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Head Rev85 pro. The good, the bad, the ugly, the long and short of it all.

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Product: Rev 85 pro
Length Tested: 177 and 184
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 132/86/114 r=15.9 @177, 133/86/115 r=17.5 @184
Camber (select one, delete the rest): Early Rise Tip w/ camber
Binding: 177, Tyrolia rail demo binding, 184, Tyrolia free flex 16.
Mount point: 177 @ boot center. 184 @ +1.5 cm


Other Skis in Class:
* Rossi Experience 88
* Stockli Storm Rider 88
* Dynastar Powertrack 89
* Kastle MX 88... there are a ton of really great skis in this category.

Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Stevens Pass WA, Crystal Mtn WA
Number of Runs: 177, a couple hours of laps. 184, 2 days of teaching and free skiing.
Snow Conditions: 177, firm piste, off piste, 6" heavy funk on softening refrozen. 184, Colorado'esque cold dry snow, wind affected off piste crud.
Demo or Own: demoed the 177, own the 184

Tester Info:
Username: marqjp
Age: 52
Height/Weight: 5'11" 205
Ski Days/Season: 60-75, probably 100 this season.
Years Skiing: life long. PSIA L3.
Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest): Aggressive finesse.
Current Quiver: Alpine: 177 Head Titan, 186 Blizzard WRC, 190 Blizzard 27m FIS GS, 184 Rev 85 pro, 185 Blizzard Cochise, 186 Blizzard Bodacious
Boot: Head Raptor RS 130
Other skis I like: Kastle MX 98, FX 94/104, Rossi E-98 and 100, Nordica Nrgy 100, Nordica FA 84 EDT. Nordica Soul Rider.
Home Area: Crystal Mtn. WA.
Preferred Terrain (select one/all, delete the rest): groomers, bumps, off-piste, trees, etc... It's all good! Powder's always the best!

The long and short of it... There are a butt ton of absolutley fabulous skis in the 85-90 catagory that are hard to miss with. The most important thing though is to choose the correct length for your size and ability as the same model of ski in two lengths are very different creatures. On to the show...

The Rev series, both loved and meh'd by many. Speaking honestly, they've always been skis I've been skeptical of, and ultimately suprised by. So why do I now own one? Simple. They were free. I wasn't particularly excited, but I needed a reliable daily driver to teach on, and a ride that's more precise than a 98-100mm ski for training and demo stuff. In exam circles in our region, the Rev85 and Rossi E-88's are almost ubiquitous among successful L3 candidates, DCL's, trainers, etc... Admittedly, the 177, while very 'fun' and 'turny', didn't inspire confidence at speed for a person my size, but having skied the Rev 90 in a 184 that same day and enjoying them* , I was pretty certain that the length was the primary shortcoming (pardon the pun) of the 177. Fast forward to this year. 184's delivered with Head Free Flex pro 16's in the binding box. Happy. I've always liked the Free Flex bindings on skis that need to arc accurately. Some might recall my posts about liking both the Titan and Rev 90 mounted forward, so previous experience said to mount these +1.5 as well as they'd primarily used on piste and in old off piste 'chalky' conditions. The skis were prepped by my buck hill transplant buddy Luke who has some true tuning talent and a thirst for fine IPAs. Trades were made, bases flattened, structure applied, 1/2 edge tune, and a couple rounds of prep wax love. Thanks Luke! You're the man! And yes, having these skis tuned once out of the wrapper is performance money in the bank!

First impression? Fast, stable, damp. Very good edge hold on firm snow. Much more solid and stable than the 177, and better edge hold than the Rev 90. I softened the cuff of my boot as it didn't seem to need as much input as some of my other skis. The skis pivot easily, carve with authority, and can be easily controlled with small foot movements in the boot for lower speed teaching applications. I was honestly surprised by the dampness and edge hold. While the tail isn't as powerful on exit as the Titan or any of my race skis, it's more versatile for off piste and bump applications. If I were pulling a pair out of the closet for a trip to the Midwest expecting both firm conditions and a storm cycle in the mix, they'd be the sticks in the bag even if they aren't as sexy as a FIS SL ski or a more exclusive 88 a la Kastle or Stockli. I've skied them as well, and unless a lot of disposable income is burning a whole in your pocket, I'm not convinced they offer $500 worth of additional performance. Take the 5 Bens, get a pro prep, and buy some coaching. But again, I think the key to my experience was Luke's ace tune. Take any ski in this catagory, prep it well, and you'll, have a great western teaching or eastern daily driver for skiers spending the bulk of their time on piste and skier affected (compacted) off piste applications. My only other recommendation is length. For and advanced intermediate/aspiring expert, ski these at eyebrow or low forehead height. Heavier experts need roughly head height or just slightly less. They really are different creatures in each length iteration.

