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oldtrainerguy28

Step Steel Holder

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2 hours ago, jimmy said:

Won't catch on in the general market, pros are another story. STEP makes great steel but few are going to pay $100 to swap out holders perhaps when Bauer steel was real crap, at least now it's better and doesnt break on a whim.

 

Disagree. Bauer steel is still not great. Unless its LS4. and now you can put Step in your Edge Holder. Well for now only Canada. Guess we will see what happens after next Friday!

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The dimples at the front and back look kinda outta place, should just be smooth but other than that they look nice. 

 

With these having the VH logo on them, are they only available through VH and its fit centres? 

Edited by nicker87
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I watched 2 Edge runners pop out during play this weekend.  One, an opponent and one of my players.  Getting old, I see it way too often.  When our opponents steel popped out we scored a goal on breakaway.  D man reached his foot out to stop a clearing attempt, puck hither steel and ting a ling along across the ice.  Away we go with a 2 on 0 with a hard back checking wide side dman in tow,

Those edge holders may sell and be popular but since day one I have watched them pop out.  U 18 level hockey.

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Interesting. Looks like there's a little divet in the back, I'm guessing thats where the runner securing bolt goes, just like on the cobra holder? I always liked that system, seemed simple, secure and easy to change all at the same time. Maybe now that Graf is out of business in NA that design is fair game?

Since Kane is straight up using it in a game it probably isn't that far off from the geometry of a bauer holder. 

Total speculation here, but I'm guessing this was done to get around the edge patent issue, while also offering a potentially more secure alternative to people who don't like edge. With a long term plan to package it up with some sort of standard size VH boot as a retail offering.

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1 hour ago, rawkstar said:

Interesting. Looks like there's a little divet in the back, I'm guessing thats where the runner securing bolt goes, just like on the cobra holder? I always liked that system, seemed simple, secure and easy to change all at the same time. Maybe now that Graf is out of business in NA that design is fair game?

Since Kane is straight up using it in a game it probably isn't that far off from the geometry of a bauer holder. 

Total speculation here, but I'm guessing this was done to get around the edge patent issue, while also offering a potentially more secure alternative to people who don't like edge. With a long term plan to package it up with some sort of standard size VH boot as a retail offering.

There are some more pictures in "2016-1017 Gear Sighting" thread which shows the "divet" as a hex nylock nut. So yes, it appears that the runner retainer mechanism is similar to Graf holders. That said, I do not think there is an active patent that protects this attachment method. The fact that Graf Canada is gone does not really changes anything as  Graf Canada did not really owned any patents. Any Graf patent owned by Graf Switzerland is enforced in USA and Canada. From what I understand, the only thing that was patented by Graf Switzerland, in respect to Cobra holders is the 5-tower design and even that was a 15-years patent which has expired about 2 yeas ago. So Step is clear in this, plus they have improved on one flaw that Graf had - the nut that sometimes would get undone. I am glad that Step went with a proven design instead of putting together something new and risk a failure. VH would want its own holder if they want to go consumer. Both VH and Step got some exposure in NHL and build themselves a brand recognition in the hockey world. Joining their efforts and entering a consumer world seems very logical to me.

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Seeing the Nylock in the back of the Step holder, it makes me wonder if they're not just using their LS2 type blade with a special screw that has a bend in it so that the nut can be attached at the back of the holder instead of through the heel of the skate.

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30 minutes ago, Larry54 said:

Seeing the Nylock in the back of the Step holder, it makes me wonder if they're not just using their LS2 type blade with a special screw that has a bend in it so that the nut can be attached at the back of the holder instead of through the heel of the skate.

Someone here said it will use custom blade design. The dimple in the front tower does not leave room for the front hook on either LS2 or Graf runner to engage anything. 

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Backing up a bit, we have 2 holders that a are used, a lot, but in the past month both are out of business. Graf and Easton. Am I wrong? Probably!

Alan

Edited by smu
spell

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5 hours ago, rawkstar said:

Interesting. Looks like there's a little divet in the back, I'm guessing thats where the runner securing bolt goes, just like on the cobra holder? I always liked that system, seemed simple, secure and easy to change all at the same time. Maybe now that Graf is out of business in NA that design is fair game?

I am just getting in on this topic now, but when I saw the photos of the holders I noticed the "dimple" or something peculiar in the back post as well!

Alan

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2 hours ago, smu said:

Backing up a bit, we have 2 holders that a are used, a lot, but in the past month both are out of business. Graf and Easton. Am I wrong? Probably!

Alan

Well, Easton is definitely history as of now. Graf is still in business, but I am not sure to what degree. I know that they have signed a distribution/rnd/manufacturing agreement with Vaughn Hockey to be Graf USA/Canada. Graf is still active in Europe and quite popular as well. That said, they pretty much non existing comparing to Bauer and CCM, but they still make the skates, holders, and runners. 

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30 minutes ago, Kgbeast said:

Graf is still in business... but they still make the skates, holders, and runners. 

Thanks,

I jumped into the discussion before I read all the posts!

