The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

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telerat
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by telerat » Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:17 am

bgregoire wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:14 pm
lilcliffy wrote:
Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:22 pm
telerat wrote:
Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:09 pm
I am hoping to replace my 75 mm boot (Asolo Morgedal) and binding (Rottefella 75mm cable) on my Fischer E109 which I use for mountain skiing, both up, down and flat. The binding is too much for the boot and the boot is too soft for E109.
I am not sure if I understand you here telerat...
Why do you say that the 75mm binding is too much for the E109? Which binding are you using?
And why do you think the Morgedal is too soft for the E109? I own both the E109 and the Mordegal and think that this boot would be ideal with the E109 (I am using the Svartisen BC/Alaska BC/Guard BC with the E109 and think it is a perfect match).
I own a Morgedal as well and also believe its sole is too soft for a cable binding. Then again, I also agree with LC that the Morgedal is a good match for a E99 or E109.
LC was a bit quick on reading/I was unclear; I find the Rottefella 75mm cable binding is too much for the _boot_ (Asolo Morgedal), especially since the compression springs in the heel throw are quite strong. I have an old Chili heel throw with expansion springs that I'll try, but I think that will also be too strong for the Morgedal. The Voile 3-Pin Cable Traverse could have been a better choice, but I haven't tried it. The standard Rottefella Super Telemark 75mm binding has too much play for my preference on descents, and it's very nice to get extra power from a heel throw even if the boot feels weak. I have also used Rottefella 412 in the past, which was an ok compromise when I could adjust the pivot point forward, otherwise it caused blister on my heels. I do think the Super Telemark/Voile 3-pin with optional heel throw is the best solution on 75mm boots and binding for wider skis.

75mm bindings are well suited to the E109 (and for E99 outside of machine prepared tracks), so I was looking for a binding to improve performance on the descents (Note: riser plates makes 75mm binding better in machine prepared tracks). I do think Asolo Morgedal is a bit too soft for the E109, especially on hard snow and would prefer a higher boot. I have a pair of Asolo Extreme that would be much more suitable for E109 on descents and with cable bindings, but my feet hurts in them and they aren't well suited on prolonged flat sections.

I think the Alfa Skaget Xplore boot looks very much the boot I want, and hope it has good support and comfort. If Xplore is equal to 75mm with cable on descents and better on long flat sections, it is the only system I need for backcountry skiing. I have NTN and Meidjo for telemark skiing and steeper tours, so 75mm compatibility isn't important to me like it was before. Compatibility with touring ice skates (and possibly snow shoes) are an additional bonus and makes the expense with buying new bindings and shoes easier to swallow.

Edit: I found two tests, one of the binding/system and the other of the Alfa Free boot and I think the result is disappointing:
https://www.utemagasinet.no/fjellski/te ... 06bae9c529
https://www.utemagasinet.no/fjellski/te ... acf16dce8d

* Summed up the binding is a light, robust and simple construction that doesn't pack with snow, and the flex-plates are easily exchanged.
* The torsional stiffness is about the same as NNN-BC and less than good 75mm boots with narrow support platfom under ball of foot.
* The flex engages later than NNN-BC and ball of foot has less contact with binding/ski than 75mm and BC, for a more tippy toe feeling and not as good XC performance.
* It's wide and gives resistance in prepared track like 75mm, but unlike NNN-BC.

Some of these issues are addressable and I think a heel cable could help, but it looks as it has some way to go before being equal to 75mm for mountain skiing.

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bgregoire
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by bgregoire » Wed Mar 24, 2021 7:52 pm

@telerat

Thanks for linking to those very interesting, technical and passionate reviews from Sir Gamme! To be honest, I was surprised by his reviews.

This was my favourite part:

"The shoe (Alfa Free) is thus a usable rival to the BC shoes, and scores usably in this class. After practical testing and comparison of different shoes, and assessment of the biomechanical limitations in Xplore binding / sole, we have no evidence to say that the shoe increases pleasure or performance over with mountain skiing , up or down as the advertising texts indicate.

