Dynafit 2011/12 — The new Bindings


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

This is a “First Look,” please also see our Dynafit Radical ST review.

Harrumph. I thought this stuff was supposed to hit the airwaves in a few days, but it looks like it’s out as at least two sets of photos circulated a few days ago, and now the video below direct from Dynafit themselves. So below please find an embed from Youtube that was released earlier today, as well as my take. Enjoy. And now that I can quit playing childish games with releasing information 48 hours earlier or later, let’s start talking about these interesting developments in Dynafit bindings!

Dynafit Radical FT backcountry skiing binding.

Catalog shot of the new flagship Dynafit Radical FT backcountry skiing binding. Label 2 is a switch that changes the connector plate from free sliding to locked, to change ski flex under foot. That'll need a season of testing, for sure. Label 6 is one of the now famous but mysterious Power Towers, these will also cause lots of media optimism (shoot, the name alone should garner a few Editor's Choice awards), but again, these need complete on-snow vetting before we'll really know if they're revolutionary or not. This binding model also incorporates the Dynafit 'Power Plate' which extends support a bit more under the binding wings to left and right at the toe. Click to enlarge.

Zee 'Power Plate' provides support under binding wings.

Zee 'Power Plate' provides support under binding wings. Solution without a problem? Perhaps for most skiers, but it could offer something for larger more agro turners.

Dynafit Radical binding heel unit, this one from Baltoro color model.

Dynafit Radical binding heel unit, (this one from Baltoro red color model). Basic stuff. Instead of rotating heel to change lift, you flip the thingies up and down. Like Onyx. And no Virginia, still not changing from alpine to walk mode without taking ski off (if you're using brakes).

Dynafit radical heel

Dynafit radical heel in medium lift position.

Dynafit Power Towers

The Power Towers are quite ingenious. They simply block boot toe movement past a certain point, depending on if binding is closed or open. They make the binding essentially a step-in (unless you've got ice in the way), but they do prevent using the 'roll in' method of getting your boot into the binding. It's said another advantage of the Power Towers is they prevent the binding toe from opening while you're skiing and causing pre-release.

Power Towers with binding closed.

Power Towers with binding closed.

Boot with power towers.

Boot with power towers. Essentially, they prevent the boot from pressing the binding open in a sideways direction, but still allow release function.

Okay, with the details out of the way let’s review what will be available next season in 8 models of Dynafit bindings:

TLT Radical FT (The top of the line, with Power Towers and new heel lifters)

TLT Vertical FT (The old standard, unchanged, not sure if this is backstock or will continue being made.)

TLT Radical ST (Power Towers, new heel, RV 10, stripped down, very nice.)

TLT Vertical ST (Our favorite for the last few years, again, not sure if this is backstock or will remain in production.)

TLT Radical ST Baltoro (Red highlights to go with the Baltoro branding look that Dynafit has added this year.)

TLT Speed (Ye olde classic standard.)

TLT Speed Radical (Like the Speed, only with new heel lifter and Power Tower toe unit.

TLT Speed Superlight (Recreational race binding that’ll be great for touring. Toe locks when you step in, super light at 185 grams. RV values adjustable, with one adjustment combining lateral and vertical release in a very ingenious fashion. Goes to RV 10. Change in rando race regulations happening sooner than later will require all bindings to have adjustable release both vertical and lateral, so by working on this design, Dynafit is positioning themselves to provide the technology for this.)

TLT Speed Superlight, click image to enlarge.

TLT Speed Superlight, click image to enlarge.

Low Tech Radical (Race binding heel with regular style Speed toe).

Low Tech Race (Said to be like Atlantis, you know it might be there but hardly anyone ever sees it. Probably will be around 120 grams weight. Uses magnesium alloy in construction. Women’s winner of Mountain Attack race, yesterday in Saalbach Austria, is on this binding. Mireia Miro Varela knocked about 5 minutes off last year’s best women’s time with 2:55:34,224 for 3,008 meters vert, six changeovers/summits, 40 kilometers. Um, wow.)

Low Tech Race binding by Dynafit.

Low Tech Race binding by Dynafit, heel unit does rotate. Click image to enlarge.

Other details:
New toe units have 4 instead of 5 screws, front pair is located 6 mm forward from old pattern.

New heel unit uses same screw pattern as before.

New Radical toe unit is made from drop forged aluminum.

Radical bindings weigh slightly more than equivalent (ST/FT) without power towers.

Toe lock lever on new Radical models is shorter than earlier FT/ST, which were a bit long and subject to damage from catching on things.

Binding ski brake widths: 82, 92, 100, 110, 130 (Note that various bindings are only available with max width brakes of certain sizes, so for something wider you have to purchase additional brakes. For example, Radical ST only comes with 100 mm as widest brake.)

Crampon widths: 82, 92, 100, 110

Binding screws will have torx head instead of posidrive (yuck, yet another screw driver bit to worry about having.)

Binding screws are still available in titanium if you want the ultimate in weight weeni-ism (I do).

Previous post about the new Dynafit products for 2011/2012.

Comments

315 Responses to “Dynafit 2011/12 — The new Bindings”

  1. sn January 15th, 2011 10:19 am

    time to start saving my pennies…..

  2. Paddy January 15th, 2011 10:37 am

    Hey Lou,
    Since you’re with the dynafit crew, is there any official word on mounting freeride pro/eagles on the Stoke? I know dynafit would rather sell bindings to all who buy their skis, but can it be safely done for the person who just prefers the fritschi? Thanks!

  3. Jonathan Shefftz January 15th, 2011 10:42 am

    Looks like the Speed Radical also has a longer adjustment track?
    And that Speed Superlight looks very nice!

  4. Lou January 15th, 2011 10:45 am

    Paddy, I don’t think they can really come up with an “offical word” on specific binding models and I’d actually prefer they would not. Part of the reason their skis are so light is that they’re optimized for mounting Dynafit bindings. It would be very disappointing if they started hinting you could use other bindings, the bindings ripped, then they started making their skis heavier so they’d work with other brand bindings. My advice is that you can find other skis with width and weight goodness similar to Stoke. Just use those.

    Also,l this isn’t about trying to sell more bindings, it’s about building lighter skis. The minute Dynafit did some bonehead thing with the express purpose of forcing people to buy their own product, they could kiss their rear goodbye in this small market, and they know that. They’re even pretty mellow about tech binding copies that still violate a patent now and then. They want to base their market on quality, not being a junkyard dog. Sure, it’s never a 100% sure thing, and yeah, I’m sure that within their company they get tempted to play games and perhaps have even done so now and then. But in this case it’s simply ski engineering. Placing a huge reinforced mounting area in a ski weighs quite a bit.

  5. Lou January 15th, 2011 10:55 am

    Speed Radical has 12.5 mm adjustment (total of 25 mm or about two boot sizes), remind me what the TLT Speed has… they of course don’t state it in the catalog (grin).

  6. Kelly January 15th, 2011 10:56 am

    Lou – do you know anything about the new binding hole pattern changes and what they are planning to do with their ski binding insert system? Will the new bindings mount to their current ski line?

  7. Jonathan Shefftz January 15th, 2011 11:01 am

    Lou, current Speed is 6mm, so that 12.5mm on the Speed Radical will be a nice improvement.
    Kelly, see my comment in the other thread re inserts and new toe pattern.

  8. Kelly January 15th, 2011 11:08 am

    Jonathan – thanks, sounds like a great solution.

  9. Lou January 15th, 2011 11:09 am

    All new skis will be compatible with the new bindings. How many of them will work with earlier pattern is unknown. I was waiting for this to happen and expected it would be confusing. Their media guys should get on it and send all us web folk a fact sheet.

  10. aviator January 15th, 2011 11:20 am

    dang, that’s a whole lotta solutions without problems!

    Lou, couple of questions:

    1. low tech race and “magnesium alloy”. can you ask why they say “100% aluminium” in the dynafit product video?

    2. new patented toe crew pattern? I understand the torsion blabla, but what is the PATENT really about?, are they trying to prevent others from using the same pattern?

    3. is the low tech race the only toe that has adjustable lock tension? none of the others have that adjustment screw?

    4 low tech race product video, they talk about a special toe version without auto-lock and a ski mode. have you heard anything more about this non-auto-lock version?

  11. Jonathan Shefftz January 15th, 2011 11:25 am

    I thought I had just misheard the work “patent” with regard to the new toe pattern. I’m certainly no intellectual property attorney, but a patent for moving the front holes 6mm forward?

  12. Lou January 15th, 2011 11:31 am

    Jeez Aviator, you sitting around today or something (grin)?

    Marketing people are notorious for not getting technical details correct. I’m sitting about 50 feet from a stack of magnesium alloy bars being used to machine out the race binding parts. Yeah, some of the binding is probably aluminum alloy, but the magnesium alloy (all this stuff is actually alloys, not pure elemental metals) is what makes the binding difficult to make and super light. If there is any such thing as “unobtanium” in the binding world, it would be a unit with significant amounts of magnesium. Heck, just machining the stuff can burn down your shop, and you have to coat it or it corrodes like crazy. That said, it’s a pretty common substance for things like cell phone chassis and such because it can easily be injection molded but still has metallic properties. That’s the back story I’m getting, anyway.

  13. Lou January 15th, 2011 11:32 am

    Re patents. Graphics people can stick the word “patent” wherever they want in a catalog. I’d just ignore it. Or if you want to hire a patent lawyer and research them all, please file a guest blog.

    To be fair to Dynafit, I’d add that they do indeed still hold patents. For example, I’m pretty sure they have a patent on the tiny cutter slot in the toe pins, designed to help clean ice or dirt out of the boot fittings as the binding is in use. The boot clearance adjustment screws mentioned below might also be patented. Though I thought of them first (grin).

  14. Lou January 15th, 2011 11:38 am

    I just spoke with the Low Tech Race binding designer to be sure about this. The screw in the Low Tech Race labeled as “1″ is to change the height of the trigger zone so the binding will work better with boots that have worn or miss-molded soles. It allows the binding to be tuned to the boot without doing things like building up a mount of epoxy. The toe jaw tension is not adjustable.

  15. aviator January 15th, 2011 11:46 am

    lou, my bad, I knew that, I confused the screw with the other new race bindings with other adjustables…

  16. Eric Steig January 15th, 2011 12:00 pm

    Lou,

    Any word on whether it will be possible to buy and mount the new heel lifters on old bindings?

  17. Christian January 15th, 2011 1:21 pm

    Great news, even though is really just the power towers and the 130mm stoppers that I have “missed”. Looking forward to see the ski news. The mustagh ata sl and stoke won an touring-ski test over here…but the “new ski between 7ssl and manaslu” makes me wonder about the future of the masl – but I have no plans to drop it.

  18. Lou January 15th, 2011 1:26 pm

    Eric, I doubt it. The binding internals are different so to use the lifter you’d need a whole new heel unit. And before we get all hot and bothered about such swaps, let’s actually make sure these things work well, shall we? Last change this big in the Dynafit binding was the Tri-step, and some of you might remember the history of that little episode. I’m optimistic that this is all excellent stuff as I know most of the protagonists and trust them, but am certainly not going to start up the polka band just yet. Fun to blog about though (grin).

  19. Greg Louie January 15th, 2011 1:39 pm

    What size TORX head are they using? It was only a matter of time, it’s a more positive connection . . .

  20. Tim Dufka January 15th, 2011 3:48 pm

    I am a bit confused how the “power towers” are going to prevent toe pre-release.

    While edging would not the boot exert pressure on the tower, thereby displacing the toe wing? ( just as in Lou’s video showing a possible mechanism for pre-release)

  21. Jim January 15th, 2011 3:51 pm

    Will the toe towers require remachining existing boots?

  22. Jim January 15th, 2011 4:01 pm

    Will old boots need to be machines to fit the toe “tower”?

  23. Maki January 15th, 2011 4:04 pm

    Tim, I believe that the power towers are fixed, not part of the wings.

  24. john January 15th, 2011 5:06 pm

    does the new patented hole pattern work with dynafit skis made for 10-11 season.

  25. Tim January 15th, 2011 6:34 pm

    Maki, yes the pictures show that the power tower is part of the casting of the toe wing.

    My question is, what is the thinking from the Dynafit folks on how this is supposed to help with preventing pre-releaeses?

    Lou??

  26. Tim January 15th, 2011 6:48 pm

    Think I see what you are talking about now.

    Could work.

  27. gtrantow January 15th, 2011 7:10 pm

    Thanks Lou, any beta on pricing and cost per gram compared to current models. Similar to bike parts it is nice to know the damage before getting the credit card out for “nice to have” upgrades.

  28. Graeme January 15th, 2011 6:17 pm

    Thanks Lou. Is there an official word on the ( presumably nonadjustable) DIN on the race heel? Thinking of changing my lightest touring setup to maybe Low Tech Radical at some stage after my TLT5Ps arrive.

  29. Tony January 15th, 2011 7:44 pm

    so next year’s skis, with predrilled inserts : will they be compatible with both mounting patterns? going to be tough if the new skis require the new bindings

  30. John S January 15th, 2011 10:04 pm

    Interesting changes. The climbing risers look flimsy, but might be awesome. I like the machined metal riser on the Plum bindings, but still require rotating the heel piece.

    As for getting in, the newest boot fittings seem to really work. My daughter gets into the binding quickly with her new Scarpa Gea boots despite her first season on Dynafits.

    Love the new red colour!!

  31. Rsndonnee January 15th, 2011 10:42 pm

    Power towers should solve inadvertent release while large heavy folks carve hard snow. I have realized for a few years that my considerable weight was suspended by the front pins, therefore my weight plus some downward force opened the pins. I have done it on some older bindings just pushing down with the ball of my foot in the ski boot against the Dynafit pins. Thanks for listening Dynafit!

  32. Walt January 15th, 2011 11:49 pm

    Magnesium is notoriously prone to cracking. Why would anyone buy those speed binders? The ft and st and the only way to go. They are plenty light enough. I never minded rotating the heel piece. I wonder if you can still do that easily now with the new plastic pieces on top?

  33. Lou January 16th, 2011 12:13 am

    Walt, I’ve been wondering about the rotation issue as well. To be clear, when using the new heel lifters the only time you’d want to rotate the heel unit is when switching between alpine and touring modes, and as far as I can tell you’d be doing this by hand, not with a ski pole. As for the Magnesium, the race binding is being used by World Cup ski mountaineering racers, so it’s getting a good test.

  34. Lou January 16th, 2011 12:21 am

    Tim, regarding how the Power Tower prevents inadvertent opening of the binding toe, as far as I can tell it 100% eliminates the possibility of the toe wings opening due to side pressure of the boot, as demonstrated in the video in this post:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/3976/dynafit-ft12-ftz12-toe-pincer-springs/

    To be clear, they’re a fixed part of the binding, so my take is that they prevent the direct side pressure of the boot from opening the toe wings, as in video above.

    But the Power Towers make zero difference in how normal release function operates, so if you had a tendency to pre-release vertically, or in normal rotational release (heel to the side), you would notice no difference.

    Remember that I need to get my hands on a set of bindings with Power Towers before I can be 100% sure about any of this stuff.

  35. Lou January 16th, 2011 12:35 am

    Graeme, for starters, try to avoid calling the release settings in a tech binding “DIN.” They’re not. A better term is “Release Value” or RV. The companies making tech bindings sometimes attempt to match their RV numbers to the DIN/ISO standards for ski binding release resistance, but because of the way a tech binding operates, it’s super difficult if not impossible to actually get it certified to the DIN/ISO standard for ski binding safety release. This is simply because the tech binding doesn’t work like most alpine bindings.

    With that out of the way, my recollection is that the non adjustable race bindings tend to hover around RV 7.

    As for the TLT Speed Superlite, I’ll check on what release adjustment it provides.

  36. Lou January 16th, 2011 12:38 am

    Jim, all tech binding compatible boots will fit the Power Tower bindings.And yes, the Power Towers are part of the binding base, and don’t move as the binding opens and closes. They’re actually quite clever.

  37. Mike January 16th, 2011 1:36 am

    What is the weight of the binding?

  38. Lou January 16th, 2011 1:46 am

    Published weight of TLT Radical FT is 599 grams, TLT Radical ST is 531 grams.

  39. Lou January 16th, 2011 1:52 am

    Just realized I left the TLT Vertical ST binding off the list of bindings published above. That makes a total of 8 binding models in the Dynafit 2011/2012 catalog.

  40. Tay January 16th, 2011 3:44 am

    “……super light at 185 grams”, but very heavy on the wallet if their race version is anything to go by.

  41. pete January 16th, 2011 4:38 am

    im not dynafit guy but in next season id like to try dynafit vertical ft or radical ft
    id like to ask if radical will be similair in pricing as vertical?
    its the most expensive AT binding on the market
    seems to me that dyna folks are trying make as much money as possible and im ok with that,/expensive process and materials/ thats bussiness,
    but i dont beleive that dynafit cant reduce prices a little
    more people could afford those things and that means more money for them

  42. Jonathan Shefftz January 16th, 2011 8:05 am

    “my recollection is that the non adjustable race bindings tend to hover around RV 7″
    – I don’t see any support for that generalization. As I wrote in my race gear review, “Plum stated (with various caveats) that the release values were the equivalent of 7 both lateral and forward (with 9 forward on the 145 model). The biggest caveat is that currently the toe unit can be skied only in “locked” mode, although the heel unit can be combined with a standard Dynafit toe.” But no other company will say anything about an approximate release value, and nobody has actually tested other bindings.

  43. Jon January 16th, 2011 8:43 am

    Does it look like the FT Radical can be mounted without the carbon stiffener? I took the carbon stringer thing out of both pairs of FT’s I currently have and would probably prefer to do the same if possible on the new binding.

  44. Lou January 16th, 2011 9:22 am

    Jonathan, I should be more clear, I’m talking about Dynafit race bindings and the designer says they indeed are around RV 7 both lateral and vertical. So long as the racers stay in them, no one makes a big deal out of this.

    BUT, see editing I’ve done above. New race regulations will be requiring adjustable bindings, so Dynafit is working on lightweight technology that’ll still allow both vertical and lateral tension adjustment. This is already incorporated into the TLT Speed Superlight and is a pretty impressive bit of engineering.

