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Binding mount position is 99% of ski performance

post #1 of 200
Thread Starter 
Not trying to be controversial here - I'm honestly just trying to pass along some friendly advice to every skier that reads this post.  Based on my experiences with many, many skis and experimentation with binding mount positions, I now truly believe that 99% of what I'm feeling about the performance of a ski is directly related to where my boot is placed on the ski by the binding mount position.

I have had skis that I thought had absolutely no edge grip actually turn out to have tenacious grip just by simply changing my mount position on them.  Skis that were acting crazy and squirrel-ly have become rock stable and dependable.  All this from a mere 10mm change (sometimes only 5mm).

I am not directly advocating Ball of Foot (BoF) positioning methodology (but of course many of you have seen all my posts on the subject), just advising the fact that getting yourself into the right position on the ski is EVERYTHING.  Note that there are many variables that go into determining where the best position is for any individual skier and the key really is that it's an individual preference.  What's good for Joe isn't necessarily going to be good for John.

I am now thoroughly convinced that my ski demos are so inescapably linked to the mount position that I'm at a loss as to how to handle those situations now.  I need to come up with a way to quickly and fairly estimate my position on any ski when I cannot take the time to measure for the CRS (center of running surface) and where my BoF is landing.  I'm definitely open to ideas on this one.

We need more binding manufacturers to embrace the idea that fore/aft adjustments should be standard features.  Make the adjustments simple to do without any tools required.  Give us multiple positions (hopefully in at least 5mm increments).  The ski manufacturers need to back off on the idea that there is one mount position on a ski that is suitable for all skiers - no matter what the skier morphology.  The ski magazines need to report on this issue and improve skier awareness.

I want everyone to be able to find the sweet spot on any pair of skis and unfortunately with the current state of affairs it requires a lot of hit-or-miss trials to get there.
post #2 of 200
I agree it's an important factor, but I also think you can compensate when testing skis by seeing if they grip more when you adjust your fore-aft balance on the ski, not that you would want to permanently ski them that way.

Also, correct binding placement will only go so far to improve a ski. The right binding position on a pair of Rossignol Attaction I skis will not give them to performance of a Fischer WC SC.
post #3 of 200
Noodler. I think 99% is overstating the case, but do agree that it is important.

For example if you buy a 100mm+ twin with the intention of skiing forwards only there is a good probability that mounting it on the line you are going to be far forward in deep snow and would benefit from a aft mount. +2cm or so... to get more tip float in a balance fore aft stance.

My experience is that the more rocker the skis have the more sensitive to mount the ski becomes. If you are on a 190cm ski wiht  a 135cm running length then in reality you are on somethign close to a 160cm conventional ski (on a groomer). With the addition of  rocker to skis across the boards from 80mm waist on up from most mfgs this will become even more of an acute issue.
post #4 of 200
I think it's only 94.62%

SJ
Reply
post #5 of 200
I'm not buying....can it make a difference, sure. But unless they are simply miss marked from the manufacturer, I've not had any issues. The skier will compensate in only a few runs, sometimes without even realizing it. Sometimes I will look at where the "bof mount" would fall relative to the factory mid sole mark before I drill, but haven't really found any problem skis.

Only exception seems to be twin tips, even when they have dual marks.....


ymmv
Edited by Rossi Smash - 3/7/10 at 3:29pm
post #6 of 200
Noodler,

Do you ever use Marker Schizo or Tyrolia Railflex mounted to help work out
final binding mount position?
post #7 of 200
This is something that I wanted hart to set the skis up for...BOF mounting but my request came upon deaf ears.

I will day being devils advocate, how many mismounts were done when skis were shown with "Toe Mount" lines that were used as mid mount lines. Plus since boots have no "BOF" markings it can be too subjective let alone how the persons arch and actual ball of foot sit in the boot. 
post #8 of 200
 When I moved my railflex bindings to the forward position on my Progressor 8+'s I felt an immediate and significant positive effect on the way the ski handled.
post #9 of 200
Thread Starter 
I will admit that the "99%" was intended as an attention getter - just trying to get across the importance of this issue.

I also agree that a mount position isn't going to instantly transform your intermediate recreational cruiser into a WC race machine - let's maintain our sanity here.
post #10 of 200
Thread Starter 
jonrpen - I have used the Railflex systems in the past (although I never really loved them).  I actually gravitated toward using plates (to avoid re-drilling the skis), but many times I have just re-drilled the skis (and re-drilled again - ack!).

Tyrolia has a new binding system for next season called the PowerRail that replaces the Railflex stuff.  Supposedly it's a lot better and can be changed without needing any tools.
post #11 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

Not trying to be controversial here - I'm honestly just trying to pass along some friendly advice to every skier that reads this post.  Based on my experiences with many, many skis and experimentation with binding mount positions, I now truly believe that 99% of what I'm feeling about the performance of a ski is directly related to where my boot is placed on the ski by the binding mount position.

