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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    VT
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    163

    Salomon MTN Lab's

    Salomon Mountain Lab AT Boot.

    I have 2 sets of the exact ski; one is mounted with Dukes paired up with Technica Mach130LV boots (Alpine set-up) the other is mounted with Kingpin 13ís paired up with Salomon MTN Labs (AT set-up).

    Alpine set-up, I am totally balanced and able to drive the front of the ski in all conditions would not change a thing.

    AT set-up is difficult staying balanced and driving the tip. No issue in low angle POW, being more neutral works, but when things get steeper and tighter I lose the confidence to charge and am no longer in the driver seat.

    At boots are stiff but lack progression in the flex, just stiff and I do not feel the angle changes much with more forward pressure.

    I have no idea if the ramp angle is flatter on the kingpin versus the duke, is the foot bed angle different or the forward lean angle is different; these are numbers I cannot find on the manufactures websites.

    When just standing clicked into the bindings the both set-ups feel the same, but not when skiing.

    If in fact the AT setup has less ramp angle and a flatter boot bed and less forward lean or a combination of them will shims under the foot bed and a wedge behind the upper cuff change things up.

    Or is it just a product of the Boot and I will just have to live with it and find a new AT boot that satisfies my needs.





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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Calgary
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    I'm interested to hear feedback on this is well as I've been unhappy with the Mtn Labs for the last two seasons, even skiing them with a beefier and stiffer alpine liner. My speculation is that there is more deformation of the shell and not as much support in the spine (front/rear). I switched to Dalbello Lupo 130s this season on the same Kingpin setup and so far after 3 days on them they are behaving much more to my liking.

    Edit to add: I'm amazed at how most of the Salomon athletes seem to love this boot and charge as well as they do both inbounds and out and using it as their daily driver.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sandy, Utah
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    My guess is ramp. When skiing do you feel like you're leaning forward? I notice this with dynafit and just deal with it. Takes a few turns but I find the balance eventually.

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    http://www.firsttracksonline.com

    I wish i could be like SkiFishBum

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Calgary
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    If it is ramp, as I'm getting a couple pairs of skis mounted tomorrow, one with Kingpins and one with STH2s for the same boot, should I be considering the ramp of the KP's?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    Too much room around your ankles in the MTN Labs?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    North Vancouver/Whistler
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    Quote Originally Posted by robnow View Post
    If it is ramp, as I'm getting a couple pairs of skis mounted tomorrow, one with Kingpins and one with STH2s for the same boot, should I be considering the ramp of the KP's?
    The Mtn Labs are very upright. They are upright to the point that I stuck spoilers on them. And you cannot change the forward lean angle due to boot design. I'm too lazy to check my review but I'd be working on the boots

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    AFAIK: Dukes are perfectly flat. Kingpins are +9.5mm heel-toe delta. For reference, most non-race Dynafits are in the 15mm range.

    Don't know anything about forward lean or boot board angles of Mtn Lab or Mach 130.

    If you're comfortable taking the risk, you could try skiing your Mtn Labs with your dukes to isolate skis vs bindings. I would also double check they're the mount point is the same on both pair of skis.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    Too much room around your ankles in the MTN Labs?
    Heel pocket nice and snug.

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  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    AFAIK: Dukes are perfectly flat. Kingpins are +9.5mm heel-toe delta. For reference, most non-race Dynafits are in the 15mm range.

    Don't know anything about forward lean or boot board angles of Mtn Lab or Mach 130.

    If you're comfortable taking the risk, you could try skiing your Mtn Labs with your dukes to isolate skis vs bindings. I would also double check they're the mount point is the same on both pair of skis.
    If dukes are flat and kingpins are +9.5mm higher in the heel, it seems getting on the front of the would be easier or is it the angle taking away from the forward pressure applied through shin/tung.

    The boot center on both skis are identical.

    Good idea on the sking the boots in the dukes, dukes and my labs play nice together, adjustable and, correct?

    I also have a volkl bmt 122 mounted with kingpins, same feel on those.

    Thanks

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  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeLau View Post
    The Mtn Labs are very upright. They are upright to the point that I stuck spoilers on them. And you cannot change the forward lean angle due to boot design. I'm too lazy to check my review but I'd be working on the boots
    Did spoilers help

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blur View Post
    If dukes are flat and kingpins are +9.5mm higher in the heel, it seems getting on the front of the would be easier or is it the angle taking away from the forward pressure applied through shin/tung.

    The boot center on both skis are identical.