  45. Lou January 16th, 2011 9:24 am

    Jon, I’m 99% sure the “thing” can be removed from the Radical FT. It indeed seems totally unnecessary for most people. Funny they keep trying to add in a stiffner, must be someone on the design team who’s a big fan of those things…

  46. Marcin January 16th, 2011 11:46 am

    Jonathan and Lou

    I don’t know what things are like at the USPTO, but in the EPO (and contracting PO’s, such as Austria’s) you can patent anything, so long as it solves some sort of a technical problem, is new, can be applied industrially and presents an inventive step (i.e. some sort of evolution over prior solutions).

    So, from a purely technical view, so long as they can define a technical problem that 4 screws vs. 5 screws resolves, they can patent it. Which doesn’t mean that to you, the skier/consumer this means anything but marketing windage, because the technical problem solved (that allows this to be a technical solution) may (and likely is) totally irrelevant. But “patented technology” does sound good, doesn’t it?

  47. Marcin January 16th, 2011 11:48 am

    Forgot to add: the patented thingumabobber does NOT have to be an improvement. It just has to be different.

  48. Maki January 16th, 2011 12:05 pm

    Marcin, in what way using 4 screws is “new”?

  49. Marcin January 16th, 2011 12:14 pm

    I don’t specifically know in what way it is new, but if a technical effect can be demonstrated to the EPO* that occurs with 4 screws that does not with 5 (possibly even if it is just easier access with a screwdriver), then from a legal point of view (i.e. in terms of the European patent Convention) this is a new binding, and hence fulfills that patentability criterion.

    *European Patent Office

  50. aviator January 16th, 2011 12:32 pm

    well it was the OTHER binding companies, prolly ATK?, not dynafit, that started the 4 screws thing, but dynafit wants to patent the exact placement of two screws 6mm different?
    SMDH,
    things like this, and that ridiculous ski stiffening device, makes dynafit loose our respect…
    I mean, seriously…

  51. Tim January 16th, 2011 12:49 pm

    Still no official word on compatibility between older Dynafit skis and the “new” toe hole pattern?

    Also, I am wondering about breakage issues with the power towers. It is a casting, and could stomping a ski boot against it while stepping in break it?

  52. Lou January 16th, 2011 12:57 pm

    Tim, the binding toe unit metal base is drop forged, not cast. It could still break (I mean, after all, it’s not the wheel on a NASCAR racer), but it’s pretty strong.

    As for older skis, I’m pretty much certain that the holes 6 mm forward still fall on the titanal binding plate or reinforced mounting area, so they’ll work fine. As for official take, we’ll see what they”ll come out and say, but I’d mount ‘em myself and not worry about it.

  53. Lou January 16th, 2011 1:01 pm

    Marcin, like I said before, graphics and marketing people can stick the word “patent” all over a catalog. I wouldn’t take it too seriously…

  54. Jonathan Shefftz January 16th, 2011 1:03 pm

    Just an FYI that I’ve updated the graphic in my “Tech” Binding Summary Chart blog post to include both the new 2011-12 Dynafit models and my various measurements for the new Plum Guide bindings I’ve been testing (review to follow soon…).

  55. Marcin January 16th, 2011 1:22 pm

    Lou
    “I wouldn’t take it too seriously…”

    And rightly so! Although cases have been known where companies got their wrists slapped pretty hard for claiming patents, when none were to be had.

    And lastly, not to belabour the issue, “patent” from marketing types can also mean that a patent application was filed and is pending. Given that the patent app process is from 2 to 10 years, an application (even one ultimately doomed to failure) still gives a couple of years of (provisional) protection. Since the usual production cycle seems to be about 3-6 years (i.e. the Vertical series), this is still enough to give protection for that period. After that: who cares?

  56. Tim January 16th, 2011 2:18 pm

    And when will we be able to get our hands on the new binding?

  57. Patrick January 16th, 2011 2:25 pm

    Lou, Great info, but I have a question about the toepiece change. Will the new Power towers and there supposed full step in capability be compatible with boots such as Scarpa that mount the tech fittings back 4-5mm. Seems like the towers might interfere with the extra rubber/plastic in front of the tech fittings on those boots.

  58. Starky January 16th, 2011 3:36 pm

    Marcin you need to get a life….. Lou thanks for the great blog and info.

  59. Daniel Dunn January 16th, 2011 4:30 pm

    Thanks for the great info Lou, I’m so jealous of you right now, getting to hang with the whole Dyanfit family, you’re pretty much part of the family, and after spending a month with Austrian mountain families a couple years back, I know how wonderful, but also slightly reserved and protective of their privacy they are. Those are all compliments to them, I fell in love with Austria, mostly because of the people. And with the side trip to Italy, and seeing the Patitucci’s, well, I’m really jealous now.
    Have a great time, and Muchos Gracias for the updates, I’m an absolute Dynafit junkie!!
    Have fun!

  60. Jan F January 16th, 2011 5:54 pm

    Helo Lou. Why do you see TLT Speed Superlight to be great for touring?
    From my point of view the lack of heel position with no lift it made it hard to use when touring with heavy backpack on flat parts. I can imagine that racers can skate like on crosscountry skis.

  61. Tuck January 16th, 2011 6:28 pm

    Just for a different perspective: I just bought a pair of FTs for myself and STs for my wife. I’m happy to see these are incremental changes and don’t invalidate my recent purchase . As Lou notes, big changes in conservative Dynafit-land. :) But hey, what’s step-in once you get used to the pins? And I’ve never had the pre-release problem described here.

    My wife now skis BD Shivas (perfect fit right out of the box) on STs on K2 Paybacks.

    She now refers to her alpine set-up as “those things”.

    She’s not tried touring yet, but got getting in and out of the STs with no problem.

    I think she’d punch me if I tried to take this rig away…

  62. aviator January 16th, 2011 7:55 pm

    @ jan f
    “the lack of heel position with no lift”

    That is a misunderstanding.
    EVERY dynafit compatible binding out there has a flat-no-lift position.
    EVERY dynafit compatible heel piece rotates.
    And that includes ALL race bindings too.

  63. Greg Louie January 16th, 2011 9:09 pm

    The first generation Dynafit race heel pictured here did not have lateral release (didn’t turn) and you had only one climbing position (on top of the delrin flipper when in the “down” position. I skied it for a season on some of my regular touring skis.

    http://www.randosaigai.com/noreleaseheel.jpg

  64. Greg Louie January 16th, 2011 9:16 pm

    FWIW, the Speed Superlight appears to be unique in next year’s lineup in that it doesn’t require twisting the heelpiece to use the climbing lifters . . .

  65. Halsted January 16th, 2011 10:52 pm

    64 comments… Is that a record?

  66. Lou January 17th, 2011 12:33 am

    Halsted, nope, I recall some threads over the years that went over 100…

  67. Lou January 17th, 2011 12:35 am

    A bit of confusion that’s my fault? I don’t think there is a photo of the Low Tech Race in the blog post above, but I’ll put one in.

  68. Lou January 17th, 2011 1:44 am

    Tuck, thanks for chiming in with that. One reason companies get all weird about exactly what information gets released about new product is they get all worried the retailers won’t be able to sell those last two boxes of bindings on the shelf. I say that if older product is good product, and if it’s sale priced, selling it should be no problem and all the worriers should break out the Xanax and chill.

  69. Lou January 17th, 2011 2:52 am

    I just added a photo of the race binding, and yes the heel of the race binding does rotate.

  70. aviator January 17th, 2011 5:30 am

    @greg louie
    http://www.randosaigai.com/noreleaseheel.jpg

    that sounds absolutely insane to me
    afaik ALL Dynafit race heels turn, including the one in your picture.

  71. Lou January 17th, 2011 5:39 am

    All current Dynafit heels turn, and the black race heel you guys show in that photo turns as well, at least the ones here that I am holding in my pale little hand.

  72. aviator January 17th, 2011 5:40 am

    @lou
    the TLT Speed Superlite toe
    in the pic it’s shown in ski mode?

    that would explain the race product video talking about two versions of the race toe?
    one auto-locking with no ski mode, one non-auto-locking with ski mode?

    and I’ve seen pictures of it in silver(gray) not just red.
    will the non-auto-locking toe be available in gray? and when?

  73. aviator January 17th, 2011 5:44 am

    so greg you skied it for a full season and never tried to turn it? LMAO
    I hope you never did any flat approaches….

  74. Lou January 17th, 2011 5:47 am

    Yes, the TLT Speed Superlight lettering in the catalog says “Kein Auto Lock,” meaning NO auto lock. So indeed, it appears there are two versions of the race toe, one that auto locks and one that does not. Have no idea of the colors nor timing. That’s something for the Dynafit PR folks to get their story together on. Will they do so? There are greater mysteries in the universe, but not much greater.

  75. Michael Silitch January 17th, 2011 8:48 am

    Lou, is this right? : For the current low tech race, they have a “RV” of about 7 for toe and heel?? That is great! And great that racers dont prerelease them–I haven’t heard of them prereleasing, have you?

    Will the new TLT Speed Superlight have a two position locking toe, like the old speed? I think that is what the ISMF is going towards, but you dont need it if you can demonstrate an RV of 7 I would think.

    I know the ISMF is trying to make racing safer, but I have never heard of a racer hearting their knee with a race ski on, have you?

    I also thought the Snow Claw shovels were adequate too!?! I am sure people will pummel me on this, but have you ever done a comparative study? I have played around with the snow claw and find it pretty effective, especially with the new “doggy’ style of digging. Sure in frozen blocks maybe not. Maybe I am just too fashion conscious and liked how the snow claw fit in a race pack.

  76. Michael Silitch January 17th, 2011 8:56 am

    Power Towers. Is that what caused me to release when I was arcing in my touring set up on a firm piste? I thought it was “winging out”, the toe arm of the biding hitting the snow hard and popping the arms open, subsquently my ski is immediatley off the boot and I go flying and wrench my old shoulders and get that much closer to needing shoulder surgery. Is it really just the pressure or torque of the boot? I didn’t think I could arc a touring set up that far over anyways.

    Have you seen Pierre Tardivels Technica alpine boots with Dynafit inserts. Pretty cool. He skis all his extreme slopes with those and a pair of TLT Speeds.

  77. Tay January 17th, 2011 9:25 am

    If indeed the superlight is 185g they will still fall short of the ATK Race RT binding listed at 170g. With the benefit of a crampon attachment milled into the housing and an adjustable toe (gimmick or not), certifiied DIN of 5-10; they seem to have trumped Dynafit at there own game.

  78. Lou January 17th, 2011 9:32 am

    Michael, I’m just going by what I’ve been told about RV values. As for racers coming out, as you of course know they all ski with the toe locked so lateral RV value is a moot point.

  79. Patricio January 17th, 2011 11:17 am

    Will Dynafit start giving the weights of all their products in both grams and chocolate bars? I kind of like that.

  80. Lou January 17th, 2011 11:27 am

    Ditto.

  81. Greg Louie January 17th, 2011 12:16 pm

    “so greg you skied it for a full season and never tried to turn it?”

    No, aviator, it literally does not turn. The next year’s version looks almost identical, weighs a few grams more, and offers lateral release.

  82. aviator January 17th, 2011 12:53 pm

    @greg
    wow, incredible, that belongs in lou’s museum!
    what year model was that? and how can you tell the difference from the almost identical one?

  83. Greg Louie January 17th, 2011 1:24 pm

    I replaced them with these in November of 2005, so it must have been sometime in the fall of 2004 (got them from Telemark Pyrenees).

    http://www.randosaigai.com/dynafitraceti_04.jpg

    The newer model obviously could be rotated, and had a small seam where the tubing fit into the base. Brandon, who posts here occasionally, is the current owner, but he doesn’t use them so maybe he’d consider a donation to the museum . . .

  84. Tony January 17th, 2011 1:34 pm

    That’s funny Greg&Aviator : I knew that the first race model wouldn’t rotate, and in the years since then haven’t ever considered buying the race model because I assumed they all didn’t rotate and I would be stuck on a medium heel lift on the flats.

  85. Lou January 17th, 2011 2:24 pm

    The Barthel patriarch pointed out to me that race binding toes can’t be set to no lock, at least in the case of Dynafit up till now. Jonathan or any of you guys, do you know if there are any tech bindings that auto lock, but allow you to ski without the toe locked if you want?

  86. Maki January 17th, 2011 2:42 pm

    Michael, keep in mind that Tardivel uses a modified binding set to RV 10 and locked-out toe. If it wasn’t for the uphill he could just screw the boot to the ski and get the same effect.
    http://pierretardivel.aliceblogs.fr/blog/Matos/_archives/2009/5/25/4199513.html

  87. aviator January 17th, 2011 2:45 pm

    @lou
    -yes jonathan’s new plum has auto-lock and will get a “ski mode add-on” soon.
    sounds heavy/fiddly though?

    related, race bindings we know have ski mode but NO auto lock:
    -dynafit new low tech race, special version
    -merelli r8 (old black model, no auto-lock)

    -haereo is a weird beast in between: ski mode is super stiff, possible to tour with without locking according o michael s, + normal locked tour mode

    the ones we KNOW have autolock and NO ski mode:
    -dynafit new low tech race, normal version
    -new blue merelli r8: auto lock, no ski mode
    -atk race: auto lock, no ski mode

    and I think the rest belong in the autolock and NO ski mode group too:
    -collibri
    -Crazy Idea
    -Kreuzspitze
    -PHK
    -Schia Meccanica race
    -Trab race
    If not I would really like to know!

  88. aviator January 17th, 2011 2:47 pm

    sorry forgot:
    -dynafit old low tech race toe, also auto-lock no ski mode

  89. Tim January 17th, 2011 3:42 pm

    Speaking of Trab, any further news on the TR-1/2?

  90. Jonathan Shefftz January 17th, 2011 3:57 pm

    Re race binding autolock, as I wrote in my review, Plum is working on some sort of retrofit. For now though, I am loving my Plum 135, although trying to not think about release values. (And I gained at least about three seconds on Jerimy in this morning’s Le Mans start as I didn’t have to reach down to pull up on my toe levers . . . although I lost that much at the second transition when I neglected to flip the cover forward over the pins, whoops the perils of using gear for a race with only four prior laps on them under my belt!) My Plum Guide has a ski mode yet auto locks, although I’ve been batting only about 50/50 for auto lock so far on two tours with lots of transitions, yet that might because of wallowing in two feet of powder, as my indoor testing has been 100%.
    Re Trab TR Race, I thought it was *not* an autolocker? And I keeping hearing different things about crampon attachments. The Trab website (under accessories!) finally has pictures, but just one camera angle, and only minimal text.
    Re old Dynafit Low Tech Race, looking at the pictures, no way that is an auto locker: just seems to be a Speed w/o a separate plastic mounting plate.
    Re ATK RT, the adjustable toe tension (when in tour mode) has DIN-esque imprinted numbers, but I haven’t heard of any sort of certification. (Regardless of that though, the weight is indeed stunningly low.)
    Re SnowClaw, a great backcountry tool for below-treeline outings with zero avy danger (i.e., almost all of New England), and perfect for snowcave interior work, but avy rescue, definitely not.

  91. aviator January 17th, 2011 4:11 pm

    @jonathan

    -I think youre right about the trab race, most likely NOT auto lock w ski mode:
    http://www.skirando.com/images/gear/trab/trab-race.jpg

    -Yeah, you’re right about the OLD OLD low tech race
    I meant this “old” Low Tech Race:
    http://en.escaperoute.ca/product-reviews/Dynafit/alexw_lowtech.aspx
    but when I’m looking closer, it’s the NEW model, just a proto color scheme?

  92. Michael Silitch January 18th, 2011 1:27 am

    The Blue Merelli toe piece does have 2 positions and the “up” or lock position has an adjustable RV or release value, based on turning the two tiny nylon set screws which change the height that of the bottom of the locking lever contacts the top sheet of the ski (changes the angle that the locking lever stops at). There are no gradations or corresponding values, but I think it is a super sexy solution without adding any weight!

    So with the screws, I would say the Merelli Binding does have a true ski mode.

  93. Michael Silitch January 18th, 2011 1:45 am

    On the more freeride touring side of things, it looks like Dynafit took a good look at the Onyx binding and thought about what they could do better. I dont think I will be a fan of the new heel elevevator system , though, that you have to reach down to change or you have to tap it with your pole. I really like the old TLT Speed elevator tower (except for how it gets caught in your baggie freeride pant leg while skiing if you let your feet get too close together)–what I like is that I can get my pole tip in the triangular hole and push or pull, kind of at an angle to get the elevator from “0″ or “1″ or even “2″ I think.

    The whole tapping or nudging the elevator with the pole idea is beyond me–I am just not coordinated enough to pendulum my pole, while holding it with one hand from the grip and hit the small target of the heel lever with the pole tip or basket. I have to take the pole off and invert it or hold it with two hands which is much too slow! Even when Fritschi changed to bigger holes in their elevator–I think to account for some poles with fat tips (slip on tip and basket configurations), it did not appreciate it, because you could no longer just stick the tip in one hole and operate all three elevation position from one movement. Progress for the sake of progress isn’t always forward. And even when it is for the sake of one new feature, other features often disappear by the wayside…..life goes on….

  94. Michael Silitch January 18th, 2011 1:55 am

    And finally, going back to the race bindings. I would love to see the most simple race bindings, without adjustable DIN set screws, but have each binding sold with one RV or even DIN value. For example, you could order the Low tech race with an RV of 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12. And if they could just swap out the heel “U”s (with different material or thicker at the bottom of the U and have the toe have a different angle on the toe lever, they could keep the aesthetic simplicity with fewer parts and lighter weight. Probably impossible, but who knows. Maybe DIN could create the specs for a rectangular shoe sole shaped metal bar with the inserts in it to test in tour tech stye bindings, they could get closer to being able to apply DIN to this system. I guess they would have to have a bar for all boot sizes and each size would change the torq on the binding, nullifying the idea of a binding that can be one DIN value. Does that sound right

  95. Christian January 18th, 2011 4:05 am

    Michael: Could not agree more. I would gladly pay the same for a fixed din releasable binding. Must be a good deal for dynafit too, as they must be cheaper to manufacture.

