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How common is incorrect binding mounting?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Perhaps it is just my bad luck, but I am curious as to how many people have purchased skis that did not have the bindings mounted properly. I do purchase more skis than the average consumer, but I have never had a problem with bindings mounted by my regular shop. These experiences all took place when my regular shop was sold out of a model that I was looking for. I am curious if others have had similar experiences to mine:
I purchased a pair of Fischer World Cup RCs with bindings and when I received them, I discovered that the plates on the skis were not correctly moiunted by Fischer and the bindings were not centered on the plates - the bindings were actually hanging off one side of the plates. This was not an incorrectly mounted binding perhaps, but the shop should have realized the mistake prior to giving me the skis. (The skis were replaced with a new pair.)
I purchased a pair of Volkl Allstars, from a local shop and quickly noticed a dimple on the bottom where the screw for the piston had pushed through. I also noticed that the pistons were not in the same position. The skis were replaced with a new pair.
I bought a pair of Vokl AC3's and prior to having the bindings mounted, I was assured that the pistions would be in the same position: "a template is used and it is nearly impossible to mount the piston in different positions." The pistons were not in the same position when I picked up the skis. FWIW< I have purchased two pairs of skis with the same bindings through my regular shop and they were perfect.
In all three occasions, the skis were purchased from reputable shops in New England. I am not going to name these shops or the shop I regularly use, I am just curious if others have had similar experiences.
post #2 of 25
We purchased my wife's skis this season, and it took 3 tries to get the bindings mounted correctly. 1st mistake because the shop messed up, 2nd because the templates on the skis were wrong from the mfr. They said it was because the new guy did it. I'm sure it's more common at certain shops than others. Obviously, I'm not going back there to get any binding work. I had no choice at the time because they promised the same day service. Maybe that rushed them, but still.
post #3 of 25
I do all my own mounts. That way I only have myself to blame.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
I do all my own mounts. That way I only have myself to blame.
Same deal for me.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
I do all my own mounts. That way I only have myself to blame.
My question: how does someone get the knowledge to feel comfortable mounting their own bindings? Did you work in a shop for a while, or did you just teach yourself from instructional material?

I've seen lots of material regarding ski tuning, but I haven't seen that much about the binding mounting process.
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoaster View Post
My question: how does someone get the knowledge to feel comfortable mounting their own bindings? Did you work in a shop for a while, or did you just teach yourself from instructional material?

I've seen lots of material regarding ski tuning, but I haven't seen that much about the binding mounting process.
Years of working in a shop and having the right tools is key.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Years of working in a shop and having the right tools is key.
Yep. I worked as a tech for five years and mounted thousands of pairs of skis. How so many shops screw up so many mounts is beyond me. I could teach a half-sober monkey to do it in 15 minutes. Mounting bindings is by far the easiest part of being a ski tech.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Yep. I worked as a tech for five years and mounted thousands of pairs of skis. How so many shops screw up so many mounts is beyond me. I could teach a half-sober monkey to do it in 15 minutes. Mounting bindings is by far the easiest part of being a ski tech.
Cool. Now I need to find someone like you in the southeast willing to teach this half-sober monkey how to do it.

I have a bunch of old skis I could practice on, and its something I would really like to learn at some point. My local shops charge $55-70 for mount/remount of skis, and it would be nice to save this chunk of change.

However, I want to learn how to do it right, so I don't jack up a brand new pair of sticks at some point.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

but how many buyers check their bindings?

The problem with the bindings on the WC RC was obvious to me because the Fischer plates have a line down the center and the bindings have some notches so I noticed an offset between the two.
On the Allstars, I didn't notice any problems until I brought the skis home. When I began to scrape the first coat of base prep, I noticed the dimple on the base. I brought them to my regular shop (who was sold out of the ski in the size I wanted) and they showed me that it was the piston mounting screw that was causing the protrusion on the base of the ski. More than likely, the drilled hole was not cleaned out prior to installing the screw. It was during their check of the mounting that they noticed that the pistons were not installed in the same location and it was this that allowed me to check and find the same problem on the next pair of Volkls that I purchased. If I didn't prep my skis before skiing them, I wouldn't have noticed the dimple on the base.
I guess this makes me wonder: 1) how many people check their bindings when they receive their skis? and 2) how many people know what to check for?
It's refreshing to know that there are Epic members who are qualified enough to correctly install their own bindings. I'm just wondering about those who are being paid to mount bindings for customers.:
post #10 of 25
I figured I would rather add to this thread than start a new one.

