Demo 8 sizing?

Hey Lee
I am currently riding an 07 Demo 8 size Medium Frame. I am 6′ 1″ and the bike feels cramped. I have a 50mm stem on the bike. Would putting a 65mm stem on the bike effect the bikes handling and stearing? Or would it be wiser to buy a size large frame for the Demo 8? Or even a size large Demo 7 which has the same wheel base as the Demo 8 but has a 1 degree steeper head angle as the medium Demo 8?

How tall are you and what size Demo do you ride? Do you know the size of the bikes the guys on Team America ride and their heights?

Thanks for your help.

Hey Ted,

DH bikes don’t follow the strict sizing standards of road and XC bikes. Shorter cockpits handle more nimbly. Longer cockpits feel more like your XC rig. It’s all personal choice.

I don’t have specs for Team America’s bikes, but I do know this:

– Curtis Keene is about your height, and he has always run a small DH frame. Curtis is a moto guy.

– Chris Herndon is closer to 6-3, and I believe he rocks a medium. Chris rides everything.

I am 5-9 and I’ve been riding medium Demos and Enduros for years. The relationships between my bottom brackets and handlebars are almost identical, which lets me switch very easily.

– Curtis and Chris have chosen nimble handling for their DH race bikes (pro racers tend to do this).

– I’ve chosen consistency (although, as much as I ride my P.3, I might like a shorter DH bike).

It sounds like you are used to a longer cockpit. A 65-70mm stem will add length without messing up your handling. If that doesn’t feel right, step up to a large frame.

A Demo 7 is a different beast. If you’re not racing DH, it’s probably a great choice. For next year I’m thinking about stepping “down” to an SX Trail (but that’s another post!).

Curtis Keene, Schleyer, Whistler, 2005.

Chris Herndon, Boneyard Slopestyle, Whistler, 2005.

Brandon Sloan (product manager for Demos), The Manager, Whistler, 2005. Brandon is about 5-9, and I think he rolls a small DH bike.

Me, North Shore, 2004. This is my awesome medium Demo 9.

And I have to say this: Pay attention to your body position. If you are properly balanced on your feet, and your hands are neutral, you can feel good on almost any bike.


— Lee

25 replies
  1. Felipe Motta says:

    Hey Lee!

    I’m interested in the SX Trail post, hehe!! Seriously, I’m 6’2″, come from a BMX background, and have a P3. I want to buy a full suspension rig and am considering the SX Trail II, but am really in doubt about whether I should get a Medium (for tricks and stuff) or if I need a Large due to the metrics. Can you help me out? Can’t wait to get the BMX book!

  2. Felipe Motta says:

    Thanks Lee, which size would feel closer to my P3? It’s the 2008 one size only frame… Thanks! What are your thoughts on the SX trail? I’m really interested in this bike…

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    The medium will be closer to the P.3.

    SX Trail — Very capable, very braaapable bike that can also be climbed. I’ve seen SX Trails in action in Whistler, and they can do anything I can, that’s for sure.

    Since I’m not racing DH very much, and I’m riding the new Stumpy on trails, I’m thinking about collapsing my Enduro and Demo into one bike.

  4. E.T. says:

    CORRECTION! Keene is on a Medium Demo, Bangert is on a Medium, and Cody is on a large, although he says he wants a size between the medium and the large. Don’t know what Herndon is on…

  5. Bilbo Baggins says:

    I am looking to purchase a demo 7 this year I am fifteen and 5’8″ and still growing my dad is 6’2″ for refrence. Which size demo would you recommend and how long will it fit me?

  6. Erik says:

    Hey i am 6’7 and yes i do play basketball but i much rather ride my mnt bike. i want to buy a downhill bike. what bike would you suggests i look at?

  7. leelikesbikes says:

    There are a lot of great bikes out there, and that’s a very open ended question.

    I am a Specialized rider. Try a large Demo 8.

    I’m sure other people will have additional suggestions. Who makes the biggest DH bike?

  8. ted danigelis says:

    hey lee and everyone who responded,

    thanks for all of the valuable input. sounds like i can’t really go wrong with the bike i have. it is encouraging to know that there are plenty of people my size riding and racing medium demos. thanks again, ted.

  9. euroboy says:

    Hey everyone!

    Can’t decide between size S and M of the new 09 Demo 8 I.
    I’m 177 cm (5.8 feet). What worries me a bit is a wheelbase on the M size. Is it really 120.3 cm for size M? Size S is 117 cm. My current bike (also Horst link) has 115 cm, but also steeper HA.
    I like to drop crowns and bar as low as possible….
    What do you think?


  10. leelikesbikes says:

    177 cm / 2.5 = 70.8 inches = 5 feet, 10.8 inches

    For most situations, a medium will fit you better than a small.

  11. A.J. says:

    I’ve read through every post over 5x and still am confused with Demo sizing… There’s this LBS that I could get a DEMO 8 ’08 for less than $1400 (frame only) Medium size… The only complete demo 8 bike they have is a medium also and no small size… I’m 5’8″ and I don’t think I could get any taller since I am already 30 yrs old 🙂 … would a medium really affect agility since it is only 1″ of top tube length difference? Please help… if medium is ok, I will be purchasing it by the end of the month…


  12. A.j. says:

    Thanks Lee, Medium it is then. By the way I also purchased your pumptrack e-book and I’ll send you pics once its done.. I’m currently at 50% progress… It’s an aboveground and will blend in with the landscape…

  13. leelikesbikes says:

    I look forward to seeing your track!


    I’ve always ridden Medium BigHits and Demos. Until a few years ago I also measured at 5-8. Yoga “opened me up” to 5-9 — isn’t that crazy?

  14. curtis says:

    hey lee,
    i was reading all your messages and you seem very knowledgable. Im 6’4 and just sold my fsrxc pro. I have done xc for a long time and was wondering what size of demo would be right for me? I know its partly personaly but for a kid looking to go onto events such as redbull rampage what do you think would work best?

  15. Jeff says:

    Hi Lee,
    Great site! I’m looking into the 09 SX and wonder if I (at 5′ 11″, 32″ inseam) should go Lrg or Med. I ride Demo forest in N. Cal primarily, but want something that I can take to Whistler and Northstar too.

    Thanks for your help.

  16. leelikesbikes says:

    I know the Demo Forest well: significant climbs with long, flowy descents. Get out there for a couple loops, and it’s 2+ hours of pedaling and ripping.

    A large will probably feel better on a ride that long, especially on the climbs.

    I also know Northstar well: gnarly!!! A large will work well there too.

  17. Lp says:

    Hey lee
    im about to buy a demo 8 II 2009
    im 6′(183cm) and im really not sure for the sizing..
    I gone ride whistler with this bike im not racing..
    I thought that a medium one with a wide handlebar(29.5″) and a long steam(50mm) would be a great idea
    but again the top tube lengh of the medium demo is only 22.6inch
    according to you which size should I take medium or large ?


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