Forums Boots Scarpa Alien Initial Impressions and Mods
Viewing 18 posts - 21 through 38 (of 38 total)
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  • #788296
    rsn
    8 Posts

    I think that could be done rather easily. The attachment point would be tricky to have multiple lengths because if you use the shorter one, it would impede the boot from flipping when transitioning to walk mode( it’d bump into the plastic and prohibit it from flipping the whole way up). My counter proposal would be to do something similar to the BSL spring system and simply further screw down the bolt and compress the spring down by doing so, thus giving the natural position of the locking slot a more upright position.

    #789379
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Any progress on the custom bar?

    @sun_rocket

    #790550
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    I modified the Alien to resolve what is for me too much front foot forward lean that created an uncomfortable and too-far-forward “hard stop” in heel turns and in a neutral riding position. The stock Alien forward lean is 9 degrees, which is to my knowledge the least of any stock AT boot. This mod takes it to an approximately neutral rear-stop highback angle and, from that point, affords a range of motion forward before the locking arm engages. I will measure and publish exact angles in the future.

    The mod is to simply cut a space in the locking arm that allows the bar to engage at the next higher stop.

    The locking arm then rests on either side of the boot bar. I was careful to locate the cut such that it leaves a small tab in which the boot bar rests when in full forward position. This is to prevent it from popping out (but I don’t think that’s a real risk as the bar is tensioned forward by the cord, and the stock bar slot on the locking arm has no tab and doesn’t pop out). I also moved the bar slot up to the more aggressive forward lean position to minimize forward lean losses with this mod. My next step is to configure a plastic or rubber piece to sit in the stop for a bit of cushion.

    This is the resulting highback (boot) angle in a rear stop. While it may look subtle, it makes a world of difference in terms of both comfort and performance in ride mode on snow.

    The primary risk with this mod is weakening the locking bar. So far it’s held up fine. I do not plan to use the stock slot point located downstream of the cut. My assumption is that that slot is too weak to ride on with the cut.

    @sun_rocket

    #790687
    Scooby2
    611 Posts

    thanks for that post Taylor, I am thinking about getting my wife into a pair of these with a thicker liner for her narrow foot.

    #790691
    buell
    534 Posts

    That is great.

    Taylor, does this mod allow more forward lean? Or is the gain in fore/aft range of motion coming from freeing the boot up going backwards (which sounds like what you are after anyway)?

    At my size, 140 pounds, I found the Aliens to have quite a bit too stiff forward flex for good riding without a modification allowing more/easier forward motion (I only tried them in the shop). I could definitely see how a heavier rider could flex these boots sufficiently in their stock form though.

    #790695
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Buell –

    No, the forward-most position of the modified boot actually offers a degree or two less forward lean than the stock set up in the 9 degree forward lean position. And that’s even after, on the modified boot, I moved the locking arm to the 13 degree forward lean position.

    It’s important to understand that much of the forward lean in this boot derives from how loose or tight one sets the cord. I run it very loose which affords much more forward flex (and lean) than what the boot would otherwise allow when in ride mode. I also ride with my back foot in tour mode. Yes, all buckled up and run tight these boots locked in ride mode would be stiff for someone who weighed much less than me.

    Obviously, for my riding style, I prefer much less support from my boots than a lot of other riders. And, in general, I prefer less forward lean in my highback stop position. That’s an important point for me to emphasize again and again in the context of this thread.

    Taylor

    @sun_rocket

    #790696
    buell
    534 Posts

    Thanks Taylor. I love that such a simple mod works so well for you on that boot.

    #790709
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    thanks for that post Taylor, I am thinking about getting my wife into a pair of these with a thicker liner for her narrow foot.

    Make sure, when she’s trying it on, to go through the full range of cord tensions with the boot in ski mode so that she feels the boot’s full range of flexes, especially fully latched up, which is stiff.

    @sun_rocket

    #790710
    Scooby2
    611 Posts

    Thanks, though if I find the right priced used pair the front and sides of that cuff are coming right off and Ill run a bungee to keep the lever down. I’m thinking of dropping a regular lace-up snowboard liner with some extra fabric around the top in a size bigger shell and having it be a lightweight boot for deep days in UT, not so much for good toe side support. Maybe I’d put a wide velcro band on the top of the remaining highback as an option.

    #790712
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Rad. Can’t wait to see that.

