2016 Specialized Demo 8 II alloy downhill mountain bike

The Specialized Demo 8 downhill mountain bike was completely revamped in 2014 (for MY2015) with an asymmetric frame design and a new, low-slung design that replaced their usual shock yoke with standard mounting hardware. It also moved to fully internal cable and hose routing and different sizing based on riding style and fit preferences.

It also only came in carbon with complete bike prices of $6,500 and $9,000 (Carbon & S-Works, respectively).

Now, they’re sending you down the mountain with the same upgraded features but a less costly price of entry. The new Demo 8 alloy comes in two complete bike builds and a frameset ranging from $2,600 to $6,000. Oh, it there’s a chance they’ll be selling these direct…

The frames use Specialized’s M5 alloy with a straight 1.5″ forged head tube and 200mm of travel. It comes standard with ISCG05 mounts and rear derailleur protector. It’s built around Roval 650B wheels and gets their Butcher 2.5″ front and Slaughter 2.3″ rear tires.

The top shelf Demo 8 II (shown at top, click to enlarge real big) comes with a Rockshox Boxxer Team fork and the co-developed Ohlins TTX rear shock, same as on the carbon bikes. Brakes are SRAM Guide RS DH, drivetrain is SRAM XO DH with the 7-speed cassette to fit in the narrower rear triangle (see original Demo 8 carbon post for explanation). Retail is $6,000.

2016 Specialized Demo 8 I alloy downhill mountain bike 2016 Specialized Demo 8 I alloy downhill mountain bike

The $4,500 Demo 8 I gets a custom tuned Fox Van RC shock and Boxxer RC fork, 1×7 SRAM drivetrain and Guide brakes, just at lower trim levels. But, you get to choose from Monster Green/Rocket Red or Satin Warm Charcoal/Black, the latter certainly being more timeless.

specialized direct to consumer bicycle sales could be coming soon

So, what’s the story on these bikes’ availability? We’ve reached out to Specialized for comment, but as of this post going live, the Demo 8 alloy models show an “Add to Cart” button where other models simply have the Dealer Finder button. It doesn’t work, but it could be that Big S is readying something to compete with the new online sales programs from Trek and Giant. Update as we get it.

UPDATE: No, they’re not prepping any direct sales effort. Specialized responded to say the “Add to Cart” button was a mistake that’s already been fixed, probably just an erroneous placeholder as they get this new bike added to the site. Also, here’s the frameset, which retails for $2,500 and comes with the Ohlins rear shock and a Thomson seat post.




  1. I believe this has happened in years past with a few of their products as they come out. Something to do with how the product is initially set up on their page, as if it were some of their other smaller equipment and apparel items, which are available for online purchase (usually rectified shortly after release). False alarms then, betting the same for now.
    Does anyone else find the more recent “direct-to-consumer” terminology a little bit exaggerated? It’s only modernizing the existing relationship with brick-and-mortar dealers, most of these haven’t really been taking the Canyon or YT Industries angle, just adding online checkout to the current retail situation.

  2. I completed a survey about a year ago from Specialized online about “would I purchase direct”. It would not surprise me to see DH bikes go this route.

  3. That is an awesome looking bike from the right side, but YT has better pricing, and all of it’s frame parts quite logically making it stiffer which is something it seems Gwin never got from the Demo. Gwin was so much more successful on the Trek, that alone makes me look past this pig in lipstick.

    • Spesh in 2013 had much deeper problems than the bike. There’s a somewhat painful interview on Dirt where Jones coaxes out of the team manager than the team and Gwin rolled into Fort William (in May) having done no real testing, without managing Gwin or Brosnan’s training and with Gwin on a medium because that’s what they assumed was right (and they had to take Dirt’s L test bike away to get a hold of an L frame).
      Had Gwin not been protected as reigning overall champ, he’d have failed to qualify that weekend. When the Mad Catz team got canned and Eric Carter brought in for 2014 things turned around. Things have improved for Hill and Fairclough since they went elsewhere too, it’s never just about the bike.

  4. If I buy online I want it delivered to my door. That’s it. None of this pick up from the dealer garbage. That wastes my time. Buying online saves my time.

  5. 100% Specialized will go direct in late 2016 or early 2017. And of course they will say that their program will be much better and dealer friendly than Trek or Giant.

    And as far as this new Alloy bike. $6K for alloy when you could get a new PIVOT Phoenix with Shimano Zee group and Rock-Shox Boxer in a FULL CARBON model for $5500.00.

    • Specialized already introduced S-Build a year ago. It’s their ‘direct’ model. Same as trek et al. but you talk to someone at the dealer BEFORE putting down $10,000.

    • One thing about the sales tax. If YT does not charge you sales tax you know that you are still responsible for the sales tax unless you happen to live in a state that does not charge sales tax.

      One thing I can tell you is that if you buy a bike that retails for $5K and you don’t pay the tax you will will get nailed.

  6. So for only $1800 more than a YT you can get the same 30 year old suspension, stupid proprietary wheels, a worse spec, pay sales tax and all the other annoyances of buying at a shop that will offer no test ride because they don’t stock DH bikes, so you’ll have to buy sight-unseen anyway.

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