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ski otter 2

Making fresh tracks
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Yes, @surfandski, I kind of guessed Chuck might have been the fitter you found.

I've skied Lange 26.5 boots for the past decade or so, and thanks to Chuck I still will: a few of my collection of RS 130s and RX 130s have been punched and ground to fit, and with more appropriate (& thinner) footbeds, and modified stock liners. The fit seems perfect - no pain or looseness, at least with a couple of hours in them here and there around the house. This is option # one. Makes me want to dance.

(And the zipfits into the RS & RXes will be option #3 - especially for the RXes, which seem to get too soft after a season or so.)

(P.S. That Lockwoods, U.K. store in England really does sell tubes of zipfit stuffing for less, around $7 to $8 per tube or so. The shipping is about the same as from the East Coast, thanks to international agreement. I got a bunch of em when I got my Grand Prix there.)
 
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ski otter 2

Making fresh tracks
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Oh, also, it was fun to find out both Chuck and Pugski's @Doug Briggs excel at Master's speed events, the SG and Downhill. Chuck told me he has fun chasing after Doug down those courses, though only rarely can he catch him. Wonderful.
 

Noodler

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Does anyone know how it would be to use a 27.5 Zipfit liner in a 28.5 shell? I ask because I currently have a pair of RS 130 in 27.5 and 27.5 Zipfit liners and after ankle surgery, my right ankle is way higher volume than my left and since my right foot is also naturally a 1/2 size longer, I'm thinking of going up to a 28.5 RS 130 on that foot while keeping the 27.5 on the left. Has anyone gone up a shell size and used the same liners? I emailed Sven but thought I'd ask here as well. Thanks!

I might be able to help as I have a similar situation with my right ankle & tibia and I also have a wealth of experience with ZipFit liners.

I have owned 5 sets of ZipFits. Currently I still have the World Cup, World Cup SE, and the GARA. I think you may be asking about sizing down a ZipFit liner in order to have it more easily fit into the shell, not necessarily due to a concern about a length mismatch concern between the liner and the shell. So if it is a liner "volume" concern, I would say that it's not too difficult to remove OMFit material from the bladders, but of course the OMFit is only in the tongue and the ankle pockets. That won't account for extra "volume" that occurs in the cuff, etc.

My right tibia is a full 1" larger in circumference and the medial side of my ankle is no longer as pointy as originally and more "wide". Even though I have these fairly significant differences, I was able to stay in the same size shell and liners via my modified ZipFit fitting method. I did have to move the buckle bracket anchors on my right boot (Head B3 RD) to give the buckles more capacity for the extra thickness in my leg and ankle.

So here is my method that is time tested and I just ran through it again a few days ago to see if I could even get my foot/leg into a boot again after almost 4 years off snow.

ZipFit Liner Fitting Instructions:
  1. Cover oven rack with a layer of aluminum foil and preheat oven to 250* F for 10 minutes (convection is best if you have one available)
  2. Remove the liner and powerstrap from the boot shell, also remove the footbed from the liner
  3. Set oven to 225* (ZipFit recommends 228*) and heat boot shell (buckle-side down) and liner for 10 minutes (on layer of aluminum foil)
  4. Remove liner from oven
  5. Replace footbed in liner after heating
  6. Put liner on foot and tighten laces
  7. Remove shell from oven
  8. Put foot with liner into shell
  9. Buckle shell (wrap powerstrap around top temporarily), set ankle pocket, and flex forward a few times
  10. Once liner and shell have cooled to room (or body temp) remove.
Repeat for second shell & liner.

Note that Masterfit University states that 270* F is the ideal temperature for performance boot shell stretching and punches, so 225 is safe for the liner fitting without doing much to any previous shell fitting that may have been done.

This method more fully forms the liner and shell to mesh well with your foot and leg. You can really crank down the buckles, which when combined with aggressive flexing, will easily move the OMFit material into the gaps between your feet and the shell.
 

Ulmerhutte

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I am due to replace my Grand Prix Zipfits. I am intrigued by the description of new model or option, ie the Sidewinder, but I cannot figure out exactly what it is. Some of the literature suggests the Sidewider is some form of option, perhaps capable of being retrofitted to any Zipfit liner model. The comments in this thread suggest it is completely another model from Zipfit. Can anybody offer any insights? Has anybody here used the Sidewinder and what was your experience?
 

ski otter 2

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It is apparently a different pattern of cork material pocketing, more parallel compartments wrapped like parallel horseshoes around the heal, compared to bullseye compartments around the ankle - not an easy retrofit, I'd guess.

