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Binding shims and screws

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

I've been wanting to experiment with adding some toe lift but would rather not touch the boots for now. Some have suggested to add a shim or riser under the binding toe piece, which seems like a good idea. Does anyone know what the best material for this would be and how difficult it is to get longer screws for Atomic Neox or Fischer/Tyrolia Freeflex bindings? 

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 43

Talk to your shop about shims.  If they're any good they will have shims from the manufacturer on hand, or can get them.  I have shims under the toe pieces of all my Tyrolia & Fischer bindings (from the manufacturer).  I didn't need them under my Atomic 1018 bindings because it's a flat binding (toe and heel height is the same).

 

If you want to make your own, find some hard polyethylene sheet (3 mm thickness for Tyrolia/Fischers) and trace out the toe piece and cut it.  Where you can find the sheet, I don't know, so it might be easier just to buy/order the shims from your shop.  You can get the Tyrolia/Fischer shims in 2 mm or 1 mm thicknesses, and stacking a 2 mm and 1 mm together will lift the toe and flatten the ramp angle to zero (the way most elite racers are set up).  Personally, I have 6 mm of lift at the toe and 3 mm at the heel, but I still end up with a flat ramp angle.  As I mentioned, Atomic race bindings are flat out of the box, but the Neox isn't.

 

Your shop should be able to give you longer screws, as well.


Edited by exracer - 12/6/10 at 4:45pm
post #3 of 43

Ex, how can you determine if your binding setup has a zero ramp angle? I was out on a pair of VIST's yesterday, with the Speedlock plate/binding system. Lots of quad burn. Granted first day of the season, so no immediate reason to blame the bindings. But I had the same issue last season with a different pair of skis. Shop added a 3mm toe plate to the boot and it all went away. Same boots this year with different ski set-up = quad burn.

Thanks

David

post #4 of 43

You can measure them with a caliper.

post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 

You would have to measure the height difference from heel to toe, then use some trig to get angle. I'm really eager to do this to the Neox because even though I haven't measured it, I feel it has more ramp than the Fischers.

post #6 of 43

It's a lot easier than that.  Use a ruler to measure the distance from the ski's top sheet to the top of the AFD.  Then do the same for the heel piece, to the top of the heel plate on the binding.  Most bindings will be 3 to 6 mm taller at the heel (Tyrolia/Fischer race bindings are 3 mm higher at the heel).  There tends to be a bigger discrepancy with recreational bindings than with race bindings.

 

Once you know how much taller the heel position is, you merely need to shim under the toe piece by the same amount to achieve a zero binding ramp angle like the Atomic race bindings.  In the case of Tyrolia/Fischer race bindings that means a 3 mm toe shim (don't know what it would be with a Neox).

 

You can play with the amount and determine what you like.  Generally, as your toe is lifted, your hips will move forward and you will feel better balanced over the ball of your foot.  I have 3mm lifters under the toes of my race boots, so that even though my bindings are flat I have an additional 3 mm of lift at the toe, and for me that's what felt best with the Atomic RT FIS race boots I use.  Atomic race bindings allow you to adjust the toe piece for height so you can compensate for the increased thickness of the boot sole if you add a lifter, but for others you will need to have the top of the boot toe sole planed down to bring the sole thickness back to proper specs.


Edited by exracer - 12/6/10 at 7:34pm
post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 

Yep, my plan is to experiment with the binding shims first before having the boot shimmed and planed.

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

Ex, how can you determine if your binding setup has a zero ramp angle? I was out on a pair of VIST's yesterday, with the Speedlock plate/binding system. Lots of quad burn. Granted first day of the season, so no immediate reason to blame the bindings. But I had the same issue last season with a different pair of skis. Shop added a 3mm toe plate to the boot and it all went away. Same boots this year with different ski set-up = quad burn.

Thanks

David


I can understand your quad burn with VIST.  VIST's need a lot of lift under the toe to make them flat.  They're about 7 mm higher at the heel than the toe (more than double that of the Tyrolia/Fischer race bindings.  That's a pretty significant ramp angle.  Combine that with a boot that has a lot of ramp angle as well and you'll be putting a lot of strain on your quads.

 

Try measuring your bindings like I described above and see what the difference is with your current set up.

