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Rossi B2 vs B3 - Is there a real difference?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
After skiing last Friday (my first day on new B3's - very happy) I was poking around the ski stores and noticed how tiny the difference between the dimensions of the Rossi Bandit B2 and B3 are.

I know the B2 is 5 millimeters narrower, but when you actually see it you realize how small that is -- especially when you split the difference and put half on each side of the centerline. I held a 174 B2 up to a 176 B3 and had to line them up carefully to see the difference.

According to their website, they have the same construction. Of course, it didn't occur to me to compare flex when I had both in my hands....

So I'm wondering - is there a significant difference, or is it just targeted marketing?
post #2 of 24
There is a definite difference, is it 'significant'? Thats pretty subjective, the sidecut is VERY similar, the B3 has a slightly longer TR (part of that is length) the sizes are different, and 5mm is very noticable.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
5mm is very noticable.
That was really the key to what I was wondering about. I was used to thinking of it as a fairly large difference from reading specs, but it caught me off guard how small it looks when you compare in the flesh.
post #4 of 24
Skied both and currently have the B3’s in 184 cm length r.18.9 (the B2 I skied last season was 182 cm with r. 18.2). While width appears small looking as an overlay, it truly makes a significant difference on slope. If you could quickly snap in between these skis you would immediately notice your finesse change edge to edge. The 3 will “feel” wider as you turn over an edge on hardpack but will cut and carve and float more confidently than the 2 in off piste conditions. The 2 will turn over quicker on pack and knife through hard bumps with greater quickness but looses the confidence the 3 has in manky conditions. Both share damp, predictable and solid feeling in their comfort zones. IMO, the marketing mash with respect to piste and off piste Rossi puts out with 50/50 for the 2 and 30/70 for the 3 hits awfully close and should be followed based upon the primary conditions you ski.

Good Skiing!
post #5 of 24
I've skied the B2 (in 182) and own the 06' B3 in 184 and 07' B3 in 176.
I'm 5'10", 210 lbs level 7-8 skier.

There's a definite difference between the two skis...The B2 is much more of a relaxed feeling ski that has a medium speed limit, at least for me. The B3, in both lengths, don't have a speed limit I've found yet and they LOVE speed. I haven't skied the B2 in powder, so I really didn't/couldn't tell a difference w/float, but the B3 absolutely crush's crud/slop conditions (makes it seem like you are skiing on groomed) whereas the B2 got pushed around pretty easily.

The difference in size between the B3's is harldly noticeable...The shorter being a little more forgiving.
post #6 of 24
I agree with both statements above. I have skied the B2 the last two years in both 166 and 174. The B3 lat year in 176. The B3 was great in the crud, just plowed through with ease. Floated very nicely in the powder, but wasn't nearly as good in the bumps as the B2. I actually found the 2003-2004 B1 to be the best bump ski of the three and good enough for a little powder. So now I have the 2004 B1 at 170 cm and the 2006 B3 at 176cm.

I was surprised at the difference skiing both B2 and B3 on the same day.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
As I said, I have one day in on my B3's (last years, 176)and am super happy so far. I even had one pitch of "fluffy whipped potatoes" (i.e. not really mashed potatoes) that I was able to pretend was powder and the skis loved it. Haven't been in serious bumps yet.

I'm kicking myself for not comparing flex when I had the chance. I'm still having trouble believing a small size diff could make that much difference by itself.

I've been thinking about looking for 166 cm B2's for my son (14 y.o, 5'8", 130 lbs - currently only has race skis). I'd say he's on the lower end of the "advanced" spectrum (by Epic standards). Any opinions on suitability?
post #8 of 24

Demo at Deer Valley

I tried both the B2 and B3 in the free demo program at Deer Valley-- so I skied them back-to-back on the same day-- thus a good test.

It's interesting that they didn't have the B1 available in the program.

I would say there is a difference in feel-- I would compare the B3 to a
full-size SUV and the B2 to a mid-size SUV. You're right the measurement differences really aren't that great but the B3 does "feel" wider. And I would say that I'm not extremely sensitive when it comes to distinguishing subtle differences between skis, so if even I could distinguish a slight difference, there must be one. I would say the difference is more noticible on groomed terrain. Of course, for me it's hard to really make judgements about skis (other than in qualities like float) in the crud, because the snow is variable-- thus you don't know if it's a particular patch of snow or the skis that are causing the particular response. I'm sure people with more "developed palattes" can make those distinctions though.

That being said, I liked them both, but went out and bought the B2.
post #9 of 24
The new B1 is not a very good ski imo. The older B1 is a good ski. That maybe why they didn't have it available.
post #10 of 24
memosteve and bumpdad remind me that perhaps in this case that Rossi may have hit the mark with respect to real difference in skis and target marketing; the question of this post.

Interesting since some new Colorado start up ski companies are looking for their niche with “as advertised” ski characteristics combined with more precision in targeting specific customers. Perhaps the big guys will be compelled to take notice and reduce the fluff and deliver on their hype.
post #11 of 24
I didn't realize you had a stuttering issue, Bumpdad...
post #12 of 24
I,i,I,I, thinkkk I've corrrrrectted that.
post #13 of 24
Major differences in feel, well described above, largely due to extra metal in B-3's 176 and above, none in B-2's except at tip.
post #14 of 24
I think that the difference between B2 and B3 is B1.

