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Are Raichle Flexon T's considered 'lateral' boots?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I've been reading Harald Harb's ski instruction information, and see that he insists on 'lateral' versus 'rotary' boots to drive modern skis efficiently. I was wondering if anyone knows which type Raichle's Flexon T's (http://www.kneissl-usa.com/raichle/p...t_flexont.html) are considered to be?

When I try them on against Tecnica's, Atomic's etc... in a store, I cannot feel any difference laterally - obviously the Raichle's are much softer in forward flex. However, It's hard to say how different they would feel in a real skiing situation. Anyone have any opinions/ideas?

(The reason I ask is that Flexon's are the only boot I've found that properly fit my tube-shaped, narrow, low-instep, nskinny-calf foot.)

Thanks a lot.
post #2 of 29
They are lateral enough for my aunt to get her level 2 and Plake seems to do alright too. I'm no expert, and I've never skied them, but the Flexon's seem to have been ahead of their time with their stiff lateral/soft forward flex. Wish they fit me.
post #3 of 29
The Flexons are a very good laterally precise boot with an excellent from the bottom of the foot feel. Add the WC tongue for a more "medium" stiffness. Nice and light as well.

post #4 of 29
I can understand how a boot can lack lateral stiffness. I simply cannot figure out how a boot can be "rotary".
post #5 of 29
Rusty, do you rmemember the old Solomon SX-92 boots? With the flex adjustment on each side of the foot?

If you made the boot softer flexing on the inside (big toe side) the boot will enhance rotary moves... as the ankle flexes, the knee will dive to the inside, and the foot will rotate to the inside...

And vice-versa...

At issue is the location of the hinge points on the boot cuff. If it's lower on the inside of the ankle, the boot is softer in that direction, and the cuff will flex more easily to the big toe side.

The Solomon's hinge points were in a weird place, because of the rear loader design. Hinge points are at the ankle for most modern boots, because that's where we flex (bend)...

Make sense?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 30, 2002 05:40 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SnoKarver ]</font>
post #6 of 29
rotary, shmotary - this is one place I definitely call BOOLSHYTE on Harb's dogma.

a well-made, well-fit, well-adjusted boot CANNOT promote rotary. only the skier's movements promote rotary.

The only way I can see a boot "promoting rotary" is if the skier's lower leg/shin aren't in contact with the boot and there is lateral and rotary flop when the skier begins a movement.

Harb is off his rocker on this one.
post #7 of 29
For what it's worth Raichle Flexon's are very stiff laterally and always have been. They have three different tongues that are available to control forward flex stiffness. Soft, medium, and the WC tongue which is somewhere between medium/medium-stiff. As to the validity of rotary designations I'll leave that to others to discuss. They are good enough for Seth Morrison and a whole lot of other great skiers who have skied in them for years and were in many ways responsible for Raichle not retiring the boot in favor of something that they could trot out as "new and improved" each season.
post #8 of 29
Despite what some people think, this is not "harbian" or any other kind of hooie.
Good Grief! : Do I need to bring up the Pythonesque argument clinic example again? [img]tongue.gif[/img]

It's a diagonal tracking of the knee that causes femur rotation. Avoided by a lateral boot design.

For an good explanation: http://www.techsupportforskiers.com/bootdesign.htm

I'm a skier with alignment problems that cause a diagnal tracking inword of my right knee. Darn RIGHT it is rotary, and it causes me to abstem (tail wash) my stance (right) foot in a left turn. My right leg is about 5-6mm shorter than my left. And I'm knock-kneed, both legs.

By using the flex adjustments in my old SX-92's (mentioned above) I was able to mess with this tracking problem some. The real cure was an extra lift under my right binding, in addition to the canting.

I learned these things before shape skis, and before PMTS. MMMMmmmm, K?

And yes, I'm in a reasonably lateral boot now. I would rather be in a better design, however, I have a boot that fits me, which is a miracale, because I have wide feet, very high instep, narrow ankle and heel. Yuck.

Those Raichle's really DO fit a "tube foot" well!

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 31, 2002 08:45 PM: Message edited 1 time, by SnoKarver ]</font>
post #9 of 29

that still doesn't jibe with Harb's claim that only the Dalbello prevents rotary.

when he stops using his "ideas" as gospelized truths, I'll stop exposing his lies and puffery.

what you are talking about is whether a boot is designed anatomically -- a la Lange X series, Salomon Course series or Dolomite Sintesi series -- or is just an L-shaped tube like most of the old-school rear entry boots and many of the inferior 4-buckle modern boots. Any boot that emphasizes "comfort" and not performance is susceptible to slop.

