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True/Lefevre 20.2 Living Review


Chenner29
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Will be rolling this out in phases.

I. Specs, Order Process, First Impressions
II. Vs 20.1
III. Post - 5 skates
IV. 30 Day Review
V. 60 Day Review (if necessary)

Don't think anything else is needed past that.

We'll start in this post with Section I

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I started this process back in October when the customizer came live on the True website.  The graphic immediately appealed to me, as I found the 12.1/20.1/4.1 fish hook graphics to be pretty uninspired - IMO they're all flipped variants of one another.  If you asked me to draw the graphics on my 20.1s with a gun to my head...well it'd be over for me.  So as much as I hate to admit it, the new graphics drew me in - particularly the ability to have 4 graphics on the outer roll and I ended up all 4 zones.

Getting into the specs, here you go - as you can tell, I didn't really make much changes as I was pretty happy with the 20.1s.

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Here is a PDF True put out to retailers to detail updates and changes between 20.1 and 20.2:

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*Note the boot angle option was not available on the customizer for me.  It defaults to regular angle.

Gear was ordered through Goalie Crease.  I hit up Rance as he did a great job with my 20.1s, paid up and got ready to wait.  He even called me out in one instance - I specced weave on the inner sliding surface on the pads, and used the Import function from pads to glove and blocker.  Well, there's one matching zone on each glove that was picked out in weave and I didn't catch it.  He found it, and we were able to make a fix with Lefevre before production.  Really appreciated, and I owe him a pizza or something if I ever find myself near Toronto.

I received the gear yesterday, got one skate in, and so far I am very happy with the changes made to the pad, as well as the new options I was able to spec.  What appealed to me most was the updated knee block, new FRS, and the availability of the Eflex/12.1 style soft boot.  What crept up on me was the nylon strap running through the knee block, which I will detail in section III - so far, this seems like a huge improvement over the traditional velcro as you get additional surface tension when coming back to your feet - the pad moves better with you on recoveries. 

Gear is built very well, blocker graphic is right side up and the gear has the correct number designation (lol)

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Section II - vs. 20.1

This is an exciting section for me as I want to break down why all the little changes Lefevre made from the 20.1 to 20.2 feel so good. 

Gear weight:

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Going off the True doc, we'll dive down into the changes:

  1. Sewn in knee block
  2. Nylon knee to outside calf strap
  3. New boot shape
  4. Updated FRS
  5. Softer boot flex

Knee blocks - first, here are pics comparing the two flexes, I believe @TheGoalNet posted these to his IG feed as well.
Eyeballing it from my point of view behind the camera, I'd say 20.1 flexes out to about 45* off 90 and the 20.2 flexes to about 25*.
It's not exactly scientific but I tried to apply the same amount of force with the same hand.
note that there is tension with the nylon calf strap pulling on the outer calf wrap on the 20.2.  The elastic on the 20.1 just keeps going and going...

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Here's shots of the knee block construction.  On both pads, the knee block and knee landing are one piece, folded over one another.
On the 20.1, they are bound in with the paracord, while on the 20.1 it is sewn and then bound in with the cord.  As you can see above, there is noticeably less play on the 20.2.  Getting the pad to sit square to the shot is much easier with the 20.2, especially when you are in an RVH with a ton of weight over your knee.  I'd occasionally have situations where the 20.1 would over-rotate during post-play and I'd lose a few inches over the top of the pad.

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The nylon knee strap is actually an underrated innovation on this line, and I set up a little 3rd grade science experiment to show why.  Just like my comparison of the knee blocks above, it's not exactly scientific but it helps to illustrate the idea.

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Here, I've got a stick, a small cabinet, and some duct tape on the floor to mark where my foot would be.  I'd thread shaft of the stick through the leg channel of each pad, position the tip of the butt end and base of the pad in the same spot, and I measured the distance from the floor to the below-knee break on both pads. The 20.2 at the same point comes an inch higher than the 20.1, which translates to a more responsive pad recovering out of the butterfly.  Out of the strapping methods currently available, IMO the only thing beating this is a snugly worn leather or nylon Professor/Scrivens strap.  For those folks who stress about attack angle of their skate blades to the ice, you may want to look into this option on your gear moving forward, as getting your pads off the ice quick can also be a performance advantage.

