Dynafit Radical ST Backcountry Skiing Binding – Review

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Shop for Dynafit Radical bindings.

Pantheon of backcountry glisse, the mountain rises. Tiny gods and godettes swoop through crystalline fluff above as you prance strongly into your 4th lap, going on 5,000 vert. You don’t even feel it — or put correctly, all you feel is the joy of tech bindings that lift your feet as Cupid’s wings lofted him to the Roman equivalent of online dating. Only in this case, on your feet is the new Dynafit Radical ST or FT backcountry skiing binding, and any dating will have to wait till later because what you’re doing might not be better than dinner with a goddess (or god, as the case may be), but lasts longer and costs less.

Dynafit Radical ST backcountry skiing binding.

New in the tech binding pantheon, Dynafit TLT Radical ST backcountry skiing binding is marked departure from previous Dynafit models. It has an entirely different heel lift system, and small metal 'power towers' built in to the toe unit that may make binding entry easier and also perhaps help prevent inadvertent safety release.

Don’t tell boss Jupiter, but to pass time while skinning you are questioning Dynafit theology and wondering if the new Radical FT binding is much different from the older. Cupid swoops down. Between bow pulls the love god whispers in your ear, “Never fear, you can always log on to WildSnow.com.”

Yes, the new Radical bindings from Dynafit (for 2011/2012) are indeed a strong departure from numerous design features that defined Dynafit tech bindings for decades. Thus, questions. Aluminum instead of steel toe base? Heel lifters that flip instead of rotate? Funny little fingers on the toe unit called “Power Towers” by the cognoscenti? Read on.

First, weight. With added features such as the flip-up heel lifters and Power Towers, the Radical ST weighed in for us at virtually the same per binding as the ST model; 20 ounces, 566 grams, with 110mm ski brake. While we’d prefer Dynafit would loose a gram or two with each model iteration, the main thing is they didn’t gain any mass. One can imagine it is tempting for designers and engineers to rationalize an addition gram here and a gram there. Kudos to Dynafit for resiting seduction.

Moving along, we come to the most mysterious part of the new grabber, what Dyafit calls the “Side Towers” and what we prefer to call “Power Towers.”

Dynafit Radical Power Towers

Red arrow indicates Power Tower, a rigid nib rising off the binding base.

Two functions for the ST and FT Power Towers. First, they make the binding practically a step-in by indexing your boot. You simply push your boot toe forward, step down, and click. While not totally brainless, this maneuver is really no more difficult than getting into alpine bindings. As I’ve always said, Dynafit bindings take more intelligence and athletic ability to use than other AT frame bindings. Now that statement is less true, thankfully. Secondly, the Towers are intended to keep your boot toe from moving to the side during unusual impact or stress, and thus opening the binding wings and causing inadvertent boot release. I document this rare but nonetheless real deal in video here.

Power Towers from outside

Looking from the side of binding, you can see the Power Towers are simply an extension of the binding base which protrudes up through a slot in the wings.

Okay, the Power Towers do make the binding easier to enter, but do they really add more retention reliability when skiing downhill? To function 100% in blocking sideways pre-release (as demonstrated in vid I linked to above), the Towers have to be almost touching the boot sole. As you can see in the photo, space between boot and Tower is a couple millimeters. In bench testing, I found the Towers did make a side release noticeably more difficult to simulate on the bench, and the binding did not click completely open as do older models without the Towers. Nonetheless, I was still able to simulate a side pre-release during bench testing the Radical ST. My conclusion is the Radical ST and FT Power Towers help, and might even totally prevent the rare but all too real pre-release some skiers experience in the Dynafit toe unit. Field use will be the only way to know for sure, as this type of inadvertent release is poorly understood and difficult to test for.

Power Tower gap

Small gap between Power Tower and boot sole (indicated by arrow) is probably necessary to compensate for manufacturing differences, but in my opinion after testing, the gap makes the Towers less than 100% effective against side pre-release at the toe.

Power Towers shimmed as test.

Testing for how the gap influenced things was easy. I simply shimmed the gap closed with layers of duct tape. When testing in this configuration I couldn't get the boot to pre-release to the side even while applying quite a bit of force, but it appeared to still have normal side safety release. I'm no binding engineer so that's as far as I'll go with that.

Power Towers

Just to be clear, another view of the Power Towers, Dynafit Radical ST backcountry skiing binding.

As covered in previous post, the Radical toe’s base unit is quite a bit different from previous Dynafits. The lower portion is aluminum instead of steel, and it has four mounting holes instead of five. The rearward pair of holes are backward compatible with older Dynafit mounts, but the front pair are located 12mm forward of the legacy position. This meaning you’ll have to drill a new pair of holes to upgrade, but the holes are farther enough ahead to not overlap old holes. For those of you concerned about strength, the toe unit’s plastic base does extend out to the sides and support the aluminum base frame above. The whole unit appears beefy, but we of course have to wait for early adopters to abuse the Radical before we’ll know it is actually radical.

Dynafit Radical with crampon.

Dynafit Radical crampon mount is nicely executed, and the toe unit appears strong. Arrow indicates steel crampon mount that sandwiches the aluminum frame, a nice touch and big improvement over cosmetic plastic of previous binding models.

Toe parts, steel crampon mount acts as a reinforced sandwich top.

Toe parts, steel crampon mount acts as a reinforced sandwich top.

Next, the heel unit. Big deal with the Radical heel is of course Dynafit going to flip-up climbing lifts rather than the decades old rotation system. Loved by some and hated by others, fiddling with your ski pole to rotate the Dynafit was probably the binding’s Achilles heel. Enough, stick a fork in it, it’s done and something else has been cooked up by the gnomes of Munich.

The new system is quite simple. When going to touring mode you rotate the heel unit ONCE clockwise, past a mechanical stop that prevents return counter clockwise. You leave it in that position, and flick the heel lifters up and down with your ski pole basket. Doing this is just as easy as the old system, and more intuitive for newbies. It also eliminates binding breakage cause by frustrated skiers levering on the heel unit with their ski poles. To return to downhill mode, continue rotating clockwise until the binding pins are facing forward.

Dynafit dancers note that with your toe locked in the Radical binding you can still go from fixed heel to free heel by rotating the heel unit and popping your heel out (without brakes), but doing so is difficult because you don’t have the old style heel lifter to lever against. MORE IMPORTANTLY, going back to fixed heel from touring mode while in the Radical binding involves a mandatory and potentially awkward 3/4 turn of the heel unit. If you’re staying in the binding, this probably has to be done by reaching back with your hand. Those of us who enjoy staying locked in during the fur rip may find this tougher than reaching back with your ski pole and making a quick flick of the heel unit to return it to downhill mode. Preferences here depend on your flexibility and age, of course.

Lettering on heel unit indicates only direction it should be turned.

Unlike all other Dynafit heels and most other tech bindings, the heel unit is intended to be rotated in only one direction, and has a mechanical stop if you attempt to over-rotate.

Dynafit radical heel post pivot spindle.

This is WildSnow, so we want to know how stuff works. In this case, it's the mechanical stop for Dynafit heel unit rotation. Basis of this is a tiny spring-loaded pin which rests in a hole in the heel spindle post. When you pull the heel unit off to do things such as installing brakes, the pin goes AWOL if you don't hold your finger over it as you lift the heel unit. To re-install, simply hold the pin in with a small screwdriver or other implement as you slip the heel unit down over the spindle.

Radical heel unit ramp and pocket.

Radical heel unit ramp and pocket for the rotation detent pin.

Heel lifter flipped to medium position.

Heel lifter flipped to medium position, as with all other Dynafit bindings you do have a heel-flat-on-ski mode by not using the lifters.

Radical heel in high lift position.

Radical heel in high lift position.

A few more things:

AFD on brake retractor plate.

The ski brake has what looks to be a functional AFD. This eliminates having to swap in different lateral release springs depending on if you use a brake or not (previously, because of friction between boot and brake, you'd use a slightly softer spring to compensate).

The bump is back.

I'll leave the most mysterious for last. The bump is back.

About the bump pictured above. All early Dynafit bindings (and some recent ones) were molded with a bump that reduced clearance between boot heel and binding. The idea behind this is the fact that as a tech binding equipped ski flexes, the rear binding pins slide in and out of the boot heel fitting; this in turn causes the binding release values to change. More, sometimes during ski flex, the release values may change so much they go outside the variation tolerance of the DIN ISO touring binding standard. At one point Dynafit attempted to obtain TUV/DIN certification, and the bump was added to reduce the range of movement and subsequent release value variation due to ski flex. Think it through, and you realize you do not want your boot heel bumping into the binding when your ski flexes, but the story I heard is that wasn’t a concern to TUV, they only wanted to see release values stay in range. So the bump was added, and rarely caused any problems since you had to be heavy, on soft skis, to hit the bump in any way that could be detrimental.

Nonetheless, common sense made it obvious the infamous bump wasn’t necessary in real life, and could even be detrimental (I grind it off all my bindings, for example). So it was eliminated on the Comfort/ST/FT models, along with using longer pins that allowed even more range for ski flex.

So why the return of the bump? Our theory: Dynafit wants to be the first TUV DIN/ISO certified tech binding, which is perhaps also the reason they added the AFD to the brake. Or perhaps they just didn’t want to spend the money to change their mold. We shall see.

A couple more things:
- Radical has slightly less ramp angle than previous Comfort/ST/FT due to taller toe unit. Difference is minimal (a degree or so, depending on length of boot, but nonetheless should be mentioned.
- Screws use Torx (star) 20 instead of Pozi, which I like in the shop for easy no-slip tightening, but groan, one more bit to carry in the field repair kit. I studied up on Torx and they are indeed intended to resist cam-out (slipping) of your screw driver, while Philips and I assume Pozi are actually designed to cam-out at a certain torque to prevent tool and work damage. There, more than you ever wanted to know about screw drivers.

Conclusion:
After using the new Dynafit Radical ST binding for multiple days, as well as a complete tear-down, we are confident that the new rig will easily equal the performance of earlier FT/ST series bindings. While we see the Power Towers as a non-essential, we do view the heel lifter system as a major improvement for most users. Disappointing that the “bump” has returned, but perhaps the engineers have integrated that in a way that’s functional. Extended testing will reveal all.

(March 2012, please note that after being on the market for a short period, various durability problems occurred with the Radical series bindings. It appears these problems have all been resolved provided you end up with a current iteration of the binding, which is something any retailer can help you with. For more details, please use our search function to check out all our Radical posts.

Shop for Dynafit Radical bindings.

Comments

356 Responses to “Dynafit Radical ST Backcountry Skiing Binding – Review”

  1. Jonathan Shefftz April 13th, 2011 9:07 am

    “There, more than you ever wanted to know about screw drivers.”
    - No, no, I want more, more, please! Okay, seriously though, thanks as always for the comprehensive review, but on those new torx screws, is the head and pitch otherwise standard enough such that a typical ski binding screw (of the correct length and head shape) could be substituted if necessary?

  2. Matt April 13th, 2011 9:13 am

    Thanks Lou!

    I don’t fear change, but…….
    Was it really that difficult to get into the bindings? If it addresses pre-release then I’m happy. But I thought that was due to ice buildup under the toe piece.
    And
    Twisting for heel rise wasn’t that difficult was it?

    Looks a bit gimmicky to me.

  3. Tony April 13th, 2011 9:21 am

    thanks for the review, Lou. When you mentioned the clockwise only rotation my first thought was the 3/4 turn now required to get back in to downhill mode – it will affect my top of the run transition for sure.

    But, one benefit of this should be the elimination of the unintended switch to ski mode while skinning, especially on the flats with a bit of snow/ice buildup in the heel (which seemed to be more common when I used brakes years ago). I don’t know if this happens enough to me to make up for the more awkward transition into ski mode, but that aspect will be a welcome improvement.

  4. Tony April 13th, 2011 9:30 am

    One thing not clear from the photos/review : how easy is it to select/flip just the medium heel lifter from the no heel lift state? The medium&high lifts appear to be stacked on each other – is it easy to select the medium lift by itself or do you need a precise pole position to make sure you don’t bring the high lift along with it?

  5. Randonnee April 13th, 2011 12:28 pm

    Great, more engineering/ development to make Dynafits better! The power towers and rear “bump” perhaps will be helpful for a 100 kg skier! Looking at those mods makes me think those mods will address my heavy-skier Dynafit issues. I have adapted and use 5 Dynafit binding setups on skis with waists at 70, 80, 88, 95, and 106mm (skied all this season). My experience has been an ability to release the Dynafit toe with downward pressure or with torsional pressure, easily at will or inadvertently if not real smooth while skiing. I also believe that my mass applied to the flexy Manaslu can in the extreme kick out my heel, thus perhaps the bump will help with this?

    Clearly, I am a Dynafit fan. I do believe that my concept of skitouring and skitouring gear is well served by Dynafit!

  6. Randonnee April 13th, 2011 12:30 pm

    The new heel lift design is a good improvement. My current most common issue is heel rotation while walking over skins as a result of sticky spring new snow building up on the heel. The new design will perhaps help this.

  7. Ray Imel April 13th, 2011 12:34 pm

    Can the crampon be fixed in the down position? It looks like it pivots when the heel rises. Can crampons be installed or removed with boots in binding?

  8. harriette April 13th, 2011 12:57 pm

    well i live in the north country, and we do alot of skiing up here.these bindings really are great.

  9. Lou April 13th, 2011 1:08 pm

    Rando, yes, the heel detent appears to be designed to prevent unplanned rotation.

    Ray, no, there is no crampon lock though you can get one from B&D ski gear (see ad to left). In my experience, if the crampon is set up with the correct spacers, it doesn’t really need a lock as it’s pretty close to the front of the foot and thus the boot is not rising that much.

    Try it without the lock, then if needed ad the lock.

  10. Lou April 13th, 2011 1:09 pm

    Rando, I’m looking forward to you trying these bindings.

  11. Lou April 13th, 2011 1:11 pm

    Jonathan, yes, it appears the standard screws from Comfort/ST/FT would work as well. Shew. Like I said I do like the Torx in the shop, but in the field I hate having yet one more thing that used to be standardized become un-standardized.

  12. Lou April 13th, 2011 1:22 pm

    I just returned from another test tour on the Manaslu Radical combo. Firm corn to sloppy corn, steep skin track. I’m finding I really like the Radical flip-up heel lifters, but due to slightly less ramp angle the “high” lift of the Radical is definitely feeling like a few more millimeters would be good. Too much height on the heel lifter places too much leverage on the binding, but it sure seems like they could have made the high lift perhaps 5 mm higher. That would be very noticeable on our “American” testosterone skin tracks.

    Aftermarket heel lifters, anyone game?

    I don’t like having to rotate heel by hand when going to alpine mode without taking skis off. I tried to rotate it with my ski pole, but only got it about half way there. Perhaps I need more practice.

    As for the Power Towers, the step-in they help with is definitely terrific. but I have no way of evaluating their downhill performance since I have no problems with pre-release.

  13. Lou April 13th, 2011 1:23 pm

    Rando, in my view the “bump” will do nothing to help the heavy skier.

  14. Randonnee April 13th, 2011 1:43 pm

    Tall heel lifters place greater stress on the heel mount – this is how I broke my FR10 ski. But then, I am a big guy, and I was climbing steeply pushing on the heel posts. The screws pulled from the heel mount. I skied out a mile after just removing the (ripped-off) heel. and the foam-core ski then broke as I walked out.

  15. ScottP April 13th, 2011 1:58 pm

    Pozi, unlike Phillips, is actually designed to resist camming out at high torques (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_screw_drives#Pozidriv). Your assumption makes sense to me because having used these with hand tools I never would have guessed that they were cam-out resistant, but apparently with machine tools it does make a difference.

  16. Maki April 13th, 2011 2:10 pm

    I don’t get how the Power Towers are supposed to ease the step-in. With Quick Step-In inserts it already works like described. What am I missing?

  17. Lou April 13th, 2011 2:59 pm

    Make, the Power Towers just provide an even more positive and precise stop for the boot toe when it’s inserted. If you’ve got the process wired they probably won’t feel much different (unless they get ice on them, and in that case they’ll make it more difficult), for the newbie they make it easier, and I even notice a bit of a quicker more precise “click” myself, though the help is definitely not needed. Incidentally, they obviate the “roll in” from the side method of entering the binding toe.

    But, in my opinion the main hoped for purpose of the Towers is they’d eliminate one mode of inadvertent release (aka pre-release). Field testing by large aggressive skiers will be the only way to know for sure.

  18. Lou April 13th, 2011 3:01 pm

    Scott, thanks, yeah, I’ve stripped the tops out of so many Pozi screws I have a hard time believing they are very resistant to cam-out, though they are more resistant than regular Philips.

  19. Tom April 13th, 2011 4:20 pm

    My experience with Torx (daily) is it’s the driver that strips.

    They should’ve skipped Torx and gone straight to Torx-Plus.

    Can you mount the toe without the base plate?

  20. Lou April 13th, 2011 5:05 pm

    Could probably mount the toe without the base, with shorter screws of course…

  21. natebob April 13th, 2011 5:31 pm

    Lou, any idea if the power towers affect what boots fit in this binding? It seems like they may prevent some boots being used due to where the toe sockets are in relation to the end of the sole. Maybe F1′s and other boots with the sockets 5mm back will make it so that the pins and sockets won’t line up? The pictures above make it look like most boots should work, but maybe it’s possible that some boots toe shape will hit the towers before the pins can engage in the sockets?

  22. Lou April 13th, 2011 5:40 pm

    Nate, good point, yeah, I’d imagine that boots with non-standard fitting location will not work. I’ll run out and check, I think I’ve got some Scarpas kicking around that have the rearward fitting location… back in a moment.

  23. Lou April 13th, 2011 5:48 pm

    Ha, this is pretty funny. I tried a couple pair of Spirit 3 that have the fittings mounted aft. Not only do they fit in the Radical binding, but they are snug against the power towers and I can NOT simulate a side release as I was doing in the video!

    Because the boots fit so snug, ice on the boot toe during binding entry could be a problem.

    If the boot is too tight against the Power Towers, fixing that would be a simple matter of skiving away a tiny bit of plastic off the boot toe.

    Do any of the current Scarpas have the fitting mounted aft? My recollection is they quit doing that…

  24. SteveG April 13th, 2011 6:35 pm

    Maybe I’m missing something regarding mounting the toes without the bases. I just tried some older Comfort bases on FT’s and the ski/walk lever wouldn’t catch on the knob on the plastic base to lock. Isn’t a base needed to lock into walk mode?

  25. Mitch April 13th, 2011 6:57 pm

    Lou, if the new pin in the heel tower were removed, I’m assuming the options for pivoting that are present in the ST/FT would be available? I’m not so keen on the idea of needing a full rotation if I’m on the lowest setting for touring…

  26. Erik April 13th, 2011 6:59 pm

    How about the differences in the new touring lever on the toe compared to the current ST/FT? Interested as one thing that mildly annoys me about the toebox on the TLT5 is that sometimes pops the binding out of tour mode in kickturns. I’ve never been able to bench replicate it, so I’m figuring it is a snow buildup issue on either the yellow tongue receiver or the lever itself. Its the same as what would happen on the occasions that I needed leashes with my Megarides. I would tie a loop of 3mm cord through the slot where the tongue hinged on top of the toebox; if the knot got between the binding and the boot it was positioned just right to pop back into ski mode.

