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  1. #1
    1,520,000 nikos's Avatar
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    Does anyone Cross Country Ski during the offseason/winter?

    Its getting cold in Wisconsin and I thought maybe cross country sking would be a nice way to keep on with cardio and still being outside. I have a golf course nearby that usually has a track - so that would be a benifit. I noticed that there are more ski options, some for trails like at the golf course I mentioned and the some skis for off trail use. Im generally looking to use a made trail - get there and work out. Any tips on ski length and equipment. Im 5'11 165. I would like to get some feedback before heading out and checking places like play it again. I think this might be a great way to pass the time until I can hit the road again. thanks

  2. #2
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Wax! Thats my only suggestion Any xc ski will work for a groomed trail, but before you go out, purchase a few different waxes, if the snow if heavy and wet, it will require a different wax then powder or ice snow. The last thing you want to have is the wrong wax on the ski for the conditions, theres nothing like having 40lbs of ice snow built up on the skis becouse you put on powder wax rather then the ice wax...

    P.S. im going to re-direct and move this thread to the training and nutrition forum.

  3. #3
    Mad For Marinoni !!! Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Hey Nikos

    I XC-Ski all winter. I live in Northern Ontario and ski season is just around the corner. It is a fantastic way to stay in shape through the winter.

    If you are looking for skis these days things have changed in the last few years. Skis are no longer bought by length so much as they are bought by skiier weight. Skis are now suited to individuals through a measure of the camber in the ski. Any half decent ski shop will easliy be able to set you up with the right stuff. If they are trying to sell you a pair strictly on length go to another shop.

    Best of luck and let me know how it turns out.

    Mike
    One does not cease to play because one grows old.
    One grows old because one ceases to play.

  4. #4
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    Hi Nikos! X-country skiing is a great complement to cycling, with the added benefit of an upper body workout as well.

    Generally your skiis should be as long as your reach holding one arm outstretched above your head, with the tip coming to the palm of your hand. There can be variations depending on your weight and the stiffness of the skiis. A good ski shop, and around here, many are combined with LBS's, will be able to help you out there.

    There are a few different types of bindings as well, I'd go for the newer Solomon type, that gives you more control over the ski, but if you go for second hand skiis and they have the three pin type, it's no problem, you can still get out and have a good time and a good workout.

    As Joe pointed out waxing is important, but it's not really the mystery some make it out to be. Again your shop can give you the basics, and sell you the different types of waxes to go with the different temperatures.

    Clothing is pretty well the same as cycling in cold weather. The idea is to dress warmly enough, without sweating too much. Layering and taking stuff off as you warm up is best.

    Skiing is a great activity which, along with the health benefits, is fun and sure makes the winter go a lot faster.

    Have fun!
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

  5. #5
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    SNOW? Wat dat?
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  6. #6
    Mad For Marinoni !!! Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    I'll send you some for Christmas

    It will either be cold and white or depending on mail services in your area it will look like a spilt glass of water in soggy paper.

    Mike
    One does not cease to play because one grows old.
    One grows old because one ceases to play.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ahuman's Avatar
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    offseason??
    when is that???



    K

  8. #8
    Mad For Marinoni !!! Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Off season=The beginning of November to Middle of April. In other words. When the snow comes and when the snow goes. We have to be multi dimensional people here in the north.

    I wouldn't change it for the world.
    One does not cease to play because one grows old.
    One grows old because one ceases to play.

  9. #9
    1,520,000 nikos's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses everyone. So I stopped by a few spots to check out some skis. I noticed that I can get a nice package deal with skis, bindings, poles, boots for 200 and under. I stepped on this scale that put me in a certain color range (I was in the red) checked out the ski to that color and it was 190. Does that sound right for a guy between 165-170 in weight. No snow here yet in Wisconsin, but Im really excited about this new adventure. I will work on the wax as well. thanks again

  10. #10
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    Skiing is a great way to stay fit in the off-season. It's about as close as you can get to cycling without cycling. My advice would be:

    1. Don't buy top-of-the-line equipment right off. If you're a novice, you won't get the full benefit of extralight skis and carbide tipped poles. You'll be spending most of your time on grommed trails [at least at first]... and besides, you can buy top-level stuff at a HUGE discount in March. Be prepared to spend $250 for a set of decent recreational skis, bindings, poles and boots. You can get good package deals on recreational stuff this time of year. If you really get into skiing, these can be your rock skis.

    2. Get classic rather than skating or backwoods to start. You can LEARN to skate with classic skis, but not vice-versa, and skating requires considerably more technique than classic.

    3. DO NOT GET WAXLESS SKIS. These are a very poor compromise between performance and convenience.

    4. Do buy the basic wax set and spend $12 on a wax iron so you can apply your own glide wax as needed. Don't go verboard with waxes. The temperature will probably change two or three degress at any time you're out, and if you've applied a very narrow-range temp-specific wax. Get the basic Wax set and a couple of klisters to start.

    5. Ski with other people. That way, you can match strides. It's the best way to improve technique.

    Have fun. Skiing is a blast.
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

  11. #11
    Senior Member ahuman's Avatar
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    wondering how I can put skis on my bike
    I live in new jersey when it snow here i put fat tires and spikes
    on my mtb what fun..
    just a little hard when it comes time to stop..

  12. #12
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    Hi Nikos, glad you started looking for your skiis already. Usually those package deals are good to get started with, and then you can upgrade when you know more about it. Sorta like with bikes!

