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Ack! Going crazy trying to figure out binding choices!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
You folks sick of my questions yet?

Generally these forums have been very helpful but now I'm getting conflicting info and it's really confusing me. Can folks help me straighten out my binding choices and how to mount them? I'm getting ready to spend like $700 on skis & bindings and for me that's a big chunk of money. Want to make sure I make the right choices as I will have other priorities in the next couple years that will take precedence over buying another set of skis (though won't stop me from skiing!).

Me: 38yo, 5'8", 170 lbs. Strong level 8 skier, mayby level 9.

Skiing style & terrain: Traditionally I'm an on-piste skier who likes to mix it up between steep double-diamond chutes, black diamond mogul runs, and groomers later in the day when the legs are tired. I ski mainly at Crystal Mt. and Stevens Pass in Washington where the snow is usually wet and heavy, sometimes icy and a couple times a year light and powdery. I want to expand my abilities into off-piste areas and hit some powder bowls when the conditions and circumstances permit, but realistically 90% of my skiing will still be on-piste for at least the next couple years. When I decide I really want to get into back country skiing I'll add another pair of dedicated powder sticks to the quiver with an AT binding setup, like Mantras or Gotamas.

To this end I've been searching for a ski that will take me all over the mountain, be fun to ski on-piste in all the conditions we get around here and be reasonably capable off-piste. I've decided the Head Mojo 90s will meet my needs for now and will be buying them sometime this year. The only real questions are what length to get and what bindings to put on them.

Can you help me with binding choices? In a previous post about this people said I'd notice a real difference between a free-flex and a standard fixed binding setup, leading me to believe the free-flex is the way to go. I know there's a little extra bit of weight involved but some people have written that weight is really only noticeable when carrying the skis from the parking lot while others are saying the full flex bindings are too heavy and for off-piste skiing I don't even want a step-in binding.

Furthermore, I want to ski the longest ski I'm comfortable on and given the Mojo 90s turny, flexible nature when combined with a full-flex binding that could make the longer 186 ski a good choice. The Tyrolia railflex II bindings allow a +/-15mm adjustment of the boot centerline. That seems like a lot. All of the posts I've read on these forums about people mounting their bindings forward involve maybe 5-8 millimeter changes, not anywhere near 15. Would going with the RF II bindings be a good choice if I decide to buy a longer pair of skis? I could move them forward for on-piste skiing, especially in narrow chutes and moguls, and move them back for deeper snow or groomer skiing. Does that sound like a reasonable idea?

I hopefully will have a pair of Salomon S912ti bindings that I got off Ebay for cheap here in the next week or so if the seller ever decides to ship them to me (One reason I both love and hate Ebay - sellers who refuse to communicate with you). While I know Head recommends the Mojo 15 binding, I can't see why the S912ti wouldn't be a good binding to go with for a fixed binding and I got them so cheap it wouldn't make sense to not use them if I go with a fixed binding. Or, I can turn around and resell them (if I ever get them in the first place) and buy the free flex bindings.

What would you do, in my situation and why? Here's the choices:

1) Buy 176 length skis, use fixed bindings mounted at the recommended centerline.

2) Buy 176 length skis, use free-flex bindings.

3) Buy 186 length skis, use fixed bindings mounted at recommended centerline.

4) Buy 186 length skis, use fixed bindings mounted forward of recommended centerline (how much?)

5) Buy 186 length skis, use the RF II bindings and adjust for conditions/type off skiing? (This *seems* like the best option, but what do I know?)

Thanks for your input and sorry if my obsessing over this is getting tiresome. Eventually I'll have made a purchase, mounted 'em up and be skiing on them and then you won't have to read this kind of drivel any more...
post #2 of 17
Just my opinion but I would go with 176cm based on your size and where you ski. As far as bindings go, the Tyrolia/Fischer Rail Flex system II is good but I can think of no reason why you would want to move them forward for off piste skiing- you may possibly want to move them backward.

Whether you would want to move them forward for the groomers is a matter of personal style and choice. Moving them forward can help with early turn initiation or compensate for a tendency to lean back. 1.5 cm is well within the range that a lot of skiers play with to obtain a readily discernible result. Since you are talking about spending a big chunk of money, the best bet could just be to get whatever bindings are on sale.
post #3 of 17
You're going to be making a serious investment in quality gear that you plan on keeping for a while, so you might as well get it right the first time. Head recommendes the Mojo 15 for that ski, so that's what I'd go with. A little more money spent now will be well worth it down the road. I've had Tyrolia bindings on my last three pairs of skis plus one pair of my wife's, and I've had zero issues with them. Besides, why comprimise a new pair of skis with a questionable pair of bindings that you don't know anything about. The Head sizing chart recommends the 176 length for you. I can't see why you would need or want anything longer than that unless you own a helicopter! Good luck.
post #4 of 17
I'm a Tyrolia/Fischer bindings fan myself. However, having said that, I believe that any major binding will do just fine as long as their DIN range is suitable for your weight and skiing style. Any binding with a 13-17 top end DIN number would seem to be about right for you.