  96. aviator January 18th, 2011 5:18 am

    @michael s, christian

    the early 90s dynafit heels had the fixed U pins in different RV:s:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/backcountry-ski-museum/dynafit-tourlite-tech/dynafit-binding-lite.html

    surely it must be possible to use these in some (all?) of the new race heels?
    has anybody heard anyone experimenting with this?
    does anybody know if/where we can get these old U pins as spare parts?

    also ATK sells extra heavy duty U pins for the ATK race, this could probably be used in other race heels too?

  97. Lou January 18th, 2011 8:19 am

    Michael, I think the jury is still out on this new heel elevator system. It really needs the media and consumer testing to commence ASAP. That said, I’m waiting for my usual amusement in seeing which magazines give it an editor’s choice without really testing it. That’s always a good laugh (though kind of a disservice to consumers, when you think about it.)

  98. Federico January 18th, 2011 8:21 am

    I’m a bit confused… why are you so much interested and discussion about the release value of the low tech race binding or similar?? … have you even seen a racer skiing with the toe unlocked? … even if you have a release value of 15 … they will all still ski with full locked binding… it’s much worse to have a bad fall, your bindings release and your skis goes down by themselves or even worse on the neck of sombody else at full speed…
    All race binding are not safe products, they are for competition only.
    Ciao

  99. Lou January 18th, 2011 8:28 am

    Fede, I think where this is coming from is we want to use race style heel units with unlocked toe units, so we end up with the lightest binding possible that still has full release. So we’re all going off on that and just thinking out-loud. Also,I got it from a good source that full adjustable release will be required of all race bindings within a few years, so paying attention to this issue is valid in that sense as well.

  100. aviator January 18th, 2011 8:31 am

    @fede
    even tough YOU say they are for competition only,
    MANY people TOUR on them and would like to choose when to lock and when NOT to lock.

    AND as you know rumors are that ISMF will ban all race bindings without ski mode.

  101. aviator January 18th, 2011 8:33 am

    oop, echo from me LOL, didn’t see your answer lou.

  102. gillesleskieur January 18th, 2011 8:53 am

    if i m not wrong,the word on ISMF is to ban auto-lock bindings.. which is quiet different from a full adjustable release toe..

  103. Lou January 18th, 2011 8:53 am

    And, Fede, just to be clear, Americans think about gear the way you think about food. Now do you understand? :D

  104. aviator January 18th, 2011 9:09 am

    @gillesleskieur
    It’s not about “a full adjustable release” toe.
    It’s about light race toes with ski mode.
    When you can choose to ski with toe unlocked heel release values are relevant.
    When you ski with toe locked, not so much.

  105. Bob January 18th, 2011 10:53 am

    Seems like the TLT Radical ST and the TLT Speed Radical are very similar. What is the difference between them?

  106. Glenn Sliva January 18th, 2011 10:57 am

    Did you see this over at 14ers.com? He was skiing a double black and had prerelease. Ouch. The new Power Towers should be a dramatic improvement.

    Forgive me if this has been covered already.

    http://www.14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=28552&p=339601#p339601

  107. Lou January 18th, 2011 11:01 am

    Super different. For starters, Speed Radical doesn’t come with a brake, and the toe unit doesn’t have the plastic plate under it. It’s a different price as well, lower.

  108. gillesleskieur January 18th, 2011 11:11 am
  109. Lou January 18th, 2011 11:13 am

    Glenn, sorry to see that report on 14ers.com. He covers the caveats pretty good (icing, etc.), but I’d also offer that if you’re skiing no-fall terrain you might want to lock the binding toe, or at least be skiing with fairly high RV values… Also, I’ve never been an advocate of habitual in-resort use of touring bindings, as just the pace of the day can cause one to overlook basics such as ice clearing. I’m not sure Dynafit is any more prone to pre-release than any other binding, but that might be different for different people as seems to be indicated by hundreds of comments here at WildSnow. It also greatly depends on what RV value one has the bindings on. For example, I experienced a pre-release at Dynafit demo last week, and it was my fault for skiing a demo setup with low RV values. I hurt my shoulder in the fall, and blame only myself. One thing to keep in mind is that all bindings can pre-release, and there is one type that allows you to lock in…

  110. Lou January 18th, 2011 11:19 am

    Aviator, years ago when the Italians first came out with their stripped down heel units they sold out of car trunks at races, they used the U-springs from TLT bindings. There were quite a few of those kicking around for a while, but they all got snapped up and pretty much used up. Now the different companies manufacture something similar, even Dynafit, but as far as I know they usually only offer them in one tension, usually in the range of 7 or 8 if compared to DIN/ISO. If ATK offers another tension, that’s cool. But the question is are these things really interchangeable between brands/models? Hard to know.

  111. aviator January 18th, 2011 11:29 am

    @gillesleskieur
    because they are 200g per foot and we want to get the features of all available options in the 120g-140g range sorted. :D

  112. gillesleskieur January 18th, 2011 11:32 am

    ok, look at the trab then. they have a ski mode..

    BUT to me this is all like asking the Formula 1 (or indy…) makers to putt an airbag on their cars.. :D

  113. aviator January 18th, 2011 11:40 am

    @lou
    Exactly, I think some of the race bindings still use U-springs identical to the old ones.
    BUT the old springs are steel and A LOT heavier then the new titanium springs, something to think about.
    And some might need some tweaking, my merellis have notches in the U-spring where the “flap hinge” rests, to put something else in there I would have to grind those in the new U-spring. Quite a delicate job.
    But dyna-fiddling is what it’s all about, right? :mrgreen:

  114. aviator January 18th, 2011 12:04 pm

    @gillesleskieur
    thanks for your suggestions, I think I have all of them already
    as you can see further up in the comments, we’re working on the full list.
    I’m digging deep now, there’s actually more to choose from than you think.

    8 race bindings WITH ski mode we know of so far:

    -dynafit new low tech race, special version (no auto-lock, ski mode, lou confirmed)

    -merelli r8 older black model (no auto-lock, ski mode, I have them)

    -Schia Meccanica race (no auto-lock, ski mode)

    -trab race (no auto-lock , ski mode, but lou & tom said they auto-lock???)

    -plum race (auto-lock, ski mode with ski mode add-on, jonathan s have them)

    -haereo (autolock, 2 lock modes, + ski mode)

    -kreuzspitze (auto-lock, + ski mode)

    -merelli r8 (new blue model, auto-lock, no ski mode, michael s have them, says you can adjust the lock tension to get ski-mode, only problem is then u cant lock them without adjusting the screws again, sounds dodgy?)

    3 unknown:

    -colibri (probably auto-lock, no ski mode)

    -crazy (probably no auto-lock , ski mode)

    -phk (probably no auto-lock, ski mode)

  115. aviator January 18th, 2011 12:16 pm

    And to gillesleskieur, fede and all of you who says we shouldn’t even think about race bindings and releaseability.

    They are designed with release and we want to use them that way!

    If it was true all race bindings where made to be locked at ALL times:

    -none of them would have ski mode, but in fact most of them do!

    -they wouldn’t have any springs in the toes at all, they wouldn’t be needed if they are always locked.

    -they wouldn’t have any lateral springs in the heels at all, they wouldn’t be needed, they could have some much simpler/lighter rotation lock only.

  116. gillesleskieur January 18th, 2011 12:20 pm

    @Aviator..

    I understand your points. and i m with you on one of them. i d really like a non rotating heel. but then thats only me. :D

    have fun in the mountains!

  117. Michael Silitch January 18th, 2011 12:25 pm

    Have all you lightweight binding afficianados seen the new Pierre Gignoux binding? Not out yet, but in testing phase. Look for recent race photos of Kilian Jornet or Laetitia Roux. It’s a whole ‘nother world!

  118. aviator January 18th, 2011 12:28 pm

    @gillesleskieur
    Well I def don’t want a heel like that, but Greg Louie chocked us all in the comments above by posting about heels that doesn’t rotate, maybe you can buy them?

    btw my really LONG comment listing 8 race bindings WITH ski mode, is “awaiting moderation”, enjoy when it gets through…Lou?

  119. aviator January 18th, 2011 12:34 pm

    @ michael s
    heard but not seen
    worried about both price and durability…
    you have a link?
    isn’t it about time you make another “behind the scenes” in the gignoux hq and show how they’re made, LOL?

  120. Jonathan Shefftz January 18th, 2011 1:25 pm

    The Plum race binding is available with two different U-shaped springs for forward release: the Race 145 is a 9 RV forward and the Race 135 is a 7 RV forward. (The numbers refer to the weights, as the Race 135 U is Ti and hence a bit lighter).
    The main conundrum I’m facing right now is the revelation that elite Euro racers apparently never bothering rotating the heel unit and instead just always skin on the elevator. Definitely makes for fast transitions, but when I experimented in yesterday’s race (three laps on the same ascent route, so I used slightly different combinations on each lap), for extended flat sections (of which we had a lot) the heel elevator was still too high. I can see how on a perfectly graded 12.5-degree skintrack that the heel elevator would be perfect, but don’t some of those Euro races have long flat sections where you want to rotate your heel?

  121. aviator January 18th, 2011 1:39 pm

    jonathan,
    it depends on the race course
    if possible they skate flat sections
    if it’s a long low angle uphill and its worth it in transition time they do rotate their heel
    it just doesn’t happen very often

  122. Joe January 18th, 2011 1:53 pm

    Hey Lou -

    Are you heading towards the SkiTrab factory to see where the TR -1/2 is at in terms of moving from project to production?

    Keep the pastries coming and enjoy the spätzle!

  123. Lou January 18th, 2011 2:13 pm

    Joe, Ski Trab was the year before last, or was it last year? Can’t remember. But it’s a real pain to drive there from here so I’ll just be doing that every few years. Last time I looked, their binding just looked like another tech knockoff.

  124. Jonathan Shefftz January 18th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Lou, the Trab TR1/TR2 retains only the toe pin concept for touring while ditching pretty much everything else about the “Tech” system: lateral release is at the toe, while the heel unit is a typical clamp style (i.e., no heel pins) like with an alpine downhill binding.
    The TR1 prototype was compatible with normal “Tech” boots (or even a Tech toe and alpine downhill heel) whereas the TR2 requires a special heel interface.

  125. Maki January 18th, 2011 3:04 pm

    Federico, the point is that racers, for their own safety, should use ski mode *and* retention systems (leash or brakes). The one and only reason they don’t is that doing so gives a competitive advantage to the adversary. As long as *one* racer is willing to risk personal injury to gain performance the others are basically forced to do the same to maintain competitivity. Hopefully new regulations will forbid stupid practices like a locked bindings in competitions and put all athletes on the same level. It’s the same thing about helmets, beacons and such.

  126. Lou January 18th, 2011 11:25 pm

    Jonathan, I’ve seen the Trab prototype that differs greatly from regular tech. But it’s not in production, correct? And don’t they also make one that’s more of a tech knockoff? If I’m wrong, standing corrected.

  127. Joe January 18th, 2011 11:49 pm

    I have an email from the trab folks today saying NO TR1 in fall 2011. Weird how they shopped it out to the tradeshows as a project, and now it’s unclear when or if it will go into production. Perhaps our intrepid blogger can get to the bottom of this…?

  128. Federico January 19th, 2011 5:24 am

    @Aviator…
    I have all my skis with race bindings… They are: DyNA WRC, 7Summits superlight, Broad Peak, Manaslu …. so I perfectly know what you mean when you say that there are people that wants to use all kind of skis with the lightest binding possible…
    The fact is that I Never use leash or that stuff for several good reasons.. so I do prefer a lot when I ski NOT to have a toe release even if I fall… a release would mean losing the ski, maybe when you’re on top of a mountain and to walk down would mean a big problem. Of course this is just my personal taste and I don’t want to suggest this way of skiing to anybody.
    The New TLT Speed Superligh 185g will be for sure my new binding as soon as I can get some… that’s exaclty what I need a superlight binding with adjustable release value and maybe… sometimes I will also take a leash and ski with unlocked toe.
    What the ISMF will do in the future on the regulation isn’t an issue at all… trust me that the widest part of skiers will still ski with locked toe in most of the euro country… especially all the thousands of crazy italians buying racing style bindings :-)
    Ciao

  129. Skyler Mavor January 19th, 2011 5:44 pm

    Lou, do you have any guesses as to how the prices of the existing models will drop now that these have been revealed? When will the new bindings hit stores?

  130. canwilf January 20th, 2011 12:40 pm

    “… still not changing from alpine to walk mode without taking ski off (if you’re using brakes).”

    Does that mean u can do it if u don’t have brakes?

  131. Maki January 20th, 2011 1:48 pm

    Federico, may I ask you what “several good reasons” you have? I see only two:
    1) avalanches
    2) the risk of a ski bashing you in the fall

    As for point 1 a leash is still way better than a locked binding.

    The point 2 is valid, but except for myself, I know nobody that managed to get injured in that way. And I was doing goofy stuff inbounds, not skitouring. On the contrary falling with a locked toe is a sure recipe for disaster. Now, if you tell me that you hardly ever fall and you fear pre-release on steep terrain it’s another matter…

  132. aviator January 20th, 2011 4:44 pm

    @fede, maki
    I believe leashes are FUNDAMENTAL.

    People trust their locked toes way too much, the risk of releasing anyway in a crash is very real. It happens in two steps, first the heel releases vertically, and once the heel is loose, it’s very easy to release from a locked toe.

    And we all ski shorter/easier descents with our heels unlocked and skins on. Releasing from your locked toe and losing a ski in those situations is very easy to do.

    Losing a ski is often a disaster not because it’s annoying to get down the descent but because it often makes it impossible to hike out/home before nightfall.

    In fall-you-die situations, sure, you do whatever you can including locking your toes, personally I never ski that kind of terrain, and I rather boot down if I ever end up in situations like that.
    But when a release is not deadly and you weigh it against leg injury and avy danger, for me at least, having the option to unlock my toes is a MUST!

    I never use brakes but I ALWAYS use a minimal ultralight dyneema leash with a weak-string-type “fuse”. The risk my skis could cut me in a life threatening way is very small and I’m willing to risk it. I believe I’ve done my best to get my leashes dialed in so in a smallish fall/release I can keep my skis close to me, and in a big crash/avalanche I might lose my skis but I might keep my life/legs.
    I also use ski finder leashes like these to increase chances of finding my skis should I lose them:
    http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/en/dynafitskifinderleash-p-3752.html

    Inbounds I use the much beefier original leashes to protect my fellow skiers. Even if I would slit my throat on my skis because of them help is very close. I normally only ski inbounds to test gear, experiment and dial in release values, and to rely on brakes when I actually expect to release would be extremely ARROGANT in my book.

    Bottom line is you can’t have the cake and eat it too.
    If you ski with your toes locked and/or your RVs too high (too many have them too high) I believe you will eventually fuck up your legs.
    If you want to keep your legs (and have better survival odds in an avalanche) so you ski with toes unlocked + correct RVs you have to accept some very annoying releases once in a while and maybe even some lost skis.

  133. Bob January 20th, 2011 11:27 pm

    Assuming that the radical design pans out, it seems to me that the Speed Radical is the sweet spot. 341g vs. 531g for the Radical ST. Giving up the brake (they suck) and the plastic plate is no loss. The Speed ultralight looks nice but no adjustability in the heel and potentially weaker alloys are a big drawback. Nice to see more options.

  134. FEderico January 21st, 2011 1:59 am

    Maki, it’s just my presonal way of skiing… of course I ABSOLOUTELY DON’T recomend to ski with locked toe to anybody!!!… it was a comment related to racing style binding and the need to know about their din setting…, just saying that everybody using those bindings in the area where they are used a lot (Italy) are using them 100% with locked toe and this will never change indipendently from the heel din setting.
    For me personally I ski always pretty slow, I’m not a super good skier and most of the time in the good old dolomites the snow is a shit so you can’t go fast anyway… so the risk of a severe injure for a non release is pretty rare in my case. And most of the time I ski on pretty steep terrain with many rocks around (dolomite terrain) so… in any case much better not to fall…
    Also consider that if you have a bad crash the heel will release this will avoid most of the knee ligament injure. I can tell by experience as I had a pretty good amount of crash in the last years ;-)
    I don’t like the use of leashes for both point 1 and 2 … especially point 2 as my head has 2 stitch thansk to that :’( …
    Ciao

  135. FEderico January 21st, 2011 2:03 am

    Canwilf… I have always been interested in understanding in which case on the snow the fact that a dynafit binding doesn’t pass from ski to walk mode without taking the skis off is a problem…, maybe you can help me understanding that…
    I ski pretty often and normally when I finish a descent and I have to prepare for the next climb.. I have to put skins on and I still didn’t found a system to do that without taking the skis off and stick the skins with my hand. In that same momen I prepare my boots and my binding for the next climb as well…
    So why this issue disturb some people in north america?.

  136. Michael Silitch January 21st, 2011 3:28 am

    My wife, Nina made it to Gavarnie, Fr, in the Pyrenees for the second world cup of the season. She is strong this year and well prepared I am excited to see how she does. http://www.ninasilitch.com

    Here are my two cents on a fixed toe: I am 100% for it for racing and hope the ISMF changes their mind and continues to allow a one position (locked) toe piece. When a racer is flying down the mountain–and they go really fast in ski alp races, they could get really really hurt if a binding releases. Also the skis are very small and they is less risk of hurting a knee than with a standard sized ski and especially a fat ski. I would say the main risk the ISMF ought to be thinking about is risk of hitting obstacles on the descents. Like TREES for example. Pleanty of World Cup races have racers weaving through trees down a narrow path. The ISMF needs to think more about safety netting and effective padding! The World Cup alpine uses three layers of safety netting! I know speeds are less for ski mo, but ateast one or two layers to protect skiers and “real” padding–thick foam like for a high jumper) in front of trees. This might be impossible with the current budget, but I think in the overall safety of the skiers, netting and padding is a much bigger issue than a non releasable toe or a snow claw vs. a handled shovel–atleast if they really want to make it into the Olympics.

  137. Lou January 21st, 2011 8:15 am

    Wow Michael, when I watched that race near Bormeo a few years ago, I almost hit a tree taking a fall while descending the course after spectating. Made me think about just how dangerous those courses are. Ditto, on the 12 Hours Of Sunlight course they ski 50/60 mph down a ski run with just regular padding and no side fences, really huge potential for tragedy, if you ask me.

