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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Johnny
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Johnny » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:12 am

Woodserson wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:42 pm
I only have been able to source black and red flexors. Is the Xplore going to use the same color system for their flexors? Are the white X flexors as stiff as the NNN-BC flexors? Also, do you have any spare white NNN-BC flexors? I've never skied the whites.
I used to buy mine at Akers and Nordic Skater... I hope they won't become memories of the past, like the Red (and the Black!) NTN tubes I love so much... I might have an extra pair, I will check at my "warehouse"... (Or perhaps I could lend you a pair, so you can finally throw away all those stinky cables and discover the secret NNN-BC truth and the blissful joys of cableless telemark skiing... 8-) )

NNN-BC:
BLACK: Normal flex
RED: Harder flex (Almost no difference, just a tad harder than black)
WHITE: Outrageously stiff flex

XPLORE:
BLACK: Normal flex
GREY: Hard flex
WHITE: No flex, just an anti-ice plate for free pivot touring

UPDATE: As of today, the XPLORE hard flexor is still not available for review. The reason is that Rottefella is still working on it in Norway. From Rottefella US: "Currently they are not satisfied with the hardness/performance of the hard flexor, so they've asked to hold tight until such time... I expect soon. "
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."

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Johnny
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Johnny » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:16 am

Woodserson wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:44 pm
Do you know what ski this system would be fantastic on? A pair of Dynafit Cho Oyu's. Those skis are legit one of the best cross-over XCD skis I've seen. My friend has a pair-- he had leather boots, I gave him some Voile bindings...
They sure would be awesome! But you are bringing a very important point... "Do you know what ski this system would be fantastic on?" is exactly what we are going to hear from every ski companies next fall... Suddenly, every ski model will become perfectly adapted for the new XPlore system... 8-)
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."





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Johnny
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Johnny » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:24 am

iBjorn wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:29 pm
Good to hear! If you are able to give Rottefella feedback, please ask about slots for ski crampons. In icy conditions, they are a godsend and it does seem easy to to hack in a crampon slot on that binding. Also is there any possibilities/rumors for (boot) climbing crampons in the xplore system. Regular flex, or semi-flex crampons will break with a soft boot. The only rigid crampon still on the market is Grivels Rambo IV, which may be an overkill for the purpose.
They are reading your feedback... ;)

Crampons would sure be a nice addition... But from what I understand, they will come up with all sorts of other add-ons and goodies in the future... I sort of expect many more options coming on the XPlore platform... Again, remember NTN? Rottefella released SIX different versions of the NTN binding within a 6 year timeframe...
/...\ Peace, Love, Telemark and Tofu /...\
"And if you like to risk your neck, we'll boom down Sutton in old Quebec..."





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iBjorn
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by iBjorn » Fri Apr 30, 2021 11:45 am

Johnny wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:24 am
They are reading your feedback... ;)
If they are reading this, they (and Åsnes) should try to sponsor some teams in Skimo racing with the new Åsnes skis and the Explore system. In several of the races in Scandinavia, such as the Keb Classic here in Sweden, there are flat and low-angled sections that may make telemark an viable option for competition if the gear is light (such as the explore system).

I do believe that this would make an exceptional marketing opportunity for the system!










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Spiny Norman
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by Spiny Norman » Fri Apr 30, 2021 3:59 pm

oops, shouldn't surf w/o my glasses.

Looks like the tsl is more like the dynafit method.

Carry on.





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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:11 pm

Johnny wrote:
Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:53 am
lilcliffy wrote:Although the rigidity of the binding attachment on the Xplore binding might improve downhill power transfer and edging- I don't see how a boot as soft-flexing as the Guard is going to offer anything more downhill than it does on the NNNBC platform...
You are right... The same XPlore boot is not going to offer much more than its NNN-BC equivalent...
Except for this: ;)

- More power and more control
- A new sense of freedom like you never felt before
- Step in function
- Swappable flexors
- A 20% weight reduction (!!!)
- Integrated climbing bars
I should have thought that post above through a bit more-

I do clearly see how the boot-binding interface will be more solid-rigid than anything that NN or NNNBC has to offer-

So- yes- any boot that at least laces up snug is going to offer better performance on the Xplore platform.

