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Railflex RFD 14 Demo Binding

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm a 185 lb progressing intermediate skier interested in learning to ski better in all conditions I might encounter out west, and am leaning towards purchasing a pair of skis here at the end of the season (prospects are in the 85-100mm range underfoot). Thinking a binding that could easily adjust for different boot sizes and also fore/aft would be nice capabilities to have. I've found these Railflex 2 bindings new online for what seem to be a pretty good price, advertised as an  "adjustable binding made for the high end rental market weight only an ounce more than the retail version".

They come standard with 78mm brake arms, with 95mm or 115mm optional for more $$. I guess between 78 and 115 that's a little over 1.5" width difference, so about 3/4" wider each side of ski. Any downside to getting the biggest brake arms to allow for more flexibility? Thinking over time between my girlfriend and me perhaps we'd have different skis and could standardize on Railflex 2 plates to enable using the same bindings on different skis.In the short term I imagine the 95mm brake arms could be used with a 100mm ski (and the 78mm arms come with the bindings regardless).

Interested in feedback on these bindings and also the way I'm looking at the situation generally.
Edited by jc-ski - 3/20/10 at 10:37am
post #2 of 27
I ordered a set of these to put on some end-of-season Line Prophet 100s I picked up. I got the 115mm breaks of course. They should come on Monday. I should know more then about whether they will be worthwhile. If they work out, I may also put the plates on my 70mm width K2 ModX so I might be able to have a 2 ski quiver for traveling. In that case, I would likely continue using the 115mm breaks on the 70mm skis, though I am not sure if they would get in the way on tight turns. So all is speculation at this point.

Couple things...This is likely the end for the Railflex. They are being replaced with the new Powerrail. I doubt if they will be compatible as far as swapping bindings. It would be nice if they at least used the same mounting hole pattern. (If anyone knows about compatibility, please chime in). Second...make sure the place you're buying from includes the rail bases. Level9 says they do (sounds like you went with them). Ski Universe says they don't (so you need to buy them separately).

Maybe a little more on Monday...
M
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Even if Railflex 2 is nearing end of (manufacturing) life it seems to be a proven design, and I would think it should be easy to get parts as needed for a few if not several more years to come.

(It is Level9 I was looking at.)

Look forward to more of your feedback when you have it.
post #4 of 27
If you do a search for Railflex Bindings these have been discussed at length.
post #5 of 27
 Beware, Tyrolia brakes don't usually measure true to spec.  The 115brakes  are really about 100-105mm, the 94mm RF brake is about 85-90mm.  The 78mm brake is more like 72-75mm.

jc-ski, one reason you wouldn't want to go with a brake that is too much wider than the ski is that they could stick out too far, and all kinds of bad things can happen (for instance, drag on the snow, hook on each other, etc).  Tyrolia brakes stow about 10-15mm narrower than the deployed width, and the intention is for them to be above or just to the inside of the sidewalls when stowed.  If they are too wide, they will be sticking out past the sidewall when you're skiing.  I think sticking out 10mm is about the most you'd want to risk.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Good to know; thanks for the info.
post #7 of 27
Got the Railflex RFD14's today from Level9, and they look OK. The drivers/heels seem heavy duty enough, though I haven't used Tyrolia/Head before, so not sure about their release behavior. The little rollers in the toes seem like they'd be subject to issues. But I expect that type of thing has been worked out by now...

A few nice things...they did come with the Railflex II rails (from Level9). And I ordered the 115 brakes option which do appear just right for the Prophet 100s, but may be tight for real 115 skis (as skier129 mentioned). The 115s came in a separate bag, but the binding box also included the "base" brakes (78mm) which would appear to fit some of my narrow skis (K2 ModX and Elan MBX 16s). So now I am looking to maybe pick up a second set of Railflex rails so I can have a traveling quiver of 2 skis, all-mountain and rocks.

So good so far!
M

EDIT: (about 2 hours later) Brought them to a local shop for mounting, and the folks there hadn't been faced with mounting the rails before. After lots of hemming and hawing...they agreed to do the mount, but without use of the Tyrolia/Head jig. I showed them the Teton Gravity Research web site that shows how to do it ( http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1164309 ). It does require some tricks (like pounding in some plastic spacers). But I expect they will come out right. I did have the sense before they came that mounting was going to be more of a problem than it should (one place outright told me it couldn't be done).

I actually ordered a second set of rails for what will be my "rock" skis, so I am hoping the shop will be confident enough after the first set to do a second rails install...

