Salomon Profil or Pilot Bindings?

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Greggb
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Salomon Profil or Pilot Bindings?

Postby Greggb » Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:47 am

Are Pilot bindings that much better than the Profil bindings? Seems to me after looking at both you probably couldnt tell the difference between the two performancewise?? I flexed a boot on both bindings and couldnt tell any difference. Only difference to me is since Pilot bindings have a moving mechanism its just something that could break.

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Pilot skate
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Postby E365 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:45 am

I don't have a good answer for you, since I haven't skied on Pilots yet. But, I've done searching and I find answers all across the board. Some say it's good for newer skiers, since they provide better ski control. While experience skiers won't know the difference. Other's say it's great for everyone.

That being said, I have brand new Atomic RS:11s, new Pilot bindings, and new Carbon Pro Pilot boots ready to go. I was willing the stay with the profil system, but they don't make Profil boots anymore (that I know of). My excellent Salomon 9.1 RS skate boots are 8 years old and on the verge of implosion :) So, whether I like it or not, my switch to Pilots is based soley on getting new boots.

Profil bindings are lighter, profil boots* are lighter, profil bindings are simpler and probably more reliable long-term. Heck, just look how fast Bjorn Daehlie was in the mid-90's on his Profil stuff!

*I got brand new Carbon Pro boots the other day and I was thinking they'd be super light. I weighed them and my old boots, only to find out the old Salomon 9.1 RS boots are 10 grams lighter than the "new" Carbon Pros

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Postby ChrisM » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:18 pm

The main thing I've noticed switching from Profil/Salomon 9.1 RS boots to Pilot/Salomon Carbon is the new combination has a much higher heel putting more weight on the ball of your foot. I'm not sure which I like best but it is quite an adjustment between the two.

Pilot is supposed to help keep tips from dragging; with correct technique I don't think it's much of a help.

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Postby E365 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:21 pm

ChrisM wrote:The main thing I've noticed switching from Profil/Salomon 9.1 RS boots to Pilot/Salomon Carbon is the new combination has a much higher heel putting more weight on the ball of your foot. I'm not sure which I like best but it is quite an adjustment between the two.


Very interesting. I bet it was on purpose to get your weight forward. There was an artice on fasterskier.com not too long ago about a prototype boot/binding that Ole Einar Bjoerdalen was testing. It had a very high heel.

EDIT:
http://www.fasterskier.com/news3629.html
http://www.vg.no/pub/vgart.hbs?artid=131639

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Postby E365 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 8:28 pm

I did my first Pilot ski today on my new Carbon Pros and I couldn't tell the difference vs. the profils. But, my test session was rather short.

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Postby ADS » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:14 pm

Initially when I switched from Profil to Pilot I couldn't tell a difference, but after skiing on the Pilot bindings for a couple months you can tell a difference. The point of the second mechanism on the Pilot bindings is for the ski snap back onto the bottom of the boot like clap skates in speed skating. Like the posters said before, this cause the tips to drag less often.

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Postby Montana » Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:24 am

Only difference to me is since Pilot bindings have a moving mechanism its just something that could break.


The profil bindings can break also. I've replaced a few of the bumpers (both classic and skate) when they broke off from the steel pin that holds them to the binding.
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Postby zzzz » Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:26 am

Profils are better. They do the same job in a simpler and more elegant way. Adding unnecessary complication is pure marketing (like the Ksyrupy wheels made by Mavic... after being bought by Salomon or something like that?) and really a backwards step engineering-wise.

There are conflicting claims on the reason for the spring. More commonly, as voiced above at least once, the spring is claimed to snap the ski back faster. This is true for my Centrix boots with Pilot bindings, and it is annoying as heck. I love my Centrix boots, but on Profil bindings. This is only because Fischer spaced the pins closer together than Salomon does on their own boots, giving the return spring a higher preload. (I have the old Salomon bumble bee boots too.) Others have said that the return is slower to allow the keep the ski tips from dragging if you return you ski with a more natural slightly toe down attitude (read in a Skipost article a few years ago by a Subaru team skier... "keep tips from draggin" also mentioned above.) In reality, because the Pilot boots all have protruding noses compared to the old Profil type skate boots, you must cut down the rubber bumper anyway. By varying the amount that you cut off of the bumper (and/or switch to softer bumpers) you can make the Profil binding return faster or slower than the Pilots, as well as make the skis hang with more or less drop than the Pilots.

The stability argument is entirely bogus. The stability of the ski while in the air can't be any issue with any reasonable binding. You are lifting the ski by the balance point, so there isn't any torque on the binding unless you have the tips buried in a snowbank. The rock skis I use have ancient old style Profils that have been thrashed and used beach skiing at the ocean. They have a lot of free play at the clamp, but even they are even not noticeably bad unless I'm in deep ungroomed snow. If you want to look into it anyway, the torsional resistance with the ski hanging is determined almost entirely by the front pin on the Pilot binding, just as in the Profil. You can test this yourself by trying to twist the boots sideways in the bindings (like releasing a clipless bike pedal)... no difference except with super worn out pin clamp mechanisms. Both have the same "free play compensation system" to address this (the clamp takes out all the play before the lever is down and locked over center).

