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 Post subject: Splitboard Crampon debate - fixed vs floating
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:40 pm 
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I split this from the Whats new at Voile thread, seemed worthy of it's own thread and I didnt want to take away from the cool new things coming from Voile that karma surf posted.
http://talk.splitboard.com/talk/viewtop ... 7618#17618

Re the ski crampon debate…

Fixed ski crampons can be a real drag in my experience because they require you to lift the ski with each step and prohibit you from gliding the ski. You may as well boot-it with boot crampons and have less weight on your feet.

Design should follow function…not what's convenient to implement and produce. The Burton splitboard crampon was the best splitboard crampon design in my opinion. The crampons were lightweight, packable, free-floating, and allowed the use of the climbing bar (in free-floating mode). The only thing they were missing was a fixed option (for those that really want it) and a beveled edge.

SF and Kill,
Think about the dynamics of skinning for a sec. When you slide the ski forward, you barely have any weight on that ski...its all on the other (stationary) ski. So why do you need bite if it's not weighted…it shouldn't slip if there's no weight on it and its moving forward. Then when you stop moving it forward and switch your weight to this ski the crampon bites in. Repeat. With a fixed crampon you can't really glide the un-weighted ski…you have to lift it like I stated above. For the really, really sketchy spots this may have its advantages but if you are covering more than a few hundred yards you're going to quickly become tired of walking in your skis. Not to mention if it's that sketchy you should probably switch to boot crampons and ice axes.

The challenge with the Voile system is that to make a ski crampon that can be floating AND allows the use of the climbing bar at the same time it would require a decent amount of design and re-tooling work.

What would be really cool for splitboarders is some sort of ski crampon akin to theFritschi Diamir Axion 82 Crampon that swivels out of the way when you don't need it. Flip ‘em down when you need ‘em flip ‘em up when you don't. That would be sweet. Splitboarding is still a ways off from that though…

Regardless, it is nice to see the updated Voile crampon! The beveled edge will surely bite better. And the new attachment system seems cool too if you are not going to address the free-floating users.

Re packability. Will the new ones be smaller or flared out at so they can sit on top of each other instead of teeth to teeth?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 3:28 pm 
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Having input on both the ski and board crampons, I'm with the lock down crowd. Crampons are useless when the heel lifts are up and that is when I want them. The ski crampons are not liftable.
Burton crampons worked marginally well until I broke one. Did make it halfway up one hill with um. They were packable, a weakness of the Voile issue.
Hope ya didn't ride that new 178 at Alta, dj. It's still a little boney around here..

Image

BTW, the board crampon is interchangeable lock down or lift. Switch the lever .


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:29 pm 
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Yo Jive Stick! Great to see you around these parts. Can't wait to ride with you again this winter. 8)

Can you please clarify the below statement?

jive stick wrote:
Crampons are useless when the heel lifts are up...


Is that because of the design of the ski/board crampons you've used or somethings else?

For the splitboard crampons (voile), yes they are usless in free floating mode if you want to use the climbing bar because the crampon doesn't have anything to force it down into the snow.

Same goes for most all the ski crampons I've seen like these.

Naxo- Mounts to the binding rail (similar to the voile free-floating method that mounts to the slider track) and becomes ineffective if the user wants to use the climbing bar because the teeth cant reach the snow.
Image

As do the Fritschi Diamir Ski Crampons.
Image

The Dynafit ski crampon is different in that it mounts to the ski but it still creates a problem if the user wants to use the climbing bar because there is nothing to push the crampon down to make contact with the snow.
Image

In fact, I'm not aware of any ski crampon on the market that is designed like the burton splitboard crampon that allows the user to use the crampon effectively in the free-floating position while using the climbing bar. Are you?

So having noted that, when you say “the crampons are useless with the heel lifts upâ€Â


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:13 pm 
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moved from the other thread....

jive stick wrote:
I had a pair of those fritchi crampons and gave them away.
Much of the time when needing crampons a person is dealing with several inches of fresh over a refrozen base. Happy to ride that few inches ifn I can get up the hill.
In the case of dust on crust, a crampon lifted with the binding provides no purchase. The locked down crampon provides enough to get a person up the hill.
While testing the ski crampon (lock down) I skinned up a 35 degre slope having a few inches over a slick crust. They were not cutting into the crust and I eventually took a nasty slider. I lobbied for the ski version to be bigger and beefier, which didn't happen.
Suppose it's a safety issue with me.
Burton's design while free floating had only that as an advantage. They were flimsy and it was easily demonstrated in a single climb.
My tendancy in testing new gear is to beat the shit outta it. Tells a person if it's gonna work or not.
I'll take the minimal drag of the lock down over a slider on any day but I'm an American living in Utah and not a euro where the lifting crampons are popular and the reason you see thm on alpine touring bindings.



