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Interchanging between Head Raptor B2 and B3

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I was recently fitted into a pair of head raptor b2. I have easy to fit feet and the only modifications to the b2 were small heel lifts. Nothing else needed to be done to the shell. I also got custom foot beds.

I had skied in these boots for about 10 days and they felt awesome. No hot spots, wierd pressure spots, stuff like that. I love the snug fit and instant feedback. However, toward the end of the day, when I get tired and ski less intensely, I know that I get thrown to the back seat a bit.

I am thinking about getting a pair of head raptor b3 with the season end sales that's going on. I would plan to use it as a relax free skiing boot when I ski with the kids, or super cold weather race boot. I usually don't buy boots online, but in this case it should be fine since b2 and b3 are the same mold? What should I do or be aware of if I want to "recreate" the b2 in the b3? Ideally I want just softer flex option but same everything else.

Thanks!
post #2 of 21

My understanding, and others may confirm otherwise, is that flex is the primary difference between the B2 and B3.  I believe the last is identical.

 

My gut is that owning the B2 and B3 would be a significant overlap and, perhaps, not worth it.  If the flex isn't right on the B2 some/most of the time you could V cut the shell and soften it a bit?  (I assume you are running it with only one rivet in the back so removing rivets would not help?)  My sense is that if you softened your B2 a bit you'd still be fine skiing powerfully and aggressively on the boot, but much happier when you decided to dial it back.

 

I ski the Raptor 130 religiously and find the flex just right.  I am 6' 1" 210 and for freeskiing I rarely overpower it unless it's above freezing.  

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yes, currently running the b2 at softest flex setting of 140, one rivet in the back. The feedback I had gotten from coaches / instructors is that I am flexing it fine at down to around 30F (on the coldest day that I had the boot on), when I am skiing at race training intensity.

Part of my thinking is that softening is irreversible. I ran out of time to explore stiffer flex this season, but I want to preserve that option in the b2. Another consideration is that I have now finally found this awesome glove like feeling around my feet with this mold/shell, and there seems to be an option to theoretically have the same fit but softer flex. Who knows what head will change in the future season and I feel like I want to lock this fit down now when the shells are still available. One more consideration is that the b2 and b3 have the same liner. I will likely pack out my current liner in a season or two, so the "shell cost" of the b3 is not that bad if I attribute value to the liner itself.

Would love to hear additional thoughts / options!
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post

Yes, currently running the b2 at softest flex setting of 140, one rivet in the back. The feedback I had gotten from coaches / instructors is that I am flexing it fine at down to around 30F (on the coldest day that I had the boot on), when I am skiing at race training intensity.

Part of my thinking is that softening is irreversible. I ran out of time to explore stiffer flex this season, but I want to preserve that option in the b2. Another consideration is that I have now finally found this awesome glove like feeling around my feet with this mold/shell, and there seems to be an option to theoretically have the same fit but softer flex. Who knows what head will change in the future season and I feel like I want to lock this fit down now when the shells are still available. One more consideration is that the b2 and b3 have the same liner. I will likely pack out my current liner in a season or two, so the "shell cost" of the b3 is not that bad if I attribute value to the liner itself.

Would love to hear additional thoughts / options!

I think you're spot on. Don't know about the B2-3, but apparently the cuff of the RS 130, 115 will be a bit stiffer for 15-16.
post #5 of 21

I am curious where you are located?  I ask since there aren't many places where it is consistently above 30f and there is snow on the ground! Maybe I am just a jadded New Englander.

 

The only other comments I'd throw out are:

 

(1) My understanding from speaking with the race rep is that the lasts/molds are not changing for next year.  They are using a slightly stiffer plastic so the 130 flex boots are at a 130 with one rivet.  Of course flex numbers are entirely arbitrary in the first place.  Either way, you'd likely enjoy the fit of next year's model just fine.

 

(2) If your liner packs out you won't have a hard time finding a replacement without buying a new shell, for much less money.

 

(3) If you cut the B2 a bit you could create a situation where your desired firm flex corresponds with a two rivet installation and then one could be removed yielding the softer flex you are looking to achieve. 

 

With all that said, it sounds like you know what you want to do.  If you're psyched picking up some B3s than why not make it happen.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
South Lake Tahoe. We had a very warm winter and I bought the boots a couple weeks ago. So the snow was already on the ground when I started using this boot, and it was melting fast smile.gif

I think option 3 makes sense if I had more time to test... Possibly best of both worlds by just adjusting rivets. Kinda torn. If I make the cut in the b2, what if my coaches recommend later on that I can go stiffer? In this season we had days with 60F+ air temps! That can probably be answered next season when I restart training, but by that time would 14-15 b3 in my size still be available if that turns out to be the better solution?