    Good idea on the sking the boots in the dukes, dukes and my labs play nice together, adjustable and, correct?

    I also have a volkl bmt 122 mounted with kingpins, same feel on those.

    Thanks

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    Meant AFD is adjustable.

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  12. #12
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    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by blur View Post
    Heel pocket nice and snug.

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    Not heel, ankle. MTN Labs are pretty darn large in this area. If your ankle can easily roll side to side within the boot this could explain the issue you're having

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    G Falls
    Posts
    296
    I'm also checking into this thread. Been fighting some of these same issues so far this season with Labs. For me, ramp is not the issue, I've skied the same setup with shimmed dynafit toes (delta of 10.5) with TLT6's, Mercurys, and MTN Labs. I'm all over the place in the Labs and don't feel nearly as confident in them vs the other two boots, even the TLT6's on bigger skis. I'm guessing it's a forward lean issue as the fit in the Lab is spot on. I figured it was a matter of getting used to the boot and making adjustments in how I drive the boot, but after a dozen days I'm still not there. I put some spoilers in them tonight, I will see how it goes tomorrow and check back in. I prefer to drive the tips of skis and I feel like I can't get into the front of the boot enough to do this effectively.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    AFAIK: Dukes are perfectly flat. Kingpins are +9.5mm heel-toe delta. For reference, most non-race Dynafits are in the 15mm range.

    Don't know anything about forward lean or boot board angles of Mtn Lab or Mach 130.

    If you're comfortable taking the risk, you could try skiing your Mtn Labs with your dukes to isolate skis vs bindings. I would also double check they're the mount point is the same on both pair of skis.
    Be aware of the risk of mixing apples and oranges. Pin height difference numbers (as noted for Dynafits) are not the same as binding delta numbers.

    I was about to shim my Radical toes and wanted to be somewhat scientific about it (when calculating desired shim thickness) by comparing the actual binding delta beteween the Radical's (which I find steep) and non shimmed Sth2's (Which I almost like as is but shim toes 2 mm for perfect feel). With boot in the both bindings I measured vertical with caliper from topsheet to green dots on welts. The results shocked me as the delta was within a couple of millimeters between the two bindings.

    Nb, I don't ski with Cosmos in Sth2, I only did it for delta comparison.

    Still, skiing in the Dynas with Cosmos toes unshimmed feel like high heels. So I put an alpine boot on one foot and Cosmos on the other, and step both into Sth2. And I got the familiar high ramp delta sensation in the Cosmos leg. So the boot had a much higher impact of the ramp delta sensation than did the bindings. All in all, the Sth2 gets a 2mm shim and the radicals get a 6 mm shim for a close to equal feel of ramp delta between the two setups. Adding pics for reference.

    Edit. Usually I measure binding delta from topsheet to top of afd or the block which the sole rests on. For ease of measuring exactly, and since I was not after a stand height number but rather a comparative number between the two different bindings I opted for measuring to top of welt.

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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    VT
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    I'm going to do some protractor work and measuring of each set up with boot in binding tonight and see what I come up with. Not sure what I will do with the data other than share it.

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,520
    I owned the mtn lab for a season and spent dozens of days trying to get the fit and ski feel right. In the end the efforts were fruitless and I sold them. It was pretty frustrating. I'd make an adjustment to boot fit or stance angle, ski it, think I had it figured out, then after the course of the day the liner would pack out a bit or my feet would swell, or the snow would change ... and it would be back to square one.

    Similar issues to what's been said; boot too upright, lack of progressive feeling flex, fit too high volume in instep and ankle for my feet. Moved on the dynafit Vulcan and performance and fit is night and day mo betta...much more progressive feeling flex too, which surprised me based on online reviews.

    Anyway, I learned a thing or two about tweaking ramp angle while trying to figure out the mtn. labs.

    Variables that i could tweak:

    Bootboard internal ramp angle: various combinations of heights of heel wedges and shims to increase the internal delta. Combined with rear cuff spoilers to increase forward lean, this change helped me get over the front of the boot just a bit better...but the lack of progressive flex mitigated the full positive effects of the mods.

    Bindings:

    Dynafit Vertical St: To do rough experiments on effect of heel to toe angle drop vs either flatter or steeper binding ramp i did the following: To see how a flatter ramp affected skiing I would slide the heel of the boot welt UNDER the heel piece pins, lock in the toe and ski smooth soft groomers and do A/B comparisons with the other boot in the normal stepped in configuration. Or ski full runs with both boots with the heel welt UNDER the heelpiece pins. To eliminate any 'slop' I added a fold of voile rubber ski strap to the gap either under the sole for a small tweak of a a bit more ramp angle, or, stuff some rubber ski strap material between the underside of the pins and the top of the boot heel welt for the flattest binding delta potential. The flatter binding ramp made the solly's feel even worse, so I stuck with the higher ramp angle of the 'normal' configuration of the bindings.

