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New x-c skis - debating BC boots/bindings or non-BC

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Picked up some new x-c skis last year - Rossignol Evo Glade, 196 length. The skis have dimensions of 61/60/64 printed on them, but sites that still carry it spec it a bit lower, not sure why...more like 61/55/60.  I measured the waist with calipers, and it's 58mm at the midpoint.


Looking for bindings and boots right now, and since I'd been on skis with 3-pin bindings for 30 years, I had to read up a bit on the binding/boot systems.  One thing I'm not clear on though, is what I gain/lose by going with a light BC setup vs a classic setup.


For example, comparing the Rossignol X5 boot and a compatible NNN binding to the Rossignol X2 BC boot and compatible NNN BC binding -- the only drawback for the BC setup seems to be a slight weight penalty.  Where I typically ski there aren't groomed trails, but more often than not someone who lives right there has broken the trails.  Occassionally I'll set out and break some new ones through the woods.


The BC bindings I was looking at to go with the X2 are the Rotafella BC3 - and should fit the ski fine and aren't too wide for skiing in set tracks.


So besides weight, any drawbacks to picking the BC setup?



post #2 of 6

To me most classic boots feel about as stiff in the sole as a dime store flip flop and have minimal ankle support. The BC boots I have seen (includng the BC X2  are more like a nylon / plastic shank hiking boot and a much more substantial heel counte / cuff. BC definitely more supportive for breaking trail.

post #3 of 6

I own/ski both regular NNN and NNN-BC.  The BC set-up is heavier; if you are intending to really move along on the glide, they aren't as smooth/fast/light, and the boots are stiffer.  I would never go to a xc ski area with groomed tracks and choose these.  HOWEVER, that's not to say they severely limit glide or don't glide -- just not as well. 


I tend to ski fresh and only tracked (not groomed) primarily in my BC set-up.  You do get much better support and sense of contol.  My analogy would be think of light hiking boots vs. light track shoes.  What terrain would you cover in each?  What would be your choice if you were walking the area you're skiing?  Then select the appropriate /equivalent binding/boot.


Another (very significant) consideration is your skis.  The skis you own are primarily light touring skis, not track skis.  They are at the heavy and wide end for regular (NNN) boots/bindings and will never really be truly racy.  If you want to move on the groomed, you're going to buy some lighter, skinnier skis.  On the other hand, they are at the light end for NNN-BC.  So, you will end up with either a heavy NNN system that is 50/50 track/fresh or a light BC set-up that is 40/60 track/fresh.  Add in one more consideration: your skill.  If you are very experienced, you can drive a traditional set-up farther into the woods.  If you are not, you won't feel the compromises of a BC system so acutely on the tracked.


My $0.02: I'd probably go BC -- especially if you're a fairly new xc skier.

If you do decide to go traditional anyway, definitely upgrade and get a combo boot -- a skate/diagonal boot.  It will have more structure which will provide more control and support than a lightweight diagonal-only slipper.  The single biggest impediment to learning and enjoying xc skiing is cheap/insubstantial boots.


post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

tch - your input is exactly what I was looking for.  Where I ski/live it's always on trails that are single track mtb trails in the summer, and if I hike them I would always choose hiking boots but not running shoes.


As you describe the skis I have, with BC bindings/boots - that is exactly what I was looking for.  I've been x-c skiing for 30 years - but only a few times a year - and have never felt really comfortable or stable on the skinny classic setup I was on, especially breaking new trail or in tracked but crudded up trails.


I'm definitely going BC - thanks very much. Tromano - thanks also for chiming in.





post #5 of 6

A bunch of us cyclists have started XC/BC skiing and we bought BC skis and boots after renting different types at some XC ski centers we occasionally went to and also REI has a pretty good selection of BC XC set-ups. I rented Fischer BC crown skis with Rossignol BCx-5 boots and had good results with them fit wise. Not a very high or super stiff boot but was comfortable and the set up allowed me to use groomed trails and break some trails at a state park. I also used several other set ups  and found I had more fun and went more places when I was on the BC set up. My Ski partner bought the Evo Glade /BC x2 and has had really good results on several different terrains and backcountry areas. They seem to really allow her to kick ass!  I had a hard time finding a boot that was comfortable and found Rossignol and Fischer to be the most comfortable for me. I went with Fischer BCx 6 NNN Bc boots, Magnum BC bindings and Alpina Trackers. I rented them several times and they seemed like a fun ski.  I also picked up an unuised pair of Alpina Woddies for $50 and Magnum bindings for $20. Hope to have some fun on em thius year. For steeper I have a 3 pin /75mm Cable release binding I found very cheap,new and unused and I won a pair of Atomic Rainiers. I wanted a wider ski but at $114 these will allow me to have a 10 mile tour in do some turns and tour out. Im fairly new havent telemarked and was afraidf I wouyldn't be able to use the Annums or guides the way they should be..

post #6 of 6

I've been using the an ancestor of the rossignol bc x9 for probably a dozen years on NNN-BC bindings on comparable width (but 180's) skis to the OP's. They just have always felt 'right' and my go to rig for frequent tours on variable conditions and terrain. Not super light but supportive and also good for hiking when needed.


For 'rugged touring' I have a pair of Atomic Chugaches with turning crown bases, old Scarpa T4's or T3s and switch between tele cables or Silvretta 550's. I used to use Riva II's but had trouble in thick snows turning, so went with the beefier tele or approach binding. Plus, I can throw on skins every once in a  while.


For super light there's the classic set up and also a skate ski rig.


But hands down, the NNN-BC rig gets used the most due to high versatility and quick to get out the door when opportunities present themselves....ie 5" or more of snow, I'm skiing.

Edited by Alpinord - 11/14/11 at 8:18pm
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