Dynafit Radical Screw Hole Pattern — And Ski Inserts

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This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

I’ve got a pair of Dynafit Manaslu 2011/12 with Radical FT/ST binders we’re running through the WildSnow laboratory. More details later. For now, as many of you know, the Radical has a different hole pattern than all previous Dynafit backcountry skiing binding models (all Dynafit toes had the same screw hole pattern for a couple of decades). The evolved hole pattern has raised important questions about what Dynafit will do with the binding screw inserts in their skis, as well as what it will be like mounting the new bindings. Here you go (click images to enlarge).

Dynafit Radical TLT FT ST bindings.

Radical ST/FT binding base to left, previous TLT/FT/ST binding base to right. The new Radical only has 4 holes, with the rear ones in same location as all other Dynafit bindings. The front holes are the same distance apart as all other Dynafit bindings, but are located 12 mm forward of the old hole location. Thus, drilling a pair of new holes for a binding upgrade will be a non-issue. More, having one less screw to deal with adds noticeable speed to a mount or dismount. Coin for scale.

Dynafit Manaslu screw inserts.

As for the Dynafit ski screw inserts (new Manaslu pictured here) the solution is simple. Yes, Virginia, you'll be able to mount either Radical or legacy Dynafit toe units on the new insert equipped skis. Solution is simply the availability of more inserts. Less one pair, as if you want the most forward position for your Radicals you'll need to drill two holes in the white dimples you can see in the photo. Thing is, the new Manaslu binding mounting position is 1.5 cm forward of the older, so my guess is those of you mounting the Radical will NOT need the forward position. But you never know. If you want to hang ten the option is there. Easy Street Wheat for scale.

More later folks. Teaser: The pair of Manaslu 2011/12 weigh one ounce per ski LESS (50.5 oz) than the original model, 178 cm. If these things ski even better, that’s amazing. If they ski just as good, at least we’re not going backwards.

Comments

28 Responses to “Dynafit Radical Screw Hole Pattern — And Ski Inserts”

  1. Tuck April 8th, 2011 2:37 pm

    Nice, seen from below the Radicals look a lot beefier than the old model.

  2. Lou April 8th, 2011 2:52 pm

    The Radical base is made from aluminum, so it looks beefier. How much stronger is is, if any increase, will be up to you guys to find out when you huck those 75 footers on it. I’m optimistic.

  3. Tuck April 8th, 2011 3:21 pm

    “You guys”? You must be addressing someone else… ;)

    I think I’ve pushed out of the front of my Dynafits skiing moguls a few times, other than that I don’t see an advantage to the Radicals. No need for an upgrade, in other words.

  4. Lou April 8th, 2011 3:50 pm

    Tuck, you’ve shattered my illusion.

  5. Will April 8th, 2011 5:19 pm

    Does the new 1.5 cm forward binding position mean that Dynafit thinks we would do better in the forward set of holes in the old skis? (my 316mm boots can fit in either)

  6. Tuck April 8th, 2011 5:31 pm

    Sorry about that, Lou.

    On a related note, though, I would love to see you do an analysis of the release angles and the impact on safety of the various bindings: specifically, Alpine vs. Dynafit vs. KneeBinding. I’ve seen you state here and other have told me that the Dynafit’s are less safe because they give up release angles. I just don’t see it. And the KneeBinding is claiming that their edge is PureLateral release at the heel. Doesn’t Dynafit already do that?

    Just a thought, but it’s something that came up when I got my wife her Dynafits this year, and I’m sure it would be of lots of interest to people who are considering the bindings.

    Just a thought.

  7. Lou April 8th, 2011 5:36 pm

    Will, I’ve experimented with both positions. The forwarder position can be more fun (lively/quicker) and is better on hardpack, but I keep going back to the rear “ride the couch” position. No real standard or big deal with this, as Manaslu has a large sweet spot and most of position withing sweet spot is personal preference. Experiment.

  8. Lou April 8th, 2011 5:42 pm

    Tuck, I don’t recall writing that Dynafits were “less safe,” and that’s not a position I can recall ever taking. I have written numerous times that while Dynafits do indeed to seem to have a very nice lateral release, the vertical release lacks the elasticity of some alpine and AT bindings, and thus might have to be set higher for a given skier to stay in. That in turn could result in the binding being less forgiving in vertical release. The word “safe” is pretty strong, would require statistics and independent lab study, so I try to use that word only when appropriate.

    As for release angles, tech bindings might even have MORE angles than some alpine bindings. For example, they do have somewhat of a rolling release.

