Originally Posted by snowdan
what's wrong with the race pro's? there are at least two ways to soften them. a) rivets out b) shell cutting
I am sure Paul will tell you why does not like the Race Pros, but there is one thing that you must know: not everyone likes the Diablos. They have a stance that IMO does not work well for everyone. A flatter internal ramp and more FWD lean = more ankle flexion. The XT is different. It has more internal ramp and less FWD lean. This means less ankle flexion. I am not saying that one is better than the other. It depends on the skier in question.
The diablo has some advantages: it leaks less water and is warmer and more comfortable.
I looked at the diablo race r (true plug) lower (the race pro has the same lower but it is wider in all areas) and there are some differences which i believe make it better than the XT. The shell is cut lower and has deeper flex cuts. This means that it is more responsive to ankle movements than the XT. This means better sensitivity. But IMO it is not a true hinged design, blurring the hinge and mono designs. It is not cut very low, though. The other thing which IMO makes it better is the 4 bolt design. The bolts in the back make it more responsive.
My XT now has all these features and is even better (for me) b/c the shell is cut lower than the Diablo, it has deeper flex cuts (it is more like a hinged design), it has bolts in the back, it is more upright (even taller than the standard XT) and lower volume and narrower. It is as narrow as the Race R in the heel/ankle., it has a low instep (the Race R has a high instep) and wider in the forefoot (better for freeskiing for me).
I am pretty excited to try it on snow. I did a lot of testing at home (flexing) and i have to say that it is flawless. The flex is better b/c it uses the ankle more (perceptible) but it is also more progressive.