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Thread: XC gear

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Default XC gear

    What local shops sell XC gear?

    Thanks
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    Member AlpineEarl's Avatar
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    I was just checking out some new Fischer's in REI this weekend. They had a bunch of new, completely unnecessary gear I found it hard not to buy. Where is "local" to you?

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Barneys and AMH are good places to start.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Barneys and AMH are good places to start.
    Brian, do they have back country equipment as well? I have been wanting to make the jump and get some gear for predator hunting in the winter. I want some to use up in the talkeetnas and some for the the woods in the valley. My problem is I have no idea what would work for those places and I am almost certain that one set would not cover both places. The only thing I am absolutely certain about is that Skiing is ridiculously expensive!!

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    For us cheap bass-turds, how's the selection at play it again sports?

    I need new XC boots, and if they aren't classic 3-pin, I'll need matching mounts to put on my older set of XC skiis. Got a new XC ski partner for this winter, so I'm getting geared up to put some kilometers on (and hopefully shed some kilograms off at the same time) around the Soldotna area ski trails.

    Where's "Barneys"?
    Winter is Coming...

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    Mama wants a ski partner this winter. She wants to ski into a couple of the cabins and yurts with the babies so I have to learn to XC. It does sound like more fun than a treadmill.
    Thanks for the help. I'll check Barney's and AMH.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    For us cheap bass-turds, how's the selection at play it again sports?

    I need new XC boots, and if they aren't classic 3-pin, I'll need matching mounts to put on my older set of XC skiis. Got a new XC ski partner for this winter, so I'm getting geared up to put some kilometers on (and hopefully shed some kilograms off at the same time) around the Soldotna area ski trails.

    Where's "Barneys"?
    Barney's is in Anchorage off of N. Lights. Down in Soldotna, you can check out Beamuns on the Kenai Spur Highway or I think it is All Weather Sports a couple miles out of town toward Sterling.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Beamuns is high end, probably just 1 notch below Wilderness Way. I was thinking "cheap". Never heard of "All Weather Sports". Is that new?
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Beamuns is high end, probably just 1 notch below Wilderness Way. I was thinking "cheap". Never heard of "All Weather Sports". Is that new?
    Oops, sorry. Got my locations mixed up. All Weather sports is in Fairbanks, not Soldotna. Wilderness Way was the place I was thinking of. Not sure of any other places that would get you cheaper prices.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Ok. BTW, Wilderness Way moved into the building by Safeway where Trustworthy Hardware used to be. Much better location for them, but they still only deal in the high end stuff.

    I go through Anchorage often enough that dropping in to pick up a pair of boots should be easy.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Maybe some of you Nordic versed guys can help me out here. I've got a decent pair of properly sized XC skiis and poles. The skiis have classic 3-pin toe bindings. The selection of boots compatible with the old 3-pin style comes back with about two models.

    So, I've been looking at the new bindings to replace the old style. Of course there are now a multitude of types and I'm not really sure which to seriously consider.

    These are the types I find listed at online retailers...

    SNS
    NNN-BC
    NNN-T3
    NNN-NIS

    For a casual, slot-track Nordic skier, is there one style that would be preferable over the others?
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post


    For a casual, slot-track Nordic skier, is there one style that would be preferable over the others?
    You may get more hits with a new thread. I'd really like to know the answer as well as I don't know squat about XC skiing. I'm half tempted to use my tele gear, though the boots suck at distance.
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    Perhaps, we'll see if anyone chimes in within a reasonable time frame.

    The more Googling I do, the more it looks like the NNN-BC is the more popular binding and boot style.
    Winter is Coming...

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Maybe some of you Nordic versed guys can help me out here. I've got a decent pair of properly sized XC skiis and poles. The skiis have classic 3-pin toe bindings. The selection of boots compatible with the old 3-pin style comes back with about two models.

    So, I've been looking at the new bindings to replace the old style. Of course there are now a multitude of types and I'm not really sure which to seriously consider.

