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Best 3 Pin Cross Country Ski Boots for beginner

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I acquired a pair of classic 200cm Peltonen skis last year and haven't even been able to take them out yet because I've had trouble finding boots at a reasonable price. The bindings are 3 pin 75mm. I've seen two types of new 3-pin boots online: Alpina and Whitewoods (both about $60) but I question their quality. Right now I am looking at a pair of used (barely) Asolo Snowfield II boots. Does anyone know about the Asolos? Are they comfortable? Heavy? Are there any other brands you would suggest I look for on second hand sites?

 

I am very beginner and haven't skied in about 8 years so I don't want to make it harder on myself by going less expensive, but that said, I really don't want to spend more than $100 on boots. I will be on fairly groomed trails, if that makes a difference for the boots. I'd like them to be somewhat hearty so that I can walk/hike in them if the trail gets too rough.

 

Please let me know if you have any advice! Thanks!

post #2 of 6

You know, we have the XC forum for this :) with quite a few threads related to this topic. 


1) You say 'classic' Peltonen and then you say 'The bindings are 3 pin 75mm'.     Did the bindings come with the skis? 


2) If 'Yes' on #1 then you need to measure the vertical distance between the pivot of the toebail and the plate of the binding.     This will tell you the maximum sole thickness that binding will allow.     Asolo Snowfields have thick soles and there is a ~50% chance that boot won't fit.    Consider changing the binding to something that will let you use current boots. 

 

3) If '15mm or less' on #2 then Alpina and Whitewoods are your best options.    This is not a bad thing.   But you will not have the option of a tall above-the-ankle type boot.    Have you considered changing the binding? 

4) If '15-20+mm' on #2 then Asolo Snowfields would work.    Which is fine so long as the leather hasn't softened, so long as the lining hasn't started coming apart and so long as the soles don't delaminate.    Snowfields will be somewhat slower than low-cut boots, but, hey, I assume you're breaking your own trail anyway not touring at a nordic center. 

 

HTH
CTM

post #3 of 6

I'm sometimes confused with this what you guys consider as xc skiing. Is this real cross country skiing, gee.. how to explain, like cross country skiing they do on Olympics, or is this some sort of back country skiing, with completely different equipment?

If it's first one (this is what I consider as xc skiing), then please do yourself a favor and change bindings. These 3pin 75mm bindings were used some 30 years ago... hell it's more then 30, as they were my first boot/bindings, when I started skiing when I was 3 years old, but very soon I got 3pin 50mm system. :) It was probably great binding back in 1970s, but today, we are 2015, and things evolved "a bit". Current systems Rottefella or Salomon (there's only these two systems in xc bindings), are so much better then 3pin 75mm thing, that it's really worth changing.

PS: I didn't even know you can still get 75mm boots today :)

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post
 

I'm sometimes confused with this what you guys consider as xc skiing. Is this real cross country skiing, gee.. how to explain, like cross country skiing they do on Olympics, or is this some sort of back country skiing, with completely different equipment?

 

In places where they have good snow (western states, upper tier of the Mid-West, upper tier of New England)  it is 'real' cross country skiing just like you know it.     The thing is that most people who live anywhere near that sort of snow also have touring centers nearby and can find a decent selection of gear and people to help them with it.    These folks generally don't show up on epicski.com to ask questions.

 

Everyone else basically just makes their own tracks in fresh - to - two day old snow (it doesn't last much longer and other people walk all over it).    There is no skateable crust,  there are no prepared tracks, there are no shops with proper selection of modern gear (the alpine ski shop might have a little bit of gear in a back corner somewhere).    

75 mm is not completely disadvantaged when 80-90% of your skiing is breaking trail on fresh snow in between driveways or on golf courses or along walking/cycling trails in parks  (or skiing on top of what the snow plows throw, for example).   Combine that with the lack of shops with proper gear, is it any surprise people are still bringing out 1970s and 1980s stuff they bought at a flea market?   Heck, 1990s era stuff is comparatively fancy.

post #5 of 6

The classic, skinny bail 3-pin binding is dead. Alpina is the only company making boots for these bindings. I work for a rental shop in Gardiner, MT (near Yellowstone) and we rent these things. The quality on the boots has gone in the toilet in the past two years and we've had more than 20 pairs come back this season with the sole separating from the uppers after less than three rentals.

 

For next season, we are going to switch to BACKCOUNTRY 75mm, which is still a going concern since this is the size/shape of duckbill that most tele gear is still based on. There are still quite a few backcountry 3-pin boots made. Those Whitewoods are backcountry. Alpina makes two models, Fischer and Rossignol each make a couple, used leather tele boots would fit, etc. These bindings are much heavier duty, with a solid piece of metal over the top of the boot rather than a thin wire bail that likes to break. Rottefella makes what they call a Super Tele binding and Voile makes the Mountaineer. I suggest the Mountaineer because it's identical to Voile's cable binding, without the cables, so if you found later you wanted to do some gentke tele turns or even reasonably secure parallel turns on groomed tracks, you'd just need to buy the cables.

 

For boots, the Rossi BC-X6 75mm would be my choice in a new boot, or that Whitewoods if you just want to see if you like it.

 

Huh, I registered here to ask questions about alpine gear and my first post is answering a question instead. Weird...

 

Edit:

If your skis are skinny, track-type skis with no real sidecut, particularly if they're less than about 65mm across at the tips, you will be much better off switching to a NNN binding system because of the boot problem mentioned above. My choice in NNN being the BC Manual by Rottefella with an NNN backcountry boot. This is a thin enough binding to fit on skinny skis, but will be burlier than a standard track-type NNN binding that might get snow-clogged or otherwise fail if you take it into softer snow. No really solid tele turns on this type of binding, though.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesserendrel View Post
 

...

For next season, we are going to switch to BACKCOUNTRY 75mm, which is still a going concern since this is the size/shape of duckbill that most tele gear is still based on. There are still quite a few backcountry 3-pin boots made. ... For boots, the Rossi BC-X6 75mm would be my choice in a new boot, or that Whitewoods if you just want to see if you like it.

 

If your skis are skinny, track-type skis with no real sidecut, particularly if they're less than about 65mm across at the tips, you will be much better off switching to a NNN binding system because of the boot problem mentioned above. My choice in NNN being the BC Manual by Rottefella with an NNN backcountry boot. 

Good advice.  It does depend on the ski you have.  The Delta Classic is 45-45-45--better off with the NNN. Why?  That ski is more suited to tracks on the groomed and in new tracks a 3-pin can drag.  Three pin binding are great for ski that will be used on, on and off, and off the groomed--my favorite binding having tried evey one available.  I have the BC-X6 boot for my 70-mm waist Fischer Outtabounds with HD 3 pins.  But if one wants to make lots of turn in various conditions a HD 3-pin with a Garmont Excursion or Scarpa T-4 is a good way to go, especially for a beginner (gives more support and more transfer of power).  

 

I skied Asolo Snowfield IIs for a couple of years.  For me they we o.k. on the groomed but sucked when turns had to been make in ungroomed snow--they were a soft as glove leather.  I would never own another pair.  If I could get a pair of Merrell Ultras (they have a plastic sheath inside the leather cuff, I would get them in a flash for just bombing around.

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