Zak

Zak

Stevens Pass and surrounding area

Zachary's Passions

Climbing

Zachary's Bio

Engineer by profession. Skier, climber, cyclist by avocation.

Skis:
178 Trab Stevio Light XL - Plum Guide
PM Gear 191 Fat - FKS & Plum
ON3P 191 Billy Goat - FKS
4FRNT 186 Renegade - FKS
DPS 202 Lotus 138 - FKS/Duke

Zak

Zak wrote a review of on April 3, 2013

5 5

My foot:
276 mm long (R) and 270 (L); 104 mm wide (R) 102 (L). Flat arches, high instep, relatively high volume foot.
Size 10.5 street shoe; 26.5 (307 bsl) Scorpion

The boot fit exceptionally tight out of the box; less than 5mm shell fit. It felt shorter, but actually wider in the forefoot than the equivalently-sized KR2. I wanted to ski it a bit before starting the boot-fitting process, but couldn't make it more than a run or two. Had the liners molded with double toe caps, and had the right shell stretched for length with some slight grinding for the 5th metatarsal head (6th toe) to accommodate my slightly larger right foot. Now it fits like a glove. (No work was necessary on the left boot.) I also tossed in a tongue eliminator shim, and kept the calf shim in. I also had my bootfitter lessen the forward lean a few degrees. This, in my opinion, is the only real negative to the boot. Even on bindings with no ramp angle (FKS w/shim), I felt like the stock forward lean of the boot was too much for my anatomy, stance, and style. (I was getting a fair bit of pain in my peroneus longus muscle, but that issue is entirely unrelated to the boot's performance and will be fixed with some canting/sole planing.)

The flex is stiff, but perfect. It feels much stiffer than the equivalent 130 flex boots from Lange, etc. (Tecnica boots may be an exception to that.) It's the first boot I've skied recently that I never felt collapse on me when charging hard over variable terrain (including KR2 w/ stiffest wedge & tongue and Full Tilt w/ #10 tongue and WC booster strap.) I'd recommend tossing a WC booster strap on them to give it that progressive flex. I also run the stock (non-elastic) strap at the same time, but I keep it fairly loose so I'll never blow all the way through the boot's flex.

All in all, one of the best boots on the market; just needed a few mods for me. Now I'm unbelievably stoked on it, and won't be skiing in anything else for a long, long time.

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0 Comments

Zak

Zak wrote an answer about on November 15, 2012

Wally covered the obvious differences in DIN, but he didn't really talk about the functional differences between the toe pieces.

The 180 is a metal toe with a pivot joint, while the 140 is a plastic toe with a split casing. In other words, both provide 180 degrees of release (upward as well as lateral) as per Rossignol's engineering staff, but they do so in different ways. As far as I know, there is no safety advantage either way [though I did hear from a reliable source that the 180 has ~20% more elasticity than the 140]. The metal part makes a big difference -- the 180 is heavier, but some people feel it provides better power transfer to the ski because of the increased lateral rigidity. But unless you have a very precise fit in your ski boots, I doubt you will ever notice any difference in lateral rigidity or power transfer.

Hope this helps.

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Zak

Zak wrote an answer about on November 15, 2012

Cuffs are adjustable. As mentioned below, they have a wrist gator that goes inside the glove (if you want), but the main cuff is meant to go over the glove. I actually wore it with a pretty bulky wrist brace (sprained wrist) for most of last ski season without a problem.

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Zak

Zak wrote an answer about on October 3, 2012

That's crap. I run the 115 brake on my Renegades (122 waist) with just a little splay in the arms (not a bend), and it works out just fine. I'd definitely want the 130 on skis with a 125+ waist, but I'd go 115 on skis 120 or under to avoid extra slop in the system.

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Zak

Zak wrote an answer about on September 10, 2012

I'll second SupreChicken. Same size as he is (little shorter), ski Stevens, and wouldn't consider the 179. Going over the handlebars is a pet peeve of mine, and there's simply no excuse for it in a pow ski. The ONLY time I could see being annoyed by the extra length might be sideslipping down a narrow chute (like Nasty Gash or C-slit entrance to Tye Bowl). I wouldn't worry about turning ability at all.

Not sure what ski you're coming from or what your skiing style is, but my personal favourite ski for Stevens is the 186 4FRNT Renegade. Even though it has little sidecut, the full reverse camber makes it pivot super quickly in the trees. It requires a fairly neutral stance though. If you prefer to drive the ski from the tip, I'd definitely check out the 186 Billy Goat from ON3P, which was specifically designed for the trees at Stevens. [If you're not a fan of directional, pintailed skis and prefer something symmetrical for skiing switch, the 190 Caylor is a great option too.] These skis will be a little burlier than the Pettitor, but I think you'll be extremely pleased with their combination of playfulness and stability at speed. Just my unsolicited $0.02.

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Zak

Zak wrote an answer about on September 10, 2012

Frankly, I wouldn't hesitate to go 196. In my experience, the 186 is really best for people (like me) who weigh below about 170#. Most of the people I know who say they don't like the Ren are people who weigh 180# or more and tried the 186.

If it's starting to feel like a Goldilocks situation and you're not sure you can handle the 196, also consider the 193 Cease & Desist or 191 Billy Goat from the company ON3P. Both are burly skis with a nice long turn radius...and they're made in the USA as well.

Love, love, love my Rens though!

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Zak

Zak wrote a review of on April 18, 2012

5 5

I refuse to ski on anything else. The solid feel of an all-metal binder with the greatest elasticity in the heel. After years on FKS/Pivot, I skied a few days on some Dukes, tore a tendon in my knee, and decided to stick with turntable heels. It probably had nothing to do with the binders, but I like the peace of mind.

