Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

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Underdog

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Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Underdog » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:11 pm

(Hi, new here/ lurking for a few days). Looking for input on a ski/boot/binding combination.
For the last 20 years I skied on Fischer Country Crowns (210cm- 60/55/56) with the orginal NNN bindings. The Alpina boots fell apart and nothing available would fit the older NNN's, so I went looking for new boots/bindings. I was looking for NNN-BC manual bindings when a pair showed up on Craigslist with Fischer OTX 62 Spiders attached (179cm- 62/52/60) so I purchased those. For boots a pair of (new/brown/old style) Fischer BCX-5 (that I have not committed to).

About this time, I found the Telemark Talk web site ( better late than never) and started reading.
Is the Spider/Brown-BCX5 setup right for me? I want to go out the back door an ski (less than 10 miles) in orchards, farm fields, rolling wood lots, and avoid snowmobiles. I weight 175 lbs and thought metal edges might provide some advantage. I break my trails. This Southern New England locale gets wind, so trails constantly fill with blowing snow. Swings in temperatures and a mix of precipitation make waxless my choice.
Would wider skis ( Gamme 54, E99, S-bound 98) be more stable (less tipping side-to-side) when breaking trails, do I need more than one type of ski, beefier boots (Alaska, Crispi). Apologies for a long post, thanks for creating such a welcoming and supportive online community. Tele Man get well soon.
fischer bcx5 spider.JPG
fischer country crown.JPG
Last edited by Underdog on Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Woodserson

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Woodserson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:36 pm

The 179cm Spider would be a little short for you coming off the longer Country Crown- not to mention your weight. It would be slow and draggy and you'd want to throw them in the garbage. You can always put the new bindings on the old skis. The boots are fine and if you fit and you like them, it would be a good pairing. Just make sure they fit right. I don't think you'd need beefier boots for this combo unless you started to get wider skis and were planning on turning more.

Since it just sounds like you're nordic touring through variable terrain with not a lot of turning I would certainly look around for a Europa 99/E99, Fischer Traverse 88/Excursion 88 in the 189 or 199 length-- I would personally go for the 199 for stability on loose snow and speed when touring. There are Europa 99's of similar vintage to your Country Crowns that pop on on Ebay-- 210's and 205's. The Asnes Gamme 54's are my favorite ski in this context right now-- but in S New England you'd be skiing a lot with the mohair kicker since they are NOT waxless, which is what I do to hardly any negative effect. Fast, stable, really nice- a perfect ski if there ever was one in this category, but more difficult to find, and again, a wax ski.

The metal edges are nice, but not necessary unless in the past 20 years you can think of many times you wish you had metal edges...?

Underdog

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Underdog » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:03 pm

I'm confused about the length. The previous owner was an inch shorter than me (no idea on the weight) and said the 179 Spider was long for him. The Fisher chart and the REI web site had information that also confused me. The Fischer Spiders (179 cm) are way shorter than my very old Fisher Country Crowns (210). I just assumed that "the times had changed" and I was out of touch with the new technology. 175 lbs is my loaded weight. They do seem really short. If I take them out to ski in them, I'll have to keep the boots and I'm still on the fence with the fit on the boot.
spider 2.JPG
spider chart 1.PNG
Last edited by Underdog on Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Woodserson

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Woodserson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:26 pm

Yeah yeah, this weight chart thing.

So there came along a "new technology" called "compact geometry" to make XC skiing fun and accessible to the masses. In my dumb-opinion-that-no-one-cares-about it failed, everyone got snowshoes, and now we're all stuck skiing short skis that were supposed to be more maneuverable but are actually slow and draggy with the mechanical scales and short lengths that are not tuned to efficient kick and glide skiing.

I'm 160lbs. I have the Traverse 78 and Excursion 88 in a 189cm and I wouldn't go lower. I would like the Traverse 78 in a 199 because of increased efficiency and speed. Yes, sometimes going up a frozen trail I don't get the best grip I could with the longer length-- this is true, but when it's flat at least I'm going somewhere without having to make many little kicks on little skis.

I had for one hot minute a pair of Fischer OTX 68 which are the next step up from the Spider in a 189cm (same size/weight recs) and they were so terrible I sold them after one day. WOOOPS.

