Fischer E89 Crown

Real reviews by real skiers. What a concept! Add your own today. Reviews only please, questions can be posted as replies but new threads looking for opinions should be posted to the main Telemark Talk Forum.
User avatar
MikeK

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Fischer E89 Crown

Postby MikeK » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:52 pm

This is a start of my chronicle on the Fischer E89 Crown ski. The ones I have appear to be a year or so old, they are not the newest Xtralite models. I'm not sure there is a significant difference except maybe for weight (a few grams).

I bought these skis in a 205cm - 5cm shorter than I should ski, but I still plan to use these in the backcountry, so I want to make sure I can maneuver them through trees and sidestep up and down ditches without a hitch.

The skis feel light, but they don't have the airiness of the Glittertind. I should throw them on the scale, I bet they are similar.

They look ultra skinny compared to what I'm used to seeing these days. They look like a REAL XC ski (more on that later). I propped them up against my Glits and they aren't that much narrower really (59/49/55). The extra 5cm is more slimming than I thought...

Now to the fun stuff... this, I am excited about:

Image

The scale pattern is the exact same as the S Bound which I happen to LOVE - it seems to grab AND glide better than the Madshus scales... light years ahead of their old mountain crown design (which glides awesome, just lacks grip).

A shot next to the S Bound 98, 189cm - it looks like I would look next to Johnny Love (I'm the S Bound in case you were wondering):

Image

Tried to get a shot of the camber:

Image

OK - let me describe that. These look and feel like real XC skis I remember from days of old. They are thicker in the wax pocket area than any of my other BC skis. The initial camber is STIFF. Not racing ski stiff, but very stiff for a BC ski. Surprisingly the second camber isn't that stiff - by the look of it you would think it would be impossible but I can close it by hand - it's definitely a double camber but it's probably not as stiff in over the wax pocket as the Glittertind. Again Fischer surprises me... but I still think they will be shit on hills... here's why:

The flex is atrocious - they flex soft right at the very tip and tail but the rest of the ski feels like a broom stick. So anyway, I wasn't really planning on skiing these on rugged terrain - more a truck trail cruiser if you will.

Wax probably would be the way to go with these seen as how they are a real xc ski - but if the S Bound is any indication, I bet it will perform pretty well for a waxless ski. I would not waste my time with pins on these skis - I doubt they could help them (I could be wrong). I'm going with the regular 56mm NNN BC plate for these.

More to come after I ski them...

User avatar
lilcliffy

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1801
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:33 pm

Cool- exactly what I am looking at- except in a waxable base- they look FAST.
Last edited by lilcliffy on Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

User avatar
MikeK

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby MikeK » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:38 pm

Well I skied on them for the first time today.

Conditions were odd - low 20's but some wet snow coming down. I skied on an un-groomed, partially broken track for about 4 miles. The trail is very rolling grades and what I'd call a novice level xc ski.

These skis showed me something that I had forgot is kind of lacking in most other BC skis... GLIDE! Oh they have it. Reminded me of skiing on real wax xc skis... almost wasn't ready for it the first few kicks. So yeah, even for a waxless patterned ski that is too short for me (5'-10", 210lbs), they can achieve a 7-8' stride with ease (wax would probably be 10'). I was over 10 min faster than my best time around the same trail with Glittertinds (keep in mind I also used this trail to compare speed of the S Bound and was 10 min SLOWER than with the Glitts).

So what do you give up to get that glide...ummm... pretty much everything else. Put them off a track in deep snow and I sink like a stone. Try to turn them 90° without a step turn, and you're in the raspberry bushes (yes, I literally was).

So what I love:

With the Alaska and the NNN-BC they feel super light on the feet. The BC Manuals feel really nice - tight, easy to get in and out of, and unobtrusive to the kick.

