Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

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lilcliffy

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:18 am

Interesting comparison on stiffness and flex...I do think that extra bit of stiffness in the S-78 will give more snap/pop than the Eon- in turn transitions.

That "off-track" crown design is for climbing.

In order to get even a small traction/wax pocket in a single-cambered ski- they have to be long enough.

Your test shows that in the glide phase, both of these skis are going to flatten out- the traction zone is going to drag in the snow (in soft snow- I personally I don't find this to be a big performance issue- as long as the skis are long enough).

HOWEVER- this leads to one of my big questions...

If you look at a double-cambered ski like the E-109- the sidecut had very little effect on xcountry tracking (if they are long enough). The narrow waist is off of the snow during the glide phase. (The narrow waist of the E-109 does means a loss of traction surface area)

BUT- with a single-cambered ski- the waist is flat on the snow during the glide phase. IME- a parabolic sidecut in a single-cambered ski greatly effects xcountry tracking in the glide phase (i.e. with the ski flat on the snow- a parabolic sidecut "wants" to turn!). The Eon has a significantly straighter tail (waist to tail profile) than the S-78. Most of the skier's weight is on the tail during the glide phase. I personally find that the Eon tracks straighter than the S-78. I will be interested in whether you have the same experience.
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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby MikeK » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:22 am

Yes, yes. More graphs will be coming!

Lilcliffy, did you check the OP for all the fresh nerdism? I'm going to keep updating that with info as I go so stuff doesn't get lost in the discussion.

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby lilcliffy » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:29 am

YES- I did check the original post- my last post was in response to it.

EXCELLENT stuff man- I ate it up!

Just wondering- will we get an email every time you update the OP- or only when there is a new post?
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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby MikeK » Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:35 am

Oh - I see you responded!

Stiffness. Yes maybe a little more pop at the end of a kick. We'll see if noticeable in the real world. We're only talking a few pounds here.

I'd really love to look at the reverse flex characteristics of the ski. They may actually act different. That will really tell you how they will flex and react on the snow.

I'd love to figure out some way to track the tail profile and correlate it to real world touring ability and turning. I thought of taking some measurements along the length of the ski and plotting them out to see what the actual difference is. Then we know if there is some point of difference there to how it acts in the real world. It's almost impossible to see with your eye on a ski with this little sidecut. It was more obvious on the Epoch and the S98.

Also other than timing myself, I don't know a real good way to discern touring ability. Snow and how I feel greatly affect that. Snow conditions and technique also affect turnability, so those tests are very subjective.

I'd really love to be able to suggest to someone which ski they might want to buy based on how they ski and where, but I'm not sure we'll ever get there with any certainty. There are certainly points of difference between the two skis, and I'm quite sure I'd notice the difference if I had one of each on my feet (and couldn't see which one was which).

As for the email, no only when I add a new post. I'll put a new post telling that the OP has been updated each time I do though so it cycles the discussion to the top and sends an email out.

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby MikeK » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:01 pm

OP updated with final conclusions.

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby Cannatonic » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:03 pm

I just checked out this year's Fischer 78 at the shop yesterday - "traverse" I think. Most interesting, it's very different than the "brownies" I have from last year. It's got WAY more camber. It looks like a fatter E99, like an XC ski in terms of camber. The brownies are nearly a flat-camber ski.

I like it except they don't make longer than 189, if they're going to make a touring ski might as well offer it in XC lengths. Maybe they want you to buy E109's to get longer.

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby MikeK » Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:36 pm

Brownies... funny, that's what my wife calls them too. She also says they are the ugliest skis we own. I'd challenge that, but none-the-less I wouldn't get too excited about just adding camber to these skis. I thought they were a perfect balance as they were. Fast, capable tourers. Decent turning ability. Perhaps a bit more challenging to bend than the Eon given the stiff tail. Needs a lot of weighting, but when it goes, it's so smooth and controlled. More camber might just make them bleh... not as much fun on the down with perhaps negligible benefits on flats and climbing. I'd certainly take the added length and low, but rather stiff camber that they had. Glad I bought when I did.

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby Cannatonic » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:01 pm

MikeK wrote:Brownies... funny, that's what my wife calls them too. She also says they are the ugliest skis we own. I'd challenge that, but none-the-less I wouldn't get too excited about just adding camber to these skis.


I, for one, like the brown! One of the reasons I snagged them on closeout last year was that I'd seen a preview of this years topsheets - no thanks! I have to be OK w/ the artwork. not sure I'd like the design either. It probably helps glide faster with the scales. I just haven't seen a 78mm tip ski with this much camber. Mabye it works well. I'm sure the 190's will turn easier than 210 E99's or Gamme's.