  27. natebob April 13th, 2011 8:29 pm

    Lou, that’s interesting that rearward placed sockets had that effect. I’m pretty sure that currently, only the F1′s and maybe the Skookum/Shaka have sockets that are behind the usual location. I may be wrong about the Skook/Shak, but I think there is a model other than the F1′s that also has that feature. Can’t remember about next season’s Scarpa line.

    I think there is some value to the sockets being more rearward, and would hope that this didn’t prevent use of the new Dynafit bindings with boots that have sockets like this. Prob. not a big deal for the Radical ST, as it is perhaps less likely to be used with F1′s, which would presumably be used more with a “racier” binding. But if a beefier boot with rearward sockets would not fit in the Radical ST, that would not be good. But all is probably well base on your being able to fit Spirit 3′s in the Radical ST.

  28. See April 13th, 2011 8:32 pm

    I can well believe that many, if not most, people don’t have problems with Dynafit lateral prerelease. Unfortunately, I’m not one of them.

    The power tower looks to be an elegant solution.

    I wonder if a more detailed spec for the boot toe wouldn’t be in order; maybe something like a larger metal socket, or hard plastic boot toe, that interfaces with the towers and pins to ensure optimal performance?

    I don’t relish the idea of having to buy new bindings as well as boots, but if this actually works, I would.

  29. Lou April 13th, 2011 9:08 pm

    Mitch, NO, the heel post/spindle does not have the extra lobes on it that locate the unit in various positions. It would have to be used with the pin detent.

  30. Geoff April 13th, 2011 9:31 pm

    The Scarpa Maestrale/Gea also have the toe fittings mounted aft.

  31. Lou April 13th, 2011 9:35 pm

    Nate, ditto, I love boots with the fittings mounted back, you can really feel the difference, always wondering if Dynafit would get hip to that, kudos to Scarpa for doing it…

    See, if those Towers work, wow, that’ll indeed be great…

  32. Lou April 13th, 2011 9:35 pm

    Geoff, thanks

  33. Brent April 14th, 2011 12:18 am

    Lou, thanks for the great insight on these bindings. Do you know if Dynafit’s existing mounting jig (mine is from 2008) will still set a usable screw pattern or am I going to need a new jig? Thanks!

  34. Pablo April 14th, 2011 5:45 am

    Brent, You’re going to need a new one.
    Only the last year jig (2010) is also compatible, because the last TLT Race have the same front pattern…
    I’ve just purchase one of them for the shop where I work.

  35. Jonathan Shefftz April 14th, 2011 6:16 am

    How about taking a hybrid approach:
    – use old jig to drill all 4 heel holes plus back 2 toe holes
    – shift jig forward 6mm to drill front 2 toe holes
    Obviously not efficient for a shop, but for a home DIY, seems accurate albeit slower.

  36. Lou April 14th, 2011 6:39 am

    Jonathan, yeah, I think doing the jig shift will be easy enough, probably by marking the forward holes first. Perhaps one could drill a couple of small marking holes in their jig. I’ll probably get another jig, but only after I start mounting more than a few of the Radical. As you can imagine, we have a bunch of ST/FT and TLT bindings in the WildSnow inventory, and none are worn out, so it’ll be a long time till all those go away and we’re mounting Radicals over and over again.

  37. Lou April 14th, 2011 6:52 am

    SteveG, the trend is to integrate the “bump” the toe lever catches on into the metal binding base. Radical does that, so you could if desired possibly mount the toe without the plastic binding base. Not sure why anyone would do that, but this is WildSnow, and when it comes to mods, go for it!

  38. Sam F April 14th, 2011 8:20 am

    I’m not so sure that this kind of prerelease has everything to do with weight. At 70kg I’ve gotten to the point were if it is steep enough and the snow is hard enough I can pretty much force a prerelease at will, simply by being VERY aggressive when setting my new edge. It’s realy starting to piss me off because the release itself seems to work great(my solly at 12 seem easier to get out of than my dynafits at 10) and I realy don’t like locking the toe for all kinds of reasons.

  39. Lou April 14th, 2011 8:30 am

    Sam, it sounds like you need to test the Power Tower equipped binding ASAP. Perhaps you can get on some early next winter, on some ice, and give them the brutal edge set. Would appreciate hearing how it turns out.

    Around here, I’ve been looking for someone with the pre-release problem to test these things, but haven’t come up with a tester yet. As I always say, it’s really quite a rare problem but nonetheless real for some folks.

  40. Sean April 14th, 2011 8:48 am

    It seems to me that coming out of a Salomon at DIN 12 and a Dynafit at RV 10, at 70 kg (150 lbs) is a function of poor technique. That’s what I weigh, I ski plenty of steep firm snow… at a DIN 6 or 7, Look/Rossi (Geze) toe. My Dynafits are at RV 8 and they hold me too. And no, I’m not skiing timidly or slowly.

    Usual reason for prerelease at the toe has been covered extensively, eh Lou? Ice or other matter in the toepiece receiver sockets, right?

    I’d be looking at user error.

  41. Sam F April 14th, 2011 9:27 am

    Fair enough. I’m probably the biggest critic of my own form, and am constantly looking for constructive advice on how to improve. But, oddly enough when I first got my Dynafits, and had much worse technique I was able to get away with a much lower setting.

    Also most of my Instructors at a major resort, have pushed me to be more aggresive and confident with my outside edge.

  42. Sam F April 14th, 2011 9:37 am

    Also I’m very aware that many excellent skiers have no prerelease issues. But Iam also aware of many fine skiers( many no bigger than myselfs) that either won’t use dynafits or who lock the toe.

    Also I should have put 75kg or something( 160ish). I’m tall and have big boots, I think that effects something.

    And as Lou has said dynafits aren’t for everyone, but it sucks to buy new gear

  43. Lou April 14th, 2011 9:43 am

    Sean, I believe some of the reports we hear are user error, but I can’t discount them all and I give experienced users the benefit of the doubt. I had a Dynafit pre-release on hard snow last winter, during what was a basic maneuver, and I’m pretty sure it was the kind of release we’re talking about. I hurt my already bad shoulder in the subsequent fall, and I was not a happy camper. Probably broke a chunk of the labrum, as I’ve got a lot more gravel in there now and probably need to get it scoped again, groan.

    BTW, different boot/binding combos might be more or less prone.

    ALSO, this morning I tried a bunch of tech fitting equipped boots in the Radical binding, and found that how snug they are to the Power Towers varied quite a bit. Some of the boots had very little gap and I could not simulate a pre-release to the side. Others had quite a large gap and the Power Towers didn’t have much or any effect on side movement of the boot toe.

    I figured this would be the case, as the DIN/ISO touring boot sole standard allows a manufacturing variation of several millimeters in most directions, so different makers and molds will result in variations. Not to mention there being NO standard for where the tech fittings are located in terms of for-aft.

    Hence, it would be difficult for Dynafit to make the Towers any closer to the boot, as in that case some boots that fit too tight would require modification before they would correctly step into the binding.

    For what it’s worth, the Scarpas I tried all fit very snug, while the Dynafits all fit with a small gap, while the Tecnicas fit with a larger gap.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/1165/randonnee-at-ski-touring-boot-iso-standards/

  44. Sam F April 14th, 2011 9:59 am

    If that’s the case they probably won’t have a huge effect on radiums I’m afraid.

  45. Lou April 14th, 2011 1:22 pm

    Same, really, you’d have to put the boot in the binding to know for sure. Also, please note that in my testing I did notice more resistance to “unplanned toe wings opening release” even when there was the small space between boot and Power Tower. I tried to make that clear in review. Again, field testing will be the only way to really figure all this out.

  46. Maki April 14th, 2011 1:28 pm

    Re: lateral pre-release, I have some reason to believe it often happens at the heel. I already noticed that when switching from the venerable Tyrolia TRB (still missing from the museum?) to the Silvretta 404 and now from the Diamir to the TLT. I never released a TRB doing jump turns even at lower settings, but it happened several times on the 404, until I raised the DIN. Note that the 404 cannot release at the toe no matter what and it exploding heelpiece makes very evident what happens.

    Fact is that when you land there is a lateral load, especially on sticky (wet) or “grabby” (crust) snow. This load at the heel doesn’t really generate a torsion, so the front-releasing bindings stay put while the heel-releasing bindings pop out more easily.

    When I’ve read about the 45° kick carpet test here I tried (on hard snow, actually) and found quite easy to release the TLT, impossible with the Diamir. The action is rather quick and I have not filmed it to have a confirmation, but looked like it was releasing at the heel, even if I was careful about not laterally loading the foot (but there is a bit of flex of both ski and binding in that event, so…).

    That’s not to say that there can’t be a problem at the toe, of course at some point it will obviously open.

  47. Christoph April 14th, 2011 2:30 pm

    Hei Lou,

    is it alright, that it won´t be a problem to combine the new radical with Dynafit Stoke with the old inserts?? I´ve got a pair of Dynafit Stoke 2010/2011 and I think i will try the “new radicals” with “the old Stokes” next year….

    Yeah, vi have still fine skiing conditions in one of the most exciting parts of Europe here in Northern Norway at about 70 degrees north and we will still be skiing until Juni here! We like it!

  48. pete April 15th, 2011 12:41 am

    Lou
    I’m after some tech binding now id like to ask whats your opinion between new dynafit radical and Plum Guide is without brakes but is possibly more solid due to all aluminum construction? What about new radicals..i ski fast and aggressive and i don’t want to break my binding :) i never used tech type binding so now i have to decide which way to go…plum binding or new Dynafit. Can you help me with that?

  49. Christian April 15th, 2011 1:53 am

    Sean: Could you, or somebody, please enlighten me by showing how bad technique causes prerelease? A video maybe? IMHO I find the statement quite arrogant, if not ignorant.
    My experience is the exact same as Sam F (except that I don’t ski out of salomon bindings, unless they are sett at lower than 9). I ski a lot of ice, cardboard and other variants of hard snow. I have skied for 38,5 of my 40 years, from 40 to 200 days, raced in my younger days.
    Friends that have just switched from tele, don’t prerelease. (Click my name to see us skiing)
    Can I avoid prereleasing? Sure, I just ski more relaxed/ with a higher safty margin.

  50. Christian April 15th, 2011 1:56 am

    BTW – in all the videos I ski unlocked with safety margin…(I don’t need to break more bones in my body)

  51. Lou April 15th, 2011 6:24 am

    I keep my tech binding RV values set just slightly higher than where the chart would indicate, and ski unlocked unless I’m in no-fall terrain. Once in a while (2 times a season) I pre-release vertical at the heel when jamming into a transition or powder pillow. But, if I wanted to demonstrate pre-release from “poor” technique I could ski differently and pre-release in the first or second turn. I’d just get up some speed, then ride out my tails and make a radical choppy heel thrust initiated turn. Or, lean way forward and pull radically up on my heels, for whatever reason.

    My point is, saying bad technique can cause pre-release is not necessarily arrogant, it’s just reality. More, if a person is a poor skier and falls more than occasionally, they need to have their binding set at a reasonable level so they’ll come out when needed during a fall. Thus, they’re not upping their RV value nor locking the toe, so one thing feeds on another.

    Above is why I don’t always recommend tech bindings for skiers still in the learning stage.

    Perhaps we should be politically correct and instead of saying “bad technique” we could say something like “unrefined technique” or “choppy technique?”

  52. Christian April 15th, 2011 6:54 am

    Seem like what you describe is technique that causes regular release, not the dynafit specific pre release. We might be takling about different things? Anyway, why would you lock a binding if you aren’t afraid of unwanted release – no need to lock alpine bindings. Those that I Know that have had the dynafit prerelease are among thr best skiers I know. Abbrupt edging might be the reason, but then I would say that that is a part of The ice-skiing technique quiver…..

  53. Lou April 15th, 2011 7:23 am

    Christian, yeah, splitting hairs. Be it known any sort of Dynafit specific pre-release is rather mysterious. I simulated that one mode on the bench, but people’s experience with this in real life is very spotty. Very spotty. As many here have said, a vast number of very aggressive skiers do NOT have a problem with this.

    IN FACT, I still think any Dynafit or other tech binding specific pre-release could be as much caused by inconsistency in boot fittings, or slight manufacturing variations in the bindings, or even by the toe area of the boot sole being too thick and pressing down on the binding toe wings, as by anything else. Remember, there is no standard for tech fittings or tech boot soles, so boot makers are simply coming up with stuff they think works, and probably does, but we or them have no standard to fall back on.

    As for technique causing the tech binding specific release (that of the toe wings opening to the side), yes, a very choppy technique or simply super high speed and agro technique that causes a LOT of direct sideways force on the boot toe and binding is what could cause the release. And I’d totally agree that such technique is not by definition “bad.”

  54. See April 15th, 2011 8:39 am

    I’m pretty sure my equipment and my technique are OK, yet I have noticed consistent Dynafit toe prerelease when skiing on hard, frozen, rough surfaces that subject the toepiece to hard and/or sustained shocks. My experience is that this can occur when skiing at moderate speeds and levels of aggresiveness. I believe this problem has more to do with the snow surface than anything else.

    I would suggest to any one using Dynafit bindings that they see for themselves, in a low consequence environment, if this is also the case for them.

  55. Lou April 15th, 2011 1:06 pm

    See, good advice. Most people will not have a problem, from what I’ve seen.

  56. Lou April 15th, 2011 1:09 pm

    Pete, Plum is interesting but no way I’d call it “more solid.” I’d say Plum and Dynafit are roughly equivalent in terms of strength — both rarely break.

    If the ski brake isn’t the deal breaker, how about price?

  57. See April 15th, 2011 2:53 pm

    Lou, now you’ve got me wondering about “slight manufacturing variations” and toe prerelease.

    Do you have any specific suggestions about things I could check beyond the usual suspects– icing of boot sockets or under toepiece arms, too thick boot soles, crooked or maladjusted bindings, etc.?

    Skis: white Mustagh Atas (178). Boots: Scarpa Matrix’s (270). Bindings: Comforts with brakes, one spring each.

    I’ve used this setup for many days, over a number of years, with almost no problems, except as I described in the previous comment.

    Thanks for the great resource you and the rest of the folks at Wildsnow provide.

  58. Lou April 15th, 2011 3:52 pm

    See, the logical thing to do is try some different boots, with yours as well as other bindings. I’ve given this advice to folks hundreds of times. It’s basic trouble shooting.

  59. See April 15th, 2011 3:59 pm

    I have.

    No difference.

    thanks anyway.

  60. Sam F April 16th, 2011 9:29 am

    See I’m using 186 rossi s3 and beefed up 325radiums and vert st. And having the exact same problem.

    In dynafits defence, my set up is probably pushing the design envelope a bit. And I’m happy that they(dynafit) seems to be reacting to what I understand is a mostly NA niche market

  61. See April 16th, 2011 10:06 am

    My hunch is that what makes North America a niche market is not that we ski bigger skis, but that we don’t lock the toes.

    This probably is a cultural/legal thing related to the difference I’ve heard about (but not had any first hand experience with) between European and American resorts regarding liability.

    And I’m not recommending locking the toes (I am, after all, American).

  62. Sean April 16th, 2011 10:25 am

    Christian:

    “Good technique” = being aware of your gear’s limitations and staying within those limitations.

    “Bad technique” = ignoring your gear’s limitations — imagining your Dynafits will hold you connected just like an FKS 18.

    It’s quite obvious from a cursory once-over visual exam, without performing release tests, that a Dynafit isn’t an FKS 18. It’s not designed for great toe elasticity on lateral and torsional loads. It’s designed to be functional for skinning uphill for long periods of time, and then descending afterward. Conversely, the FKS 18 is designed to hold you connected to the ski at 90mph on a world cup DH race course.

    Someone who regularly skis right out of a Dynafit? Well that suggests he/she is either outside the Dynafit’s design parameters, or is not taking into account the limitations of the Dynafit binding.

    My most common pre-release on a Dynafit is from a super-cambering then decambering, which tends to be most exaggerated in skis that are pure wood core, no metal in them, and of softer flex. On a pair of Volkl T-Rocks, I had decambering releases several times, just from pumping the skis in bottomless snow. This suggested to me that there are limitations to the Dynafit’s ability to handle a severely cambered and then decambered ski, most likely because the heel is contained simply by two pins.

    I spent my late teens up through my late 20s working in a ski shop, doing a lot of alpine binding tech work. I’m pretty aware of how bindings work and what particular limitations bindings have.

    I wouldn’t say that’s “arrogant.” It’s just my experience, that’s all.

  63. Gentle Sasquatch April 16th, 2011 3:52 pm

    I mean no disrespect but what you just described under Good Technique/Bad Technique is not at all what I would have imagined falling under the umbrella of a ‘technique’ unless you are thinking of some kind of ‘mind technique’ :wink:

  64. See April 16th, 2011 6:25 pm

    I think a tendency to prerelease at the toe, in some conditions, is one of the limitations of tech bindings.

    I think locking the toes is one of the techniques many people (especially in Europe) use to deal with that limitation.

    I would be happy to test the effectiveness of the new Radical bindings at solving this problem, if anyone feels like sending me some (preferably mounted on a new pair Manaslus).

    Ciao

    See

  65. Christian April 17th, 2011 6:34 am

    Sean: Your ‘just look at them’ attitude is what kept so many people in the dark ages of at-bindings for so long. I have used dynafit since late 1990′s, and have not held back untill I started skiing wider skis – have had no problem at all. With wide skis I have had problems when skiing on ice, and that is it. I have never had problem with the “pop” release. Do I still think it is a problem? Yes – I have broken bones due to it. Today I skied slush, did not hold back at all….
    The onyx binding seems to work for me, but I hope the radical will give me the little extra hold I need.
    My theory is that the conditions some people ski in, just prevents this happening. If I never skied ice, I would not be s problem for me…..but I happen to enjoy respons from ice…

  66. Jake April 17th, 2011 8:50 am

    “I have noticed consistent Dynafit toe prerelease when skiing on hard, frozen, rough surfaces that subject the toepiece to hard and/or sustained shocks”…
    “My most common pre-release on a Dynafit is from a super-cambering then de-cambering”…

    So are these problems endemic with all “tech” style bindings or can/will they be engineered around?
    For instance, could the new stiffeners on the Radical (or the mounting plates on the Onyx) eliminate release problems due to cambering/de-cambering? Is there any reason why more elasticity could not be built into a tech toe piece? If not, there’s no reason to believe the Oynx, Radical, Plum, SkiTrab etc. tech bindings could ever be more “bomber” then what’s out there already.

  67. Warren April 17th, 2011 10:21 am

    “With wide skis I have had problems when skiing on ice, and that is it.” Christian, how wide were the skis? And may I ask how much you weigh?

    I have had only one Dynafit (Comfort) prerelease. It was on 35 degree irregular ice at very low speed, on K2 Mt Bakers (89 waist). I weigh 140. Both heel settings were at 6.5, but I increased them to eight after that.

  68. christian April 17th, 2011 12:09 pm

    Warren: widest with dynafit for me was coomba (105mm), but even one prerelease with mustagh ata (87mm). Speed isn’t a factor for me, I have never prereleased when doing gs sized turns, only vigourus sl turns on medium steep ice. I am 6″, 85kg – strong legs, skinny arms. The din was 9. Ski them at 10 now, haven’t prereleased after I thightened them, but the toe wings have opened…but luckily closed again. (have also skied quite relaxed this year, as I injured my shoulder from a release from s soly set at din 8,5…nothing spectacular as I did’t fall before I stopped – but still dislocated my shoulder )

  69. Bar Barrique April 17th, 2011 10:06 pm

    I agree with Maki’s explanation that the issue may be related to the fact that the Dynafit binding releases laterally at the heel. Over the holidays, I lent my alpine setup to a relative, and, wore my AT stuff at a ski area. I was stopping on a groomed run, when I hit a patch of hard somewhat icy snow, so I instinctively stomped hard on the edges blowing out of both skis. If I had been wearing my alpine setup (conventional alpine bindings, Atomic); I don’t think that this would have happened.

