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KneeBinding - 2011-2012 - Page 9  

post #241 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman View PostJSM 9/9

 

To our knowledge, The KneeBinding KB12C is the only Carbon Fiber ski binding.  Please let me know if you know of another...

 

Most bindings are made using plastic resins impregnated with glass fibers to makes the plastic stronger and stiffer.  KneeBinding also does this.  But the KneeBinding KB12C uses material that has been impregnated with a blend of carbon fiber.  It costs a lot more, but it is even stronger and stiffer than material made with glass, and does not result in extra weight, the way metal would.  

 

KneeBindings are suitable for any kind of skier.  Some skiers appreciate the additional stiffness. 

 

 

 

 

Rossi-Smash - there you go again.  You have nothing to prove that this is NOT true.  Would you please stop repeating it?

 

John

 



 

Can you show the finite analysis that shows the KB12C is stiffer than your other bindings? Can you show it is stiffer than say a Marker Jester or Look Pivot?

 

 

 

post #242 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman View Post

 

JSM 9/9


Rossi-Smash - there you go again.  You have nothing to prove that this is NOT true.  Would you please stop repeating it?

 

John

 

 

Now you're being stupid, John. You may *believe* KneeBinding is safer, but you cannot *know* that it is until sufficient real life numbers exist. Rossi is merely showing up your marketing hyperbole for what is is - unsubstantiated BS.

 

Feel free to call KneeBinding "Probably the safest binding in the world", but don't claim it as a fact. First guy who tears an ACL on your bindings is gonna sue you all to hell with claims like that.


 

 

post #243 of 261

Chairman / John,

 

Is there an AT version of this binding in the pipeline?  I haven't seen one in the current lineup.

post #244 of 261
Thread Starter 

 

JSM 9/9

 

Rossi Smash – Good question - we have not measured the stiffness of the plastic used in other bindings.  I suppose it would be technically possible to measure the deflection rate of a plastic Marker heel track, or perhaps the plastic upper heel housing that holds the main heel spring in a Look Pivot.  I don’t know what that would tell us in isolation.  So much of what makes a product work is in other factors, like geometry, size, other aspects.  The stiffness of the plastic (and how that relates to its various metal parts) is one factor that goes into the overall binding design.  Remember also, that you can engineer flex into plastics.  The idea isn’t to just get stiffer – it is to determine how stiff you want something to be, and use materials that achieve the goal.  You want SOME parts to have a little “give” in them.  Our floating mount system, for example, works because the base of the toe system can flex with the ski.  It doesn’t create “flat” spots that prevent the natural flex that way ordinary bindings do.

 

Stiffness is one of many factors in binding performance.  We decided, in the end, that it was more important to measure and compare the overall results.  Rather than look at each individual item (mounting, AFD, TOE-height, plastic stiffness, etc.) – it would be more valuable to measure the cumulative effect of all the choices each binding company had made.  One way we did that was by measuring lost energy.  When your leg drives force down into the edge of the boot sole, how much is actually transmitted to the edge of the ski?  All the factors we mentioned above, and quite a few more, affect this result – and in the end, that’s really what it’s all about.

 

The results of this measurement process are in a video we are about to release.  Interestingly, the tests confirm that your favorite binding (which was also my previous favorite), the Look Pivot, had the best results of all ordinary bindings.  KneeBinding did significantly better. 

 

 

 

Squawker – I believe we’ve done a fairly good job of substantiating the fact that we’re safer.  KneeBinding is the only binding with technology proven to mitigate ACL injuries.  Our new mechanism mitigates ACL injuries, while ordinary bindings don’t.  That makes the KneeBinding safer.  Some individuals may steadfastly refuse to accept that, but none of it is “BS.” 

 

As to lawsuits - we don’t promise you can’t get hurt.  In fact, skiing is still dangerous, and you can still get injured.  You can even still injure your knees.  We don’t think we’re doing anything different than all the ordinary bindings out there that claim they mitigate broken legs.  POC claims their helmets provide “far better protection.”  Do you think (if someone hurt their head in a POC helmet) POC would somehow have additional liability risk because they have fewer head injuries overall?  I don’t.  POC doesn’t guarantee that you won’t injure your head, and we don’t promise you won’t injure your knee.  Marker doesn’t promise you won’t break your leg. 

 

Do you think a car company has additional liability because they include seatbelts or airbags or rear view mirrors or turn signals or anti-lock brakes?  

