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Flex ratings - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
 

I've been following this thread with great interest, because I had the same questions about flex.  I've got 6-year-old Tecnica Diablo Sparks, which have a 70 flex.  I got them when I was still just becoming an intermediate skier.  I don't have any complaints with them, just thought that I could "up my game" with some new boots.  Plus, I just bought new skis, so what else can I buy?   :dunno

 

I had been thinking that I should look at 90 flex, because: (a) it wouldn't be such a huge change from what I have now, so it wouldn't be a big adjustment in balance; (b) I only weigh 150 lbs., so I don't need monster-stiff boots; and (c) my kids and I ski a lot in trees and bumps -- we're not doing slalom racing.  But now, reading this thread -- and knowing that whatever boots I get will be the ones I use for another 5-6 years -- I wonder if I should go up a notch to 100.   Any thoughts?

 

A related question:  is it better to buy after this season winds down -- to get a good deal -- or is this coming year's crop of boots looking like it will be so awesomely innovative that I ought to wait until next Fall?

 

           PS-1:  Yes, yes, I know, go to a brick-and-mortar ski store, work with a reputable boot-fitter, do whatever they say, etc.

 

           PS-2:  I think I'd like the boots that allow you to switch to walk mode (e.g., Tecnica Cochise, Atomic Waymaker, etc.).  The kids and I don't (yet) do much backcountry hike-to skiing, but I think walk mode would be cool for going through the lunch line at the base lodge, and sometimes it's a long way to the restrooms....  :o   Thoughts?  Recommendations?  Are any of these walk-mode boots slated for "awesome innovation" this coming model year, so that I should wait?

 

Mucho thanks!

 

I would likely push a little higher 110, as you will likely be getting better (stiffer skis) soon that will match you ability.  That upwards improvement usually drives an equipment change as the old actually hinders further development (as the equipment actually behaves as your making a mistake when you are actually doing it correctly with a lot quicker and with more power).

 

My recommendation is always go a bit higher than you are (except when starting) as you will grow (experience wise) into it quickly.

 

My recommendation to friends and family always has been good beginner/intermediate equipment, next step good intermediate/ADVANCED equipment (little biased towards the advanced).

post #32 of 52
Fwiw, I have walk mode, but stopped using it as it didn't do much and I kept forgetting I'd done it. It's actually called Hike mode, which would make you think it was for AT, but given the miniscule impact, there's no way they are a substitute for AT boots.
post #33 of 52

oldschool -- thanks.  I just got new skis: Blizzard Bushwackers.  I don't know for sure, but they may be less stiff than my previous skis (Dynastar Legend Sultan 85s).  Of course, my current boots pre-dated those skis.

 

sib -- thanks.  Other than use for hike-to skiing, did you find the "hike" mode of any use?  Is it a hindrance? (Forgetting that it's on could be, for example.)  My impression is that it's not an add-on feature that jacks up the cost.

 

I noticed that some boots with hike mode also say they have "more upright stance".  Is that a good or bad thing (or just marketing)?  Anybody?

post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolskier View Post
 

 

I would likely push a little higher 110, as you will likely be getting better (stiffer skis) soon that will match you ability.  That upwards improvement usually drives an equipment change as the old actually hinders further development (as the equipment actually behaves as your making a mistake when you are actually doing it correctly with a lot quicker and with more power).

 

 

I'm not sold that stiffer is automatically better. Certainly there is a minimum level of boot stiffness needed to effectively apply forward pressure and not just crush a boot, but being able to flex the ankle matters too.

 

I am 6'1", 220ish pounds, and ski in a 110 boot (that now have about 200 ski days beating the flex out of them). I lot of people of my size and abilty level would probably be skiing in a 120/130, and aggressive skiers even more. Hell, a ton of folks on this board that weigh a lot less than me ski much stiffer boots.

 

Clearly, getting properly fit boot is paramount. Second would be getting a boot that has enough stiffness to transmit inputs effectively. Beyond that, you enter the world of comfort, cost, performance and preference judgment calls, and spending $$$ to go stiffer does not automatically mean a better ski experience.

post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post
 

 

I'm not sold that stiffer is automatically better. Certainly there is a minimum level of boot stiffness needed to effectively apply forward pressure and not just crush a boot, but being able to flex the ankle matters too.

