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Bindings for new wateas

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
 I'm buying a pair of Fischer Wateas, 186cm, 94s, without bindings; however, I'm not very well versed in purchasing bindings.  I'm 6'4", about 225, and ski challenging terrain pretty aggressively.  Ski a lot of off piste, but usually mix it up as far as terrain preference.  I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what kind of bindings I should consider given the above info.  


Thanks,
Thibs
post #2 of 24
 My pick for those would be Griffons......I'm sure someone will chime in with a suggestion for  look PX 15 or something in that line soon enough.
post #3 of 24
The ski and personal info you've provided is great but a little incomplete. To receive the best binding advice, please answer the following questions:

Brand and model of your current binding?
What DIN setting is your current binding set to?
Is your current binding and DIN setting working for you?
Do you have any binding "brand" preferences or bias?
  • Atomic
  • Fischer/Head/Tyrolia
  • Look/Dynastar
  • Marker
  • Rossignol
  • Salomon
  • Vist

Current Boot brand and model?
Boot sole length in mm? (look on your boot shell near the sole)
Boot INSOLE type?
  • Factory Original
  • Trim-to-Fit Replacement
  • Custom Molded

Are you sticking with these boots or buying something new?

Ankle & Leg Flexibiltiy?
  • Flexible
  • Average
  • Tight

Arch Height?
  • Low
  • Average
  • High

Forefoot Width?
  • Narrow
  • Average
  • Wide

Heel Width?
  • Narrow
  • Average
  • Wide

Lower Calf Shape?
  • Small
  • Average
  • Large

I imagine you're wondering why I'm asking about your current boots and foot & leg profile.  Let me share the following equation with you:
Boots + Bindings = BALANCE!

For instance, if you are skiing in an aggressive boot with a lot of forward lean and high heel orientation relative to your foot and leg profile, I won't recommend a binding with a high heel design (i.e. excessive ramp).

Looking forward to your completed answers!

-skibootjedi


post #4 of 24
skibootjedi- That is a very impressive list.

I have a pair of 184 cm Watea 84s and 191 cm Scott P4s that I have yet to mount and also own some unmounted Griffons & Dukes (both with 110 brakes).  Was thinking of putting the Dukes on the P4s to be able to do some side country.  Have considered selling the 84s as they may overlap too much with what I have, but have also thought about using them as a med to lightweight set-up for some moderate length tours.  
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibootjedi View Post

The ski and personal info you've provided is great but a little incomplete. To receive the best binding advice, please answer the following questions:


 
Brand and model of your current binding?What DIN setting is your current binding set to?Is your current binding and DIN setting working for you?

Salomon S912ti integrated set at 8 on 185 cm Scream Hot 10 Ps.  Had some early releases in '06-07 on these with moderate bumps.  This binding did not release when I blew out my ACL in Oct '08, but I don't think it was a malfunction as it was a moderate speed fall that didn't seem to have a lot of twisting or torque.  I would have been a bit surprised had the binding come off and was very surprised when I felt my knee pop.  These skis are moving on to a friend this season.

Look PX12 fluids (set at 7 last spring) on 172 cm '09 Dynatar Contact 10s that have performed very well (mostly on groomers) with only 1 slow speed fall and no releases.

"Fischer" (really Tyrolia) X14s (set at 9 in '07-08 and 7 last spring) on 186 cm Fischer Atuas/Misfits.  No falls/releases last spring skiing less agressively, but had a couple of questionable releases in '08 skiing bumps hard and a late release when I caught a piece of buried ice.  The 93 mm brake is a very tight fit on this ski and have given some consideration to putting this on the Watea 84s (or selling the entire set-up if I decided to keep the 84s for alpine with a different binding)

Do you have any binding "brand" preferences or bias?
  • probably Look/Dynastar for alpine, except for the weight issue (which is minor)


  • Current Boot brand and model?
    currently in '09 Lange Banshees (flex "125") which have been used mostly with the PX12s...blew out the ACL in Salomon XWave 8 Frees (flex "90") which were used primarily with the X14s and S912ti.
      
