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Fritschi Xenic for TTS?

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  • Fritschi Xenic for TTS?

    I've been loving my G3 Ion toe TTS setup with long OMG springs so far. It's version 2.0 for me but I'm always looking to innovate. How can I make it lighter? Lower stack height? Optional heel lock? Heel brakes? Cheaper to entice others to try? My thinking this summer was to swap my G3 Ion for the Zed but the new Fritschi Xenic has me curious.

    I know boots are an issue for TTS but I've had success finding the old Scarpa F1/F3 bellowed "unicorn boots". Craigslist, gear swaps, ebay...

    Down to my question: What do folks think about the new Fritschi Xenic for TTS? It's cheaper than the G3 Zed and lighter too. There is a little elasticity in the toe but not a toe release like the vipec and tecton. Since this isn't rotational (like the Dynafit rotation) but lateral, I thought it might be fine for Tele but thought folks on this forum might know best.

    Why not get a speed turn or other toe from Skimo? I've had issues with pre-release on TTS with duynafit bindings and the 'snap' of the G3 with a softer boot like the F3 works well. My Crispi Evo WC was too stiff and still would eject from an Ion/TTS/Kreuzspitze Spring setup. I also want an optional heel lock, I know some feel fine making p-turns on tele stuff but I like being able to lock it down when I am in a no-fall zone or wierd snow so I can get reliable release (lack of pre-release) and extra trip pressure.
    Last edited by Dostie; 18th October 2019, 09:08 AM. Reason: DIY TTS

  • #2
    Jeff-er-y,

    To restate your goal, a ski mountaineering binding that offers solid tele turns with the option to lock 'em down while minimizing weight.

    That brings to mind a host of skimo bindings but the ones I'm familiar with and would trust are:
    • Salomon MTN
    • G3 Zen
    • Hagen Core 12
    • Dynafit Speed Radical
    • Marker Alpinist
    • Fritschi Xenic
    • BD's Helio Series

    That's more or less a list in descending order of trust, but not firm. For me, the guiding principle is how much force must be overcome to release from the toes. I want it to be high, like G3's Ion design (derived from Onyx). After that, weight is a concern, so the heel should be minimalist. Tele-whackers need only be concerned that the heel release will work when needed, which it won't, so it's up to the driver to avoid a crash.

    Some hesitation with Alpinist due to the plastic foundation. I trust the plastic unquestionably for touring. Not so sure about telemarking. Rather see some guinea pigs confirm or deny my fears.

    My reluctance to embrace the Xenic is based purely on ignorance of the underlying spring force. I cain't see it so I don' trust it. Otherwise, I like the sound of the "snap" when it closes, assuming it uses the same spring as Vipec (without lateral release).


    ain't no turn like tele!

    Comment


    • #3
      first, i have never handled those bindings, but i did watch a youtube video, and read a couple webpages, so i am clearly an expert.

      they too interest me, but not enough info, and some things that seem dicey to me for TTS. i'd really want to handle one, put a boot in and mess with it before buying.

      First, description at skimo says plastic in the construction. And i remember watching a video from ISPO last spring where they said the toes was largely plastic. that worries me. i would not trust anything other than all metal from pins to binding screws. (and i trust steel more than Alu). My wife has vipecs, and that toe is plasticy and not stiff enough to attempt TTS, pretty sure i wouldn't find all the pieces in the snow after the explosion.

      second, the entire thing about the pins being able to slide side to side to absorb shock. to me that doesn't sound like it would work unlocked without a heel piece.

      third, like the vipec they appear to be designed to release the toe by the toe box of the boot hitting the ski/walk/eject lever, even when locked. you'd hope there is enough rotation there so you wouldn't hit it in a deep tele turn since that mode is made for skinning, but the thought of an insta-eject is concerning. Granted, if you can ski it unlocked, then that becomes even more unlikely. still until proven otherwise, i'd be concerned. again, granted, other toes effectively do the same thing in ski mode, but as far as i know, only fritchi actually designs that to happen, and for it to happen in locked mode too.

