i've enjoyed my pmb's in strap bindings but they've never seemed to fit in quite as well as my soft boots. on the flip side, my soft boots aren't the best for climbing or keeping dry on multiday trips especially w/ some stream crossing thrown in. this mod only has a few days on it but seems to be addressing these issues pretty well. on top of it they seem to skin a bit better due to a bit more lateral support (great on the traverse). i have a tiny bit of heel lift and think i may add an instep strap on the boot itself but otherwise the downhill performace has been great! similar feel to my favorite soft boots. nice and surfy. the next steps are shaving some weight and adding avalanche ejectability via a cable attached to the toe throw. although i am begining to see a few more evolutionary steps that may warrent a complete redesign. maybe its that it's just too fun to stop tinkering.
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 11:31 am Posts: 220 Location: ak
Thanks for posting, Brett.
Using a pmb like this erases my concerns about AT boot fit/comfort & no straps to fail!
If the instep strap was attached to and punched thru the boot like the clicker HB, releasability would still be possible. Maybe the strap would need extra support at the connection, like multiple rivets/ screws+washers. Perhaps a big velcro power strap across the ankle would be enough...Or a rachet strap could connect to the boot sole for greater strength?
I'm wondering how much that boot flexes in the binding. If you are in board mode on the carpet, can you reef on the boot enough that there is any concern it could pop out?
Nice tight tolerances, too, Brett. Looks to me like you nailed the design.
i made the heel block, heel bail, and heel cup. at first i had tried to attach everything to voile's heel block but the pivot of the bail was too far forward on the block and i was getting some heel lift i didn't like. remaking these pieces to fix that also let me simplify the attachment of the cup. every thing is easy enough to make and definitely reproducible. the problem is that i made the cup to fit an old pair of ride highbacks. i'm not sure if there is an industry standard on highback design. someth'n tell'n me no . especially look'n at some of the tech-y bindings i've been see'n lately.
for the instep i've got some scarpa micro adjust buckles i think i'll try. the boot's hinge rivets are looking like a good attachment point but they may need to be mounted at a different angle then that. i hate to add more parts but i guess some times ya gotta do what ya gotta do. the buckles seem pretty stout and after all, they are reliable enough for the AT and tele crowd, not to mention some of us splitboarders. if all fails a voile strap around the instep seems to work as well. and if i forget one, it still rides good enough to get me home.
boot flex is great. popping out isn't something i'm too worried about. if you're using a boot w/ a ridged rand, it'll be the same as any other plate binding. the height of the boot's sole is a bit much for my taste. i think 1 1/2" is probably about right. although it's no different than what people riding voile's mountain plates are used to. from what i've heard, you get used to it but i think there are a couple of ways to improve on this in a redo.
unlike most heel cups, this one needed to extend below the bottom plane of the boot sole in order to attach to the block. i cut it out of 1/8" aluminum plate using a template. after drilling out the holes, i bent it around a pipe w/ a 1 1/2" radius and it sprung back to the 2" radius i was looking for. so no fixture was needed. i did have to use a couple of c-clamps to keep things from slipping though. the cup itself is really strong. no flexing what so ever. actually a bit over kill if you ask me. could easily get away w/ drilling a few holes in it to lighten things up.
split- i was up there about a month ago. was only out w/ it for one lap but i wanted to take it out for its first test ride before going out to berthoud the next day. small world! say hi if ya see me out and about again.
chris- those are some thermo's i got off of cheapsnowboards.com. MUCH lighter than stock. comfier and warmer too. my size nine boots are now lighter than my fiancee's size six scarpa magics. and she didn't even get to frankenstein them together either.
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 10:10 pm Posts: 34 Location: hood river, or
That's a really great design. But, I need some clarification. By adding a high back, an instep strap and what looks like a power strap, you've basically made an AT boot in all but lateral flex. Can you not find a comfortable AT boot? Is the lateral flex of an AT boot too stiff? Do you really like that soft of a forward flex? Thanks.
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:18 pm Posts: 57 Location: Santa Cruz, CA
ok, Looks like it's time for a trip to the hardware store.. A few more questions..
What kind of plastic did you make the heel puck out of? Is that just heated & bent stainless for the heel bail, or did you order a spare bail from some crampons?
For the thermos, I need to find those.. Tried some Intuitions in my Nuptse's, but they really started to kill the walkability.. Something shorter and with that power strap would be really nice. With my clodhoppers, the weight savings would be a bit of a bonus. Also, if you're having a hardtime with the really soft forward flex, try ordering up some tongues from an AT boot.. I picked up some Garmont tongues, and it helps a lot for when the snow starts to turn to slush.
doc- it is getting closer to an AT boot however the ride is much different. it's just a lot closer to a soft boot feel which is what i prefer. hard boots, AT boots, and even some of the stiffer soft boots just don't do it for me. i like a bit more feel in my turns than i've found w/ those options thus far. all this is just fror the down hill portion of it. on the up these are great! they skin very well, boot up and scramble great, and i'd much rather try and tackle an approach in these than the AT boots. don't get me wrong though. it's by no means the perfect set up for me. needs some more work to get things dialed, slightly less forward flex included.
chris- the plastic is black delrin. easy to machine and very deminsionally stable. it's a treat to work w/. the bail is 3/16" stainless rod. i made it myself but didn't use heat. it's much easier to get a consistent bend when you do it cold. try the same technique i discribed for bending the heel cup. are you riding pmb's too? how do you like those garmont tongues? i don't know if it's for me but ya never know. have a pic?