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Wide Footprint Bindings, Gimmick?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Anybody got real data on if wider bindings work better for driving fat waisted skis? I know that stacked bindings favorably increase the leverage angle for edging, but does a wider binding footprint really improve anything? Does is make it easier to tip the ski on edge? I can't see how it would do much of anything in deep snow, which is where you usually use fat skis. What's the deal, are these just a gimmick, or do they really provide an advantage?
post #2 of 27
Search JONG!!! Just kidding, but there was a thread about this a week or two ago. IMHO it does make enough of a difference that you can feel it.
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I missed the last thread, but after searching and reading it still doesn't give me much to go on. At this point I'm going with "gimmick" until someone convinces my otherwise. I can't see how if would make a noticable difference in deep snow.
post #4 of 27
Good question, Mudfoot. I too am still waiting to see something convincing that would justify the significant extra cost that you will pay for them. Like you say, soft snow is not about extreme angles and hard edging...so how does this really help? Its relevant b/c I'm trying to decide what binding to put on my wide skis (115mm waist) for this season.
post #5 of 27
I could feel it enough to:
a) want to switch the binders on my Gotamas and
b) feel the difference after I did.
post #6 of 27
Next question.. When will the industry standard for boot sole width and binding width change to be more in line with the average ski waists of today?
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Next question.. When will the industry standard for boot sole width and binding width change to be more in line with the average ski waists of today?
Never
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
Next question.. When will the industry standard for boot sole width and binding width change to be more in line with the average ski waists of today?

A better question would be "why isn't there a range of adapters to take the binding plate width out to -exactly- the ski waist width".

Sell them in green "race stock" and make a mint...

C'mon, folks, grab your routers, maple stock and epoxy brush, it's the new homebrew -side- plate era.
post #9 of 27
No. Better the industry get off its butt and design bindings for modern ski widths. The old narrow sole standard is just silly. Lot's of us are used to it - but really, what we have are bindings designed to fit archaic skis, and boot soles designed to match those archaic bindings. This has to make it a challenge to make bindings with optimal presure transfer. I'd imagine the difficulty of designing and cost of building a high quality/performance binding system geared toward wider skis would be much reduced compared with today's products.

Personally, I doubt I'll ever buy a ski narrower than 105 or 110 again. Designing bindings and boots optimized for skis this wide and wider would be fine by me. In fact, the sooner the better IMO.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Search JONG!!! Just kidding, but there was a thread about this a week or two ago. IMHO it does make enough of a difference that you can feel it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Sorry, I missed the last thread, but after searching and reading it still doesn't give me much to go on. At this point I'm going with "gimmick" until someone convinces my otherwise. I can't see how if would make a noticable difference in deep snow.
Here ya go:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?p=971203

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
No. Better the industry get off its butt and design bindings for modern ski widths. The old narrow sole standard is just silly. Lot's of us are used to it - but really, what we have are bindings designed to fit archaic skis, and boot soles designed to match those archaic bindings.
Which really begs, even cries to have the question answered: why aren't the tele guys building side plates to their toe risers on 100+ mm skis?

Granted, the footprint is based off 75mm instead of 70mm but even the old screw patterns are hilariously narrow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
Designing bindings and boots optimized for skis this wide and wider would be fine by me. In fact, the sooner the better IMO.
Is there any good reason to have binding lugs wider than the last width?
post #12 of 27
I am advocating looking at the system end to end in light of where things are and where they are going. So the question frames itself as "is there any reason, other than historical artifact, that last widths should be what they are"? Or would a wider last standard simplify design and manufacturing?

