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Integrated ski systems

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
well...it looks like alot of companies are gonna go with integrated ski/binding systems...Pilot system is being carried down to the Verse line i hear (with the X-scream series and race skis being normal skis).

According to this forum, Volkl's doing it with their G31 and a marker binding for the "Motion" system.

Atomic rep said that a few of their skis are going to be integrated too.

Rossi...rumor has it that something's in the works too.

Isn't the integrated systems the same concept as having a regular ski with something like the marker MRR of a few years back? Having the free heel i think eliminates the dead spot on the ski and allows it to flex naturally...which is what i think the companies are trying to accomplish...

what's everyone else's take on this?

post #2 of 18
This is an idea who's time has come.
A Ski binding that has as little impact on the ski as possible was long ago tried with bindings that had all the mountings well under the boot or much shorter mounting patterns.
They all failed because I think they looked too strange or different. Finally the manufacturers are rethinking this.
Let's see,
Moog, Spademan and Burt come to mind.
post #3 of 18
speaking of integrated systems, where can i buy energyrails for other pairs of skis? my new f1's are the damndest ski. absolutely unreal for racing, but contrary to magazines, they really dont kill you if you fall back a little. in fact, they're pretty darn forgiving (IMHO). o well.... i'd love to stick a rail on my powertracs... good lord that'd be sweeeeeeeettttt!

It's not bragging if it's true - Mohammed Ali

If life was easy everyone would be successful.
post #4 of 18
to the original topic:

MRR doesnt do it; yes it's turnstable but no it doesnt give you much better flex; i was talking to a marker rep a while baack and he said something about the heel and toe not coinciding, but i forget the details. imo, rossi bindings DO give you a significant amount more flex than do markers, and yes, the energyrail works. i have yet to demo the pilot system but o well

It's not bragging if it's true - Mohammed Ali

If life was easy everyone would be successful.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think the success of Salomon (somewhat) over Moog or Spademan results due to design. Like you said "they all failed because I think they looked too strange or different." But look at the Pilot. You have a normal, streamlined/aerodynamic binding on the lifter/rail type system. When I saw it...it looked pretty nifty. Design also acts as a placebo. Just like in a car...a car with similar performance, but one being euro, the other being Ford. Most likely, people will think that the Euro car performs better. So....i think you have a great point there Dchan.

If the shop near you or if you're in a race school has an account with Volkl, they can most likely special order the energy rail for you. Only problem is, finding a shop that has the jig for an energy rail The shop i work at doesn't have one.

Well, i guess if you were talking to a marker rep, that makes sense. I heard from a Salomon rep that the pilot system was trying to imitate what the MRR was able to do...free flex...lol....but i'd say a Marker rep's more reliable in that sense

I get my P40 energY rail tommorrow...i'm excitied. Might have gotten it too long at 188cm...183 just seemed too short, but now that I think about it...i might be in for one helluva ride.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Atomic has ALOT of skis going integrated this season. It looks like one of the sports shops around this area isn't too happy beacuse they refuse to carry Atomic bindings.

I think everything down to the 8.XX is having an integrated system going on.

post #7 of 18
Glytch -

I was in a local ski shop and they had their SFs on sale a month ago dirt cheap. I asked why and the sales person said the SF and the Powertrac were going to be redesigned next year to incorporate the gliding lifting plate currently available on the AutoDrive skis. I haven't seen any other news on this, but it would make for some interesting skis.
post #8 of 18
Tip of the iceberg!

You want integrated?! The prototypes in ski labs for decades now have included integrated skis/bindings with magnetic retention on a boot that fits into the gap on the ski . . . and much more. They have just been waiting for electronics to shrink . . . and what do electronics ALWAYS do? Shrink. Just wait and watch - in only another decade, even the advent of shaped skis and snowboards will seem "old-school". Moores law seems to be affecting snowsports too!

"Quod me nutrit me destruit" - What nourishes me also destroys me.
post #9 of 18
You're missing the point here guys, integrated ski/bindings don't do anything new that hasn't been available for the last twenty years. It is a big deal for marketing and product bundling.

Ninety percent of ski buyers don't know or care about bindings. Having demoed half a dozen skis and going for the latest and greatest, bindings are just an afterthought 'just throw on whatever is on special, they're all the same', or they are putting their old bindings on new skis. Manufacturers are getting annoyed at this so in an effort to force consumers to put their new bindings on their skis manufacturers are making systems which will only accept a certain brand of bindings. Atomic lead the field because their skis sold well but their bindings didn't; simple solution - if people want our skis they have to buy our bindings. However through marketing they managed to make people think that this was better for their skiing so naturally the other manfacturers had to follow suit.

Due to peoples voluntary ignorance and slick marketing, consumers are having the ability to choose the best ski/binding setup for them, taken away.
post #10 of 18
We're *not* missing the point. Bindings and skis do a LOT that wasn't available twenty years ago. The skis are faster, more stable and more manuverable. The bindings release with less friction, more accurately in more directions.

Most ski buyers may well not know or care about bindings, but they benefit from the new technology regardless.

The BEST ski/binding setup for consumers is always also the most expensive, but every year that technology filters down another price-point layer - and they consumers benefit.

"Quod me nutrit me destruit" - What nourishes me also destroys me.
post #11 of 18
hmm piston? i've never been a fan of marker bindings, i have them on my rock skis and my powertracs (because i got demos that were really cheap), and they feel wierd. spongey-like. rossi's serve me really well; i'm running a rossi race pro on energyrails in a 183 and i love 'em. i was gonna go 188 but my coahc chastised me for even thinking about it... o well. imma go look at the reliable racing site to see what's up with the 'rails. thanks guys!

