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"Shaper" Control Wear Bars / From USI & Stud Boy


SnowTech Magazine, September 2002
Technical Preview, Page 64

... Normally, improved handling and better ski bite comes at the cost of steering effort and darting. Field testing last season indicate the Shaper wear bars will not increase the steering effort like so many of the "aggressive" ski designs do. The concave shape runs the entire length of the runner. As for the darting issues, the Shaper wear bars provide better straightline tracking on the trails and help to reduce and minimize darting, an added benefit to the design that wasn't originally expected.

On the snowcross tracks, the Shaper bars were able to hold tighter corners than 1/2" round steel host bars. Actual testing in soft snow conditions yeilded a two-foot tighter turning radius than a 1/2" host bar with carbide on the same machine. By using what was learned from the aluminum bars, steel Shaper bars are now being offered for this season.

...They will provide more positive steering in snow without the typical side effects of aggressive ski bottoms and profiles.


The difference in height is just under 5/32". Note how much closer the steel shaper bar groove is to the keel of the ski.

I do not see how it is possible for these two shapes to work the same in soft snow.


Scotts Comments

Two-foot tighter turning radius, I didn't believe this back then and I still don't believe it today! Soft snow and water are similar in that steering is done by the rider shifting his or her weight over the track. The skis are usually pointed straight ahead or in the opposite direction of the turn depending how much leverage the rider can generate. There is no way the steel Shaper Bars turn the same as the taller aluminum Shaper bars in soft snow. There is just under a 5/32" difference in the heights and the pocket is larger and significantly further from the ski keel.

Also, Snow-Cross courses use banked corners to help the sleds change direction. Next time you are at a race check to see how many racers use Shaper Bars!

The reduced darting is because they dig deeper, blasting themselves deeper than the existing ruts. The downside is that the ruts they leave will catch other Shaper bars in time, as well as other lower profile bars. Every season I have Shaper bar owners calling me for Ski Savers to make their riding more enjoyable!

USI has a history of making aggressive skis that increase the effort to turn the handlebars. Both their Project-X and SPX skis were notorius for exhausting snowmobilers which lead them to make their Triple Threat skis.

Too aggressive



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