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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telerat
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:09 am
Location: Middle of Norway
Ski style: Telemark, mountain and cross country skiing.
Favorite Skis: Any suitable for telemark, with some sidecut for turning.
Favorite boots: Scarpa

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by telerat » Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:50 am

The magazine (Fri Flyt, same conglomerate as Utemagasinet) came out yesterday. They had tested the prototype bindings from this spring, as well as Alfa Free APS and Alpina Alaska XP prototypes, but all pictures shows the Free boot and the author sounds like he only tested that boot. The title is "When Rando met mountain skiing" and has some new info;

The Alaska had a different sole that was wider and heavier than the one coming to shops.
The Alfa Free APS boot had a very stiff sole that bends in just one spot and was uncomfortable when walking. It also wore the front part of the sole (which engages the flex) was quite a bit, perhaps due to the stiffness. Not all testers liked the Free's BOA closures, and the boot's upper fabric bent in one spot and could be irritating, so test before buying. They felt 75mm was better for walking without skis and was skeptical to durability of XP boots when navigating scree. This is disappointing, but I hope the production sole/boots are better for walking this year, but first years buyers sounds like we might be beta testers.

There is also some technical updates coming in the production of the binding, but most is equal.
They noticed a small but distinctive difference between the medium and hard flex and also tested the free flex, but preferred to use the medium flex even on ascents as there was a bit of dead zone before the flex engaged so free flex gave little advantage and the flex made the ski return underfoot easier. There is a new wider version of the hard flex coming; My comment: You can can that see in this video from Rottefella: There are also videos for the medium and free flex, and they seem to me to show a flex that engages faster. They still avoid lifting the heel high and the test shows rear boots without much flex. Hopefully the new flex and a better sole will be able to bend properly and give an even better experience than in the test, but that remains to be seen.

They stepped into the binding easily in 8-9 out of 10 times, but struggled the last 1-2 times and had to have several tries then, especially if the boot was dirty after hiking. Some times they though they where in the binding, but only one of the sides was engaged which you don't see, so they adapted to double checking that the boot was properly engaged. Had there been ski brakes it would have been easier, but they like the simplicity of the binding. They also feel that the heel lifter is too high. All this sounds bad, but they are actually quite positive.

The binding and boots are silent(!), unlike very many existing bindings, and also really light. It's a joy to use on the uphill, lighter than almost any rando setup. They struggled a bit with the supplied skis (Rabb, Falketind and Nansen with short skins on some ascents, but also chose steeper tours to have more turns. The binding and boot is significantly less stable than telemark equipment, but more stable than NNN-BC. You get rewarded for knowing your telemark technique. On hard snow and/or steep hills, you will cross instead of turning, but on gentle slopes that are boring on rando it is superb. You get good contact with the ski, so the turning experience for mountain skis is tops. It made them visit the gentle slopes they had avoided the last 20 years. Xplore is neither a rando, telemark nor cross-country binding, but a binding for mountain skiing that invites you to explore all the snowy terrain around you. They write that classic 75mm equipment with toe binding would enable much of the same, but they enjoyed their time on Xplore and look forward to using it much the coming season. Coming to shops in December.

I hope I have managed to capture and convey the essence properly. I am excited and a bit anxious if the Skaged boots fits and is as good as I want/expected for both walking and skiing. I'll report back as soon as I can get my hands on the binding and/or boots.

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Nick BC
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:04 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC
Ski style: Free heel Resort/Backcountry
Favorite Skis: Voile Vector BC,Trab Altavia and G3 Stinger XCD
Favorite boots: Scarpa TX and T3
Occupation: Retired Community Planner

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Nick BC » Thu Nov 11, 2021 5:46 pm

Thanks for the summary telerat. I think I’m going to stick with 75mm :) .



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lilcliffy
Posts: 3087
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Storetind Carbon; Madshus Annum; Asnes Comabt Nato
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Nov 11, 2021 6:48 pm

I am certainly in no rush to move this way-

Would LOVE to try it-

Can't afford to.

Lots of bugs. Sounds normal.

I will wait for the bugs to be worked out.

I certainly think that it has the potential to completely replace the XC/XCD end of 75mm (i.e. 3pin) as well as the truly backcountry end of NNNBC (I still cant see how a binding that wide is going to work in and out of groomed track- for those that are inclined....)

At the moment it still screams FREEZE on anything beyond an afternoon tour...
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.



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Musk Ox
Posts: 230
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:53 am
Location: North
Ski style: Bad
Favorite Skis: I am a circumpolar mammal
Favorite boots: Hooves
Occupation: Eating lichen, walking about

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Musk Ox » Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:20 am

It sounds kind of perfect for what I want to do now (exploring with a few nice turny hills/ mini-'expeditions'), I have to say...



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Stephen
Posts: 465
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:49 am
Ski style: Aspirational
Favorite Skis: Gamme (210), Ingstad (205), Objective BC (178)
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance
Occupation: Beyond

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Stephen » Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:03 pm

@telerat, thank you for taking the time to translate and convey all that information!



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Woodserson
Posts: 2564
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XCD: Asnes FT62, XC: Nansen, E99, Bonna 1800
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Woodserson » Mon Nov 15, 2021 10:33 am

telerat wrote:
Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:50 am
They felt 75mm was better for walking without skis and was skeptical to durability of XP boots when navigating scree.

With external, telescopic, spring loaded pins ON THE BOOT, this was to be totally expected.

One bent pin out in the sticks that doesn't function properly and you are screwed. You guys think I'm anal about closing NNN-BC bails? Wait till I see youze guys walking around on rocks with this boot! Aiiieeee!

Thank you telerat for the write up!



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TeleMarcin
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Saska Kępa, Warsaw, Poland

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by TeleMarcin » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:08 pm

Hi does anybody know if the mounting of the Xplore bindings is more complicated than standard NNNBC bindings ? ANy comments on this issue? Greetings from Poland, Marcin



User avatar
telerat
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2020 7:09 am
Location: Middle of Norway
Ski style: Telemark, mountain and cross country skiing.
Favorite Skis: Any suitable for telemark, with some sidecut for turning.
Favorite boots: Scarpa

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by telerat » Wed Nov 24, 2021 6:14 pm

You can find mounting instructions and templates on rottefella.com:
https://rottefella.com/bindings-accesso ... s-and-jigs
Unfortunately the manual for Xplore isn't up, but the template is. It looks easier than NNN-BC, but requires one extra screw.



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Ultra_Vossing
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:41 am

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Ultra_Vossing » Sat Nov 27, 2021 11:51 am

Recieved my bindings yesterday, mounted them today on my old gamme skis. I have a fresh pair of ousland skis that i will use when the snow conditions are better. Mounting was easy, 3 of 6 holes matched with the BC binding. Fastened the binding with the two front holes and marked the three next holes. 3.5 mm drill bit, 9 mm deep and used pu wood glue. On the heel one hole matched, same procedure with the second hole. On a fresh pair, i think i would drill the two front holes first and then follow the same procedure as swapping bindings.



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KnoxPolk
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2021 1:04 pm
Location: Poland, Krynica-Zdrój
Ski style: XCD
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad, Rabb 68

Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by KnoxPolk » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:51 pm

@Ultra_Vossing where did you bought them?



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