Dynafit ZZero Cuff Alignment (cant) Rivet Install


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Dynafit ZZero is still one of the lightest 'stiff' boots out there.

Dynafit ZZero is still one of the lightest 'stiff' boots out there for backcountry skiing. Why this boot does not include cuff alignment feature is a mystery akin the location of Atlantis. Rivet to be replaced is indicated by arrow.

Scarpa brand cant cuff alignment rivets for backcountry skiing.

For our project, we used a cuff alignment fastener set (screw rivet) from Scarpa. You have to hand it to Scarpa, they're always ahead of the game on this sort of thing. For example, almost all fasteners on their boots are threaded and easily removed for repairs or mods. In the case of this Dynafit boot, we'll be removing the fastener with surgical precision using a nice sharp drill bit.

Backcountry skiing boot modifications.

First step with removing OEM rivet is to drill a centered pilot hole. Cool with water from a spray bottle, otherwise the heat from drilling will damage surrounding plastic

Modifying boot for backcountry skiing.

After you've got a pilot hole, drill slowly with a larger bit till the rivet head pops off. You'll need the red washer, but will be enlarging the hole in the washer so a bit of damage to the washer is ok. Just be sure you don't drill into the boot plastic while removing the rivet.

Drill out red washer with step bit so it fits the external portion of the screw rivet.

Drill out red washer with step bit so it fits the neck on the inside of the external portion of the screw rivet.

Dynafit backcountry skiing boots, cant mod.

Ready. Also, the hole in the boot cuff is drilled with the step bit to enlarge for the exernal portion of the cant fastener.

Internal rivet

Next, the most challenging part of the process. Install internal portion of screw rivet by heating and melting into the boot shell. Hold the part using a metric bolt inserted and locked with a nut. WARNING, if you overheat this part you run the risk of punching it right through your boot shell -- a difficult mistake to repair. THIS PROCESS DOES NOT REQUIRE MUCH HEAT. Trick is to test on a scrap of boot plastic from a dumpster boot or something like that, and have an assistant quickly spray with water once the metal has bedded slightly deeper than internal surface of boot cuff. If you don't have a test boot, you can do small melt tests on the inside of the plastic where the buckles attach.

Backcountry skiing boots mod.

Testing temperature of fitting on throw-away plastic.

Installation of interal fastener.

Internal fastener T-nut is held with a bolt, nut, and vise-grips. Super tricky. Practice first.

Backcountry skiing boots modification.

One problem with using the Scarpa fasteners is that the machine screw is slightly too short for the added thickness of the ZZero cuff (due to washer and carbon fiber stringer). Best solution is probably to make another fastener by cutting a hardware store flat-head screw to length, but the stock screw does work if you make sure the internal fastener is bedded as deeply as possible without melting it through the boot.

Adding cant rivet to ZZero backcountry skiing boots.

CRITICAL, once you've got everything put back together and the cant angle set where you want it, it's essential to 'lock' the machine screw by peening the end as well as installing with Loctite. Peening is done on the interior of the boot, using a pointed puch cut to length so it fits inside the boot on a chunk of steel, while you tap on the outside head of the screw. Scarpa screw has a nice configuration on the end that makes it easy to peen. If you cut a custom screw, peening may not do much. In that case, do the final install of the screw using JB-weld as thread locker. Don't be afraid to tighten everything firmly.

Ski boot mod completed.

Mod completed, cuff alignment fastener installed in Dynafit ZZero backcountry skiing boot.

Tips
- When you obtain the cuff alignment fasteners, get two sets and keep one set in your repair kit in case your install comes lose in the field and you loose parts. By the same token, be sure you’ve got the tools in your repair kit to tighten the cuff fastener.
- We’re not sure how will stocked Scarpa is with their cuff rivets, nor how willing they are to part with them. If you have trouble with sourcing, another way to get cuff alignment parts is from dumpster boots.
- Practice the melt-bedding of the internal fastener on junk parts or boots.
- Know this project has a WildSnow wrench level of about 8 on scale of 1-10. You’ll need a well equipped shop as well as well developed hand-skills.
- See our previous post about doing this same project on a pair of Garmont Masterlite backcountry skiing boots.

