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Tuning for BD Aspects?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I've just started using Black Diamond Aspects for backcountry.  These are pretty amazing skis, featherlight with Dynafits.  Here's the story.

 

The Aspects are 186 cm, 132/90/119 with 20m radius.  I'm 6'2" 200 lbs, skiing in new england - everything from powder to ice, crud, crust and hardpack.  I put on 1deg base and 2deg edge angles and detuned about 8" back from the tip and 5" from the tail..  Nowhere near enough detune!  Insanely hooky, catchy, complete PITA. 

 

Then I detuned about a foot or 14" from the tips and 10" from the tails.  The Aspect's tip rise is pretty shallow.  Transformation!  Easiest turning skis ever.  Sometimes too easy in fact, and that's the issue.  The Aspects are incredibly carvy skis, they just want to carve turns.  The slightest knee angulation and they turn, makes instantaneous short radius carve turns on hardpack (or even crust) effortless.  It's like skiing on rails, and that's the issue.  It's really, really hard to skid or aggressively jam the downhill ski, as when doing a kind of hop turn on steep hardpack.  Edges are uncomfortably catchy, scary sometimes.  Powder or softer snow is fine.

 

FWIW, I also ski BD Verdicts (180cm, 134/102/120, r=26m) and Havocs (185cm, 123/88/115, r=22.5m).  They're tuned the same (except shorter detune) and I don't have this problem.  I have no idea about respective stiffnesses, rocker or any of that. 

I'm something of an old school skier, learned to ski on straight skis but I ski anything.  Can edges just be too sharp?  Too much edge angle? Seems like a ski should be able to skid turns when appropriate and not just be forced to carve.  Or maybe I just suck - though sometimes I still deliver regular beat downs to punks on my antique 205 cm Rossi ST Comps just to make a point ;-).  Any thoughts?

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

Nobody?  Can't tell if the question is too exotic or too stupid...............  I'll try on TGR.

post #3 of 17

Hmmm. Is there a burr along your edges?

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

Hmmm. Is there a burr along your edges?


No - or at least no more than the havoc's or Verdicts.  I guess that really means "I don't think so."  They were all tuned the same way within days of each other.  BTW, skied 'em in a kind of half-packed powder/crud yesterday, they were beautiful.  It's the hard snow that's annoying.

 

post #5 of 17

Make sure there's no burr, just in case.

 

I'm wondering if a radial/progressive tune might be worth messing around with. More aggressive base angle and less side at tips and tails. If it was me, I'd be curious how that worked before your detuning progression and the suggestions at your TGR thread.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

Make sure there's no burr, just in case.

 

I'm wondering if a radial/progressive tune might be worth messing around with. More aggressive base angle and less side at tips and tails. If it was me, I'd be curious how that worked before your detuning progression and the suggestions at your TGR thread.

anything is worth messing with for somebody that likes to mess.wink.gif

Thanks, interesting. Is your thought along the lines of [2deg base], [0 deg side] on tips and tails? Then tips and tails would have less bite? Maybe 14" from the tips and 10" from the tails? That's about as far as my detune went. Would a gummi stone take care of the edge burr (if any)? I'm new to all this fancy tuneup stuff.redface.gif
post #7 of 17

I'd start with a 2:1 and tweak from there. You could still detune after if that makes more sense. I'm also wondering about your ski alignment when you stand on flat snow, are your skis dead flat or do your inside edges tend to engage a skootch?

 

For Hanging Burr removal and general Side Edge tuning tips.

 

Hanging_Burr.jpg


Edited by Alpinord - 3/1/11 at 11:51am
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

I'd start with a 2:1 and tweak from there. You could still detune after if that makes more sense.

 

 

Nice diagram.  I'll give it a shot.  BTW, I got my binding mounting stuff from you guys.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

I'm also wondering about your ski alignment when you stand on flat snow, are your skis dead flat or do your inside edges tend to engage a skootch?

 

 

I dunno.  I find it hard to find the perfectly neutral, natural angle.  I've played with boot cuff angulation in the past, but I really can't tell much difference and end up at a neutral setting.  Playing with canting or wedges is way to fiddley for my taste.  Until now I've always been in the "it's the skier, not the skis" camp and pretty intolerant of complaints like the one I'm now having.  And my other ski/boot combos all work fine so I think it's something specific to these skis.  Or maybe they DON'T work fine but I just don't know it cause I'm subconsciously compensating!  At this point it all gets too much for me.........................

 

 

 

post #9 of 17

Outside of the tuning issue just a tad....(Carbon Version) what about the lack of steel edge on the back of the tail and for that matter the shovel as well? seems risky having left out a potentially vital section of  ski edge just for the sake of a few micro-grams. Hey if they wanted to remove weight, how about loosing the SS skin tabs! they look heavy! ...not something I'd want out in the back country...As an option, I'm considering cutting the tails back to the steel for insurance.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRave View Post
 

I've just started using Black Diamond Aspects for backcountry.  These are pretty amazing skis, featherlight with Dynafits.  Here's the story.

