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Ski Recommendation: for out my back door

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm a cyclist looking to mix it up when the snow flies.  I have about 5km of multi-use trails behind my house.  In the summer, walkers and casual mountain bikers.  There are areas where it's 6 feet wide with rolling terrain, and some singletrack sections that are steeper (I trail run on those).  I have skinny skis I use a few times a year on groomed trails at a xc centre...but I want skis for early mornings and other times that I can use out my back door.  Most of the time I would be blazing my own trail, other times the snow will be packed down a bit and may have foot prints, etc.

 

I'm looking at Madshus Eon, Rossi BC70...I'm 6'0 and 140 pounds and I'm not sure about double camber (BC70) versus camber and a half (Eon).  Thoughts?

 

Any other recommendations?

post #2 of 22

Where you live and ski has a bearing. Waxless rules to get out quickly in a maritime snow climate. If you are in a continental drier snow and it's below 25 deg.  you can run with a blue or green wax all winter and be happy. I like a single camber for untracked fresh snow. If conditioning is the objective, peak efficiency is moot. My ski conditioning road bike is a steel Schwinn.

post #3 of 22
I went with the Rossi BC110, Rotaffella NNNBC Magnums and Rossi BC10 boots.

I used them 80 days during the polar vortex, in terrain just as you describe.
Everything worked extremely well.
post #4 of 22

I have had a plethora of waxless skis: Karhu XCD GT was the first, then Black Diamond Valmontes, then Fischer Outtabounds, Salomon X-adventures, Karhu Guides (Madshus Annum), Madshus Voss, and Madshus Epoch.

 

I got rid of all them except the Outtabounds which I use with 3-pin bindings and Rossi BCX6 boots to ski out the door, up and down the levee and old riverbed.  

 

Then I bought a pair of Voile Vector BC, mounted Dynafit Speed bindings, and plan to use them on XC ski patrol this winter with Dynafit TLT5 boots.

 

My reasoning: the 3-pin set up is fine for most snows on flat to gently rising terrain, its light, and fun to use in a track or just exploring.

 

The Vector, according to my friends, climbs as well as the Guide/Annum, but is wider, and thus I could use a shorter ski; my ski patrolling is done on forest roads that range from finely groomed to roughly groomed to torn up by snowmobiles, snowshoes, and boot pack to untouched snow from a skiff to a couple of feet deep and the roads are up and down and quite steep in places (so I always carry skins).  The wider ski helps with the crappy snow and the deep snow and allows for a lot of off-piste fun in the steep and deep.

 

I used to do a fair amount of XC on a large groomed circuit in Eastern Washington; neither of the above skis is good for that; the Fischers don't climb well enough, the Voile set is just too heavy.  If I was going to do that again I might well go back to an Epoch or Voss with nnn-bc bindings and a lighter boot than the BCX6; I'm a big guy and really narrow skis don't suit me and I can't help but jumping off groomed but I like a nice zen kick and glide too.

 

As Wooley said, choice of wax vs waxless is best determined by climate/snow conditions.

post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I live in Southwestern Ontario. Our largest hills comprise the Niagara Escarpment. Out my back door the hills are small (a one minute walk up the steepest hill).

From what I've been reading, and interpreting, I may want width of more than 70mm for float, and may want some flex for the imperfections of the snow conditions...make sense?

Shredhead - I wouldn't of thought of going up to 110ml...any ideas how that may compare to a 90 or 70? Is it just more float on powder, which means less speed when snow is compacted (what is the trade off)?

When I do go down the hills close to my house there isn't enough room to make turns...so I would be snowplowing down those hills when wanting to slowdown. So making turns is not a major factor for me. What don't I need in a ski that makes it good at turning?

I want medal edges as I'm planning on exploring the narrower trails in the area, and those have roots, rocks in places. These trails are not so tight, however, that if need narrow skis for maneuverability.

One issue where I live is availability of such skis at ski shops and nordic centres. They tend to cater to the groomed trail crowd. Still looking for a retailer that sells something other than Fischer BC Country Crowns (60mm).

Cheers!
post #6 of 22

For my money (and for many others'), there's no better general-purpose off-track ski than the S-Bound series from Fischer.  I heartily endorse the S-Bound 88 as the best compromise of float, glide, and camber.  You could also look at the 78 and the 98, depending.  When you go above 90, you lose camber and glide; when you go below, you lose some float.  Depends on what you prioritize, but for your purposes, I can't imagine going really wide.  Skis wider than 90 are almost universally built to emphasize float and turning ability.  