It's not bragging if it's true - Mohammed Ali

There are two reasons for everything, the good reason and the real reason
-J. Pierpont Morgan

If life was easy everyone would be successful.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good point there. Sorta like the motion system by Volkl for next season. G31's still staying, but energy rail and a new redesigned marker binding's gonna be on it i'm assuming....using a piston to control the camber of the ski. So...2 new technologies...the energy rail has been tried and tested. And a new binding...so...it's gonna be expensive.

Think about computer pricing year to year and compare it to skis....technology's improving...but highend is still very expensive

post #13 of 18
I wasn't talking about the technological or release/retention properties of a binding, but rather the issue of forcing consumers to put a particular brand of binding on a particular brand of ski. My *point* was what benefit does an integrated ski/binding offer over any current free-flexing binding design, and why are we losing the choice of which brand of binding we put on our skis.

The Volkl energy rail and Dynastar autodrive still let you decide which brand of bindings you put on your skis whereas the Salomon pilot and Atomic variozone systems force you to put Salomon and Atomic bindings on the skis. I like Look bindings and the Atomic 10.20 skis, why shouldn't I be able to get that combination? Marker's share of the US market seems to be dropping due to their growing reputation for pre-release, the solution is apparantly not to redesign the bindings but rather to force people to buy Marker bindings if they want Volkl skis.

The Look turntable bindings, released decades ago, let the ski flex more freely than a lot of the highly technical systems of today. So the only real improvement seems to be the advertising department's ability to suck you in.

The idea of magnetic binding systems sounds cool though, I can't wait to pick them up in my cold fusion powered hovercar.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by kiwiski (edited January 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Didn't know that Marker was losing market share....they're REALLY popular in southern CA. And next years Markers are being totally redesigned...we'll see how they do next season =)

Well, I see your point now...i guess i understood you wrong the first time around. And yeah, I agree with you about not being able to select the binding you chose etc. I think that's why the shop i work at wasn't able to sell the Pilots...Unfortunately with the advent of integrated systems in the 21st century, it's gonna be hard for the consumer to buy skis...being stuck with a pair of skis they want but not the bindings etc. I think that's why Salomon isn't putting the pilot system on the whole lineup. X-scream series is going to probably remain completely untouched, as will be the Xscream9 and such...Equipe 2V and 3V will probably remain untouched too.

The benefit, say the pilot, has is the "free flexing" design. 2 pins through the sidewall of the ski. No dead spot under the binding. I'm sure they have a patent on the design to prevent other companies from being able to capitalize on Salomon's development. BUT, the design is novel, and conceptually looks to be a great one.

Even now, there isn't a true "free-flexing" binding design. The Look/Rossi/Marker turntable design might accomplish that to an extent, but when you mount screws that close to each other on the topsheet, it's gonna deaden the flex of the ski in that area. The 2 pin construction of the salomon seems to be the first design that conceptually eliminates that problem of a dead spot.

I think for some companies, it's a marketing ploy...for others, it's a genuine attempt at making a ski better. But that's just me.

post #15 of 18
I think an interesting parallel to this situation was the fad of snowboard step-in systems of a few years ago. Everyone hailed the convenience and novelty of these systems, but the goal was not to create a new standard but to get more $ out of consumers pockets. The systems were all proprietory and linked certain binding/boot makers. If you wanted clickers you had to buy K2 or Shimano boots. The lack of options within each system for no real performance benefit has seen most users go back to strap in bindings. While systems integration is gradually increasing in most areas, propreitory systems always fail to open systems.

If they really want to change the ski/binding/boot interface it will have to be lead by a new DIN standard so the system is open to all manufacturers and consumers can decide for themselves which components they want.
post #16 of 18
To Melloboy and dchan. The real reason Spademan lost out was that companies like Solomon which had flat bottom boots misteriously (Ha Ha) started cutting out the bottoms of their boots so they could sell more of there boots and but spademan out of business. Spademan, which owned most the rental business in the late 70's because they were safer (release equally in all directions) and easier (one adjustment)would still be in business today if boots were flat. In fact I'm still skiing on my Spademan s9's today, even though I had to modify my Solomon Boots for my base plates. Most people have never seen this model, it is made of Composite(plastic) and Brass and are a stepin design with brakes unlike earlier Spademans. Anybody know where I can get another pair? Let me know. Where is Dr. Spademan Now? scholtes@frontiernet.net<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SPADEMAN (edited March 24, 2001).]</FONT>
post #17 of 18
I was at a ski shop and they allready had Atomics 2002 with intergrated bindings, i looked at Atomic 9.18 also a few others cant remember what, with bindings that go on two rails. Also saw the Volkl i think it was the P50??? not sure but it was similar to Atomic with two rails. One nice things is no more drilling ski's for bindings and easyer to resell since it takes two seconds to change binding position. Plus now you freinds can try your ski's out since its easy to move bindings. Those are the things i like about it, but on the negative side is choice of bindings, as an example the Atomic 9.18 binding din goes only to 10, now for that type of ski its probably enough but its still nice to be able to pick for yourself. I hope at least they will have differnt levels of bindings to choose from for these intergrated bindings. So if you want to put bindings that have a din upo to 14 you can.
Plus now its easyer than ever to buy online. Not good for the shops but half the shops i go to are total ripoffs.
post #18 of 18
I tried Spademans in the 70's. I'll never forget the feeling of the straight forward pre release-- you go straight forward right off the end of your skis, straight down the hill.

Part of Spademans down fall was that the bindings broke apart far too often.
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