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Oh No! Selective Control!?!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've always been a bit of a purist with my ski gear. As much of a techno-geek as I am with other things, I like my ski gear to be as simple as possible. I've always shunned those radical new designs that are marketed as the "next big thing" only to die out a year later because they either didn't work or no one bought them. Examples:

K2's pietzoelectric crystal
Dynastar's heart-shaped weight dampner
Dynastar's "hole through the ski tip" airfoil dampner
Salomon's rod-link thingy
Rear entry boots
Angle-adjust poles
Integrated bindings

I'm not saying these things don't or didn't work, I'm just saying that I avoided this stuff.
I bought skis this weekend and got a standard pair of Marker 8.2's mounted on them. I just checked to make sure the DIN was the right range and that was it. I was looking at the reciept today and was shocked to see that they are actually Marker 8.2 SC's. I'm assuming the "SC" means the bindings have Markers Selective Control system that lets you pick from three different stiffness settings. Ack! I don't want that crap on my skis!!!

Before I call the shop and ask them to mount a different pair, does anyone have any info on whether or not this system actually makes a noticeable difference on the ski? I did a bit of research and see that Marker has been touting this system for more than a few years so maybe it's got some value?<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by KevinH (edited September 17, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 17
SC has been around for at least five years. Yes it does work. I've got M91s on my 200 Snow rangers and can tell quite a difference between 3(stiff) and 1 or 2, but not a lot bet. 1 & 2. I also have an older version, M41, on my 208 GS Races. Whether it is the ski or the binding, I notice less of a difference.
post #3 of 17
I have have been using Markers for about the last 10 years, and have had a few pairs of SCs. I had them on K2 Fours, Rossi Peeks, and Volkl P30 RCs too name a few. I have never been able to feel any difference between the settings. I have skied with one ski on 1, and another on 3. I have checked to make sure they were mounted correctly, as this is a commen screw up. They were OK. Maybe my feet are too small; 25.5 Except, I know people with smaller and larger sizes who could feel it. Of course, most people even those who claim to feel the settings, very rarely change it. Who cares? It is a pretty solid binding, with a reasonable amount of lift.
post #4 of 17
I have a set of 8.1SC's

I typically just use the firmest and softest settings, only flicking over to the firmest setting when the snow is pretty hard. (eastern snow)

Still, when it DOES get like that it's nice to have it.
post #5 of 17
Phil--I can't believe a confirmed Volant nut like you worries about a few extra ounces on his skis. How can you tell on those Battleships??? LOL
post #6 of 17
Anybody else here ever have some DP Chameleons? You could selectively adjust the flex in the tip, center and tail - and not just within three positions but within a quite large range. Great idea, and it did work - however they really never did catch on and were expensive to manufacture and thus sell. I wish I still had a pair just for nostalgia's sake. I think that somebody needs to do the idea in a shaped ski with electronically controlled flex changing built in - so that you can change them on the fly . . . bet it happens someday.

My problem with the SC's is that they only adjust the flex underneath the foot - and on the stiffest setting, when on hard snow I could feel an almost 'hinge-like' flexing at the mounting points in the front and rear of the binding.
post #7 of 17
From what I've heard the Marker devices work if the ski isn't itself already very stiff.
I have two fairly soft flexing pairs of skis
that have the Tyrolia version called Power Select. I change the setting to Soft when skiing moguls.

I feel that there is a noticeable difference. I also have stiffer skis with and without plates. On these I have just mounted conventional bindings.

Given the location of the bindings at the ski's center the only noticable difference binding weight makes that I'm aware of is carrying the skis to the parking lot.

