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New skates baked by shop - did they screw it up?

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Hi - I was unable to find any info on how baking can go wrong. It's such a simple process I guess nobody has ever had a bad experience so far!

I don't often buy new hockey skates and I've never had new skates baked before, so this was a new experience. I bought new Bauer X80 skates from my local hockey shop and they proceeded to bake them and put them on me and lace them for me. I think everything is great, I go home and then I read the promotional materials on the skates and instructions.

At this point I see that the shop basically did everything the manufacturer warned against.

Bauer recommended baking for a maximum of 3 minutes - shop did 12

Bauer recommended to not pull tightly on the laces - shop cranked down on the laces tying them tight

Bauer especially recommended not pulling tightly on the top 2 eyelets - see point above

Anyway - my question is - are these skates hosed now? Should I try to get the shop to replace the skates or ask for a refund?

Thanks for the advice

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The thing is problems don't always show right away, could be months. I remember when the pump RBKs came out and all the shops were baking them wrong, months later air bags were failing, people where blaming RBK when in fact it was the shop's fault.

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Were they in the oven for 12 minutes?

I tell people between the time that they agree to want them baked to the time that I put them on their feet that its going to be 10 - 15 minutes, all of that time minus 2 or 3 (dependent on model) is preheating the oven.

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He could have put them in for the duration of the pre heat as well, which wouldn't have done structural damage as it wouldn't have been hot enough to affect the materials

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Is there any way I can tell if there was structural damage?

Even if there wasn't - wouldn't the cranking down on the laces do damage or make the boot malformed?

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Where'd you get it done? Big shops often just leave the oven on all the time (at least my local TH does this), while smaller ones tend to have to fire it up for each bake. If the 12 included preheat time, you're fine, if not, obviously not.

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He could have put them in for the duration of the pre heat as well, which wouldn't have done structural damage as it wouldn't have been hot enough to affect the materials

I hate that method of trying to guess the time to include getting an unused skate oven up to baking temperature. How hard is to preheat the oven and then bake them.

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The guy at the shop I got it done at a few months ago also kind of walked away while it baked. Seemed like a fairly long time but I would trust them if it's a legitimate hockey shop and not one of these bigger sports department stores. And I think you want to lace them up fairly tight to make them wrap around your feet. The thing you don't want to do is pull up on the laces because it can damage the eyelets. That's why the guys that work at the shop tie them so they can pull them to the side and not bend the eyelets by having you pull them more upwards. My skates that I got a few months ago have worked out okay.

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Yea this is definitely a hockey shop - not some department store.

Why is it ok to pull it tight to wrap it around your foot if Bauer recommends to not do that, and especially for the top 2 eyelets? Is it about the eyelets or is it about the structure of the boot at this point?

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They baked them for too long no doubt about that, even if they put them in while it was pre heating, which your not suppose to do also. I'm not sure what the negative effect could be but like jimmy said it may not happen right away. Was it a bauer skate oven the usually preheat in only 5 mins.

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I know my skates were in the oven for 10 minutes on at least two occasions, possibly a third. The laces were cranked on (not the top ones and they were laced and tied by the owner). I was even told to stand in them at a certain point. This was all done at top notch shop that I trust.

You're probably fine.

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To clarify my post earlier -- you're probably fine either way. I just meant you're probably okay in terms of bake time it was a preheat.

I also think that the manufacturers often recommend too short of a time in the oven. The first time I baked my one.7s I made sure the shop followed the time and temp recs to a T (against the shop's advice) and by the time I was lacing up my second skate, it had already cooled considerably and didn't conform as much as the first did. Second time around I let them put them in for an extra three minutes, they both wrapped my foot really well, and the skates are fine to this day.

180 degrees isn't that hot. Leaving them in there a little longer than advised shouldn't create too many issues. Worse that baking overtime would be skating on them before the glues have a chance to re-set.

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Yea this is definitely a hockey shop - not some department store.

Why is it ok to pull it tight to wrap it around your foot if Bauer recommends to not do that, and especially for the top 2 eyelets? Is it about the eyelets or is it about the structure of the boot at this point?

I think it's how you pull the laces, not how tight. If you pull them out to the sides when lacing instead of up towards you, you'll be ok. You want the skate to be tight enough to wrap around your foot.

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I personally think your fine - I found that when I baked my Bauer skates to what Bauer recommends Ive had to bake twice. Which probably means they are cautious when recommending bake times. That being said I think that much time is WAY too long for bauer - and definitely is not the right way to do it.

