TLT-5 Non-Invasive Surgery — The Lock Blocker

Post by blogger | December 14, 2011      

I’d been meaning to do something like this for a while, because the Dynafit TLT-5 top buckle simply doesn’t fit that well under most of my ski pants when it’s open. TLT-5 owners who know the problem need no further description. And if you don’t have a problem with it, more power to you. We showed one solution a few days ago that involved mounting a plastic tab on the boot shell. Here is another. All it takes is 1/2 hour and a dollar or two of parts.

Dynafit boot mod for backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering.

The device is a small chunk of 1/2 inch ID vinyl tubing from the hardware store, attached with thin bungie cord. I drilled a couple of holes in the vinyl tubing, inserted the ends of the cord, and knotted. To prevent loss, the bungee passes through the slot in the buckle. In this photo, the 'lock block' is deployed and is preventing the tang on the TLT-5 buckle from inserting into the cuff of the boot.

TLT-5 buckle storage device.

TLT-5 in downhill mode, cuff locked 'lock block' stowed by simply flipping it to the rear. Bungie cord is located through the slot in the buckle, thus preventing loss.

Backcountry skiing boot mods for ski touring and mountaineering.

Oddly enough, the TLT 5 buckle has a catch on it that perfectly holds the buckle bail when in a semi-open position. I'm always amused by these sorts of things, as they make you wonder if some gnome of Montebelluna might have perhaps been thinking of this same sort of buckle stowage? Do great minds think alike? Oh, and you sharp eyed WildSnowers will notice another little mod on the boot tounge. Yeah, my stock one broke off, so I installed the stiffer tongue with a diminutive hinge that lets it fold completely forward and out of the way during foot entry and exit. Have to admit, this is a super nice little mod as well. Only thing left for me is to figure out a way to fix the my worn cuff rivets -- they've developed quite a bit of slop. The whiskey is an emergency kit item for the workshop, in case invasive surgery on my favorite boots has bad results and anesthesia is required. De-corking it was not necessary, but having it on hand next to the tool box just felt so right.

One thing to remember about these sorts of backcountry skiing boot buckle mods on the TLT5 is that you may find you’d rather simply leave the buckle open (flipped out) and attached so it’s easy to close back up and thus go to downhill mode with minimal fumbling. That’s why the boot is designed as it is — so you can make super fast and easy transitions. All mods we’ve published allow the boot to be used in stock mode, so no big deal. Just thought I’d mention that as once I made this mod, I realized that sometimes it’s really nice to just flip that buckle, and in nearly one motion be back in downhill mode quicker than your fumbling friends, so you can steal their line!


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12 Responses to “TLT-5 Non-Invasive Surgery — The Lock Blocker”

  1. Wyatt December 14th, 2011 10:03 am

    How dare you add weight to such a beautifully light boot! Metal hinges, rubber tubes…. what do they weigh now, two and a half pounds?!?

    Pretty sure you’re supposed to just pony up the couple hundred dollars for the special sexy dynafit tights with the cutout in the leg for the buckle.

    I know when I get these boots, I’m gonna just cut a hole in all my pants. That way I’m shaving weight, not gaining it… 😀

  2. Tyler Beck December 14th, 2011 10:10 am

    Nice work. Very Simple Solution.

    So now you have the stiffer tongue attached? Is that going to be as stiff as skiing with the stock setup and extra tongue?

  3. Pablo December 14th, 2011 10:16 am

    My TLT5’s Perfomance had just arrive to me, and I’m gonna make the non invasive mod the faster i can!
    Thank U!

  4. Lou December 14th, 2011 10:19 am

    Tyler, probably not quite as stiff as the double tongue, but stiffer than the single stock/attached which is what I was using and usually liked. One problem I’ve found (happens with most tongue boots for me) it that due to my skinny legs the molded shape of the plastic tongue is wrong and doesn’t come back close enough to my leg at the top when closed. Probably a simple matter of a bit of heat gun and re-molding.

  5. Lou December 14th, 2011 10:22 am

    Wyatt, by removing the power strap, I’m totally compensated (grin). Lou

  6. Nick December 14th, 2011 11:01 am

    Cool mod Lou! Seems like a good alternative for those that get nervous drilling into the carbon cuff of a very expensive boot.

  7. Matt December 17th, 2011 6:47 am

    What’s the little bit of green cord for near the toe of the boot in the last picture? Did you mod a leash?

  8. Lou December 17th, 2011 7:03 am

    Matt, that’s just the attachment for the superlight leashes we like to use. It’s a loop of cord tied through the yellow plastic. The leash clips to that. See following post:

  9. Matt December 17th, 2011 7:29 am

    Awesome Lou, thanks for the link too. Getting ready for EMGT and this year there’s a leash law in effect. Didn’t really want to mod my boots to drastically and this fits the bill perfectly. Next up change the forward angle a bit (if I can) and maybe a lock blocker like this.

  10. Mark December 28th, 2011 10:07 am

    Hey Lou this is a Dynafit boot question, a bit off topic for this TLT-5 thread but I hope that’s okay.

    I’ve just bought the new carbon fiber backed Green Machine but I cannot get a good boot-binding fit with my Marker F12 mounted on Katanas. The rocker in the boot sole provides a pivot point, so that in tour mode the toe of the boot flexes up and down as pressure is moved forward. Further, that movement means that stamping a ski edge in on hard snow effectively attempts to rotate the boot out of the toe piece.

    I’m about to go away on a 2 month long trip and cannot for the life of me seem to solve this sloppy boot-binding interface problem. Which is a problem. Any help appreciated!

  11. Jay January 27th, 2012 9:59 am

    Am liking this mod for tromping through the icey woods approaches. Having the buckle just ‘hanging’ out there looks to asking for breakage. This modification allows the buckle to stay closer to the boot avoiding potential hits from ice and limb.

  12. Lou January 27th, 2012 10:21 am

    They don’t bushwhack in Europe so they just don’t understand. Thanks for confirmation… Lou

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