So, my earlier statement still stands. The boot that isn't anatomic, doesn't fit well, and isn't adjusted well doesn't "promote rotary," but rather, promotes SLOP that in turn can create or facilitate a rotary movement.

Dang. Harb really has muddied the waters with his thinking on this one.
post #10 of 29
gonzo, I'm sorry you feel so turned of by HH's "methodologies". Is he strident? Sometimes. Is his delivery a bit too strong? Depends.

I'm an in-betweener. I have taught and learned ATS/PSIA for years. Don't let the messenger cloud your judgement. The man is brilliant and passionate. More often right than wrong about skiing too!

Does "attacking" another's point of view add anything useful to any discourse? Or is it just thuggery by language? Winning by force of emotional content? No thanks, I opt out...

Heck, Thomas Edison was a jerk, Tesla was a weirdo, Feynman was a joker. They were all smart guys, and I would have loved to have learned things from them...

I certainly learned a lot last year training with PMTS "things" and use it in my lessons with great success.

However, back to boots. There are many boots that "fill the bill". The information on Harald's website is a bit Dalbello specific, but guess what?

Atomics, Heads, Dalbellos, Dolomites, for example, are all lateral boots. Some boots from Lange and Technica have a rotary design.

It was never my impression that HH was Dalbello specific. He did have a focus on them a few years back, now he's "hooked up" a bit more with Head.

I suspect that the Raichles are rather neutral in the lateral vs rotary thing, altho many of them have a bit too much ramp angle. If the shoe fits tho, that's the big deal!

Gotta picture of that boot? Lemme see the hinge points...
post #11 of 29

Harb never said that Dalbello's were the only preferred boot. He just said that Dalbello's are one boot he really likes.

Anyway, SnoKarver really knows his stuff. So I'll jump out now and read what he has to say.

Nice turns in the bumps the other day - you really had it going. And, those Olins are really "you".

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SnoKarver:

Gotta picture of that boot? Lemme see the hinge points...

Thanks for taking the time. Here's the boot: http://www.raichleusa.com/raichle/pr..._flexont.html#

When I look at the hinges, they appear to be completely opposite each other (horizontally).

The reason I am looking into this is because muscle wasting has sidelined me from skiing for several years. I'm now on a quest to try and find the 'perfect' modern gear that will allow me to ski with as close to no muscle effort as possible. Harb's ideas really strike a chord with me.

Also, I recently tried his 'phantom move' skiing with a pair of modern skis for the first time. It really was a kick-me-in-the-head eye-opener. The effort was much less than it would have taken 10 years ago. So now, I am trying to see if ultralight skis and bindings, combined with light, super-stiff medially/laterally boots, and correct stance alignment can really take me to that level where skiing at slower speeds truly requires no muscle effort - just balance.
post #13 of 29

Yeah, I kinda like that PMTS stuff.
post #14 of 29
If the Raichle fits, buy them. Not everyone can fit(cook) a Thermoflex liner properly, so only buy them from an expert bootfitter who knows Raichles well. Better yet, one who wears them.Good luck; they sound perfect for your feet and what you're doing. The flexon is one of the stiffest boots made; laterally; I would assume the rotary as described is neutral. With simple tip and turn technique at the speeds you describe I can't imagine any advantage that a theoretically better design would give you over the right fit. Also, the Flexon's weigh about half what most other boots weigh.
post #15 of 29
Too Steep,
Where is Phil P. (Epic Ski's resident Flexon Expert) when you need him?
When I get home I'll check the hinge location on my Flexon's but will otherwise steer clear of the rotrary discussion. As
was mentioned the Flexon is very stiff lateraly and the lightest boot made that I am aware of. The themo-flex liner is very light and the shell is made of Nylon not heavier PU.
Although made for a foot like yours, Flexon's are also easy to adjust to accomodate higher insteps, thick calves and wider feet.

Ramp angle on a ski boot can be adjusted simply by grinding down or adding a wedge to the foot board. Some Flexons have a built in limited ramp angle adjustment depending on the model year. I'm not certain whether this year's Flexon's have that feature or not.
post #16 of 29

The picture does not show the relationship of the hinge points to each other. Oh well... But I think you'll do well with them.

Curious about your other choices for effortless skiing... Such as what skis, and if there are any alignment issues

Aren't those balance exercises a giggle?
post #17 of 29
Sorry, I have been thinking golf of late! Dchan IM'ed me about the thread, so I will chime in.

