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Has Anyone Skied the 172cm Sir Francis Bacon?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Everyone in these forums says to size up Sir Francis Bacon skis because they measure short and have rocker.  But based on Line's sizing chart and a recommendation by their customer service rep at headquarters (who said they have a long effective edge) I bought the 2013 model in 172cm (168.2cm actual tape pull) at a great price.  I'm a 5'8" and 145 pound older advanced/expert but not very aggressive, preferring short slalom turns in bumps and tight trees at slower speeds rather than charging down bowls.

 

When they arrived I noticed that if mounted at the near-center mark they would have as much shovel length as my 164 X-Wing Fury skis (83mm underfoot, no rocker), which I don't find too short except in deeper snow.  I know these could be mounted further back at this year's -60mm "recommended line" (versus the -25mm Eric Pollard line) , but everything I've read suggests that's not a good idea since these were designed to be skied near center.

 

These would be the only skis I bring on trips out west for use all over the mountain in all conditions, including slick groomers and deep icy bumps in the trees if that's what the day brings (no biggie... I'm from back East). I don't ski the park but want to try switch, since I sometime do that on inline skates.

 

So the question is, did I make a mistake and buy too short?  Could anyone in my size and weight range who actually has skied the 172cm (not the 178cm) give me some insights as to how they handle in the powder and hardpack?  Also, has anyone skied any length at the -60mm mount?

 

I can't return them for the 178cm, so either I'll just keep, return or sell them brand new and unmounted for around what I paid.  As a hedge, I also picked up a pair of 169cm Kung Fujas that I can return or sell.  Those wouldn't be short since they actually measure 170cm, mount further back, and have a more subtle rocker.  But I've heard great things about the SFB and really wanted to try it.

 

If they are too short, I find it odd that the folks who actually design and manufacture the skis would be suggesting an incorrect ski length.  Thanks for your feedback.

post #2 of 9

I am close to your weight (165 lbs) but only 5' 6", and have the 2013 SFB in 172cm.  I mounted them -25mm (on the recommended line) with some Marker Barons.  I also had the same concerns as you about what length and where to mount.  There are many threads about these two issues on TGR and other forums as well as here on Epic.  The consensus on size was go big, but on the mount point it was on the line for the 2013 which is -5mm more than the 2012 line (-20mm).   I am very happy with the 172cm here in the NE.  They feel sub 98mm underfoot, and should be perfect for your stated preferred turn shape, but are quite capable of a variety of shapes.  I easily adjusted to the forward mount and did not feel I would go over handle bars at all.  so far they have lived up to all the positive reviews.  I have to split, but I can give you more details later.

 

Happy New Year

-Rich- 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much, Rich... this is exactly the kind of input I was looking for.  You read my mind about going over the handlebars. 

 

Your height/weight stats are close enough, and being an Eastern skier you probably have similarly decent carving technique.  So yes, any further insight (e.g. how they handle in powder, crud, slush, bumps, trees) would be greatly appreciated since I need to make a decision soon on whether to keep them or the Kung Fujas.

 

Happy New Year (and Ski Season) to you as well!

 

Cheers,

Edmund

post #4 of 9

I gave you a more detail description of my experience with the 172 bacon mount point in another thread you started.  I'm not as articulate as a lot of folks on here, but did my best.  I'm also very impressed with the Baron. They seem to have a very solid interface with the skis, with great snow feel, I don't really notice the stand height much.  I'm sure your aware that this is not the ideal setup for less than desirable conditions, but if they're all you have that day you can still have fun.  My knees are sore as heck though, and now realize the full difference between 88mm and 108mm, but will strengthen with more use.   

 

I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

 

If you mount the k2's instead let me know what you think, I was very interested in that ski.  Central and Northern NY has been, and will be getting some good dumps here in the next few days, great conditions for skis in this class to really shine.

 

Happy 2014

 

Rich


Edited by vwr1vwf - 1/2/14 at 8:19am
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Rich,

 

Don't sell yourself short... your comments were well-written with useful insights that convinced me the 172cm Bacons would be fine.  I also responded in more detail on that thread (entitled Sir Francis Bacon Versus Kung Fujas (Shreditor 102) for anyone else who cares).  Sounds like you had an awesome New Year's Eve (both the partying and skiing)... glad to hear it.