Lockwood's in England, which carries only one zipfit model at a time, has shifted from the Grand Prix to the new Freestyle (Sidewinder) model: they say that in addition to the advantages of the Sidewinder compartments (which they played down to me over the phone), the Freestyle model is a bit more upright and easier/more restful/natural for modern, more upright skiers.
 

Noodler

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It is apparently a different pattern of cork material pocketing, more parallel compartments wrapped like parallel horseshoes around the heal, compared to bullseye compartments around the ankle - not an easy retrofit, I'd guess.

Lockwood's in England, which carries only one zipfit model at a time, has shifted from the Grand Prix to the new Freestyle (Sidewinder) model: they say that in addition to the advantages of the Sidewinder compartments (which they played down to me over the phone), the Freestyle model is a bit more upright and easier/more restful/natural for modern, more upright skiers.

Hmmm that doesn't exactly jive with what ZipFit wrote about this "new development" on their web site. First, it's not a retrofit option, it's a new option available of each of the models at the time of purchase. Here's the key paragraph from their page:

"SideWinder© inner boots feature an inner shell that is embedded into the Zipfit Inner Boot. This liberates you from the design compromises that are inherent to every ski boot shell and factory or foam-injected liner. The SideWinder© inner-boot is fitted using Zipfit's unique hot-shell initial molding methodology which will converts any ski boot model into the most comfortable and highly-proficient performance, energy-transmission system on the snow."

SideWinder+TOUR+Stealth.jpg
 

Noodler

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Also, I don't find any of the ZipFit models to be "aggressive" in their forward lean stance, so I'm not quite sure what to make of the comments about the Freestyle model (which is not shown or discussed on their web site). Is there info on this somewhere?
 

Ulmerhutte

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I wonder if the so-called “Freeride” liner is actually the “Tour” liner? http://www.zipfit.com/lineup

Much of the write-up on the website for the Sidewinder is pretty much gobbledygook to me. I think I get the idea that design improves heel hold-down and somehow makes the arch-side medial more able to exert pressure on the inside edge. I can picture how the heel part might work, but the other eludes me.
 

Brad J

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My son has s pair of gran prix freestyle sidewinder, he likes them , good heel hold down . It seams like transfer to edge was goal in this design.
 

Lorenzzo

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I'll be getting fit for a pair of Sidewinder Gara or World Cup this week. Currently have non-Sidewinder Gara.
 

ski otter 2

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Also, I don't find any of the ZipFit models to be "aggressive" in their forward lean stance, so I'm not quite sure what to make of the comments about the Freestyle model (which is not shown or discussed on their web site). Is there info on this somewhere?
Who said anything about "aggressive"? Maybe some earlier post? :rolleyes: (I actually said I was told "a bit more upright" - and "more natural a stance and restful over the course of a day, for today's freeride skiers," was what he actually said in full.)

Also, you must have misread my post, since I was saying that with the radical construction difference, a retrofit would be difficult if not unlikely - though anything is possible: and as far as I can gather, they are two different models, one of which Lockwood's will be replacing with the other. Pretty much what you said.

Sven seems like a nice and practical guy, but his description of the "Sidewinder" says next to nothing specific in near grandiose terms.

On the other hand, the description I got from Lockwood's manager, over the phone, was, IMHO, no nonsense, apparently from a guy well-versed in adding the cork material to both sets of compartments, in many liners, over years (at least in the case of the older models); and it was very specific, and practical: I could get the old Grand Prix Stealth in my size at a steep discount immediately, or the new (Grand Prix) Freestyle (Sidewinder) version, also in my size, at Lockwood's regular low price, shipped to my door - both in half a week or so.

He had every reason to give me as accurate and yet condensed a description as possible, knowing I would order based on what he said, and could just as easily return the order, for free, Lockwood's policy. (I got the older version, at the steep discount, along with multiple tubes of the cork stuff for a dirt cheap price.)
 
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ski otter 2

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I wonder if the so-called “Freeride” liner is actually the “Tour” liner? http://www.zipfit.com/lineup

Much of the write-up on the website for the Sidewinder is pretty much gobbledygook to me. I think I get the idea that design improves heel hold-down and somehow makes the arch-side medial more able to exert pressure on the inside edge. I can picture how the heel part might work, but the other eludes me.

The "Freestyle", or "Freeride", whichever it is, is not the Tour liner, I was told. It's a straight Alpine liner - at least by design intent.
"Gobbledygook" sounds about right.
Having fiddled with the older cork compartments, my guess is the cork stuff either wraps around the ankle (old design) or (new design) puts parallel cork "ropes" above and below and maybe even over the ankle (to be molded to either side, in the case of the "rope" over), and thus holds the ankle in place as well as the heal.


My son has s pair of gran prix freestyle sidewinder, he likes them , good heel hold down . It seams like transfer to edge was goal in this design.

