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Ramp angle impact

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In testing the Rossignol Bandit XX, I found that ski in the 170 cm length was probably one of the most capable and enjoyabe skis I've ever used. However, I also found that it was more likely than any other ski to "throw" me into the back seat. I also found that could be avoided by constant shin pressure on the tongues of my boots. It has occurred to me that the "back seat" problem in this ski rather than others arises in large part from the flex of the ski: A firmer tip and a softer tail. I am wondering if a slight increase in ramp angle might help relieve some of the "back seat" problem. In answering this question, please assume that I will be using the Rossi Bandit XX. Suggesting some other ski would not address the question. Thanks.

Also, in general, what is the expected impact of increasing ramp angle?
post #2 of 18
Can't tell you about that, but the Bandit series seem to be the most poorly constructed skis available. I've seen several break under very low stress and have heard dozens of similar stories.
post #3 of 18
While other skis with the longer and stiffer tail were masking the deficiency in your alignment and/or technique, Rossignol Bandit XX simply reveals it.
Ramp angle should be the one that aligns your skeleton correctly and thus puts you in the most balanced position. Increasing ramp angle beyond optimal, would throw you out of alignment and make you compensate with more “back seat”.
In order to avoid the skis snapping from under you at the end of the turn, start releasing pressure on the ski at the apex of the turn while keeping your body ahead of the skis and allow skis to flow smoothly into the next turn. The energy the ski built up in the first half of the turn should be used to propel your body DOWN the slope.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
philth: I know that a big guy like Lars skis the XX hard and has never had that complaint. I appreciate the input, but I still like the ski. I've heard this kind of thing about other skis, such as the Salomon X-Scream - but I'm skeptical.

VK:Excellent advice - you may be onto something! As I've said, I can consciously avoid the situation with foreward shin pressure, and, of course, the technical change you've described. The better description of the problem is being unexpectedly KNOCKED into the "back seat" - and when I guard against it, it doesn't happen. Still, I'm wondering about ramp angle. The bindings, of course, were demo bindings - but that hasn't happened with any other ski. I'm sure it's relating to the stiffer tip, and it sounds like you agree with that part.
post #5 of 18
I can not think of a binding that would have different elevation of toe and heel pieces thus affecting the ramp angle. However, since you reemphasized the presence of demo bindings, I can suggest one more possible cause of the problem you were having.
Even on the demo bindings that have both toe and heel pieces adjustable, busy, lazy or ignorant ski shop techs would only shift the heel piece when fitting your boot. As a result (most probable for a guy with a bigger than average foot) your boot centre will end up behind ski centre effectively shortening your ski tail.

While constant shin pressure is a norm with the short shape skis and should be brought to "unconcious" level , I am a firm believer in fixing equipment problems before adressing tecnique issues.

Best of luck with XXs

post #6 of 18
Most of the time a skier feels he's being thrown into the back seat is because he's not used to the sidecut/turning radius of the ski. A ski with a more radical sidecut, a smaller turning radius, will have a tendency to put you back.

So, the question is, what were you on before? My guess is that it had a milder shape than the XX.

I'm on the XX and at 6'3", 250lbs, Level III and I ski pretty hard. It's held up very well and I'd heartily endorse the ski. It goes everywhere, great on groomed, great in the powder and crud. Not a bad job in the bumps either. A GREAT all-around ski.
post #7 of 18
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VK:
I can not think of a binding that would have different elevation of toe and heel pieces thus affecting the ramp angle.

Actually, a LOT of bindings have a built in "delta" (the ramp angle created by the heel piece of the binding being higher than the toe piece).

Some of the major offenders are the Look/Rossi turntable bindings (is this what was on those Bandits?). I've been on Looks for a long time, and I usually correct the problem by using a thicker lifter under the toe than the heel.

As a Look rep for my ski area, the last time I got equipment (last season), I even talked to the tech folks to inquire whether the latest generation of turntable bindings continued to have the large delta that prior year bindings had. After much uncertainty on their part, they finally answered that there was not a delta anymore. So when I ordered the bindings, I did not get the thicker lifter for the toe. After I had the bindings mounted (with equal thickness lifters), I put a boot in the bindings and measured the distance from the ski deck to the bottom of the boot. There was about 3/8" delta!!! I was a little PO'ed. Then I come to realize that they also changed the mounting pattern for the screws, so I couldn't even use another set of lifters to get rid of the delta. :
post #8 of 18
oboe, The Rossi Axial Race bindings (the ones without the plate) come with the toes 4mm lower than the heels. I put a pair of 120's on my Dynastars and like the ramp angle. I sometimes found myself riding a little too far back on my skis, and this angle has helped. I've been told you can have "flat cants" added to customize the heighth of the toes, but haven't felt a need to look into it.

Edit... I didn't see the reply from JohnH, which dropped in as I was adding mine. The new models may be changing angles. I happen to like the feel of my setup. If you have the time and $$, I'd suggest working with an alignment expert at a ski area to find the optimum angle for you.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 25, 2002 10:14 AM: Message edited 1 time, by G.Law ]</font>
post #9 of 18
VK - with Rossi bindings the heel is something like 4 mm above the toe without any plates or with the Maxplate, with the T-Plate the toe and heel are the same height.
post #10 of 18
Thanks for clarification, guys.