    As for the locked bindings, let’s just put it this way. Sure, locking is great when throwing a shoe is unthinkable as in extreme skiing or yes, race descents at rediculous speeds. But as the years roll by and you some of you guys skiing without safety release as a matter of course hurt yourselves, you will be singing a different tune about skiing locked. And this theory about lighter small skis not being as in need of release is somewhat BS. Sure, they might not exert certain forces, but the scary injury is the tib/fib spiral that happens when your ski is trapped from side movement and your body loads the bone then twists. An explosion of bone fragments is the result. Trust me, I’ve done it. And it doesn’t matter what size your ski is.In this situation the only thing that saves you from what can be a very serious injury is lateral binding release — exactly what locking the tech binding virtually eliminates. There, that’s my lecture to you invulnerable whipper snappers (grin).

  138. canwilf January 21st, 2011 11:06 am

    @FEderico “…ski to walk mode without taking the skis off is a problem…, maybe you can help me understanding that…”

    It is a challenge to have to always remove ski to change binding when yo-yo skiing on mostly flattish terrain with gentle hills.

    At times I will leave my skins on for a short ride down, or to have extra control when carrying a heavy backback, or on a gentle down slope where danger exists if I go run-away off course (cliffs around in a whiteout, ect.)

    So, I’m sure for skimo racers or most some users it is not an inconvenience, but for some it is. G3 Onyx tries to solve the problem and I tried it and it is easier to yo-yo ski with that binding.

    It is a problem waiting to be solved with a good solution. I don’t think that a lack of that feature in tech is a plus, it is just that tech types have many advantages that compensate for the inconvenience.

    … my two cents worth.

  139. Federico January 21st, 2011 11:41 am

    Canwilf, never thought about that option :-) … but don’t you remove your skins? … normally if it’s a gentle descent where you still keep the skins on.. I ski down with unlocked heels… I personally, in many years on the snow, never seen anybody locking the heel for skiing down when leaving the skins on… even with fritschi or silvretta bindings… but maybe this is only a bad european attitude :-)
    My personal and I repete personal idea is that I would never ever trade even 100gr weight more for a system which alow me to go from ski to walk mode without releasing the toe :-)

  140. canwilf January 21st, 2011 12:17 pm

    @Federico

    Re: normally if it’s a gentle descent where you still keep the skins on.. I ski down with unlocked heels…

    Yes, keep heels unlocked for that. But one time it was steep and difficult ski through powder in trees with pack on (50 lbs). So I locked heel and did the down with skins on and it was fine and slowed me enough to do better control and safety.

    My first back-country binding was a Naxo01 and it was heavy but didn’t require the ski book to be taken out to switch modes.

    I guess it is not a very used feature, since one can yo-yo with a tech binding just fine, leave skins on and go up and down to hearts content.

    Re: My personal and I repete personal idea is that I would never ever trade even 100gr weight more for a system which alow me to go from ski to walk mode without releasing the toe

    I saw the Onyx video and the guy removes his skins with binding on feet, changes mode, and then skis off. Very cool. But I’m not so flexible as to bend my leg up like that to get my skins off with my boot in.

    My big beef about Tech bindings has thus far been the heel piece is not easy to rotate with brakes installed – my wife finds this challenging, and the different heel heights are fiddly at times. Maybe the new Dynafit makes this easier.

    I think it is inevitable that one day someone will add that 100gr and add the features though to make keep boot in to switch modes.

    And with ski races, the one who does not have to try and get in or out of the binding will make up precious seconds and win :)

  141. Maki January 21st, 2011 1:59 pm

    Canwilf, don’t bend the leg up, bend yourself down to reach the ski tip and rip from there. Look this video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5qDWBvW5QA

    Federico,
    there’s a number of situations in which you may like to lock/unlock the heel quickly, and it’s not an American thing, I’m from Italy too:
    1) a flattish terrain during the descent. In some cases you can just push with poles or skate to advance, but with soft sticky snow it works much better to unlock the heel and walk without skins.
    2) a small intermediate descent during the uphill. You don’t want/need to take skins off, but going telemark isn’t always safe. Again in soft/wet snow the ski can suddenly lock and you fall on your face. Iced crust isn’t much funnier. Maybe that kind of snow is more common here in the southern Alps than in the Dolomites, but it’s real
    3) the heel piece rotates and locks itself (it happens). Depending on where you are, releasing and stepping in again can be difficult: eg. traversing on steep, hard snow.
    4) sidestepping on icy terrain is quite a bit safer with a locked heel
    5) sidestepping with soft snow bogging the ski tails down is a pain with TLTs, I’d like to lock the heel here as well.

    I haven’t looked inside a TLT, but I dont think it’s impossible to place a button somewhere that temporary takes tension off the springs. Or you can supply a pocket version of this tool ;-)
    http://www.wildsnow.com/84/dynafit-mod-easy-switch-between-tour-and-alpine-mode/

    Anyway, the new Speed Radical is cool enough that I’ll probably buy it. Any chance it will be already available this season?

  142. David K January 23rd, 2011 2:06 pm

    mmm.wow all very interesting. I’ve just been servicing my old TLT speeds this afternoon.

    I like the idea of the Speed Superlight’s although it looks like they might be a bit tricky to go from no step to a step easily :-( shame really, would be better if it rotated once and then stepped up from there but that I guess is the idea of the new Speed.

    Does anyone have a weight for the new Speed? The old one is 350g which is looking a little lardy these days

  143. David K January 23rd, 2011 5:52 pm

    also worth a mention is that the pins on the new speed and speed superlight appear to be longer than the old Speed TLT’s. A good thing if you ask me.

  144. See January 31st, 2011 12:35 pm

    I think perhaps the clear superiority of the Dynafit binding in so many areas has made many of us reluctant to admit there is a real problem with prerelease that isn’t solely an issue for big skiers, and/or skiers with poor technique, on big skis, hucking cliffs.

    I am not referring to malfunction due to icing under the toe piece. I am not talking about outright breakage of under-built toe pieces or badly designed base plates. I’m talking about the prerelease that occurs “when you load the ski directly through the pivot point.” I’m talking about the reason so many people lock out their toe pieces, especially in firm, chatter inducing and/or high consequence situations (in spite of official recommendations). I’m taking about the phenomenon that you (Mr. Dawson) demonstrate in your video.

    I commend Wildsnow and G3 for repeatedly acknowledging that there is an issue here, but I think there has been too much downplaying of the magnitude of the issue given that we really have no hard data (?) regarding how often and under what circumstances this type of prerelease occurs, or how many people simply lock their toes and cross their fingers. How do you know that this only effects “a very small subset of skiers,” or that “about 99.9% of Dynafit users have no pre-release problems(?)”

    Meanwhile, Dynafit continues to promote their “freeride” products for “downhill hardcore performance,” and I don’t think it’s ok to simply leave it up to “everyone to decide whether this matters for them or not.” I like to believe I’m fairly experienced and technically sophisticated, yet I am only now coming to the conclusions I am stating here (thanks in large part to your blog, in addition to my own experience and analysis); conclusions that are directly or indirectly contradicted by many authoritative tech binding boosters, both on and off the manufacturer’s payroll.

    So my question is: Who’s looking out for the skier who isn’t a gear freak/engineer, but just wants a light AT rig? Given the appearance of the power tower on the next generation Dynafits, isn’t it time to admit that prerelease is a significant problem for many, not merely the preoccupation of the 0.1%ers?

    Respectfully and with Best Wishes,

    See

  145. canwilf January 31st, 2011 12:45 pm

    @See

    “””I think perhaps the clear superiority of the Dynafit binding in so many areas has made many of us reluctant to admit there is a real problem with prerelease that isn’t solely an issue for big skiers, and/or skiers with poor technique, on big skis, hucking cliffs.””

    I’m not sure I agree. Last night my wife and I skied down a narrow trail in the dark (with headlamps!) and we had to go fast, slow, snowplow, and do lots of speed reducing hockey-stops along the way. We do not lock our toes and we had no problems whatsoever.

    I am a Type II skier, weigh 215 lbs (without a pack) and had no problems with pre-releasing despite my torquing the heels on my Dynafits.

    I did a four day tour in the Rockies a few years ago, I was on Naxo’s and everyone else had Dynafits. I never saw one single pre-release the whole trip with at least 5 people using them. Four days back country tour (with heavy packs) and no pre-releases.

    So, they have a good reputation, by any standard an excellent reputation and they just work. All I am trying to say is that they are a very good binding that is quite reliable – as far as I am concerned.

    @Dynafit Plleeazzeee (begging) come up with brakes that don’t impede the rotation of the heel piece so much! That’s my only wish.

  146. Lou January 31st, 2011 2:38 pm

    It would be patently ridiculous to state or believe that Dynafit bindings have any endemic problem with pre-release in normal use. Period. Sure, they can pre-release (it’s happened to me). So can any other safety release binding (it’s happened to me). And yes, as I demonstrate in my video, there is a force vector that caused a form of pre-release that is similar to that of taking a hard side blow to the toe area of a boot while in an alpine binding. But as Canwilf above and literally tens of thousands of skiers have experienced for more than two decades (including my family and hundreds of my friends and colleagues), they work.

    Part of this mythology is caused, in my view, by the appearance of the Dynafit and other tech bindings. If you actually stripped away as much plastic and other housing material as possible from an alpine binding, you’d actually end up with machinery of similar sizes (though different shapes). But the average tech binding (other than Onyx) just looks small, so once a pre-release or breakage happens, it is assumed to be endemic to the binding, rather than just average stuff for anything that tries to compromise between mass and performance.

    That’s not saying this stuff could be improved (as in Dynafit switching to stiffer toe unit springs, or perhaps the Power Towers). Also, one has to know that certain forms of skiing might not be appropriate for a given binding system. But there is a lot of hysteria and mythology out there. We try to bust some of that, but in the end, if you don’t have confidence in your gear, you should simply switch to something else. The head game is as important as the machinery.

  147. See January 31st, 2011 3:31 pm

    I am stating, and I believe, that Dynafit bindings are prone to “prerelease” in firm, chatter inducing conditions that subject the toe piece to extensive lateral shocks.

    I am stating, and I believe, that such conditions are not abnormal (though I do tend to avoid them as much as possible).

    I am stating, and I believe, that this is why the practice of locking out the toe is so widespread.

    I am stating, and I believe, that an alpine binding toe piece has greater elasticity– it can sustain more and greater shock loads before releasing– than a tech binding. (The size of the hardware may be relevant because bigger pieces allow for more toe displacement before release.)

    When I have doubts about the ability of my Dynafit bindings to perform adequately, I lock the toes or use something else.

    Is the above patently ridiculous?

    No binding is perfect. Any binding can release when the user would prefer it didn’t and vice versa.

    My main point is that, in my experience, there is a large difference between how the Dynafit binding performs and how most other bindings (especially alpine bindings) perform in the above mentioned conditions. Not to acknowledge this is, in my opinion, to do a disservice to those who may not yet know the limitations of their equipment or how to deal with those limitations.

    I just don’t want people to learn about their tech bindings the hard way.

    See

    P.S. Dynafit has a huge margin to add mass before they are even in the same league as most of their competition.

  148. Lou January 31st, 2011 4:01 pm

    See, when you get more specific your opinion sounds more reasonable (your first comment appeared to me to make a general opinion about Dynafit bindings, then use that to lead into your specifics.) To blanket categorize Dynafit bindings as being prone to pre-release is still in my opinion is patently ridiculous, is frequently seen in web postings here and there, and is the kind of blanket categorization I’m talking about. If you are identifying one specific mechanism, as I did in my video, that is a very legit thing to be bringing into the discussion and if I mis-construed you as just making a general blanket categorization, sorry.

    On the other hand, how much you want to bet if alpine bindings had a release lock out for lateral release, it would get used ? Would that mean alpine bindings are prone to pre-release, or just that they pre-release once in a while? No real way to know. And no way to know that with Dynafits.

    The point might be moot anyway, as with the stronger pincer springs and the Power Towers, the mechanism of pre-release that you and I seem to be referring to may be totally obviated.

    By the way, you can call me Lou instead of Mr. Dawson. This isn’t high school or a law court.

  149. Mark W January 31st, 2011 11:18 pm

    If locking out the toes on tech bindings is indeed widespread–and I am quite skeptical on this assertion–those who do so may be risking a lot (injury) over an issue that has apparently spread like wildfire over the internet and, in reality, is simply not a widespread problem. The same people who lock out toes on tech bindings might just as well max out the release values, as locking the toes for downhill does just that, and can take such values considerably higher than that which appears on the bindings’ DIN indicators. “Hey, man, my tech binders have a DIN of 17! Wahooo!” Seems far fetched and unnecessary. I have yet to be convinced otherwise.

  150. Hugh February 1st, 2011 12:43 am

    This is off the rpesent topic, but relates to a discussion of Tech fittings from January last year. I am doing a boot R&D project and wonder if any wildsnow reader would have worn out boots with serviceable tech fittings, and could cut off the relevant parts and send them to an address in Pennsylvania ( I have relatives travelling back to New Zealand from there soon). I ask because Dynafit compatible boots are rare in New Zealand, and my own are not yet anywhere near being retired for spare parts. If there are any takers I guess I would communicate the address through Wildsnow.

  151. Lou February 1st, 2011 8:37 am

    Hugh, if you do get any takers a good way to comm is through Facebook (if you both have accounts), but if you need it I’ll help you out here with communication.

  152. See February 1st, 2011 8:42 am

    I didn’t really mean to, but it seems I might as well just assume the role of skunk at the garden party and respond to Mark W.

    I do not believe it is the case that locking the toe is the same as maxing out the RV.

    As I stated earlier, quoting Cam the G3 engineer, “I’m talking about the prerelease that occurs “when you load the ski directly through the pivot point.”” Rather than repeat his entire, lucid explanation, I will simply refer anyone interested to Cam’s comment of 4/9/2010 in Wildsnow Tech- Onyx and Dynafit Jaw Pressure. But, as I understand it, you can crank the lateral RV to the max and it won’t have much effect on the kind of release demonstrated by Lou in his video because the RV is set at the heel piece. The load that would lead one to lock the toes is not twisting of the boot (which, if sufficiently forceful, causes the heel piece to rotate and release the boot) but sideways shock at the toe (as can occur during hard edging on hard snow).

    I don’t like, and I don’t recommend, locking out the toes. My point, based on my experience, is that sometimes it may be the safer option– say on an icy slope with the potential for a nasty slide if one loses a ski and falls.

    I’m sorry if it seems like I have some sort of anti-Dynafit bias. I don’t. If I did, I simply wouldn’t use them, and I wouldn’t be taking up space on Lou’s excellent blog.

    I do, however, believe this issue (which I have now flogged long enough) is a real problem that should be recognized, at least, but better yet solved.

    Thanks,

    See

  153. Lou February 1st, 2011 9:04 am

    See, thanks for the comment, let us hope the Power Towers eliminate the mode of pre-release we’re talking about. I’m eager to test them…

  154. Jonathan Shefftz February 1st, 2011 9:05 am

    “I do not believe it is the case that locking the toe is the same as maxing out the RV.”
    – Agreed from a toe prerelease prevention perspective.
    – But from a safety perspective, skiing with the toe lever in tour mode is even worse for lateral release safety than maxing out the RV.

  155. Mark W February 1st, 2011 9:21 am

    See, thanks for further clarification. Please don’t think I make you out to be the bad guy, as I appreciate your input. My apologies. Perhaps I should refine my point by saying that locking the toe lever adds to the release value in a way that is perhaps akin to changing a 6-12 DIN binding to a 11-17 DIN binding?

  156. Lou February 1st, 2011 9:44 am

    I’d add that locking the toe lever eliminates lateral elasticity that maxing out the RV setting still allows. Huge huge difference. That could be a mechanism whereby skiing with the toe locked DOES contribute to toe unit breakage. In other words, when you’re skiing downhill with the toe unlocked, your boot is allowed to make micro-movements that get sucked up by the lateral elasticity. With the toe locked, much of those micro-movements (vibration) have to be absorbed by the toe plate. Probably not a big deal if your vert is human powered, as the amount of skiing you do is just not that huge (unless you’re the human heli, AKA Greg). But add in lift skiing, big boots, stuff like that, and skiing with the toe locked is placing an unbelievable amount of energy into those tiny toe unit parts. When you think about it, it’s surprising tech bindings hold up as well as they do…

  157. See February 1st, 2011 10:04 am

    I just reread what I wrote earlier.

    I feel I should clarify my earlier comment in light of your kind responses.

    I should have written, “The load that would lead one to lock the toes is not twisting of the boot (which, if sufficiently forceful, causes the heel piece to rotate and release the boot IF THE TOES ARE NOT LOCKED OUT). If the toes are locked, the part that gives is likely to be one’s leg.”

    Regards,

    See

  158. Lou February 1st, 2011 10:26 am

    right on

  159. Borut February 27th, 2011 5:00 am

    Hi!
    I wonder, if there are some diferences in height of radical speed binding compared to old speed model. On some ocassions i’ve had some edge lifts caused by boot touching snow on upper leg. It is not nice feeling thinking of that! Well it happened on preety narroe 72 mm skis.

  160. Michael Silitch February 27th, 2011 5:23 am

    Hi Lou,

    Could you give me a quick education on ramp angle? Do boots have a ramp angle? Do bindings have a ramp angle? What are the stats on Alpine boots compared to AT boots and alpine bindings compared to AT bindings? Are all AT bindings and boots, for that matter the same ramp angle????

    Thanks. Michael

  161. aviator February 27th, 2011 7:00 pm

    michael, lou, and maybe jonathan s?

    I’m also very interested in the details of ramp angle after all that talk in the tlt5 thread:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/4461/dynafit-tlt-5-performance-review/

    I always thought the tlt speed had way too much angle but never did anything about it. Now I understand many are shimming the toe a few mm to neutralize it?
    I’ve noticed race heels sitting about 10mm lower are much more comfortable.

    I’d like to get my bearings here. I don’t understand all the angles being thrown around, how are they measured and how can they be compared? there are so many variables?

    1. How do you measure dynafit binding ramp angle exactly? Heel pin center to toe pin centre? and when talking about it we have to talk about the same bsl, the normal 27? since binding angle changes with different bsl?

    2. So dynafit has too much positive angle and fritschi too much negative angle? What is the ideal starting point, the “normal” binding ramp angle? completely flat? how is it different for an upright stance or a forward leaning stance?

