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  1. #1
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    Feeler/Pre-Order - Cast Toe Plate

    Hey mags, I’ve been quiet on TGR over the last few years, but wanted to put a feeler up for a little project a friend and I have been working on. We are huge believers in the Cast system, and have a ton of respect for what they’ve come up with, but have seen the drawbacks from misaligned mounts and screws backing out after heavy use. Since we love to tinker, we’ve been working on a different approach to the Cast toe setup.

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    We’re putting a feeler up to see who would be interested a single piece toe plate that replaces the screws, shoulders, and steel plate that cause many of the issues people have with the Cast setup. The main drawback to this setup is that it raises the toe by 4mm over the stock Cast toe height, creating a flat ramp angle (20.5mm toe and heel height). The stock Cast height measures 16.5mm at the toe and 20.5mm at the heel. When you remove the steel plate, and add our machined toe piece you net out at a 4mm increase in toe height. The way I think about this is that I commonly ski my touring boots in an STH2. In order to do so you have to crank the toe up 3-4mms, effectively raising the stack height with the thicker sole. My legs haven’t exploded yet, and I think they ski fine, so we thought we’d see what people think of how this setup skis before adding more options (and costs) to raise the heel.

    For those of you that were around for the old Salomon tech toe debacle, one of us is a mechanical engineer with a background in CNC’ing parts, and we’ve designed these to be stronger, and more reliable than the stock setup. Here are the full details. Depending on interest, our goal would be to get a pre-order page up in the next few days.

    Cascade Components Cast Toe Plate
    Material: 6061-T6
    Specs: 5mm stack height, adds 4mm to the stock Cast stack.
    Color: We’re thinking black, but can also do clear. Let us know if you have a preference. We’re aware red is faster.
    Mount details: Uses the FKS toe mount pattern. Toe holes move 1cm forward, heel holes remain the same.
    Weight (est.): ~58g with screws, which works out to about 7g less than the Cast steel plate, screws, and longer screws. This is also a prototype weight, which might change slightly for production.
    Price: $130 + Shipping. We’ll most likely put a pre-order link up on the Cascade Components website.
    Shipping date: late-December to early-January (depending on pre-order quantities).

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  2. #2
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    Aug 2013
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    interestingÖ have you thought about producing a shim for the heel that would correct the ramp?


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    have you thought about producing a shim for the heel that would correct the ramp?
    Yes, we have, and that might be an option in the future. We're not 100% convinced that it's necessary, but if people feel like they need them, we'll consider it. I used to run a ski shop in a past life, and we would often shim the toes of FKS for racers to help them get more over the front (it's counter-intuitive). I also haven't noticed the draw back of a higher toe when skiing touring boots in a binding like the STH2 with adjustable toe height.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    very nice.

    Would it be better to have the cut outs on the underside of the plate with the top being smooth? Less chance of those areas filling up with ice/snow, though I could see it complicating manufacturing slightly having to work both sides of the block.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    Great idea, looks well thought out. Really dig the purple.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2007
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    monument
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    Subscribed.
    And the purple is sweet.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2005
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    3,204

    Feeler/Pre-Order - Cast Toe Plate

    Never mind I read the post.

    But this part:

    Also, from experience with someone elseís machined mount have you considered or noticed any punching or wear from the toes? Can explain better from personal experience if you PM me and want to know what Iím talking about. Donít want to get into it on the thread out in the open out of respect.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid-kapow View Post
    very nice.

    Would it be better to have the cut outs on the underside of the plate with the top being smooth? Less chance of those areas filling up with ice/snow, though I could see it complicating manufacturing slightly having to work both sides of the block.
    The cutouts are on top to keep machining setup to a minimum (which keeps the cost lower). The cutouts are covered when skiing, so icing should be limited. We also considered the intended usage of a Cast setup. People probably won't be touring all day on these with multiple change overs, so the chance for icing is less.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    This is rad, just got a Cast setup this year so likely donít need these plates but itís a great idea!


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Park City
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    Awesome


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    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwriter View Post
    Also, from experience with someone else’s machined mount have you considered or noticed any punching or wear from the toes? Can explain better from personal experience if you PM me and want to know what I’m talking about. Don’t want to get into it on the thread out in the open out of respect.
    PM incoming. For those who don't want to get too nerdy; we go with Type 3 anno for increased resistance to wear. We don't expect, and haven't seen more wear than what the stock touring toes take. Tolerances are key here. Because they can be pretty far off with the stock shoulders, that's usually where you see premature wear.