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For those worried about the way down - I don't have enough uses in them quite yet, but my feeling so far is that the stiffer knee block brings the whole pad down faster.  With the 20.1, I might just catch shots with the knee block or calf wing.  With the 20.2, it feels like the whole pad is arriving a split second faster to those same low shots.

Here's some side profile shots of the boot with the rest of the pad.

One thing I'll note here is how much stiffer the 20.2s are above the knee than I remember 20.1 being.  Obviously the 20.1 set has about a year or so of use on them so the S shape is a little more dramatic.

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A shot from the tops so you can see how much they've curved.

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And a long shot from the boot of the 20.1 to show how much they shaved down the outside of the boot.
This one was kind of difficult to capture, but you can kind of see how much poofier the 20.1 outer boot is.

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FRS changes

As documented above, Lefevre got rid of the ribbed FRS, flattened it out and shortened the inside boot portion compared to 12.2.

As a result, they thinned out the padding in the actual FRS from 3/4" to 1/2", but to compensate they increased the padding on the receiving pad on the mid-calf wrap from 1/2" to 3/4", so the overall amount of support here is the same.

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Boot flex

I opted for the Eflex/12.2 boot on these pads, and I am loving the change.  You can really feel the boot of the pad mold and move with you, especially on big pushes or when you're set in RVH.  It's a tough thing to capture in photo form, but I did my best.  Side note, I think changing the boot shape from rounded on the 20.1 to a flatter profile on the 20.2 also contributes to the feel on this.

I've also changed out of ProLaces into regular skate lace again, more for RVH plays than anything else. I've got some half-baked theories about why a skate lace toe is better on a soft boot break pad than an elastic cord, but I haven't really played with that idea beyond that.

Pads in neutral on left, pads flexed on right

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That concludes this picture heavy segment, hope you enjoyed as it was agony for me transferring everything from phone to PC

 

 

 

 

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Section III - Post 5 skates

Actually it's probably been 8 or 9 uses since I got them but I've been lazy updating this

I mentioned below in a response to @agrare that I'm really pleased with the gear and glad I made the upgrade.  I'll really only focus on pads, as there wasn't much (if any) discernible change made with the mitts.

I think if you look at the small changes in each section on their own, it really seems underwhelming...but how they work together is the "secret sauce" that brings the whole thing together.

Let's talk about rotation and pad squareness vs 20.1 first as that seems to be the hot topic at hand.  I think the updated knee block and FRS go a long way in making this pad present square to the shot.  Here are some vidcaps from a skate with a local skills coach and his minions, I think this was my second skate in these things.  You can see in a straight down butterfly they land very square.

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I did catch one instance of some slight overrotation, but in this example you can see my center mass is actually over the left knee.  I'm loading to push to my left here as I just finished my set and wanted to get the hell outta there.  I found one instance when I was in RVH on the right post, but it's shot from a different perspective from 40 feet away and I wasn't able to get any conclusive idea on how my pad rotated then.

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Yes I know I'm due for a color change on the mask, that's coming.

The pad is very responsive as you transition in and out of saves, movement, and stance - the FRS is really the core of it all, but it's got some supporting cast this year with the nylon knee strap, knee block, updated boot, and soft boot flex option.

In the knee, the main changes were the nylon knee strap and updated knee block.  The knee block creates more resistance against the pad when you're going down, so you're getting a Stabilislide/Stabiliflex-like feeling (although it is certainly looser than either). When you drop, you can feel your knee pushing against the knee block instead of older iterations of Lefevre product, where the knee block assembly would flop down.  The performance advantage with this is you get the thigh rise of the pad to the ice faster, which gives you the "ice up" coverage that so many coaches are talking about these days

On the way back up, the nylon knee strap coming out of the knee block helps your pad grab more clearance off the ice.  I showed this with my little science experiment in a previous post.  It's attached via velcro to the bottom of the knee block, so there is some adjustability, but I've left it as it came from Lefevre.  Since it does not flex like velcro, the pad becomes more responsive on a recovery, so theoretically you could engage an edge at a much smaller attack angle (if your skates are set up to accommodate).