 

When I was racing, the ski reps wouldn't even bother asking about shimming the bindings.  They'd do it automatically when they set up the skis.

post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

Ex, how can you determine if your binding setup has a zero ramp angle? I was out on a pair of VIST's yesterday, with the Speedlock plate/binding system. Lots of quad burn. Granted first day of the season, so no immediate reason to blame the bindings. But I had the same issue last season with a different pair of skis. Shop added a 3mm toe plate to the boot and it all went away. Same boots this year with different ski set-up = quad burn.

Thanks

David


I can understand your quad burn with VIST.  VIST's need a lot of lift under the toe to make them flat.  They're about 7 mm higher at the heel than the toe (more than double that of the Tyrolia/Fischer race bindings.  That's a pretty significant ramp angle.  Combine that with a boot that has a lot of ramp angle as well and you'll be putting a lot of strain on your quads.

 

Try measuring your bindings like I described above and see what the difference is with your current set up.

 

When I was racing, the ski reps wouldn't even bother asking about shimming the bindings.  They'd do it automatically when they set up the skis.

Ex, excellent advice. I am obliged. 

David

post #10 of 43

It just occurred to me that it might be easier and more accurate to measure the height difference between the toe and heel if the boot was in the binding, then you could measure from the boot sole to the top sheet at both toe and heel locations.  You need a pretty accurate eye to measure it as I first described.

post #11 of 43

Problem with Speedlocks though is you can't shim them (that's why I got rid of mine). You're going to have to do it on the boot.

post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Problem with Speedlocks though is you can't shim them (that's why I got rid of mine). You're going to have to do it on the boot.


You're absolutely right.  I wonder if it's possible to shim the entire plate?  Planing more than 3 mm or so from the boot to offset a lifter starts to get into the zone of affecting the integrity of the boot sole.

post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 

In case anyone was curious, I did a quick measurement of the 05-06 Neox and there appears to be a delta of 3 mm.

post #14 of 43

Which is less than 1/2°. My boots have a 2° adjustment and I'm not sure about others, but wouldn't it be easier to simply us a shim inside the boot and adjust the boot angle?

 

Regarding screws what are the screw lengths you need?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris719 View Post

In case anyone was curious, I did a quick measurement of the 05-06 Neox and there appears to be a delta of 3 mm.

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

Problem with Speedlocks though is you can't shim them (that's why I got rid of mine). You're going to have to do it on the boot.


You're absolutely right.  I wonder if it's possible to shim the entire plate?  Planing more than 3 mm or so from the boot to offset a lifter starts to get into the zone of affecting the integrity of the boot sole.


I was just going to post that question. Ex, if I need to offset 7mm of ramp and have a 3mm on front of boot already, is it too simple-minded to think I could plane 4mm off the sole at the heel to get level?

 

And Epic, did you consider shimming the front of the Speedlock plate? Would that accomplish the same thing without messing with the boot? That would certainly be my preference because not all my skis have the Speedlock system.

Thanks
 

post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 

Honestly not sure yet, going to see if I can get some shims of various height and see.

post #17 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post


I was just going to post that question. Ex, if I need to offset 7mm of ramp and have a 3mm on front of boot already, is it too simple-minded to think I could plane 4mm off the sole at the heel to get level?

 

And Epic, did you consider shimming the front of the Speedlock plate? Would that accomplish the same thing without messing with the boot? That would certainly be my preference because not all my skis have the Speedlock system.

Thanks

 

 

Interesting idea, but I've never had that done so I can't comment as to its advisability.  I'm not a boot mechanic, but ideally you'd want to build up the top of heel by 3mm to bring the specs back in line, but that might create a clearance issue between the binding and the curvature of the heel pocket area (which might be solved by grinding).  It might or might not be a good way to go, depending on the boot model.  Only an expert boot guy would be able to say for certain.

 

I can't see why you couldn't shim under the plate and adjust the angle of the binding.  It would be a hassle, but I can't see why it couldn't be done.  Again, I think you'd need to speak to an expert about it, or contact the VIST rep to discuss it.  Who knows, maybe they already have shims available just for that purpose?

 

EDIT:  I went onto the VIST website and it looks like they DO have spacers for positioning under the plate.  At the bottom of the plate section, they show a 4 mm spacer for the TT plate.  I would assume they probably have them for other plates as well, so it's worth sending them an email to see what kind of solution they can offer for adjusting the plate angle.
 