    3. Same questions about boot ramp angle, how do you measure it? With or without any liner or soles but with the standard heel insert? Many boots ramp up a little at the toe? exactly where at the heel and at the toe do you measure? is it the angle between center of heel and center of ball of foot? and how? with a digital level or what? and what about different boot sizes? different size must mean different angle on the same model?

    4. And about cuff lean angle: when throwing angles around, how are they measured exactly? It’s something about how far ahead your knee ends up relative to your foot when you try to stand as upright as the cuff lets you? and when you discuss a 1 degree change in the cuff lean, how do you measure that exactly?
    And when talking about a “normal modern upright AT stance” how many degrees is that typically? and a “normal old skool or alpine race forward lean” how many degrees is that typically?

  162. Jonathan Shefftz February 27th, 2011 8:19 pm

    Borut, such “boot out” was the big racer concern back in the day just before all racers started going to “Derbyflex” plates and eventually the many competing plates, lifters, etc. The FIS came in with new rules to reduce standheight and now even all the “freeriders” are into less standheight. Nobody seems to talk about “boot out” anymore, but I suppose with a relatively wide boot and a relatively narrow ski, such a problem could arise. (Okay, so I haven’t really answered your question, but you’ll see in the separate blog post for my Tech Binding Summary Chart that the cells are currently blank for the standheight measurements of the 2011-12 Dynafit bindings.)

    Michael, back when I was an NCAA alpine race coach, I was really into all these questions. To provide a very quick answer, the boot-binding-ski combination is a cast. If the angles don’t match up with the skier’s indivividual lower-leg morphology needs, the skier will never ski to the fullest potential. That said, some individuals adapt more capably then others, but some skier adaption leads to certain tell-tale signs that the gear angles are just way wrong for the skier.
    In one plane, it’s relatively easy to create a custom footbed to put the foot in subtalar neutral, then adjust the upper cuff of the boot so that the leg’s lower shaft is centered in the shell (yes, this is easy even without a so-called “cant” rivet), then finally plane the boot sole (with alpine downhill boots) or put in underbinding shims to line up the center of the knee mass (not the center of the kneecap) to slightly inside of the boot center seam.
    By contrast, the fore-aft angles are way tricker to get right, since they are all related yet distinct:
    - angle inside the boot between heel and ball of feet (sometimes called “ramp angle”)
    - angle of upper cuff (often called “forward lean”)
    - angle of binding-ski combination (sometimes called “delta”)
    As for AT vs downhill, impossible to generalize, as each type runs the entire range for all these angles.

    Aviator, to address your points:
    1. In my Tech Binding Summary Chart, I provide the height and resultant differential for toe pincers and heel pins. Unfortunately calculating an angle even for a given bsl is harder to do (compared to downhill) because of boot rocker. But if the concern is comparing different Tech bindings, then the raw #s suffice.
    2. Zeroing out the delta on my alpine race setups is an absolute must for me, although I still leave in a couple mm of differential. For backcountry a few more mm helps to adsord some terrain irregularities. Anything more than that I consider to be guilty until proven innocent. Perhaps some skiers benefit from more delta, but I’m highly dubious. (For me, Diamirs with AT boots are pretty much perfect. With an alpine downhill boot though, they start to verge on negative territory, or at least that’s the case with the older models I have.)
    3. My suggestion here is to play around with slight heel wedges and see if it helps.
    4. The key for playing around with this, along with binding-ski delta, is observing yourself inside with a full-length mirror. Focus on what setups put your hips over your feet, and what setups put the least amount of strain on your quads when in a neutral position.

  163. Michael Pike March 9th, 2011 6:14 pm

    How much wider than the waist width should the dynafit brakes be?
    Would a 100mm brake be too wide for a79mm waist?
    I’m thinking of going to a 90mm waist ski next year and thought the 92mm might be too narrow for that.

  164. Lou March 9th, 2011 7:33 pm

    92 will probably work, if not just cut some plastic off the inside of the feet.

  165. Michael Pike March 9th, 2011 7:54 pm

    Thanks Lou,
    As for my first question,
    will the 100mm be too wide for a 78 waist?

  166. Jason March 28th, 2011 8:15 am

    Do you guys have an opinion on why I would or wouldn’t get the Dynafit TLT Speed instead of the TLT Vertical ST for my wife? She’s a good skier, but isn’t going to be torquing her ski at 40 or 50mph anywhere. We are going to mount up some Praxis H20 Heli’s in a 163. They are around 126 underfoot. Thanks for any thought.

  167. Lou March 28th, 2011 8:29 am

    Jason, for a skier such as your wife, the only only only reason not to use TLT Speed is that it doesn’t have ski brakes and she would have to use a leash. For that reason, I’d tend to recommend the ST.

    Know that the ST has more ramp angle than TLT, so keep that in mind as well. Issue with that is what bindings/boots will she be switching from, or switching between? If ramp angles are significantly different between setups, there can be an adjustment period each time you switch gear.

  168. Glenn Sliva March 28th, 2011 10:21 am

    Lou: Should we be waiting for the new Radicals to arrive? Or- just load up on ST’s now or even FT’s. Decisions decisions.

    In other news there was very little coverage of a great race this weekend. I’m speaking of the Elk Mountain Grand Traverse. There was an article in the Aspen Times but not much anywhere els.

    Many thanks for this great blog.

  169. Lou March 28th, 2011 11:11 am

    Glenn, after the Power of Four, for me the Elks Traverse is still interesting, but not quite as interesting as it used to be. The terrain is too flat, with the only real descent being Aspen Mountain, same as used by Power of Four. I like nordic racing but I can’t say I’m placing that much energy into spectating or writing about it.

    Elks Traverse this year ended up being interesting in that teams had to strategize about the trail breaking. On the other hand, the trail breaking skewed the results in terms of who were simply the better athletes. I’m not sure where I’m exactly at with that, but I like the rando race format as it much more basic, also quite a bit easier to spectate (to make an understatement.)

  170. Jonathan Shefftz March 28th, 2011 11:14 am

    Elks Traverse add’l coverage on the blogs of Team Crested Butte and Sari Anderson. (Probably coming up soon at Travis Scheefer’s blog too?)
    And as has been the case in recent years, once again rando race gear dominates a nordic backcountry race!

  171. Lou March 28th, 2011 11:18 am

    Glenn, Radicals are a very good example of a product that early adopters may want to chase down like hounds on a rabbit. But not everyone needs to be an early adopter. In other words, there is no other answer I can give at this point but to be careful of freshman products. In any sector, that’s good advice. I do think the Power Towers of the Radical could be very cool if they work., and the heel lifter is definitely easier though not a deal breaker. Other than that I don’t see anything that makes it a particularly better binding than an FT or ST. If you’re an experienced Dynafit user and don’t have problems with inadvertent release, I definitely see no reason to upgrade.

    Not sure when we’ll be testing Radical, but I’ve been around them in use for quite a few days and there were no durability problems, which is the main concern with anything new.

  172. Glenn Sliva March 28th, 2011 1:13 pm

    For me I would rather do the 4-skin as it’s becoming known already but only one of the mountains. I prefer to use all the clubs in my bag so to speak. I agree on the bindings. The quality control at Dyanafit is excellent and a new product gets thoroughly tested during development before it’s release. Thanks for the coverage and it would be nice to spectate the race somewhere besides Ajax Tavern with all the beautiful people.

  173. Lou March 28th, 2011 2:20 pm

    My plan next year for the 4-Skin is to spectate at three or four locations. First, be at the start, then go over to top of Highland Bowl. Then, go over and take the gondy up to the top of Aspen Mountain, then head down to the finish. Should be a fun day! Really really looking forward to it. I hope some euro kids show up.

  174. Dave April 6th, 2011 11:48 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I have recently mounted a pair of Liberty Double Helix with the Dynafit FT12 bindings. My boot is the Scarpa Mobe. I have noticed a extreme amount of ramp angle with this set up. I have tried to modify the boot by using the least amount of forward lean and posting the fore foot on the boot board. The result is still an over ramped position and a squirely ski (i.e. tip hook). The binding is mounted at the standard mount position recommended by Liberty.

    I’m considering shimming the toe piece of the binding to compensate for the ramp. How much of a shim would you recommend or is there a better solution? Thanks!

  175. Lou April 7th, 2011 8:00 am

    Hi Dave, that can indeed be an issue with any of the Dynafit Comfort/ST/FT series bindings. If working on the boots isn’t helping your best bet is indeed to shim up the toe of the binding. It doesn’t take much to make a noticeable difference. The biggest hassle is to find the correct length screws, as unless your shim is super thick you want them to go through the shim on into the ski.

    If you don’t have another setup to do a rough comparison with, here is one way to figure out the ramp angle you want:

    1. On the carpet, set up one ski so the heel unit pins are rotated out of the way as if you were going to tour in heel-flat-on-ski mode. Tape down the brake so it stays retracted, or better, remove brake from ski. Stick a shim under the boot heel that raises it up back to skiing height minus what you’d guess the shim amount would be. You can make the test shims by sawing chunks of wood. With your boots on your feet, click into binding toe and stand on the ski with boot heel on the shim. Also stand in your other ski at the same time, so you can compare.

    2. Once you get the ramp angle feeling more along the lines of what you want, note the amount you have dropped the boot heel, which will of course be how much you want to shim up the toe.

    3. If all you need is a few millimeters, buy a cutting mat and cut shims out of it. For thicker shims a plastic cutting board can work. Other options are alpine binding shims or go online and find HDP plastic in the thickness you need.

    Ski shops with well equipped workshops sometimes have a selection of various length binding screws. When installing the shims and screws, use plenty of epoxy.

    I hope that helps.

    I’m thinking Dynafit really should add a few millimeters thickness to the binding toe base plate, as the amount of ramp angle the binding introduces really is quite alot by today’s standards. They could then sell a heel unit shim plate of equal thickness for folks that wanted the original ramp angle.

    Bear in mind that a benefit of having the binding provide ramp angle is it allows you to have AT boots that hike and climb better when on foot without skis. In other words, you get your ramp angle out of the binding instead of the boot, so when you’re on foot you have a more natural stance than if the boot had a bunch of ramp. But with modern ski technique most people probably don’t need as much ramp as the Dynafit bindings provide. I liked it in the old days when I had my knees hanging out past my toes (grin).

  176. Jonathan Shefftz April 7th, 2011 12:39 pm

    Angle inside the boot is not doing the same thing as ski + binding delta. (In other words, if the ski-binding delta isn’t helping your skiing, then it isn’t doing your boots any good either.)

    As for the Dynafit delta, still in line with all sorts of alpine downhill binding models.

    For shim material, can use LDPE from SmallParts. Screws available from Slidewright.

    For optimal angle testing, a full-length mirror helps to verify hips centered over feet. Focus on quads stress. Start off with boots but no skis. Then see whether clicking into skis helps or just increases stress on quads and/or throws hips back. Experiment with putting ski magazines (see, they’re good for something!) under the skis in the area of the toes then under the heels to see how shimming affects balance.

  177. Lou April 7th, 2011 1:00 pm

    Thanks Jonathan, good tech, but I beg to differ on the delta of an ST/FT being comparable to many alpine bindings. I’ve spent some time checking that out and did not observe that to be the case. Perhaps there are just so many alpine bindings one can find ones that go either way. BUT, there are different ways to measure this since the Dynafit boot rests on toe and heel fittings, instead of sole bottom as alpine boots do. Thus, perhaps I checking things differently than you.

    In any case, if a person feels too much forward angle, I first make sure their boot cuff is in a reasonable position in terms of forward tibia lean, then start looking at the delta, either inside the boot or at the binding… Doing so seems to always help.

    As for delta inside boot comparing to binding, yeah, technically it’s not the same but in my experience, once the inside boot delta is adjusted, messing around with the binding delta can provide any necessary addition or subtraction. Especially if cuff lean is tweaked before AND after the delta is tuned.

  178. Jonathan Shefftz April 7th, 2011 1:12 pm

    If you checked only several alpine downhill binding models, you could reach all sorts of conclusions depending on your selected sample. Even nearly identical models often are configured with different shims/lifters/plates/etc. that impart significantly different heel>toe delta. The only generalized conclusion is that alpine downhill bindings span the range from nearly flat to very high delta, and although the Dynafit Vertical series (accounting for the interface effects) is toward the high end of the range, it’s still within the range.
    As an example of how different the angle inside the boot inside versus out, many years ago with some alpine downhill race gear, I was hugely in the back seat. Put some heel lifts inside the boot (on top of the boot board, underneath the liners). Much better, but still in the backseat. Then put lifts underneath the binding toes. Wow! I still remember those first turns with the toe shims.
    So overall I’d gone from a flat boot & ramped binding to ramped boot and flat binding. Totally different despite the angles adding up to about the same number, but that’s the proverbial adding up apples and oranges.

  179. Lou April 7th, 2011 1:26 pm

    Takeaway for everyone is to do what’s easiest first (play with cuff lean and post heel or forefoot inside boot. After that, you’re left with shimming binding toe or heel. In 99% of cases I’ve worked on, shimming the binding wasn’t necessary.

  180. Jonathan Shefftz April 7th, 2011 1:29 pm

    Kind of like looking for the car keys where the light is best . . .
    Plus hard to know that shimming the binding isn’t necessary until the skier has tried a shimmed binding.

  181. Dave April 7th, 2011 5:24 pm

    Thanks Lou and Johnathan! I appreciate the info, and I will let you know how it turns out. Great site!

  182. Lou April 7th, 2011 5:39 pm

    Overthinking it there a bit there Jonathan. If the guy goes skiing after some boot tweaks and loves how things work, I think we can be pretty sure that shimming the binding wasn’t necessary (grin).

  183. Glenn Sliva April 7th, 2011 5:48 pm

    Doesn’t this all change if you have a heavy pack on compared with resort skiing? i. e. you CG is back over your heals. Damn Engineers. (I’m one)

    Great stuff and thanks Lou.

  184. Lou April 7th, 2011 6:31 pm

    Glenn, CG tends to get adjusted for by body position, but weight on the ski will frequently change the way it skis. I found on Denali, for example, that my skis were just too short as you always carry a bunch of stuff up there, even on day trips.

  185. Glenn Sliva April 7th, 2011 7:45 pm

    Yes. That means your former Center of Mass (Sternum for us guys) gets out over your toes and the quads begin to burn. You can compensate by lowering your pack if possible but the point of contact and it’s pressure moves toward the front accounting for the handling of your skis. Tire Patches in car racing is all about weight transfer. If you sit back at all you are popping a wheelie if you will. Steep slopes make it much worse. You found this out the hard way it sounds. Eventually you are asking your taller friends do you mind if I borrow your 185′s. Great stuff. Am I thinking wrong or is this what you experienced?

  186. Jesski August 10th, 2011 11:35 am

    Lou,

    I’m unclear as to what the DIN-equivalent settings available on the new bindings will be. Will the radical series (the FT, especially) perform to a release equivalent of a DIN 12?

    Thanks
    Jessie

  187. Jonathan Shefftz August 10th, 2011 11:51 am

    All the key specs are in the latest Tech Summary Chart, but in brief, the RV ranges for the new bindings are:
    FT = 5-12
    ST = 4-10
    Speed = 4-10
    Superlite = 5-10
    (The REI listings for the first three have some very high-quality pictures.)

  188. Lou August 10th, 2011 12:38 pm

    Thanks Jonathan!

  189. David September 15th, 2011 9:37 pm

    Anyone have any indication what pricing is going to be on the superlite?
    Looks super interesting for a light tour or even a less expensive race option.

  190. Jonathan Shefftz September 16th, 2011 5:43 am

    Based on a European etailer already stocking it, the Superlite is going to be very pricey: comparable to race bindings and also the ATK / La Sportiva RT (which is its only direct competitor, i.e., nearly race weight yet adjustable release).
    For a less expensive race option, the Dynafit Low Tech Radical will combine the new Radical toe (with no plastic shim, like on the Speed Radical) with the race heel.

  191. David September 16th, 2011 9:19 am

    Thanks Jonathan,
    I got a low tech lite last yr for my race setup – its affordable, light and works great. The low tech radical is obvious update/replacement for that category.

    Just that the superlite looks so damn good and would match my red skis :)

  192. Jonathan Shefftz September 18th, 2011 1:30 pm

    Just noticed that Mountain Gear has a web listing and Bent Gate has a Powder mag print insert: price for Dynafit Speed Superlight will be $600 (same as for Radical FT).

  193. tom robinson September 22nd, 2011 10:09 pm

    Hi Lou,
    Enjoying your website -just enough techie stuff to really get to the bottom of things.
    But- I am going to replace a worn out pair of fritchis with Dynafits .
    Only i can’t tell which model to go with.
    Can you recommend the model .I like brakes, light weight and will ski whenever I can . Also this is strictly for the back country, I have resort gear.
    Thanks!
    Tom

  194. Lou September 23rd, 2011 6:36 am

    Tom, sorry (truly) we’re not a Dynafit catalog, but that would be too much work. On the other hand, happy to give advice. Their line of bindings is confusing in terms of naming, and how things stack up in terms of all the stuff now on the market. Basically, you’d probably want either the Radical ST or the Vertical ST. There you go, have fun and let us know how it turns out! Lou

  195. Lou September 23rd, 2011 10:21 am

    Tom and all, I just added the following to our Dynafit info index:

    Dynafit binding models for 2011/2012, according to printed catalog:
    - TLT Radical FT (new 2011, redesigned heel lift & more)
    - TLT Vertical FT (introduced for 2006/2007, still viable)
    - TLT Radical ST (new 2011, redesigned heel lift & more, the one we favor)
    - TLT Vertical ST (introduced for 2007/2008, still viable)
    - TLT Radical ST Baltoro (orange plastic otherwise same)
    - TLT Speed (Classic introduced in early 1990s, see photo above)
    - TLT Speed Radical (New version of Speed)
    - TLT Speed Superlight (racing & lightweight tour, one RV adjustment)
    - Low Tech Radical (lighter heel with TLT Radical toe)
    - Low Tech Race (same heel as LT Rad, same toe as TLT Speed)

  196. Jonathan Shefftz September 23rd, 2011 10:27 am

    Low Tech Radical (essentially a budget rando race binding, and successor to last season’s Low Tech Lite) will not be available in North America for this season.
    The Low Tech Race shares its toe with the Speed Superlight (although the former goes into tour mode automatically upon entry, whereas the latter requires pulling up on the lever before touring, like with other models).

