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A Simple Fore/Aft Balance Test - What Does it Mean?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
(Posted both in "Ask the Boot Guys" and "Gear" forums)

I have 2 ski setups that cover my needs very well. The first is a pair of Metron B5’s with Neox bindings and the second is a pair of Sugar Daddy’s with Freerides. I am very satisfied with these except for 1 shortcoming: I find my stance/balance with the Sugar Daddy’s setup to place me a bit in the back seat and require some extra effort to maintain good fore/aft balance.

The total delta (including combined binding and ski “delta”) for these 2 setups (my first consideration in thinking about this) is surprisingly very close. So I looked to mounting position and ski balance point (something like a Campbell balance does). As a test I put on my boots and, using a large dowel, found the balance point where I could equally rock the skis forward and back using only foot movement and no repositioning of my upper body in the fore/aft direction.

Results: The balance point for the Metron setup was just behind my forward boot buckle while that for the Sugar Daddy was in front of it. There was probably about an inch difference. I need to repeat this a few times as there is some subjectivity to the measurement.

I have my own interpretation of this but am very interested to hear what people think without biasing the discussion.

Note: For those who think I’m crazy please note that this is the off season and that I more than happy with these setups
post #2 of 23
If you are feeling adventurous, I would just move the binding forward to roughly match your Metrons and go ski'm. What's another set of holes? You can always move'm back and plug the holes!

I think your thinking is very logical!
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bud,

That is my thinking as well.

However, a second, but not equivalent option that I can immediately try myself exists. That is, I can increase the freeride binding ramp angle easily by removing the non-functional red plastic spacer between the ski and toe binding. Do you think that a slightly back binding mount could be offset by increased ramp? I am much less inclined to try this more indirect approach to a fix but I'm interested in what you think?

Thanks, Si
post #4 of 23
remove the toe shim,

1) it is reversible

2) it has worked for a lot of people (and for me)
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave for that sound advice.

post #6 of 23
Actually if you are going to play with delta, and even easier and reversible way to experiment is with 1/16" and 1/8" bontex shims between the binding and boot interface. Very quick to change out while skiing and the ability to feel instantly how the minute differences affect the fore/aft plane.

Pay attention to your stance as you do this as too much delta/ramp will put your butt out the back! It's all a neat little puzzle and all the pieces need to fit together. That is the cool thing about experimenting with all this stuff! It's educational and enlightening.

have fun!
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hey Bud, I think I am ahead of your suggestion on this. I already have shims (2 lateral cant shims rotated 180 degrees from each other and placed back to back) taped onto the heel plate of the heel binding. I think I made it as thick as I felt the binding could safely close with. It seemed to have a positive effect so I never took them off. I think that removing the front spacers will provide a bit more ramp than I can do under the boot heel.

I posted on this because I was wondering if experience would say I should just remount the bindings forward. Without that, I think the ramp is probably worth further exploration.
post #8 of 23
It sounds as if you are on the right track with your thinking, but I think your use of ramp angle to compensate for binding position is not sound. They are different and both should be optimized.

Too much ramp will make you sit back and so will bindings to far back but for different reasons. If you have ramp that you like, don't mess with it. Move the bindings.

Atomic powder skis and many others are mounted far back. Try BOF/CRS as a standard and see if ti corrects your problem.

post #9 of 23
Lou, I think Si mistakenly used the word "ramp" above when he meant "delta".

Of course I agree they affect things differently!
post #10 of 23
Possible but affect of ramp and delta at least in foot angle are very similar. won't argue the additional effect delta has on forward lean at the moment because that really isn't the topic.

My understanding was that there was an effort to possibly compensate for incorrect binding position by changing delta or forward lean and I am simply trying to make clear they are separate and should be optimized separately and not one to compensate for the other.

post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Lou Rosenfeld View Post
Possible but affect of ramp and delta at least in foot angle are very similar. won't argue the additional effect delta has on forward lean at the moment because that really isn't the topic.

My understanding was that there was an effort to possibly compensate for incorrect binding position by changing delta or forward lean and I am simply trying to make clear they are separate and should be optimized separately and not one to compensate for the other.

Lou, you are addressing what I was asking about. Given that the total delta of the 2 setups is very close and I like the B5 setup, I assumed that the binding position is a bit too far back for the Snoop Daddy's. My simple test seemed to confirm this. BTW, I did mount the Snoop Daddy's BOF to CRS. However, I have always assumed that individual characteristics of a ski can also have an effect on optimal binding position.

So, in essence I was asking whether changing the delta (which empirically seems to help) is something I should lock in (by lowering the binding toe) and then see if I can be satisfied with this, or if I should bite the bullet and move the bindings forward. If so, how far should I move them? Should I use the test I described as the basis for how for to move them?

Thanks much to all for your help on this.
post #12 of 23
Well first back to what was said before. You should look at ramp angle (I'll group both delta and boot ramp into this) and determine how they affect you. Also think you should optimize binding position.

Best way of course is to do one at a time. Most people like BOF/CRS so I would standardize to that and then test foot angle in the new binding position.

There is research happening at the University of Calgary now that is a continuation of what I did with the Campbell Balancer for Nordica. So far it shows that manufacturers don't make binding position recommendations based on flex.

I agree with you there may be some ski characteristics that affect binding position, but they seem small enough to be ignored.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 


For those interested:

The distance the front of the boot toe (not the toe lug) is ahead of the center of running surface (CRS) for the two ski setups:

B5's: 27/8" = 7.3 cm

Snoop Daddy's: 31/8" = 7.9 cm

This seems like too small a distance (1/4") to think about moving the bindings so I guess I will focus on the delta to try and make the Snoop Daddy feel more balanced in the fore aft plane. To do that I will remove the heel wedges I have been using temporarily (which helped to some extent) and take out the plastic spacer under binding toe piece as a more permanent (but reversible) increase in delta.
post #14 of 23
please give me the distances measured from CRS to toe lug of boot. That is the only way to measure and have it mean anything. Bindings cup the toe lug differently and alter the effect of distance to toe.