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:21 pm 
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jive stick wrote:
In the case of dust on crust, a crampon lifted with the binding provides no purchase.


I still think you are missing (or avoiding ?) my point, jive. None of the ski/board crampons you've used (to the best of my knowledge) had an effective design for using the crampon with the climbing bar. They all become "lifted" and essentially infective by design. Whereas with the burton splitboard crampon it was designed to accomplish this. With that design, the binding becomes locked down by the users weight. That's the beauty of it.

I will wholeheartedly agree the burton interface and crampon was under-built in terms of durability. No argument there.


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 Post subject: Re: Splitboard Crampon debate - fixed vs floating
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:39 pm 
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bcrider wrote:
SF and Kill,
Think about the dynamics of skinning for a sec. When you slide the ski forward, you barely have any weight on that ski...its all on the other (stationary) ski. So why do you need bite if it's not weighted…it shouldn't slip if there's no weight on it and its moving forward. Then when you stop moving it forward and switch your weight to this ski the crampon bites in. Repeat. With a fixed crampon you can't really glide the un-weighted ski…you have to lift it like I stated above. For the really, really sketchy spots this may have its advantages but if you are covering more than a few hundred yards you're going to quickly become tired of walking in your skis. Not to mention if it's that sketchy you should probably switch to boot crampons and ice axes.


Image

Hey BCR,

The problem in 'mobile mode' (Voile's term) is that the crampons barely reach the snow surface when the climbing bars are up. Unfortunately, whenever you need crampons, you are in steep enough terrain to need climbing bars. Ergo, mobile mode in the current system is kind of useless.

I learned this the hard way last season (my first real season) when on three different occasions I removed the planks from my feet, installed the crampons in mobile mode, and then struggled and slipped for a really long time before pulling off the planks again and reinstalling the crampons in fixed mode, which worked great. Talk about a f**king waste of energy! Now I just go ahead and put them on in fixed mode if I need them. And it would be really great if I could do that without pulling the planks off my feet.

You are right, I don't need bite for the plank that is sliding forward, just the stationary ski. However in mobile mode with the risers, there is no bite for the stationary ski, which utterly sucks.

In fixed mode you get plenty of bite for the stationary ski, but you do have to glide the crampon forward over the snow. But I find that on firm snow the unweighted ski actually glides forward pretty easily over the snow surface and so it is not as if I have to lift the ski for the entire step.

I have absolutely no problem with redesigning the crampon to work well in mobile mode. For starters, they could just make the front teeth a little longer so they would get a good bite when the riser bars are up. I don't know if there is a way to make the installation easier, though.

It seems like Karma Surf's proposal for a permanently fixed crampon is the easiest way to get from an annoying system to a really functional, although perhaps not perfect system.

The features you describe, a packable crampon with a functioning mobile mode and easy installation would be ideal goals if they are going for a complete resdesign. If that's the case, I'd also suggest that they try to lighten that brute up a little as well.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:45 pm 
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PS I'm very glad to have the legendary jive stick on my end of the debate. At least it encourages me that I'm not a total numbskull!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:55 pm 
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I didn't miss the point. If the climbing bar is up there is little weight on the crampon, even the Burton crampon. It is weighted providing purchase when you weight that foot. At the same time the drag is minimized with each step.
My point is the drag is minimal compared to the increased confidence in ascent. It may be a facter if ascending for hours with crampon icing, skin icing, drag etc combined to wear a person down but, it ain't in cold refrozen snow under a few inches of fresh. It is much ado about nothin.
The crampon is bulky and doesn't pack well. It does the job it's supposed to do.
PS I wished you'da left the pic with the other thread.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:14 pm 
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SanFrantastico wrote:
Hey BCR,
The problem in 'mobile mode' (Voile's term) is that the crampons barely reach the snow surface when the climbing bars are up. Unfortunately, whenever you need crampons, you are in steep enough terrain to need climbing bars. Ergo, mobile mode in the current system is kind of useless…

…in mobile mode with the risers, there is no bite for the stationary ski, which utterly sucks.


