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queequeg

Reliable FinTec Inner arms.

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I really wish the FinTec inner arms were made out of metal, instead of plastic. I've had these things fail on me twice. My guess is that they are sourced directly from F2 and that they make them out of plastic. I'd really like a metal pair. Has anyone ever looked into what it would take to get some of these machined out of metal??? 

I'm talking about these: http://bomberonline.3dcartstores.com/Fin-Tec-Inner-Arms_p_131.html

At 15$ they're cheap ... err uhh ... they would be if the store were still open. But at any price, breaking one is pretty much guaranteed to ruin your day. I spent the weekend carving what would otherwise be some pretty epic carving conditions in softies and a powder deck thanks to these stupid things breaking on me.

I just used my last "left" arm to replace the broken one that screwed up my weekend. I assume the only way of acquiring these is by purchasing an entire new set of heels from yyzcanuck. Pretty frustrating to have to pay $100 just so that you can use a $15 part from the product. It seems that these things can be relied upon to break every few years ... it would be great to have an alternative!

Edited by queequeg

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Once you pay for the mold, making those out of plastic reduces the per unit cost to a few dollars. By comparison, making them out of metal would be categorized as a foolish waste of resource. Outside of breakage, metal in that application might actually wear faster than the plastic equivalent.

Are those significantly different than the stock Intec parts?

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16 minutes ago, Beckmann AG said:

foolish

Not unless you think that the overall reliability of your product is important. From what I can tell, the plastic that these things is made of cannot withstand the pressure of the springs within the heels, and can be relied upon to break after awhile. I assume that Fin/bomber was aware of this, given that replacements are offered for sale on the website (or were).

If I had to guess, these *are* stock intec parts, though I do not (currently) have a pair of actual F2 intec parts to verify that with. Having owned both at different points in my life, I would say the innards are identical with some confidence.

I would assume that Bomber was purchasing the internal parts for use with his own casing to reduce manufacturing costs/price (as you suggest) ... that may have been shrewd at the time, given the option to offer a cheap replacement part. But with the bomber store down, the inability to purchase this cheap replacement part essentially turns heels into a set of paperweights; not to mention the incredible irritation of having to waste time on the mountain to repair your heels (if you are lucky enough to have replacement parts handy). If you don't have replacement parts handy well ... you're pretty much hozed.

Edited by queequeg

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3 minutes ago, queequeg said:

If you don't have replacement parts handy well ... you're pretty much hozed.

I "stepped" away from these due to this very issue. Luckily that trip I had a standard set of bails so it wasn't a total loss. Since then I've made my whole setup fit a BCDR scenario.

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25 minutes ago, lonbordin said:

I "stepped" away from these due to this very issue. Luckily that trip I had a standard set of bails so it wasn't a total loss. Since then I've made my whole setup fit a BCDR scenario.

I have considered this. Nonetheless, I might just go ahead and buy a spare set of f2 heels, even if it just for the internals though, since I am used to them and that would be cheaper/easier than buying new bindings. I like the lateral stiffness of the intec interface.

Another option would be to get a 3-d scan made and have a bunch of them printed out on (hopefully superior) plastic. But parts made out of metal seem like they would be tough to beat, if more challenging/expensive to produce.

Edited by queequeg

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33 minutes ago, queequeg said:

Not unless you think that the overall reliability of your product is important. From what I can tell, the plastic that these things is made of cannot withstand the pressure of the springs within the heels, and can be relied upon to break after awhile. I assume that Fin/bomber was aware of this, given that replacements are offered for sale on the website (or were).

If I had to guess, these *are* stock intec parts, though I do not (currently) have a pair of actual F2 intec parts to verify that with. Having owned both at different points in my life, I would say the innards are identical with some confidence.

I would assume that Bomber was purchasing the internal parts for use with his own casing to reduce manufacturing costs/price (as you suggest) ... that may have been shrewd at the time, given the option to offer a cheap replacement part. But with the bomber store down, the inability to purchase this cheap replacement part essentially turns heels into a set of paperweights; not to mention the incredible irritation of having to waste time on the mountain to repair your heels (if you are lucky enough to have replacement parts handy). If you don't have replacement parts handy well ... you're pretty much hozed.

