Sportiva Synchro Double Power Tongue Swapology


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 13, 2018      

(This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry. We hear they are into tongue swapping.)

Left to right. Original Spectre tongue makes and effort, with bellows hinge, but still obstructs natural touring stride. Sportive two piece power tongue solves the problem. Installed on Spectre. Install hints: Tongue mount can be loosened just enough to pop tongues in and out, but in doing so you might drop a T-nut from the inside. If that happens stick the T-nut up with a square of duct tape so it's easy to re-insert screw.

Left to right. Original Spectre tongue makes an effort at walking freedom, with bellows hinge, but still obstructs natural touring stride. Sportiva two piece ‘Double Power’ tongue solves the problem, installed on Spectre. Install hints: Tongue mount can be loosened just enough to pop tongues in and out, but in doing so you might drop a T-nut from the inside. If that happens stick the T-nut up with a square of duct tape so it’s easy to re-insert screw.

Sorry kids, this isn’t a kissing howto. You can find that over at Cosmo. Meanwhile, La Sportiva’s Double Power Tongue is one of the best ski touring boot innovations in years (see Synchro review for more details). This cultural event is not quite on the level of when cavemen went from bare feet to sandal, but close. In case you’ve been out of touch, perhaps living in a crevasse on the Kahiltna, the idea is simple. Read on.

Regular “tongue” style boot shells have trouble allowing adequately free forward motion in touring mode, due to the shell tongue obstructing forward movement of your shin. Providing some sort of hinge in the tongue is the usual solution, but doing so compromises downhill stiffness. Sportiva’s two piece tongue is easy hinged for touring (though we’d like it to be totally free hinged) , and stiffens up when you buckle down by virtue of a separate smaller-stiffer tongue the keys into the underlying full tongue. (Other companies have tried this sort of thing over the years, but in our opinion never this effectively). Sportiva’s solution works, albeit you need take care down to align the two tongues when buckling. You get used to it, and it’s worth it.

Secret sauce, the darker part matches up with  the orange cutout, locking together when the boot is buckled.

Secret sauce, the darker part matches up with the orange cutout, locking together when the boot is buckled. Getting the parts to mate during buckling is easy, a bit tougher configuring for walking as a buckle that’s too tight will lock the parts together.

Of course you mod-happy readers of WildSnow.com have already asked: “Swap this to the earlier Spectre models?” Sure. And more.

Orange on yellow? Hey, it's La Sportiva, need we say more?

Orange on yellow? Hey, it’s La Sportiva, need we say more?

For grins, I swapped a Sportiva tongue to a Scott Cosmos 3, am pleased with the results.

For grins, I swapped a Sportiva tongue to a Scott Cosmos 3, am pleased with the results. Problem: the tongue is sold WITHOUT the hing-holder bracket the screws go through. That part might be available as well, I got mine from an old pair of original Spectres we have here for parts.

Sportiva bracket on Scott Cosmos.

Sportiva bracket on Scott Cosmos. The holes nearly line up, I egged them out using a roto-cut bit on rotary grinder.

Tape backing for T-nuts.

This type of project requires three hands, if necessary back the T-nuts with a square of tape so they don’t fall into the boot shell as you attempt to thread screws.

Good result.

Good result.

The info you need for ordering, probably through a dealer.

Some of the info you need for ordering, probably through a dealer. Sportiva ITEM NUMBER is 49H in their catalog.



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Comments

17 Responses to “Sportiva Synchro Double Power Tongue Swapology”

  1. Bob March 13th, 2018 10:34 am

    Lou,
    It looks like the hinge holder lines up perfectly with the big toe hole on the Cosmos 3 and only the pinky toe hole needed to be egged out. Correct? I have the new tongues on some old Spectre and they are indeed very close to the original Spectre tongues in terms of touring. Want to switch them to my Cosmos 3.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 March 13th, 2018 11:52 am

    Hi Bob, I egged out both holes, it was no big deal, the T-nuts are much larger than even the egged out holes. Original tongue would swap right back on. It’s a good mod for the Cosmos. Getting the rivets out of the Cosmos is a bit of a chore, to avoid heat and grinding damage. They can be replaced with T-nuts if necessary.

