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Tele Binding Height, How Does It Affect Skiing?

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  • Tele Binding Height, How Does It Affect Skiing?

    Just mounted up my new Axls, which are replacing Hammerheads on my Helix skis, and the Axls are somewhat taller than the HHs. That is, the boots will sit something like 7-9mm higher. Also, the heel supports are higher relative to the toe pieces on HH, but not so much on Axls, which keep the boot soles pretty level, but that's a separate issue which tele.skier has recently addressed pretty thoroughly. Since what snow there is within reasonable range is going pretty fast, mostly not freezing at night lately, and becoming more scarce, I may not get a chance to try out this new setup during the tail-end of this season, but whenever this happens I'm wondering what differences I may notice due to this height difference.

    At least it's about skiing.

  • #2
    More leverage to the edge so better performance on hard snow. Maybe less feel in powder, but it could be argued that with modern equipment, that difference is negligible.

    The difference in stack height between HH and Axl is not really very noticeable in my experience.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hind,

      Since you're replacing HHs, I'm guessing you're using the same holes. The location of the 3-pin line relative to the mounting holes is 5mm different between HH and Axl.

      Originally posted by EYT Review of Axl
      Mounting Notes
      Although 22-Designs was able to keep the six-hole pattern, pin line on the toe plate is shifted forward relative to the Hammerhead mounting holes. If you’re swapping Axl’s for Hammerheads and you want the exact same pin-line reference you need to drill new holes 5mm back. However, 5mm isn’t much and if you just swap bindings I doubt you will notice. If you’re drilling in new skis, by all means, adjust accordingly.
      Full review here (for newbies).

      As for the difference in stack height - ja, I don't think the difference is that noticeable.
      Last edited by Dostie; 20 May 2014, 10:46 PM.

      ain't no turn like tele!

      Comment


      • #4
        I've used the same mount when replacing HH with Axls. I couldn't tell any difference between the height, the 5mm mount location, or really even the performance between the two. The big difference is the free pivot.

        Comment


        • #5
          Craig,

          Yes, I used the same holes. With only 5mm of difference it would be pretty close to re-drill, even if one wanted to be that precise in locating the fore/aft binding position. And some of us do, of course.

          As I commented here previously some time ago after first reading your EYT review of Axl when I was considering switching from HH to Axl, that your review of Axl states that mounting Axl in the HH holes would shift Axl 5mm forward as far a pin line position. Checking the two templates, and then 22 Designs website, which also confirms that it is just the opposite. In fact my Axls now put the pin lines of my boots 5mm behind where they were with HH. Since I was considering eventually switching to Axls even when I mounted my HHs on my new Helices, I fudged the pinline position a few mm forward of the standard line, so when I mounted Axls in the holes, it would still be pretty close to the std line.

          The whole thing is mostly academic as I would be surprised if I would be able to detect that 5mm difference.

          Good to hear that increasing the stack height has positive performance attributes, if any, and that it is not very obvious.

          Perhaps the most noticeable difference between skiing HHs and Axls may be due to the differences in boot sole angle to the topsheet, with Axl keeping the sole more parallel or level relative to the topsheet, and HH putting the sole heel high. Tele.skier went into this recently in much detail because this changes the skier's shin angle when the cuff lock is engaged, which apparently can put you into the back seat. This, of course depends on what boots you have, and what angle or angles that your cuff locks have. If it's a problem and you don't want to ski with cuffs unlocked he outlines a simple solution.
          Last edited by Hindfoot; 21 May 2014, 01:49 AM. Reason: Correct punctuation

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          • #6
            I noticed (after skiing NTN Freerides quite a bit) that my first time on the Freedoms it felt like I was falling backwards on the tails. So in my case, the different ramp angle was much more noticeable than the stack height.
            Over time when I switch back and forth between the two different bindings, I notice it (different ramp angles) less and less.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have not detected any difference between the HHs and Axls when skiing. I was surprised at how similar they feel and wondered if in a 'blind taste test' if I would be able to tell which was which.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yay!...(Drool)


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hindfoot View Post
                  As I commented here previously some time ago after first reading your EYT review of Axl when I was considering switching from HH to Axl, that your review of Axl states that mounting Axl in the HH holes would shift Axl 5mm forward as far a pin line position. Checking the two templates, and then 22 Designs website, which also confirms that it is just the opposite.
                  Caught your mention this time. Corrected. Thanks.

