NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

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Johnny
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NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by Johnny » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:44 am

I am not going to argue about which one is the best, I promised I wouldn't do that anymore (remember my 2018 resolutions?) We all know that pins were really great in the 1970's. But dudes, that was more than 50 years ago! Just a few actual facts from the current main boot manufacturers:

ALFA:
They currently have 15 (!!!) different boot models in production.
Out of those 15 models, 12 are NNN-BC and only 3 are 75mm!

ALPINA:
11 NNN-BC models.
Only 2 models with pins!

FISCHER:
NNN-BC: 8 Models.
75mm: Only 1 model!

ROSSIGNOL:
NNN-BC 5 models.
75mm: 2 models.

CRISPI:
NNN-BC: 3 models.
75mm: 4 models.

MADSHUS:
2 NNN-BC boots
No 75mm boot.

I think that is saying a lot... 8-)
What do you think?
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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by bgregoire » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:46 am

Johnny wrote:I am not going to argue about which one is the best, I promised I wouldn't do that anymore
SO????

The 1970s were 48 years ago at the latest, not yet 50! Are you being a little dramatic here? ;)

Crispi has at least 5 75mm models available internationally.

To me, the ratio of NNNBC:Pin bindings on the market today mostly gives us an indication of the supply and demand pressures for those products. I'd argue that most nordic backcountry skiers (including those that only use their skis 2-3 times a year) are primarily interested in the touring aspect, not the turning aspect. So yeah, and I agree here, NNN-BC bindings is a superior mechanism for TOURING! And sure, most buyers are right in choosing that option for that purpose! Now wouldn't you agree sir?

But most of us ski forum bums and not the average consumer. Heck, I must have nearly 15 pairs of boots in all shapes and forms...Most of my ski friends only have a single pair.

Long live NNN:BC AND 75mm!

Peace
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by satsuma » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:30 pm

Johnny left out Scarpa, which makes a few 75 mm boots and no NNN-BC boots. The advantage of 75 mm boots is that they can be used on heavy telemark skis as well as XC/BC skis.

One could also make the same arguments regarding skis. The traditional ski lengths, and the need for ski wax, were developed with wooden skis, and maybe for people with Nordic bodies (ie long and skinny). Short-length skis, typically with maximum length of 190 cm, have largely replaced longer skis for waxless, non-racing skis in the U.S. (I don't know of a short-length waxable or skin-based ski).

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by Woodserson » Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:40 pm

satsuma wrote: One could also make the same arguments regarding skis. The traditional ski lengths, and the need for ski wax, were developed with wooden skis, and maybe for people with Nordic bodies (ie long and skinny). Short-length skis, typically with maximum length of 190 cm, have largely replaced longer skis for waxless, non-racing skis in the U.S. (I don't know of a short-length waxable or skin-based ski).
This is a trend that is slowly coming back to longer skis, or at least equalizing bringing longer skis back into the fold... Fischer now makes almost ALL of their previous "compact geometry" skis in a 199cm-- the Adventure 62, Spider 62, Outback 68, the Traverse 78 and The Excursion 88... previously only available to 189cm... and they continue to make the E-99 and 109 (only available in wax now!). Asnes hasn't stopped with longer skis, and neither has Madshus.

https://www.fischersports.com/us_en/nor ... /adventure

I also think, to parrot Ben's argument but convert it to skis instead of 75 vs BC, is that the short waxless skis were responding to a market demand or at least supposed market demand in order to compete with dumb-dumb snowshoes and their meteoric rise as people lost the skill or interest or time in building the skill to ski longer skis.

I can't back any of this up, but it's just a hunch. I think the ski companies are beginning to realize that they are only going to sell skis to nordic skiers now, and it's a shrinking market, so they might as well cater to them.

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by bgregoire » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:24 pm

Johnny wrote:Just a few actual facts from the current main boot manufacturers:
I think that is saying a lot... 8-)
What do you think?
Just to keep rambling on a little here...If I were to follow this same line of thinking, I could probably demonstrate that there is a ton more alpine ski (touring and not) and snowboarding boots available. What does this actually tell us about our winter snow-sliding sports? Nothing really other than supply and demand trends IMO.

I'm going to keep rambling on and argue that the SNS X-ADV binding was actually slightly superior to the NNN-BC binding in term of downhill capability. Why then did it dissapear? Anything to do with its constuction or mechanics? I doubt it. Supply and demand pressures, competition. Sad.

IMO, there is a definitive niche for 3pins bindings and to argue or attempt to demonstrate otherwise on a forum as prestigious (un ti clin d'oeil) as this one, with all the boot & binding producers watching, is detrimental to the sport (ok, my turn to get a little dramatic). What if Crispi were to read such evangelical NNN-BC propaganda and become convinced to drop its leather 75mm line (because its profit margins are lower there anyway)? Man that would be a sad for a lot of skiers keeping it real out there.

God have mercy upon your soul.

Happy and long lived XCD!
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by Woodserson » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:26 pm

Pretty much agree with everything Bgregoire the Third has to say.

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by Rodbelan » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:03 pm

Plus, the socialist had been democratically beaten by the Nazis in 1930 Germany... They largely outnumbered them in the polls... That doesn't mean they were right.
(Just a LITTLE exaggeration here to make things more spicy! LOL)

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by Cannatonic » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:27 pm

These are heady days for NNNBC backcountry boot people! No doubt. I like the enthusiasm, I'm happy to see all the options.

I worry that the few remaining welted boot options will dry up - it must cost 2-3 times as much to make the Crispi Antarctic versus the glued-on NNNBC sole. You need a skilled craftsman to make 1-piece welted leather boots. IMO there's a huge difference between the NNNBC sole and the thick Vibram 3-pin sole under your foot. Each one has its advantages. The next 5 years will be interesting....it won't be good if 3-pin leather and plastic tele boots go extinct.

For people with unusual foot shapes, ANY pre-fab boots sole won't work. I was able to get Limmer boots in New Hamsphire to make hiking boots for me in EEEE width mounted on Vibram rubber soles. There is no other way to get EEEE width hiking boots today. I was happy to see that a new generation of Limmers is taking over the business last time I was there. Now all we have to do is convince them to start making 3-pin tele boots again....they already do repairs on them.

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by Coolwhip » Wed Dec 12, 2018 2:31 pm

bgregoire wrote:I'm going to keep rambling on and argue that the SNS X-ADV binding was actually slightly superior to the NNN-BC binding in term of downhill capability.
Apart from the XCD/light telemark market, I suspect there's a bigger NNN-BC market for people who want maximum stability on more gentle cross-country tours. It's the same sort of buyer who buys a mountain bike to ride on pavement or an SUV to commute to work. It's overkill, but they feel a little more secure with the heavier option and they don't give up too much efficiency. I'm sometimes guilty of this myself - I have some X-ADV bindings on cross-country skis that I probably haven't used for anything I couldn't handle with lighter skis and Prolink bindings.

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Re: NNN-BC versus Pins: Just the facts

Post by fisheater » Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:10 pm

I am waiting for snow, flexing my first NNN boot in the comfort of my living room. It might be a year or two before I would even be able to provide comedy relief in a Bri-7 / Johnny video. I am very happy there are both options, however I will admit it would be very nice to not feel the need for more than a comfortable, soft, leather boot and a bar. I not knowing any better, still have great fun on heavy leather boots, welted soles, and sometimes even a cable.
I am glad for both Ben and Johnny. One defending beloved and time proven gear, and the other telling us of a path he has taken which has been more satisfying. It has been fun to read on a cold evening!

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