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Ramp Angles / Binding Delta etc

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
How do you know what binding setup (ramp angle & delta etc) is best for you?

Spend most of my time on touring setups (Radical 1 bindings, Dynafit TLT6 touring boots). My alpine boots are Head Raptor 140 RS. From tables on the Internet the binding heel is around 15mm higher on the touring setup. Having small feet (size 7) the ramp angle difference is probably even more exaggerated than usual.

https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/

https://thepisteoffice.com/index.php/2013-09-09-17-07-34/ski-binding-delta-angles.html

Finished last season mainly skiing the touring setup. The first 4 days of this season I was on the Alpine boots but on the fifth I switched back to the touring setup.
There was a clear difference. On the Alpine setup I initially felt I was in the backseat, on the touring setup it felt like I was wearing heels.

If I was living in the UK I would probably visit one or more of the three "Ski Amigos" namely

Jon
https://thepisteoffice.com/

Colin
https://www.solutions4feet.com/

Andi
https://www.alpinelearningcurves.co.uk/ski-lessons-alc/andi-mccann-alpine-skiing/

Not sure wether it would be best to increase the heel height on the Alpine or the toe height on the touring setup, or both and meet somewhere inbetween. Maybe it's better to wedge the alpine boot int. or ext. Anyone know of any balance alignment specialists in Austria?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Increase the toe height on the AT bindings, Spyderjon has shims/longer screws for you, also set the touring boots in the most upright position for descending, together that should do it! Or you can buy the Radical shims and longer screws locally, but I think Jon has a variety of thicknesses and could ship to you.
I've put Radical toe shims under my Speed Turn fronts with longer screws and have the boots upright as poss (Maestrales), now I can swap between all my binding/ski setups with very little difference, I've got a mix of Beasts/Kingpins/Speed Turns/Tele and alpine bindings.......
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A short concise read:
http://lous.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Effects_of_Ramp_Angle.pdf
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Try bending you knees.
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@DB, Visited Andi at Colin's shop for an assessment on his alignment/balance machine, on my alpine boots and my first pair of touring boots. It was a relatively small amount of money (relative that is to the amounts of money many of us hose at skiing and equipment) very well spent.

Using his tackle he can provide you with an assessment of whether you are sensitive to ramp/delta, and if so by how much. In both boots I needed flat delta, so could act on that. 6mm toe shims under the toe of Beast bindings and a tiny one under Dynafit Superlite's, courtesy of Jon. Marker Tour are virtually flat anyway.

When demoing skis with standard bindings I am fighting constantly (as predicted by Andi) to get out of the back seat.

For my ploddy level of skiing it makes a significant difference. Skied a lot with an Aussie instructor a couple of years ago who was miles better than me, who had exactly the same experience.

I would recommend searching Andi out if possible as it could save a lot of time experimenting with different shims.
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@DB, I think i’m in the same boat as you. Quads seem to burn a lot more on Tech bindings than Alpine. Just got Shifts which seem to reduce the issue.
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BobinCH wrote:
@DB, I think i’m in the same boat as you. Quads seem to burn a lot more on Tech bindings than Alpine. Just got Shifts which seem to reduce the issue.

The Shifts delta is dependent on the boot, or the boot sole type/thickness to be precise. With my Atomic M-Tech alpine soled boots the delta is 2mm but with my Vulcans it's 8mm as the AFD has to be lowered to accomodate the touring sole thus increasing the delta. Any binding with a height adjustable AFD (ie, the Marker Royal family Tour/ID ranges) is the same whereas on bindings with height adjustable toe wings (ie Salomon Warden MNC 13/11) the delta is constant irrespective of the boot sole used.
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BobinCH wrote:
@DB, I think i’m in the same boat as you. Quads seem to burn a lot more on Tech bindings than Alpine. Just got Shifts which seem to reduce the issue.