  70. Sean April 18th, 2011 12:17 am

    Christian said:

    “Sean: Your ‘just look at them’ attitude is what kept so many people in the dark ages of at-bindings for so long.”

    Christian, you are putting words in my mouth. If you’re going to assess my posted thoughts, I’d appreciate you staying close to what I said, rather than projecting sentiments I don’t hold.

    A Dynafit binding is not the same as an alpine heavy-duty race binding. It was designed for different things and should be skied in accordance with how it’s designed. It’s silly and naive, if not outright immature, to assume the Dynafit is equivalent to an FKS 18.

    I accept in advance your apology for arguing with a straw man you’ve labelled as me.

  71. Lou April 18th, 2011 6:40 am

    Sean, Christian, and all, you are making good points that I think are helping a lot of people, but please keep the attack tone a bit more on the friendly side.

    The point of people expecting too much from Dynafits (or other AT bindings for that matter) is a good one. But from what I’m reading Sean and Christian are actually pretty much on the same page…

    The simple fact of the matter is that it’s true, there is a trend for some skiers who ski with World Cup power to grab a pair of Dynafits, Fritschis, or whatever and somehow expect them to work the same and have the same strengths as alpine bindings they’re used to. To expect that is foolish. I’m not sure anyone here is really doing that, but for the sake of discussion I’ll use that as my base assumption.

    For example, all tech bindings have an inherent limitation in elasticity, what is more, they are indeed a compromise between lack of weight for walking up, and more beef for going down.

    The trick is to know if a certain binding is appropriate for your needs and style of skiing, and if not, simply move on. Forcing gear your life depends on to operate outside its design envelop is again, foolish.

    And, the zinger you guys are amping to keyboard as response to this: How do we know what that design envelope is?

    The companies who make this stuff don’t like to talk about weak points of their gear. That’s a verity we have to work around as I don’t see it changing. Thus, communication such as we have here is the key. And even then there is going to be a grey area where it’s difficult to ascertain if a binding system is correct for your style. But let’s all do our best to sort that out. I’ll help in any way I possibly can.

    To continue the discussion I’ll offer a couple of things. First, don’t let the extra plastic shrouding and mass of an alpine binding, as compared to the minimalist appearance of a tech binding, fool you into an automatic assumption that one binding is somehow more capable for YOU than the other. Depending on the model, the alpine binding may well be stronger. It may well be more able to absorb shock. BUT, for 99% of skiers out there the AT tech bindings are going to work fine when used properly (clearing ice, and all that).

    For those of you in the other 1% class, who have problems staying in your tech bindings no matter what, the first question is, do you ever ski out of alpine bindings? If not (and I assume not), are you setting your Dynafits or others at the same RV value as your alpine bindings? If so, and you are still skiing out of the tech bindings, it is time to realize that you need to either adjust your technique (which may for some be unrealistic, but for others is an everyday occurrence) or else cut bait and use a different binding (perhaps even just a different brand/model of tech binding, or a frame type AT bindings).

    Beyond the above, if you actually DO ski out of your alpine bindings on occasion (just as Bode Miller has done, so it’s not unheard of), then do you have some sort of unrealistic expectation that tech bindings are actually going to somehow have better retention characteristics than alpine bindings? Tech bindings are good at keeping you in your skis, as millions of skier days prove every winter, but there is nothing about them that’s going to make tech bindings better at retention than modern high quality alpine bindings.

    So, what I’m doing is making a call to being realistic about who you are as a skier and what your needs are. Others here seem to be making the same point, only in a way that’s perhaps rubbed a few people the wrong way. Thus, I’m trying to be more neutral and simply present the reality of the situation.

  72. Sam F April 18th, 2011 7:46 am

    All I know Lou, is my dynafits ski well enough that 99.9 percent of the time I don’t even have to think about it.
    If these powertowers can allow me to not lock my toe for that last .1 percent of the time that’s pretty cool.
    Way to go dynafit if I can keep my “bad technique” and still have fun haha.

  73. Lou April 18th, 2011 8:09 am

    He he…. BTW, I didn’t us the word “bad.”

    I’m assuming you never pre-release from your alpine bindings?

  74. Sam F April 18th, 2011 10:13 am

    No, I don’t, but I’m not sure, that mean anything about my technique
    I don’t ski fast or fall often, inbounds or out. And in the places I enjoy the most a fall or a “prerelease” could be dire.
    So, I think what someone said about my DIN being set to high is probably accurate enough. But I justify it based on the kind of risk I’m taking.

  75. Lou April 18th, 2011 10:27 am

    Ok Sam, all things being equal, you are coming out of Dynafit set at the same (or close to same) RV your alpine bindings are set at? Forgive me if you’ve already mentioned this, but I just wanted to get specific.

  76. Sam F April 18th, 2011 1:55 pm

    My vert ST is cranked to 10, sollys at 11. skied some mellow pitched powder yesterday and tried to force a release( by decambering) of my ST, couldn’t do it. I came out of the sollys one time this year by getting the ski stuck on a rock and trying to turn.
    I really think, for me, release comes from the toe piece,seting my new edge aggressively on hard steep snow/ice. I say this because after a couple of scary releases in these scenarios I do lock my toes sometimes, and I never have a vertical release.

    Actaully the thought of a vertical release with my toes locked is probably the main reason I do t really like locking my toes.

  77. Lou April 18th, 2011 3:27 pm

    Sam, of course the decamber type of release is going to happen no matter what the RV value. (To the initiated, that kind of release simply means the tech binding pins get yanked out of the boot heel by a radically decambered ski. This can be simulated in the workshop by simply suspending a flexible tech binding equipped ski between two supports such as saw horses. Turn the ski upside down, radically weight it, and without much effort you can sometime get the boot to pop out at the heel. Setting the tech binding to the new 5.5 mm heel gap helps prevent this.

    I used to get this type of release quite often on the old TLT Dynafits while doing jump turns in really gloppy snow, on steep terrain, on flexible skis. The snow would get piled up on the skis, I’d move vertically, and pop up would come the heel without the ski… it’s been better with the newer Dynafit bindings with the longer pins, starting with the Comfort model and now ST/FT/Radical series.

  78. Sam F April 18th, 2011 3:53 pm

    Well in my post I tried to Indicate that I DONT get this sort of release. I tried in deep heavy wet snow to decamber them enough to release… But they didn’t.

    Again on ice if I edge HARD I can force what I consider a prerelease. I
    pretty familiar with how it happens. I was able ( when the resort was open) to find ice patchs on steep slopes, and force a release with a good hard short radius turn almost everytime i tried.With the toes locked I stayed in.

    Because dynafits ski very well, climb better than anything,and this only is an issue in certain areas, I’ll just ski the bindings and lock my toes when I feel the need.

  79. Lou April 18th, 2011 5:06 pm

    Sam, ok, sorry I didn’t get the gist. Good to describe the de-camber type of release anyway…

    Sounds like you’re getting the toe-wing-open type of inadvertent release I describe in my video etc. This is somewhat independent of the RV settings, but could be pretty much eliminated by the power towers.

    Will be interested in your experience with either Power Towers or the FT binding with the stronger toe wing springs.

    Thanks for being here.

    Lou

  80. John J April 19th, 2011 11:18 am

    Here’s a question I didn’t see in this long thread: Will those AFD brakes be adaptable to Comforts?

  81. Lou April 19th, 2011 11:46 am

    This is WildSnow.com, so I just ran out to the workshop and swapped the Radical brakes on to a pair of ST. Since ST uses same brake as Comfort, it’s safe to say that the AFD brakes would work with the Comfort. There you go. Anything else we can do in the workshop for you, I’m tired of sitting here at the computer (grin)?

  82. Gordon April 19th, 2011 12:01 pm

    :mrgreen: Ditto the question asked by John J! I assume that the new binding will have the same DIN range as the ST. Due to weight and age, I ski my ST’s at DIN=5. For the ST’s to pass a binding release test, I had to custom wind some ski brake return springs. The custom springs reduce the upward pressure exerted by the brake treadle on the boot heel. (P.S. I have extra springs available.)

  83. Lou April 19th, 2011 12:06 pm

    Gordon, yes, same RV range. It’s not DIN, by the way.

    As in previous comment, yes, you can swap on the brake with the AFD.

  84. Jonathan Shefftz April 19th, 2011 1:17 pm

    I thought they eeked out another number at the bottom end of the range?
    Or do I have to edit my chart yet again: http://www.wildsnow.com/3822/tech-binding-summary-chart/

  85. Lou April 19th, 2011 1:19 pm

    Jonathan, I was speaking in general, not specifics. I’ll run out to shop and check exact numbers. Back in a moment. Yeah, the Radical ST has a 4 printed on it, but the ST lateral release spring cover backs out to a position that is probably around 4, as does the ST vertical release. From everything I can see, it’s just a change in graphics… so I’d say the range is still the same, but if you like seeing the RV number printed on the side of the binding, then yeah, there is a 4 printed where there was none before. Both still go to 10, unfortunately not to eleven (grin).

  86. John J April 19th, 2011 3:13 pm

    Thanks, Lou. I’m sure your shop needs cleaning. You have my permission. :wink:

    Gordon, those custom brake springs sound very interesting.

  87. Gordon April 20th, 2011 12:23 pm

    John J… I very carefully engineered the OEM brake spring. Two can be used to totally replace the Dynafit supplied springs. Or, an OEM spring can be used in combination with a Dynafit spring for stronger brake deployment. The design objective was to create a binding and brake combination that would release (at low RV’s) within the statistical limits programmed into the current Wintersteiger binding tester. But, this approach might also have value for skiers that complain about brake behavior when changing into touring mode.

    The new brake might be just what I’ve been waiting for… or not. I’ll be first in line for purchase when they become available!

  88. Lou April 20th, 2011 12:29 pm

    Gordon, don’t you mean _aftermarket_ spring, not OEM? Or did you mean to write “I carefully reverse engineered the OEM spring?” OEM means original equipment manufacturer…

  89. Gordon April 20th, 2011 12:35 pm

    Lou,

    Depends on who you’ve worked for. If you’d like to change the post… please, by all means. In my career, our use of OEM was “other equipment manufacturer”. Not standard offering. Not stock. You get the picture.

  90. Lou April 20th, 2011 12:42 pm

    No problem, interesting use of the term. Just trying to keep things clear. In automotive OEM is frequently used to mean the original maker of stuff, as in swapping out an axle, you’d remove the “OEM” axle and swap in the “aftermarket” axle. So with ski boots I’d say I’m pulling out the OEM liner and fitting with an aftermarket liner, for example.

    But whatever communicates is fine, thanks for keeping it clear.

    ‘best, Lou

  91. Jonathan Shefftz April 25th, 2011 9:01 am

    Randosteve sez that the Radical still uses pozi screws for the heel? And that the crampon slot is incompatible with current crampon models?

  92. Lou April 25th, 2011 9:09 am

    Whatever. My ST Radicals have Torx screws in the heel, and all my Dynafit compatible crampons fit fine, including my Dynafit brand cramps, albeit a bit loosely. Perhaps Steve is speaking of the FT model with the connecting plate between toe and heel? In the case of the screws, so long as they’ve got the correct head (pan) and are correct length, either the pozis used with the original ST or the Torx that came with my review bindings will work…

    Lou

  93. Jonathan Shefftz April 25th, 2011 9:13 am

    Yes, he reviewed the FT.
    More specifically, he wrote:
    “I’m not sure why the heel-piece screws still remain posi-drive though…but they do.”
    – I suspect the answer is that the older screws were randomly substituted?
    “Improved Crampon Slot- I’m currently in a “sans ski-crampon” stage of my life, but the fully metal and larger diameter attachment point is sure to make putting on and taking them off easier, as well as make the connection point stronger. The downside is that none of your old ski crampons are compatible any more. I have three sets of ski crampons in the closet…so this is not good news.”
    – I’d be amazed if Dynafit were to render all ski crampons incompatible. Maybe he just confused the relatively loose fit with incompatibility?

  94. Lou April 25th, 2011 9:20 am

    I can easily guess that the FT screws remained posi because they are taper head instead of pan head, just as with the original FT, but really, it could be just because Dynafit had a bunch of screws they needed to unload. All those little costs add up. Or, the pre-production binders they’re sending around happen to have some pozi screws in the heel.

    Whatever the case, unless one wants to swap pozi screws back on their rig, they’ll have to carry yet another screw driver bit in their repair kit. Groan.

    As for the crampons, I’ve been using them… What more can I say, except that in this case we use what we review?

  95. Geoff April 25th, 2011 10:23 am

    Lou, do you know what the ramp angle is on the ST radicals?

  96. Mason April 25th, 2011 5:24 pm

    When all the new bindings come out I want to have Superlight toes and Speed heels. Does Dynafit sell them like this? The Superlight heels don’t have enough heel rise, I think…

  97. Bob April 26th, 2011 7:35 pm

    Lou,
    Are all of the new Radical bindings going to have the stiffer set of toe springs or just the FT model?

  98. John Gloor June 27th, 2011 9:51 pm

    HI Lou. I dug this out out of the archives because I am selling my current setup to pay for next years. I am interested in the Radial mostly due to the “power towers” as you call them. I bought a super stiff pair of 191 Fat carbon Bros and I need new bindings for them. I was looking at Plum Guides also, but they do not have the lateral toe support like the Radicals do. I have two questions. The first is, do you think the aluminum arms of the new Radicals are as strong as the steel arms of the FT/ST bindings? Plum has had some breakages with their aluminum arms.

    The second question is, Do you think the binding inserts from Qwiverkillers or Binding freedom are really stronger than a binding screw? With my last setup I installed them, and I am not convinced the 5/16 machine thread of the insert is any stronger than the deep knife threads on a typical binding screw. I only installed them because I had heard they are stronger. I will not be swapping bindings. Thanks

  99. James September 18th, 2011 3:32 pm

    “Once in a while (2 times a season) I pre-release vertical at the heel when jamming into a transition or powder pillow.”

    I’ve had this problem as well. I am around 78kg’s and haven’t had any other pre release issues.

    I’ve just bought a pair of Wailer112RP’s and am wondering if I should upgrade to the radicals as my FT’s have had a fair bit of action and I have had probelms with the metal plate slipping out from beneath the heal plate. Has anyone else had this problem

  100. James September 18th, 2011 3:35 pm

    I meant to ask if anyone had any advice for reducing the chance of the face plant release as I call it? Toes still clipped in, heel releases, face buried into snow and acting as very efficient brake. Friends pointing and laughing.

  101. Lou September 18th, 2011 4:06 pm

    Inherent in the design of all tech bindings is a known lack of vertical elasticity in the heel. If you set vertical release to a chart type of setting, using a DIN chart or RV values you’re familiar with, you may come out forward/up on occasion especially while resort skiing or bump skiing. Much of this has to do with how stiff your boot is, your weight, how stiff your ski is, and your ski style. But it is a design and engineering reality. Only two solutions, either dial up the vertical release setting, or ski with a bit more of a neutral style. I choose the latter.

    James, I have no idea what you mean by “the metal plate…”

    Lou

  102. T-bob September 26th, 2011 8:43 pm

    These new Radicals have put me into quite a dilemma. I’ve got a brand new pair of La Sportiva GT skis in the basement begging for a binding and I can’t decide. I rarely pop out of my bindings (once a season or so) so do not find the brakes a necessity. But they can be nice to have. Can the new Radical ST be skied without the brake to save a bit of weight? or should I just go with the Radical Speed and commit to chasing my skis when I pop and am not wearing the leashes (probably not going to wear them too often).

    Thanks folks,
    T-bob

  103. Lou September 26th, 2011 8:53 pm

    T, sure, any Dynafit binding can be used without the brake. But if you’re going to do that, then just get the Speed Radical or something like that….

  104. T-bob September 26th, 2011 9:06 pm

    Thanks Lou,

    We met late spring and I blamed my new found obsession with tech bindings on your writings and continue to do so. The fact that they far out perform all the rigs I’ve used prior may have something to do with it as well. As is obvious by the previous question, I’ve still got quite a deal to learn about the gear.

    T-bob

  105. patrick October 1st, 2011 2:27 pm

    lou-

    quick question – radical st or ft?

    switching from tele this year and i have no idea what my optimal din setting is. various online research and chats with local techs puts me at 8 or 9, depending. i weight 240 w/out gear and am tall. wondering that, if the st’s max din is 10, am i going to pop out?

    80/20 backcountry/resort. i’m not “extreme” and won’t be swilling diet redbulls then hucking cliffs, mostly skiing wasatch backcountry.

    can i get away with the radical st or would the radical ft be a better option because it goes to 12?

    thanks!

  106. John Gloor October 1st, 2011 7:32 pm

    Patrick, I am 225+ and ski FT12′s. I need a 13 setting. I would not even consider the STs if I were you. The FTs will still go to 8-9 if you want that setting, and they give you two more settings on the upper end

  107. Christian October 20th, 2011 1:44 pm

    I am sitting with the Radical FT in front of me. Initial carpet testing wasn’t too promising (i.e. the power towers does not stop the toe release). But, the toe lever seems very promising: it is spring loaded, and does indeed increase retention…and behaves like it was designed to be used “semi-locked”. After a release with the toe semi-locked the toe is open. The release in semi-locked mode is not abrubt and harsh like it was on the verticals, but smooth. I am not sure what to make of it…I wish it had passed the carpet test in ski mode, but the change in the lever might solve the problem… Not the revolution that was my hope, but maybe a nice increment?
    Any thoughts on the new spring loaded lever?

  108. bfly October 26th, 2011 10:18 pm

    Any thoughts on throwing out the connection plate on the Radical FT? The whole ‘shock absorber’ thing seems silly. I ski pretty stiff skis anyway and think the connection plate just adds weight. If you do remove them you have a gap in the front and rear bindings.

  109. Arthur October 27th, 2011 7:43 pm

    Lou. I have last years Stokes and am mounting the Radical FT on them. I’m using a shorter BSL boot so I need to fill the old holes. What do you recommend for that? My other question is the insert plate is dimpled and I think I’ll need to drill the forward holes into those dimples but is there insert material in the entire plate or will I have to drill the hole and prep it somehow?

    Thanks

  110. Lou October 27th, 2011 8:41 pm

    Fill the old holes with epoxy. Do a nice job of smoothing it out even with the top of the ski. Drill regular ski bit holes in the dimples, tap and epoxy. I don’t think there are inserts under those dimples, if there are you’ll know right away. All inserts have to be cleared with a ski bit anyway, so you’ll not be doing anything more than normal when you drill those dimples. Lou

  111. Nick October 29th, 2011 10:14 pm

    I was just about to ask the same question as bfly! I was wondering about filling in the hole with something easily removable like plasticine.

    Does anyone who has skied the FT care to comment if they can feel if changing the FT plate setting has any effect?

  112. Jack November 3rd, 2011 6:17 pm

    Lou, you wrote ‘ My conclusion is the Radical ST and FT Power Towers help, and might even totally prevent the rare but all too real pre-release some skiers experience in the Dynafit toe unit. Field use will be the only way to know for sure, as this type of inadvertent release is poorly understood and difficult to test for.’