Here's my math. Boots are $500 at season end sale. The liner, when I need a new one, will probably not be discounted and cost maybe $150. So the shell is like $350. From what I am reading so far, it would be a softer shell that fits my feet well out of the box. When I looked at how much I had spent to pursue a good fit in the past (boot work, foot bed, ski with expert boot fitter to evaluate), $350 seems reasonable. Any thoughts on this line of reasoning?

Good info on 1) where the molds and last are not changing, thanks. But they will be current model year which is much more expensive even with racer discount.
post #7 of 21
The only other consideration is if you have any work needed on the boot soles... two pair of boots gets spendy and time consuming.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post

South Lake Tahoe. We had a very warm winter and I bought the boots a couple weeks ago. So the snow was already on the ground when I started using this boot, and it was melting fast smile.gif

I think option 3 makes sense if I had more time to test... Possibly best of both worlds by just adjusting rivets. Kinda torn. If I make the cut in the b2, what if my coaches recommend later on that I can go stiffer? In this season we had days with 60F+ air temps! That can probably be answered next season when I restart training, but by that time would 14-15 b3 in my size still be available if that turns out to be the better solution?

Here's my math. Boots are $500 at season end sale. The liner, when I need a new one, will probably not be discounted and cost maybe $150. So the shell is like $350. From what I am reading so far, it would be a softer shell that fits my feet well out of the box. When I looked at how much I had spent to pursue a good fit in the past (boot work, foot bed, ski with expert boot fitter to evaluate), $350 seems reasonable. Any thoughts on this line of reasoning?

Good info on 1) where the molds and last are not changing, thanks. But they will be current model year which is much more expensive even with racer discount.

 

That certainly makes sense given that you are in Tahoe, these days in particular.  I've set out the rationale not to do it and some other options. However, boots are such and important thing that, even if not practical, it's not the worst idea to double up on what you like.  I totally get it.  If you end up never using the B3 and haven't done any shell work you could still get some of your money back by selling them.

 

Markojp makes a good point about sole work, but hopefully you don't require it...

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Only sole work needed on the b2 was to plane it to din spec.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post

I was recently fitted into a pair of head raptor b2. I have easy to fit feet and the only modifications to the b2 were small heel lifts. Nothing else needed to be done to the shell. I also got custom foot beds.

I had skied in these boots for about 10 days and they felt awesome. No hot spots, wierd pressure spots, stuff like that. I love the snug fit and instant feedback. However, toward the end of the day, when I get tired and ski less intensely, I know that I get thrown to the back seat a bit.

I am thinking about getting a pair of head raptor b3 with the season end sales that's going on. I would plan to use it as a relax free skiing boot when I ski with the kids, or super cold weather race boot. I usually don't buy boots online, but in this case it should be fine since b2 and b3 are the same mold? What should I do or be aware of if I want to "recreate" the b2 in the b3? Ideally I want just softer flex option but same everything else.

Thanks!

Hi there, I’ve been in the Raptor B2 for the past 2 years (and in some other Raptors before) so here is what I think. If I understand you correctly your main motivation to add a B3 next to your B2 is because you feel you are on the back seat towards the end of the day due to fatigue and you also need a more relax free skiing boot. Before dropping a coin on a boot that is practically  the same ( just a little thinner plastic , less then 0.3 mm) I would discusses the issue  with my coach and with my alignment specialist(being comfortable in a boot and being properly aligned are completely different things). With their help I would try to identify the source of the problem which in 90% of the cases is the Indian and not the arrow. You see, it is very difficult from a technical prospective to justify buying softer boots (if ever you may call the B3 soft boots) to avoid being thrown on the back seat. At the end of the day you can blame the fatigue, but know that the B3 can fatigue your legs the same way the B2 does and you can still be on the back seat only that your pocket will be 500 bucks lighter. Your coach has the eyes to identify the issue and give you some guidance, your alignment specialist can double-check your alignment (dry land and on snow) and do corrections if needed. You may also wish to send some video for MA .I strongly recommends doing these steps before the new purchase. If you decide to soften the B2 yourself I can PM you the complete protocol (I’ve been through it) Hope this help.

p.s. for 15/16 no changes in mold for B2 and B3  - same fit 1500 cc in  26

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback. Do you ski in the b2 all day? Do you adjust the flex intraday - say stiffen it up during gate training and soften it up when free skiing?

I have enough self awareness to admit that the problem is definitely with the Indian smile.gif. This was my first season running gates and I started the season with Technica Cochise 130. About 25 days in, I developed pain in my perineal longus muscle. It took a while to diagnose the issue, but it turned out that the boot had too much volume for my foot. To compensate, I cranked down hard on the buckles and the power strap, to the point of hurting my muscles.

