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The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

The cold world of skimo & alpine climbing

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Dynafit One PX-TF ski boot. Rich man, poor man?

Some times it is so easy to miss the obvious.   Last fall Tracy spent some time deciding on what boot she wanted to ski in this winter.  Typical of a lot of women she has a high arch and a high instep. 
That goes with a narrow heel and a short lower leg and a large athletic calf.  That combo might well keep me from skiing from the frustration trying to fit a ski boot properly.  It is combo that becomes a serious pain in the ass to fit properly in an Alpine boot.  In a AT boot...even more so.

Not unusual for Tracy to decide on doing things the most difficult way possible.  After seeing me run around in TLT 5,  Scarpa Alien 1.0 and the PDG her priority became ...".a lugged rubber sole and an easy walk mode".  Past that she would learn how to ski in it and we'd sort out the fit issues down the road.  Well, hopefully we'd sort out the fit uses!

For a person just getting back into skiing after a few decades off there were lots of excellent ski boots to pick from that would be appropriate.   The women's version of the Scarpa Maestrale and Maestrale RS, (Gea and Gea RS)  along with the woman's versions of the Freedom Series and La Sportiva's lady's  Sparkle where high on her list.  As were the Mercury/One, and the ladies TLT6s.  The choice actually boiled down to what was available in her size when we had the money to buy if the truth was known.  Pre planning (as in preseason planning and buying) when it comes to odd sizes..small or still important in the skimo world.

So Tracy is be skiing the Dynafit One this winter!

Her first time in a tech binding, a Dynafit Radical Speed (actually a Radical toe with 6mm shim and a older TLT Speed heel with a over all ramp angle of + 6mm).   No brakes, using leashes.   And her first time in a tech boot.  I figured if nothing else it would be an interesting winter.  Seems the only people bothered by her choice in gear was the Internet forums. (most said no way she would be able to ski either being a newbie)

There was a problem with her boots.  I ski in the same ONE boot and like them a lot.  In reality it was how the ONE boot fit her feet and lower legs that was a problem.  Not the boot or the binding.

Like many every all boils down to fit.

Same problems she would have had in most any alpine boot.

Major issue was this particular boot is too high on her short lower leg and not enough volume in the boot's upper shaft fro her calf.  I'd suspect she isn't the only woman to have the similar issues in most ski boots.

Common sense said she needed some boot serious boot mods for the ONE for fit her better.  Anytime I take a grinder and chop saw to a ski boot it is "serious".   Off came the power strap.  Never to be missed.    And then I ground down the top of the cuff in the back.  Next up, ground down and then heat molded the inside back locking spline to roll over at boot height for more calf room.  Ditched the CR liners and added Intuition Godiva liners.  Inner boots are shorter in height than OEM and easily molded to her foot but just as importantly to her calf and leg as well.  A good bit warmer  and easier in and out than the CR tongue liners as well.  All bonus point so far.

Which all started me thinking about how to improve my own pair of ONEs.

Original Ladies ONE weight size 25: 1410g.

Tracy's modified ONE weight size 25: 1280g and a lot warmer, less cumbersome boot to use.

A savings of just over 1/2# for the pair.  Easily noticeable in a size 25 ski boot.

More on the Dynafit One here:

Back to the obvious?

"the TLT6 and the ONE PF-TX are just 5.5oz/156g between the two boots..."

That number should be listed in the past tense...

My size 29 (bsl 317mm)  TLT6 with a green tongue, CR liner, modified lwt buckles and no power strap (as I ski them DH generally) for one boot is: 1370g

My size 28 (bsl 314mm)  ONE with shell mods and a Palau Wrap liner for one boot is: 1360g.

In this form the ONE really reminds me of some of my old plastic climbing and ski boots.  All in a very good way even if my boots are longer than they are tall!   May be not the best climbing boot but boy does this thing ski well for 3# per boot!   And tough?  The One seems pretty bomb proof to me by comparison to the TLT6.  My second season on this pair and they show little wear even with the bashings they have taken.

But who cares about a few grams or less than 1/2 oz. of weight, right?  How do they ski?

Well there in lies the rub..the 6P and ONE ski very similar when set up the way I have them laid out.

The Wrap Palau liners were $120 delivered.  The Intuition Godiva wrap is $176/$225 depending on where you get them.