    Boot sole length in mm? (look on your boot shell near the sole)
    343 mm

    Boot INSOLE type?
    custom foot beds from Jeff Bergeron in the spring, everything else if factory original
  • Factory Original- Jeff adjusted the cuff to maximize the forward lean.  This was contrary to what he anticipated doing when he first evaluated me when he thought that he might put shims (or something similar) up front.  He saw me ski the PX12/C-10, which have some ramp angle and thought everything looked good. 
  •  
  • Trim-to-Fit Replacement- no
  •  
  • Custom Molded- no

Are you sticking with these boots or buying something new?
Yes, sticking with

Ankle & Leg Flexibiltiy?
  • Flexible
  • Average
  • Tight
  • I tore my achilles tendon 8 years ago in the same (right) leg that I blew out my ACL last year...prior to that I considered that my stronger leg- I kick better right legged although I write and throw better left handed.  Other than the almost bone like scar tissue on the achilles (which has caused my right calf to be smaller than my left) I would say I am about average to slight more flexible for moderately active 42 year old male.

Arch Height?
  • Average to High

Forefoot Width?
  • Narrow to average- I think Jeff measured one foot at 105 and the other at 110 mm (with 98 being standard and 106 mm being the width of the Banshees in a size 30 shell

Heel Width?
  • Narrow to Average

Lower Calf Shape?
  • Average???

  • Quote:
    Originally Posted by skibootjedi View Post

    I imagine you're wondering why I'm asking about your current boots and foot & leg profile.  Let me share the following equation with you:
    Boots + Bindings = BALANCE!

    For instance, if you are skiing in an aggressive boot with a lot of forward lean and high heel orientation relative to your foot and leg profile, I won't recommend a binding with a high heel design (i.e. excessive ramp).

    Looking forward to your completed answers!

    -skibootjedi



    I am 6' 3" & 190 lbs.  Skied the whole mountain, mostly off piste before the ACL.  Hope to do similar this year.

    Generally speaking, what do you think is the best alpine binding for me?  I picked up the Griffons after Jeff B originally thought I would be better off with less ramp angle when he first looked at me before I blew out my ACL, but he seemed to change his mind about this in the spring when he did the footbeds for the Banshees (after my November surgery and rehab). 

    What do you see as my ideal binding/ski quiver?
post #5 of 24
I think skibootjedi officially went over the top.  I will respond in kind.

Binding questions are pretty simple, really.  The only thing that makes it at all interesting is that each brand and model line has its fans and detractors. 

The threshold question is the DIN at which you set your bindings.  If you're not as obsessed as the rest of us here, and therefore able to identify it off the top of your head, look at the little window on your existing ski bindings.  If you don't have a pair to look at, you can calculate it if you know your skiing type (I, II, III, III+), weight, exterior boot sole length in mm (usually called the "BSL"), and height.

Anyway, given the OP's specs, I figure he probably uses a DIN in the 9-10 range.  The good news is that that means you can theoretically use just about any pair of adult consumer bindings.  The bad news is that that means you can theoretically use just about any pair of adult consumer bindings.

Most of us like to buy bindings where the DIN falls somewhere at least 1-2 numbers off the maximum or minimum.  Some people think that setting at the extremes isn't safe; others like to have some room to move up or down based on experience; still others just feel weird setting at one end of the range or the other.  That means you should probably look at bindings that have a low end of at least 7 or 8, and a high end at least 11 or 12.

Generally speaking, if you compare bindings that have a higher DIN range to those with a lower range, higher DIN bindings will be better constructed (stronger plastic or more metal) at the cost of weight.  But there's a strong marketing component as well.  In my experience, with a few exceptions, the following general rules apply:
  • Max DIN of 9 = beginning or intermediate women
  • Max DIN of 10 = intermediate to advanced women (especially when colored in pastels or to match specific women's skis) or beginning to intermediate men
  • Max DIN of 12 = advanced men
  • Max DIN of 14 = aggressive and/or heavier advanced men
  • Max DIN of 15-16 = often use race binding components adapted to freeride use, e.g., with somewhat "lighter" springs and lower stand height (the exception is the Marker Jester and Duke, which are marketed more like most other 14-DIN bindings)
  • Max DIN of 17+= race bindings (but often used by freeskiers as well, particularly those who either have racing experience or find a great deal)

Since you describe your style as skiing aggressively, and since you're right at the comfort border for a 12-DIN binding, I think you want to go at least 12, and possibly higher, in order to get the more durable components.

