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Did I just make a HUGE mistake?!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I recently went to the ski shop to get Tyrolia bindings mounted on my Head Monster skis. I did not realize that a railflex plate was needed so I decided to go with Rossi Axial 110's. Does Head require the use of only Tyrolia Bindings with their skis?

Did I just make a huge mistake by putting another binding on there? Which makes me think...without a plate...how would the shop know where to mount the bindings if the Head Monsters are railflex plate "required". Thanks and if you can't tell, I am freaking out at the possibility that they already drilled the skis with the wrong bindings...:
post #2 of 16
You do not say which model - new 78/ 82 and 88 are flat so one can mount any binding one wishes to to the skis. Assuming that one used the correct jig for the binding the skis should be fine.

The older Monsters (72 and 77) came in flat, railflex and chip models (just to make things confusing). The railflex and chip models definitely skied better (ie smoother) than the non railflex/ chip models which were generally meant for rental/ demo use.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have 2007 Head Monster 77 skis without the railflex plate...
post #4 of 16
Head does not require the use of Tyrolia bindings, but you do get a 3 year warranty if you use them vs. 1 year otherwise. Your Axials should suit you just fine. Skis have markings for shops to know where to mount the bindings, so don't worry about that. The Monsters are by no means Railflex "required" - that's why they were available as a flat ski.

So as it is now, the skis should ski perfectly well, the issue is more that the shop had you buy a whole new pair of bindings when it wasn't required.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
which leads me to my next question...If any bindings can be slapped on Head Skis...why is railflex better? Do they make that much of a difference than bindings without railflex?
post #6 of 16
The Railflex meant that the binding flexed in tune with the ski or some such rubbish. Mainly it meant that one had a track that meant the binding could be adjusted fore and aft by 1.5 cm. For many the more forward position was preferable for general skiing. Does it really make a huge difference, well some people swore that it did and some people could see any difference.

I felt that there was a reasonable difference between the m77 with a demo binding and one with Railflex. The reasons were because I could then ski it in the fore position where it felt better balanced and more stable during the turn and I felt that it was overall slightly more damp/ less prone to tip chatter on cruddy snow. I also felt that it could be skied a bit faster but that is mainly due to feeling more stable and damp.
post #7 of 16
My understanding of the railflex is that it allowed the ski to flex without interference from the boot. I could be wrong though.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
To answer the question about the shop making me buy new bindings...they did mention that it would be possible to buy a plate but they were saying that it might be the more expensive option. (Shipping costs, etc...) Now seeing that I could get the plate $30 online, the pricing between the two options(returning my tyrolia bindings/getting plate vs buying new ones) is about the same.

I talked with a very knowledgable staff member and she says that the difference between railflex vs no railflex is that the ski would be slightly quicker edge to edge and would allow you to tilt the ski further on edge without booting out. This next fact may be personal preference but, I also heard that the railflex "mutes" the snow feel. If you ask me, I like to "feel"
the snow that I am on. Also, I am not sure about the whole skiing "higher" thing(with the boot further off the ground) Yeah, its only a matter of centimeters but, is there not something to be said for better response from boot to ski when you are closer to the skis?(assuming of course, they did not already)

In talking with another staff member...he said that unless you are racing, the differences between railflex vs nonrailflex is negligible. So, with that said, I just want to make sure that I did not make a huge mistake.

Do you see any reason that I should pound the doors down on the ski shop when they open monday morning before they drill the skis?
post #9 of 16
Rail flex is supposed to eliminate the dead zone for flex under the binding. You didn't make a huge mistake because.... It doesn't really matter what binding you use on those skis. Bindings are basicly a matter of personal preference. Some people like the feel / release / retention characteristics of a specific binding. Some people need a specific high / low din setting. You don't seem to have any special preferences or needs (if you did you would know what you needed and wouldn't be asking) so they are really all the same.
post #10 of 16
Racers and other hard core carvers prefer bindings higher off their skis because it gives them better edge grip. The lift can take a while to get used to and I think advanced to expert carving skills are required to take advantage of it and not be hindered by it. On carving skis I like lots of lift and my favorite powder skis have no lift.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
So for someone like me that is really only skiing for recreational purposes and plans to run into both carving and powder conditions here in Colorado, it sounds like that I am just fine without a "lift" in my bindings. Besides, I am coming off skis that don't have any lift whatsoever and I do see where the lift feature can take you a while to get used to.