Bumping down to the boot and shin, this is where a lot of the action is in the pad.  We've got the updated FRS and the receiving calf pillow, along with the redesigned boot scoop, thinned out boot, and the softer boot flex option.  The advantage with the FRS is that it keeps your shin supported against the back of the pad, which also puts your ankle right next to the boot break so you can take full advantage of the softer flex.  Compared to 20.1, I feel that the new boot scoop feels a lot more natural sitting on top of my skate than the older version - the 20.1 felt like I had a foam roller sitting between my skate and pad.

All in all, I think the small changes were all positive, and we've got a pad that's really departing from the feel of the 20.1/4.1 style.  It's a super responsive,

 

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3 hours ago, Yzueblin said:

@Chenner29 i will receive my new gear in around 3-4 week not jrz but i don't feel 100% confortable with the 3m tape people talk on this forum.. did you thing to put it on your new true pads ?

Heck yes

I also stripped it off my 20.1 set this morning before shipping them out to the buyer after maybe 2 months use?  No issues there either.

6 hours ago, RyanR3KC said:

Is the sliding edge in front of the knee block on the 20.2 completely squared out or does it angle like the 20.1?

I think this is what causes the 20.1 to lean forward. 

Are you referring to the medial roll where I have the weave? 

That's a good catch - I didn't think of that, and unfortunately I shipped my 20.1 out this morning so I can't do a side by side any more.

My personal opinion is the under-rotation on 20.1 is caused by the tightness in the FRS forcing your calf to land on the first rib closest to the back of the pad (green).  You can see there's a pocket here between the blue air pillow and the FRS.
My first white set of 20.1 actually had a piece of velcro facing outward on the FRS in the purple area; my second sport gold set had this area covered with Jenpro.
I did not have rotation issues with the white set because I was able to run the topmost FRS strap (connected to the third rib below) over the purple area.  I'm guessing for current users, the best remedy is to try an elastic strap that's about 3" longer - but at that point, you're wearing it so loose you're negating the benefit of having the FRS system

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Edit

I found pics of the mid-line change for the 20.1 FRS. 
White set on left, sport gold set on right

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Thanks for this @Chenner29!  Planning on ordering some 20.2s when they start accepting custom orders again.  Question, do you notice the 20.2 fitting differently from the 20.1 since they updated the sizing to match the 12.2s?  I see you kept the same base 32" on both, basically wondering if I should stick with my normal 33s or drop down to 32s and bump the thigh rise up.

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Thanks Chenner. I’ve had to mess with the strapping a lot on the pad. The knee blocks are a lot more floppy on the 20.1s than anticipated. 
 

if I was to reorder them again I would opt for the leather strap behind the knee to prevent the pad face from leaning forward. 

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2 hours ago, agrare said:

Thanks for this @Chenner29!  Planning on ordering some 20.2s when they start accepting custom orders again.  Question, do you notice the 20.2 fitting differently from the 20.1 since they updated the sizing to match the 12.2s?  I see you kept the same base 32" on both, basically wondering if I should stick with my normal 33s or drop down to 32s and bump the thigh rise up.

It's a fkin unreal pad and I'm really glad I made the switch, despite the "small" changes to the line.

Interesting question -

I've been a 33 in Lefevre since Koho 560 through Eflex 4.

I sized down to a 32 for the 20.1.  When deciding on size for 20.2, and accounting for the advantages of a soft boot option, I decided to stay with the same size and make up for it up top.

Keep in mind, the pad this year is a LOT stiffer than 20.1  from the boot up. 

