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Advice on having bindings mounted

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My apologies if this is the umpteenth time this question has been asked. I did do a search and came up with a lot of "the shop screwed up my mounting, what do I do now?" threads and "should I mount bindings more forward or back?" threads, but none seemed to answer my specific question, so I'm going to venture out and ask...

 

I just bought my first pair of skis & bindings. I was beginner skier 20 some years ago, getting back into it, so I don't have the skill level yet to 1.) mount them myself or 2.) realistically notice the difference if they were mounted differently. So, I need to take them to a local shop and have them mounted. They were not purchased from either of the shops in question, nor any shop locally. 

 

One shop is charging $89.95 for the service while another is charging $49.95.

 

That $40 could be an early-season lift ticket, so I want to go with the $49.95 shop, but I'm afraid this is a "you get what you pay for situation" where being cheap may not be a good idea.

 

On the other hand, unless I have certain specifications, shouldn't a binding mount be a pretty easy thing to do?

 

If it helps, these are a pair of last year's K2 Sweet Luvs being mounted with Marker ERP 10.0 bindings. I believe they do have a mounting plate already attached.

 

Both shops claim to be familiar with both of these as well as mounting them together.

 

$89.95 shop seems to have a good reputation. A lot of their techs are a little bit older; middle age folks who have been skiing quite a while, but still a lot of younger guys around. I did have a not-so-nice interaction with one of their sales people when she basically ridiculed me for being excited to get my new skis out on the "3 inches of new snow" we got last night (which was actually closer to 8" by the way.), so another reason aside from price, that I'm not inclined to go there. 

 

$49.95 shop I don't know their reputation. Not that's its bad, just haven't heard as much about them. They only have one location in my area, as opposed to the other shop that has 4 different locations in my area. I swung by there last night. Don't know if it was because it was almost closing or if it was just extra holiday staff, but everyone who appeared to be working there looked about 12. Not to be age-ist, but ya know, didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence. 

 

So which would you choose? 

post #2 of 15

It is a system ski.  Any qualified ski tech can have the binding mounted, calibrated, and tested in less than 10 minutes.  Add a detune to the edges (if the skis need them) and a hot wax, add another 10 minutes.

 

If you are unsure of the qualifications of the ski tech, just ask.

 

Dennis

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Is there something specific I should be looking for to determine "qualified?" A certificate or something from somewhere?

 

post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClimbingBetty View Post

Is there something specific I should be looking for to determine "qualified?" A certificate or something from somewhere?

 



if they sell the brand of binding you are putting on, then they are likely 'certified' by the binding manu.

 

boots usually have a center sole mark (little 'hash' somewhere sole center, usually on the boot side)

usually skis have a 'boot mid sole mark', but some don;t or have mulitple marks.

usually a ski manu advises the Boot mid sole be lined up with the Ski 'mid-sole' mark.

likely that will work for you

you can ask how the mounting will be done (boot to ski alignment) before handing over to shop. Usually they are good enough to vocalize this.

If all you get is a lot of grunts... you have a decision to make...

post #5 of 15

Don't know anything about the ski or binding, but if this is, in fact, a system set up, mounting is little more than sliding the heel and toe pieces onto a track and perhaps tightening a screw or two. Having done this several times myself, I can't see how anyone could screw it up (I have, however, always left the adjustments up to a shop).

 

As long as they're not drilling holes, I wouldn't worry. Any shop tech certified to work on Marker bindings (I think you'd have a hard time finding one who isn't) can do the job.  

post #6 of 15

For $50 it should include a quick tune (hot wax at least). For $90, it should include a Brazilian wax. Seriously though, you're overthinking it. $90 sounds ridiculous, especially if that's a system ski (track on the ski that binding slides onto, rather than drilling holes in ski). It's probably worth $40-50 for the peace of mind knowing the bindings were set up right, but certainly not more than that.

post #7 of 15

Go with the cheaper of the two.  Both technicians will be certified by the binding manufacturer (the shop ensures this due to liability) and will do the exact same job.  The more expensive shop is simply trying to take advantage of people.

post #8 of 15

90 dollars sounds ridiculous!  Post some basic geo info telling folks what neck of the woods you are in and people will likely recommend good shops that are reasonable and not out to rip off folks that don't yet have good connections.

post #9 of 15

$90 sounds pretty steep to me for just mounting and retention testing.  If that includes a full tune (base grind, set edges, etc.) it's a little more reasonable.

 

As mentioned above, as long as the shop sells that brand of bindings, they should be certified by the manufacturer to mount/work on them.

 

If it's a 'system' binding setup where they don't have to drill holes, there's a lot less that can go wrong.

post #10 of 15

No way I would pay $90 for mounting them. Actually I mounted my Lottas myself with zero experience (the shops here don't test the bindings anyway).

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skise View Post

No way I would pay $90 for mounting them. Actually I mounted my Lottas myself with zero experience (the shops here don't test the bindings anyway).


Sure they do.  Doing a release check is standard procedure and part of the training of a binding tech.

 

post #12 of 15



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post


Sure they do.  Doing a release check is standard procedure and part of the training of a binding tech.

 



Sure they don't. At least so far I've never seen this happen while I've watched them mount my bindings (nor heard anyone ever having their bindings tested). In how many ski shops here in Finland have you observed the mounting procedure? I admit I've only ever been there twice all the time from the moment I hand the skis over until they hand them back to me (two different shops). The "release check" is trying to get your boot free, toe piece by twisting your foot and heel piece by kicking back. If you choose to do it, nobody will ask you to.

 


Edited by Skise - 12/12/11 at 4:14am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skise View Post



Sure they don't. At least so far I've never seen this happen while I've watched them mount my bindings (nor heard anyone ever having their bindings tested). In how many ski shops here in Finland have you observed the mounting procedure? I admit I've only ever been there twice all the time from the moment I hand the skis over until they hand them back to me (two different shops). The "release check" is trying to get your boot free, toe piece by twisting your foot and heel piece by kicking back. If you choose to do it, nobody will ask you to.

 


 

Europe & North America... two very different worlds when it comes to bindings. My Norwegian experience is exactly like yours. Typical scenario - the screw them on, ask you how much you weigh, and they set the release value. 92kg? That'll be 9 then. In my case I rarely have my boots with me, so I just tell 'em my BSL and that I'll check the forward pressure later. No paperwork, no release test.

 

It all seems to boil down to the fact that a shop in North America is likely to be sued if someone hurts themselves, so all sorts of measures and procedures are in place to limit a shop's liability, In Europe a claim like that would be thrown out. You ski, its dangerous, you got hurt! Oops.

 

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post


 

 In my case I rarely have my boots with me, so I just tell 'em my BSL and that I'll check the forward pressure later.



Most of the time I've had my boots with me. They've EITHER checked the visual indicator OR felt how the boots click in. Sometimes leaving me to wonder whether I should trust their "touch" or the visual indicator more... usually I've ended up with trusting the visual indicator more and adjusted the forward pressure accordingly at home.

 

post #15 of 15

And originally of course the part of shops not testing the bindings here was meant to be an explanation as to why it was less "horrible" to mount the (system) bindings yourself here than over there.

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