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  • boot modification suggestion thread...

    As I said in the "Kim Miller podcast" thread, I'm going to chance ruining a perfectly good pair of scarpa Tx boots to optimize the tour mode on them. I have some aspects half way figured out, but there are always a few ways to skin a cat, so I'm looking for suggestions from the usual braintrust who post here. Here are the issues so far that need to be addressed:

    1) I'm going to move the instep buckle to be mounted on the cuff rivet, not on the cuff itself, so the cuff will move more freely in walk mode even with some instep buckle tension which holds my foot solidly in the boot when I'm skinning. I'm planning on spacing out the cuff from the lower boot slightly and padding that spacing with thin nylon spacer, so the cuff slides with low friction over the top of the cables without contacting them. I think I have that part figured out on the non-buckle side. On the buckle side there are issues if the buckle is located on the rivet over the top of the cuff because then it will be applying pressure to the cuff. If it mounts like the non-buckle side, between the cuff and the lower boot then there are problems of the buckle hardware not fitting that small space between the cuff and the tounge. (the tongue has that ripple in it too which precludes the buckle moving centrally. Any Ideas for that anyone? How do they do that in AT boots? or don't they do that?

    2) Fasteners- I'm really good with hardware modification and even some fabricating if it comes down to that, so I think I can make or modify any rivets or low profile fasteners I need to remount the cuff properly after the instep buckle is relocated and presents me with the reassembly problem.

    3) After some analysis last night, I see the boot tongue is super stiff, so it has to change too. There's no use making the cuff pivot freely if a stiff tongue is blocking it. Now that I've looked at it, I am a little surprised that I never noticed how much the tongue adds resistance to the cuff. Again, what do the AT boots do for this? Could I just cut the tongue in half and then velcro it in place so it's still there, but pivots easily? I'm looking for ideas there too...

    4)I'm keeping the lock bar, but I am going to trim a bit of plastic around it to allow better backward cuff motion. Also on the inside of the boot there's the little piece of plasic on the lower boot that blocks the walk mechanism inside the boot. That seems to limit the cuff motion too...

    So, here I am following Ceasar, Bobby, and everyone else here who modified their boots for better touring. I'm not waiting 2 years in hopes of getting a better touring boot. I'm past the point where I trust a company, who thinks the TXpro is a touring boot, and eliminated the best telemark touring boot ever made, (the TX) to get their next production run of product right. Something tells me it's a 10 year cycle. People in the know start making the observations about what needs to change, and 10 years later that change begins to happen. I don't think I'm going to wait... just like the pickle barrel rivetters of old...

    [rant] Scarpa should just get the lawyers, the bean counters to design the next boot. More money for pasta and wine! [/rant]
    Last edited by tele.skier; 26 June 2020, 12:50 PM.
    the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

  • #2
    Ok, personally I don't modify my Teleboots because I have always liked them the way they are but I think I know AT boots and what we do to get the most out of mid level AT boots driving skis in the 95-112 size range. I have tried AT race level ski setups and AT light boots and just didn't like the way they ski. I think my boots would be similar in concept to your Tx boots but of course lighter and stiffer. More cuff range too. However, once the boots are in downhill mode they are stiff as one needs to manually lock them up. And, once one is ready to climb up, the boots need to be manually unlocked. The newest level AT boots are clever on the locking process with some only needing to throw one lever to lock and unlock.

    Now, IMO, you are a guy who likes to drive your boots hard, cuff pressure, drive tips et et. You are not going to like skiing a decent sized ski with boots that you have chopped down the plastic tongue and overall soften up the boots to make them climb worthy. What I think would be a better idea is to leave the tongue stiff, maybe try to improve the cuff ROM when the boots are unlocked and thats about it. So, to increase performance, it might be more worthwhile to modify the overall up and down transitions by getting rid of the velcro power strap and make a stronger and quicker strap with a Voile HD strap or design a ratchet system like a Booster. This should give you some added power without weight gain and a easier transition than fighting velcro. My point is that you need to lock up and unlock your boots every time you go up and down, that's what the AT guys do. The easier and quicker you do this the easier you can ski BC. Unlocking means to manually open up 1-2 buckles, undo the powerstrap and unlock the cuff. Locking up means manually do the opposite. Again, I don't think you are the kind of skier who likes to ski down with mushy boots, I know I don't.
    "Just say no to groomed snow"

