The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
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Stephen
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Stephen » Tue Nov 01, 2022 10:25 pm

Thanks, @Tom M!
You da' man. 8-)
Are you going to leave that up there, in case others need it, or is this a short term option?

What in the heck is Rottefella thinking on this?

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Tom M
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Tom M » Tue Nov 01, 2022 11:09 pm

This is Rottefella's dropbox, not mine and I expect it is not permanent. For other's reading this thread, it might be a good idea to download and save any of these files you might need in the future.

Rottefella Paper Templates and Manuals
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nrmaqq4wmzci ... inlwa?dl=0



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telerat
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by telerat » Wed Nov 02, 2022 7:57 am

Stephen wrote:
Mon Oct 31, 2022 3:36 pm
Theme wrote:
Mon Oct 31, 2022 9:15 am
..Xplore may enhance these abilities even further, but I am worried of the rather short screws they come with. I probably will resort to finding some longer screws to combat the binding ripping off..
I noticed this is a recent post, so looked to compare the screw penetration on the NNN BC binding vs the Xplore binding. (I have one new of each for comparison.)

The mounting screws must be reasonably sufficient, but seem unnecessarily and ridiculously short.
The Xplore binding screws have 2-3mm less penetration.
...
I assume this has been well tested and that the screws have been found to be sufficient, but if anyone knows otherwise, or has an easy replacement option for the screws, I would love to know.
The instructions for Xplore mounting mentions two drill bit lengths:
Drill bit (screw length = 16.3 mm): 3.6x9 mm
Drill bit (screw length = 21.8 mm): 3.6x15.5 mm

So I assume there exists two lengths of screws. I asked Rottefella customer service for longer screws last year, and they came back to me with not knowing when the longer screws would be available for purchase. I found the Xplore screws shorter than the ones on my 75mm, and have thus made a preliminary mount of Xplore on my Fischer E109 skis that had 75mm before, while waiting for the longer screws. On my Ousland skis I just used the included screws and thought they felt sufficient. I'll check with shops or Rottefella regarding the longer screws again soon.

PS. The Rottefella site seems working with access to instructions and templates now.



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Stephen
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6’3” / 191cm — 172# / 78kg, size 47 / 30 mondo

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Stephen » Wed Nov 02, 2022 5:34 pm

@telerat, thanks.
I must have missed the link on the product page for “Mounting Instructions.”
Links posted earlier in the year for the template no longer work, but the new one does.

Yeah, the two different screw lengths sort of threw me.
I would like the 21.8mm screw better.
That one is about 1/4” longer, which would be plenty long enough.
I wonder if they had a “supply chain” issue with the longer screws.
The ones that are included are actually 15.6 mm (top screw in 1st picture, right screw in bottom picture).
I compared that with the 17.13mm NNN BC toe screw (as mentioned by @Theme) in the pictures below.

I’m not saying the included screws aren’t adequate, but, to me, they look too short (plus, the tip is more pointy, with less holding power).
.
B310EB83-53E9-49EF-A5CA-A759022E8A0A.jpeg
.
Screw on the right is the one included with (and shown in) the Xplore binding.
E9FB5483-C719-45F0-BCF6-EFDFF8658892.jpeg



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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by TSLAFan » Wed Nov 15, 2023 11:34 am

I found this thread as I've been investigating my recent XPlore mounting failure experience.

IMHO the 15.6 mm screws are inadequate, as I currently have Traverse 78 skis back in the REI shop after the front four screws ripped out on one, while skiing recently. I bought this setup in February 2021, love it, and no signs of the binding being loose until the front portion pulled off while striding in deep fresh tracked snow two weeks ago. As the whole release mechanism was lost in the snow, the binding then broke as we tried to twist it and the ski off of my Alpina boots.

I've been really disappointed in Rottefella, as they have been unresponsive to REI and I now see that the replacement bindings REI ordered STILL have only the 15.6 mm screws, in the box. The shop has some 17.13mm NNN BC screws they will be using in both skis, as we are shifting the binding location a bit, rather than use the same holes. With Rottefella's unresponsiveness, the Dillon, CO REI has covered the replacement binding and I'm again really impressed with REI!



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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Theme » Thu Nov 16, 2023 2:22 pm

I have been putting off installing most of my bindings. Unfortunately I could not resist and my FTX were mounted with the short screws. Seems I should swap them out.

