NNN BC Binding Slop

This is the World Famous TelemarkTalk / TelemarkTips Forum, by far the most dynamic telemark and backcountry skiing discussion board on the world wide web. We have fun here, come on in and be a part of it.
User avatar
WIPP3RMANN
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:39 pm

NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by WIPP3RMANN » Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:47 pm

Hi guys, long-time lurker, first-time poster here.

I have come to notice that my NNN BC Rotefella Magnum bindings have developed quite a bit of side to side slop when the boot is attached. It drives me insane. I hate slop and it's not a small amount!

Here is a link to a video I made illustrating the problem:

My current workaround is wrapping the bar on the boot with a bit of duct tape, which works a bit, but is far from ideal.

I'm an xcD kind of skier. I like making turns and I am constantly so frustrated by the lousy performance of these bindings.

Are other bindings better? Is this just what we're stuck with?
I used to use 3 pin, but that was even worse. My skiing improved drastically when I switched to the relatively stiffer NNN BC system, but there still appear to be shortcomings.

All thoughts are appreciated.

User avatar
bgregoire
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by bgregoire » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:52 pm

Looks like you are dowhilling on skinnies. Personnally, I have had better luck with that using 3pins and stout leathers.

I don't think that toe bar slop is the true source of your dissatisfaction. Have you considered a more downhill oriented ski? What 3pin binding combination have you tried? I feel I have better control of my skinny E99s when using even the basic Rotta ST and one of my several pairs of norwegian welts, Crispi Sydpolen or Alico Teletour for examples. Have you tried a stout norwergian welted 3 pin boot?
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
WIPP3RMANN
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:39 pm

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by WIPP3RMANN » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:09 pm

Thanks bgregoire for your response.

Last year I rode Sbound 112's with a three pin binding. I had both the Voile Mountaineer 3pin, and the Voile Traverse 3pin with riser and detachable cable.

The Sbound 112's were too much ski for a soft boot in my opinion. I tried Fischer BCX675 and Alpina Alaska 75mm boots, and both felt pretty floppy and out of control, with our without the cable. There was also a fair amount of slop in the boot/binding interface, and the sole of the 75mm soft boots was torsionally flexy.

I also have a pair of Scarpa T4's, which are obviously great on the downhill, but not on the K&G. I said I'm a more xcD oriented skier in my original post, but I also cover a lot of ground and break a lot of trail in deep, dry Colorado powder. 3 pin and plastic boots meant that I could not get my tips to stay above the snow for the life of me.

Final complaint about the 3pin system is that my bindings catch on one another when K&G'ing with my feet too close to each other! Didn't happen on the 3pin mountaineer bindings, but when I switched to the Voile Traverse which have the cable mounts on the sides of the binding, that happened all the time, which is a super abrupt and frustrating way to fall immediately on your face :lol:

I have been much happier with narrower skis and NNN BC boots/bindings this year. I switched to the Fischer Traverse 78's, which have a lot more camber and I feel are a very fast and efficient ski. The sole of the NNN BC Alpina Alaska boot is much more torsionally stiff than the 3pin version, and I think the ridges on the base of the NNN BC binding provide a lot of control when the boot is flat against the ski. My gripe with the play in the bindings is mostly out of principle, but I can't help but feel like it would perform better without that GARGANTUAN amount of side-to-side slop.

Thank you for entertaining my grouchy perspective while quarantined.

Max Wippermann

User avatar
Tom M
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:01 pm
Location: Northwest Wyoming
Ski style: Skate on Groomed, 3 pin Off, Backcountry Tele
Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
Favorite boots: Currently skiing Alfa Skarvet, Alfa Greenland 75, Scarpa T2
Occupation: Retired
Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by Tom M » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:37 am

The play shown in your video seems excessive. If you have a micrometer, you can measure the bar diameter to see if that is the issue. The bar diameter on my fairly new boots is 0.2 inches (5 mm). My best guess however, is that the metal bar clamp in the binding has spread apart ever so slightly with use, and it just doesn't close as tight as it did when new. I had a similar problem with a standard NNN binding on a set of skate skis after many years of use. I fixed my problem by bending the metal clamp on the binding so that it would close tighter. If you give this a try, be careful and go slowly bending it back into place. You don't want it too tight. A slight bend was all that I needed on mine. The two metal pieces should close tight together with little or no gap (check it with a feeler guage). If the binding is worn, you could always file a little bit off the metal "curved hook" on the binding and then bend it so it closes to a smaller diameter. If you are careful, you can do all of this without removing the bindings. If you are going to pull the binding off, then you might as well get a new set to install.
NNNBC Clamp.jpg
20200331_135517.jpg

