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KneeBinding Questions!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

KneeBindings interest me a lot. I love marketing, almost as much as skiing. It's what I will be studying next year in college. Marketing intrigues me because it shows how businesses can trick people into buying their products. This trickery isn't always bad for the consumer. I personally believe that KneeBindings are a big bunch of marketing hype, for a few simple reasons.

 

1. Race Bindings. 

I've raced on the icy slopes of Wisconsin for 10 years now. I've fallen a lot and never torn my knee in any way. I've only witnessed on ACL tear. In that fall the skier was going through a poorly set slalom course ( about 12 meters with very little offset). She was carrying was to much speed for anyone to have in slalom course, pinched her line a bit to much, tipped a gate with her inside ski boom hit the snow, binding released, but it was too late for her knee. She was on Fisher WC 155s, with matching bindings and had her dins set at 12. She only weighed 125 pounds, so it was obvious she cranked her dins to high, had it been set on 7 or 8 it may have popped off with less pressure on her ACL and she would have skied the next run. What I find interesting about this is that the binding released, go on KneeBindings website and all the information on their is that her binding shouldn't have released - but it did. The next day I looked at the fisher bindings I have mounted on my slalom skis and noticed they do pivot laterally! Isn't the lateral release KneeBinding's claim to fame, or am I missing something.

 

If KneeBindings id save ACLs as they say, I think they would have found their way onto race skis by now. Something is up there. Would KneeBindings have a problem pre-releasing under the stress of a GS course? I have never seen KneeBindings on anyone's race boards, not one pair of skis!

 

2. TRUE data on KneeBindings.

Watch a comercial for snow tires sometime and the comercial will show cars stopping an accelerating much better then cars with all season tires. These claims are backed up by raw data. Manufacturers will go out to an icy lake and time stopping distances, uphill acceleration and base acceleration. I would consider that TRUE data. Kneebindings have no true data. I would be instantly sold if KneeBindings took a ski, constructed a 'crash test' leg and measured the force on specific ligaments in the knee, before the binding releases. Then take a marker and look style binding and put it through the same test. Give me the results and I'd be sold.

 

3. Dins

My last point is that there are a ton of ACL tears that happen because the DIN was set to high. I ski on Marker and Fisher Bindings, with my DINs set to 10, I weigh 185lbs and have a 315 boot. The only times I had problems with pre releases was when my forward pressure was not set correctly. I believe that some knee injury happens because of overly high set dins, which is common in ski racing. What is to stop a consumer from setting the KneeBinding din higher then recommended and wouldn't that give them the same result as with a conventional binding.

 

I did some searching before posting this and I am not trying to troll, like some other users have done to the KneeBinding. If the true data that I described was to come out I'd probably buy the system for my next pair of skis. I guess I'm just a skeptic.

 

EDIT: I did a some more searching and I am sorry, because this post really seems like I am taking sides against KneeBinding. I like the idea, but cant believe it till I see some testing. Sorry for rehashing the discussion that happened a few months ago.

 


Edited by IMT00FIERCE - 1/2/12 at 11:33pm
post #2 of 9

Lot's of KneeBinding threads going on- the Chairman is currently responding here http://www.epicski.com/t/108555/kneebinding-2012-discussion-forum#post_1409841  There are some older threads as well

post #3 of 9

 

JSM 1/3

 

IMTOOFIERCE:  Thanks for your substantial thoughts!  Hopefully I can get you thinking about this in a different way:

 

Your point 1 (racing):  First, you are skeptical because you’ve raced a lot but not injured your knee.  Well - that’s fortunate for you – but it has nothing to do with the injury rate.  I’ve driven a lot, and I’ve never run into a telephone pole.   However, know that other people do, and I know it is possible for it to happen to me as well.  So – I have cars with airbags and seatbelts, and I use them.

 

You then describe, in detail, the scene of a fellow racer getting into trouble and injuring her knee, but you seem to blame her for this.  You suggest that if she hadn’t gotten herself into trouble, she probably wouldn’t have gotten hurt.  Okay – but she DID get into trouble.  And you could just as easily have been the “unlucky” one.  If you ever DO get into trouble, you’ll be happy to have a binding that releases in a way that saves your knee.   Trying to find ways to blame her for her accident doesn’t really speak to the cause and prevention of the injury.   If it were a car accident, you might say, “She should never have hit that tree.  She shouldn’t have been going that fast.   She should have noticed that patch of black ice sooner.”  Why don’t you go all the way and say, “She should never have been skiing?” 

 

We use cars: good thing we have seat belts and airbags.  We ski: good thing we have helmets and KneeBindings.

 

Point 2 (Data):  Your “snow tire” example is interesting.  Here’s what it looks like stacked up against the KneeBinding model:  Over time, statistics have been collected about the number of accidents caused by slippery roads, and statistics have been collected that show that 70,000 skiers injure their ACLs each and every year in specific, well-defined ways (and that ALL ordinary bindings contribute their share of those injuries).  Studies have proven that a certain kind of tire tread can stop a car faster on slippery roads, and studies have proven that a lateral heel release will reduce the chances of knee injuries by 70-75%.  Pirelli has designed a tire using the kind of tread that has been proven to stop cars faster on slippery roads, and KneeBinding has designed a binding that includes a PureLateral heel release.  Pirelli has a video showing how well their tires stop a car on slippery roads compared with ordinary tires.   KneeBinding has a video showing all the other major brands of bindings being incapable of opening  when subjected to the forces that cause knee injuries on skis – and video showing that KneeBinding  DOES open.  KneeBinding even has a video showing a skier actually being “saved” by KneeBindings.  When you purchase a Pirelli snow tire, they can’t tell you exactly how many accidents they have prevented (they don’t know).  When you buy KneeBindings, we can’t tell you exactly how many ACLs KneeBinding has saved (we don’t know). 

