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The Death of the Flexon?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
post #2 of 22
very depressing- I love my flexons. I'll have to look for an extra pair now.
post #3 of 22
I haven't skied on a Flexon in years, but my local bunny hill bought several pairs of a Line-branded boot that appeared to be a dead ringer for a Raichle. Lots of forward lean adjustment (mostly upright). They couldn't sell even one pair. They were priced above the hill's market and weren't built as well as the cheaper Dalbellos that flew out of the door. I wasn't impressed, but then again I don't ride in the park.
post #4 of 22
RIP, to quote Kirk..."You once were and always will be my friend" Most of you know my history with these boots so I won't go into it...for you newbies..use the search. I am also going the way of the Dalbello, I am hoping that it will ski like my beloved Flexons...if not I will fight tooth and nail for any 301's on ebay. If you cross me in the pursuit...you will be my sworn enemy for life .
post #5 of 22
The Line boot has the Flexon "look" but not the performance. Not the least of its problems is that it is reputed to leak like heck.

Kneissl's marketing in the USA was not very effective. Niether was Raichle's. It's too bad it was and remains a great boot. Although it is associated with free ride skiers, it staked it's claim to fame as a down hill race boot on the World Cup in the '80s and was quite popular with female World Cup downhillers. Jeff Bergeron, one of the top bootfitters in the USA skis and races in them. Warren Witherall was sporting them in the photos in his classic book on carving, "The Athletic Skier". Of course there is Glen Plake.

In a way, I think a big part of the problem is that it remained the same year after year with no new "bells and whistles" to generate new sales. I have two pairs in service, one in reserve and two pairs for spare parts. I love them. They were taken off the market for one or two seasons in the '90'sand popular demand brought them back. Who knows...
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
Kneissl's marketing in the USA was not very effective. Niether was Raichle's. It's too bad it was and remains a great boot. Although it is associated with free ride skiers, it staked it's claim to fame as a down hill race boot on the World Cup in the '80s and was quite popular with female World Cup downhillers. Jeff Bergeron, one of the top bootfitters in the USA skis and races in them. Warren Witherall was sporting them in the photos in his classic book on carving, "The Athletic Skier". Of course there is Glen Plake.
Also. it was a great mogul boot with Nelson Carmichael. Plus, you and I are in the boot, how much more of an endorsment is that???
post #7 of 22

re:.....

Phil,
Flexon tongues live on...on my Scarpa Lasers
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Also. it was a great mogul boot with Nelson Carmichael. Plus, you and I are in the boot, how much more of an endorsment is that???
Yes. In addition to us and others mentioned previously, there is also Seth Morrison, Kent Kreitler, Darian Boyle, Scottie Ewing and a number of other notables who ski/skied to success in Flexons.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
I heard Plake is developing a boot for Dalbello (I think). That will be in interesting.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by irul&ublo
I heard Plake is developing a boot for Dalbello (I think). That will be in interesting.
Krypton will be the Dalbello model. I already worked out a deal with Dalbello to get in them for next season. I hope Glenn did us good by making it not only look like a Flexon... but SKI like one.
post #11 of 22
Phil P., any chance of more instep volume on the Krypton than the 301?
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
Phil P., any chance of more instep volume on the Krypton than the 301?

I hope not. The boot fits me like errr....a glove. I also plan on doing the equivilent of the fewest Thermoflex Liner. I am taking a leap of faith getting into this boot. But I will still keep my current Flexons as backups.
post #13 of 22
I had on what was supose to be the last prototype and I thought the fit is as close to the original Flexon as any boot has been. There is a slight difference in instep height but not enough to notice on my low skinny foot. I am trying to get a little more info on release dates and final boot specs.
On another front K2 was not done with purchasing Volkl.Marker and Marmot, they also bought the Flexon molds in auction. Watch for this one to develope next season.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfordskiman
On another front K2 was not done with purchasing Volkl.Marker and Marmot, they also bought the Flexon molds in auction. Watch for this one to develope next season.
INTERESTING!!!! Where did you hear this? I wonder what else was on that auction block????
post #15 of 22
The throat of the Flexon runs from somewhat behind the toes all the way to the top of the cuff. The tongue sits over it. It is a simple matter for a bootfitter to heat and open up the throat to create additional instep room.