  9. Will April 8th, 2011 5:52 pm

    Tuck,
    I think the Dynafits are sometimes considered less safe because they appear to not have toe release, even though they do. And they might actually do a better job of guarding against an ACL injury than other bindings. The KneeBinding seems to do both.

  10. Will April 8th, 2011 6:00 pm

    Thanks Lou,
    I’ve always wondered about it.

  11. Lou April 8th, 2011 6:24 pm

    If people were spiraling and snapping tibias right and left on tech bindings, with the binding unlocked, I’d be concerned. But they are not…. Anecdotal, I don’t see any more instance of injury in the use of tech bindings than any other…

  12. Will April 8th, 2011 6:54 pm

    Lou,
    Glad to hear you say that, considering your contacts and experience on the subject.

  13. Tony April 9th, 2011 6:41 am

    Are the dimples just guides for drilling through the reinforced part of the topsheet, or are they hiding “real” insert hardware underneath? In other words, if you do the same thing now – drill through the topsheet to mount in a location outside of the provide inserts, even if it is still within the zone covered by the reinforced topsheet, you will void your warranty – are they endorsing this for next years’ skis? If so, have they made any changes to the topsheet to enable this previously discouraged practice? It is my understanding that outside of the inserts has been regarded as a weaker mounting point.

    Speaking of moving the mounts forward on the Manaslu by 1.5 cm next year, can you confirm or do you know if the mounts on next year’s Stokes are also moving forward?

  14. Lou April 9th, 2011 7:28 am

    The dimples appear to be small holes in the top sheet reinforcement, which you would drill before inserting screws. I’m pretty certain this would not void the warranty, but would be best to ask a dealer or Dynafit directly. It’s possible there is a small beefed area under the dimples, or something like that.

    Thing is, I just spoke to a ski tester who was on a recent magazine AT ski test in Aspen. Albeit they skied piste all day (typical magazine ski test), but he did tell me a bunch of things that indicated the new Manaslu mounting position was as far forward as one would want it to be, without mounting using the forward “dimples.” I’ve got the same skis, with the same mounting position, and will ski two days in the backcountry with them this weekend, and return with more feedback.

    As always, I’ve got a mixed opinion of ski mounting inserts. I love the way they allow a company to build a lighter ski. But they force you into only a couple of mounting positions. For example, if you’ve got smaller feet, you can end up farther forward than is ideal. Also, as has always been the case, the Dynafit type of plastic inserts are not designed for repeated use and will eventually strip out, after somewhere between 6 and 12 re-uses (is my recollection from previous testing).

  15. Randonnee April 9th, 2011 2:14 pm

    Dynafit bindings release at the toe in an elastic manner, by my direct observation.

    I relate this from my experience as a big and (necessarily) strong guy who had to learn to stay in Dynafits and other touring bindings- I can walk out of bindings, and release while skiing easily.. I walk out of properly attached Dynafits, especially easily on the wider skis, and do so even with a locked Dynafit FT 12 toe, With effort I have been able to release a locked Dynafit toe on all of the versions intentionally by standing and twisting (FT 12s are difficult to do this!). The older Comfort bindings I was able to release by simply standing in the bindings, skis on the floor, and then by pushing the ball of my foot in the boot. Fortunately, I adopted ski technique that does not release Dynafits while skiing, although I know that I could if I skied more of a bashing style as when I was young…

  16. Lou April 10th, 2011 4:16 pm

    Thanks Rando, indeed, people just don’t seem to get that the Dynafit toe opens up during a lateral release.

  17. Tuck April 13th, 2011 9:46 am

    Hey Lou, just got back to this thread. The “less safe” notion I was referring to came from this:

    “Do they release just like an alpine binding?
    While more than a decade of testing has proven the Dynafit to have a functional safety release that’s similar to alpine bindings, it is not the same. Alpine bindings may have more angles of release, and may have more elasticity (ability to absorb movement, vibration, and shock). Remember that for maximum safety, all ski bindings require careful release tuning. Tune binding release by setting to standard settings using height/weight charts, and ski a few runs. If you don’t pre-release (i.e., release while skiing, not falling), set the release a half number lower, and ski more. Keep reducing the release setting until you start pre-releasing, then crank back up 1/2 number. Do this individually for lateral (sideways) and upward (vertical) release. Ski all randonnee bindings more conservatively than you would full-on alpine bindings. In other words, ski without falling.”

    From your dynafit faq: http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/dynafit_faq/dynafit_faq1.html.

    That seemed to me to boil down to “less safe” as a two-word summary.