    I’m one of these heavier and hard charging skiers with prerelease problems. Which toe binding is less prone to prerelease: the new Radical FT or the G3 Onyx ?

  113. Christian November 4th, 2011 2:34 am

    I would say Onyx from the initial test I have done – but cannot say for sure as the snow is melting away here….

  114. Dimitri November 4th, 2011 5:35 am

    consider the PLUM Guide as well, I have a set mounted on a soild workbench and am unable to replicate Lou’s “Toe Retention” release in ski mode.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6cETQwh6V8

    However, I have yet to ski on tech bindings. I am hoping these will be my best bet.

  115. Tob November 5th, 2011 7:24 pm

    Are the radical heel risers the same height as vertical?

  116. kt November 6th, 2011 7:50 pm

    upon receiving our first shipment of radical bindings, at our ski shop, the boys and I immediately ripped em out of the box and began to scrutinize them,, the toe looks great, with improved functionality across the board. But the heel risers seemed to be really flimsy and not very durable. enter boot and demo board, after some stomping around with a similar force as setting a icy step on a traverse, the new and improved heel risers failed. and by failed i mean broke off the heel piece. not so sweet. have you seen or expereinced any slop building in your demo paris lou?

  117. Mark W November 6th, 2011 9:04 pm

    Jonathan, I put a new Radical ST on display in our shop, and while doing so realized that one heel mount screw was missing. I substituted a Vertical screw after carefully comparing one with the new Torx 20 screw. They appear identical apart from the interface of tool and screw head.

  118. Peter R November 6th, 2011 10:07 pm

    Lou,

    I recently bought a set of the Radical bindings and wanted to mount them myself. No binding pattern came with the binding package, so I downloaded your pattern, but all of the instructions print out in a series of squares, instead of letters.
    I’m on a Mac computer and have run into this problem before.
    Is there any way I could get you to send me the pattern sheet vis snail mail?

  119. Lou November 7th, 2011 4:48 am

    Peter, I’d recommend simply finding another computer hooked to a printer. Our templates are basic PDF files, nothing fancy or weird about them that has ever come to light.

    I will ask around and see if anyone else has trouble printing them. I use a “PDF maker” hooked to Microsoft Word, so perhaps that system isn’t 100% standard… I’m no expert on how to evaluate a PDF, so not sure how far I can go with trouble shooting…

    KT, I didn’t have any trouble last winter when I tested the Radical. I was on them for quite a few days. Am waiting for another test pair. They ran out of bindings because of demand.

  120. Jack November 8th, 2011 4:48 am

    Lou, the past days I tried to read every post on this Dynafit prerelease ‘thing’. And I apologize for bringing the matter up again, increasing the risk of you getting a carpal syndrome ;-)
    Question: Since I never had any issues with the Vertical heel unit, do you think it is possible to discard my Vertical toe bindings and mount Radical toe bindings ? I don’t need to re-use the carbon plate of the FT’s and I don’t mind redrilling new holes for the Radical toe bindings.

  121. Sandy Detillieux November 8th, 2011 7:06 pm

    First, I must say that I’m glad to have finally gotten around to this info rather than being stuck on the blog from mid January.
    Lou
    on April 13th, 2011 @ 5:48 pm
    you wrote that for boots with their fittings mounted aft, “because the boots fit so snug, ice on the boot toe during binding entry could be a problem.”
    Is this a serious problem?

    Thanks

  122. Lou November 8th, 2011 7:22 pm

    Sandy, it is a minimal to imaginary problem.

    As for my multiple product blogs, huge amount of work but sometimes it’s tough to keep it all working in a way that helps folks due to how Google indexes things.

  123. TL November 14th, 2011 4:51 am

    Hey,

    Got new radical FT’s today and test stepped them at home. When detaching boot, the spring under other AFD popped out. It seems to be a “V-shaped” spring and now other tip is pointing out and the AFD-plate doesn’t return automatically in to the center position. Has this happen to anyone else and is there any way to repair it? I already sent mail to Dynafit(Salewa) but they will probably take some time to answer.

  124. Lou November 14th, 2011 7:09 am

    Everyone, keep an eye on what TL is relating…

  125. TL November 14th, 2011 7:26 am
  126. Tony S. November 14th, 2011 11:09 am

    Great, this must be the reason for the already planned “changes” to the brake for next year.

  127. Lou November 14th, 2011 11:13 am

    I’ll bet that AFD is there to keep TUV happier or because it was deemed impossible to get people to just dial down their lateral RV setting a hair when using brakes. Gad, I just don’t see TUV doing us any good at all when it comes to tech bindings… and man oh man, amazing how tough it is to get people to fine tune their RV…

  128. Gordon November 14th, 2011 11:29 am

    I have the requirement for reliable release at low RV’s (at or near RV=5). From my bench work, I’m convinced that the AFD is a key ingredient in making this possible. For example, there is huge variation between individual brakes in the upward force exerted by the actuator springs. While waiting for a better solution, I had custom springs wound for the existing design. The news that the brake isn’t a robust design is very disappointing.

  129. Lou November 14th, 2011 11:37 am

    Gordon, I hear you, except the AFD has nothing to do with the upward force other than friction created thereof, is that what you mean? In other words, one would have to _raise_ their vertical release value and _lower_ their lateral to compensate for brakes. What’s interesting, is some slightly shifted marks on the binding would take care of this. Also, if you look at the DIN ISO standard that the tech binding RV numbers are based on, you’ll see there is significant fudge factor. In my opinion, change in RV falls withing the DIN standard fudge factor, thus making this whole thing somewhat moot since the numbers printed on the binding are only a guideline anyway.

    In fact, don’t most binding manuals still recommend or even say they require the binding to be tested on a release check machine for actual RV? Jonathan?

  130. TL November 14th, 2011 3:22 pm

    I did some inspection with my break and it seems that some sort of small holder thingy that keeps the tip of the spring in place, has broken. I gently pushed the tip back under the AFD-plate with small screwdriver and it sounded like it popped back to it’s place. The plate now works almost as it is supposed to (glides from center to right and left) and returns from left but not from right and sometimes the spring pops out. I will probably take the spring out if possible or cut off the tip that popped out and live with it. I just have to slide the AFD-plate back to center every time I step on to ski. I’m still curious to see what the people from Dynafit will say.

  131. Lou November 14th, 2011 3:54 pm

    TL, you can always use the former style brakes, without the AFD, and just dial your lateral release back a half number or so…

  132. Jonathan Shefftz November 14th, 2011 4:51 pm

    Compensating for bootbinding interface friction by lowering the RV setting is less than ideal (to put it mildly). Remember, the big advance in alpine downhill binding safety in the 1970s came about mainly because of reducing friction there.
    The official alpine downhill binding spec is amazingly wide open — it roughly translates into +/- one entire RV is still considered passing (though the details are a bit more complicated than that). Moreover, what constitutes your official recommended RV is very subjective too, and also very “lumpy” in the sense that 1mm in bsl can mean jumping between categories. In this day of smart phone apps, clearly what they need is an app that is based on the formula underlying those charts, so that it wouldn’t be so jumpy.
    As for the new Dynabrake AFD, all sorts of alpine downhill mechanical AFDs have had all sorts of problems, so unfortunately I’m not surprised at this latest glitch. But the brake does present some tricky friction problems, since unlike the toe AFD on an alpine downhill binding, we have friction from both the boot pressing down and the brake pressing up (although I don’t know how significant the latter is).

  133. Lou November 14th, 2011 5:21 pm

    Thanks Jonathan, on the whole I agree. But in the case of the Dynafit brake, the full pressure of the boot is never on it, and the boot heel doesn’t have to move very far to the side before it’s not a factor at all, so I believe (and field testing bears out) that friction problems on the brake actuator pad are minimal to non existent. That is, except in the case where a lug of the boot sole actually catches on it. Not sure the AFD would help with that, any way… I’m not against the AFD, I guess my main point is that after all these years without it, I have to think it’s not a big deal, otherwise we’d have people limping around all over the planet from failed Dynafit heel lateral release. Again, I think it’s more an effort to satisfy TUV, or else just a way to try and eliminate that last 1% of release incidents that fail without it (good reason to have it) or else just a way to simplify and _reduce cost_ as the previous brakes had to be provided with a whole new set of springs, and expectation they’d get installed (which was iffy). Lou

  134. Arthur November 21st, 2011 3:49 pm

    I’m about 10 or so tours in on my Radical FTs and one of the AFD plates is already gone. I haven’t released out of the bindings or anything yet so I’m assuming that it popped out and into the snow while stepping out of the binding over the weekend. The sliding plate seems like its ready for failure or getting stuck as TL stated above. I think I’ll be switching back to pre-AFD brakes shortly but I’ll wait and see what Salewa has to say this week. I wasn’t super sold on the AFD to begin with as more moving parts are just more things that can fail.

    Anyone else had the plate totally pop out yet?

  135. Lou November 21st, 2011 4:34 pm

    Arthur, we did have another report of something like that (see above). The guy didn’t totally lose the AFD,but the spring popped out. I think the AFD is a good idea, as anything that could improve release could save knees, but it’s also somewhat of a “fixing what works” kind of thing. If fixing what works still works and doesn’t add weight, then so be it. But.

  136. Geof November 21st, 2011 9:35 pm

    A tib/fib fracture in the backcountry one year ago today has me obsessing about Dynafit lateral release for the first time in the 10 years I’ve been skiing them. I decided to retire 2 pairs of the TLT classics (with their rare ski-brakes) for Vertical ST on my Mantras and Radical ST on Baker SL — outfitting both with the AFD ski brake. Careful work with my Dremel keeps boot lugs out of the way during lateral release. I just got the skis back from testing tonight and they appear to perform no better than my old TLTs.

    Like Gordon, age and weight had them trying to set them up at DIN 5. The skis I busted my leg on were set at DIN 7 lateral. On the machine they released at DIN 7 without the brake and DIN 10+ with. I need to pop off the brakes of the new bindings and have them tested again. What I really need is a binding test machine in my garage. :-) There are a bunch of combinations I would like to try. It isn’t fair to Dynafit to draw too many conclusions with my limited testing. For that matter, it certainly isn’t conclusive that not getting a lateral release led to my broken leg.

    Gordon, I’m interested in your custom springs. Lou, go ahead and pass on my email address.

    Hopefully the AFD durability problems are random manufacturing issues, because they certainly should improve lateral release consistency — and I made some buying decisions based on them. They will not be part of my summer skiing kit, however. They don’t look dirt tolerant.

  137. Gentle Sasquatch November 22nd, 2011 6:47 am

    When adjusting the heel release – screwing counter clockwise (out of the heel) will make it easier to release?

  138. Lou November 22nd, 2011 8:32 am

    Whatever gives you lower numbers. Check this blog post and leave comment there if you still have trouble with it. Lou

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

  139. Gentle Sasquatch November 22nd, 2011 9:03 am

    Thanks, I was just checking it out in the store and I did not see any numbers on the heel pieces. Perhaps I have not looked well enough. :-)

  140. slave.to.turns November 28th, 2011 2:24 pm

    Mounted up new Radical Speed’s the other day ….housing broke on the heel piece, while touring uphill, within 30 minutes. Seems to have cracked and about half of the plastic housing surrounding the post is missing. Already into the shop to be warrantied.

    My 4th pair of Dynafits and the first mega failure. Anyone else?

  141. Lou November 28th, 2011 3:09 pm

    Hmmmmm, that is disconcerting but at least it happened right away!

  142. Geof November 28th, 2011 10:27 pm

    Follow-up on my “Failed” Lateral Release Test of both the Radical and Vertical with AFD Ski Brake. I also reference the Classic TLT and its ancient brake.

    I compared my Dynafit Tourlite Tech boots with my re-soled Zzeros (with Garmont Soles) and discovered that with both the Vertical ST and Classic TLT bindings the brake is not near fully depressed. This presents a brake that needs further depressing by the plastic “touring tang” during lateral release. Not good. It goes a long way toward explaining the 3+ DIN points difference between brakes and no brakes on the rig that I broke my leg on: re-soled Zzero with Classic TLT binding and brake.

    The Radicals only have 1 touring tang, and it is set back further than the Verticals and Classics. In the only direction it could get in the way, during a CW lateral release, it makes very little contact with the brake, even with the re-soled Zzeros. During a CCW release: no tang; no contact. This is a big plus for the Radicals.

    Brakes have a 2-stage spring when compressed, and there is less upward force on the boot and after compressing through the second stage. My re-soled Zzeros do not get the brake solidly into that second stage. This could explain why the Radicals didn’t “Pass” lateral on my recent test. (They wouldn’t release DIN 5 set at DIN 4.)

    So folks, the big question is are my re-soled Zzeros an anomaly, or are your boots far from fully depressing your brakes? Are you solidly past the second-stage of the brake spring? Set lateral release to 5 and twist. When does the touring tang make contact with the brake?

    So after this round of testing I’m feeling a lot better about my Radicals. I’ll get the boot sole issue figured-out and I’ll follow-up.

    I sent some pictures to Lou.

  143. Patrik December 2nd, 2011 6:39 am

    Hey Lou,

    Its been lots of talking about the heel-rise. To me it just looks really fragile, especially in medium position. Have you heard anything about the heel-rise breaking from too much pressure? To me it looks like it’s only one pin/screw holding it all in place.

    I’m just picturing me slipping with one ski while walking and then by instinct applying lots of pressure on the other one to stand still and not slide backwards. I’m a bit afraid that the pin will wear out or that the aluminum heel-rise will crack.

    Any comment to that?

    /The Swede

  144. Lou December 2nd, 2011 8:57 am

    Me and many others have given them a good test over the past year. They work. Probably no more fragile than the old style, which occasionally broke from people twisting on them like they were using a crowbar in demolition project.

    What’s gives me a chuckle about your take is that used to always be the question about Dynafit bindings in general. Now we know the bindings work, so we’re thinking the heel lift looks too tiny and fragile. Nothing about tech bindings will ever look beefy, I hope (grin).

    Lou

  145. Sarah December 6th, 2011 3:11 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I am new here, but I have found your website extremely helpful. I have always been interested in AT, but have small feet (ladies 5.5). I finally found a pair of Dynafit boots in a 22.5, they might be a little big but should be better than touring in my Alpine boots. Now that I have actual AT boots, I can get Dynafit bindings.

    I would like to get the Radical ST because I don’t want a leash and I figure the heel lifters might be a little more convenient for me as a new Dynafit user.

    I have BD Ethics (79mm waist), but it looks like the Radical ST comes only with a 100mm brake. Do you think that would be a problem to have a 20mm difference?

  146. Lou December 6th, 2011 3:23 pm

    Sarah, they’re probably ok for a few days of messing around, but I think you’d want narrower brakes. A set of of 92 mm brakes would probably work great. http://www.backcountry.com/dynafit-ski-stopper-tlt-vertical-comfort-crampon

  147. Jonathan Shefftz December 6th, 2011 3:41 pm

    Sarah, I recently mounted the Radical ST on the Dynafit Se7en Summits — 1mm narrower than your BD Ethics. The excessive brake width didn’t seem like it would cause any sort of problems.

  148. Lou December 6th, 2011 3:44 pm

    Jonathan’s take is more current than mine. I don’t have any current mounts of wimpy skinny sticks around here (grin).

  149. JakeS December 6th, 2011 6:19 pm

    Lou / Jonathan

    I’m also close to pulling the trigger on the Radical STs.
    They only seem to be available with the 100mm brakes.
    The intended skis are K2 Coomba with a 102 mm waist.
    Do you think they would work or would I have to buck up for the 110s?
    Or I guess go with the FTs. 100 bucks more for a RV I don’t need.
    Thanks for all your good info.

  150. Jonathan Shefftz December 6th, 2011 6:47 pm

    Based on my prior experience in modifying 92mm Comfort brakes to fit wider skis, I strongly suspect that some minor splaying of the 100mm Radical brake arms (and/or grinding down of the plastic end’s interior) will do the trick for a 102mm ski. Just be careful if you try to splay (as opposed to rebend at a different point) the brake arms that you apply the pressure to each individual arm, as opposed to pulling apart the brake mechanism. And be careful with any grinding of the plastic end to ensure that enough remains to keep the plastic attached to the metal.

  151. Lou December 6th, 2011 7:06 pm

    I grind the plastic off the inside of the brake arms pretty often. Works great to add a few millimeters to either side, but yeah, you don’t want just a metal spear there. If you do grind too much off, you can lam a bit of duct tape over the end of the metal, after rounding over any sharp edges.

  152. Jasper December 11th, 2011 7:29 pm

    Is it possible to get this binding with a 110mm brake, or does it only come with the 110mm brake? Will the 100mm brake work on a pair of last years Coombas, which I believe have a 102mm waist.

    Thanks

  153. Jasper December 11th, 2011 7:32 pm

    I suppose I should read the comments before I post next time. Info right in front of my nose, but thanks anyway and keep the ideas coming.

  154. BCskier December 13th, 2011 3:32 pm

    Hi I want to buy the new Speed radical and notice that this article says that the mounting holes for the toe pieces have changed and are now 12mm farther ahead. Will they still fit the insert pattern on the Manaslu?

    Also, does the heel piece on the new Speed radical have enough adjustment to fit all boots sizes (well 310 anyway) on the Manaslu? The old speed did not, as i just found out, but the new one seems to have more range of adjustment?

  155. Lou December 13th, 2011 3:46 pm

    Aha, now I get to start billing Dynafit customer service for my help desk (grin).

    New Manaslu, yes, old Manaslu, no, you have to drill two new holes (I just did so on a pair, no big deal.

    The Speed model has very little for/aft adjustment, TLT/ST/Vertical/Radical has quite a bit, see
    http://www.wildsnow.com/1542/dynafit-boot-size-length-range-adjustment/

    I’m not sure the new Speed has much more adjustment, if any.

    Shucks, I guess I’ll have to defer to Dynafit customer service. So much for the invoice I was just preparing. Or, Jonathan or Bill Bollinger? Does new Speed Rad have any more for/aft than the old TLT/Speed?

    Lou

  156. John Milne December 14th, 2011 8:52 am

    The Speed Radical has the same fore/aft adjustment as the other Radicals/Verticals, 25mm total.

    Also, you’ll only have to drill holes in the Manaslu (new ones have dimples, most old ones don’t) if you use the outside set of holes indicated on the sticker on the ski. If you can get away with the inside set based on your BSL, placing the toe in the 1st and 4th inserts will position the toe pins in the same position as the Vertical series would be in the 2nd/4th inserts.

  157. slave.to.turns December 21st, 2011 11:30 am

    As I posted here on 11/25, I had a heel piece break on me while touring…day 1. Still no replacement from Dynafit (SPEED UP, Dynafit customer service) but they have acknowledged a problem.

    http://www.dynafit.com/news/news-detail/necessary-technical-upgrades-to-radical-bindings.html

    No fluke. No binding, either..

  158. TL December 27th, 2011 8:51 am

    That AFD problem wasn’t just a bad piece of gear. First touring day for this season and for the radicals and other bindings AFD-plate broke exactly the same way(=small spring popped out). It still works but now both bindings are looking a bit silly. Maybe I just have to ask dynafit to send new brakes…

  159. Shawn December 28th, 2011 9:49 am

    Hi Lou. Just got my new radical ft mounted at the shop. When I got home I noticed on one of the skis the rear pins aren’t perfectly lined up with the slots that guide the pins into the fitting. They are close and do engage but wondering whether this will/may cause any issues (wear on boot and or binding, release reliability, etc). Should I fix this so it lines up perfectly or not a big deal? The other ski is perfect. Thanks. Cheers.

