WildSnow Tech — Dynafit Heel Gap Spacing and Safety Release


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

2013 addendum: a new feeler gauge is being sold with Dynafit bindings. See photos below.

All Dynafit Radical models: Use the little white gauge as pictured below to set the 5.30 mm heel gap (official specification “5.5 mm” but the gauges measure more like 5.30 with our calipers). Only difference in original procedure is you need to double-check your heel gap by taking boot out of binding heel, snapping back down again, then pushing heel unit firmly towards boot heel before checking the gap again. Idea is to take up any lingering slack in the 2013/2014 heel elasticity system so you don’t end up with too wide a heel gap. We’re not sure why the gauge was changed from a solid plastic “shim” to the compressible device, but it works so whatever. (Two nickles and an American quarter coin measure about 5.30 mm. Three nickles measure about 5.5 mm.)

The gauge for heel gap is now a compressible little device as pictured.

The gauge for heel gap is a compressible little device as pictured. It's a bit confusing to use. Don't over-think it, just line up the parts as indicated in photo and you've set your heel gap to plus-minus 5.3 mm.

We're assuming the idea of this gauge is you start with your gap a bit wide, then carefully crank the gap closed.

We're assuming the idea of this gauge is you start with your gap a bit wide (see more about this below), then carefully crank the gap closed till the gauge closes to the point as shown in photo above this one. Beware, the idea is NOT to completely close the gauge, but rather to line up the ends of the tiny nibs, again, as shown above. Thanks Seth for the photo.

2011 clarification: All Radical series and Vertical series Dynafit bindings use a 5.5 mm gap at heel, per discussion above and below. Our calipers measure this as more like 5.30 mm, but that falls within our understanding that a .5 mm variation in heel gap is acceptable as a tolerance.

You’ve heard of the generation gap, and you might know about your spark plug gap, but what about the Dynafit gap? To work their best, most “tech” type backcountry skiing bindings require specific spacing between the boot heel and the rear unit of the binding. The “tech gap,” if you will. In this WildSnow.com tech blog, we’ll look at the Dynafit binding “tech gap.”

Dynafit feeler gauge

Dynafit 5.5 mm feeler gauge inserted between boot heel and ST model binding.

Photo above shows the correct way of setting your tech gap specific to Dynafit bindings, using the feeler gauge that’s shipped in the box with all Dynafit bindings. Boot should be snapped into the binding heel (downhill mode). Gauge should be inserted snug, but not forced. Adjust gap via the rear adjustment screw on the rear of the binding baseplate. No need to get your panties in a bunch over how this is done. So long as the gauge fits in there snug, the binding gap is set. A tiny bit of variation, say 1/2 mm, is fine. How do I know that? Because as you ski and your ski flexes, the gap varies immensely! Thus, a tiny bit of variation when you set it is obviously within tolerances. That said, I’m talking a tiny variation — not just eyeballing and calling it good.

Simple, eh? But just as the generation gap caused confusion, so does Dynafit’s gap result in cognitive dissonance. Prior to around 2010 Dynafit’s literature states the gap should be 6 mm for the Comfort/ST/FT models, and 4 mm for the TLT/Speed/Race. Only when measured with calipers, the newer white plastic ST/FT gauge measures 5.43 mm, and the older one measures 5.9 mm. Latter is close enough to 6 mm as to make sense, but regarding 5.43 mm, do we suddenly have a new specification they snuck in on us? The answer is yes. (Note, pins in TLT/Speed/Race will remain the same length, and require a 4 mm tech gap.)

Dynafit gap gauges

Dynafit gap gauges, 4 mm TLT gauge to left, earlier Comfort/ST/FT 6 mm gauge in middle, new 5.5 mm gauge to right.

I’m actually not surprised about the the 5.5 mm spec, as I’ve been using approximately that spec for years on flexible skis which when decambered radically end up popping the heel pins out of the boot heel.

But nothing is perfect. By the same token, with flexy skis you may find that when set at 5.5 mm and using heel-flat-on-ski mode , the smaller heel gap results in your boot heel catching on the binding when your ski bridges a gap such as a creek crossing, or while you’re breaking trail in deep low-density powder. This problem is actually quite common for larger skiers with heavy packs.

Dynafit heel gap

Dynafit heel gap in heel-flat-on-ski touring mode. In certain situations the gap indicated by arrow can close up and result in our boot heel catching on the binding. Setting the gap at 5.5 mm may exacerbate this problem. If so, set at 6 mm but beware release values that are changed when the gap is changed.

So besides touring clearance, what exactly does changing the boot gap do to Dynafit binding performance?

1. The gap between boot heel and binding is there so the ski can flex without jamming your boot heel against the binding heel unit. BUT, it’s also there so the boot can rotate out of the binding without catching during a safety release. Even so, it is my opinion that if you require lateral release when the ski is flexed and the gap is closed up due to ski flex, the heel of the boot can still catch on the binding and cause a spike in side release value.

Above can be easily simulated on the bench by adjusting the tech binding heel gap to nearly nothing, then hand checking the side release by rotating the heel unit. If you’re not convinced after that, take a fairly flexible ski with correctly set gap, stick a boot in the binding, suspend between two chairs and press down on the boot to flex the ski. You’ll notice it’s fairly easy to close up the tech gap. With the gap closed and ski loaded, try rotating the heel unit to simulate a lateral release. Observe that the heel unit may bind while rotating. To mitigate this effect, correctly milled boot heel fittings in tech compatible boots have an elongated horizontal slot that adds clearance (and also aids in ice ejection). Even so, in a worst case scenario (supple ski flexed to the max), you may still get this effect as demonstrated in the “two chair suspension test.”

(Boot buyer caveat: As I covered in a previous post, there is no standardized norm for tech boot fittings and milling, so some boots are still being made without this elongated slot. Buyer beware. Latest news is that an inter-industry boot configuration standard is in process for tech fittings, but such could take years if it ever happens, so don’t hold your breath. Instead, read WildSnow.com.)

2. As the heel tech gap varies, release values vary because the boot is exerting differing amounts of leverage on the pins. When the gap is smaller, the release values are higher (at least that’s what logic dictates, I did not test this). Thus, in my view, it’s possible you could get a spike in lateral release value if you happen to need a release when your ski is radically flexed. To mitigate, as always I advise setting your release values at the low end of what’s recommended in the DIN/ISO 11088 chart, and only increase if you have problems with pre-release. Also, I recommend setting vertical and lateral release independently. In other words, they don’t have to be the same number. This being said, it’s also true the if you de-camber (reverse flex) your ski and widen the tech gap, you’ll end up with lower release values while the ski is flexed. Such a situation might arise, for example, when doing something like making a hop turn with heavy snow piled on the tip and tail of your ski.

Dynafit backcountry skiing binding heel rotation.

Dynafit backcountry skiing binding heel rotation during release. Note how the elongated horizontal slot in the boot heel allows the boot to eject without catching on the pins.

In my understanding, variation of the heel gap while in real world use is the main reason why Dynafit and other tech type bindings are not TUV certified to the DIN/ISO 13992 standard for tour binding release. In other words, while the Dynafit has a proven safety release, and I know for a fact the company does work hard to keep the release value numbers matching those of the DIN/ISO standard, as the ski flexes those values vary.

Conclusion one: In my view, while most (if not all) frame touring bindings such as Fritschi are TUV tested/certified to meet DIN/ISO standard 13992, boot wear and dirt (as well as user adjustment error), result in wide variations of release values during real-world use. The beauty of the tech (Dynafit) binding system in terms of safety is it eliminates the variable of boot friction by suspending the boot between toe and heel fittings. Conversely, the tech system introduces the problem of ski flex and heel/binding clearance and they are thus not TUV certified to DIN/ISO 13992. Even so, real life use validates my opinion that both tech and frame binding systems are equally as safe — when correctly maintained and set with proper clearances. Main caveat being that any binding system should be carefully adjusted and tested for safety release.