 

Safety innovations don’t increase liability; they reduce it.

 

 

 

John

post #245 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman View Post

 

Squawker – I believe we’ve done a fairly good job of substantiating the fact that we’re safer.  KneeBinding is the only binding with technology proven to mitigate ACL injuries.  Our new mechanism mitigates ACL injuries, while ordinary bindings don’t.  That makes the KneeBinding safer.  Some individuals may steadfastly refuse to accept that, but none of it is “BS.” 

 

As to lawsuits - we don’t promise you can’t get hurt.  In fact, skiing is still dangerous, and you can still get injured.  You can even still injure your knees.  We don’t think we’re doing anything different than all the ordinary bindings out there that claim they mitigate broken legs.  POC claims their helmets provide “far better protection.”  Do you think (if someone hurt their head in a POC helmet) POC would somehow have additional liability risk because they have fewer head injuries overall?  I don’t.  POC doesn’t guarantee that you won’t injure your head, and we don’t promise you won’t injure your knee.  Marker doesn’t promise you won’t break your leg. 

 

Do you think a car company has additional liability because they include seatbelts or airbags or rear view mirrors or turn signals or anti-lock brakes?  

 

Safety innovations don’t increase liability; they reduce it.
 

John


Lots of stuff to think about here. Firstly, I'm not a litigious type. If I get hurt skiing, or driving a car or drinking a hot cup of coffee at McDonalds nothing would be further from my mind than taking a manufacturer/vendor to court. You take your chances and your pay the consequences. It does strike me, looking from the outside in, that North Americans have a slightly different view of things - maybe not so much the skiing community but in many other areas of life.

 

Over here most bindings are mounted and adjusted with no form of testing. Why is that? Primarily because there is no understanding of indemnification here. Shops in the US test bindings to covers their arses and avoid liability (generalization warning - I don't believe all shops are like that, but many). Here they don't need to, because nobody would even think of sueing them. If I do something dangerous like skiing, and hurt myself doing it, then that's all my own fault.

 

You're right of course - you don't promise people won't get hurt. But the publicity will be pretty bad if someone tries it on. "Safest bindings in the world destroyed my knees" on the front page of a tabloid?

 

Are you safer? We still don't know. You have a theory that lateral release in ski bindings mitigates certain knee injuries. That seems medically sound, perfectly reasonable, but is still unproven in the real world. Its a damn good theory, but so far there's little hard data - only one binding attempts to implement lateral release and the numbers are too few to make any real statistical analysis.

 

Then you have a binding design that attempts to realize this unproven theory. Its an implementation of a design concept - but again, there are no numbers to back it up. It could be a perfect implementation. It could be a poor implementation. There could be problems with the traditional aspects of the binding. There have been plenty of bindings that have passed the traditional release tests but that people consider unreliable for various reasons. Cracked heels on Atomic Device/Race/Xentrix for example. Pre-releases on conventional Marker bindings - why do they need a Comp30??? I don't trust my boys Marker Squire heels fully - the plasticy click doesn't boost confidence. I'm looking for some Barons. Wing adjustment screws working loose on Solly Driver toes. All those bindings pass the tests with flying colours. And so does yours.

 

I'd like to try your bindings. I've never seen any in Norway. I'd love to run some icy, rutted gates on them and see if they stay on. I trust my life fully to a combination of Look, Tyrolia and Vist bindings, realising that the soft bits like ACLs and MCLs could get badly damaged in my next fall. My choice. Maybe KneeBindings could be added to that choice. But when you make the unsubstantiated claim that KneeBindings are safer (the safest), it strikes me as bogus. I know Rossi is riding you pretty hard here, but at the end of the day all I think he wants is for you to say "here's a new binding that could be a lot better for your knees", rather than "you're an idiot if you don't try KneeBinding, the safest binding in the world".

 

Oh, and anti-lock brakes are the devil's work. I have a clutch if I want to steer. I have brakes for braking. And the shortest braking distance is to slam the damn things hard on, lock, and let the studs bite the ice. If the car twists about its longitudinal axis, I care not. It will slide forward in the shortest possible straight line and if I need to steer I will use the darned clutch. All this I learnt at the driving on ice course that was part of my driving test. The other stuff I quite appreciate though. But if an airbag fails to inflate and I go through the windscreen, what happens then? Its a bit like a KneeBinding not releasing and an ACL going pop? To sue or not to sue? I probably wouldn't consider that course, but I bet someone would.