 

I am 6'1", 220ish pounds, and ski in a 110 boot (that now have about 200 ski days beating the flex out of them). I lot of people of my size and abilty level would probably be skiing in a 120/130, and aggressive skiers even more. Hell, a ton of folks on this board that weigh a lot less than me ski much stiffer boots.

 

Clearly, getting properly fit boot is paramount. Second would be getting a boot that has enough stiffness to transmit inputs effectively. Beyond that, you enter the world of comfort, cost, performance and preference judgment calls, and spending $$$ to go stiffer does not automatically mean a better ski experience.

I'm about 50lbs lighter and 1" shorter and skiing my softest boot yet at 130,  I'd gladly ski in 140's or 150's given the availability and enjoy them. (yes I'm one of those folks).

 

Part of the equation that is sometimes missed is the intent of the skiing along with the stiffness (or type) of the ski used.  Some require stiff boots (generally why I ski them) and some require softer boots (since I don't have any of those I don't worry about them).  Without know this it all becomes a guess game.

post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by {me}
 

A related question:  is it better to buy after this season winds down -- to get a good deal -- or is this coming year's crop of boots looking like it will be so awesomely innovative that I ought to wait until next Fall?

 

 

Yes, I'm quoting myself.... :rolleyes

 

I haven't heard from anyone yet on this one.  Now, a third option occurs to me: the kids and I will be going to Snowmass the last week of March -- I could get new boots for that trip.  Probably too early for post-season sales, but, OTOH, I'd actually get to use them this year -- not just look at them all summer sitting in the basement.  I might go to our local ski store and see what they recommend.  If nothing there strikes me as just what I need, can anyone recommend a good store/boot-fitter in the Aspen/Snowmass area?    

post #37 of 52
I think it's a balance between how much you want to transmit to the ski and how much you want transmitted back to you. If you're primarily on a ballroom surface, stiff is fine. If the terrain is very uneven, you are going to be feeling it in your legs, which can be exhausting. However, too soft and you will have to exert more force to get the ski to react. There are no wrong answers here.

As for the hike mode, I don't hike, but found no noticeable benefit to having it. And I didn't buy the boot because of it. The boot just appeared to have a longer lasting set of materials than its non-hike cousin.
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post
 

 

Yes, I'm quoting myself.... :rolleyes

 

I haven't heard from anyone yet on this one.  Now, a third option occurs to me: the kids and I will be going to Snowmass the last week of March -- I could get new boots for that trip.  Probably too early for post-season sales, but, OTOH, I'd actually get to use them this year -- not just look at them all summer sitting in the basement.  I might go to our local ski store and see what they recommend.  If nothing there strikes me as just what I need, can anyone recommend a good store/boot-fitter in the Aspen/Snowmass area?   

 

I have very good luck buying equipment in March/April/post President's Day rather than waiting for the off season. Older model year boots should be just fine provided they fit.

 

Your milage may vary, but around here I routinely see aggressive sale prices on ski equipment during the end of the season whose prices get raised back up once the off-season is in gear.

 

For example, a local shop here was selling new Armada TST-W's for $350 in Late Feb. Late March the "sale price" of that ski and all of the others was $550. Owner claimed the previous price was in error and wanted me to negotiate from the $550 price, but it was in fact the owner that I spoke with in February who confirmed the price at that time.

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

Fwiw, I have walk mode, but stopped using it as it didn't do much and I kept forgetting I'd done it.

 

I must have forgotten to switch back to ski mode more times than I can remember, then at the end of the day looking down going, oh.... this is why it feels weird today.  Or one would click in for whatever reason and the other boot wouldn't.  I leave them alone now as well.

post #40 of 52

Wow, this was easier, and with more benefits, than I had guessed!

 

I went to my local ski store last Friday to start looking for new ski boots.  I told them up front I was just starting to look and probably wouldn't make a purchase that day.  I also said my top priorities were: (a) a great fit, and (b) boots that were optimal for my weight and what/how I skied.  Secondary considerations were having a walk (hike) mode and keeping the overall cost under $500.  I did not suggest any brands or models, although I did tell him what I had now and that my non-expert thinking was to move up to 90-100 flex.  The bootfitter said he thought 90 wouldn't be enough of a step-up and suggested I start with 100, although for some specific boots a 110 would also be good (oldschoolskier is saying "aha!" right now).