Conclusion two: The 5.5 millimeter Dynafit tech gap will probably work fine for the vast majority and is recommended. But if you have problems, don’t hesitate to experiment with small changes in the gap. Only if you do so, be aware that by changing the gap you’ll change your release values or possibly introduce annoyances such as the pins actually pulling out of your boot heel fitting when the ski is de-cambered (in this case, exacerbated by gap set wider than spec).

Conjecture: It seems to me that actually making the tech binding pins longer and specifying a wider gap would be the way to go for all tech binding makers. But everything is interrelated in this type of machinery, so who knows what problems that would introduce. Even so, a man is allowed to dream. It also occurs to me that perhaps ultimately we need a generation II tech binding interface. One with stronger and wider boot heel fittings, variable spring tension in the toe unit, longer heel pins, and so on. Is someone working on that as I dream? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Tip: If you can’t find a Dynafit tech gap gauge, 3 lightly used nickles measures about 5.5 mm, which in my opinion is within tolerance for setting your Dynafit tech gap.

Comments

121 Responses to “WildSnow Tech — Dynafit Heel Gap Spacing and Safety Release”

  1. KJ February 17th, 2010 1:26 pm

    Nice tip. I believe, though, that 3 nickels is 5.85mm – 1.95mm x 3, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_(United_States_coin) . Love the site!

  2. Lou February 17th, 2010 2:02 pm

    Slightly worn real-life nickles, not mint (grin).

  3. Clyde February 17th, 2010 2:56 pm

    I found with the Onyx, if the gap is a hair too small, you can’t install the brakes. So far, very happy with the G3.

  4. Lou February 17th, 2010 3:02 pm

    Had not evaluated that yet Clyde, so much thanks for pitching in.

  5. cam February 17th, 2010 3:19 pm

    Clyde,

    could you explain your situation with the ONYX further? the gap setting shouldn’t be related in anyway to brake installation unless I’ve missed something. The only thing that could hinder brake installation related to length adjustment would be if you’re too close to the end of the adjustment range (ie. heel all the way backwards) you can tell where you’re at by looking at the side of the heel to see if you’re in the proper range.

    glad to hear you’re happy with the binding.

  6. Oli C February 17th, 2010 3:42 pm

    getting the distance set-up is very important. i’m fairly young and only on my 2nd season of touring, this season i got a new lightweight set-up with dynafits tlt’s to complement my bigger ski’s with fritschi’s. aux veux campier in strasbourg fitted them to my ski’s. i thought they’d do a good job, i’ve not had any issues with the camper in albertville at the heart of the Savoie region of France. But alas i kept comin gout at the toe’s, even in climbing mode. a local shop here in austria said the gap was too big between the heel of the boot and the dynafit heel peice. Since they re-drilled them i have had no problems at all, up or down!

  7. Zephyr February 17th, 2010 4:43 pm

    The reviews are excellent. May I suggest using actual measurements on boots such as Cm measurements of last size, interior of boot at heel, toe, height for accuracy. It makes it easier to quantify fit and less subjective. Same thing for skis flex, say with 50 lb weight and cm deflection at midpoint, 12″ from tip and tail. We do this for weight by gram rather than say, heavy, light etc. I believe it will be helpful to all readers. Thanks.

  8. Zephyr February 17th, 2010 7:36 pm

    You’ve done it already. I missed it. Thanks. Good standard for procedure.
    Toe
    ZZeus=105 Factor=102.

    ankle area room, distance between the shell cuff rivets is a good indicator.
    ZZeus=86, Factor=88.

    heel pocket at a standardized spot.
    ZZeus=76, Factor=71.

  9. John W February 17th, 2010 7:59 pm

    My bench test is to put the boot in the binding w/ heel at no rise. Put the tip and tail on a piece of 2 x 4 and push the ski to the bench. Hold it down and lift the heel up (simulate walking). If there is contact move the heel back a bit and retest. I think it’s hard on the binder to be making repeated contact.

    A 1/4″ drill bit is 6.35 mm. Good for a 6 mm ball park fit if you lost the gauge.

  10. Wyatt February 17th, 2010 9:08 pm

    I bought some used skis with Dynafit Verticals mounted but did not get the spacer and I was racking my brain to find something quick and easy to set the gap with. I ended up using a metric allen key. The 6mm allen key is exactly 6mm across the flats and worked well.

  11. Lou February 17th, 2010 9:57 pm

    Wyatt, good tip on the allen wrench. Now that the standard is 5.5 mm, what do you think will work best for that?

  12. Gus February 17th, 2010 10:59 pm

    I was in a ski shop just a few days ago and someone came in with a Garmont boot and Dynafit TLT ST binding. The pins had pushed directly up past the tech insert in the heel and dug a deep gouge into the boot plastic and then out. So the heel of the boot had two vertical gouges in the plastic caused by the pins. My guess is that he took a wicked jump and flexed those skis way beyond normal so the boot bottomed out on the ski surface and the heel pins dug their vertical craters. Has anyone seen this before?

  13. Wyatt February 18th, 2010 12:54 am

    A 5.5mm or 7/32″ hex key should do the trick. Of course neither is as good as the supplied plastic piece because of how you have to fit it in while you are adjusting the screw, but its close enough for me.

    So how do I tell whether my bindings should be 5.5 or 6?

  14. Matus February 18th, 2010 3:44 am

    Just a note regarding the setting of the gap:

    The skis need to be flat when adujsting the gap. I.e. first, push the ski down to the flat floor, hold it that way, then put the spacer between the boot and the binding and adjust the distance with the adjustmen screw.

    As far as I remember, the above is also in the user manual…

  15. Jan February 18th, 2010 5:20 am

    @ Lou: remember – G3 is a cheap copy of Dynafit, don’t be surprised, if the gaps and the tolerances are different from the original!

  16. Schnappi February 18th, 2010 6:48 am

    Gus wrote: “I was in a ski shop just a few days ago and someone came in with a Garmont boot and Dynafit TLT ST binding. The pins had pushed directly up past the tech insert in the heel and dug a deep gouge into the boot plastic and then out. So the heel of the boot had two vertical gouges in the plastic caused by the pins. My guess is that he took a wicked jump and flexed those skis way beyond normal so the boot bottomed out on the ski surface and the heel pins dug their vertical craters. Has anyone seen this before?”

    I’ve had it happen 3 or 4 times, after hucks, but without damage to my ZZeros. The heel shelf just ends up underneath the pins. As far as I recall, it has happened only on rigs where I was not using brakes.

  17. Lou February 18th, 2010 9:11 am

    I’ve had this happen as well, when the pins ended up on top of the heel shelf. Not sure how it happens, but it happens with TLT binding with shorter pins. New version of TLT will have the longer pins, which is something I’ve pushed for since years ago.

  18. Lou February 18th, 2010 9:17 am

    Jan, I wouldn’t call G3 “cheap.” They are very nicely made. As for the “tech gap” for the G3, it’s 6 mm, same as Dynafit Comfort/ST series up till recent bindings being shipped with 5.5 mm spacer/gauge.

  19. Dave February 18th, 2010 10:50 am

    Lou-I just had my Dynafits mounted by a shop (I”m new to AT), and are noticing some of the rubbing of boot to binding you describe when in flat-on-ski-mode. Its just on one side, but not just when applying abnormal pressure (like a creek crossing) Should I just back the adjustment off slightly to address this? Also, slightly off topic, when I was looking this over, I noted that the shop did not put in the 5th screw in either of the toe pieces-the lone one at the top, under the lever. Is there a reason for this? I’m not worried about the extra weight, and I’m kind of a big guy, so I’m tempted to take it back and have them installed. Thanks, as always.

  20. Jonathan Shefftz February 18th, 2010 7:22 pm

    “In my understanding, variation of the heel gap while in real world use is the main reason why Dynafit and other tech type bindings are not TUV certified to the DIN/ISO 13992 standard for tour binding release.”

