Race skis selected at the factory

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enevala
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Postby enevala » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:32 am

MN Hoser wrote: I used to buy downhill lilft tickets and ski on my xc skis to get the kms in them. Once they were good, they were very good, even in cold conditions.


So what's a reasonable amount of time to "ski-in" a new or freshly ground base?

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Cloxxki
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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:12 pm

kuan wrote:Hey can a skate ski be faster up a hill and slower down? Relatively speaking of course.

I've given that a thought myself.
I guess up adn down are 2 extreme opposites in terms of what makes a ski fast there.

Up, when on the snow, skis endure on average more than the skiers full weight, aimed a bit towards or even full on the inner edges.
Going down tracks, both are getting exactly half of the skier's weight.

I suppose in both circumstances, for pure gliding, a ski would best have the most uniform pressure distribution along it's length.

Being the newbie that I am, my logic tells me : stiff ski for uphills, soft one for downhills.
And my own experience did show the soft Fisher rentals to fly down, but leaving my clumsy on the ups. Really no-one on the tracks had better glide than I did, with just a daily liquid wax coating. Scary fast, for my taste.

My own set of Atomic Race Skates, much stiffer, proved themselves easier to climb. Like they understand better what my legs want. I have to fight to get down a hill with them though, which is comforting in a way. The race Skates are only fast when I skate them hard. If I slack, they seem to dig in.

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Postby MN Hoser » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:29 am

[quote="enevala]
So what's a reasonable amount of time to "ski-in" a new or freshly ground base?[/quote]

If you're skiing the Pepsi Challenge in new snow, -4 F, skis that are 2 year's old will probably be a touch faster than 1 year old skis. Skis with 100 km in cold powder will probably be much faster than skis with 20 km. If you're racing in regroomed freeze-thaw at 20 F, it probably doesn't matter much if the skis are skied in. (Bench work is enough.) If you're skiiing in those conditions at about freezing, a newly ground ski might well be faster. You might say there's a touch of my opinion in here. ;)

Jay

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enevala
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Postby enevala » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:04 pm

MN Hoser wrote:If you're skiing the Pepsi Challenge in new snow, -4 F, skis that are 2 year's old will probably be a touch faster than 1 year old skis. Skis with 100 km in cold powder will probably be much faster than skis with 20 km. If you're racing in regroomed freeze-thaw at 20 F, it probably doesn't matter much if the skis are skied in. (Bench work is enough.) If you're skiiing in those conditions at about freezing, a newly ground ski might well be faster. You might say there's a touch of my opinion in here. ;)

Jay


Jay,

Thanks for the baseline--I'm sitting at about the "skis with 20 km" marker right now (new skis this season), nice to know I won't have to fight with them too much longer, they've been painfully slow in the cold for the last few days.

Eric

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Postby Cloxxki » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:18 pm

MN Hoser wrote:
If you're skiing the Pepsi Challenge in new snow, -4 F, skis that are 2 year's old will probably be a touch faster than 1 year old skis. Skis with 100 km in cold powder will probably be much faster than skis with 20 km. If you're racing in regroomed freeze-thaw at 20 F, it probably doesn't matter much if the skis are skied in. (Bench work is enough.) If you're skiiing in those conditions at about freezing, a newly ground ski might well be faster. You might say there's a touch of my opinion in here. ;)

Jay

I've been amazed reading such reports. That a ski gets faster with use. So counter-intuative.

Would this be because of :
- wear on the surface?
- being flexed during skiing, making breaking the rough insides a bit?
- being imperatively scraped, waxed and brushed every other 20-100km?
- number of temperature differences overcome
- something else, or all of the above?

Some counterpoint for my above factors :
-wear/scrape/brush : a good grind job should be able to do the same, from factory
-flex : put it in a flex machine, in the factory, do some reps
Last edited by Cloxxki on Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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enevala
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Postby enevala » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:48 pm

Cloxxki wrote:Would this be because of :
- wear on the surface?
- being flexed during skiing, making breaking the rough insides a bit?
- being imperatively scraped, waxed and brushed every other 20-100km?
- number of temperature differences overcome
- something else, or all of the above?



There are a number of issues here as I understand it:

1. Waxing/brushing/skiing conditions and opens the structure allowing for better wax absorption, as well as cleaning out the gunk and hairs in the base left over from the manufacturing process.

2. For cold snow in particular, the issue is base hardness--the more a ski is waxed with colder waxes, the harder it gets. In very cold temps (say -15 C or so) you want a hard shiny base w. no/low structure to overcome friction.

so....I think "some of the above"

Eric

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Postby MN Hoser » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:05 pm

I have a lot of educated guesses as to what makes a ski faster, but then someone like Zach will pop in and have some really good info that makes me look ignorant. So there's a learning curve and you need to talk to a lot of people over a number of years and decide how much to believe each person.

I think...

When you grind a ski and start to look at it under the microscope, I believe you'll find that the cutting action at some point becomes more of a ripping action. If you look at wood cut with a sharp blade very closely, it's not perfect and I think the same thing happens with grinding petex. That rough "microscopic structure" seems like it's a good thing in the upper 20's F and old snow, but a bad thing in cold snow or most types of new snow.

Scraping (lightly with a very sharp scraper) can get rid of some of the defects on the surface, kind of like shaving the peaks off of mountains, but it can't get at the valleys. Brushing can probably help some of the largest defects, but it seems skiing just slowly wears down the surface molecule by molecule.

This ought to be a good weekend for getting some km in those skis.

Jay

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Postby kuan » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:22 pm

I've heard stories of people sealing the bases with a hot iron and using rain-x in very cold weather. :D

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Postby kuan » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:31 am

I got the scoop on this. The skis are flexed for a particular athlete and then they send the skis to Europe and take them all up to the glacier for testing.

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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:13 am

kuan wrote:I got the scoop on this. The skis are flexed for a particular athlete and then they send the skis to Europe and take them all up to the glacier for testing.

Thanks!
And what I jut thought up: racers tend to use long skis (as those glide faster). Perhaps softly flexed 192's are rather rare. For consumers, they are rated 80kg and up. Few athletes, even biathletes, manage this.

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Postby MN Hoser » Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:04 pm

Men ski on 192 cm Fischers. Woman (as I remember) on 182 cm. I was told by some Fischer guy that the standard size simplfies waxing. I suppose athletes could hand around a fast pair too.

Jay

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Postby Cloxxki » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:33 pm

MN Hoser wrote:Men ski on 192 cm Fischers. Woman (as I remember) on 182 cm. I was told by some Fischer guy that the standard size simplfies waxing. I suppose athletes could hand around a fast pair too.

Jay

Doesn't the fast pair most only work at a given weight?

The Fischer rep I spoke said that ladies de use 187's (perhaps not always) but not in sprints. All men of all weights (60-80+kg) are on 192's.

He tried his best, but could not explain me the logic of having so much less body weight (deciding factor after all when fitting skis) per cm² for women than for men. Either women's skis are clumsily long, or men's are needlessly short. Seeing how well the ladies manage, I think the latter.
My lady friend, just under 5'5", did just fine on 182's, and she's a beginner. The kis tower well over her, while my skis poke me in the eyes when standing up.


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