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Lifetime Warranty on Ski Bindings ? Isn't it time?

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 

Alright you "veterans" of the ski industry. Has any manufacture ever entertained the idea of a lifetime warranty on their bindings? Well do they really believe in their product or not? Look at what we pay for them. White metal, crappy rivets and construction mostly made of plastic castings.

I look to what is offered from the scuba manufactures on regulators. Both are equally as important when in use. A binding could be made to have a service interval , like regulators, performed by their dealers. So the binding could be the gift that keeps giving to the dealers too. Who wouldn't want to own a lifetime binding over the "listed" kind? This on the list, not on the list thing seems like such a waste of materials and money with such an emphasis being put on being green everywhere else in life.


Edited by skimalibu - 11/11/11 at 6:06pm
post #2 of 67

I don't think most of them are made that well. exception in my experience, Look PX and Pivot maybe. Salomon STH, in other words, the steel based models. I don't get the drive to make a $90 binding in Europe, but as long as that is a marketing priority, there will be no lifetime warrantees. Note that in terms of the internal works of the bindings, some designs have been around a very long time.

post #3 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

I don't think most of them are made that well. exception in my experience, Look PX and Pivot maybe. Salomon STH, in other words, the steel based models. I don't get the drive to make a $90 binding in Europe, but as long as that is a marketing priority, there will be no lifetime warrantees. Note that in terms of the internal works of the bindings, some designs have been around a very long time.



Why do you keep saying they are steel? The ones I have (15 DIN and 18 DIN) are plastic. Unless they now make steel that is white and can be chewed up by ski pole tips.

post #4 of 67

they have a steel track for the heel piece to slide in, instead of an aluminum track and they have some form of steel screw retention for the heel. the toe is the same as all the higher end models. Those slight modifications to steel weigh quite a bit, that is the reason behind the more popular use of aluminum. IMO, the aluminum can't take repeated stresses and will crack eventually, in my experience around 100 days.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



Why do you keep saying they are steel? The ones I have (15 DIN and 18 DIN) are plastic. Unless they now make steel that is white and can be chewed up by ski pole tips.



 

post #5 of 67
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

 IMO, the aluminum can't take repeated stresses and will crack eventually, in my experience around 100 days.
 



 



 It matters which alloy you use. They could use 6061 T6 or 7075  T6 for complete German overkill of the few main body pieces.

 I see really poor quality materials used in most bindings today. The over use of plastic in them is insane. The Marker Tour Series scare the crap out of me. It's not the if, as they say. It is the when. Sure they're light.

 

 

post #6 of 67

a well known failure was the Salomon 912ti. the ti designation I was told stands for a high quality alloy of aluminum, such as stuff used in better bike frames.

post #7 of 67

Most of the "lifetime guarantees" I've been involved with back in the durabable goods sales and service days were worded in a way to limit them substantially.  They are usually a "Lifetime guarantee against defects":.  That doesn't cover "normal wear and tear".  In other words, it isn't guaranteed to last forever.  It's only guaranteed to last as long as products like that typically last.  If a defect surfaces and results in failure during the normal expected product life the vendor will either repair it or give the purchaser credit towards a replacement... pro rated credit less depreciation based on age..yada yada yap yap etcetera bla bla bla..

post #8 of 67
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

Most of the "lifetime guarantees" I've been involved with back in the durabable goods sales and service days were worded in a way to limit them substantially.  They are usually a "Lifetime guarantee against defects":.  That doesn't cover "normal wear and tear".  In other words, it isn't guaranteed to last forever.  It's only guaranteed to last as long as products like that typically last.  If a defect surfaces and results in failure during the normal expected product life the vendor will either repair it or give the purchaser credit towards a replacement... pro rated credit less depreciation based on age..yada yada yap yap etcetera bla bla bla..



 What you describe is the way it is currently with the scuba regulator guarantee model. Most require an annual or with Atomic a two year service interval to keep that guarantee. Their enticement is, do it with in that year/or two and the annual costs less. Do it after and you pay for more of the expendable parts with a predetermined usable life. Miss that service interval. No big deal. Get it done and your back in line with the regulator's guarantee.

 The Binding Manufacturers could determine the service interval through fatigue testing which I take it is already done in development.(Oh yeah, like they don't do any testing.) It seems like a win win to me. I'm surprised it hasn't been done yet. But then look at where we are with boots. If you know anything about materials and look at any binding you must pucker a bit. It is hard for me to believe more people aren't disabled as a direct result of the poor materials used........Hey I know...... We'll have "a list" and make it Non-Published.....................Oh boy!

 


Edited by skimalibu - 11/11/11 at 9:45pm
post #9 of 67

I suspect that ya'll will see a lifetime warranty on bindings right after you see one on cars.