Comments

31 Responses to “Dynafit ZZero Cuff Alignment (cant) Rivet Install”

  1. T-Bob December 24th, 2010 10:22 am

    Lou,
    I’ve read the recent boot mods and ski inserts you reviewed and it got me thinking. I’ve got the Scarpa Hurricane with replaceable AT soles. The soles use small self tapping screws into the shell plastic and I worry about the things stripping out with sole replacements long before the boot itself wears out. What do you think of installing the quiver killers into the boot shell and using binding screws to attach the soles? What type of glue/epoxy should I use?

    Thanks for the great web-site,
    T-Bob

  2. XXX_er December 24th, 2010 12:49 pm

    I always wondered why there was no cuff cant on the ZZero , due to my flat feet I didn’t/wouldn’t consider a boot without cuff cant … nice mod Lou

    T-Bob I have garmonts with the swapable soles , I use a drill/screw gun to zap all 18 screws out quickly but putting them back in I gently turn each screw backward by hand till I feel the screw drop into the start of thread in the boot shell plastic before doing the screw up all the way by hand … I havent stripped any holes & it takes about 15min

  3. T-bob December 25th, 2010 11:36 am

    XXX_er,
    Thanks for the tip. Happy Holidays.

    T-Bob

  4. Bpratl December 26th, 2010 8:01 am

    Are there any good sources, new or used, for the cant hardware?
    Bob

  5. Lou December 26th, 2010 6:08 pm

    I was thinking Scarpa customer service. If they’re a business, they might be glad to sell some stuff, but you never know…

  6. Bpratl December 26th, 2010 7:33 pm

    Thanks…I will give them a try.

  7. Harry January 4th, 2011 9:22 am

    The cuff alignment hardware from the atomic race boots is a direct replacement fit! Couple grams lighter too…

    I have done this mod on my boots and a # of customers. Before I experimented with mine, my shop had been using the hardware (or similar) and method Lou described since the Garmont Adrenaline became popular. So many AT boots have a huge amount of outside cuff cant, and even those with a single side cuff adjustment cannot be brought as close to neutral as most newer design alpine boots. It is often necessary to do the hardware replacement with both sides to bring a customer in balance. The other major advantage is working on the shell of the boot, with the cuff removed it is a lot easier to grind and punch. The third advantage is with the cuff removed, a third hole can be drilled in the walk mode metal bar, for more or less forward lean.

    It is funny how design choices and market forces are pushing AT vs. downhill boot design. Many, many high performance alpine customers are looking for more upright boots, with neutral cuffs (dobermann, the new lange RX, the new Dalbello Scorpion series, the new Technica Inferno, to name some) While many AT customers are looking the other way, especially in the forward lean department. I have had some conversations with people about the relative advantages of pre-loading a boot as it pertains to the variabliaty of terrain and such, but nothing definitive, and I have not seen a lot of that type of discussion out on the webb. Mostly I have seen (on other sites) a lot of “MOAR forward lean!!!!!” I have even had some customers decline boots because there isn’t enough lean in it. (These are often the same people who say every boot is waaaay to soft for them).

    My working theory is that a lot of my AT customers are echoing boot theories that were current when they learned their high performance skiing. Most people aren’t exposed to new trends in technique and coaching after they are reach adulthood, and because those (older, many of my peers) customers are driving the AT market, even new AT boot designs are 10 yearsish away from state of the industry in the stance side of things. I am interested in counterarguments, as my explanation seems a little too simple.