 

I'm jealous, but plan to head up to VT in a couple weekends, which should have a great base after these storms.  Enjoy this week and the rest of the season.

 

Edmund

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Rich,

 

Just wondering if you've skied your Bacons another day or so since your last post.  You mentioned your knees were sore due to the width and I'm curious if that was just a temporary issue adapting to new skis or an ongoing one. 

 

My assumption was that these wouldn't require much more angulation or boot flex than my current 83mm Salomons given their soft flex, hourglass-shape and near-center mount in the sweet spot.  Unmounted on the carpet I did notice the slightly narrower Kung Fujas seemed to rock onto edge a little easier, though on the slopes this may be totally irrelevant.

 

I'm planning on a VT trip next week and if the conditions don't suck (it may rain again) will probably bring up the Bacons to mount and test out.

 

Thanks,

Edmund

post #7 of 9

Hello Edmund,

 

I did get a little more time on the Bacons.  My knees were fine.  I also have new boots this season, which I've only skied four times in, so they may have been a factor as well.  I went from Salomon RS8's to a pair of old new stock Tecnica Bushwackers. Which, I guess are medium flex also but stiffer and beefier than the salomons, with what seems like a different stance angle also, I should check all that out.

 

My son and I hiked the back side of a small ski hill that borders our property Sunday.  Blue sky and 25 degrees all afternoon, awesome day.  We hiked it 6 times, its only 400 ' vertical.  It was called White Acres, It has been closed since the late seventies, so has 40 years of hard wood growth, and our side, which is actually higher is a cow pasture/alfalfa field.  The conditions were 12-16" of 3 day old snow with lots of snowmobile tracks, and a lot more forgiving on the knees and back compared to the conditions last Wednesday.   We still found a few fresh lines in the meadow, but the trees were untouched. I'm still experimenting with the Bacons, but really happy with them.  I would say the float is about even with my s3's, that puzzles me a little.  I guess maybe the fwd mount position is negating the extra with or something.

 

My knees did not hurt at all the next day.  Are you going to go ahead and mount the Bacons?

 

Rich,

post #8 of 9

Don't be alarmed by the comparison I drew above between the s3 and the Bacon, at my compact size the s3 provided great float and was a fun ski. 

 

Skiing these very same lines on the Bacons this year was more fun.  In the trees is where I noticed the biggest difference, making tighter and faster turns with less effort.   the Bacon handled the snowmobile tracks much better also.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Rich.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Rich, for the clarification... sounds like your bushwhacking was a great day out and perfect timing before the post-rain freeze.  The more pronounced rocker and traditional mount are probably what gives the S3 similar float despite being narrower and a tad shorter, though in deeper powder the SFBs must get noticeably better. 

 

But even the rep at Line said Eric's Choice is the best mount, so the compromise in float is made up by maneuverability.   No ski is perfect... if you had gotten the 178cm your float would have improved, but you (and your knees) might love them a little less overall especially as the trees get tighter.

 

As for your boots, yeah, you might want to go to a good boot fitter to ensure the cant, lean, etc. are properly aligned (shouldn't cost much if at all).  Custom footbeds can be expensive, but I'm glad to have them for the support and comfort.

 

I have a friend who moved to UT and he was mentioning how super-wide skis seem to be losing some popularity because riding on top of the snow isn't as tactile as popping in and out of it.  Maybe that's just his bias (he owns a quiver but usually chooses the 100mm all-mountain skis), but I also don't mind sinking in a little as long as the ski is responsive.

 

In the ski mags the KFs get a slightly better score than the SBFs in float (and also stability and hardpack), probably due to the more traditional mount and longer overall length.  But the legendary full-on fun factor of the Bacons is what keeps me on the fence, especially since a couple folks have gone as far as to describe the KFs as "damp". 

 

I'm still leaning towards the Bacons, but will update this post with my ultimate decision and detailed impressions when we get some decent snow (here or out west).  Thanks again... your numerous insights are heavily influencing my decision since all other impressions are based on longer sizes that have less relevance.

 

Enjoy,

Edmund

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