                  ain't no turn like tele!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Once again there are the separate points of feel and physics. I've always preferred a short stack height (and that came from the days of narrower skis and when boot sole width was similar to, or maybe even wider than the ski). Pins, on the deck - no riser - gives a much different feel, in large measure I think due to the difference of the moment when rolling ankles to get edging. Not quite sure how to quantify that point with current wider skis and greater stack heights. Rolling knees over probably doesn't care much about stack height since your leverage is already tremendous and resulting performance is more subject to the torsional stiffness of the boot (and ankle 'activity'). Of course, the taller the riser the farther the knee must roll for the same angle of edging. An early and maybe still practical reason for risers was to get the boot off the snow (edging and crusty conditions).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ..... and you can also keep the number of drill holes in the ski to an absolute minimum (1 set, and usually arranged to not be a factor if you ever want to mount directly to the ski) while still testing multiple bindings.

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                      • #12
                        Not to stir the pot too much, BUT...

                        there are certainly performance trade offs with stack height. I don't think what you're referring to with the 22 Designs bindings is significant enough to warrant much discussion, but I have experimented with riser plates, like many ski racers, and there are is a lot of difference as you raise a binding up off of a ski. FTR, most "adventure" skiers prefer as flat as possible.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          DDD tend to agree with you....James too, I think....Seems to me there is a loss of feeling the higher one goes....and I really don't like a forward tilt...harder to sit back when needed....TM

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                          • #14
                            Back in the 1980's when the resurgance of telemark on resort snow became popular, cutting board risers were a solution that was developed to keep boots and bindings from contacting the snow when a skier angulated on hard snow surfaces with narrow skis and "booting out" occured. I still have cutting board risers on a pair of tua toute' neige with 3 pin bindings and voiles plates. (I was high tech back then too )

                            The physics of adding an inch of height to the skier with a 1" riser seems insignificant in increasing a skier's leverage, compared to adding (or subtracting) an inch of width to a ski.

                            My guess is that you would measure the skier's lever length from his mass center... Let's say his mass center is 33 1/3" high. If you add an inch to that, you've increased his lever length by roughly 3%.... If you widen his 3" ski by 1" you have increased the ski width by 33% of it's original size.

                            Everything is relative.... IF you really want more leverage to rip on difficult resort terrain, then you should get burly stiff boots, rather than add a riser under your binding. Maybe a riser helps the pros have a little more boot clearance for increased edge angles, but I doubt it increases their leverage much. (if at all)

                            The problem with maximizing any gear performance is that it usually sacrifices versitility. I have super stiff orange crispi evo resort boots which rock at the resort, and are a total sufferfest to tour with. I also have the softest boots, scarpa tx's, to tour in that flex greatly when I try to drive skis aggressively. On days when I may ski some resort snow and some backcountry snow, I have to chose one extreme or the other because I wanted the higher performance gear, not the more versitile gear (the scarpa tx pro) Sometimes higher performance isn't the best choice....

                            Every gear choice is a compromise at some point. I wouldn't worry about the effect of a binding's height off the ski. I don't think it changes a skier's leverage significantly.

                            *And the thing I was saying about shin angle was 2 fold:

                            1 There's a point where having too verticle of a shin angle puts a skier's hips so far back in his stance when he extends his legs that he's actually leaning backward on his boot cuffs. A skier should only be standing neutrally with no shin pressure on his boot cuff OR driving pressure to his boot cuff with his shin when he is driving his skis. Leaning back on boot cuffs is verbotten...

                            2 Having a slightly more forward leaning shin angle than the optimally most efficient angle doesn't hurt a skier at all. It's just less energy efficient than the higher, optimum shin angle.

                            Again, It's all a trade off. In a lower body position it's easier to balance. In a higher position a skier's more energy efficient. We all chose our stance based on what feels best to us...
                            the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tele.skier View Post
                              The physics of adding an inch of height to the skier with a 1" riser seems insignificant in increasing a skier's leverage, compared to adding (or subtracting) an inch of width to a ski.
                              I think that adding an inch or two height riser must also make a significant difference. There must be a reason why FIS race regulations put a limit on riser height. ~55 mm I think?

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