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Marker Bindings

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
There is a rather lengthy string (100+) on the gear forum in Powdermag.com that is essentially a group howling session on the evils of Marker bindings. I have skied them since 1998 M 9.2, and now Piston 1200 and have not noted any significant problem. Possibly an occasional pre-release but only in bumps when the ski tip may have been caught on a mogul face. In such a situation I would imgine that the load on the binding would increase very rapidly giving the erroneous impression of a prerelease.

I certainly know racers and instructors who use Marker exclusively without complaint. Any opinions on why Marker should be the subject of such a lengthy diatribe?
post #2 of 23
All my Markers, from the M series to my current 1400 Comps, have let go at the right time or held on at the right time, whether in races (DIN12) or on gnarly freeski runs (DIN 8)(I'm not a mogulist, however). I also find them to be very durable. I also have no problem with Salomon S900. It's my impression that a lot of extreme-type skiers want their bindings to never release. Maybe it's a matter of technique or snow under the boot--few people I've seen clear their boot soles of snow and debris before clicking in. My feeling on bindings is that in a hazardous situation I'd rather lose the ski than blow my knee.
post #3 of 23
I think that the issue that agro-skiers have with recreational Markers is that once they start to release, they release. Some other brands have more of a give to them and if the forces starting a release are marginal and then slack off, the binding will recenter the boot back. Look closely at how the marker toepiece wraps around the boot toe compared to the sollies.
post #4 of 23
There is a pretty length discussion around here about them as well. Also about Look/Rossi and other brands.

I have had nothing but trouble with Markers personally. Not saying that they are all bad, but the ones I've had could not keep the ski on my foot, no matter what the terrain, DIN set at 9-10. I find this unexcuseable. I've sence dumped Marker and switched to Rossis (Axial 120's, on all my skis) and have been very happy. Even with the prereleases (Markers), my biggest complaint, and that of two other ski buddies of mine, was the difficulty to get them back on in deep snow.

Bindings are totally personal preferance, pick what you like, ignore what others say, unless you ask their opinions. Everybody has an opinion on bindings.
post #5 of 23
I've had seven or eight sets of Markers and never had a problem. They released once in a while when the should have, otherwise they stayed on. If they are installed and adjusted properly they are just as reliable as any other binding on the market. That said, with bindings, like most products, you get what you pay for. The higher end products in the line have better shock characteristics than the lower priced models.

I have seen the heel piece fall off a Marker demo binding, but that was caused by faulty installation.
post #6 of 23
Historically, part of the problems with Markers was the force compensation in the toe. The toepiece is designed to lower the release force when the boot is jammed forward into the toe piece. The problem with that is if the ski gets overflexed (say in moguls) the toe release force drops, and the skier pre-releases.
post #7 of 23
A big problem Markers had in the past few years, was cracking toe pieces. I personally had a few toes replaced, as did quite a few of my friends. The problem was that one of the German designers, knew full well that they were faulty, but tried to hide the problem. He no longer works for Marker. The cracks in the toe pieces did not affect the bindings functions, they still worked, and tested fine.