Edited by exracer - 12/7/10 at 10:33am
post #18 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post


I was just going to post that question. Ex, if I need to offset 7mm of ramp and have a 3mm on front of boot already, is it too simple-minded to think I could plane 4mm off the sole at the heel to get level?

 

And Epic, did you consider shimming the front of the Speedlock plate? Would that accomplish the same thing without messing with the boot? That would certainly be my preference because not all my skis have the Speedlock system.

Thanks

 

 

Interesting idea, but I've never had that done so I can't comment as to its advisability.  I'm not a boot mechanic, but ideally you'd want to build up the top of heel by 3mm to bring the specs back in line, but that might create a clearance issue between the binding and the curvature of the heel pocket area (which might be solved by grinding).  It might or might not be a good way to go, depending on the boot model.  Only an expert boot guy would be able to say for certain.

 

I can't see why you couldn't shim under the plate and adjust the angle of the binding.  It would be a hassle, but I can't see why it couldn't be done.  Again, I think you'd need to speak to an expert about it, or contact the VIST rep to discuss it.  Who knows, maybe they already have shims available just for that purpose?

 

EDIT:  I went onto the VIST website and it looks like they DO have spacers for positioning under the plate.  At the bottom of the plate section, they show a 4 mm spacer for the TT plate.  I would assume they probably have them for other plates as well, so it's worth sending them an email to see what kind of solution they can offer for adjusting the plate angle.
 



Ex, thanks for the good leg work (so to speak). I already have sent an email to VIST on this. As it turns out, two of my skis have the TT plate, and one the regular Speedlock. So if I were to put the 4mm plate under the front part of the plate, thereby lifting the toe, would that, along with existing 3mm riser on boot sole toe give me the 7mm rise to level it out. Or is that just too damn easy to be right. Again, appreciate your good help.

David

post #19 of 43

Ask VIST if you can stack the spacers (I'm calling them spacers because that's what VIST refers to them as).  I have three 2 mm spacers stacked under my Tyrolia toe pieces for a 6 mm lift.  They might even have them available in different thicknesses if you ask (stack 2x3mm spacers, for example) if VIST says it will work.  Ooops.. I just noticed you already have a 3 mm shim under your boot toe, so you're set... all you need is the 4 mm spacer.  I love it when a plan comes together.

 

I just took a look at my VIST Speedlock Race plates, now that we're having this discussion, to get a sense of how things would work.  I originally thought the spacer would fit under the plate (a P.I.T.A. proposition), but the VIST spacer actually fits between the toe piece and the Speedlock plate, just like a regular shim.  The pins that attach the binding to the Speedlock plate are removable (I never paid attention to that before) so VIST must have longer pins available that you can swap onto the binding in order to get it to lock to the plate after attaching the spacer (4 mm spacer means a 4 mm longer pin).  AWESOME!!!  Amazing what you learn when you start discussing something.

 

Like I said, find out from VIST what their range of spacer thicknesses and pin sizes is, and then you'll be set, but the standard 4 mm size should do just fine.  You don't need to mess with the plate at all (which is what I was originally thinking).

 

Let me know what you find out because I'll probably try tweaking my set-up too. icon14.gif


Edited by exracer - 12/7/10 at 12:32pm
post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Ask VIST if you can stack the spacers (I'm calling them spacers because that's what VIST refers to them as).  I have three 2 mm spacers stacked under my Tyrolia toe pieces for a 6 mm lift.  They might even have them available in different thicknesses if you ask (stack 2x3mm spacers, for example) if VIST says it will work.  Ooops.. I just noticed you already have a 3 mm shim under your boot toe, so you're set... all you need is the 4 mm spacer.  I love it when a plan comes together.

 

I just took a look at my VIST Speedlock Race plates, now that we're having this discussion, to get a sense of how things would work.  I originally thought the spacer would fit under the plate (a P.I.T.A. proposition), but the VIST spacer actually fits between the toe piece and the Speedlock plate, just like a regular shim.  The pins that attach the binding to the Speedlock plate are removable (I never paid attention to that before) so VIST must have longer pins available that you can swap onto the binding in order to get it to lock to the plate after attaching the spacer (4 mm spacer means a 4 mm longer pin).  AWESOME!!!  Amazing what you learn when you start discussing something.

 

Like I said, find out from VIST what their range of spacer thicknesses and pin sizes is, and then you'll be set, but the standard 4 mm size should do just fine.  You don't need to mess with the plate at all (which is what I was originally thinking).

