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Technica Ultrafit vs HotForm

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Can anyone explain the advantages of Ultrafit vs HotForm in Technica boots?

They both are heat molding right? Is the tech diff that UF using and oven and HF plugs in?

I'm most interested in one maintains longer lasting (no pun) performance I remember someone posting something last year saying one isn't that great for someone who skis a lot as it tends to wear out. Think it was the Hot Form. Which is best someone who skis a lot (two-day a week pro) and wants boots to work and last?

-Ken

PS

Course I haven't decided on Technica yet but if I like the fit, I'll have to pick one of the lastings.
post #2 of 17
I also was wondering the same thing. I've been given just the opposite answers from different retailers- HF is better, UL is better, they're the same ??? We need a pro (someone really knowledgeable with this product) to answer this one.
Jim
post #3 of 17
Ultrafit liners fit better, directly out of the box, without heating them.

Way too many shops first put people in HotForm liners without going through the HotForm process. The inevitable result is a customer that feels the boot is of lower volume than the equivalent UF liner.

For my personal taste, the HotForm liners are WAY too voluminous to ever allow reasonably good performance. They sure are comfy though.

The real benefit of HotForm (or any "heat molding") technology is that it decreases comebacks for the shop. People are less likely to "discover" a fit issue after leaving the store with a HotForm boot than a UF. Its really a very slight difference, and certainly not worth the premium price IMO.

Basically you are paying extra to (albeit slightly) reduce their bootfitting workload.

The liners in the newest boots from Lange (Comp Series), Rossignol (Elite), and Tecnica (Diablo) are a new technology that goes back to forced air, but is much less expensive and just as effective.
-Garrett
post #4 of 17

Hot Form????

I skied the Ultrafit for 2 years and the Hot Form for 2 years, each with about 45 days a season.

Personnally, I liked the Hot Form better, because after I felt like I packed out the boot, I could go back and get it re-molded. Then it felt like I had just got new liners/boot - a nice tight race fit. Keep in mind that I shell-sized very small, with 1 pinky-width behind my heel. The other nice thing was that I could get into nice, WARM, DRY BOOTS the next morning. While everyone else in the locker room was having room temperature air being blown into their boots, mine were having that plus drying out from the inside via the hot form liner plugged into 110v.

I guess the bottom line for me is that Hot Form works. It provides a great fit that can be re-molded again and again, with a bonus of having warm dry boots everyday.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
....
The liners in the newest boots from Lange (Comp Series), Rossignol (Elite), and Tecnica (Diablo) are a new technology that goes back to forced air, but is much less expensive and just as effective.
-Garrett
What do you mean by "forced air". Are these injected?

-Ken
post #6 of 17
Ken,
Hot air is blown into the boot (with liners inserted) via "industrial hair dryer". The liner is warmed well above normal body temperature and makes the "special" liner somewhat supple and receptive to molding/forming to your foot. You then but the boot on and wear it till the liner cools down to normal temps. It could be thought of as "high speed or instant" boot break-in.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman

The liners in the newest boots from Lange (Comp Series), Rossignol (Elite), and Tecnica (Diablo) are a new technology that goes back to forced air, but is much less expensive and just as effective.
-Garrett
You have me confused on Technica. The technica USA web sites says the Diablo series comes in HF and UF just like the Rival series. Were you refering only to the "Race Pro"?

-Ken
post #8 of 17
Does anyone have any details on the voltages applied to remold the hot form liners and also the voltage applied to dry them?
post #9 of 17
Ultrafit is a heat moldable system in which hot air is 'forced' into the boot - after a specific heating time, the 'hair dryer' apparatus is removed and the foot goes in. At this point the liner molds to the foot by compressing wherever the foot pushes on it.