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm with Quadzilla, the fewer steps it takes to switch modes, the better (provided the boots are still up to snuff in terms of downhill performance). Fiddling with velcro during a transition is the worst.

      jasonq's TXP mods seem like they would accomplish a lot of what you're look for. The lacing goes pretty high, more or less eliminating the need for a powerstrap. Several folks here have commented how the downhill performance doesn't suffer much when you stick one buckle/strap in between the former locations of the toe buckle and the instep buckle. I agree with that assessment.

      https://www.backcountrytalk.com/foru...ien-tx-project
      https://www.backcountrytalk.com/foru...ien-tx-part-ii


      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Quadzilla View Post
        Now, IMO, you are a guy who likes to drive your boots hard, cuff pressure, drive tips et et. SNIP,... Again, I don't think you are the kind of skier who likes to ski down with mushy boots, I know I don't.
        No, I am exactly the opposite Quad, I ski very neutral bindings and I "ride" the ski.... I've been ranting about skiers being addicted to binding leverage and driving the tips with binding activity for more than a decade. I have no problem with soft boots for touring. Given that 80% of the day is climbing to get those turns, I'm looking for greater uphill performance in my walk mode. I have no trouble with the softness of touring boots on a downhill mode. WTBS, Of course I ski more powerful boots at the resort on big pow days because I ski 193cm, 128mm underfoot giant powder skis, but I don't ski them with more active bindings... I'm well centered, stand tall, and flex the ski by weighting to turn them....

        ************************************************** ***********************************

        Thanks for the pictures Bobby.

        Jason went further than I would by incorporating all the closures with a single boa style mechanism. I'm not looking for a single lever to switch into tour mode. I just want the range of motion improvment... He did remove the instep buckle from the lower part of the cuff like I have proposed probably because he also sees that as restricting the cuff motion in walk mode. His answer to the instep buckle on the cuff was just to relocate it in front of the cuff. Honestly, that's such a simple solution to have some instep pressure in walk mode. It may well be the way I modify my boot too, but I'm still cooking up the "cuff rivet" attachment design possibilities too.

        The tongue is actually quite stiff on it's own. If I free up the cuff with some modification, I'm still pushing against that stiff tongue, so I am dreaming up a modification to it. Luckily, I have an extra cuff and tongue from a boot a buddy of mine broke some years ago...

        Thanks for the input bobby...
        Last edited by tele.skier; 22 June 2020, 06:45 PM.
        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

        Comment


        • #5
          When you talk about cutting the tongue, are you talking about the boot or the liner? I think you can just cut the boot tongue and remove it above the instep. Its only purpose is to transfer power from the cuff to the lower, which is exactly what you don't want. The overlapping cuff and buckle will hold your leg just fine without it (like the Alien or F1 Race). I've cut down my boot tongue partway, and will eventually cut it down further. I like some power transfer so I'm taking small steps.

          Regarding the liner, I think the TXP liner is way too stiff (I don't have a TX, maybe it's different). I replaced mine with a more flexible wrap liner because it was cheap, but I think something like the Intuition Tour Mod would be best.

          After a softer liner and cut down tongue, I think the instep buckle is the next mod to make. I'd like to see how you do it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by tele.skier View Post

            No, I am exactly the opposite Quad, I ski very neutral bindings and I "ride" the ski.... I've been ranting about skiers being addicted to binding leverage and driving the tips with binding activity for more than a decade. I have no problem with soft boots for touring. Given that 80% of the day is climbing to get those turns, I'm looking for greater uphill performance in my walk mode. I have no trouble with the softness of touring boots on a downhill mode. WTBS, Of course I ski more powerful boots at the resort on big pow days because I ski 193cm, 128mm underfoot giant powder skis, but I don't ski them with more active bindings... I'm well centered, stand tall, and flex the ski by weighting to turn them....

            ************************************************** ***********************************

            Thanks for the pictures Bobby.