At this point, a little less thrilled, but hopeful...
M
Edited by mgoodstuff - 3/22/10 at 4:10pm
post #8 of 27
Today I am even less thrilled...

It looks like there is a 3-4mm uncertainty if the Railflex rails are freehand drilled (according to the Teton Gravity Research site). There is a comment that indicates the front and rear rail pieces are supposed to have a 3-4mm space between them rather than having them tight to one another. When they are tight, they make there own jig. If they are spaced, there is no "jig". So finding a shop with the official Tyrolia jig looks pretty essential (jigs 162 756 and 162 855 are the ones that do the 07-08 Railflex II that I have). I am not sure I will find one in the midwest at this point. If there is anyone out there that can confirm whether or not the rails are supposed to butt up to one another or be spaced, please chime in. I am tempted to find a railflex ski and see how the rails are mounted from the factory.

I have also been looking for Railflex adjustment info. Making -15mm <-> 0 <-> +15mm adjustment is straightforward (three discrete screw hole location). But it sounds like it is also possible to make 2.5mm fine adjustments, though I haven't yet found a crystal clear description of how. It sounds like you move the boot size adjustments in tandem by pulling off the binding plate (they have 2.5mm teeth for adjustment which gives 5mm boot size adjustment when moved opposite one another). Can anyone confirm that or describe it more clearly? 15mm increments seem pretty crude, so I am really hoping the 2.5mm option is available. Otherwise, with the added problem of finding someone with a jig, I may have to give up on the Railflex option.

Sorry this is starting to sound like a blog...
M
post #9 of 27
Space them 3mm apart, this allows the system to flex.

I'm not sure about  2.5mm adjustments, but here is how to get 5mm adjustments. If you look at the bottom of the center "strap" that connects the heel and toe peices, there are numbers for BSL in 5mm increments. If you have a 325 BSL, the toe and heel should be at 325. But, if you mount the toe at 330 and the heel at 320 you are already shifted 5mm forward.

I haven;t played with that before myself, so maybe you can get 2.5mm out of it by only moving to 330 toe and 325 heel and taking up the diff with forward pressure, BUT IMHO 5mm is a darn small difference in mount position.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by krp8128 View Post

Space them 3mm apart, this allows the system to flex.

I'm not sure about  2.5mm adjustments, but here is how to get 5mm adjustments. If you look at the bottom of the center "strap" that connects the heel and toe peices, there are numbers for BSL in 5mm increments. If you have a 325 BSL, the toe and heel should be at 325. But, if you mount the toe at 330 and the heel at 320 you are already shifted 5mm forward.

I haven;t played with that before myself, so maybe you can get 2.5mm out of it by only moving to 330 toe and 325 heel and taking up the diff with forward pressure, BUT IMHO 5mm is a darn small difference in mount position.

Its actually a 2.5mm shift, not 5mm. The teeth for the strap are spaced at 2.5mm - when you go up 5mm BSL you actually move the toe 2.5mm forwards and the heel 2.5mm back. When you move the toe and heel in sync by one position at the same BSL they both move by 2.5mm.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post




Its actually a 2.5mm shift, not 5mm. The teeth for the strap are spaced at 2.5mm - when you go up 5mm BSL you actually move the toe 2.5mm forwards and the heel 2.5mm back. When you move the toe and heel in sync by one position at the same BSL they both move by 2.5mm.
 


Makes perfect sense, 2.5+2.5=5! I knew I was missing something obvious, was trying to do too many things while making that post...
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawker View Post

Its actually a 2.5mm shift, not 5mm. The teeth for the strap are spaced at 2.5mm - when you go up 5mm BSL you actually move the toe 2.5mm forwards and the heel 2.5mm back. When you move the toe and heel in sync by one position at the same BSL they both move by 2.5mm.
 

yeah, and is a really fine and quick way to 'fine tune' the boot location for the best performance for yourself.
I don;t even 'use' the bolt +1.5,0,1.5 adjustment. Poppin the BSL adjustment tab open and readjusting the the toe and heel sliders to shift the binding location works way better and offers smaller adjustment increments. good stuff
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
M, curious if you have been able to get out and ski on your new LP's with the Railflex binding setup, and, if so, if you tried any fore/aft adjustments on slope using methods described above?