 

The second pair he brought out for me was the Lange XT 100.  While tighter than my 7-year-old boots, they actually fit me better.  I asked him to keep those out so I could use them as the benchmark.  To make a long story short, after trying on four more pairs, none measured up for me -- and I ended up buying the Lange XTs.  The kids and I skied at Whitetail the next day (Saturday) -- along with what seemed to be half of the total mid-Atlantic skiing population.  The boots were great -- a noticeable difference in responsiveness and control.

 

Here's the other up-sides:

 

1.  I stayed within my budget (OK, only $5 under, but still....), including tax and upgraded foot beds.

 

2.  He fitted me a half size smaller than what I would have chosen if I'd ordered boots online (using the ubiquitous online size chart).  Based on one day of skiing with them, he was right.

 

3.  The store had just put their gear on sale (this is Anachronism's "aha!" moment), so the price was $100 less than the lowest online price!  The online sale prices look good because they show a reduction from MSRP, rather than from the actual market price.

 

4.  My right toe felt a little cramped while skiing; so on Sunday I went back to the store and they stretched out the liner at the toe position -- for free, since I had purchased the boots there.

 

The one momentary downside: these boots are drop-dead beautiful!  When we got to Whitetail, for one split second I didn't want to ski them, but just sit and admire them.  It only lasted a second...

 

Thanks to all who offered advice on this.

post #41 of 52

Glad it worked out.  The 110 was based on the fact you can always make it softer not stiffer and as you progress (especially skiing slowly with the kids, it helps a lot with your technique) you will appreciate the stiffer boot.

 

Enjoy and let us know how it all worked out.

post #42 of 52

Hi, can you remember flex index of the boots Nordica Next 57, please?

Thank you very much.

post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by anachronism View Post

I'm not sold that stiffer is automatically better. Certainly there is a minimum level of boot stiffness needed to effectively apply forward pressure and not just crush a boot, but being able to flex the ankle matters too.

I am 6'1", 220ish pounds, and ski in a 110 boot (that now have about 200 ski days beating the flex out of them). I lot of people of my size and abilty level would probably be skiing in a 120/130, and aggressive skiers even more. Hell, a ton of folks on this board that weigh a lot less than me ski much stiffer boots.
Also how you flex your skis matters. I was skiing the dobermann pro and WC and that boot liked to drive skis with a ton of cuff pressure, and I switched to the Head Raptor 130 RD and that boot skis better by pressuring the sole of the boot.
Edited by clink83 - 1/15/16 at 12:43pm
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimski View Post

Yes, I'm quoting myself.... rolleyes.gif

I haven't heard from anyone yet on this one.  Now, a third option occurs to me: the kids and I will be going to Snowmass the last week of March -- I could get new boots for that trip.  Probably too early for post-season sales, but, OTOH, I'd actually get to use them this year -- not just look at them all summer sitting in the basement.  I might go to our local ski store and see what they recommend.  If nothing there strikes me as just what I need, can anyone recommend a good store/boot-fitter in the Aspen/Snowmass area?    

Jim, I've owned two pairs of Head RS Raptor 130's and have a new pair of 140's. the shell and fit (same mold) are the same. The 140 (15-16) has a new liner that seems to have a bit lower volume than the 130 FWIW. The 'classic' performance boots don't change all the much season to season. If you find a shell that works well, just buy a new pair of the same whenever you need or find a deal
post #45 of 52
Do you find your raptors to be fairly soft for their stated flex? My 130 RDs bolted to "140" are surprisingly soft.
post #46 of 52
The 140 is stiffer with just the bottom pin in. Will drill the additional holes out soon and start playing. I skied the 130 with the top and bottom pins in. In general, I find pins in or out effect the modulation of flex more than really changing the stiffness,
post #47 of 52

Personal preference here is key, so allow me to disclaim the following by saying I've raced for a long time, and when I'm not racing I still ski pretty aggressively. That said, nothing has improved my skiing more than moving to a stiff, tightly fit boot, and I think a lot of skiers could benefit from doing the same. Normally, I warn people away from buying a performance-oriented product (skis, or bikes, or whatever) intended for a recreational endeavor, but boots are different.

 

Many many years ago (my first year racing in college) I went to Bob Gleason at the Boot Doctor in Taos and he sized me down two full sizes and put me in a Lange race model. I have no idea of the flex rating, but it's more or less the same as the current RS 130, whatever 130 means to Lange. It took a lot of tweaking to get the fit dialed, but it transformed me as a skier. I loved those boots so much I kept them for 18 years--for several of those years I skied only telemark, so they still were okay, barely.