      beyond that, if they did work, it would be awesome, and i could even imagine putting spring under the lock lever to sort of add some adjustbility in the break away feature of tech toes. i have tired this with dynafit toes, and it was surprising how little spring force up on the fork was required to go from easy to twist out to effectively locked. But with the side to side linear motion of this toe, maybe it is more controllable.
      Last edited by jasonq; 18th October 2019, 12:54 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jasonq View Post
        first, i have never handled those bindings, but i did watch a youtube video, and read a couple webpages, so i am clearly an expert.

        Ha! awesome..
        the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

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        • #5
          found this site, pretty sure i watched the video last spring. but the pic from the bottom of the binding is what is interesting here. looks like the entire frame is plastic, that is definitely and injection molded base for the toe.

          https://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/fr...t?currency=USD

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          • #6
            Those toes look pretty nice. What interests me is the fact that the in/out motion of the arms doesn't appear to require a lever with a fulcrum, standing above the ski in front of the pin line. Could something like this be modified to work with a boot where the Dyna cups are moved 10-20mm aft on the sole, for increased touring efficiency?

            Watching that video, though, really gives you an appreciation for all the factors that have to be accounted for to ensure a safe/reliable release. Really impressive engineering. Makes me glad to be a dumb telemarker, who can use simple toe pieces and keep them locked all the time (knocking on wood as I type this...).

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by bobbytooslow View Post
              Those toes look pretty nice. What interests me is the fact that the in/out motion of the arms doesn't appear to require a lever with a fulcrum, standing above the ski in front of the pin line. Could something like this be modified to work with a boot where the Dyna cups are moved 10-20mm aft on the sole, for increased touring efficiency?
              After looking at it more closely, I think the beauty of this toe is the basic lack of a fulcrum for the toes to open. They can slide laterally, but are not designed to open. Lateral release on the Xenic comes from the heel, like most pin bindings. How the lateral play will work with tele is just a guess at this point. Will the elasticity compromise the edge-hold early adopters to 2-pin tele bindings have come to appreciate?

              I DO like the simplicity of latching in. Sweet. And light. Revise my list above and move the Xenic up, I just don't know how far.


              ain't no turn like tele!

              Comment


              • #8
                Some one send me a pair, and I will test them...as an AT binding. Telemark Pyrenees is selling them (with discount code) for 247 Euros.. no ski brakes. So add about 20 Euros for shipping to USA>

                https://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/bi...ouring-binding

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chamonix View Post
                  Some one send me a pair, and I will test them...as an AT binding.
                  Dude! C'mon, the point is to test their viability for tele. We already know they work for AT.



                  ain't no turn like tele!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jasonq View Post
                    first, i have never handled those bindings, but i did watch a youtube video, and read a couple webpages, so i am clearly an expert.
                    haha, that's why I came here, like-minded 'experts' :-)

                    Originally posted by jasonq View Post
                    beyond that, if they did work, it would be awesome, and i could even imagine putting spring under the lock lever to sort of add some adjustbility in the break away feature of tech toes. i have tired this with dynafit toes, and it was surprising how little spring force up on the fork was required to go from easy to twist out to effectively locked. But with the side to side linear motion of this toe, maybe it is more controllable.
                    Interesting idea, I wonder if that spring would have solved the issues I had with the Radical toe for TTS.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Two other questions, building on Doste and jasonq's points.

                      1. Toe release: would it auto-eject if you made too deep of a turn? Is that even possible given the limited spring lengths with TTS that route around the side? It seems like the best way is to try it. That means convincing an AT skier to let me add inserts for a tts block to test it...

                      Here's what TelemarkPyrenees says: "All Fritschi bindings, including the Xenic 10, free the boot at an angle of about 65 degrees (this does depend on the boot model; for most boots this is 65 degrees). This is earlier than other bindings and offers higher safety. Many pin bindings release at 90 degrees and then you can imagine where your knees and head are."