The stability of the boot on the binding with the boot flat on the ski is determined by the front pin and the interlocking groove and tongue on the boot and plate. There's no difference between the bindings when the boot is on the ski.

Wear: Ralph's mention is the first that I've heard of those pins on the rubber bumpers breaking, but you can get those bumpers cheap or sometimes even free if you ask around. The sprung clip on the Pilot wears, sometimes starts to rattle, and the hook eventually wears thin where it contacts the boot pin and breaks off (within 2 years for the first pair that I had). This part can be replaced, but at greater expense than the rubber bumpers.

Weight: The Pilots were heavier. The new Pilot classic is supposed to be 5 g lighter... no big deal. I'm sure the bike weight weenies/skiers are thinking Ti bolts, etc.

Price: Profils win (unless you are Salomon).

The most annoying bit is the addition of the second bar on the boot. It packs with snow much easier than a single bar boot bottom, so I need to clear it much more frequently than my classic boots which use Profil bindings. This might even be a racing disadvantage in the new duathlon races, if they don't lay down carpet and it's snowing or soft snow. I'd cut out the second bar if I didn't still have skis with Pilot bindings (skis bought used).
Last edited by zzzz on Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby zzzz » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:05 am

ADS wrote:Initially when I switched from Profil to Pilot I couldn't tell a difference, but after skiing on the Pilot bindings for a couple months you can tell a difference. The point of the second mechanism on the Pilot bindings is for the ski snap back onto the bottom of the boot like clap skates in speed skating. Like the posters said before, this cause the tips to drag less often.


Picture the geometry. In any position that you can hold your foot when skating, the tip will be lower and more likely to drag if the ski is flat on the boot.

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Postby Montana » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:21 am

Wear: Ralph's mention is the first that I've heard of those pins on the rubber bumpers breaking...

It's not the pin that breaks. The pins are attached to the rubber bumper by going through a hole. It's where the rubber bumper wraps around the pin that is the weak spot in the profil binding. When you raise the heel of the boot the toe pushes against the rubber bumper. The bumper squishes and this stretches the part of the bumper that wraps around the pin. Over time, or perhaps after a fall where the foot was flexed forward over the top of the bumper, the rubber cracks and separates from the pin. The bumper will usually fall out the next time the boot is removed from the binding.

I'm not saying this is a serious problem. Working at Eagle River Nordic in the 90s I saw 1 or two broken bumpers in addition to one of my own. Last month my daughter broke one that had been in regular use since the mid 90s. So, while it can and sometimes does happen, it is not something one sees every day.

The bumpers are easy to replace. There are two stiffnesses of bumpers. They are labeled 105, soft for classic, and 115 for skating. I think there was an old form of crossover binding that was used on combi skis that had a 110 stiffness as well. The stiffness number is on the front face of the bumper where the boot will hide it when attached. It you can't see a number there your boot has either worn off the number or the bumper has been trimmed.[/quote]
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Postby MN Hoser » Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:26 am

I can't really feel the difference between the Profil and the Pilot and would prefer the simplicity of the Profil, but it doesn't really matter since all the modern boots out there are Pilot (or NNN). It's kind of like trying to ride 8 sp freewheels. At some point you'll have to modernize.

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Postby Greggb » Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:56 pm

You can still use Pilot boots with Profil bindings.
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Postby MN Hoser » Thu Jan 25, 2007 4:07 pm

It used to be (with the bumble bees anyway) that the spacing between the front pin and the front of the boot was different between the Pilot boots and the Profil boots. That was blamed for people bending pins on the Pilot boots when using them with Profil bindings.

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Postby nordic1 » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:39 pm

So, bottom line, will the Fischer centrix pilot boots work with the Profile bindings, or will the front pins bend as well? This would be for classic. I am fed up dealing with Pilot classic's freezing up.

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Postby zzzz » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:49 am

MN Hoser wrote:It used to be (with the bumble bees anyway) that the spacing between the front pin and the front of the boot was different between the Pilot boots and the Profil boots. That was blamed for people bending pins on the Pilot boots when using them with Profil bindings.

Jay


The reason the pins in the Pilot boots bent the first couple of years or so was because they were made of very soft (weak) steel. I bent the front pin plenty times in my PILOT bindings. I bent it back with very little force by putting them back in the binding and torquing it a bit. I can't come close to bending the pins with similar force in any of my other boots, including my second pair of bumblebee boots. It was clearly a case of insufficient material spec or defect in early model years of the bumblebee boots. If you think about it, all non-Pilot boots used in Profil bindings are exposed to the same forces and they are all the same diameter, etc.

The spacing of the pin back from the tip of the Pilot boots a few mm means that the bumper is compressed more (with very stiff return) if you don't modify it. Measure the difference between the pin and bumper contact points with Pilot vs your Profil classic boots and you'll have an idea how much to trim down the bumper. Or just trim it back gradually until the action/hang is the same or how you like it. All you need is a sharp knife and a few seconds to trim down the bumper.
Last edited by zzzz on Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.


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