But you can add this to reasons that you should be baking your own skates, because kids at the shop more often that not dont know anything and dont even bother to look at baking instructions. Ive gotten in arguments on here about home baking - some just blindly recommend bringing it to the shop, but ignore that fact that the person at the shops knows less and cares less than you do. Not to mention they just assume you can bake all skates as many times as you want with no negative side affects. Pretty sure MOST skates can only be baked 2-3 times - after that materials break down. Every time ive tried on skates (including Bauer), Ive been offered to have them baked for me BEFORE buying them. WTF!!! I would hate to be the person who buys a pair of skates from a shop that have been baked multiple times by the workers only to see that boot fail WAY sooner than it supposed to because of their mistake.

Ive baked all my skates at home and have had great results. How hard is it to get an oven thermometer, put on a sheet of cardboard, turn off flame to avoid direct heat, and bake to what the manufacturer recommends?

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I personally think your fine - I found that when I baked my Bauer skates to what Bauer recommends Ive had to bake twice. Which probably means they are cautious when recommending bake times. That being said I think that much time is WAY too long for bauer - and definitely is not the right way to do it.

But you can add this to reasons that you should be baking your own skates, because kids at the shop more often that not dont know anything and dont even bother to look at baking instructions. Ive gotten in arguments on here about home baking - some just blindly recommend bringing it to the shop, but ignore that fact that the person at the shops knows less and cares less than you do. Not to mention they just assume you can bake all skates as many times as you want with no negative side affects. Pretty sure MOST skates can only be baked 2-3 times - after that materials break down. Every time ive tried on skates (including Bauer), Ive been offered to have them baked for me BEFORE buying them. WTF!!! I would hate to be the person who buys a pair of skates from a shop that have been baked multiple times by the workers only to see that boot fail WAY sooner than it supposed to because of their mistake.

Ive baked all my skates at home and have had great results. How hard is it to get an oven thermometer, put on a sheet of cardboard, turn off flame to avoid direct heat, and bake to what the manufacturer recommends?

Baking skates before purchase is a good idea, especially on skates like the Mako.

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Baking skates before purchase is a good idea, especially on skates like the Mako.

There are some skates that you can repeatedly bake over and over with no side effects (like the mako), and there are skates that specifically state that you shouldnt bake more than 2 or 3 times. Hockey shops and employees should know this before offering to bake any skate in the store before purchase.

I for one would be pissed off if I bought 800 dollar vapors to find out theyve been baked multiple times before I bought them, when the box states that you shouldnt bake more than twice. (not sure about the newest model, but I know this is true for older models)

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I understand what you mean, but I think for the general public the chances of screwing up a skate by baking it on your own are far higher than the risk of having a skate overbaked before purchase.

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Chain hockey stores who hire kids always seem to have this problem, the stories I hear about baking are crazy. As I said before, breakdown can occur months later. If I was OP, I'd go back to the store and get a new pair, and emphasize to the manager (whose prob a kid too) that they were baked too long and that in unacceptable.

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So to give closure to this post, I did end up going back to the store to return the skates.

On the way to the store, however, I noticed they had sold me the wrong #$!@ skate! I had tried on a few skates at their store and had to order a special size from their warehouse. When I got the skates I just brought them in and the guy opened them up and baked them. I should have checked, but they had sent me a pair of X70s, and not the X80s I had ordered.

They still gave me the full refund thankfully - but I am definitely thinking twice about ordering anything from this store again.

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I have had kids in the LHS put skates in during the pre-heat stage, not watch the time, not loosen the laces up so they can be tightened quicker once out of the oven, etc. Back a few years ago the manager was a professional, he watched the clock, had the laces ready to go, and did the actual lacing himself to make sure the laces were pulled out and not as much upward. My LHS had some CCM RBZ 90's on sale so I picked them up but didn't let the kid that was there bake them. I'll go back when the older kid is there that may have a clue.

On that note, I know some people have talked about squeezing the heel once they come out of the oven and on the foot as a way to get a better heel fit. Does that work at all? If it does how long do you have to squeeze it? The skates should be just fine in that area, but I can always use more heel lock!

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Squeezing the heel will only work on skates that are the most malleable under higher heat. I would only do that to RBZs, Makos and maybe Tacks.

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On that note, I know some people have talked about squeezing the heel once they come out of the oven and on the foot as a way to get a better heel fit. Does that work at all? If it does how long do you have to squeeze it? The skates should be just fine in that area, but I can always use more heel lock!

I've had this done recently to a Nexus 8000 and I can tell you it most certainly works, the Curv composite responded very well to this. The boot needs to be pretty soft and needs to be pinched/clamped in the correct area and cool for it to really work. Not something I would try on my own or let some kids at a chain store do.

Edited by stick9

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SVH has a video on VH's hockey website showing this, just using a ratchet clamp like you can get at Home Depot. I'm going to try this on my MLX next season, because I had pretty bad heel slip that just pressing with my hands after baking couldn't quite fix.

VH video:

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