For some reason I thought having 15mm higher heels would help keep me out of the backseat but it seems to be that the reverse is true. Similar to how high heels push a womans bottom out. Suspect my touring boots are much more upright than my alpine boots. It did feel as though I had to actively keep pressure on the alpine boots tongues otherwise I would get caught back and pressure the back of the boot.

As far as I am aware Andi McCann is teaching in France at this time of the year, if he was teaching here in Austria I'd probably drive over to see him.
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davidof wrote:
Try bending you knees.



Thought it was the ankles we should be concentrating on Little Angel


http://youtube.com/v/vBR2e_4kJlU
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@DB, you could try to do Andi's test at home in front of a mirror. Get a stack of shims (cardboard / business cards/ etc) and do single leg squats with your boots on adding shim material under your toe or heel to determine what amount of delta you prefer. If you start by putting a large amount of delta (say 20mm) under your heel you will most likely feel in the back seat when flexing and extending your ankle joint, and you should be able to see your hip drop back when you do squats. play around with it and you should be able to get fine tuned on a DIY basis.

Most people I teach with Alpine bindings that have had the Andi treatment end up with zero delta or at most +-2mm ... Touring bindings are slightly different in that personal preference on ramp for going uphill...

ps, I would also suggest checking your dorsiflexion as well. I don't really like the hip drop test as per your video. An alternative is to do a weighted and unweighted test using a phone app to measure the angles.

Unweighted - sit in a chair and hold phone against your shin, move your foot until the shin is perpendicular to the floor, then hold phone against the side of your foot and raise your toes as high as you can. this will give your dorsiflexion

Weighted - do the same standing and when your heel starts to come off the ground you will have your weighted dorsiflexion

"Normal" range is about 20deg unweighted and 35 weighted in my experience testing skiers. I am not a foot or boot guy though Smile
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@skimottaret,

Thanks, will give it a go.
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Considering Marker Alpinists to replace my Kingpins, the Alpinists are almost flat (2mm ramp) as opposed to the Kingpins 12mm with Scarpa Maestrales.
Question is: everyone is against excessive ramp ie 16mm Dynafit Speed Turn, but will a similar amount of less ramp/increased flatness cause problems?
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@KenX, I've never known anyone have an issue going to a flatter set-up and I'm certain you prefer it.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@spyderjon, Very Happy
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@KenX,
For some strange reason that I can't work out I'm more comfortable on my touring setup (Dynafit Rad 1's).
Suspect it's because they are what I ski the most. Might be worth renting a touring setup with a flatter setup to see how you get on with it.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@DB, I’ve got Speed Turns with 5mm toe shims on my lightweight touring set up and perfectly happy with that, hence my misgivings on going flatter.......
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Boots have varying amount of ramp angles too. With the help of spyderjon I shimmed my wife's touring bindings to raise the toe pin height to the same height as the heel pins, but she still has significantly more delta with her touring set up (Dynafit TLT6s) than her alpine set up (Atomic Redster WC).

I've found that the best way to look at combined boot + binding delta is to use an iphone spirit level app to measure the angle of the boot board inside the boot (measure when the boot is clipped in to the binding).

As for how to work out what's best? I've found that the best option is to use a pair of skis with Quiver Killer inserts so that you can experiment with different sized shims. Best to use a binding with low ramp angle for the experiments, as most people will end up with a low ramp angle and that will help you to avoid getting involved with huge shims.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Thu 16-01-20 14:24; edited 1 time in total
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KenX wrote:
will a similar amount of less ramp/increased flatness cause problems?


I use a fairly upright boot cuff (poor dorsiflexion in my ankles) and I've found that having the toe and heel pins at the same height doesn't work for me.

I have found that with my boots I need the heel pins 5mm higher than the toe pins to get the same boot board angle as in my alpine set up.
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@Oceanic,
Spirit level inside the boot is a great tip. I also have TLT6's, do you know what ramp angle they have?
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DB wrote:
@Oceanic,
Spirit level inside the boot is a great tip. I also have TLT6's, do you know what ramp angle they have?


