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Another Metron B5 Review

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
ok. i skied it. i had to, given all the talk on this site. i think everyone knows i have a penchant for skis with little sidecut that haul down the fall line. i will premise my comments with that. i only skied three runs collectively on two lengths, but i didn't need more time to understand the ski. the runs were at loveland on variable snow surfaces from groomed to bumps to crud on blue and black terrain.

162cm:

this ski turns. alot. keep it turning and it's fun. interestingly, i found this length to be superior to the 172 overall, but it was just plain squirrely when it came to putting down the hammer in variable terrain. i can see how anyone who skis this would claim that it carves nonstop. i agree. as a result of the squirrely feeling, i wanted to ski the 172cm for comparison. this squirreliness should not be taken as a lack of stability in the ski, simply my personal feeling that 162cm is just not enough ski underfoot to not be afraid to run it into crud and chop at speed on a black trail that hasn't been groomed for a couple of days and has small to medium bumps interspersed all over the place plus waterbars, etc. but boy does it turn. and it holds. this length is peppy and fun and easy to ski. problem is with this length it's hard to trust at higher speeds in variable snow. but it turns....

172cm:

oddly enough, i had more fun and more trouble on the 172. i trusted the length ALOT more and felt like i could run it through stuff with more ease - till it started to feel like the tip was collapsing on me. and then i started to feel like the tail was controlling the ski far too much in loose snow and wind blown powder when skiing straightish down the fall line (i do believe i am not one of those backseat skiers). from a carving on groomed perspective, i felt little to no difference in the two lengths. this ski held an edge on steep interspersed bump terrain like few others. but i was afraid to stop turning it and let the ski run. i prefer a ski that will let me stop turning when i feel like it. this ski doesn't seem to allow that in a super friendly manner.

overall, neither length would work well - for me.

this ski wants to be coming across the fall line at all times, and it does hook up great and is very solid and relatively fast edge to edge. for someone who prefers to have the ability to "smear" the end of a turn, this ski won't do it. it's got a built up sidewall Beta construction, so keep it on edge!

...the only thing i was left wondering was this: this feels like a certain other ripping integrated system "supersport" 70mm waisted ski i own in a 175cm- but it's wider, so the stance is too wide for my preference in a carving ski - so why the extra girth - it didn't increase my confidence in variable snow that much.

i can't say this is a bad ski. it's just not for me.
post #2 of 29
I wish I had tested the 172. I found the 162 a little too demanding for an all-day ski-I felt like I was back on a race slalom. I loved the first few runs on it, until I wore out!
post #3 of 29
If the 162 B5 is not to your liking, try the 172 M11.
post #4 of 29
Union - you summarized my experience on them almost completely (although I never tried the 172). I'm sure that my skiing style has everything to do with why I wouldn't want to be on this kind of ski all day. It's made me start wondering if this kind of ski is exposing all kinds of flaws in my technique that I've been getting away with on less radical skis.
post #5 of 29
Interesting, and valid comments. I'm 200 lbs, 6'1", and I have the B:5's in 172.

It's true these skis don't run flat at speed well. However, I find if I just give them just a bit of edge, I can engage the afterburners. They need that touch of edge.

It's also true that this ski won't accommodate much skidding. They grab with gusto, and you've got to be over them, arcing each turn.

However, I've never felt the tip "collapse" on me, or found the tail dictating the turn.

I abhor "hooky" skis, and it's the reason I didn't purchase the Volkl 5 star or 6 star (I was a Volkl groupie). They seemed to enforce a pre-programmed turn. Not for me.

Ironically, the B:5's, with a tighter turn radius, felt neutral in allowing whatever turn shape I chose.

Apart from some shimmy on high-speed flat-running, I've never experienced squirreliness. The 172 B:5's allow me to power through almost any terrain. As you both indicated, the skis are solid, with excellent edge-hold.

When I wish to cruise, I find I can easily go into "auto-pilot" mode, making lazy turns with little effort.