Even if you deem the current last design OK, it seems to me that distributing force by consistently fanning out from the heel/toe engagement points & AFD would make life "better". I realize others may differ in their views, but I care not one whit about a binding that fits a ski under 100 or 105. If I can get a better binding cheaper - or a boot that is more practical - by dumping sub-100 skis, sign me up now.
post #13 of 27
Well, one reason would be you CAN use narrow boots on your wide skis. You could NOT use wide boots on narrow skis. Do you really think that the boot mfrs want to double their SKUs?
post #14 of 27
I'm recalling the boots and bindings in the early 80s that had the standardized sole length. A few rental shops picked them up for awhile, but it never really took off. I still don't rock anything much over a 90 waist ever and mostly skin on under 80 so I hope they don't change. But, I think they'll sell a ton of "clown boots" and fat bindings when (not if) someone starts marketing them.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift View Post
I am advocating looking at the system end to end in light of where things are and where they are going.
Me too. My further question was whether the boot or the binding should properly transfer torque beyond boot last width.

Quote:
So the question frames itself as "is there any reason, other than historical artifact, that last widths should be what they are"?
Sure, they seem to be the current best match to the widths of peoples' feet.

I think that extending contact lugs beyond that is going to make for worse stumble walking that 10 pairs of untied laces on street shoes.

Quote:
Even if you deem the current last design OK, it seems to me that distributing force by consistently fanning out from the heel/toe engagement points & AFD would make life "better".
Fine, fine, but until the day when bolt-on boot lugs are molded to last width, and bindings come in 'race' and 'last' jaw widths, why not use binding cheek plates?

Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Well, one reason would be you CAN use narrow boots on your wide skis. You could NOT use wide boots on narrow skis. Do you really think that the boot mfrs want to double their SKUs?
A) Why not? Look at the Elan Predators. 70mm wide binding on a 45mm waist ski. The plate is tapered like a yield sign.

B) Last-width bolt on toe lugs.

C) No, but the real question is whether the binding guys want to double their SKUs.
post #16 of 27
Foistest:

The energy transfer from the boot binding system to the top deck of the ski comes from the furthest outboard attachment point. On a flat mount binding that's the screw pattern. On a system binding it's the rail/dovetail (whatever). At this point, anything outboard of the screw pattern and below the boot sole is more flexible than the ski deck and the boot sole hence irrelevant in energy transfer.

Sooo???

The Jester/Duke hole pattern is narrower than that of the LOOK/Rossi.

The toelug engagement points on Look/Rossi, Jester etc., Sollie 916, are about the same.

Any additional width beyond the screw patterns is flexible material that is softer than the boot sole and the ski deck and is hence largely irrelevant. (a wide D-flex or something like it would obviously be an example that contradicts this)

The stiffness of the coupling (boot binding interface) has far more to do with energy transfer to the ski deck than the current crop of "wide ski bindings"

Soooooooo???

If you really want more power to the edge of a wide ski, there are ways to get that. It happens that the current offerings of special wide ski bindings are probably not the way.

And yes.....some of the much maligned "system" rails offer a tranfer point that is further outboard than the screw patterns of "wide ski" flat mount bindings.

SJ
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
So assuming a wider screw pattern or stiff binding component actually moved the pressure farther out towards the edges, wouldn't that be completely irrelevant except on hardpack snow? What good does better edge pressure do for you when skiing 6" of crud on your 105mm waisted Gotamas?
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
The stiffness of the coupling (boot binding interface) has far more to do with energy transfer to the ski deck than the current crop of "wide ski bindings"
Yeah, that is one of the above issues: would scaling current BBIs to fit 90mm lugs increase their effective energy transfer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Foistest:

The energy transfer from the boot binding system to the top deck of the ski comes from the furthest outboard attachment point. On a flat mount binding that's the screw pattern. On a system binding it's the rail/dovetail (whatever). At this point, anything outboard of the screw pattern and below the boot sole is more flexible than the ski deck and the boot sole hence irrelevant in energy transfer.
Already thunk of. (Glue is also a possibility, mind). Trivial side cheek example:
525x525px-LL-vbattach4040.jpg
post #19 of 27
Quote:
So assuming a wider screw pattern or stiff binding component actually moved the pressure farther out towards the edges, wouldn't that be completely irrelevant except on hardpack snow?
Yes

Quote:
What good does better edge pressure do for you when skiing 6" of crud on your 105mm waisted Gotamas?
None that I can think of offhand..........