            Jason went further than I would by incorporating all the closures with a single boa style mechanism. I'm not looking for a single lever to switch into tour mode. I just want the range of motion improvment... He did remove the instep buckle from the lower part of the cuff like I have proposed probably because he also sees that as restricting the cuff motion in walk mode. His answer to the instep buckle on the cuff was just to relocate it in front of the cuff. Honestly, that's such a simple solution to have some instep pressure in walk mode. It may well be the way I modify my boot too, but I'm still cooking up the "cuff rivet" attachment design possibilities too.

            The tongue is actually quite stiff on it's own. If I free up the cuff with some modification, I'm still pushing against that stiff tongue, so I am dreaming up a modification to it. Luckily, I have an extra cuff and tongue from a boot a buddy of mine broke some years ago...

            Thanks for the input bobby...
            Well, I stand corrected. I thought you were a drive the cuff, cuff locked skier. Still, Scarpa tele boots are soft to begin with and not sure that making them softer will give that much. I think that it is way more important to be able to quicky and easily totally unlock boots for uphill. That includes undoing power strap, unbuckling and unlocking cuff. Relocking for downhill too. Hiking uphill with modified soft boots locked up won't compare. IMO
            "Just say no to groomed snow"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jtb View Post
              When you talk about cutting the tongue, are you talking about the boot or the liner? I think you can just cut the boot tongue and remove it above the instep. Its only purpose is to transfer power from the cuff to the lower, which is exactly what you don't want. The overlapping cuff and buckle will hold your leg just fine without it (like the Alien or F1 Race).
              I want to cut the tongue right above the instep, so when the cuff is in walk mode, the tongue won't add resistance to the cuff movement.... IF you look at the boot tongue, it's a stiff molded "L" shape which has curvature to it as well in that "L" shape. When you use the instep buckle on the lower half of the "L", the upper half in front of the skiers shin, is quite stiff and adds significant resistance to the cuff movement. If I cut it just above the instep buckle, then velcro it in place, then it will move with the cuff in walk mode, but still stiffen up the cuff some when the cuff is in ski mode with the buckles tightened. (rather than just remove it completely)


              Originally posted by Quadzilla View Post

              Well, I stand corrected. I thought you were a drive the cuff, cuff locked skier. Still, Scarpa tele boots are soft to begin with and not sure that making them softer will give that much. I think that it is way more important to be able to quicky and easily totally unlock boots for uphill. That includes undoing power strap, unbuckling and unlocking cuff. Relocking for downhill too. Hiking uphill with modified soft boots locked up won't compare. IMO
              Quad, You think I'm talking about modifying boots to skin uphill with the boot's cuffs locked?...

              And I do drive the cuff. I drive it DOWNWARD to flex the ski. It doesn't require hardly any binding activity to do that. I guess you didn't read my many disertations written here on the evils of binding activity over the past decade.... I suppose it's boring to some people....
              the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

              Comment


              • #8
                Dostie runs his instep buckle under or behind the tongue, so it does not engage the tongue as part of the resistance when touring.

                On #4, my experience has been that removing the tabs in the back of the shell that prevent the cuff from riding up over the top of the shell definitely improves the ROM. The difference isn't a lot, but with my Rush cuff (trying to remember now) I think I improved ROM by 16 degrees. It doesn't make it like a Maestrale but it is a lot more comfortable for touring than it was. And I think the thing those tabs are there to prevent is something that almost never would happen, or maybe only happens on certain sizes in combination with the cuff that overlaps more than one shell size. And since I have not removed the cuff from a pair of TXs, I don't know for certain that those tabs are even there--I'm just assuming since my understanding is that the mold is the same.

                Improving ROM is a worthy objective and a good reason to modify the boot. ROM on Scarpa NTN boots is a joke.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                  Quad, You think I'm talking about modifying boots to skin uphill with the boot's cuffs locked?...

                  And I do drive the cuff. I drive it DOWNWARD to flex the ski. It doesn't require hardly any binding activity to do that. I guess you didn't read my many disertations written here on the evils of binding activity over the past decade.... I suppose it's boring to some people....
                  Well you never really stated much about transitions and the goal for simplicity or not. I was just relating on what modern AT boots do to get ROM for the up and power for the down. Never thought about the bindings either. I know when I tour with guys on NTN boots, a couple with Freedom and one on Outlaws, I wasn't impressed with the friction in tour mode. Anyway, if you look at the pic above and the pulley system, it looks to me that is a experiment or method to speed up the transitions with a one cleat controlling three things. I wouldn't think it improves the function as opposed to the stock system, just the speed.