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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby lilcliffy » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:47 am

Cannatonic wrote:I just checked out this year's Fischer 78 at the shop yesterday - "traverse" I think. Most interesting, it's very different than the "brownies" I have from last year. It's got WAY more camber. It looks like a fatter E99, like an XC ski in terms of camber. The brownies are nearly a flat-camber ski.

I like it except they don't make longer than 189, if they're going to make a touring ski might as well offer it in XC lengths. Maybe they want you to buy E109's to get longer.


Seems like a strange move to me- especially considering it is in their "offtrack cruising" line now. But I did assume the "Traverse 78" was the same ski as the S-78...

I guess the added camber is to add some more K&G performance for those "offtrack cruisers"? But- the narrower skis in that lineup have almost no camber at all!? Weird.

I asked my local shop about the move- their perspective was that the S-78/S-88 were not selling (XCD-skiers are buying fatter skis). Fischer moved them and re-branded them in order to try and improve sales.

The longer S-78 must have sold the least- not surprising considering current trends...But what is the intended purpose of the Traverse 78 and the Excursion 88? Just extra flotation for your offtrack cruising? If you really are just offtrack cruising- why not inform your customers that extra length will improve glide and flotation- making their offtrack cruising that much more fun and effortless. But I guess every xcountry skier has got to be ready to ski the steep and deep at a moment's notice.

The current E-109 is doing well- so perhaps Fischer has out-competed itself with the E-109 vs. S-78. Again a mistake of trying to make too many skis that do "everything". Let the S-78 be an XCD ski- let the E-109 be a BC-XC ski!

There are still XCD skiers (especially in Scandanavia) that still want a distance-orientated mid-width XCD ski. I always thought that the S-78 would be an even better ski if they made it as long as the Ingstad- or at least 205cm. I mean is it a distance-focused XCD ski or not?

But the current S-109 is stiffer and has more camber than the S-78...Fischer is still promoting the E-109 as a xcountry ski...

How does the new "Traverse 78" compare to the current E-109 in terms of camber/flex?

Man- their cost of production must be low to make all of these "do everything" overlapping mid-width models...bizarre.
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Re: Battle of the mid-width XCD titans: S78 vs Eon

Postby MikeK » Sun Mar 27, 2016 11:15 am

Well I'd say the lack of sales has nothing to do with the actual skis performance and everything to do with marketing trends.

Having tried all these moderns skis, the S78 is a solid ski. Perhaps one of the best performing waxless ski I've used.

Thing is, the marketing is right. I hate to say it, but in BC/ungroomed conditions, the S98 is only marginally slower and a hell of a lot more turn focused. It's incredibly easy to turn - I'd venture to say a new BC/XCD skier with some low cuff plastic boots could handle any intermediate terrain in a few outings, especially coming from a little dh and xc background, but even without, with some basic XCD technique instruction and learning the basic diagonal stride could be killing a lot of terrain. It won't be the fastest XC ski, and it won't be the most confident for steep terrain (or even advisable for any newbs to get into avy terrain), but one could be having a lot of fun relatively quickly.

I really think there has been this whole stigma that:

a) Telemark is impossible or stupid - partly propagated by freeheelers themselves in their own stupidity and arrogance
b) you actually need to use Telemark techniques on this gear

Telemark is FUN. But it is far from necessary to ski the wider, shapelier XCD skis on easy to intermediate terrain with low cuff plastics. One can get out there on it and use basic Alpine skiing techniques with that much sidecut and boot power. Even so, in most snows, these skis aren't fast enough to really scare you unless you go down something with some decent pitch. Icy, consolidated snows, corn, etc, are a little faster but still I've seen my wife handle these going way faster than I though she should have been with width, plastic and sidecut.

Now you get down to the narrower XCD skis and it's not that way. They don't have that instant turn initiation. You have to weight them hard because they have some camber. If you are skiing on NNN-BC with soft boots you need good balance and careful calculation. You need to use Telemark a lot of the time unless you are on really smooth, easy snow.

And as I said, the touring performance is marginal to some people. Given the right conditions I could/can crush the miles with these skis. I can climb as steeply as I can with the wider versions without herringbones. They really fall short on the turning and especially in tighter stuff. You just can't whip them back and forth (especially in a 200) like you can a 185cm ski with 30mm sidecut. Add in more boot power and it's no contest.

Adding in some camber does make sense, because they are trying to make it more of a touring ski. Cutting the length is stupid. Competing with the E109 is stupid as well.

I would love to try the skis back to back in similar conditions (E109 waxless with S78 Brownie) to see how difference there really is. I suspect is less than we perhaps give Fischer credit for.

My prediction is these mid-width skis are just hanging on. So many people would rather have a skinny, double camber ski that fits in tracks for touring and them a wider, shapelier ski with plastic for turns. These widths will only be appreciated by hardcore enthusiasts who want that last bit of touring performance and enjoy (perhaps) the challenge of descending with something that is more close to an older Tele ski (with a bit more camber perhaps).


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