SJ
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Yeah, that is one of the above issues: would scaling current BBIs to fit 90mm lugs increase their effective energy transfer.
Done alone....probably not.

Done in conjuction with a real (not fake) wider mounting zone, possibly.

Done in conjunction with that ^^ plus a completely re-engineered binding mechanism to tighten the coupling between boot and binding, to compensate for the increased internal leverage on the system generated by (say) a 90mm sole lug...........probably.

SJ
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
What good does better edge pressure do for you when skiing 6" of crud on your 105mm waisted Gotamas?
Brings the possibility of vertically thinner Gots with boot closer to sno.
post #22 of 27
I can't speak to the engineering side of things, because I'm not gifted in the discipline.

Based upon experience, I can say that the iPT (30% wider) bindings used in my Volkl AC50's may have significant impact.

I don't know if it's the bindings or the ski design. Whatever the cause, these 85mm skis move with unexpected agility. My previous "mid-fat" skis (Atomic M:EX's) are sluggish by comparison.

I can't prove it's the wider bindings. But, something is allowing these 85mm skis to dice like 75mm skis.
post #23 of 27
On of the reasons I like these bindings is for the lateral rigidity. We are getting the lateral rigidity metal housed binding but with a lighter weight.
post #24 of 27

Since no one has brought up the 'improved tip, tail control' argument, I will.

@mudfoot:

Consider a cross-rod on a flag pole.

Does it help control the free corner of the banner?

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Comprex:

I understand your argument, but it could just as easily work to oppose the torsional characteristics built into the ski. In deeper snow the tails will twist some, which can be advantageous and keep your skis from feeling planky. The softer the snow the less the twist. I would guess that moving the stiff edge of the back of your binding out a centimeter would have minimal impact on the rear edges in soft snow, and would vary greatly depending on ski construction. You can certainly stiffen up the torsional rigidity of the tails a lot more easily with ski rather than binding construction. Pressuring the edges at the tips an tails is critical on hard snow but becomes pretty much a non-factor as soon as you start to float.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
Comprex:

I understand your argument, but it could just as easily work to oppose the torsional characteristics built into the ski.
Tough sentence. I understand your meaning, but not 100% on board.

Quote:
In deeper snow the tails will twist some, which can be advantageous and keep your skis from feeling planky.
Yes, that's true.

Quote:
The softer the snow the less the twist.
I would say 'the less dense the snow, the less the twist is localized to near the tips and tails by the ski geometry (length, width, and sidecut)'.

We're assuming similar turn shape after all, so we need approximately the same snow reaction force (force of snow on ski) in both the light and dense cases.

The experiment I propose involves a wooden coffee stirrer, a pair of wide-jaw pliers and a pair of needlenose pliers.

Hold one end of the coffee stirrer with the wide jaw pliers. Twist the other end with thumb and forefinger. Repeat with needlenose.

Do you feel the difference in the plier hand?

Now put on a thick mitt on the non-plier hand. Repeat the test. Do you feel the difference in the plier hand?



It is easy for me to agree that ski construction and design is going to have a huge effect on anything we do. Indeed, I suggest that it has such a large effect that we have not had much reason to think about anything else, until now.
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot
Comprex:

I understand your argument, but it could just as easily work to oppose the torsional characteristics built into the ski.

Comprex responded: Tough sentence. I understand your meaning, but not 100% on board.
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The point I was inarftully trying to make was that the benefits gained on hard snow could be looked at as a detriment in soft snow. The bottom line is that the wide footprint binding does not appear to provide the great advantage for wide skis that the marketing claims. Maybe some pluses, maybe some minues, but overall not anything to spend more money on unless you are skiing your fatties on the packed a lot, in which case you would be better off on a mid-fat.
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