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Backing off DIN during summer storage

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Just read on the web that bindings should be backed off to their lowest DIN setting during summer to relieve unnecessary tension on the spring which ensures the DIN stays ‘true’. The thought has never crossed my mind in 30 years of skiing... is this necessary?
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No.
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DIN is based on a metal spring being tensioned, keeping it under constant tension will result in fatigue. Whilst it probably won't make a massive difference to the average skier, a couple of turns of the screwdriver could help your bindings last longer and have accurate DIN readings.
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sethpistol wrote:
DIN is based on a metal spring being tensioned, keeping it under constant tension will result in fatigue. Whilst it probably won't make a massive difference to the average skier, a couple of turns of the screwdriver could help your bindings last longer and have accurate DIN readings.


But unless you can wind the DIN right off, to the point the spring is under zero tension it's still going to be under some tension, so still subject to fatigue. OK, lower tension should mean less fatigue but that just means they will give less inaccurate DIN readings over time than ones left cranked to a higher DIN.

Personally I wouldn't worry. Certainly on bindings where the spring is exposed (e.g. Marker Griffons) you can see it's a chunk bug and setting DINs is more "That's about half way between 7 and 8" than "That's 7.48, that's 7.49, that's 7.50", so over the life of a pair of bindings I doubt fatigue due to tension will make a noticable different. Anyway worst case they will 'fail safe' - the DIN will go down, not up so you might find yourself ejecting when you don't want, rather than staying clipped when you wan to eject - and that can be solved by upping the indicated DIN a little bit.
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It's down to material integrity really. Any decently made spring should have no problem coping with this pattern of use.

As @Mjit, points out, they will never be without some level of compression even set to lowest point.

There's a broad parallel to help here, car engine valve springs are installed under compression from day of engine manufacture, never released, can be left compressed to service limit when engine is immobile, and carry out literally billions of actuating cycles throughout their life without failure.

In short, a far more stressful environment and duty cycle than ski binding springs. Metallurgy of steel springs differs very little except in very specific situations, making comparison easy.

I've never set them for storage, all the family skis are left as used and checked/set before next trip.
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If it's a worry, simply go and get a service from someone that has a rotating pressure gauge to check the din. I do this at Alain Baxter's. It means my skis are always serviced perfectly.once a year.

I wax myself the rest of the year.



I'm waiting for PaulC1984 to start a thread to n waxing bears before sex.
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Quote:

DIN is based on a metal spring being tensioned, keeping it under constant tension will result in fatigue.

I sincerely hope you are wrong (you are). If you are correct then steel bridges will start falling down, reinforced and prestressed concrete buildings would fail. They all rely on steel permantly under tension or compression.

Leave your bindings alone.
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johnE wrote:
I sincerely hope you are wrong (you are). If you are correct then steel bridges will start falling down, reinforced and prestressed concrete buildings would fail. They all rely on steel permantly under tension or compression.
.


But over time the tension in the steel reduces. Bridges do not have an infinite lifespan.

But it's more like a watch spring. Watch springs do wear out and stop being springy.
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Didn't think bridges worked like that.

It's more that they size the vertical and horizontal load carrying elements appropriately to bring a specific designed capacity. The bridge is then operated at a rating that takes it no where near it's individual material's elasticity.

It should therefore (maintenance and corrosion allowing) never be placed in a situation that would cause it to yeald then not return to original form.

The "construction" effectively becomes the spring in its entirety, as opposed to the material in springs being grain structure orientated specifically to flex over a significant range and return to shape. This is normally far in excess of non spring steel metallurgy.

If it's a coil spring used, then they are just a torsion bar coiled into a convenient package to fit in the space required. The torsion movement is distributed along the entire length of the bar which mitigates any point loading that may exceed (on a micro level) the grain structure's capacity to flex.

That's way they are so effect for such a simple piece of material.
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'Whilst it probably won't make a massive difference to the average skier, a couple of turns of the screwdriver could help your bindings last longer and have accurate DIN readings.'

As usual snowheads jumping straight down throats of anyone offering advice...
I basically said 'it wont make a massive difference' but can't hurt to do so...