Lateral stiffness is one of the trademarks of the Flexon. I, for the most part, cannot add anything here, all has been said, I can just reiterate. The boot IMO, is the best 2 o'clock/10 o'clock boot out there. Thats my interpitation of rotory.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SnoKarver:

Curious about your other choices for effortless skiing... Such as what skis, and if there are any alignment issues

Aren't those balance exercises a giggle?

I haven't got it figured out yet. I'm going to do some experimenting.

Right now, I am leaning towards a pair of Fischer Sceneo 3.0's in 170 cm, (extremely light, and very cheap right now mail order from France) and using a 'featherweight' Rossignol binding - Saphir 90 (its marketed towards women, but it is specced to hold up to 220 lbs, and has a high enough DIN for me).

I figure that combo, with the Flexon's (you guys have convinced me), will be as light as I can get, and the Sceneo is meant to be extremely easy to turn, with a fairly wide balance point. It is also designed to be skied shorter.

I will probably also get a wider ski - (perhaps a Fischer Big Stix 84, or even a Chubb), for the deep snow days.

One of my requirements, which is a polar opposite of most folks here, is to find a ski that smoothly turns in crud, cement, chop, powder etc... at low speeds. There is no way around the muscle requirements of gravity, so if I want to keep it effortless, I will need to go slow. It used to be impossible to ski heavy snow slowly, but recently, I've seen some skiers on the hill moving in almost slow motion, so I'm hoping the new gear will allow for effortless crud at lower speeds.

I have a stance alignment problem - my left leg is quite bowed. I need to find a tech in the Vancouver/Whistler area who can properly align me and do a binding shim for me - any suggestions? There is one who will grind the boot sole, but I'm more inclined to go with a shim.

Thanks again.
post #19 of 29
I like Wild Willies in Whistler for boot work. There are others I'm sure.

The major advantage to a boot grind/plane is you can swap skis left and right, as well as rent demos or trade skis with out affecting your alignment.

The other advantage is that many of the shops that do boot grinding/planing will add a thin lift under the boot attached with screws. Then adjust the top of the boot/binding mating surface to comply to din requirements. This makes for a "replacable sole" if it wears out from walking.

Just something to consider.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ April 02, 2002 09:08 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #20 of 29
Too Steep,
I checked the hinges on my Flexon's last night. they are both directly opposite from each other horizontally.

I'm glad we heard from Phil. He is the most knowlegable Flexon guy here.
post #21 of 29
Yupper, checked my buddies Flexons, same model... Hinge points are directly across from each other in the horizontal (transverse plane) and the vertical (saggital plane). They are at the same point. Not suprised, but being objective I had to check!

Fischers RIP! Considering a pair myself. For you, in the Sceneo 3.0, are you considering the "booster" plate, or sans plate? The bindings and skis are a great choice, but I'm curious about your height and weight.
post #22 of 29
Hey Too Steep; you're in luck; if you need Flexons I can recommend Swiss Sports Haus in Vancouver, 604- 922-9107. Ask for Barry, I think he's the owner, but most importantly, he skis Flexons and knows how to cook a liner properly. He also carries the Intuition Liner, produced by the guy who designed the Thermoflex liner for Raichle (I've been told) right there in Vancouver.Some purists like the Intuition much better, but I think they are equally good. The important thing is to get the liners heated and fitted properly. Cannot stress this enough.You don't want some flatland sporting goods store kid practicing on you. It's a somewhat involved process; you heat the liners in a small oven for a few minutes, put on thin socks and toe caps, the boot tech wraps the hot liners around your feet and you step into the shell. The tech pulls on the liners in the back while you stamp down to form a deep heel pocket, you flex forward and buckle the boots lightly and dont move a muscle for ten minutes while the liner makes a perfect form to your foot. That's the process, more or less as I remember. It's easy to screw it up or get wrinkles so you need an experienced person to do it, but done right, it's an unbeleivably comfortable, warm and precise fit. Barry sold me a cherry 20th anniversary pair in bright frikkin' yellow at a great price and I couldn't be more stoked. I have a freshly formed liner to put in from my old shells and I'm ready to go. Another advantage is that if you pack out a liner after a couple of seasons, a new one can be had for about $100 for the Intuition or $150 for the Thermoflex; cook 'em and drop them in. No breakin time. Zero. True fact. Swiss sports haus link
post #23 of 29
One of my requirements, which is a polar opposite of most folks here, is to find a ski that smoothly turns in crud, cement, chop, powder etc... at low speeds.