    I agree with your assessment above. I also think they’re more safe, but they’re also definitely different, and I understand there may be some circumstance where a dynafit binding doesn’t release when an alpine binding might, although a possible negative is outweighed by clear positives, IMHO.

    Thanks for the clarification. I’ll show this to my wife. ;)

  18. Shawn November 30th, 2011 8:17 pm

    Kinda related…I’m changing over to dynafit. New boots/bindings so skis will have to wait. Currently on freeride pro. Any idea (or guess) how dynafit radical will mount over my old freeride holes? Any close and how close are you comfortable being to old holes in your experience. Cheers.

  19. Lou December 1st, 2011 7:01 am

    Shawn, the new holes won’t be close at all. I just did a mount last night that required the new pair of holes. Distance for/aft between the Radical toe unit holes is 39 mm, but better, use our template or have a shop with a Radical jig drill you a new pair of holes.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/bindings/dynafit-backcountry-skiing-bindings/

  20. Jon January 14th, 2012 12:43 pm

    I just purchased a brand new set of Manaslu skis (169cm) and just to be clear from the initial post, you’re saying that the new Radical bindings will NOT require me to drill into the skis? Some ski techs are saying yes, some no….I haven’t mounted any bindings yet but was hoping to get the Radical ST or Speed. Is it just an issue with the toe, but are the heels the same. My previous bindings were the old (2004-05) Tourlight Tech AT.

    I find it very discouraging that, according to the label on my ski, Dynafit doesn’t warranty for mounting using inserts for the Radical series, just the Vertical FT/ST/Comfort….what’s the point of providing inserts on a set of latest model skis, that don’t line up with half of your new binding line (i.e. the Radical)? What’s the point of providing inserts when you have to drill and mar up the finish?

    Any clarification/guidance you can provide would be great!

  21. Lou January 14th, 2012 1:05 pm

    Jon, even the older Dynafit insert pattern accepts Radical binding in one position, but to move the binding for or aft requires some hole drilling. This season’s Dynafit skis that have inserts have an insert pattern for the Radical, as far as I know. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

    In terms of your question about “what’s the point?” I have to say I have not a clue.

    Oh, and yes, the heels are the same.

  22. Jon January 14th, 2012 4:14 pm

    Thanks Lou – I noticed in going back to the shop that sold me the skis that some of the 11/12 models have a decal on them that says they will accept the vertical and the radical and radical speed; others have the decal that just says the vertical and comfort (mine); I check though and they’re the same…must just be different decals. I have a short sole length (mondo 26-27 in Scarpa)…suggestions regarding position of the binding?

  23. Tyler B October 31st, 2012 1:52 pm

    Hey Lou,

    I was hoping to mount some TLT Speed Classics where my Vertical ST sit on my Vectors. They should have the same hole pattern but I was curious if the screws are identical? Would you see any problem for pullling off the Vertical ST binders and putting in some Classic Speeds?

    Thanks.

    Tyler

  24. Lou Dawson October 31st, 2012 1:57 pm

    Tyler, the diameter and head shape of the screws is the same. The length might be quite a bit different. All you have to do is evaluate the screws per thickness of the ski and hole depth. If they’ll work, they’ll work, but they might be too long. Lou

  25. Tyler B October 31st, 2012 2:14 pm

    Great! Thanks Lou.

    If the old holes are longer would that matter?

  26. Lou Dawson October 31st, 2012 5:08 pm

    Deeper holes, no problem, but use epoxy and don’t over tighten the screws…

  27. Pat December 26th, 2012 11:46 am

    Hey Lou,

    I’m wondering when you switch from Vertical ST to Radical if you need to drill 2 or 4 new holes to mount the toe…(Do you know if the aft toe holes from the radical and vertical match up)?

  28. julian June 8th, 2013 11:29 am

    Hi Lou, the distance between the Vertcial ST front holes to the Radical front holes is 12mm measured from center two center of the hole? I´m wondering this because I ripped out my vertical ST toe piece from a ZAG UBAC ski, actually It didn´t pull out, what happened was that the ski delaminated under the toe piece. which is 96 mm under foot.
    So now Zag send me a new ski, and they told me I should now mount them whith Radicals to aboid having the same problem again.
    The matter is that I’ m in Argentina, and there aren´t Dynafit bindings available in this country.
    So, I was thinking to hand made an aluminium toe basis, whith the same Radical´s hole pattern, and mount my Verticals to this basis. That is why I would like to know the exact distace between holes, so in the future I´ll be able to put a pair of Radicals.
    Thanks

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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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