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Building a quiver & AT vs. Alpine bindings - dilemma - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by spat View Post
Thanks to everyone for input, I can fairly see both approaches now. HigwayStar, thanks for your "different" angle view. However, as I'm not a freeriding movie star with DIN15+, I decided to try naxos. To change a topic little bit, do you think that Monsters88 will accomplish my needs? I demoed Legends 8800's last season, which I liked a lot (in soft snow), but I have a little worries about them in icy conditions (which are inevitable in Europe). HS mentioned Legends Pro, I think this is a little bit too much. I would like to stay around 90mm range. Any other ski to take a look at?
As I've skied quite a bit on both skis, I'll throw in my $.02.

While my Dynastars are the Inspired rather than the 8800, I think whatever differences there might between the 8800 and the Inspired are minimal. I ski the 8800 in a 188cm and the iM88 in a 186cm. (I weigh 195#)

The 8800 is a really fun soft-snow ski. It's easy to flex, turny, and just a very good ski for powder and crud. It can be skied slowly and I believe it's pretty forgiving. While it's "okay" on hard, smooth snow, my own opinion is that it's a bit too flexible torsionally to be really good if you're skiing a lot of hardpack. To my way of thinking, it will hook up and carve on pretty hard snow, but it just seems to take more effort and more pronounced angles to get it to do that. (Now it could be that my weight is at the upper end of what that ski in that length is made for.)

I think the iM88 is a little stiffer all around. It has a really smooth and powerful flex, but it likes a little more speed than the 8800. The iM88 really lights up when your speed ramps up a bit. It just seems that it takes less effort to hook it up on hard snow and keep it in a carve. It skis soft snow well, crud like a tank, and makes great turns on hard snow. Given your description of how you ski and the conditions you'll face most of the time, I think the iM88 would be a better choice.

Just my thoughts (and I am a Head rep, so take that into account).
post #32 of 46
Bob, how does the weight compare on the IM88 and Legend 8800? Any magor difference for hiking?
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
Bob, how does the weight compare on the IM88 and Legend 8800? Any magor difference for hiking?
Ha!

Since none of the manufacturers seem to want to publish the weights of their freakin' skis : , I have no idea.

My sense is that the 8800 is just slightly heavier than the iM88, but I don't know that for sure. It just feels that way.

In any case, I don't think there's enough weight differential for it to be a significant factor in a buying decision.

Then there's that constant tradeoff between weight and crud-skiing performance. If there's good, untracked powder, I love to go bc skiing with my Heli Stinx/Dynafit setup. They're light as a feather compared to alpine skis and Freerides. They ski great in untracked powder, but they suck horribly in crust or windslab or crud or slop or whatever. Once things get cruddy, heavy skis are great.

Weight is good, up to a point.
post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for comments. I just found that I'm getting confused on my selection more and more. Bob, it seems that you know all Head products, can you confirm to me that I'm looking at right lenghts for me? (182cm/83kg/level 7/8, skiing fast). I have a great offer from loacal Head importer, so preferably XRC1200 or 1400 in 170cm (is this enough or should I take 177?) and for b/c setup with Monsters 88 in (help here) 175 or 186. I also found a good deal on Voelkl Mantras 184 05/06. Which way to go? Please, help.....
post #35 of 46
Im88's are heavier than Legend Pro's, in the same length (186), so I don't see how they're going to be lighter than a 8800.
post #36 of 46
Has anyone ever skied bumps on the naxo's or the freerides? I bought a pair, but haven't mounted them yet, and I'm having second thoughts.
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheapseats View Post
To me, there seems to be WAAAAAAY too many people on AT gear skiing at mountains that probably rarely (if ever) get out into the bc. Why? I dunno, maybe it looks cool.
It's the corollary to Highway Star's "look-at-me" race stock fetish, only more patchouli-scented.

For the proper context within which to consider Highway Star's advice -- any of it -- see here for a proper profile of his personality:
http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63745

spat- get the Fritschi (any of them; all the same; difference is in DIN range only), you'll be fine. If you hate them then resell them.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeskier75 View Post
Has anyone ever skied bumps on the naxo's or the freerides? I bought a pair, but haven't mounted them yet, and I'm having second thoughts.
Maybe it's just me, but I bought an at setup to avoid having to ski icy groomers and bumps.
Sure, they'll work if you've only got a shot at a one ski quiver, but this isn't what they're designed to do.
If your main concern is performance in the bumps, or having too much slop for high speed carving on icy groomers, buy alpine bindings.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffW View Post
Maybe it's just me, but I bought an at setup to avoid having to ski icy groomers and bumps.
Sure, they'll work if you've only got a shot at a one ski quiver, but this isn't what they're designed to do.
If your main concern is performance in the bumps, or having too much slop for high speed carving on icy groomers, buy alpine bindings.
My main concern is that if I ski bc for 4 hours, and want to hit the bumps for a bit in the pm, Idon't want to change skis. I don't expect them to handle as well as my slayers. But I can't be releasing in bumps.
post #40 of 46
I'd redirect the conversation more toward your scenario:

Are you planning to 1) Go walk to a cool place, ski, and camp? 2) Hike for a few hours to a ridge or glacier that you can see from the top lift? 3) Hike over to pow stashes you can see from the lift, and continue to use the lift when you can?

If (1) or (2), you better get some backcountry training, and ski with a guide or buddies who've been out there. The alternative, ending up under a few tons of snow or down a crevasse, might ruin your whole day.

If (1) or (2), you have to begin with AT boots. Otherwise you'll have terminal blisters and joint pain like you wouldn't believe. Or maybe you'll just be too tired from the load to come back, so you'll decide to stay...