As far as a prerelease problem goes, I had an interesting experience last month. I had loaned my Enemys to a female friend, who has the same boot sole length as I, but who skis at a much lower din. I got the skis back, and did not ski on them for a week or two. On my day off, I took them out and headed straight for the park. I did about half a dozen park and pipe runs, hitting small and medium jumps, probably spinning about a dozen 360s, and a few 180s. Than I ran into a buddy, and did a couple runs in just softening bumps. We than headed to a different exposure, and tried some very sloppy mush bumps. I clicked out in my second turn, and had no idea why. I looked at my Markers, and they were set at 5.5 instead of the 8 I usually ski. These Markers are an old pair of no lift 8.1s. Needless to say, I skied down to my office, and cranked them back up to where they belong.
post #8 of 23
it is quite possible that the ski tech may not have set the forward pressure correctly, or just ignored it during mounting. This can cause pre-release at times. I wonder what the problem is with toe pieces cracking. I ski hard with my M51 Turbo SC's for years. No cracky, no probrem, no runs-drips-or errors! Mabye some were a 5 o'clock, Friday set at the factory. on the other hand (and this is not an accusation)but some who are teenagers (you know... a bag of hormones with car keys)and others who think they still are teenagers, abuse their stuff. When it breaks they blame the stuff. Anywho... it can go both ways I'm sure.
post #9 of 23
Why does this remind me of the K2 thing?
You know, a few years back, certain K2 skis sometimes delaminated. This has now become a "I would never buy K2 because they always delam". If one or two people (or more) have a bad experience, and kick up a big enough fuss, then it can go from being an urban myth, to being considered truth.
I am not negating others' experiences. The first pair of Salomon bindings on my Axis X Pros were faulty. I had a couple of nasty tumbles because of them. Would it stop me from buying Salomon again? No. They replaced them, and the new ones work fine.

post #10 of 23
I just saw a copy of Powder magazine for the first time yesterday. Based on my perusal of that rag, I would not trust much of anything from there. Everything about it- the photos, letters, and especially the writing- seems to be written by and geared towards adolescent delinquents. It was the trashiest thing I have seen in print in a long while!
post #11 of 23
My experience with Marker is opposite to the current wisdom on the subject, but the pair I just retired is over 10 years old. The Marker bindings have always been bomb proof for me. The current pair did have one prerelease and I remember it well. The release occurred in the bumps at Mt. Bachelor. The ski came off and stuck in the snow ahead of me I landed on the ski, hitting it with the back of my right thigh. I thought I would be impaled but instead the ski ripped through my pant, bruising me from the knee to the middle of my lower back. That was the only prerelease.

My current Solomon 9000S’s on the other hand are a disaster. They prerelease on every run through the moguls, hard snow, virtually anything. I am just about to call Solomon, since two local shops cannot find anything wrong with the binding and they have been adjusted and readjusted many times. I have also adjusted the DIN from 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 to 12 in an attempt to cure the problem, all to no avail. I would suspect that the problem was technique, except the Markers I skied all last season and during the early part of this season never prereleased!!! I took some really hard falls because of this release problem.
post #12 of 23
Originally posted by dp:
I just saw a copy of Powder magazine for the first time yesterday. Based on my perusal of that rag, I would not trust much of anything from there.
Perhaps you need to stick vith your "Slow Country" und "Ski" magazines. Zese two publications serve ze needs of gapers such as yourself.
post #13 of 23
Originally posted by retinadoc:
Possibly an occasional pre-release but only... In such a situation I would imgine that the load on the binding would increase very rapidly giving the erroneous impression of a prerelease.
Ha. You point out the problem so clearly. Why rationalize poor performance instead of simply recognizing it? Pre-release is pre-release

Some people have experienced that 'occasional' pre-release under unacceptable circumstances, myself included. I skied Marker, then there was a year when they were simply not dependable any longer. For me, to ski on them is to risk injury unless I ski conservatively, which I am incapable of doing.

Actually, Marker knew it's new (awhile ago)bindings were prone to breakage and pre-release. They even submitted the problem(s) to students in the engineering dept. at Dartmouth to solicit fixes, yet they 'released' the bindings anyway.

[ May 22, 2002, 06:10 PM: Message edited by: Roto ]
post #14 of 23
My turn to wade into the fro...

I have been skiing exclusively on Markers since 1979. Since then I have skied over 4000 days on them, free skiing, bump comps, pro racing, coaching, and teaching. And as any who knows me can attest, I am not easy on my equipment. I demand that it perform at it's best at all times. And with extremely few exceptions, I have had no problems with them.

Occasionally, I skied Looks, I skied Salomon, I skied Tyrolia. I even tried a few with are no longer in existence. None of them performed as well as Markers.