I just charged through the pain and finally decided to get fitted for race boots around day 40. I tried technica, Lange/Rossi, and one other shell that I forgot, along with head. The head felt the best and that's what I got. Great snug fit with buckles fairly loose. Certainly no need to crank it down. And no pain anywhere. I was much happier in this boot than the technica.

As for alignment, I spent two days skiing with a psia L3 who is also an experienced boot fitter. He observed my skiing for a couple hours, asked constantly for my feedback, and then started making tiny modifications to my boot. In the end he added tiny but different her lifts to get me just a little forward. My skiing improved tremendously after that so I feel like the alignment is pretty dialed in.

Back to why I was considering the B3. To clarify, I have no problem flexing the B2 and bending the skis when I am on my game. So it's not an issue of the boot being too stiff and thus I ride the back seat. But I have to be on all the time. So one day I thought I want to ski relaxed and went back to the technica Cochise 130. Hated it. It just felt dead and non responsive. That's when the idea of b3 popped up. Theoretically the same great fit, alignment already dialed in, and softer flex so I can be a little sloppy with my technique and still get away with it.

Would love to get some MA next season. It's a great community here and I would have benfitted tremendously from it. Just out of time this season...
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post

Thanks for the feedback. Do you ski in the b2 all day? Do you adjust the flex intraday - say stiffen it up during gate training and soften it up when free skiing?

I have enough self awareness to admit that the problem is definitely with the Indian smile.gif. This was my first season running gates and I started the season with Technica Cochise 130. About 25 days in, I developed pain in my perineal longus muscle. It took a while to diagnose the issue, but it turned out that the boot had too much volume for my foot. To compensate, I cranked down hard on the buckles and the power strap, to the point of hurting my muscles.

I just charged through the pain and finally decided to get fitted for race boots around day 40. I tried technica, Lange/Rossi, and one other shell that I forgot, along with head. The head felt the best and that's what I got. Great snug fit with buckles fairly loose. Certainly no need to crank it down. And no pain anywhere. I was much happier in this boot than the technica.

As for alignment, I spent two days skiing with a psia L3 who is also an experienced boot fitter. He observed my skiing for a couple hours, asked constantly for my feedback, and then started making tiny modifications to my boot. In the end he added tiny but different her lifts to get me just a little forward. My skiing improved tremendously after that so I feel like the alignment is pretty dialed in.

Back to why I was considering the B3. To clarify, I have no problem flexing the B2 and bending the skis when I am on my game. So it's not an issue of the boot being too stiff and thus I ride the back seat. But I have to be on all the time. So one day I thought I want to ski relaxed and went back to the technica Cochise 130. Hated it. It just felt dead and non responsive. That's when the idea of b3 popped up. Theoretically the same great fit, alignment already dialed in, and softer flex so I can be a little sloppy with my technique and still get away with it.

Would love to get some MA next season. It's a great community here and I would have benfitted tremendously from it. Just out of time this season...

It was a very cold winter  around here so I  often needed to  switch boots for my afternoon  skiing (free skiing only I no more do gates) , but on a warmer day – yes I normally  ski in it all day long. My B2 is softened a little bit and I normally  ski with one rear rivet except on a real warm spring day I add a second one ( the first from top to bottom). I also use 2 liners – the stock liner and the FX Race Intuition Liner (low volume). Compared to the stock liner the FX Race stiffens the boot by 5 to 10%.. If you really need a more relax boot for your free skiing on and off piste , bumps, etc. may be it’s a good idea if you have a look at two different Raptors  -- the Overkill and the Oblivion . I have a personal experience with these 2 boots and  I can confirm that these are serious boots only with a slightly thinner plastic, a little more relax fit ( 1800 cc in 26 )  and softer boot boards more suitable for free skiing and jumps. And if you don’t like the softer boot board you can easily swap it  with the one from the B2 – they have exactly the same dimensions and with the 3 rear rivets in  you will have a stiff 140 flex , but a little more relax fit – if this is what you are after  these boots deserve your attention. I think   there are currently some great deals on these boots on e-bay , snowinn  and elsewhere. So enjoy skiing in your B2 – you have one of the best racing boots out there (if not the best) and I hope this help.  

post #13 of 21

Chances are about 110% if the unaltered fit of the B2 is good out of the box for the OP, then the RS last boots (130/115/Overkill) will have too much volume.

 

A B3 with a 2mm shim or the Head Vibram sole added ($75.00 if I recall... +6mm, same as are on the sole of the Overkill) if you're coaching/standing/hiking for turns, etc... might be a nice option.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

I am not actually after a relaxed fit, at least I don't think I am.  I love the fit of the B2 out of the box.  I believe I am looking for a softer boot in the same fit for free skiing.  I don't know if I am describing the terms correctly... I think of a stiff flex as having more concise control and better transmission of power / inputs, but there is much less margin for error in technique.  So for free skiing, I was thinking a softer flex will give me a wider margin of error in technique, which to me means more relaxed skiing.  