    I found some interesting language in the user manual on that. In the 2006 version: “As an authorized retailer you agree to check all the equipment according to DIN/ISO 11088 before the installation or adjustment of the function unit ski / ski binding / ski boot. If necessary, you have to replace one part of the unit or all three parts. All parts have to be in accordance with DIN / ISO standards.”
    And then: “All new DYNAFIT bindings are in accordance with the requirement of the existing national and international standards and are inspected by the TUV Product Service.”
    But that sentence changes in the 2007 version to: “All DYNAFIT bindings are 100% checked for their release values during production, in compliance with statutory regulations.”

  21. Lou February 19th, 2010 7:20 am

    Jonathan, as far as I know there is no presently manufactured “tech” binding that is certified by TUV to the DIN/ISO release norm. Early TLT bindings did have some kind of TUV certification, and word is that the bump molded on the binding surface behind the boot heel was there for the sole reason to prevent the gap from changing past the point where the DIN/ISO norm would exceed tollerances. Even that was dicy and introduced it’s own problems, so both the bump and TUV certification went away. That’s my understanding, anyway, from a variety of sources.

    From everything I’ve heard TUV can be very difficult to deal with, nor is there an industry standardized norm for the tech boot nor the binding. Instead, a voluntary standard for tech binding release values is what’s ensued, which is intended to match DIN/ISO. My understanding is that companies such as Dynafit and G3 make every effort to make their release values conform to the DIN/ISO norm for release values even though TUV will not certify tech bindings for it. Many other companies making tech bindings appear to not even bother with that.

    Also regarding TUV, anyone can bring them their own in-house standard/norm and pay them to do independent testing for that standard. So just because a product is “TUV” doesn’t necessarily mean it conforms to any particular standard other than what it was tested for. Along with any TUV logo or certification, one needs to know what standard that applies to before making any assumptions.

    Lot’s of potential for smoke and mirrors with this stuff. Main thing is that based on observation and field experience, tech bindings such as Dynafit or Onyx prove out to have just as good (or better) safety release as other touring bindings. But as with all touring bindings, safety release should be set conservatively low and only dialed up if necessary. If for no other reason than as stated above, tech binding release values do vary when the ski flexes.

  22. Glomstulen February 19th, 2010 8:59 am

    A bit off topic, but anyone knows when the skitrab tr1 binding will come out? Lou, have you tested it yet?

  23. Jonathan Shefftz February 19th, 2010 9:07 am

    Interesting with TUV — the Dynafit user manual has all the same release value adjustment and testing protocols as alpine downhill bindings, and keeps referring to various ISO standard numbers, but never comes and says either way regarding whether it really meets them.
    Glomstulen, the TR1 prototype is now the TR2. If you look at the WildSnow Twitter feed (going to the standalone page, which shows all the older tweets), I put a link to a video that shows a pretty good demo. The big change is that the binding requires a new proprietary heel interface. The demo shows a Scarpa boot — unclear if Trab is planning some sort of arrangement with Scarpa, of it that was just a Trab mod of a Scarpa boot.
    Maybe the idea with the custom heel unit interface is that Trab can sell after-market custom heel pads for Dynafit Zzeus/Titan/Gaia, BD Factor/Method/Shiva, and Solly Quest series?

  24. Dave February 19th, 2010 10:09 am

    Lou: I just got my first dynafit setup and am having the rubbing you describe in heel-on-ski tour mode, although it is not just happening at creek crossings, but in general touring. Is that solvable by simply adjusting the heel? Also, the bindings were mounted at a shop and they left out the 5th screw in the toe piece, under the toe lever. Is this common, or should I take them back and get the screw added? Thanks.

  25. Lou February 19th, 2010 10:29 am

    We’ll, you just want to check the tech gap. If it’s the correct width for your binding model it shouldn’t be rubbing other than in extreme flex situations. What binding model? Don’t just willy nilly back it off, use the spacer gauge that came with the binding. If the shop didn’t give you the gauge, then they owe you.

    As for 5th screw, all next season’s offerings will eliminate that, but I’m pretty sure current models still need it.

  26. Dave February 19th, 2010 11:00 am

    Thanks, Lou. Its actually the exact same setup on this page-Waybacks with Vert STs. I didn’t get the spacer so I’ll be making a trip back to the shop for that and the 5th screw. Maybe I should stick to tele :wink:

  27. John February 19th, 2010 11:49 am

    I’d feel better if they kept the 5th toe srew, particularly for lightweight BC skis. I have 5 or 6 different sets of skis with FT-12s or STs and have never had a release issue, even have a torn MCL. I run a DIN of 8 for forward release and 10 for rotational release. Last week I Tomahawked in Maroon Bowl on my RT-86s w/ first gen FT-12s, which caused the toe piece to rotate enough that the heel pins did not line up after the fall. Re-tightening the screws fixed the problem. (I usually epoxy when I mount, these were shop mounted with a non-epoxy adhesive).

    Just saying there is a lot of force on the toe piece, and BC skis with little top sheet reinforcement, may need this extra mounting point for rotational strength.
    John

  28. Lou February 19th, 2010 12:04 pm

    Hence, I always use epoxy or Gorilla Glue, wood glue is for building kitchen cabinets…

  29. rod georgiu February 20th, 2010 11:25 am

    :wub: Lou, you talk about flexy skis where you might come out of the binding. Not sure how flexy the skis have to be. I use K2 Hardsides with FZ-12. Would you consider them to be flexy?

  30. Lou February 20th, 2010 11:43 am

    It would depend on your weight, the weight of your pack, and in what type of conditions you’re using the skis. I wouldn’t call the Hardside “flexy” per se, but performance depends on a lot of factors. Are you having trouble staying in the binding, or did this blog post just give you another thing to worry about along with world hunger? :angel:

  31. rod georgiu February 20th, 2010 11:56 am

    Are you having trouble staying in the binding, or did this blog post just give you another thing to worry about along with world hunger?

    You got that right. I skied the FZ-12 s 6 times this year, and never came out. I am new to Dynafits. True that when I skied a steep (for me- 45 degrees ) culoir, I locked the front.

  32. Lou February 20th, 2010 12:32 pm

    Don’t worry, be happy, la, la la la la la, la la laaa la laaa, laala la la…. and all that.

  33. Dorey February 20th, 2010 6:41 pm

    This is also a shade of topic. I just got my first Dynafit boots and bindings,and skis in a package delivered, pre-mounted. No shim included so I made one. Set, tested DIN, and all is good. (Thanks for all the available tips. )I had the brakes shipped separate so I can get used to mode changes without them.

    In your extremely helpful Dynafit FAQ’s you mention that the boot rise is several mm’s high. I’m not sure whether the boot is lalso supported somehow below that rise. My boots, (without brakes) are suspended, consistent with your measurements way up there and supported only by the 4 pins. Is that a correct situation>>

  34. Lou February 20th, 2010 9:56 pm

    Yes, with Dynafit bindings the boot is suspended between toe and heel.

  35. Lou February 22nd, 2010 12:48 pm

    In original version of post above, I mentioned that Dynafit would be going to longer pins in the TLT/Speed model, so it would match the Comfort/ST/FT series with a 5.5 mm tech gap instead of the usual 4 mm. I got that info from a reliable source and wrote it in. But it turns out I got it wrong. The pins in the TLT/Speed will remain the same and that model will require a 4 mm gap.

  36. harpo February 23rd, 2010 11:25 am

    Are thy removing the 5th scew to save weight? Seems problematic as I have heard of problems with dyna toes pulling out of some skis, with blame put both on the core material of the ski and the close set pattern of the screws in the toe peice. I would feel better if they kept the 5th scerw……..

  37. Lou February 23rd, 2010 11:32 am

    Harpo, 5th screw really does nothing more than hold down the binding under the latch, it would have very little effect on overall binding pullout strength. I would be very surprised if a Dynafit toe pulled out after being mounted correctly in the area of the ski that’s reinforced for binding placement, even with 4 screws.

