Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

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lilcliffy
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am

TheMusher wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:00 pm
Can you see yourself replace all or most of your BC bindings with Xplore? Conversely, are there tours where you will continue to prefer BC?
Not in the immediate future.
I have well-worn BC boots that I love- as well as a new boot that I am using- the Lundhags Guide BC.

I don't see myself replacing BC on my distance-focused touring skis- Amundsen/Gamme (I sold my E99s).

I am also not in a rush to switch to XP on my Combat Nato ski.

I want long-term durability-reliability reports on XP before I would switch to XP on my "expedition"-wilderness skis.
...........
I have two identical 200cm E109 Tour demos that I am testing right now with the Alaska XP boot- one with BC binding the other with XP binding. Depending on the results of this- I may end up switching to Xplore on my Ingstad.

One of my close friends and regular touring partner has already switched to XP on his Ingstad and is thrilled with it.
BUT- he has also moved from an Alfa Kikut BC to the Alaska XP which is a much more supportive-stable boot and he admits it is hard for him to determine whether this improved stability and responsiveness is a result of the boot and/or binding.
...........
I must admit that I am pesonally disapointed at my inability to use the Free boot in more contexts than simply up-down touring...

If I move to XP on my Ingstad/E109 class ski- I think that I will be looking for something in between the Alaska XP and the Free...Perhaps a "Svartisen" XP?
Finnmark - BC today. Replace with Xplore?
Breidablikk Husky - Rottefella 75 or Xplore?
What boots are you typically using with these skis↑ now?
Rabb 68 - Rottefella 75
My new Rabb is simply dreamy. I am a bit mesmerized by it at the moment.
In my local context, I doubt I will ever want to use my T4 with it...
However- I do wish the Free boot worked for me better...
That said, the Rabb + Alaska XP has been wonderful- skiing in ideal snow conditions.
Transalp 86 - Switchback
I don't think the current XP binding can handle the torsional forces of big mountain Telemark skiing.
I am kind of amazed that that my boot hasn't simply popped out of the binding with even the moderate stresses I have been putting it under! After all, the only thing holding the boot in is those two springpins!
On the other hand, I do think that the boot will pop out before anything breaks...
Still thinking I’ll keep Rottefella 75 for a while for my biggest skis, as it gives the option for T4 when April brings the boilerplate, but will be exciting to see to what extent Xplore should be mounted also to fully replace 75mm eventually. (I'm thinking it's only a matter of time before we see boot designs for xplore that will challenge T4..)
I think that in a purely downhill context, that the Alfa Free boot already challenges an "Excusion-class" boot like the T4.
My limited experience is that the Free boot is lighter and just as suppotive as my T4.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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lilcliffy
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:31 am

BTW- meant to mention this-

I recently paid for a temporary UTE mag subscription and just read the most recent Ingstad + XP test (don't know what boot they used)- here is a quote from the review:
Utemagasinet has previously tested Ingstad with BC binding, and we are unable to uncover any compelling reasons to switch to Xplore. It is likely that Åsnes Ingstad will be able to work with both binding types and ski boots depending on the terrain you will be traveling on.
Last edited by lilcliffy on Thu Jan 26, 2023 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



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fisheater
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by fisheater » Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:44 am

@lilcliffy quoting
I think that in a purely downhill context, that the Alfa Free boot already challenges an "Excusion-class" boot like the T4.
My limited experience is that the Free boot is lighter and just as suppotive as my T4.

That is really amazing. I will keep reading reports with an open mind.



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telerat
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by telerat » Thu Jan 26, 2023 9:00 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
I think that in a purely downhill context, that the Alfa Free boot already challenges an "Excusion-class" boot like the T4. My limited experience is that the Free boot is lighter and just as suppotive as my T4.
I keep wondering what a slightly higher Free, with warmer fabric, full rubber rand and a redesigned lower lacing that don't bear down on your toes could do. Maybe the BOA lacing could also extend around the shaft and increase rearward support or increase walking comfort. A Crispi Svarisen in Xplore version is also interesting, but needs some redesign for support I think. I'd also like to test the Fischer BCX Traverse some day, but have less expectations on that model.

I also wonder if Xplore could support an Excursion class plastic boot without exploding. Hopefully we'll eventually get a lighter NTN boot, but I hope Xplore can cover anything below that.



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JohnSKepler
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by JohnSKepler » Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:51 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am

I must admit that I am pesonally disapointed at my inability to use the Free boot in more contexts than simply up-down touring...

However- I do wish the Free boot worked for me better...
That said, the Rabb + Alaska XP has been wonderful- skiing in ideal snow conditions...
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "worked for me better..."

I initially had some problems with fit but came up with a solution.

John
Veni, Vidi, Viski



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lilcliffy
Posts: 4119
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: backcountry Nordic ski touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad, Combat Nato, Amundsen, Rabb 68; Altai Kom
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Jan 26, 2023 1:25 pm

JohnSKepler wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 12:51 pm
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am

I must admit that I am pesonally disapointed at my inability to use the Free boot in more contexts than simply up-down touring...

