Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

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Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by connyro » Fri Jan 30, 2015 1:41 pm

My deal: I started out looking for more of a burly XC ski to fill a void in my XCD quiver: something that I could take to groomed XC tracks as well as packed snowshoe/snowmobile trails. I wanted something that excelled at kick and glide but could also handle rough snow and breaking trail. After much research and hemming and hawing, I ended up getting an end of season blow out package deal from OnionRiverSports that included Rossignol BC 65's in 195 length (longest available, for my 185 pound carcass) with NNN-BC bindings, Rossi BC X2 boots, and some cheap poles. I've been on these for a season and a half.

My impressions: These skis are very light! I got these in the mail and immediately charged out to my favorite low angle slope in the woods with the intention of getting some turns. That's right: I went right for what this setup is not really made for: turns in deep snow. Between the double camber, stiffness of the ski, the low cut of those boots, and my lack of skill on light/NNN-BC gear, I flopped, floundered, and got frustrated: it was humbling. The second time I took these out, I went to a groomed XC center for a little kick and glide. They fit into the groomed tracks. The scales gripped surprisingly well, and I was able to get a good rhythm and glide, although they are not ideal for this type of skiing, so I did not set any speed records, but had a good time.

I then took this setup out and broke trail in deep snow. I'll just say that there's much better setups for breaking trail, like the Annums/Vectors with pins and leathers/excursions.

Where the BC65 setup really excels is on firm, fast snowmobile and snowshoe trails. I could even get these to turn on the wider packed trails with some patience and very centered balance. The double camber really keeps the scales out of the snow when gliding. I don't really care for the Rossi BC X2 boots, except for the fact that I can drive to ski spots while wearing them. This setup is my first with NNN-BC bindings and I have to say, I really like how they K+G. In my experience, they really blow away 3-pins for pure touring, plus with a little practice and technique adjustment, I think they would work OK for turns as well.

Conclusion: This setup is perfect for when the snow conditions are not great and you less interested in turns and more interested in speed and distance. *Note: I would rather have a little burlier boot than the X2. If I am looking to primarily tour for turns, I would grab the Annums or the Vectors. If I am looking to cover some distance with speed, I grab the BC 65's.


Re: Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by MikeK » Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:21 pm

Thanks for the review. I tested those skis out a couple years ago (rented them from EMS). I was just kicking and gliding with them and they were nice and fast. I had no idea about making tele turns on skis like that back then but I'd have to imagine they'd be a bear.

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Re: Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by Johnny » Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:15 pm

Yeah, very nice review!
Please keep us posted about your evolution on NNN/BC as a xcD system... (When you'll get used to it...!) 8-)
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Re: Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by CIMA » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:08 am

connyro wrote: Conclusion: This setup is perfect for when the snow conditions are not great and you less interested in turns and more interested in speed and distance. *Note: I would rather have a little burlier boot than the X2. If I am looking to primarily tour for turns, I would grab the Annums or the Vectors. If I am looking to cover some distance with speed, I grab the BC 65's.
Your analysis does make sense to me.
I've never tried on BC65, but I can guess so from my past four year experience with BC70.
Since I've been using BC70 for xcD (turning actively) on consolidated snow, I'm very interested in giving it a shot to see how BC65 is different. However, sadly BC65 seems not to be available in Japan, I'm going to test Glittertind MGV+ forthcoming spring season instead.
I wonder if the fish-scale of the latest Rossignol BC skis have been made some improvements. In the case of my BC70, I'm not very satisfied with its performance of kick-and-glide compared to the peer models of Fischer and Madshus.
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Re: Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by MikeK » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:34 am

CIMA - a lot of people, myself included, have noticed the lack of grip in the Rossi scale pattern compared with the others. I don't think it's a fluke.

For mild terrain it's not an issue though. I only noticed on >10° slopes.

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Re: Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by connyro » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:00 pm

I don't have any complaints about the 'lack of grip' of the Rossi scale pattern. My ski buddy on the Fischer Spiders gets about the same grip as I do on my Rossis. Sometimes I think I might have better grip that he does in certain situations. I think that a lot of it has to do with snow conditions and technique. That being said, I don't usually have my BC65s climbing/descending anything steep. The scales on those skis are great for K+G and not really effective for steeper climbing, plus the camber is really stiff which adds to the challenge of climbing with them (scales don't engage the snow enough sometimes). If I am going to climb/descend steep slopes, I will grab the Vector BCs. If I want to cover some distance at speed on rolling terrain, it's the BC65s for me.

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Re: Rossignol BC 65/nnn-bc

Post by lilcliffy » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:19 pm

Great review connyro!

I have tried the BC65 many times- with a NNNBC setup.

These skis are very popular in Eastern Canada- and they are typically very reasonably priced.

As a trad xcountry-backcountry ski for dense, hard snow; the stiff double-camber and lack of significant sidecut offer good, solid performance in classic xcountry K&G. Like the rest of the trad double-cambered BC Rossis- the BC65s have stiff tips/tails.

IMO- the BC65 seem to be tailored to the casual user (i.e. low maintenance, easy to control)- there is no waxable version, and they only come in a 195cm max length.

IME/IMO- the best performance out of a ski like this (in a xcountry context) is with a waxable base and a classic xcountry length (e.g. I would want 210cm in this ski).

For comparison- the Rossi BC68 comes in longer lengths than the BC65- and a waxable base. This is what I would want- for touring efficiency. (As an aside- although I have not tried the Glittertind (almost identical profile-camber)- the tests and testimonials I have read suggest that the Rossi BC68 has stiffer, less forgiving tips/tails than the Glittertinds)

On the other hand- as a tele ski (i.e. xcD)- such as CIMA's example- the BC65 in short length would probably perform similar to CIMA's BC70s. I have no experience with using stiff double-cambered xcountry skis in this application.

As far as the Rossi "positrack"- I'm afraid that it is the least impressive waxless design that I have tested. The only time I have been satisfied with the positrack is on spring, wet, corn snow. IMO the Fischer, Karhu, and Madshus waxless designs have much better traction.

And- I agree with you- double-cambered skis do not climb efficiently.
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