    As for why they left it out, probably for simplicity and cost savings more than anything, but it also saves weight, and since the weight of the binding has been creeping up like some sort of creature in a zombie film, reversing that trend is a good thing.

  38. roca February 25th, 2010 4:00 am

    Very intersting new product from last ISPO:
    new ATK tour binding with set release front and back at 170 gr.
    this looks quite revolutionary in my opinion
    at least for us european lightweight freaks!
    give a look
    http://www.atkrace.com/node/index.php

  39. AJ February 25th, 2010 5:35 am

    gen II tech binding

    Ski Trab TR2 perhaps?

  40. Chris March 16th, 2010 9:17 pm

    Hi Lou, you made this comment: “BTW, I’ve got some Dalbello Virus here. They’re nice boots and the metal tech fittings look good. The toe of the boot fits Dynafit binding perfectly, but the slots in the heel are in my opinion incorrectly milled and cause extra resistance at one point in lateral release. This incorrect milling is a legacy thing that’s been done on some other boots as well. I’ll bet Dalbello copied the wrong pair of boots. It’s easy to fix.”

    I have the dalbello virus boots and am mounting up some ST’s. What is the easy fix? I’m concerned about safety. also concerned since I just spent a whole bunch of $ on new boots I probably can’t return – wish I would have seen your post first.
    thank you, Chris

  41. Adam May 14th, 2010 2:29 pm

    I can’t find my Dynafit spacer thingy so I’m going with the $0.15 rule, but I’m wondering if the space of the nickels should be in between the heel of the boot and the vertical part of the binding, or should they be in front of that tiny little lip on the pins where they meet the vertical part of the binding. All this talk of fractions of MM makes me think that the space difference matters and I’d hate to get it wrong.

    Thoughts?

    BTW boots are TX-Pro and bindings are FT12.

  42. Ian December 11th, 2010 6:04 pm

    Any idea how many mm of change in boot sole adjusting the boot gap will allow? For example, will bindings mounted for a 325 mm bsl adjust to accomodate 314mm bsl boots?

  43. Jonathan Shefftz December 12th, 2010 10:06 am

    Total track length is 26mm, so in theory +/- 13mm from where they’re currently mounted if indeed they were mounted exactly in the center (as they should be).

  44. tony December 25th, 2010 9:35 pm

    Will the new 5.5 spacer that comes with this years Verticals be in spec for older Comforts? Does the new spec also apply to Comforts?

  45. Mark W December 25th, 2010 10:26 pm

    Adam, I’d recommend getting the Dynafit spacer for your binding. It’s a pain getting anything else in there for a feeler gauge.

  46. Jonathan Shefftz December 26th, 2010 6:39 am

    @tony, yes, the new spacer applies to all Dynafit bindings with adjustable tracks other than the Speed.

  47. Lou December 26th, 2010 6:15 pm

    Chris, compare to something like late model Scarpa, or better, OEM Dynafit boots, and you’ll see the difference. If necessary, the lateral clearance can be added by dremelling some shallow horizontal slots.

    Before going any farther, please review this blog post with care:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/2599/dynafit-tech-heel-space-shim-gauge/

  48. Lou December 26th, 2010 6:18 pm

    All, regarding “heel gap,” don’t obsess on it (it can be 5.5 mm or 6 for the ST/FT/Comfort series, and still work fine for most people) But do use a feeler gauge to set the gap, trying to measure it with a ruler, or eyball it, is lame.

  49. Larry January 12th, 2011 12:21 am

    I recently bought a pair of Dalbello Virus Lites and love the boot. I had a pair of Scarpa Lasers before mounted with Dynift Comports(six years old). I went a shell size smaller with the Dalbello’s and now find myself pre-releasing with my right ski but not my left. The distance setting is right on between binding and boot. I’m wondering if I need to remount the heels? I was hoping not. I put my Scarpas back in the binding and reset the gap to the boot and don’t prerelease. Any suggestions? Larry

  50. Toby March 8th, 2011 2:31 am

    Question about the TLTs bump and 4 mm gap:

    TLT speeds still have that casted bump in the center of the heel piece. Just below the rear pins. The 4mm gap should be top of this bump. The actual gap between heel and the bump is something like 1,5 mm only! WHAT is the purpose of this bump? (Heritage from the original DIN certification test..??) Other new Dynafits don’t have that. Do you see any disadvantages to grind them down?

    I think that 1,5mm gap causes an unnecessary stress for the heel piece. You don’t have to load the ski much to close this gap. Real 4mm gap all the way would give a more flexibility.

  51. Lou March 8th, 2011 7:17 am

    Toby, I grind down all the TLT bumps. They’re just vestigial, were added when Dynafit tried to get TUV certification for DIN/ISO. The idea was that the bump kept the gap from closing and thus changing release values. Of lesser concern was that the bump could cause inadvertent release because it reduced binding elasticity by eliminating clearance. TUV is not known as ski binding experts, they’re just, TUV to test for a standard, for better or worse… and the DIN/ISO standard requires release values to stay within a certain range as the ski flexes and so forth. Regular alpine bindings even get influenced by ski flex, so it’s a valid concern in one sense. This is the main reason I’ll be surprised when a tech binding actually gets certified by TUV to the DIN/ISO 13992, and call BS on companies that say their bindings are “certified” or in the “process of certification. ” That said, minds way better than mine are working on making a tech binding that can receive cert for 13992, so we shall see…

  52. Toby March 8th, 2011 10:02 am

    Thanks a lot! So I did it right away. I disassembled the pins+springs for good access and used a very coarse file for the job.

  53. Lou March 8th, 2011 10:09 am

    When I grind mine off, I leave a tiny bit just so I know I didn’t mess up the strength of the housing. Have done it to dozens, no problems so far. But proceed at own risk.

  54. rod georgiu March 9th, 2011 10:05 am

    I was skiing some heavy powder yesterday, and my right boot kept coming out of the FT-12 heel, I was able to lift the heel aout of the binding while standing. Since I was in a narrow and steep couloir, this caused a lot of trepidation. I finally realized that I had snow under the brake, so I assume that prevented the pins from engaging fully.

    Does this make sense?

    Also, at the car, I found out that the vertical relase was set at 6 on that ski. (At least I assume it was the vertical release: it was NOT the setting with the cylinder that rotates.) I always set both releases at 11 and never touched them. Is it possible that the setting will go from 11 to 6 on its own?
    Or possibly the snow under the brake had something to do with it?

    I took the skis to a shop, they took the binding apart, couldnt find anything wrong with it, and they were able to adjust it to 11, clicked the boot in a few times with no problems.

    I am still spooked by this and i would apprecite any insight.

  55. Lou March 9th, 2011 10:12 am

    Two separate issue. Yes of course ice or snow under the boot or brake can mess up retention, just as with nearly any other ski binding out there.

    Setting creeping to 6 when it was 11 can result from stripped tiny nut/screw in heel unit. Just watch it carefully to see if it changes again inadvertantly. One of my son’s bindings had that problem a few years ago. Easy to fix for a binding mech, but requires attention to diagnose.

    Your binding mech said they found nothing wrong. In that case, what can I say since I can’t look at the binding myself?

  56. rod georgiu March 9th, 2011 10:15 am

    thanks Lou. I will watch it. The techs at the shop mentioned the stripped nut possibility, but they looked at it and thought it was ok.

  57. Lou March 9th, 2011 10:21 am

    Amazing the techs actually knew about that. Great!

