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  1. #1
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    BOA closure system on Mtn bike shoes - looking for feedback

    Looking for some feedback on the last few years versions of the BOA closure system - particularly for mtn bike shoes.

    I'm considering the Garneau T-Flex 2LS which use a dual dial system with the L5 dials which do not do the micro adjustments. I picked up a pair of these on sale with a pair of Garneau Graphite mtn shoes that a have velcro closure system. I'm trying to decide which to keep.

    Both fit pretty well. The BOA closure on the TFlex fits very well (of course) and is very comfy. The velcro closure on the Graphite is good, but when I tighten them, I'm right at the seam which gets caught in the buckle when I try to pull it past it. It's a bit annoying but I can deal with it. However I'm not sure where I stand on not having a ratchet on the upper closure - especially once the velcro starts to wear out. But velcro is dead simple nothing mechanical to break or fail or clog up (although not great in wet or mud) - but does eventually wear out and fail to hold in a few seasons.

    I know the older BOA systems had issues with the dials failing, the strings/cables breaking or shedding their coatings, and wear/breakage of the plastic hooks where the cable runs down the shoe. How are the last few years fairing?

    Anyway, I'm concerned about the durability of the BOA system as wells use in both mud and really dry and dusty conditions. How about the wear or durability of the dials, cables, and hooks/eyelets/pivots where the cable bends around when tightening? I just don't want to throw away a ton of money for a shoe that will last a season if any of those break or fail from use in that time.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by tinball; 12-21-2016 at 04:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Can't comment on actual boa systems, bu I have some sidi's with their version, dragon 3's and for me I think they suck, did a really muddy race a while back and they have never worked the same since and now it's summer with long grass and stuff here, every ride I get back I have to pull bits of stuff out of them, never had any issues with my old sidis (eagle 6).
    Actual boa's may be better, don't know. But so far thats my experience.
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  3. #3
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    only issues I've had with Boa systems is when the dial is placed in vulnerable positions and gets impacted by a rock.
    That said, Boa customer service was great on sending out replacements each time this happened to me.

  4. #4
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    Mine have been plenty durable. But regardless I wouldn't worry about it. The are easy and free to replace (boa will replace no question asked) so it's really about like replacing laces on a sneaker.

  5. #5
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    The are easy and free to replace (boa will replace no question asked) so it's really about like replacing laces on a sneaker.
    wait... where do you get free replacement laces for your sneakers?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    wait... where do you get free replacement laces for your sneakers?
    You know what 'about' means right?

  7. #7
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    You know what 'about' means right?
    You took that seriously?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    You took that seriously?
    well if it was a joke I must admit the humor in asking someone where they get free shoelaces did go over my head.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    wait... where do you get free replacement laces for your sneakers?
    Red Wing gives me free replacement laces. Back to the OP question: BOA always breaks on my friends from rock impact, and as for the warranty, hopefully you have two pair of shoes (like some do, but most don't) while waiting for the busted BOA to get back into action.

    They should put BOA on top of the foot, but maybe it's a design/engineering issue. Or on back of heel if you don't do too much hike a bike.

    I use two pair of non-boa shoes, but if I found the ultimate fitting shoe then I would not hesitate....if I had a backup pair for the day the dial gets annihilated by mud and rocks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikewriter View Post
    Red Wing gives me free replacement laces. Back to the OP question: BOA always breaks on my friends from rock impact, and as for the warranty, hopefully you have two pair of shoes (like some do, but most don't) while waiting for the busted BOA to get back into action.

    They should put BOA on top of the foot, but maybe it's a design/engineering issue. Or on back of heel if you don't do too much hike a bike.

    I use two pair of non-boa shoes, but if I found the ultimate fitting shoe then I would not hesitate....if I had a backup pair for the day the dial gets annihilated by mud and rocks.
    Just a few FYIs here.

    -Replacements are really cheap. So if you're pretty sure you're going to break on and not want to wait for the mail just buy a replacement(s) and have them on hand.

    -Pearl has some models with the dial on the top of the foot. Lake used to put them on the back of a few models.

    I'm not trying to push boa here by the way. Given the choice I'd probably prefer a traditional system. But so many of the good choices use boa it doesn't make sense to have boa be a deal breaker. they're fine and while more likely to brake than buckles they are much easier and cheaper to replace when it happens.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikewriter View Post
    Red Wing gives me free replacement laces. Back to the OP question: BOA always breaks on my friends from rock impact, and as for the warranty, hopefully you have two pair of shoes (like some do, but most don't) while waiting for the busted BOA to get back into action.

    They should put BOA on top of the foot, but maybe it's a design/engineering issue. Or on back of heel if you don't do too much hike a bike.

    I use two pair of non-boa shoes, but if I found the ultimate fitting shoe then I would not hesitate....if I had a backup pair for the day the dial gets annihilated by mud and rocks.
    Your friends should just go to the Boa site before the laces break and request new ones in advance. I have a complete spare set sitting around, and when they're needed, I'll get another spare set just incase. You go to their site, fill in a form, and within a week you have new Boa's for your spares box ... Brilliant. I will not buy anything else.

    I have thus far only had one ever fail, and that was when the wire got some kinks in it inside the dial, and wouldn't wind right. I replaced the whole thing, as free, but could have fixed it with just a new wire.

  12. #12
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    Ditto what everyone else said. Plus because they are so easily removed, you can also take them apart and clean the dials out if they get caked with mud and grass. Just a small hex screw in the middle of each dial. I've had BOA on snowboard boots and never had a problem braking the cables even when banging the sharp edge of my board against the 'laces' area.

    I bought my S-works road shoes 2nd hand on ebay, used them for a few years, then got free replacement cables/dials when they BOAs finally wore out. I just recently picked up some mountain shoes with BOAs and they did fine through one cross season. Also just picked up some new snowboard boots with dual BOA, can't wait to try those out.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

    In the end, I went with the "velcro" shoes and sent back the boa ones. Saved around 40.00 after return shipping. My main reasoning was the exposure on the sides of the shoe to rock hits and possible damage on the trail as well as maintenance.

    They were comfortable but not that much more comfortable in the fit to make me risk it from a damage perspective. This was also before hearing the advice to just get a spare set of boas for replacement when you damage one. It also seems like while they are great for fit, they do fail with a higher rate than the quite simple hook and loop system. Almost as if it's pretty much a given at some time you are going to have to replace one (or more) at some point or at the very least take it apart and service it.

    Then there is the maintenance aspect as well. At this point, I don't really want another thing I have service and maintain. Or at the very least deal with regular "servicing" of your shoes more than a simple regular cleaning. Based on the feed back, Boas look to add another thing that you would want to keep on top of or you are asking for trouble down the line.

    That is not to say I won't consider a pair in the future when the time comes to get another pair of shoes. Just right now, I'd rather keep it simple in regards to my shoes.

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