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Snow hill with racing gates

Tech Tips
How to get the most from your FlexGates.


Tips for Use

When setting/screwing gates into the snow, the hinge should be just above the snow surface so the hinge is allowed to flex freely and w/out interference from the snow. The entire base must be into the snow w/out any base above the snow surface.


Gates should be fully flexed or bent over after setting into the snow after any length of storage or non-use (especially if left outside overnight) to pre-flex or 'warm up' the hinge. This is true of all brands of gates, especially if they are stored outdoors or in a very cold environment.


Gates should be checked periodically during training to make sure gate bases are turned in completely, w/out base exposure above snow surface, as this exposure can put extra stress on the base and can also be a safety risk for the athletes.


Gates should be stored out of direct sunlight whenever possible (especially for any length of time) to prevent ultra-violet effects to the plastic gate shafts.


Most wrenches can be easily adapted to fit FlexGates by grinding out or filing the inside diameter (i.d.) of the wrench tube and/or the i.d. of the wrench prongs or teeth. A slight amount of turning out or enlarging these inside diameter areas will make most wrenches universal for all brands of gates. FlexGates wrenches are customized to fit most all brands of gates.


When using wrenches, be sure not to “slam” or force them into any part of the hinge, as this can lead to hinge damage. In addition, if a non-FlexGate wrench is used and the fit is tight, be sure not to force the wrench, as damage to hinge components may result.


Brushes; some prefer a more spread out or ‘fray’ to their brushes and others prefer brushes to be more upright & slender. A rubber band put around the middle of the brush can be used to make brushes more upright & slender.


Putting a few wraps of electrical tape around the tip or top inch of the gate shaft can help to prevent shafts from cracking due to the high impact sustained from hard snow surfaces and/or ski tips


Replacing Components

We use #6 x ½” flat phillips tapping screws and counter-sink the screw holes when attaching any parts (ie: base to hinge; shaft to hinge). Counter-sinking allows the screw to sit more 'flush' with the gate parts and also helps the screws to stay completely inserted during/after frequent use. If using a pan-head screw, a longer screw should be used, like a #6 x ¾” length screw. Screws no longer than ¾” should be used when attaching hinges to bases, shafts, or adaptors as longer screws can sever the hinge tendon.


Pilot holes should always be made first when putting a screw into any of the gate parts; bases, hinges, adaptors or shafts.


Screws should be placed as far away as possible from the middle (flex zone) of the hinge. This allows more of the hinge tendon to stretch. Screws should be placed at least 1 in. from the male and female post rings or post flanges.


Hinges should be placed w/ the tail of the hinge tendon down into the base. This is obvious when using 27mm adaptors and shafts, as the tendon tail will not allow the adaptor to go all the way on. However, this is important to do with 31mm shafts as well.

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