If (2), you might get away with a stiff beefy ski like the iM88. And it'll be fine for (3). But you'll enjoy (2) more if you have a lighter, softer, setup. Which is a no-brainer for (1). So go read Backcountry or Colouir. Talk to folks who do AT most of their hours. Think about Atomic (Snoop, Sweet), which are known for lightness. Or better, think about stiff AT skis like the BD Havoc or G3 Reverend that are still a lot lighter and a bit softer than their Alpine counterparts. A lot of folks who do AT speak very highly of the soft Bros, and the Volkl T-Rock, I should add.

Finally, while you do find some wonderful speed runs backcountry, know that a lot of it, especially getting there and back, can be sun baked crust over pow, refrozen ice, rocks, drainages, logs, and trees. You'll want a ski that can react quickly to this stuff, and one that's got enough float to get you through it. Again, you might think wider and softer.
post #41 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by spat View Post
me:
182cm/180lbs, like to ski almost everything (fast), trying to avoid drops and crowds, skiing in Europe (SK,AT,IT,F), currently on XRC1100 170cm (2004/05)

plan:
2 pairs Head quiver, XRC1200/1400 170cm - for groomers, Monster iM88 175cm - for powder/offpiste/resort-lift serviced back-country and skinning off few hundreds meters from crowded places to get some fresh snow

doubt:
monsters mounted with fritschi freerides OR alpine bindings + trekkers

questions:
1)I've never been on AT setup before. Please, can you compare pros/cons of these two systems with preference on downhill (stability, safety, feeling, etc)?
2)Any other problem with mounting freerides on monsters?
3)Any suggestions to my plan?

Any answer highly appreciated
I'm using all three - Trekkers, Freerides (04/05 model) and Naxo 21s (05/06) depending which sticks I'm just dragging along. Working on the same playground as you are.

For what you described you will be fine with either solution.

Trekkers are the cheapest option but tour the worst by far. So if you intend to scale it up on the ascents for larger vertical and don't huck definitely get an AT binder. Freerides are lighter than Naxos, the slop - if any develops over the course of time - is pretty much the same on both.

How well or bad it skis rather depends on the boots than the binder.
post #42 of 46
Spats - I'd suggest just mounting up the 88's with either Naxo's or FR's and skiing them for a season to figure out what you want. You can always remount them on another ski once you get a feel for your b/c needs and put the Alpine bindings back on the 88's if you want.

As to the "should I buy/mount AT bindings?" - One thing, AT bindings like FR's and Naxos sole purpose is to aid in the search for freshies. They're not the best for full-on b/c touring and they're not designed to bash moguls or carve rails on icy groomers. They are perfect for a day that includes lift served pow in the am and heading out of the ropes once that's tracked up or for lapping a b/c stash.
They can make for a one ski quiver if your idea of skiing is seeking out soft snow. You can ski bumps with them, or rail groomers, but they won't be as good as an alpine binding and likely won't hold up to day after day of zipperline bumps.
Just be realistic with yourself and how much skinning you're likely to do. For quick 15min-1/2 hour hikes off the lift followed by an afternoon of skiing hard snow, bootpack or use trekkers.
post #43 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffW View Post
Spats - .........freeride's.......and they're not designed to bash moguls or carve rails on icy groomers.
In all seriousness, I thought they were great carving groomers. Im88's with freerides would be killer on hardpack, or smooth hard snow in the bc.
post #44 of 46
I've got a pair of Naxo's mounted on some Legend 8800's and love the setup. I think the Monster 88's will ski the ice a little bit better than the 8800's but not all that much. Some other options...the G3 Reverend or Baron, Rossi scratch bc (a little above 90mm but nice). I love my current setup, in fact, this year I replaced a 8800/naxo setup from the 04/05 season with newer gear as I had skied the others to death. Generally speaking I don't use my alpine boots with this setup as Garmont has put out some AT boots that are impressive and they are much more comfortable on the hike. Last year I used the Adrenaline, this year I've switched to the Endorphin boot. These boots are stiff, both come with two different soles (touring sole, and a DIN standard sole)...check them out.
post #45 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Are you planning to 1) Go walk to a cool place, ski, and camp? 2) Hike for a few hours to a ridge or glacier that you can see from the top lift? 3) Hike over to pow stashes you can see from the lift, and continue to use the lift when you can?

If (1) or (2), you better get some backcountry training, and ski with a guide or buddies who've been out there. The alternative, ending up under a few tons of snow or down a crevasse, might ruin your whole day.

If (1) or (2), you have to begin with AT boots. Otherwise you'll have terminal blisters and joint pain like you wouldn't believe. Or maybe you'll just be too tired from the load to come back, so you'll decide to stay...

If (2), you might get away with a stiff beefy ski like the iM88. And it'll be fine for (3). But you'll enjoy (2) more if you have a lighter, softer, setup. Which is a no-brainer for (1). .
Beyond, I'm between 2 and 3, I tried some AT boots (Adrenalines) in the shop, but I can not imagine skiing down in such a soft boot. I will give a try with my alpines and see what happens. Terminal blisters? Is it going to be really that bad?

re: wider , softer skis, do you think that 05/06 Mantras in 184 would fit? (really good deal on them available)
post #46 of 46
Hi Spat - I own/love the Mantra 177's, am 15 lbs lighter than you, have heard a lot of positive feedback about them for backcountry with AT. IMO, the 184's would work well if you really plan to ski in fairly open areas, like above treeline or glaciers, big turns, taking air. Maybe overkill if you're working stashes of pow in glades.

In either case, if you get them, think about mounting location too. The factory line is a few cm forward of where most folks mount, but I have mine there; very slight tradeoff of maneuverability for stability. If you're going a touch long with AT gear, I'd stay at the line. (There are loooong threads about this issue; go search under "Mantra" or "Cirquerider.")
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