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Adjusting my bindings.

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I want to adjust my bindings. Do I really need to be able to measure the torque needed to release? I've seen people in these forums consistently reccomend getting it done by a professional. It doesn't seem all that complicated from what I've seen. What am I going to screw up?
post #2 of 25
The Number one thing you could screw up is your knees. It isn't all that hard to ajust bindings if you know what your doing. This time of year there should be a ski tech that would do an ajustment on your binding and let you watch and learn.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Good god. 10 minutes and two bad posts to get this right.

I meant how could I go wrong, specifically, outside of setting it to the wrong din? Obviously, I know my din setting, and I can read the little thing that tells you what it is set at.
post #4 of 25
I have seen and experienced a "properly set" binding, but when tested on a machine, was way off. Why? The spring had rusted!!

Spend the bucks and get it tested now rather than saving the money for knee surgery later.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ah, so its not like I'm going to trip some magical switch while I adjust them that curses the thing into ripping apart my knees. The problem is more that the din on the binding may not be honest?
post #6 of 25
I'm pretty cheap, but.... I'd rather spend the bucks up front and have the bindings set and checked. Ski tecs bill out at a considerably lower rate than orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists
post #7 of 25
the industry will only set bindings to skier type 3 settings for a skier. the problem is in mogul comps, there is a great
chance of prerelease with a skier type 3 setting. so if the proper testing is not available to higher din ratings, my question is what do you do? personally i adjusted it myself, making sure the bindings kick in and out smooth and effortlessly.
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Oykie:
Ah, so its not like I'm going to trip some magical switch while I adjust them that curses the thing into ripping apart my knees. The problem is more that the din on the binding may not be honest?
Adjusting the binding is no more complicated than turning a screw on the binding with a screwdriver. There isn't a secret release or hidden switch on them you need to hit or anything like that. However, like other people mentioned, there are other considerations beyond "how far do I turn it" that you would be wise to consult with a shop on.

t roller, i've(as well as other racers I know) have that problem although we race in GS and Slalom. A level 3 setting doesn't hold me very well racing or free skiing. I usually give them a half turn up and test to see if I'm staying in them most of the time. If not, repeat process.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Ski Monkey:
t roller, i've(as well as other racers I know) have that problem although we race in GS and Slalom. A level 3 setting doesn't hold me very well racing or free skiing. I usually give them a half turn up and test to see if I'm staying in them most of the time. If not, repeat process.
This is called the ratchet effect, where people keep on bumping up their DIN setting to prevent pre-releases, which are usually caused by things other than DIN setting. See the following website for a good discussion on when to and when not to adjust your bindings. The real problem could be incorrect forward pressure, you technique or the fact that you are using Marker bindings.

vermont ski safety

There is no big conspiracy about setting bindings but you need to understand a little about how they work before you go playing with them.

[ September 19, 2002, 10:09 PM: Message edited by: kiwiski ]
post #10 of 25
Now, I don't use Marker bindings, so I can't stand up for them too much, but I do know a lot of people who do, who have had them set up correctly, and consider them better than Salomon.

OK, that wasn't the point I wanted to make, but I just had to say it before the usual people post the usual stories of how bad Marker bindings are!

What I wanted to say was:
Binding adjustments aren't just about turning a screw in the front and watching a little mark move across a dial. As well as setting toe & heel piece "DIN" settings (Since everyone else has talked about DIN settings, then I shall continue, even thought it is a misnomer!), and they may not be at the same level, things such as toe height also need to be set correctly.

What I really wanted to say was:
Go to a ski tech. Get it done properly. If you want to do it yourself, get a tech to teach you, and buy a book. Better to be safe than sorry.

S
post #11 of 25
This well worn topic again.

I get them set up by a tech, and then (while still in the shop)personally adjust the DIN from the ridiculous maximums (usually about 8) they are allowed to do to a level appropriate for my ability and aggressiveness (about DIN 12). Then politely ask the tech to check the binding and ensure it is set correctly for the higher DIN.

In NZ at least I have never had a problem with a tech doing this.