    The Titan and Factor style boots are marketed towards people who would otherwise be skiing a detuned race style boot. As such a person I used to hike around Tahoe in alpine trekkers and race boots because the fit (not the stiffness) of the then current AT boots left me wanting. With the growing popularity of sidecountry boots like the Titan and the Factor, it is possible to put alpine customers into those boots on the basis of their fit and performance. This helps grow AT, and also helps me stock size runs. We do stance work with every boot we sell, and the relative extremes of those boots limit their sales. Also, a lot of the customers who are coming from a recent racing or instruction background who are making the transition to backcountry need the most modifications in order to get their stance close to what they are used to. I would love to see an article about how boot design choices need to be made on AT boots to accommodate walking gait, skinning, and climbing, and how AT skiing technique differs from the way downhill technique is taught, at least in theory. Maybe we should be using different goals with our stance and balance work for AT customers? Or maybe we should be better edcuating our customers? It just something of which I have not seen a good analysis.

    The new TLT5 is an exception to this.

  8. Lou January 4th, 2011 10:50 am

    Wow Harry, very thoughtful and nice comment. Methinks the main thing is that customers realize they’d better match their AT stance to their alpine stance, or they’ll be forever complaining about “back seat,” “over the handlebars,” “too much lean,” “sore quads and knees,” “I’m knock kneed,” and on and on.

    Sounds like you are evangelizing for this, so good on you.

    As for how different AT skiing and downhill are, I’d say they are pretty much the same once you’re in natural snow conditions, though the AT skier will tend to ski a bit slower (other than youth in their glory days).

    One important point you bring up is that the demographic of AT skiers includes a vast number of folks who did learn their skiing when driving skinny skis using boots with cuff lean was the way. I still see that demographic on latest skis, making tight turns and forcing curves rather than riding it out. Unless that person learns to relax and tilt, they’re going to want more of a lean boot.
    This sort of thing is where the good ski shops can really help folks.

    And, boot mods rule.

  9. Tyler January 4th, 2011 1:46 pm

    Harry,

    Thanks for your insightful post. I have had recent experience with these exact concepts. I have alpine skied all my life and began touring 10 to 15 years ago now. My last real alpine instruction via a masters program came about 8 years ago, but have subsequently toured almost exclusively. What I have found is that after years on Dynafit bindings and a variety of AT boots is that the positive ramp angle is incredibly different compared to many modern alpine rigs. I am trying to move back to more resort skiing so just this season I was fitted for and purchased a pair of Salomon alpine boots. Now I am much more upright compared to my touring setups. This is a hard transition to make.

    I think that once people move to ski touring they tend to not further their technique instruction and perhaps this leads to legacy boot design by the folks who are touring minded?

    Maybe we are at this unusual junction in time when alpine ski equipment has changed quickly and touring equipment is just trying to keep up with demand from two opposites: 1) ultra-lighters and 2) stiff boot side country folks? Really what we have seen is a race to get lighter and a race to get stiffer. Maybe stance comes next?

  10. Jonathan Shefftz January 4th, 2011 5:15 pm

    Interesting theory, but seems like the younger skiers are often the ones who used to do things like remove the Diamir plastic toe shim and put their boots in the most forward lean position in a misguided notion that more ski-binding delta and more forward cuff cant somehow automatically translated in moving their hips further forward (even though I suspect that if anything they were misinterpreting a more flexed lower skeletal for a more balanced stance, despite probably throwing their hips further aft).

  11. Harry January 4th, 2011 6:25 pm

    Well, we might be using the terms “younger” and “older” to mean different things…

    I only work at one shop so my comments reflect what customers I see, and regional lag and how ski technique is disseminated is a whole other topic!

    The ramp in touring bindings is another place where the AT is lagging behind. Admittedly it is a much, much tougher nut to crack, especially with tech fittings. Boot soles and fitting placement have as large and effect as the binding design. I use shims under my dynafits to decrease my ramp to make it more like my alpine set up. If I was as picky as I am with my race set up, that would mean different shim heights for my TLT5′s and my Titans. Also I suppose raising the toe height has a negative effect on my touring stride by brining the pivot point farther off the ski. At some point I am looking for “better” rather than perfect.

    Tyler, I hope you are right that the next evolution in AT is the stance. It is just a matter of changing hardware, not molds.