At the end of the day, I suppose it comes down to individual body dynamics and perferences.

For my style: high angulation, feet evenly weighted at shoulder width, and forward over my skis, the Metron B:5's are a dream. I feel invincible on them.

The B:5's offer few compromises, and don't appeal to everyone. But, if you're in the demographic sweet spot, as I seem to be, it's as good as it gets.
post #6 of 29
I have found that the b5 is very sensitive to fore/aft balance in the sense that it is very easy to ski the b5 from the heel (not the backseat, but just the rearward part of the foot) and feel like it's carving and turning nicely (because it is). Yet, when I get more active in my initiation and more crisp at the edge change (thanks, Weems!), they really come alive.

I also discovered that it is possible to overleverage the tips on the 162 if you lever forward instead of flex forward (which I tend to revert to when I get lazy).

However, that said, when I ski them in good balance, I find the 162 to be very comfortable. As I've mentioned before, I think they motor through the junk, bumps, etc. very well. But, because their edges work so well, they can allow us to get more rearward than we realize, and this may be part of the differences we're discussing.
post #7 of 29

Surfing: Long board v short board

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I have found that the b5 is very sensitive to fore/aft balance in the sense that it is very easy to ski the b5 from the heel (not the backseat, but just the rearward part of the foot) and feel like it's carving and turning nicely (because it is). Yet, when I get more active in my initiation and more crisp at the edge change (thanks, Weems!), they really come alive.

I also discovered that it is possible to overleverage the tips on the 162 if you lever forward instead of flex forward (which I tend to revert to when I get lazy).

However, that said, when I ski them in good balance, I find the 162 to be very comfortable. As I've mentioned before, I think they motor through the junk, bumps, etc. very well. But, because their edges work so well, they can allow us to get more rearward than we realize, and this may be part of the differences we're discussing.
Steve;

I think you hit on somethig here.
This reminds me of the days of my youth ( I'm now 52-scary !!) when the surfing industry introduced short board.

Longboard were the rule, but the short (around 6 feet vs 9 feet) board came on with quaities like quick turns, immediate cutbacks , extreme manueverability, etc.

It came at a cost: Take offs became a crtitical moment of do or die, floatation only occured when there was accelaration and just more demands regarding balance and timing on the surfer. All for a much more intense experience on the wave.

Well, you mention the fore aft balance feeling w/ the B5's and i agree. it seems like you can adjust the fore aft balance to keep yourself on the "boil" of the fall line and still control the ski, even if your heels, not your forefoot, are throwing the edges around.

Could this be like the surf thing:

Long board for stability, ease of use and wide zone of comfort and compliance ( balance issues are not as crucial) vs the Short board (or short ski) providing a more dynamic experience at the cost of more critical, exteme demands on the skier to provide the additional skill to realize the benfits?

If so, then long, big radius skis are the LONGBOARDS of the ski world while the B5, and shorter, smaller radius skis in general, are the SHORTBOARD of the present day ski universe?

Does this analogy semm to make sense, or I'm I off base?

Any thoughts on this concept??
post #8 of 29
UnionBowler,
Excellent review. You put into words what I have tried to and failed. I couldn't describe it. I can see why people would like it, but it didn't really have a place in my quiver. While I can see how some could describe it as versatile, it really wasn't what I would call versatile. It depend a lot on how you normally ski.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gotama
Steve;

I think you hit on somethig here.
This reminds me of the days of my youth ( I'm now 52-scary !!) when the surfing industry introduced short board.

Longboard were the rule, but the short (around 6 feet vs 9 feet) board came on with quaities like quick turns, immediate cutbacks , extreme manueverability, etc.

It came at a cost: Take offs became a crtitical moment of do or die, floatation only occured when there was accelaration and just more demands regarding balance and timing on the surfer. All for a much more intense experience on the wave.

Well, you mention the fore aft balance feeling w/ the B5's and i agree. it seems like you can adjust the fore aft balance to keep yourself on the "boil" of the fall line and still control the ski, even if your heels, not your forefoot, are throwing the edges around.

