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Advice needed on Tecnica The Agent flex adjustment

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey there.  I have The Agent 120 boots adjusted, canted, ground by Greg Hoffman two years ago in Vail.

I think my ankle flexion anatomically is a bit limited and I'm really working on flexing/extending my ankles a lot more then I was then.  I'm thinking about softening up the flex on the boots but would like some advice on both how and whether to do it.

Which of the two thingys should I remove and how should I determine what to do?

Thanks!
Steve 
post #2 of 13
rivets are important to the performance of the boot. attached to the lower they provide power, control, and rebound. without the rivets makes finding the balance point of the boot difficult, like a moving target.

softening the boot by lowering the saddle cuts on the lower or sculpting the bottom strap of the cuff is a much better way to maintain the integrity of the design for performance and give you the flex that you need.

in addition to physical flex changes to the shell, it may be helpful for you to achieve better fore/aft balance by playing with the delta angle of binding or boot sole, or ramp angle of the bootboard inside the boot. both of these could help give you the "feel" you are looking for.

jim
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
 Thanks jim, but it's not fore/aft balance or feel that I'm looking for, it's increased ankle flexion/extension range.   I thought that that is what the rivets were designed to do, to soften the flex from the 120 to say 100 or so, isn't that true?
post #4 of 13
no, the rivets connect the upper cuff to the lower shell. they are not flex adjusters.

fore/aft balance via binding delta, and ramp angle has everything to do with what you are trying to accomplish. it is not typical to flex and extend the ankle much in skiing. are you using your boots in another sport like cycling or tennis?

if you are anatomically limited in ankle dorsiflexion you most certainly do not need a boot that flexes more, you need a boot that flexes less. is there an examiner in your life suggesting that you need to extend and flex your ankle? if so have him/her ski a mile with your ankles.

if east see nick blaylock, if west see greg hoffman.

good luck in the tour,

jim
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
 This all makes sense, how do you however reply to the following opposite understanding of this issue? 

"When a skier with limited ankle flexion begins pressing against the front of the cuff, they've used up a significant portion of their ankle flex just to get there.  Then, as they try to further press against the cuff to bend it forward, they often run out of that "ankle range of motion", so the next joint up the food chain takes over...the knee...and more pressure to the cuff means more knee bend.......and now the skier is in the back seat.

The skier with a greater range of motion in the ankle can continue to press harder against the cuff to flex it.....with ankle movement....and won't find the knee taking over the task at hand.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiMangoJazz View Post

 This all makes sense, how do you however reply to the following opposite understanding of this issue? 

"When a skier with limited ankle flexion begins pressing against the front of the cuff, they've used up a significant portion of their ankle flex just to get there.  Then, as they try to further press against the cuff to bend it forward, they often run out of that "ankle range of motion", so the next joint up the food chain takes over...the knee...and more pressure to the cuff means more knee bend.......and now the skier is in the back seat.

The skier with a greater range of motion in the ankle can continue to press harder against the cuff to flex it.....with ankle movement....and won't find the knee taking over the task at hand.

do we have to agree with the above quote? and this is not opposite in any way simply a different interpretation of where the "hall of funny walks" movements in skiing come from. that quote implies that the skier is able to get the leg into the front of the boot using body english. bode miller can, everyone else out there better get their fore/aft balance figured out.

the knee joint does not take control of anything, instead the skier throws whatever they have to get control over the ski, drop their ass to bring the heel back to the snow, bend at the waist, tip their head, rotate the upper body, burn up their quads, lean in, stem the outside ski, etc. the kinetic chain gets used for compensation, but the transmission is the ankle joint.

more typical scenario would go like this; the skier with low or limited ankle ROM would attempt to press the shin into the front of the boot. if the boot is stiffer and more upright the limited ROM guy can drive the ski via the front of the boot. however if the boot has soft forward flex, or higher degree of forward lean, the skier will "use up" the available ankle ROM without being able to pressure the front of the boot to drive the ski. the results from there can vary depending on the athletic ability of the skier. in some cases when the ROM is maxed, the heel is levered off the bottom of the boot and the skier sensing this drops his ass to get the foot back to the earth. you might also see this skier with their ass dropped and bent over at the waist to try to get to the front of the boot. this skier may also complain of burning balls of the feet, tired quadraceps, etc.