So now you have to choose brand and possibly product line.  One often-overlooked factor is whether choosing a certain brand of binding will have any effect on your warranty.  Most ski manufacturers that also manufacture or brand bindings increase the warranty -- usually double -- when you mount them with a co-branded binding.  In your case, you may want to favor Fischer (i.e., Tyrolia) bindings as a result.  Another plus for Tyrolia is that they are available with a "93mm" brake that should fit your 94mm waist without a problem and tuck in neatly when your boot is in.  I also happen to like Tyrolias.  So I'd suggest a 13 DIN or higher Tyrolia/Fischer/Head binding, all of which will use Tyrolia's Aero toe.  You can go with a Railflex model if you think you might want to move the binding fore and aft or want to be able to lend them to friends, or you can flat mount.

Some will suggest the Marker Jester (or Duke if you might tour on these), claiming that their wide stance (see, e.g., Senator Larry Craig) translates to better control (which it may, but I can't imagine telling the difference on a 94mm-wide ski).  Others will suggest the Look/Rossignol PX series, at which point someone else will chime in that you should really go for a Look "turntable" heel model like the FKS.   Still others will suggest Salomon, although their ranks appear to have diminished (or become quiet and content) as the more recent models (especially the Z and STH series) have come to market.  No one will suggest any Marker other than the Royalty series (Jester, Duke, Baron, or Griffon), because if they do, they will be immediately castigated by all the above; suffice it to say that the "Biometric" toe is fairly universally denigrated.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
 Thanks for all the input guys.  As far as the detailed questionnaire... I don't have access to my skis/boots/bindings at the moment so I can't check, but I have been skiing on pretty ghetto with gear for a while - anything is going to be a big upgrade for me.  I've been in grad school w/o money to spare on skigear, so I have stayed on the same old stuff.  

Bindings:
But the info can give you - I have a pair of crappy Rossignol bindings (standard binding on an 03 Rossignol Bandit ski, if that helps) that I set the din just about all the way up, i think it goes to 10, and I pre-release ALL THE TIME, soooo annoying.  I think it's set to 9.5. It's been a problem for a year or two now.  I'm not sure if the DIN isn't high enough, or the bindings just aren't very good... probably a certain degree of both.

Boots/feet:
My boots are Dalbello brand, don't know the model. Factory insole.  I think they're 300mm or so, not sure,  I wear 9 to 10 shoe size.  Small but VERY wide feet.  I am keeping the boots.  I have flexible ankles, average arch, wide forefoot, average to wide heel i'd say, small to average calf size.

As far as binding preference the marker griffon/jester and the fischer/tyrolia peaks were what I was looking at primarily.  My concern with the Griffons is that the DIN isn't high enough, and the jesters aren't cheap.  As far as the Tyrolia peaks - would the 15 be enough for the DIN?   Or would I require the 18? (I'm assuming 15 would be adequate)

My other question is in reference to the brakes on the markers.. 90 or 110, for the watea 94s which one of those would work best, or would they not work well??  Would the 90 stretch to fit?

So basically I'm trying, with guidance, to pick between the Marker Jesters and the Tyrolia/Head/Fischer Peak 15s.  

Thanks, 
Thibs
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mthibs View Post


So basically I'm trying, with guidance, to pick between the Marker Jesters and the Tyrolia/Head/Fischer Peak 15s.  

Thanks, 
Thibs
You're overthinking. Just get duct tape and tape your boots to the skis.  It won't effect your skiing will it? 


Okay now that I have that out of my system. 
I have a bias toward the Marker royal line, will be putting the Griffons on my Kikus this fall.  So I'd go with the Jesters.  I really do like the design of that binding line for the wider skis.  


FWIW I named my new puppy Marker Jester(get it?)


I guess I didn't have all of it out of my system.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mthibs View Post

would the 15 be enough for the DIN?

Yes.
post #9 of 24
without pouring through all the good info above, just remember the Griffons are not built for your size,if you want to go that route (which I think would be great) go Jester.
post #10 of 24
Oh -- and Level Nine has Head/Tyrolia Mojo 15s for $159.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mthibs View Post

 I'm buying a pair of Fischer Wateas, 186cm, 94s, without bindings; however, I'm not very well versed in purchasing bindings.  I'm 6'4", about 225, and ski challenging terrain pretty aggressively.  Ski a lot of off piste, but usually mix it up as far as terrain preference.  I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what kind of bindings I should consider given the above info.  


Thanks,
Thibs




Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post

 My pick for those would be Griffons......I'm sure someone will chime in with a suggestion for  look PX 15 or something in that line soon enough.
 




Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post

without pouring through all the good info above, just remember the Griffons are not built for your size,if you want to go that route (which I think would be great) go Jester.
Finn is right. for some reason I missed that in the OP.  
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mthibs View Post

I'm buying a pair of Fischer Wateas, 186cm, 94s, without bindings; however, I'm not very well versed in purchasing bindings.  I'm 6'4", about 225, and ski challenging terrain pretty aggressively.  Ski a lot of off piste, but usually mix it up as far as terrain preference.  I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to what kind of bindings I should consider given the above info.  

Thanks,
Thibs

Given your height, weight, and ability profile, my experience dictates you should buy a binding that tops out around DIN 14 to 16.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mthibs View Post

Bindings:
I have a pair of crappy... bindings... that I set the din just about all the way up, i think it goes to 10, and I pre-release ALL THE TIME, soooo annoying.  I think it's set to 9.5. It's been a problem for a year or two now.  I'm not sure if the DIN isn't high enough, or the bindings just aren't very good... probably a certain degree of both.

You're probably going to end up needing your bindings set between DIN 10 and 12. While you might get by with some models that top out at 12, you can be confident with those in the 14 to 16 range.


Quote:
Boots/feet:
My boots are Dalbello brand, don't know the model. Factory insole.  I think they're 300mm or so, not sure,  I wear 9 to 10 shoe size.  Small but VERY wide feet.  I am keeping the boots.  I have flexible ankles, average arch, wide forefoot, average to wide heel i'd say, small to average calf size.

Your boot, foot and leg profile help complete the picture. Based on extensive stance testing with hundreds of happy Dalbello skiers in your size range, most are usually balanced fore and aft with about 2 to 4 millimeters of binding heel elevation over the toe (commonly referred to as the binding "ramp" or "delta"). It's important to consider this fact when choosing your binding model.


Quote:
As far as binding preference the marker griffon/jester and the fischer/tyrolia peaks were what I was looking at primarily.  My concern with the Griffons is that the DIN isn't high enough, and the jesters aren't cheap.  As far as the Tyrolia peaks - would the 15 be enough for the DIN?   Or would I require the 18? (I'm assuming 15 would be adequate)

Based on your brand/model preferences and your Fischer Watea 94mm waisted ski, at the top of your binding hunt should be the 2008-09 or 2009-10 Fischer X14 with its standard 93mm brake. It has approximately 4mm of heel elevation over the toe and retails for $295 like the Marker Griffon (which is too light for you).

Next on my list would be the 2008-09 Head Mojo 15 or equivalent Tyrolia Peak 15 ($335 retail). Both came last season with a stock 97mm brake and 5mm of heel elevation. The 2009-10 models are slated to come with an 88mm brake instead and will of course be more expensive.

All of the above Fischer/Head/Tyrolia binding models can be shimmed under the toe to reduce the ramp effect after installation and testing.

Quote:
My other question is in reference to the brakes on the markers.. 90 or 110, for the watea 94s which one of those would work best, or would they not work well??  Would the 90 stretch to fit?

So basically I'm trying, with guidance, to pick between the Marker Jesters and the Tyrolia/Head/Fischer Peak 15s.  

Thanks, 
Thibs
 

As you've questioned, the Marker Jester's 90mm brake is a stretch and the 110mm brake option is on the wide side for your 94mm waisted ski.

Contrary to common belief, the Marker Jester and Griffon bindings also have approximately 5mm of heel elevation (unlike the Marker Duke and Baron series that have less than half that).

Overall, I would still choose the Fischer X14 or Head Mojo/Tyrolia Peak models over the Marker Jester.

If it turns out that your Dalbello boot is one of the Krypton models (which have highly ramped bootboards), plan on having to shim your toes or contact me for other lower ramp binding recommendations.

-skibootjedi

 
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post

I have a pair of 184 cm Watea 84s and 191 cm Scott P4s that I have yet to mount and also own some unmounted Griffons & Dukes (both with 110 brakes).  Was thinking of putting the Dukes on the P4s to be able to do some side country.  Have considered selling the 84s as they may overlap too much with what I have, but have also thought about using them as a med to lightweight set-up for some moderate length tours.  

I am 6' 3" & 190 lbs.  Skied the whole mountain, mostly off piste before the ACL.  Hope to do similar this year.

Generally speaking, what do you think is the best alpine binding for me?  I picked up the Griffons after Jeff B originally thought I would be better off with less ramp angle when he first looked at me before I blew out my ACL, but he seemed to change his mind about this in the spring when he did the footbeds for the Banshees (after my November surgery and rehab). 

What do you see as my ideal binding/ski quiver?

