European boot pile, this one favors TLT-5.
They say once you go to the Dynafit TLT series boots you never go back to other backcountry skiing boots. That could mean several things. Indeed, this ‘disruptive” product is a fine (some say revolutionary) shoe. On the other hand, the forward cuff lean of the TLT-5 is a bit much for some skiers, meaning yes you never go back — even when you want your legs to ‘go back’ and give your knees and quads a rest.
The problem with too much forward cuff angle is twofold. Perhaps most importantly, skiers with certain types of knee problems require a more upright stance that places less continuous stress on the knee’s supporting structures (patella, quadriceps tendon, quadriceps muscle, etc.) Secondly, modern ski technique (riding the ski rather than pressuring it) is thought by some to require a more neutral stance.
Note that one reason cuff lean is an issue with Dynafit boots is they tend to be used with Dynafit bindings that in turn have major ramp angle (heel higher than toe). Thus the problem is exacerbated. More, the TLT 5 liner cuff is thin. Using aftermarket liners with thicker cuffs can compound the problem.
It is relatively easy to reduce the lean angle on some AT boots. Yet models such as TLT 5 require major fabrication skills for a change to the lean-lock.
Or, perhaps there exists an add-on part that takes the TLT-5 cuff lean down a notch? The parts described below for Dynafit TLT 5 model boots will begin retail in late 2012. They lower the cuff lock position by about 3 millimeters, resulting in a minimal yet noticeable reduction in forward lean (a few degrees, difficult to measure exactly.)
The parts swap, new part to right. Arrow indicates how the alu plate simply locates the hole lower down for less lean, or you can reverse the plate position vertically (via threaded fasteners) and end up with same lean as original.
TLT-5 cuff lean adjuster swaps the part indicated by arrow. Essentially, you end up with a lean lock similar to the new 'One' model boot. In the 'One' you can change the lean a few degrees by removing a small aluminum plate and reversing its vertical position, due to the hole in the plate being off center vertically. Same with this.
As with the original boot parts, the swap parts have a left and a right. Organize your swap by doing one boot at a time and matching the text molded into the original part with that of the new.
How is the actual swap done? Simply use a pin-punch to remove the pin holding the part. The pin has a large end and a small end. The challenge is, which end to drive from? In some cases, the pin is best driven out by hitting the smaller end with a pin punch, and in other cases it's best to hit the larger end. This discrepancy is due to two types of pins, one with more pronounced barbs than the other (see photo below.) The only thing we can figure out is to first lightly tap the smaller end of the pin with a punch, it the pin begins to easily move out, countinue. But if the pin is resistant to movment don't drive hard or you'll bend it. Instead, try driving from the other side, presumably so the barbs slide through the plastic hole instead of catching. Drive out the pin in a warm environment, at least room temperature, so the plastic is sufficiently flexible.
In this case, the pin is driven out by pin punching from the smaller side. In other words, examine the pin before you start, you'll see one side is slightly smaller than the other. But as mentioned above and below, you may need to drive out from the larger side (which will probably be right to left). Important: support plastic on solid surface while tapping on the pin, otherwise the boot will just bounce around and you may not be able to drive out the pin. If the pin doesn't begin to easily move, try driving with pin punch on larger end. See next photo.
Spoiler pin with pronounced barbs must be driven so the barbs don't resist. In this case, the pin would be driven from right to left (it's shown in the photo with the boot, for scale.) This pin is bent, easy to straighten by lightly hammering on solid steel surface. Thanks Pablo for the photo.
Lisa (WildSnow Girl) has knee problems. Her day goes much better when she can relax into a more upright stance. I made this mod on her boots before our last big European ski touring day, and it seemed to help. Worth a try if you have issues, or just want to tune your stance for your turn style. Only gripe is we’d like to see this sort of thing provide even less forward lean than it does. For example, they could have made the aluminum swap plate longer, and provided two plates with several choices as to position of the hole. More cost to make of course, but then, these are the Ferrari of backcountry skiing boots, so bring on the option package.