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Binding DIN setting

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I like to keep my DIN setting as low as possible without it releasing in normal skiing and recreational racing. 6-1/2 seems to be a good compromise for me. Is there any problem with using bindings which have a lowest setting just at or marginally below where I'll ski them. Specifically, would there be a problem using a binding with a range of 6-12? As I write, this seems sort of a silly question; Why would they specify a lower end unless they expected some skiers to use it? Nonetheless, I'll ask.

Would your answer be different if the bindings were say one, two, or three years old?

Thanks,

Paul
post #2 of 3
My wife skis with her DIN set at 5.5. That said I always get her a binding that starts around 3 so she's not set near the bottom end of the binding's ability. A 3-10 binding set at 5.5 or 6 keeps it set in the middle of the binding's range...make sense?
post #3 of 3
Your bindings will work, but probably a smidgen less reliably (ie, less accurately) than a binding that puts you nearer the center of the DIN range. Nevertheless, as you pointed out, the lowest number IS on the printed range, so the mfgr obviously concluded that the slight loss in reliability at that setting is acceptable for them (especially with respect to possible future "bad design" lawsuits).

There are a number of reasons for this loss in reliability. One is that the forward pressure used by bindings with high DIN ranges is usually more than the forward pressure used by lower DIN bindings. Any sources of friction in the system (eg, dirt, chewed up boots, etc.) will contribute a larger fraction of the total release force with lots of forward pressure. Since such sources of friction can vary from day to day as well as over the course of a season, it means that for a given release setting, the actual release value will likely vary more when too much forward pressure is used in combination with a low DIN setting. This decrease in accuracy what you get with a binding operated near the bottom of its range. There are other problems as well.

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to use such bindings (assuming they were in good condition). I should comment that I'm pretty paranoid and check my bindings just about every day of use by forcing a toe and heel release in each. After a while, you get pretty good at detecting small changes in their release function. If you aren't comfortable doing this, and remain concerned about how they are working, have a release check done more often than the recommended frequency of once every 20 skiing days (or whatever the current recommendation is).

Bottom line - This situation you described is not a big deal. Don't worry too much about the engineering details.

Tom / PM

[ October 28, 2003, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: PhysicsMan ]
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