you just described most mid-fat to Chubb-sized Volants.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gonzostrike:
you just described most mid-fat to Chubb-sized Volants.[/QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You know ... I've been wondering about that! I haven't had a chance to ski any, but from what I've read, they have intrigued me.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the specific movements/actions/forces that require muscle effort while skiing. Some of the obvious things that require extra effort are:

- maintaining control at speed
- stopping /decelerating
- shock-absorbing uneven snow

One thing I'm unsure of is whether or not skis with a lot of rebound are good or bad. I'm starting to think that skis with a lot of kick actually end up burning the leg muscles more than necessary. Perhaps something like the Volants, know for less of a kick, would be beneficial. How is it that skis without as much rebound can also be easy initiaters?

Obviously, width underfoot should require less effort in vertical snow, but what is the effect of width on hardpack? Do you think that wider and shorter is the route to go?

(By the way, I am 6'0" and weigh about 170 lbs).
post #25 of 29
How is it that skis without as much rebound can also be easy initiaters?

have you ever skied the Salomon X-Scream Series? The reason so many people call them "gaper skis" or "doctor/lawyer skis" is that their design makes skiing very easy at slower speeds. However, if you know how to ride the ski, you can get TREMENDOUS rebound out of them.

Rebound is a personal thing, though. Some skiers like it, some skiers are ambivalent about it, some absolutely hate it. (Most folks in the latter category do not have very good skills)

IMHO, for stability, ease and smoothness at slower speeds in bad snow, your best bet is to use a heavy, damp ski that has good "slicing" qualities. Volants fill that bill nicely. I skied a Machete McH two seasons ago and thought it was the best "slicer" I've ever skied. Of course, that model is not meant for slow speeds - it doesn't wake up until about 20-25 mph.

Shorter skis are easier at slower speeds, as a general rule. But length isn't the only factor. What you want to get is a ski that initiates easily (as you already suggested) and has good slicing power. Volant is what you are looking for. Ask Phil Pugliese, if he ever gets back on here. Maybe send him a PM. He loves Volant and seems to know their line best of anyone in these Forums.
post #26 of 29
Sorry I haven't been here of late. PM me if you have any questions.

As far as Flexon pricing, the best place I have seen has been eBay. If you know what size you need and don't care if teh craphics are somewhat dated, I got a back up new pair for my wife for $1.99!!!
post #27 of 29
The X screamers are still a pretty fantastic ski in spite of the bad press they've been getting lately. Volants do sound good for your purposes though, and they excel on both ice and powder, two seemingly opposed properties.Some thoughts on the Screamers; I used to like to keep two pairs of skis, one for hard snow and one for soft. That's grown into two "families" of skis.. Volkls for hard and Sollies, for soft. I bought the Screamers a week after the mid season launch and have never loved a ski more (well, perhaps the superforce nine; then maybe the K2 MSL or TNC.. yikes} I was looking to replace my edition 1 X-screams as they were gett'in pretty floopy at high speed; simply worn out after 200+ days.. I dem'od a lot of sticks and in the end, got another pair of Screamers; They are somewhat stiffer than the edition ones; they excel in GS turns, short turns, hard snow, bumps, crud and powder; they are amazing in powder; soft enough to feel them flexing and rebounding through the turn, with a tail stiff enough to bounce off of if you get a little back. I've a pair of wider Supermountains too and they are more stable and "bombproof" in the pow but lack the snappy feel that makes the Screamers so much fun. The Pocket Rocket seems a good marriage between the two; fun and snappy yet really great float. The juries still out on that one; I found it imprecise at high speed in GS turns; it loves 'em, but I found them less willing to change turn shape instantly than the X- Screams. Maybe it was me or I need to ski a shorter length. Or maybe they're a pure pow ski. But the X Scream is still a great everything but ice ski; the fact that it's forgiving makes it even better. I'm a more or less advanced skier and I was a little dismayed that my ski was getting a gaper image; I 'spose I could go out and get some Rossi's.. nah.. gape on!
post #28 of 29

the PocketRocket seems to be a good fit for your requirements. It's a very light noodle soft ski with a lot of surface area. You may want to try it.
post #29 of 29

excellent thoughts, especially the comparison among the Series, the Supermountain, and the Pocket Rocket. I too liked the Supermountain for its crud & pow performance, but it truly lacked the energy and pop of the Series. I ought to demo the Pocket Rocket.
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