Interested in any additional feedback you might have.
post #14 of 27
I don't get out (to Snowbird) until the 12th. I did get the Railflex installs done on both the Prophet 100s and on my old K2 ModX skis. The ModX's will be the second ski in my traveling quiver, mainly for use in rocks, but also as a carver backup. The Railflex setup does help for packing to travel. I included a pict of the skis, weighing about 30lbs and easily fit in a ski bag. I used an old, thin yoga mat for high density rubber to protect the bases.

M
small_two_ski_quiv.jpg
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by moreoutdoor View Post

yeah, and is a really fine and quick way to 'fine tune' the boot location for the best performance for yourself.
I don;t even 'use' the bolt +1.5,0,1.5 adjustment. Poppin the BSL adjustment tab open and readjusting the the toe and heel sliders to shift the binding location works way better and offers smaller adjustment increments. good stuff
 

I am also considering this method, but what has been your experience in maintaining the binding adjustment, especially toe pressure, when you do a "synchronous" toe/heel slide? I am worried that the marks and alignments are not so perfect that some fractions of mm's might be lost as these adjustments are done. And I know the Tyrolia/Head release is really sensitive to toe pressure variation...

Basically, has this consistently worked for you...???

M
post #16 of 27
if the Q was directed to me, my comment, then I'd say, don;t worry be happy!
The rail teeth spacing is very consistent, so if you move the toe from 320 to 330 and compensate the heel from 330 to 320 then nothing should be noticeable as change, other than the boot position.
Fractions of a mm will have no discernable effect on binding performance. Any reasonable amount of forward pressure and the binding operates great.
How has it worked for me? I've done 4 BSL slide adjustments over a period of 4 days of skiin - never had an issue ...

BTW - luv your idea using the yoga mat. I'm not worried about the bases. But when my skis get thrown into the bus luggage, with all the other skis pokin at my bag as well, the ski bag takes a real beatin. I like the idea of wrappin the ski/binding area with an old yoga mat, to keep the bindings from rubbin through the bag from the inside.
good idea, thanks
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by moreoutdoor View Post

BTW - luv your idea using the yoga mat. I'm not worried about the bases. But when my skis get thrown into the bus luggage, with all the other skis pokin at my bag as well, the ski bag takes a real beatin. I like the idea of wrappin the ski/binding area with an old yoga mat, to keep the bindings from rubbin through the bag from the inside.
good idea, thanks

I used the strips on the bottoms because the edges of the K2s are actually on the Ptek bases of the LP100s, so I wasn't sure if they would get scored. But I hadn't thought of a full wrap using a Yoga mat...I have another one around and maybe that would work better than the method I have been using, which has been to pack loads of clothes around the skis...

M
post #18 of 27
The other thing you can do for travelling is to just remove the bindings completely and pack them seperately from your skis.  Then you can put all of the skis together into the bag with all of the tips and tails lined up, and just strap them all together.  I prefer all of the skis to be base to top of the next ski, not base to base so that the tips and tails (of twintips) are sticking out.  You can put the yoga mat between skis to protect ski tops from the edges.  I just think that this would save the tips from getting destroyed if something heavy is thrown on top or they get run over by the luggage truck (Don't laugh, that's exactly what happened to a friend).

I also always stuff in lots of clothes around the skis for extra padding.

Mike

P.S. Sorry if my explaination isn't clear.  Wish I had a picture to clearly show what I mean, but don't have one at work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moreoutdoor View Post


BTW - luv your idea using the yoga mat. I'm not worried about the bases. But when my skis get thrown into the bus luggage, with all the other skis pokin at my bag as well, the ski bag takes a real beatin. I like the idea of wrappin the ski/binding area with an old yoga mat, to keep the bindings from rubbin through the bag from the inside.
good idea, thanks
 
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeC View Post

The other thing you can do for travelling is to just remove the bindings completely and pack them seperately from your skis.  ...
Mike


With the Railflex bindings off of the rails, they seem really frail and subject to damage. Do you take the bindings (heel and toe driver) off the connecting piece? If not, it feels like it wouldn't take much to snap the connecting plastic. If the heel and driver come off, then I assume I would need to take some care to mark which pieces go together (6 total pieces). And hopefully things assemble back together with no slop or loss of adjustment.

The bindings are rock solid when on the skis, so I would have no fear of transporting them that way. But I see your point of stacking the skis rather than putting them base to base with tips sticking out.

Thanks for the advice...
M
post #20 of 27
Take the bindings off of the rails and the toe and heel off of the connecting rail.  The rail that is screwed to the skis is not fragile at all and can take some abuse.  You don't need to mark the pieces at all.  The connecting rail is marked front and back and it doesn't matter which toe and heel you mount together.

Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodstuff View Post


With the Railflex bindings off of the rails, they seem really frail and subject to damage. Do you take the bindings (heel and toe driver) off the connecting piece? If not, it feels like it wouldn't take much to snap the connecting plastic. If the heel and driver come off, then I assume I would need to take some care to mark which pieces go together (6 total pieces). And hopefully things assemble back together with no slop or loss of adjustment.

The bindings are rock solid when on the skis, so I would have no fear of transporting them that way. But I see your point of stacking the skis rather than putting them base to base with tips sticking out.

Thanks for the advice...
M
 
post #21 of 27
I am totally stoked on these Tyrolia Railflex Bindings! Not only do they operate quite well, are easy to adjust - now also mount up about as easy as can be (Railflex II system...)
I just mounted a railset on a new pr of K2 Silencers I bought to use as late season corn/mush/slush skis.
The rail plates serve as their own screw drill jigs (to mark drill locations...) are a piece of cake to center and quick to install and adjust.
My first mount of these and it took all of 45 min. from start of prep to final check of forward pressure.
Dude! Nothing to readjust. Didn't even have to undo the BSL adjustment - just unbolted the center bolt, slid them off the other pair of fischers and when the plates were mounted to the K2, slid the binders back on and screwed down the single center bolt! BING! DONE!
wooda been half that time, except I measured 3x before drilling each plate section.
Where and when I can, I'm gonna move to and use this setup exclusively.
Now I might be able to sneak 2 prs of skis on the Club bus trips - with one set of binders packed in the boot bag! Thatz what I'm tawkin about!
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by moreoutdoor View Post
...
The rail plates serve as their own screw drill jigs (to mark drill locations...) are a piece of cake to center and quick to install
...

I did end up getting mine installed at a shop that had a Railflex jig, and I can confirm that a jig mounting does position the rear rail section 3mm behind the front rail section (creating a 3mm gap between sections). This is discussed on the Teton Gravity Research site and elsewhere. So if you use the rails as their own jig, it might be tempting to butt them against one another to get fixed positions for the drill holes. I get the feeling this would not really affect things much if it was done. The front section is calibrated to the ski by positioning on the "boot-center" line. The rear rail section has no effect on binding position calibration...it just holds the binding down. My understanding is that the purpose of the gap is to maintain ski flex once the rails are mounted. But it appears to me that the rails would allow almost the same amount of flex when butted together (they are angled and don't bind in that situation). So the 3mm gap is "correct", but losing the 3mm gap is hopefully not a big deal. Now that I have proof of the gap, I would likely be willing to mount rails in the future myself, using my existing installs (with the 3mm gap) as a template.

Sorry for the long-winded post, but this really caused me headaches (and money) when deciding to get my first installs done at a shop...

M

Edit: Here's a picture of the gap...
PICT1632.JPG
Edited by mgoodstuff - 4/1/10 at 1:25pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

Even if Railflex 2 is nearing end of (manufacturing) life it seems to be a proven design, and I would think it should be easy to get parts as needed for a few if not several more years to come.

(It is Level9 I was looking at.)

Look forward to more of your feedback when you have it.
 

I have been mounting Railflex 2 plates on all my skis for the last 3 years, but I only have 2 pair of bindings. I just swap out when needed.

It all started a little over 3 years ago when I bought 50 pair of Railflex 2 bases for $5.00 each.
Don't think I will ever run out.
Edited by jonrpen - 4/1/10 at 5:51pm
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Good to know folks are using these setups successfully, and easily. Sounds like a really practical choice for dealing with multiple skis.

Also appreciate the travel tips, and the yoga mat seems like a great idea.

Thx all!
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodstuff View Post

I don't get out (to Snowbird) until the 12th. I did get the Railflex installs done on both the Prophet 100s and on my old K2 ModX skis.

 

Guess there was quite a bit of snow at Snowbird around the 12th. Curious what your experience was with the Prophet 100s and the Railflex bindings on both the Prophets and K2s. If you have any comments would love to read em.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

Guess there was quite a bit of snow at Snowbird around the 12th. Curious what your experience was with the Prophet 100s and the Railflex bindings on both the Prophets and K2s. If you have any comments would love to read em.
 