  197. tom robinson September 23rd, 2011 5:55 pm

    Lou,
    Whew, thanks for narrowing the binding choice down -now i can go shopping.
    Tom

  198. Brandon September 24th, 2011 2:58 pm

    Lou, I have been using the Vertical ST for the past 3 seasons purely in the backcountry with excellent results. I like the idea of dropping another 0.8lgs of my setup by going with the Speed Radical this year. The hangup is a ski 115m underfoot. Dynafit catalogue would indicate to stick with the ST or FT. Any real world experience thoughts on using the Speed Radical in this application?

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  199. Lou September 24th, 2011 5:27 pm

    Brandon, the difference in strength between the two bindings is not that great. Big diff is no brake for Speed. Important thing is length of heel pins, pretty sure they’re the “modern” length but I’ll be checking. It’s a nice binding, actually…..

  200. Brandon September 24th, 2011 6:05 pm

    Thanks Lou – I am very interested to hear if the heel pin length on the Speed Radical matches that of the ST.

    Great work here with this info resource and your ease of accessibility.

    Brandon

  201. John September 25th, 2011 12:05 am

    Speed Radicals have the same heel pins as the ST/FT AFAIK

  202. Lou September 25th, 2011 6:17 am

    Thanks John, I reported that was the case a while ago somewhere here, but never was 100% sure. Still, we need to get the actual physical review done of those bindings, so I’m working on it.

  203. Alex October 2nd, 2011 1:30 am

    Brandon, I’m thinking the same thing as you – Speed Radical on a 106 waisted ski. I don’t want the brakes and I’m unsure from the marketing literature and reviews of any other differences between the Speeds and the STs.

    The main thing I’m trying to figure out is if torsional rigidity is going to be any less on the Speed. The Speed heel and toepiece appear to mount directly to the ski instead of onto any kind of riser or platform, and I’m not sure if the platform adds torsional rigidity / power transfer and/or damping.

    Thanks for the writeup Lou!

  204. Eric Sangueza October 2nd, 2011 9:36 am

    How much of a difference is there between a DIN 10 and DIN of 12?

  205. Greg Louie October 2nd, 2011 11:12 am

    @Alex: Since the torsional resistance comes mainly from the toe, and the toes are the same for the two bindings, I’m guessing the Speed Radical is the more solid of the two.

    @Eric: For me, at ~165 lbs., the salient point is that I sometimes experience unwanted forward release with a Dynafit heel maxed at 10, and those incidences are cut dramatically with a Plum Guide set at 11.

  206. jasper October 4th, 2011 1:43 pm

    On the radical FT the locking plate seems a bit ridiculous it seems a descent sized person careening down a mountain and making turns would over power anything that plate would do. And besides I want the most direct contact to the snow, albeit a ski, binding, and boot are unavoidable, so why add some fancy plate?

    Any thoughts?

  207. Greg Louie October 4th, 2011 1:48 pm

    I had several sets of Marker alpine bindings with a similar feature for a while, and tried them in all three positions. Couldn’t really tell much difference, so eventually I just left them in the “free” position – or was it the “locked” position?

    More to the point, anyone who puts Dynafits on their skis in the first place is interested in carrying LESS weight, not more. I’d say if you think you need a DIN 12 get Plum Guides.

  208. Brian Stoy October 5th, 2011 9:05 am

    For the TLT Speed Superlight heels, Is mounting hole width the same as for all other TLT bindings? It looks narrower to me.

  209. Lou October 5th, 2011 9:36 am

    Brian, as far as I know it is a different pattern than the normal Dynafit heel hole pattern. I have some of the earlier version here, definitely different.

  210. Jonathan Shefftz October 5th, 2011 9:57 am

    The Speed Superlight heel pattern is nothing like the traditional Speed/Classic/Comfort/Vertical/Radical heel pattern: the two side-by-side holes are only about 25mm apart (center to center) and then only a single rear hole (which apparently is a bit further back as compared to the full-on Low Tech Race binding).

  211. John Milne October 5th, 2011 10:02 am

    @ Jasper – it makes a noticeable difference underfoot in a hand flex on the Stoke. I haven’t skied it on hard snow so hard to tell how it will play out in real life but it is functional. I’m sure it will also be affected by the ski you’re putting it on – a noodle might show noticeable improvements but it might not do much for a pair of DPS Wailers.

    Stack height is a big debate but I’ve got tall race skis with race plates and I’ve got Dynafit Speeds mounted flat to the ski, I can ski both just fine.

    @ Brian – It is narrower. The Superlight uses the race heel with a stretched rear leg

  212. Tony S. October 16th, 2011 3:30 pm

    Well, I just blew the 600$ on the Radical FT’s, and hopefully justifyably so. My rationale is that maybe the carbon plate has just enough backbone to maybe prevent the possible decambering release some here have described. Haven’t got them mounted yet, but hopefully the power towers are snug against my raduims or I guess they are useless.

    Sure will be a dissapointment if the new developements are just cosmetic/gimmicks, but I’m really hoping not as I am one of the skeptics crossing over from Dukes and I really, really don’t look forward to either skiing out of them at the toe on hard snow or decamering out of them in pow. I really don’t care if they are fine for 99%, I don’t need to ski out of a binding on a chalky 45 degree slope even 1% of the time, or lose a 1200$ set up medow skipping because of the heel pins backing out just by “pumping” the pow as one of you described. Have studied the pros and cons over the years and I know I can’t ski them like dukes, but hopefully these are worth the extra weight over the ft’s or plums. Fingers crossed, let the vetting begin.

    Hope you got it right, dynafit.

  213. Bob October 16th, 2011 5:32 pm

    Lou and others,
    Are folks with the new Radical bindings going to grind off the “bump” on the new heel piece? While this may improve the consistency of a release on a testing machine, it just seems to me that it will significantly reduce the benefit of having longer heel pins.

  214. Lou October 16th, 2011 6:39 pm

    I think for most people it won’t make any difference one way or the other, but I’d prefer to not have the bump, and will probably grind mine off. Truly strange they added it back in.

  215. Adam October 17th, 2011 3:35 pm

    Has anyone giving these a try yet? I’d love to hear from more people who have used the older TLT’s in comparison to the new radicals especially if they prefer the new flip adjusters or not? I’ve seen a few reviews in which people preferred the older turn ones… It seems to me like a mixed message for Dynafit to release a new binding as the future of touring binding but continue to produce the older TLT ST/FT at the same time. I guess it was just a business decision but it confuses me weather there are real improvements or it will come down to personal preference for the heal lifters and an “easier” way to step in… I use “” because the TLT’s already easy to me at least.

  216. Lou October 17th, 2011 4:44 pm

    I like the flippers, but you do have to get used to them — like just about anything, come to think of it.

  217. Tony S. October 19th, 2011 9:19 pm

    Got mine mounted up, Radiums don’t contact the power towers, oh welll. They definetly make it pretty simple to step in at least. It appears that maybe they will still help the toe jaws from completely opening up like some describe and like you document in your video, like maybe the wings could start to open but then the power towers could deflect the boot back into place in this type of possible prerelease.

    The point is, I’m with Lou and the opinion that it’s not a good idea to depend on the lockout to stay in, as I am now well versed in acl tear and recovery. Of course there will be times when locking makes more sense, but I want a predictably releaseable binding with minimal prerelease for 95% of situations. Lou’s video of toe prerelease is scary to me, as I am not among the most graceful skiers, hopefully the power towers will help. Boot in binding feels solid, not as much twist as when I stepped into a vertical ft in the shop on a similar waist ski a few years ago. I put them on Watea 101′s, so not a super wide ski. Heel lifters seem easy to use, but look underbuilt. I will shut up now till I go skiing.

  218. Rob October 22nd, 2011 1:35 am

    Lou – do the new Radicals work with the same crampons as the previous Dynafits?

  219. Lou October 22nd, 2011 6:11 am

    Rob, yes.

  220. stephen October 27th, 2011 8:04 am

    Can’t figure out from photos or the (defective) videos at the Dynafit site whether the TLT Speed Superlite actually has 3 different heel heights as per the normal touring bindings. Anyone know? (The Speed Radical or one of the cheaper race bindings is probably closer to my price range anyway.)

  221. Jonathan Shefftz October 27th, 2011 8:07 am

    The Speed Superlite has two different heel heights: a highest heel height that is roughly comparable to the Speed, and a lower heel height that is typical of rando race bindings. No flat position … which sounds bad, but with a boot like the TLT5 that has a huge range of motion, and the lower heel height, the flat position is hardly ever used. (I almost never rotate the heel to flat on my race bindings.)

  222. stephen October 27th, 2011 9:01 am

    Jonathan, when you say “roughly comparable to the Speed” do you mean the highest position, or the “on top of the binding housing” position? I’ve never actually seen a race binding in person – non-existent here in Oz – so am not clear on how the “low” height fits into the touring binding scheme of things either. Thanks.

  223. Jonathan Shefftz October 27th, 2011 9:04 am

    Whoops, I left out a rather critical phrase there!
    In short, the latter.
    In more detail, here’s a corrected version:
    “The Speed Superlite has two different heel heights: a highest heel height that is roughly comparable to the lower heel height of the Speed, and a lower heel height that is typical of rando race bindings (but not really comparable to any position on regular touring-oriented Tech bindings). No flat position … which sounds bad, but with a boot like the TLT5 that has a huge range of motion, and the lower heel height, the flat position is hardly ever used. (I almost never rotate the heel to flat on my race bindings.)”

  224. stephen October 27th, 2011 9:15 am

    That makes more sense! So, is the lower height sort of like the “half step” Dynafit hyped a few years back for the Vertical Race binders which was supposed to give a longer stride on slight inclines and put racers km in front of those with inferior bindings? :-)

  225. Jonathan Shefftz October 27th, 2011 9:17 am

    Exactly!
    Back then that half-step position sounded really suspect to me, but after lots of skinning this past season on my race bindings, now I really appreciate it.

  226. stephen October 27th, 2011 9:34 am

    Thanks Jonathan – your helpful comments are always very much appreciated!

  227. aviator October 27th, 2011 12:17 pm

    Stephen, down under you often tend to end up doing more flatter skinning?
    at least from what I saw in Thredbo? correct me if I’m wrong
    I mean compared to Jonathan’s typical stomping grounds … :)

    Personally, I wouldn’t wanna give up the lowest heel position on the longer flatter parts

  228. stephen October 27th, 2011 4:54 pm

    ^Very true, and places like Bogong can involve ~5 hours to get into the base camp area. After I went to bed I was thinking something like a La Sportiva/ATK-RT with the adjustment plate might be a better option as it allows flat-on-ski, has adjustable RV and with the plate would work on my Manaslus as well. A (non-Dynafit) race binding on a plate would work too, and might be a good option if RV isn’t too high for me (>7 would be excessive). Either would also be somewhat less exppensive than the Superlite. Whatever binding I end up with will be swapped between several skis usng inserts.

    Just to clarify, does the Superlite binding heel turn or not? I’m guessing not, as otherwise there would be a flat-on-ski position.

  229. Jonathan Shefftz October 27th, 2011 5:00 pm

    The Superlite heel does indeed turn (to release!), but it won’t stay out of the way for a flat touring position.
    I believe the RT has a flat position.
    For a ~7 RV race binding with fore/aft adjustment, check out the new Plum Race 165 (which should be available with the Plum 135 Ti heel pins for the lower forward RV).

  230. aviator October 27th, 2011 5:19 pm

    stephen, seems like most (all?) race heels have low RVs, like 4-5ish
    The theory is this is because they are used with the toes locked at all times.

    Even though there are new ISMF rules making the toes NON-autolocking, this wont change the fact people will still be locking their toes at all times. Race heel RVs will probably stay low.

    People adjust heel RV by microadjusting the 4mm gap; 5mm gap lower RV, 3mm gap higher RV.
    Filing, softening the heelpiece on the boot will lower the RV.
    Putting new sharp heelpieces on the boot will give you a higher RV.
    Shimming the boot heel against the ski will give you a higher RV just like breaks do.

    I’m experimenting with all these trying to dial in my merelli race bindings so I can use them with toes UNLOCKED.

  231. stephen October 27th, 2011 5:44 pm

    Great info guys, thanks again. I don”t know why the manufacturers bother maintaining their (often crappy) websites when all the information is more readily available here!

    FWIW, I’ve fondled the La Sortiva bindings and they do indeed have a flat-on-ski position. They’re amazingly light and I’ve been wondering if Wildsnow skied enough on the samples to tell if they might actually be durable…

  232. Jon Moceri October 27th, 2011 7:01 pm

    Stephen,

    I skied the ATK RT for most of last season. They are mounted on my DPS 112RP Pure skis.

    I probably put over 500,000 vertical on the bindings last season (mostly lift served side country) and they have worked well with no durability problems.

    My only complaint is that it isn’t possible to use your ski pole to rotate the heel, as the plastic extended heel lift isn’t really made for it. So you have to reach back to turn the heel by hand.

    I wrote a longer review here:
    http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/206422-another-new-tech-binding-La-Sportiva-RT?s=b9836627f4527378ba6ce0d16d4716c9

    Jon

  233. stephen October 28th, 2011 3:38 am

    Thanks, Jon. Sounds ike you’ve been happy with the TLT 5 Mountain boots too, so very useful data for me as I’m virtually the same weight . :-)

  234. Matt November 3rd, 2011 11:59 am

    For the ones who checked or used the new Radical bindings: do you think the new heel lifters can support big guys (in 200-220lb range) ?
    At a first look they doesn’t seem to be very sturdy (especially the medium lifter), comparing to the old heel lifters of the Vertical bindings.

  235. Tony S. November 3rd, 2011 12:41 pm

    I pesonally will be amazed if they make it through a whole season. The tiny bit of plastic holding the pin they rotate on in has me scratching my head, as does the noticeable amount they make the whole heel unit flex just by pushing down on them with my hand. Lots of leverage going on there. Sometimes I wish I were one of you 145 pound catlike creatures.:-)

  236. Lou November 3rd, 2011 6:44 pm

    I think the jury is still out on virtually anything in our industry that’s in its first season of public retail. This is based on cold hard experience. As for the Radical heel lifters, they’re remarkably durable considering how they look, but I’ve not spoken with anyone gorilla-like who’s given them the acid test. And yes, us catlike creatures are not good testers of that stuff.

  237. Jack November 6th, 2011 11:22 am

    Lou, I own two pairs Vertical FT’s. One pair is mounted on Dynafit Manaslu’s and one pair I use on wider skis, like 4FRNT EHP’s. I had few prereleases with the Manaslu’s but (too) many with the 4FRNT’s. If you think about it, the Vertical FT model is not even near DIN12, because it prereleases around DIN 3 when skis start to chatter. Also, Dynafit never warned skiers of the possibility their (Vertical FT12) could prerelease under certain conditions. As much as I love Dynafit, I think the Vertical FT12 was a flawed product. If it was something else than a binding, the manufacturer would have issued a recall or a free upgrade. Imagine you manufacture a car with a 150 mph maximum speed, but the wheels will come off if you hit a bump at 40 mph ? I suggested Salewa they exchange my Vertical toe bindings for Radical toe bindings, but they didn’t even bother to answer. What is your opinion about the intended use of the Vertical FT12′s and has the (toe) binding a flaw related to the intended use ?

  238. Lou November 6th, 2011 4:10 pm

    Jack, my opinion has been stated or at least implied n numerous blog posts, and is that the binding appears to work for most skiers I know of, but there seem to be some folks that just can’t get it to work well enough. In their case, I simply recommend using a different binding, perhaps a Marker Duke or Fritschi Freeride. If problems happened to everyone, I’d be singing a different song, but the problems are minimal compared to the literally hundreds of thousands of people who use the binding.

    My main recommendation is that everyone be super careful to dial their Dynafit RV settings, and that all parts are properly cleared of snow and ice before use on the descent. I injured my shoulder last winter in a Dynafit pre-release, simply because I had a pair of demo bindings set too low. My fault, entirely.

  239. Jack November 6th, 2011 4:59 pm

    Lou, you are right about the RV settings and making sure snow and ice don’t interfere, but there are too many folks out there locking their toe bindings. IMHO Dynafit should adjust their ‘freeride intended’ product(s) for the intended use or limit the use of their products by means of warnings (like: this product is not intended for use on skis wider than xx mm and/or for skiers heavier than xxx lbs)

  240. Lou November 7th, 2011 5:03 am

    Jack, I would agree (and have stated) that if a person has to ski with their tech binding toe locked, they might need to be on a different binding. If there is any part of the tech system that needs tweaking, it is how well the toe “pincers” perform when under the forces and vibration of downhill skiing. Thus, I guess I agree with you, only debate would be the matter of degree on how Dynafit or other tech binding companies would handle the folks for whom their bindings don’t work.

    Are you aware that Dynafit addressed this last winter, with firmer toe unit springs?

    This thread has almost 90 comments on it:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/3976/dynafit-ft12-ftz12-toe-pincer-springs/

    Also, it is my understanding that some of the other tech bindings have very firm to pincer retention pressure, Onyx for example.

    Lou

  241. Slacker November 7th, 2011 12:40 pm

    Will my old TLT brakes fit the new radical bindings?

  242. Kerry November 7th, 2011 9:31 pm

    Lou, thanks for all the info. I couldn’t find your reference to “insert and new toe pattern”; please guide me with link.
    I have a pair of Speed Radicals on order (prefer leashes to brakes) and have not yet decided which powder ski to put under them. Do the 2011/12 Manaslu’s have an insert pattern compatible with the Speed Radical?
    Kerry

  243. Sandy Detillieux November 8th, 2011 9:58 am

    WOW! This post has seen a lot of activity. Hugely varied activity. Personally, I am NOT a rando racer and therefore have absolutely no interest in low tech race bindings. What I’m interested in is a comparison of the new “radical” ST and FT models to the previous “vertical” ST and FT. Are we looking at significant improvement(s) without any significant unintended compromises?

    Thanks

  244. Sandy Detillieux November 8th, 2011 10:04 am

    Also, will the new “radical” bindings work with the Scarpa Maestrale AT Boots?

