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Steel Edges on XC Skis

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Some backcountry - cross country skis have steel edges.  This would obviously improve lateral grip.

Do the steel edges affect the gliding ability of a XC ski? I can't imagine they would.
The only problem I see is that the weight will be higher.

Are there any other downsides to having Steel Edges on XC skis?
post #2 of 19
 I have Fischer Outbound Crowns and RCS classics.

The Outbounds have steel edges and are kind of like a mountain bike, tough, go anywhere, not too fast, great on the downhills.

The RCSs are race skis and are like a road bike. Fast, definitely not all terrain.

When I'm on the Outbounds I don't worry much about weight or gliding. The steel edges are great when you're off the beaten path. They're kind of out of place on a groomed track. I don't think I'd get backcountry xc skis without steel edges.
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicSpy View Post
 



Do the steel edges affect the gliding ability of a XC ski? I can't imagine they would.

Nope.


The only problem I see is that the weight will be higher.
 

Yup.


Are there any other downsides to having Steel Edges on XC skis?

1) weight
2) weight
3) weight
4) cost
5) not appropriate for in-track skis.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks.

I'm going to be skiing on ungroomed golf courses and park's.  The snow varies from powder, to tracks left by other skiers and packed down foot trails.

I'm not going to any groomed courses with these.  However, I do want to be able to glide well on the skied-In tracks and packed snow.

Right now, I'm considering something like the Madshus Voss.  It's a 60-50-55mm, 3/4 steel edged ski.

http://www.madshus.com/Products-0910/Ski-0809/Back-Country/Voss/

Does it sound like it suits my type of skiing?

I like the mountain bike analogy, that's what I'm looking for.  A Fast XC Mountain Bike.  The Fischer Outbound's are about 10mm wider than the Voss's.
post #5 of 19
The green Rossis are 60mm waist and 178 cm and are the ones I tend to use the most for a variety of conditions including the ones you described:



The Atomics to the left are in the neighborhood of the Fischer OuttaBounds, IIRC and are more skis and gear to tool around on for a mellow tour. You'd be surprised what you can do with 50-60mm waisted touring skis, however. The edges make no difference in the snow for glide, but help if there's ice or turning.
Edited by Alpinord - 12/21/09 at 9:22pm
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicSpy View Post

Thanks.

I'm going to be skiing on ungroomed golf courses and park's.  The snow varies from powder, to tracks left by other skiers and packed down foot trails.
 

It's the packed-down foot trails that will make for the most problems, most icing and least glide.    Steel edges are appropriate for this.     
 

I'm not going to any groomed courses with these.  However, I do want to be able to glide well on the skied-In tracks and packed snow.
 

Sounds reasonable.   


Right now, I'm considering something like the Madshus Voss.  It's a 60-50-55mm, 3/4 steel edged ski.

http://www.madshus.com/Products-0910/Ski-0809/Back-Country/Voss/

Does it sound like it suits my type of skiing?
 

Sounds reasonable.    Don't spend too much on your first pair; you'll want more.    XC skis have next to no resale value.

I like the mountain bike analogy, that's what I'm looking for.  A Fast XC Mountain Bike. 

The Madshus is closer to a randonee bike with wide Schwalbes.    Which is perfectly OK  until you start climbing more and descending more.

Which boots do you have?     The fatter the skis, the bigger the boot you'll be wanting.
post #7 of 19
My Outbound Crows have a 60mm waist. (70-60-65) I have Alpina ST 35 boots.

This is what I like to do


Tool around and do some completely non aggressive tele turns on shallow slopes.

I bet I would like the Madshus Voss too. It looks like a good ski, and probably faster than my Fischers.
post #8 of 19
Steel edges are really over rated.  People skid around on XC skis and think they need metal edges, when actually the boots, and the ski flex/sidecut is at fault.

If you can find a reasonably stiff ski with decent sidecut it will give you all the grip xc boots can handle.  Skis like that are hard to find.  I had a Silva Huski in the same flex as a metal edged Fischer, and they had similar properties.  I even did some tele-gates on them once.

In an extreme example, Slider had some custom wooden alpine skis with modern super sidecut made up, mounted with alpine bindings and his regular boots.  He carved up the hardpacked snow beautifully on them without metal edges.
post #9 of 19
^Visu made a completely edgeless 80mm waist  XC ski at one point.
<It's coming down an inch an hour, I'm grabbing my Rainiers and heading back out.
vCya in 20K.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.

Another thing I need to decide on is waxable or waxless?  I'm fairly certain that waxless is best for my needs, because of the varying conditions.

Would you agree?
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicSpy View Post

Thanks guys.

Another thing I need to decide on is waxable or waxless?  I'm fairly certain that waxless is best for my needs, because of the varying conditions.

Would you agree?


Go waxless until you've got the stride figured out.    

Which boot are you using?
 

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've got Fischer XC Control boots.  They're not dedicated BC boots, but they have decent support.
post #13 of 19
You'll be fine with those boots for golf courses and the like.  It's only when the terrain gets steep that you might want more support.  Madshus makes great skis and the ones you're looking at sound good for the job and give you a little bit of both worlds in terms of in track touring and backcountry.

I've skied a Karhu combi ski (skinny skinny) with no edges in pretty varied terrain with no problems.  I'm a fan of a waxable base because if you run over twigs or rocks, you can repair the base.  My Karhus are 17 years old and in excellent shape. The waxing isn't that big a deal.  However, if you're totally new to XC, you may want to start with a waxless base.  But I've had waxless bases ice up in varying conditions, too.
post #14 of 19
Waxless is for small children! And even then I wax them. CH/LF glide wax on tips and tails, kick wax of the day in the herringbone.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post

Waxless is for small children! And even then I wax them. CH/LF glide wax on tips and tails, kick wax of the day in the herringbone.
 

I may be convinced.  Keep going!
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post

Waxless is for small children!
 

What wouldn't I give to have good enough snow to say this.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Still deciding between waxable and waxless. I don't really mind a quick wax before I leave... There's also Grip Tape...

However, I don't want the wax wearing off mid-ski and having to stop and add more wax or, having to stop and change the wax for different conditions during an outing. Waxless is so much easier that way, however maybe a little bit slower?

The Voss comes in both versions...
post #18 of 19
Waxless aren't, BTW. Glide wax not only helps the glide portion but also clumping/icing in the kick zone. Some scaled/patterned based/waxless skis are single camber. My Rossi BCs are. Grip wax can be added to added as can kicker skins. Lot of times it gets down to having little time or patience to get out the door more frequently and with a high level of variability throughout a day or week. And in looser snow, I'm not sure that the grip wax works substantially better, but I'm still experimenting here. If on a set track the grip wax is better and worth it.

As suggested, plan on two or more pair eventually. One for track and one for all terrain.

To clarify a previous (edited) statement, Fischer makes an Outbound Crown and an OuttaBounds. The Outtabounds is a wider 'rugged touring' ski.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicSpy View Post

Still deciding between waxable and waxless.

Get both, just don't miss the snow.
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