 

 

post #246 of 261
Thread Starter 

 

JSM 9/9

 

Ed_d – Sorry – no AT version in the works.

 

Squawker – Your thoughtful comments are much appreciated!

 

We think we have a very solid case.  Here is a repeat of a portion of an earlier post:

-       It is PROVEN that there are 70,000 ACL injuries (and countless other knee injuries) on skis each and every year.  It is the worst injury by percentage (1 in three of all reported ski injuries) and by cost ($1 billion per yr, est - nothing else is even close!) in the history of the sport.

-       It is PROVEN that no ordinary bindings do anything to mitigate these injuries.  They ALL contribute proportionally to this injury rate.

-       It is PROVEN that 70-75% of these injuries occur in a specific way, involving lateral abduction of the lower leg with hips and knees bent. 

-       It is PROVEN that pure-lateral heel release mitigates that kind of knee injury on skis because it creates a second rotation point (around the toe).

-       It is PROVEN that KneeBinding is the only binding on the market with PureLateral heel release.

 

Therefore:  KneeBinding has a third mechanism that no other binding has, that can detect the forces that cause most knee injuries, and can release sideways before the forces are great enough to injure the knee.

 

I suppose you could look at ANY claim and decide that there is no “proof.”  But I believe you would be doing yourself a disservice.  You’re getting your new Volvo XC with studded snows.  Have you ever seen any statistical “proof” that they are safer?  I suspect you heard about them (at some time in the past) decided to try them, and found that you liked them.  Meanwhile, Volvo made its entire name in the USA by selling their cars as “safer.” I have owned several – but I’ve never seen statistics that prove there are less highway deaths in Volvos.  They describe their safety features, they are clearly DEVOTED to them, and if I believed that an airbag was a good idea (or steel bars in the doors), I had to trust Volvo to do their best at making them work.

 

It is disconcerting that there is such a built in mistrust of new innovations.  We care deeply about the safety of our sport.  And we’re putting our money where our mouths are.    

 

There is a point in time where common sense takes over. 

I believe that Norway is there – even though I can’t see it right now.

 

 

John

post #247 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman View Post

Squawker – Your thoughtful comments are much appreciated!

 

We think we have a very solid case.  Here is a repeat of a portion of an earlier post:

-       It is PROVEN that there are 70,000 ACL injuries (and countless other knee injuries) on skis each and every year.  It is the worst injury by percentage (1 in three of all reported ski injuries) and by cost ($1 billion per yr, est - nothing else is even close!) in the history of the sport.

-       It is PROVEN that no ordinary bindings do anything to mitigate these injuries.  They ALL contribute proportionally to this injury rate.

-       It is PROVEN that 70-75% of these injuries occur in a specific way, involving lateral abduction of the lower leg with hips and knees bent. 

-       1) It is PROVEN that pure-lateral heel release mitigates that kind of knee injury on skis because it creates a second rotation point (around the toe).

-       2) It is PROVEN that KneeBinding is the only binding on the market with PureLateral heel release.

 

Therefore:  KneeBinding has a third mechanism that no other binding has, that can detect the forces that cause most knee injuries, and can release sideways before the forces are great enough to injure the knee.

 

I suppose you could look at ANY claim and decide that there is no “proof.”  But I believe you would be doing yourself a disservice.  You’re getting your new Volvo XC with studded snows.  Have you ever seen any statistical “proof” that they are safer?  I suspect you heard about them (at some time in the past) decided to try them, and found that you liked them.  Meanwhile, Volvo made its entire name in the USA by selling their cars as “safer.” I have owned several – but I’ve never seen statistics that prove there are less highway deaths in Volvos.  They describe their safety features, they are clearly DEVOTED to them, and if I believed that an airbag was a good idea (or steel bars in the doors), I had to trust Volvo to do their best at making them work.

 

It is disconcerting that there is such a built in mistrust of new innovations.  We care deeply about the safety of our sport.  And we’re putting our money where our mouths are.    

 

There is a point in time where common sense takes over. 

I believe that Norway is there – even though I can’t see it right now.

 

 

John

 

I don't care whether there are more or less highway deaths in Volvos compared to similar vehicles. That's not why I'm buying it. I've never had a Volvo before. I've always considered them far too safe and boring and mostly ugly. But the XC60 ticked all the rights boxes when I was looking for a combination family & ski vehicle. The safety features look like fun, but I'm kind of thinking that stuff like BLIS and the lane change detection are gonna be so annoying that they'll get turned off anyway.

