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 Post subject: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:56 pm 
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Sorry for the mediocre photo but spotted this outside a chalet at Bridger Bowl recently. Looks like something a Bridger Ridge hippie with access to a CNC mill could put together with a set of Spark R&D Blazes. Your thoughts?

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:05 pm 
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mmmm. Ive got the munchies for a swiss chees sandwich

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:47 am 
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aksltxlt wrote:
mmmm. Ive got the munchies for a swiss chees sandwich


Holy.

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:40 am 
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I'm pretty sure you just voided your warranty...

Talk about a weight weenie.

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:42 am 
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ehcarley wrote:
I'm pretty sure you just voided your warranty...

Talk about a weight weenie.


Ditto!

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:15 am 
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ehcarley wrote:
Talk about a weight weenie.


Hey, I represent that statement!

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:00 am 
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Will, correct me if I am way off here, but I believe that the Blazes get their strength and stiffness from the fact that they do not have holes in the deck surface. Not having holes allows the surface of the plate to carry the stresses. While radical use of lightening holes could drop an a little weight (and it will not drop that much) it likely results in big loss in both stiffness and strength. Holes like this will also contribute to icing up of the binding, adding more weight, and needing clearing during transitions.
A better approach for weight weenies (and I admit, I am afflicted with that condition) would be to spend some money and replace all machine screws with titanium.

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:55 am 
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I'm not an engineer so take this with a grain of salt, but isn't that what they were doing with climbing hexes for the longest and it didn't compromise the structural integrity.


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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:12 am 
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Waaaay different kinds of stresses are put on climbing gear and can't really be compared to bindings. There is definitely a compromise in strength when bases are "lightened" like this one. I would imagine they will work just fine if you are a smaller guy like me or if they are being used in a very conservative matter. I would think those would be sick on a light as hell pow deck like a Sentury Sync or a board with similar characteristics. I could definitely see some great applications for this binder! :thumpsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:05 am 
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that's a burner highback on there..anyone notice?

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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Those bindings look familiar...Sam isn't that your board?


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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:35 pm 
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samh wrote:
Your thoughts?


A weight war between Spark and Karakoram is silly if durability is ever compromised. Satisfy the dudes who are hard on their gear before the weight weenies. Durability is the golden rule. Especially considering where we take this stuff...blah blah blah


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 Post subject: Re: Hippie Engineers, CNC Mill, and Spark R&D Binders
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 9:44 pm 
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Bikes went through a phase in the late 80s and early 90s where there were many "manufacturers" making extremely light weight CNC parts. Many of these parts were ridiculously light, flexible, and weak. Things like cranksets broke quite often. Of course, many of these "manufacturers" were garage operations, without much sensible engineering going on. Now there are even lighter bike parts, but most of them are also much stronger and stiffer due to things like FEA, actual engineering, and R and D.
It looks like Spark is not really having problems with breakage of the foundation of their bindings: the baseplate and heel loop. But the straps are problematic. As far as I know the straps are outsourced, so they are probably just in the learning curve of producing a reliable design, and finding a reliable manufacturer to produce that design up to spec. Remember, until this year, Spark used Bent Metal parts. It is clear to me that strong straps, with solid hardware, can be made very light-but there will be a bit of a learning curve in getting both the design and the manufacturing of these parts just right. This is Sparks first year of building straps, Will is a pretty sharp guy, and I expect he will address the problems and get it right very soon. Burton had a lot of straps breaking for a long time...
A weight war is a good thing as far as I am concerned, as I fully believe it is possible to make high performance bindings light, strong, and stiff (but not cheaply). There will be a bit of a learning curve at the cutting edge of weight and performance for awhile, this is normal for all high performance sporting goods.
I am especially interested to see how Karakoram reduces weight, as their system appears to rely on a lot of steel parts, and there is no simple way to get around the weight handicap of steel.

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