 

Let me know what you find out because I'll probably try tweaking my set-up too. icon14.gif


Very cool. I will let you know what they tell me. Now it will be interesting to know if the shims will work with every Speedlock plate, even though the website designates it for the TT plate. One would think it would be universal since the whole concept is inter-changeability. Tonight I will look carefully at the Speedlock and TT plates, and perhaps post a picture of the two. The fact that the shim goes under the binding and on top of the plate is freakin brilliant.
 

post #21 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

 The fact that the shim goes under the binding and on top of the plate is freakin brilliant.

 

I guess we should have figured that a company that could design such a brilliant plate and binding system would have the shim issue figured out as well.  Kudos to them.
 

post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post

 The fact that the shim goes under the binding and on top of the plate is freakin brilliant.

 

I guess we should have figured that a company that could design such a brilliant plate and binding system would have the shim issue figured out as well.  Kudos to them.
 


Well said. But it is still a company whose slogan is "Ski Chic."

I like their bindings, and definietly their skis,

but their clothes.....
 

post #23 of 43

This question may be slightly off the direction of this thread and a little simplistic but if a zero delta is ideal why not manufacture bindings this way? It seems most people are talking about shimming up the toe piece to flatten the angle out but is this all dependent on personal pref? As exracer noted, his techs would routinely shim bindings as standard procedure so is one delta better for race use and another for recreational skiing. I must admit to being a little out of the loop on this due to my race experience being back in the flat-ski-203 era.

post #24 of 43



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post

Talk to your shop about shims.  If they're any good they will have shims from the manufacturer on hand, or can get them.  I have shims under the toe pieces of all my Tyrolia & Fischer bindings (from the manufacturer).  I didn't need them under my Atomic 1018 bindings because it's a flat binding (toe and heel height is the same).

 

If you want to make your own, find some hard polyethylene sheet (3 mm thickness for Tyrolia/Fischers) and trace out the toe piece and cut it.  Where you can find the sheet, I don't know, so it might be easier just to buy/order the shims from your shop.  You can get the Tyrolia/Fischer shims in 2 mm or 1 mm thicknesses, and stacking a 2 mm and 1 mm together will lift the toe and flatten the ramp angle to zero (the way most elite racers are set up).  Personally, I have 6 mm of lift at the toe and 3 mm at the heel, but I still end up with a flat ramp angle.  As I mentioned, Atomic race bindings are flat out of the box, but the Neox isn't.

 

Your shop should be able to give you longer screws, as well.


Atomic bindings are NOT flat out of the box. They are 14.2 in the front and 16.2 in the back. They sell 1,2, and 3mm distance plates on the proform for them. So really you are running 1mm of toe lift.

 

Source - http://www.vikingur.is/media/PDF/ATOMIC_RACE_20102011.pdf page 8!
 

post #25 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by neutrinoone View Post

Atomic bindings are NOT flat out of the box. They are 14.2 in the front and 16.2 in the back. They sell 1,2, and 3mm distance plates on the proform for them. So really you are running 1mm of toe lift.

 

Source - http://www.vikingur.is/media/PDF/ATOMIC_RACE_20102011.pdf page 8!
 

 

You're splitting hairs.  A 2 mm difference is as close to flat as you'll get in a binding (to my knowledge).  Maybe I should have said the Atomic race bindings are the "flattest" rather than "flat", but for all intents and purposes they are flat.  The point is that most bindings are around 6 mm to 10 mm higher in the rear, and at 0.4 degrees of ramp with the Atomic that represents a relative 4X reduction in ramp angle compared to most bindings.    I used 8 mm for comparison as I just put the ruler to a pair of Fischer FR17s, and there's an 8 mm difference on those.
 

post #26 of 43

^^^ This is 100% correct...

Atomic race bindings are flat, while on Fischer's I had to install some shims too in front.

post #27 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old School SL View Post

This question may be slightly off the direction of this thread and a little simplistic but if a zero delta is ideal why not manufacture bindings this way? It seems most people are talking about shimming up the toe piece to flatten the angle out but is this all dependent on personal pref? As exracer noted, his techs would routinely shim bindings as standard procedure so is one delta better for race use and another for recreational skiing. I must admit to being a little out of the loop on this due to my race experience being back in the flat-ski-203 era.

