Bike Check: Aaron Gwin, Troy Brosnan, & the Specialized Downhill Factory Team – Plus Actual Weights!
Last week during the grand unveiling of the new Specialized Demo, we had the opportunity to discuss the development of the bike with the engineers, product managers, and industrial designers who designed it.
Also on hand where several of the professional athletes who helped dictate the new geometry, tested the suspension kinematics, and who will ultimately prove just how fast & hard these rigs are capable of being pushed.
Drop past the break to see how their race bikes are kitted out, and how much they weigh!
We’ll start with Aaron Gwin. The 2x overall champ is sitting within striking distance of winning his 3rd overall in four years, but will be facing stiff competition this weekend.
Aaron has been working extensively with ODI on a new signature grip, the AG-1. It’s similar in diameter to the popular Ruffian, but has four thin lines to help improve grip, and an integrated plastic locking mechanism on the outside of the bar.
In addition to being one of the fastest riders on the circuit, Gwin has a reputation for being able to provide excellent suspension feedback, and is a valuable member of Fox’s Racing Application Development program.
Fox has been teasing this prototype DHX shock with twin tube style construction for over a year, but no further details have emerged since they originally showed the shock off at Interbike last year.
The previous S-Works Demo had aluminum chain stays, but by moving the entire platform to carbon, Specialized has managed to shave some weight. With the jump to the new 650B wheel size, the stays have grown by 10mm.
We first peep’d these pedals around Sea Otter, but Aaron has been testing sets since January. At that time, the company was still focused on fine tuning the mechanism, but the heavily machined platform now appears to be much closer to production.
Out back, the new Demo utilizes a 135mm rear end for improved heel clearance.
This is the same exact bike and setup that Aaron raced at Windham (sans a washing). On our scale, it came in at 36 lbs 7 oz (16.5 kg).
Troy Brosnan is a young Aussie on the rise and is also on the verge of clinching the overall. A long time protege of Sam Hill, he finally landed on the top spot of the podium earlier this year.
Unlike Gwinny, he’s on a full Rockshox/Sram/AVID setup.
Both Brosnan and Gwin are running SRAM Guide brakes mated to Code four pot calipers.
Total weight for Troy’s build is 35 lbs 10 oz (16.1 KG).
While Brad Benedict no longer races world cups, his input is instrumental in suspension and platform development.
What makes his bike particular interesting is the drop-in-Ohlins damper.
There are two torx heads on the top of the cartridge for adjustment.
And this doesn’t look stock either.
To match the rear, Brad is also running an Ohlins TTX shock.
Built in collaboration between Specialized and Ohlins, the shock was tuned specifically for the new Demo.
Weight for Brad’s size large frame is 36 lb 03 oz (16.4 KG).
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to weigh Mitch Ropelato’s bikes, but it probably slots in right between Brad and Troy’s setup.