2008 vs. 2009 vs. 2010 Specialized Demo 8

Hi Lee,

If you would care to expound on the differences between the 08, 09, and 2010 Demo 8 I would be grateful. I am aware that the 2010 model has been dialed for world cup racing and that distinguishes it from its predecessors. I am looking at an ’08, but am not sure what changes occurred between ’08 and ’09.


Hey Dan,

Of course I would care to expound!

Here’s the scoop from The Man Himself, Brandon Sloan at Specialized.

2008 to 2009
No frame changes. Just spec changes. (I have an ’08, and it is quite sweet.)

2009 to 2010
Overall, the bike is lower and more racy. Which makes sense considering elite downhillers Sam Hill and Brendan Fairclough are racing this machine on the World Cup downhill (not freeride) circuit.

Despite increased travel, the 2010 Demo 8’s bottom bracket and bars are clearly lower than the 2009’s. And by the way: Demos were never considered tall. (Click for big.)

– Lower bottom bracket. Down almost an inch to 13.5 inches.

– Lower bars. A 1.5-inch head tube allows an integrated headset and a lower stack height. DH bars are getting lower these days.

– Less travel. Down from 8.4 to 8.0 inches. DH race bikes are getting less travel these days.

– Slightly slacker seat tube angle. Reminds me of our seat-tube angle discussions.

– Longer top tube. Small and medium get another 5 mm. (I think that’s to adjust for the slacker seat tube angle.)

– Non-adjustable geometry. Rip it, rip it good.

– More progressive suspension rate. Places less reliance on position sensitive shocks. (Also gives you a more connected feel, which I think is good for a race bike.)

I’ve rocked a Demo 9 and two generations of Demo 8s, and this looks like a nice refinement. Especially for downhill racing.

Super fun.

— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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10 replies
  1. nenu says:

    as usual lee, you’ve broken it down to layman’s terms and it helps us braap-deficient guys understand the jargon. thanks a lot and good luck with the twins!

  2. Mike Spadafora says:

    Can you explain what progressive, linear and ramp up mean when discussing shocks? I hear these terms thrown out alot.

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    You guys are right: Travel decreased from 8.4 to 8.0 inches. Corrected above.

    Aparently Sloan is tired from adventures like: “We did a private moto day down by Santa Barbara last week. Crazy natural terrain and big scary jumps all in perfect dirt….it was so fun!!!”

    I told him I didn’t want to hear about it!

  4. Billy says:

    hey I have an 08 demo 8 in a medium size. The measurements for 2010 for TT length on a small seem almost the same to that of a medium in previous years. I’m thinking of getting a small now for this reason..good or bad decision?

  5. leelikesbikes says:


    You’re overlooking the interplay between seat tube angle and top tube length.

    The 2010 Demo has a longer top tube than its predecessor, but it also has a slacker seat tube. This evens things out.

    If you want to rock a smaller frame because it’s more nimble, great. But don’t change sizes solely because of that top tube measurement.


    Read these:





    Someone should write an ebook …

  6. Billy says:

    and..another question..Recently i’ve been looking at the yeti 303r dh in a medium. I’m now looking at either the demo 8 2010 in a small (shorter wheelbase) or the yeti.
    Some of my reasons to get the yeti would be the adjustable geometry, shorter wheelbase, and longer tt? maybe (not sure if this is true). Some of the reasons why I would get a demo 8 would be that i have an 08 now so i’m familiar with it and the lower price ($400). I ride on the east coast so primarily the dh courses are through the trees and it’s a bit tighter. I’m just curious as to what you think I should do. I’ve been able to ride both bikes and like them both. Tough decision though…

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