If you talk to a master boot fitter, they will probably tell you the same thing, that most boots have too much ramp and forward lean built into them and that it's further compounded by the ramp angles built into bindings.  In my opinion the goal was honorable, to create a more aggressive stance for average skiers, but the actual mechanics prove otherwise.  When your equipment tips you forward, most people will compensate by tipping backwards to keep in balance (in order to demonstrate the effect in an exaggerated fashion, put your ski boots on and then slide a book under the heels and see what happens).  When you tip backwards to compensate for the ramp, you're not only out of balance but you're putting a lot of strain on your quads to support you.  If you have less ramp angle in your boots and bindings you stand taller and in better balance, and have greater and easier range of flexion and extension.

 

Of course it all comes down to personal preference and skill level, but for me I've always found the above to be true (after I got chewed out by a national team coach many years ago over the boots I was in, and smartened up).

 

Here are a couple of photos I pulled off a different thread, courtesy of 'Your Ski Coach' Rick, that show the effect I just described in an exaggerated fashion.

 

The first shows what happens with big delta in the rear.  The center of mass moves back over the heals and the quads are doing way too much work to support the skier through the turn versus the skeleton taking the load. (I can feel my quads screaming just looking at the photo)

 

1000x800px-LL-Ramp%20angle%20positive.png

 

 

In the second picture, the toe of the boot is raised (exaggerating the effect of toe shims) to reverse the ramp angle.  This causes the center of mass to move forward over the balls of the feet and the legs to extend more fully.  As a result it allows the skeleton to assist in dealing with turning forces, versus putting all the load on the quads.  It also allows greater range of motion for flexion and extension movements compared to the squat stance in the first photo.  The example is exaggerated, and in reality you would simply look very well positioned and balanced over your feet.

 

1000x800px-LL-Ramp%20angle%20negative.png

 


 


Edited by exracer - 12/7/10 at 4:44pm
post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy4g63 View Post

^^^ This is 100% correct...

Atomic race bindings are flat, while on Fischer's I had to install some shims too in front.

Cheers.  beercheer.gif

post #29 of 43


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by exracer View Post


 

1000x800px-LL-Ramp%20angle%20positive.png

 


1000x800px-LL-Ramp%20angle%20negative.png

 


 


But what do they look like in a squat with their knees at 45* and 90*?

 

Skier 1 is in the better setup. Skier 2's hips would have to move much further back than skier 1's as he descends to parallel, Skier 2 would also have to compensate for his hips being so far back by bending deeply at the waist. I'll take the balanced athletic stance of Skier 1 (like an Olympic weightlifter squatting) any day.

 

(Skier 1's photo is deceiving, if he slightly tilted his pelvis anteriorly he'd be balanced, right now he's in the "back seat")


Edited by Stikki - 12/7/10 at 7:46pm
post #30 of 43

We should be careful not to assume everyone needs a flat delta angle (the angle created by the binding stand height differential).  Just because flat or zero SHD works for some is not an indication all need it.  What is important to understand on the sagittal plane is there are 4 parameters to consider and coordinate in finding your personal optimum balance.  

 

A common accepted protocol by many top boot fitters is to begin by assessing ankle dorsiflexion and adjusting appropriately for limited or hyper mobility by changing the "ramp" angle, which refers to the INSIDE the boot angle created by the zeppa/bootboard and insole, and the "cuff forward lean".  Then moving up the chain we address the "delta" angle, which is the OUTSIDE the boot angle created by the binding "stand height differential" created by the toe and heel heights from the bottom of the ski.  The fourth parameter is the binding mount position which affects where we stand over the sweet spot of the ski and though this parameter is not easily experimented with,  most ski companies have good recommendations for mount positions on their race skis. 

 

To arbitrarily choose to zero out the delta angle without considering all four parameters in a methodical manner is kinda throwing darts and hoping for a bull's eye!

 

To the OP: An easier way to play with delta is to cut up small pieces of a 3mm bontex shim (pressed cardboard insoles used in most boot shops) and use these to place between your AFD and boot to temporarily lift the boot toe and decrease delta angle.  Ski it under the toes, then without, then under the heels and you will quickly discover which direction is the right way to go for your personal needs.  Then dial it in more accurately by going too far then backing off until you find your spot.  Then shim your bindings to recreate your findings or if you have the same bindings on your whole ski quiver, simply plate the boot with the desired lifter thickness and call it good! 

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