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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down AT Boots in Alpine Bindings - Controlled Test

    Test Equiptment:
    Garmont G-Rides (Mine)
    Salomon S850 demos (same mechanism as the S900 S12 S914 etc etc etc)
    Montana ~$15,000 mechanized binding test machine, recently calibrated (not those occaisionally error prone Vermont manual testers)

    Goal: Achieve consistent release of DIN 8

    Method:
    SOP for fitting the Solly binding for the boot (meant cranking the toe height way the fuck up. Toe heigh was adusted such that the pull tab came out with the same amount of force as an alpine boot) I took extra care (because of the vibram sole) to whack the boot around and recheck the FPI after each adustment (length/wings/height).
    IVIS DIN 8
    SOP for using the binding machine with appropriate adjustments to the bindings inbetween.

    Results:
    Forward leen (heel) release was spot on every time at registered eight with the VI set to 8.

    Twisting release (toe) varied wildly ranging from 5.5 to 12 until I messed with the the toe height some more. Then I was able to get somewhat consistent release (-0.5 to +1 DIN) on one side, BUT no matter what I did the other side would release up to 4 DIN different. (if only it had a moving AFD)

    Conclusions:
    It would seem to me that for a binding to work with AT boots it has to have adjustable toe height AND a moving AFD (like the Freeride and the Naxo have).

    Twisting Release settings are highly variable, unnacceptably so under controlled conditions. They fell outsite the manufacturer specs for end use variation and are therefor UNSAFE. Most likely, the variablity would be worse in the field with snow crammed into the bindings or a wet AFD.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  2. #2
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    lowa's in look 14's:

    set the binding on 6; the release value at the toe's about an 12-13.

  3. #3
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    Scarpa Denalis in Solly Green spgs on 15
    I don't care to come out


    knocking on wood right................................now

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Ted Stryker
    lowa's in look 14's:

    set the binding on 6; the release value at the toe's about an 12-13.
    good to know. thjanks
    shut up and ski

  5. #5
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    Interesting. Any other bindings available?
    My Rossi 140s have a sliding AFD. But so do the Looks that Ted had...

    What about Markers? The whole toe plate slides out when releasing.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  6. #6
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    IIRC, Looks and Markers don't like the AT boots because of toe height issues. I'll put the boot back in em later and see if anything can be done with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by SummitCo 1776
    IIRC, Looks and Markers don't like the AT boots because of toe height issues. I'll put the boot back in em later and see if anything can be done with it.
    So much for standards.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  8. #8
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    The toe release has to do with the friction generated between the Anti friction plate and the boot sole. I was doing a project trying to get boots to release early, and found when we shimmed the toe with aluminum it released much later and with more force. Lower coeff of friction shims released earlier.

    That and the elasticity of the rubber would cause it to give some before releasing, whereas a regular boot would simply pop at a given point.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Snow Dog
    So much for standards.
    ????
    Alpine bindings like looks, sollys, markers, atomic etc were designed for alpine DIN sole standards, not for AT boots.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by SummitCo 1776
    ????
    Alpine bindings like looks, sollys, markers, atomic etc were designed for alpine DIN sole standards, not for AT boots.
    True, but AT boots are so close that they appear to fit. If they're not meant for alpine gear then they shouldn't fit at all. That's just good engineering.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  11. #11
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    ^^^^That would mean two completely different binding designs, and the reason the freeride/naxo has become so popular, is its similarity to alpine binders. Would you trust Dynafits inbounds or in the park possibly?

    It is good engineering, its just stupid that americans would use it as a grounds to sue the designers if injured because "I didnt know, therefore its not my fault"

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Snow Dog
    True, but AT boots are so close that they appear to fit. If they're not meant for alpine gear then they shouldn't fit at all. That's just good engineering.
    Wouldn't it be a pain in the ass if you couldn't put your Alpine boots into your Naxo/Freerides because of "good engineering'?

  13. #13
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    What char and cantdog said!

    char: intersting stuff


    sidenote: I have a friend who just started using his Scarpas in solly bindings.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by char
    Wouldn't it be a pain in the ass if you couldn't put your Alpine boots into your Naxo/Freerides because of "good engineering'?
    I didn't say the AT bindings shouldn't take alpine boots. You can make an AT binding that takes both. Or you can have AT boots that meet DIN specs.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by CantDog
    [BIt is good engineering, its just stupid that americans would use it as a grounds to sue the designers if injured because "I didnt know, therefore its not my fault" [/B]
    If I take a ski boot and it fits into the binding then I expect it to release properly. What's stupid about that? I don't have any AT boots but do they have a sticker or warning that says "not for alpine bindings?" I'm not talking about suing; I'm talking about safety.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Snow Dog
    I didn't say the AT bindings shouldn't take alpine boots. You can make an AT binding that takes both. Or you can have AT boots that meet DIN specs.
    Ok, I'll play, because I'm curious. How? Aren't the toes on AT and Alpine boots pretty much the same shape? (Obviously different sole material.)