  160. Lou December 28th, 2011 10:01 am

    Groan. I wish I had a penny for every time a shop “tech” has screwed this up. Yes, they should be near perfect or perfect, as it’s incredibly easy to get them there. Caveat is if the boots are even slightly different in terms of how toe fittings align with heels, you’ll never get both bindings “perfect” when you swap skis from left to right, so make sure the shop tech wasn’t actually being a good boy and mounted bindings for left and right boot…. Lou

  161. SteveG December 28th, 2011 10:23 am

    Perhaps, if both boots show the same misfit, loosening the toe screws and re tightening with the proper cross pattern will fix it.

  162. Lou December 28th, 2011 12:27 pm

    Steve, yeah, that’s basically what is usually done, sometimes however one must re-seal all the screws with some glue…

  163. Shawn December 28th, 2011 9:16 pm

    Thanks Lou. Really appreciate all your advice and sharing your experiences. You are about to get a few pennies richer. I double checked both boots on both skis. On mine one ski is perfect with both boots and the other is off with both boots by about half the pin. On my wife’s both are off a bit with both boots…one by about 1/3rd of the pin and the other just catches the lip of the rubber sole…so prob 2mm and 1mm respectively. I’m a long drive from the shop that mounted them so I’ll be fixing myself (prob a good thing anyway). Like you mentioned above I want to re-glue them when I slack off the screws. Having never mounted a dynafit binding, ok to remove all 4 front screws or should I slack them all off, remove one at a time to re-glue, then realign, and re-tighten? There should be enough wiggle room once I slack off the toe to align them perfectly yes? Thanks again Lou. Cheers and Happy New Year.

  164. Lou December 28th, 2011 9:27 pm

    2 mm is too much especially if it catches the rubber when trying to stomp down and get the boot engaged to the binding. 1 mm is ok but like I said I like mine to be near perfect.

    You can remove all the screws at once. If you don’t have much experience with binding mounting, your challenge will be to tighten just the right amount.

    Lou

  165. SteveG December 28th, 2011 9:40 pm

    Lou, are you being modest? I too am 6+ hours from a shop that knows Dynafit and I used your instructions on this site to mount my Comforts and they came out perfect. They were the first alpine bindings I ever mounted and as a mater of fact, I had never skied on or even held in my hand, a Dynafit binding. We had 1″ of snow here today, first snow in over 30 days. :D

  166. SteveG December 28th, 2011 9:46 pm

    But I did strip a screw, well ok, 2 screws, on a Manaslu that was my 2nd Dynafit mount. :(

  167. Rob January 13th, 2012 3:43 pm

    Lou – I recently had my new Radical STs mounted on K2 Waybacks by a shop in Chamonix. On my first full day of use, skiing hard pack at La Grave, the entire toe release lever disappeared. Apparently the pin holding that assembly to the binding failed. Amazingly, my ski partners found the release lever on the next run, while I was doing the download of shame back to the village to seek repairs. A savvy tech was able do a temp fix, but a failure so soon is a bit distressing! This is my first pair of Dynafits, and other than this problem, I love ‘em!

  168. Erik Knudsen January 30th, 2012 5:16 pm

    Hi – I just had the new Radical ST bindings installed and there is slop in the brake (it moves up and down a few mm when in walk mode). I documented this here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtkkyt-gt2A
    Does anyone else have this? Is this an issue?
    Thanks!!!

  169. John Gloor January 30th, 2012 5:33 pm

    Erik, I just mounted my Radicals, and they do the same thing as yours. If it really bothers you, you might be able to bend up the semi-circular plate which holds the brake up when in walk mode. That would push the brake down that last 1/16″ so it would not make the annoying click. Lou might have a better solution

  170. Lou January 30th, 2012 5:42 pm

    Wow Erik, I feel like a total lamo for not having noticed that during my extensive testing and use of the Radical! Kudos to your powers of observation! It indeed appears to be endemic to the binding, not unique to yours. Mine do it too, I must not of noticed due to damping effect of snow on and under the brake when touring in flat-heel mode.

    I checked the older Vertical ST/FT models, and the brake folds up nice and solid, no clicking or movement.

    I’d say use the binding and see if it’s really any problem. I’d also say that I find this to be disappointing, and have to wonder if after thousands and thousands of strides there might not be something that wears from that clicking.

    Saving grace is the older style brake fits Radical just fine, and does nest down nicely. I just checked.

    Have to say I’m getting tired of all this B.S. Vertical ST is still beautiful. I’ll say it, for most people that’s the binding I’d recommend. The Vertical FT is pretty nice as well, but essential to mount it with the Power Blocks as the toe base is too narrow. I just mounted some Vertical FT, and they had the stronger toe springs, along with a few other tiny inline improvements.

  171. Erik Knudsen January 30th, 2012 9:12 pm

    Thanks Lou! That was fast. I’ll just live with this for now, and I’ll send a message to dynafit…hopefully they’ll fix this on later versions. I wonder if this is also an issue on the FT’s…
    Also, thanks for your 14ers book! I used it to climb 30 14ers during my short time in Colorado (13 years ago). That book was the ultimate guide and I still have it!!!!

  172. Dave February 5th, 2012 3:05 am

    I fractured my right leg three days ago in a twisting fall due to the toe pre-releasing on these bindings. I was skiing on wind hardened, rutted snow on a steep slope. The pre-release that broke my leg was the third pre-release I encountered on the same run on the left ski. The first two times, I attributed the pre-release to snow that had been packed under the springs. I had completely cleaned out the snow before the third pre-release, thinking incorrectly that I had fixed the problem. I should have hiked down after the second pre-release. I don’t think din is an issue because it is set the same for both skis, yet only the left ski was pre-releasing. In fact, the din may have been set too high because my right ski hung on firmly through the fall, fracturing my right tibia.

  173. Jack February 5th, 2012 6:30 am

    Dave, sorry to hear you suffered a fracture because of a prerelease. I had (too) many prereleases with the Vertical FT’s. After careful inspection I’ve found that alignment between the toe and heel on one of my skis was causing some of the prereleases. The other (suspected) causes were: too agressive skiing on hardpacked snow, and snow or ice under the toebinding. Obviously, one should not ‘push’ a tech binding to its limits by mounting them on light, wide and soft skis which are prone to chatter on hardpacked snow. In the pow, I had zero prereleases but on hardpacked snow I even had prereleases with locked toes. I found the following remedies: 1. Swapped the Vertical FT’s for G3 Onyxes 2. Switched to heavier skis which were less prone to develop chatter on hardpacked snow 3. Adjusted my skiing style on hardpacked snow (lower speed, less edging). After switching to the Onyxes I only had one prerelease (entirely my fault, tried to perform an emergency stop while skiing too fast). All in all, after trying for several years to demand too much from my tech bindings, I came to the conclusion I needed to adjust to tech bindings, not the other way around…..

  174. Dave February 5th, 2012 7:08 am

    Jack,

    Like you, I had no problem in the pow. In fact, on the four pow days prior to my fall, I did not even bother to clean out the snow under toe springs. I just stepped in and skied and had no pre-releases. The day of the crash was the first time I had ever skied the Dynafits mounted on my S7s on hard snow. I was not skiing very aggressively, but the S7s are light, wide and chatter terribly on hard snow. Perhaps the Dynafit/S7 combination is not a good one.

  175. Jack February 5th, 2012 7:20 am

    Dave, did you check (using your boots) the (toe/heel) alignment of your bindings ? The toe binding is much more prone to prerelease because a poor alignment is putting a preload on the toe binding.

    BTW: If a boot is not straight, it will cause the same preloading problem.

  176. Lou February 5th, 2012 7:55 am

    Dave, truly sorry to hear about that. I hope modern medical care does you good and you heal fast!

    As you guys are all alluding to, a zillion things can cause a tech binding (or any binding, for that matter) to be prone to accidental release. The main thing as Dave discovered is if you do have a problem, deal with it immediately or switch to another binding system. More, tech bindings are indeed not for everyone, they compromise between the up and the down, they are not an alpine binding.

    If you search WildSnow you can find a ton of info on this subject, it’s really one of our main topics.

    Here is one such post:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/1549/dynafit-release-adjustment-tips-tricks/

  177. Lou February 5th, 2012 8:14 am

    Dave, can you give us some details? What brand/model boots, who mounted the bindings, how you determined your RV value setting, whether your boots were aligned near perfect at the heel, what type/length of skis, your size, weight, age, whether you were resort skiing or backcountry skiing? Thanks, Lou

  178. Dave February 5th, 2012 9:22 am

    Thanks Lou. After reading some posts on Wildsnow and performing some experiments on my living room floor, I am about 75% certain the pre-release was caused by a combination of ice in the sockets and the rough, teeth rattling terrain I was skiing. I am still uncertain why the pre-release only happened on the left ski. Before the run, I had been climbing though thigh deep powder, so both boot sockets should have had the same amount of ice in them.

    Pulling the toe levers all the way up to touring mode is a good test to ensure the prongs are engaged fully. In one experiment, I half filled each socket with wax paper and was unable to pull the toe lever up far enough to click into tour mode.

    Here are some details:

    Boots – Dynafit Zzeus

    Bindings were mounted by a professional shop certified by Dynafit. The shop determined the RV value setting for me. It appears to be set on the 7 line.

    How does one determine near perfect alignment at the heel? The prongs appear to match up with the cutouts at the back of the boot, but I notice that when I lock the boot down at the heel, the rear piece turns slightly. Would a picture provide useful information to you?

    Skis are Rossignol S7, 114 mm underfoot, 178 cm length.

    Size = 5′ 10″, 165 lbs., age 42

    I was skiing backcountry.
    Dave

  179. Lou February 5th, 2012 9:58 am

    Most likely culprit is probably ice in the sockets. Yeah, you can try to lock to eval, but to prevent, you want to get your foot into the toe, then while leaving the heel unlocked swing your foot so the binding pins pivot in the boot sockets, thus cutting out ice, while doing so wriggle your boot side-to-side a bit and see if it seems firmly seated, when all is good, stomp your heel down into the binding. Ice under the toe wings can also be quite problematic.

    As for why one ski came off and not the other, you’ll never know. It’s common in accidental release for one ski to come off. Watch some World Cup footage.

    As for RV settings, 7 sounds ok for your starting point. If you can determine whether you came out vertically or to the side, you might want to dial that setting up perhaps 1/2 (or even more if you’re an aggressive skier and only fall rarely). Bear in mind that the DIN standard for release values has quite a bit of fudge factor for actual value as compared to what the numbers on the binding say, so it’s up to the user to fine tune. I forgot what the allowed deviation is, but it is substantial. Bear in mind also that no tech binding has any sort of certification, all those numbers and everything are strictly voluntary in terms of how they match the DIN standards.

    Personally, I’ve had a few accidental releases such as you describe, one on demo gear that wrecked my shoulder for a year, and perhaps even permanently. A friend of mine also had a tech binding accidental release last year that wrecked a shoulder, resulting in major surgery. My fall was my fault as I should have set the demo bindings up with a bit higher RV and wasn’t thinking. I’m quite a bit more careful these days about demo gear, and my style of skiing when I test gear.

  180. Dave J February 5th, 2012 10:52 am

    Lou, do you think that tech bindings will ever move towards being fully release safety certified as in DIN or similar? Is this something the manufacturers are working on?

  181. Lou February 5th, 2012 11:13 am

    Probably not until they change the DIN/ISO standards to accommodate tech bindings, or else make a new standard for them. More, it’s my view that the tech binding form factor itself needs a revision, to tech 2.0, wider at the heel, a bit larger sockets at the toe, larger diameter spindle in the heel unit, etc. In my view, they could do such a thing and only add a few grams to the system. But it would again remain a system without a standard as getting any sort of new DIN/ISO standard for a new ski binding system is a nightmarish maze of complexity, cost, and squabbles. It’s actually pretty amazing the industry agreed to the current DIN standards.

    BTW, the terminology “release safety certified” is misleading. DIN binding standards are indeed related to how the binding releases, but they by no means guaranteed to have anything close to 100% “release safety.” Thousands of people badly hurt themselves every year on ski bindings certified to DIN standards. All the certification means is that that TUV tested the design to the DIN/ISO standard, and the DIN/ISO ski binding standards have remained pretty much the same for years, along with how the bindings hurt people (by not releasing correctly).

  182. Jack February 5th, 2012 1:21 pm

    Lou, I really like the idea of a tech 2.0 standard. Did you propose your idea to the manufacturers out there ? I already mentioned a while ago, a tech 2.0 will be very interesting (commercially) for the companies making tech bindings and boots. Imagine a skier has two options: tech 1.0 bindings for ascending and ‘normal’ descending or tech 2.0 bindings for ascending and ‘rough’ descending. I even think (with special heel plates) a boot could be fitted for tech 1.0 or tech 2.0.

  183. Christian February 6th, 2012 4:01 am

    Really hope for a 2.0 version myself, or at least new design of the front binding: would like it to only move sideways, and not like a “tulip”… Not as user friendly, but would eliminate the prerealese question for me.

    S7+dynafit+ice seems to push the combination a bit. On sub 90mm skis dynafit is acceptable for me, but with 115mm waist skis on hard surfaces I prerelease while not skiing hard at all (i.e. I can loose a ski, but do not fall). Same was true for Onyx, so I ended up with the Marker Tour for my wider pair. The Tour is OK, but I think dynafit walks and skis better (except for the prerelease).

  184. Greg Louie February 6th, 2012 10:08 am

    What the consumer really could use (at least this consumer) is a spring actuated 14 DIN releasing toe that works with tech fittings – paired with a light, alpine-like heel that doesn’t rely on two tiny pins and has a fair bit of vertical elasticity. 1,000 grams or less for the set would be fine, compatibility with current tech fittings would be good for sales. Since the Trab TR1 seems to be mired in Scarpa corporate quicksand, there’s plenty of opportunity for someone like Marker, Look or Salomon to step up . . .

  185. Brent February 6th, 2012 10:39 am

    Its always surprising to me when I hear about people equating pre-release to wider skis. I ski Dynafits (Vertical ST/FT) on BD Megawatts 125mm, BD Zealots 110mm, and DPS Wailer 112s (laterally stiff!!) and I have never had a pre-release, ever, and I love to carve those DPS skis on hard pack at high speed, they rail! I do believe you are having trouble, but I still suspect a mismount, or some other defect in the system.

  186. Lou February 6th, 2012 11:18 am

    Brent, I agree. Iv’e skied wide skis and I’ve skied tiny toothpicks. The 1970s euro sticks shake around and vibrate like crazy, and actually take more force to initiate a turn, no reason they’d be any less prone to prerelease. As I keep repeating till I’m red in the face, all bindings prerelease at times, unless they’re set to have virtually no safety release (such as locking a Dynafit toe and setting vertical release to RV12). I’d agree that tech bindings at normal RV settings are more prone to prerelease than a good quality alpine binding, due primarily to elasticity, but I’ve seen no proof any of that has to do with ski width. And once you know the parameters of tech bindings you can compensate by adjusting ski style, dialing up RV settings a bit, and that sort of thing.

    Also, again, tech bindings are not for everybody. That’s another thing I feel like I’m getting red in the face from repeating.

  187. Christian February 6th, 2012 12:30 pm

    For me the pattern is clear: wider skis leads to more prereleases. For me it has nothing to do with shattering; it happens when I edge the skis. It is worse when I do SL turns. GS turns works better. Adjusting the RV does not affect when it happens. My boots and skis, multiple pairs over many years, have been inspected by different dynafit competence centers. I have skied dynafit since 2000. (I tried with the vertical ft, but ended with narrower skis. I then tried with the radical ft, then with the onyx (on glacier with powder and year old blue ice – before going for marker tour). If the edge digs into the snow, I have noe problem.

    The one thing that does help is to ski slightly in the back seat – but I really do not want to change the technique I have accumulated from age 1 1/2, numerous years of racing (mostly SL) etc. On narrower skis I can ski with the same technique, but with maybe 80% the input. Sure, I can get down with wider skis, but not with a style that appeals to me. I do not ski hard, but very precise. When it is hard I ski with flat skis, before edging hard and short. I ski vertical st on mustagh ata unlocked, which works most of the times (I am cautious on blue ice). I can ski ATK Race on dynafit race skis unlocked(!) at higher speed than I can with wide skis….

    Personally I think it has to do with the snow conditions we ski in, the amount of sliding/slarwing that we find acceptable etc. Imagine powder in a colouir, iced moguls, blue ice, thick frozen crust and some breakable crust – then you have the something near the conditions I ski.
    (And, yes I have released from both dynafit and other bindings due to too low din-settings, but that is something completely different: the dynafit prerelease seems to be a rotational release, and not vertical/horizontal as a regular release.)

    Why do I bother to discuss this? Because I do not think there will come a solution before the problem is “universally” accepted, and I want to do all my touring with dynafits. I believed in the radical…but I am now awaiting the next iteration!

  188. Lou February 6th, 2012 2:42 pm

    Thanks Christian, that is a valuable take. I’m thinking I might stand corrected at least to some degree. On the other hand, I can’t help but wonder if there might be a smidgen of causation problem with this. In that you’d have to have the same exact boots, turn style and snow conditions, along with many many instances of pre-release, before you could know for 100% sure that wider skis = more prerelease. For example, if you ski wider skis 2x as much as narrow skis, and experience 2x as much prerelease, is that because of the wider skis, or because you’re on the wider skis 2x as much?

    You present it in a very belivable way, and I respect that. But bringing the above up is only fair.

    And you’ve seen my video about the mechanism that could possibly cause such releases at the toe? If you have, you know I’ve been thinking through this issue quite a bit!

    Lou

  189. Jack February 6th, 2012 3:16 pm

    Lou, I think there are two approaches to find the prerelease ‘truth’”

    One is a technical bench test that could duplicate various parameters of skiing in hardpacked, normal and softsnow, including chatter. The setup must have all the bells and whistles such as accurate dynamic sensors.

    The other approach would be based on statistics. Sofar, most skiers reported prereleases (or no prerelease/s based on a statistical survey where n=1, so useless. But if n=1000, we (read the manufacturers of tech bindings) could get usable statistical values on prerelease. How about using wildsnow to collect the prerelease occurence of 1000 skiers with tech bindings ? If the participants would include values like weight, height, shoe size, ski width, type of snow, I’ll bet you get a very usable matrix.

  190. Bar Barrique February 6th, 2012 10:35 pm

    I suspect that the issue of problematic releases is related to the lateral release at the heel, rather than the toe. This moves the forces exerted on the binding to a very different place on the ski (and, different leverages from ones body), and, probably means that differences in skiing technique can result in different experiences for various skiers. I have had pre-releases in very specific situations, but for my normal back country skiing; the Dynafits work very well.

