For the past 2 years I’ve been riding a small Demo 7 mark II frame, tricked out to ride downhill.  But half way through last summer I decided it was time for an upgrade, partly due to the frame being a bit too small for me and but mainly because it had been a bit thrashed.

Ever since I threw my leg over a Specialized long travel bike I was sold on them, so I knew I’d be sticking with the brand.  I could have got the 2010 Demo 8 there and then, but had read about the improvements they had made to the frame for the 2011, seen the planned bike spec and been fortunate enough to have had a roll around on the Demo 8 Brendan Fairclough had raced at Maribor earlier in the season.  So I was willing to wait.

Brendan Fairclough's race bike from Maribor 2010 - minus his Blackbox Boxxers

Finally, after a couple of delays caused by parts not being available, my new 2011 Demo 8 turned up in the warehouse on Christmas Eve, which is best Christmas present I’ve had in a while!  That evening I set about customising it.

First was a  big change, I swapped the Boxxer World Cups for a pair of Boxxer R2C2s.  The world Cup is an amazing fork, but it requires servicing every 8-10 hours of riding and if you don’t they just lock out.  I’m too lazy for all that so the R2C2 was the perfect choice, same performance, but you only need to service the every 3-6month depending on use, the only downside is you gain some weight.

Rock Shox R2C2's rather than stock World Cups

I swapped out the stock bars, stem and grips for Sunline V1 745mm, a Straitline 50mm direct mount and ODI ruffian lock on’s.
I Cut the Thomson seatpost down and swapped the saddle for a SDG Ti Fi.  I also changed the cassette from the PG970 12-26t to a 11-21t and put on a pair of Superstar Ultra Mag pedals with Ti axles (not pictured).

First ride was so exciting, spent while dialing in the suspension set up, but couldn’t get the rear end to run right.  It felt like the bike wanted to throw me over the bars the whole time.  So I changed the spring from the 400lbs the bike came with to a 350lbs and what a difference that made!

Since then I’ve been hammering the bike over at my local tracks and been on a few uplift days and I can’t recommend it enough. Perhaps the colours might not be to everyone’s taste and people might not like the changes I’ve made to mine.  But for the money you get an awesome out of the box DH race bike with a top spec and the same frame that’s being raced at the World Cup’s by the Monster Specialized guy’s.  Now all I need to do is learn to ride like them!

Nick at Rogate

Nick at Rogate