    190's sound a little short to me, but I'm used to dealing more with the height method. They can also do the "paper test", which involves putting a sheet of paper under the center portion of the ski while you are standing on it, and they should be able to just pull it out from under the ski. This indicates that the ski's stiffness (camber) is correct for your weight. If they can't pull it out at all you're too heavy,and you won't glide very well, but if it's too easy the ski is too stiff for your weight, and you'll have trouble getting grip with it. I guess the special scale is the high tech way of doing this!

    Good advice about the wax from velocipedio, and I agree, don't get waxless.

    Have fun!
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

  13. #13
    1,520,000 nikos's Avatar
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    thanks for the tip on the paper test, I will give that a try. Im not to sure that the scale was right on or not. I was also told that you should be able to reach up and touch the point of the ski with the middle of your palm. If that is the case, I would need to jump up to a 200! I ask all these questions, because it seems that the sports stores that have the package deals are the ones that have the employees that dont seem to know much. I had a girl today that was no older than 18 with the earings in the nose and lip ask me if I needed any help??? I doubt cross country skiing is her favorite pastime! thanks for all the tips everyone.

  14. #14
    hyperactive ferret LightBoy's Avatar
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    I agree with velocipedio that you should start with a classic set up. Better still, if you can find a reasonably priced combi set up, I'd recomend that, because it's designed for both skate and classic use. The draw back is that it's a little like a TV/VCR combo - it's not going to be as good for either as a dedicated set up. It will, however, be better for skating that classic skis would, and vice versa.

    Ditto for the waxes. I favor Swix wax, and they offer a combi pack with yellow, pink, and purple glide wax that covers a range from 14-50 degrees (F). Add a pack of blue (14-neg 26) and you should be set for the season. I don't classic ski a lot, so I don't get too nit picky about kick wax. Special Red, Extra Blue, and Special Green are usually enough to get me through a typical winter.

    So far as the ski lengh goes, I would definatly advise going to a shop and getting fitted. Skis of the same length can come in different stiffnesses (is that a word!?!), so length isn't the only thing to go on. For what it's worth, I'm about your size and I use a 183 for skating, 193 for classic.

    Buying skis is kind of like buying a bike - you want your sales person to be knowlegeable. You will want a good fit, and a good model for your needs (and the really expensive one the chick with the holes in her face wants you to buy probably isn't it!). Otherwise, you're probably not going to have a lot of fun. I'm not familiar with the Madison area, but REI has a store there, and they have a ski department (I think). The staff is usually very helpful and would help you find the appropriate ski package. Even if you didn't buy your stuff there, it's at least a resource. If you were to buy gear there, there's a package deal on skis, boots, and bindings, but I'm sure most places would do that. It's also early enough in the season that there is still probably a good amount of last year's stuff still lying around that they'd sell at a good price. Check out www.rei.com for product info.
    (I'll be honest - I work at one of REI's Minneapolis stores, so this is a fairly shameless plug for my employer. But, as I am trying to be helpful, my info is true, and REI is in fact the onlt place that I know of that sells skis in Madison, I feel that my shamelessness is justified. If I tried to sell him a membership, then I'd be crossing the line, but I'm not doing that, so I'm okay. I think. Maybe?)

    Hope this helps a little. I think once you get started, you'll really enjoy it. In a couple years you'll be ready to ski the Birkie!

    Good luck!
    Last edited by LightBoy; 11-30-01 at 09:44 PM.
    Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to ride. Ride to work.

  15. #15
    human velocipedio's Avatar
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    I think we're in danger of becoming SkiForums for a few months...
    when walking, just walk. when sitting, just sit. when riding, just ride. above all, don't wobble.

    The Irregular Cycling Club of Montreal
    Cycling irregularly since 2002

  16. #16
    Mad For Marinoni !!! Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    That would suit me just fine because then I wouldn't have to listen to everyone talk about cycling daily when I have been out shoveling 2 feet of snow in the driveway.
    One does not cease to play because one grows old.
    One grows old because one ceases to play.

  17. #17
    hyperactive ferret LightBoy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by velocipedio
    I think we're in danger of becoming SkiForums for a few months...
    Sounds good by me. I'll even offer some fuel for the first heated debate:

    SNS or NNN?
    Work to eat. Eat to live. Live to ride. Ride to work.

  18. #18
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    Guess what, guys, I just came in from a short ski!

    We had our first real snowfall, off and on the last couple of days, and I got out after work for a short time.

    Still hoping for a bit of cycling if we get some significally warm weather (always the optimist!), but it felt good to get on the skis again, too!

    BTW, I use SNS, definitely a step up from three pin, but I havn't tried NNN. What are the advantages?
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

  19. #19
    Mad For Marinoni !!! Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    I use SNS and am really happy with them. What are the benefits of differences with NNN. I ski strictly Classis as well so does that make a difference?

    Mike
    One does not cease to play because one grows old.
    One grows old because one ceases to play.

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I ski quite a bit and would agree with the earlier advise you've been given on avoiding waxless skis and three pin bindings. I would encourage you to look at skating skis though. If you have access to trails that are groomed for skating and just want a quick workout then skating is the way to go. I think it is actually easier to learn than classic. If you can rollerblade you can skate. Skating skis should be stiffer and shorter than classics and the poles should be longer (about chin high). I would encourage you to stop by a store that specializes in crosscountry and get their advise. You may also want to consider renting a pair of each type before buying and see which you like.
    Waiting for the white stuff!!

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