I purchased a pair of Stockli Stormrider TTs with Tyrolia Mojo 15 bindings in October from a Bricks and Mortar shop in Northern Vt. They also do business on Ebay. I have bought skis from them before without any problems so when I was looking at them this past Sunday with hopes of getting them ready for a possible dumping Sunday night, I was mortified when I noticed the bindings were about 1/8" too far to the right on both skis. I measured with a machinist square with and without the boots in the bindings and showed my wife to make sure I wasn't going nuts.

Needless to say I am very disappointed and called the shop and they said to bring them back and they'll take a look. I am going to try to get to them this Friday or Saturday. I don't need this hassle right now with all of the holiday stuff going on.
post #11 of 25
From the stories I have seen here, quite common.
post #12 of 25
I've had a similar problem that I posted on the Tuning and Maintenance forum.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivelk View Post
I've had a similar problem that I posted on the Tuning and Maintenance forum.
I just read your story. That sucks too! I may unscrew the bindings from the ski and take a look at the holes. That would be more telling. I just didn't want to touch them before the shop looked at the skis. Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to resolve this.

Keep us posted...
post #14 of 25
Funny, last year a B&M shop in northern VT mounted some RF's on my newly purchased Rotors too far to one side (like a cm, really obvious); returned them and had to settle for XL's. Wonder....
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
Funny, last year a B&M shop in northern VT mounted some RF's on my newly purchased Rotors too far to one side (like a cm, really obvious); returned them and had to settle for XL's. Wonder....
Does the shop's name begin with an "S"? Maybe Tyrolia has poorly designed jigs or there is a poorly designed binding tech!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Yep. I worked as a tech for five years and mounted thousands of pairs of skis. How so many shops screw up so many mounts is beyond me. I could teach a half-sober monkey to do it in 15 minutes. Mounting bindings is by far the easiest part of being a ski tech.
Binding mounting IS easy if everything is new and perfect (like in the certification videos) and there are no special cases like canting strips, plates, lifters, old holes, stripped holes, repairing parts, making brakes work, heli-coils, T-bolts, inserts, etc...

I have to disagree when you say it is the easiest job in the ski shop. When you screw up a tune, you regrind and wax. When you screw up and binding mount, you destroy a ski or send someone to the hospital!
post #17 of 25
I worked at a shop where we had a similar problem. Something happened to the Rossi jig. All of the skis were mounted off center. It was pretty slight, but noticable if you measured. We didn't catch it until we mounted an employee's B2s. We never had anyone bring any back. I don't know what the shop could do to fix the problem outside of replacing the ski. A remount would put the holes too close together. It is always a good idea to check the bindings when you pick them up. Also make sure you look under the bindings to make sure they are mounted flush with the ski.
post #18 of 25
Mohrgan - Yep that's the letter.
post #19 of 25
We hear about problems like this at least 2-3 times a season on Epic since I have been around. I don't think most shops put much thought into binding mounts other than following the recipe -- step 1 is to slap on the jig and drill. If the jig is messed up or put on wrong (or in the wrong position), you get a bad mount. Somehow I always feel safer mounting myself, when I can measure and double-check everything twice. It's nearly impossible to screw up if you pay attention.
post #20 of 25
Update:

There was enough slop in the holes of the bindings to move them to within 1mm of center on both skis. For a 95mm ski, I think this is OK. The guy showed me the Tyrolia jig and it looks like it's been around a while. I noticed another pair of skis at the shop with Mojo 15s on it and they were slightly to the right as well. It disappoints me that nobody notices this and tries to rectify the problem. I guess the fact that they are based in a resort town where most people don't look closely at their gear doesn't justify changing jigs or reexamining their mounting technique.