I have been remiss in reporting back on the P100/Railflex//Snowbird experience. First, it was a great time with a good variety of conditions...modest pow on the 13th (12" at snowbird as noted above). The 14th was sunny with some soft stuff still left to have fun on at Snowbird. 15th (tax day...) went to Alta and it was basically groom time but pretty soft in the afternoon. 16th was warm and more like spring skiing at Snowbird, some clouds AM, and sunny later PM. At the end of the day on the 16th, did 3 of the 7 minute Tram runs (7 minutes up, 7 minutes down to catch the same tram) since it was not crowded...gotta make your own fun when there is no powder adventure...

The most fun runs were skiers left of Chips at Snowbird (Primrose Path, etc) on the 13th and 14th. Watching folks come down Baldy Chutes (and jumping out of the far chute) was a blast...and NO, I didn't climb up there. Watching from the Tram while folks tumbled down the Cirque (mainly Great Scott) was also entertaining.

Downers were that Gad2 was closed at Snowbird (along with Peruvian express), so I had to walk to S.T.H. (only did it once). And Wildcat lift was closed at Alta (along with Supreme)...didn't try to walk to the Wildcat area...

The P100s were good but were not miracle skis for me. It seemed that they had some good rebound energy the first day in soft semi-powder. But later in the week, I couldn't find the rebound energy on the harder groomers. The P100s worked well on the pow, but at 13", it was something I could have equally handled with my K2 ModX. The Railflex came in handy for swapping between the K2s and the P100s on the 15th. That is when I could tell I could get more rebound from the K2s than the P100s on the same groomed surface. No powder that day so couldn't do a direct comparison there. The P100s were plenty quick on the groomed. It was actually a little hard to slow them down, partly because I couldn't use the rebound turns to help turn higher up without sliding.

Only came out of the Railflex once, and it might have been considered a pre-release. But I was going pretty fast in a sliding fall on bumpy groomed, so it wasn't a real surprise. I did purposely click out of the bindings on some steep powder (to avoid going over some rocks with my new P100s), and that was a mistake. It was pretty tough getting the Tyrolias/Heads back on in the somewhat heavy, deep snow....hard to clear, hard to snap back in.

I tried the P100s at different fore/aft Railflex settings, and I could note the difference, but didn't come to a point that it felt they were just right. At 1.5cm back, they seemed a little more responsive in powder. At 1.5cm forward, they seemed to handle icy groomed a little better. I also tried .75cm forward and back, and noticed a little, but no miracles. Leaving them at 0 on both the P100s and K2s seemed to work as well as anything. Maybe with a little more time and more varied conditions, it might be possible to find an optimal setting (or set of settings).

So, bottom line is that the P100s are good. If I had an opportunity to demo them, I might have kept looking for something else that had that rebound energy I crave. I may still do that next season. But, for now, I will be happy using the P100s, with the K2s as my alternate.

Hope that's helpful...
M
post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
My comments indented...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodstuff View Post

The P100s worked well on the pow, but at 13", it was something I could have equally handled with my K2 ModX.

>>> I skied powder this year for the first time, and it was less than 13" (more like 6" max), but
>>> I did find using demo P100s that I was mostly skiing *on* the powder, and I think that
>>> helped me a lot. I'm assuming with your K2s you were skiing *in* the powder more than
>>> with the P100s. Also assuming your powder skills are more advanced.  ;-)

The Railflex came in handy for swapping between the K2s and the P100s on the 15th.

>>> Seems like overall you're happy with the bindings, which is great feedback. They do seem
>>> like a good system to standardize on - mount plates on different sets of skis and carry a
>>> single binding set.

I tried the P100s at different fore/aft Railflex settings, and I could note the difference, but didn't come to a point that it felt they were just right. At 1.5cm back, they seemed a little more responsive in powder. At 1.5cm forward, they seemed to handle icy groomed a little better. I also tried .75cm forward and back, and noticed a little, but no miracles. Leaving them at 0 on both the P100s and K2s seemed to work as well as anything. Maybe with a little more time and more varied conditions, it might be possible to find an optimal setting (or set of settings).

>>> I demo'd several different skis this season, and had some pretty disparate experiences with
>>> regards to feeling centered, so I figure it wouldn't hurt to have the ability to tinker with fore/aft.
>>> Not expecting a miracle though, and wouldn't surprise me if over time I come to feel this
>>> was more of a skills issue, but options are good to have if there's no downside otherwise.

Hope that's helpful...

>>> Very! Thanks for taking time to write up your trip report!
 
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