Gear modifications

Good morning. So winter here in Ohio. Looking at Reflex boot…wondering if an update is needed or trying to do some mods to it. Unfortunately I am not an engineer, nor do I have the appropriate tools to perform huge mods to the Reflex. There are all kinds of tips and suggestions out there. I prefer this sample size for my question.

I have two extra reflex boots. What would be a safe place to start?
Will making mods to a front boot, hardshell really result in better skiing? More buoys?
Does this now make a perfectly reliable and safe, thus far, boot unreliable and unsafe?

School of thought seems to be to flatten the boot bottom from toe to heel, and cut down the height of the cuff. There are other radical mods floating around out there but i am not savvy enough to pull them off.

thoughts? pictures? all welcomed.

I will say the vast majority of reflex boot users do not modify them at all.

A small number more than that will do mild modifications to keep the boot from rocking such as putting a wad of JB weld under the boot with some release agent to bed the shell down to the plate better.

Beyond that I think you’re off down the rabbit hole with people flattening the shell, pinning the cuffs forwards, cutting the lower to make it flex more etc. Do you regularly run 35 and touch 38? If the answer is no I will say they don’t make any difference - and I will tell you if you pin the cuff and get out of position you can force a pre-release when the cuff would have otherwise moved.

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@half_past, I have been on reflex front since its first iteration way back in the day. Yeah I’m old. I have never made any type of mods to it. However, I ski with guys who have cut down the cuff height and they regularly tell me to do same. I asked why? No real meaningful response that translates to me, meaning “ I don’t get it”.

But since I have 2 extra boots, I thought I could cut down the one cuff and then think about cutting down the inside cuff. I will never try to fixate the cuff with plates and screws. I have had a life changing injury due to skiing and I am not wanting to have another, especially one I may cause on my own experimenting with my equipment.

I do think the plate idea that a hardshell “fits” into has merit. I’ve not tried one. Seems that there would be more efficient input from foot/shell to the ski. All good things to ponder, but I will go slow regarding mods.

Oh well I can add to my comment then. Most every mod to the shell is to address that it’s a roller blade. And skates have trucks that hold
the heel up to put you into that hip flexed skating posture. When you clamp this to a plate the boot is sitting heel low by about 3/8" and the toe rocks up. So if you heat the shell and flatten the toe then modify the cuff so it leans foreards say 8-10 degrees you fix the skate geometry for better skiing. That said if you don’t fix your skiing what you do is basically make it so your hard shell transmits more force into the cuff and heel. It’s sort of like ther argument that a knife taped to your steering wheel is safer than an airbag- sure so long as you change your behavior.

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Thanks for the explanation. I like learning. I have no medium at my availability to heat a shell to the point is flattens. So this is why some put a heel lift under their hardshell at the heel??
My concern about this “mod” is the release mechanism is changed as well. Yes or no?
Does the foot bed that shells fit into, i.e. Edge, HO, Goode, does this plate level out the boot heel to toe.?
With your explanation, I probably would not do this flattening, because I feel my skiing doesn’t suffer because I’m too far back on my front foot. I am able to apply front foot pressure throughout the pass. I remember when I changed back to a rear kicker, the person helping with this transition challenged me to ski with just my left front foot. That challenge really helped, especially off side.
I think I will start with lowering cuff height and inside boot cuff height. Nothing extreme, just different to see if the effect is worthy.

You can put a lift but like you mentioned that raises the heel block so unless you then want to get into modifying the heel ledge to lower it you run into some issues. Add into that a 3/8" lift to “fix” the shell geometry raises your front foot significantly above your rear boot - which if you are running a kicker usually the hot ticket is to pull the footbed out of that so that you can really cram your rear foot into the rubber. Not compatible with raising the front foot 1/2" in comparison once you have the liner etc.

To flatten it all you really need are a few large C clamps a sturdy work bench/table to clamp down to and a heat gun.

I’m with you on the cuff trimming - when you get down to it everyone has hips that are wider than the ski is - so you know when standing square and neutral to the ski that your shin bone is probably at some angle to the outside edge. If the cuff is really high you can get some benefit from trimming it down - but you can also modify it by canting the cuff - basically take off the outside ankle cuff bolt and shift the cuff down - mark and drill a new hole - then reinstall a cuff bolt - you may find that you need to “fill” the space above it - I have found that the best way to do that is to make an eccentric cuff bolt by building up the actual shank of the cuff bolt with something like JB weld - don’t worry about it sticking to the shell so long as it sticks to the cuff bolt nut.

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So basically instead of trimming the cuff down, just pull it off and reconnect lower on shell. Cant or rotate cuff? I am not able to picture what direction to do such a mod and why this would be helpful?

Sort of for the same reason as trimming the cuff. When I set up my hardshell initially I took the cuff off and stood in the boot on my ski. What was clear is that unless I’m twisted left (RFF) at front leg comes out of the ski at an angle above the lower shell - when you add the cuff it gets in the way of where my leg goes in say a Wileys boot. So while I ski better in the hardshell overall I have certain turning issues unless I either lower or cant the cuff. But I also have a semi ruined ankle from hockey and want the cuff to provide protection so canting is the answer (for me)