Could this be like the surf thing:

Long board for stability, ease of use and wide zone of comfort and compliance ( balance issues are not as crucial) vs the Short board (or short ski) providing a more dynamic experience at the cost of more critical, exteme demands on the skier to provide the additional skill to realize the benfits?

If so, then long, big radius skis are the LONGBOARDS of the ski world while the B5, and shorter, smaller radius skis in general, are the SHORTBOARD of the present day ski universe?

Does this analogy semm to make sense, or I'm I off base?

Any thoughts on this concept??
I don't think you're off base at all. Your comparison seems to ring very true. It kind of highlights my new concern - that no matter how hard I've worked to rid myself of my "old school" habits, these newer "radical" skis are clearly exposing some weaknesses in my technique. In all fairness I'd really like to take them out for an entire day. It's hard to make any complete judgement of a ski in 2 runs.
post #10 of 29
It is tough to ski the B5 at mid-energy: it just begs to be put way up onto edge and sprung turn-to-turn! Maybe that was part of my problem....perhaps I could have relaxed on it, but that really isn't a fun way to ski the B5!
post #11 of 29
I understand the comments about mid, or low-energy use of the B:5's. They'e not extremely forgiving, and they don't accommodate skidding, drifting, or stand-up style.

However, I find that as long as I'm over the skis, and angulating, I can roll my ankles and easilly bank into effortless, carved turns.

At age 51, I'm not in condition to red-line all day long. I find the B:5's comfortably suit both gung-ho power turns, and lazy, rolling turns. The only caveat: they like at least a bit of edge.
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
I don't think you're off base at all. Your comparison seems to ring very true. It kind of highlights my new concern - that no matter how hard I've worked to rid myself of my "old school" habits, these newer "radical" skis are clearly exposing some weaknesses in my technique. In all fairness I'd really like to take them out for an entire day. It's hard to make any complete judgement of a ski in 2 runs.
If you want, we can play with some things tomorrow (assuming you'll be there). I'm looking forward to getting onto some different boards, including the Mantra and some Heads and Blizzards.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I understand the comments about mid, or low-energy use of the B:5's. They'e not extremely forgiving, and they don't accommodate skidding, drifting, or stand-up style.
Interesting... I think that they are very versatile in an "Epic Turn" approach, including drifting into turns with "go there". However, they seem to me to not accommodate a more traditional style of turning with higher components of rotary input very kindly.

Note: I want to be clear that I am not "blaming" folks' dislike of the skis on technique! I am simply trying to communicate what I have found with a ski I very much enjoy. I'm also trying to understand how I can provide input for folks who ski differently than I do when they ask for skis that they might enjoy. Not to mention ways that I can get more out of the skis myself...
post #14 of 29
Steve: We're on the same page. We both enjoy these skis a lot. However, everyone has different biomechanics. What's Heaven-sent for one, is a ride to Hades for another.

For me, the B:5 is solid, decisive ski with crisply defined boundries. If you fit within those boundries, a splendid time is had by all. If not, time to try the Top Fuels.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler
Union - you summarized my experience on them almost completely (although I never tried the 172). I'm sure that my skiing style has everything to do with why I wouldn't want to be on this kind of ski all day. It's made me start wondering if this kind of ski is exposing all kinds of flaws in my technique that I've been getting away with on less radical skis.
i doubt this ski is exposing flaws. maybe it is. i would attribute what you are talking about to this ski's inherent desire to be on edge at all times. i def. felt somewhat punished when it was not on edge - once it was on edge this feeling went away.

or, it's the whole short length thing that's being discussed here now...
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by unionbowler
i doubt this ski is exposing flaws. maybe it is. i would attribute what you are talking about to this ski's inherent desire to be on edge at all times. i def. felt somewhat punished when it was not on edge - once it was on edge this feeling went away.
I wouldn't use the words "exposing flaws," either, FWIW. I would rather say that the ski may prefer a certain method of riding, and other methods are either unrewarded or punished.