User avatar
boby13
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 1:54 pm
Location: Mont-Tremblant
Ski style: Intuitive
Favorite Skis: To hard to choose
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska NNN BC

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by boby13 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:11 pm

My Alaska BC are 4 years hold, I just tried what you demonstrated in your video. I have the same kind of play, but only when the boot is lifted of the binding tracks. When the tracks are lightly engaged there's no play at all.

I don't know if your boots are old? Maybe your boot soles are worn out?

User avatar
WIPP3RMANN
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:39 pm

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by WIPP3RMANN » Thu Apr 02, 2020 5:36 pm

Thanks Tom and boby13!

Tom, I appreciate the advice about bending the hook back in tighter. I think you're right, the binding may have just developed this play after a handful of crashes with plenty of off-axis torque being delivered to the binding.

When you say file the metal hook down, do you mean removing material from the inside diameter of the hook to make it easier to bend? I tried bending it with a hammer and flathead screwdriver and didnt get anywhere. Tough buggers!

boby13, this is my first season on the boots. I dont think the bar or tracks are worn excessively. You're right though, the play is drastically reduced when the tracks are engaged. I still think the slop that is present in the binding for all actions where the boot is not flat against the ski is detrimental, like herringboning, skating, k&g, or the back foot during a telemark turn.

The slop in the binding creates almost a quarter inch of movement at the tip of the ski.
boby13 wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:11 pm
My Alaska BC are 4 years hold, I just tried what you demonstrated in your video. I have the same kind of play, but only when the boot is lifted of the binding tracks. When the tracks are lightly engaged there's no play at all.

I don't know if your boots are old? Maybe your boot soles are worn out?
Tom M wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:37 am
The play shown in your video seems excessive. If you have a micrometer, you can measure the bar diameter to see if that is the issue. The bar diameter on my fairly new boots is 0.2 inches (5 mm). My best guess however, is that the metal bar clamp in the binding has spread apart ever so slightly with use, and it just doesn't close as tight as it did when new. I had a similar problem with a standard NNN binding on a set of skate skis after many years of use. I fixed my problem by bending the metal clamp on the binding so that it would close tighter. If you give this a try, be careful and go slowly bending it back into place. You don't want it too tight. A slight bend was all that I needed on mine. The two metal pieces should close tight together with little or no gap (check it with a feeler guage). If the binding is worn, you could always file a little bit off the metal "curved hook" on the binding and then bend it so it closes to a smaller diameter. If you are careful, you can do all of this without removing the bindings. If you are going to pull the binding off, then you might as well get a new set to install.
NNNBC Clamp.jpg
20200331_135517.jpg

User avatar
Woodserson
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1614
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by Woodserson » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:43 pm

The NNN-BC binding only really works in turns if you lock down your Ball-of-Foot when lifting the heel to engage the rails. If you're coming up on tippy toes and riding the bar, it's almost useless. You must engage the rails. I have not noticed the normal bit of slop when K&G, skating, or whatever else. But in turns, yes the slop sucks, and that's what the rails are for. LOCK 'EM DOWN.

Also, metalized tape might be a better way to fill the gap than the softer rubberized tape you used, it won't compress as easy.

If you are clinking your 75mm bindings together then you must be skiing with your legs super tight together. As many will attest my feet are generally close together and I have almost never scraped these bindings-- the Voile Traverse is basically on all my XCD skis. If you're scraping bindings on something like the 112 then your shovels must be overlapping each other. Are the inside edges of your skis scraped up in the shovels too? Try to widen the stance a bit. It can be easier said, than done.

I have both Alaska boot versions and over the years have experimented with both and I've now settled on the Alaska 75mm for most of my XCD skiing though I've had decent success with the NNN-BC also. For a few years I preferred the stiffness of the NNN-BC Alaska but this year my opinion changed, and I realized I could get better boot-to-ski connection with the slightly softer 75mm sole. But I'm light, and not very muscled.

I appreciate your passion for tight tolerances and perfection. But this is a loosey-goosey sport at best with soft boots and some flailing thrown in. If you want precision that exceeds what the two basic most available binding systems offer then I don't know what to tell you except enjoy the ride and make it more about art than science. I like to think it's all about finding the center, and flowing. Find your Chi. Or give up and go tech and lock the heel down.

User avatar
bgregoire
XCD Guide
XCD Guide
Posts: 1236
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:31 am
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring with lots of turns
Favorite Skis: Fisher E99, Åsnes Ingstad & Cecilie, K2 Wayback 88
Favorite boots: Crispi Sydpolen, Alico Teletour & Alfa Polar

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by bgregoire » Thu Apr 02, 2020 7:49 pm

Woodserson wrote:
Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:43 pm
the Voile Traverse is basically on all my XCD skis
:shock: Shocker! :shock:

This guy is absolutely brilliant by the way. Listen to him.
I live for the Telemark arc....The feeeeeeel.....I ski miles to get to a place where there is guaranteed snow to do the deal....TM

User avatar
Tom M
XCD Enthusiast
XCD Enthusiast
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:01 pm
Location: Northwest Wyoming
Ski style: Skate on Groomed, 3 pin Off, Backcountry Tele
Favorite Skis: Fischer S-Bound 98 Off Trail, Voile V6 BC for Tele
Favorite boots: Currently skiing Alfa Skarvet, Alfa Greenland 75, Scarpa T2
Occupation: Retired
Website: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCam0VG ... shelf_id=1

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by Tom M » Thu Apr 02, 2020 8:23 pm

Its good to know that the bar on your boot hasn't been worn to a smaller diameter, so the slop is in the metal clamp in the binding that holds the bar. Since the boot bar is the proper diameter, all you need to do is to bend the metal clamp in the binding so that it closes tighter on the metal bar. There are probably more than one way to skin this cat. The best way that I have found is to clamp the ski down to a work bench to immobilize the ski. With the binding in the closed position, look to see if there is any gap between the front part of the clamp and the curved part of the clamp. You can use a feeler guage or a screwdriver to check. There shouldn't be any gap. If there is, then you need to bend the metal back into place. It takes a lot of force to bend it. The hefty screwdriver and hammer method will work, but only if you can securely fasten the ski down. Too litle force and it just springs back. Too much force, and you might overdo it. Start with a gentle whack. Close the binding and check the gap. If it hasn't moved, then you will need a stronger whack or several medium whacks. You will have to do this on both the left and right side of the metal hook. You can remove the rubber bumper if it makes it easier. The hammer method will only work if you can immobilize the ski. Another method you might be able to try is to use a set of vice grips. Filing the top of the "C" portion of the binding is a last ditch effort to reduce the inside diameter of the metal clamp. This would only be necessary if the binding closes tightly (there is no gap when closed) and the boot is still too sloppy for you. As others have said, there will still be some play, even with a new binding, but from the video you posted, it looks like there is room for improvement.

User avatar
lilcliffy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 2456
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 7:20 pm
Location: Stanley, New Brunswick, Canada
Ski style: Nordic backcountry touring
Favorite Skis: Asnes Ingstad BC; Asnes Gamme 54 BC; Asnes Falketind 62;Asnes Storetind Carbon
Favorite boots: Alfa Guard Advance BC; Alpina Alaska BC; Scarpa T4
Occupation: Forestry Professional
Instructor at Maritime College of Forest Technology
Husband, father, farmer and logger

Re: NNN BC Binding Slop

Post by lilcliffy » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:10 pm

Hmmm...
I have checked all of my heavily-rode NNNBC setups and none of them have that much play/slop- even when only the boot toe is in contact with the binding (i.e. heel completely raised as when XC skiing).

If other skiers hadn't run into this before I would suggest it is a faulty binding if it is only a year old...
And- if it is only a year old- have you considered contacting Rottefella and see if they will replace them?
Gareth
Cross-country AND down-hill skiing in the backcountry.
Unashamed to be a "cross-country type" and love skiing down-hill.

Post Reply