    Which piece of equipment would you redesign, and how?

    Also, it seems that there are a number of reasons why taking a boot, putting it in a binding and expecting it to work could be false. (Defective spring, defective toepiece, etc etc.) Thats why you hear alot of people recommending that we take our bindings to a shop and have them tested. Thats also why they have machines that test the release settings.
    Last edited by char; 01-20-2004 at 11:41 PM.

  17. #17
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    If you made the toe piece on an AT boot thick enough then it woulldn't fit. You could still make an AT binding with enough toe height adjustment to handle both types of boots.

    You could make an AT boot with a DIN toe piece and plastic on the sole to align with the AFD properly.

    Since AT bindings work (and release) with AT boots then maybe it's time to update the DIN standard to accomodate AT boots. That wouldn't help with older bindings but in a few years most gearheads would turn over their gear anyway.

    Normally when you have a standard there's a logo and certification program. Some AT boots say "Dynafit compatible" because they work with that specific system.

    I have an MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) catalog handy. There's no mention of AT only bindings for the boots. The Fritcschi Freeride description specifically says "Fits AT boots with DIN toes." The Naxo description says "...for tough all-round use with DIN standard boots." So I've assumed that AT boots were also DIN standard.

    The next time I'm in a store with AT gear I'll ask the saleperson if I can use the boots with alpine bindings. Who knows what the answer is.

    I love the technical stuff.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  18. #18
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    the AT boot/alpine binder (solly) was the overwhelming choice of the guides in alagna. they generally save the AT bindings for their superlight touring skis.

    one of the more curious set-ups i saw was the x-hot pilot mounted with freerides wonder if it still has some sort of binding plate even though you're supposed to use the pilot system.

  19. #19
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    AT boots also have DIN soles...but its a different DIN standardization number. DIN is just the standardizing comittee. There is DIN everything, its just the international standarization.

    For AT boots and downhill boots to release the same you would have to have the same toe piece. Which would mean no Vibram, or a way to somehow counteract the increased coeff. of friction between the vibram and the AFP.

  20. #20
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    GODDAMNIT THIS KEY FITS IN THE LOCK BUT I TRIED AND TRIED TO TURN IT AND IT WOULDNT TURN AND NOW I BROKE IT OFF! FUCKING BAD ENGINEERING!

    c'mon

    Like I said in my opening post... the only way to bake a binding that works for AT boots and downhill boots is a moving AFD and manually adjustable toe height. No currnet alpine binding fits that bill.

    The next choice is to change the boot. That would mean removing vibram....

    OR

    Do what Garmont is doing: The Garmont Adrenaline will have a removable vibram sole. With the sole removed the toe height will be lower and there will be no vibram.
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by SummitCo 1776

    Do what Garmont is doing: The Garmont Adrenaline will have a removable vibram sole. With the sole removed the toe height will be lower and there will be no vibram.
    Yeah, but it seems like a huge pain in the ass to take off the Vibram everytime I want use my AT boots in a Alpine binder.

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by SummitCo 1776
    GODDAMNIT THIS KEY FITS IN THE LOCK BUT I TRIED AND TRIED TO TURN IT AND IT WOULDNT TURN AND NOW I BROKE IT OFF! FUCKING BAD ENGINEERING!
    I think you're missing the whole point of designing for safety. Here's a different example: compressed gas cylinders (like the oxygen and acetylene used for welding) use different fitting and different coloured cylinders because mixups would be bad. Another example: different electrical needs use different plugs. You have the standard 110V-15A but there's also 110V-20A, 220V-15A, 220V-20A, etc. They're all different so you can't cross connect them.
    If you have a problem & think that someone else is going to solve it for you then you have two problems.

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by char
    Yeah, but it seems like a huge pain in the ass to take off the Vibram everytime I want use my AT boots in a Alpine binder.
    Way less annoying than two pairs of boots (maybe having to switch insoles).
    Quote Originally Posted by blurred
    skiing is hiking all day so that you can ski on shitty gear for 5 minutes.

  24. #24
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    For what it's worth I rode the lift today with a dude that was rocking XT's with some Atomic bindings. Says that he hasn't had any problems yet. I asked him why he was sporting the setup, said that his knees didn't play well with stiff alpine boots. We'll see how his knees play with releasing out of that combo.

  25. #25
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    I've skied XT's with Sally, Look, Atomic, Marker, ESS, Fritschi... pretty much all of em. No problems.


    But then again I crank my DIN way past recommended and learned long ago that backseat driving leads to pre-releases.

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