    These are the types I find listed at online retailers...

    SNS
    NNN-BC
    NNN-T3
    NNN-NIS

    For a casual, slot-track Nordic skier, is there one style that would be preferable over the others?
    The most important thing is to find a boot that fits your foot the best. Much more than a hiking boot, a poor fitting ski boot can cause serious problems with your foot. They are typically much stiffer than a hiking boot and have a lot less "give" in them so you want them to fit well from the start. Once you find a good fit, then pick a binding that will fit that boot. My personal preference is for Solomon boots and the SNS binding system, but that is mostly because I started out that way and have a lot of skis set up for those bindings and it would get really expensive to re-fit if I changed for whatever reason.

    The SNS and NNN binding systems don't fit the same boots, so make sure you match those up. I don't know the details about the specific binding models you listed. I prefer manual bindings, ones you have to physically close/open to instert/remove your boot. The automatic bindings just seem to me to be a little less durable with more things to go wrong. I know a lot of people use them and I haven't really heard of any problems, it is just a personal preference. If you have plans to use the skis for any backcountry skiing, look for ones that are a little more durable. Usually, the guys are whatever shop you go to can help pick out the best ones.

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    More Googling created more questions...

    There are "SNS", "SNS Profil", and "SNS Pilot Sport" all listed as if they are different binding styles. So, if you pick up a boot that says, "SNS Pilot 2" bindings, does one need to look for the "SNS Pilot Sport" bindings, or do all the SNS bindings work the same?
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    More Googling created more questions...

    There are "SNS", "SNS Profil", and "SNS Pilot Sport" all listed as if they are different binding styles. So, if you pick up a boot that says, "SNS Pilot 2" bindings, does one need to look for the "SNS Pilot Sport" bindings, or do all the SNS bindings work the same?
    I guess I haven't looked for bindings in a few years. I am not up on all of the specific models available out there. Here is what little I know about what you are asking. The "pilot" system described a binding system that had two horizontal pins to lock in the ski boots, one at the toe and one about 1/3 of the distance back from the toe that was on a spring mechanizm. This second pin added a lot of control of the ski since you had more than a single point of contact. It also helped to hold the ski closer to the bottom of the boot so it didn't "flop" around as much. Initially, the pilot system was only for skate skiing, but they have expanded it to include classic skiing. I really like them on skate skis, but haven't tried them on classic so can't speak to their effectiveness. As far as specific differences in models of the pilot bindings, I can only guess they are essentially different levels depending on your desires. As with most things, the differences are probably just weight and/or size/bulk. You would be best off asking the guys at the ski shop if there are any specific things to watch for. What I would expect is that there are different binding models for classic and skate since you need the bindings to allow for different types of movement of the foot in relation to the ski. Skate skiing requires the foot to stay in contact with the ski a lot more for the lateral control while classic (traditional parallel) skiing requires that it lets your foot flex away from the ski much easier to allow for the kick part of the stride. It used to be simple with just a different density of rubber plug in the front of the binding depending on skate/classic, but that system has really changed now.

    Bottom line, unless someone else jumps in here with the most current information, I would talk with the ski shop guys to make sure you get the updates on the most recent changes.

    Wish I could have been of more help here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    Barney's is in Anchorage off of N. Lights. Down in Soldotna, you can check out Beamuns on the Kenai Spur Highway or I think it is All Weather Sports a couple miles out of town toward Sterling.
    Barney's is a great company. I got my first XC skis there when I was a kid in the 70's. I also got my last equipment there, sometime around 89 or 90. Those were Ffischer medium touring skis and Alpina boots. Those boots just won't wear out. They still look almost new. I haven't skied as much as I'd like to, but still many hours and I've never had any footwear of any kind hold up like those Alpina boots. They just fit my feet better and better too. I recently inherited some lighter weight skis from a coworker. I took off the NNN bindings that were on them and installed three pin bindings to fit my old boots. I have a feeling those boots are going to hold up longer than I am!