 

SJ

post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by skimalibu View Post



 



 What you describe is the way it is currently with the scuba regulator guarantee model. Most require an annual or with Atomic a two year service interval to keep that guarantee. Their enticement is, do it with in that year/or two and the annual costs less. Do it after and you pay for more of the expendable parts with a predetermined usable life. Miss that service interval. No big deal. Get it done and your back in line with the regulator's guarantee.

 The Binding Manufacturers could determine the service interval through fatigue testing which I take it is already done in development.(Oh yeah, like they don't do any testing.) It seems like a win win to me. I'm surprised it hasn't been done yet. But then look at where we are with boots. If you know anything about materials and look at any binding you must pucker a bit. It is hard for me to believe more people aren't disabled as a direct result of the poor materials used........Hey I know...... We'll have "a list" and make it Non-Published.....................Oh boy!

 




th_dunno-1[1].gif

 

I honeslty dont get this.  I have skied my whole life, all my friends have skied their whole lives, I have worked in ski shops and and ski resorts my whole life (father was the director of the local hill so as a kid I was there almost everyday after school...maybe not as an employee per se...but still), I have yet to see all these broken bindings.  Have I seen them?  Sure, I have seen toe lugs on Tyrolias break, and the release handle on the heel snap off.  But neither of these things would cause any injury.  Incovienance at most, and lets face it...this is very very very very rare.

 

What are you guys doing that causing all your bindings to just fall apart or snap in half....or what ever....I just dont get it. 

post #11 of 67

I really like your business model.  I would go for something like that.  I have antique all-metal Tyrolia and Solomon bindings that are very rugged, and aside from a spring that could rust away, and the less than perfect function built into the design of the S202 I think they are great.   I don't mind extra weight in my bindings.  The more weight, the faster I can ski. biggrin.gif

 

However I believe the ski industry is correct that it is more profitable to design cheap plastic bindings, sell them for less than they need to sell the good bindings,  and have customers buy new bindings when the old bindings drop off the indemnified list.

 

You might not see all these broken bindings for a couple of reasons.  When you were a kid, bindings were made of sterner stuff.  Folks throw them out when they can't get them serviced/adjusted/mounted at a shop.  They fail by developing cracks, often in non-critical areas, and these are spotted before the bindings can have a catastrophic failure while in use.  I've seen quite a few failing bindings, even used a pair in spite of the broken non-essential parts for a bit (just to see if the skis were worth investing in new bindings. They weren't)

post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post




th_dunno-1%5B1%5D.gif

 

I honeslty dont get this.  I have skied my whole life, all my friends have skied their whole lives, I have worked in ski shops and and ski resorts my whole life (father was the director of the local hill so as a kid I was there almost everyday after school...maybe not as an employee per se...but still), I have yet to see all these broken bindings.  Have I seen them?  Sure, I have seen toe lugs on Tyrolias break, and the release handle on the heel snap off.  But neither of these things would cause any injury.  Incovienance at most, and lets face it...this is very very very very rare.

 

What are you guys doing that causing all your bindings to just fall apart or snap in half....or what ever....I just dont get it.



So you never saw the plastic Salomon 747 (non-equippe) heels just fail?  Most shops kept singles lying around to replace them when (not if) they exploded.  The last time it happened to me was on a low intermediate groomed run back to the lifts at Solitude in 1993.  Very gentle turn and it just came apart.  Perhaps your life hasn't been long enough...how about the the Atomic Centrix 4-12 bindings of 2002-2003?  Ring any bells?

 

post #13 of 67

Bomber offers a 5 year warranty on their bindings. Lifetime seems a little absurd, given the advance of technology. But 5 years is great. Of course, their bindings live up the the name so it is rare that they have to ship out more than a replacement bale to a eurocarver who weighs 225lbs and torques the crap out of his bindings on every turn.

 

I think it would be reasonable to demand a replacement if a binding fails in some way that isn't user's fault in the first year or two (or say 50-75 days of use).

post #14 of 67

It's the first time I've heard skidude sounding naive. wow. I always knew he was a pawn for the man.roflmao.gif NOT

public service announcement (well,not exactly): your Salomon ti's are defunct after 100 days. check your heel track for cracks.

post #15 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjohansson View Post

 The last time it happened to me was [snip] 1993...  Perhaps your life hasn't been long enough...

 

Honest question, was this intended as Comedy or Irony? Please tell me it was on purpose.
 

 

post #16 of 67

I still ski on Look n77's and even earlier Nevada/Grand Prix's on a few skis each year....

 

that's 40+ years in service, sounds like "lifetime" to me.....  cool.gif

post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

I suspect that ya'll will see a lifetime warranty on bindings right after you see one on cars.