  58. Mark O March 29th, 2011 9:58 am

    Hope this is the best thread, but here goes:

    I finally purchased some Dynafit STs to go on K2 BackUps. I bought them mail order and took them to my local ski shop in London to be attached. (They sell the bindings but had no skis I wanted). They were happy to fit them for a small charge. I took the skis touring around Chamonix and had two days of terror with many occasions of the boots coming out of the bindings, seemingly at the toe piece. (At least I got to practice that “self-arrest” technique of digging your boots and hands into the slope, several times. :)

    Being new to Dynafit I assumed it was my fault and I wasn’t putting them on properly – I didn’t even have a popsicle stick with me! Had I learnt nothing from reading this blog! (I used my multitool instead to religiously clear snow from under the toe piece (scratches! I know, I know).)

    Eventually took skis to a good shop in Chamonix who scratched their heads a bit and kept them over night. The next day they pointed out: bindings too loose (which could be fixed); bindings not quite in same place along length of skis; gaps at heel piece too big, one just about acceptable after max adjustment, the other not; and, probably crucially, one set of heel pins not lined up with slots in boots – meaning when forced in, always exerting lateral pressure.

    I took them back to the shop and did show and tell of the above, and left them there (as well as writing what I thought was a rather conclusive letter.) It transpires their chief technician was away when the bindings were attached and initially I had apologies and horror on their part.

    Now boss man has got involved and says it is a “component problem, not a fitting problem”. He is maintaining they were put on perfectly and there is something wrong with the bindings; he wants me to go in to be shown how perfect the holes are (they have taken the bindings off). He says the distance between the toe and heel piece holes is the same on both skis.

    Before I talk to him, I would just like to check that the fact the pins don’t line up with the slots on one of my boots is pretty crucial, isn’t it? And even if there is some mystery warping in the bindings they really shouldn’t have given them back to me like that, should they???

    Anyway, any help/advice, before I trudge along to be browbeaten,
    appreciated.

    Mark.

  59. Alan November 21st, 2011 7:52 pm

    I’m a tele dude who is currently mounting dynafits, for the first time, on a plate that accepts both dynafits and 22designs axl bindings (which is pretty cool). You site as been invaluable resource for all things dynafit. Thank you!

  60. Lou November 21st, 2011 9:19 pm

    Alan, glad to be of some help! As for those plates, Dynafit marketing department should be giving them away (grin). Lou

  61. tOM November 27th, 2011 11:00 am

    Mark, IMO, YES, it is critical for the pins to be lining up with the slots in the heel. Be sure to check BOTH boots in BOTH bindings; you could have a defective tech insert placement in one boot causing the pins to “not line up”. Be sure before pointing fingers and placing blame & be prepared to walk away & take your business elsewhere. If the holes are only slightly off it may be possible to have inserts from Binding Freedom or Quiverkiller installed to correct the situation; though you’d want them installed perfectly by someone you have confidence in and is willing to stand behind the work.

    All this being said, I’ve semi-botched a binding mount where my heel was very slightly off set from the pins & had no trouble with it.

    All the best, tOM

  62. Lou November 27th, 2011 11:35 am

    Any tech binding can tolerate a very slight left or right misalignment of the heel, say a millimeter or so. But I like mine to be perfect. Generally, it’s quite easy to get perfect alignment by mounting heel unit first (to use for reference), then as you screw the toe unit down shift it left or right by placing boot in the toe, locking the toe, then pressing boot heel to left or right to slightly shift the screws as you tighten them. Sometimes, you have to take the boot in and out multiple times but it’s amazing how much most mounts will shift. Doing this process is another reason to use epoxy for any mount, as once the epoxy cures it locks in any shift you had to do.

    We’ve of course detailed the above process several dozen times over the years, but it bears repeating as it’s quite a bit different than slamming a binding on to a ski the way you can do with an alpine binding. Interestingly, however, the same process is the best way to get a perfect mount with plate/frame bindings such as Fritschi, especially if you have a worn jig or are using a paper template, and your screw holes fall ever so slightly off layout.

    Lou

    Lou

  63. Norseman December 1st, 2011 12:45 am

    I just got a pair of Dynafit Radical STs mounted on K2 skis. The pins don’t line up perfectly with my Maestrales for any ski/boot combination. Please see the photos below. Are any of these combinations within acceptable tolerances? What would be the best way to deal with this? I’ve mailed the photos to the store, and am waiting for their response.

    Ski 1 + left boot:
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7012/6432657745_5c78f8b56f_b.jpg
    Ski 1 + right boot:
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7026/6432656893_fd40e1e47b_b.jpg
    Ski 2 + left boot:
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7156/6432655061_0490bd1323_b.jpg
    Ski 2 + right boot:
    http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7002/6432655665_3472e87a38_b.jpg

  64. Lou December 1st, 2011 6:15 am

    Sigh. The place that mounted your skis messed up the work. They should fix. Did they mount using the boots to fine tune the alignment? You can also easily fix this yourself if you’ve got the correct tools and some moderate hand skills.

  65. steveG December 1st, 2011 6:25 am

    To be clear, is the fix for Norseman simply to loosen the toe screws and keep the heel properly aligned while re tightening? Looks that way to me. Maybe the tech was a bit clueless.

  66. Lou December 1st, 2011 6:50 am

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the victim of one of the “worst ski shops in the world,” as opposed to the best. See best here:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/3921/top-best-ski-shops/

    But yeah, the screw loosening is the procedure. ONLY, when done after the fact all screws should be removed then re-inserted with your glue of choice, and great care taken not to strip them. If they’re loosened and re-tightened without new glue, they will not be locked or sealed from moisture.

    Lou

  67. Lou December 1st, 2011 6:56 am

    By the way, there is of course a very faint chance that the boots are the problem, not the skis. But in the end, when the mount is done it should be done with the actual boots that will be used and doing so usually takes care of any small manufacturing variations in how aligned the boot fittings are.

    If a shop mounts Dynafits without the person’s boots in hand, then again, they are not doing the best job possible.

    To be fair, if they can’t mount with the actual boots (such as in the case of a mail order deal), they should at least inform the owner that the owner may have to do a final alignment tune of the binding. Problematic, but that’s the way a shop could at least keep the owner informed and achieve a final result that was acceptable.

    Just slapping bindings on without any alignment tune might work part of the time, but I’ll guarantee you’ll get a lot of mounts that way that don’t line the boots up. I mount dozens and dozens of Dynafits, have done hundreds of mounts over the years, and almost every mount requires the final alignment tune (though many end up quite close).

    Lou

  68. Norseman December 1st, 2011 7:28 am

    The shop told me they would use another Maestrale boot of the same size for doing the mount. I’m gonna bring the skis (and my own boots) back to the shop tomorrow. They’ve been selling Dynafit for years, so I am expecting them to fix this.

  69. Lou December 1st, 2011 7:48 am

    Yeah, it shouldn’t be a problem if they’ve got some experience. It’s either a variation in the boot fittings, or they just got lazy and didn’t bother triple checking alignment. If they do discover your boot fittings are whacked, then you’ll need to warranty the boots. Lou

  70. Norseman December 2nd, 2011 9:25 am

    Well, I brought the skis and the boots to the store today. They couldn’t find any problems. According to the techs there, a small level of variation is a non issue, as long as the boot is able to click in, and the pins fit snugly when clicked in. So they didn’t do any adjustments, even if the lineup is not spot on. I didn’t want to argue with them, and truth is, the offset for Ski 1 + Left booth was a bit smaller in the shop than it is on my picture. Not sure what happened there.

    Anyway, I guess I’ll just go with the Ski 1+ Right boot and Ski 2 + Left boot combination, and see how it skis. If there’s any problems, I’ll take it back to the store.

  71. Lou December 2nd, 2011 9:31 am

    Why not just fix yourself? You can probably get them near perfect. Surprise the shop didn’t just fix them. Typical. Not impressed.

  72. Norseman December 2nd, 2011 9:44 am

    If I had the proper equipment, I would give it a go. Living in a city apartment, I only have my living room floor to do such work, and it’s far from ideal. I’d rather bring it to another store (there are several in my area) if adjustments are needed.