 

Finally I decided to buy a new boot and, knowing nothing of flex ratings due to not having bought boots for a generation, I let a boot fitter sell me the Lange RS 110. He said that they'd be perfect for skiing with the kids--he should have said they'd be perfect FOR my kids. They sucked--my race times immediately dropped significantly, and it felt like I was wearing slippers. In a fit of frustration, I bought a pair of RS 140s, which is sort of the starting point for a real race boot with lace-up liner. I thought I'd regret it as they'd be too stiff, and I'd be like the mid-life crisis guy in the sports car. Nope, they're awesome. The liners are much nicer than a typical shop boot, and when buckled down, they create a rock solid connection between my legs and my skis. I never think of them as being too stiff; if anything, I like them even more on super cold days.

 

I occasionally use the 110's if I'm coaching my kids team and know I'll just be standing at the race start all day--they're pretty comfy after all. But when I head back down the mountain at the end of the race, they leave me thinking "wait, what? Why can't I do this right?!" Seriously, soft boots are very limiting.

post #48 of 52

No one has mentioned it, but stiffer boots generally have narrower lasts and therefore also offer a tighter potential fit.

 

I would bet most people are really noticing the control benefits of a better fit versus the extra stiffness when they step up to a higher performance boot from something softer and wider. Sloppy boots are not confidence inspiring and make it hard to progress in technique.

 

Unless you are heavy or unusually powerful in your skiing, I wouldn't worry about small differences in flex and instead get boots that are the narrowest last you can tolerate and just work with a bootfitter to get a good, snug fit.

post #49 of 52

Did anyone notice that this thread is two years old?  I imagine the OP has made his decision.

post #50 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posaune View Post
 

Did anyone notice that this thread is two years old?  I imagine the OP has made his decision.

Yeah, and I'll bet he still has the same boots that are too soft. Thanks Epic! 

post #51 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

I personally would have tight cuff in most instances...... 

 

unbuckling will make it sloppy side to side, which is not always a bad thing. You know you are half way decent skier if I actually buckle my boot to ski with you while free skiing mine are clamped down hard all the time. 

I always thought it was impossible to ski without your ski boots unbuckled.  How did you manage such a Houdini-like task??

6-10 at Stowe by Sat..........

post #52 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by chumbolly View Post
 

Personal preference here is key, so allow me to disclaim the following by saying I've raced for a long time, and when I'm not racing I still ski pretty aggressively. That said, nothing has improved my skiing more than moving to a stiff, tightly fit boot, and I think a lot of skiers could benefit from doing the same. Normally, I warn people away from buying a performance-oriented product (skis, or bikes, or whatever) intended for a recreational endeavor, but boots are different.

 

Many many years ago (my first year racing in college) I went to Bob Gleason at the Boot Doctor in Taos and he sized me down two full sizes and put me in a Lange race model. I have no idea of the flex rating, but it's more or less the same as the current RS 130, whatever 130 means to Lange. It took a lot of tweaking to get the fit dialed, but it transformed me as a skier. I loved those boots so much I kept them for 18 years--for several of those years I skied only telemark, so they still were okay, barely.

 

Finally I decided to buy a new boot and, knowing nothing of flex ratings due to not having bought boots for a generation, I let a boot fitter sell me the Lange RS 110. He said that they'd be perfect for skiing with the kids--he should have said they'd be perfect FOR my kids. They sucked--my race times immediately dropped significantly, and it felt like I was wearing slippers. In a fit of frustration, I bought a pair of RS 140s, which is sort of the starting point for a real race boot with lace-up liner. I thought I'd regret it as they'd be too stiff, and I'd be like the mid-life crisis guy in the sports car. Nope, they're awesome. The liners are much nicer than a typical shop boot, and when buckled down, they create a rock solid connection between my legs and my skis. I never think of them as being too stiff; if anything, I like them even more on super cold days.

 

I occasionally use the 110's if I'm coaching my kids team and know I'll just be standing at the race start all day--they're pretty comfy after all. But when I head back down the mountain at the end of the race, they leave me thinking "wait, what? Why can't I do this right?!" Seriously, soft boots are very limiting.

 

I totally agree with this.  I am by no means an aggressive skier, but I prefer stiffer boots. I tried some Lange RX 100's LV's and couldn't ski for crap. Switched over to the Lange RX 130 LV and was able to ski so much better.

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