22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

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Harris
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Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:08 pm

22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby Harris » Thu May 18, 2017 7:59 pm

Last season I switched from long term use of various NTN setups back to duckbills. It took a few runs to regain my bearings but ultimately I vastly preferred my duckbill setup and the NTN is now somewhere deep cryo storage.

My first "back to duckbill" setup was 160cm Racetiger World Cup SLs with Vice bindings pinned to the 3rd most active setting. Initially the things were a blast, but when visiting my nephew in Maine I discovered two problems with the setup.

My nephew is an alpine racer but is starting to get a thing for double black bump runs, which in my youth was my main fare on tele (mogul runs; I grew up in Steamboat, which is really the only thing it is known for besides occasion great powder). So we are skiing at Sunday River on a 50 degree slush day and he wants to hit this long, super deeply developed, steepish bump run. I'm like "sure." And I'm thinking I'm going to destroy him on it. Ten turns in trying to zipper I'm cussing like a sailor. Two problems, the skis are too short and I'm catching the tips under the bindings. But the real bugger was that I kept losing my skis. They would just come off. It took some figuring but the cause was that in the VICE most active setting when I would impact the troughs, and deep knee drop, the boot would lever itself out of the toe bales. Since then I've learned to live with and love the bindings in their 2nd position setting and haven't lost a ski since.

I know one other TT member who ran into this problem. Anyone else?

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dnt_upton
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby dnt_upton » Fri May 19, 2017 2:42 pm

That sounds more like a too little preload problem in the heel lever than a pivot position problem. Did you try to add more preload?

Harris
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby Harris » Sun May 21, 2017 1:23 am

dnt_upton wrote:That sounds more like a too little preload problem in the heel lever than a pivot position problem. Did you try to add more preload?


Yep. That was also my first assumption. Turned out to be the pivot pin location. Haven't had a problem since. Admittedly boots may factor in as a contributing source. I'm using very soft bellowed old Garment Garas. They are at least 18 years old. I pulled them out of mothball. Best fitting boots I've ever owned. And even after years on NTN (Rott Freerides, Meidjo, and then Outlaws paired with TX Pros) I like the setup just fine. Vice/Axel binding activeness between 2 and 3 settings seems a non-issue as far as how the skis work once you get used to whatever you choose. It can be a pretty steep adjustment though when first coming off NTN. I almost fell on my face a few times skating to the lift the first run. By the second I was loving it. Just a different feel. Main diff going from hyper active like NTN to a looser setup is that you give up in fore/aft stability when the skis are flat but you more than gain tip control during tele turn to turn transitions. At least I did. I'll never go back to NTN or super active bindings. Vice second setting is plenty active enough for me.

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dnt_upton
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby dnt_upton » Sun May 21, 2017 1:53 am

Meidjo can definitely be set to be as close to neutral as Voile Switchbacks (or nearly there). And can't the Rotte ones be set fairly low tension too? Outlaw on setting 1 is a bit stiff, but you can remove the inner spring to get it a little softer. Regardless, Axl on 3 is burly.

In the end, whatever works just works.

TomH
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby TomH » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:51 pm

zippering bumps in 160 SL tigers.... talk about the wrong tool for the job. SL skis are way too hooky for that. That's what my Hart F17s are for - absolute blast in the bumps tele or alpine.

Harris
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby Harris » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:13 am

TomH wrote:zippering bumps in 160 SL tigers.... talk about the wrong tool for the job. SL skis are way too hooky for that. That's what my Hart F17s are for - absolute blast in the bumps tele or alpine.


Boy would I love to have a pair of F17s. No argument there. But the thing that caught me really off guard using my shorty slaloms were the skis coming off. Problem now solved; at least I think. My normal now turf (PNW) rarely sees zipper line bump. More like chaos bumps; we get too much wet snow and too many side-slipper, ghetto boarders and urban warrior skiers to get decent bump runs out here. Sigh... As Glen Plake once stated.... "Besides the rare pow daw day if you ski a resort you ski bumps; so you better learn to love them." Or he said something along those lines.

teleclub
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby teleclub » Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:17 pm

dnt_upton wrote:Meidjo can definitely be set to be as close to neutral as Voile Switchbacks (or nearly there). And can't the Rotte ones be set fairly low tension too? Outlaw on setting 1 is a bit stiff, but you can remove the inner spring to get it a little softer. Regardless, Axl on 3 is burly...

