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SKI TECH: Structure Profile of the Cold Universal Stonegrind

A close up image of the Cyclova XC Racing Service Cold Universal Structure - photos certainly don't do it justice...

For most North American Nordic Skiers, the "Cold Universal" structure is the consistent go to stoneground structure of choice.  If you have one pair of skis, this is likely the stonegrind structure that will best suit you.  

The Cold Universal grind will perform very well  in cold dry conditions, yet is flexible enough to keep right on going as temperatures warm up and higher moisture becomes present.  This versatility has earned it the title of being "the Universal Grind of the Rockies", yet it is the most popular structure here in the Midwest.

Following are some details around what makes this stoneground structure run so well in a huge range of conditions:
  • Pattern:  The Cold Universal grind uses a lightly biased cross-hatch pattern cut into the stone by a Nordic specific custom tuned Wintersteiger dressing diamond.  This type of non-linear structure achieves modest moisture movement under the ski base while gliding.
  • Depth:  The Cold Universal grind is a shallow structure cut by the above mentioned diamond, as to not create tall hills and valleys.  This in effect reduces the surface area of the ski base and dramatically reduces dry friction in cold/dry snow conditions.  This relatively shallow structure depth strikes a happy medium between the ultra fine and the warmer, more coarse patterns.
  • Gauge:  Generally fine.  The Cold Universal grind being a biased, cross-hatch pattern enjoys many of the benefits of being both a very fine and medium structure.  While cutting the pattern into the stone, 2 passes with the above mentioned dressing diamond are made with the diamond at different stone & diamond speeds on each pass.
  • Quiver Optimization:  If you have a quiver of skis dedicated to different conditions, this is the one structure that is at home on almost any type of ski.  For skiers with a full quiver, I recommend having both a pair of soft new snow skis and dedicated hard pack condition skis ready to go with this grind.
For more info on Cyclova XC Racing Service's world class stonegrinding service, check out our SKI SERVICE page.


  1. Frank, that's what I've got on my ski's now. What would you suggest for this upcoming weeks race (pre-birkie)? Run a structure bar across it since it will be warm and then some high flouro's?

  2. Hi Steve,

    Look to tomorrow's post on for the full scoop on Pre-Birkie ski prep.

    With that said, it's looking like the overnight low up there will be close to 0'F with a high in the mid to upper 20's - so warm, but not super warm. I don't think any additional structure will be necessary - especially as you'll be toward the front side of things.

    These later season races where the temperature changes so drastically are where the Cold Universal Grind is perfect as it has a huge range.

    Good Luck!