 

The Aspects are 186 cm, 132/90/119 with 20m radius.  I'm 6'2" 200 lbs, skiing in new england - everything from powder to ice, crud, crust and hardpack.  I put on 1deg base and 2deg edge angles and detuned about 8" back from the tip and 5" from the tail..  Nowhere near enough detune!  Insanely hooky, catchy, complete PITA. 

 

Then I detuned about a foot or 14" from the tips and 10" from the tails.  The Aspect's tip rise is pretty shallow.  Transformation!  Easiest turning skis ever.  Sometimes too easy in fact, and that's the issue.  The Aspects are incredibly carvy skis, they just want to carve turns.  The slightest knee angulation and they turn, makes instantaneous short radius carve turns on hardpack (or even crust) effortless.  It's like skiing on rails, and that's the issue.  It's really, really hard to skid or aggressively jam the downhill ski, as when doing a kind of hop turn on steep hardpack.  Edges are uncomfortably catchy, scary sometimes.  Powder or softer snow is fine.

 

FWIW, I also ski BD Verdicts (180cm, 134/102/120, r=26m) and Havocs (185cm, 123/88/115, r=22.5m).  They're tuned the same (except shorter detune) and I don't have this problem.  I have no idea about respective stiffnesses, rocker or any of that. 

I'm something of an old school skier, learned to ski on straight skis but I ski anything.  Can edges just be too sharp?  Too much edge angle? Seems like a ski should be able to skid turns when appropriate and not just be forced to carve.  Or maybe I just suck - though sometimes I still deliver regular beat downs to punks on my antique 205 cm Rossi ST Comps just to make a point ;-).  Any thoughts?


I am have a bit of difficulty understanding what you are saying here.  You mean the skis carve fine, but won't slide around when you want them to?

 

If so it can be a few things.  First I think you may not have been aggressive enough with your base bevel.  If you go back and bevel the base until you do hit the plastic a bit that should help a lot.

 

Then with a stone make sure to smooth the inside of the edge where it meets the plastic.  The interface must be totally smooth.  This is very often overlooked.

 

Then if they still won't rotate look at the base topography.  Is the grind deep?  A ski with a deep grind will be hard to rotate.  If it seems deep, take a steel scraper and smooth of the peaks.  Then with a coarse fiber pad work them pretty hard.  You can also use some sandpaper on a block.  When scraping with the steel it is very important that the base bevel be a bit long (into the plastic a bit).  If at any point you feel the scraper hit the base edge and feel a burr, you must stop and use stones to further smooth the edge where it meets the plastic and maybe work the bevel some more as well.

 

Then if you still don't think they rotate easily enough go for more base bevel.  Go from a 1 to a 1.5, then if that's not good go to a 2 base.

 

Personally, I would not detune anything except the tip and tail AFTER the widest part to the tip and tail.  In other words from the contact point to the tip and tail.  This section can be fairly long on a five dimensional side cut ski with a long rocker section. 

 

Some people like a ski that engages instantly and some don't.  Seem you don't and that's fine.  You want a ski that will rotate easy and be more playful.  Follow my advice and you will get what you are looking for.   I have several ski tuning videos and they are very long and extensive.  The info is in the talk which never stops so don't be skipping any parts if you really want to learn.

 

Here is one that shows a "long bevel".  I shave this base down with steel.  This may very well be what you need to do.  Serch at my channel for tuning and or waxing to find more as i have a zillion videos there.

 

post #11 of 17

I think he might be gone, though, Jacques, that was 4 years ago.   ;)


The gentleman posting this revived the thread, possibly because it is the only one on epic about the ski:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu free heel View Post
 

Outside of the tuning issue just a tad....(Carbon Version) what about the lack of steel edge on the back of the tail and for that matter the shovel as well? seems risky having left out a potentially vital section of  ski edge just for the sake of a few micro-grams. Hey if they wanted to remove weight, how about loosing the SS skin tabs! they look heavy! ...not something I'd want out in the back country...As an option, I'm considering cutting the tails back to the steel for insurance.

 

Now, personally, from his screen name and from the skis he bought, I would have assumed several things including:

 

a) that he was somewhat familiar with XC and XCD skis and that those are commonly done with partial edges,

b) that he knew the unedged portions of the ski simply bend away from engagement with the snow

c) that he knew he needs that extra surface area for the flex to work properly in deeper snow

d) that he knew it wasn't about overall weight but rather about swing weight and about flex of those areas, especially if removing the edges also allows designers to remove thick, dense or heavy core material the edge would bond to.

 

but my assumption would have been incorrect.