  191. Christian February 7th, 2012 3:37 am

    It is indeed a very complex matter, and I am sure my technique is not identical from to ski to ski. My prereleases also happen in situations the skis were not designed for – i.e. skiing a powder ski on ice/crust…. I can see that I might compensate the lack of edgehold in powder ski with using more power on the edge…. The onyx release was with the technica bodacius – and I can see that this might have given me tool to apply even more power to the edge.
    That aside – for me it is only a problem with tech-bindings…

  192. Lou February 7th, 2012 6:10 am

    Christian, I did say and continue to do so that in some angles and forces the tech binding is, in my view, more prone to accidental release than quality alpine bindings, given the use of normal RV settings. My point is I’m not convinced this is much, if any, a function of ski width. Instead, I’m postulating that since people now mostly ski wide skis, and the tech bindings have always prereleased easier than good alpine bindings, a mistake in causality is that we’re blaming the wide skis for the prerelease…

    My advice is anyone who has this problem, and wants to ski tech bindings without locking the toe or dialing up to RV 12, should try the latest Dynafit FT Vertical 12, with the optional power blocks at the toe. I just mounted a current pair of those, and they had the stronger grey colored springs in the toe unit, and a better spring in for the rear lateral release spring which eliminates the need for the small washer they were using to shim the older spring and make it go to a higher RV, thus compressing it a bit and using up some of its already limited range of compression. Use those bindings, and while setting RV be aware that the numbers on the binding are an approximation of the exact release setting. To get the exact setting dialed, you either have to use a release check machine in a shop, or do some trial-and-error to fine tune your settings, or both. Or, just go a 1/2 or whole number above what the DIN chart says as a lot of people do, and/or use what works for you with alpine bindings and again fine-tune by seeing if and when you prerelease, then dial back down or even farther up.

    (Note that the cosmetic connector plate between toe and heel of the FT is optional, and can be removed by cutting it off the toe unit. I say that so mythology doesn’t promulgate that this piece of plastic somehow prevents accidental release.)

    Another trick is to try and ID which mode (side or up) your prereleases happen, and only dial up that part of the release settings.

    As for pressure at the toe causing the tech binding to open and prerelease, it might behoove those of you who sense this to check the sole of the boot and make sure only the steel of the tech fittings are touching the binding pins and wings. Any plastic or rubber touching may be getting in the way of the pins staying fully closed on our boot, or pressing the wings open a bit easier than normal during forces from skiing. This is super important, something shop techs should carefully check with every mount, but something I believe most people never look at, shop or no shop. If you do see plastic or rubber getting close to binding metal, skive a few hundredths off with a sharp knife.

  193. Lou February 7th, 2012 6:22 am

    Part two: I had high hopes for the Power Towers of the Radical to help with one of the known prerelease modes. I still think they might, but they need a fairly tight fit to your boot to do so. Easy to check in the shop.

    Once they get the bugs worked out of the Radical, we’ll cover it more in terms of prerlease issues and whatnot as I think they are an improvement, especially regarding the heel lifters, perhaps then we’ll give it our own Editors Choice award (grin).

    Meanwhile, other tech binding options exist. We’ll cover those more and more as the market sorts itself out and the products mature. Toe units with stronger springs are doubtless an improvement, but we need to develop some kind of precise method of measuring that in the shop, rather than listening to PR talk and user assumptions.

  194. Matt February 8th, 2012 7:08 am

    Hi Lou,

    where can one find the new Vertical FT 12 binding you’ve mentioned, with optional Power Towers and stronger springs ?

  195. Lou February 8th, 2012 8:18 am

    Matt, only the Radical series bindings have Power Towers, not the Vertical series. I’m pretty sure all new stock of the Vertical series will have the upgrades, but they might just be in the model that includes 110mm brake. Problem is that old stock exists as well. For what it’s worth, the improved ones I’ve worked on recently were mostly white, instead of grey, and had the 110 mm brakes. All the FT/ST/Radical brakes are interchangeable between those models.

    Did you mean Power Blocks? Those are available from retailers.

  196. TL February 13th, 2012 10:18 am

    Has anyone else noticed prerelease issues because of ice in the binding holes of the boot and not under the front binding? I did experience this in December and it took some time before I noticed it was the boot and not the binding. Bindings moved a bit and kept very quiet but noticeable clicking sound when there was ice in the boot’s hole. Didn’t notice it when I looked in the hole but when I dug it with a knife, there was small amount of ice at the bottom. After this I have checked extremely carefully that the bindings will close properly before I go downhill and haven’t had any prerelease problems.

  197. Lou February 13th, 2012 10:21 am

    TL, super common issue we’ve been harping on for years. Cleaning holes before binding entry is a solution, if you can get your binding on the boot, swinging ski before snapping in the heel allows the tiny cutters on the toe pins to clean out the ice. My habit is to do the “swing” every time I switch to alpine mode after taking skis off. Lou

  198. Doug February 13th, 2012 8:59 pm

    I found this discussion to be very informative and thought I would add my experience to the mix.

    First, a caveat: while I am a very experienced alpine skier (I’m not going to say how long but my first boots were leather lace ups), I am totally new to tech bindings and alpine touring set ups… So take my comments with that in mind. My set up is dynafit vertical tlt, Scarpas and black crows orb (179 length 123/90/114). I’ve only had the rig out for resort skiing warm ups. Things have worked just fine in a variety of conditions (8 inch fresh, crud and hard pack) but yesterday I had a few nasty pre-releases. Some were definite operator error as I had a legit release under a snow gun… I’m sure in my haste to get out of there, the boots and bindings were snow and ice packed. The last one though was a definite pre release… A very steep pitch, extreme hard pack and I cranked a short sharp turn to scrub some speed and just watched the downhill ski release. I’m not really sure if it was a toe or heel release. The DIN is set to my alpine setting. I have not had any other pre releases but this was only my sixth day of using the set up.

    The shop suggested upping the DIN which I have no issues with and locking the toe down for exposed descents. I also plan on trying out some of the informal bench tests to see if I can recreate the pre-release. Any other suggestions would be awesome and please let me know if y’all need more informations for the ongoing empirical discussion.

    Thanks much.

  199. ML February 21st, 2012 12:39 pm

    I am skiing in California where the snow is heavy and wet. I have a terrible time with ice buildup under my heel. On a bad day, I can end up having to break off the ice embedded on the heel of my binding every 5 minutes.

    It doesn’t bother me too much on the uphills because it just works as a heel lift, but on flat terrain it’s a real problem and results in knee pain.

    Any ideas?

  200. steveG February 21st, 2012 2:05 pm

    I’ve heard that spraying a silicone lubricant on the heel will help prevent the buildup. Neve had a chance to try it though.

  201. Lou February 21st, 2012 3:50 pm

    It can help, but doesn’t last long…

  202. lorne perry February 21st, 2012 9:16 pm

    The Speed Radical truly is an example of very efficient design. Light, easy to get into, releases when its supposed, stays clamped on when climbing. Gotta luv it. However, I find that even on the highest heel lift setting, I can’t climb uphill at an angle even close to my buddies high heel lift setting on his Tele bindings. Any solutions???

  203. Bill February 21st, 2012 9:57 pm
  204. chester marler February 22nd, 2012 9:17 am

    Hello Lou–what is your view of the releasability of the Radical ST in slow, twisting falls compared to a binding like the Fritschi, with an active pfd? I would expect the Radical could be superior in this respect to earlier Dynafit models with the addition on the heel anti-friction device, but do you think it offers as much protection as the Fritschi, especially in skiing at slow to moderate speeds. I’m thinking of the last hour or so of a tour when you’re trying to ski through brush, tight trees and whatever and your fatigue level is greatest. I ski mostly in the PNW where we sometimes have some challenging conditions, especially at lower elevations.

  205. Lou February 22nd, 2012 9:24 am

    Chester, after quite a bit of thought, bench, and field evaluation, my opinion is the lateral release of a properly adjusted and attached Dynafit binding is easily equal to that of a binding such as any recent Fritschi model under the same parameters. Beyond that, I’d suggest skiing what you feel comfortable with, not trying to convince yourself that a binding is safe when you have doubts. That can be a self fulfilling prophecy.

  206. chester marler February 22nd, 2012 9:34 am

    Thanks, Lou–I appreciate your views on this.

  207. Sveinung Bertnes Råheim February 26th, 2012 1:52 pm

    Anybody else who have managed to break the heel lift of a Radical ST binding? I was a bit clumsy today while jumping with my skies on a rutch block test. I managed to flip over one of the heel lifts, and the i broke the whole thing off (not the heel lift, but the plate the two heel lifts are connected to). For me it looks replaceable, but I have not tried and there are no answers to these things on dynafits web page.

  208. lorne perry February 26th, 2012 2:14 pm

    BND Machining, a company out of California, manufacture custom parts for Dynafit bindings. They may be able to help you. No guarantees on how things will work but try them. Google them at http://www.bndskigear.com/dynafitcustom.html

  209. XXX_er February 26th, 2012 6:31 pm

    “Anybody else who have managed to break the heel lift of a Radical ST binding? I was a bit clumsy today while jumping with my skies on a rutch block test. I managed to flip over one of the heel lifts, and the i broke the whole thing off (not the heel lift, but the plate the two heel lifts are connected to). For me it looks replaceable, but I have not tried and there are no answers to these things on dynafits web page.”

    yup a touring buddy of mine (6’2″ 225lb) broke that plate and he got warranty, I think dynafit was suggesting the shop could swap parts but the shop just gave him a whole new heel piece instead

  210. Sveinung Bertnes Råheim February 28th, 2012 12:58 pm

    The shop (sport konrad in germany) has promised to send spare parts, probably for free. I’ll wait and see what shows up.

  211. Lou February 28th, 2012 1:22 pm

    Lorne, B & D has an ad in left sidebar. I guess it needs to be bolder!

  212. Bill February 28th, 2012 1:57 pm

    Be bold Lou.

  213. Jasper February 28th, 2012 10:31 pm

    Maybe it’s already been done, but I think it is worth mentioning, that one can switch radical bindings from walk to ski mode without ski removal by using a pole! It works best if bindings are in the middle ‘height’ setting, angle your pole, stick it in and twist, just make sure you go the right direction and be willing to move your ski forward or backward to get the appropriate force/angle.

    Ski On!

  214. Lou March 5th, 2012 11:17 am

    Please all folks shopping for new bindings note: As mentioned above in review I ‘ve been waiting to see what kind of durability and performance read we get from all you users out there. We’ll, after yet another breakage report email I got today I’ve had enough. To be honest, I’m rather disappointed in this binding model. The problems are small and easily remedied, but without the problems being fixed I can’t recommend any model of the Radical series at this time. I hope to be able to say something different, soon, as I suspect Dynafit MUST be doing some inline changes? Things that concern me are 1.) Yes, the pin debacle, old version or ‘upgrade,’ neither seem like solid engineering. 2.) The heel lifters breaking clean off the heel unit. 3.) Brake AFD coming off. 4.) The bump that limits clearance between heel of boot and the binding.

    Just so everyone knows, for me to recommend a binding, I need to feel like it’s a piece of equipment someone could take, say, on a 3 week Denali expedition and not be wondering where warranty service is at 20,000 feet. Or in other words, this is 2012, not 1912 (though I hear they had some fairly reliable bindings in 1912, grin.)

    As mentioned above, the sweet spot in the Dynafit binding line is the latest FT 12 Vertical (FT Z12) with the wider (110 mm) brake, it’s white, has the dull grey (stronger) springs in the toe unit, and does not have the extra washer in the rear spring barrel the older FT 12 had to try and compress the spring a bit for higher release value (instead, it uses a stronger spring, as it should). And ALWAYS use the Power Plate option with the FT 12, due to the funky skinny plate under the binding toe that causes the sides of the binding to overhang without support. If a narrower brake is needed, just buy one separate. And when mounting, feel free to cut off the cosmetic toe/heel connector plate.

    There, you guys told me to be bold (grin). Lou

    Shop for the 110 brake version of FT 12.

  215. Jim March 5th, 2012 12:31 pm

    I recently started using the Dynafit TTL Radical ST bindings. I skied a couple days in the resort with no issues. Yesterday I took them touring for the first time. I was going uphill with the heel lifter in it’s maximum height setting. I slipped a little bit and came down harder than usual on the heel lifter. The plate that holds the pivot point for the heel lifter shattered, leaving me with an unattached heel lifter. Not sure if this will be a widespread problem, but just wanted folks to be aware of my experience.

  216. Rob March 5th, 2012 1:22 pm

    You guys are killing me. I bought Radicals (my first Dynafits) this past Fall. Have skied a few resort days on them, and lost the toe locking lever, which has since been repaired. Leaving on the Haute Route in about 2 weeks, and now you guys have me worried about whether the bindings will last five days in the mountains. Should I consider buying Verticals?

  217. Bill March 5th, 2012 2:35 pm

    ya know
    An answer may be to bevel the 1 way stop on the housing and use the original
    pin. This would allow the the housing to rotate backwards when loaded enough and prevent the pin from cracking the housing. Could be the best of both worlds.
    Probably about a 45 dg bevel would make it where it would not rotate back too easily, but still keep from overloading the housing.

  218. Bill March 5th, 2012 2:49 pm

    To Add

    Putting a chamfer on the end of the pin may help facilitate this in a smooth manner.

  219. Lou March 5th, 2012 10:51 pm

    Rob, I’m not sure that buying any first-year mechanical product for a big trip is so wise, but since you did anyway (grin), I’d say do this: First, remove the pins from the heel units and try running without pins. Then, purchase a spare heel unit and carry it with you in case you break off a lifter. Teach yourself how to swap the heel units on and off. If that’s too much BS, yeah, just get some FT or ST model bindings as mentioned above and vow to stop your early adopter behavior when it comes to mountaineering gear (grin).

  220. Rob March 5th, 2012 11:40 pm

    Wow, Lou, you’ve got me just brimming with confidence now! (grin). I will have to see if it’s possible to find a spare heel unit somewhere in Chamonix.

    My Radicals have the new pin installed….can you refresh my memory on the pros and cons of removing the pin entirely?

  221. Lou March 6th, 2012 12:14 am

    The upgraded pin is designed to break if forced. The question is, will the binding work well enough for you with the pin broken? More, what happens when the pin breaks, does the chunk of pin get caught in there and mess things up? Some other stuff in there concerns us as well. All resulting in our feeling that the best thing is to run first without the pin and see if that works, if so, all good. If not, use the new style pin.

    If you’re not big and you ski without a lot of bashing down on binding, chances are you won’t break the lifter off. And, to be fair, people brake the lifters off the Vertical ST/FT bindings as well, only when that happens it’s their own fault for levering too hard when twisting.

  222. Lou March 6th, 2012 12:17 am

    Oh, and Rob, you are the perfect example of a Wildsnow reader and gear consumer who deserves good information. You are the person I think of when I’m trying to decide how to approach covering a gear durability or design defect. Thanks for being here.

  223. Rob March 6th, 2012 12:21 am

    For newbies like me (I’m no spring chicken, but new to touring…), you guys have been a treasure trove of information. Thanks for spreading the good word!

  224. Nick March 6th, 2012 8:51 am

    Lou and others,

    You helped me on deciding to go with the FT12. I’ve been toying with the idea of leashes rather than brakes. One less thing to worry about if I ever do ski in that bottomless powder that we all dream of and equally fear. Unfortunately the last time I used leashes was probably on Cubco bindings in the 60′s or so. Can you point me to a good discussion of the pluses/minuses of leashes vs ski brakes? It would seem to me that leashes would makes more sense for backcountry skiers, but the prevalent practice – perhaps, I am misinformed – seems to be using the brakes instead. Are there better/worse leashes too? Perhaps, it is the potential danger in an avalanche of them wizzing around your head as you go tumbling. Thanks.

  225. Lou March 6th, 2012 9:03 am

    Nick, it’s pretty much common sense. Leashes in avalanche terrain are ok if they’re designed to break away, if they’re too strong and don’t break they’re dangerous not only because of the ski bashing you, but because of the ski anchoring you or pulling you down in the snow when you’re buried. Sure, leashes can be ok in powder, but unless you fall quite a bit brakes are much more convenient. If used at resort, ski leashes should be strong so there is no chance of a dangerous runaway ski. Lou

  226. Greg Louie March 6th, 2012 9:09 am

    @ Nick: Lots of discussion (and opinions) on other sites:

    http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/archive/index.php?t-217419.html&s=b112eb7ee4948e14f68a8756068da217

    http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/probe/index.php?PHPSESSID=846fa52272a312358d4569697f941cb1&topic=2052.0

    FWIW, lots of experienced Dynafit users in my circle use no brake much of the time, and only use a leash in crevassed terrain or when riding a lift. Good choice on the Vertical FT 12, especially without connector and brake!

  227. Bar Barrique March 6th, 2012 9:46 pm

    I’m a big fan of ski brakes. While the Dynafit ski brakes may not be the most effective ski binding brake on the market; I find that the latest generation FT/ST brake is pretty good. Yes it may not stop your ski instantly, but at least it will not allow your ski to become a missile launched into unknown places.
    Many of those not using brakes talk about the expense of purchasing them, rather than any disadvantages of using them.
    Personally for me; the debate on leashes versus brakes ended decades ago.

  228. Robie Pruden March 6th, 2012 10:14 pm

    Regarding fusible leashes and or brakes . I’m a situational user of both devices sometimes both at the sametime and as Greg Louie says on crevassed terrain a non breaking leash.

  229. Chuck March 10th, 2012 8:44 am

    Lou, first time commenting so thank you for your great site!
    I have the Radical FT’s on 174cm Coombacks with Spirit 3. I am 6′ 2″ and 205#. Ski in northern Vt.
    1) when touring, it seems my heels are getting stuck in the back when I go to lift. Didn’t think it looked Icey enough. Reading this, could that heel bump contact/ rub the boot when I heel raise / push off? If so, would grinding it off affect ski performance?
    2) Just got a package from Dynafit with 2 new brass pins & instructions. Reviewed your blog but seems others people are talking about new plastic pins. Same thing? Would have been nice to get a letter explaining why this was suggested.
    Again, thanks for all your efforts.

  230. Lou March 10th, 2012 9:10 am

    I’d just take the pins out and leave them out, then install some sort of anti-rotation device if you have trouble.

    as for the heels getting stuck, that has nothing to do with the heel bump as that is only aligned with your boot heel when you’re in alpine mode! What you’re experiencing is a common problem when using the “boot heel flat on ski mode”, wherein the ski bends and the binding catches on the boot heel. Mess around with the system at home in your living room and you’ll see what I mean. The problem generally happens with larger guys using softer skis, or when the heel gap isn’t set correctly. It hasn’t helped that Dynafit set a new specification of a slightly smaller heel gap, I actually still use the old wider gap on all my bindings. Since that worked for me for about 20 years, I saw no reason to panic about doing it differently. More here: http://www.wildsnow.com/2599/dynafit-tech-heel-space-shim-gauge/

  231. Dan March 12th, 2012 12:01 am

    Lou, have you reviewed the difference between ft and st? Is it simply the din setting? Would you say that if I use a 9 or lower din than I should go with st and a 10 – 12 din, I should gO with ft or are there other considerations. Thanks!

  232. Lou March 12th, 2012 7:47 am

    Dan, you can find comparos here and there on the web, but it’s really quite simple. FT goes to RV 12, ST a few numbers lower. FT has a connector plate of dubious functionality and a slightly wider plastic plate under the toe unit that looks good, but probably does very little in terms of actual added function. FT weighs more because of connector plate. That’s about it.

    BTW, no tech binding has DIN values. Best to refer to them as RV (release value). The companies make more or less effort to approximate DIN values, but only that.

  233. Jean-Pierre March 16th, 2012 5:20 am

    Lou and ML,
    As already told on that forum, I also experience snow build up on the Radical Speed heel and silicone spray did not help. The problem is that there is no cover over the long ajustment screw to replace the brakes. See that at : http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=174056009379520&set=o.202246342049&type=3&theater

  234. Lou March 16th, 2012 5:54 am

    Sounds like it is time for someone to come up with an aftermarket solution, perhaps some sort of plastic jacket or sleeve that covers that area of the binding. By the way, using silicon spray to prevent snow buildup is of limited effectiveness. The tiny beads of silicon are mechanically removed from the surface by the constant movement of the snow. A better solution is dripping or rubbing alpine ski wax onto surfaces that tend to collect snow. But even that has its limit of effectiveness. The thing to remember is even waxed Ptex ski bases will sometime gather ice or sticky snow. If that happens, well, goes to show that sometimes there is probably no solution…

  235. Jean-Pierre March 20th, 2012 6:27 pm

    Here’s my solution to snow build up: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=177195015732286&set=o.202246342049&type=3&theater Hoping it will help.