NOW- I do have a pair of Sbound 98's in a 179 that I use exclusively to climb a local mountain road near here and ski down. It's strict straight up, and down. These work well for this because I get great grip going up and then I can bend the ski adequately to put in some sweet telemark turns. They are draggy for any flat skiing.

Yes, technically, you fit at that size in the chart. If you are a consistent skier on the 210's over the past two decades you're going to miss the length. If you are a skier that goes out once or twice a year and shuffles around and thought the 210's were too long for you, try the Spiders. This isn't a knock, I don't know your skill level. Be honest with yourself and trust your gut.

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Underdog » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:49 pm

As to Fischer's Charts, you are gutsier than I. I would never question an industry giant like Fischer. They have been a dominant force in nortic and alpine equipment for a very long time.
When I squeeze the 210cm of Fisher Country Crowns together, using both hands and all my strength and I still have 1/2" of space between the skis. With my new (used) Spider 62's I can almost (not completely) squeeze them together with one hand. The last thing I want is a draggy ski.

I was happy with the 210 Country Crown (solid kick and glide, fast downhill, not so great on ice, step turns only). My issue with the 210 Country Crown was breaking trail in fresh snow. It is challenging to keep the ski from tipping to the side. I can do it, but it is like kicking along a tightrope. I need precise balance on the ski or it will tip and dive. I stay focused and lock my ankles. I don't mind the ski riding below the surface of the snow when breaking trail, I would like it to stay level without so much effort. I thought that the NNN-BC and a beefier boot would help in this regard. Not sure how the ski length/width/camber, plays a part in this balancing act.

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Woodserson » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:34 am

It's just a question of physics. Like a boat, shorter is slower, but easier to maneuver and business-wise better for the masses and the bottom line. I fall into the weight of the Spider 179, but after oodles of experience here, I know that I will get good grip everywhere, and glide will be wanting. I know I can always change my climbing techniques with shorter quicker steps, herringbone, EZSkin attachment, grip wax on scales, whatever, so I choose longer lengths.

So pick your weapon based on what you want, I guess.

As far as the breaking trail on the Country Crowns that sounds typical to me, a skinny ski that takes some skill to use. The binding and boot will certainly help that if you're upgrading from the lesser NNN binding, but the ski is still a light skinny ski, a slightly wider platform could help you here especially if the ski has more mass. The Gamme 54 for instance, isn't much larger underfoot (actually -1mm) but it has a little wider shovel and more muscle to the ski. I don't know how to explain how flex, mass, all that works in terms of tippyness but it is more stable. The Traverse 78 also. I bet the Spider also will be more stable, but the shorter length could make it wonky in deeper snow.

Hopefully we can get another opinion in here soon

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:58 am

Welcome Underdog!!!
Wonderful for you to join the passion and conversation here!

Just read through this thread-

Here is my impression- you want:
- to XC ski off-track
- ski on gentle to moderate terrain
- a more supportive boot than you had
- a more stable ski in deep soft snow

Thoughts and comments:
- NNNBC was made for the skiing you want to do. And with more supportive boot you can take that platform into steeper terrain.

- the BCX5 is a very nice and supportive boot. It may end up being all the support you need- but there a number of more supportive NNNBC boots available if you find you want more support. Hopefully, you find that the BCX5 fits you properly!

- I don't own a Fischer Country ski- but, I have tried it. Excellent ski- there are many other skis in this class. I personally don't have a use for a ski in this class off of a groomed track. I personally doubt that the Fischer Country ski would offer as much stability in deep snow as an E99 or Gamme 54- for example...

- Spider 62- blah- I don't like the flex of this ski, nor the short lengths of it- for the same reasons that Woods describes. I would only consider that ski for a very light, and growing child. I find it hard to consider that ski a real skier's ski...

- weight-length charts are very simply guidelines. A ski length should be chosen by the individual skier and what they want to do with. You want a backcountry/off-track XC ski- that offers effective XC performance off-track.

- a XC ski that is effective off-track in soft snow must have a soft enough flex undefoot that you can effectively engage the traction zone on soft snow.

- you can get decent XC release and glide out of a relatively short, highly cambered, and very stiff double-cambered ski- but this ski is not going to offer any grip on soft snow.

- considering the terrain you want to ski on I do recommend a truly double-cambered ski that is designed to ski off-track.