This contrasts sharply to the Hot Rod Top Fuel, which I felt was very broad in its performance envelope and the styles of skiing that it would complement.

Noodler, I'm looking forward to playing with this together a bit tomorrow!
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
so, in summary, i have a few comments about this ski.

it's not a freeride ski. it's a carver that happens to do pretty darn decently all over.

because of the beta construction, it wants to be on edge.

people accustomed to freeride skis, which perform oh so much better in all soft snow conditions than skis designed to be on edge, will not find the characteristics of this ski to their liking. it's on the other side (that's not a bad thing, just different).

like other extreme sidecut skis, this ski does hook up in funny ways in variable snow conditions. sorry. it does.

it's a great ski. it's easy to ski. it turns like mad. it holds.


it turns all length radiuses, but due to the nature of the sidecut, it comes across the fall line quickly and wants to initiate more often than not. so, it's fine to call it an "all-radius" ski, but it sure wants medium to short. it is stable at longer turns if you can get over the sensation the ski wants to finish the turn yesterday and start another.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 

to highwaystar!

go ski this thing. you might be surprised one way or another...
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
I wouldn't use the words "exposing flaws," either, FWIW. I would rather say that the ski may prefer a certain method of riding, and other methods are either unrewarded or punished.

This contrasts sharply to the Hot Rod Top Fuel, which I felt was very broad in its performance envelope and the styles of skiing that it would complement.

Noodler, I'm looking forward to playing with this together a bit tomorrow!
I am too and I'll give you a jingle in the morning at the mountain. One of my "boarder" friends will be there with me this time demoing snowboards.
post #20 of 29
Just spent another perfect day on Mt. Baker (huge snow base) with the B:5's, bearing in mind all the comments on this thread.

I feel a bit like Tom Cruise gushing about Katie Holmes (without the couch bounding). I cannot fathom anyone not loving these skis. They're hero skis. They'll flatter anyone with decent technical basics.

It just feels perfect to carve on these things. I've never felt as well-balanced, angulated and powerfully controlled.

Regardless of the terrain (within reason), I find I can maintain consistant rounded arcs and constant speed - not as easy as one may imagine.

I'm sure there's lots of better skiers out there than me. But, when I'm going down the hill on the B:5's, it doesn't feel that way.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
Just spent another perfect day on Mt. Baker (huge snow base) with the B:5's, bearing in mind all the comments on this thread.

I feel a bit like Tom Cruise gushing about Katie Holmes (without the couch bounding). I cannot fathom anyone not loving these skis. They're hero skis. They'll flatter anyone with decent technical basics.

It just feels perfect to carve on these things. I've never felt as well-balanced, angulated and powerfully controlled.

Regardless of the terrain (within reason), I find I can maintain consistant rounded arcs and constant speed - not as easy as one may imagine.

I'm sure there's lots of better skiers out there than me. But, when I'm going down the hill on the B:5's, it doesn't feel that way.
that's awesome! please note i have in no way ever claimed that this ski is a bad carving ski - it rips turns. it's perfrect for people who want their skis on edge all the time!
post #22 of 29

B5 - the (non) thinking man's spin

I'm not an old school skier, not new school , I don't think (literally).
frankly I can't remember any lesson I've ever had, just learned from buddies who were better than me
Much of the discussion on this forum is therefore over my head, where I prefer to leave it; For me, focus on mechanics might mess me up

so when I found the B5s a year ago I found my partner in crime.
For my intuitive moderately aggressive form, they require no thought. I just look there, and I go there. If it's 2 day old crud on a black run, there we go. They are heavy and solid enough to charge through generally. If they can't, I doubt any other ski was going to fare alot better. Cruising fast and straight on a flat, not on edge, they are surprisingly fine - Only once have they squirrled me with a quick wobble, but not nearly enough to cause a fall.