                  So, chop way but once chopped you can't put it back on unless you have parts from a old boot laying around.
                  Last edited by Quadzilla; 23 June 2020, 10:50 AM.
                  "Just say no to groomed snow"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Quadzilla View Post

                    Well you never really stated much about transitions and the goal for simplicity or not. I was just relating on what modern AT boots do to get ROM for the up and power for the down. Never thought about the bindings either. I know when I tour with guys on NTN boots, a couple with Freedom and one on Outlaws, I wasn't impressed with the friction in tour mode. Anyway, if you look at the pic above and the pulley system, it looks to me that is is a experiment or method to speed up the transitions with a one cleat controlling three things. I wouldn't think it improves the function as opposed to the stock system, just the speed.
                    The more someone is in a hurry, the less I want to tour with them. The single lever boa tour mode design is NOT my goal. My goal is to increase the efficiency of tour mode by making the cuff range of motion greater and the cuff resistance lower in walk mode. As Chez said above... The "ROM on Scarpa NTN boots is a joke." and so is the amount of cuff resistance due to the stiffness of the tongue.... So, that's gotta change too.


                    Originally posted by Quadzilla View Post
                    So, chop way but once chopped you can't put it back on unless you have parts from a old boot laying around.
                    I just chopped one boot cuff apart. The threaded fastener for the cuff on one side had an expandable flange on the end of the bolt which is expanded after the cuff is assembled. It prevents those parts from coming apart. I drilled the heads off BOTH cuff bolts and managed to salvage the threaded "T-nut" on each side, so I will be replacing some hardware, but that will be easily sorted out.

                    As you say, I started to chop into it, so I'm committed now. The more I see as I take it apart, the easier it looks to drastically improve...

                    I'm not taking pictures as I go, because I'll just post a picture or two when I'm done and it will be self explanatory.
                    Last edited by tele.skier; 23 June 2020, 10:54 AM.
                    the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You are certainly the guy who will do a good job at whatever mods you are doing. I just pulled out my 19/20 Maestrales and looked at function and with all the ROM it has it doesn't work well unless the buckles and PS are thrown open. You might find the same and in that case the stiffness of the tongue won't make any difference. IMO I want a strong boot for the down when the snow is tough to ski
                      "Just say no to groomed snow"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've redesigned the cuff pivot hardware to be able to fit the instep cables on the hardware between the cuff and the lower boot. I'm happy with that modification. I've already ordered the hardware parts to reassemble it in the new configuration. The instep buckle is designed into the pivot hardware with the final details yet to be determined there. The only problem I foresee is to work out the location of the buckle so it doesn't interfere with the cuff in walk mode.

                        The tongue is still a problem because it's a molded curve of stiff plastic so it's never going to bend easily in walk mode, then also add to the stiffness of the cuff when buckled up in ski mode....

                        I see some AT boots remove their tongues in walk mode. All the reading I've done about that feature seems to indicate skier hate the removable tongue. So I ask you AT bretheren,... What do AT boots do to remove the resistance of the boot tongue in walk mode??
                        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                          [rant] Scarpa should just get the lawyers, the bean counters to design the next boot. More money for pasta and wine! [/rant]
                          Or swap for Crispi's legal team since they don't seem to give a flying sh't about it.

                          Post pics as you move forward. I could use some inspiration here too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            in the cabrio style boots, that tongue is a major part of the forward flex. and can allow light weight, nice flexing boots. but on the flip side it is a major part forward flex and gets in the way for forward range of motion.

                            for AT i think the main tactic for huge range of motion boots is not to have a tongue or have a tongue that is made to hinge or pivot when buckles are undone.

                            my wife's scarpa diva's use a hinged tongue like the T3/T4 that is articulated when the instep and cuff buckle are loosen.
                            https://www.tradera.com/item/250902/...-stamplad-255-
                            it also came with a non-articulated tongue that was very stiff.

                            dalbello virus is an extreme example of a hinged tongue.

                            BTW, you might think about finding a used TXP, and removing the tongue, and chopping down the cuff. removing the tongue softens the boot and makes the balance between bellows and forward flex pretty even.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              What if you split the tongue? Drill a hole where you want the split to end and then cut to the hole.

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