The Specialized Status was introduced last year (2011) and has gained quite the following among a variety of riders. Freeriders, Park riders, and Downhill racers have clearly found the Status to be a versatile bike that can work in a variety of riding arenas. You can read the details on the 2012 Status lineup in an earlier post we did on the 2013 Status bikes to learn more about the 2013 Status models. Vitals include:
The Status is available in three sizes: S / M / L (pictured here)
Video: Rundown on the Status with Joe Buckley
The Status II offers a good bang for the buck. At $3300.00 it provides a very nice entry for riders as a park / downhill bike. The parts supplied on the Status II are great for the vast majority of riders looking to get into gravity riding, be it freeriding / park riding / downhill racing. Specialized equipped the Status II with a good parts spec that include mostly SRAM components. Key highlights would be the Descendant Cranks, Rock Shox Boxxer Race, Direct Mount Stem (with 10mm riser), wide bars (750mm Specialized), Sram X.7. rear derailleur, and a FOX Vanilla shock. While this part spec isn’t the cream of the crop compared to say a Demo 8 II, it isn’t intended to be a high spec out of the box. To get this bike in the price Specialized was looking at, premium parts couldn’t be justified.
Video: Riding the Status in Whistler
Taking a further look at the parts, they’re all quite solid and capable. I rode the Status II in Whistler behind Matt Hunter on his Demo and it was more than capable out of the box for Whistler riding… and that isn’t easy out of the box for most budget priced bikes. If you’re accustomed to riding a higher-trim level bike you can find flaws with the Status II spec, but over all its a capable spec that can get many riders in the door to gravity racing. The biggest contender against the Status II would probably be a used downhill bike but with the Status you’re getting a new bike.
Status II cockpit
With that said, the Status certainly has a few areas that most downhillers might not totally dig including the stock Specialized chain guide that doesn’t have a bash guard, and their use of a 135mm rear end and 68/73mm crankarms.
Status cranks and chainguide
I would’ve preferred a 150mm, 142×12 thru-axle or 135x12mm thru-axle personally but Specialized chose to equip the Status II with a 135mm QR style dropout. They did however include a 10mm thru-axle in the Status wheel that should keep things working just fine for most people.
Sram X.7 - internal routing - 10mm thru-axle
With entry level bikes like this, the lack of 150mm / 83mm bottom bracket that seems to be the “downhill standard” of sorts means that if you decide to try and upgrade to say a Demo frame in the future, you’ll have a lot of parts that won’t transfer over. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it’s something to consider. The 1.5″ headtube on the Status is also great to see but the FSA headset that is included has a loose ball bearing ring in the cups (they aren’t cartridge style) so be sure to keep that lubed if you want it to last. Other small nuances with the Status II would be the tight clearance to the bottom bracket cups and the lower pivot on the non drive side. You can fit a tool on there but it can be a little tight.
Bottom bracket and lower pivot
The front most cable guide on the front triangle also is a bit snug to get an allen wrench in there on our Large Status so I suspect smaller Status’ wouldn’t be easier without a shortened allen wrench.
Status 2 - front cable attachment
The brake and shifter cable route underneath the linkage in the main front triangle so when it comes time to change or swap these you’ll most likely have to remove the pivot temporarily if you want the cables routed as intended. The rear shock bolt will require a socket to reach as its nested inside the linkage arm. All that aside, the Status II is a great bike for the money. You get good components that will enable you to shred the hill right out of the box. The Butcher tires are great on this stock bike and this is one area where most cheap bikes tend to skimp on that can make riding downhill quite a daunting task for a newbie. The rear shock is a FOX Vanilla that offers rebound and Low Speed Compression adjustment. Out of the box, this bike is easy to setup and intuitive enough for riders just getting into the sport. The FOX Vanilla rotates on bearings as well that are nested in the frame that really give this bike a very supple feeling and improves suspension actuation. The overall weight of the bike was also quite good out of the box.
Bearings at the shock pivot to provide smooth suspension actuation
Specialized really put some effort into refining the Status into the bike you see here. The Status frameset alone in comparison weighs slightly less that a aluminum Demo 8 II which is quite impressive. The cable guides and routing all look professional. The rear derailleur cable routes inside the rear seatstay as well. The chainstay protector is quality and really helps quiet the ride well.
Status rear derailleur cable routing (internal seatstay)
They even include a downtube protector (looks like some variant of helicopter tape) to help resist rocks from damaging your bike. The downtube protector extends all the way down to the bottom bracket area but on our Large it doesn’t quite go all the way to the headtube. I suspect this is because they use the same size protector on all Status’ so the Large doesn’t extend up quite as high.
The Status II is a capable bike right out of the box and the Status model itself has been ridden by Darren Berrecloth and Martin Soderstrom at the Red Bull Rampage which isn’t something to take lightly. The narrower wheel/crank area on the Status lend itself nicely to giving the rider more mobility in tight spaces, heel clearance, and a generally narrow profile to help when doing tricks. In addition to that, riders like Brad Benedict and other North American racers have raced this bike to various downhill podiums as well. Stay tuned to read more as we develop this review further in future updates.
Specialized Status II
See additional photos of the Status II in our review gallery.