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This industry has a good history of companies coming into the business with products that are claimed to be of an advantage to the players of our loved sport. This thread specific. Us "older" one's might remember: Tuuk was slow to be adopted into the game, but, we know that history. As things progressed ICM, SLM and Perfecta ( happy memories ) All good.  Not forgotten ( or forgotten ) Crow Blades, Therma Blade (Yikes!), T'Blades ( still around with a sorta cult following ) Quick Blade ( still distributed I believe ) . To make my point, I'm looking forward to seeing this new holder/steel system ( especially with the proven STEP blades) because it pushes all others companies move to improve what they design and produce in hopes to give an advantage to all in performance, quality and durability.  

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Great thread.

 

Maybe I can help clear a up few things. Note* that I am no longer employed by Step but have been working real close while starting another company... anyways... 

 

The STEP/VH holder is an alternative to get around the Bauer "trigger" pattent. Similar to the Graf holder but the screw is embedded directly on the blade. The main difference is that it doesnt take forever to unscrew (like Graf).  VH has been growing fast over the past years and the match seemed obvious. Although the Edge holder has been holding up much better than I would have expected, it does have its issues with loosening and it gets worse over time. It isnt all that rare to see a blade pop out once in a while...  In this case, the Step/VH allows for a quick change (with the use a a tool) with a mechanical fixture making sure there is No movement!

 

As for the Pro and retail market..  most Pro EQMs have been suggesting the Edge holder since it came out and it hasnt been really hard to convice the players (not as hard as changing others aspects of the their equipment, but thats a story for another day....)   The EQMs job is to make sure the players are happy and having fresh blades ready all the time makes them happy haha .. Bauer cornered a big part of the Skate market in the past years and players are open to the idea of switching blades   (good idea Quikblade!...)  Add to that the fact that Bauer having really improved the quality of the blades with/since the LS3. I still have my issues with the LS4 but it still is better than the Fusion and LS2 and most blades on the market... The regular StepSteel and the LS3/LS4 are arguably similar in quality but most EQM dont understand the process behind the VSteel and BlackSteel (DLC)  from Step and dont see the advantages or dont consider it to be big enough of and advantage to switch holders... As for retail, if you dont play often, you wont see the necessity to have changeable blades. If you play alot, its a game changer!! So, providing the price is not too steep (and its expected to be be relitively cheap), the switch would be worth it in my opinion.

 

Obviously its not as quick change as the Edge, but how fast does your change really have to be??  30 seconds sounds ok to me. 

 

The blade is a little taller tha a LS3/LS4.

 

Maybe I'm biased since I'm so close to Step, but unless* they come up with steel for the Edge holder and you want better quality steel options, its the alternative.

 

In the end, it comes down to how much you want to invest in the quality of your blades!  And the quality DOES make a differences and the BlackSteel is without a doubt the best blade on the market. 

 

I'm still also waiting for retail availabilty also.. 

 

Thank me later Step loll ....

 

** Blades are important ,but identical adapted profiles and sharpening hollows are the key!   And not that CagOne or ProSharp stuff......

Edited by ACE 22 QC
wrong punctuations...
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2 hours ago, ACE 22 QC said:

** Blades are important ,but identical adapted profiles and sharpening hollows are the key!   And not that CagOne or ProSharp stuff......

Sneaky!

Shoot me an email - curious to see where you're at on this.

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2 hours ago, ACE 22 QC said:

. Similar to the Graf holder but the screw is embedded directly on the blade...  In this case, the Step/VH allows for a quick change (with the use a a tool) with a mechanical fixture making sure there is No movement!

Obviously, I do not know the design, nor have seeing the actual blade out of the holder. I am assuming that when you say the screw is embedded into the the blade it means that the screw and blade is a one piece part. This can potentially be a weak point prone to breaking in case of impact.    

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The way I picture it is that the thread for the screw is cut into the steel and the attachment bolt screws in like the Graf system. I could be wrong of course as I haven't seen it yet either.

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1 minute ago, malcb33 said:

The way I picture it is that the thread for the screw is cut into the steel and the attachment bolt screws in like the Graf system. I could be wrong of course as I haven't seen it yet either.

That would be even worse, as the blade does not have enough width to accommodate a good thread. It would be still a ridged attachment and if the bolt will eat the thread in the runner on every turn.

In my opinion, Graf has it down as far as the attachment goes. Reasonably fast and easy to replace a runner if need be without taking the boot off. All they needed to do is to have a nylock nut or a rubber o-ring on their existing nut instead of the two knurled lock-washers which are not providing any locking in this application. The things IMO, they got right, is the beefy bolt receiver in the runner (comparing to a weaker LS2 and other similar Bauer runners), the retainer bolt is made out of unhardened steel, and the fine thread which is ideal in up/down stress applications. A mile long, brass nut and two knurled washer have always puzzled me. The first mod I do, is put a tight fitting rubber o-ring on the nut instead of  the upper knurled washer (also keeps water from getting to the screw). I was pretty sure Step would have used Grafs method and just replaced the long brass nut, with a shorter ny-lock, but I was wrong.

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This all sounds great, my intentions were to order the older Bauer holder to avoid that potential flaw and to substitute StepSteel. Hopefully I will be able to go  the distance and order BlackSteel unless anyone has suggestions otherwise.

Thanks - Alan

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