Use the warmer and more supportive Palau or a Intuition Wrap liner in the TLT6 and you get  1330g.  Don't get me wrong here.  Using these liners will not help touring performance.  But they will defiantly up the level of down hill performance.   Dropping another 30g.  Retail on the TLT6 P is $1000.  Retail on the ONE PX-TF is $650.  But you are guaranteed to find the ONE PX-TF on sale more often and for a lot less money.

The buckle mod I now make to all my Dynafit boots if it is appropriate.  A lot easier to use buckle system than OEM and some weight drop as well.  Buckles are available from Dynafit as spare parts and simply bolt on with the parts already on the boot.  The smaller instep latch buckle goes on top in the change over.  Cord is for easy leash attachment


John said...

How does it work out for your wife not having brakes? I can understand going with the speeds for the whole ramp angle thing, but my first year of skiing I had a perpetual case of whiplash and a fair number of catastrophic crashes where I benefited from brakes.

Having skiied Dynafits inbounds without brakes I'm constantly concerned wthat I'll loose a ski that doesn't have a way to stop. What do you think about that?

Dane said...

Brakes were a huge amount of the conversation prior to her choosing the Dynafits. Bad crashes were high on my list in the converstaion. As was loosing a ski if you don't pay attention putting them on in a bad place. As was the ramp angle issues. All of which she understood well enough. She started out the season with brakes and dumped them a month or 6 weeks in. Her idea was to lower her ramp angle and get a better (less tiring) stance. Mind you it was "her idea". She is not a big fan of having to phaff about with the leashes after snapping in but seems fine with it now. An instructor gave her some grief about using straps (instead of brakes) in class which I think then became a point of pride. Helps I suspect that I use straps full time myself on everything but race skis so she isn't the only one going through the effort.

Morgan74 said...

Great topic......why should beginners suffer with crap standard alpine gear gear? The reduction weight alone is gonna make em stick with it. Props for added use of leashes :p

John said...

Fair enough. The fiddle fuck of the leashes convinced me to scrounge up a pair of marker barons for inbounds. I'm set up with inserts so can just to the swap when I occassionally want to ski inbounds.

Anonymous said...

Howdy Dane,
Like a lot of people I've been agonising over the comparison of these boots and your reviews are super helpful. I'm not so fussed about the cost as I've found both at a reasonable price and they both fit nicely (TLT size 27, ONE size 26). If anything the TLT suits my foot better and two buckles is very elegant.

Of course the TLT walks better- not because of the removeable tongue (which for me seems to be non-feature) but because of the more rockered toe/sole. And therein lies my question.... how does that rocker affect the way the boot sits on the ski and the toe drives the edge? I've just moved up to a pair of 96mm skis and wonder if this aspect will make a difference to my turn initiation at all.

As you say they both feel similarly stiff, with the high cuff on the ONE potentially being an advantage with respect to leverage into the turn.

Thanks in advance. Mic

Dane said...

I found the One and the T^LT6 to ski about the same. One skies better than a Mtn and not as good as the Performance. Same for you on size pretty much the first couple of seasons. Now I am in a 28 in both boots. I really like both boots.

Dane said...

Forgot..the Perf or the One have no problem driving 110mm + ski.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Now you got me thinking it's ok to size up for comfort!

Harpo said...

Dale, how is your wife skiing in her modified ones?

My wife also got ones, and she is having similar issue. Main issue is that even in the less aggressive forward lean mode, Kate still feels she is in to forward a position, and she gets bad quad burn and cramping very quickly in when her boots are in ski mode. She doesn't have this problem with her alpine boots which she feels put her in a more upright position. She also can't buckle the calf very tight without pressuring the back of her calf.

The bootfitter thinks this is a forward lean issue and wasn't sure that giving her calf more room was the best solution. But Lisa on wildsnow talked about remolding her liners to thin them behind her calf to give her a more upright position. And you talk in this blog post of shell surgery to give Tracey more calf room, although you don't specifically mention that the forward lean position was a problem.

We will take all this info to the bootfitter tomorrow, but I was just wondering what your thoughts were?

Dane said... is Dane :-) Anyway Tracy tells me she loves the boots. But my guess is you have two problems. First is getting the boot to fit the person. Easy enough in most cases and forward lean. I'd bet a dollar and a donut that it isn't the boot but the overly aggressive ramp angle on her binding that is the problem. Small feet and brakes on tech binding are worse than fooking terrible to ski in. "bad quad burn" the result in just a few minutes time for me.

I sort her ramp angle out on the bindings first then look at the boot fit again.