The wrap? If this is viewed by some as a generic 80 something jack of all trades master of none ski, then all I have to say is we live in a world of very pleasant first world problems. I will not be selling mine. smile.gif My only tweak will be to shim and zero out the toe ramp angle.

On a side note, I just spoke to a friend who's preparing for her L3. She bought a pair of 170's, mounted them +1cm, got the cool hand Luke tune love as well, and "Love them!" was her text reply this morning. She's probably 5'6", 145 ish, also mounted with a free flex binding. If you're thinking about a Rossi Temptation/E-88, don't overlook the Rev 85 pro. They should be on your demo list as well.

Fin.


* rev 90 skied on demo bindings at +1.5
Edited by markojp - 1/4/15 at 10:34pm
post #2 of 22
Thanks, markojp. These are on my short list. Say more about why you like those bindings. Are you shimming because they have a lot of delta? Or is that something you always do?

(I had a pair of Tyrolia free flexes on a now-ten-years-old pair of Fischers. Always thought they were super heavy and kind of loosey goosey, so I was prejudiced against them. In hindsight they were probably just worn.)
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Yes, a fair amount of delta. They feel great ripping piste, but I don't mind being a bit more upright for off piste and demoing drills. Hadn't heard the ff bindings are loose. The power rail, yes over time. Just like the way the heel moves on the ski is all.
Edited by markojp - 12/31/14 at 8:22pm
post #4 of 22

Hi Markojp -

 

Background: I'm almost exactly the same size as you, but I've got a few years on you and I'm nowhere near your ability level. I'd call myself advanced but not expert, I'm 64, a front-side guy, split 15-20 days a year between East and West skiing (Recently retired, I plan more time out west in the coming years). Steeps aren't an issue for me, but creaky knees and an unreliable back make me generally avoid bumps. Rev85 is on the short list of skis I'm considering, others on the list are Rossi E88 and Blizzard Brahma.

 

Question - I demo'd the Rev85 in a 170, do you think this is too short? For my level, I'm pretty certain the 184 would be too much, but your review has me wondering about the 177

post #5 of 22
Good review. I've been on my 177's about 50 hours patrolling in the Midwest, and am very pleased. Had them in deep soft corn, firm groomers, crusty refrozen, glare ice.... they're forgiving, stable, just damp enough, very workable at slow speed and when you drive them hard on edge they can crank out some pretty snappy turns. Not the Corvettes that my SL skis are, but at the end of the day I'm not so beat up and they're a lot more versatile. Absolutely should be on anyone's list to demo.

Me: 53 yrs, 5' 10", 165 lbs. Maybe a PSIA 8.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sr31aj View Post
 

Hi Markojp -

 

Background: I'm almost exactly the same size as you, but I've got a few years on you and I'm nowhere near your ability level. I'd call myself advanced but not expert, I'm 64, a front-side guy, split 15-20 days a year between East and West skiing (Recently retired, I plan more time out west in the coming years). Steeps aren't an issue for me, but creaky knees and an unreliable back make me generally avoid bumps. Rev85 is on the short list of skis I'm considering, others on the list are Rossi E88 and Blizzard Brahm

Question - I demo'd the Rev85 in a 170, do you think this is too short? For my level, I'm pretty certain the 184 would be too much, but your review has me wondering about the 177

 

sr312aj

 

I'm a few years older than you and about you size, and,  definitely relate to the creaky knee syndrome. I owned the Rev 85 Pro in 177 and found it to be very capable at the moderate speeds that I ski at. I am, somewhat, a proponent of shorter length skis for those who ski at recreational speeds and lower performance demand levels. My skiing is somewhere between Markojp  and what you describe as you ability, and, the 177 was perfect for me. You demo'd the 170, so, if you found it to your liking, it may be a very good ski for you. Shorter length means shorter turn radius making it easier to turn quickly. The key is to match your own needs to the length of ski, not all fit the same general expectation that bigger skiers need longer skis. Modern skis have a fairly big performance window. As you ski more and develop better skills, the 177 may fit you better but that's a future unknown situation. I say go with your gut reaction but don't go longer than 177.

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Sorry i missed my own party.. Yes, do the 177.
post #8 of 22

Thanks for the review. How do the Rev85 and Rev90 differ? The only two things about the Rev series that give me a slight pause is the deep side cut and the ugly top sheet graphics...I don't like my all mountain skis to be two turny...I have SL/GS skis for that on groomers... 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post
 

Thanks for the review. How do the Rev85 and Rev90 differ? The only two things about the Rev series that give me a slight pause is the deep side cut and the ugly top sheet graphics...I don't like my all mountain skis to be two turny...I have SL/GS skis for that on groomers... 