  73. Norseman December 2nd, 2011 11:17 am

    Oh, and I’m assuming that it isn’t vital that the tweak is done before the skis are used. It can just as easily be done later in the season, when the boots and bindings are worn in a bit, right?

  74. BCskier December 10th, 2011 5:44 pm

    Hi, I just bought a pair of Dynafit Speed bindings and tried to mount them on my Manaslu’s for my 310mm boots only to find they can’t be adjusted with enough room for a 4mm spacer on the recommended holes (inner set) or when I tried the toe piece on the other ski in the forward holes there was too much space. The heel piece in both cases was turned to to its maximum or minimum travel to try to accommodate the boot. Anyone have any ideas?

  75. steveG December 10th, 2011 8:40 pm

    Which holes sets have you tried? So to understand, call the front most set #1, next set back #2 etc.

  76. BCskier December 10th, 2011 10:52 pm

    Hi, I tried hole set 2 and 3 as specified on the sticker for a 310mm boot size. Result: even with the heel unit fully screwed back there is contact with the heel unit (not just the pins).

    I also tried set 1 and 3 but the problem then was too much space between the heel unit and boot even when the heel unit was screwed as far forward as possible.

    Thanks for your help!

  77. Mason December 10th, 2011 11:30 pm

    did you buy the old style speed or the radical? I thought the radical has longer pins now so the spacing should be 5.5mm?

  78. Jonathan Shefftz December 11th, 2011 7:00 am

    @BCskier, sounds like you bought the wrong bindings. Even the sticker should specify that the holes are for only Vertical and Radical bindings (along with the old Comfort). I’ve had two friends luck out with Speed bindings corresponding to their BSL, but with only +/-3mm adjustment, can’t count on it.

  79. BCskier December 11th, 2011 11:23 pm

    Thanks Jonathan and Mason. I think you are right about these old Speed bindings not being compatible with with the Manaslu’s. (except if you get lucky with your BSL) I asked the shop that I bought the bindings from if they would work on the Slu’s and they said ‘yes’. They said they will take them back, but I got them cheap and will sell to a friend and buy the speed Radicals. Thanks for your help!
    Just got back from an amazing day touring in the Monashee Mountains of BC. Great skiing in glades, steep trees, and huge old growth forest. Check out the video of us touring in this area last winter on my site http://www.skipinions.com

  80. Olaf Metal December 23rd, 2011 10:11 am

    Does anyone know what the proper gap should be for FT12 radicals?

  81. Lou December 23rd, 2011 10:24 am

    5.5, but on soft skis I’d set it as 6 because of the return of the “bump” on the binding.

  82. Lou December 23rd, 2011 10:25 am

    I just looked in the box we have here with new Radicals in it, am I wrong or have they NOT enclosed a feeler gauge with the bindings?

  83. Matt December 23rd, 2011 10:32 am

    I thought the gauge was missing in the pair of Radical I purchased, but upon looking really hard, I found the feeler gauge, same color white as the inside of the box, wedged in between the overlapping cardboard that forms the bottom of the box.

  84. Olaf Metal December 23rd, 2011 3:37 pm

    Thanks guys, this site is an amazing resource. I received mine via internet, mounted with no box. When I emailed the question to the dealer, they said 4mm.

  85. CozT December 23rd, 2011 7:53 pm

    Hi Lou & co:

    Hate to beat a dead horse here, but I’m seeking an opinion about a problem similar to Norseman’s. I just picked up my skis from a shop after a mount (Sportiva RTs with Maestrales). They had my boots for the mount. After getting them home, one boot fits both bindings perfectly. The other boot is about 2-3 mm off (to the right side in the heel) on both bindings. It seems to me that the shop mounted both bindings with the same boot.

    This sounds to me like a boot issue (as in the tech fittings are misaligned on one boot), but before I contact Scarpa I wanted to see if you’ve encountered this before. Is it common to have this kind of misalignment in a boot? If you have seen it, what have you done about it?

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  86. gringo January 16th, 2012 12:42 pm

    @Coz
    I was going to add this anyway, but it might be of value to you. I had a prerelease issue on my left foot for a few months, regardless of which skis I was using. After getting off the couch to do something about it, I determined that the fittings on my left boot were out of alignment which meant 3-4 mm of off-set at the heel. This meant constant preload on the toe pins and frequent prerelease. AND meant that I was skiing almost 100% of the time with toes locked…..I know , I know. …I learned my lesson when I took a short ride in a 20” deep soft slab and the skis stayed on…can you san ANCHOR?

    Anyway, I was able to warranty the boots after writing a detailed explanation of the problem. i won’t mention the name of the manufacturer because their boots fit me great and they responded well to my warranty request.
    anyway, if your boots are out of alignment, try and trade them in!

  87. scott March 21st, 2012 9:37 pm

    Lou – You might have already covered this but when setting the heel gap spacing should the ski be on a flat surface making the ski flat or should the heel gap be set while the ski is in its natural cambered position?

    Thanks

  88. Lou March 21st, 2012 10:44 pm

    Wow Scott, nope, I never covered that. I’d say it usually doesn’t matter, so long as the gap isn’t adjusted when the ski is flexed much either camber or de-camber position. While I advise to set the gap ‘perfectly,’ I say that more to get people to pay attention as yes, there is no perfect gap due to the ski flex changing it. Main thing would be to set the ski on a flat workbench when adjusting, not suspended between two points such as on a ski vise. Lou

  89. Omar Dickenson March 25th, 2012 9:49 pm

    Great info. Explains the problems I experienced today. I have been touring the last two weekends with my new Radical FT BD Amperage setup. In the flat heel riser mode when I flex the tail the binding seems to lock up and stick. Strange feeling! I am a Clidesdale at 205, but in four seasons on my Vertical ST never experienced anything like this. I used the new white spacer on the Radicals 5.5mm, but have always used the grey 6.0 mm on the Verticals. Guess that I will try the grey spacer on my new Verticals and see if this works.

    What is the deal with the “bump” on the front of the heel piece? Can I just file/sand this off and what is it’s function?

  90. Lou March 26th, 2012 6:33 am

    Omar, yeah, try the wider spacing. When you do so, know that reduces your RV values a bit as well as increasing your chances of coming out of the binding when the ski over-cambers, such as when doing a jump turn from a stationary position, with heavy wet snow piled on your tips and tails.

    It’s too bad they didn’t make the “stiffener plate” stiffer, as that would solve your problem as well.

    The bump is from what some call a “misguided” effort to satisfy some guy at a testing agency in Europe known as TUV. It serves no practical purpose in this itteration of binding models, and can be removed if so desired.

  91. Chris October 19th, 2012 4:37 am

    Great post Lou, thanks, was really helpful when i set my ST’s and FTZ’s:

    But I had a question re: alignement. Norseman raised it earlier and I saw your comment re loosening the front.

    My question is: at what point do you think you need to do this? I have one boot which lines up with the pins just fine (heel insert rests naturally and equally on both pins), but the other which rests only on the left pin.

    Eyeballing it, i would guess there is 3-4mm between the right pin and the left of the heel insert, and 0mm between the left pin and the right of the heel insert.

    The left pin and heel insert connect quite low – i.e. it is the rubber of the boot sole that rest on the side of left pin (not on the top) and not the metal of the heel insert itself.

    Does that sound borderline? or so you think it could be a black and white case of loosening the front and adjusting.

    thanks as always¨!

  92. Chris October 19th, 2012 7:11 am

    hmmm… read more WS posts and tried different boot/binding combinations (i have some skookums and some TLT5s on ST and FTZs, mounted on some movement logics and movement trusts).

    i ended up cycling every combination possible (both pairs of boots on both pairs of skis, with boots swapped on each ski every time).

    the conclusion surprised me:

    on the BIG SKIS with the FTZs, i found that a specific boot with a specific ski would work and rear pins would align with a tolerance of less than 1 mm off center.