    Thanks again

  245. Lou November 8th, 2011 10:08 am

    Waiting for evaluation bindings. Groan. I shouldn’t have sent last winter’s back…

  246. Slacker November 8th, 2011 11:50 am

    Just wanted to ask again.
    Will my old TLT brakes fit the new radical bindings?

  247. Lou November 8th, 2011 12:03 pm

    Slacker, what did Dynafit say when you called their customer service?

  248. Sandy Detillieux November 8th, 2011 12:09 pm

    so people don’t know if the Maestrale boots are going to be compatible with these new “radical” bindings?

  249. Lou November 8th, 2011 12:36 pm

    No reason they wouldn’t be “compatible,” but depending on position of toe inserts, you’ll get more or less effect from the Power Towers both when doing binding entry as well as while skiing downhill. And or, you might have to skive some plastic off the boot toe to make the boot fit if the inserts are not in the standard position. Thing is, from what I saw with testing last winter, the Power Towers might be an enhancement, but for most people they are not essential. And if the boot is very worn at the toe, it’ll probably fit no matter what.

    As for the Maestrale in particular, the ones Louie is using have toe inserts in standard position, so they’re “compatible.”

  250. Slacker November 8th, 2011 3:05 pm

    Customer service said Lou is never going to get his evaluation bindings if hecontinues to be so cheeky.

    Yes, TLT brakes will fit the radical bindings. The only difference is the brakes on the radical bindings have an AFD. I’m not sure if individual brakes with an AFD are for sale yet. I forgot to ask.

  251. Lou November 8th, 2011 4:42 pm

    Slacker, you joker.

  252. John Milne November 8th, 2011 5:14 pm

    @Slacker,

    We spoke earlier. We will not have Radical brakes available separately due to some changes coming down the line next year with their design.

    @ Sandy,

    No reason the Maestrales shouldn’t work in the Radical. I haven’t tried it personally but I’d be surprised if there were issues. Tell Scarpa to send me over some 29.0′s and I’ll give them a thorough testing.

    Also see Lou’s Radical ST review here, which has more detail than the first-look above:

    As well as http://unofficialnetworks.com/ultimate-dynafit-gear-review-radical-series-alpenglow-sports-50011/ for your Vertical/Radical comparison.

    @ Kerry,

    Yes, all our insert skis are compatible in the 1st/4th insert holes or by drilling the dimples and using the 3rd insert set with the Radical bindings and the usual setup with the Vertical series.

  253. Kerry November 8th, 2011 8:32 pm

    @John
    Thanks! Do the 1st & 4th inserts on Manaslu for Radical toe piece leave sufficient span to heel inserts for mondo 30?

  254. John November 8th, 2011 9:51 pm

    Kerry, it depends on the length of the ski and your boot sole length. For a size 30 mondo, I would guess that you would need to drill the toe but you may be able to move the heel back and still keep the toe in the inserts to split the difference.

  255. Christian November 10th, 2011 6:15 am

    I would tend to agree with Jack, but Dynafit seems to go the other way by providing only 110mm&130mm stoppers for the radical. I cannot see that the radical will be significantly different from the vertical. I love dynafit for sub 90mm skis, but for my kind of skiing, I am skeptic for wider skis. This realization was hard for me…as I would rather go with slimmer skis than go with dukes. This year, I will try Onyx on my LIne SFB (2011)..

  256. Thomas November 12th, 2011 6:06 am

    I apologize if this question has been asked and answered. I am a new user of the Radical 12, coming from Fritschi’s, and am trying to understand the release system. I understand that rotational and vertical release is controlled by springs adjustable at the heel. Upon release from the heel, the forces of the boot at the toe should cause it to release but this is not adjustable? Is there an approximate DIN equivalent to the toe unit, and does it ever release without the heel releasing first?
    I’m also wondering where I might find a useful operations manual for the binding. I had them installed at the retailer and the booklet that came with the binding is relatively useless, not even explaining how to adjust RV or the proper adjustment of the length using the plastic shim. Thanks.

  257. Scotten November 19th, 2011 4:02 pm

    Lou,

    I may have missed it above, are there any differances in the new Dynafit boots and bindings sold in the US and those sold in Europe?

    Thanks

  258. Lou November 19th, 2011 5:00 pm

    Sometimes they name something different, or don’t import something, but overall it’s nearly or totally all the same stuff.

  259. Fred November 22nd, 2011 10:39 am

    Hi, My current setup is last years Manaslu with Dynafit Comfort bindings and TLT5 boots. If I get a pair of the Radical Speed how will the mounting workout with the toe piece screws being 12mm further apart? Is the new toe piece spacing such that I’ll simply use a different pair of predrilled holes? Or will it require drilling new holes?
    thanks,
    Fred

  260. John Gloor November 25th, 2011 3:56 pm

    Lou, I just unpackaged my new FT radicals. I am somewhat disappointed to see that the stiffener only seems to do anything when the ski is reverse flexed, like what might be encountered doing a jump turn with snow on top of the skis. In a regular turn, the flexed ski will allow the carbon connector to slide in its track, essentially not affecting the flex. I was hoping for some effective stiffening of the binding and skis, especially with the “bump” on the heel piece which will likely hit my boots if not ground off.

    Am I correct in understanding the design of this stiffener? If it does nothing to stiffen the ski in the direction it is flexed, I would prefer to junk the part and mount the heel pieces where I want to, and not at Dynafits 30mm spacing as dictated by this part.

  261. P Gyr November 28th, 2011 2:09 pm

    Lou,
    Are the new towers compatible with a 2010 FT heel piece? I’m not sure I want to sacrifice the ability to transition without taking my ski’s off…but have new boards that need new Dynafits.

  262. Lou November 28th, 2011 2:31 pm

    P, are you asking if you can use FT toe with Radical heel? If so, I don’t see why not, though your release settings would possibly be a bit off due to stiffer springs in Radical toe.

  263. John November 29th, 2011 4:52 pm

    Since the many tech toe pieces have gone to 4 holes, I have been torque testing release values and mounting failure values. It is interesting to note that the standard screw depth of 9mm works well in metal topped, and some durable carbon (DPS) skis, I have seen numerous failures in soft wood core skis without a metal mounting layer. I have personally never pulled out a binding.

    Toe release values are generally in the 50-70 foot pound range. Locking the toe can take this value higher. Race binding with auto-locking toes are generally around 70lbs.
    Generally accepted fastener length selection requires the following for steel fasteners:
    Steel; equivalent depth to fastener diameter
    Aluminum; 1 ½ x depth vs. diameter
    Wood; 2 x depth vs. diameter

    I made a test fixture to measure the rotational torque of a 4 screw toe piece which was mounted to poplar.
    Screws: SVST 5.5 x .08mm pitch
    Results: no adhesive
    8mm or 1.5x penetration: 90lbs significant movement, 110lbs ripped out.
    10mm or 1.8x penetration: 100lbs significant movement, 125lbs ripped out.
    13mm or 2.4x penetration: 125lbs significant movement, 175lbs 2 screws broke, 2 bent and ripped out.

    I have made a 12.5mm pilot drill bit for mounting in soft wood core skis. I now mount tech toe pieces with screws that penetrate 12mm on skis that are at least 18mm thick leaving 3.5-4mm base laminate plus ptex (Movement Logic X, Random X, Volkl Nanuq). My DPS and Kastles mount well with the traditional 9.5mm pilot drill bit.

    Note: Lou, I’d be glad to give you this tool.

  264. Lou November 29th, 2011 5:21 pm

    Nice info and work John! I probably don’t need the tool, have 100% success with stock screws and epoxy…

  265. John November 30th, 2011 9:09 am

    I realized I made a few omissions in my previous post.

    Firstly I use a 3.6mm x 9.5 pilot drill with a Dynafit jig to drill the initial holes. How the drill bit penetrates will often tell what the core is made of and how soft or hard it may be.
    If it is hard, I tap it, then mount with a high strength epoxy.
    If it is soft, and the screw can be easily screwed in without tapping, then I will use a12.5mm pilot bit to finish the hole, epoxy and mount. 16mm max ski thickness.

    Many narrow waisted skis are thicker, 18mm, then fat ones which these are often around 14mm thick.

    I have found many wood core skis that are 18mm thick under the toe and 15-16mm under the heel. Sometimes I will use a Nordic 3.6mm x 14.5 pilot drill on the toe pieces of these skis and the 12.5mm drill on the heels.

    I found Johnathon’s post from BD intresting as well, if you can’t bring the screw up to torque you won’t get the strength.

    http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com/uploads/black-diamond/files/F11_BD_Mounting_Specs.pdf

  266. Jack November 30th, 2011 9:33 am

    John, Great work ! Just one remark. Slow curing epoxy is much better than fast curing epoxy.

    While on the subject of ripping out screws: it appears hard pack snow x fat skis x vibrations x tour bindings will rip out almost any screw. only inserts from bindingfreedom.com or quiverkiller.com will stand this abuse…..

  267. Lou November 30th, 2011 9:37 am

    I guess the burning question is why do touring bindings with the same number or even more screws rip out, when alpine bindings do not? My theory is still that improper mounts or kneeling falls while in tour mode cause 99 percent of binding pullouts. You guys with the binding pullout knowledge, exactly how many real-world binding pullouts are you basing your assumptions on?

    I’m just not seeing this problem occurring very frequently around here, if at all…

  268. Jack November 30th, 2011 9:48 am

    No knowledge here Lou, but just one experience. In terms of statistics no value, because n=1. Ripped out a Dynafit toe binding while performing the abuse I just mentioned. The very experienced guide I was with, said he saw it happen more to Dynafit users but less with Diamirs. Do you think the mounting pattern makes the difference ? Or does the firm connection (in ski mode) between toe and heel of the Diamir lowers the risk of ripping ?

  269. Lou November 30th, 2011 10:04 am

    Jack, no idea, too many factors and too little data sampling. If, for example, more of the guide’s clients used Dynafit, and he saw more Dynafits ripped out, then the observation is meaningless…

    Also, even the shape of the boot toe and how it hits in a kneeling fall makes a difference.

    Lots of mythology here, for sure. If I saw more of a problem I’d be the first one to try and get to the bottom of it, but I simply do not.

    Main thing, as you guys are chatting about, just do a good mount using epoxy. If you rip a binding after that, it’s probably because you did a kneeling fall while in touring mode, or else landed big air at RV 12, with huge boots and a mis-adjusted heel gap — which I think probably _could_ rip a heel up off a ski if the landing was violent. But how many people are landing big air at RV 12 with Dynafits? About a millionth of 1% of users…, and at least some of them keep their heel gap adjusted correctly…

  270. John November 30th, 2011 10:09 am

    Jack,
    Yes slow cure epoxy has many properties superior to fast curing epoxy. Fast cure epoxys are not long term waterproof, plus they are high viscosity.

    I use a low viscosity slow cure marine epoxy which is designed to work with carbon fiber. This is important because it penetrates wood and fiber better creating a stronger medium for the screw.

  271. Jack November 30th, 2011 10:53 am

    Lou, you’re right about kneefalls and big airs. But in my case I can’t recall I did any of this stuff. I’m too old probably. Last season was really bad in the Alps. Everybody was yelling ‘Fluffy where are you’. I remember the days before I ripped out the toe binding, I was skiing too fast and too much on hardpack with the wrong equipment. Entirely my fault, I have to admit. But sometimes you’re in a bind. You leave in the morning with the thought of 2×2 hours skinning and 2×2 hours powder skiing. But after the first hike, the snowconditions are so bad, you end up on groomers (yikes). And for whatever reason, these crazy Europeans tend to ski faster than the equipment allows. Result: violent ski chatter. And chatter combined with upward forces will loosen any screw. But the puzzle remains: how come the screws on alpine bindings don’t rip ?

  272. Lou November 30th, 2011 11:00 am

    Actually, the screws on alpine bindings do rip. Especially in racing. I recall seeing some fairly amusing photos over the years, one in particular had a guy falling, with his binding toe unit kind of floating in front of his face….

  273. Marc November 30th, 2011 11:36 am

    I’ve ripped out plenty of screws – had to ski Mt. Shucksan slalom style after a screw pulled from a pre-drilled ski (sucked). Re-mounted it and it pulled AGAIN – won’t do that again…I mount my own now.

    Seems to me that it’s a simple engineering problem that could be fixed to keep screws from pulling, but maybe nobody but us cares. A metalurgist form Sandia Labs told me once that a screw drilled into the same substance as the screw was composed of only needs 4 threads of contact to make it 100% strength of the material. I’ve never broken a screw, so maybe the answer would be to make the top sheet a tad thicker…only where the bindings mount. I rather carry a bit more metal on my ski than all that crap I carry around to remount a ski in the BC. There’s loads of good engineers looking for work these days – somebody make it happen !

  274. RDE November 30th, 2011 11:46 am

    Reinforced mounting system.
    1- Use a bent wire or nail to enlarge the hole in the wood core underneath the topskin fiberglass or metal to provide more room for epoxy. Don’t get carried away with this step. Use no oil, wax or other solvents.
    2- Mix a small quantity of West System Epoxy (fast hardner) (available mail order from West Marine Supply or Jamestown Supply)
    3-Saturate the wood core and let sit for 15 minutes.
    3- Clean out the excess epoxy with a Q-tip
    4- Mix a small batch of West Epoxy and add collidial silica until it will just barely drip off a mixing stick.
    5- Fill holes and bolt on bindings. Its ok even if the screws strip out as long as the binding is all the way down and the screw fully seated.
    6- Wait 24 hrs before skiing.

    This procedure will fix stripped out holes, and is twice as strong as screwing into bare wood on a new installation.

  275. James Broder December 18th, 2011 6:43 pm

    I think Dynafit may be looking at a major design flaw in the redesigned 2011-2012 FT12 brake.

    I used mine for the first time in the Whistler backcountry earlier this week on a pair of 191 Stokes. I’m 6’2″ and 220 lbs. My heels were adjusted a little light, and I came out of my left ski in mid-turn. This blew the dinky little rivet completely out of the brake on the lateral side, and bent the brake all to hell. The brake could not deploy, and the ski rode off into never-never land. Fortunately, we were able to eventually recover it.

    The professional backcountry guide I was touring with that day, who also was on brand new FT12s, said the exact same thing happened to him the first day he used his, a few weeks ago. His was replaced under warranty, and it looks like the shop where I purchased mine will warranty my mangled brake as well. Still, the pain in the touckus factor of taking the binding off the ski to get the brake back to Dynafit is not encouraging.

    The new flick-lock heel lifters are really cool and easy to use, and I like the new power-towers on the toe, too. I use Scarpa boots and the power-towers seem to really help guide the toe into the binding. But if I’m going to be destroying brakes all season, I’m not going to be a happy guy.

    I’ve added a half-dozen cotter pins and a pair of needlenose pliers to my emergency kit so I can wire the brake back together when the rivet fails.

  276. stephen December 18th, 2011 6:55 pm

    ^ “…when the rivet fails” doesn’t sound too encouraging, but I don’t like brakes anyway and comments on the rest of the binding are helpful, thanks. Seems increasingly like the Speed Radical is the one to get, for me, anyway, race binding prices being somewhat scary.

  277. gonzo December 22nd, 2011 7:15 am

    In buying skis with Dynafits already mounted, if I have a BSL of 320, what is the range of BSL’s that can be accommodated without a remount? Thank you

  278. Steven Machuga January 8th, 2012 10:25 am

    Hi Lou,
    yesterday I was skiing and one of my fritschi explores slipped out from under the heel lock and I rag dolled for a little ways. The binding toe bracket ripped in two pieces and now I am shopping for a fix. I read a post that someone made a fix to keep the binding locked in on these but it is a day too late.
    I ride BD drift’s 176 and ski 2x a week without lifts until summer on all types of terrain. I am 5’9″, 180lbs. and sometimes carry more weight for climb. or overnight. This is a soft ski and I enjoy it for everything. If I have to side slip through a narrow spot in a couloir the tip bends up pretty far without beating the hell out of my legs. The bad part is when the ski bends this far then out comes my binding. It happened on steep terrain and was frightening.
    Does this happen with newer frischi’s or dynafit ever? It seems like fritschi tried to prevent this but my skis seem to flex pretty far and I am not sure if it will keep happening. I think I will have to re-drill for whatever binding I choose but don’t know which brand to go with or if the holes will be too close and cause a weak point in my skis. I also saw that there have been a bunch of problems with the fritschi toe piece popping off but I like the ease of step in quickly.
    I am searching for an opinion on which direction to go with what I have, without weakening my ski but not not eject on to my face like yesterday.
    Thanks for any help.

  279. Lou January 8th, 2012 11:39 am

    Steven, sounds like you’ve graduated to Dukes or Barons.

  280. Thomas January 27th, 2012 5:02 am

    Lou,

    Have you ever examined the sliding plate on the brake pedal of the Radical FT? Mine disassembled spontaneously. While I miraculously found the little spring, there seems no way on God’s green earth that I can re-assemble the unit. Of course I have mangled the spring in my attempts. Any advice?

    Thanks.

    Thomas

  281. Lou January 27th, 2012 10:58 am

    From what I know, that thing is breaking quite a bit. I’d keep returning it to Dynafit and see what happens. Ultimately, I’d imagine they’ll start providing brakes from Vertical series till they fix the problem with the Radical AFDs. Frustrating for me as well, as this stuff is a bloggers worst nightmare, as it’s really tough to get the real story since companies get so sensitive when things start breaking.

    The AFD is a good idea, since the brake can catch or create friction, both which can really mess up lateral release. Of course, any savy skier can simply do a visual and tactile bench test to see if their particular boot seems to catch or have excessive friction on the Vertical brake (without AFD). Most configurations do not have a problem in my experience. But as always I advise not just wanking (err, I mean cranking) the Dynafit side release setting up to high numbers till you know you need them. Friction can be inconsistent, but nonetheless pretty much compensated for by slightly lower release settings. That’s why prior to Radical the bindings were provided with weaker springs when they had brakes.

    A total guess on my part is that Dynafit is trying for TUV certification to DIN standard, and thus gradually adding in things like AFDs and the disappointing “bump” the fills up the heel gap.