The HotForm liner is a heat EXPANDABLE liner, which means that after it is heated (thru a heat fabric in the middle of two layers of expanding foam (think oreo)) it expands to fill unfilled spaces between the shell and the foot. Hotform is the replacement for the old Tecnica foam - the fit is a bit more forgiving than foam and unlike foam, if it is screwed up or packs out, you can just re-hotform it at the shop. I have had hotform liners for a season and a half now and have probably reformed them four times. It's great to re-do in the spring when your feet are a little bigger.

The Diablo Mag, Fire & Flame all come either with the hotform liner or the ultrafit liner - either way. The Diablo Race comes only with a race liner, which is again a different animal.

The voltage for the hot form molding machine and the drying attachments are different, but I don't know the technical specs.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by gotamagal
The voltage for the hot form molding machine and the drying attachments are different, but I don't know the technical specs.
I actually took a look at the machine the other day, and it doesn't have openly printed technical specs.

Someone would need to get the multimeter out and measure both. If I'm really insanely bored someday, I'll do it.

EDIT: Unless the new HotForm liners are as different as the new UF liners, they are not an "expandable" foam. HotForm simply makes thermo-moldable EVA foam work a LOT better than it traditionally did with forced air. The new UF liners aren't EVA, and work a lot better with forced air than the old ones did. If they are EVA, they are a whole lot different. I'm currently trying to find out exactly what is going on there.

I haven't seen the cut-open HF liner in a while, but I'm pretty sure of this. Tecnica's website refers to it as a molding technology, and I'm pretty sure if the material expanded, they'd point that difference from regular thermo-moldable EVA boots out.

I'm not saying HotForm doesn't work, it really does. Do HF right, and the liner comes out of the boot looking like its been skied in for 20 days. Rivets impressed and everything. I'm just saying it doesn't "expand".
-Garrett
post #11 of 17
The provided AC cord for the hot form liners supplies 12VDC 1A.

The machine in the shop that actually "forms" the liners supplies 23VDC 1A, according to the specifications on the back of the unit. 10 minutes is supposed to be sufficient.

My experience with hot form liners has been poor. Last season, I bought a pair of Icon DPXR hotform boots which packed out quickly, much more quickly than my previous non-hotform liners in a pair of TNT Icon XR's.

I could tighten them back up by re-hotforming, but this would only last a couple days, afterwhich they were looser than ever. I ended up putting thick heel wraps on the liners to tighten them up, and the shells were a 1 finger fit.

Bear in mind, however, that I am in my boots 6 days a week, 8 hours a day during ski season.

I regard Tecnica's hot form liners to be targeted to the occasional recreational skier who values comfort over performance. I suggest pros avoid them.
post #12 of 17

Question related to HF

This will be my 3rd seson on the HF's, is there any benefit to having them "re-heated"? I noticed that they seemd to pack out slightly by the end of last season but nothing problematic.
post #13 of 17
Can I use a regular hair dryer to heat mold the inside of my Ultrafit? I don't want it to be not hot enough for it to start molding, or as too hot that it melts the liner completely, as Tecnica implies that will happen.
post #14 of 17
The ultrafit boots fit to your feet by your feets ambient temperature. What hotform does in about 15 minutes, Ultrafit does in about ten days of skiing. I am skiing in Ultrafit Diablos currently and I have absolutely no complaints.
post #15 of 17
Can the Ultrafit liner be re-heated? (I may have a line on a pair that reportedly was used once by one of the shop guys who decided it was too short for him.)
post #16 of 17
You should be able to reheat them. make sure you shell fit the boot before you buy it. I had to down size by one in order to get a proper fit.
post #17 of 17
The Hot Form seems to work best if you get it hot. Ten minintes is not enough time. My first fitting the boot was heated at least 13 min. It was hot as hell but it worked.

The liner is very comfortable - maybe too much so. It does pack out but so do normal liners.

I have re-heated and it has helped. I have never used the amount of heat that we did on the first fitting. There have been many adjustment since so I plan to re-heat soon. My goal is to shoot for 13 min plus.

I have always skied in a custom foam liner, but for me this is better. Foam packs out too and you foot changes, at least mine does.
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