    BUT: he proper alignement I got with for the Dynafit boots was the opposite to the one I got iththe Scarpa boots (i.e. on one ski, i would get a good fit with the left Dynafit and the right Scarpa, but the right Dynafit and left Scarpa would not fit properly on that ski. The reverse would be true for the other ski)

    On the LIGHT SKIS with the FTs, i got no proper fit at all with any of the boots. More suprising, is that both the scarpas and the dynafits (both L and R) “misalgned” in the same way by roughly the same amount!

    There are too many potential combinations of left, right, dynafit, scarpa, ST and FTZ for my pea brain to grasp. I am sure some of the 8 bindings (4 front and 4 rears) have been misaligned in some way, and, possibly, that some of my boots have minute differences in insert geometry (e.g. there is a 5mm difference in their BSL, but roughly only a 1mm adjustement tobe made in the Tech Gap).

    Just thinking about alll these combinations makes my head spin – ill just go with the Lou method: start with a low DIN, ratchet up until pre releases stop, and if that ends up being above 9 (the number I have always used), ill get someone who knows what he is doing to fix it!

  93. Lou Dawson October 19th, 2012 7:27 am

    Whew, my head is spinning as well! Main thing with trial and error method of setting Release Value (RV) is to start high enough so you don’t get hurt taking a bunch of falls. I recommend starting with what the chart says.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/1549/dynafit-release-adjustment-tips-tricks/

    There is a DIN chart on this post, I should move the chart somewhere more current (grin).

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/naxo-mount/naxo_mount_5.html

  94. Linas November 21st, 2012 8:44 am

    Hello, I noticed your FAQ states “After 2009/2020 sales season all Dynafit bindings will use a 5.5 mm gap”. Assuming 2020 is supposed to be 2010, can you confirm that statement is wrong? Meaning, the TLT/Speed/Race bindings are still using the 4mm gap today as stated in the comments of this article? Thanks in advance for clearing this up.

  95. Lou Dawson November 21st, 2012 9:32 am

    Linas, the statement is correct. All Dynafit binding models made after 2010 use the 5.5 mm gap. I do not have a Race here to evaluate, but can confirm that all Radical series _including_ Speed use the 5.5 mm gap! Reason is they all have the slightly longer heel pins.

    (The Vertical ST and FT also use the 5.5 mm gap.)

    I will edit the FAQ to fix that typo.

    As for the Race bindings, just contact Dynafit, but they told me specifically that _all_ their bindings use 5.5. However, it is possible they were not considering the Race model.

    Lou

  96. Tony Mikhael December 8th, 2012 7:14 am

    Hi Lou,

    Out of all places in the world where people think there is no snow and lots of sand…I am contacting you from Lebanon where last year I was able to rando ski for 5 month (Early Dec to late April) … I hope you are doing well :)

    I need your help/opinion on something: I just bought a new TLT5 Mountain boot on a trip to USA and brought it back with me, and naturally given the shorter boot length compared to my older boot it required repositionning my TLT Speed bindings on my 7Summit 170cm skis. Given lack of a dynafit binding jig my local ski tech did this job by using the old drill holes and actual measurements for reference to install it.

    My questions:

    #1- Assuming the old holes were exactly centered for Ski/boot, since it was originally done in USA by a professional dynafit tech, the tech here told me he could not install the TLT Speed exactly centered for the Skis because the new drill holes would be too close to the old ones. So he gave me a choice of Off-centering towards the front or to the tail. He advised me to off-center to the tail for better flotation/handling in off-piste/powder, since on-piste I am a good skier, it wouldn’t matter as much. This is how my boot sits now : Ski tip to boot tip 83.3cm + Boot is 28.7cm + heel to ski tail 58cm. What’s ur take on the positioning?

    #2- Is 1.4 cm a safe gap between old holes and new holes?

    #3- After reading some of your notes. I am not sure if my TLT speed binding are with the newer/longer prongs or older style, since I bought them in 2010, they could have been an old stock. So I am not sure how to adjust the heel Gap accordingly. The length of the prongs are 11 mm, does it make them new or old?

    #4- Thinking I could use my TLT speed binding with my old boot (occasionally, especially if I am doing a downhill only ski day, since my other boot is much stiffer), I told the tech to install the bindings at the lowest/closest adjustment setting, but leaving me a max 2mm adjustment for the heel gap. Well he missed this part and installed the heel binding at the closest setting, leaving me no room to adjust the heel gap any closer.
    My right side gap when boot is locked in, and skis flat on floor is 4mm
    My left side gap however is 4.8mm. I can barely squeeze in a Nickle between the boot and heel binding (over the bump). I cannot adjust it any closer it’s at it’s max now.
    My heels are perfectly centered on the bindings

    Do you think this is going to be an issue?

    Thanks in advance. (I also sent you an email with the same question my apologies for the redundancy)

    Tony Mikhael

  97. Lou Dawson December 8th, 2012 8:29 am

    Hi Tony, I’m surprised neither you nor the binding mounter simply downloaded a paper template, such as the one available at

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/dynafit_mount_2001/dynafit_mount_2001_1.html

    I mean, Google exists, but perhaps not in Lebanon?

    #1. Ok
    #2. Ok
    #3. Measure the prong/pin from the front side of tiny metal flange, longer pins are 11 mm in that measurement. Most “Speed” model bindings have the longer pins, but no way for me to know exactly what binding you have.
    #4. Regarding heel gap, I can only recommend that you use the correct one. Too many variables for remote viewing of your situation. Know that the heel gap influences everything from pre release to the actual release values. Too close can damage the binding. Too close OR too far can cause pre release.

    Lou

  98. Lou Dawson December 8th, 2012 8:32 am

    P.S., my binding mount instructions and template do lack the word “Speed” so perhaps it was unclear to you guys that you could have used that template. I’ll fix that today. Lou

  99. Tony Mikhael December 8th, 2012 10:32 am

    Thanks Lou. No we have google out here :) I should have done my homework before the fact, not after the mistake is done, but the tech was very reputable and pretty confident he was up to the task, so i never questioned the judgement. Although he was not familiar with installing dynafit bindings. He did sketch out the hole pattern and was very precise moving the holes over. I think the minor difference in the holes between both skis was previously corrected with the gap adjuster, but given that he “understood” from me that I wanted the adjuster maxed out, once they were installed, we no longer have that flexibility to tighten that gap….so now at the maximum tightness I have 3.9-4 mm on my right and 4.8-4.9mm on my left.

    My pins are near 11mm without that flange you are referring to, and about 11.6mm with it or from the vertical side surface they come out from the binding housing. So if they are the new type does it mean my gap should be 4mm or 5.5mm? and if it 4mm. What do I do at this point with my right gap since it’s 4.8mm? I cannot re-drill a third time :(

    I had forgotten question 5 previously: Do you know that little washer at the other side of the gap adjustment screw, while trying to max it out we over tightened it and the screw “slipped” out of the washer. Obviously it was originally pressed to create a small edge to prevent this from happening, so he repressed it, and told me that he’s fixed similar problems many times on different bindings, so it’s as good as it was, and safe to ski. Have you seen this happening? Are we good on that end?

    My thanks

  100. AT Newbie January 5th, 2013 12:00 am

    Thanks for all the great info on this site. I’ve been an AT wannabe for some time and took the plunge unexpectedly when my local shop had some barely used demos for sale – K2 Waybacks with Dynafits Vertical STs. I’ve done a lot of resort skiing but AT bindings are new to me so I am getting comfortable with how they work before I take them out.

    Here is my question: I need to adjust the heel piece on my findings to fit my boot. I’ve read this great info about the tech gap but my bindings don’t have the same looking screw at the back of the baseplate. Mine is more like a bolt – no screwdriver slot, just a flat bolt. I imagine I could turn it with a wrench but that would likely chew up the bolt. Is that still the way to adjust the length of the binding? I don’t have the spacer so I will need to use something that’s 4mm (based on what I’ve read that’s the right gap) or go back to my shop to get one.

    Thank you!