    What about that Ski and Bicycle shop in Girdwood? The guy who started that business bought the building from a friend of mine who ran a restaurant there and he seems like a decent sort....Louis
    Louis Knapp

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Jim is still plugging along. He doesn't have much of a selection.

    The new bike trails on the mountain provided him with a bit more "motivation". Hopefullyit will work out well for him.
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  19. #19
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Some good binding descriptions I've found

    From an open-source Wiki article (hence, there are no copyright issues)...


    There are three common Nordic binding systems:
    • NNN (New Nordic Norm), where a bar in the toe of the shoe is hooked into a catch in the binding. Also exists in the more rugged BC (Back Country) variant. Two small ridges run along the binding, corresponding with slits in the boot. There have been several versions of NNN, and the first NNN version is not compatible with current designs.
    • NIS (Nordic Integrated System) is the latest incarnation of NNN, unveiled in January 2005; The new system features integrated binding plate on the top of the ski to which the bindings attach, allowing easy installation of bindings and even adjusting them on-the-fly depending on weather and snow conditions. NIS bindings and boots are fully compatible with NNN boots and bindings, and NIS skis allow installation of non-NIS bindings.
    • SNS (Salomon Nordic System) looks very similar to NNN binding, except it has one large ridge and the bar is narrower. Three variants exist: Profil, the standard model; Pilot, specific for either skate-style or classic-style cross-country skiing, and the "X-Adventure" variant for backcountry skiing. While Pilot skate boots can be used with a normal Profil binding, Profil boots cannot be used with Pilot skate setups. Because of its ease of use it is quite common, though in some places NNN equipment is easier to come by and hence used more. Previous SNS systems exist with a loop protruding from the front of the boot rather than a bar flush with the front, and these are obsolete and no longer available.
    • 75 mm (Rottefella, Nordic Norm, 3-pin) This is the original, classic system found on cross country skis. These bindings, once the standard, are no longer as popular as they were but still hold a significant share of the market for mid-weight touring setups with relatively heavy boots, as typically used for hut-to-hut touring in Norway. In this system the binding has three small pins that stick up. The toe of the boot has three holes that line up with the pins. The boot is then clamped down by a bail. Despite the decreasing use of the 3 pin "rat trap" ("rottefella" in Norwegian) binding in lighter cross country, the characteristic "duckbill" toe it uses is still assumed in the design of heavier cable bindings, and 75 mm boots are still widely available, especially for telemark technique and more rugged touring. A similar system with a 50 mm "duckbill" once existed for lighter setups, but is obsolete and no longer available. Characteristically, the 75 mm wide binding is chiral, having left and right foot orientations, which the 50 mm and other bindings don't distinguish. The 50 mm was the binding of choice for racing, prior to the adoption of skate ski racing, in the early 1970s. The 50 mm was also designated according to the thickness of the "duckbill" having either 7 mm or 1113 mm thick soles hence these bindings often had two notches in the bail to clamp boots with different sole thicknesses. Another 50 mm characteristic, distinct from the 75 mm, and still seen in present day 75 mm boots, was the absence of a cable groove in the heel.
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  20. #20
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    For skiing on groomed trails, the NNN is pretty much the standard, though there are still quite a few sns bindings out there. I standardized on NNN for our family, With three kids constantly going through gear, it was nice to make sure they had boots that would be compatable with all the skis we have. There are wider beefier NNN's for telemarking. As far as NNN1 vs NNNII, as far as I can tell the only change is in the heal of the binding, and I use my NNN II boots in my old NNN I bindings.

    Other than a new pair of combi boots for myself, I've gone the used route with Play it again, and various ski swaps in town. You can get an older pair of still sound skis and bindings for $40-50, vs $300-500 for new skis and bindings. I have a pair of Kniessels racing skis that must be 40 years old. I use them on groomed trails, and ungroomed trails. Yes, they aren't as stable as a touring ski, and I have to wax them, but they keep on keeping on.

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