- Your description suggests that you want better stability in soft snow than the Country Crown offered- the stability you describe is a function of both the width and the overall flex of the ski.

- in general, most BC-XC skis that are 60mm and wider underfoot have progressively less camber and progressively softer flex- geared towards deeper and deeper snow, as well as steeper terrain.

- most BC-XC skis larger than 60mm underfoot, are designed for deep soft snow and/or steep terrain and as a result suffer when XC skiing on dense/consolidated snow. The exception to this trend may well be Fischer's 78 & 88? Woods, how would you rate the classic kick & glide performance on consolodated snow of the 78 & 88- and how would it compare to your E99 and Gamme 54? What I do know is that skis like the Madhus Eon and Asnes Ingstad are pretty dead and slow when XC skiing in dense, consolidated snow- the E109 and Combat Nato being noticeably better- but still not as good as E99 or Gamme 54 for example.

- I am with Woods- the classic ski designed for what it seems you want to do is the "E99" class ski. Skis in this class include the Fischer E99, Asnes Gamme 54, Asnes Amundsen, Madshus Glittertind/BC55. Any one of these skis would be good. If you are concerned about length- can you access a shop where you could actually stand on a few sizes? If you want a ski like this to work there should be a very slight exposed "wax pocket" when you stand on them evenly, and it should not require you to make an extremely powerful fully-weighted kick to compress it. (If it requires a very powerful kick to close the wax pocket- the ski might be fine on dense snow- but, I predict you will slip on soft snow and should consider a shorter/softer ski).

- it sounds like you want ski that both performs in soft snow and consolidated snow- and it does not need to fit in a groomed track? If so- then the "E99-class" ski is a good choice. However- if users report that a ski like the Fischer 78 is quite good on consolidated snow, then it would be a suitable alternative. What I would avoid is picking a ski that is finely tuned for soft snow and will feel dead and slow on consolidated snow (e.g. I would avoid a ski like the Eon or Ingstad BC for example). You can get a softer ski later if you want a soft-snow specific ski...

- as far as waxable vs. waxless scales. I certainly understand your leaning towards scales in your location. But- Woods' reports on his pleasure with a kicker skin on snow that is not ideal for kick wax is consistent with mine and others. I am perfectly happy with scales when the snow is ideal for them- otherwise I want grip wax and/or a kicker skin. BUT- given your location- if you do consider a waxable base, I would strongly recommend the convenience and performance of Asnes' (skin-lock/x-skin) or Fischer's (Easy-Skin) integrated kicker skin systems. (Though for some terrible reason it seems difficult to buy a waxable E99 or E109 Tour in the USA?!?)

For context- I weigh more than Woods at 185lbs. All of my XC-oriented backcountry skis are at least 200cm long. (I recently sold a 195cm Ingstad BC so that I could free up the cash to special order a 205cm!!!!)

So I end with a question:
- can you go to a shop and stand on some skis?

AGAIN- WELCOME MASTER UNDERDOG!!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Cannatonic » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:21 pm

I'm sure you'll get some use out of these skis as rock skis or whatever even if you get a new pair....used gear is a great way to experiment & try differet stuff....find out what you like

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lilcliffy

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:32 pm

Cannatonic wrote:I'm sure you'll get some use out of these skis as rock skis or whatever even if you get a new pair....used gear is a great way to experiment & try differet stuff....find out what you like

Good perspective and excellent advice!
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

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Woodserson

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Re: Info on old model Fischer (brown) BCS 5 and Fischer Spider

Postby Woodserson » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:53 pm

lilcliffy wrote:Woods, how would you rate the classic kick & glide performance on consolodated snow of the 78 & 88- and how would it compare to your E99 and Gamme 54?


Oooh good question. They both have good kick, but they don't "carry." The carry of a rowboat is when you stop rowing how far does the boat continue to go? Does it slow down immediately or does it "carry" several boatlengths?

This doesn't mean that I find the 189's to be draggy for me, I find them just about perfect, but they don't have that carry, that last bit of glide and reduces the kicks over a given mile. I blame their shortness and the nordic rocker. The 78's and 88's are very similar in flex and squeezing together, it's difficult to tell much difference, but overall they are nice skis. However the 205cm Fischer E99 Crown I have is definitely a fast ski over distance than the 78/88, and the Asnes Gamme 54 is the winner overall on all of them.


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