2011 Specialized SX - Part 1: JUMPS, Blister Gear Review

2011 Specialized SX – Part 1: JUMPS

Frame: 2011 Specialized SX, with OEM Fox RP23, and Pushed Fox RP23 with special tune. “Short” size of two options.

Intended Use: Four cross, Slalom, Slopestyle, Dirtjumping, General jumpy mayhem

Geometry Chart: Specialized SX Frame

Rider: 5’8”, 160 lbs. of stocky, pissed-off chihuahua, with about a decade of DH, 15 years of  XC, 7 years of dirtjumping, way too much digging, and a love for speed over any and all terrain.

Test Location: Woodward West Mega Trails, Northstar dirtjump park

Duration of test: Several months of intermittent riding since Autumn, 2010.

The Specialized SX is the little brother of the very popular Specialized SX Trail, and has been around for years in several different incarnations. It is and always has been a 4 inch(-ish) travel frame that sported a design similar to the corresponding version of the SX trail, but with more of a focus on transitions, jumping and pumping.

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Commencal Supreme DHv2 - Atherton Edition, Blister Gear Review

Commencal Supreme DHv2 – Atherton Edition

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.

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