I have had skis that I thought had absolutely no edge grip actually turn out to have tenacious grip just by simply changing my mount position on them.  Skis that were acting crazy and squirrel-ly have become rock stable and dependable.  All this from a mere 10mm change (sometimes only 5mm).

I am not directly advocating Ball of Foot (BoF) positioning methodology (but of course many of you have seen all my posts on the subject), just advising the fact that getting yourself into the right position on the ski is EVERYTHING.  Note that there are many variables that go into determining where the best position is for any individual skier and the key really is that it's an individual preference.  What's good for Joe isn't necessarily going to be good for John.

I am now thoroughly convinced that my ski demos are so inescapably linked to the mount position that I'm at a loss as to how to handle those situations now.  I need to come up with a way to quickly and fairly estimate my position on any ski when I cannot take the time to measure for the CRS (center of running surface) and where my BoF is landing.  I'm definitely open to ideas on this one.

We need more binding manufacturers to embrace the idea that fore/aft adjustments should be standard features.  Make the adjustments simple to do without any tools required.  Give us multiple positions (hopefully in at least 5mm increments).  The ski manufacturers need to back off on the idea that there is one mount position on a ski that is suitable for all skiers - no matter what the skier morphology.  The ski magazines need to report on this issue and improve skier awareness.

I want everyone to be able to find the sweet spot on any pair of skis and unfortunately with the current state of affairs it requires a lot of hit-or-miss trials to get there.
Most ski's i look at have more than one line. For many of these there is ample discussion on the net as to where the best mounting point has ended up being. I will say that I have learned to not fear the center mount, in the end this has made me a happy camper. I think many of today's twins that come marked with a "classic" and  "freestyle" line are actually designed to ski better on the "freestyle" line. The other line is there just to keep the short tail crowd happy.
post #12 of 200
Thread Starter 
Although the manufacturers have begun putting more "lines" on some skis to suggest other mounting points, their approach generally has been that the mounting point options are for different types of skiing - NOT different types of skiers.  So while they acknowledge that there's more than one place to mount a binding on a ski, they're still not readily admitting that there are really many options for both the skiing that you do and the skier that you are.

I'm not advocating that things need to become needlessly complex for the ski manufacturers or the shops.  I think the best solution is for the binding manufacturers to jump on board the fore/aft adjustment wagon and help everyone "get with the program".
post #13 of 200
 K2 used to have a scale on the side of their skis that correlated with a BSL. I don't know why they stopped it. 
post #14 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

jonrpen - I have used the Railflex systems in the past (although I never really loved them).  I actually gravitated toward using plates (to avoid re-drilling the skis), but many times I have just re-drilled the skis (and re-drilled again - ack!).

Tyrolia has a new binding system for next season called the PowerRail that replaces the Railflex stuff.  Supposedly it's a lot better and can be changed without needing any tools.

Can you elaborate on how it is better?  From only a set-up perspective or also in on-snow performance?  Is the resulting stand height mostly unchanged?

thanks.
post #15 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

 K2 used to have a scale on the side of their skis that correlated with a BSL. I don't know why they stopped it. 

well, this might answer that question:

What's the difference between a size 26.0 (305-ish) and a 29.5 (335-ish)? About 3cm.

If you are working with a midsole mark those 3cm are divided in half, half the difference in the toe half at the heel... so 7.5mm change in MP over 4 sizes. By comparison, many modern skis have a range of over 7cm for possible mount points.

How many K2's were mis-mounted due to the sole length toe mount? Is it making sense yet?

Does mount point matter? sure, some. Is it 99% of a skis performance? Not even close. 
post #16 of 200
Two articles that support Noodler...but I don't know about the 99% part

www.lous.ca/Tech%20Articles/BindPosArticle09.pdf

www.realskiers.com/ski-bindings.htm
post #17 of 200
This binding position issue was known for some time, but what is the solution? The old ESS-VAR had the right idea as do some modern bindings allowing a skier to reposition his/her boot.  VIST was marketing in the USA (Are they still?) a plate that allowed a certain VIST binding to lock into several holes that would reposition the foot forward or backwards.  Everything else is trial and error, which is OK if you are Bode and can tinker with your equipment all day long.  That does no good for the average skier attempting to get the most from his/her off the rack equipment.  What is necessary is more and better binding designs allowing skiers to tinker with their boot position on the ski. 
post #18 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

This binding position issue was known for some time, but what is the solution? The old ESS-VAR had the right idea as do some modern bindings allowing a skier to reposition his/her boot.  VIST was marketing in the USA (Are they still?) a plate that allowed a certain VIST binding to lock into several holes that would reposition the foot forward or backwards.  Everything else is trial and error, which is OK if you are Bode and can tinker with your equipment all day long.  That does no good for the average skier attempting to get the most from his/her off the rack equipment.  What is necessary is more and better binding designs allowing skiers to tinker with their boot position on the ski. 