  236. Mike March 29th, 2012 8:49 am

    Anyone know if the Radical brakes will work with the Vertical ST bindings. I like the idea of the AFD.

  237. John Gloor March 29th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Mike, I see no reason why they would not work. I think they are basically identical with the AFD being the only difference.

  238. Lou March 29th, 2012 6:15 pm

    Mike, yes, the brakes swap either way as far as I know…

  239. Mike March 29th, 2012 8:31 pm

    John and Lou,
    Thanks for the info.
    -Mike

  240. water April 5th, 2012 1:25 pm

    So.. first timer here. I’ve got a pair of AT boots.. finally bought skis today, and now looking for which dynafit bindings to get.

    I’m 5’8, 150lbs, new to skiing but been climbing for a while. Ran some demos with dynafit bindings and like the system, felt appropriate releases for my skiing-nothing sketch to me. Long term goal is touring and the moderate-easy volcano descents in the NW (mt adams, 3 sisters, st helens). I’ll be spending quite a bit of time this spring and probably next winter continuing to hone my form and improve my ski abilities before venturing to the BC (not to mention avy I class and beacon practice, etc).

    What biding would you or anyone recommend? Vertical/Radical/ FT? Picked up some G3 saints that are 93 underfoot. I’ve researched here and elsewhere a ton and doesn’t seem to be any clear cut winner with some of the issues the new models have. Plum bindings get pimped a lot but they $$$ and no brakes which I believe is what I’d want.. .

    Thanks much, appreciate the feedback for a newb.

  241. Scott April 5th, 2012 4:18 pm

    Hey Water-

    Yeah its amazing how many choices of AT bindings one can get nowadays. Personally, I’ve used the ST Vertical’s for the last four seasons, and have not had one single problem (except for the brakes not deploying, but that has supposedly been fixed with later incarnations). I’ve used them in 24 hour rando type races, fitness lapping at the resort, and of course lots of backcountry touring and skiing. They’ve been a bomber binding for me. Plenty of binding for a 93mm ski or more, in my opinion. Good choice for a proven design.

  242. Brent April 5th, 2012 4:29 pm

    +1 on the Vertical ST. Tried and true. Let the new-product-syndrome rattle out of the Plums and Radicals for a while.

  243. Forest April 6th, 2012 6:24 am

    As far as preventing snow buildup on ski top sheets and bindings, try Pledge furniture wax. It goes on easy, lasts for a full day of touring or downhill and is very low cost. I’ve been using it for years on all sorts of winter outdoor equipment and have been known to use it on touring ski bases when the snow is sticky as well. If only they sold extra small spray cans of it…

  244. Sveinung April 9th, 2012 2:05 pm

    I am getting a bit tired of Radical ST now. First, the steel plate that holds the heel lifters broke. The shop replaced them, so thats ok so far (although this probably is a week part of the radical system). Two days ago, I was using the heel lift, and suddenly the binding started to rotate from walking mode to skiing mode. This happened to only one of the bindings. I realised that this binding was rotating both ways. I have not tried to take the binding apart, but I suspect that the (in)famous pin is broken or in other ways defect. Anyone have similar experiences?

  245. Rob April 10th, 2012 12:22 am

    Sveinung – regrettably, I have had issues with my Radicals as well. Haven’t had the heel lifters fail, but I did lose the toe locking lever (improperly installed pin, the Dynafit tech theorized) and I also encountered the problem of one binding rotating into ski mode. Of course, it happened about a half dozen times on an icy skin track, and the frustration level was pretty high, until I got out some duct tape and secured the binding in walk mode.

    I’ve also lost the spring on one of the AFD devices on the brake. When I called Dynafit, they told me it simply wasn’t possible to replace the spring…they have tried, and not found a good way to do it…so they are sending me a new pair of the older style brakes without the AFD.

    Despite all these issues, I have to say that I’m still a fan of Dynafits, and I’m willing to work through the problems. I really do like the ease of changing the heel riser setting on the Radical, but then again, this is my first pair of Dynafits, so i never used the “pole trick” with the older design.

  246. Michael April 11th, 2012 8:03 pm

    To Lou (or anyone else that can help me answer this question!) :

    I like the idea of the Radical FT because of the 12 DIN, longer heel pins, power towers, and new heel lifters (although if they just redesigned the old TLT Speed with longer pins, 12 din, and power towers, I’d be stoked!) .

    Anyway, my question is this (its actually two questions): if I don’t want the excess weight of the dampening system(especially considering it doesn’t do much), but still want the 12 DIN, I can mount the FTs without the center dampening system, right? It seems like I can, but I read somewhere you said you might want to epoxy the empty space where the system was under the toe…If I would also like to run the system without brakes, is it possible to remove the brakes from the system, get the plastic lifter from the ST10 toe, and use that with the 12 din toe(to get rid of the empty space problem from the missing dampening system)?

    Or, what would be even better, do you think it would be possible to remove the 12 DIN radical toe from the plastic lifter altogether, and mount it directly to the ski, a la the Speed Radical toe? I presume I would have to do the same with the heel, but I can’t tell from pictures if that would be possible…what do you think? Is it possible to make a 12 Din Radical “Speed” (ie no brakes, no damper system, no lifter plate on toe/heel) out of the FT12? It would be expensive, but it’d be nice to have a 12 DIN Speed and the Speed Radical, besides being lower DIN, has had too many problems for me to be interested in. At the least I’d think I would need shorter screws but I wonder if this would be possible without too many other part swaps needed.

    If anyone can help me figure this out that would be really helpful! Thanks a ton,

    Michael

  247. John Gloor April 11th, 2012 8:32 pm

    Michael, I mounted my FT Radicals without the connector piece. I wanted the heel piece in the center of the adjustment range when mounted to my BSL and I did not think the damper did much, just from looking at it. I did not bother with filling the void beneath the toe, but I do not think it would hurt to do so. It would be easy to fill it with JB weld if you taped off the space in the back and turned the base over. Just don’t glue it to your ski. Removing the ski brake is easy.
    I guess you could use an ST base. I have not looked at them closely to see if they accept the same aluminum toe piece. If you went without the base, the toe of your boot will be almost a quarter inch lower on the ski than if you used it. It is up to you if you like that much ramp angle. You cannot lower the heel as the post sits on the ski

  248. Jasper April 11th, 2012 9:10 pm

    Hey there,

    Micheal, Lou, et all… I can’t offer you much advise concerning radical bindings, as I have only used my speed radicals a couple of times, but I like where you are going with this. It would be great if tech bindings could function at something like a din 12 and be very light. What is the limiting factor in this?

    I am 180 lbs, ski super fast, don’t jump, about 50/50 inbounds outbounds. Vertical fts work pretty well but I want power towers, no silly plate, solid ‘din’, and something around 500g.

    I propose that the tech binding companies produce an ultra light, minimally adjustable binding, catered to a fairly stiff ‘din’ detting, with optional brakes. Who’s with me?

    Jasper

  249. Michael April 11th, 2012 9:27 pm

    Jasper, you pretty much described the Plum Guide, other than optional brakes. I liked the sound of the Plum, but there were some sketchy reliability issues, and I liked the idea of the Power Towers on the Dynafits, as well as Dynafit’s more reliable customer service.

    I really haven’t decided yet, but I think I’m gonna go with the Radical FTs and ditch both the plate and brakes, which I think will bring the weight down to around 830 grams for that setup I believe…160 grams heavier than the plums but hopefully a little more ease of use along with beef with the power towers, and an easier to use climbing aid…

  250. Jasper April 11th, 2012 9:40 pm

    Yes, my description may be along the line of Plum Guides, but by tech companies I really meant dynafit, tried and true reliability. I have had trouble with toe fittings in the past, actually wearing out the boot inserts on scarpa spirit 4. Scarpa wouldn’t warranty, and it wasn’t dynafits problem…. but none the less I like the idea of power towers and stiffer toe springs.

    Let us know how your experiments go.

    And if anybody in power is out there, hear the cry for hard charging ultra light!

  251. Lou April 12th, 2012 10:52 am

    Hi, guys and gals! This comment coming from Bella Vista Hutte in Sud Tirol, in the Otztal. Lisa and I are doing a 5 day (or so) traverse of the Otztal… more later on that! Just thought I’d hint hint hint….

    As for Radical bindings, yeah, mount them without connector plate no problema. I’d recommend filling void under toe plastic, but no need to get fancy, just squirt some silicon under there when all is done. As for mounting toe without baseplate, I don’t see why it couldn’t be done, but watch out for excessive ramp angle depending on your choice of heel units….

    Lou

  252. Richard April 12th, 2012 11:40 am

    Have you figured out who kacked Oetzi?

  253. Lorne April 12th, 2012 1:05 pm

    Essential reading for Otztal Mountains ski tourers: Oetzi died due to blood loss from an arrowhead lodged in his shoulder. Forensic archaeology suggests the arrow was fired from behind and something like 15 meters away. Not a great way to go. He also got smacked on the head but nobody is sure when that happened. So… who killed him will probably never be known, but suggestions are that it may have been as a result of a power struggle, or territorial dispute. Oetzi was probably on the run, and only a few hours before his death had a meal of grain and meat. A big Mac would have more or less the same stuff in it. Recent very high tech investigation indicates that, among other things, Oetzi was lactose intolerant. There you go.

  254. Rob April 15th, 2012 8:51 am

    I purchased a new set-up this year and I decided to go with the Dynafit Radical ST bindings even though they were unproven. I have had Dynafits for about 15 years and have never experienced any problems during that whole time. I am on the small side– about 150 lbs and ski fairly aggressively, but I only rarely go inbounds and normally don’t go airborne. I broke the AFD plate on the ski brake after only 10 times out with no abuse that I know of– I think that it was only snow-ice build-up. The shop replaced this with the older style brake that doesn’t have the slide plate and I suppose this will work but this blog says that there should be a corresponding compensation in the binding spring to account for the non-sliding surface– is this true?

    Next, after only 10- 11 times out, it appears to me that the risers don’t return to ski position as crisply as they did when they were new. When I look at the design, it seems to me that the risers when they are in climbing position are not supported by anything except for the thin top sheet. Other than replacing when this fatigues, does Dynafit have anything in the works to redesign in order to prevent this from happening? Like many others, I often take trips in to remote locations and I would be extremely upset if this part fails when I am in a place like this.

  255. Patrick April 15th, 2012 2:23 pm

    @Rob, I was able to re-insert my AFD spring after it escaped on a lodge trip a few weeks ago. The trick is to return the sliding plastic insert to its neutral position, then lever it up to create a space above the small stainless pin. Into this opening insert the spring with feet compressed. After trying this with Leatherman pliers I used my fingers for a better grip. The crux move: slide the compressed feet into the slot and pop the spring’s ring onto the pin. Voila!

    Be sure to attempt this in a clean, well-lit area. The spring escaped my grasp 3 times before I was successful. Luckily I was able to find it on the floor with my headlamp.

    It was a miracle that I noticed the AFD stuck and the spring about to launch into a snowfield during a transition to skins. I am now very careful when sliding my boot out of ski mode to avoid dragging the AFD beyond its limit with my heel.

  256. Johnyz September 26th, 2012 5:19 am

    I want to use this binding Dynafit Radical FT12 (http://www.dynafit.com/product/bindings/tlt-radical-ft-110mm-z12) with skis Line Prophet 100 (http://www.backcountry.com/line-prophet-100-alpine-ski) for ski touring. Got anyone experiences with this combination or what’s your opinion?

    Because I heard that with these skis at underfoot 100mm I can rip of the binding from the ski in some hard turns because they don’t have titan blade in construction.
    I’m 181cm tall and 92kg (203 lb) heavy.
    Thx

  257. Daniel Landry October 7th, 2012 6:45 am

    I have a pair of Radical ST binding mounted on a pair of Stoke skis and I am thinking of changing my boots. Is there any adjustment in the binding or will I have to re-mount the binding as the new boots will probably be shorter (maybe 10 to 15 mm shorter).

  258. Ed October 7th, 2012 8:07 am

    Johnyz,
    I’m 175-180 lb + bulging pack and have used FT’s on an assortment of G3′s, Stokes, on DPS 112 RP’s and last year all over on DPS 99′s – never had a problem but I do make sure that the screws are epoxied in during mounting. Another issue I believe people forget is that when you put on Dynafit crampons you have another source of torquing on the toe binding – but never had so much as a squeak ‘outa all my setups over years. Crampons or not. If that helps, enjoy ‘em and stay safe this winter . . . .

  259. Juergen October 15th, 2012 5:09 pm

    Lou, I’ve been following your great blog the past months and I learned a lot about the new Radical ST. I had postponed to buy a new equipment past winter when first “upgrading” informations were issued und briefly discussed. I do not want to postpone to go for a wider ski one more season and need to decide next three weeks if to mount Radical or Vertical. I assume you to have the best overview what Dynafit improved during summer time and would kindly ask you to summarize which of your 4 major failure points mentioned above could still run me into troubles if opting for Radical. I’m torn between a new fresh design and an older fashioned highly reliable workhorse and would be disappointed to go for the later whilest reading “all issues resolved on Radical” two months later.

  260. Lou Dawson October 15th, 2012 7:11 pm

    Juergen, as far as I know all the failure points have been remedied. Lou

  261. Chris November 1st, 2012 9:51 am

    Lou, have you tried putting a Radical heel lifter on a Vertical? is that even possible?

  262. Mark W December 13th, 2012 12:43 pm

    Just replaced two Vertical toe levers with Radical toe levers. When placed in tour mode, the teeth on the bottom of the levers does not engage the toe plate at all. Is this of concern? I was hoping for the teeth to engage the plate.

  263. Mark W December 14th, 2012 10:15 am

    With boot toe engaged, the tour lever teeth make multiple clicks after all in the Radical.

  264. Shawn January 3rd, 2013 8:42 am

    Happy New Year Lou. Looking for info on tapping for mounting a Radical FT. Per ski manufacturer insrtruction, I drilled with a 4.1mm bit. Ski rep said to tap with pitch matching binding manufacturer screws. Does Dynafit use a standard pitch for their screws. Sorry for being a shop gumby but I’m assuming there is a specific tap for 3.5mm and 4.1mm holes? So I would use a 4.1mm tap and what pitch for the torx 20 screws? Thanks. Cheers.

  265. Lou Dawson January 3rd, 2013 9:12 am

    Shawn, ski screws are just #12 (just pulling that from memory) wood screws with a fancy top and precise length, one tap works for all, the correct tap is available from various ski shop tool suppliers.

    http://www.slidewright.com/ski-or-snowboard-tap-and-t-handle-wrench_svtap.html?cat=132

    Here is more info

    http://www.wildsnow.com/3991/tap-guides-skis/

    It’s also possible to mount without tapping the holes, especially in skis without metal top skins. In fact, some ski techs only tap skis with metal. The way I do it without tapping is drill with the larger 4.1 bit and start the screw with a good amount of downward pressure, then be careful not to over tighten and strip, and use a small amount of 5 minute epoxy. Better to use the 3.5 and tap, in my opinion.

    An issue with the new aluminum base bindings is the alu conducts heat so fast it’s much more difficult to heat an epoxied screw with a soldering iron for extraction. I’m not sure what the solution for this is. I broke a torx bit due to this effect, and the bit is stuck in the screw so now I can’t get the binding off without crude procedures. For now, I’m recommending still using epoxy, use only a small amount just to seal the screw if the skis accept the screws solidly. I’m experimenting with a hotter soldering iron.

    Lou

  266. Shawn January 19th, 2013 8:57 pm

    HI Lou. When I was drilling out the plastic screw holes in the toes I used a 13/64 bit and they still seemed to have a lot of thread (screw still req’d a fair bit of force…more than I figured was supposed to be used). I uped it to a 7/32 and now they don’t seem to really have any thread. The screws aren’t loose in the hole but I can push them through without turning the screw. Am I snafu or is this ok? Thanks again Lou. Cheers.

  267. steveG January 21st, 2013 10:14 am

    @Shawn- I drill out all of my Dynafit plates like that. You are OK.

  268. Tom Wolfe April 6th, 2013 10:44 am

    Apart from a variety of serious breakage problems I had with the first generation Radical binding (I haven’t had a chance to put the warranty replacements through the rigours yet), another problem I’ve had with the Radical binding is the crampon mount point.

    Lou, you seem to be impressed with it. Yes, the moulded silver metal looks pretty (compared with the previous _seemingly_ flimsy plastic mount point — which I never, ever broke), but the problem lies with the opposing painted black steel hooks piece. The hooks bend, very easily, i.e. when you kick the toe piece accidentally (I used to do this on purpose, to clear off the snow on my boots; I don’t do it any more). When you try to bend the hooks back there’s a very good chance you’ll break them off.

    I’m just getting ready for a traverse that starts tomorrow and noticed that the pesky hooks on one ski have done it again; they’ve bent just a little too tight to put the crampons on — some very careful bending with a screwdriver has solved the problem but I’m concerned about metal fatigue… and so I’ll have my fingers crossed for the next 7 days… this isn’t a part you can easily get around here.

  269. Lou Dawson April 6th, 2013 2:25 pm

    Tom, if you read through all my Radical coverage you’ll see I was not very happy with the initial breakage, but I tried to be understanding along with that. Once they got all the bugs worked out it turned out to be a very impressive tech binding.

    Not sure about the crampon hooks, as that’s honestly the first time I’ve heard of that problem. They’re incredibly easy to replace, so that’s a plus, but yeah, I’d want them to be strong so I’ll watch out for what you’re pointing out.

    ‘best, Lou

  270. Rodrigo June 7th, 2013 4:51 pm

    I’ve mounted dynafit radicals on my skis, but I notice that when I want to exit the binding, one of the toepieces is stiffer than the other. so I have to apply more force on the toe lever in order to open the system and release my boot?

    In your experience, is there a way to fix this?

    Thanks

  271. Alain July 31st, 2013 10:21 am

    Hi Lou.

    Great information on your site, thanks a lot! I just bought a pair of Armada AK JJs (120mm waist) and am trying to decide which tech binding to put on them. I am a convinced Dynafit fan, having used them with minimal problems for years. I currently have a pair of nearly new Dynafit Titans for boots.

    I weigh 195, and will use this setup almost exclusively for touring, I ski fairly aggressively on all sorts of terrain, but don’t go airborne (at least not intentionally!).

    I was looking at the Radical FTs but got somewhat scared off by the past two years of comments on this thread, and then partially reassured by your more recent comments. This leaves me with two questions:

    Is there a wider than 110mm break available for the Vertical?
    Would you recommend the Radical in my situation?

  272. Chris Beh September 24th, 2013 1:57 pm

    Hi Lou,
    Well, I’m finally going back to fixed heel skis after 30 years of making due with free heel. Being a quiver of one kind of guy (one reason I stuck with free heel so long) I am going to give Dynafit bindings a go for the area skiing I do with my 10 year old son.