 

SJ

Exactly. The very next day even. Seriously, have you noticed how some people treat their gear? Why should the industry warranty bindings for a lifetime when people aren't concerned with them enough to keep them from getting coated in road grime on the trip to the hill? How many of you back all the tension off your binding springs at the end of every season...I'd bet 10% of skiers would be a high number. Most bindings are on the indemnified list for about ten years...plenty long enough to "stand the test of time.". That could be 1000 days of skiing for some, or 50 for others...but it's a damned long time for a piece of sporting equipment that's put though some brutal treatment in difficult conditions. I don't expect this iPad I'm typing on to last a lifetime and it cost at least double your average performance binding. My GE refrigerator cost more than 8 or ten pair of bindings, only came with a one year warranty, and sure as he'll won't last a lifetime. If I threw it down on the snow and ice, then kicked it with hard plastic boots it wouldn't last an hour.
Another way to look at the life cycle of a binding; what's your health insurance deductible and co-pay for knee surgery or a broken leg...now compare that to the cost of new bindings.

Buy a decent set of bindings, treat them with a little bit of care (don't drive from Boston to sugarloaf the day after a storm with them uncovered on your roof) turn the din all the way down at the end of each season, get them tested at a certified shop every year (even every other or 3rd yr) and you'll get a decade out of them. that's 60 times longer than a Kim kardashian marriage!
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

It's the first time I've heard skidude sounding naive. wow. I always knew he was a pawn for the man.roflmao.gif NOT

public service announcement (well,not exactly): your Salomon ti's are defunct after 100 days. check your heel track for cracks.


Well thanks...I thinkOtt+Wedeln.gif.

 

 

 

 

If you have a Salomon product that failed after only a 100 days, I would be absolutley shocked if they didnt replace it for you, no questions asked. 

 

 

 

post #19 of 67
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

I still ski on Look n77's and even earlier Nevada/Grand Prix's on a few skis each year....

 

that's 40+ years in service, sounds like "lifetime" to me.....  cool.gif



   Rossi, I'm with you.  I thought of this thread looking at the binding information recently on your thread.

 

 

 

 

  Why would anyone risk their quality of life on an ever decaying offering of quality from the manufactures. Plastic cast components don't instill any confidence in me at all. And shouldn't in anyone else IMO.  Maybe I know to much about materials and I'm more cautious because of being a diver. I check over all my equipment closely before every use, because it is life support equipment to me. I really use my equipment and push it at times while skiing.  I know of the realities of apathy in the service world. That is why I like to do as much work as possible on my own gear. I seem to be in the minority though. It seems like a condition of ignorance is bliss in the skiing public as far as bindings go. Glad there are a few binding exceptions available out there to choose from.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post

Bomber offers a 5 year warranty on their bindings. Lifetime seems a little absurd, given the advance of technology. But 5 years is great. Of course, their bindings live up the the name so it is rare that they have to ship out more than a replacement bale to a eurocarver who weighs 225lbs and torques the crap out of his bindings on every turn.

 

I think it would be reasonable to demand a replacement if a binding fails in some way that isn't user's fault in the first year or two (or say 50-75 days of use)                     


   Thanks for the info on Bomber. I'll be a good customer of theirs.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I really like your business model.  I would go for something like that.  I have antique all-metal Tyrolia and Solomon bindings that are very rugged, and aside from a spring that could rust away, and the less than perfect function built into the design of the S202 I think they are great.   I don't mind extra weight in my bindings.  The more weight, the faster I can ski. biggrin.gif

 

However I believe the ski industry is correct that it is more profitable to design cheap plastic bindings, sell them for less than they need to sell the good bindings,  and have customers buy new bindings when the old bindings drop off the indemnified list.

 

You might not see all these broken bindings for a couple of reasons.  When you were a kid, bindings were made of sterner stuff.  Folks throw them out when they can't get them serviced/adjusted/mounted at a shop.  They fail by developing cracks, often in non-critical areas, and these are spotted before the bindings can have a catastrophic failure while in use.  I've seen quite a few failing bindings, even used a pair in spite of the broken non-essential parts for a bit (just to see if the skis were worth investing in new bindings. They weren't)



 Thanks for the observation and of the skis condition in general at the time of failure. I didn't think of that angle. Oh!.....You can plate springs and they will outlast everything around them.

 

 Ski bindings are no place to go cheap IMO. I think as time goes on the more plastic and cheap metals used the more failures you'll see annually.

post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by skimalibu View Post

 


 

 Ski bindings are no place to go cheap IMO.

 

 

Definatley agree.  Bindings are a safety feature.  One should look for, and be prepared to pay for improved safety, this means better release and retention mechanims.  This is far more important and valuable then looking for a binding with the most metal.