Should have realized yours was a rhetorical question.

But assume a plastic injection mold will cost, say, 4-8 thousand, plus or minus. That cost will be recovered a lot faster than the multi axis CNC used to make them out of metal, or the cost to cast out of brass or stainless. 

Most any manufacturer will make spares of small plastic parts, even if they are not prone to failure, simply because they are so cheap to produce that the convenience outweighs the cost.

And you don't make your own proprietary parts if you can buy something 'off the shelf' from a reputable vendor at a fair price. 

You may have also noticed that when Fin sold the company, the legacy parts inventory was essentially dropped. That would be a clue to stock up on 'consumable' parts.

Seriously doubt that Fin could have foreseen the 'bricking' of your heels.

 

 

Edited by Beckmann AG

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^ Didn't think you were.

To the contrary, was thinking that he'd intentionally incorporated the stock parts from the F2, with the assumption that those would be available for a very long time.  

Assuming of course, that the plastic bits are actually F2.

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3 minutes ago, Beckmann AG said:

with the assumption that those would be available for a very long time.  

Assuming of course, that the plastic bits are actually F2.

Well, I do still have the option of buying F2 heels. If the parts are indeed the same (it would be great if someone with both types can confirm!) then I have an (expensive) source for spares. If not, I can just use the plastic intec heels. So if that was the assumption it has yet to be proven wrong; but the parts are more expensive now.

Edited by queequeg

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6 hours ago, queequeg said:

Well, I do still have the option of buying F2 heels. If the parts are indeed the same (it would be great if someone with both types can confirm!) 

I have used the spare parts bought from Bomber to convert an F2-Intec heel from left boot to right boot, so the Bomber-sourced parts are either F2-Intec parts or are compatible.  As Beckman discussed, it would be expensive for Fin to have had his own molds made.

I'm curious, I know of two breakages of inner arms with Fintec heels - one from this thread and one from someone who bought some used Fintec heels from me a couple of weeks ago because he broke an inner arm on his.  But I don't know of any cases of inner arms breaking on F2-Intec heels.  Has anyone had the inner arms in an F2-Intec heel break?  If the failure rate seems higher with Fintecs, it might point to something in the Fintec design that stresses the plastic arms more.  Maybe the pins have more friction at the plastic bushing, or maybe the Fintec springs are heavier.

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Being able to 3D print these guys would be awesome. Anyone up to the task of creating the necessary files?  My first set of Fintecs had a broken arm, but I think it was an issue with the first batch.  I also noticed a small part had chipped off an arm when I was writing up the how-to on changing the bushing sleeves. Given the sad state of my current pair of Fintecs I might just try and get through the season and buy a new pair next year.

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I had intecs several yrs ago and after getting stuck in the binding a couple times I took'em apart and lubed them and still got stuck, very frustrating. Turned out the plastic arm was stretching/bending enough the pins would not fully disengage. didn't have my trusty nitro heel w/me.

I mentioned metal arms for that reason when fintecs were in development and was sad to see that weak link was kept, and the walking traction was schite.

too many parts for me, simple is goodpost-5508-141842260915_thumb.jpgpost-5508-141842260492_thumb.jpg fewer points of failure

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5 hours ago, *Ace* said:

Being able to 3D print these guys would be awesome. Anyone up to the task of creating the necessary files?  My first set of Fintecs had a broken arm, but I think it was an issue with the first batch.  I also noticed a small part had chipped off an arm when I was writing up the how-to on changing the bushing sleeves. Given the sad state of my current pair of Fintecs I might just try and get through the season and buy a new pair next year.

Well, my season is pretty much done with so this gives me ample opportunity to try and print up some dupes, or maybe even have something milled. Metal seems like it would be ideal, though it would be rougher on the cable I suppose. That said: cables can be replaced with parts available at any bike shop I'm pretty sure so that's not much of a concern.

