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To cable or not to cable

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  • To cable or not to cable

    That is the question...

    Well that or even a hardwire...

    I have a long time to decide but these being for a pair of Madshus Epochs (10th Mtns) I recently purchased.

    My intended usage will be rolling touring, but those tours where either I'm breaking trail or there are more challenging descents - flatter terrain I'd opt for my longer, double camber skis for more speed. There may be some instances where I'd use them to climb something just with the intent of descending (logging trails, glades, small mountains).

    Having never used a cable, and not being a tele skier, I'm debating whether this is something I might want for those climb descent type excursions. Most of the time I'm guessing it would stay in my pack.

    Boots may be leather or plastic - I've yet to buy plastic but I may buy a pair of two buckles.

    Is there any sense in investing the little extra to have the ability to use the cable?

    As far as the hardwire version... I'm assuming that can be removed. Any sense in using this over the cable?

    Many thanks for any insight.
    Last edited by MikeK; 19 April 2014, 06:56 PM.

  • #2
    Don't bother. Making alpine turns with pins and plastic or sturdy leather is easy IMO.


    • #3
      I could see that.

      Say one would like to improve their telemark technique and use such turns when appropriate...

      I was half thinking of inserts and maybe buying a set switchback later on, but maybe these aren't the best skis for that...


      • #4
        Pins are the way on that ski. I would think paired with Excursions or T4s. You could use a sturdy Norwegian welted boot and be fine, I would steer clear of injection molded 75mm boots. Some folk would tell you to use a system boot and binding or Switchback but I think the former is under matched and the latter over matched. Someone will be along shortly to disagree but 10th Mountain/Epoch with pins and Excursion/T4 is a great set up.


        • #5
          I think I agree with you. I bought the ski for more downhill prowess, but by no means is it a downhill ski. I'm hoping it's not terribly slow on the flats.

          I don't much care for systems boots/bindings. Matter of preference I guess. It would be hard for me to justify putting NNN on fatter skis when I use 3 pins of these:

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          • #6
            I'ts not one or the other, except in the inclusive sense..
            These bindings are So versatile..And you do not actually need
            to take the cables off to either stride or climb..

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            And they ARE DH capable..

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            Attached Files
            Last edited by DonnyBilkinson2; 20 April 2014, 12:16 PM.


            • #7
              I like to ski the Guides with 3-pin cable bindings, but have never bothered to put the cables on or use the cables. Asolo Snowfield II boots and just the pins are a nice simple, light setup that offers plenty of control for the type of skiing that OP describes above, and when I'm out touring and not specifically looking for steep turns, that's my go-to setup.


              • #8
                Thanks guys. I've received some feedback from other pinheads who have told me to forgo the cable.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeK

                  Is there any sense in investing the little extra to have the ability to use the cable?
                  Yes. If you are moving from the flats to trying to develop downhill turning technique, there will come a time when a more solid connection between your body and your skis will allow the next technique advancement. For an extra $35 you get a 3-pin binding allowing you to add that function and see for yourself when that time comes. True--if not required by *good* skiers-- for every turn, IMO--step, stem, tele, parallel.
                  nee, Whiteout


                  • #10
                    I'm not totally inept going down hills. I have experience with alpine skiing. I've been instructed in basic telemarking.

                    Tele and step are my worst turns. My aptitude with step is a function of speed and pitch. Telemark is a new turn for me. I can count on my fingers and toes the number of times I've attempted it on my own will.

                    I've convinced myself that by the time I want that cable, I'll probably want a different pair of skis and if there is a condition where I want/need to tele turn, I'd like to be able to do it without having to stop to affix the cable.
                    Last edited by MikeK; 21 April 2014, 11:07 AM.


                    • #11
                      I asked this question on t-tips a few years ago, and got about the same mix of responses. I ended up going with the:
                      Voile 3-Pin Cable Bindings

                      for my Karhu 10th Mtn skis. In the couple of years since making this purchase, these have been my all-around kick-and-glide, general touring skis, with some little down hills thrown in once in a while. I have not used the Cables, but kind of like the idea that I have them for added flexibility on this set up. I use my old Merrell "fuzion" boots from the mid-90's on this set up and it works pretty well.

                      I have some old Fischer E99 crowns that I need to put some new 3-pin bindings on and will probably go with the:
                      Voile HD Mountaineer 3-Pin Telemark Binding

                      and then keep using this set up with the merrell boots for dominantly kick-and-glide, to the extent that I do that style of skiing right now. I think my old Fischer skis are still awesome (and can't seem to get LONG metal-edge touring skis anymore, mine are 210s I think) but the plastic on the bale of the old pins on those skis broke trying to close down on the thicker duck bill on the merrells. The Merrells are way more boot for this style of skiing and ski, but they fit well, and have a couple of buckle straps for added ankle support, which I definitely need. In 15-20 years when I retire, maybe I'll get some modern XC skis, depending on if I can convince my wife that Bend would be a great place to move!

                      At any rate, a lot of blah blah for a nice non-definitive answer


                      • #12
                        Since you don't have enough options already, these: or

                        I skied a prior generation on a skinny light ski and they were great. Easy in, plenty of power for turns, light enough, brakes are an option.