As a technician, I find that most skiers who complain about their bindings fall into 2 categories.

1)- Those who do not know enough about their equipment to adjust and maintain it properly.

2)- Those that select inappropriate bindings for the type of use they are subjected to.

For those in category 1-.

I pre-flight my airplane thoroughly every time I fly it, even if I flew just an hour earlier!

How often do you check the settings on your bindings? Or the wear of the boot, affecting the interface with the binding?

Personally, I check my binding about every 3-4 times I use them. And it's not uncommon for me to find one that has shifted a bit due to the strain I place on them. Vibration, flexing hundreds(if not thousands) of times a day, etc. These can all cause a binding to get out of adjustment.

For those in category 2-.

At many of the ski sales that I work every fall, one of the strangest groups of buyers is the one which will spend good money on good skis and boots, then go to the binding booths and ask for the best binding under $50.
We laugh under our breath, for these people state they are advanced/ experts, are 200+ #, and stand better than 6'. And they want to buy a binding, mostly plastic, made for a 100# intermediate who might ski 5 times a season. It's a joke!
Your bindings are the only piece of safety equipment you take on the hill with you, except maybe a helmet. But so often buyers tend to scrimp on this most important item!

Somebody earlier in this thread said, "Go with what works for you" (paraphrasing).

I do agree with that. Regardless of what binding you choose, make sure it's a decision your psyche can live with. If you don't have confidence in your equipment, you will always hold back a little, causing your enjoyment to suffer!

Now, as always, I will come clean-. I do work for Marker. I have been offered good money to ski for brands other than I am currently on, but my peace of mind and my physical health keep me on the straight and narrow. Their money isn't that much better, and to date, I can honestly say that I have never been injured due to a binding malfunction. It's always been pilot error!

post #15 of 23
Fox Hat- intelligently said.

Vailsnopro- I have seen the same thing, but in the tech shop. I come to work and find skis to mount. I grab one pair along with the boots and bindings. I might find the following:

high end skis & boots, marker M3.1 bindings or Salomon Quad 500's and the guy has marked down III ski!!!!

or better yet, Rossi 10.6, rear entry boots, Marker M3.1 or .2's, or the above Salomons, and he's a III skier!!!!

Some of this is due to our cashiers. i tell them what I, II, & III ski means. They tell me that so & so says beginner, entry, advanced. I happen to know So & so in our store. One is a mgr. who snow boards, doesn't ski. The other has been on skis twice in his life; both good looking guys. The girls at cash believe them instead of short, fat, ugly me! bwahahaha! I guess that's life.

But then I call the customer to find if they were told this erroneous info. If they have, I explain the correct procedure. They authorize me to change III ski to II ski. Other times they say, "Well, I'm pretty aggressive." So I say, "Very well. You have the final decision on this. I was just checking."

But then one must wonder, how aggressive is one actually, who has chosen intermediate skis, at best, with rear entry boots, and low end bindings? Have you or anyone here found an answer to this? I guess all I can do is do my job and let it go at that. Huh?

Arnold- Ease up on people, here. It is quite easy for someone with decent education to read something and know exactly what demographics of readers the magazine or article is aimed at!

It has been said, (not my words) that Rolling Stone is written about people who can't think, by people who can't write, for people who can't read!

Time- Written for people who can't think.
People- Written for people who can't read.

In all examples there are those who will say hooray! And there are those who would be offended and want to sue! One man's ceiling is another man's floor as we old hippies used to say.

Wanna sue me? See ya in court!
But then all the above magazines have heard all this before. They merely chuckle and keep taking their yearly profit margin all the to the bank.

And so it goes. So now, Arnold, git out there and kick some butt and take names! You're a good guy, set the snow on fire... what's left of it.
post #16 of 23
Um, wait a sec here, what is wrong with the M3.1??? I am on the M3.1!

It was one of the very few bindings available without a lifter plate, which I didn't want. The only other choice was the Salomon.