Tyrolia bindings have a good amount of elasticity-more than some others. Given identical loads, they will try a little harder to recenter you before they eject you. However, assuming any binding is set at the proper DIN, they will all work.

I first got hooked on Tyrolia because they were the binding most often on sale owing to their then small market share in the USA. Given that Head owns Tyrolia, it is not surprising that they would recommend their own binding.
post #5 of 17
First, you can put any binding that you want to put on that ski, and it will work well.

Second, the Mojo isn't a Railflex, so the ski will ski fine with the small flat spot created but a traditional toe/heel binding.

Third, the Railflex doesn't force you to move the bindings 15mm backward and forward, only allows you to go that far. I find that being able to move the bindings is convenient, and I prefer the "system" approach to bindings for simplicity, including an easier ability to adjust them to other boots without having to drill anything.

Relax. It's all good. You have new skis! Just mount something on them and go ski.
post #6 of 17
For your size (and we're virtually the same) I'd go with the 176cm for more versatility.

The Salomon S912Ti is virtually equivalent to the Mojo 15 with regards to its effect on the ski performance. It certainly would work fine, but if you really want to add some versatility to the setup then your better bet is to put a Railflex II setup on the ski. If you have a shorter boot sole length (and I bet you do - i.e. <305mm) then you will probably like the +15mm setting when running on groomers and generally front-side type skiing. The 0 or -15mm mark will be great for deeper days and give you more of a float feeling with better straight running stability.

If it were my decision I'd go with the Mojo 15 on a Tyrolia Carve Plate and I'd replace the Mojo 15 heel track with a Free Flex plate/track. This setup gives you a bit more lift than the Railflex, the ability to have more fore/aft mounting positions (although more difficult to change than the Railflex), and allows the heel to "float" with the Free Flex track (the Railflex will float the toe & the heel though). I don't expect many to people to go down this path (although a fellow bear did do this with his Elan M666 setup upon my advice and is extremely happy with my ideas for "Frankenstein" Tyrolia setups).
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies so far!

This is what I'm gathering from the replies I'm reading:

Lostboy is a Tyrolia fan and thinks the railflex or Mojo 15s would be fine. He read my first post backward though as far as what I was thinking of when moving the railflex bindings. My idea was to move them forward for skiing in tight spots (narrow chutes, moguls) where quick turning is needed, then move them back for groomers or off-piste skiing, which I believe is what he's also recommending, so we're on the same page there and the railflexes would seem to be a good solution.

Mac is questioning the S912ti binding choice and recommends sticking with a Tyrolia binding. Just have to ask Mac, is there a particular reason why the Salomon bindings are questionable compared to the Tyrolias? Do you have a particular reason for not liking the Salomon pieces, or is it just your preference or gut feeling? They are brand new, in the box, just last year's model that a private seller is unloading for cheap. As lostboy said, the reason Head recommends the Mojo binding is because it's their own binding. If there's really some reason not to use the Salomon bindings, I'm open to that, would just like to hear some justification other than it's not the recommended binding from Head.

ssh says the ski will work fine either way, whether it has fixed bindings or the railflexes on it. He seems to be saying, if I'm reading it right, that he likes the adjustability of the railfex pieces. Also, I'd like to clarify something about their adjustment. Tyrolia doesn't spell it out on their website, but it sure looks like they're saying you have (only) three choice of three mounting positions and can change between them whenever you want: 0, +15, and -15. ssh, are you saying that you can move the boot centerline anywhere you want within the +15 to -15 range? In other words, if I wanted to only move the centerline forward 9mm or back 6 mm or whatever that I'd be able to do that with those bindings and that you're not locked into only three choices of positions but can move to anywhere within the +15/-15 range? Also, do the railflexes allow easy adjustments for boot sole length?

Noodler says of the choices I've outlined the railflex is probably the best way to go for maximum versatility but he'd like to see me "frankenstein" a binding setup using a combination of Mojo15 and railflex pieces. An intriguing option, but it sounds expensive and potentially troublesome to get a ski shop to do the mounting & adjustments. While I do like to experiment, I think I'll stick to the choices I listed so as not to confuse things any more than they already are! Oh, and my boot sole length is right at 305mm.

Everyone seems to think the 176 is the best length for me.

So, it sounds like the voting's stacking up as follows:

Option Votes
(1) 1
(2) 3
(3) 0
(4) 0
(5) 0

Anyone else?