 

I do know a few things about studded tyres though, based on countless tests performed by Scandinavian motoring organizations every year:

 

- studded tyres have a shorter stopping distance than their studless counterparts on sheer ice

- studded tyres break up ice on winter roads, exposing asphalt and helping drivers on non-studded winter tyres

- on snow covered roads there is little difference between studded and non-studded winter tyres

- on bare asphalt studded tyres are noiser, perform slightly worse than non-studded tyres and contibute more to air pollution

 

In addition I have my personal experience of many winters living on top of a hill in Norway. Not one single day have I been out of control or unable to get up or down our hill, driving a low powered FWD Avensis wagon with studded tyres. On several days each winter drivers with "better" vehicles and studless tyres have failed miserably in both directions. To be honest it makes you laugh (as long as nobody's getting hurt) - they should have left their cars at home and walked to the bus stop.

 

Of course, I started driving at a time when 98% of Norwegian drivers drove studded snows in winter and the other 2% were ridiculed because the non studded tyres were just awful. I never really made a choice, any more than I chose the Looks or Sollies on my earliest skis. Times change and studless tyres have become useable for winter flatlanders - the split is getting closer to 50/50. Maybe lateral release will catch on in the same way - the parallel is there. Right now you're at the 98%-2% stage or worse. If KneeBindings prove their worth and don't need several design iterations before John Doe can trust them then maybe you'll get to 50/50 in less than the 10-15 yrs it took for studless snow tyres to start catching on here.

 

 

post #248 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi SmashView Post



AND you have absolutely no proof that they are any safer than any other binding out there. NONE.

 


Rossi: You must have conveniently forgotten about my post that started this other Kneebinding thread in which you were also vocal as a Kneebinding hater: http://www.epicski.com/t/92348/kneebinding-update 

 

I started that thread documenting the lateral heel release I had on my 78th day skiing on Kneebindings, as a result of a rearward twisting fall while disembarking a chairlift. I believe that I was spared a knee injury that day because of the lateral heel release feature of my Kneebindings, which is not a feature in as you put it: "any other bindings out there". There is some proof "out there" then, and this is an example of some.

 

Given enough time, more and more proof will mount. At this point the 163 ski days I personally have on Kneebindings represents something on the order of 5 million vertical feet of skiing - which is a significant sample for a recreational skier. In addition to my having many of the types of releases afforded by "any other bindings out there" I have also had a lateral heel release in a rearward twisting fall that most likely prevented a knee injury - especially in my case when you consider that one of my knees has already had its ACL reconstructed, and that ACL re-injuries are quite more likely than initial ACL injuries. I also haven't had any pre-releases on Kneebindings, so even without my lateral heel release experience they have been at least as safe as "any other bindings out there" (actually safer than my Salomons and Markers which I experienced pre-releases on). Now, factor in my lateral heel release experience and I believe they have been safer for me than "any other bindings out there" because they do what other bindings do, don't pre-release, PLUS have lateral heel release.

 

I only know about my own experience, but there are other skiers "out there" too on Kneebindings. Many have stopped in on this forum and reported their experiences, but I can't think of anyone else that has tried to be as dilligent as I've tried to be over the past 3 seasons in sharing my continuous experience over these past 3 seasons that Kneebindings have been available and I've been on them. I have done this because I know firsthand what a bummer a ruptured ACL is, and my sharing this may help another skier avoid what happened to me on "other bindings" (I was actually on Looks when I ruptured my ACL). As a paying customer I also took a chance that my Kneebindings might have not worked well and had pre-releases, and I would have reported that if it were the case, and then I would have switched back to "other bindings". That initial risk that I took was really little more than the purchase price, which in the whole scheme of things is tiny - especially when you factor in all of the costs and drama of an ACL injury on top of the normal costs of skiing. I'm not a big risk-taker, and compared to getting back on "other bindings" that I had already been injured on and which I knew firsthand were a substantial risk to my knees, my move to Kneebindings was actually more of a shift in my risk exposure.

post #249 of 261
Why should side-way release of heel unit happen before opposite direction side-way release of toe unit?
post #250 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

Rossi: You must have conveniently forgotten about my post that started this other Kneebinding thread in which you were also vocal as a Kneebinding hater: http://www.epicski.com/t/92348/kneebinding-update 

 

I started that thread documenting the lateral heel release I had on my 78th day skiing on Kneebindings, as a result of a rearward twisting fall while disembarking a chairlift. I believe that I was spared a knee injury that day because of the lateral heel release feature of my Kneebindings, which is not a feature in as you put it: "any other bindings out there". There is some proof "out there" then, and this is an example of some.