@James the Last - exactly, or if you want a cycling analogy - rear mech, pedal and brake springs absolutely wear out.
Binding springs are designed to keep a constant tension despite massively varying forces and then release at a certain point... Bridges & buildings not so much
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@sethpistol, who jumped down your throat? Usual reasoned and rational argument as far as I can see Puzzled
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BTW from Salomon's Binding Manuals -

POST SEASON STORAGE
To prepare equipment for summer storage:
• All binding visual indicator adjustments should be reduced to the lowest setting. Do not attempt to adjust the release setting below the lowest setting as damage may result.
• The binding heels should be stored in the Closed position.
• The equipment should be stored in a cool, dry and ventilated area away from direct sunlight.
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@sethpistol, it is an interesting question...

What do I do if my summer storage is August to October? Do I bother?

My actual storage is May to November (if I am lucky) - how does that compare to a one week skier (who shouldn't probably own skis but...)

Must confess that my inter-season storage instruction is to try and keep the garage locked...
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You know it makes sense.
sethpistol wrote:

• The binding heels should be stored in the Closed position.


Wouldn't that make the spring under tension though?
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I didn't see any jumping either.

But if a clearly wrong analogy is used then it's part of the debate to offer an alternative by way of challenging that, no?

"jumping" would involve plain dispute without constructive addition to be judged by peers on here.

Would it be reasonable to jack up your car when left parked to avoid stressing the springs?
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@martinm, As I understand it ...closed on ski boots, yes, not under boot pressure, no. I think (!) it's a cam-like system.
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@ski3, I think you will be suprised just how close the steel in bridges is to its yield point (I think this is what you mean by "no where near it's individual material's elasticity. ") Probably much closer than that in the spring. It costs more to build and offers no other advantages to put in more steel. The choice of spring rate and length will dictate the amount of material in the spring not its yield point. Looking at the size of binding springs I suspect they would become coil bound long before their yield point. However the skis should be stored in a dry environment out of excessive heat and sunlight.

As @ski3, suggests would you take the valves off your car engine if you were not using it?
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sethpistol wrote:
BTW from Salomon's Binding Manuals -

POST SEASON STORAGE
To prepare equipment for summer storage:
• All binding visual indicator adjustments should be reduced to the lowest setting. Do not attempt to adjust the release setting below the lowest setting as damage may result.
• The binding heels should be stored in the Closed position.
• The equipment should be stored in a cool, dry and ventilated area away from direct sunlight.



Sorry if not totally clear, that is the binding manufacturer recommending it, in their manual, so you know, go argue with the guys that make it that you think they are wrong.
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Quote from the Look Bindings Technical Manual in referring to Rental bindings, no mention made of Retail bindings.
MAINTENANCE:END-OF-SEASON – RENTAL
Rental equipment needs special care at the end of the season.
Repairs have to be made and equipment should be prepared for storage following the steps below:
1. Reduce all indicator settings to the binding minimum.
2. Close all heelpieces.
3. Check for play between screws and components.
4. Check that brakes operate freely and correctly.
5. Clean and lubricate the boot/binding interfaces, including Teflon AFD’s and AFD Gliders (mechanical).
6. Replace worn or damaged AFD’s (see page 61).
7. Dismantle the toe and heel sections on Speedset (EPR), Quickset, Demo2 models
a. Clean the toe and heel tracks with a damp cloth. Note: Never clean bindings with solvents, hot water, or pressure wash.
b. Lubricate toe and heel tracks with Rossignol binding grease and reassemble.
8. Always store equipment in a dry place.
9. We recommend cleaning and lubricating rental bindings at least two times per season.
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@sethpistol, why are you so animated by this? In typical snowheads fashion, there's a discussion on-going involving people with varying (apparent) levels of knowledge that isn't entirely answering the question, but it's entertaining and somewhat informative. Views differ, and there are many factors to take into account (if you back off your binding a couple of turns, then tighten it again, will it release at exactly the same force as before, for example). The factory guidance probably also recommends torque testing after adjustment, does everyone do that too? Depending on your personal interpretation it may or may not be beneficial overall to reduce the tension in the spring, vs other risks of adjusting bindings.

At risk of stirring further Twisted Evil does a static spring under a constant load suffer any fatigue? It may change shape (slowly) but that's not fatigue...?
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Stupid question, maybe, but how do I close my heel bindings without storing my boots in them? Tying them up with string? (My bindings are old, and I don't see any obvious locking mechanism.)
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Pyremaniac wrote:
Stupid question, maybe, but how do I close my heel bindings without storing my boots in them? Tying them up with string? (My bindings are old, and I don't see any obvious locking mechanism.)


Think a closed heel binding is when the binding is in the down position ie when boots are removed unless I have misinterpreted closed.
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ski3 wrote:
The bridge is then operated at a rating that takes it no where near it's individual material's elasticity.


