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bindings - too loose, too tight, just right?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I've had several falls this season which make me question if my bindings are set right. Three falls; one release at high speed, two non-release at slow speeds. Currently set for "Type II skier" -- 5'9", 175 lb, 44 y/o male. Gear = Look P10 on Fischer BixStix 7.6, 175cm. DIN about 6.75. Do I re-set bindings or leave as is?

DETAILS:
--Crash No. 1: probably the fastest I've ever skied, full-bore on a steep downhill racecourse; early a.m. run on great grooming but flat light and precip. so I could not see surface details. Stupid, but fun while it lasted -- until I went high to the outside of a turn to avoid slower skiers in the middle and did not see my outside ski cross into ungroomed, hard-frozen crud. Result: RELEASE; cartwheels, face plant, bruised ribs (and ego!) but legs OK.

--Crash No. 2: slow traverse in untracked powder off-piste; came down a moderate and short slope to what appeared to be a gentle levelling off, but the surface leveling at the bottom was due to wind-blown snow filling a gully or creek bed before the ground rose up to the true level part. Tips stuck in the gully, and I slammed into the unseen rise. Result: NO RELEASE; legs in "wishbone" position with toes pointing out. Uncomfortable twisting in hip sockets but no harm. My kids thought this was very funny and chose a different route down.

--Crash No. 3: coming slowly down a steep slope with soft bumps and crud, lots of loose but kind of heavy snow. Keeping an eye on kids, not the slope; botched a turn to the right, left ski stuck in a big pile. Result: NO RELEASE; slow twisting fall to the right; immediate perception of injury, but not sharp pain, in left knee. Kids were NOT laughing; first thing boy genius said was "I hope you didn't blow your ACL". (No popping sound so I think that's not the case; sharp pains came later in the day and were bad enough to see a doc, who tentatively says meniscus damage and maybe minor ACL, but no MCL.)

DILEMMA:
--Seems like in Crash No. 1 (high speed crash), a higher DIN setting might have retained the ski and allowed me to ski through; if this was my only incident and I was always bombing at high speed, I'd ask for Type III setting.
--But in No. 2 and especially No. 3 (low speed crashes), I wish it had released. So, I don't really want to crank it higher and increase the risk of not releasing in slower falls.
--So probably Type II remains right (and I should stop falling down).

QUESTION FOR GEAR EXPERTS:
--Is "status quo" (Type II) the answer? Any other suggestions?

(PS, bindings were re-set and torque tested by a reputable shop just before these falls.)

Thanks for any input on this.
post #2 of 20
Your DIN's retension setting should reflect how you ski. Type II you want a compromise between release and retension. Type III you want your skis to stay on your feet when you are traveling at high speeds, in moguls, or down some steep terrain.
You pretty much answered your own question on the bottom of your post. It seems that you want a compromise between retension and release so I would stick with the Type II setting. However, if you plan on skiing fast like you did when you released get your DIN's increased.
post #3 of 20
I would set them at 6.5, and crank them up to 9 when I did the Downhill race thingy.

The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. You want them to release easier when you are skiing slowly, so set them a tiny bit lower. You don't want them letting go at high speeds over icy crud, so set them higher when you do that. A screwdriver is an easy tool to use.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
I would set them at 6.5, and crank them up to 9 when I did the Downhill race thingy. ... A screwdriver is an easy tool to use.
Makes sense to me but I've read the "DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS" warning about binding adjustments about a million times. I've backed the DIN down to zero every summer so no prob using the screwdriver -- anything more to it than that? No need to change "forward pressure" adjustment when changing DIN?
post #5 of 20

Who wants my 1018s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01
Any other suggestions?
So, every one of these incidents involved a failure of timely observation?

I don't like the sound of that hip socket thingy. Less DIN, more brains is my recipe.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
So, every one of these incidents involved a failure of timely observation?

I don't like the sound of that hip socket thingy. Less DIN, more brains is my recipe.
No doubt your "recipe" would help. I checked in the new "Food and Drink" section though and couldn't find the details. Guess I'm out of luck!

Seriously, you're right: mistakes were made. New (fantastic) terrain out West, a few other excuses blah blah blah ... but I'm trying to learn and make the most of it. And getting new goggles with my Rx ground in so maybe I'll be less of a Mr. Magoo out there.

But will I crash again? No doubt, unless things take a terrible turn toward the dull and familiar. Hence the binding questions.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ts01
And getting new goggles with my Rx ground in so maybe I'll be less of a Mr. Magoo out there.