This pretty much seems compatible or fits with my extended discussions with multiple sellers/fitters about this version: the Lockwood's guy told me most of his staff, raised as freeriders and freestylers, preferred the new (Sidewinder) Freestyle (or Freeride?) their business was shifting to. Specifically, "just lean em to edge em," quick transfer to edge - was perhaps the design intent with the sidewinder pattern - apparently, modern liner for modern skis made for more upright freeriders.

Since I am a race background kind of a skier, with more tip drive enjoyed at times, optionally - though more upright lean mode also enjoyed at times, depending - I wasn't really sure which Zipfit would be best for me. I'm just hoping the older versions will be versatile enough, dunno.
 
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Noodler

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ski otter 2 - I'm really not sure what you're referring to regarding some ZipFit models having a more upright stance than others. That's not my experience at all after having owned 6 different pairs and fondling all models in the shops. They do not differ in their forward lean; they're all fairly upright until broken in for the shell. Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you're trying to say.
 

Noodler

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Regarding fitting a new ZipFit liner to the shell...

I can't emphasize enough the importance of first breaking in the liner to the shell without heating the shell first, only heat the liner initially. I know this is exactly opposite of the official ZipFit instructions, but if you heat the shell and wait for that heat to infuse the liner, you run the risk of messing up the shell and possibly damaging it (especially the overlap area).

I just purchased a new GARA model liner and when fit cold into the shell it spread the throat apart almost 2". Getting this liner to fit into a tight shell takes work, but it's worth it. It requires heating the liner as I specified in the above instructions and introducing it into a cold shell. This forces the liner to adapt to the shell and your foot, instead of the other way around. It takes a few iterations of this to get the cork to move where it needs to be. This process may need to include massaging specific areas of the liner to help the cork compound into the places it needs to go. Eventually the liner fits correctly to the shell without spreading the overlap to point where there is a gap between the sides.

In my experience, if you have a tight shell fit (which should be read as the "correct" shell fit) then almost everyone should start with the GARA model and have OMFit cork added as necessary. If you're in a shell fit of 20mm or more (2+ fingers), then one of the larger models may work to start. You may not think the liner will fit into the shell upon an initial size check, but most would be surprised by how much the liner will adapt to the shell through using the correct process.
 

Lorenzzo

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Regarding fitting a new ZipFit liner to the shell...

I can't emphasize enough the importance of first breaking in the liner to the shell without heating the shell first, only heat the liner initially. I know this is exactly opposite of the official ZipFit instructions, but if you heat the shell and wait for that heat to infuse the liner, you run the risk of messing up the shell and possibly damaging it (especially the overlap area).

I just purchased a new GARA model liner and when fit cold into the shell it spread the throat apart almost 2". Getting this liner to fit into a tight shell takes work, but it's worth it. It requires heating the liner as I specified in the above instructions and introducing it into a cold shell. This forces the liner to adapt to the shell and your foot, instead of the other way around. It takes a few iterations of this to get the cork to move where it needs to be. This process may need to include massaging specific areas of the liner to help the cork compound into the places it needs to go. Eventually the liner fits correctly to the shell without spreading the overlap to point where there is a gap between the sides.

In my experience, if you have a tight shell fit (which should be read as the "correct" shell fit) then almost everyone should start with the GARA model and have OMFit cork added as necessary. If you're in a shell fit of 20mm or more (2+ fingers), then one of the larger models may work to start. You may not think the liner will fit into the shell upon an initial size check, but most would be surprised by how much the liner will adapt to the shell through using the correct process.
I have the Gara and because the throat was gapped as you describe, not 2" but couldn't be buckled, I've gone without laces. The fit and performance are great as it is now. Are you saying the process you advise would overcome the gap without changing the shell and enable me to use the laces?
 

ski otter 2

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Dear @Noodler , thanks for persisting. Since my info on that new so-called Sidewinder Freestyle model is only second hand from a British retailer, and I bought the "other model" instead, I completely defer to you on this, and appreciate your "break in" method also.
This summer I used a probably similar resulting method - not sure - by several times repeating a process of heating both the liner and the shell suspended near the top of a closed black plastic trash can out in the sun - and then I'd repeatedly put on both while still hot/warm, handling them with gloves, just in case. Without having to force anything, the fit of the Zipfits changed and improved dramatically for the better with each of these preliminary liner fits, to the point of where I'm not sure I need to do a rice cooker method fit, or any other. I may just use a boot heater bag fit before skiing instead, maybe a few times.
. In one case, the liners went from not able to fully close or buckle the boots to being able to comfortably buckle and flex them, more and more. Fun experiments.
 
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