I have been around the Specialized Demo DH platform since the first freeriders got on board their Demo 9's in 2004. I was working on The Collective film when Matt Hunter, Darren Berrecloth, and Steve Romaniuk began riding the Demo 9. We (THE COLLECTIVE) also shot a short behind the scenes clip for Specialized on the making of the Demo 9 at the Specialized headquarters and there we saw the first Demo 9 prototype built out of steel!
Image from - http://www.nsmb.com/gear/demo9_feature.php
They did that just to see how and if the new suspension design work before building a prototype out of aluminum which is much more expensive.
Flash-forward to todays Demo 8 and the bike you see has changed significantly from where things began but not the ideas behind it.
The Demo 8 today is finely tuned, light and durable. Specialized has stayed consistent with their suspension system and that has allowed them to refine the frame and shock technology around that system. The result is a bike that continually gets lighter and has better suspension performance and is still one of the most durable frames on the market.
I asked Matt Hunter and Kenny Smith to tell me a bit about their Demo 8's...
How do you like your 2011 Demo 8?
It's the best DH bike I have ever ridden. - Matt Hunter
The Demo is hands down the sickest bike I've ever ridden. Weighing in at 36 pounds for daily bike park destruction, I can get it lighter for race day. The short chain stays and low bottom bracket make for some pretty unreal cornering. It feels like my rear wheel is right at my heels. The bike is light and has mega pop. Transferring weight from side to side is effortless, and it still takes care of business when the holes are as big as microwaves. - Kenny Smith
Jonathan: How does your new Demo 8 compare to your old Demo 8?
The new bike is noticeably stiffer, the suspension is smoother, especially on small bumps. It feels like it wants to go fast. - Matt Hunter
Anything specific details to your set up?
I run it in the low BB setting, and I try and always keep new shoes on 'er! - Matt Hunter
Thanks to JC at Blackbox I have custom fitted Rock Shox Air Vivid in the rear. The shock saves weight and feels like a coil. The nice thing about air is you can set your air pressure to the exact psi, Depending on the trail or race track. I am running the bike in the low/slack position, with the custom vivid. I also spent 8 hours pin striping and putting stickers on the bike. Ha-ha... - Kenny Smith
Video of Kenny Smith shredding his Demo 8 shot by Kenny's brother Jeremy Smith.
Jenine Bourbonnais (owner of Evolution) on the Demo 8
The Demo 8 has been evolving for many years and has become the best DH bike available. The low center of gravity makes the bike stable; the torsional stiffness makes the bike (Rail); the FSR suspension is completely independent of pedaling and braking; and the Demo 8 is fast. Best of all: at the end of a rental season, all of Evolution's Demo 8's have zero play in the frame.
At Evolution we love the Demo 8 and always have. We are stoked on the recognition the bike is receiving these days (thank-you Sam Hill) because it deserves it. The bike works well and can handle serious use.
Come and check out our Rental Fleet of Demo 8's, the best bikes to ride in Whistler. And if you are looking for a new Demo 8 to purchase we can help you out with that too.