  12. #12
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    Jan 2020
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    Fellow ME here. Why drill a hole in the posts, reducing their strength? Any testing done on the strength of the posts vs a bolted joint vs the tear out strength of the screw on the regular cast setup?

    All questions I'm curious about given if anyone will find the limit of a setup, it'll be a CAST user.

  13. #13
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    Feb 2016
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    Los Angeles/Mammoth
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    This is awesome, love my Cascade Components link for my Transition sentinel!

  14. #14
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    Dec 2007
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    Hmm, this is interesting. Aside from the upsides of nicely aligned posts, it also might help out with a hole conflict issue that I have.

  15. #15
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    Feeler/Pre-Order - Cast Toe Plate

    The below is just constructive criticism, I think you guys are on to something here. Just needs some refinement.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheEleven View Post
    Fellow ME here. Why drill a hole in the posts, reducing their strength? Any testing done on the strength of the posts vs a bolted joint vs the tear out strength of the screw on the regular cast setup?

    All questions I'm curious about given if anyone will find the limit of a setup, it'll be a CAST user.
    To build on this, I think we all know what this plate is supposed to accomplish. The system is ensuring the pedestals end up correctly spaced and perfectly plumb. Why not utilize the pedestals on the plate for the screw locations as well?

    One of castís marketable benefits is that you donít need to redrill a ski with pivots to utilize their system. However with this plate, youíd have to redrill or be a -1cm on the toe location, which I believe is outside the adjustable range of a pivot heel (please correct me if Iím mistaken on that)?

    Hell, I donít know what your ultimate bizzness plan is. But you guys could probably reach out to Cast to see if theyíd be interested in outsourcing a jig for their toe pedestalsÖ Or sell as a separate option.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    The below is just constructive criticism, I think you guys are on to something here. Just needs some refinement.




    To build on this, I think we all know what this plate is supposed to accomplish. The system is ensuring the pedestals end up correctly spaced and perfectly plumb. Why not utilize the pedestals on the plate for the screw locations as well?

    One of castís marketable benefits is that you donít need to redrill a ski with pivots to utilize their system. However with this plate, youíd have to redrill or be a -1cm on the toe location, which I believe is outside the adjustable range of a pivot heel (please correct me if Iím mistaken on that)?

    Hell, I donít know what your ultimate bizzness plan is. But you guys could probably reach out to Cast to see if theyíd be interested in outsourcing a jig for their toe pedestalsÖ Or sell as a separate option.
    This was brought up on the newschoolers forum and was very negatively received. Claimed this is a better design and lighter.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by madriverfreeride View Post
    This was brought up on the newschoolers forum and was very negatively received. Claimed this is a better design and lighter.
    Shorter screws might save a few grams, but if you care that much about 8g or whatever it would be, CAST isn't the right binding for you anyway. I'm in the camp of preferring a version that maintains the existing hole pattern.

  18. #18
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    It seems like it'd be easy enough to just chamfer the holes on the posts so you could either mount through the posts or in the alternative holes as shown in the picture.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAB View Post
    Shorter screws might save a few grams, but if you care that much about 8g or whatever it would be, CAST isn't the right binding for you anyway. I'm in the camp of preferring a version that maintains the existing hole pattern.
    Hey Man I feel the same way, I was just restating what was said on the other ski forum.

    Honestly after reading the responses over there this guy is coming off as very arrogant and wonít take any bit of criticism. Makes me not want to buy any cascade bits for my bikes, let alone spend an extra $130 for a modification that slightly improves the other modification to my pivots, but comes with an extra set of holes having to be drilled into my skis.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    It seems like it'd be easy enough to just chamfer the holes on the posts so you could either mount through the posts or in the alternative holes as shown in the picture.
    I do wonder if they went that route because adding the countersink for the bolt would reduce the wall thickness of the bosses too much. The CAST ones are steel, so they'd be stronger, given the same geometry.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAB View Post
    I do wonder if they went that route because adding the countersink for the bolt would reduce the wall thickness of the bosses too much. The CAST ones are steel, so they'd be stronger, given the same geometry.
    Yeah, that'd make sense. And would explain why they didn't just go through the posts in the first place, since I'm sure they though of that.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    Yeah, that'd make sense. And would explain why they didn't just go through the posts in the first place, since I'm sure they though of that.
    Yeah, there's no way it's an oversight. I assume it's for strength reasons.