However- I do wish the Free boot worked for me better...
That said, the Rabb + Alaska XP has been wonderful- skiing in ideal snow conditions...
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "worked for me better..."

I initially had some problems with fit but came up with a solution.

John
Hi John,
The flex pattern of the Free crushes my metatarsus- bad. I really pushed it two days ago- I am still tender.
(Same problem I had with the Fischer Transnordic BTW).
Otherwise they fit me perfectly.

I am going to experiment with different insoles- but there is no way to influence the way these boots break in at the sole flex because of the rigid endoskeleton...

If some people can use the Free boot for extended XC skiing and climbing then- I am jealous- and they must have differently shaped feet than me.

I actually think the Free offers better downhill performance than my T4, but ironically my T4 is more comfortable to stride in! (Not to suggest that I love striding in my T4!)

I think we should continue this particular discussion in a thread that is focused on the Free boot.
I will move it over to the review thread.
Gareth

I copied this post over to the Free boot review:
http://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.p ... db1#p56854
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
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TheMusher
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by TheMusher » Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:49 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
I am also not in a rush to switch to XP on my Combat Nato ski.

I want long-term durability-reliability reports on XP before I would switch to XP on my "expedition"-wilderness skis.
I can see this.

Interesingly, last week I spoke to a nordic skier who tours extensively with pulks and dogs, and he actually switched to Xplore this season due to occasional breakage of BC bindings. Such endeavours obviously involve more forces than that of the average skier.

I haven't experienced it myself, but find it interesting that Xplore is already being deemed the more reliable option of the two by some.
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
If I move to XP on my Ingstad/E109 class ski- I think that I will be looking for something in between the Alaska XP and the Free...Perhaps a "Svartisen" XP?
Have you considered Abisku, provided you are happy with your Guide BCs(?)
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
TheMusher wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:00 pm

Finnmark - BC today. Replace with Xplore?
Breidablikk Husky - Rottefella 75 or Xplore?
What boots are you typically using with these skis↑ now?
Finnmark w/BC binding:
I've used Crispi Stetind the past 3 seasons. They are very comfortable, but while they were nice out of the box, they are becoming gradually and increasingly sloppy and unsupportive over time. Now cognizant of the more supportive options (like my Lundhags below) without too severe weight penalty, I will replace them with Lundhags Guide BC or Abisku if converting to xplore this season.

Breidablikk 190cm w/Voile 75 + Breidablikk Husky 200cm w/Rottefella 75 or xplore (TBD) (actually two skis):
I discarded my Crispi Bre last year, in favor of Lundhags Guide Expedition 75. I've written lengthy about the Lundhags in other threads. Ex sum: Extremely capable telemark and expedition boots, with strong downhill support without sacrificing nordic touring comfort. However are also on the heavy side for long distance in flat terrain with ca. 1200g effective weight per boot in size 44. This is why I'm thinking xplore + Abisku can help me shed some weight.

As for the Crispi Bre that I discarded, I never adored them to begin with. Grossly insufficient ancle support, too flimsy slippersque sole, and dead flat foot bed. Come spring crust and I would rather be a new-born deer on ice. Haven't figured what the rave is all about with these boots.

For context I'm 185cm at 90kg.
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
TheMusher wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:00 pm

Rabb 68 - Rottefella 75
My new Rabb is simply dreamy. I am a bit mesmerized by it at the moment.
In my local context, I doubt I will ever want to use my T4 with it...
However- I do wish the Free boot worked for me better...
That said, the Rabb + Alaska XP has been wonderful- skiing in ideal snow conditions.
How you reckon Rabb will do on boilerplate snow? Too flimsy? I have zero doubt they are THE skis in ideal conditions..!

Can't wait to get them started this year.
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
I think that in a purely downhill context, that the Alfa Free boot already challenges an "Excusion-class" boot like the T4.
My limited experience is that the Free boot is lighter and just as suppotive as my T4.
This is a torch! My objection would be that they probably don't allow for BoF action and classic tele feel like the T4 does?

Man I can see some seriously nice Xplore boots coming up, lending the best of skimo boots, race skating shoes and nordic touring boots.



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TheMusher
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by TheMusher » Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:52 pm

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am

I have two identical 200cm E109 Tour demos that I am testing right now with the Alaska XP boot- one with BC binding the other with XP binding. Depending on the results of this- I may end up switching to Xplore on my Ingstad.
Oh and DO keep us posted. This is the sort of testing I revere!!



