Buyer beware!

A Review On: Kneebinding Knee Friendly Binding

Kneebinding Knee Friendly Binding

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Review Details:
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barunrm
Posted · 819 Views · 5 Comments

Pros: They make OK wheel chocks

Cons: They make horrible bindings

I created this account specifically to provide my review of KneeBinding. My hope is that I can help others to learn from my experience.

 

My KneeBinding's were given to me as part of a promotional service by KneeBinding's John Springer-Miller (JSM). This promotional service was intended to put KneeBinding's in public view by having industry professionals on them.

 

The KneeBinding has several design flaws that make the binding awkward at best, and outright dangerous in some situations.

 

1) The ramp angle of the binding is high. KneeBinding's CEO, John Springer-Miller, assured me that the ramp delta is within normal parameters, but I could not help shake the feeling that I was skiing on heels.

 

2) The binding is also very difficult to step into in cold weather. Again, the CEO assured me that there was nothing wrong here. Thankfully he was able to tell me the error of my ways, I have been stepping into the bindings improperly the whole time. I've been skiing for 29 years (since I was 2), 12 years racing, and 16 years as a professional. I'd like to think I know how to put skis on my feet.

 

3) Most seriously, these bindings are left foot right foot dependent. This presents two problems. First, I can't switch out my active edge without having to re-mount the bindings. Second, It's outright dangerous to wear the bindings on the wrong foot. Because of the binding's lateral release system, having the binding on the opposite foot will cause the skier to laterally release when loading the downhill ski.

 

As for my experience, I successfully had a complete tear of my ACL, a tear in my medial meniscus, and a fracture of my tibial plateau while skiing on KneeBindings. This after having no prior knee issues. Buyer beware.

5 Comments:

OMG, so sorry that happened. Skiing in heels, sounds like fun! From what I read on their website, it sounded like an awesome idea. I too broke my tibial plateau, skiing on the clock in ski school clinic when I taught out of Canyon Lodge at Mammoth. Lucky me, twas 42 days after I drove 2715 miles, a 5 day trip I turned into a 4 day trip cause I wanted to ski! Never fear, I promised myself in the ski patrol sled after trying but not being able to stand, "this is NIT my last day in skis!!!" June 15th 2013 I put my planks back on and had a blast. Sure, it hurt a bit to make left turns but I didn't push it, and bagged 150 days in 04-05.
Thanks for the warning! My leg isn't exactly "factory" anymore. A motorcycle wreck when another guy on a mother bike broke a promise and passed me going into a corner shattered my lower left femur and broke it clean in two in 2 places in the middle. Lost half an inch in the end, plus a 60 yr old X Ray tech said, "Wow! That's the worst broken femur I've ever seen!" Gee thanks, do I get a trophy or a ribbon, you've only been doing this for 35 years.

Plus my TKR #1 came with a "free case of MRSA," the plague of the 21st century. Luckily I'm still alive, and still have my leg. Back on skis next season I promise, I miss it too much!!! 3 more resorts and I'll have 40, finally, it's been since I last went to Tahoe that I last skied a new resort. Homewood is AWESOME. 2 flying couches, and a triple to get you out of the chutes up to 56 degrees that are between the two mountains when you used to have to hitch hike back to a lodge.

PS What's your home hill? Mine was Mammoth 2003-7/4/05 when I got to ski with my childhood hero, Glen Plake. (He owns an A frame behind the Mamoth Mountain Inn and joins us each spring when Heavenly melts.) First place I worked was teaching @ Camelback, PA 1999-2k, then 1950 miles and 33 hours later, Alistair and I made it to Beaver Creek where I finished the season, and made a LOT more per day, but they only gave me bloody a few days of work. I still had a blast, discovered Vail, loved The Beav too, got to ski a World Cup downhill and loved it, etc.
Wow,
I hope you have been letting JSM know your results, I believe they guarantee against acl tears you may have a great case.
Interesting feedback. On point 3.  This is an important consideration.  The manufacturer would describe the lateral release on internal rotation of the heel as a major design feature / benefit. flip flopping the skis does create a significant problem. One man's benefit is another man's defect. As an aside, I have mucked around a bit using just one ski and they did not release when i used the atypical edge.  I have only done this at low speed with very modest rotational force applied. 
 
 On point 1 + 6 mm is the stock setting for heel rise.  For comparison, stock marker alpine bindings are + 4 mm (griffon).  There is usually more heel rise in boots than in the bindings. 10 to 15 mm is not unusual. Note that you can use manufacturer provided shims to tune this on the Knee as well as most other flat ski bindings. On point 2 - not my experience at all. I find them easy to get into. Used them at or below 0F.  I don't know if that's cold enough. I have found them to be difficult to get out of if you use a ski pole to push on the rear.
Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Were you wearing your skis on the correct feet? I only ask because you mention the left-right specificity as a problem. I had Kneebindings on my main ride this year and didn't notice any of the drawbacks that concern you. I had one fall that I believe might have blown my ACL if the bindings had not functioned as advertised. Didn't notice anything odd about the ramp angle. I put a sticker on my left ski to make it easier to tell from the right. I didn't have any trouble stepping in (more of a kick down than usual, maybe). It takes a pretty vigorous pole push to get out, though. I like them.
Thanks for the replies everybody! This seems to be a more active community than I had anticipated. To answer a few of the questions that have been asked:
 
1.) I would rather not say what resort is my home, except to say that it is one of the bigger major players in Maine/New Hampshire/Vermont.
 
2.) JSM is well aware of my case and had been working closely with myself and a few of the other Pros at my resort prior to my injury. What I have come to find is a man who does not take constructive criticism well. Every comment was seen as an attack against his product.
 
3.) We worked DIRECTLY with JSM (KneeBinding's CEO), our bindings were mounted by an authorized tech.
 
4.) Yes, my skis were on the correct foot when I had my injury. I note the foot imprint on the bindings prior to putting them on.
 
5.) My experience may vary with the temperature. This is one point that JSM was receptive to. My bindings were the "Carbon" version. I don't use my poles to get out of my skis...I stomp my bindings. 
 
I would also like to address the nature of my injury and the mechanisms at work here. I was skiing to the base at the end of the day. My injury occurred on an unremarkable ungroomed/bump run. My buddy said that he saw my foot "wiggle" and then saw me fall forward and onto my side. I did not go splay-legged. I did not fall backwards. The binding did NOT release and I had made no adjustments to my DIN. After collecting myself for a moment, I was able to ski to the base, ice and ibuprofen.
 
Let me know if anyone else has questions!