41-pound Demo 9 !!!???!!!

I’ve seen mention of your Demo 9 that was in the low 40’s. Can you post some pictures of it and the parts spec?
What did you think of it?

The more you click, the more I can post. Lee Likes Groceries dot com!

Crabapple Hits, Whistler

Hi Scott,

I ran a Demo 9 in 2004, my last dedicated downhill race season and definitely my best. The bike started as light as possible, but as the season progressed it got much heavier but more functional.

The details elude me now, but here are the key items in the original 41-pound build, executed expertly by Lars at Trail Head Cyclery.

Manitou X-Works Carbon fork. This seemed so cool: very light, SPV platform, blah, blah. I raced very well on this fork (1st at Sea Otter, 2nd at Big Bear), but I couldn’t get one to last more than a couple rides. When I was in Whistler I begged the Marzocchi guys to help me out, and I switched to a 888 RC. That fork was heavier and less technically advanced, but it was rock solid for a month in Whistler and several big races. I think it’s still rocking today, two owners later.

Hadley hubs with Mavic 823 rims and titanium spokes. Expensive! Ti spokes took 1/4 pound off each wheel. When they got loose, they snapped en masse, but as long as they were tight they were solid. They still are.

North Vancouver style

WTB 2.4 Moto Raptor Team FR tires. Dual compound, Kevlar bead, made tubeless. Light, pretty fast-rolling and pretty grippy. When racing started, I switched to 2.5″ Maxxis Minions/High Rollers with DH tubes. Heavier, but more effective for all-out DH.

Misc. Easton Carbon bars, Easton mag stem, Truvativ Holzfeller cranks, ODI Ruffian grips, SRAM X.9 shifter, X.0 rear derailleur, Thompson seat post, WTB Rocket V saddle, Hayes Mag 9 brakes. All rock solid.

I rode that bike at least 60 days in 2004. Halfway through the season, the Demo 9 weighed closer to 46 pounds — five pounds heavier than at Sea Otter, but I must say I was faster at the end of the year. Super-light/trick parts are fun to think about, but it’s all about the entire package: bike, skills, fitness and confidence.

BTW: My 2007 Demo 8 is under 39 pounds with honest DH parts.

Masters Worlds in Bromont, Quebec
16 replies
  1. leelikesbikes says:

    Gee, I don’t know. The 888 made the bike really slack, but I installed a Go-Ride low rider crown to get it back to normal.

  2. Josh130 says:

    The pic from Bromont is really nice. The rocks remind me of here in Santa Barbara, but there is some sort of green thing blocking the view.

  3. Kakah! says:

    I gots my Orange 224 down to 38lbs. Once I get my Mojo equiped Boxxer back on and the I-Fly C seat that I’ve been waiting for it will be lighter. In the summer I run a Kenda Cortez rear tire most places (set up tubeless) and it will come in at an honest 36.5lbs. I do alot of long rides on it ontop of the endless shuttle and lift days in the summer so I love the full length seattube and light weight. Its fun to get geeky!

  4. JT says:

    Hi Lee,

    I run a 2004 Demo9 too, word from specialized is it’s 14.5lbs! Mine weighs in at 46lbs too! I’m really keen to upgrade to a lighter frame, and want to stay with specialized. What did your new 2007 Demo 8 frame weight (with shock).
    BTW, your book has hands down been the best MTB resource I have used to date. I can’t wait until you make a DVD. That would bring your help to those too lazy to read (and there’s quite a few!).

    Take care,


  5. leelikesbikes says:

    I didn’t weigh the ’07 Demo 8 frame, but I swapped parts from my ’05 Demo 8, and the bike is about a pound lighter.

  6. leelikesbikes says:

    Duh … all fixed. X-Works Carbon.

    I had an X-Vert R on an old FSR Pro — predecesor to the modern Enduro — and that fork was great (when it worked). I upgraded that bike to a Marzocchi Z.1 — and seven years later it’s still rocking with my man Peter Smith in Seattle.

    Manitou: trick but unreliable

    Marzocchi: functional and reliable

  7. Lars says:

    I remember building that steed, and I tried to forget the name of that fork, but it was called a Dorado X-WORKS.

    Don’t do SPV, it’s a trap.

  8. Kevo says:

    skills, fitness, and confidence = baller.
    say for example people took the time they spent dorking out about grams and spent it actually riding their bikes, the field of competition would be quite a bit denser. anyone who thinks their bike rides better because of a pound is just experiencing a buyer’s-placebo effect. people who think they are riding better because of a solid hour of shredding are just experiencing next season’s better results.

  9. Trevor says:

    I ride a 39lb santa cruz vp-free, and that an honest 39lb has done two season in whistler and last year i did 921 runs (about 10 a day) and the only thing i broke was the spring in my 3 year old dorado’s.

    As for gram counting i dont, ok my road bike is getting around 15lbs but that just silly!!

    If it lasts, i run it, saint cranks, easton bars and mavic wheels, hope brakes and hubs, maxxis tyres, shimano drive train (dura-ace and xtr).

    As for the buyers placebo effect, we all get that new bike feeling and new bit, feeling it probably gives you a second or two if you are confident in your bike, but a better rider will
    always win.

  10. Chris says:

    “A better rider will always win.” Indeed! I remember a few years back, we were congratulating the (very talented) guy that, on the most advanced bike at the time, had just become my state’s DH Champion… until a shout from the timing tent said that the fastest time of the day was done by one of the junior riders…. on a hardtail! (he is now a top Pro NORBA and World Cup racer). Since that day, my bike never sucks, I do!

  11. albino rhino says:

    talk about humbling, I say Chris is right, I suck, not the bike! I guess I need to get back on the hard tail and improve my times!

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