B&D Ultimate Cuff Pivot –Ultra Light (UCP-UL)


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
Ultimate Cuff Pivot Ultra Light UCP-UL

Ultimate Cuff Pivot Ultra Light UCP-UL exterior is a slick looking anodized aluminum screw: significant weight savings over all-steel UCP.

Adding Bill Bollinger’s UCP to a pair of Dynafit TLT 5 or 6 ski boots is like adding lifetime guaranteed high performance shocks to your Audi Q5 TDI. It’s just so, well, right. Nonetheless, installing the stainless steel version of UCP adds 28 grams (1 ounce) per boot, not an insignificant weight increase that’s probably worth it for wear prevention and added beef — but weight creep is nemesis! Enter UCP-UL, the lightweight version in development by Bill at his B&D Ski Gear company. Breakdown:

- Original OEM pair of cuff rivets: 8 grams per boot.
- Pair of stainless steel UCP: 36 grams per boot.
- UCP weight increase over stock = 28 grams (1 ounce) per boot.
- Pair of UCP-UL: 16 grams per boot.
- UCP-UL increased weight over stock only 8 grams per boot. Minimal.

B&D Ski Gear UCP-UL is a combo of stainless steel and high strength aluminum.

B&D Ski Gear UCP-UL is a combo of stainless steel and high strength aluminum.

We’re giving these the WildSnow field testing reinstatement. Only issues I can imagine: Getting dirt and grit between the bearing surfaces could result in wear on the aluminum as well as the Delrin. Durability should be good as this is strong aluminum carefully sized and don’t forget the original rivets are aluminum as well, but how the alu parts will endure the stress of downhill skiing is an open question.

See previous article about UCP for installation details in backcountry skiing boots. This being aluminum, be extra careful of how much tightening force is applied (limited by the exterior having a screwdriver slot instead of hex socket). Bill recommends Loctite Blue 242 which is reversible with normal hand tools, though spot heating of 242 to around 200 degrees in my opinion helps with disassembly without influencing boot plastic (aluminum is so conductive, never heat to the point where it could melt or soften plastic unless that’s what you intend). As with all Loctite, never let the witchy fluid touch your boot plastic as some folks say it can do things to the plastic that makes it crack. Be very careful using other types of Loctite, as some have permanent bonds that only release at temperatures above the melting point of Pebax and urethane plastic.

Aluminum shoulder washer is pressed in from the inside, held during tightening with the included spanner as shown.

Aluminum shoulder washer is pressed in from the inside, held during tightening with the included spanner as shown. Tighten exterior slot head screw with largest blade screwdriver possible.

Another shoulder washer drops over the protruding part of the inside washer; this one is stainless steel and the same as the regular all-steel UCP version.

Another shoulder washer drops over the protruding part of the inside washer; this one is stainless steel and the same as the regular all-steel UCP version.

Before a Delrin shoulder washer and the cuff go on, this is that UCP-UL looks like.

Before a Delrin shoulder washer and the cuff go on, this is what UCP-UL looks like. The idea is that the two shoulder washers sandwich the boot shoe when the exterior screw is tightened. When the system is installed correctly and broken in, the cuff has so little pivot friction you can hold the boot upside down and the cuff will pivot down to a plumb position under its own weight. Slick to say the least.

Please see previous UCP post for installation details, and known that the Ultra Light UCP is in beta testing for ski touring. It does look pretty good.

Comments

19 Responses to “B&D Ultimate Cuff Pivot –Ultra Light (UCP-UL)”

  1. Ralph February 21st, 2014 9:01 am

    Very cool. The free pivot impresses me even more than the weight savings, as it seems it could reduce effort touring. Lou, have you noticed any difference touring due to the reduced friction?

    I blew a pivot rivet on a Garmont Endorphin mid-tour once, and wish I had a field-fix. As it was I threaded a bit of 7? 9?mm cord through the holes and knotted it. Very uncomfortable, but it got me through the next day.

  2. Lou Dawson February 21st, 2014 9:16 am

    Ralph, yes, the nearly friction-free pivot is super. Not sure I notice it consciously, but everything helps since most boots have too much resistance to ankle movement in tour mode, despite good cuff articulation. I’m using a race type liner that has very free movement of the cuff, so combined with the UCP in the TLT-6, amazing. Wish I had two ankles to do it justice. My fused one only moves a tiny bit. But I try to make up for it with the other one (grin). Lou

  3. Jim Knight February 21st, 2014 10:02 am

    Love the stainless UCPs on my refurbished TLT5Ps. They perform flawlessly and put new life into old boots. These ULs are a nice evolution. I suppose Ti units will be next? Strong work Lou & Bill! Keep it up.