The boots felt stable, the bindings/boots put the tip of the ski where I wanted it when I stepped. I'd venture to say it felt every bit as good as the 3 pins and 75mm Alaska do on my Glitts - I didn't go down anything with any pitch so no idea there. I did try turning them around slight corners using an angled diagonal stride into a telemark. They went where I wanted but the front ski just kind of skids into place whereas the turnier skis actually carve that. None of this was moving very fast, but it's an effective way to make a wide bend without stepping. Anything tighter required me to lift the skis and step or suffer the fate of just going straight. With more speed I'm sure a stem turn would work, but I didn't have enough speed to do that.

The extra glide made very shallow pitches I usually kick down, hills that I could just pole down, much like with a wax ski setup.

What I don't like:

Or rather what I forgot about is with a stiff, large camber ski is my feet kind of hurt... yeah... it's that or NNN bindings and the way they flex the boot but my feet were a little crampy. It wasn't a show stopper but I wasn't as comfortable as I usually am cruising with my 75mm Alaskas and softer skis - maybe a little adjusment and break in will help.

Despite feeling super stiff to the hand, the pop isn't really that poppy. It's got some snap, but not like a real xc ski. It's more than a Glittertind or E99 though.

The grip - it felt fine when I was stomping uphill, but sometimes on a kick I'd slip a little bit. I was a little disappointed as this is rare with the Madshus pattern. It might have been the weird, wet snow we were getting over a hard base, but I've never had that with the Glitts. This might also be my technique being used to a 3 pin or the boots being a little stiffer (yes the NNN BC Alaska does feel a little stiffer than the 75mm version).

Overall:

An almost track ski for the backcountry. I kind of like it. I'll use it for a lot easy terrain in a broken track or light breaking. It's fast, it's light, it's a straight tracker. I don't have much interest in using a ski like this for skiing down hills - it has too much camber, it's too stiff, and it's too long. It's a perfect long distance, truck trail cruiser though.

Oh I should add a comment about the camber. Maybe the light was bad when I was messing with these without bindings or I was feeling super strong that day, but now, with the NNN binding plate on and in daylight, I find I can't close the gap with my hands... bindings stiffening, mechanic hands, or just bad eyes... I don't know - but where the rubber meets the road they have the glide!

User avatar
lilcliffy

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1801
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby lilcliffy » Sat Feb 14, 2015 5:26 pm

What did the tips/tails feel like? Rigid and stiff or soft flexing like the Glittertinds?
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

User avatar
MikeK

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby MikeK » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:40 pm

Tips and tails are nothing like the Glittertind. A LOT more stiffness.

They were more like the E99s we had, but maybe a little stiffer. They don't flex round. If you push on them just the very tip and very tail reverse and the center stays very bowed.

I'm actually wondering if you would like these skis lilcliffy - yes they have more touring efficiency than a comparable Madshus, but the cost is pretty high (not in dollars and cents, but in tradeoff). In something other than a broken out track they might not be as well behaved as I thought they were...

User avatar
lilcliffy

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1801
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby lilcliffy » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:04 pm

Just what I expected...I have not tried the current E89...but the current Fischer Backcountry line is much stiffer than the Madshus: Voss versus E89; Glittertind versus E99; Eon versus E109 (even though the Eon doesn't really fit this group)...

I think you are right. The Madshus design is much more forgiving, flexible, and more versatile as a backcountry ski- in variable terrain and snow. There is no question that the Fischer Backcountrys are much faster.

That being said- I am primarily looking for a fast ski to do 45 minute speed-orientated cruises, around my woodlot on dense snow, and on a relatively smooth forest road. In this context- I probably don't need the flexibility of the Voss or Glittertind. I probably want the speed of the E89- or the Rossi BC59.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

User avatar
MikeK

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby MikeK » Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:30 pm

This ski actually reminds me a LOT of the previous pair of wax base, touring Fischers I had. They were a tad longer (210 or 215?) and I believe had more camber or a stiffer camber, but generally more 'spring'. Other than that, very similar. They were probably similar width too - just no metal edge.