    You could probably make an aluminum plate that doesn't have the bosses machined into it, but instead uses taller versions of the CAST-style steel bosses, with a snug slip fit into a bore in the plate to get the same locating effect. It'd be a few grams heavier and involve more parts, but it'd also make the machining of the plate a lot cheaper and easier.

    Either way, I haven't had much trouble doing good CAST mounts (with a jig, granted) so it's probably not for me anyway. Neat idea though.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by east or bust View Post
    The below is just constructive criticism, I think you guys are on to something here. Just needs some refinement.

    To build on this, I think we all know what this plate is supposed to accomplish. The system is ensuring the pedestals end up correctly spaced and perfectly plumb. Why not utilize the pedestals on the plate for the screw locations as well?

    One of cast’s marketable benefits is that you don’t need to redrill a ski with pivots to utilize their system. However with this plate, you’d have to redrill or be a -1cm on the toe location, which I believe is outside the adjustable range of a pivot heel (please correct me if I’m mistaken on that)?

    Hell, I don’t know what your ultimate bizzness plan is. But you guys could probably reach out to Cast to see if they’d be interested in outsourcing a jig for their toe pedestals… Or sell as a separate option.
    Quote Originally Posted by HAB View Post
    Shorter screws might save a few grams, but if you care that much about 8g or whatever it would be, CAST isn't the right binding for you anyway. I'm in the camp of preferring a version that maintains the existing hole pattern.
    Quote Originally Posted by toast2266 View Post
    It seems like it'd be easy enough to just chamfer the holes on the posts so you could either mount through the posts or in the alternative holes as shown in the picture.
    I'm playing a bit of catch-up. Busy day today - sorry. We do really like to hear everyone's thoughts, that's the purpose of a feeler. We (myself and my buddy - Cascadecomponents on NS) designed these primarily as a more beefy/reliable solution to what's already out there. Keeping it light is a plus, but that's not one of the design goals here. I have a weight weenie setup for when I need to walk far - spoiler alert, it doesn't have Casts on it.

    One of the main issues is that if you already have a Cast mount that has issues, drilling new holes for the plate is the best option. It's all about what trade-offs give the most benefit, and we feel that this design with a +1cm mount and shorter screws gives the least amount of compromises. Could you have hole conflicts by re-drilling, sure. I'll remount a ski 10 times out of 10 over reusing old holes in a high stress application (like the stock Cast setup). The plate isolates a lot of the forces that get put through the stock post setup, and the shorter screws help reduce the force being put through them (as opposed to a long screw that has the leverage of the posts on them). Neither option is wrong, this is just the one that makes most sense to us, and we think will be most reliable.

    On post strength. Each post will take roughly 2250lbs of force before breaking (9,000lbs when accounting for all 4). The spec on binding screws is roughly 300lbs per screw, so the plate will rip out of the ski or your femur will break before the posts fail.

    Oh, and the Cast guy(s) chimed into the NS thread. It's super cool that they are receptive to this idea, and if they decide to sell it as an add on themselves, that's great. The goal here is better, more reliable gear. We're just doing this cause we're passionate skiers, and have the ability to refine a product to work better for us.

    And one last thing - don't hate on the enginerd. He's a really good guy that takes a lot of pride in what he does, and is a super talented engineer. There's a lot of people in the biking industry that will vouch for his work, like jdadour above.

  24. #24
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    Could be a good thing if their mounting screws straddled all the different binding companies toe mounts. Then you could mount these on any ski over any existing toe holes that have been drilled previously and still hit your preferred boot center location. That was a nice thing zbout binding freedom plates. The plate mounting holes were wider than any binding holes

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  25. #25
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    This mounting pattern is the same as a pivot just moved.

    Not sure why you are so worried about re using holes, as long as you donít strip the holes the retention is exactly the same as new hole. Especially considering cast is usually mounted on a pretty beefy ski. Contrary to you I would 10/10 choose to re use holes given the chance. Skis can only accompany so many holes in them and unfortunately some of us donít only mount new gear all the time. Also even if the holes strip you can heli coil them and itís stronger than a traditional mount.

    As far as hating on your friend, he may be a good engineer but heís not receptive to criticism in the slightest. As someone on newschoolers brought up, in most engineering schools they teach to consider the whole process, which includes end users that in this case seem to have been completely ignored in favor of marginal engineering gains.

    At the end of the day most people will still be paying some 18 year old kid making minimum wage to install these, and thats where the problems are going to arise, much like thats where the problems of a traditional cast mount happens.

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