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Questions before buying new skis [groomers in Midwest, binding compatibility when buying used?]

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey all, first off this is my first post although I have been browsing for a while but I apologize if there is an answer for my question somewhere and I have missed it. I have read many posts about what to look for when buying used skis that have to do with condition and whether the bindings are indemnified or not but as always any bits of information you can give me would be appreciated. The question I have at the moment would be when buying used skis with mounted binding what do I need to know to ensure that the bindings will fit my boots without having to remount the bindings? Is there a specific measurement I need to ask the seller for other than just asking what size boot the binding was originally mounted for? For example if my boot is a mondo size 28.0 do I need to find a ski that has mounted bindings for a size 28 boot? Or will one that has been sized for a size 29 or 27 work without having to re-drill holes to remount? All this being said, would it be a better choice to buy the skis and binding separate or at least not mounted and have a shop mount them? Thanks in advance for your responses. Also I would be looking for a decent upgrade from rental skis without breaking the bank so a decent pair of used skis would be great for me. If anyone has a recommendation for a model/brand to consider or even to avoid that info would be great too. 

 

A little info about myself that may be useful:

             Height: 6'3"

             Weight: 175lbs

             Ability: I have been skiing for the past 5 years or so, several times each winter and have been progressing quickly, that being said I would consider myself a beginner to lower                                        intermediate skier

             Location: I am located in the Midwest, middle of Indiana actually so skiing is not that available here. I usually go up to Michigan in the winters and hope to make it out west possibly                                 next season. That being said we don't have readily available access to the local ski shops so the internet is where most of my info comes from since I can't go ask the guy at                             the local shop down the street. All of my skiing is done on groomers. 

post #2 of 7

1) The real measurement that the binding needs to know  is the BSL (Boot sole length).  

 

2) Although typically the BSL of boots of the same mondo size will be relatively close and in the same ballpark,as it relates to the size of the foot; but not guarenteed.  

 

As an example, for manufacturer1 mondo 25.5 and 26 may be the same shell and actually have the same BSL.

 

But a different manufacturer2 will have have 25.5 and 25 be the same shell and that pair will have the same BSL;  but will be different BSL than manufacturer1.  

 

 

3) If the BSLs are close there are adjustments in binding to account for it.  I think in general you probably get away with a maximum +1/-1 mondo in adjustability before having to remount.

 

 

4) You may find used demo skis with "demo" adjustable bindings or system bindings that can adjust to (almost) all boots. 

 

5) Having to remount bindings may eat into any of the savings you thought you had.  Also going to a shop for mounting only without buying anything from them may be a higher fee that also eats into your savings.

 

 

If you don't want to spend a lot; I'd suggest going with (4) used demo skis with demo bindings/system binding


Edited by raytseng - 10/9/14 at 12:16pm
post #3 of 7

Like raysteng said. To be more accurate you can find out the bindings and look up the adjustment range--a lot of bindings have a range of about 2.5cm, although bindings like look pivots are less as I recall. Assuming the bindings were mounted in the center of their range you can figure you can go up or down half the range in BSL--a little less to be on the safe side.  However, you don't know if the bindings were mounted in the middle of the range, so the BSL difference the bindings fit might be less or more--anywhere from 0 to the full range. If your boots are more than about 25 mm longer or shorter than the fitted boots you know they won't fit; less difference than that and you won't know for sure until you try them. Learn how to adjust the forward pressure for whatever bindings the skis you're interested in have so you can check when you buy. Info is available on the web, although finding shop manuals on the web can take some searching. It's not rocket science. With all the bindings I've used you either turn a screw on the back of the heel piece or depress a tab and manually slide the heel piece. The trick is in knowing how to read the forward pressure indicator.You can and should still take the skis and bindings to a shop to have them professionally adjusted and tested, but at least you'll know that they can be adjusted without a remount.

 

Re demo bindings--you have the advantage of knowing they'll fit. However, don't assume that adjusting them to your boot sole length using the BSL markings on the binding is accurate. You or the shop will still have to check the forward pressure indicator; a demo binding can be off a notch or two.

System bindings--bindings that attach to rails that are part of the ski--are common on narrower skis, and these also have a very wide range of adjustment. These kinds of bindings don't require drilling holes in the skis.

post #4 of 7

I also recommend considering skis with system bindings. You can find skis for a wide range of abilities that come with bindings. Finding boots without at least first trying them on presents another challenge as well.

 

You might also consider a fall clearance sale or ski swap. I found the following events in your general area

 

post #5 of 7

Avoid *old* system bindings.   Atomic Centro and Xentrix, for example, are very much obsolete, dangerous really,  but still being sold in swaps.    Marker Fusion on Elans is a no-go ; even some of the Tyrolia Fusion on Elans are likely to be a bad deal if a heelpiece fails for example, you won't find a part.    Even Nordica/Marker's XBS systems are starting to show their age.    Blizzard's IQ system - who knows.

Now, there is a type of binding called a "rail" binding.   It is not strictly speaking a 'system' binding because you can take the rails *off* and still have a usable ski that can take an up-to-date binding.      I suspect this is the type of binding the posters above had in mind, and they are quite convenient.    Tyrolia Railflex is a common one of these, perfectly sound.     Atomic Neox is similarly adjustable, and quite robust though maybe a bit heavier than the Tyrolias.

 

Again "system binding" means only that binding can go on that ski.   Avoid old ones of these.  "Rail binding"  means no-drill adjustment, but you can remove the rail without damaging the ski.    Those are convenient to have.  But not too old, eh?   Marker Speedpoint, frex, is removable and adjustable but out of date and a downright nuisance technically.

As I said, a lot of the ones you really don't want are still being sold at swaps.   Sometimes it's because the folks that run these things don't know what they're looking at, sometimes it's because they have wacky ideas of laissez faire, sometimes they just don't care.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post
 

Avoid *old* system bindings.   Atomic Centro and Xentrix, for example, are very much obsolete, dangerous really,  but still being sold in swaps.    Marker Fusion on Elans is a no-go ; even some of the Tyrolia Fusion on Elans are likely to be a bad deal if a heelpiece fails for example, you won't find a part.    Even Nordica/Marker's XBS systems are starting to show their age.    Blizzard's IQ system - who knows.

Now, there is a type of binding called a "rail" binding.   It is not strictly speaking a 'system' binding because you can take the rails *off* and still have a usable ski that can take an up-to-date binding.      I suspect this is the type of binding the posters above had in mind, and they are quite convenient.    Tyrolia Railflex is a common one of these, perfectly sound.     Atomic Neox is similarly adjustable, and quite robust though maybe a bit heavier than the Tyrolias.

 

Again "system binding" means only that binding can go on that ski.   Avoid old ones of these.  "Rail binding"  means no-drill adjustment, but you can remove the rail without damaging the ski.    Those are convenient to have.  But not too old, eh?   Marker Speedpoint, frex, is removable and adjustable but out of date and a downright nuisance technically.

As I said, a lot of the ones you really don't want are still being sold at swaps.   Sometimes it's because the folks that run these things don't know what they're looking at, sometimes it's because they have wacky ideas of laissez faire, sometimes they just don't care.

 

That being said, I think the OP should avoid "old" anything 

 

I don't think the OP will be getting much of anything going more than 2-3years old.  Pretty much all the depreciation has kicked in by that point, so he won't be saving by buying older skis than that.

post #7 of 7

I hope you're right.      I saw people paying $50+  for late-90s Rossi Cuts with .2 era Markers just last weekend.    Ooof.

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