 

In the end – you should have snow tires.  And you should have KneeBindings.

 

3. DINs set too high:  Remember that KneeBinding is going after the injury mechanism that causes about ¾ of the ACL and other knee injuries on skis.  There are other kinds of events that cause knee injuries on skis for which we do not have any mitigation (nor does anyone else), but each of these other causes are individually very small in comparison.  We focus on the big one – the 70-75% - and we believe you are mistaken that more of these occur when DINs are set too high.  These release mechanisms cannot prevent this kind of knee injury no matter how low or high you set them.  It is hard to argue that cranking these release mechanisms up will increase your risk of this kind of knee injury if you already know these release mechanisms do not offer any protection at all when they are set correctly!

 

The lateral toe release and the forward heel release were created to mitigate broken legs, and they do a fine job of that.  But they do NOT release when facing the kinds of forces that create these knee injuries – no matter how they are adjusted!  Here is a video that shows this:  KneeBinding PureLateral Release – Why Don’t Ordinary Bindings Do This?

 

 

Here’s the bottom line:  You are at risk of a car accident every time you get in a car.  That’s why you have airbags and seatbelts.  Every time you go skiing, you’re at risk of an ACL injury.  It is the #1 injury in the sport by a long shot, and it would be smart to take whatever precautions you can.  KneeBinding offers a high-performance, no-compromises ski binding that substantially reduces your risk of knee injury. 

 

John Springer-Miller

 

post #4 of 9
Race bindings are made with lots of metal and geared towards retention. Don't think the kneebinding would hold up. A pre-release from the force of racing could kill a racer.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman View Post

 

JSM 1/3

 

 Every time you go skiing, you’re at risk of an ACL injury.  It is the #1 injury in the sport by a long shot, and it would be smart to take whatever precautions you can.  KneeBinding offers a high-performance, no-compromises ski binding that substantially reduces your risk of knee injury. 

 

John Springer-Miller

 


Though far less serious, I thought MCL injuries were more common than ACLs?  FWIW, I think your later heel release may do a lot to mitigate that as well (both for the MCL injuries that happen along with an ACL tear and those that happen on their own).  A buddy of mine injured his MCL in Snowmass a while back when he wasn't paying attention as a chair got to a mid way landing and he caught his inside edge that ended up getting pulled behind him.  Understanding what I know about the KB, I think it is likely it could have prevented this injury.

 

post #6 of 9

JSM 1/4/12

 

MEfree30:  You're right again - about MCLs.  We always focus on the ACL because this injury is so-well studied, understood, and documented.  MCLs are injured even more frequently, but they are not as expensive, and therefore, are not as well tracked.

 

1 in 3 reported ski injuries is a knee ligament.  That includes 70,000 ACL injuries.  It's an epidemic.

 

John Springer-Miller

 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Good Response, but you only half answered my questions. I think that my friend wouldn't have torn her ACL had her dins been set lower. What do you think?

 

Do you have any 'sponsored' racers on knee bindings? I think handing out some freebies to a few in the racer crowd to show their usefulness could help sales.

 

I think my Fisher Race Bindings have the same pure lateral heel release that is shown in diagrams for knee bindings. Can you comment on this?

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by IMT00FIERCE View Post

Good Response, but you only half answered my questions. I think that my friend wouldn't have torn her ACL had her dins been set lower. What do you think?

Do you have any 'sponsored' racers on knee bindings? I think handing out some freebies to a few in the racer crowd to show their usefulness could help sales.

I think my Fisher Race Bindings have the same pure lateral heel release that is shown in diagrams for knee bindings. Can you comment on this?

Traditional bindings at a lower release setting may have saved your friend's ACL, but you'll never know for sure. Traditional bindings are designed to save bones. The DIN scale is calibrated to save bones. Traditional bindings do a really great job of saving bones, which is why boot cuff breaks etc. have pretty much disappeared in modern skiing. Traditional bindings don't really do much to save soft tissue/ligaments. This, and the change in injury patterns caused by shaped skis shows up in the large numbers of MCL and ACL injuries in modern skiing.

Fischer bindings do not have pure lateral heel release. The Tyrolia (Fischer = Tyrolia) diagonal heel requires that the boot heel lifts before releasing sideways. The current crop of racing and freeride heels from Tyrolia no longer has the diagonal design anyway.

The KneeBinding is trying to do something about the knee injury epidemic. The jury is very much out on whether KneeBinding can achieve its goals and whether a design that works for recreational skiers can be translated to the race course or big mountain arena.
post #9 of 9

JSM 1/12

 

Squawker is quite right about your Fischer bindings - the diagonal heel has to open up before it can open to the side.  Since these injuries happen when you are in the back seat, the "diagonal" binding has no benefit.  In fact, the diagonal mechanism doesn't seem to have any benefit at all, which is why they are going away.

 

Ordinary bindings (including "diagonals") do not have the ability to release in a way that mitigates this kind of knee injury.  Because of this, lowering your DINs will not make any difference.  It is also true, of course, that raising your DINs will not INCREASE your risk.  Ordinary binding heel and toe releases (and their DINs) just aren't related to this kind of knee injury at all.

 

Helmets don't prevent knee injuries either.  Loosening your chin strap won't make any difference.

 

John Springer-Miller

 

 

 

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