    My other hope is that the race for lighter and stiffer changes with the TLT5. The carbon is silly light, and plenty stiff, but has poor rebound. I think a lot of people confuse stiffness for power and energy. A boot needs to be stiff enough that you don’t over flex it. An over stiff boot, especially an upright boot with stiff initial flex, just pushes the tip down. A boot with a progressive flex, but stores a lot of energy, and “pops” when you transition from turn to turn, helps you, helps you accelerate, balance, and truly adds performance. It doesn’t feel as stiff in the store when you stand on one leg and try to crush it. The progressive flex allows you to stay over the sweet spot.

    It is possible that a lot of people who want a lot of ramp on the bindings and forward lean in their boots just aren’t articulating enough when they are out on the hill.

    The problem with light and stiff is that a lot of the tricks used to achieve that are more at energy storage, They are most easily used to make something (a boot cuff or shell) rigid, rather than deforming and reforming in a way that stores and releases energy predictably. It is possible that the same technologies can achieve both in Gen II or III, but only if the market demands it.

    For example on the Titan/Zzeus, when the boot is locked in ski mode, there are tabs on either side of the inside of the boot cuff that that meet up with shelves on the upper shell of the boot. This gives the boot a high initial “stiffness”, w/o a weight penalty. You won’t find those tabs used on an alpine boot to increase its stiffness. If you make the boot more upright, those tabs don’t engage until after a few degrees of cuff deflection, and the flex feels “blocky”.

    If you grind those tabs off completely, the flex evens out, and is in fact softer, especially at the top of the flex. However by the time you have articulated the boot meaningfully, the bottom portion of the flex, where it needs to be stiff to keep you from bottoming out and to store energy, remains unchanged (to my butt dynometer at least). The overall effect is a positive (for my ski style). The overall stiffness and power of the boot isn’t changed, but it scores lower on the crushing it in the shop test.

    The tabs are easy enough to add back on, just urethane some plastic tabs back in their place if you don’t like it.

    Why won’t someone just put TLT5 like walk mode on my dobermann’s and make them out of helium infused unobtanium!?

  12. Doug Goodwin January 5th, 2011 6:58 pm

    This comment is for Harry in regards to forward lean-too much of it. I recently bought a pair of Scarpa Skookums to replace my old Megarides. Now 10 tours under my belt with them and I still can’t get used to the way they pitch me forward compared to the Megas. I’ve removed the boot boards and rear spoiler and also put some extra closed cell foam on the tongue, but they still skied weird. I’m used to being able to be neutral on my skis and be able to “move around” with my center of stance to adapt to the terrain. Last night I put the new Intuition liners in my old Megas and they felt great.

    But… I bought these new boots and want to use them. They tour great and also fit well. I’ve found a few discussions on the web about drilling a 3rd hole in order to lessen the forward lean. The Skookum’s rear slider bar is riveted in and not easy to get to, but it is possible to get in there. Any advice as to how to do this without making a major mistake?

    With the two stock holes they are set at 19 and 23 degress. The holes have about 2 mm distance between them with 4 mm of difference on the two lean settings. If I were to drill a 3rd hole roughly the same distance from the others, my lean angle would decrease to roughly 15 degrees of forward lean.

    Ideas? Thanks

  13. Harry January 5th, 2011 9:47 pm

    Doug,

    I don’t have any experiance with the Skookum, I think your principles are sound. You have already done the standard things to your boot to bring it more upright.

    There are some other factors that also go into the forward lean of the boot. Drilling another hole will upright the rear of the cuff more, but the molded angle of the tongue is pretty hard to change. The tongue pad you have already used is the accepted way.

    Rear spoiler is already gone. Spot on.

    You say that you have removed the bootboard. Especially in AT boots that can mean many things. I would probably put that back in? The the ramp angle (sometimes called the “delta”) of the bootboard can have major effects on your ankle articulation. What your individual ramp angle should be is impossible to determine over the internet.

    Your calf size and location can play a role in the effective forward lean of your boot.

    My recomendation is to work with your bootfitter, make your goals clear, and let them know that you have no problem with radical measures to modify your boot.

