DH 2018 Specialized S-Works Demo Dream Build


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Specialized S-Works Demo Medium

Bar Ends: Carbonice Hansel and Gretel machined to fit ODI lock-on
Bars: ENVE DH V2, 23mm rise, cut to 760mm
Bolts: Ti-Springs, Pro-Bolt and Carbon-Ti - Full Ti Hardware
Brakes: SRAM XO Levers, Code Callipers, Alan Burn Signs Custom Graphics
Brake: Lever Clamps Carbonice Max and Moritz UD Carbon
Cassette: SRAM X01 DH, 7speed 10-24t
Chain: KMC X10 SL DLC – waxed with Molten SpeedWax
Chain Guide: Shovel Carbon DH, Custom Ti bolts - UPDATE!: Carbon top and bottom guide now fitted
Chainring: Wolftooth direct mount 34 Tooth
Cranks: SRAM XO 165mm, Slik Grapics Decals + Frameskin PPF
Decals: Slik Graphics – Cranks, Forks & Rims. AlanBurns Signs – Superhero Decals & Brake Levers
Derailleur: SRAM XO1 DH, Short Cage, 7 Speed, Black, Carbon -ti hardware
Forks: Ohlins DH Race Fork 27.5” 46mm offset
Frame: 2018 Specialized S-Works Demo Medium
Front Hub: Hope Pro 4 MTB 32 Hole
Gear Outer Cable: Shimano
Grips: ODI Ruffian Lock-On
Headset: Cane Creek Zero 50
Headset Spacers: Deda Elementi Carbon
Jockey Wheels: KCNC 12 tooth, Aluminium/Ceramic Bearing
Pedals: HT ME05T
PPF: Invisiframe
Rear Hub: DT Swiss 350 32 Hole
Rear Shifter: SRAM XO DH 7sp
Rear Shock: Ohlins TTX 22M 388lbs (Lightweight Spring)
Rims: Spank Spike 33 Bear Claw Edition 32 Hole
Rotor Front: SRAM HS1 200mm. UPDATE: Now KCNC Titor
Rotor Rear: SRAM HS1 180mm UPDATE: Now KCNC Titor
Seat: Specialized S-Works Toupe 143mm
Seat Clamp: MT Zoom Ultralight 36.4mm
Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece Inline
Spoke Nipples: DT Swiss Brass
Spokes: DT Swiss
Stem: Syntace F44 Direct Mount 45mm
Top Cap: Carbon-Ti UD Carbon
Tubes: Tubolito MTB 27.5” with black heat-shrink covering valves
Tyres: Maxxis Minion ST Fronts 2.5”

Final weight: 15.96kg

So this was a dream build that I finally took action on over the last three and a half months. I’ve had a rough idea on what parts I wanted for a long time and how I wanted the final product to look. I set out researching what’s out there and what’s possible and came up with exactly what I wanted and ultimately built my dream DH bike. I am extremely specific in how I want my bike to ride and feel and have always seen a huge benefit to being weight conscious (hence the amount of carbon and titanium).

The Bike has a full PPF kit on it thanks to Invisiframe, the graphics for the most part have been taken care of by Slik Graphics and the “Superhero” decals on the top tube by a local sign writing company . There’s a few cheeky pieces of 3M Mastik tape for some additional frame and chain-slap protection as well! I also purchased some 3M vinyl wrap to add a final bit of personal flavour which is seen in the “X” inside the cranks!

I’d also like to throw out a big thanks to NSDynamics up in QLD Australia who sorted me out with a fresh set of the new Ohlins DH Race forks, one of the first few pairs in the country which I am extremely grateful for!

Why tubes: In 10 years or riding and racing DH, I have NEVER had a single flat tire on my DH bike whilst I have run tubes. I tried tubeless once in the early days and had a pretty shitty experience blowing up a wheel, since then I’ve been back on tubes with perfect results. I have yet to fully try the Tubolito’s, which I am also currently running on my hardtail. For context they weigh 78grams per tube, so provided they hold up to the DH riding then they are the exact same weight as tubeless!

Carbon brake lever clips: I have run these on a previous DH bike for 2 years, and a hardtail for 3.5 years with absolutely no issue. I love the finish of the carbon and added benefit of being extremely light. Details make the difference!

