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Spring-loaded walk mode levers

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  • Spring-loaded walk mode levers

    Check this out. Splitboard company Phantom is selling spring-loaded gizmos to replace the stock walk-mode lever on Atomic Backland boots (which are popular with the speedy-uphilling tech-toe splitboard crowd). The idea is that they help give riders a flex sensation -- for toe-side turns and heel-side turns -- similar to a regular snowboard boot & binding. The stock boot apparently does not give a great sensation, in ski mode nor in walk mode. These add 25g over the stock levers, and there are springs of varying stiffness available.

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    This is obviously of interest to telemark tech skiers. I've been monkeying around with several different ways to control my Scarpa F1 cuffs' flex via spring (rather than elastically-deformed plastic/carbon). It's cool to see others have gone down a similar road. If lightweight tele boots are still years away, might as well tweak what we've got for maximum performance. Something like this could go a long way toward fixing the F1's biggest issue as a tele boot, mismatched flex between bellows and cuff. And a spring-loaded carbon cuff could be the easiest/lightest way to get a boot that has great torsional rigidity and also that sweet forward flex we all crave.

  • #2
    Another slick thing about these levers is the threaded piece at the lower end. It allows you to precisely dial in your ski-mode forward lean to anywhere between 6 and 26 degrees. This again would be very useful to the ultralight tech toe tele skier. As dschane and others can attest, going to an F1-Race or F1-Carbon setup from a burlier one means having a much smaller "sweet spot" to hit balance-wise on every turn. It would be a LOT easier to hit it if the cuff were pitched forward the exact amount an individual skier likes, especially when different ramp angles and activity settings are part of the equation.


    • #3
      Been lurking here for a while, I feel it’s time to step out of the shadow.

      Has anyone actually tried a spring loaded walk lever on F1/F3 or similar?

      I just got my first pair of F1s, and I am intrigued on this solution for possibly enabling a “walk-mode feel” that I know from my TX-Ps.

      The customer support representative at Phantom didn’t know if anyone that has used the link-levers for tele. But he could attest to several that have mounted them to F1s (though unsure if any of them had bellows).


      • #4
        anyone see the new lange alpine boot with a different take on the sprung cuff? article over at blister reviews. looks interesting. not sure if that is interesting good or bad.


        • #5
          I guess if you’re trying to soften the cuff flex on the F1 race and carbon then this could work even though it’s probably kind of vague in engagement. I’ve been skiing the standard OG F1 Since 2010 and the locked cuff is not at all mismatched to the bellows flex unless of course you’re stuck in the low and slow tele mode. This is coming from someone who worked for Merrell and skied a variety of different leather tele boots and personally owned 3 different super comps. Personally I think this (spring loaded) stuff for a tele boot is an over complicated crutch for poor technique. Work at dialing in your cuff and bellows flex with the top buckle tension, so you’re
          able to ski the F1 with the cuff in the locked mode. If you don’t lock the cuff then you might as well be skiing an Excursion level boot as the cuff does nothing but add weight.
          Last edited by Allan Fici; 24 January 2023, 05:37 PM.
          Function in disaster, finish in style.


          • #6
            I agree with Allan about the F1; the cuff lock makes for a uniform and progressive flex. However, you could try something like this, if you don't mind skiing with loads of rearward rom, should bolt right up, but no idea how it would hold up (remember the pin only comes out in one direction):
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            • #7
              Having a controlled flex in the cuff allows for more dorsiflexion, thus getting the ball of the foot flatter to the ski and more in control…in theory?
              i tried my F1 Race with the cuff lock removed and replaced by elastic cord. It was fun, felt like a leather boot, but much better. It really needed a much stronger elastic, which I have not got around to.
              (Have to admit, at present the cuff lock is back, and the Skimo skis are fully AT).
              if I ever get the chance I would like to try a light AT boot with a flexing cuff (and no bellows). See how it skis Tele.


              • #8
                You’re probably right about the flex being balanced in the bellows and cuff on the standard F1. I need to break them in and adjust the cuff tension I guess.

                Last season I borrowed a pair of well worn F1 races (that were too big for me) where the power strap and even the gaiters were removed. They felt like a hinge at the bellows and the cuff didn’t really flex. I guess the cuff on the races are quite a lot stiffer and that the tongue on the standard are important for the flex?