I'm not familiar with Rossi/Look product line - not a fan of theirs, to say the least....

So if the demo binding had extra ramp angle, I can see one compensating for it putting himself more into a "back seat"....

post #11 of 18
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VK:
While constant shin pressure is a norm with the short shape skis<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I may be wrong but this statement could be hotly debated.


It worries me that you use the word "unexpectedly" to describe being throw in the back seat. This may be a telling tale sign of not being dynamically with the ski at all times. Getting back sometimes should only be a problem if you cannot dynamically get back on top of the skis in the new turn. Adjusting to the skis flex pattern should not be big problem for a centered skier.

post #12 of 18
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by oboe:
philth: I know that a big guy like Lars skis the XX hard and has never had that complaint. I appreciate the input, but I still like the ski. I've heard this kind of thing about other skis, such as the Salomon X-Scream - but I'm skeptical.

So was I, but I've heard so many stories (from skiers and shop guys as well) that I'm not anymore. Also, 4 days ago I was skiing with a guy who snapped a XX skiing into a sharply angled mogul at about 10 mph. Never should have happened--these skis are clearly prone to manufacturing defects.
I've owned at least one pair of Rossis for each of the past ten years and haven't had a problem, but there is no end to the horror stories about the Bandits.
Do a search at Powdermag.com for a lot more about this.
post #13 of 18
The best ramp angle for any given person should leave them standing in a neutral position on their skis without too much shin pressure and without feeling muscular meaning that you are too far back. If you feel the whole bottom of your foot and you aren't hanging on the front of your boot when you are standing still chances are that you are in a neutral position. Too much ramp angle results in too much pressure towards the tip of the skis causing tail wash or even a down stem(nasty!). This can be caused by a binding and boot combination. For example the Rossi Axial binding in combination with a Lange boot has a considerable amount of ramp, too much for most people. I've never heard of case where there wasn't enough ramp causing someone to be in the back seat. Maybe an adjustment in technique is necessary, not an adjustment in equipment.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this makes a difference, but: BEING in the back seat was not usually the problem - it was uexpectedly feeling KNOCKED into the back seat. The change in technique that removed that nasty little surprise was keeping shin pressure against the tounges of my boots. After that, it didn't happen unless I "forgot". In the woods, they were very comfortable and quick to turn. The questions are, SHOULD I be skiing with constant shin pressure? Or, should I make an adjustment in equipment?
post #15 of 18
oboe, my .02 - it sounds like you were most likely the victim of a sloppy tech that didn't get the binding centered for your boot. As for constant forward pressure on your boot, I would say no, you shouldn't have to keep constant pressure to ski the XX properly.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Tag: The truth is, I can't blame the tech for this one - I demoed that ski on Thursday set up by one tech, on Saturday set up by a totally different shop, and back to the first shop with another [third] tech for Sunday. Look, his name tag said "Dr. Smooth", so, hey! And because that thought had entered my mind, I actually took pains to work with him to see that the center mark on the boot lined up with the center mark on the ski. One idea, of course, is to move the binding forward a smidge [don't like that idea]. Another is to fiddle with ramp angle. And the third is to leave the equipment alone and adjust to it. Before I mess with the details on a ski I really love, I'd rather ski it more in a demo - and then I might either leave it alone or fiddle with ramp angle - just a bit. I'm still hoping for more responses, and I thank you for yours.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 25, 2002 04:49 PM: Message edited 1 time, by oboe ]</font>
post #17 of 18
Well, since you've ruled out an equipment set-up problem.... I'd have to agree with you that the strong tip/soft tail can contribute to the experience of getting thrown in the back seat. I have the same experience with the Intuitiv 74; however, I don't feel that I have to put constant forward pressure to in order to stay out of the back seat. Now it appears to me ( I haven't actually measured this) that the Intuitiv has a built-in ramp angle, much like the old Olin skis. This may be an optical illusion because of the dramatic thinning of the ski after the binding. Since I struggle with being a back seat driver anyway, I find the ramp angle helpful with this ski because of the soft, springy tail.
post #18 of 18
In general, high-delta bindings include:
- Tyrolia (b/c of the thick brake)
- Marker MRR (b/c of the turntable mechanism)
- Atomic/ESS (b/c of the toe-heel linking mechanism under the AFD)
- Fritschi Diamir (to compensate for the rocker in randonee boots)

But as the confusion over Look/Rossi indicates, this changes considerably for any particular model that mixes and matches toe and heel lifters of varying thickness. You can measure your own angles with a caliper and determine the angle by taking the inverse tangent. (Angles will be exaggerrated by shorter boot sole lengths and mitigated by longer boots.)
Rossi's aquisition of Geze/Look several years ago provided a perfect (albeit unintended) natural experiment. Rossi initially combined the Geze toe piece with the very high standheight Look turntable, and encouraged all its sponsored racers to use the newly renamed Rossi binding with their Rossi skis. Suddenly all these racers -- used to lower-delta bindings -- felt like they were "going over the handlebars." Rossi responded with a differential race lifter kit that removed the excess delta. Then the next season their regular lifters had the same differential, which they marketed as some sort of breakthrough, even though all it did was bring their specs in line w/ most other bindings...
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