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Monster Energy debuts new Specialized Demo downhill bikes

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Monster Energy-Specialized gave Sam Hill's new race bike a stealthy black finish but we still noticed the new carbon fiber front triangle.

Monster Energy-Specialized gave Sam Hill's new race bike a stealthy black finish but we still noticed the new carbon fiber front triangle. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Monster Energy-Specialized mechanic wouldn’t allow us to shoot pictures of Sam Hill's new Demo Carbon - so we had to hide behind a trailer and make use of our zoom lens.

The Monster Energy-Specialized mechanic wouldn’t allow us to shoot pictures of Sam Hill's new Demo Carbon - so we had to hide behind a trailer and make use of our zoom lens. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The FACT 11m-grade carbon fiber - Specialized's most advanced composite construction - wraps itself around a new RockShox Vivid Air downhill shock on Sam Hill's Monster Energy-Specialized Demo Carbon.

The FACT 11m-grade carbon fiber - Specialized's most advanced composite construction - wraps itself around a new RockShox Vivid Air downhill shock on Sam Hill's Monster Energy-Specialized Demo Carbon. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear triangle is still welded aluminum on Sam Hill's new Monster Energy-Specialized Demo Carbon.

The rear triangle is still welded aluminum on Sam Hill's new Monster Energy-Specialized Demo Carbon. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Also spotted on the front of Sam Hill's Monster Energy-Specialized rig is a new RockShox Boxxer with DLC-coated stanchions for smoother operation.

Also spotted on the front of Sam Hill's Monster Energy-Specialized rig is a new RockShox Boxxer with DLC-coated stanchions for smoother operation. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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It's difficult to see precisely but it almost appears that Sam Hill's brand-new Specialized Demo Carbon frame utilizes integrated bottom bracket bearings.

It's difficult to see precisely but it almost appears that Sam Hill's brand-new Specialized Demo Carbon frame utilizes integrated bottom bracket bearings. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The curved down tube lends the necessary room for the front shock.

The curved down tube lends the necessary room for the front shock. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The new carbon fiber front triangle of Sam Hill's Monster Energy-Specialized Demo Carbon is expected to be both lighter and more rigid than the current aluminum version.

The new carbon fiber front triangle of Sam Hill's Monster Energy-Specialized Demo Carbon is expected to be both lighter and more rigid than the current aluminum version. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

The Monster Energy-Specialized team debuted a surprise at the opening round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup: a carbon fiber version of Specialized's Demo downhill racer. Team officials wouldn't allow us to photograph it in the pits nor would they answer any questions but we managed a few snaps anyway. While we don't have official details to share just yet, it looks like it'll be a hot machine indeed.

Specialized builds the all-new front triangles with the company's top-end FACT 11m carbon composite construction if the stealthy labeling is to be taken at face value. Based on our experience with Specialized's similar road frames, we thus expect the new main frames to be substantially lighter and more rigid than the current alloy version.

Admittedly, consumers don't often associate those attributes with gravity racing but even downhill bikes can benefit from reduced mass by virtue of shorter stopping distances and a nimbler feel. On Pietermaritzburg, South Africa's unusually pedaling-intensive course, that lighter weight might also help Sam Hill and his teammates accelerate to clear the track's extraordinarily long jumps, too.

The Monster Energy-Specialized mechanic wouldn’t allow us to shoot pictures of Sam Hill's new Demo Carbon - so we had to hide behind a trailer and make use of our zoom lens

At this point, changes are limited exclusively to the new front triangle with the Horst Link four-bar rear end still constructed of TIG-welded aluminum. Whether Specialized will eventually release a consumer version with full carbon construction remains to be seen.

Also spotted on Hill's bike were a new RockShox Boxxer fork with DLC-coated stanchions for smoother operation and an air-sprung version of the company's Vivid downhill rear shock. We'll bring you more information on those items shortly.

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