Except that 98.5% of skiers will never use it and will see no benefit from it and won't have a clue what its about. Most stores can't help them dial in their position either, because they're not on the slopes with their customers. For informed skiers looking for the perfect ride these things are great (except that they can make bindings heavier and/or more complicated and/or easier to break), but the market for these things is tiny. How many skiers do you think ever move their Railflex bindings +1.5 or -1.5, which they can do at the flip of a lever or turn of a screw. Approximately none, and those that do all post on Epic or TGR (except they don't use no steenking Railflex) or Snowheads.

Marker took a real risk with the Schizos. They were lucky/smart enough to find a market for Dukes and Jesters, but how many adjustable units will they sell given that they're more expensive, and that most of the potential buyers are exposed to failure stories on t'Interweb? Time will tell.

post #19 of 200
I'm gonna complicate everything just a bit more and propose that in addition to binding placement, binding delta has an obvious effect on how the skier balances his/her CoG over his/her BoF, which in turn effects some complicated interplay between his/her stance and the binding-delta-affected forward lean of his/her boots.

I am fairly certain this accounts for roughly 47% of how the ski + skier assembly behaves, which gives us the conundrum of 99% + 47% = 146%. 

But in all seriousness, does a Campbell Balancer take binding delta into account?
post #20 of 200
 Most importantly, 87% of all statistics are made up on the spot. 
post #21 of 200
We've just been on the British Ski Test (in Italy, obviously) and there are so many variables to take into account. Binding position made a big difference to how the skis performed in the very few occasions we altered it, as did the very variable states of tune. Trying to cut through this while getting a good spread of skis underfoot in a few days was headache-causing. Good test, mind you. Bormio is the new Tamworth, for sure.
post #22 of 200
I agree in part that it is tough selecting a mount position on ski's with all of these lines.  What I find tough is talking to a customer to find out where they want them mounted, because sometimes a person doesn't know what line they want. I have trouble sometimes figuring out what is going to work better for this person considering I've never seen them ski.


I will always use toe/heel tracks for my park/ride ski's from now on though.  I can switch myself from center set to a further back setting in about 30 seconds on hill.  I find its like having two pairs of ski's on the mountain, something I'd really only recommend to people that have the binding certs to be adjusting their bindings though.
post #23 of 200
I tried BOF about 3 or 4 years ago when I was on system skis. I found that I prefered about 2cm behind BOF which was still 2cm in front of the line. Why do people think that BOF is any better than wherever the line happens to be? Just becuase thats what works for you?

Just out of curiosity... how does BOF work with a fully rockered ski? 
post #24 of 200
guys,  this is Epic, the long established percentage is 97%...as in

"I ski better than 97%...."
"I argue better than 97%..."

and so on!

so you see, Phil, It is really 97% of all stats are made up on the spot..."

carry on
post #25 of 200
Tyrolia has the Power Rail which has toe and heel seperately adjusted in the same manner as a demo biinding.  For the carving skis with pre drilled plates you might want to use a demo binding like a SP120 or SP130 which also allow both toe and heel to be moved.  Current Railflex has always had a center, forward and aft position.

I wonder also how much of this has to do with a skiers stance?  A stance that has weight aft of center would do much the same thing would it not?  Similarly a balanced skier could just move their center of mass forward a small amount and also achieve much the same result ...  just a thought

Mike
post #26 of 200
If a ski feels like you have to pressure the tips very strongly, and camp out in that stance, would moving the toepiece forward 1 cm mitigate the narrow sweet spot feeling. I have done this before with Stockli XL and it seems to be the case, but I thought I'd ask before re-drilling the Legend Pro's which are currently mounted 2mm behind the standard BC line.
post #27 of 200
I have adjustable bindings on my Atomic R:EXs, M:EXs, also on my Fischer Watea 101s, and have tried various positions. I have found on all my skis I prefer them about 1 cm back from the center.  The other side of this discussion is that it depends on your boots.  I have Krypton Pros and use the big forward lean wedge.  I have a hang on the front of the boot style of skiing, so if I mount my bindings on center the skis are hooky and twitchy.  If you have your boots set more straight up, you probably would not want the same aft binding position on my skis.

Binding mount is 85% of the feel of the ski, but that comes as a function of your boot setup.  IMO, if you are at all interested in performance, it is crazy to have boots or bindings that are not adjustable.  Yes, you can adapt to your equipment, but it really works better the other way, and you will not know without on the snow testing.

Once you get to a place where you are not fighting your equipment, and it actually enhances your skiing, you will never settle for anything less.  This sport is hard enough without handicapping yourself with equipment that is not optimally adjusted.

