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

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Stephen » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:09 pm

xcdnewb0313 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2023 7:37 pm

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?
I don’t see any answers to your concerns, so will offer my .02¢…

1. Definitely don’t remount in new holes!
2. Like someone else said, you want a waterproof glue, not something like Elmer’s white glue.
3. If you used a glue that isn’t waterproof, I would remove the screws and remount in the SAME holes using a waterproof glue, Polyurethane being the recommended option.
4. I like epoxy because I think it’s a superior glue and because it adds strength to the core material around the screw, but most bindings are not mounted with epoxy and never have a problem.
5. In modern skis (not wood skis, but skis made with composite construction), most of the holding power for the mounting screw is provided by the top few millimeters (any combination of fiberglass, carbon, or metal). However, a wood core will provide additional holding power that a longer screw can take advantage of.
5a. You want to put the binding on top of the ski, with the mounting screws next to the sidewall of the ski, to visually confirm that the screw is not so long that it will come close to the base of the ski, where it could cause a bulge in the Ptex, or worse, go completely through the base.
5b. When you are putting glue in the screw hole, you want to make sure that the entire inside of the hole is coated with glue (use toothpick or such to work it around). You don’t want the hole FULL of glue, because, like @manney said, once the screw starts turning into the hole, the glue has no place to go except INSIDE the ski, and if there is no space inside the ski, well, you can’t compress a liquid, so it will start pushing and that could damage the inside of the ski, and even make a bulge in the Ptex base. This is one of the reasons the screw hole should be a little deeper than the length of the screw (to provide a space for any extra glue in the hole).

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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 1:47 pm

Good and comprehensive tips from Stephen. A last tip for remounting in the same holes (or screwing on a cap or similar); turn counter clockwise until it "clicks" and then screw in/turn clockwise. The screws should then enter the old threads instead of making new ones and possibly weaken the hold. If the screws or hold feels loose when disassembling, I would use epoxy to be sure.

My experience is that excess glue will come out on top around the screw, but if the hole goes through to the base, it can make dimples in the base. As Stephen writes; always check screw length before using; some skis are very thin.



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xcdnewb0313
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by xcdnewb0313 » Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:39 am

Thank you @telerat and @Stephen for your responses. I nerd-ed out a bit on the glue perhaps a bit too much after reading your posts and now I am thinking it is probably better to be safe than sorry and just use epoxy...

I used Titebond II (2), which has an ANSI/HPVA Type II water-resistance. After reading this article I am thinking that I probably should not have used the Titebond II water-resistant glue but at the very least the Titebond III Ultimate wood glue...

Honestly I would rather not have to worry about the skis ripping out of the ski so I am leaning towards just using epoxy vs a Polyurethane glue (or the Titebond III glue). Especially since the screws appear to have less holding power from the get go with their highly pointed tips vs. flat tips of the NNN-BC screws.

I did order this speciality drill bit (per Tom M's recommendation in his mounting video) and I did confirm before the OG mounting that the screws were not going too deep into the ski and risking poking through or causing a bubble.



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Stephen
Posts: 1447
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 am
Location: PNW USA
Ski style: Aspirational Hack
Favorite Skis: Armada Tracer 118 (195), Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178), Nordica Enforcer 94
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance, Scarpa TX Pro
Occupation: Beyond
6’3” / 191cm — 172# / 78kg, size 47 / 30 mondo

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Stephen » Thu Nov 30, 2023 9:59 am

@xcdnewb0313 thanks.
I understand your thinking, but unless you’re often skiing in wet conditions, I’m not sure I would bother to remount?
It is water resistant glue.
But fine if you do. Just make sure the screws are clean, with no glue residue when you remount. And the trick to get the screws lined up with the existing threads is good advice.
The other thing you might do on a remount is make sure any “volcano-ing” around the screw hole isn’t holding the binding above the ski surface. If it is, shave it off.
Personally, I think the bigger issue is the short screw length.
If you are going to remount, I would try to get the longer screws (or equivalent) — not sure where those are available. .
Screw length might make more difference in secure hold than the epoxy.



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xcdnewb0313
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by xcdnewb0313 » Thu Nov 30, 2023 11:24 am

I don't typically ski in wet conditions but I knew I was going to be paranoid heading out into the backcountry if I didn't go the epoxy route. In the end I was glad I did. When I went to remove the screws they were WAY too easy to remove. I had torqued them to ~3nm when I installed them but they came out with little to no effort.

Ended up using this epoxy Image, which came with an EZ Mixer Syringe so I didn't have to mix by hand and apply with a popsicle stick. I used a small nail to work the epoxy around in the hole a bit. The screws came out with almost no residue on them, so there was no need to clean them up.

There was a bit of volcano action around the holes, which I smoothed out a bit with my exacto knife. However, the base of the binding has little divots on the base - so the volcano-ing shouldn't affect the binding ability to lay flush against the ski.
Image

Thank you again for the advice, it is very much appreciated and I feel a lot better now about the whole setup. Now I just gotta find some snow :mrgreen:



bororo23
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by bororo23 » Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:32 pm

This happened on Xplore to anyone else already?
The tip of the plastic lever went off just today.
IMG_1751.jpeg
IMG_1750.jpeg



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telerat
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Ski style: Telemark, backcountry nordic and cross country skiing.
Favorite Skis: Any ski suitable for telemark or backcountry skiing, with some side-cut for turning.
Favorite boots: Scarpa plastic telemark. Asolo and Alfa leather boots.

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by telerat » Mon Dec 04, 2023 5:16 am

Hard luck bororo23. How did it break? I still think the release lever is unnecessarily small and could have been made larger and easier to hit, and now also stronger. The current version looks as a designer got too much input on the construction. Hopefully it is repairable. I have not broken apart the binding yet, so I don't know how hard/easy it is.

Otherwise regarding the screws: Here is a picture showing the difference between short and long in the binding:
Xplore_screws_LS.jpg
I unfortunately forgot to add a measurement scale, but the short one is sightly more than 7mm I think. The long screw has 5 full size threads in the ski compared to just 2 for the short screw. The short one feels like it is made for skis with a reinforced binding plate as it is almost not entering the core. I think Rottefella missed the ball here with the standard screws being too short and too pointy, and the long one being too long and pointy, but there may be reasons I don't know about. The long is longer than the standard for 75mm (and NNN-BC?), so I would prefer a medium length as standard.

Edit: Updated my opinion and we have already have screw failures:
https://www.telemarktalk.com/viewtopic. ... 202#p66464
I think that the holes have been drilled with a too large diameter bit on that mount, but it also underscores the point of short screws.
Last edited by telerat on Tue Jan 16, 2024 5:02 am, edited 2 times in total.



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Theme
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Theme » Sat Dec 23, 2023 6:09 am

That is super unfortunate @bororo23 . Did not even realize how that front lever is made of two pieces. Does not affect the ability to lock in the boot though, does it?



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The GCW
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by The GCW » Sun Feb 04, 2024 7:40 pm

Theme et al,

On a humorous note, it looks like the challenge isn't getting in the binding but getting out.



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