Boot board angle measured inside the boot.

Size 24 Womens TLT6 - 10 degrees when mounted in a binding with the toe and heel pins the same distance from the topsheet.

Size 24 Atomic Redster WC - 5 degrees in a Salomon Warden Demo Binding.

Results may vary a bit as some skis have more curve in the top sheet than others.
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Presumably men's sizes would vary considerably? As much as 3-4 and 1-2 degrees less respectively? Just guessing......
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@Oceanic,
Thanks for the reply. Your answer seems to support a theory I have (which could be total ballcocks) that people (e.g. you KenX and I) with restricted ankle flex prefer a higher delta. Increasing the ankle flex (where possible) through stretching exercises is probably the best solution.

In comparison BobinCH appears to have great ankle flex (although only in one leg) but doesn't like a high delta.
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I admit to being a bit befuddled about all this. I can definitely feel the difference when I move from a flat set up to a ramped one. It definitely takes a little adjustment to get my weight in the right place. But... surely when we are skiing we are constantly moving our body to keep centre of mass in the right position, we don't stand statically on our skis. Our default hand position (e.g.) might need to move somewhat if we shift from ramp to flat but it is not as if we keep one position so we will just be moving within a range that we use anyway.

I think a lot of people fixate on this stuff when their skiing would benefit more from adapting. I find that a couple of hours on a different set up and I'm not noticing it anymore.

(This is separate from the issue of ankle flex etc which I totally buy needs adjusting for with appropriate heel lift, forward lean etc.)
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@jedster, I was pretty sceptical before I had a session with Andi McCann and CEM, but now I make every effort to setup my bindings to zero delta. Knowing that this is the setup which works with my neutral stance and movements explains why I never got on with a couple of pairs of skis I previously owned. I never liked them, never felt I skied them well, but couldn't understand why. Looking back it almost certainly wasn't the ski, but the particular bindings that they were mounted with (which were noticeably heel high).

A couple of years ago I was skiing some fairly deep snow which had fallen before Christmas in Les Arcs. Had a couple of pairs of Whitedots to try for the first time, one pair (R.108) had zero delta, the other (Directors) were heel high by 6mm IIRC. The skis themselves are not that different, but I felt horribly in the backseat on the Directors and as I was nursing a bad back it made for relatively unpleasant skiing. After a couple of hours I switched to the R.108s and the difference was marked. I felt significantly more balanced, and was able to protect my back far more easily than I could on the Directors.

I understand the point you make about adapting to a different setup, but I take the view that for a relatively minor bit of hassle in setting the bindings up to work with your natural stance you're going to avoid some unnecessary compromise to your movement patterns. Here I should credit spyderjon at The Piste Office who has been a source of great info for different bindings, as well as obtaining for me whatever shims and screw lengths I've needed to get the different bindings I use as close to zero delta as possible.
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Fair enough - I can see the logic. My experience was going from alpine bindings with - I think - quite a lot of ramp to relatively flat fritschi freerides. Funnily enough I found going flatter initially left me in the back seat. After adjusting, going back to the alpine bindings left me felt like all the weight was on the ball of my feet but that sensation faded quickly

just found this for toe and heel differentials for a load of AT bindings

https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/
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jedster wrote:


just found this for toe and heel differentials for a load of AT bindings

https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/


There's another useful list of heel toe differentials here...

https://skimo.co/pin-heights
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Is it possible to shim Marker Tour bindings to be flat with touring boots? Can I retro fit them?
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BertieG wrote:
Is it possible to shim Marker Tour bindings to be flat with touring boots? Can I retro fit them?

The Marker Tour range with a touring sole will probably have about 6mm of delta. The max thickness of a conventional toe shim that can be used is 2mm otherwise excess force would be applied to the frame arms and the rear of the frame won't engage on the heel base track.