 

 

 


You "believe" th_dunno-1[1].gif nonono2.gif  roflmao.gif

I hate to break it to you, but your beliefs only matter to you.....this is not proof of any kind.


AND you have absolutely no proof that they are any safer than any other binding out there. NONE. 
 

 

post #251 of 261
Thread Starter 

 

JSM 9/10

 

Rossi Smash – I commend you.  Your stubborn denunciation of all that is KneeBinding has been steadfast and doggedly repetitious. Don’t let go of that last, waterlogged plank!  

 

 

Stekan – You are asking a GREAT question – and one we are often asked.  So many people are confounded by why ordinary bindings don’t release sideways in situations that cause knee injuries.  They believe their toe release should work – but it does not.  In order for your toe to release, the ski must rotate around the heel, which requires a lateral force toward the tip or the tail of the ski.  But if you catch an inside edge, and the ski is being pulled directly sideways, there is NO twisting force around the ski, and the toe will not release.  To get a good visual of this issue, see this video:

 

Why Don’t Ordinary Bindings Release Sideways?

 

John

post #252 of 261
John - Sideways force due to torsion is the same on toe and heel, but analyzing "catch an inside edge" picture on 13th second of your video, there is an additional sideways force on heel as component of skier's weight which do not apply on toe mechanism. Is this a key point of your concept?
post #253 of 261

Rossi: One thing I didn't mention and should elaborate on is my knee injury resulting from just skiing on Looks (a tail landing in bad conditions with NO release) during the 2007/8 season. I ruptured my ACL: which cost $20K+ in medical bills, made me miss most of a ski season and NOT be able to ski with family and friends, made me miss all of a golf season, forced me through 6 months of extensive rehab, and was a wicked hassle traveling on business with crutches and wearing a brace going through TSA having to get my orthopedic stuff x-rayed while hopping/limping through metal detectors without my orthopedic stuff. Then there was the substantial post-surgery pain and 8 hours a day on a PCM machine at home while trying to work from home for 2 weeks following surgery. There was also extensive puking caused by very necessary pain pills. Naturally there was also a significant "head factor" to overcome getting back on skis 8 months later. Frankly all of it was a hellish experience for me!  

 

Get back on skis I did though! That first season post-surgery I had already logged 14 days of grueling skiing on an 8 month old ACL graft while skiing on traditional bindings and impatiently waiting for my pre-ordered/pre-paid sets of Kneebindings to arrive and get mounted. There was some pain in those early days skiing, but getting past the "head factor" caused by the living hell I had just gone through, and not wanting to go through it again, was an even larger challenge. Mine were some of the first Kneebindings that were skied on by a paying customer. They immediately helped me ski better by relieving some of the "head factor" I was experiencing, and helped me get to the next level of skiing with a clear head. As I progressed I began to appreciate that the Kneebindings also provided a great connected skiing feel. Pushing the skiing envelope further and further each day I eventually experienced releases from falls in every release direction, but never once a pre-release. At this point that ACL graft has allowed me to ski 177 days over the past 3 seasons, the last 163 of which have been on Kneebindings. I'm currently looking forwad to my 4th ski season on Kneebindings, and post-surgery. Just as you really like your Looks, I really like my Kneebindings. One difference is that I don't lurk waiting for the mention of Looks so I can bash them, while you somehow feel compelled to do so at every mention of Kneebindings. I have shared my success story here in these forums consistently over the past 3 seasons, while you have consistently felt obliged to spew poison and venom.

 

The video link on my epicski profile page is me very comfortably skiing a 60% grade (30 degree) double black diamond slope on my Kneebindings, with a clear head and a great connected skiing feel. No "head factor", just skiing.

post #254 of 261

ski bindings can be valued for two things: retention or release, and are biased toward reliability in one function or the other.  People seem to be trying to make an argument for the fundamental bias to be one or the other. Some Looks, in my experience, are biased toward retention, have elasticity in the release mechanism to recover retension when stressed. remember, some people fall maybe once in a  season, and not in an out of control body position. why fret over the binding's every angle of release properties in that case.

post #255 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

ski bindings can be valued for two things: retention or release, and are biased toward reliability in one function or the other.  People seem to be trying to make an argument for the fundamental bias to be one or the other. Some Looks, in my experience, are biased toward retention, have elasticity in the release mechanism to recover retension when stressed. remember, some people fall maybe once in a  season, and not in an out of control body position. why fret over the binding's every angle of release properties in that case.