Only complaint: Make sure the forward pressure is high enough. The indicator tab is not reliable. Even when I had the forward pressure set slightly higher than recommended, I pre-released going mach loony through crud with the DIN @ 13 and messed up my wrist. Nearly positive it was a forward-pressure issue and not lack of DIN (though I did increase that afterwards too). I blame my shoddy tech skills, but just be aware if you're the kinda guy that does his own mounts and adjustments. Also, some people like to run the heel 1 din higher than the toe, which I learned when researching possible reasons for my prerelease.

I'll answer the typical questions/complaints:

1) The toe-piece is not adjustable in height. You could try to shave the vibram of your AT boot down, but there's no guarantee that will work or that you won't shave off so much that you can't click into your dynafit toe anymore. Seriously consider whether you need an metal, 18-DIN binder if you don't have a DIN sole. Very few AT boots without swappable soles ski well enough to warrant such a bombproof binder. Go for the Sally STH series if you really need an adjustable height. (Be warned that the lack of moving AFD will affect the release values.)

2) Just turn your ski pole upside down to get out of them without scraping up the paint. Alternatively, you could toss some bondo or epoxy in the space. But it's really not that hard to flip your pole over. My new ones look fine after a season of use. My old ones are beat to hell but function just fine.

3) Yeah, it would really be nice if they made a wider brake. But they can be bent - out to 140+ mm if you are good at it. If you're going more than 15-20 mm wider, you'll prolly want to read the tutorial on TGR (search for it). But it's a pain, they can break, and you could possibly get hurt. Fortunately, the 115mm easily make it out to 125-ish just by pulling the brake arms outward a few times.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a shop tech and claim no responsibility if you break yourself or the bindings following any of my advice. Having them mounted and adjusted at a shop is the safest way to go.)

EDIT: Rumor is the Pivot 18 will have 130 mm brakes available next season...

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0 Comments

Zak

Zak wrote a review of on April 16, 2012

5 5

Not sure how useful this review will be, as people already interested in this ski will buy it and people who aren't won't. That said, here goes:

I've been on quite a few skis lately, and the 186 Renegade is the perfect ski for my size and style. I'm 5'11", 165# (though I'm recovering some surgery, so me in shape is 5# lighter and much stronger), and I mainly ski Stevens Pass (combo of tight trees and open faces). If you're over 175#, the 196 should be your weapon, as whyturn implies below. (I haven't been on the 196, but on TGR, whyturn claims it's easier to ski than the 186, FWIW.) I'd also consider the 196 if you ski mainly open bowls and you already have a smaller tree ski (I don't).

If I had to choose just one ski for the resort, this would probably be my pick. However, I've never had a ski with such a learning curve, including DPS L138, which is a full reverse/reverse. I had heard them described as playful and chargy, but after the first run, I told my friend they were neither. After some more time on them, I understood how to adapt my style.

They are so stable and love speed in the open. It takes a fairly-skilled pilot to manage the speed, but those who can will be rewarded with a stable platform at mach looney. For as much as it loves speed, the Rens perform exceptionally well in tight trees. I suspect this has to do with the full reverse camber much more than the sidecut (which is very small). I have not yet found a situation where the trees were too tight for the ski. As I continue to gain core and leg strength after surgery, I think the Renegade will gain even more agility in trees. On hardpack, the Rens, with full reverse, require a balanced stance and do not like to be driven from the tip, racer style. They do carve unexpectedly well, likely because of the matching rocker and sidecut.

Only gripe: Once or twice in the 10 or so days I’ve spent on the Renegade, I have noticed the tips diving if I get too far forward. This is probably a combination of the full reverse (requires good fore-aft balance) and the smaller tip (which is awesome and not hooky at all). I attribute tip dive more to pilot error (not being as balanced as I should have been) than any inherent flaw in the ski. I have heard other skiers, mainly those who are heavier than I am, say they have float issues in low-angle pow, but I haven't experienced this too much.

Mount point seems to have a big effect on the ski: 86-88 from the tail is pretty much the range. Obviously, the further forward you are, the better they carve groomers and the farther back, the better they float. I went 87 because I'm on the bigger side of things but I still wanted to ski tight trees (this is my tree ski cuz it's the smallest ski I own) though. I might have gone 88 if I were 155#; if I were a little bigger and really strong, I might have went 86.

Also note that these skis are particularly picky as to how they're tuned. The factory tune is excellent, IMO, so stick with it. When you do need them tuned, 4FRNT recommends a 1* side and 1* base bevel with minimal base structure, which is how they come from the factory.

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Zak

Zak wrote an answer about on November 19, 2011

Hey Brad, you probably ordered a boot by now, but perhaps this will help other customers: These can be a great boot if they fit your feet. Unfortunately, for me, they don't. I wear a street size 10.5, D width, low instep. My regular boot is a Full Tilt (27.5 mondo, 310 bsl, 98mm last) with some punching and grinding. When I wanted a burly touring boot, I really wanted to make these work for me, but I ended up going with the Tecnica Cochise (27.5 mondo, 320 bsl, 100 mm last). The Ultralights are about 0.5 lb lighter than the Cochise, but you gotta go with what fits. Most Dynafit boots that I have tried on are too high in the instep, and the arch is in the wrong place for my foot. They're also a little narrow. As mentioned above, a good bootfitter should be able to make them work (provided the shell size is not too big), but I didn't feel like embarking on an expensive boot-fitting adventure. I'd definitely give the Cochise a look if you're interested in the Titan, but it doesn't fit your foot.

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