Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

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Mizan
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Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Mizan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:49 pm

Hi everyone, I recently picked up a pair of Madshus Birkebeiner wooden skis for about $100 on a whim. After getting them home, I'm a little concerned that they might not ski well. I tried standing on them and having someone try to slide a piece of paper under them, no luck. I'm 6ft 200lbs, but I had someone who is 130lbs stand on them too and also no luck.

Visually they have a lot of camber, the skis are about 3 inches apart when placed base to base. They are 195cm and have a 56-50-52 side cut. Skilom 3 pin bindings, which look like touring bindings.

Is the paper test not applicable to wooden skis?

Who has this ski and can comment on whether or not it passed the paper test, and furthermore how well it skis/in what conditions?

Is it simply that these are more of a touring ski than Nordic track ski? And the lack of a stiff camber is to help keep a balance between downhill turning and flat gliding?

If they are "supposed" to be like this, what about kick waxing?

I hope this was an ok first post, thanks everyone.

Mizan

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Woodserson
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Location: New Hampshire

Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Woodserson » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:11 pm

Welcome to TTalk!

The Madshus Birkie is a legendary ski, congratulations! It is one of the finest track/groomed wood skis out there. I myself have been on the hunt for a decent pair at a competitive price for a long time.

Right off the bat, you are too heavy for a 195. I am 160lbs, strong classic skier, and I ski my wood skis in a 210 and I look for skis that are still carry a nice flex. You would certainly be looking at a 210/215/220 depending on your skill, preference, and local terrain. Time and use will make skis soft and wood skis are no exception. The nice thing with wood skis is that the camber can be manipulated to a certain degree by blocking the ski over long periods of time. However, a dead ski is a dead ski. My wife is 125lbs or so and I put her on a 190/195 wood skis that is used and is several decades old.

The paper/index card test applies to wood skis, though I allow for less stringent variations than modern construction skis and then wax accordingly. Make sure that they are clean of wax before you attempt, of course.

I hope this does not deter you from the wonderful world of skiing classic wood XC skis! Keep an eye out and keep plugging away, there are some real beauties out there and nothing skis like a wood ski. It's magic.

Mizan
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Mizan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:50 pm

Ok, I'm definitely not off of the wooden ski train. Have you seen Birkebeiners in the over 215 size? Also, the last thing I'm doing with my skis is hanging them on the wall, so what's the best place to sell them. I see a pair of bonna 2000 that might be right for me for for $80 on my local classifieds. I'll be more careful when buying now.

Also, does anyone here do ski resort telemark on wood? I'd love to do that and hopefully it's a realistic dream.

Thanks

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lowangle al
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby lowangle al » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:03 pm

Hi Mizan, I broke at least two Bonna 1800s when I was just doing cross country. My friend has Bonna 2400s which are pretty stout and they might work, but I don't know about the 2000s. It would also depend on your skill level. If you are just learning and at your size, I don't think they would have that long of a life expectancy. I still have a couple pairs of 1800s 210s and 215s and have been thinking about taking them out for some turns, but it won't be at the resort.

Mizan
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Mizan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:32 pm

Ok, that makes sense. Essentially I should buy a good quality beater ski that I can get really good on. Anybody know where there's a good market for my Birkebeiners?

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Woodserson
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Woodserson » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:38 pm

eBay is a good start. If the Birkie's are in good condition, they will sell, at least they will next fall when people are looking. What is your location, btw?

If you keep them and mount them on a wall, please don't drill a hole in them... maybe in the future someone will ski them! So many good skis I've seen, bolted to walls... the pain...

This wood ski market is a tough one, they are all "beater" skis, to some degree. Some are less beaten, some are really beaten. Woodenskis.com actually has some nice tutorials and tips on care and maintenance. He does a nice job and usually has a pretty killer inventory in the fall.

The Bonna 2400 is a real classic, strong ski but it won't fit in a track if that's what you're looking for, it's more of a BC ski and wider. I have seen Birkie's in a 220, they exist! I think a medium stiff 215 even a 210 if you live in hilly terrain may suffice. Let us know what you find!

Mizan
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Mizan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:55 pm

Ok, I'm in Seattle. Snoqualmie being the closest resort. I will never in good conscience put wood skis on a wall, they are beautiful, but also meant to be used. The skis I found locally are bonna 2000s, are those any good in your opinion? By beater skis I meant some thrift store Fiberglas etc stuff to get proficient on instead of breaking a nice pair of wood skis. Do you think that's the right way to go? I don't fall often in cross country, or at all, really at this point, although I am a noivice still. So is breaking wood skis in track cross country a realistic notion?

Mizan
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Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:12 am

Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Mizan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:15 pm

Hey, so weird thing. I decided to try something you guys may or may not approve of, but it might have worked.

I tied the skis together, shoved some blocks under the bindings, put a towel over the skis and put the skis above a skillet of hot water for about 20 minutes. Left it overnight blocked and low and behold in the morning I passed the paper test no problem, 10" in front of the binding and about 6" or more behind someone could slide a piece of paper with little to no resistance.

So... what do you think? Will they stay like this? Can I now ski with them? Or are they still too short for a different reason?

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Woodserson
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Woodserson » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:18 pm

That may work. They may uncamber quick though, I would think doing the above and then blocking them for several weeks so they can dry in that position may work best. There are different techniques to this, and I'm glad you took the intitiative. Wood is alive, so it responds to your experiements. Don't get it too hot though, so the glue doesn't start to break down.

You will have to figure out how to pine tar and wax them though. That's an art and a science and takes time, especially with your wetter snow to get the correct wax (I'm unsure on your waxing skills). Do your research, it can get really dorky and a lot of fun. As my brother yelled down to me one night when I was pine-tarring in the basement: "It smells hectic down here!" :D

The 2000 is a decent ski, the 1800 is also. Just don't go gap-jumping roads like Lowangle Al.

Mizan
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Re: Madshus Birkebeiner Wooden Skis

Postby Mizan » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:21 pm

I will leave them and see what happens, we've been getting some snow here so hopefully I can catch the tail end of the season to test.


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