These skis are on the turny side, especially the Rev90. IMHO, it sounds like the new upcoming Monsters will be more your cup of strong unfiltered black tar tea. 

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Thanks for the review. How do the Rev85 and Rev90 differ? The only two things about the Rev series that give me a slight pause is the deep side cut and the ugly top sheet graphics...I don't like my all mountain skis to be two turny...I have SL/GS skis for that on groomers... 

For me, there was a HUGE difference between the 177 and 184 in the Rev 85. As I mentioned, the rev 85 has better edge grip than the 90, and feels nominally quicker as it has a shorter turn radius and is a bit quicker edge to edge by virtue of being a bit narrower. Neither Rev is an SL/GS ski, but I'm a bit confused that a GS ski radius might be considered too turny for an all mountain ski. Seems the best all mountain skis are in the cheater GS radius catagory (17-22m). The rev 85 will be better in the bumps than either and SL or GS ski as the tail won't be as powerful, again, as mentioned in the review. I have GS skis, both FiS and cheaters. The REVs aren't race skis, but all around work horses. For a 80-90 something 'get it done' western all mountain or teaching workhorse ski, they work well. They don't have the hard snow edge grip of a race ski, but neither do any other of the 'all mountain' catagory skis. If you want more turny and 'fun', try a Powertrack 89. Want a bit more damp and glued to the snow feel, then the Rev works well. Just be careful that you don't ski it too short for your weight and typical skiing speed. The 177 was squirrelly and super turny for me, not something I typically like. The 184 feels solid and smooth. And as mentioned int he review, my pair have had a great prep tune, are mounted +1.5, and have an excellent binding on them.

Given what you've written in the FX 94 thread, you might be better served in that direction. Fwiw, I really like and could own the FX 94/104 as well.
Edited by markojp - 1/31/15 at 3:05am
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

These skis are on the turny side, especially the Rev90. IMHO, it sounds like the new upcoming Monsters will be more your cup of strong unfiltered black tar tea. 
smile.gif
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

smile.gif

Again, length matters a lot with how the Rev's feel.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

For me, there was a HUGE difference between the 177 and 184 in the Rev 85. As I mentioned, the rev 85 has better edge grip than the 90, and feels nominally quicker as it has a shorter turn radius and is a bit quicker edge to edge by virtue of being a bit narrower. Neither Rev is an SL/GS ski, but I'm a bit confused that a GS ski radius might be considered too turny for an all mountain ski. Seems the best all mountain skis are in the cheater GS radius catagory (17-22m). The rev 85 will be better in the bumps than either and SL or GS ski as the tail won't be as powerful, again, as mentioned in the review. I have GS skis, both FiS and cheaters. The REVs aren't race skis, but all around work horses. For a 80-90 something 'get it done' western all mountain or teaching workhorse ski, they work well. They don't have the hard snow edge grip of a race ski, but neither do any other of the 'all mountain' catagory skis. If you want more turny and 'fun', try a Powertrack 89. Want a bit more damp and glued to the snow feel, then the Rev works well. Just be careful that you don't ski it too short for your weight and typical skiing speed. The 177 was squirrelly and super turny for me, not something I typically like. The 184 feels solid and smooth. And as mentioned int he review, my pair have had a great prep tune, are mounted +1.5, and have an excellent binding on them.

Given what you've written in the FX 94 thread, you might be better served in that direction. Fwiw, I really like and could own the FX 94/104 as well.

Thanks for a thorough response. I would like my next, replacement all mountain skis to be smooth yet capable. I don't want them to be SL-turny or overly stiff for my weight (150-5lbs 5'8"). I really like the SR88 but don't want a 3rd pair of S. The new FX94 sure does look awesome but may be a tad too stiff for my AM preference. I'm trying to break away from my habit of buying expensive skis. Skis get banged up fairly quickly away from groomers anyways.
post #14 of 22

You intrigued me... I owned a 177 cmm and it was just ok... At the same time, I always felt it wasn't enough ski but if I have the chance, I'll try the 184 for the heck of it! I weight a little more than you so I guess I should see a big difference too!

