Author Topic: FreeFlex binding question  (Read 401 times)

Svend

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FreeFlex binding question
« on: May 07, 2008, 08:44:24 am »
Hi All!

Does anyone know what the function of the screw/cam thing is in the middle of the FreeFlex binding? Specifically, there are two connector pieces which join the toe and heel pieces, and where they meet is a red plate with a large screw or cam in the center, of about 3/4 inch diameter, slotted for a standard screwdriver.  This screw sits in an elongated slot, and there are heavy springs on either side.  On the top surface of the screw is a small dimple, and at the moment it's facing forward.  So my binding wizards...what the heck is it for? It sure doesn't look like a Railflex adjuster.  I've heard mention that this screw locks the flex of the binding...is this true?

I wish I could insert a picture here, but last time I tried that (I wanted to show off my very fine espresso machine, and receive Oooohs and Aaaahs of admiration of all who gazed upon it's gleaming splendor 8)) but I couldn't get the pic to paste in.  I'm not a complete twit  :P when it comes to computers (at other things I am, but we won't air that laundry), so what am I doing wrong?

BR,

Svend

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jim-ratliff

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 09:25:31 am »
I know what you are talking about, even without the picture.? Pretty standard binding on all of the skis with the CP13 carve plate.
However, the correct terminology is "FreeFlex+".? Tyrolia also still makes the basic "FreeFlex" binding minus the spring doo-dad.

Rebound dampening is what I have heard, similar to the piston on Marker bindings.? I guess that for some really aggressive skiers, when they release out of a turn the ski is so arced that when it rebounds it actually counterflexes and then oscillates for a bit.? If the ski or binding can dampen or eliminate those oscillations then the ski will be ready to engage the snow more smoothly.? I know that magazines have been saying that it it very noticeable with the Marker Piston for several years.  See the following link and then compare the features of the FreeFlex vs. the FreeFlex+ for an idea of what they feel the engaged spring does.

http://www.tyrolia.com/index.php?id=sf_freeflex_plus

Have heard that skiing with the springs engaged does stiffen the sk under the boot, but shouldn't eliminate the flex.? Certainly acceptable and maybe even preferable for most to ski with the springs unengaged.? Does not at all affect the binding settings or forward pressure.? That is all controlled by a bar under the springs that connects the toe and heel directly to each other.

And you ask because?? Has your wife tried the SuperShapes with the arrow pointer turned to the heel?? I wouldn't expect it to make enough difference to turn her skis into "easy skidders".

As far as pictures, I don't know how to insert them either.? Inserting a URL that points to a picture is the best that I've seen work, even though the setup of the forum seems to indicate that you should be able to imbed pictures.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 10:06:01 am by jim-ratliff »
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Svend

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2008, 10:50:07 am »
Hey Jim, I'm asking because I'm curious.  Like Winnie the Pooh said..."That buzzing sound means something..." and I want to find out what it means.  I'm kinda inquisitive that way.   ???

Also, I want to make sure that, whatever the lock does, that it's in the right position, and doesn't give some unwanted consequences or degrade performance.

So, with the dimple on the screw facing forward, does that mean the FreeFlex is engaged or disengaged? I checked the Tyrolia tech manual, and there was no mention of the correct position.

jim-ratliff

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2008, 11:41:45 am »
OK, curious is good.? That buzzing sound you are hearing is the FreeFlex+ springs zinging in the snow.
Warning.? When listening to my explanations my sons eyes frequently glaze over, usually quickly followed with the response that "we didn't ask how the universe works, Dad, it was a yes/no question."

In my opinion, either position is correct.

The dimple facing forward is the 'spring engaged' position (and the screw itself moves forward slightly under the pressure).
The dimple facing rearward is the 'spring disengaged' position, and the freeflex+ behaves like the standard freeflex.

If you decide to take the bindings off the carve plate, make sure that you turn it to the "spring disengaged" position first.

I plan to ski mine in the spring disengaged position all of the time.? I am neither competing, doing extremely tight turns, nor skiing fast in bumps or places that might create extreme counter-flex.? I might engage it if I wind up skiing on a really icy day and decide I want the ski to be slightly stiffer under the boot (won't change flex anywhere else).

I haven't seen anything to support this, but makes sense to me that the spring should be disengaged off-season, no reason to have the spring pushing the bindings against the mounting screws all the time?


Actually the Free-Flex part of the name has to do with the fact that the binding setup allows the heel to float and thus not interfere with the flex of the ski.? The two pieces of the carve plate are each mounted with 4 screws, two of which are in slots.? As the ski arcs, the slotted screws allow the plate to slide a bit so as to not block the flex.? The binding mounting positions are fixed on the plates and there is a metal connector between the toe binding and the heel, and the heel is set up so that the connecting bar can force it to slide forward/backward a bit as the ski flexes (even though the binding is solidly mounted to the plate).? In this way, the boot in the binding never interferes with the flex of the ski, hence the free-flex description.? FWIW, the rail flex is similar, but both toe and heel are allowed to move.? Railflex plate mounting is similar to the CP13 mounting, 4 screws in each piece, 2 of which slide in slots.


« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 12:32:25 pm by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2008, 07:01:20 pm »
Er, could you be more specific?  (much scratching of scalp...rubbing of glazed eyes....) Please elaborate more on spring potential energy, flex index effects on the ski, rebound response time, and length (to the nearest micrometer) of binding deflection with the spring engaged and disengaged.  ;D ;D ;D

Just Joking!!! Awesome reply....thanks Jim! And no, my eyes didn't glaze over reading your reply.  On the contrary, I'm a techie, science kinda guy, and detailed answers that really get to the meat of the question are just what get my attention piqued. 

OK...so, dimple forward = springs engaged = better rebound but at the expense of stiffer flex...have I got that right? I'm curious, have you tried skiing with and without the springs engaged? If so, did you notice any difference? Which was better for everyday recreational skiing? I would guess you're going to say with the spring disengaged, from the way you ski them.

Cheers,

Svend

jim-ratliff

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2008, 08:20:57 pm »
I would not say "better rebound" with spring engaged, I would say probably a bit stiffer but more controlled rebound, sort of like a shock absorber tries to stop the springs on a car from oscillating.

Haven't skied them yet, but will play with it some.? My previous i.SL Chips came with the Free-Flex, and then the Free-Flex+ came on my SuperShape Magnums so I did some of what you are doing; tried to understand what the spring added to the overall capability of the bindings, combined with a bit of what I had heard other places.? I will start off skiing in the disengaged position and then play from there.

I think Gary and Ron have/had the same bindings on their SuperShapes, maybe they've experimented some with the engaged and disengaged position.

Quote from: Jim
BTW, I almost peed myself at your "jim got there first" post in the other thread.  wonderful

« Last Edit: May 07, 2008, 08:26:36 pm by jim-ratliff »
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Svend

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2008, 05:21:22 am »
Good one...maybe Gary and Ron will drop in here and enlighten us.

BR,

Svend

Gary

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2008, 09:35:09 am »
The board is easier to arc or bend in one position and more firm in the other.....

It works!

G

Svend

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Re: FreeFlex binding question
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2008, 10:20:48 am »
Gotcha...thanks guys.  We'll try it in both positions and see how much effect it has on the Missus SS Speeds.  Will report back...eventually.  Sigh....I do miss the snow....

Cheers,

Svend