I've been meaning for years now to ask the instructors how much they suspect bad vision correction during lessons.

One might make the financial argument that skiers can at least afford good vision, but I have my doubts about that one.
post #8 of 20
Crash 1: Going as fast as you have ever gone in the middle of a turn into re-frozen crud you can't really blame the binding for releasing, I wouldn't recommend you crank up the release setting based on this.

Crash 2: That going going between your skis wishbone situation really doesn't place that much stress on your bindings. Most people can easily stand with their toes pointing out 180 degrees from each other, and when you are on your face like that the boot hitting the snow any twisting force can be coming from direct contact between the boot and snow as much as through the binding. This is a fairly common fall for beginner skiers and even with their lower settings the skis stay on quite a bit of the time.

Crash 3: Arguably the binding should have released, but slow falls in heavy snow can load the boot and binding in funny ways to prevent release. This is probably the most difficult conditions for the binding to tell the difference between the loads from a fall as opposed to normal skiing.

Verdict: If you are going to crash, crash properly (fast and with lots of force to ensure the binding releases), especially in heavy snow. Stop paying so much attention to what your kids are doing and concentrate on your own skiing and where you are going. Kids are made of rubber and just bounce off virtually anything so don't worry about them. Leave your bindings as they are, especially since you are approaching 50 years.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwiski
Stop paying so much attention to what your kids are doing and concentrate on your own skiing and where you are going.
Yup. Next time they go first on the untracked, that's for sure.
post #10 of 20
I agree w/ assessments above on your falls and think you're categorized properly. My advice would be to go lower on DIN (in 1/2-step increments) until you find that you're prereleasing too much, then just jump up a half-step and see how that goes. IMO, it's better to lose a ski when generally motoring around than to rehab (different story if you're skiing stuff with consequences attached). And also, learning how to 'ski out' of a prerelease is a pretty good skill to have should you continue to progress to skiing faster and in more-varied terrain.

My DINs change all the time depending on what I'm skiing and how much energy I have. Not exactly a 'science', but then again I'm not going to sue myself, right?
post #11 of 20
1) Look at the soles of your boots. If there is a lot of abrasion from walking on pavement where the soles contact the bindings, especially in the area of the toe piece's antifriction device, you might need new boots. Next time, use Cat Tracks. (tip...use a hot awl to put holes in the heel pull-on tabs and attach a short loop of cord.) Take a good look at everywhere the boot contacts the bindings to be sure things are clean and tight. If you have a problem with snow sticking to the boot sole, give the soles a spray of Pam frying pan spray before you get them wet. If you slip after the spray, you didn't hear about it here (I've used Pam for years on boot soles--organic biodegradable vegetable oil, and works pretty well. What works better is to use Cat Tracks all the time on pavement or gravel and don't get the soles abraded.

2) Be sure the forward pressure is set correctly for your boot sole size. Any shop can easily check this, and likely did when you had your bindings tested...but check again.

Regarding crash #1, if you steer & skid your skis instead of carving, you'll have these blowouts when you get into uneven show. Work on carving...http://www.harbskisystems.com/olk1.htm

I like Look (Rossi) bindings. There are times when any binding is not perfect. I'm 6', 210#, Type III, and set my bindings at 6.5. I ski on Tyrolia, Look, and Salomon bindings, and all give me reliable releases.


Ken
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
1) Look at the soles of your boots. If there is a lot of abrasion from walking on pavement where the soles contact the bindings, especially in the area of the toe piece's antifriction device, you might need new boots.
Boots were basically new -- maybe 4 ski days on them before this trip. I boot up in the lodge so soles should stay good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy

2) Be sure the forward pressure is set correctly for your boot sole size. Any shop can easily check this, and likely did when you had your bindings tested...but check again.
Will re-check - thanks -- but I suspect not a problem since the reason they were reset was to fit to new boots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
Regarding crash #1, if you steer & skid your skis instead of carving, you'll have these blowouts when you get into uneven show. Work on carving...http://www.harbskisystems.com/olk1.htm
I know it sounds like I was Bozo out there but I was definitely on edge and carving a long radius turn in crash 1 -- up on the edge of a long banked turn. No defensive motion, it felt GREAT. Until it didn't ....!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy
I'm 6', 210#, Type III, and set my bindings at 6.5. I ski on Tyrolia, Look, and Salomon bindings, and all give me reliable releases.
That's very helpful info. Sometimes there seems to be a "real skiers ski high DINs" mentality out there. Do you go higher for any conditions or activities?

