Over the past year many photos of a prototype Specialized downhill bike have been leaked on news sites and forums. The company line about these images has been “we’re always testing new platforms,” but this image of a new production bike was leaked by dealers earlier tonight and clearly indicates that something all new is on the horizon.
From our sources, we’re told that Troy Brosnan and Aaron Gwin (who are sitting in 1st and 2nd place respectively in the Overall WC standings) will be riding these bikes at the Mont Saint Anne World Cup Race this coming weekend, and to expect an official launch later this year at Crankworx.
Head past the break for images of the aluminum prototype and our speculation! The photo was posted by Pinkbike user J-Carmichael late last year and was the first time we spotted this bike. Due to the strategic leg placement, it was hard to discern any details at the time, although it was obvious that the rear triangle was using a linkage system reminiscent to that found on the budget oriented Specialized Status.
From the image, it was also hard to tell if the bike was utilizing 650B wheels, but we now know that this new Demo will be the first bike Specialized has designed from the ground up for the new wheelsize.
Photo Credit: Matt Smith
Further images revealed the reconfigured suspension resembled the love child of a Sinister R9 and Rotec RL9.
Jokes aside, the new design appears to be an exaggerated horst link (FSR) which utilizes a concentric main pivot (most commonly associated with DJ & slopesytle bikes), which should offer increased rearward travel. We also assume the new Demo will also resist chain forces from heavy pedal input better due to the rear wheel axle, seatstay pivot, and rear shock eyelet, all being in line.