    Good luck!

  14. Tom Gos January 20th, 2011 6:44 pm

    Glad to hear some others out there are interested in getting AT boot geometry set up like their alpine boots. I find that the AT boots I’ve owned all have significantly more ramp angle than my alpine boots, and that the AT bindings add even more. It’s a problem, especially with Scarpa boots which seem to me to be really extreme in this regard. I’m considering adding a shim under my Dynafit toe pieces. I suppose that if you are skiing AT gear all the time you adjust to a degree, but for those of us that spend more time on our alpine gear than our AT gear its tough to make the transition.

    Harry, I was very interested to learn that the Atomic cuff mech will fit directly into the Zzero. Are those parts easy to get a hold of?

    Lou, I have an old pair of Scarpa Matrix in the garage that I am considering taking the ccuff/cant mech out of to install in my Zzeros, but it seems the screw is peened or otherwise seems locked in so that it wont be removed completely. Any advice for getting it out?

  15. Doug Goodwin January 20th, 2011 7:18 pm

    About a week ago I used a drill press and some careful measuring to drill another hole in the ski/walk mode slider bar to decrease the forward lean angle of my Scarpa Skookums. Miraculously, it worked! The new holes are damn near spot on in terms of the same distance from the factory holes that were already there-no slop either. Now my lean angle is more like 15 degrees and I am able to be more neutral on my skis instead of having to be forced into a gate bashing stance.

  16. Harry January 21st, 2011 7:06 am

    Tom, the Atomic hardware has its own part # as the race cuff kit. Unfortunatly I contacted Atomic yesterday and they were out of it for the season! Probably all the Wildsnowers’ snatching them up.

    The good news is that the hardware has been the same for a few years, and you can salvage it off of older boots.

    That is great Doug!

    I think I might take pictures next time that I upright someones boot with that method. As you found out it isn’t difficult ot get good results, just take you time and be careful.

  17. Lou January 21st, 2011 8:21 am

    Tom, those cant mechs in the Matrix are indeed peaned, they usually will come out if you just keep forcing the rotation while unscrewing. The trick is figuring out some way of holding the inside nut from rotating while you do that. At the least, try some pressure from inside to hold the nut tight against the boot cuff. I suppose it could strip while doing this but I’ve never had that happen. Remember if you do get this going for aftermarket use, use thread locker and try to pean the end again as well once you’re done. If it falls out while you’re touring, that’s a drag, though you can still get home…

  18. Tom Gos January 21st, 2011 11:22 am

    Thanks Harry and Lou. Harry, I had already started surfing Ebay for used Atomic race boots, but it seems they start at around $100 which is a lot to spend for a cant rivet, but I’ll keep looking.

  19. Daniel February 17th, 2011 12:52 pm

    Hi Lou&everybody

    just bought some Zzero4 PX. The Cuff is lacking some outward tilt, compared to my adjustable alpine boots. As i am averagely bow-legged, this puts me slightly on the outsides of the boot soles and makes my knees track slightly inwards. All quite subtle. Should i

    a) ignore it and ski
    b) do the cant mod right away
    c) ski first, decide later
    d) is there something else i can do about it?

    disclaimer: different boots are no option, as the zzeros are about the only ones that fit me. Boots should be my only boots sometime soon, as i want to migrate my setup do dynafit binders. There will be some resort skiing.

  20. Baker November 18th, 2011 6:17 pm

    Does anyone know where I could get cant- cuff alignment fasteners installed on a pair of dynafit boots. I live in Seattle area, but could mail them somewhere.

    Thanks

  21. Herb Jones May 18th, 2013 4:23 pm

    Harry. Will the Atomic cuff rivets work on the TLT5 Mountain? he shell is very thin and may not have the meat to embed a Scarpa adjuster. Also, how does the Atomic adjuster lock onto the shell to prevent rotation and/or self adjustment?
    I am in the Burlington Vermont area and am trying to source the parts and any info from people like you and Lou who have experience making the conversion. Stock cuff alignment in the TLT5 puts me strongly on the inside edges of the boots and causes some ankle irritation. It would be nice if an off-the-shelf rivet would work.
    Help from anyone with experience in this process would be greatly appreciated.