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post

Shredhead - I wouldn't of thought of going up to 110ml...any ideas how that may compare to a 90 or 70? Is it just more float on powder, which means less speed when snow is compacted (what is the trade off)?

 

 

  The waist is 78 on the BC110,  the tip is 110.    This was still considerably wider than any other XC skis that I've used in the midwest.  But I found the width very beneficial breaking trail and it gives me a solid platform in variable conditions.  

post #8 of 22

^^^^ Yes, interestingly, xc widths tend to reflect tip width, not waist (unlike downhill).  So tip width on S-Bound 88 is 88mm.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post
 

For my money (and for many others'), there's no better general-purpose off-track ski than the S-Bound series from Fischer.  I heartily endorse the S-Bound 88 as the best compromise of float, glide, and camber.  You could also look at the 78 and the 98, depending.  When you go above 90, you lose camber and glide; when you go below, you lose some float.  Depends on what you prioritize, but for your purposes, I can't imagine going really wide.  Skis wider than 90 are almost universally built to emphasize float and turning ability.  

Evidently the S-Bound 88 replaces the Outtabounds that I have with the main difference being a more aggressive (positive) waxless pattern vs the negative pattern on the skis I have.  If the camber is the same it should indeed be a very nice general purpose XC/bc ski; my main complaint on the Outtabounds was the lack of grip, everything else was fine. My Salomon X-Adventure 88s had too much camber for my liking for turning on hard/icy snow in the the length I had (was the same as the Fischer Rebound) but my wife does o.k. on her Rebounds; IIRC the waist on the Rebounds was 60, and 68 on the Outtabounds.

post #10 of 22

How icy does western Ontario get?   Only familiar with south central, where icing really doesn't happen much (read: softer skis work better).

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

cantunamunch - I'm about 1 hour northwest of Toronto.  Not as cold, or as much snow as in Barrie/Collingwood/Muskoka.

 

After looking at the specs of many skis, I'm drawn towards: Fischer S-Bound 88 (88/68/78), Madshus Epoch (99/68/84) and Madshus Eon (83/62/70).  I see myself using these primarily to break trail, in anywhere from 5-20cm of snow.  I would get up early the morning after a snowfall (or night of) and ski.  From time-to-time I would use when he snow is compacted, and there are some foot prints from hikers in the area.

 

I'm wondering how much width I need at the waist to float, and how long of a ski, again to float and be efficient.  I will not be making many turns down hills...as the hills I'm skiing on are very small and are paths in forests so they're only 5-7 feet wide.  It's trying to find the right combination of width, camber/stiffness and length.  

 

Questions:

- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think given my lack of turning needed I don't need a lot of width at the tip, or big increase from waist to tip?

- I'm assuming the more width at the waist translates to float over soft snow, and kick?

- They show the length of the ski is determined by weight, but what about height (i.e., leverage)?  I'm 6'0 and 140 pounds without stuff on.  That would mean 169cm in the S-Bound 88, and 175cm in the Epoch and Eon.  Is that enough length?  Could I go longer to get more glide?  I haven't fully understood how these factors play-in (despite lots of reading).

 

Cheers!

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
 

 

After looking at the specs of many skis, I'm drawn towards: Fischer S-Bound 88 (88/68/78), Madshus Epoch (99/68/84) and Madshus Eon (83/62/70).  I see myself using these primarily to break trail, in anywhere from 5-20cm of snow.  I would get up early the morning after a snowfall (or night of) and ski.  From time-to-time I would use when he snow is compacted, and there are some foot prints from hikers in the area.

 

I'm wondering how much width I need at the waist to float, and how long of a ski, again to float and be efficient.  I will not be making many turns down hills...as the hills I'm skiing on are very small and are paths in forests so they're only 5-7 feet wide.  It's trying to find the right combination of width, camber/stiffness and length.  

 

Questions:

- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think given my lack of turning needed I don't need a lot of width at the tip, or big increase from waist to tip?

- I'm assuming the more width at the waist translates to float over soft snow, and kick?

- They show the length of the ski is determined by weight, but what about height (i.e., leverage)?  I'm 6'0 and 140 pounds without stuff on.  That would mean 169cm in the S-Bound 88, and 175cm in the Epoch and Eon.  Is that enough length?  Could I go longer to get more glide?  I haven't fully understood how these factors play-in (despite lots of reading).

 

Cheers!