Oh, and just to let you know, I'm going to try to hunt down a pair of 186s to demo this coming weekend. If I'm comfortable on the longer ski and don't find it hard to control or turn, why not go longer? Better float in deep snow, better stability at high speeds and the Mojo 90 being a twin-tip should ski "shorter" than other 186 length skis, shouldn't it? Anyway, I'll know after I demo a pair but I still appreciate the suggestions!

Thanks!
post #8 of 17
I do not have my Railflex setup any longer, but I'm pretty sure that you can put the bindings anywhere in the 3cm range.
post #9 of 17

Railfelx II 3 Positions

The current Railflex two will allow only the three positions of 0, +15, and
-15. The Set screw to prevent the binding from sliding off the rails is fixed at these positions. Also Adjusting boot sizes is a breeze with the railflex system.

Cheers
post #10 of 17
I don't have anything against the Sollie binding, I've had that particular binding on a couple of skis without any problems. I missed the part about them being new in the box. If thats the case, then go for it. I wouldn't be real anxious to put a used binding on a new pair of skis unless I knew the previous owner. I do think the Tyrolia is a better binding, though. I've had numerous problems with other Salomon products, and their customer service has been terrible. I think that most manufacturers will extend their warranty if you put their bindings on their skis, so thats something else to think about. If it was me, I'd go with the Tyrolia bindings, I think it's a nicer package. I've found the Head/Tyrolia products to be very durable, but thats just my personal experience.
post #11 of 17
I personally would stick with the Salomons. They're basically the same as a Mojo 15 in function, performance and quality, the shop techs are more likely to know how to adjust it properly, and it has a nice toe height adjustment if your boot sole starts to wear.

If I had to choose between the two for myself, I would buy whichever is cheaper.

Mount them boot center and call it a day. It's a very versatile ski with a huge sweetspot. From the center you will have great float and stability AND great edgehold. No need at all to constantly mess with the position or wonder if you'd get better performance in some other spot when you should just be enjoying yourself. It also skis and feels better without the rise and weight of all that crap, IMO.

And get the 176cm.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by flip
I personally would stick with the Salomons. They're basically the same as a Mojo 15 in function, performance and quality, the shop techs are more likely to know how to adjust it properly, and it has a nice toe height adjustment if your boot sole starts to wear.

If I had to choose between the two for myself, I would buy whichever is cheaper.

Mount them boot center and call it a day. It's a very versatile ski with a huge sweetspot. From the center you will have great float and stability AND great edgehold. No need at all to constantly mess with the position or wonder if you'd get better performance in some other spot when you should just be enjoying yourself. It also skis and feels better without the rise and weight of all that crap, IMO.

And get the 176cm.
Well stated. The Solly 912 ti is a good binding.How many people take the time to readjust there binding position? I found the position I like the best on my Neox 4/12 and leave them alone. I haven`t seen anyone running a lifter on these skis.Mount them flat and get rid of the crap,IMO.Go over to TGR and ask the same question .They will give you shit for being a JONG but you will get some answers from people that actually use this ski.
post #13 of 17
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the additional replies!

Before someone starts calling me names in another forum, I'd at least like to know what it means. Can someone tell me what a "JONG" is? :

Thanks!
post #15 of 17

Jong

Jerk Off Newbie Gaper or some other variation of the sort...
post #16 of 17
Go with the Tyrolia Railflex bindings. The 1.5cm + or - adjustment is great, plus if you ever sell the skis, they can be re-adjusted to any boot size easily. Plus you can get the Tyrolia's pretty cheap. I got a pair off Ebay for $89. They are a solid binding, plus the railflex setup is such a simple yet well thought out free flex design.

I've had problems with the salomon's like the wing tip adjustments working loose, the plastic heel release piece breaking off. Plus too many extra adjustments to fiddle (side wings, toe height). Tyrolia has none of these to worry about.
post #17 of 17
I would not bother fiddling with a forward mounting point on the groomed.

While there is something to be said for not having a 186cm ski in big tight bumps, the real reason for choosing 176 over 186 is more that it's not a question of why go shorter, but a question of why go longer. You used to need to go longer to get stability. I just took my short (165cm) slalom sidecut skis up past 50mph today on very icy hardpack and they were fine, not SG stable, but still responsive and obediently offering plenty of control. I'm not familiar with the Head Mojo, but if it's a top-level ski, 176 should be enough.

As to bindings, many years ago I did a lot of research, really liked tyrolia's diagonal heel release, and bought the all-metal 490s. Today, I have fisher's version of the freeflex on my slalom skis and like them. I think the freeflex is a better system; I just like the way it feels compared to the old "flat-spot" bindings.

I don't think any major binding companies top end binding is bad. I just think the Tyrolias are better. If I had a Salomon I would use it, but if I had to choose, I would choose the Tyrolia (or Head or Fischer). My daughter's Völkl Porsches came with markers, and that's what I left on 'em.
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