If what you say is true about the lift feature being something to get used to... I prefer to get used to the skis performance, not the bindings performance. How did this binding/ski system thing start anyway. Is is a way for ski companies to make more money?

Anyway, with the more research that I am doing about this thing the more I am starting to think that I made the right decision by sticking with a non railflex binding. Reasons/My Beliefs Being:

#1 I ski to have fun and to make the skiing as easy as possible(Not the other way around)

#2 I think I would prefer to be closer to the ski when actually skiing. Call it stubborness or whatever, but is there not something to be said for feedback anymore? Does that not make skiing more fun to feel what conditions you are skiing over as opposed to just dampening everything to the point of feeling detached from the ski? Correct me if I am wrong also, but don't the Head Monster 77 skis have a dampening feature already built into the ski with Liquidmetal?

#3 There comes a point when keeping it simpler is better(KISS). I am a bit skeptical about the fact that the binding is held to the ski on a rail with just one screw holding the binding in place.

#4 As far as the feature for moving the binding forward or aft...is the same thing not accomplished through good 'ol fashion leaning forward to pressure the front of the ski and leaning back to relieve pressure from the front of the ski?

Call this a feeble attempt to rationalize my purchase of a nonrailflex binding or an epiphany...whatever you call it, please remember that these are only my opinions as I don't want to start a fight with firm believers of the railflex feature.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Keep in mind folks that this is all pure conjecture as I have not skied this ski yet. I am going on pure "feeling." Anyone have any thoughts?
post #13 of 16
Certain types of ski such as narrow carvers actually ski better IMO, if you mount them a bit forward of the recommended point. Different mfg's mount points are different so this varies. Having that adjustability on a carving ski might be worth while, however you could just mount fixed bindings up 1.5cm (or whatever) and achieve the same thing. Also the bindings you are looking at Avial 110 probably do have some minor lift probably something arround 10-15mm.
post #14 of 16
The difference in having a railflex is that when you are carving a very tight turn on hard snow, the ski boot will not prevent the ski underneath the boot from forming a curve. As you bend the ski the bottom of the ski gets stretched and the top gets compressed. The boot does not shrink, so the toe and heel of the binding stay in one place. With non-railflex the springs compress a bit and some forward pressure is applied to the binding toe, making release more eminent and producing a straighter portion of the curve right under foot.

If you are skiing primarily on softer snow and not making very tight turns, I don't think you will notice much difference in ski performance. The fact that the railflex stops ski flex from increasing forward pressure is a positive selling point imho.
post #15 of 16

The Head Monster 77 is a 2006 ski. It was replaced with the Monster 78 for this year.

That being said the M77 is 77mm wide at waist which is not really a nrrow ski and makes it a lot easier to ski with a binding mounted flat on the ski as was done in the old days. Narrower skis have needed risers of some sort for the past dozen or more years to keep the boot from dragging in the snow among other things.

A lot of the wider all mountain skis and the twin tips are now flat mounted as you describe so you will have no problems. The 2007 series of Monster skis are mostly mounted flat now ....

If on the other hand you do enjoy carving on groomed trails a riser is a nice thing to have and the railflex binding is the riser system for railflex bindings.

One of the nice side effects of railflex bindings is that you can adjust for different boot sole lengths in under five minutes with no drilling required. Very nice if you sell your skis or buy used skis or even lend to a friend. Also a lot easier to mount bindings than on a plate ski even and as the skis usually come with a rail installed you could actually install your own bindings in a few minutes without requiring a jig ....

Last year with our demo fleet I "mounted" bindings on 6 sets of railflex skis in under one twenty minutes. Race plates took a bit longer (approx 30 minutes per pair and hard on the hands) and the flat mounted monster skis had to be done by the tech rep using a jig ...

So no - don't beat down the door - you are fine. Especially as you don't indicate you have been skiing on raised bindings in the past and will probably notice no difference.


post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
The difference in having a railflex is that when you are carving a very tight turn on hard snow, the ski boot will not prevent the ski underneath the boot from forming a curve. As you bend the ski the bottom of the ski gets stretched and the top gets compressed. The boot does not shrink, so the toe and heel of the binding stay in one place.
Given the existence of forward pressure springs on every modern binding, which were designed specifically to solve this problem, I think it's hard to argue that "freeflex" systems make much difference.

Moving the mounting point makes a huge difference in how a modern shaped ski behaves, though, and is a legitimate reason to prefer Railflex (or Atomic Neox).
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