 

In diving, I understand why you would check things as you do, no doubt your life is on the line.  Bindings...not so much.  Maintain them properly, and they will serve you well.

post #21 of 67

Diving is a big deal if your doing dives that require decompression or cave diving, or deep in the bowels of a sunken ship.  For the most part, recreation diving, if the regulator quits its a just a minute or two of free ascent, and you should always have a buddy nearby with another supply of air anyway.

post #22 of 67
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

 

In diving, I understand why you would check things as you do, no doubt your life is on the line.  Bindings...not so much.  Maintain them properly, and they will serve you well.

.

 I see no difference at all between the two. Diving has helped me clarify the importance of care of my gear.

 

 Besides "maintaining them properly" is subjective. What it means to you and me means something differently to someone else.

 

 

post #23 of 67
Thread Starter 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Diving is a big deal if your doing dives that require decompression or cave diving, or deep in the bowels of a sunken ship.  For the most part, recreation diving, if the regulator quits its a just a minute or two of free ascent, and you should always have a buddy nearby with another supply of air anyway.



 Most fatalities in diving occur in thirty feet of water. That free ascent is what gets them. Because of the expansion of gas in the blood.

 

 And we all carry a safe second regulator on our BCs these days. Your primary fails no big deal. Grab your second.

 

 That fails. Then get to your dive buddy as you have stated.

post #24 of 67

^^ Yep that's the critical stage.  The pressure decreases by 1/2 when you come up that last 34 feet of freshwater.  Back in the day you only had one regulator, guys with an "octopus" were rare and a buoyancy compensator was a luxury.  I had my regulator quit on my 2nd check-out dive.  (When I started, I bought all my diving gear from someone who was retiring from the sport for $50. I think it was WWII surplus  nonono2.gif)

post #25 of 67
Thread Starter 

Diving is fun if there is something to see down there or fix.   

 

Fourteen more and I'll have 1000 dives.  I'll "get it done" next summer.   I still consider myself a beginner though. lol  The fish make us all look like stupid idiots.

 

 

post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rossi Smash View Post

I still ski on Look n77's and even earlier Nevada/Grand Prix's on a few skis each year....

 

that's 40+ years in service, sounds like "lifetime" to me.....  cool.gif



I trust my 505's and 1st gen 727's  more than I trust my Z10 TI's

post #27 of 67

they did (100 days use that is), but not making that binding, replaced it with a Z10 which I could not tolerate and threw away. Had I known about the STH, that could have worked with a little sup payment.
One of my earlier Ti's failed and the guy was able to put in the steel track from the regular binding to fix them, and they have not failed again. then the newer binding that failed did not have a replaceable track. thus the warrantee replacement. The STH is solid from what I hear. not detracting from Salomon in general at all.

 

I knew that old school skier dude was you, the pass on the breast and the way it shakes when you wedeln gave it awayROTF.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post


Well thanks...I thinkOtt+Wedeln.gif.

 

 

 

 

If you have a Salomon product that failed after only a 100 days, I would be absolutley shocked if they didnt replace it for you, no questions asked.

 

 

 



 

post #28 of 67

 What are you going to do with the lifetime binding when the ski wears out and the replacement ski comes with a binding system? Or if you want to sell your old skis you pretty much need to include bindings when selling used skis. I think a lifetime binding needs to come with a lifetime ski.

post #29 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Honest question, was this intended as Comedy or Irony? Please tell me it was on purpose.
 

 


Neither...he said he worked in a ski shop all his life.  The first example I gave was 18 years ago...if he's only 21, chances are he doesn't know that example.  So I added a more recent example.

 

post #30 of 67

I had a Salomon 977 composite heel disintegrate while skiing bumps. My brother-in-law had a heel track of his Z10s fall to bits last season. My Fritschi freerides had had a screw fall out (the tiny countersunk screw that holds the end-stop on), causing a bad fall. I also had a pair of the defective Atomix Xentrics, which they replaced. The main problem I've had is pulling out screws in heel pieces - had that happen about 4 times - so I'd advocate more/bigger/wider-spaced screws, which I notice some bindings are now offering, particularly for park and freeride models, or even bolt-through/brass-bush fixing that I've seen discussed (maybe on here?). My 6-year-old daughter managed to do it too, both skis at once!

Seems a bit disingenuous that the 'ti' in 912ti should designate aluminium rather than titanium. Titanium would be a great material for bindings; expensive though.

 

I agree whole-heartedly with the OP though. I'd pay more for better quality, and I suspect my next bindings will be STHs or PXs to reflect that.


Edited by Synchro - 11/13/11 at 6:00am
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