I really enjoy teh sophisticated opinions on this forum. Occasionally I feel ccompelled to repay with my 2 cents, which is about what it's worth I know.
So, as we are all entitled to our opinion, mine is that with very little thinking, there isn't much these skis don't excel at.
post #23 of 29
That might be the best endorsement and testimonial for the B5; it is very skiable and very adaptable to all conditions. The ski elevates most everybody's ability and enjoyment. What more can a ski do?
post #24 of 29

Intermediate Chooses B:5

Today I had an interesting experience.

A good friend of mine, an athletic intermediate, was demo'ing skis from a group I had suggested: Rossi Z9, Norica Hot Rod Nitrous, Atomic M:10 and Salomon Scrambler Hot.

His choice: the Metron B:5. I was stunned! How could an intermediate decide upon an "advanced - expert" carving machine?

After trying a number of the skis listed above, the shop gave him the B:5's because the M:10's were out. He never looked back.

This fellow is an aggressive intermediate. He's only skied about a year (20 times), but he throws himself down the hill. He's always over his skis, hands forward, and he "goes for it" on each turn. He challenges black runs with no fear whatsoever.

Regardless of finesse (or lack thereof), I realized this is the style that that the B:5 seems to reward; athletic stance, attacking the hill.

At my urging, he did finally go back and try the M:10's, but he was not to be dissuaded from the B:5's. He ordered them today.
post #25 of 29
hit the TOp fuel dude its really nice
post #26 of 29
I was able to get up to Loveland for the demo days on Saturday (ssh - I forgot to put your number in my phone so I wasn't able to hook up with everyone, but I would certainly like to some time this season) - back to topic. I was able to try a lot of skis, I didn't take notes so I can't give a thorough review - but I didn't like the b5.

After reading many bears' reviews on the ski, I was expecting to like it and was suprised that I didn't. The positives: it is a very stable and strong ski that could carve nearly any radius turn. I felt a lot more comfortable at higher speeds than I normally do. The negatives: it felt heavy and, this is the big one, I felt like it was too easy to fall into the back seat. I suspect that with a lift on the rear binding (5 to 7 mm) that it might correct some, but I'm not too sure.

I also wonder about binding placement on the ski for me - I have a very short boot (294mm) and I always wonder how or if this changes the center of the boot location on demo bindings (any gear geeks want to shed light on this?).

On the whole though, I prefer a lighter, "quicker" ski, and found the whole of the metron series to be heavy and a little too easy to fall into the back seat. Loved the Legend 8000's though - must restrain urge to purchase immediately...

J
post #27 of 29
jake, so sorry we missed you! It would have been great to hook up. Stay in touch and let's make another try.

You skied the same ski I did with the same boot sole length. Did you ski the 162 or 172? I think you're right on with this assessment, fwiw. Part of it is the binding (2lbs heavier than the normal Neox), and you can't put lifts under them. You'd need to do it on the boot...

The 8000s are really a nice ski. Light, lively, yet solid. Good choice. How many times have you searched eBay and Froogle for them?
post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jake75
I also wonder about binding placement on the ski for me - I have a very short boot (294mm) and I always wonder how or if this changes the center of the boot location on demo bindings (any gear geeks want to shed light on this?). J
Most skis now work off a boot mid-sole measurement, so it's not a big deal about boot placement. feel free to ask highwaystar about moving your boot sole around he's got some interesting ideas :. that being said, if you're having a hard time staying forward on skis, you might want to move forward no more than 1cm. the default with this, though, is that a short boot sole length actually means you can pinpoint energy more effectively to the edge, so i wouldn't worry about it. as glen plake has said, just mount a ski as the manufacturer recommends unless you are going to be in the park all the time. mounting as the manufacturer recommends will provide you a significantly improved position relative to both a) the sidecut and b) a stable, easy to ski location with the fewest "bad habits"
post #29 of 29
This has changed with recent ski design and technique. Now, skis are ridden in balance with far less emphasis on tip pressure. As a result, getting the balance points aligned is really the goal. Sometimes you get this with the marks, but to really do it right, you need to mix in alignment and measure the balance results.
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