    For Solly STH2 16 bindings I recently experimented with adding heel to toe drop ramp angle by placing ghetto 'shims' under my boot heels and stepping into bindings. Started with one fold of a voile ski strap (it's all i had on hand in the field) and ended up doubling that up for the optimum feeling ramp angle with my vulcan boots on volkl 2 skis. Was a bit concerned about prereleasing but kept the DIN at same number and charged in some pretty herky jerky rain wetted snow and didn't have any issues during the testing. After getting home, i compared the two folds of voile strap shim adjust heel height to my boots in the dynafit vertical st bindings and the numbers were very close. I guess the higher ramp angle bindings work for my personal anatomy/balance/boot fit.

    I can imagine one could do the same for any frame binding.

    If you wanna feel the effect of lessening the ramp of a frame binding, raise the toe of the toepiece and add shims between the AFD and boot sole.

    With your Kingpin bindings...I wonder if you could test a lesser ramp angle by removing the brake with that thicker AFD pad and step in? That should drop the boot heel height by quite a few mms. I'm not familiar with the bindings, just looked at some photos but could work, no? If the increase in gap between the heelpiece closing jaw and ski topsheet causes the boot to rattle, stuff some ski strap material in the gap between boot heel welt and the binding and snug up the fit.

    Of course, all this is based on my not giving a fuck about 'proper release' of bindings for testing purposes and willing to bust hardware to dial in my stance angles...but careful skiing on smooth, lower angle, soft snow groomers in my opinion is a pretty safe and fun way to tweak gear with aforementioned techniques. Aside from loosening a toepiece that was bonded to one ski's topsheet with double sided carpet tape, I haven't broken any bindings yet.
    Last edited by swissiphic; 12-20-2017 at 07:34 AM.
    Master of mediocrity.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    tahoe de chingao
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    Quote Originally Posted by swissiphic View Post
    To eliminate any 'slop' I added a fold of voile rubber ski strap to the gap either under the sole for a small tweak of a a bit more ramp angle, or, stuff some rubber ski strap material between the underside of the pins and the top of the boot heel welt for the flattest binding delta potential.
    Science.

    I have mtn labs an more or less feel like i've got to be exaggeratedly forward to drive them - interested in more info on how changing boot board ramp in the mtn labs worked

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Brohemia
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    2,109
    I agree with most of the ramp angle queries in here as I'm a born and bred plug boot guy but am on the MTN Labs full time now. What I did, just added a spoiler that attaches via velcro to my liner. I can remove them for long tours and then throw them in to get that forward lean I like for the down.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    The Chicken Coop, Seattle
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    2,538
    Just an old spoiler you had laying around? Or a specific one?
    wait!!!! waitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwaitwait...Wait!
    Zoolander wasn't a documentary?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Golden
    Posts
    493
    2 years on my labs fit my foot perfectly
    I only tour on these, use alpine boots at resort, 99%of time
    2 mods I did
    Put a spoiler on the back of liner
    And
    Best change take off their strap and put on booster strap
    The stock cam strap style had the boot flex to a point and stop or you crush the boot and the bottom flexes out
    With booster strap much more progressive flex

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    VT
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    mjp, your mod is simple will get on this and then go for a skin lap next week. Hopefully does the trick, it will be a cheap fix if it works.

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  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    278
    Voile straps make great booster straps for touring. Thereís even a wider, thicker one if you want stiffer than the originals.
    Easy to open and close. No Velcro to catch on your pants.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    VT
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    Tried a few things no big change for me, bit the bullet picked up myself a Christmas present, Atomic Hawk Ultra XTD 130, skied them today on piste night and day for me, I'll be selling the mountain labs size 26 one bake on the liners.

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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by blur View Post
    Tried a few things no big change for me, bit the bullet picked up myself a Christmas present, Atomic Hawk Ultra XTD 130, skied them today on piste night and day for me, I'll be selling the mountain labs size 26 one bake on the liners.

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    What all did you try with the labs?

  25. #25
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    Jan 2006
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    VT
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    Spoiler and heel shim. Did not try using power strap in lieu of factory strap.

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