    @sun_rocket

    #791440
    claymond
    25 Posts

    When I was looking up hardboot options this thread came up. I have about ten days on Aliens now in things from pow to steepish hardpack. My riding preferences sound different than Taylors so I wanted to add my opinions. I’d never rode hardboots before. The gains in touring are obvious, so I’ll talk more about how they ride. My softboot setup is Malamutes with Spark Burners on my split and ride SPI’s on my solid. So a stiff softboot setup. I use quite a bit of forward lean. Performance in steep variable snow is more important than surfing pow to me.

    For me, the boots in stock form work well. I removed the upper booster strap, as it didn’t seem to add anything. Dialing in the tightness of the upper cuff with the string is the hardest part. I keep the Boas very tight, and the upper cuff snug around my calf snug, but not fully tight as I would if I was gonna ski. In soft smooth snow, looser on the cuff would be ok, but when riding in harder chop, i need the cuff supporting my lower leg or else all the force is on my ankles. Like this, the boot is still flexible enough forward for me to ride pretty much like a softboot setup. The hard stop on a heelside turn doesn’t bother me personally, probly because I use stiff bindings with a lot of forward lean when in soft boots. I kept a similar stance to softboots, +18 and -6.

    My the main thing I dislike is these just are harsher when in chundery hard snow. Mainly on my foot and ankle. I wouldn’t say it’s painful, but it’s more uncomfortable than soft boots. It’s worse on toeside turns than heelside. In smooth hard snow, they are fine, its only in the really shitty stuff that’s not fun to ride anyway, so I can deal with it. I’d think any hardboot would have this issue.

    #796099
    shad
    8 Posts

    picked up some used Aliens for $75 at the BD ski swap! If it ever snows again in Utah, and I am going to see how this dynasplit thing goes.

    #797037
    shad
    8 Posts

    First day on Aliens + Spark Dyno DH today. Have not yet bought the tour mode stuff so just took the splitboard rig out at Brighton.

    Boots are stock, no mods yet

    Preliminary thoughts:
    -hardboot riding has a different feel. Seems less damp. Like locking out the suspension on your mountain bike.
    -boot plastic is soft. I damaged the crampon shelf on the boot when I was careless with the bail. I’m going to have to be more careful
    -about 20 degrees and sunny, and my toes got really cold. Loosened the boa and it seemed to help a lot

    More thoughts to come once I get the uphill part of this rig and ride it for a few weeks

    #797217
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Shad, thanks for your input here. I’d be interested to see a photo of the shelf damage, and a photo of the boot in the Spark binding.

    Also, with regard to the overall feel of the AT set up, I agree that it’s a little rude riding resort snow compared to soft boots. I’ve done that some at Monarch while accessing split-return side-country. For riding pow though, which is my primary objective splitboarding, I find the ride mode feel to be excellent.

    @sun_rocket

    #797904
    shad
    8 Posts

    damaged Alien toe welts from the Dyno DH. Not a big deal right now but all this happened during just one day of riding. I’m worried about how these boots will fare in the long term, but they were just $75, so not a huge investment. I finally bought the uphill part of my hardboot set up, so I’m about to start putting some miles on these. I’ll report back on the long-term durability.
    aliens

    new setup. Dyno DH on Voile canted pucks, Dynafit Superlite 2.0 Toes on Spark Dynafit adapters with Voile heel risers
    amplid

    #817328
    NorwegianDan
    109 Posts

    Any more experiences to share on the Aliens?

    Or did this move to another thread?

    #817925
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    Hey @shad

    I sort of suspect the wear on the toe shelf is coming from pairing Spark’s aluminum toe clip to the polyamide toe shelf. Pairing hard aluminum to comparatively soft plastic at an interface that transmits so much force seems like a risky design.

    My understanding is that all AT boot toe designs, their geometry and material hardness, are governed by minimum ISO standards, so I wonder if the Spark toe clips have been digging into other polyamide boots too. In the alternative, I wonder if the Aliens tread ISO standard minimums that others don’t dare.

    I’ve always preferred plastic toe clips to avoid boot damage, even since my racing days–another reason I like Phantoms. Using those, my Alien toe shelves are like new after three seasons.

    Score for $75. Mine weren’t $75…

    T

    @sun_rocket

    #847252
    Taylor
    792 Posts

    2020 update: Addition of Phantom Link Levers: http://splitboard.com/talk/topic/scarpa-alien-with-phantom-link-lever/

    Boots are holding up nicely after several years.

    @sun_rocket

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