Ideally though, it wouldn't be a binary either or situation. The binding would always hold you in until it senses (correctly) that you are going to be hurt. Maybe now, you do have to make that choice, but shouldn't binding mfrs work toward a better system that will never pre-release, and never fail to release?

post #256 of 261



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Ideally though, it wouldn't be a binary either or situation. The binding would always hold you in until it senses (correctly) that you are going to be hurt. Maybe now, you do have to make that choice, but shouldn't binding mfrs work toward a better system that will never pre-release, and never fail to release?



never happen

 

Far to many variables to be able to decipher. So epic, you need a smart binding, maybe with some blinking LEDs to let you know it's thinking  wink.gif

 

 

post #257 of 261
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHRISfromRI View Post

.

 

The video link on my epicski profile page is me very comfortably skiing a 60% grade (30 degree) double black diamond slope on my Kneebindings, with a clear head and a great connected skiing feel. No "head factor", just skiing.


That doesn't really say anything about the function, release, or especially retention of the kneebinding. You can do that on about any binding at lower DIN settings and not worry about prereleasing when skiing mellow terrain at mellow speeds on pretty smooth terrain.

 

post #258 of 261

Fascinating thread. I have to say first that it's nice to see a company representative willing to answer questions in an open forum; whether it's motivated by publicity or desire to represent the product is beside the point (And I'm not willing to debate the motivation in this case.) As a snowboarder who has relatively recently started skiing I am intrigued by the concept of the kneebinding, and reading many of the posts on this forum has been very interesting in providing for-and-against arguments for the binding.

 

It seems there's something of a chicken and egg situation at the minute - if the kneebinding reduces knee injury rates as described without loss of performance then it's a no-brainer for all other binding companies to license the technology or create a similar system. I don't really see any way of proving that the binding is safer (And therefore worth the premium charged) in the field as a lateral release will in theory result in no injury and therefore no reporting would be necessary; the most effective way that I can see of gathering statistics would be if kneebinding had a statistically significant market share and then watching to see whether reported injury rates reduce. Of course it's unlikely that such a market share would be achieved until we see a decrease in injury rates and related increase in adoption of the new technology (Which won't happen until the market share is achieved and so on and so forth.)

 

I do have a couple of questions for kneebinding:

 

  • I read that the DIN standard was originally calibrated using test results from cadavers (I assume this means putting a boot and binding on a cadaver leg and putting stress on the binding until either it releases or a leg bone breaks.) Have there been any similar tests using either cadavers or a knee-analogue to show that the kneebinding has less chance of causing knee ligament damage than competing bindings? If so, what were the results and would it be possible to see the experimental data in terms of forces generated etc.
  • Do you have or have you considered a sponsorship program to get skiers on your bindings and if so, would it be possible to get the athletes to state their impressions of the binding?
  • It's my understanding that most major binding companies use slightly different hole patterns to mount their bindings onto skis - does the kneebinding dovetail with an existing manufacturer's screw hole pattern, or is a proprietary jig required to mount these bindings correctly? If proprietary, how many ski shops have this jig and the training to correctly mount the bindings?

 

For what it's worth, I would suggest a 'try before you buy' program whereby an individual can purchase a pair of kneebindings for a sum roughly equivalent to a conventional binding and try them for, say, 30 days after which they could either pay the balance or return the bindings. Maybe not practical where skis have to be drilled to mount the binding, perhaps you've already thought of this and decided against it. I and I'm sure many others reading this would be willing to try the binding and provide a review if a demo ski/binding were made available. Perhaps you could offer sign ups for a demo program this winter?

post #259 of 261

I can't disagree with Rossi Smash with the point that there just is not statistical evidence that knee injuries are reduced in real life situation by a lateral release, but as noted many times, in agreement with say Kendal, until a substantial usage occurs, or enough "professional" skiers provide ancillary evidence or comment that their knees were saved, it's simply how comfortable one it with the theoretical idea behind a lateral release.  I myself think it is a sound concept and the work by Johns company is substantial.  

