For years brands have produced an aluminium bike frame and then tried to reproduce it in carbon, but with the Demo, Specialized went the other way. To deliver race winning performance to Aaron Gwin and Troy Brosnan it built its premier downhill bike in carbon first and has now released a more affordable aluminium version for the masses.
Specialized promises that the aluminium bike will be identical to the carbon bike except for the frame material. This includes its geometry, sizing, and even the asymmetric frame design, which must have been a nightmare to engineer in aluminium.
Clearly this is a frame that is capable of race winning performance as it shone under Gwin and is the current ride of choice for downhill World Champion Loic Bruni. Sure there will be a weight penalty for using aluminium (although the official weight is yet to be confirmed), but to us amateurs will it really make that big a difference?
The bike will be available in three frame sizes and the UK will be receiving the Demo 8 1 which comes with a RockShox Boxxer RC fork and Fox Van RC shock and will set you back £3,500 (compared to £6,500 for an S-Works carbon Demo). It will be available from the start of March.