FWIW, my FTK measurement is a little higher than 19.5"

1 hour ago, RyanR3KC said:

Thanks Chenner. I’ve had to mess with the strapping a lot on the pad. The knee blocks are a lot more floppy on the 20.1s than anticipated. 
 

if I was to reorder them again I would opt for the leather strap behind the knee to prevent the pad face from leaning forward. 

Were you able to extend your FRS and did it work?

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54 minutes ago, ilyazhito said:

Do True gloves have the same stiffness issues that plagued Reebok and CCM gloves in the Lefebvre days? I'm curious, because the pads look nice and seem to perform well. 

I have never had this issue with any RBK or CCM glove.  I've owned 560, 580, 590, P1, P3, EF1 and EF4.

That being said, only the last 2 in that list were made overseas and I specced Game Ready with D3O.

I have also tried on the new Axis and EF5 gloves at my local shop, I believe one was a 600 and another a 590.  They got worse IMO

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I have a Reebok XLT 24 Sr glove that I had been using since 2015. Only very recently (after ~4 years of use) have I been able to catch properly with it, and that is even after breaking it in using the Keeps33 method and playing with it for several years in ball hockey. I got a new full right Bauer Reactor glove recently, and it appears to be easier to open and close, even though it has not been broken in. That's strange. 

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9 minutes ago, ilyazhito said:

I have a Reebok XLT 24 Sr glove that I had been using since 2015. Only very recently (after ~4 years of use) have I been able to catch properly with it, and that is even after breaking it in using the Keeps33 method and playing with it for several years in ball hockey. I got a new full right Bauer Reactor glove recently, and it appears to be easier to open and close, even though it has not been broken in. That's strange. 

I own the same glove and after two years of use it still closes horribly

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I have and used to use a XLT 590 pro palm and had no issues breaking it in or using it at all.  All of the mid and bottom tier CCM gear I've tried on off the shelf has been horrendous, though.  P2.9, Eflex 4.9, etc...all of the gloves were basically unusable.  The mid tier Vaughn gloves are genuinely not bad, but a noticeable step down in quality from the domestic stuff.  Don't think I've tried on any of the other mid tier offerings.

If I could only have one piece of "pro" level gear, though, hands down it would be the catcher.  I think you can more easily get away with the mid tier price point gear for the blocker and pads.

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7 hours ago, Chenner29 said:

I have also tried on the new Axis and EF5 gloves at my local shop, I believe one was a 600 and another a 590.  They got worse IMO

I’ve compared a couple retail ccm gloves to their custom counterparts and custom has always been better out of the box than retail. Not sure what it is but custom seems to be assembled much better. 

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8 hours ago, ilyazhito said:

I have a Reebok XLT 24 Sr glove that I had been using since 2015. Only very recently (after ~4 years of use) have I been able to catch properly with it, and that is even after breaking it in using the Keeps33 method and playing with it for several years in ball hockey. I got a new full right Bauer Reactor glove recently, and it appears to be easier to open and close, even though it has not been broken in. That's strange. 

 

8 hours ago, ser33 said:

I own the same glove and after two years of use it still closes horribly

 

2 hours ago, AdamL said:

I have and used to use a XLT 590 pro palm and had no issues breaking it in or using it at all.  All of the mid and bottom tier CCM gear I've tried on off the shelf has been horrendous, though.  P2.9, Eflex 4.9, etc...all of the gloves were basically unusable.  The mid tier Vaughn gloves are genuinely not bad, but a noticeable step down in quality from the domestic stuff.  Don't think I've tried on any of the other mid tier offerings.

If I could only have one piece of "pro" level gear, though, hands down it would be the catcher.  I think you can more easily get away with the mid tier price point gear for the blocker and pads.

 

1 hour ago, ThatCarGuy said:

I’ve compared a couple retail ccm gloves to their custom counterparts and custom has always been better out of the box than retail. Not sure what it is but custom seems to be assembled much better. 

Sounds to me like they have the child labor make the lower end gloves overseas...maybe only teenagers and up are allowed on the pro glove assembly floor

south park kenny GIF

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