|Profile of the Xcelerator Wedge on a 2011 Xium WCS skate ski.|
Wedges have been showing up for a few years on Salomon bindings. Also they’ve been seen on screwed-down NNN bindings. The NIS bindings were difficult to adapt, so Rottefella made an adaptor for skiers who want to use the wedge.
|The Rottefella NIS Wedge is a molded plastic piece and outlined to match the Xcelerator’s shape.|
The Rottefella Xcelerator Wedge is injection molded plastic (my sample has a mold date of Dec 2010, so it’s pretty new). The photos make the wedge look red, but let me tell you, they’re PINK. They almost look like promo items for Fast & Female. They’re functional and stand out brightly against any ski.
|First adjust the wedge fore/aft on the NIS plate, then install the binding.|
Interesting to note that the fore/aft adjustment takes place with the interface between the wedge and the NIS plate. The binding-to-wedge attachment locks in to a single location. Thus, when you want to adjust the position of the binding, you first adjust the position of the wedge, then install the Xcelerator binding on top of it. Very simple, no redundancy.
|There is approximately 3.4mm rise in 145mm run; an angle of about 1.3 degrees|
The very front tip of the binding sits about 8mm higher than the NIS plate, but it’s a little less further back under the middle of the foot, of course. I did a little trigonometry to measure the rise angle on the wedge – it’s about 1.34 degrees. For those of you who haven’t played with binding wedges yet, the wedge places the rise in the FRONT of the binding, not in the back. Children of the 1960’s will laugh when I compare skiing with a wedge to the feeling of skate skiing in Earth Shoes, although less pronounced (more angle on an Earth Shoe).
|At Nordic Ultratune, I do a lot of measuring.|
The Rottefella Xcelerator wedges aren’t available in shops yet, but I’m sure they’ll be available for the 2011/2012 season. If you’ve got a sharp eye and look closely at the pictures, you’ll see them on a few skis at the World Championships in Oslo.
I’ve discussed wedges in previous articles. (Look HERE and HERE). On snow, the Rottefella Xcelerator wedge has the same feeling as other wedge versions, but it’s set up to use with NNN boots and especially with NIS plates. The effect, while skating, is that the wedge lifts the toes very slightly, which encourages weighting of your foot a bit further back, unless you consciously roll further forward on the foot.
For me, after using them for a few days, I don’t notice them any more… …but for a few sessions they feel different under the foot. For a skier who is accustomed to making continual adjustment of their position on the ski for optimum performance, I personally don’t feel that they offer a huge advantage.
However, if you get used to them, then you’ll probably want them installed on most of your skis (if not all of them) so that they will have the same feel under your feet.
Overall, just like the wedges for Salomon bindings, you might like them or you might not. But you should try them for yourself to see if you feel like they help you.
One nice thing with the NIS version – if you decide to remove them, or try them on another pair of NIS skis, then it’s a quick fix. No screws, no glue, no muss, no fuss. Click-click! All done! With the NIS bindings, you can try them forward, or further back, and now with or without a toe lift. Customized, optimized. With no screws and no drilling. This is definitely a good thing.
Odds and ends. The wedge doesn’t affect how you get in and out of the binding. The wedges do add a bit of weight. I’ve discovered that in a pinch you can use one as a door stop.