiss FR600 on 240 hubs with the Specialized Butcher 2.3 tire providing grip.

2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon Team Edition DH mountain bike

Custom World Champ rainbow colors on the SDG saddle.

2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon Team Edition DH mountain bike

Renthal 6-bolt DM stem and handlebar round out the branded cockpit. Now you can rock a bike set up almost exactly like sponsored rider Sam Hill races around the world, including the custom 6-speed rear cassette with 9T small cog on custom DT Swiss hubs and Specialized freehub, along with a narrower 12×135 rear thru-axle.

2013 Specialized Demo8 1 Carbon DH mountain bike

What’s likely to be the better seller is the Demo 8 1 Carbon. It’s spec’d out the same as the alloy Demo8 1 (full spec list for both bikes at bottom).

2013 Specialized Demo8 1 Carbon DH mountain bike

The Demo8’s “sub seatstay” allows the FSR rear suspension to drive the shock from the chainstay. Specialized’s promo materials state this lets them better tune the leverage ratio, lower the center of gravity and maintain a stiff rear end.

2013 Specialized Demo8 1 Carbon DH mountain bike and Bennies flat pedal

The new Bennies pedals (named after USA factory rider Brad Benedict) have a concave alloy platform with a sealed bearing spindle. Definitely not as cool as the prototypes from Crankworx last year, but those haven’t been able to get into production from what we can tell.

2013 Specialized Demo8 1 Carbon DH mountain bike

The bikes get 8″ of rear wheel travel, controlled by the Fox DHX RC4 with adjustable rebound, bottom out and high and low speed compression damping.

2013 Specialized Demo8 1 Carbon DH mountain bike and Sip Grip

New Sip Grips are designed in house and use a half waffle grip for cushioning up top and an aramid-infused lower section to keep the grips from getting shredded during failed shreds.

Pricing is yet to be announced, look for late summer availability. And if you want one of the Team Editions, order it up now…only 250 are being produced for the first year.

2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon DH mountain bike spec list and frameset build kit options

Click charts to enlarge.

2013 Specialized Demo8 Carbon DH mountain bike geometry chart

Want more? Check out video and some pre-production drawings over at Pinkbike.


  1. shop mechanic on

    As long as Specialized continues to spec its bikes with SRAM, I will continue to ride other brands that spec their bikes with Shimano. I am glad to see that Shimano has a competitor, but working on bikes everyday has me scratching my head as to why anyone would pay good money for SRAM parts. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

  2. Robert on

    @shop mechanic – (i to am a shop mechanic) everything i ride is sram. il be the first to admit that the shimano parts shift better, and the fox parts are made a little bit better, but many of us choose sram for their support. fortunately for shimano, they are getting better and better, but for fox we have all lost hope…..

    mechanically there are a number of things that sram did correctly, the main one being the 1:1 vs 2:1 (shimano) pull ratio on the shifting, which does indeed make any system shift better…. infact you can see it on all of their new systems. im very impressed on the fact that shimano was able to embrace, and execute a new concept, although i dont think its quite 1:1 (1:1 isnt completely necessary) the pull ratios have indeed changed. this can also be seen on their new 9000 systems.

    in conclusion, i wouldnt hesitate to say that shimano has parts that work a little bit better, but SRAM tech support is superior, and more supportive than shimano has ever been. (maybe its because sram isnt afraid to admit to their mistakes…. who knows.)

  3. Joey on

    SRAM has better support due to the planned obsolescence of their products, it’s cheaper to build many inexpensive items and have a stellar warranty than to have durability. How many dura ace 7800 crank sets are around versus the warranty bin of SRAM red?

  4. Tom on

    Anyone want to guess what the MSRP for this bike is? The most I would ever consider spending on any bike would be $4500. This bike probably costs double what I’m willing to spend. Carbon not worth it in this application IMHO.

  5. Mr. #10 on

    @ Tom. Entrawebs state $10k, per dog and pony show at latest WC at Val Di Sol. Luckily Spec Ed is now is the credit business (rolling eyes). Anyone else see a carbon bubble forming?


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