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Summary of Reviews
We have read all expert and user reviews on the Specialized Demo. In summary, this is what cyclists think.
18 reasons to buy
- Testers confirm: The Demo is at home hurtling down descents at break-neck speeds.
- Expert reviewers laud the Demo’s rear suspension for its sensitivity and “smooth” progression. They report ample support for big hits.
- Testers say the Demo is easy-to-ride, with one even recommending it to DH beginners.
- The Demo’s geo’ is highly adjustable via flip chips, allowing it to be ridden in a mullet setup or as a full 29er.
- Experts believe the Demo is more versatile than many DH bikes. One even called it a “Jack-of-all-Trades”.
- Testers say the Demo’s cornering abilities are exceptional.
- Reviewers say a high stack and low BB ensure high safety and stability on-trail.
- Testers described the Expert’s RockShox Super Deluxe Select Coil as “worry-free”.
- A reviewer reports no issues with the Demo’s well-sealed pivots, bolts, or maintenance during a season of heavy riding.
- The Demo’s trunnion shock mount uses bearings to reduce friction.
- Magura MT7 brakes proved stellar, SRAM Codes satisfied all testers.
- Testers say SRAM’s X01 drivetrain operated superbly, consistently, and in a range of conditions. Shifting is “sharp” and mostly silent.
- A formed plastic fender protects the Demo’s rear suspension
- Reviewers appreciate the Demo’s ample frame protection; including on the chainstay, down tube & shuttle guard.
- Owners coo over the Race’s ‘onyx red’ to ‘satin black’ paint job.
- 148 × 12 mm rear wheel spacing makes it easy for owners to source replacement & upgrade parts.
- The Demo features neat internal cabling but also fixings to run external cabling.
- Testers praise Specialized’s Body Geometry saddle and Thomson seatpost.
7 reasons not to buy
- Numerous testers say Specialized Butcher tires are not gnarly enough for aggressive riding.
- Some experts say the Demo Race is noticeably more expensive than similar competitors.
- Taller riders complain that the Demo’s largest size is too small for them.
- Testers confirm that muck easily enters the large opening at the bike’s rear linkage.
- A reviewer says the Demo’s complex engineering can complicate maintenance & cleaning.
- The Demo’s 27.5” back end has been called “flighty” or “squirmy”, as it shifts from side to side.
- Some experts fret that the Demo’s 148 × 12 mm rear wheel spacing is not as strong as the 157 mm spacing on other DH rigs.
Bottom lineThe Demo is Specialized’s pure downhill bike, sold in a mullet wheel configuration (29” front, 27.5” rear) and offered in two builds (Expert & Race). Reviewers say it craves speed while remaining “playful” and “lively". The Demo's geometry is highly adjustable via flip-chips, allowing it to be ridden in full 29” mode. It’s stable and capable, with progressive suspension that impresses testers. Geometry remains relatively conservative. Componentry standards are high, so too is the price.
Expert Reviews92/100 based on 6 rated expert reviews
Specialized Demo Race [German]
What a ride! The Specialized Demo Race is damn fast, super safe and yet agile enough. Unfortunately, this version is very expensive. I would have liked to have run a slightly stiffer damper spring.
Review: 2021 Specialized Demo Race – DH Bike Week
The Demo is a serious contender …a pretty well-rounded DH bike that could turn its hand to some racing… it can still go damn fast, and with built-in adjustability, it can mold itself to many a rider preference… pay attention if you’re particularly tall…
2022 Trek Session Vs. Specialized Demo
| Fastest Downhill Bikes Ridden & Rated
A brilliant bike to ride. Incredible composure on the trail and refined rear suspension that offers good sensitivity and smooth progression. Plenty of support for bigger hits. A livelier demeanor makes it more versatile as a fun park bike and a race bike.
2021 Specialized Demo Race Review
Playful. The entire time I felt like I was in complete control. An absolute treat through tight corners. The 2021 Specialized Demo Race ticks off all the boxes for what a downhill bike should be.
Test: Specialized Demo – Bye Bye Park Bike, Hello Race-Machine [German]
The equipment of the Specialized Demo Race leaves almost nothing to be desired… even for beginners… a downhill weapon that has left its park bike days behind… speed-hungry and high-safety, which is incredibly fun. Unfortunately, this fun doesn’t come cheap.
Test DH :: Specialized Demo Race 2021 [Spanish]
The Demo is a demon as is, the most reactive bike I have tested so far… every component and accessory is well thought-out… very agile and capable of any type of DH…
4 DH Bikes Tested | Demo vs Sender vs Supreme vs Two15
The ‘Most Well-Rounded’ award. While it doesn’t exude the flat-out race feel of the other bikes in this test, you know you’re going to have fun on a variety of trails. Just be aware of the sizing if you’re tall. It is the most expensive.
2021 Specialized Demo Race – First Ride
Q: How did the whip feel?
That was ridiculously fast… most beautiful bike ever.
Demo Mullet vs Demo 29: Specialized DH Bikes Head-to-Head
The mullet is an advantage when turns have a tight radius… you feel the smaller wheel in the back just a little bit more, it’s not quite as planted through a line. I got my fastest lap on the Demo mullet.
2022 Specialized Demo Race – First Ride/Impressions
This thing corners like an absolute beast. Super solid. I think the spec on this bike is pretty solid for the price. The Magura MT7 brakes are just incredible. It felt like it’s pretty easy to set up.
Raw Specialized Demo?! | In-Depth Custom Downhill Bike Check
Why I chose a Specialized Demo frame: I didn’t want something that was going to be outrageously long… it’s got normal 12 × 148 mm boost spacing in the rear… the shock feels great.
Take a Closer Look at Loïc Bruni’s Specialized Demo
The bike is way more fun to ride because you still have that dynamism in the back that allows you to turn really quick and brings the bike to life. You have the advantage of the 29” front wheel which brings comfort, stability and grip.
Review: Specialized Demo 2021 Mullet [Portuguese]
Very cool geometry. The braking is so good. Not the best tires I’ve ever used…
Specialized Demo 2021 | BikeCheck [German]
I’m so happy with how this thing rides.
Specialized Demo Race 2022 | Öhlins Chassis | Flight Check [German]
One of the most popular downhill bikes out there, for a reason… a machine that will make many friends and bring joy… if you are over 1.93 cm tall, you’re on your own… Butcher tires offer insufficient support for heavier riders.
Specialized Demo 2022 [Spanish]
Pedaling efficiency is impeccable… brake-squat is at a very low level, guaranteeing good performance during braking… the system works very progressively… spectacular figures for a DH model that will work very well with most spring shocks on the market.