What size boot are you skiing and what is your U.S. shoe size?

I am willing to bet that actual distance from CRS to toe lug is more like 7 and distance recommended will be in the neighborhood of 9. Definitely enough to make a big difference in ski performance and your balance.

post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lou, I will try and get those measurements tonight.

I wear a 10.5 U.S. shoe and ski a 26 boot (Technical Diablo Race).

I'm not sure what the best way to measure CRS is. I'm putting the ski on a hard flat surface, sliding credit cards in until they touch, and then halving the distance between the credit card edges. Hope that's adequate.
post #16 of 23
10.5 in a 26, you are somewhat crammed in there. Good for performance and binding position. It will mean your BOF/CRS distance will be somewhat less than typical. No problem.

The method you are using to determine CRS is fine. Don't forget to scrape all wax from the ski and to decamber it. Recommend you use thick paper stock rather than the credit card but really either is fine.

Easier method may be to retract brakes, hold skis bottom to bottom, and slip card between tips, rotate 180 and slip the card between the tails.

post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 

conflicting measurements

Regarding the 26 boot - I have a fairly narrow very low volume foot so with the last 2 paris of boots I've had I've gone down to a 26. With my footbed and some time in the boots at home (before taking them on slope) I have found that I can pretty easily get my toes back off the front of the boot.

Ok here are some pretty careful measurements (probably within 1/16" accuracy). They seem to imply that the 2 skis are set up VERY similarly. Yet the simple test I originally described definitely exhibited a more "back" position on the Snoop Daddys than the Metron B5's which matches my on snow perceptions that started this whole investigation. Let me reiterate that I am very happy with my setup on the Metron B5's and would like to come closer to it on the Snoop Daddys.

_______________________________________Metron B5____Snoop Daddy
Distance from bottom of boot toe to ski base __115/16" ________24/16"
Distance from bottom of boot heel to ski base __21/16" ________27/16"

Total Ramp ________________________________2/16" _________3/16"

Ditance from CRS to front of toe lug __________3" ___________31/16"
Distance from CRS to boot sole center ________215/16" _______214/16"

Total boot sole length = 302mm or 11.9"

Again, thanks for all the assistance
post #18 of 23
Well I would say binding positions are fairly similar but also that in my experience with the balancer also still back by about 1cm or a little more. Is it possible to move a little further forward as an experiment?
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Lou,

Unfortunately it's on the B5's with Neox bindings that I can change the position. They are already in the "forward" position but the Neox allows them to be moved farther forward. However, as I said, I am very happy with my "centering" on the B5's and don't feel any need to play with that.

With the Snoop Daddy/Freeride set up I would have to completely remount the binding. I'm willing to do that but have a couple of questions:

1) Is 1 cm enough distance from the current holes to maintain the full integrity of the skis.

2) Is there a way to determine an "optimal" position at home as I was trying to do with my simple test. (My other choice would be to wait until I am over at Snowbird sometime this year and use Steve Bagley's Campbell Balancers to get an idea where I should be. However, it's going to be a while until I can do that).

I find it interesting that the binding position and ramp were so similar between the two ski set ups (although I marked a binding placement to have them both mounted for BOF to CRS) and yet I find myself further "back" on the Snoop Daddys. It's not only while my skis are on the ground that I find this. If I jump off of a boulder (small boulders in my case) with my Metrons I can land in a very well balanced position (doesn't mean I always do!), with my Snoop Daddys I seem to always be back when I land. (On the other hand the Metron's short length does not provide as stable a landing/recovery platform as the Snoop Daddys).
post #20 of 23
1) 1cm is enough for integrity and very noticeable while skiing.

2) Until you ski it you just can't tell

As little as 1-2mm in stand height differential has a noticeable affect on fore/aft stance.

Jumping and landing you just need to project a bit better so the cm stays up with the skis!
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bud,

I was wondering if the increased stand height on the Freerides might be a factor with this difference I'm experiencing. Why/how do you think this might affect fore/aft balance.

I've made a 1.5-2 cm (can't remember for sure) change in binding position before and defitinely noticed the change (for the better). This was on my old AT setup with Pocket Rockets and Freerides (once again an increased stand height issue maybe?).

What I would much prefer is to be able to test out different binding placements but it's not a realistic possibility for my AT setup. I could add a plate upon which I can move the binding but I don't want the extra weight on my AT setup, I don't want to play with ski flex characteristics, and I don't want to further add to stand height. I also don't want to remount the bindings more than once.

So, my question remains, what can I do to try to guide me in optimizing binding placement postion (whis is what my "test" was originally all about).

post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
One other measurement:

My BOF is approxiately 10cm from the front of the toe lug. This is very easy to measure with some tape on my foot in the tranluscent Technical Diablo Race.

Based on this in seems that I should consider moving my bindings forward as much as 2.2 cm (10 cm - 7.8 cm toe lug to BOF for Snoop Daddy Freeride). However given that I feel very balanced with the current 7.6 cm toe lug to BOF on my Metrons, perhaps my balance point in the Diablo's is a bit forward of my anatomic BOF and thus I should move the Freeride bindings forward somewhat less?
post #23 of 23
The 10 cm sound a little bit much to me but reasonable. Everyones foot shape is different. Getting better results with your own balancer won't be easy, but seems to be within your capabilities. So go for it, but be patient with the learning process. I think it is the only way to improve on BOF/CRS other than experimentation on skis.

As Bud advised 1 cm is a safe distance for screw separation.

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