  101. Lou Dawson January 5th, 2013 9:28 am

    AT, you might have a rental binding, which has a bolt head back there instead of a screw head. Simple, just use a socket on a nut driver shaft if that’s the case. Actually works better than the screw head type, as it won’t get damaged. Lou

  102. AT Newbie January 5th, 2013 3:59 pm

    Thanks Lou. That confirms what I was thinking. Very helpful as now I can mess around without worrying that I am changing something I don’t mean to.

  103. Lou Dawson January 5th, 2013 4:34 pm

    Main thing with the length adjustment is don’t force it at either end of the range, as doing so can damage the binding.

  104. Shawn January 25th, 2013 1:22 pm

    With a radical FT do you measure 5.5mm above the bump? Or insert the spacer below the bump to measure 5.5 from the front of the bump?

  105. Chris January 27th, 2013 6:35 pm

    I’m a little confused about the range of dynafit bindings. I have some pre radical (vertical) st10′s (new in about 08 I believe). I have both a Zeus and a tlt5 boot–the Zeus have a bsl of 312 and the tlt5 is 297. I would like to mount the st10s so that I can use both boots but I’ve been told the range is anywhere from 12-15mm. I obviously would like to avoid double mounting if its not possible to do this. Anyone have experience with this kind of range issue? Can I figure it out definitively before I get the mount done? One Shop told me it would be very close. If it can’t be done, I’m just gonna set them up for the 297 tlt5, but I’d like the option do both. Thoughts?

  106. seth February 5th, 2013 3:03 am

    Hi,

    I just got a new pair of skis with radicals and they came with a different sort of plastic gap gauge for setting the boot spacing. The gauge has two oval tabs at each end that hold a sort of elliptical leaf spring in the middle ( I could email a photo to anyone interested). One of the tabs says up. I was unable to find any info on this gauge on the web so I called up the shop I ordered the skis from and they confirmed it was a new style gauge. The info I got from them was that you just use it as a gap gauge without compressing it at all. This sounds okay but to me the fact the gauge can be compressed implies there is a range of acceptable spacings. You could either compress the gauge fully for a tight fit or have it uncompressed for a loose fit. I was hoping someone else has seen this and can give some additional details.

    Thanks,

    Seth

  107. Lou Dawson February 5th, 2013 6:21 am

    Seth, like any engineered machine on the planet, the gap at the heel of a tech binding does have a tolerance range. In my experience it’s up to a millimeter. Not sure about the new gauge, I’ll have to get one and fool around with it. Those guys at Dynafit sure keep us hopping here (grin).

    Email us a photo and I’ll post here. Use contact link above. Try to make a photo that’s sharp and turn off your camera flash. Try macro mode without flash.

    Lou

  108. seth February 5th, 2013 12:00 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks for the response. I just emailed you a few photos of the gauge. I didn’t have a caliper around to get an accurate measurement but with a ruler it appears to have a range of 4 mm compressed to 6.5 mm open. Looking at it again, I’m now thinking that the gauge is meant to be compressed between the boot and the binding until these 3 teeth like protrusions on the top of the gauge line up. This would occur at about the 5.5 mm mentioned in this article. If this is the correct way to use it then maybe the intention is to take a bit of the subjectivity out of what a snug fit on a gap gauge is. Anyway, it’s quite the elaborate looking thing so it would be nice to know how Dynafit recommends using it.

    Thanks,

    Seth

  109. Ryan February 13th, 2013 9:00 pm

    Wanted to check in with you about this. I was reading about setting my FT 12s and the spacing for the heel and saw this bit about the milled out lateral/horizontal channels to either side of the tech fitting on the Dynafit boots. I ski on Megarides and they do not have those channels. The safety release is anything but smooth and part of that is from the pin hanging up on the plastic around the pocket. My question is would the Megaride heel be robust enough to have this material removed and still work with a non-tech fitting if I was swapping between each of them. Would be interested in your thoughts….

  110. Matthew Volkman October 12th, 2013 6:46 pm

    Question for Lou,

    For some reason when i received my last pair of radical FT’s this was not in the box. Do you know how you would o

  111. Matthew Volkman October 12th, 2013 6:48 pm

    Question for Lou,

    Sorry for the double post :/

    My last pair of Radical FTs did not come with the gauge to measure space between boot and back of binding. Do you know the best way of going about obtaining one of these gauges? Is Dynafit’s Customer service helpful? I’ve never worked with them.

    Thanks,
    -mv

  112. Michael Finger October 12th, 2013 8:07 pm

    MV-
    Dynafit has been great every time I’ve called. Also, as Lou notes about you can use 3 stacked nickels, or I use a 5.5mm allen key that you can buy at Loew’s, etc.

  113. Lou Dawson October 13th, 2013 3:38 pm

    Thanks Michael!

  114. Ryan McCall November 19th, 2013 3:21 pm

    I am willing to bet this was covered somewhere at some point, but I can’t find it for the life of me. Anyone grind off the bump on the TLTs/Speeds for a little more clearance on the pins? Does the bump serve a purpose, it is reducing the amount of plastic internally that could cause some spring to explode out of the binding?

    Obviously it would make sense to use the 4mm spacer still, but with the bump gone I’d think I would effectively lessen a pre release in a trough or crossing a gully.

    What do you guys say – anyone do this with success?

  115. Lou Dawson November 19th, 2013 7:40 pm

    Ryan, I always grind the bump off the older TLTs. It’s totally unnecessary and is vestigial to a long ago effort at TUV certification, idea being that it blocks the binding from closing up during ski flex so the release value has less change. When I grind them off, I leave a half mm or so of material so as not to grind into the binding housing. Have done dozens on older TLTs and , never had one explode.The Speed doesn’t have a very thick bump, does it? I’m up at WildSnow Field HQ and don’t have one up here to look at. Grind away, but leave a bit. Lou

  116. Ryan November 19th, 2013 7:51 pm

    Man, fast turn around Lou! Thanks.

    Nope the Speed bump isn’t nearly as pronounced as the older TLTs, so should be quick work to get it down to the 1/2 mm protrusion.

  117. Daniel Michel December 23rd, 2013 3:18 am

    Just used one of the new gauges to adjust the gap on my new Radical ST, and I think you got it slightly wrong on how to get the right distance:
    As far as I can tell, the idea is not that you close the gap until the gauge is completely closed. When the three small adjustment tips on top of the gauge are in a row, the gauge measures exactly 5.5mm. This is also why one side of the gauge is labeled “up”. Using the gauge like this, one can easily see whether the gap is too wide, too narrow, or just right.

  118. Mark January 12th, 2014 2:05 am

    Hi Lou, there are so many comments on this page I’m not sure this is completely relevant but here is the result of some practical field testing rather than theory and bench testing.

    I tore the toepiece of my FT12s out of the ski on day one of a 14 day ski tour. Remounted forward (only option on the Manaslus) and with rear binding screwed all the way forward the two heel pins only just penetrated the depth of the metal heel piece on my Green Machine boots. I toured for 13 more days like this and never popped out. I got home and skied bumps to test them and never popped out.

    I have just binned the skis and was re-checking what the real gap should be for the new ones, but my comment is that in practice there is clearly a lot of tolerance in the system.

  119. louis dawson January 12th, 2014 4:25 am

    Mark, super observations, I agree that the heel pin system is quite something. Much of what is going on is fixing what works .

  120. Greg January 15th, 2014 1:29 pm

    Hello Lou,

    Stupid question but should Vertical ST bindings sold and manufactured prior to when the 6mm to 5.5mm gap change happened be set at 6 or 5.5mm?

    In other words, and given that the heel pins have the same length for all Vertical bindings (pre and post 2010) if I understand correctly, were the release springs strength of the Vertical adjusted post 2010 to adjust for the half mm gap change?

  121. louis dawson January 15th, 2014 1:37 pm

    My understanding is that the gap was changed only to make the numbers more accurate. Use what works.

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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