Haven't forgot about you MEfree30. I'll reply to your questions in the next couple days. May the snow Force be with you!

-skibootjedi
post #14 of 24
Just a fwiw- bending a 90 to fit a 94 is no big deal. It's an easy job.
post #15 of 24

Just my $0.02.  Tyrolia HD14 with the railflex system.  $129 at Level 9 Sports - you can't beat the price (gonna be $30 more for the 95mm brakes).  These are on my 94's.  We are about the same size (6'5" and 205#) and these work for me (I ski on the 9 DIN, and pre-release maybe once a season).  I love the Tyrolia HD14 and LD12 setups; you can adjust the binding position on the ski with just one screw, and the railflex lets the ski bend under your foot.  You'll want to experiment with the binding position on those Watea's - I've found a significant difference in performance from center mount to 1" back of center.

 

http://www.levelninesports.com/tyrolia-2006-railflex-ski-bindings-silver-adjustable-p-1337.html?osCsid=25e7b26a8b28916459e5be966e735552

If you feel you need to spend more on bindings, fine by me. 

post #16 of 24
OR try going +1, .  Those are all great bindings, just considerably heavier underfoot than the Jester. I like that HD14.
post #17 of 24
So the remarkable thing is the degree of consensus.  skibootjedi, SpikeDog, and I have all suggested essentially the same binding:  A Tyrolia or derivative, with the Aero toe.  The primary question is whether you think you might want to move the binding fore and aft or lend your skis out, in which case the Railflex makes sense; if you don't, there's no benefit to adding a potential point of stress and failure.
post #18 of 24
or weight.....
post #19 of 24
Thanks for providing the above link SpikeDog. Fair price but poor binding choice for Thibs.

Checking the link carefully, this is a 2006 version of the current Tyrolia/Head RFD 14 DEMO binding, not an in-line center screw Railflex2. In addition to excessive weight, this older demo binding has too much ramp (6 mm) for Thibs' relatively short Dalbello shell and foot type. Unlike separate toe and heel models, this demo assembly can NOT be shimmed to reduce ramp.

While longitudinal binding adjustability has it's place, optimizing a skier's ramp and cant trumps all other stance adjustments after proper boot selection and fitting.

-skibootjedi
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibootjedi View Post

Checking the link carefully, this is a 2006 version of the current Tyrolia/Head RFD 14 DEMO binding, not an in-line center screw Railflex2.

This is incorrect.  The linked binding is from the first or second year of Railflex 2.  "RFD" stands for RailFlex Demo; the conventional Tyrolia demo line is the "SR" or SymRent. 

Starting more recently -- last season or the season before -- Tyrolia dropped the standard RF band and switched to using the Demo band throughout the product line.  As a practical matter, that means that these should be functionally identical to the current RailFlex line, although Tyrolia's technical database appears to be down and there may have been a toe height adjustment in subsequent years.

I have no opinion on the ramp angle issues.
post #21 of 24
From the Tyrolia 05-06 tech manual:

HD14
Toe height: 32mm
Heel height: 35mm
Ramp angle, in mm: 3mm
Weight: 2456g

HD14 Demo (same binding, but the Demo quick adjustment band)
Toe height: 32mm
Heel height: 35mm
Ramp angle, in mm: 3mm
Weight: 2695g

The bindings are identical in all ways, except the band, which IS a little heavier in the Demo case. 3mm ain't no high ramp angle.

http://www.puszczka.com/~andy/Tyrolia-Techn.Manual0506_en.pdf
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the tremendous amount of input and assistance.  I have learned A LOT aobut bindings since last week.

I went with the Fischer X17s for $199.  Figured I got a good price for the higher DIN so I went with that.  It also appears to enhance the warranty for the Wateas since they are both Fischer.  Hopefully this was a good choice!  The Jesters cost too much for me, even though I was very interested. 

Thanks again for all the help!
Thibs
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by skibootjedi View Post




Haven't forgot about you MEfree30. I'll reply to your questions in the next couple days. May the snow Force be with you!

-skibootjedi

 

Thanks skibootjedi...am also thinking about getting an AT boot this spring, so if you have any opinions as to what might fit similar to the Langes, I would appreciate the input. 
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mthibs View Post

I went with the Fischer X17s for $199.  Figured I got a good price for the higher DIN so I went with that.  It also appears to enhance the warranty for the Wateas since they are both Fischer.  Hopefully this was a good choice!

It was, and a pretty good deal to boot.  Congrats.
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