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Why do Lange/Rossi plug boots crack so often?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
It seems like everyone I know with a Lange/Rossi plug boots has cracked theirs. What's the problem? My R2002 have cracked on the cuff, down the inside back and on the instep. I have a friend who cracked his instep so badly, he couldn't use the boots anymore. What haven't they figured out in terms of materials? Has it gotten better with the RL11/R2005? What can one do to minimize the risk of cracking, short of being extremely attentive and drilling the ends of the cracks as soon as they start?
post #2 of 15
D(C), it's the plastic they are using. I am not an expert or a bootfitter so i cannot tell you what exactly is wrong with the plastic they're using. But i can tell you this: i was told by a bootfitter that the plastic used in the boots the WC athletes get is not available below FIS. So they are not the same boots. I can't imagine the boots of the top athletes cracking often. I tried the RL11 and i found the fit to be exactly as Jeff B described it: wide forefoot, very high instep and narrow ankle/heel. Roomy cuff.

For me the Lange myth is busted. Same goes for Tecnica Diablo with the huge forward lean and lower ramp angle. Don't believe everything you hear. Try the boot and don't pay full retail. Get it cheap and then go to a bootfitter. For me the Diablo was a poor choice. I listened to those who owned the Diablo. Perhaps they work for them. But they don't work for everyone. I am gettin myself a cheap pair of XTs.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by alu
D(C), it's the plastic they are using. I am not an expert or a bootfitter so i cannot tell you what exactly is wrong with the plastic they're using. But i can tell you this: i was told by a bootfitter that the plastic used in the boots the WC athletes get is not available below FIS. So they are not the same boots. I can't imagine the boots of the top athletes cracking often.
I think your bootfitter was referring to the ZI flex. The boots are the same otherwise. Whether the ZI plastic cracks less than the other flexes, who knows...

Quote:
Don't believe everything you hear. Try the boot and don't pay full retail. Get it cheap and then go to a bootfitter.
Wise words.
post #4 of 15
I have similar issues with my WC130s. I put about 45 days on my last pair and both had 1"+ cracks on the inner overlap. But they fit my foot so well that I bought another pair this year.

For me, I think it's that I use them in warm mid-atlantic conditions, and I'm 6'2", 195#. So with my heith and weight, and the fact that I ised them in warm conditions so the plastic stays soft while skiing, I overflex them, which causes them to crack. At least, that's what I'm guessing is happening. I only have about 20-25 days on my current pair, but I check them every time I take them off. When they start to crack, I'll start drilling the end of the crack to try to stop it.
post #5 of 15

Drilling to stop a crack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
When they start to crack, I'll start drilling the end of the crack to try to stop it.
JohnH, could you explain how to stop cracking by drilling the material? Never heard of it. Friend of mine has recently noticed some cracks on his boots and any advice would be helpful.

Thanks.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sudovec
JohnH, could you explain how to stop cracking by drilling the material? Never heard of it. Friend of mine has recently noticed some cracks on his boots and any advice would be helpful.

Thanks.
At the very end of the crack, even a bit beyond it, simply drill a hole. You'll want a hole at least about 3 mm in diameter, maybe bigger. The idea is to distribute the stress causing the crack over a uniform, large area instead of letting the crack continue. It's important that the hole you drill is smooth and round so that there are no weaknesses that would allow the crack to continue.
post #7 of 15

Langes insteps and tongues

The langes break because the tongue wedges against the overlap, when youre getting out of the boot. This either cuts or creases the lower shell. This then becomes a stress riser. Flexing causes a crack to propagates from this stress riser.

Always make sure your tongue is inside the boot, not wedged between the overlap at the instep. Don't leave then even for a few hours with the tongue wedged in the instep.
post #8 of 15
Tecnica XTs{ both 17s and 24s} do as well, they crack/split right above the heel pocket near the hinge point. Two pair split on me with in 3 years.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
It seems like everyone I know with a Lange/Rossi plug boots has cracked theirs. What's the problem? My R2002 have cracked on the cuff, down the inside back and on the instep. I have a friend who cracked his instep so badly, he couldn't use the boots anymore. What haven't they figured out in terms of materials? Has it gotten better with the RL11/R2005? What can one do to minimize the risk of cracking, short of being extremely attentive and drilling the ends of the cracks as soon as they start?
More than likely the cracking has more to do with, how they inject the platic into the mold, than it does with the material they are using. Grantedcertian types of plastic can have higher tendencies to crack, all of the platic used in ski boots, even WC stock, has a TG that is well bellow the temps that the bood is liely to encounter. Most likely the area where the boots are cracking is due to tow different "flow fronts" (I.E. where two diffreant molten flows of plastic meet in the mold)

As other have stated your best bet is to drill a small hole and the end of the crack to stop the crack propigation. This can then be sealed with silicone to keep the water tight.
post #10 of 15
Better yet is to drill a hole, then melt out the hole with a small hot finish nail. To this day AFAIK, no one knows really for sure what the cause of the infamous instep crack really is. A sloppy closure can for sure cause a nick in the overlaps. Another thought is that the bottom buckle strap often bottoms out on the instep of the boot fatiguing the plastic.