But my math is getting rusty.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Major differences in feel, well described above, largely due to extra metal in B-3's 176 and above, none in B-2's except at tip.
That's a good point beyond. My 3's at 184 feel as though they have a cement spine giving me an occasional feeling that I'm a foot above the snow while I'm standing them on a hardpack edge.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Major differences in feel, well described above, largely due to extra metal in B-3's 176 and above, none in B-2's except at tip.
Ahhh. So there is a difference in construction. That makes sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wags View Post
I tried both the B2 and B3 in the free demo program at Deer Valley ... That being said, I liked them both, but went out and bought the B2.
I also bought my B3's because of that demo program! Unfortunately, I didn't start till everyone else went into lunch, so I only had time for two runs. They wanted the skis back ridiculously early, something like 2 or 2:30. (They did offer to let me keep them overnight, but we were flying home in the morning.) I think that demo hut is a smart investment for Rossi.
post #17 of 24
I liked DonDenvers breakdown earlier.

I demoed the B2 back in the 2004/05 season in Sun Valley.

I demoed the B3 last season @ Alpine Meadows.

I was suprised at how much different each where. I was even more suprised to learn that the underfoot difference was so "minimal." I actually thought the B3 was more like a 94 underfoot until I doublechecked the specs on the Rossi website. They rode somewhat similar to my Mantras, which are 94, but felt a bit more nimble.

I'm still trying to figure out if they have "officially" discontinued the B4...it's not listed on the Rossi website (http://www.rossignol.com/), yet you can find them online at quite a few stores.
post #18 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dookey67 View Post
I'm still trying to figure out if they have "officially" discontinued the B4...it's not listed on the Rossi website (http://www.rossignol.com/), yet you can find them online at quite a few stores.
I thought the B-Squad replaced it. Or is that even wider?
I saw a long B-Squad in a store on Friday - that is one serious looking board.
post #19 of 24
I beleive you are correct. B4 was replaced by the B-squad
post #20 of 24
The B4 has been discontinued and replaced by the B Squad, which is indeed much wider, stiffer and features a square tail unlike the B4.
post #21 of 24
Actually, I think the shorter lengths of the B-Squad are meant to replace the B4.

The Squad in a 164/174/184 is 100mm at the waist
The Squad in the 189/194 is 104mm at the waist

The B4 is/was 94mm at the waist and comes/came in 168/178/185 lengths (it is said to have the same dims as the "original" B3...sounds like Rossi just keeps moving the B denominations up, so the 3 turns into the 4, the four the Squad, etc...)

post #22 of 24
I've been skiing the '06 B3 for a few years. Great all mtn ski for a lighter skier. The B4 has been discontinued but is still available (last year's). The B Squad is a behemoth. I demo'd it last year. Skied The Cirque on Whistler in about 90 seconds - don't bother trying to turn this sucker - fast and straight. Great for your Alaska heli trip but too much ski for an every day pow blaster. The B4 is far more forgiving - too bad it's gone. This year I'm skiing Gotamas but I suspect the B3 will remain as my everyday ski. Highly recommended (despite the ugly orange graphics).

Re the B2: Also an excellent ski, but more on-piste. This has been a favorite with WB renters the last few years.

Re the B1: Anyone on this board shouldn't bother. Truly a low-end beginner ski.
post #23 of 24
I disagree regarding the older B1. Many, including myself, feel it is a fine bump ski and quite alright for non-powder/light snow days and very good on hardpack. Clearly not an off piste ski. The newer B1 (2005-2006, 2006-2007) is a poor ski imo.

http://www.skinet.com/skinet/gear/ap...eturnLimit=all

Can't get to the Back Bowls of Vail? Let the B1 bring them to you. Here, among the best in the category, is the Freeride ski that, as bump guru Carmichael puts it, is "exceptionally smooth and capable in bumps and tight spaces. It invites you into them." And even if you sit back for a moment on this go-anywhere, do-anything ski, "it'll pull you through," says Campbell, "even on harder Eastern snow." Easily one of the most forgiving skis in the category, the B1 is still a "spunky short-turner that also handles rough snow well," says Sabanosh. With stellar scores in Moguls and Overall, the B1 is the bomb for adventurists in tight spots.
PROS:
Fantastic short turns; quick in moguls; holds on hardpack.

CONS:
A bit narrow for deep powder or spring mush.
post #24 of 24
same mag diff year

http://www.skinet.com/skinet/gear/ap...eturnLimit=all

The B1 makes lightning-fast direction changes on everything from fall line groomers to tight chutes. While it's narrower and less powerful than the B2, it still has a similar silky, damp feel and crud-plowing ability. Quick-footed skiers with centered stances will benefit the most from its agile nature.
PROS:
It's quiet and proficient on firm surfaces.

CONS:
No B2-esque float here.

TESTERS'S TAKE:
Even weekend-warrior experts will find the groove from turn one. --Scottie Ewing
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