The Rotte Freedom can be set for much more neutral feel than the Freeride.
I find the Rotte NTN bindings, even on the lowest setting, have a lot of initial active feeling probably because of the ramped toe plate. I have the Freedoms set on the lowest tension, Blue box #1, and they feel quite neutral once the knee is bent, but there is more initial active stiffness going into that bend than I experience on duckbills. The Outlaw also has a moderately ramped toe plate--way different from the Axel/Vice.

The ramped, angled toe plate means that for the boot to rise off the ski even a little bit, the bellows has to bend. With a flat toe plate the bellows are a little extended, stretched open, to put the heel down so there is very little resistance to lifting the heel except from the springs. Before NTN skiers used to want stiff springs / active bindings with immediate tension to get rid of this initial easy heel lift feeling that skiers often complained about with pre-HHead bindings. But most bindings with a flat toe plate still had some of that. For NTN, Rottefella was probably intentionally trying to remove that initial neutral feel before the springs bend the bellows.

What's nice about strong initial engagement, among other things, is more fore-aft stability since your heel isn't so ready to lift all the time. Like Harris, I notice a difference with NTN in the little adjustments of edge you can make when you have initial neutral heel lift, and I have less of that on NTN (even very easy skiing Freedoms) since all my heel-up edge control is done with a bent bellows--the binding won't have it any other way. Big adjustment coming from Loops and I assume this is something I'll get used to. Interesting to hear that Harris left NTN to get it back (assuming we're talking about the same thing). Everybody skis differently and I'm sure plenty of NTN skiers won't have that issue if they have other edge habits. (You could argue that all telemark technique is a process of coping with inadequate bindings. coping is fun.)

But it does result in a strong contrast. A neutral low-tension NTN Freedom feels like more resistance right at first as the heel initially rises, then tension immediately reduces and there is neutral low tension once the heel is up. An active binding like the HHead/Axel/Vice set to medium pivot location and medium tension feels exactly the opposite: low initial resistance to heel lift which can pop up without tension after which you feel powerful active resistance.

These graph in the opposite direction. Rotte NTN bindings set up go from high to low resistance, whereas neutrally set Axle/Vice go from low to high resistance. Many people will not have this experience because they'll set up both types of bindings for active feel. But for those of us who like neutral bindings it will be a noticeable difference.

Way back when, you could put a Voile ramp under your tele binding plate such as many did with Riva IIs to create some initial resistance to heel lift. Also, the Voile VP II was a ramped toe binding that had quicker bellows engagement than most. But most bindings up to NTN have flat toe plates, and the more common solution once the HHead came out was to use a rear position cable pivot. The Pitbull was an earlier binding that tried that rear pivot to create active early tension and bellows bend.

You guys all know this. Just my observations getting used to NTN

Harris
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Re: 22 Designs Vice/AXLE limitations.

Postby Harris » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:09 pm

teleclub wrote:
dnt_upton wrote:
What's nice about strong initial engagement, among other things, is more fore-aft stability since your heel isn't so ready to lift all the time. Like Harris, I notice a difference with NTN in the little adjustments of edge you can make when you have initial neutral heel lift, and I have less of that on NTN (even very easy skiing Freedoms) since all my heel-up edge control is done with a bent bellows--the binding won't have it any other way. Big adjustment coming from Loops and I assume this is something I'll get used to. Interesting to hear that Harris left NTN to get it back (assuming we're talking about the same thing). Everybody skis differently and I'm sure plenty of NTN skiers won't have that issue if they have other edge habits. (You could argue that all telemark technique is a process of coping with inadequate bindings. coping is fun.)


Yeah, I really don't like a lot of resistance when the heel first lifts, at least as far as turn initiation goes; with a lot of initial resistance, for a split second the inside ski tip will swim slightly before a hard edge can be made. A low resistance initially alleviates this, BUT the downside is obvious: less heels hold down requires more work balancing when upright and not in a turn. There are obvious, serious benefits to having more heel hold down. When I first transitioned off the NTN back to duckbills I literally almost fell on my face the first step. Two runs later I was convinced on never going back. The tradeoff was worth it; the skis were much livelier and fun to work. And no tip swim whatsoever; my inside ski is completely under my control through every phase of the turn. But NTN is here to stay. I just hope they keep making good duckbills; my Garmont Garas are pretty damn old and abused.


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