                      2. Toe lateral play/elasticity: will it compromise edge hold? It's considered an ideal feature in fixed heel, alpine bindings, maybe it would help for telemark? You can put more force into edging without digging the ski in to the snow too much? Not sure of the physics here but again, I think to know someone would have to try it. Have any other tele bindings had lateral play? Did the release plates?

                      Fritschi and BD have a partnership, it'd be cool if BD could make a way to use their old O1 springs + xenic binding to have an AT/tele hybrid... oh wait. There still aren't boots (on the market) that make sense for that.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        one number 2, no enough info, but if one assumed it operated similar to a vipec, both wings move sideways in tandem to a point, then only the outside wing moves, which would lead to a release, then that would be bad. option 2 is that both wings always move in tandem, with a spring holding them together, and the outside hits a stop, which allows the inside to be wedged away. in that case, it wouldn't be too different than other pin toes. But i think there would end up being more free play, which would be bad. someone buy some and find out.

                        jeff,
                        for kicks, here is a cross section of my spring plunger on vertical toe on a raster from my POLR binding. Screw allowed for tension adjust, as well as by swapping out springs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Xenic has the lateral elasticity of the Vipec or Tecton, but does NOT release when it hits the limit of its travel. So the toe won't open to release if configured with a cable on the real heel. It might release from the boot twisting to the side enough that it disengages from the pins, but the pins won't open up. In fact, it probably won't release. Not easily. But that's just analytical speculation. YMMV.

                          ain't no turn like tele!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Love the photo, Jasonq! I hadn't seen your POLR DIY thread until just now when I googled it, looks like a great setup!

                            Doste, that's right, I googled "POLR Binding" and the first hit was to Jasonq's thread. I guess backcountrytalk.com is occasionally searchable, even if the clickbait and SEO optimized BS usually comes up first.

                            Back on topic, I know the toes on the Xenic toe isn't laterally releasable like the Tecton/Vipec. What I don't know is how does the boot come out of the toe when it has a lateral heel release. Is the mechanic different from a dynafit/G3 toe or one with a fulcrum?

                            I'm suspicious that the lateral elasticity might help reduce the toe pre-release with TTS since it would absorb some of the forces that otherwise contribute the the toe coming out. I found that softer boots help. I don't eject from F3s but did from my evo WCs on my TTS setup with Ion toes (even locked out). Like I said, I guess we might just have to try it.

                            I'm waiting to hear back from Skimo on the mounting pattern for the Xenic. If the toe can be mounted without getting too close to my G3 Ion holes and keep my F3s at boot center, I may give them a try. I can always put in inserts and go back to the Ion toe if they suck. Resale value would be good now too since they're fresh for this season.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jeff_er_why View Post
                              ... I know the toes on the Xenic toe isn't laterally releasable like the Tecton/Vipec. What I don't know is how does the boot come out of the toe when it has a lateral heel release? Is the mechanic different from a dynafit/G3 toe or one with a fulcrum?
                              Boot will come out in a forward pivot after it rotates 65 degrees. Can't say I've ever taken apart a Vipec toe, but it must have strong similarities.



                              Originally posted by jeff_er_why View Post
                              I'm suspicious that the lateral elasticity might help reduce the toe pre-release with TTS since it would absorb some of the forces that otherwise contribute the the toe coming out. I found that softer boots help. I don't eject from F3s but did from my evo WCs on my TTS setup with Ion toes (even locked out). Like I said, I guess we might just have to try it.
                              Good point. Being a guinea pig is faster than analysis. But we still need to wait a month or so, depending on your circle of friends.



                              Originally posted by jeff_er_why View Post
                              ...waiting to hear back from Skimo on the mounting pattern for the Xenic.
                              It has the same mounting pattern as Vipec or Tecton, just not the same footprint since there's no release, or the extra springs to adjust that.


                              ain't no turn like tele!

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