Thanks.
post #13 of 20

Forward pressure

Your crash #3 (and maybe #2) sounds a lot like a fall I took a few years back on new skis and shop mounted bindings. I thought the bindings should have released, so took them to another shop for double check. The forward pressure hadn't been set, they said it would have take a lot of force to make them release, lucky I didn't hurt myself.

Maybe someone here knows how to verify forward pressure on Look bindings?
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by makakio
My DINs change all the time depending on what I'm skiing and how much energy I have. Not exactly a 'science', but then again I'm not going to sue myself, right?
Thanks makakio. This brings me back to the question I asked mid-way through the thread. If I'm confident a shop has set forward pressure correctly, is there anything more to changing DIN than the screwdriver adjustment? Do you have to re-adjust forward pressure when changing DIN?

I'm guessing not, since it seems to be a function of boot sole length (how the boot fits in the binding). Can anyone take it from "guessing" to actually "knowing"?
post #15 of 20
The only binding I know of that needs to have foward pressure changed when changing DIN are Markers and only some of them. The Look/Rossi Binding does NOT require this. On last years Look/Rossi the foward pressure screw should be flush with the track housing.
post #16 of 20
Watch the binding as you insert a boot (on a bench, not wearing one). You should be able to see an indicator moving into a range, usually a moving pointer moves against the binding casing with two marks on it. So long as your within the two marks with the boot in the binding your good to go. Maybe someone with knowledge of the P10 can tell you exactly where to look.

I would not assume that forward pressure was set correctly by the shop. I would assume nothing and expect the Spanish Inquisition!
post #17 of 20
Quote:
On last years Look/Rossi the foward pressure screw should be flush with the track housing.
I think the screw should be 1 mm inside the housing with the boot in the binding, but check this.

No, I never mess with my settings. I like the bindings so I can stand still and twist out of the toes or pull out of the heels. They come off about once a year, and only when I hit something.

Ken
post #18 of 20
Forward pressure shouldn't change on your binding given the DIN. At least *I've* never encountered a pair like that. Good luck with experimentation. I would guess that if you know how to carve and your style isn't brutal on your legs you're going to find that you can ski at a muuuch lower DIN setting than you thought possible. Urban Legend has it that Killy used to set the DIN on his free-skis at a 4 as his style was nothing but butter... :
post #19 of 20
Well, Killy can butter his nuts all he wants, but I'll weigh in with the high din perspective here. A few things to note:

- Looks have the most real world retention per din of any bindings, and Markers have the least. This is due to elastic travel and friction, Looks have more, Markers have less. If you are not comfortable with when you are releasing, you could easily go down to your level I settings on those binding. I am always amazed at how low people ski those bindings (P10, P12, P14). If you had markers, you'd probably be asking about setting them higher.

- The retention of your bindings effects your skiing style. I ski a fairly high din, 3.5 points over my reccomended level III setting (9.5 -> 13), on bindings that have excellent elastic travel. I own some pairs bindings that I have never, ever, released out of. I can assume several things when I ski: that I will never pre-release, and that a release will only happen if I severey load the binding or crash hard. This means I'm able to plow through choppy snow, debris, and jump off things without fear of a high speed release. But if I fall down at slow speed, I will tweak a leg if my ski gets caught wrong....thus I am very careful if I fall at slow speeds. The only time I really come out is if I'm pivot short turning the ski with alot of power, and I hook it in heavy soft snow or on a tree or stump, resulting in a twist out of the boot from the toe peice.

If you are concerned with your leg health by all means turn them down. However, it will have an effect on how aggresively you can ski.
post #20 of 20
hey there, i'm a type III skier and also have the fischer big stix 7.6. mine are the black and orange ones - theyear before the red ones - in a size 177. i'm 6'1" and 180lbs and they're a *bit* short for me, but i picked them up because i spend lots of time in the bumps adn the woods.

i have found them to be relatively unstable and chattery at high speeds. they carve great and handle the eastern all mountain stuff i throw at them, but high speeds are definitely not up to par. So anyway, just remember that you are not skiing on a ski which is relatively stable at high speeds and that extra chattering and slamming around may cause pre-release.

Just be careful when you're doing the full downhill tuck runs on those skis! It's defintitely not what they were designed for.

Sounds fun tho!
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