FWIW: I worked in and around the Lange race world for some years and rarely saw an athlete's boots with an instep crack. They often had the bottom buckle strap bevelled up to offer better clearance on the instep and a smoother flex travel. Also, most of them were pretty conscientious about taking care of their gear. The slackers that were not careful with their stuff came up with cracks more than the others and that supports the sloppy closure theory.

SJ
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim
Better yet is to drill a hole, then melt out the hole with a small hot finish nail. To this day AFAIK, no one knows really for sure what the cause of the infamous instep crack really is. A sloppy closure can for sure cause a nick in the overlaps. Another thought is that the bottom buckle strap often bottoms out on the instep of the boot fatiguing the plastic.

FWIW: I worked in and around the Lange race world for some years and rarely saw an athlete's boots with an instep crack. They often had the bottom buckle strap bevelled up to offer better clearance on the instep and a smoother flex travel. Also, most of them were pretty conscientious about taking care of their gear. The slackers that were not careful with their stuff came up with cracks more than the others and that supports the sloppy closure theory.

SJ

Thanks for the info...Is the bevelling you talked about still done? Also, would having the boots undone when they're off your feet make a difference?

BTW it's not just instep I'm having issues with. There are also cracks between the 2 cuff straps on both boots, as well as starting at the corner between the high back part of the boot (like where the spoiler would be) and the cuff, on both insides of both boots. The latter is clearly from skiing, not misuse...although I do tend to get a bit backseat...
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim

FWIW: I worked in and around the Lange race world for some years and rarely saw an athlete's boots with an instep crack. They often had the bottom buckle strap bevelled up to offer better clearance on the instep and a smoother flex travel. Also, most of them were pretty conscientious about taking care of their gear. The slackers that were not careful with their stuff came up with cracks more than the others and that supports the sloppy closure theory.

SJ
I also trimmed and then beveled the bottom straps on my Langes because I have a high instep that stops the boot from flexing very much. (and mine are Comp 100s!!). I didn't know this might avoid instep cracking, but it sure makes a difference in the flex. It is one of those mods I have done after studying the boot and why it didn't flex well. Glad I didn't screw it up!! LewBob
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
Thanks for the info...Is the bevelling you talked about still done? Also, would having the boots undone when they're off your feet make a difference?

BTW it's not just instep I'm having issues with. There are also cracks between the 2 cuff straps on both boots, as well as starting at the corner between the high back part of the boot (like where the spoiler would be) and the cuff, on both insides of both boots. The latter is clearly from skiing, not misuse...although I do tend to get a bit backseat...
I have not built a boot for a real racer for some years, but AFAIK, it is still done. It's a good practice that does not hurt anything. I did this for a customer fairly recently on a 120 FR and it gave him more travel without bottoming out on the instep.

I don't think having them undone is a problem except the practice could lead to crossing the overlaps and nicking the plastic. I confess that I have not seen many cracks on the cuffs although I used to see cracked rear spoilers on occasion. This was mostly on top level mogul skiers or bottom level hucksters.

SJ
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim
This was mostly on top level mogul skiers or bottom level hucksters.
Backseat university racer...combination of the 2...hahah
post #15 of 15

I am not surprised that they crack more often than the others

Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C)
It seems like everyone I know with a Lange/Rossi plug boots has cracked theirs. What's the problem? My R2002 have cracked on the cuff, down the inside back and on the instep. I have a friend who cracked his instep so badly, he couldn't use the boots anymore. What haven't they figured out in terms of materials? Has it gotten better with the RL11/R2005? What can one do to minimize the risk of cracking, short of being extremely attentive and drilling the ends of the cracks as soon as they start?
The RL11 was a big disapointment for me. Yes it was the fit that caused most problems but it was not the only thing. Except for the buckles (which are the best i have even seen and used) the boot was up to the expectations i had for a Lange plug boot. Yes i am sure that we don't get the same thing AAmodt and the other athletes are using, but it could have been a lot better. I have experience with the Tecnica XT and Race R. Frankly, the Tecnicas have better shells than the Lange 150. The plastic looks cheaper on the Lange. The spine of the boot was painted in grey and it looked cheap. I could not take out one of the bolts. Oh and the liner is not as good as the Diablo lace up (or should i say Nordica lace up). The NOrdica/Tecnica lace up leather liner is incomparably better than the Lange ZR which has a huge amount of padding at the ankle bones giving a false impression of a very tight fit in this area.

So i am not surprised that Langes crack more often than other plugs.
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