In theory you could mount the binding on a full length toe high tapered riser plate so that the full length of the binding was supported. However I think that it would be impractical to make something of that length that was thin enough to avoid to much added height (it'd have to be 7mm at the front tapering down to 1mm at the rear), light enough, flexible enough and, most importantly, cost effective. I've made a number of bespoke carbon race plates for WC athletes and for the cost involved it's be cheaper for you to swap out the Tour binding for a low delta tech binding which are then a doddle to shim to level.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Well, certainly had a Eureka moment today........
Since buying Wailer 112's at the end of last season, it appeared that I just couldn't get on with them, always in the back seat and terrible thigh burn.....
They were mounted with Kingpins which I had on my previous skis (Faction CT 3.0) without issue, but the Factions were a pretty symmetrical twin-tip, where the Wailers are very directional, with a much wider shovel than tail and a fairly traditional mount point.
I ski centred, so obviously not driving the tips enough and hence the issue.
Measured the pin heights on the Kingpins and found approx 12mm difference from the pins at front and the holes in the heel fitting at rear (Scarpa Maestrales with I guess a fairly thick heel rubber)
Bit the bullet and bought a set of Marker Alpinist 9, 2 reasons:
1/ with only 2mm pin difference they should get me out of the back seat
2/ only 2 extra holes to drill in the ski, front pattern is the same and the 2 rearmost holes at the back could be used no problem
3/ ( Laughing ) about 1/3 of the weight!!!!!!!
Result today in around 6" of varied fresh snow: zero issues with being too flat which had been a concern and now the Wailer skis like it's meant to!!!
Centered again on the ski and noticed also when I landed a small drop that I didn't get thrown back and do a wheelie, which was always happening before Very Happy
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@KenX, Cool. You'll also notice that your Alpinists will mount your boot 6mm further forward on the ski than your Kingpins even though they share the same toe pattern.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@spyderjon, that'll help me get more centred as well, win-win Very Happy
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@spyderjon, thanks. Like @KenX, ever since I started using the Marker Tours and touring boots I felt something wasn’t quite right. Unfortunately the skis have been drilled twice and I’ll be lucky to find a third position that will fit.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@KenX, those are exactly the sensations I have if I ski with too much binding delta, although starting at a much smaller delta than the Kingpins. Not sure I’d be able to link any turns being 12mm heel high!
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I can't work out why most touring bindings have a heel-to-toe-piece-delta of 10mm + when most people prefer less delta.
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DB wrote:
I can't work out why most touring bindings have a heel-to-toe-piece-delta of 10mm + when most people prefer less delta.
I can only think its to help setup the binding for the uphill part of the day.

A ski I previously owned which I was never happy on, and sold after three weeks skiing on them, was fitted with Marker Dukes, which are 6mm heel high if you use alpine boots. That was enough for me to feel uncomfortably unbalanced on and never happy with my skiing. This was before I understood about delta angles, so I just assumed it was the ski coupled with my inability to ski off-piste. Switching to a different ski meant an immediate improvement in happiness, and the discovery that I could ski off piste a bit after all. It was only later that I understood it was the bindings I didn't get on with, not the skis.
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DB wrote:
I can't work out why most touring bindings have a heel-to-toe-piece-delta of 10mm + when most people prefer less delta.

The old Dynafits like the Comforts/Verticals and the early model Turns/Radicals had 15/16mm of delta! It was thought they were easier on the up as rhe delta added to the climbing bar heights. The soft flexing touring boots also skied like noodles so I suppose it was done to try to keep foward - but for some that's counter productive.
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@KenX, good result. Hopefully the good ski doctor can do something similar for me with his shims!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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@BobinCH, it's the main reason I went with the Alpinist, the Xenic would've been the same as my old Kingpins......
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Mind you, to get the same effect with shims, I would've had to fit a 10mm shim under the toe Shocked
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just a daft question , but why would a manufacturer make a binding with such a high delta if that is wrong for the great majority of users , seems they wouldn't want people to have to modify the original design for safety and operational reasons ??
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