EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Does a riller bar rilly make a difference?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does a riller bar rilly make a difference?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I decided it was time to find out how much of a difference a riller bar created structure would make in sticky spring snow.

So, I took a pair of skis and waxed, scraped, and brushed until they looked very fast. Then I took one of the skis and gave it the riller bar treatment, pressing in a nice structure. So, I've got one ski that has the riller structure and the other that is waxed but no new structure.

On the hill I hunted for the stickiest snow I could find and much to my surprise I couldn't feel any difference between the skis.
post #2 of 18
"Feel" is not too objective. Find a small hill and a flat and mark how far you glide before stopping. We do this all the time on xc skis and find about a 10% improvement.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
"Feel" is not too objective. Find a small hill and a flat and mark how far you glide before stopping. We do this all the time on xc skis and find about a 10% improvement.
I could see 10%. But I doubt I'll bother for downhill. On the getback from Summit to West Village (sticky as could be) I could ski 50/50 and I could not tell which ski had the riller structure.
post #4 of 18
Sounds reasonable. Sucky snow sucks, and there isn't a whole lot one can do about it. But without wax/tuning freaks, boot fit freaks, technique freaks, and political whackos we wouldn't have nearly as good of a website.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
But without wax/tuning freaks, boot fit freaks, technique freaks, and political whackos we wouldn't have nearly as good of a website.
^^^You are correct sir!

Max, certainly your individual findings underfoot are most important. And perhaps you are limiting your conclusions to that only regarding the benefit of a riller bar other than a machine applied structure. However my initial thought is your experiment is confounded. Did you say you scraped, waxed and brushed…then imparted structure with the riller tool on one of the skis? Would it not be better to impart structure on one ski prior to waxing both? Actually Max, I would experiment with a baseline structure to one ski without any wax application applied to both skis.

Regardless, I am of the belief that a superior waxing process trumps any base structure insofar as “feel” on a given day. That said, I have read enough examples and site my own underfoot history to state that a well applied structure pattern (especially a pattern suited to your particular skiing preference) provides significant benefit in warmer conditions than that of an otherwise solid base or manufactures base especially when wax is deficient.

Btw Max…finding sticky snow is interesting for me since when I think I spy it and prepare for it (balance & weighting) once upon it I find I’ve read it completely wrong . Actually the most accurate test that I’ve encountered (since I’m not running competitive downhill) is running in and out of shaded spots on spring days. Be it with proper wax application and/or base structure; a smoothing out of the snow temp “variance” is what I notice and feel. Cheers.
post #6 of 18
Not using newfydog's method, how did you choose the structure size and shape?


We have to be a bit careful here: just because I choose the wrong plastic hood scoop and spoiler from JCWhitney and it doesn't do squat on a Honda Civic doesn't mean aerodynamic refinements don't work on cars.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Not using newfydog's method, how did you choose the structure size and shape?
At this point I've tried the light and medium linear structure that is easy to press in via a riller bar. If there is a difference between those two I can't feel it.

In addition, on my test skis I've now rewaxed, scraped, and brushed (one has the riller structure, one does not) and I still can't feel a difference.

Everyone always told me that structure made a huge difference. Newfydog has said he has found its more like 10% which I could believe. The bummer is that a 10% boost in glide doesn't make a dent in the sticky snow I've been skiing.
post #8 of 18
One variable of many.

Including how flexed and edged a ski is. I suspect newfydog was skiing flexmatched skis, which in itself affects glide on about the same level as structure.

I get the impression you're skiing short highly edged turns in snow with liquid present. Time to try a cross structure.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
I get the impression you're skiing short highly edged turns in snow with liquid present. Time to try a cross structure.
For my testing I tried all sorts of turns including straight runs with the bases flat. I also have a pair that has a nice new machine structure on it. They all stick roughly the same. The biggest difference I notice is from a fresh wax job.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
For my testing I tried all sorts of turns including straight runs with the bases flat. I also have a pair that has a nice new machine structure on it. They all stick roughly the same. The biggest difference I notice is from a fresh wax job.
Not unexpected: Minimizing wetted surface area while at the same time spreading the weight over as many snow grains as possible are conflicting goals and may only have a limited range of usable solutions in specific speed regimes.

I'd be tempted to try:
- Go even coarser. Entrain as much air as possible.
- Cross structure as above. Let the water leave instead of traveling the length of the ski.
- Surfactant-containing wax or just plain soap so the water beading on the skis doesn't have such a huge cross-section to interact with the snow grains.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
- Surfactant-containing wax or just plain soap so the water beading on the skis doesn't have such a huge cross-section to interact with the snow grains.
I tried soap. Wax worked much better. Any other ideas? I do alot of spring skiing and would really like to get the skis moving better in the sticky stuff.
post #12 of 18
Did you try any low fluoro wax? So far, I haven't found a solution for mank, but the riller bar and low flouro has worked OK in most spring conditions. A coarser structure 'feels' like it runs better, until I hit the mash potatoes, where nothing seems to make any difference other than lifting with my toes and floating the turns. How about a narrower ski?
post #13 of 18
This time of year the pine pollen is a problem. It coats the skis with a black tar-like glop.

I've actually taken solvent on our xc skating trips to Broken Top. A clean ski is better than wax covered with black glop.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
This time of year the pine pollen is a problem. It coats the skis with a black tar-like glop.

I've actually taken solvent on our xc skating trips to Broken Top. A clean ski is better than wax covered with black glop.
I was wondering what the heck that crap was! Its a b*tch to get off without using a solvent.
post #15 of 18
More on the black goo:

Convensional wisdom is that fluoros repel dirt and the like. We went out one spring day, again skating the spring crust, where I had no wax and my wife had skis which had just been raced on, and were waxed with high fluoro warm wax and covered by a thin roto corked 100% fluoro overlay. Her skis picked up so much black goo they looked like they were tarred. She was walking on her skis. Mine had some spots of it but kept gliding.

Have you tried Swix silver paste? It seems to last pretty well and is something you can just sponge over the goo on at the hill.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
Have you tried Swix silver paste? It seems to last pretty well and is something you can just sponge over the goo on at the hill.
I haven't but I'll order some and give it a go.

Do you always use a solvent to clean this black gunk off. I've tried the hot scrape method but its definitely not getting it all.
post #17 of 18
Sounds like a bad year, or maybe Powdercorp just stopped grooming and it is all sitting on the top. Seems like hot scraping usually does it, but I'd hate to think you might iron some of that stuff into the base. Either solvent or good abrasive frozen morning crud will clean it off.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I haven't but I'll order some and give it a go.

Do you always use a solvent to clean this black gunk off. I've tried the hot scrape method but its definitely not getting it all.
If you're on the hill, the (excess) solvent in liquid wax and a rag will take most of the black gunk off. I carry a Oneballjay liquid wax applicator and a rag with me when spring skiing. When the sap and pollen build up, I dab liquid wax on my bases and wipe it off allong with most of the black gunk. It's a difference you'll feel right away. Swix liquid also works but costs more and all I'm really after is the solvent to clean the base.

Napkins also work if you forget to bring a rag...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Tuning, Maintenance and Repairs › Does a riller bar rilly make a difference?