BTW, the shop was very accommodating regarding whether I wanted a remount, refund, or replacement.
post #21 of 25
A subject I have wrestled with every time I get new boards. A couple of thought on this.

-I'm sure there are shops that pride themselves on high quality work, but sadly many back-rooms are staffed with minimally skilled labor. True, it's not rocket science, especially with the right tools, jigs etc, BUT you still need to pay attention. Trying to explain the imortance of a millimeter to the 18 year old with the drill is a tough sell.

-But....there are market forces as work here. I am sure that VERY few skiers have a clue re. their mis-mounted or poorly mounted bindings. So why would shops spend more $$ for better techs if no one cares or notices? Sure, once in a while you get a whiner like me and others on this post, but that's a small price to pay for the 200 other skis they shipped out over the weekend and never heard back from again.

-So...why not just mount your own bindings? In a nut shell, that is often easier said than done, and the pain of screwing up your own skis is something most of us cannot bear, either mentally or financially! Plus, depending on the binding, the job can be tricky. Can you get the set up EXACTLY even front to back and side to side on both skis, and can you drill 16 holes within a .5mm tolerance? I know, I know, make templates etc etc, but despite being very handy I still get jittery when the drill bit start to spin over virgin material!

So....my solution....used skis with simple bindings and skis for friends who are clueless....go ahead, try these at home! Anything that you are nervous about....take it to a shop, hopefully one where they know you. Make it clear that you are VERY particular about the mounting, that you want them PERFECT. That may be enough for them to pay attention or at least give it to one of their better techs. If not, at least they were warned!
post #22 of 25
Last 2 out of 3 skis I've had mounted have been screwed up!! The last time was last week at The Basin in Killington. I skied for 3 days on my PE's anf the heel piece came loose. They tried to blame it on "aggressive skiing". They remounted it forward 2 cm and charged me. Why didn't I argue? I have a season tune there and don't want bad blood because I'm there so much. They have been around for years and should be better than that.
post #23 of 25
Sadly, bad mounting jobs do occur but probably not that frequently. I think this worldwide online forum of dedicated and vocal skiers makes it appear that this problem occurs more frequently than it actually does. The increasing use of pre-mounted bindings makes it harder to screw up something you don't drill. And the certification program for mechanics helps to separate the wheat from the chaff. Equipment (jigs) errors do happen but that is also pretty rare as most jigs are fairly robust.

If mounting errors are as common as some believe they might be, then this suggests that most skiers cannot tell the difference between a properly mounted binding and one that is not. I actually believe this is true but I have no empirical data to support such a belief.

While some mount their own bindings, I do not recommend it unless you have some prior ski mechanic/mounting experience. It is easy to THINK you have done it right, when in fact, you do not really KNOW if you have done it correctly. Some bindings are difficult to determine the proper toe/heel distance with correct forward pressure when the boot is in and don't have enough heel adjustment to accomodate a mistake.

Just my $.02
post #24 of 25
Local shop kind of screwed up my mount. I had them mount marker 12.0ti pistons on volkl p50's. Pistons aren't even. One is almost fully compressed, the other is out most of the way. Like it matters, I can't tell a difference if the pistons are turned on or off, so I don't really care about the pistons being different.

I might have them mount stuff if I buy more expensive stuff, but for stuff like the k2 ememies I got, I'll remount those myself (my boot sole is too long).
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DropCliffsNotBombs View Post
Binding mounting IS easy if everything is new and perfect (like in the certification videos) and there are no special cases like canting strips, plates, lifters, old holes, stripped holes, repairing parts, making brakes work, heli-coils, T-bolts, inserts, etc...

I have to disagree when you say it is the easiest job in the ski shop. When you screw up a tune, you regrind and wax. When you screw up and binding mount, you destroy a ski or send someone to the hospital!
...or go completely unnoticed.
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