Anything made from metal that reaches the elastic limit is then fit only for the bin. Bindings, bridges. Bridges work exactly like springs. You put a truck on a bridge, it bends, the truck comes off, it unbends. You leave a truck on a bridge for a long time the bridge does not bend back. Not because it has reached the elastic limit, but on account of creep (see the ski storage thread).
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Ozboy wrote:
Pyremaniac wrote:
Stupid question, maybe, but how do I close my heel bindings without storing my boots in them? Tying them up with string? (My bindings are old, and I don't see any obvious locking mechanism.)


Think a closed heel binding is when the binding is in the down position ie when boots are removed unless I have misinterpreted closed.


I thought a closed binding is one in the position it would be with the boot in? Open would allow the boot to come out. So already we're confused Laughing
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[quote="James the Last"]
ski3 wrote:

(see the ski storage thread).


Yikes my threads have converged... didn't mean to get too academic today but all makes for interesting input from clever snowheads!

My takeaway form this thread is that I am not going to bother backing off my din for summer - main reason is out of fear of a family member grabbing their skis before they are re-adjusted by me.
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@Ozboy, no, that's open, as in open to receive boot.

@mgrolf, that.

Basically, as I understand the camming, a closed binding without a boot in it is a more relaxed spring than in any other position.
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sethpistol wrote:
sethpistol wrote:
BTW from Salomon's Binding Manuals -

POST SEASON STORAGE
To prepare equipment for summer storage:
• All binding visual indicator adjustments should be reduced to the lowest setting. Do not attempt to adjust the release setting below the lowest setting as damage may result.
• The binding heels should be stored in the Closed position.
• The equipment should be stored in a cool, dry and ventilated area away from direct sunlight.



Sorry if not totally clear, that is the binding manufacturer recommending it, in their manual, so you know, go argue with the guys that make it that you think they are wrong.




Erm, I wasn't arguing, just asking a very sensible question that you clearly can't answer. Now who's jumping down people's throats.....
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sethpistol wrote:
DIN is based on a metal spring being tensioned, keeping it under constant tension will result in fatigue. Whilst it probably won't make a massive difference to the average skier, a couple of turns of the screwdriver could help your bindings last longer and have accurate DIN readings.


Just to comment on the terminology you used. Fatigue is the weakening or ultimate failure of a material due to repeated loading and unloading. So keeping a metal spring under constant tension will not result in fatigue. However it conceivably could result in creep (the tendency of a material to move or deform under a load).
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Well ... there are two approaches to this ... theoretical and empirical ...and it has I am afraid, been analysed to death on here before ... but the posts on fatigue through cycles of load are on the money in terms of theory. Meanwhile, empirically, I think it was spyderjon who took some bindings he had wound up to 12 and left for years - and out of interest put them on his test rig. The outcome was that they measured at ..... wait for it .... DIN 12.

I always click my heel bindings up in the closed position. I always used to slacken off to zero for the closed season (or mountain bike nirvana as we call it) but after SJs experience I don’t.
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Quote:

Anything made from metal that reaches the elastic limit is then fit only for the bin. Bindings, bridges. Bridges work exactly like springs. You put a truck on a bridge, it bends, the truck comes off, it unbends. You leave a truck on a bridge for a long time the bridge does not bend back. Not because it has reached the elastic limit, but on account of creep (see the ski storage thread).

Steel does not creep. Leave the truck on the bridge it will return to exactly the same position when the truck leaves. Otherwise the bridge will gradually sag. It doe not.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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How heavy is the truck and how long have you got? Cool
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If you worry about that; ask yourself how accurately the DIN scale on your bindings is printed, how small it is and how you can be sure that the pointer is 100% pointing at the correct setting.

Woooooooo. Scary stuff!

Or you could just go skiing.
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With rental bindings is the guidence more to do with not keeping the bindings at a higher setting that may in error be given out to a customer?
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The bridge analogy doesn't really shed any light on what a coil spring is doing, so you can't judge it in those terms.

Properly specified, sized and made coil springs have way more capacity to do this job than anyone imagines. They really aren't any problem however you leave them, as already proven by SJ.

If you need another example, next time you are on a detachable chair just look up and imagine what those one or two coils are doing to clamp the chair to the cable whioe you're travelling up the mountain. Also never left in uncompressed status and arguably doing a more critical task.

The coils are, figuratively speaking, bomb proof, and would likely be the very last part to fail in a binding if you were to subject them to mechanical destruction.
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