That being said, I agree with Squaker that 95% of people will probably not experiment with binding adjustment, even if they have it.
post #28 of 200
Thread Starter 
     Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpedges View Post

Can you elaborate on how it is better?  From only a set-up perspective or also in on-snow performance?  Is the resulting stand height mostly unchanged?
 

Here's some copy from the Tyrolia catalog describing the new PowerRail system:

POWERRAIL
First on the scene and unrivaled, the new rail system developed by TYROLIA meets the demands of
adult skiers, while being perfectly suited for both retail and rental sectors!
The countless features are the key to success for PowerRail, the latest binding-system from
TYROLIA. They include: easiest handling, maximum flexibility, optimized performance, perfect
match, more stability and durability.

The successor of renowned Railflex System II is a modular system for maximum flexibility:
• Tool less and time saving adjusting
• 2 Different Bases: PowerRail Base & PowerRail Pro Base
• Dampeners in two different widths for optimal ski-fitting
• 3 different binding models: Power 10, 11 and 12 cover all segments (note from Noodler - I think there will also be a 14D model)
• Suited for boot-sole length of 260mm all the way up to 380mm

PowerRail – and all bets are off …
To provide unaffected long-term performance of the new POWER binding models, the toe and heel
guides can be replaced or fitted. These features guarantee durability and reliable function even
after massive use in rental.

Simple, quick mounting and adjusting of Power bindings ...
Open the toe lever and slide toe to appropriate position on the base – then the heel – first hook
the brake into the heel housing – open the heel lever and slide heel piece on the base – close at
appropriate boot sole length – done!

BASES
The standard PowerRail Base consists of a monoblock base body, a cover, and an inlaid toothed area which can be colour
matched to the ski design. For unhindered natural ski flex, the base is secured by one fixed pair of screws, and three free-gliding
pairs of screws. This ensures the base safely adapts to the flex of the ski.
The high-end variant, PowerRail Pro, is equipped with an additional freeflex band which links both toothed areas at the toe
and the heel side of the base. Therefore, toe and heel piece can glide on the base unhindered. This additional “Double Freeflex
Function” ensures fewer impediments of the natural ski flex, constant release values and better edge grip.
Additionally to function and handling, the base was also optimized! PowerRail is 7% wider and 25% lower compared to Railflex II
bases, directly improving power transmission from boot to ski.

DAMPENERS
For even more flexibility and optimal fit, both PowerRail and PowerRail Pro bases can be mounted with additional dampeners:
• small dampener for ski width from 64 mm onwards
• wide dampener for ski width from 74 mm onwards
post #29 of 200
Thread Starter 
     Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post

Except that 98.5% of skiers will never use it and will see no benefit from it and won't have a clue what its about. Most stores can't help them dial in their position either, because they're not on the slopes with their customers. For informed skiers looking for the perfect ride these things are great (except that they can make bindings heavier and/or more complicated and/or easier to break), but the market for these things is tiny. How many skiers do you think ever move their Railflex bindings +1.5 or -1.5, which they can do at the flip of a lever or turn of a screw. Approximately none, and those that do all post on Epic or TGR (except they don't use no steenking Railflex) or Snowheads.


I believe the problem is simply skier awareness.  That's why I put up the post and I hope that this will spark conversations across ski slopes over the entire world .  If you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, ...

If the manufacturers make this adjustment simple enough where skiers feel safe and confident "flipping the switch" then I think they would try it and see which position they like better.  It seems scary now, but if more binding manufacturers adopt the idea, then in a few years it will be the norm - it will be status quo.
post #30 of 200
Thread Starter 
     Quote:
Originally Posted by DtEW View Post

I'm gonna complicate everything just a bit more and propose that in addition to binding placement, binding delta has an obvious effect on how the skier balances his/her CoG over his/her BoF, which in turn effects some complicated interplay between his/her stance and the binding-delta-affected forward lean of his/her boots.

I am fairly certain this accounts for roughly 47% of how the ski + skier assembly behaves, which gives us the conundrum of 99% + 47% = 146%. 

But in all seriousness, does a Campbell Balancer take binding delta into account?

I believe that fore/aft balancing is still very important and obviously does play into mount position.  There's no doubt it all works together in the system.  All I can recommend is that everyone do their best to get properly aligned in your gear for your body morphology.  A boot with too much forward lean for a tall person is perfect for a shorter person, etc.  Honestly, skier alignment isn't rocket science and I hate that many of the industry "experts" try to make it seem like there's so much "art" to the "science" (clearly one of my pet peeves). 

The Campbell Balancer as originally designed does not take into account the effect of the binding delta - although it really should.  I have read that some guys that still use the Balancer will have wedges of varying angles (created to duplicate the binding deltas) and have the skier put those under their boots while being balanced.
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