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Cracked orange freerides

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  • Cracked orange freerides

    Blast from the past. I have an ancient pair of orange freerides which are finally developing a crack near the brakes. Well, I bought them 2009 or maybe 2008, so no surprise. I think the thing that is finally doing them in is skiing with my 6 year old, ironically enough. Anyway, I haven't yet noticed any effect on the skiing, though the crack is still small. So, what can I expect if I keep skiing them? I don't even see what the back half of the frame does, other than giving an extra attachment point for the rest of the binding to the ski. So, I guess at some point, the frame cracks on the bottom (currently it is only cracked on the side), then eventually once the crack propagates all the way across, since the front half is the only attachment of the frame to the ski, that attachment fails, and then boom? I can't see asking Rotte to warranty them more than 10 years after I bought them.

  • #2
    It's easily fixed better than new.. with a pair of bicycle chain master links. I also drill out the binding's threaded detent holes and mount a threaded steel rivet nut, so the binding position threads are steel screw on steel threads which never strips out, and allows you to "goose" the detent screws so the binding can't move around. The modified chain linked binding also flexes with the ski. I haven't done any of this for a long time, since the modifications eliminated the binding's known breakage issues...

    Click image for larger version

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    the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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    • #3
      xmatt,

      That ^ ^ ^ be the definitive answer.

      ain't no turn like tele!

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      • #4
        I had a very skilled alu welder fill in the entire hole where that crack occurs. He was able to grind it flat to the interior and exterior wall of the frame.

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        • #5
          tele.skier, are you drilling holes through the aluminum frame and then putting the chain rivet through them?

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          • #6
            yeah, the pair of links right where the brakes go, enables you to cut the frame in half allowing the binding to flex with the ski rather than bend the frame... Everything still works the same. The binding now slides on and off easily too since it's not bent when the ski flexes it...

            If you drop them off, I'll do them for you...
            the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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            • #7
              Zip ties have lasted a few seasons and ski as well as new
              You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
              Last edited by jjtele; 12 March 2021, 12:13 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                If you drop them off, I'll do them for you...
                Thanks for the offer! But the crack's still in it's early stages, I'll probably just ski them for a bit and see how it develops, maybe attach some zip ties to help keep it in place. Seems like I can always do your mod later.

                But really, what does the back of the frame do? If a flexible attachment like a chain link, or even a zip tie, suffices, why even have it?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by xmatt View Post
                  But really, what does the back of the frame do? If a flexible attachment like a chain link, or even a zip tie, suffices, why even have it?
                  The binding has 2 points where the detent screws provide pressure to hold the frame to the base plate purely through friction. One on the front of the binding and one in the back. The intersection of the side rails/ base plate, combined with 2 detent screws gives a fairly solid connection between binding and base plate. If you don't have a rear section, then you have only one detent screw and much less force and area to create a friction type connection...

                  One detent screw would NOT hold much,... because as a single point of pressure, it would be subject to rotational forces that the second screw point on the back half of the binding would eliminate, and because the friction from a single detent screw is narrowly distributed, the aluminum binding will just bend or flex to unload the pressure which would result in you continually tightening the single detent screw until it stripped out the aluminum threads...

                  ... which is why I install these steel rivet nuts with a thick copper washer in place of the threaded aluminum hole....which do not strip out

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                  and looks like this assembled...

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                  Bulletproof and flexible only in the direction that the ski will flex while remaining laterally rigid...
                  Last edited by tele.skier; 12 March 2021, 12:01 PM.
                  the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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                  • #10
                    I owe tele.skier a beer for beta on that rivet fix--saved two pairs of freerides that are still functional. I will say that I have broken many parts of the freeride (multiple toe cages, tour throw, cables, etc.) but I have never cracked a frame in the half dozen years I skied 3 pairs on many different skis, blue springs 4-6, red springs 1-2. Probably just that I ski pretty upright, maybe luck. I believe the main reason for this is that I bevel the underside of the back rails on the frame for about 2" on each pair of bindings I skied. The bevel is shallow, tapers up to maybe 4mm depth at tail of frame. This mod allows the ski to flex quite a bit without flexing the binding frame, and this shallow bevel does not affect the mounting plate or stability of binding in any way. This was a commonly discussed mod on ttips. I think that my last pair of black freerides came with this bevel from the factory. Anyhow, probably worth doing to your cracked pair. May well prevent further breakage.

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                    • #11
                      It's nice to see someone else got some benefit out of my OCD efforts. I broke binding frames because I was close to 220Lbs in my 40's - 50's and my technique was primarily weighting/unweighting on less active bindings, so I was more flexing the frame hard with the ski rather than driving force into the ski through the binding mechanical geometry. In all my years I only broke 1 toe cage, but I noticed that some people were breaking them quite a bit, and yet they didn't break the frames... IMO, it says what I have thought for years, that technique and binding geometry has a lot to do with how force is applied to the ski...
                      the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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                      • #12
                        Interesting..I skied the Freeride for a few years, with the TX, and TX Pro. Never broke anything on the binding, though I generally just skied resort and side country, with the binding on my Mantras and G3 Manhattans.
                        I am 6 ' 2" and weighed then about 190 lbs. The Freeride bindings I had, had the steel mounting plates.
                        If anyone is interested, I have a package of the screws to hold the Freeride binding onto the mounting plate.

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                        • #13
                          There certainly was breakage. As I said, I broke frames and crushed the early version toe stops from flexing the ski hard. James, if you recall, broke many toe bails. I would think he had a powerful "snap" in some of his turns that the toe bails eventually suffered metal fatigue from, and gave up...

                          Not breaking bindings probably means your technique is pretty smooth, and that you more roll from one turn direction into the next, rather than snap off angular changes... (I know this is trouble to say) and skid from one turn to the next.... How the force is loaded (technique) makes a difference in whether you are going to break a binding or not. Some people broke no freerides. Other people broke dozens of them... They definitely could have been made better,... Thankfully, they are not the only choice of NTN bindings now.
                          Last edited by tele.skier; 15 March 2021, 09:28 AM.
                          the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                            Not breaking bindings probably means your technique is pretty smooth, and that you more roll from one turn direction into the next, rather than snap off angular changes...
                            As a general rule, I'd say not breaking bindings = smoother skiing. But, if the binding breaks from ski flexion, this is a case where correct technique = more broken bindings. Bending the ski = good!

                            But I suspect for me the crack started with skiing with my 6 year old. I'm practicing jumping off every little bump in the snow to have fun on intermediate trails, and I think it's actually been pretty beneficial for my overall skiing. My pop on takeoff is getting a lot better! But it may be harder on the setup, especially with a lot of firm landings.

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                            • #15
                              Actually, most of my freeride breakages were...ah...wrecks. Which is, in fact interesting, because my transition to NTN marked the the start of serious exploration of speed + power/strength. My previous gear pretty much demanded finesse (smoother wrecking).

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