I suppose if you spend all day in the pipe or terrain park weight might make a little difference. Heavier bindings may also marginally improve the dampness of a ski. Not enough to matter in any case IMHO.
post #8 of 17
I got a pair of the marker MRR sc's on a pair of Volkl P40 energyrail skis. Uhm....the ski itself is very stiff, but the SC is very noticeable. I usually slap them on the stiffest setting and leave that way. Once you're at that setting for a while and switch back to setting #1, there's a huge difference. Turn initiation is so much easier, and you can actually get down the bumps quite easily, even on these GS skis, if you get used to the stiffest setting and switch down to the softest.

Also, SC is slightly safer because it has a lower profile than the EC...the EC is a few mm higher, so the mountain has that much more leverage against you in a fall...so the SC, theoretically, would be a safer binding than the EC.

post #9 of 17
So, the number 1 setting is for powder and is supposedly soft, number 3 is for hard pack and is stiffer? Am I correct?

BTW – I can’t tell any difference - still have plenty of technique issues to work on before I can start critiquing gear….


post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Fortunately for me, the shop hasn't mounted the bindings yet. Instead of the SC, I'm getting the EC 14 (which I understand is simply a 14mm lifter plate). I am also getting a bit of money back as they're cheaper. Thanks for the advice, all.
post #11 of 17

Don't be "selective" about your criticized gimmicks. One would have to throw fat skis, shaped skis, lifter, hard boots and shorter skis in the mix as well. I don't care if people like the SC plate. However, it did begin back in '91. I suppose that would make it a decade old gimmick. Shaped skis have had a shorter life than that, so I suppose they are just another passing fad. The Sollie Prolink...93' or 94' and still on the X-Scream? Oh, another non-pure skiing marketing trick. The K2 Piezo had a shelf life of about 6 years, and on many a K2 Four and Merlin. (I'll admit to my own skepticism there) If I remember correctly, a purist would ski on 215+ wood planks with cable bindings and leather boots. All of the enhancements since then are just "fads".
Just find something that rides well, plunk down the cash and smile on your next run down the mountain.
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
You're right, Bandit, and I didn't mean to say that all those things I've avoided were gimicks. I should have instead said that I tend towards the simpler side of ski gear: the fewer parts the better. It's not the weight of the SC system that I didn't like, it's the fact that it adds a lot more parts to an already complex piece of equipment but doesn't (from what I understand) add a lot of value.
post #13 of 17
WARNING WARNING get rid of those bindings.Check out Ski Review.com for my take on that piece of shit binding.
post #14 of 17
I've noticed a difference in the settings. I had them on a pair of fours, which are pretty soft. But, my last binding purchase was a regular pair of Markers....didn't feel like the SC was worth much and didn't need the extra weight.
post #15 of 17
I've had a set of SC's that are now on thier 5th set of skis. Basicly, the softer the ski, the more noticable the effect. Had them on a set of softish skis that would skid out on icy windcrust when on setting 1 or 2, but gripped like ice skates on 3. With the SCs on 3, I was the only one willing to go back onto that run in the group.
Had them on some super-stiff skis and could no longer get nearly as much of an effect.
post #16 of 17
Have posted on this before, but-I had mrr sc's on a pair of dynastar G9's, 206's. Like others have mentioned, I could tell the difference between 1&3 but not 1&2 or 2&3. If I tried to ski bumps on 3 rather than 1 I could tell a big difference. My current skis have non-sc markers, I thought I might miss the sc, but I don't.
post #17 of 17
Top Kevin H,

On a stiff ski the SC has minimal value. The softer the flex the more noticible the effect. There are two ways in which I approach the stiffness settings.

1. Choose #1 for soft snow or #3 for hard pack. If I am not sure then, by default the setting is # 2.

2. Leave the setting on # 2 until you encounter conditions that require a change. The # 2 setting is suppose to be the setting as if you didn't have Selective control as an option.

As for the weight issue, all the Makers of 2001 and earlier are heavy. Rentals heavier still. Volant is already hevy so it's not that big an issue if it is, then Vlant could be the wrong ski.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by wink (edited September 23, 2001).]</FONT>
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Oh No! Selective Control!?!