Rottefella’s New Telemark Norm (NTN) binding will undergo more changes before hitting the market next season. Backcountry has learned that, in addition to offering a smaller binding for use with boots under size 27.0 (mondo), the spring length and stiffness of all the spring cartridges will be modified.
Changes echo same direction as boot modifications
These graphs show the spring tension as it is compressed. A steeper curve indicates a stiffer spring, a lower angled curve a softer spring. That spring rate isn’t the only component of a spring's response, but the minimum and maximum values over a range of compression (or expansion). Notice that the starting value for all of the 2008 year springs are closer than those from 2007, and the softest (gray) has a low value equal to the blue springs (the best choice for 2007).
The most important change is the shift in the stiffness of springs offered. Overall, the upper-end power of 2008 springs will be made softer, while the initial, lower-end values will increase.
Theoretically this should provide a smoother engagement for making a telemark turn by creating a family of springs with a lower spring rate. The stiffest spring offered this year, the black spring, will be dropped, and an additional spring at the lower end of the stiffness range offered.
Besides changing the spring rates, the length of all springs will become shorter. Shorter springs are necessary for the small version of the binding, which has a baseplate that is 20mm shorter. Because the binding hooks on to the boot at the patented second heel near the center of the boot, the maximum travel distance is much shorter than for 75mm cable bindings that latch at the heel.
There will be several other tweaks made to the binding to make it not only ski better, but improve ease of adjustments, entry and exit, and by extension, releasability.