For narrow mountain skis, this shoe has little to offer, except that the toes may freeze or gnaw more easily.
"
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM





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boby13
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by boby13 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:57 pm

telerat wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:17 am
Edit: I found two tests, one of the binding/system and the other of the Alfa Free boot and I think the result is disappointing:
https://www.utemagasinet.no/fjellski/te ... 06bae9c529
https://www.utemagasinet.no/fjellski/te ... acf16dce8d

I'm a bit confused by these reviews. Its pretty much the opposite of Crister's opinion on the boot/binging system...

Åsnes1922 wrote:
Thu Mar 18, 2021 5:02 am
But I would say the new Alfa boots and the Xplore systems made me rediscover some of the feeling from a good, old and stiff system. It's stiff, precise, and intuitive from the beginning. And with the changes we did during testing, it got better and better. So the final product will for sure give some of the same feelings as an old stiff 75mm boot and wire bindings.





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telerat
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by telerat » Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:23 am

boby13 wrote:
Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:57 pm
...
I'm a bit confused by these reviews. Its pretty much the opposite of Crister's opinion on the boot/binging system...
...
Yes. The slow engagement of the flex was probably why Crister "still believe the NNN BC system is the best system for longer trips, and 100% XC touring". A much larger flex block could probably help, but I still want a heel cable to increase power when descending on steeper tours.

The description of torsional rigidity is very different between Crister and the review by P-T. Gamme. I think this could be improved with some kind of insert in the sole or a proper mid-sole, but the sole is the same for all manufacturers and made by Rottefella. The current sole looks to be pure rubber, but have seen no pictures from the top. Gamme also stated that he had female (Merethe Holldorff) with him in testing the Alfa Free shoe, so she probably had some input on the review(s) too. The shoe is the most torsional rigid shoe Alfa has though, but NNN-BC Alpina Alaska and Crispi Stetind are just as good.

I have begun looking at 75mm shoes again and even though I want a waterproof shoe I have started to consider shoes with Norwegian welt and stiffer mid-sole again. I do like the Andrew Artico and St.Moritz:
http://andrewfootwear.com/prodotti/en/t ... index.html
(not trying to off-track the discussion)

I will wait and see when more testing of Xplore is done and the system released this Autumn.





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Roelant
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by Roelant » Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:00 pm

telerat wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 9:23 am

The description of torsional rigidity is very different between Crister and the review by P-T. Gamme. I think this could be improved with some kind of insert in the sole or a proper mid-sole, but the sole is the same for all manufacturers and made by Rottefella. The current sole looks to be pure rubber, but have seen no pictures from the top. Gamme also stated that he had female (Merethe Holldorff) with him in testing the Alfa Free shoe, so she probably had some input on the review(s) too. The shoe is the most torsional rigid shoe Alfa has though, but NNN-BC Alpina Alaska and Crispi Stetind are just as good.

I have begun looking at 75mm shoes again and even though I want a waterproof shoe I have started to consider shoes with Norwegian welt and stiffer mid-sole again. I do like the Andrew Artico and St.Moritz:
http://andrewfootwear.com/prodotti/en/t ... index.html
(not trying to off-track the discussion)

I will wait and see when more testing of Xplore is done and the system released this Autumn.
PT Gamme does seem to analyze the bindings with quite a lot of detail.
Interesting also the width of the binding - 90mm wide 1 cm above the ski level - rules out any in track use? Rules it out for certain kinds of XC use. Fair enough for wider skis.

Perhaps the different testers have different weights as well, which will influence how the binding performs?

Although NNN-BC soles may be the same from Rottefella for different boot manufacturers, there is clearly a different level of stability between different boots, including torsional rigidity, so the same will probably be true for the new soles as well. And i am more hopeful for the Alpina solution, I have never been an Alfa fan after waterproofing issues, and slinky soles on entry to mid level NNN-BC boots. I admit that I do like the way they look and I have never even touched the current top end BC boots, which are probably much better (considering that many people seem to be happy with the Guard, for instance)





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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by boby13 » Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:20 pm

Alpina Pioneer...
Alpina pioneer.jpg



And that looks like an Alaska Xplore...
Alaska xplore.jpg


https://www.alpinasports.com/us/pioneer





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John_XCD
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by John_XCD » Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:43 am

Good find on the Pioneer!

Reading the UTE reviews, it's interesting to think about all of the different functions of XCD boots, variations in technique, conditions, etc, and how to optimize a design to do everything. Stiffness/rigidity are not uniformly good attributes.