IMHO

 

A wider ski makes breaking trail easier; the ski doesn't sink as far, thus you run less risk of having to lift up a ski with a lot of snow on it.  Binding choice affects this as well.  A traditional 3 pin tends to drive the ski into the snow; an NNN-BC allows the tip to rise up a little if mounted properly; a modern 3 pin has a release that allow free pivot at the toe (less bending of the boot and more rise of the tip).  A wider ski also handles less-than-powder snow better--breakable crust, mush, tracked; similarly, even on slight downhills the 3 pin allows more power transfer to the ski in tricky snows.  the NNN bindings and boots are very light and very nice that way.

 

If you want a lot of sustained kick and glide you should go for a double camber ski of the length matched to your weight.  A way to gauge this is to stand on the ski in a job with a piece of typing paper under the foot--with all the weight on that ski the paper should hold tight (the wax or pattern should grip in the snow), with the weight on the opposite ski the paper should be easily removed.  Overly stiff skis can be a nuisance.  If you are mostly exploring in fresh (vs groomed snow) I would suggest a ski with 1 ½ camber is nice; go with the length suggested by weight, even if it is a little shorter than what would be indicated by height.  The short ski will be more maneuverable especially in trees and on trails.  You won't be much affected in your kick and glide.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
 

cantunamunch - I'm about 1 hour northwest of Toronto.  Not as cold, or as much snow as in Barrie/Collingwood/Muskoka.

 

After looking at the specs of many skis, I'm drawn towards: Fischer S-Bound 88 (88/68/78), Madshus Epoch (99/68/84) and Madshus Eon (83/62/70).  I see myself using these primarily to break trail, in anywhere from 5-20cm of snow.  I would get up early the morning after a snowfall (or night of) and ski.  From time-to-time I would use when he snow is compacted, and there are some foot prints from hikers in the area.

 

I'm wondering how much width I need at the waist to float, and how long of a ski, again to float and be efficient.  I will not be making many turns down hills...as the hills I'm skiing on are very small and are paths in forests so they're only 5-7 feet wide.  It's trying to find the right combination of width, camber/stiffness and length.  

 

Questions:

- Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think given my lack of turning needed I don't need a lot of width at the tip, or big increase from waist to tip?

- I'm assuming the more width at the waist translates to float over soft snow, and kick?

- They show the length of the ski is determined by weight, but what about height (i.e., leverage)?  I'm 6'0 and 140 pounds without stuff on.  That would mean 169cm in the S-Bound 88, and 175cm in the Epoch and Eon.  Is that enough length?  Could I go longer to get more glide?  I haven't fully understood how these factors play-in (despite lots of reading).

 

Cheers!

I think any of the skis you mention will serve you well for what you want.  As for your questions:
TOO much differential b/w tip and waist can make a ski wander somewhat (it wants to turn).  The ones you mention will all track pretty well, with the Epoch perhaps more "wander-y".  
Generally, manufacturers see going wider as a function of moving towards a downhill-capable ski.  In the Fischer line, for example, the S-Bound 88 is really the widest flat-land ski; as the line moves  to the S-Bound 98, the ski is conceptualized as more of a downhill/turn-y ski.  This thinking also encompasses flex; the 88 has a nice strong 1.5 camber, and the 98 has a softer 1.3 camber (these numbers are approximate).  More camber for striding; less for turning. 

 

Your job is to find the right place on the spectrum.  For what you say you will do, I wouldn't go wider than 88 at the tip.  As for waist, notice all three of your skis are in the 60's.  I think this width bridges the gap nicely b/w float and speed.  

 

Relative to height/weight, base your purchase on weight more than height.  Too long will give you too stiff a ski and you won't be able to flex the pattern down onto the snow.  "Leverage" is not really a factor in skiing flatland; it really only starts to become important in turning, when you are adding more dynamic weight transfer to the equation.  

 

If I were you, I'd go S-Bound 88 in 169 or Eon in 175.  

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noonievut View Post
 

cantunamunch - I'm about 1 hour northwest of Toronto.  Not as cold, or as much snow as in Barrie/Collingwood/Muskoka.

 

OK - you could *probably* get away with a stiffer ski than I would use near Peterborough.    For context:  I am sick of showing up  there with Alpina Discoveries or Atomic Rainiers or Karhu Ursas and dropping right through the snow down to the dirt unless I ski in tire tracks or on snowmobile trails.    Pretty embarassing to leave dirt or grass tracks when there's 5cm+ of fresh on the ground.


Edited by cantunamunch - 9/28/14 at 2:09pm
post #15 of 22

Hi,

 

I've been following the thread and have picked up some good tips on skis to think about for myself too. Thanks!

 

I had a similar but slightly different question - any recommendations for skis that would work well in the Toronto area (when there's actually snow)? Ie don valley trails, Crothers woods, Gardner beltline trail, moor park ravine etc - more for distance and maybe some really short up and downhill through the trees? Would be with a SNS-BC or NNN-BC type setup.