However- the extra cost of the Xplore setup is no small thing (especially if you live in a country with weak currency...)-

What I am getting at is that I don't know that the extra cost of the Xplore binding is worth it unless one is getting it for the improved downhill stability and control. For a distance-oriented setup, I am thinking- at the moment- that Xplore is not worth the extra cost and NNNBC is just fine...

For example- I am thinking that I will stick with NNNBC on my Gamme 54/E99-
The "spot" that I really want to test the Xplore binding is with skis like the FT62/Rabb 68/Annum/Epoch/S98/S112-
I might "need" the new Rabb 68/FT62...

On the other hand-
Johnny- your description of the excellent XC performance of the Xplore binding is captivating as well- and also makes sense...I might also have to try Xplore on a XC-oriented ski at some point as well..
There is no competition. Because there is no other XC binding on the market that offers that much control, at such a superlight weight. 8-)
This is a very helpful statement as it points exactly at where this binding is aimed- Nordic ski touring in backcountry hilly/mountainous terrain.
The Xplore is not intended to be a Telemark binding- not in the modern sense.
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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lilcliffy
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:27 pm

Johnny wrote:
Thu Apr 29, 2021 7:15 am
I still don't believe the Xplore system will match the power that a T4 class boot can provide, but we'll see what comes later. It is not my priority anyway, as I am waiting for a lighter NTN boot with more walking comfort.
It has never been what the XPlore is all about:

Rottefella Xplore is a new backcountry binding system which will greatly improve your skiing experience; with better mobility when skiing across all types of terrain and greater stability during downhill skiing, giving you an increased sense of confidence and enjoyment of backcountry skiing. The Rottefella Xplore system is our newest innovation. It is a new binding system designed to enhance stability, provide better comfort and increase mobility.

That said, if I personally can get more power than a plastic T4 out of leathers and 30yo NNN-BC bindings without cables, you can understand my optimism about the XPlore... 8-)

It's up to boot manufacturers to decide if they want to release XPlore plastic boots or not. All the potential is there, hidden in the binding, and ready to explode... (But if Scarpa never even bothered to add tech inserts on the TX Comps in the last 15 years, I don't see why they would start developing XPlore boots at all.)
This-

This is what this is about-

It's about levelling up what NNNBC (and the traditional Nordic-touring end of NN-75mm had to offer before NNNBC) has to offer-

And it is directed precisely at what most Nord ski tourers are doing in the world (because most people don't live with extreme mountain terrain in their backyard)- skiers that are going out "hiking" on their skis- out in their local backcountry- and the Xplore binding improves the full range of stability and performance in that space.

For those skiers that are using 75mm Telemark gear for this type of ski touring ↑- you may eventually discover that the Xplore binding is all that you need-

For those skiers that are using NNNBC or NN-3pin BC-XC touring boots for this type of ski touring ↑- the Xplore binding will be a considerable level-up in stability and control.

I think I may have just talked myself into it-

My 3pin boots may become a place for potted plants of various sorts...
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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lilcliffy
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Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Crispi Svartisen BC; Scarpa T4
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding System Review

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:30 pm

@Åsnes1922

That is a breathtakingly beautiful video Crister!
Thank you for posting it!

Wow.
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.





User avatar
lilcliffy
Posts: 2932
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 » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:32 pm

Johnny wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:12 am
UPDATE: As of today, the XPLORE hard flexor is still not available for review. The reason is that Rottefella is still working on it in Norway. From Rottefella US: "Currently they are not satisfied with the hardness/performance of the hard flexor, so they've asked to hold tight until such time... I expect soon. "
Interesting- and very cool!

And to think I was rejected and told I was full of BS for suggesting that binding resistance contributed to downhill leverage...
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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