post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post


For me, there was a HUGE difference between the 177 and 184 in the Rev 85. As I mentioned, the rev 85 has better edge grip than the 90, and feels nominally quicker as it has a shorter turn radius and is a bit quicker edge to edge by virtue of being a bit narrower. Neither Rev is an SL/GS ski, but I'm a bit confused that a GS ski radius might be considered too turny for an all mountain ski. Seems the best all mountain skis are in the cheater GS radius catagory (17-22m). The rev 85 will be better in the bumps than either and SL or GS ski as the tail won't be as powerful, again, as mentioned in the review. I have GS skis, both FiS and cheaters. The REVs aren't race skis, but all around work horses. For a 80-90 something 'get it done' western all mountain or teaching workhorse ski, they work well. They don't have the hard snow edge grip of a race ski, but neither do any other of the 'all mountain' catagory skis. If you want more turny and 'fun', try a Powertrack 89. Want a bit more damp and glued to the snow feel, then the Rev works well. Just be careful that you don't ski it too short for your weight and typical skiing speed. The 177 was squirrelly and super turny for me, not something I typically like. The 184 feels solid and smooth. And as mentioned int he review, my pair have had a great prep tune, are mounted +1.5, and have an excellent binding on them.

Given what you've written in the FX 94 thread, you might be better served in that direction. Fwiw, I really like and could own the FX 94/104 as well.

Hey- Thanks for the in-depth review.  This is my first post to the forum.  Some background first, I'm 6'/210lbs, 55 years old and I consider myself an intermediate/advanced intermediate skier.  I ski mostly in the midwest and head out to Colorado every few years or so.  Probably just groomed frontside sking in my future and sticking to blues.  For the past 15 years I've used Kastle RX12's @ 193cm's which really come to life and higher speeds.  I've had a hip replacement and looks like I'll need the other one replaced next summer so I want to slow-down a bit.  I've spent the last few weeks researching all I can I've narrowed down to the Rev 85 @ 184cm.  markojp- I'm I right with this choice or should i consider something else?

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

I think you're right on track. The 177 is going to ski short if you like to ski fast at all... The 184 will be much more stable at speed. Given the conditions you guys had this season with all the cold, firm (but not icy) snow, the Rev85 would have rocked!  And do go to the trouble to have a nice 1/2 tune and base structure done. 

post #17 of 22
You got 15 lbs on me and about the same height. I can overpower my 177 rev 80 at higher speed, so you should definitely go for longer length.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

I think you're right on track. The 177 is going to ski short if you like to ski fast at all... The 184 will be much more stable at speed. Given the conditions you guys had this season with all the cold, firm (but not icy) snow, the Rev85 would have rocked!  And do go to the trouble to have a nice 1/2 tune and base structure done. 

Thanks!  I'm just beginning to re-educate my self as a lot  has changed over the past 15 years.  Can you go into detail on what this means?  

 

"nice 1/2 tune and base structure done"?

post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 
One degree base bevel, two degrees for the edges. Base structure... A texture added to help skis glide. A lot of skis from the factory can benefit from checking and leveling the bases. My own Rev were not flat in the shovel and forebody of one ski.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

One degree base bevel, two degrees for the edges. Base structure... A texture added to help skis glide. A lot of skis from the factory can benefit from checking and leveling the bases. My own Rev were not flat in the shovel and forebody of one ski.

Thanks again!

post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Just be careful that you don't ski it too short for your weight and typical skiing speed. The 177 was squirrelly and super turny for me, not something I typically like. The 184 feels solid and smooth.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

She bought a pair of 170's, mounted them +1cm, got the cool hand Luke tune love as well, and "Love them!" was her text reply this morning. She's probably 5'6", 145 ish, also mounted with a free flex binding.

 

Well, damn.

 

Good length:

180.3cm height; 184cm length skis = +3.7cm ("solid and smooth" -markojp)

167.6cm height; 170cm length skis = +2.4cm ("love them" -markojp's friend)

177.8cm height; 177cm length skis = -0.8cm ("solid review" -chilehed)

 

Too short:

180.3cm height; 177cm length skis = -3.3cm ("squirrelly and super turny" -markojp)

170.2cm height; 163cm length skis = -7.2cm ("maybe some buyer's remorse" -esef)

 

I like to ski aggressively on typical east coast conditions. I'm 5'7" (170.2cm), 145lbs. I bought the Rev 85 Pro skis at 163cm, apparently way shorter than I should have. The 170's would have put me at a difference of -0.2cm, instead of a whopping -7.2cm. Experiencing some buyer's remorse. I never tried the 170's; the 163's weren't the most stable at higher speeds. Like bombing down Perry Merrill in choppy, soft snow at Stowe.

 

2015 Head Rev 85 Pro skis (163). Head PRD 12 system bindings. Head Vector 100 boots (25.5). I don't really mind the 100 flex boots because I'm only 150lbs—though I'd prefer something stiffer.

 

The graphics grew on me.

post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 

There's a trend there somewhere. :)

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Head Rev85 pro. The good, the bad, the ugly, the long and short of it all.