 

While CHRIS can't prove his knee was saved sans repeating the fall with standard bindings, it doesn't "prove" Kneebinding work as designed but I don't believe it should be completely dismissed, I'll simply put trust in his belief from his prior experiences as proof enough for me. 

 

I generally believe Kneebinding have a good chance to prove out in the end and at worst, appear no worse than other bindings.  I find the concept of sponsorship of "professional" skiers to evaluate kneebindings help should help bolster the line tauted by Kneebinding and up "testimonials" from a small sample of recreational users to a larger number of "trusted" sources. 

 

One issue with current users is how many of the people buying Kneebindings have already suffered significant injuries and the purchase was either to mitigate risk or self fear?   It may be that Kneebinding reduced/mitigated injuries, but the threshold of which an injury could occur was also lowered by a previous injury and as such, injury numbers may not reflect well.  Numbers can be skewed.  

 

John noted that current bindings clearly reduced the injury of broken legs, and this (reduced injury) is the goal for Kneebindings with  the knee.   Well, the current bindings moved injury from a broken bone to one of injured knees, moving the force from the bone to ligaments.  Perhaps Kneebinding will work but move an injury to another location, maybe a lateral release on the inside heel will drive an injury to the opposite leg?  I'm not arguing this will occur but with any newer idea, concept, there are at times unforeseen results.  (I like to thing of Steve Martins "Opti-Grab" glasses in "The Jerk")  We see this on a regular basis with food claims, I recall eggs were the scourge of food world ...

 

In any case I agree there is insufficient "proof" that the bindings are "the safest" but given the theory I've seen for why a lateral release may mitigate a knee injury believe it "should" help.   If I were looking for new bindings would consider these no less than any other and would be happier to demo before buying.  There is always hype in any product sold, even the shaped ski was touted as a gimmick, but they seem here to stay.  I hope Kneebinding success and the concept works, if so licensed out so all bindings (skiers) benefit.

 

 

post #260 of 261
Thread Starter 

 

JSM 9/10

 

 

Okay – one more big set of answers!

 

Stekan – I’m not sure I get your question.  Hopefully, this helps:  The compound forces that act on a ski can be very complicated, and can occur in a split second.  However, the issue is that the toe release of an ordinary binding requires the ski to rotate around the heel.  In order for it to work, the “force” must be applied a significant distance away from the point of rotation – regardless of how the force is created – otherwise, the rotation will not occur.  However, with TWO points of rotation, regardless of where the force enters, the rotation can always occur – because the force will always be some distance from at least ONE of the points of rotation.

 

Davluri – It is a mistake to associate knee injuries on skis with falling.  For one thing, you don’t have to be falling to get a knee ligament injury.  It happens all the time, regardless of whether you fall.  Remember the fundamentals of most knee injuries – hips and knees bent, catch an inside edge.  Sure – this DOES happen a lot while falling, but it also happens a lot while NOT falling.  In fact, this may be the CAUSE of the fall as well as the cause of the injury.  Also – this injury is NOT selective according to how well you ski.  I have seen no evidence that beginners are not injured at a higher rate than experts. 

 

Epic – As usual, your comment is right on the money.  Ideally, the binding would hold perfectly – until you really need it to release – and then it would release perfectly.  That balance is what binding companies strive for, and it’s why we created KneeBinding: because there has always been that one situation that causes all those knee injuries, and in which ordinary bindings CAN’T release.

 

Rossi Smash – You are also correct in that it will never be possible to be perfect.  But the industry, long ago, identified the need for a lateral heel release.  Here was a well documented, well-understood situation in which so many injuries occur because ordinary binding designs CANNOT and DO NOT release.  KneeBinding’s patented mechanism is the only one on the market that CAN release in these situations.

 

Time2Skin – From his postings, it looks to me as though CHRISfromRI has skied on KneeBindings on all kinds of terrain, in all kinds of condition.  As have so many others.  Satisfied KneeBinding customers include just about every kind of skier out there, from novices, to ski instructors, from Eastern groomers to Western powder, from two-weekers to 150-day-ers.  There are freestylers and racers.  They don’t generally come on EpicSki and discuss how well their bindings work – nor do those who are fond of other bindings.  CHRISfromRI should be commended for having the guts to do so – repeatedly - despite the low and generally uninformed bashing he has suffered for it. 