  4. Billy Balz February 21st, 2014 10:33 am

    Lou (or Bill), as a gear freak I can see buying new TLT8s before I wear out the OEM TLT6P cuff rivets. Do you have any opinion as to how much skinning and in-bounds abuse it takes to wear out the rivets to the point that they need re-pressing or replacement with UCPs? I guess UCPs mean I can pass old boots onto kids etc. Great stuff from both B&D and Wildsnow.

  5. Dirk February 21st, 2014 11:07 am

    Notice you have a spectre lower buckle on those tlt6′s. That give any weight/performance change over stock?

  6. stevenjo February 21st, 2014 12:14 pm

    Similar question to Billy Baltz – I don’t anticipate wearing out the original rivets for quite sometime on my TLT5s since they have only seen a few days of use after picking them up on clearance late last season.

    That said, anyone have an opinion on whether it mades sense to replace the original rivets now, before there is possible wear to the boot cuff, or hold off until it becomes a problem?

    Thx,
    John

  7. Kikkert February 21st, 2014 2:21 pm

    Anyone tried these or the originals on a La Sportiva spitfire? I have a pair that are beginning to get a bit loose.

  8. Lou Dawson February 21st, 2014 4:50 pm

    The boots that have faster pivot wear are the ones with carbon cuff, it’s quite abrasive. The plastic on plastic of the TLT5 Mountain wears much slower, I suggest using OEM pivots then swap in the UCP if they get loose. I did the swap on some TLT 5 Mountain and recall there was some room for wear before the holes would get too worn for the UCP to fit.

    As for how much vert before UCP is needed, no idea.

    Spectre buckle was added to prevent OEM buckle opening while post holing or rock scrambling. I did a blog post about it a while back, perhaps weight comparo is there.

    Lou

  9. Jailhouse Hopkins February 21st, 2014 7:43 pm

    Hey, how about those hockey games!

  10. Verne February 22nd, 2014 12:38 pm

    Might this work on a dy.na evo boot?

  11. Lou Dawson February 22nd, 2014 6:33 pm

    Verne, it was designed specifically for TLT 5/6 P and is pretty strict about how thick the cuff and scaffo plastic are, though there is some range for variation. So my answer would be “perhaps.” Someone handy with DIY could easily adapt it for most boots with thinner plastic. I made it work for TLT-5 Mountain, for example, and have also made it work for some Pebax boots of other brands. Another key is how big the holes are in the cuff and scaffo.

  12. Verne February 22nd, 2014 8:28 pm

    Thank you

  13. Dave March 4th, 2014 3:32 pm

    Very nice solution but werent’t the original (heavy) version over $100 a set??
    Can only imagine the new UL version is even more.
    I’m sure there’s a lot of engineering an defilement gone into this but it still strikes me as a bit on the spendy side.

  14. Kirk Turner March 29th, 2014 12:03 pm

    Hey Lou! Thanks for posting both of these pivot kits. Could you send me the correct email for B and D? My TLT5 P’s are shot. When I click on contact it just does some funky outlook configuration which I don’t have……

    Thanks!
    -Kirk

  15. Lou Dawson March 30th, 2014 1:42 pm

    Kirk and all, please don’t put full email addresses in comments, the spambots love that. Instead, best is just share the business website such as bndskigear.com, where you can go and click on a contact link.

    If you’re having trouble with the B&D website, know that their email is the name “sales” using their domain name. Most spambots won’t catch that, though some probably will.

    ‘best, Lou

  16. Erik Erikson March 30th, 2014 1:55 pm

    Sorry Lou ´bout posting the B&D adress for Kirk. Didnt know that this could cause spam-problems. Guess that Kirk was aware of that however, as he just asked you to SEND him the adress and not to post it here like I did.

  17. Bill B March 30th, 2014 2:10 pm

    By The way.
    We have at least one customer using the UCP ultralite on an evo.
    They had to employ both outside washers that we supply to adapt to the evo, but so far has worked.

    Bill
    B & D ski Gear

  18. Will March 30th, 2014 4:06 pm

    I can’t tell from all the internet stuff I’ve read yet. Is this cuff pivot is OK for the PDG? Mine have some slop in them after a season of touring…

    -w

  19. Lou Dawson March 30th, 2014 4:34 pm

    Will, I’m pretty sure a good mech could make them work, but I have not done it on PDG. Bill might know… I can check this coming week. It’s a matter of having a pairn of PDG to physically check. Yours? Lou

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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