 

Further, the section of edge he's talking of is approximately similar to what you've detuned above; so I have more than one reason to disagree with him on the potential vitality of that section of edge.

post #12 of 17

I'm sorry, I am unfamiliar with XCD skis. However, I have done a little research now that you have brought this up and have noticed that the XCD skis have edging only under the running length. It looks interesting and would like a little more explanation on them if you could be as so kind.

I guess where I am going here is that I know when I'm in steeps with ice under ski, It would be comforting to know I have edging beyond the necessary running length. I suppose a good example would be picking yourself up after a fall while on ice. Your ski is at close to 90 degrees to the surface. At that moment, the shovel and tail may be a little shy of having an effective steel edge. Why not provide it with another 2 inches of steel edge on the ski?

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu free heel View Post

Outside of the tuning issue just a tad....(Carbon Version) what about the lack of steel edge on the back of the tail and for that matter the shovel as well? seems risky having left out a potentially vital section of  ski edge just for the sake of a few micro-grams. Hey if they wanted to remove weight, how about loosing the SS skin tabs! they look heavy! ...not something I'd want out in the back country...As an option, I'm considering cutting the tails back to the steel for insurance.

I'm not familiar with the Aspect. How far do the edges end from the end of the tail? 1, 5, 10 cm? I do know that the tail is rockered so there's something of an expectation that the tail, and for that matter the tip, won't be contacting hard snow in any meaningful manner during a turn. Unlike the skin tabs, there isn't expected to be much wear.

Losing some weight by not running the edges along where they won't be used seems like a fairly legitimate design/construction for a touring ski. You knew those were lightweight touring skis when you bought them, right? And they were touted as extra light touring skis at that, definitely designed for soft snow, not ice...at least that's what cursory searching on the webs shows.

And cutting the tail off to prevent...what exactly?...seems kind of nuts. Why not just ski them?
post #14 of 17

Indeed yes, agree with what your saying in principle....But if you where to hold a set in your hand at close inspection you will quickly notice that a tad...just a tad of extra edge would make these skis absolutely brilliant.

When holding the skis deck up, beside each other the steel edge doesn't make it to the full shovel width nor tail width. In many circumstances I have had skis at close to 90 degrees to the hill. that tiny bit more would simply give the true insurance of edge bite....So by cutting off the tail (up to where the steel begins)  you are insured full width contact to snow, Ice, crud full time with solid steel edging.

Other than that these could very well be the best skis Ive ever had.

 

 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu free heel View Post

Indeed yes, agree with what your saying in principle....But if you where to hold a set in your hand at close inspection you will quickly notice that a tad...just a tad of extra edge would make these skis absolutely brilliant.
When holding the skis deck up, beside each other the steel edge doesn't make it to the full shovel width nor tail width. In many circumstances I have had skis at close to 90 degrees to the hill. that tiny bit more would simply give the true insurance of edge bite....So by cutting off the tail (up to where the steel begins)  you are insured full width contact to snow, Ice, crud full time with solid steel edging.
Other than that these could very well be the best skis Ive ever had.

I'll just say that if you haven't skied them yet, you might consider waiting until you have before you cut anything off.

Well, I'll say one more thing: you don't gain any extra contact length by cutting the tails off, and maybe more importantly, you don't lose any by leaving the tails intact.

Ski more, think less.
post #16 of 17

Thanks Bob....Appreciate it....not to worry...wont be doing any cutting of tails soon. But I will add, I don't suffer fools...My theory would work and you would be hard pressed to disagree if you held a pair of carbon Aspect 186 in your hands.

 

all good, peace,

K

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

I think he might be gone, though, Jacques, that was 4 years ago.   ;)


The gentleman posting this revived the thread, possibly because it is the only one on epic about the ski:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisu free heel View Post
 

Outside of the tuning issue just a tad....(Carbon Version) what about the lack of steel edge on the back of the tail and for that matter the shovel as well? seems risky having left out a potentially vital section of  ski edge just for the sake of a few micro-grams. Hey if they wanted to remove weight, how about loosing the SS skin tabs! they look heavy! ...not something I'd want out in the back country...As an option, I'm considering cutting the tails back to the steel for insurance.

 

Now, personally, from his screen name and from the skis he bought, I would have assumed several things including:

 

a) that he was somewhat familiar with XC and XCD skis and that those are commonly done with partial edges,

b) that he knew the unedged portions of the ski simply bend away from engagement with the snow

c) that he knew he needs that extra surface area for the flex to work properly in deeper snow

d) that he knew it wasn't about overall weight but rather about swing weight and about flex of those areas, especially if removing the edges also allows designers to remove thick, dense or heavy core material the edge would bond to.

 

but my assumption would have been incorrect.

 

Further, the section of edge he's talking of is approximately similar to what you've detuned above; so I have more than one reason to disagree with him on the potential vitality of that section of edge.


Funny.  The thread came up and then I don't see to good!   I did my best to answer the OP.  Wouldn't be the first time I have answered an old thread!   Be good.

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