I figured the M3.1 would be okay because even though I am a III, I am lightweight and willing to be set for level II (the tech insisted).

There's nothing wrong with them or anything, is there? I know they're not fancy, but they should do the job safely.
post #17 of 23
There may be a lot of guys in the other forum that have pre-release problems but it is hardly fair to blame Marker for that.
post #18 of 23
Marker are the only binding I've regularly pre released from. I used to ski on a fairly low DIN, and found low-end Salomons reliable, but ordinary Markers would often pre release. It got to the point where, if I was to be skiing moguls with any sort of aggression, I would have to turn them up a full DIN point before-hand.

Yet I could get 2nd hand Salomon Quadrax rental bindings, and they never did it. Although the stupid anti-friction plates dropped out.
post #19 of 23
Thank you, jyarddog.

Actually, Arnold, I never heard of Snow Country. (Vat is it-a real estate magazine for der rich und bored??) I somehow prefer to think of skiing as a sport done on snow and on real mountains, rather than on railings, over parked cars, and in those silly "terrain parks", and prefer the accompaniment of the sound of the wind to the raucous noise of strategically placed loudspeakers blaring a poor excuse for music. Most ski magazines on the market have some nice pictures, occasional good articles, but overall leave alot to be desired. Why can't good writing and journalism be part of skiing? The world has yet to be totally taken over by urban trash culture, I hope.
post #20 of 23
Whosthatgirl- Nothing is wrong with the M3.1's. But considered this information-

There is much more to a binding than just the DIN setting or DIN setting range. The springs and cams in the bindings regulate how well the binding will pull your boot back from a partial release to a dead center position. How well means how quicly and how precisely the binding does this. There is always some form of partial release. This does NOT mean pre-release. A harder, faster turn causes more edge pressure which causes a momentary partial release. This is where the boot travels off center to some degree. You cannot see it even iff you were looking for it most of the time. It happens very quickly.

The higher end bindings pull the boot back to dead center more precisely and more quickly than a lower end binding does. I have read this, studied this, been told this by an Olympic skier, and by other ski techs who have been mounting bindings longer than I have.

The M3.1 is 2 steps higher than the Marker Junior models. This is not a very high end binding, but then nothing is wrong with that. If it works for you and you are not having any problems with it, wonderful!

With your lesser weight (envy here!) as a III skier you can afford to set your bindings at II and get away with it and perhaps be safer in doing so. Kudos to ya! Now... tell me a good diet to get on! I've lost 20# and have another 30 or so to go! Pleae don't tell me to lay off the french fries..... ok... I'll lay off the french fries.... rats!!! :
post #21 of 23
dp- Agreed. Gawd I love rock music, but some genres are nothing more than 20 minutes of guitar lead which sounds like pulling a cat's tail!
And rap? Ha! Merely Dr. Seuss put to a beat! Try it! .... Start up a rap beat (always the same with minor variations here and there) and chant this:

I DO not like green eggs and ham, I DO not like them, Sam I am! or somehting like that!
Yes I've played music for decades, all kinds. I play bass. I've done studio work, read music, barely, Played many circuits, played on the road, love all kinds of music, even country, celtic, fusion, hard rock, some jazz. Rap I don't care for, but some do so that's fine, but don't crank it so load in your car it forces me to listen to it as well. Boy, I guess I'm really wrong here!
post #22 of 23
Jyarddog - thanks for the info!

Here is one secret - Wampler Turkey Burgers. All white meat, 97% fat free. Get them in warehouse size quantities at Costco. Amazingly filling and lo cal. Learn to love them, and you'll be back on the losing track.
post #23 of 23
Whosthat... thanx! We go to Costco muchly and can never get out of there for less than $185 most of the time. I'll get those turkey burgers.

In the meantime just thumb your nose at guys who knock M3.1's (even me!!!)and keep having fun!
[Hey if they work for ya, who the hell cares... right?!]
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