 

So Bogatyr, when you switch boots in the afternoon or when it's very cold, what boot to you switch into?  Do the boots have different volume and how does it feel when you switch from the B2?  I personally had never had a two boot setup before.  I skied the last 10 days of the season in my B2, averaging 35k ft a day at race training intensity.  It was fine for the most part until around 2pm when I got sloopy.  I charged through these 10 days since it's season end and my kids weren't skiing with me for the most part, but there is no way I can sustain this intensity for an entire season.  At first I thought my technica cochise 130 were fine, until I tried a same day switch from B2 to the cochise and hated it. Thus the reason to look for a two boot setup.  B2 in the gates, ?? for free skiing.

 

markojp - why the suggestion in B3 and what does the shims / vibram sole do?  I don't plan on coaching / standing. I am being coached and making turns :)  Our hill setup is gates 9-12 and free ski drills 1-4.  Sometimes I also ski with my kids in the afternoon.  I went chasing jumps with them once in the B2.  Keyword being once... once was enough.  lol.

post #15 of 21
Just figured you were free skiing inTahoe when not in the gates... Boot packing in a race boot isn't the most secure of adventures. If you're never hiking, then there's no need. I have 6mm lifters that I can change out if there's any wear and tear, but then again, I have to do some hiking for the coaching I do. i wouldnt mind the vibram lifters myself and keep threatening to get some... we'll see. No boot changes for me if I'm on skis with alpine bindings. One does it all. I either ski with the top and bottom pins in, or the bottom and middle depending on temps and general conditions. Usually it lives in the top and bottom.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Just figured you were free skiing inTahoe when not in the gates... Boot packing in a race boot isn't the most secure of adventures. If you're never hiking, then there's no need. I have 6mm lifters that I can change out if there's any wear and tear, but then again, I have to do some hiking for the coaching I do.

 

Ah!  Got it.  Didn't connect since free skiing to me at this point means in bound off piste.  Got kids 6 and 4 that I ski with in the afternoon so no hiking for us!

 

I do use cat tracks to extend the life of the b2 soles.  Humm... lifters in a b3 as a free skiing boot.  Good food for thought.

post #17 of 21
More lift, more leverage. smile.gif
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galun View Post
 

I am not actually after a relaxed fit, at least I don't think I am.  I love the fit of the B2 out of the box.  I believe I am looking for a softer boot in the same fit for free skiing.  I don't know if I am describing the terms correctly... I think of a stiff flex as having more concise control and better transmission of power / inputs, but there is much less margin for error in technique.  So for free skiing, I was thinking a softer flex will give me a wider margin of error in technique, which to me means more relaxed skiing.  

 

So Bogatyr, when you switch boots in the afternoon or when it's very cold, what boot to you switch into?  Do the boots have different volume and how does it feel when you switch from the B2?  I personally had never had a two boot setup before.  I skied the last 10 days of the season in my B2, averaging 35k ft a day at race training intensity.  It was fine for the most part until around 2pm when I got sloopy.  I charged through these 10 days since it's season end and my kids weren't skiing with me for the most part, but there is no way I can sustain this intensity for an entire season.  At first I thought my technica cochise 130 were fine, until I tried a same day switch from B2 to the cochise and hated it. Thus the reason to look for a two boot setup.  B2 in the gates, ?? for free skiing.

 

markojp - why the suggestion in B3 and what does the shims / vibram sole do?  I don't plan on coaching / standing. I am being coached and making turns :)  Our hill setup is gates 9-12 and free ski drills 1-4.  Sometimes I also ski with my kids in the afternoon.  I went chasing jumps with them once in the B2.  Keyword being once... once was enough.  lol.


This season  I used to switch with the Oblivion (slightly higher volume)  that I ski with a BD Foam and the B2's boot board . When it is - 20C  outside (plus the wind chill)  it is next to impossible to stay in the B2 all day long. And I ski for pleasure only so no exceptional   performance needed from the second set up - it was more than ok for me.

post #19 of 21
B3 is in practice a little looser fit than b2 due to the reduced rigidity of the lower. It's enough that you'll feel it.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post

B3 is in practice a little looser fit than b2 due to the reduced rigidity of the lower. It's enough that you'll feel it.
Yes indeed , the B3 feels a little looser ,don't know why they are both listed at 1500 cc , may be it's the thinner plastic that gives this " looser" feel.
post #21 of 21

I was under the impression that the thickness was the same, in other words that the moulds are identical. It was explained to me this way - there's one plastic formula for the B1 (stiff) and one for the B3 (relatively soft) and that the B2 is a 60/40 mix of the two.

 

Next year's B1/2/3 lose the glossy surface for a matt finish. I don't believe the mould is changing at all. There will be a welcome change to the powerstrap/booster arrangement.

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