4 hours ago, b0ardski said:

I had intecs several yrs ago and after getting stuck in the binding a couple times I took'em apart and lubed them and still got stuck, very frustrating. Turned out the plastic arm was stretching/bending enough the pins would not fully disengage. didn't have my trusty nitro heel w/me.

I mentioned metal arms for that reason when fintecs were in development and was sad to see that weak link was kept, and the walking traction was schite.

too many parts for me, simple is goodpost-5508-141842260915_thumb.jpgpost-5508-141842260492_thumb.jpg fewer points of failure

Yeah, there are a lot of weaknesses in the Intec system. The complexity of the mechanism, the way that it is possible to *feel* fully engaged when in fact you are not. I can't remember what kind of bindings you use. Nitro? Blax? Either way: I agree that this system seems superior. It appears to be the approach that was adopted by the g-style people in Japan:

http://www.g-style.jp/products/binding/binding01.html

 

p_main01.jpg

 

That closure system seems vastly superior on first glance. No moving parts in the boot. Everything made of metal. If the heels were compatible with UPZ boots I would gladly buy a pair. But I'd have to replace my bindings, boots, and heels to do that which is an expensive proposition. I wonder if anyone in the US has tried using their stuff and what they determined. I imagine their boots might be a bit soft to suit lighter-weight riders (as I have heard of ogasaka boards). Their boots seem to be ski-boot molds so the sole length is also probably a bit long for people with big feet, unless you like high angles.

Edited by queequeg

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Should FinTecs be Bomber? If they never broke, how could anyone make money selling them to such a small audience?

Actually when I realize that if they were fail-unsafe (instead of fail-safe), that would be a scarier situation. 

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Maybe a silly question: Do you guys push down with your heel before pulling on the release handle? 

If you do it right, it should take very little tension to release the pins. If you're rolling the boot to the side or pulling up, it takes a lot more force to retract the pins. 

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11 minutes ago, Corey said:

Maybe a silly question: Do you guys push down with your heel before pulling on the release handle? 

If you do it right, it should take very little tension to release the pins. If you're rolling the boot to the side or pulling up, it takes a lot more force to retract the pins. 

I generally try to do this, and I think I generally do. I try to straighten my rear leg while pulling on the cable to press the heel down. Awkward, while bending down to reach the cable, since bending over results in wanting to pitch weight forward and lift your rear heel.

I don’t generally need to pull hard at all. I think the plasic bits are just not strong enough to withstand the force of the springs (at least, on my gen1 heels).

Edited by queequeg

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Corey, yes, it does make a difference in ease of release for sure,

body position at release and engagement matter for smooth operation; my burton race stepins were a fother mucker to release, squat down,push the lever behind your heel, now lift the heel pivoting on the toe:smashfrea also finicky to stepin, had to keep perfect alignment for the sprung bail to catch the boot ledge.

I've tried every softboot and hardboot stepin to hit the market; the device/ride/now burton stepon, was the smoothest ease of use of all the soft systems with toe 1st heel down engagement, followed by switch or burtonSI with side to side engagement/release.

I've always hated heel 1st systems while trying to stand on a slope, toe in step down on the fly rules:argue:

p.s. the old xbone intec bindings had a plastic tab on the heel bracket that allowed you to squeeze the sides and push the pins to release if the cable broke,

 

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27 minutes ago, pokkis said:

Did you tried also F2 Intec softboot bindings? they are best

never seen them on the american market(looks easy) same with the head 4point system; I prefer the toe/heel engagement for riding rather than the pivot at the arch; that's why I like soft hardboots on all boards

Edited by b0ardski

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I did a bit of research. It seems like you can print parts out of metal with a process called “Direct Metal Laser Sintering” which seems promising. Not sure how much that would cost, and there may be plastics that offer adequate strength as well.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_metal_laser_sintering

I guess the first step would be to acquire 3d scans/models of the parts in question.

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