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Looking to find rubber/fabric and affixion method for bellow replacement

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  • Looking to find rubber/fabric and affixion method for bellow replacement

    Stay with me here

    I'm trying to find a rubber/fabric which can be used as a permanent/lightweight bellows. There's a photo here of someone using something similar on a dynafit retrofit.

    I've attached photos of the rubber from the Arc Teryx boot, then the fabric from the F1.

    What would get me closest to this, and what glue/method of affixion do I use to glue this to the boot?

    The visual you should have is dremeling out the bellows on, say, an F1, and then cutting and glueing on this fabric instead.

    This thread deals with *repair* - I'm looking to do a total replacement.

    There's some really bright folks here, I'm hoping some of the usual suspects here chime in. Thanks!
    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

  • #2
    please don't kill a functional pair of F1 bellows boots! they are an endangered boot species.

    if the goal is to create a fabric bellows only to seal out water, then neoprene. barge or other similar contact cement. But you might also have to secure it with some rivets or binding screws. and may want some sort of perimeter frame to sandwich the neoprene.

    but i don't think what I say above will really work. the issue is when you lean back and pressure the rear of the cuff, the sole will just bend up and bad things will happen. the bellow is also a structural member to keep the the sole from just bending over backwards. So you either need a fabric that is strong, and a strong attachment, or you need another element in the mix.

    and the bellows also contributes a lot to the torsional stiffness of the front of the boot.

    30+ years ago pre terminator days, i made a Asolamon SX91 tele. I cut the toe off, and bolted on a UHMW "midsole" and glued a vibram sole to that, all 75mm std. i used a neoprene flex zone. And to deal with backwards bending issue, i had 2 pieces .75" tubular nylon webbing running from the one side of the bellows to the other, and bolted on both sides, length such that it pulled tight when my heel was down. worked well. I later modified it a little so that the webbing started at little off center of the boot shell, and then the webbing crossed in an X. that gave some extra torsional stiffness since just the mid sole isn't very torsionally stiff without an actual bellows. I skied that boot maybe 50 days over 2 years before the terminator came out.

    again, if you can find a strong fabric, and glue/bolt it down sandwiched between the shell and a frame just right, it could work.

    for fabric, i have no idea, but my first inclination might be to find some spectra fabric and and thin sheets of rubber, and laminate they yourself. spectra for the strengh, rubber for the water proofing.


    • #3
      What Jason said!

      I picked up an older pair of F1s and they don’t appear to have a lot of days and the bellows are crazy soft.

      But if you are set on doing this, I’m pretty certain glue won’t hold up and you will need to stitch the material in place by drilling tiny holes and then using a speedy stitcher.

      There’s a Pierre Gignoux factory tour video and they use Cyanoacrylate glue(crazy, super, etc.) to attach their cover pieces like the ones you have pictured. I’d recommend one of the rubber filled versions as they maintain some flexibility when cured, unlike the plain versions which cure very brittle.

      As for material, good luck. I have a similar project with a pair of chopped up TLT5s and finding the right material is proving to be difficult. I think the material that used to be used as crampon patches on packs would be perfect but I have not found a source for it. It was basically a fabric covered with a rubber like substance. I thought it was called hypalon, but all of the hypalon I’ve found didn’t have a fabric interior.

      On the other hand, there is a poster on here who chopped up a Garmont AT boot and all he did was put Gorilla tape on, said it held up for a whole season.


      • #4
        I have two years on those Garmont AT boots with a wedge cut out, Gorilla Tape over the gash, skiing on TTS and Lynx. I have skied these boots almost exclusively over the past two years. Took them to Canada for a hut trip last month. Did not take back-up boots. I put new tape on for that trip. But generally the tape has held up for at least 50 days of Utah BC turns before needing a refresh. Simple, cheap, effective. I have lost count at this point, but more than 100 BC days on these $10 boots. I have used one of my sets of F1s once or twice in the past two years, but have always returned the next day to the Garmonts. Garmonts (1,170g shell) not quite as light as the F1s (984g to 1,130g for my F1 shell, based on generation and presence of duck butt and power strap, 1,165g for my orange F3), but the Garmonts have outstanding range of motion, go up hill as well as the F1s, and the turns, both tele and parallel, are better on the Garmonts. My Frankenboot is clearly lighter than any production boot, and the Garmonts have way, way better ROM.

        A tele turn requires boot flex and a heel that can lift. It does not require a bellows. Decades of leather boots back this up.


        • #5
          Thanks for that input^