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lilcliffy
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Occupation: Forestry Professional
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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Jan 27, 2023 10:20 am

TheMusher wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 3:49 pm
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
If I move to XP on my Ingstad/E109 class ski- I think that I will be looking for something in between the Alaska XP and the Free...Perhaps a "Svartisen" XP?
Have you considered Abisku, provided you are happy with your Guide BCs(?)
Although I am very pleased with the Guide BC- I don't see it as more stable and supportive than the Alaska BC/XP- you?
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
TheMusher wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:00 pm

Finnmark - BC today. Replace with Xplore?
Breidablikk Husky - Rottefella 75 or Xplore?
What boots are you typically using with these skis↑ now?
Finnmark w/BC binding:
I've used Crispi Stetind the past 3 seasons. They are very comfortable, but while they were nice out of the box, they are becoming gradually and increasingly sloppy and unsupportive over time. Now cognizant of the more supportive options (like my Lundhags below) without too severe weight penalty, I will replace them with Lundhags Guide BC or Abisku if converting to xplore this season.
Yes- well if you are due for a boot replacement for this setup, than I can see why you would be deliberating over BC vs XP...Personally, I will wear out my current BC boots before considering XP on this class of ski.
Breidablikk 190cm w/Voile 75 + Breidablikk Husky 200cm w/Rottefella 75 or xplore (TBD) (actually two skis):
I discarded my Crispi Bre last year, in favor of Lundhags Guide Expedition 75. I've written lengthy about the Lundhags in other threads. Ex sum: Extremely capable telemark and expedition boots, with strong downhill support without sacrificing nordic touring comfort. However are also on the heavy side for long distance in flat terrain with ca. 1200g effective weight per boot in size 44. This is why I'm thinking xplore + Abisku can help me shed some weight.
When the snow conditions are good for forest glade skiing in my local context- this class of ski is the best-
efficient in deep snow- fun on hills- and reasonably efficient covering distance on packed out trails to get to the goods!
ALthough I have never wanted a modern Telemark boot on this class of ski- I do reach for more boot support than a boot like the Alaska/Stetind when I really want to charge in steep terrain on this class of ski.

What is your experience on the downhill support of the Lundhags Guide vs Expedition?
At the moment, I personally feel like my Guide BC would not only feel a bit more balanced, but more supportive with a higher top...
I wear the Lundhags Juare as my everyday field boot now- and although I was thinking that the high leather top might be uncomfortable for sustained striding/hiking- they are not- they are wonderful for full-day distance hiking.

At the moment- I think I want a higher top on my Guide BC...

Anyway- this class ski is the decision I am currently trying to make between BC and XP.
lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
TheMusher wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:00 pm

Rabb 68 - Rottefella 75
My new Rabb is simply dreamy. I am a bit mesmerized by it at the moment.
In my local context, I doubt I will ever want to use my T4 with it...
However- I do wish the Free boot worked for me better...
That said, the Rabb + Alaska XP has been wonderful- skiing in ideal snow conditions.
How you reckon Rabb will do on boilerplate snow? Too flimsy? I have zero doubt they are THE skis in ideal conditions..!
Hmmm...I kinda doubt it- the current Rabb is softer than my Storetind- but the Rabb is easier to ride and pressure into to tight turns than the Storetind. Would be worth a try, but I kinda think the Rabb would buckle on boilerplate...

Although I have no experience with the previous-gen Rabb- my conversations with those that do- my interpretation of UTE reviews- suggest to me that the current Rabb is stiffer, and has less rocker than the previous model- somewhere in between the old Storetind and the last-gen Rabb...Kinda, exactly waht I was looking for!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



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Re: Xplore & the advantages of stiff stole for XC

Post by randoskier » Fri Jan 27, 2023 11:41 am

lilcliffy wrote:
Thu Jan 26, 2023 8:08 am
TheMusher wrote:
Tue Jan 24, 2023 4:00 pm
Can you see yourself replace all or most of your BC bindings with Xplore? Conversely, are there tours where you will continue to prefer BC?

I want long-term durability-reliability reports on XP before I would switch to XP on my "expedition"-wilderness skis.
On 15 Feb. we start a two week tour in Nord Tondelag, Norway, skiing from Snåsa to Meråker via the three remote fjellgård (mountain farms) of Gjefsjøen, Holden, and Guandalen, then down the Stigådalen- we hit our first road at the remote village of Vera (a community of about 4 farms) on day 5. Two days later we cross another road at Sandvika, that road is many km from any village. In a further 4 days we will reach the mining town of Meråker and the rail line. Last time we skied this (in the other direction) we did not see any other parties skiing untl we reached Gjefsjøen on the second to last day and met a couple touring with their Malamutes.

I am skiing the BC binding , the missus the Xplore. Last year (also in Trondelag) she had the stuck pin malfunction, a widespread issue that Rotty fixed shortly after the release of the binding. It did not block our progress in the tour, we finessed the pin out with a knife tip.

This season we also have no qualms about skiing these bindings in remoter places. In March my wife will have the Xplore bindings on at Varanger National Park in Finnmark, Norway at 70.5°N, skiing south through the the Vätsäri Wilderness Area in Finland. No worries.

Our theory on bindings is that any of them can break at anytime (but probably won't), so we are always prepared to make a repair, replace a part with a spare; failing that- rig a temporary fix, and then either continue or extricate ourselves based on our circumstances and location.



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