Saturday, December 2, 2017

Testing new grinds

Skiing has begun here in the Methow Valley.   Not everywhere, certainly not every kilometer, but we are definitely skiing.    And if you pick your trails right, you can use good skis.     

And if you can use good skis, you can start testing.

Some matched test skis and my daily driver test mules.
I started working with 2 new grind ideas mid-season last year (2016/2017) but ran out of testing weather, and so the ideas sat for several months.     Incubating.  Festering.  Percolating.    Call it what you like, but long solo summer bike rides lead to gedankenexperiments, and those inevitably lead to ideas for ski grinds.    How to work with a small set of variables to optimize performance?  Depth, spacing, and organization of fine grooves cut into a grinding stone with a diamond, and then cut into a polyethylene ski base with a grinding stone.     

Early this autumn, I thought of a simple modification to work in conjunction with the 2 new ideas, and an afternoon of fiddling on the grinder showed that it would work.     A couple different versions were cut and put on test skis, and set aside for testing.

And now there is snow.    And now the ideas are on matched test skis.     And now the testing begins anew. 

In truth, by the time formal testing is done with controlled variables and benchmarks, I already know that a new grind is pretty good.     Hopefully with some cooperative weather in early December I can get the data that's needed to see if there's a shake-up in the Ultratune grind menu. 

No comments: