Originally Posted by Tog
!) So, what other US Manufacturer currently makes Alpine bindings? Name one company other than kneebinding.
1)a: The kneebinding had some serious problems in the beginning. One didn't need elaborate testing to uncover these. Among others -AFD's that fell off. It's just as plausible that these problems have prevented them from achieving certification.
2) That's a new purpose. That would be like UL adding such a thing for lamps. Has nothing to do with meeting the standards agreed and created by all parties. Including US. They are not maximum performance standards.
3) Sort of irrelevant considering they all meet spec.
4) There is no certification for lateral release at the moment. Since the kneebinding doesn't meet TUV certification for alpine bindings, this is the only reason one would buy it. Then you have to wonder why it doesn't meet much more basic specifications that the cheapest alpine bindings sold do.
Too bad there's no independent testing company of bindings that could test them and report. Other than TUV.
... here's a few sub-notes:
a— Unlike UL, TÜV does not write standards. TÜV is chartered to maintain its independence expressly by not writing standards: TÜV deploys in its independent testing the main standard that drives a particular product category: In the case of alpine ski bindings, those independent standards are ISO standards.
b— In the big picture, the elders within the skiing 'safety' community (the national-standards countries involved in skiing 'safety': USA — ANSI / ASTM, Germany — DIN, Austria — Ö-Norms, France — AfNOR); the IAS (International Association of Skiing) in Munich, Germany; the BfÜ (Bureau for the Prevention of Injuries) of Switzerland; and individual members within ISSS (International Society for Skiing Safety) — were collectively determined to develop strict standards that could generate a meaningful improvement in skiing safety. That was in the early-'70's when tibia fractures had an incidence of around ~2,500 MDBI (Mean Days Between Injury), while during that same time-period in the early 1970's, if a binding's settings were lowered to reduce tibia fractures, they would pre-release — causing severe upper body injuries. To accomplish a meaningful improvement in skiing safety (both to reduce tibia fractures and to reduce serious upper-body injuries), the lab that would be necessary to conduct compliance-tests for such meaningful standards would cost ~USD 600,000 (in today's dollars — with today's currency exchange). This would mean that, from a business perspective, it would be unlikely that multiple labs with this level of intensity could be successfully set-up and remain sustainable in different countries around the world, especially if each nation had different standards to which each binding company should/must comply. Therefore, the 'elders' within the various skiing safety groups came together not only to unify the minimum international standards — thus utilizing the forum that was already established by ISO in Geneva, Switzerland — but it was also decided by two of the elders (Wolfhart Hauser, MD and Peter Schaff, MD, PhD) to support one lab that had the plausible-capacity to underwrite the start-up cost for such an intense lab that would comply with these strict testing standards — and that would likely-remain sustainable over decades of testing. That lab became TÜV. This is how the ISO standards were initiated and developed; this is how the lab at TÜV was initiated and started.
c— There are no EU laws for ski binding compliance. The statutory laws for ski bindings only reside in Germany. Switzerland does not have direct government statutory laws in this way — but the country of Switzerland brought together several insurance companies together with the Swiss government to enforce the certifications at TÜV according to ISO standards. The Swiss did not say, aaaahhhh, we will build our own lab here in Switzerland: they knew that it would not make good economic sense to build a duplicate lab: they determined that it would be good common-sense to utilize the certificates generated at TÜV according to the ISO standards to ENFORCE the ISO standards within Switzerland. Bindings that are not "TÜV-Approved" are physically removed by employees of BfÜ from ski shops in Switzerland. Just because we do not enforce the minimum international (ISO) standards here in the US — should this mean that it's 'ok' to not gain independent certification of the these ISO standards? Again, ANSI-ASTM (of USA) is a voting member of ISO expressly to act upon our national intentions for minimum ski binding standards here in the US. Why should anyone think they are above such national and/or international intentions involving minimum 'safety' standards for alpine ski bindings, irrespectively of whether such minimum international standards are not enforced here in the US in view of the absence of mandatory statutory governmental law?
Edited by Richard Howell - 1/22/14 at 11:18am