 

I already own a pair of really narrow classic waxless skis, a pair of alpine touring skis and also a pair of Rossi BC 125s (impossible to find at the time) with dynafit bindings. I don't think any of these would fit the bill. The BC 125s could probably work, since they're waxless, but the setup is total overkill, they don't climb well without skins, are slow and way too heavy for what I'm thinking - going for a quick morning ski before work etc like Noonievut above. Maybe an occasional outing backcountry in central Ontario too. 

 

I've owned a pair of x-adv 89's but never took them out of the shrink wrap once I realized how much sidecut they had. Agree that they're more for turning probably. 

 

Unfortunately, unless I start going the online route and ordering/shipping from the US, I think I'm pretty much stuck with the local Toronto MEC selection. I don't see S-bound 88's for sale here. In the price range I'm looking at all I see is:

 

Madshus voss MGV+ 60-50-55 (partial metal edge)

Madshus EON 83-62-70

Rossi BC 59 59-49-55 (too narrow?)

Rossi BC 65 65-53-60mm

Ross BC 70 70-60-65mm

Salomon XaDV 69 69-56-63

 

Think any of those would be decent enough to not sink in some fresh ungroomed snow but also be able to climb without skins when it's more typically icy here? Would any of these work in Central Ontario for backcountry touring (again would be great to not have to lug around the BC125s and plastic boots). 

 

Cheers.

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
OntarioBCSkier - I've researched all the ones you've listed and I'm liking the BC 70's...I'm thinking their the happy medium between float, not too much side cut, camber and price.

However, when I'm out running on these same trails I'm planning to ski, I'm thinking that they're pretty narrow, and that maybe something like the Altai Hok (with the universal binding, for simplicity/cost) is also an option. They have great float, can climb, but they're slow. I'm just looking for a way of getting in some exercise before work (would be using a headlamp), or on weekends when I can squeeze out an hour. Otherwise, I have other xc skis for places like Albion when I have more time, and a desire for speed, etc. like you said, shipping from the US not a great option (FYI - the Hok's ship out of Quebec for $12 shipping). And of course MEC has free shipping to a store on anything they sell.

Keep us/me posted.
post #17 of 22

Since the Hok got mentioned there's also this thing...

 

http://marquette-backcountry.com/frequently-asked-questions

 

One nice feature...

 

Threaded inserts allow for no-drill mounting of common bindings: works with standard three pin bindings, NNN, SNS and Berwins (universal).

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Marquette+Backcountry+ski

 

I have no experience with it, but another (former?) Epic member does...

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/125420/gear-review-marquette-backcountry-skis

post #18 of 22

Hey, wait a minute.

 

Doesn't SportChek sell Fischer?      Have either of you two seen if they can get you, if not a pair of S-bounds, at least a pair of E109s?

 

Oh, hey, looks like MEC has the extralite version in too.  http://www.mec.ca/product/5038-388/fischer-e109-crown-xtralite-unisex/


Edited by cantunamunch - 10/22/14 at 10:07am
post #19 of 22

I'll drop by sportchek. I find their selection usually isn't as good as MEC though - caters more to resort skiiers. 

The E109's actually look quite nice...

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontarioBCskier View Post
 

The E109's actually look quite nice...

 

It's a fattened-up version of their old Europa 99, which has been in their lineup, with incremental changes, for aeons.    The nice thing about the E series is that it's available in conventional XC lengths, not just the pick-1-of-3-sizes mid-camber sidecut skis are.

post #21 of 22

So... I almost got the BC70's but reviews online were saying their climbing is really quite poor even for small hills. If they function anything like my BC 125s I'd probably agree with that since those can barely climb small mounds if the snow is hard unless I use skins. The base pattern seems similar.

 

I kept looking for E99s and E109s but just couldn't find anything with reasonable shipping to Canada. 

 

I ended up ordering the Madshus eon (83-62-70) from MEC. They're on backorder but they said I'll hopefully be able to pick them up in about a month or so, perfect timing :)

Hopefully these are a good compromise on float/glide.

 

Got 175cm: I weight 135lbs (so probably around 145-150 with gear?)

 

I'll let you know how they work once they arrive and get boots/bindings - and the snow falls :)

post #22 of 22


hello,

 

what is your experience with madshus epoch on flats? I am planning to use it on rolling hills but sometimes I may encounter some flats with deep snow. how hard will be to ski them on flats with hard snow? I am still debating if to get the epoch or eon.thank you

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