I think about skiing on skate skis with high end race boots. Incredible lateral and rotational stiffness with carbon fiber, a trace of flex at the toe, and free rotation at the ankle (basically a little AT boot in walk mode). Great control to edge skinny skis, make fast step turns on groomed terrain, skidding parallel turns on corn/crust as long as it isn't rock hard. BUT telemark skiing doesn't really work due to lack of flex at the toe. As you see in the last 30 seconds of this video-- telemark on skate skis is fairly unstable because you can't adequately flex the boot to weight the rear ball of foot (

Once I taught myself to telemark on classic race skis/boots (essentially soft ankle height running shoes), I found that I had much more control on classic (vs skate) gear descending something like an uneven snowmachine track with soft snow (despite the much softer more flexible boots)-- because I could telemark to carve open turns and benefit from the fore/aft stability of the telemark position.

I have been XCD skiing on Alaskas and Guards. The Alaskas are certainly stiffer in every direction if I hold the two boots in my hand. However even on wider skis (s98, objective), I've taken to the Guards for NNNBC style telemark. The softer flex/break at the toe helps me adequately pressure the ball of my rear foot and in some ways create better whole body stability. If I'm trying to make skidding parallel turns down some hard pack, the Alaskas work better.

So far the pics/videos of the Alfa free have not given me a good sense about how the boot breaks/flexes at the toe (though the review mentions some discomfort with the break point and a sense that the connection between the forefoot and binding is less than ideal). How high can you lift your heel while standing on one foot? Appropriate flex there with rigid boot/binding connection, lateral and torsional stiffness has me more interested.

After reading the review, the relatively "late" engagement of the flexor as the heel lifts is apparent in the video. Seems good for walking up steeps (which is already accomplished by removing the flexor entirely) but not so good for skiing?





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lilcliffy
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Re: The new Rottefella XPLORE OFFTRACK Binding system

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:36 pm

@telerat @bgregoire
I guess that I assumed the Varg Morgedal and the Asolo Morgedal were the same boot-
My Varg Morgedal boots have a very stiff stable sole- stiffer than my Asolo Extreme- certainly more than stable enough for my E109- they are more than enough for my Storetind as well- same boot as reviewed here: https://www.utemagasinet.no/fjellski/te ... llskituren

I use NNNBC on my E109, if I want more downhill stability and "power" than that I am reaching for a downhill ski (e.g. Storetind) and a Telemark boot.
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

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:46 pm

Well! Finally got a chance to read those UTE Magazine reviews of the Xplore binding and Free boot-
Not impressed.
Perhaps Crister is receiving fresh update test models as they work on it and Rottefella has increased the resistance of the standard flexor?
Binding resistance is VERY important- not only for downhill skiing- but also for kick and glide IMO.
The Xplore binding has got to be as good as my 75mm-3pin touring setups for me to even to consider it...
For now I am happy with both NNNBC and NN-75mm- I will wait for more testing and reviews over the next couple of seasons!
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

Post by lilcliffy » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:06 pm

Roelant wrote:
Thu Mar 25, 2021 12:00 pm
Although NNN-BC soles may be the same from Rottefella for different boot manufacturers, there is clearly a different level of stability between different boots, including torsional rigidity, so the same will probably be true for the new soles as well.
As you say the outsoles are all the same- the difference in flex and stability comes from the midsole construction.
You are correct- there is a wide range in sole flex and stability in NNNBC boots- just as there is with NN-75mm boots.
And i am more hopeful for the Alpina solution, I have never been an Alfa fan after waterproofing issues, and slinky soles on entry to mid level NNN-BC boots. I admit that I do like the way they look and I have never even touched the current top end BC boots, which are probably much better (considering that many people seem to be happy with the Guard, for instance)
I am very happy with the Alfa Guard, but the sole flex is VERY soft- the softest of all my NNNBC boots. And as it is promoted by Alfa- supposedly the Guard has the stiffest sole of all of Alfa's NNNBC boots. The upper on the Guard is as supportive as the Alpina Alaska- but the Alaska BC- as John mentioned- has a much stiffer sole than the Guard.

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...And if there is more beinding resistance with NNNBC...

Regardless- the width and rigidity of the Xplore binding connection should allow for Telemark-level boots on that platform...
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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