    Lou

  282. Rob January 27th, 2012 2:05 pm

    Lou – have not seen any mention in this thread about the failure I had with a new pair of Radical STs. In the second day of use, the front release lever disappeared during a run on hard packed snow in La Grave. the binding still held, but of course once I got out of it at the end of the run (by kicking the heel out), the whole toe assembly started to come apart. Thankfully, the guide was able to find the release lever on the next run. A shop in La Grave did a temp fix, and the shop in Chamonix that mounted the bindings was able to repair it with the original pin that holds the release assembly in place.

    I hate to add to the string of concerns about reliability…these are my first Dynafits, and in all other respects I love the bindings. Please let us know if Dynafit offers up any explanations…do recommend contacting them directly to report failures?

  283. Eric January 30th, 2012 12:07 pm

    Has anyone else had trouble with the two wire springs that create resistance on the heel riser shaft? On each heel piece there are 2 springs that come out of the body and go up and over the heel riser rotation shaft. Their purpose is to create resistance so that the heel risers stay up or stay down but don’t just float. This weekend when transitioning back to no heel lift, i was unable to rotate the heel riser up onto the top of the body of the heel unit. When i inspected the heel, i noticed the spring wire had come up and rotated over behind the riser thus preventing it from flipping back into the “storage” position.

    I love the riser idea but am a little disappointed in the reliability and general lack of robustness after skiing only 4 long days on the bindings.

  284. Lou January 30th, 2012 12:43 pm

    Rob, there is nothing wrong with reporting failures here so long as it doesn’t become one big negative pile-on (I watch for that and will moderate). The binding has some problems, they should be public. If anyone can fix, it’s Dynafit with their good engineers and resources. Also, they all read this.

    If a dealer fixes the binding, that’s often the way it should be. But when that happens the problem sometimes doesn’t get tracked by Dynafit. If the binding is returned to Dynafit customer service, then the problem does get tracked.

    In terms of the toe lever coming off, that sounds like a manufacturing defect in how the fastener pins were installed. Dealers would be advised to inspect for this.

    Eric, I’ve not seen that problem before. I just examined my own Radicals and see no evidence of any sort of something that could cause that… weird. Anyone else?

    One thing about all this. With any manufactured product there are going to be a few manufacturing defects that slip through to the retail level. Unless quite a few people experience the same defect, it’s usually viewed more as a warranty problem than a big deal. Of course it the problem causes a safety issue then the level where it’s viewed as a “big deal” ratchets up. My point being, the web sometimes makes this stuff seem a bit more important than it really is — but sometimes, it’s important.

    Lou

  285. Eric January 30th, 2012 12:59 pm

    I completely agree with Lou, my issue causes absolutely no safety issue and could have been caused by impact to the binding that i might not have even noticed/felt. I have owned/used many pairs of dynafit bindings and honestly wouldn’t tour on anything else. This blog allows users to discuss issues, but every comment should NOT be taken as a review, if i were to write a full review the accolades would far outnumber my minor concerns.

  286. Lou January 30th, 2012 1:22 pm

    Keepin’ it real award. Thanks Eric.

  287. Jean-Pierre February 23rd, 2012 12:57 pm

    I experienced snow build up on the Radical Speed ajusting screw (under the heel in touring mode) with dry cold snow, not only with moist snow. The accumulation become so hard that it is difficult to turn to ski mode after. Did someone have this problem too?

  288. Dan February 23rd, 2012 1:32 pm

    Jean-Pierre: I also experienced the Radical heel becoming more difficult to turn to the ski mode and suspected snow/ice build-up. However, the pin/housing problem put me off the Radical and I replaced the Radical heels with a pair of older Vertical heels. Thus, I did not investigate the issue with turning the heel to ski mode. I liked the Radical levers, but with the pin removed the heels too easily auto-rotated back to ski-mode from skin mode. Others have not had that problem. I have been using the Dynafit bindings for 13 or 14 years and would not think of using anything else at this point. However, I do not trust the Radical heel and I certainly do not want to have the heel auto-rotate to ski mode when I am skinning a steep, icy slope. So, I will wait for the Radical 2.0 version…I love those levers. BTW:The Radical toe seems to ice up more readily than the Vertical toe-piece. So, I routinely open/close the toe piece a couple times when I am putting the skin on the ski. When the toe-piece becomes clogged with ice, it becomes more difficult to “step” into it. WOE IS ME!

  289. stephen February 23rd, 2012 5:02 pm

    Can those who’ve been using the Radical toes please comment on whether they’re significantly easier or quicker to enter than the Verticals? I’m a relatively new convert to Dynafit and hae been finding putting them on to be a much bigger chore than expected. FWIW, I don’t have boots with the Quick Step In inserts (yet), so that may be a factor – along with my incompetence. I’m usually pretty good with all things mechanical, but must admit to being annoyed with Dynafit entry quite often.

  290. Kerry February 23rd, 2012 6:53 pm

    Lou & Others,

    Just some performance feedback on the the TLT Speed Radical to broaden the comments and note some performance differences with the TLT Vertical & Comfort. Background…I’ve skied about 14-days on the new TLT Speed Radical, mounted on 2011 Manaslu, and using the the TLT-5 Performance boot. This is my 3rd different Dynafit binding and ski and my 4th AT setup over the past 6-years.
    I think all three of these products absolutely rock! In the Speed Radical, I like the combination of changes to the heel piece: uni-rotation, flip steps, pin that prevents counter-rotation. With the older Vertical, I had experienced inadvertant heel rotation to the alpine mode when skinning. A minor, and rare nuisance was cured with the pin that prevents counter-rotation. I’ll keep the pin.
    The flip steps make changing heel height easier, but require a change in habit. I rotate my Comforts/Verticals with the pointed end of the ski pole. Conversely with the Radical, I use the pole handle to more quickly flip the heel steps.
    On the topic of inadvertent release, I’ll offer some anecdotal comments that may be attributed to the “power tower”. Five of my ski days on this new system were inbounds, skiing everything from deep pow to packed mogals, all on Taos black and double black. I set the RV according to chart, plus a quarter unit, which is about a quarter unit below where my Verticals are set. My approach is to set near book RV expecting to experience an inadvertant release in the first day and tighten up as needed. I have not had a single inadvertent release and have left the RV set within a quarter of book value. I have had two releases that were necessary (i.e. ski tip under buried branch). The releases were smooth, no different from valid Vertical/Comfort releases.
    The second of the valid releases demonstrates one of the reasons I like leashes…I managed to get my ski under someone else’s ski while getting on the lift. Without the leash, I’d been looking for a way to rejoin with my ski after the lift ride. With the leash, I simply donned the ski while on the lift. I really like Dynafit’s new guide leash, a cleaner, simpler, less Dynafiddle accessory. Is a lot like a G-3 leash also available.
    Lou, do you know what amount of pressure is required to break the fusable link in the leash?
    I’ll post the ‘Slu & TLT5 specific remarks in their forum, but in short–the best mating of bc ski tools I’ve skied.

  291. Kerry February 23rd, 2012 6:57 pm

    Oh! I forgot to mention…I had to add a 1/4″ drive extension to my tool kit in addition to the T20 for the Torks screws. My posi driver bit was long enough to reach past the bindings to the screw heads, but I could only find short T20 bits, which require an extension shaft to reach past the binding to the screw head.

  292. mh February 25th, 2012 10:14 am

    With all the talk of Radical disappointment, I reluctantly took my new ones on a big tour last week. I’m happy to report that after climbing 23,000 feet over 5 days I have nothing but positive things to say. No failures, improved toe entry, and no heel auto-rotation. I even liked the brakes! I also found the new heel lifters to be a huge improvement compared to having to turn the heel piece for different levels. I just wanted to give the often-missing satisfied customer’s viewpoint.

  293. Lou February 25th, 2012 10:32 am

    Excellent take on the positive side MH, thanks!

  294. Gentle Sasquatch February 25th, 2012 2:53 pm

    Same here. I love the radicals on my Vector BC’s. Even used them in one race. I have the replacement pins but haven’t bothered doing the replacement yet. (maybe once the snow melts), being able to flip the heel lifters with my pole basket is very positive. No complaints at all.

  295. Mark February 25th, 2012 7:52 pm

    I skied on my Vertical STs out at Eiseman a week ago with a friend with Radicals and I envied his lifters. He had no malfunctions. Didn’t envy him having to grab the binding to turn the heel to ski mode, however.

  296. Lou February 26th, 2012 12:36 am

    Mark, if you learn elegant method of rotating lifters with ski pole, you can do just as well as your friend. Key thing is to use right hand and pole to do _both_ left and right, as well as having pole with tip that easily slides in and out of the holes in the lifter. Practice at home on carpet, you’ll see how easy it is. The left binding is a bit harder to do fluidly than the right, again, you’ll figure it out. Whatever you do, don’t try to use left hand and pole to do left binding, that is _not_ the correct way and will result in fumbling compared to using right hand and right pole for both.

    I use both Radical and ST/FT, and have found the Radical to be perhaps 2% easier to change lifters, provided they’re not caked up with snow. If they have snow caked, then no difference in difficulty changing between Rad and Vert.

    Of course, when your neighbor has a new lawn mower, it always looks better than yours, right (grin)?

  297. Mark February 26th, 2012 8:43 am

    Even in my second year on Verticals I don’t have any real trouble switching riser modes (don’t know about “elegant”). It just takes an extra second to slot the pole tip in, and every once in a while I still forget what I’m doing and get the foot position wrong and have a redo. The Radical switch just seems like it takes less focus. But because of the uni-directional heel turn for ski mode and the need to do it by hand versus pole, I’m not eager to switch (plus I’m way too cheap to get a new binding over some micro-change).

  298. irina February 29th, 2012 5:54 am

    Hello all, does anybody have a manual how to install TLT Speed bindings? I’ve bought them separately from skis and without any manual. There is no skiservice at my place which can help me.

  299. Lou February 29th, 2012 8:25 am
  300. irina March 2nd, 2012 12:14 am

    Thanks a lot for the link! Have a nice season!

  301. Will January 2nd, 2013 4:26 pm

    Hi,
    Thank you for this chain … I just found it and it’s been super helpful. Specifically the discussion that Lou and Jonathan Shefftz about ramp angle.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to shim the front of the dynafit Radical FT? I’m not sure because of the plate that connects the two bindings. I have a pair of Dynafit Titans that I’ve been skiing on S7s with Onyx bindings but added Voile Vector iwth Radical FT at the end of last year. I am getting a lot of quad pain/pressure almost immediately in the FTs. I think I need to ski the Titans in the less forward incline position but it’s not enough. Looking at the Radical’s, the front pins are much lower relative to rear than on the Onyx. I was surprised at how dramatic it was actually.

    Any idea if I can shim the front up to have a flatter angle there? Or am I out of luck and need to get a pair of STs or something without the plate?

    thanks a lot for all the information and any help anyone can give.

    Will

  302. Lou Dawson January 2nd, 2013 5:24 pm

    Will, your first step is just contact B&D and see what they have.

    http://www.bndskigear.com/

    Remember you’ll need longer screws.

    You can also make shims out of cutting board pretty easily.

    Ditch the connector plate between the FT toe and heel if you shim up the toe. It’s not necessary.

    Lou

  303. Will January 2nd, 2013 8:10 pm

    Thanks so much for the prompt response Lou. I just sent them an email and will hopefully get sorted out.

    Thanks for such an informative blog

    Will

  304. Mark W January 10th, 2013 5:10 pm

    Need to extract broken heel socket plate retaining screw embedded into Zzero heel. Help!

  305. Charlie January 10th, 2013 8:20 pm

    Mark W. — Talk with Salewa. They can be quite hard to extract. I broke one on a pair of ZZero4s, attempted to extract it with the tools available in a well-stocked machine shop and failed, but Salewa warrantied the boot. Get in touch with me (follow link above, etc.) if they can’t help — I can tell you what did/didn’t work for me. It’s a bummer that the failure of such a tiny/inexpensive part can render a boot non-functional.

    The very small diameter of the heel screw really makes it hard to use a screw extractor; the extreme hardness difference between the steel screw and the boot’s plastic makes screw extraction more daunting. If some of the screwhead is still attached to the screw, you’ll have a better chance of getting it out with machinist’s tools.

  306. GREGOR January 16th, 2013 8:47 am

    HAVE SPEED SUPERLITES ON TWO PAIR OF SKIIS ( SPORTIVA GT, TRAB MAESTROS) THE BOOT HEAL PINS HAVE DEVELOPED SIGNIFICANT “SLOP”AFTER EACH BEING SKIIED @ SIX TIMES. HAS ANYONE ELSE SEEN THIS?

  307. Bob Olsen January 23rd, 2013 12:56 pm

    Just wanted to comment that I used the instructions under “Dynafit Backcountry Skiing Binding Brake Install” to reinstall the brakes on my wife’s Starlets. Worked like a charm!

  308. Lou Dawson January 23rd, 2013 10:24 pm

    That causes a warm glow Bob! Thanks!

  309. Brian Hinch February 17th, 2013 9:28 pm

    Im looking to outfit my 177 La Sportiva GT’s and I was wondering which Dynafit binding that you would suggest with in mind a size 31 mondo Scarpa Maestrale AT boots for someone looking to tour in a variety of terrain include hard packed moguls, deep powder, and the occasionally groomer. Please, could you also add a suggest for which brake width would be appopriate. I am 6′ 4″, 187 in dimensions…Thanks!!

  310. Boll February 19th, 2013 11:34 am

    Hi,

    Have a pair of last years radical and just picked up a new pair of this years’. Noticed that the crampon slot had recieved another “wave” of plastic (between the two metal hooks pointing towards the tip, if you see what I mean), that isn’t there on the last years model.

    Weird because this plastic hinders the crampon of sliding in the slot.. Actually to the point of where I chipped some plastic off by forcing it lightly…

    Thought I had read/ heard everything about these bindings, but must have missed this. Thoughts on why? I guess I’ll start grinding..

  311. Boll February 20th, 2013 12:26 pm

    So, I chopped the plastic off and the slot now looks like last years radical and works well.

  312. Lou Dawson February 20th, 2013 1:00 pm

    Yeah, I usually chop all the plastic off and just have the metal hooks sticking out. The plastic is cosmetic, sadly.

  313. Tim K February 26th, 2013 5:57 am

    Lou,

    new guy question / thought /problem /application…… lift serve for 30 years, on pretty stiff performance gear, reasonably acceptable skier… bigger guy 215lbs…. started BC here in the North East (Mt Washington area) a year ish ago… current boots are a set of modded Mercury’s with a krypton tongue… a set of tonics, a set of drifts both with dynafits , and a set of backlash’s with barrons… in firmer snow / lift serve/ typical new england bc stuff I can not ski the tonic/drifts .. I seem to be in the back all the time , getting a lot of crossed tail , not able to set an edge and generally out of control the backlashes perform like every other ski I’ve liked … demo’d some other things this weekend in light powder @ a ski area… everything with dynafits sucked (BD Reverts, a G3 and a couple others I can’t remember) .. when I got on anything that had a raised frame binding, everything was good (and some wider 104+ skis) …… I really don’t want to change to a marker or Frichie tour binding. swapped a set of dynfits onto my backlashes for a tour yesterday… a foot or so of fresh powder on a firmish base. They seemed to ski ok… (obviously not a controlled test)

    Does it sound like I might benifit from shim plating as mentioned above or playing with the toe height.. or might you have some other suggestion?

    BTW Mark Synnott said to say hello , I was skiing with him yesterday…. and the back ups you suggested for the g-friend are perfect ….

  314. Will September 15th, 2013 3:06 pm

    Hey Lou,

    I just moved to Seattle from the east coast. I am an intermediate snowboarder but a novice at skiing. I am experienced in alpine climbing, glacier traveling, rock climbing, and ice climbing so the backcountry is not new to me. Just the skiing. I will probably hone my skills at the resort for the next season or two. I purchased the I bought a Dynastar Cham high mountain 87 ski as a one quiver ski that I can use on hard pack but also powder. My friends and I want to do a couple of ski tours with easy downhills. My question is about bindings. The plan is to have a 2 ski quiver by next year. The Dynastar 87 for ski touring, ocassional resort, and spring season hard pack and a wider (105-110) for free touring, side country, and resort. I want to use the Dynastar 87 for ski touring with good downhill performance but for the first season or two I will be doing mostly resort downhill to hone my skills fast. My friend recommended the fritschi free-ride pro as a do it all one binding. But since I plan to get a wider side country ski I’m wondering if I should get a lighter binding such as the TLT Radical FT with Stopper 110mm Z 12 for my Dynastar 87 and put the free ride pro’s on my side country ski? My question is: Will the Dynafit FT hold up for a couple seasons of pure inbounds downhill. I will also not be skiing aggressively. And since this is an old blog, has there been any updates on the durability and performance of the TLT Radical FT with Stopper 110mm Z 12? Was also considering the Radical ST for the Dynastar 87 but thought the FT would be better since I will do mostly downhill for a couple of season. Thanks for you help. Sorry for the exhaustive explanation. Still new to this.

  315. Lou Dawson September 15th, 2013 3:53 pm

    HI Will, most tech bindings are amazingly durable, but I’m not sure I’d recommend a tech binding (other than perhaps Beast) for two seasons of pure inbounds downhill. Even an alpine binding can get beat up and eventually break after that much use.

    I’m assuming the problem lurking here in the background is you want to do all your skiing in the same pair of boots? Backcountry boots? And thus can’t use alpine bindings?

    If that’s the case, I’d recommend a Salomon Guardian or Marker Duke as your crossover binding that would be mostly used at the resort, and a pair of tech bindings for your backcountry rig.

    If you’re going to run alpine boots for the resort days, just put alpine bindings on your alpine skis and be done with it.

    Things to remember:

    1.While Fritschi bindings are well made, they’re not an alpine binding and they have quite a bit less lateral stability than an alpine binding or a tech binding. Lots of people use them for extensive resort skiing, but that doesn’t mean I have to recommend doing so.

    2. Dynafit Radical bindings have radical ramp angle. If you use them as well as other bindings, shim or otherwise modify your binding mounts so all your gear has nearly the same ramp angles. This is super important if you’re just learning how to ski, as you won’t have the motor skills to quickly adjust to different ramp angles.

    3. Don’t be afraid to remount skis, it’s not a big deal so long as the open holes are sealed and the process is done properly.

    I hope that helps.

    ‘best, Lou

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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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