Rottefella now offers these ~22mm screws with the XP bindings, and most shops I have been to have spares of them now too. It is a new screw for 2023.

Image



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telerat
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by telerat » Fri Nov 17, 2023 4:42 am

I too thought that the standard screws are a bit too short. I would exchange the two rear main screws on any binding that will be used with the stiff flexor. The short screws are also shorter than the screws used on the Super Telemark binding, so reusing the holes (which will move the binding/boot a bit back) is a bit risky. They have held up for us so far, but I need to remount two pairs of skis, as well as mount two additional pairs.

Sorry to hear of the bad experience.



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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Manney » Fri Nov 17, 2023 2:25 pm

Experiences like this suck. They really do. But we need to be careful what we wish for.

A longer screw sounds good but only insofar as the thickness of the ski to accommodate it.

Need to be careful with adhesives when using long screws too. Viscous adhesives can hydro lock if the screw comes close to bottoming out just shy of the base (it’s impossible to know in advance where the voids occur in any air gapped ski). When this happens, a closed volcano forms in the ptex. Pretty much buggers the ski for life.

Sometimes the overall strength is as much defined by the laminate. This is why aluminum is used as a reinforcement for alpine skis (which see far greater binding loads). In such cases, do you really need more strength than “enough”?

A blunt tipped screw is going to take more downward force to get stared. A sharper point with a tapered thread will be self starting. One is easier to drive squarely than the other. Obviously, a squarely driven screw will hold better because the force will be more evenly distributed around its circumference.

Ski techs will factor these things into how they mount bindings because they don’t want to have to cover the cost of damage done by their hand. So both length screws will probably be kept in inventory and used at the discretion of the installer. That’s reality.

If the user specifies the fastener, they may be told that they’re responsible for the consequences… or the tech will refuse to install the binding… or they’ll put in whatever they want regardless of what the customer said (customers say all kinds of stupid things after all).

So it may not be as simple as “gimme the long uns”. Just trying to temper outrage before it occurs…
Go Ski



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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by xcdnewb0313 » Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:37 pm

I mounted my Xplore bindings last night to my new Traverse 78s. The box was looking a little worse for wear when it arrived (the box was flimsy crap and very easy for parts to fall out during transit) and it turns out I was short one screw. Reached out to REI and they express shipped a new set of bindings to me so I can finish mounting my binding.

EDIT: The replacement bindings arrived and the box was pretty manky and held together with what appeared to be an aftermarket sticker (REI employee maybe...).

Image

After reading through this thread I am a little worried about the binding ripping out of the ski. I followed Tom M's mounting video and used wood glue.

Should I have used epoxy instead? If so can I remove the screws and use the same holes with epoxy instead of wood glue? Or should I drill new holes? If I have to drill new holes to use epoxy should I mount the binding forward or backwards of the current holes and by how much?

If you couldn't tell this is my first experience mounting my own bindings instead of having a shop do it...



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telerat
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by telerat » Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:22 am

The black round sticker is the same as on most Xplore boxes I have gotten and is absolutely needed, as the boxes are flimsy and fall apart when you look at them hard. The screws came in a plastic bag, so they should be complete though.

I remounted three pairs of skis (Åsnes Rago, Fischer E99 and E109) with Xplore this weekend (two from preliminary Xplore mounts and one from an old adjustable width 75mm binding), so now I only have my new Falketind 62 XP left. I have used polyurethane (PU) glue as per Åsnes' instructions and it looked fine. I could also have used epoxy, and from what I have read and heard it is stronger, as long as you use the long cure version. Just make sure you use a water resistant and stable glue, not regular wood glue for indoor use. Original Gorilla glue is PU and comes in a small and suitable bottle if you have trouble finding PU glue.

I would as I wrote above, use long screws for the rear of the front four holes if you expect strong forces as from the hard flexor. The standard screws are a bit short with only 7mm or so of insertion into ski, while the long screws are longer than the 75mm screws, so they erred on either side of perfect. On the Fischer skis with a raised binding platform the mount with the short screws felt solid when hand tightening the last millimeters, while on the Rago it felt a bit more sketchy. I got a set of long screws last season from Rottefella and will use them on the rear two main holes on my FTX 62 and have done so on my E109. Good luck all.



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