  22. Harry May 18th, 2013 4:32 pm

    Herb,

    Unless someone has found a solution, you are pretty much stuck with your stock cuff alignment on the TLT5, not because of lack of adjustment in the rivets, but because the lean lock mechanism has no play in it in that direction.

    I would love to find out otherwise.

  23. Lou Dawson May 18th, 2013 6:18 pm

    Harry, you are correct, the rear spoiler that’s under the cuff would have to be tilted somehow… Herb, best way to do this is add dense foam to the side of the liner cuff, and tilt your footbed over accordingly. It’s difficult to get right but can be done. I’ve done it many times myself. Lou

  24. Daniel May 19th, 2013 12:36 pm

    i have had good success with that method as well, takes some time to finetune but works pretty well.

  25. See May 19th, 2013 10:42 pm

    From Chris Marrone’s piece (Tlt Modder Madness Continues): “I also had to tilt the rear spoiler that locks the outer cuff to the inner cuff and re-bore for a slightly larger diameter; hence the stainless bolts in the rear that you can see in the photos.” Just sayin’…

  26. Lou Dawson May 20th, 2013 6:46 am

    See, you’re right, Chris did it… pretty tricky. I’d forgotten about that.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/6332/tlt5-dynafit-modification/

  27. Matt N December 1st, 2013 2:23 am

    Hi Lou & co.,
    I’m looking to do this cant rivet mod on a new set of Dynafit Titan ULs.
    1) Lou: did you put the cant rivet on just the outside of your boot, or did you do both sides for greater adjustability as Harry suggests?
    2) replacement rivets: Harry mentioned Atomic cant rivets being an exact fit. Is this still the case for Atomic’s newer hardware on the Titan boots?
    3) Does anyone know the exact diameter of pivot rivets / holes in the Titan shells?
    4) If not, is Scarpa still my best source for replacement hardware, or are there another alternative that does not require heat-setting?
    Love to get this mod done before the season gets underway!

  28. Matt N December 1st, 2013 3:40 am

    Tracked down some images of current Atomic canting hardware:
    Version of the canting rivet on the Waymaker AT 130 here:
    http://www.skis.com/Atomic-Waymaker-Carbon-130-Ski-Boots-2014/320967P,default,pd.html
    Looks to be largely the same as on the Redster series:
    http://www.skis.com/Atomic-Redster-Pro-110-Race-Ski-Boots-2013/276288P,default,pd.html

    Can Harry or anyone else speak to whether or not this new 2013 hardware will work as well as the 2011 did?

  29. Matt N December 2nd, 2013 10:27 am

    Dynafit canting pivot update: Dynafit just confirmed the stock rivet in the Titan series is 8mm in diameter.
    Does anyone have any suggestions for compatible canting hardware?

  30. Harry December 2nd, 2013 12:23 pm

    I don’t know if it will fit or not, but I do know that the Redster hardware is significantly different from the older RS hardware, they added a cuff rotation option as well as cuff alignment. I don’t know if they changed dimensions and I don’t have the two in front of me to check it.

    If I were starting my hardware search know i would start with Scarpa, but also pull some Head Raptor and Nordica Doberman stuff because I haven’t had problems with either of them striping. If you are nice enough, and don’t go in during peak hours or days, most shops will probably let you measure any removable hardware you want. Beer, even a few cups of hot coffee, will go a long way if you don’t have a relationship with the shop already. The shop where you purchased you boots is obviously the best place to start.

    Don’t be too afraid to drill a bit.

  31. Matt N December 3rd, 2013 10:44 am

    Thanks Harry. I put in a call to Granite Chief, and the phone was answered by Bruce, the guy who taught me to boot fit over 20 years ago.
    Didn’t realize I still had industry connects ;~>
    Feelin’ pretty good about my chances now.
    Will post followup on whatever solution we come up with.

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