And in many years of skiing have never come close to feeling like I am about to blow a knee, and my skis have stayed on in some hair-raising situations when losing one would have been calamitous....but also released when not releasing would have been ligament-massacre.
post #12 of 25
Rock Skier: Thank you. My thoughts exactly. A ski tech isn't a rocket scientist. They look at a chart for height, weight, boot sole length and skier type, then they grab a screwdriver and set it to that number. The vast majority of ski shops do not test it with a calibration device.
post #13 of 25
If your ski tech isn't testing the binding, you should find another ski shop. Any idiot can look up the data, set the DIN setting, check the sole length adjustments, etc- what you need the trained tech for is to test the thing, with the boots that you will be using, to ensure that the boot-binding system is releasing properly at those settings. The reason that most people shouldn't be doing their own settings is not that they can't turn the screws- it's that they don't have the test equipment to ensure that what they have set is what they will get when they REALLY need the binding to release. I believe that one should have the bindings release-tested at the beginning of each season to be sure that they are functioning up to spec, too. (...and at the risk of incurring the snobbery of some, I ski (fairly agressively on steep terrain) on Markers, and have for years, without prerelease or other problems. Maybe the problem is that you are setting them yourself!!)
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by kiwiski:
This is called the ratchet effect, where people keep on bumping up their DIN setting to prevent pre-releases, which are usually caused by things other than DIN setting. See the following website for a good discussion on when to and when not to adjust your bindings. The real problem could be incorrect forward pressure, you technique or the fact that you are using Marker bindings.

vermont ski safety
That's a good point and site to highlight kiwi. I used that site back when I was adjusting things. I still eject on some things but it's usually a result of operator error. Oh, and I'm not on Marker bindings, be careful with those.
post #15 of 25
Right on dp -

I've skied on Marker's for all of my adult life and have never had a prerelease. That whole line about how Marker's prerelease is pure BS. The best skiers on the world choose Marker because they release when they are supposed to. Period.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by Wear the fox hat:
Binding adjustments aren't just about turning a screw in the front and watching a little mark move across a dial. As well as setting toe & heel piece "DIN" settings (Since everyone else has talked about DIN settings, then I shall continue, even thought it is a misnomer!), and they may not be at the same level, things such as toe height also need to be set correctly.
Setting the correct forward pressure is also important. But why do you write that using the term "DIN" is a misnomer? The adjustment scale numbers and their corresponding release torques are specified in DIN 7881, Part 5, "Release bindings for alpine downhill skiing, Adjustment scale for release values".

I'm looking at the specification right now. If anyone's interested, I can post it. I also have the following:

ISO 11088, Assembly, adjustment and inspection of an
alpine ski/binding/boot (S-B-B) system

I can't post this, because it's copyrighted.
post #17 of 25
Yes you have to test the toque and all the varibles. Even if you know your DIN setting , remember that the little window on your bindings is only a starting point and realy does not 100% represent the true DIN.After your setting is decided and the bindings are set to that DIN , then they are cked (for rentals they will some times use a torque wrench) but a good shop will use a machine that has basically a artifcial foot (it is metal links or what ever)and ck your heel release and toe release as if your foot was in the boot. We use a Huber and we find some bindings , brand new , are off as much as 2 din . (will not mention who)and of course used bindings can be even more off . This is why when we mount bindings and give them back to the customer we have them sign off that " your setting is a 5 but you will see that your bindings indicate 5.5 which is the true release factorbased upon a calibrated test). If a binding could give 100% reliablity that the din was true then you would have an onboard computer and pay an extra $600. A lot can happens to bindings--temp, trama , age, hard skiing , metal fatigue etc.etc. basicaly they are springs and interface , how long do springs last and metal and plastic keep blemish free
post #18 of 25
Yeah, I'll second that. The only thing European ski techs use is a screwdriver. I have NEVER seen anyone do any tests over here.

France is particularly...erm...French...in its approach. Half the time they don't even bother asking your weight or ability. They just glance at you and set the bindings to 5.5.

I used to be a ski tech for a British holiday company - I use the words 'ski tech' very, very loosely. I don't even understand half of the previous posts :

Are N Americans being overly cautious? Or are us Europeans just plain stupid?

Alan
post #19 of 25
If you are talking about quantitative measurement, I have never seen a binding torque-tested (other than a healthy kick or shove from the tech to see if the binding releases) anywhere I have skied anywhere in the world.
post #20 of 25
I have to say that I have never seen a binding torque tested in a European ski shop. Indeed I don't remember ever seeing any equipment to do the test in a European ski shop.

This seems to be a uniquely American obsession.

Nick Thomas
post #21 of 25
I'd hate to openly agree with Alan Empty's last statement!(oops- did I write that?)

JOKING!!!!!

But there is some measure of truth to that statement. Europeans do not have the same degree of liability with their shops as we have here in the States. Americans over cautious- yes , to a great legal degree. Euro's stupid? - no, not at all, just playing by a different set of rules.