Madshus BC Nordic skis are like no other I've tried. They are almost always easy to ski no matter the conditions though - I can't always say that about the Fischers I've tried and owned, but when the Fischers work, the performance far exceeds the Madshus counterparts.

It's readily apparent that I tend to prefer the Fischers we have, and my wife the Madshus. Being a less experienced skier she values grip, stability, and predictability in all conditions over excellent glide or turning performance. I really do like all the Madshus skis, none are bad - but that little extra I get from the Fischers when it's right really puts a smile on my face, even if I have to work for it the rest of the time.

User avatar
MikeK

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby MikeK » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:18 pm

Skied the same loop today in the opposite direction with these skis. Conditions were vastly different. Around 0°F with some fresh snow last night. Wind was strong today and the snow is all wind blow and crusty. It's that kind of snow that squeaks and creaks when you slide on it...

Well that glide I was raving about... not so much today. Oddly the scales didn't slip like they did yesterday... usually the super cold snow doesn't get great grip. Not so much sure about what's going on there... if it's me or the skis? Anyway most of the time I was lucky to get a 5-6' stride... felt much more like my Glittertinds do. Oddly enough I think they feel similar in almost all conditions. I was only slower to yesterday by about 5 min though (and I did stop and have a face off with a deer for a minute or two - he/she was trying to figure out if he/she should waste his/her precious energy and run), so despite the feel, still pretty good.

Took a couple runs down a hill... It was wild blown and icy. I'll tell you these skis make my Glitts feel like Slalom skis. Not the most fun. I think the technique would be to use Curly the Norwegian's DPP hops - seriously, I could barely make a snowplow turn. Turning in and across the fall line feels impossible... well to me. Not the intention, but I had to try... was rather discouraging actually as my confidence had been boosted by my last outing on the S Bounds.

I don't know if anyone has ever experienced this but my feet are still bothering me. I loosened the toe of the boots from yesterday, the front felt OK but I started cramping right from my arch to my heel. I really think it's the stiff camber as I can't recall this happening except the last time I skied a stiff cambered ski (the BC65 actually). It used to happen all the time on my old touring skis too. I'm able to fight through it but it's not inspiring. I'm half tempted to say heck with these skis and go back to Glitts... 1-3 min quicker per mile? Or foot pain? Not so much seeing the benefit.

User avatar
lilcliffy

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1801
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby lilcliffy » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:02 pm

Hey MikeK,

This could be a product of your switch to a system binding (i.e. NNNBC).

The system bindings allow the complete extension of your foot through the stride- right to your toes. (this is at least one of the reasons why NNN/SNS offers higher performance efficiency than 75mm-NN)

At the beginning of the season, my feet are always sore and tired when I first start skiing on NNN. After a few times out the soreness goes away- as my feet get back into shape. Although I walk/hike endless 100s of miles a year- I am not a runner. Only runners would work their suspension in the same way that the system bindings allow/encourage. The Nordic stride on NNN/SNS is more like the complete articulation of a runner than 75mm-NN. 75mm-NN works the feet more like walking.

Of course your problem could be boot related- but I am suspicious that it may be that your feet are getting a serious work out on NNN bindings.
The pursuit of XCD balance: cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry

User avatar
MikeK

Rank: XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 3516
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:12 pm

Re: Fischer E89 Crown

Postby MikeK » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:13 pm

Ahh probably correct because all of the other skis I would experience this on were using NNN, regardless of boot. I probably didn't ski enough back in the old days to really condition my foot either.

I doubt the boot is the issue - the fit is near perfect except in the length (a tad short), the same as my 75mm Alaska and I'm using the same, non-stock custom insoles as I do in all my boots (I just switch them out).

I try to extend as much as I can with NN but you are correct, the feel is somehow different. To me it feels the ball of my foot doesn't stay flat with NNN.

I'll keep going with it - I'm really curious to see how it will feel with a less cambered ski though because often my cramping comes when my foot is flat during a stride.


Return to “Community Ski Reviews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests