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Riser vs No Riser

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
What is the difference between having a riser on your bindings and not having one?
Is one or the other quicker?
Which one is more popular these days?
post #2 of 28
I assume you're refering to the plates below the bindings.

They raise you off the ski which gives better leverage for putting the skis on edge and yes it allows the ski to go edge to edge more quickly. Think of prying open a crate with a crow bar vs. a screw driver. It's much easier to open a crate with the crow bar since it gives you better leverage.

They also reduce boot-outs, meaning the boots will be less likely to hit the snow when carving aggressivly since it is sitting further off the ski.

Some companies use them as a system that works with the ski for a more even flex of the ski by allowing the binding to "float", meaning the binding is not directly screwed into the ski anymore. In the past skis did not flex very evenly because the area where the binding is located created a dead spot. The ski would flex in front of the toe piece and behind the heel piece and not underfoot because the boot to binding connection didn't allow the ski to do that.

Plates originated in racing but have become more popular today as companies experiment with systems that I mentioned previously.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Ya, that's what i was refering to (the plates below the bindings) and thanks that's what i thought and i just wanted a confirmation.

thanks
post #4 of 28
Depends on the type of ski, but I'm not a big fan of lifter plates.  I have found that if you can get your skis up on edge without too much difficulty, the extra lift is not really needed.  It does make turn initiation easier with a lifter.  I just didn't like the idea of being close to an inch above my skis.
post #5 of 28
Just a slight correction:
 
   Lifters do help with leverage, true, but they don't make the ski edge quicker. Picture the crowbar and screwdriver analogy, it's accurate. Leverage is all about trading distance for force: The crowbar has to move farther to open the lid, but it does it easier.

Lifters are usually paired with firm snow oriented skis and carving; race skis and 'front side carving skis' are good examples. Flatter bindings are usually paired with skis that will spin, pivot or smear; skis like powder skis, park skis and bump skis.
post #6 of 28
Thread Starter 
That makes more sense what whiteroom said cause I was wondering why don't all skis have risers. Sounds like l dont need a riser because l rarely ski groomers.

thanks
post #7 of 28
I was never really enamored with lift plates.  They have a place, but I think that part of the argument is now kinda moot - mainly in regards to "boot out".  By that, I mean now that skis are often times wider than boots, it is a problem that has taken care of itself.  You'd have to be at a pretty severe angle to get boot-out with a ski with a 90+mm waist.  Heck -- even with something in the low-to-mid 80's would require some heavy angulation.

I'll never buy bindings with any kinda of riser any more - unless the deal is just too good. 
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Do bindings with risers have to have the riser or can you just take the riser off?
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Downhillin99 View Post

Do bindings with risers have to have the riser or can you just take the riser off?

Some can be removed.  If you do, you'll need different screws though.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

Just a slight correction:
 
   Lifters do help with leverage, true, but they don't make the ski edge quicker. .


 

EDIT: To me the added leverage gained by sitting higher on the ski makes for easier edging and therefore quicker edging. Of course that will vary with the waist size of the ski. I also realize we're talking about millimeters of variance and most people aren't going to tell the difference anyway.
Edited by nacg8or - 10/19/09 at 12:28am
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nacg8or View Post




I disagree. The added leverage gained by sitting higher on the ski makes the distance you have to move your leg laterally smaller, therefore quickening the time the ski will go from edge to edge.

Then why don't all skis have risers?
post #12 of 28
Edge to edge quickness doesn't really matter for powder skis for example. And it's not going to matter for lower level skiers who are just learning.
post #13 of 28
This is a subject that doesn't get enough attention.  I guess, because most people don't really care or haven't been able to compare lifted vs. non-lifted bindings in a true test.

Last season we mounted three identical pairs of Fischer Watea 94's.  One pair with a pair of Marker Piston Turbos - substantial lift, one pair with Marker 12.0 Frees - minimal lift, and one pair with Marker Jesters - moderate lift & wider footprint.   We sent these out with 12 different skiers to compare performance.    On firm or groomed snow it was unanimous - the Piston Turbo (with the most lift) plus the piston dampener was considered the best performer.  All of the skiers felt that the ski carved better and was easier to get up on edge and to turn.  On groomed snow the next favorite was the pair with the Jesters - presumably because of the lift and maybe the width and this binding is very laterally stiff due to its toe and heel design .  All of these skiers felt that the ski did not perform as well on groomed snow with the minimally lifted Free 12.0. 

Interestingly, in crud and powder, there was no clear favorite, as most of these skiers could not discern a big difference in performance.  The one common comment, being that the skis mounted with the Jesters felt "lighter". 

I know that this is not a statisically valid test, and that there are some complicating details regarding performance of each individual binding, but it was pretty clear that there was a discernable difference in performance of this skis with the different bindings.  

When shaped skis first came out, the binding companies lifted all of the bindings to stop "boot out". Realistically, 98%+ of skiers never attained high enough edge angles to truely "boot out",  but the risers made it easier to get these wider skis up on edge, therefore making them "easier" to turn and to carve.  For a while, bindings were a very real concern, when purchasing a new pair of skis.  Then came system skis and hostage plates, where the binding choice was made for the customer.  Ski/binding manufacturers and retailers quit worrying about bindings, they became an afterthought or just part of the system.  Now we have more flat skis again, and the ski industry is kind of scattered about the subject.   The main points about bindings, now seem to be price, weight, retention at all costs (I guess for the jibbers and cliff jumpers) , and AT options. 

I have tried many skis, with many different waist widths, with bindings with different stand heights. The bindings with the greatest lift always makes the ski easier to get up on edge and easier to carve.  I have seen this with skiers of all levels. 

The great thing about skiing, is that there are no rules about binding setup.   If you don't want lifted bindings, don't buy them, but if you want them to be easier to turn and to carve, you might strongly consider bindings with some lift built in. 
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
lf l ski 80% chopped up powder in the trees (including small cliffs and drops), 15% cat track and groomers, and 5% everything else. From what whiteroom and axebiker said you probably don't want risers on powder skis. Or like coolhand said it doesn't really matter. Anyway the question is should l go with or without a riser for these conditions?

thanks in advance
post #15 of 28
Risers on powder skis are not needed. You don't need leverage to get your ski to hold an edge in powder. The base of the ski is in the snow, so the edge itself isn't holding, the base and edge are pushing the snow. So no need for a riser on a powder ski.

The need for leverage (risers) comes from trying to hold a given amount of edge on hardpack/ice. The forces of the ski to roll back to flat are more easily overcome by the longer lever (riser). Edge to edge with risers require more motion of the leg thus may be slower, but the benefit of being able to hold the edge angle with less effort, or to hold more edge angle than without a riser is the advantage.

The other advantage of risers, reducing 'boot out', is virtually moot with a mid fat or wider ski. The boot is completely over the ski, thus it can't 'boot out'.

MR
post #16 of 28
I think it's entirely irrelevant in soft snow.  As far as I can tell, it makes absolutely no difference one way or the other.

On groomed runs, I think it's a question of personal preference.  That said, I think I've found that I, personally, prefer them, even on wider skis.  My first pair of 188 PM Gear Bro Models (99mm waist) were mounted with Look P14 Ti Lifters, and I loved them everywhere.  My second pair of 188 Bros were mounted with Marker Dukes, which have a lift due to the AT mechanism, and once I got them mounted at the right point (zero ramp angle makes a difference), I loved them.  I demoed a pair of 190 Moment Rubies (112mm waist) last spring, mounted with PX14 Demos, which have a lift due to the demo setup, and loved them.  By contrast, my 191 Scott P4s (108mm waist), mounted flat with Tyrolia FF17s, never grabbed me, even though their groomer performance was pretty good.

I bought a pair of 190 Rubies that I haven't yet mounted, but I'm seriously considering putting a 9mm Tyrolia plate on them.
post #17 of 28
The higher the better for me. Even powder skis will eventually have to cross something packed and they edge much better with some rise.
Without lifters my boots feel too soft or under canted.

One note---if your skis chatter that leverage works both ways....a chattering ski on with a big lift will shake your leg off.
post #18 of 28

I'm hoping it doesn't make much difference, since I haven't gone to the trouble of getting them for my new skis.  I like risers a lot on skinny skis. When I demo'ed my Coombas they had Naxo's on them, which were equivalent to an insane amount of lift (maybe an inch?).  I'm putting "normal" bindings on the ones I bought.  Here's hoping the lift wasn't why I loved them. 

post #19 of 28

I've had some old two piece riser's with Salomon bindings (the kind you might have had on a pair of slalom ski's in the early or mid 90's) on a pair of Coombas.  Probably didn't make any difference in deep fresh snow, but for crud and windpacked I think I've benefited from the added leverage.  If I really load the skis they can feel a bit snappy and tend to hook and throw but if I'm rolling my edge instead of driving it the leverage provided by the riser allows me to maintain a lot of feel and power even when my weight is over the center of the ski as opposed to having my hips and weight pushing forward as I would if I were driving on hardpack.  I think it has a lot to do with taste and how you want the ski to feel and perform but I have been very happy with the way the riser feels on my Coombas.  I'm happy to risk a bit of hookyness in exchange for the leverage and snap added by a riser.  But then again I like airplane turns.

post #20 of 28

My experience is that if you have a ski that is 90mm or more in the waist, it is noticeably worse at carving if you do not have either a system binding, or risers to elevate your boots above the ski.  It's the old: nail your boots to a 4' X 8' sheet of plywood and try to get it on edge, then nail a step ladder to the middle of the plywood with your boots on top, and try to get it on edge.  The angulation and leverage give you a huge advantage. Flat mount a 105 mm waisted ski and you might as well forget about high performance on hard snow.

post #21 of 28

The other advantage of lifter plates is that they move the ankle closer to the force vector that the snow is exerting on the ski.  All things being equal, you will hold better because the force you can apply to the ski with your ankle is more in line with the force of the snow pushing back.

 

LIfters can also dampen vibration and allow the ski to flex more independently, so they can change the feel of the ski (for good or for bad--depending on the driver's preferences).  This effect on ski feel can translate to soft snow as well, and some may discern enough difference between different setups of the same ski to have a strong preference.

 

Whiteroom has it right.  Lifters, while making a ski easier to tip, actually make it slower from edge to edge because the lever means your ankle has to travel farther to achieve the same degree of edge angle. 

 

This fact has alignment implications.  If you are undercanted (knock-kneed), your alignment is already putting you in a position where you are going to have difficulty moving edge to edge and where you will already need larger movements than normal to make this happen.  Lifters actually compound the problems of knock-kneed skiers, so if you are aligned soft, you are better off without them.  Well, OK, you are better off fixing your alignment, but if you can't (or won't) then lifters are best avoided.

 

For neutral or overcanted (bowlegged) alignments, the effect of the lifter plate is less critical (and in the case of strong alignment perhaps even neutralized).  For those skiers, the advantage of improved edge hold often outweighs whatever minimal loss of quickness (if any) that will be incurred.


Edited by geoffda - 6/28/10 at 6:29pm
post #22 of 28

I've skied K2 Public Enemies and Fujatives with and without lifters. (Salomon S914 PowerAxe??? vs. Tyrolia Mojo 15 Flat)  Contrary to my fellow parkrats beliefs, I liked them better with lifters.  I'll be recycling the S914 and using it again on my new 87mm Twins.  (Of Note:  I liked teh retention and solid feel of the Tyrolia better)

 

I'm also still torn on my other new ski setup.  I bought a GS ski and a Head/Tyrolia FreeFlex 17.  There were available 9mm and 13mm lifters for it.  I bought both.  Still unsure which I want.  The ski will primarily be raced GS and skied fast on hardpack groomer days.  After reading this thread, I'm leaning towards the 13mm.  Maybe save the 9mm for a Slalom ski next year?

