Commencal Supreme DHv2 – Atherton Edition

Commencal Supreme DHv2 - Atherton Edition, Blister Gear Review

Commencal Supreme DHv2 - Atherton Edition, Blister Gear ReviewFrame: 2011 Commencal Supreme DHv2 – Atherton Edition, with Fox RC4 rear shock, size L/XL.

Intended Use: DH Race

Geometry Chart: Commencal Supreme DHv2

Rider: 6’2”, 205 lbs., athletic, technically proficient, fast and fluid.

My regular DH bike: Morewood Makulu, size Large, with an Avalanche Woodie rear shock.

Test Location: Colorado Front Range.  Steep, fast, rough, rocky trails, with plenty of small/mid sized jumps.  Generally in dry, dusty, loose over hardpack, pebbly terrain, but 2 days with freshly melting snow and riding in tacky awesomeness mized with muck and puddles.

Duration of test: 4 days, total of about 30 runs.

The Commencal Supreme DHv2 is one of the most decorated downhill bikes on the World Cup, so going in to this review, the question wasn’t whether this thing was any good. Rather, I was looking to identify any specific strengths or perceivable weaknesses, and see whether the bike demanded an expert-level rider, or whether it could accommodate advanced or intermediate riders, too.

Read more

2010-2011 Scarpa Mobe alpine touring boot

2010-2011 Scarpa Mobe alpine touring boot, Blister Gear Review

Boots: Scarpa Mobe, size 27.5, 104mm last

Skier: 6’2”, 210lbs, athletic, technically proficient, fast and fluid skier.

Foot: size 10.5 / 11 street shoe, c+ width (105mm width, static/weighted), high instep, low volume ankle and lower calf.

My regular ski boots: Nordica Jah Love, 98mm last, 130 flex with no grinding or punches.

Conditions tested: Backcountry powder, sun effect, wind effect, inbounds soft, chalk, firm. Basically everything.

Duration of test: 30 days.

The Scarpa Mobe boot was lust-worthy when it arrived. It is quite well made, and a lot of attention has gone into designing a boot with a fair amount of lateral stiffness and a nice, progressive forward flex. It also felt light in my hand out of the box. I was excited to test this boot and I quickly developed high hopes for it – to the point that I was dreaming of getting rid of my alpine boots and just skiing the Mobe every day. For me, that is saying something, since I’ve never been impressed enough by any touring boot to consider skiing in one all the time.

Touring around my living room in the Mobe, the walk mode certainly seemed adequate. The boot has significantly more articulation than the Black Diamond Factor or the Salomon Quest, but it offers slightly less range of motion than the Dyanfit Titan. I found myself walking at only a slightly diminished stride in this boot compared to a true backcountry boot.

Read more