Lange deserves accolades on many fronts in their history as a ski boot manufacturer.
Throughout their history, performance has been their highest value. While so many companies have gone off on wild goose chases in the ski boot world, (see rear entry boots) Lange by and large has stayed true to its core values with their elite racing heritage and building ski boots that perform well, no matter who you are or what your foot shape.
Boot fitting for the better part of the last decade, I have always counted my lucky stars that I have a narrow foot. Of all people who got the short end of the stick in the ski world, people with wide feet have by far the roughest go in the ski boot world.
Medium-wide ski boots have some serious competition in the last few years. When Tecnica built a new boot from the ground up, the engineers knew it had to be something totally different than they’d ever built before.
I was fortunate enough to go to the America’s Best Bootfitters test last spring at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon, and was more than interested in how the Tecnica Mach1 130 would stack up against the rest of the 100 mm-wide category, particularly the strong competition that has sprung up in the medium fit market.
I am pleased to say our clientele is, by-and-large, quite well educated about the ski products they are shopping for. As a boot fitter, as often as not the client will state their ability level followed quickly by a short list of boots their interested in trying on, and that list is made up of all the major models from major brands you’d expect, and then they will ask for a recommendation; “and anything else you think I should try on.”
When the client has a narrow foot and is an expert skier my reply is always, “Well you should definitely try on the Head Raptor 130 RS.”
Head as a brand has carved out a large niche in the race market in both skis and boots. They haven’t made the flashiest powder skis, nor best-selling all mountain skis. Instead, they’ve stuck to making the finest hard snow and race skis available, and the same goes for their boots.
We’ve been raving about the Head Raptor since it came out, as has the rest of the universe, and you may be asking, what is so good about it? In short, everything really.
The Nordica NRGY 100 and Nordica NRGY 90 are two new skis for 2015, replacing some of our personal favorites – the Nordica Hell & Back and Steadfast. Fortunately, the new skis did not let our testers down.
Walking the line between a metal-less ski and a full metal laminate ski, the NRGY series uses a skeletonized metal layer, giving them just the right amount of damping and torsional rigidity without being heavy or demanding.
Phil summed the ski up in one word after skiing them; compliant. We felt that the NRGY series are more approachable than some of the most advanced ski in the category for less aggressive skiers without giving up much in the way of top-end performance.
Giant and LIV are hosting 2 demo days this weekend, the perfect chance to try out 2015 Giant and LIV mountain bikes and road bikes before they’re in stock at the Start Haus next spring!
The Giant and LIV (Giant’s women’s bicycle line) demo fleets will be at Spooner Lake on Saturday, September 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and at Sky Tavern on Mt. Rose above Reno on Sunday, from noon to 4 p.m.
We’re extremely excited to go and check out the new bikes for 2015 that we’ll be bringing into the Start Haus next spring, and we hope you join us.
Saturday: Spooner Lake – park entrance fees apply.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For three years the Lange RS 140 has been firmly at the top of the heap. Sporting great fit and function the Lange RS 140 has routinely received top marks from boot testers as a great skiing boot with a great fit as well.
What is it about the RS 140 that makes it so good? Good stance and balance? Great fit? Good responsive plastic? Yes, yes, yes, and definitely yes. Lange obviously hasn’t wanted to mess up a good thing, and thank goodness for that. The RS 140 rolled out three years ago and nothing on the shell has changed, save the graphic. For 2015 Lange has given the boot an all new race liner to give the RS 140 even more control and precision. The lace-up race liner is truly high quality and is the main fit difference between the RS 130 and the RS 140 reviewed here.
The performance characteristics of the RS 140 are off the charts. The turn is lightning quick and smooth; the plastic is dynamic, it responds and moves with the leg courteously and concisely. It was a top pick of the boot test for me. I love to go fast and the RS 140 is no slouch in that department, although many times with stiff “expert boots” (and skis for that matter) they don’t like to make a slow speed turn, not true with the RS 140, it can make a turn and flexes well at all speed and radius, making it a jack of all trades, not just a speed junkie.
Make not mistake the RS 140 is not for the faint of heart. If you want this boot we expect you to be a good skier looking for a snug fit. A boot of this caliber will have a break in period that will not be comfortable. After a few days the boot should feel okay and if it does not you will probably need some additional boot fitting from a professional trained boot fitter.
To be sure many will shy away from the RS 140, because of the number rating corresponding to the flex. Lange boots tend to be a bit softer in their ratings than say Nordica or Tecnica, if you can ski a 130 in those brands odds are you’ll be fine in the RS 140
Another caveat to mention is if you are in the market for this boot you do have possibly a tough choice ahead: Lange also makes the RX 130 L.V. (Low Volume) which come out of the exact same mold.It has a little more comfortable liner but features vibram rubber soles unlike the RS reviewed here which have solid polyurethane soles. Questions to ask oneself are: how much am I hiking, how important are on-piste turns to me? If hiking for the fresh stuff is important to you you’d probably want to go with the RX 130 L.V., if you are a stickler for making a great on piste turn or strive to emulate the guys and gals on the World Cup pick up an RS.
To emphasize, it’s hard to exaggerate how good the RS 140 is. Lange absolutely crushed it out of the ball park with practically all their boots. We at the Start Haus were in a round-table discussion with the folks who run Lange Europe and they were asking a group of American boot fitters what we think Lange should be striving for in the future and the answer I think speaks for itself. “Whatever you do, don’t louse this thing up and tweak them too much, the boots are too good.”
The biggest event for ski racers comes October 18-19 this fall – Start Haus Race Weekend.
Race weekend is your chance to get all the ski racing equipment you need at race price with expert advice. With our racing expert staff on hand and reps from the top brands in the sport, we’ll make sure you get the right gear with the perfect tune and the right ski boots with the perfect custom fit.
Start Haus has the best selection of race skis and equipment in the region with brands including Blizzard, Fischer, Head, Nordica, Rossignol, Stockli and Volkl, but if we don’t have it in stock we’ll get it ordered for you – racing equipment availability is limited, so if you miss this weekend, you may not get what you’re looking for this season.
Race Suits are in stock!
We will also have a full selection of protection, race suites, goggles, wax and tuning equipment from brands like POC, Briko, Spyder and more so you’re dialed in.
So make sure to be at the Start Haus October 18 and 19 and get ready for a great ski racing season!