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post
I'm also still torn on my other new ski setup.  I bought a GS ski and a Head/Tyrolia FreeFlex 17.  There were available 9mm and 13mm lifters for it.  I bought both.  Still unsure which I want.  The ski will primarily be raced GS and skied fast on hardpack groomer days.  After reading this thread, I'm leaning towards the 13mm.  Maybe save the 9mm for a Slalom ski next year?


If you want to make it even more interesting, I've still got a pair of 23mm Tyrolia risers...

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post
 I bought a GS ski and a Head/Tyrolia FreeFlex 17.  There were available 9mm and 13mm lifters for it.  I bought both.  Still unsure which I want.  The ski will primarily be raced GS and skied fast on hardpack groomer days.  After reading this thread, I'm leaning towards the 13mm.  Maybe save the 9mm for a Slalom ski next year?

Unclear which sort of racing you're talking about (Master's, Beer League, Club, Nastar, other?), but usually for a GS you'd want a real racing plate that is stiffer and doesn't move. The two you have are carving plates, flexier, movable heels. I'd pick the 13 mm for your purposes, assuming you're not having to meet stack spec. It's heavier and more metal than the 9 mm, which is mostly plastic, and just for lift. The 13 works decently for casual racing, groomer zooming. By contrast I use the 9mm even on fatter skis, because it's super light, my knees like lift, and I like the ability to change binding position. YMMV. 

post #25 of 28

Well Beyond, I couldn't find such plates anywhere.  The 13 and 9 were the only ones that seem to exist.  And they are both plastic.  Not sure of this metal you are talking about.  And I wanted to be higher off the ski.  I don't care if it makes it stiffer.  I'm pretty sure that being a GS ski, it was designed stiff in the first place.

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

Well Beyond, I couldn't find such plates anywhere.  The 13 and 9 were the only ones that seem to exist.  And they are both plastic.  Not sure of this metal you are talking about.  And I wanted to be higher off the ski.  I don't care if it makes it stiffer. 

 

http://www.vist.it/Home.html?Lang=en  <- one example

post #27 of 28

I looked at Vist.  They were over my budget and too hard to come by.

post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FujativeOCR View Post

I looked at Vist.  They were over my budget and too hard to come by.


Not hard to come by at all; new 07-09 versions easy to find on fleabay. Thing about budget is that you want something (all metal, higher rise, stiff is good) that is a WC style racing plate. Most race skis now come with their own plate built in. You can get stand alones that are partly/all metal from Vist, Marker, Tyrolia, unclear about others. For instanz: http://www.tyrolia.com/index.php?id=296&L= Notice that current race plates do not go much over 18 mm, so if you want higher, you'll need to do some improvising. You could also buy an older pair of race skis and rip out the plate. Again, improvising

 

More to the point, racing plates are not cheap. You can get new older versions for $140-160 range if you search, recreational VIST risers down to $80-90.  Otherwise, you're stuck with what's been suggested. FWIW, I'm far from my bindings so have to operate from memory, but I recall some metal framing (plastic and rubber outside) on the Tyrolia 13. I know that the Tyrolia 13 mm weighs close to the Vist WC Air, cuz I own both, and have weighed them. Since the VIST is all-aluminum with rubber shock pads underneath, I'd be surprised if the Tyrolia 13 is all plastic, like the far lighter 9 mm. In any case, I've used Tyrolia plates extensively, have never had one fail, so not sure why you want the extra weight of all metal unless you're looking to actually race, or for purely ice and hardpack. Which gets us back to the $$ issue. 

 

Maybe you should just go buy/beg some scrap aluminum blank from a local shop, and shape it with a hacksaw, file. Might not be as shiny and cool as the above, but hell of a lot cheaper and will do the same job... 

 

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