No kidding! Are you even reading my posts?! It's "useless" by DESIGN not by function.

With your logic you're essentially saying that it's ok to have poor design lead function. I just don't agree with that. My argument is to design it right so it functions right. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:18 pm 
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jive stick wrote:
I didn't miss the point. If the climbing bar is up there is little weight on the crampon, even the Burton crampon. It is weighted providing purchase when you weight that foot. At the same time the drag is minimized with each step.
My point is the drag is minimal compared to the increased confidence in ascent. It may be a facter if ascending for hours with crampon icing, skin icing, drag etc combined to wear a person down but, it ain't in cold refrozen snow under a few inches of fresh. It is much ado about nothin.
The crampon is bulky and doesn't pack well. It does the job it's supposed to do.
PS I wished you'da left the pic with the other thread.


Ok, thanks for clarifying your point. If there is little weight on the crampon, where does the rest of the weight go? To the other ski? To the tip and tail, not over the crampon? Maybe the conditions in which we are both using them plays a factor as well. Regardless, I respect your opinion and appreciate your input. Let's agree to disagree and not see 100% eye to eye. That's ok!

I do agree that a fixed option has some advantage in those really sketchy situations, I just don't like traveling very far that way. It's funny though…I haven't used ski crampons in two seasons (since the burton went to the voile interface) so I don't know why I really even care. It's taught me to become a better skinner or resort to boot crampons sooner.

Re your picture. Please Feel free to post it again in the other thread or I can do it for you too if you like.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:27 pm 
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Simple solution, add a climbing bar to the crampon so that it recieves pressure to dig in when the climbing bar on the board is up. Simply do the geometry to figure out the correct height of the climbing bar for the crampon. We are dealing with a right triangle here it dosen't get much easier.
Yes this means that you would have to raise and lower a total of four climbing bars but it will give you the functionality of a loose crampon and make it work where only a fixed crampon would.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:07 pm 
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Hooweee! I have never used the splitboard crampon, but do need to get a set for this season. I would tentativly put myself on the fixed crampon side of this issue, seems the most logical to me, ESPECIALLY if you wouldn't have to remove the slider track to install it. I only find the need for a crampon if gets steeper and icy, and typically I switch out to a boot crampon when that happens, but I hate to loose the time involved when I feel I should still be able to be skinning. Usually for me it will be a steep section that rolls over to more mellow terrain, and if I could just skin it w/ a crampon I would be a happy man. If it is continiously steep and icy, no problem, just boot it with boot crampons. Make me think otherwise, if you can!!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:07 pm 
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Nice disucussion that we're sharing in here. Cool format Chris, thanks for the outstanding site! 8)

Intitially, I totally understand that different snowpacks, locations, skill sets etc. all play a roll in personal use of the crampons. That is why we need to have options. We currently have a mobile/fixed crampon that is a nice compromise at pleasing both sides of the equation. It has worked well enough to get me to the top of any summit that I needed to get to, and though used only once last season, I carried them with me numerous times. I think the current crampons work great, offering a worthy product at an excellent price.

I do have to say that personally I'm with Jon and the others on the fixed side of the issue though :wink:

Having a floating crampon is ideal for someone new to the experience of skinning, because it can inspire confidence on terrain that a beginner feels intimidated skinning. As personal skills increase, splitboarders use crampons less frequently, and when they are used, they are used under more intense conditions. BCR, you yourself stated that you haven't used crampons on the split in 2 years. I personally used them only one time last season. It is precisely during these conditions that most people want a secure (fixed) purchase with every step. In this environment I want something simple, minimal, lightweight, and completely secure (fixed). When the conditions get nasty, I want teeth that bite back.

I feel that the new crampons available for skis are exactly what I'd personally like to see in a new split crampon- simple, light, rugged as hell, and inexpensive! I don't like crampon drag either, but our skinning skills have increased, and admittedly, neither of us use them much anymore...

Cool discussion I must say again, I hope many others chime in. It also isn't about what I personally want, but it's really about making the best tools we can for all you splitters out there. Your opinions matter! Speak up and be heard! 8)


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