    Another nice feature of doing this to Cosmos is you end up with hinged tongue, easier entry-exit.

    Lou

  3. Jim March 13th, 2018 12:35 pm

    Is there any significant difference in stiffness with this mod to a Spectre?

  4. Lou Dawson 2 March 13th, 2018 12:42 pm

    Stiffer in downhill mode, looser in uphill, both improved. Lou

  5. Mike Henrick March 13th, 2018 2:55 pm

    Nice! Works on a Cosmos – how about a Backland?

  6. Skis_the_trees March 13th, 2018 3:29 pm

    Looks awesome. Will this work with the Sideral 2.0? Unclear if the upper cuff/buckle on the Sideral would lock down the tongue hinge.

  7. MarkL March 14th, 2018 12:14 am

    Are the holes the same on a Cosmos II?

  8. Dabe March 14th, 2018 4:35 am

    Lou if those spectres are a 27.5, would you consider selling them?

  9. Lou Dawson 2 March 14th, 2018 11:28 am

    Dabe, we don’t sell much gear, quite a bit of it is on loan or else ends up too worn out or customized, I emailed you to discuss further, perhaps we can offer some advice. Lou

  10. Dabe March 14th, 2018 1:56 pm

    Thanks Lou! I replied there but will also second the_teees query, do you think sideral or spitfire buckles will work with synchro tongue?

  11. Kip March 16th, 2018 6:12 am

    Thirded on the query whether this will work on a sidral 2.0. My main concern is that the two parts wouldn’t detach with the top buckel undone as there is not much slack space.

  12. Lou Dawson 2 March 16th, 2018 7:35 am

    I think it might work, I can experiment today. I’ll make a point of doing so. Give me a few hours. Lou

  13. Dabe March 17th, 2018 7:00 pm

    I asked Sportiva warranty dept as I recently broke a rear cuff on my sideral (which they have felt with in A+ fashion – shipped a new pin and cuff with instructions on how to repair). The response was that it would not work:

    “The Synchro tongue will not fit on a Sideral.
    The attachment point is oriented in a slightly different direction, and will not line up with the rest of the boot.”

    But I think like Lou’s cosmos, you could get the alignment right if you made new or modified old holes.

  14. Kip March 19th, 2018 8:46 am

    Thanks for the info Dabe. I just had a look at the Sideral 2.0 attachment point and notice that it dosen’t have the same metal peice as the specter/syncro and has 3 mounting points. So despite the Sideral tounge looking the same as the blue one in the first picture it must actualy be different. The difficulty of swapping would therefore be simlar to the Cosmos. For me this wouldn’t be worth risking as they are my only boots and it might not work out….

  15. Skis_the_trees March 20th, 2018 7:51 pm

    Lou – were you able to check if it would work on the Sideral 2.0 (despite the response above, thx kip).

  16. Lou Dawson 2 March 21st, 2018 6:15 am

    Hi Skis, yeah, I want to check this for myself. Got delayed, I think I can get to it today. Thanks for asking. ‘best, Lou

  17. Lou Dawson 2 March 21st, 2018 12:25 pm

    Ok, SkisTrees, I have some Sportiva Sideral boots here to play around with, but I can’t mod them. It looks like you could widen the hinge slot in front end of the Power Tongue by a total of 8 mm (4 each side) and you could snap it into the same fitting-hinge as exists on Sideral. The original Sideral tongue can probably be removed with some heating and prying, but might require removing the 3 rivets holding the tongue hinge fitting and replacing them with T-nuts.

    Also, as mentioned above, I’m not sure the buckles would fall in the correct places on the Power Tongue.

    In all, possible but probably not worth the effort and expense.





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