the same scenario messes with the skier with excessive ankle ROM. the boot never stops moving in forward flex if the boot is too soft or has too much forward lean. you see this skier looking like a tele skier, and also throwing all sorts of body english at the ski to maintain control. you will see skiers with sway backed stance, stemming to start the turn, etc. without reduced ramp angle and stiff support from the shell, this skier has a lower leg in the boot like a frictionless joystick, and is constantly fighting to find the sweet spot.

so fore aft balance focused on the ankle joint is the answer. bootboard ramp angle combined with cuff/spoiler forward lean, combined with boot closure to the lower leg, combined with the stiffness of the shell material.

for your solution, revisit your set-up. bootboard angle, cuff FL angle, delta angle (outsole of boot or ski), shin contact (tongue shim, eliminator tongue, FL wedge, Booster strap), and shell hardness. and put the fricking rivets back into the spine of your boot where they belong!!!

jim
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
 lol - I WILL NOT TOUCH THE RIVETS   I haven't yet and won't

Jim you are brilliant in your words and I very much appreciate the time you put into that post.

I was just askin' ya know?  And between what you, epic and Greg Hoffman said (more on that in a sec) I believe there's no reason to mess with the flex.  I am adding booster straps to them, as the power straps after about 70 days don't seem as tight.

These boots were sold to me by Greg, and extensive work was done on them at that time including fore/aft adjustments and cant adjustments with grinding.  I am assuming that all of this is correct.  The only reason I look for answers is because of my skiing level, which makes me wonder "maybe it's my equipment!"  Copout thinking basically - because I'm skiing really well on these boots right now.  I was just curious if I could help my limited ROM with softer boots.  I have been convinced.

I emailed Greg and here's what he said:

Rule of thumb1/ everyone has an opinion 2/less and more flexion should have stiffer boot. If you have a tight ankle a soft boot will not create more flexion. The limitation is the ankle not the boot. Looser ankle needs to be contained by stiffer boot. 
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
 I'm still not planning on playing with the flex on my boots, as they really don't even seem to be flex adjusters on this model as you say.  However when I started this thread I wrote to Tecnica USA, they just wrote back.  I followed up with an "are you sure on this model?"  Possibly they're talking about a different year boot. 

Hi Steve, 
  Thanks for your inquiry. Sorry for the delay on getting back to you things have been really busy  here.  To answer your question on adjusting the flex, you just need to take the flex bolts out of the spine of the boot in the back. If you take one out is will make it 115 flex and if you take both out it will make it a 110 flex. 

If you need anything else let me know. 

Thanks
 

Will Meyer
post #9 of 13
just because someone from "the company" told you "the company" line, it does not make it correct.

for your high performance boots to have high performance, you will need to connect the lower shell to the cuff with rivets.

it is a great story for the company to tell the shop guys to make selling of boots that are mismatched in flex to skiers that do not know any better. marketing is really fun, physics is really real. it takes brain power to overcome marketing fluff. have your tecnica "expert" call me and i will see if i can rivet his computer closed.

also the starthaus is starting to sell bullshit sniffers at an introductory one time offer for bears of 99.99. we have found them to be effective for separating shit from shinola in dealing with shop owners, bootfitters, suppliers, coaches, examiners, and ski instructors, and shop kids that worked as rental techs at vernon valley/great gorge for 10 days, and now are trying to sell you a custom injected liner and custom footbed in a specialty shop for 1,400 usd. ya gotta love this business like i do, to stay in it for so long.

jim
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
 Jim I wish you wouldn't be so obtuse.  If you just came out and expressed an opinion it would be OK, really don't be shy.  It just seems like you're holding back what you're thinking and I am interested in what you might say if you felt comfortable enough to express yourself.














post #11 of 13
this is all so confusing, i just want to be loved, what does obtuse mean again?

jim
post #12 of 13
StartHaus is 100% correct here and tell the company guy to call me too- he has my cell number.

As the entire cuff can be removed easily with the side and back screws-  do so and observe the moulded-in dotted cut here line in the lower.  the engineer who designed the boot intended this method of softening - i personally use a black and decker jigsaw for this proceedure!  quick and precise. Taking out the bolts is the cheater way, like getting a Cadillac ride from a porsche by losening a few suspension bolts.  its not plush - its slop.

 remember the company still calls the cuff alignment system "canting".  far from the truth or at least reality.

s
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
 actually i used the word wrong. i meant something more like vague, just looked up obtuse a - sorry about that.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ask the Boot Guys › Advice needed on Tecnica The Agent flex adjustment