 

Pete – Good comments – thanks.  Your thought about the already injured is compelling.  Once a skier has a n ACL injury, they are significantly (35-40%?) more likely to sustain another.  Without getting into the reasons for this, if the KneeBinding user base has a higher-than-normal rate of previously injured skiers, the odds are stacked against us, statistically.  I am not overly concerned by this.  I am fairly confident that we are mitigating 70% of the risk, regardless of this possibility.

 

Also, Pete – modern release bindings that solved the broken leg issue did not create the knee injury issue.  For a period of time, through the 70s and into the mid-80s, leg injuries of any kind were a rarity in skiing.  The rapid rise of knee injuries coincided with the adoption of shaped skis.  We believe this is because when we had straight skis, a skier who caught an inside edge had a reasonable chance that the tail or tip would slide away, resulting in a toe-twist release.  But with shaped skis, the tail and tip BOTH bite in – like shovels – and they just don’t let go.  You’re right that there is a possibility of something unforeseen – but in this case, it is very, very unlikely, and - we would probably have already found out about it.

 

Kendal – Your comments are clearly well-considered.  Thank you.  The chicken-egg would be an appropriate analogy.  However, people ARE buying KneeBindings at a rapidly increasing rate – mostly without trying them first – and liking them a lot.  Last season, there were close to two hundred shops that had KneeBindings in stock (including larger companies like Christy Sports and REI).  They all have professional jigs for mounting, they are trained each year, and they are authorized via the same kind of stringent program that other binding companies use.  This season, we are adding another significant group of shops, including retailers in half a dozen countries in Europe, and more in Asia.  We’ve sold bindings in some 20 or 25 countries. Last year, we completely sold out of three of our four models, and only had a few left of our fourth model.  I am the first to acknowledge that we are still very small in the overall scheme of things.  But as I said before, the snowball is rolling down the hill. 

 

 

I want to thank all of you for your interest, and your willingness to challenge us!  Here on EpicSki, two or three individuals bash us (“Smash” us?) – even as they admit they have no experience with, or even basic understanding of, the product.  When someone reports his or her positive experiences, these two or three bashers immediately try to discredit them.  It is as if they are saying, “I don’t know anything about these bindings, but I think they must suck.  Oh – you’ve tried them and like them?  Well then you must suck too!”  These two or three individuals are a curiosity – but I don’t worry that anyone takes them seriously.  In fact, plenty of people ARE buying KneeBindings – usually at full price.  They understand why they are safer, and appreciate that they don’t have to give up performance to get the additional safety.  As quite a number of experts have said (as well as consumers) they’re a lot cheaper than a knee injury.  And they are all telling their friends.

 

Anyone who says there is not yet any statistical evidence that KneeBindings are safer is technically correct.  Statistics regarding performance take time to evolve, and are never available until after the product has had to perform for a long period of time.  You can’t prove how something will perform until it has been performing.  But that isn’t a valid reason not to purchase a safety innovation.  Name ANY safety innovation and you’ll realize there was no statistical “proof” about it as it was making its way into the market.  There are many things you just KNOW are good, and most such innovations go from startup - to mainstream - to mandated – often still without hard, statistical evidence as to exactly how many injuries they prevent.  It is really challenging to prove that someone WOULD have been injured, except…..  Most people don’t need to see statistics before they are willing to baby-proof their electrical outlets.  Or wear safety glasses in the machine shop.  Or buy a bathtub with an anti-slip surface. Or to purchase bindings that were designed to mitigate the #1 injury in skiing.  People have a lot of common sense, and the smartest ones just go with it. 

 

 

We greatly appreciate the support of all the early adopters, and their willingness to be at the forefront of this movement.  It isn’t easy to start a new binding business – especially one based on safety – especially one that threatens to change the status quo for all the other binding companies - especially in a recession.  But we know it isn’t easy for you to take the leap of faith required to be among the first to purchase our products.  Again – thank you. 

 

 

I think this thread has fulfilled its purpose, and it is time to end it.  Despite a few minor distractions, there were lots of great comments and questions.  Everyone seemed to appreciate our willingness to be open, and we were able to provide a great deal of information.  I hope you got your questions answered, and if not – feel free to email me at jsm@KneeBinding.com.

 

We hope you all give KneeBindings a try.  There’s really no downside.  And - they are a lot safer than ordinary bindings.

 

 

Looking forward to the season,

John

 

post #261 of 261

Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread for keeping it civil and productive. It seems that at this time everything has been said at least two times, so now will be  good time to stop and take a breath. I'm sure we'll revisit this topic soon.

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