Ti Bolts: So for the most part the Ti-Springs bolt kit covered the majority of the bike, however like any bike there’s a few bits and pieces in the linkage or shock mounts that are specific to that bike and not an industry standard. Those bolts were a little more tricky and after some help from a Pro-Bolt measuring tool I was able to knuckle down those measurements and get some ordered. That took care of all except the front shock mount bolt on the rear shock, which frankly was a pain in the ass! I ended up buying a Ti bolt that was oversized and had a local engineer machine it to the perfect fit!

Ultimately I had an enjoyable time being able to put together my dream bike and look forward to getting it out on the trails to shred some DH!


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Gearbox Frother
Fair point, that's what I was told from the shop, never looked into whether that was correct or not
It wasn't a serious comment, just a noticed details. That said, they chose you the only spoke in the DT lineup that isn't butted to spin that on you. Alpines maybe?!
The bike is gorgeous btw. How does it go on the climbs? Do you find the slack seat tube angle lets it down in that regard?


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It wasn't a serious comment, just a noticed details. That said, they chose you the only spoke in the DT lineup that isn't butted to spin that on you. Alpines maybe?!
The bike is gorgeous btw. How does it go on the climbs? Do you find the slack seat tube angle lets it down in that regard?
Haha yeah, il take that!! I'll have to check what model etc

I've only taken it out over the last weekend so far. Final build was finished last week. Probably won't be doing much/any climbing on it though, aside form riding back to the top of the track, usually I use do shuttled runs


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Ride update (comparing to my previous 2014 S-Works Demo)


Still blown away by the suspension every time I jump on the bike. It seems no matter how hard I have pushed it so far, the forks in particular have taken everything in their stride with ease. The sag keeps it beautifully supple through the initial stroke, the mid-range support is surprisingly smooth and the ramp up feels like perfection (Side note; I did get my bro to ride it and tune suspension for a week and the result of that spot on). Seems suspension has come a long way in the time that I've been riding. Generally, I've never felt a bike more planted, or with such responsive when pushing, yet able to absolute breeze through the big hits! !

The ramp up link in the rear is much better and gives a much more stable rear end and definitely holds up a lot better under low speed compression impacts. As does the overall change from 26" to 27.5",subsequent chain stay and wheelbase lengths.

The KCNC Titor rotors perform much better than I expected. I essentially bought them to get the overall bike weight under 16kg (I'd already done everything else) and had some concerns that with much less surface they may be either down on power or feel a little bit uneven with braking force being applied. Neither of those problems have arisen at all, the power is more than ample (I'm not over heavy anyway) and they have a very smooth braking curve.


The bike is still a little twitchy or unsettled on some corners and after talking with NS Dynamics about it, I am fitting a 46mm crown offset (previously 50mm) which should address this issue and bring it back in line with the 45mm stem on the bike. Given it feels much better than my previous bike already, I'm looking forward to addressing that specific problem.

The Tubolito tubes feel well balanced and extremely responsive, however after running them for some time, I have noticed they don't hold air between rides as well as a standard Freeride tube. They are extremely sensitive in the fitting process, very easy to puncture/damage. Benefits however are massively outweighing the drawbacks, I don't mind checking/adjusting tire pressure before a ride and when fitted correctly they are holding up just fine on the trail, no punctures on that front and none expected.

I have noticed pedalling is much more a fine art and picking where and when to pedal is much more important as it's sitting much lower to the ground than my previous bike. Something that undoubtedly will resolve itself with a little bit more time on the bike!

Overall Verdict

Some minor drawbacks that pale into insignificance with the amount of positives I've had riding this weapon. I still look at it with a gleam in my eye (anyone not looking at their bike like that needs to get another bike) and I am continuously blown away by it's performance! The only room for improvement that comes to mind would be Ohlins getting their fork and shock weight down a little. That said, Theres no other suspension I'd rather be on, and overall bike performance is a solid 11/10
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Likes Dirt
Nice write up!

Question - why still using tubes?
I've ridden and raced DH for over a decade, as has my brother, both running freeride tubes and neither of us has had a single flat in that time. I tried tubeless and blew up a wheel, so couple that with the mess it makes every time you need to change a tyre, I decided I'd rather stick with tubes.

The Tubolito's are enduro rated (DH not available yet) so I'm unsure as to the longevity. They weigh in at 78grams each and as long as they hold up and I get the same consistency as the freeride tubes ill keep running them (and have the benefit of it being lighter than a tubeless setup anyway)