Besides being the lightest boot on the market that I know of, it is also among the easiest to tweak to get the proper fit. Did I mention the two standard tongue stiffenesses that were available at retail as well as at least two racing tongue versions (harder to find but they were made)? Or perhaps the warmest liner? Well I can go on but it is moot at this point unless someone continues the Flexon legacy.

I believe that Atomic or some other manufacturer has experimented with cantable toe and heel pieces available in various degrees. That addition, along with the other existing Flexon features would keep it at the forefront of boot technology. The biggest problem with Flexons IMHO was that they never added new bells and whistles each season to allow them to claim each season that they had a "new and improved" product.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lostboy
The biggest problem with Flexons IMHO was that they never added new bells and whistles each season to allow them to claim each season that they had a "new and improved" product.
That was one of the many reasons the boot died along with...

...poor dealer network

...narrow fit

...lack of corprate awareness

The beauty of the boot was in its simplicity.
post #17 of 22
Did you know that there is a 20th anniversary Flexon (yellow and black, the same ones that I have) in the contemporary design collection of the Denver Art Museum? Well deserved, I would say!
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dp
Did you know that there is a 20th anniversary Flexon (yellow and black, the same ones that I have) in the contemporary design collection of the Denver Art Museum? Well deserved, I would say!
Just ONE pair!?!?! They deserve a whole wing!!!!!!!! A special display showing the {cue Space Oddessy music} evolution from the original Flexon 5 to the last Kneissl.
post #19 of 22
Another thought on a future for the Flexon (if there is one). Head's World Cup (I think that's the name) sells both a 99mm and 103mm width version of the same model.
Although a bootfitter can easily stretch the Flexon to accomodate wider feet, the existing fairly narrow last won't pass the "ouch" test for many buyers.

K2 may have bought the molds but who holds the patents?


On another note, I understand that Kneissl is going to concentrate on its race ski line. I'm not sure I understand their strategy but I hope that the venerable brand survives. It seems like they tried to go the aquisition route that many others have taken but became overextended.
post #20 of 22
Death of the Flexon? I just went to a 2005 new model fair in Hiroshima, Japan and low and behold, there was 2005 model Kneissel Ski and Flexon Ski Boots in a pamplet. Similar (possibly the same as 2004?) red/advanced model for free skier/mogul expert and a black/intermediate will be offered here in Japan. I have seen with my eyes the red model at two shops here in this city of 1 million. Common sense demands that in mega cities of Tokyo and Osaka, they were and are going to be offered there too! I saw them on the 2004 Kneissel Japanese homepage last year too.

If you really want a pair, just eat the exchange rate differential with the Japanese Yen and the shipping and you should have no problems bathing your feet with a 2005 model.

You can find the 2004 model at this retailer. You can mail them directly for more information. The 2005 models looked exactly the same.

http://www.akibasports.com/winterspo...oldkneissl.htm
post #21 of 22

Available at Footloose?

I have not confirmed. Just an FYI.

http://www.footloosesports.com/boots.../raichle.shtml
post #22 of 22
Guys check around, many shops including mine in Reno, have these new Kryptons in stock. The boot does seem to have a bit more instep volume than the flexons or at least for my foot it doesn't bite my instep when I flex it. The second shipment into the US has arrived and should improve the availability. Dalbello is working on developing their own version of an thermoflex liner instead of outsourcing from intuition or someone else. Plake, and the Western reps are all skiing in the intuition liners.

I only have faint memories of the skiing prowess of the flexon but I can say this Krypton is impressive!, even if it does not have the best out of box fit yet. It is worth checking into for sure and working on the boots is a breeze. The "Pro" comes with two tongues "damp" and "lively" as per GP and two zeppas, firm and rubbery, and a bag full of stiffners, shims, and bobbles. I will be spending more time in them this I know.
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