Let's hold Marker bindings up to a bright light and find out why they release when they do.

The binding is designed to effectively reduce the amount of negative friction between a boot and binding during a release episode. By virtue of the sliding AFD under the toe of the boot, it allows the binding to release at the setting chosen almost with disregard for any amount of contamination between the boot sole and binding. Marker also has a mechanically based wing release, once the boot moves a certain amount off center. It reaches that point, and it opens, immediately releasing any stress on the leg.

The other major bindings on the market can't say this. With fixed AFD's, even the slightest amount of contamination will increase the amount of force necessary to achieve a release. Sometimes the amount of additional force required is another DIN number or more than the indicated release value! As for lateral release, the boot must continue forcing it's way to the point of release, as compared to the mechanical wing release described above. Could it be that some skiers use that increased friction to help hold them in?

The type of contamination I'm referring to is the scuffing/wear to the boot sole from walking on hard surfaces, the grit ground into the sole while walking from the car/ lodge to the slope, and the mud and ice buildup from taking warm boots right onto the snow, etc.

Smacking the side of the boot a couple of times with your pole is a weak means of reducing that contamination! Why do we diligently clean racers soles with scrapers etc, to make them perfectly clean? Why do conscientious skiers/ pros wear protection on the bottoms of their boots to prevent wear etc? Part of it is performance, part of it is safety!

I'm not saying that the major binding manufacturers other than Marker are making an inferior product. I have said many times that one of the most important qualities of a binding is that the user must have complete faith in it. But don't let wives tales interfere with true understanding of how a binding actually works, and why it releases!

:

Yes- it's true! I do work for Marker. I have used them exclusively since 1979. I do on occasion test drive other products to compare them to the products I'm used to. But the reason I'm still with Marker is my belief that it has a safety/ performance ratio that I am very comfortable with. No amount of money is going to buy me that confidence!

[ September 24, 2002, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: vail snopro ]
post #22 of 25
I'm new to this site and found this discussion by doing a Google search for Huber Binding Tester. I run a Service center at a small mountain in the northeast. The reason for having your bindings adjusted by a professional tech is the knowledge the technician has and the specialized tools that they use to test the binding.It is rather common to find a brand new binding that when adjusted to the proper "Initial Indicator Value" is out of the "inspection range" for torque and possibly even the "in use range". I use these specific terms because they are the terms used in almost every manufacturers technical manual. To get certified by each manufacturer, you must read and understand their manuals, watch their traning videos and take and pass a test for each one. You can also take an eight hour course offered by Vermont Ski Safety each year. If you would like to do your own testing you can puchase everything you need to torque test your binidings for about $4000.00 from Vermont Ski Safety.
 Also, ther are five pieces of information that you need to set bindings properly, in addition to the current years adjustment chart from the binding manufacturer. Those bits of info being; Weight, height, skier type (not ability), age and boot sole length.
 As far as no shop setting a ski for higher than Type III, I do so on a regular basis. I set people as a Type III+. If that is not high enough for the customer, I can have them sign a discretionary settings waiver and set them for whatever they choose. This gives them what they want, and absolves me of the pesky liability that is the reason for all this testing and training and paper work. Maybe the popuation of Europe isn't quite as "sue happy" as we are here in the states, explaining the lack of testing observed there.
post #23 of 25
I stopped at a mid-mountain tool bench Saturday to tweak my heel pieces because I was walking out of them. An instructor whose students were using a nearby rest room asked me if I was qualified to adjust my own bindings. I told her I've been adjusting my bindings for 30 years and had even mounted a couple of pairs myself. Normally I carry a stubby screwdriver in my coat pocket for such situations, but I had forgotten it that day.

I understand where she was coming from, but I still had trouble not taking offense at being asked in the first place. I did my best to smile and not show it.
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubskitech View Post

 Maybe the popuation of Europe isn't quite as "sue happy" as we are here in the states, explaining the lack of testing observed there.

Spot on. Nobody would ever consider suing a shop for this kind of thing. It would be ridiculous. We participate in an inherently dangerous sport where the risks are well understood. Ligaments tear, bones break... that's life. You don't sue a shop because your bindings didn't release. I seriously doubt you'd even get a case to court in most european countries.

You wouldn't believe how much we laugh at the litigious overload in the US. Sounds like you can hardly fart over there without landing in court.
post #25 of 25
Sticker on a pair of skis UPS delivered to me from Sport Conrad in Germany.....

DieBindung.jpg

I scratched my head, LOL'ed and grabbed my pozidrive #3 :)
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