After ten years away from racing downhill Jones builds a bike to take on Val Di Sole this weekend at the DHI Masters Worlds. Here’s the detail:-
Words and Images: S Jones
Specialized S Works Demo Frame: The choice of frame was possibly one of the easiest decisions to make. That’s not to say that that it was a straightforward choice, simply that through an intense schedule of testing downhill bikes through the season it becomes clear which bikes have the edge in performance, and to a degree which bikes fit best. That the Demo has been a reliable bike also factored into the decision making.
The assets that stand out on the Demo are its suspension characteristic, which includes the Ohlins damper, the low slung, low centre of gravity frame, build quality and silence. The bike makes no noise – although there is a reassuring thud from its bones. It’s well known that the pro riders are using a more progressive link in the bike, which I can imagine might well be necessary for the speeds and hits that those boys encounter. For a fifty year old man, in the middle compression setting, on a steep track, it’s pretty much bang on.
Well, not quite. In stock XL trim the bike offers 460mm in reach, which although is reasonably good in XL terms, is still 20mm off the excellent Canyon Sender. A Works Components 7mm offset, fork dropped to minimum makes the Demo longer in reach, and lower too with a 338mm bottom bracket. It is of course longer. Importantly the fit feels in tune.
The Ohlins TTX damper is a stock unit, it’s also a luxury nearly all pro riders don’t have in their arsenal. For such a mighty unit not to be on pro level bikes is laughable although it’s true that when you ride an Ohlins on a Demo it often feels like there’s not much going on out back. The Demo/Ohlins combo’ is a tough act to follow.