    My question is, would there be any performance difference between the Speed and the ST bindings in ski area conditions other than the convenience of the brakes? I’m used to using leashes, anyway.
    best, Chris

  273. Lou Dawson September 24th, 2013 7:18 pm

    HI Chris good to hear from you, no diff with the bindings

  274. Gogi October 10th, 2013 6:07 am

    Hello everyone, I am new here and I have a question regarding the Radical ST bindings. I just bought a pair, and the connection between the pins of the toe unit and the boot (BD Quadrant) doesn’t seem to be 100% solid. I notice some slop when I move the boot from side to side. Is this normal? Will it be noticeable while skiing?
    Thank you for your help.

    P.S. Great website Lou, loads of helpful information.

  275. Lou Dawson October 10th, 2013 6:30 am

    Gogi, that’s hard to eval without being there in person. But main thing to remember is that NO there should not be any “rattle” type slop, though the boot should be able to slightly move inside the spring loaded toe wings “pinchers.” As we always suggest, if in doubt compare to a Dynafit or other boot known to have fittings that are working correctly. Lou

  276. Gogi October 11th, 2013 3:36 am

    Thanks for the quick answer, Lou.

    I compared how my boots fit into the binding with some Dynafit ZZero4 boots, and the fit is pretty similar, it may even be better with the Quadrants, since they are are slightly wider in the toe area and fit inside the power towers a bit better (less free space). There is no rattle type slop, as you said, the boot just moves slightly inside the springs.

    Just another thing: I don’t know why Dynafit don’t include more comprehensive instructions for use with their bindings, what came with mine was pretty useless. No information regarding heel gap or how to adjust release settings, for example. Thank God for your website :-)

    Best, Gogi

  277. Tom Wolfe October 11th, 2013 8:59 am

    That sounds like the normal play. From what I understand it’s part of the release system for downhill mode and should be less when you lock down the toe fully.

  278. Lou Dawson October 11th, 2013 10:15 am

    Gogi, sounds like you’re fine, as Tom said. And yes, the toe wings are spring loaded, so they’re designed to move a bit in normal use.

    As for instructions, yep, Wildsnow has been here for about 12 years so they got out of the habit of providing anything (grin), figuring everyone would just come here anyway.

    Lou

  279. Kevin October 24th, 2013 2:27 pm

    I am about to purchase a pair of Radicals for this season and wanted to know if there is any reason for me to get the FT over the ST? I weigh 155-160 and am a strong skier, but don’t plan to be dropping anything big, so don’t think I will need the DIN 12. I usually ski my Marker Barons or Rossi 140 alpine bindings at a 10 DIN for resort skiing. Since the STs are $100 cheaper and a big lighter, they seem the way to go. Basically looking for confirmation that the ST is the right call.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

  280. Gogi October 29th, 2013 5:53 am

    Are there any differences between this year’s Radical ST’s and the last year’s model?

    Thanks

  281. BC skier sailor November 17th, 2013 10:37 pm

    Hello,
    Just picked up Radical ST s with a new pair of skis. The shop mounted them but will not adjust the release setting due to liability reasons – go figure. They adjust the binding to the lowest setting = 4.
    So I attempted to adjust the binding to what ‘regular’ DIN chart would suggest – and tune down a bit at first to be conservative.
    I’m trying to find out if there is a problem with the binding though – as I attempt to increase the setting by rotating the big flat screw at the back of the binding the indicator is not moving at all from ’4′. About 4 turns later the adjustment becomes really hard but still no change of the indicator.
    the screw is now flush with the heel piece body. – Is this normal and I should power ahead and try to tighten more? I am afraid of breaking something as I have no experience with this binding.
    To anyone who owns/has experience with this binding -How does your binding behave as you adjust? Does the flat screw stick out a bit and moves in and out as you turn the setting up or down?
    Many thanks!

  282. Lou Dawson November 18th, 2013 8:58 am

    BC, so that shop didn’t even show you how to adjust your bindings!? Please be sure they are NOT on our “Top Ski Shops” blog post.

    And if you shop again, here is the list:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/3921/top-best-ski-shops/

    Meanwhile, I think you are not aware there are TWO release adjustments at the heel.

    See:

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

    Let me know if that solves your dilemma. There are other things as well that could be going on.

    Lou

  283. Tom Wolfe November 18th, 2013 9:09 am

    This is just a guess, but I’ll bet you’re looking at the wrong indicator. There are two indicators, one for lateral (left/right) and one for up/down.

    The large flat screw controls the lateral release setting. As you tighten the large flat screw the stiffness increases. You can read the approx “DIN” equivalent by looking carefully at the beveled ring at the outside edge of the large flat screw and see where it lines up with the hard-to-see engraved lines/numbers alongside the channel where it inserts.

    There is a hard to find, very small screw at the rear of the binding, above the large flat screw. This controls the up/down release and is read by the tiny pin on the side of the binding that corresponds with the easier-to-see set of numbers.

    All of this is well described here: http://www.wildsnow.com/1549/

    Hope that helps.

  284. Tom Wolfe November 18th, 2013 9:10 am

    Oops looks like Lou beat me to it.

  285. Lou Dawson November 18th, 2013 9:25 am

    Tom, some day you guys are going to start beating me to it, and that will be a very good day (grin). Come to think of it, I think we should have a contest, best helpful comment answer of the week, with Lou not allowed to compete.

    I sure appreciate your effort to answer BC, I should have held off!

    What do you guys thing, should we start a contest every week? I can probably come up with some swag for prizes.

    Lou

  286. Lou Dawson November 18th, 2013 9:26 am

    Gogi, no difference so long as you don’t get backstock with the old problematic internal anti-rotation pin in the heel. Use our search function up above in the top bar if you need to know about that. Lou

  287. Gogi November 18th, 2013 9:35 am

    So how can you tell which model is which, without taking the binding apart?

  288. Tom Wolfe November 18th, 2013 9:37 am

    I’ll second Lou’s caveat on old stock. I ended up breaking 4 radical heel pieces last year that Dynafit assured me were current versions. In the end we figured they were most likely hybrids with old parts that snapped. After much experience disassembling Radical heel pieces I am of the opinion that they are under-engineered in favour of lightness. My latest heel pieces seem to be standing up, but I still am very leery about using the heel risers while breaking trail, especially in crust.

  289. Tom Wolfe November 18th, 2013 9:40 am

    You SHOULD be able to tell the difference simply by noting the absence of the anti-rotational doohicky on the brake assembly.

    Another difference I noticed is that the first generation bindings have metal spacers adjacent to the pins, the latest generation are grey plastic (almost looks like metal).

    My “hybrids” last year did not have the anti-rotation mechanism but did have the metal spacers.

  290. Tom Wolfe November 18th, 2013 9:45 am

    Gogi, Here’s a link showing what I mean by the pin spacers: http://sawback.com/radical.jpg

  291. Gogi November 18th, 2013 9:50 am

    Thanks for the picture, I didn’t know what you meant, was just about to ask :)

  292. Claus Kampmann November 18th, 2013 10:09 am

    Just received latest version of TLT radical ST binding and was surprised at the amount of lateral play in heel piece when mounted on ski.
    None of my previous Radical bindings had any play.
    When boot is mounted in new binding it is not held firmly in place and can wiggle a dew degrees from side to side. Problem seems to come from new gliding system that is supposed to give some elasticity to heel unit.. I have checked other bindings with new system, they all have some play but mine seem to have more. Has anybody else experienced similar problem? Any fix?

  293. Lou Dawson November 18th, 2013 1:48 pm

    Claus, we’ll be covering the change to the binding, but am waiting for some factual issues to be resolved as well as to be sure I have a production unit for bench testing. I’d actually seen this change more than a year ago but it was very preliminary and I was sworn to secrecy. Stay tuned, and thanks for bringing this up, as we’re so busy around here it’s getting to be quite funny. Lou

  294. Tom Wolfe December 13th, 2013 4:56 pm

    Just broke my sixth (6th) radical heel piece on the weekend.

    Close inspection revealed that despite being a warranty replacement obtained last spring it’s first generation — there’s that tiny little metal clip down by the post hole.

    My other heel piece (warranty replacement from the same period last spring) appears to be second generation — no metal clip, and no breakage yet either. But I’m done with the Radical experiment and just finished slapping on a pair of trusty old Vertical ST heel pieces.

    By now, out fear of exploding my Radicals, I’ve adopted the technique of never using heel risers. So I won’t miss those handy Radical heel risers at all, or for that matter anything to do with the Radical binding. Now I just need to get a pair of the Vertical toe pieces so I don’t have to deal with ever-bending crampon hooks….

  295. Gogi January 27th, 2014 5:00 am

    Hello.

    Has anyone noticed problems with the Dynafit toe piece which are described in this thread
    (http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/121576-Dynafit-toe-problem)
    and shown in these videos
    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWllfjItNoA&feature=youtu.be
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FLQ2PATpKE&feature=youtu.be
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqvoEDW6uqU&feature=youtu.be)?

    It happens in ski mode, when I push down and to the side of the toe, the pins move outwards slightly and there is a weird crackling sound. The toe lever also moves. I can imagine doing this with enough pressure (pushing hard on the edge of the ski) could cause the toe piece to open.

    I am using Radical ST bindings and BD Quadrant boots. I’ve tried doing the same thing with Dynafit Zzero 4 boots and the problem didn’t repeat itself, so it has to be the boots.

    Please help, I’m getting desperate :(

  296. Lou Dawson January 27th, 2014 12:47 pm

    Sigh. It’s not the binding necessarily, it’s that there is no standard for the boot toe fittings so they vary. Your only solution is to change either the boot or the binding. Experiment and see what works for you. Sorry we don’t have some sort of magic bullet fix. Lou

  297. Gogi January 29th, 2014 8:35 am

    Hello,
    I skied today with the toe lock lever “half-locked”, I didn’t pull it to its furthermost position, instead I had it somewhere in the middle, at the first click (it takes two to get the toe fully locked). This way, the boots didn’t move and there was no crackling. Does anyone have any idea how much of a difference do these “in-between” positions of the lever make?
    Thanks

  298. Charlie Hagedorn January 29th, 2014 12:40 pm

    Depending on the binding, ‘half-locked’ can be ‘all-locked’ from a release perspective. I broke an ankle with a half-locked 2009 Dynafit Speed, while older bindings released more easily at half-lock. Lock with care.

  299. Gogi January 29th, 2014 12:48 pm

    Charlie, what kind of a fall caused the broken ankle? In which direction the toe failed to release?

  300. Charlie Hagedorn January 29th, 2014 12:48 pm

    I should add – I haven’t locked my bindings on descent since, and I’ve only jumped out of my bindings once in three years, jumpturning in deep wet snow at RV 7.5. I now avoid fall-you-die terrain where I’d feel compelled to lock my bindings.

  301. Charlie Hagedorn January 29th, 2014 12:56 pm

    A slow twisting fall in deep slop on skinny skis with a heavy pack. Pure lateral release was needed, didn’t happen. It would have released easily if unlocked. That binding’s lock is stalwart. I’d forgotten to unlock my toes after skiing steep glaciated terrain an hour before.

  302. Lou Dawson January 30th, 2014 12:34 am

    Mythology cropping up again. There is no real “half lock” or “full lock.” Once you pull the locking lever up to any position you are essentially locking out lateral release to the point where you _will_ be injured if you need a lateral release, heel to the side. Perhaps in rare instances when the boot toe fitting and binding are truly loose, you could pull the toe lever up slightly locked and you’d still have some sort of possible safety release, but this would be totally uncalibrated as well as being entirely different on the right and left bindings.

  303. Gogi March 3rd, 2014 10:31 am

    Hey Lou,

    is this amount of play in the heel piece normal (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO50KfJJ7k4)? I would think not. There is some slop in the other binding as well, but noticeably less. What could be the cause of this?

    Thanks a lot,
    Gogi

  304. Tom Wolfe March 3rd, 2014 10:33 am

    That’s not normal. Maybe the shop forgot to put the plastic sleeve in when they assembled the binding. Pull them both apart and compare.

  305. Gogi March 3rd, 2014 10:34 am

    What plastic sleeve?

  306. Tom Wolfe March 3rd, 2014 10:38 am
  307. Gogi March 3rd, 2014 10:42 am

    That’s not the case, the bushing is not missing.

  308. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 11:04 am

    Thanks Tom. Gogi, it appears the internal “post spindle” inside the heel unit is broken, or else the heel unit is not installed all the way down on the post. Or, the binding screws “jacked” the heel unit plate up off the ski which in turn allows the base of the internal “post spindle” to wriggle and rock. Whatever the case, you have a machine that is not working correctly. I’m assuming you know very little about tech bindings, so unless you want to give yourself a crash course in Dynafit binding trouble shooting and repair, I’d get those bindings over to a pro right away. If you have a moment, once you do find out what was wrong please let us know. I can’t see enough in your vid to give you a diagnosis. Next time vid from the side as well as top, with some different angles and magnifications. Lou

  309. Gogi March 3rd, 2014 11:26 am

    You are right, Lou, I have very little experience with tech bindings, but if I understand you correctly, there are two things I could try:
    remove the heel unit from the baseplate (following this procedure: http://www.wildsnow.com/10742/dynafit-radical-vertical-comfort-bindings-brake-removal-install/) to see what’s going on with the spindle.
    The second thing I could do is remove the whole binding from the ski and check if the problem is caused by the binding plate not sitting flush with the ski.
    Any other suggestions (apart from seeing a pro :) ?

  310. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 12:04 pm

    Are both bindings doing it? And who installed them and where?

  311. SteveG March 3rd, 2014 1:50 pm

    I have mounted, and mis-mounted a bunch of Dynafits. First, I would remove the heel from the ski with the most wobble and take a look. That much movement should make that problem obvious. If there are no volcanoes from drilling, the little mini movement in the other ski might be an uneven top sheet (not uncommon) that I have solved a couple of times with a small piece of duct tape under the post.

  312. Gogi March 3rd, 2014 2:08 pm

    Lou, the other binding is also moving, but much less. They were mounted by Sport Conrad.
    SteveG, would you take the whole binding off the ski, or would you first take the heel piece apart to see if the spindle thing may be damaged?

  313. SteveG March 3rd, 2014 2:37 pm

    First the heel piece. I’ll be here off and on all day. The pass to the ski resort 20 min away is closed. Too much snow.:-(

  314. SteveG March 3rd, 2014 2:43 pm

    To take the heel piece off you need only to unscrew the spring cover at the back. not the little ones on top!! . Not sure if you have read the excellent “how to’s” on this site.

  315. Tom Wolfe March 3rd, 2014 2:47 pm

    If I was in your shoes I’d take them straight back to the store that mounted them without wasting another minute trying to solve it yourself. This is clearly a warranty issue — a poor mounting job, a damaged binding, or a binding defect.

  316. Gogi March 3rd, 2014 2:56 pm

    Tom, I agree, the only problem is that I would have to send them back by mail (they were bought online) and it would probably take ages before I got them back. Which means no more skiing for quite a while (I don’t have any other skis or bindings).

  317. Tom Wolfe March 3rd, 2014 3:13 pm

    Hmm bummer. Well hopefully trying one of the ideas given by others will solve the problem.

  318. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 4:15 pm

    Gogi, just take them to a ski shop that sells Dynafit. No big deal. Anyone who knows the binding can probably figure out what’s wrong in 30 seconds.

    Trying to figure this out yourself doesn’t sound appropriate, as you’re a newbie to the whole deal.

    Lou

  319. SteveG March 3rd, 2014 5:08 pm

    A shop is not a good option for Gorgi, Lou. Until he removes the heel from the post we are all guessing.

  320. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 5:13 pm

    Yeah, I get your point… I was thinking that a good Dynafit shop could probably just glance at the binding and feel it, and know what was wrong, and fix it. But I’m sure curious! So if Gogi wants to start his Dynafit education, I’m game to look at the photos! (grin)

  321. Lou Dawson March 3rd, 2014 6:14 pm

    Off topic: If any of you guys are getting site takeover advertising while browsing WildSnow it’s not by intent. Also, obnoxious banners that may appear in right sidebar are also unintentional. Am working on all issues. Internet is exploding these days with bogus stuff – - we might need a new one.. Lou

  322. SteveG March 3rd, 2014 7:04 pm

    Not me on an older Mac

  323. Gogi March 4th, 2014 12:10 am

    I removed the heel piece, and the tower part (spindle?) looks to be OK, without any damage. When I move it, its base moves as well (red arrows on the photo; https://www.flickr.com/photos/119337308@N03/12922592784/in/photostream/lightbox/).
    It seems to me that the problem is caused by the base of the spindle not sitting flush on the ski, giving it room to wiggle. Although I think that it is sitting on something other than the ski itself, maybe the shop put some duct tape or something under it, as SteveG already suggested. I won’t know this until I take the whole heel piece off the ski.
    Any tips for remounting the heel piece back to the ski? I was told to put wood glue in the screw holes. Anything else I should be careful about?

  324. Gogi March 4th, 2014 1:27 am

    OK, first I’m gonna need some tips for removing the binding from the ski! The screws are really tight, they are glued, but I don’t know what kind of glue the shop used. Any suggestions on how to untighten them?
    Thank you very much for all of your help everyone, I really appreciate it.

  325. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 7:35 am

    Main thing is to not strip or otherwise damage the screw head. Try turning by hand.

    Indeed, it appears your binding is probably not screwed down tight on the ski, or else there is something under the spindle base.

    Please try using our search function as well as Dynafit info index. We literally have hundreds of articles about working on Dynafit bindings, and thousands of helpful comments. For example, our mounting instructions could perhaps be a help (grin).

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

    http://www.wildsnow.com/8625/dynafit-radical-torx-star-drive/

    Wood glue is usually ok for mounting, I prefer a low grade epoxy and heat the screws for removal.

    Lou

  326. SteveG March 4th, 2014 7:52 am

    I’ve used a soldering iron to heat the screw head and break the bond. Or put a drill bit into your drill backwards and spin the butt end of the drill bit on the screw head to heat it. You do have the correct size star bit for the screw?

  327. Gogi March 4th, 2014 8:15 am

    I’ve read all the posts, Lou, I will try the to heat the screws with a soldering iron, hope that works.

  328. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 8:40 am

    Gogi, better method of heating screws is place drill bit backwards in drill and spin inside screw head socket. I use about a 1/8 inch bit. I tried to mention that on occasion in the articles, but the editing is sometimes too time consuming. Lou

  329. Gogi March 4th, 2014 10:07 am

    I removed the binding from the ski and everything seems to be okay, I’m just not sure about the thin sheet of metal (aluminium, probably) placed under the binding (see photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119337308@N03/). I will remount the binding without it and see if the wobble is gone (it was obviously caused by the heel piece not being flush with the ski which made the base of the post spindle “to wriggle and rock”).
    Should I remove the glue from the holes before re-inserting the screws? Or could I just put the screws back in without adding any additional glue? Is there any limit to how often the screws can be re-placed in the same holes? So many questions…

  330. Tom Wolfe March 4th, 2014 10:35 am

    Looks like Gogi has graduated from Dynafit Newbie status :)

  331. Lou Dawson March 4th, 2014 12:19 pm

    I wonder how many people have had to learn to be Dynafit mechs because of poor shop work? Tragic, or fun?

  332. Gogi March 4th, 2014 12:21 pm

    Lou, what do you think about the thin piece of metal under the binding? Why did the shop put it there?

  333. SteveG March 4th, 2014 3:38 pm

    @ Gorgi-
    ” I will remount the binding without it and see if the wobble is gone”
    Was it gone? Was the top sheet flat and free of volcanoes?

    “could I just put the screws back in without adding any additional glue?” – As a part of my mounting process on your problem binding, I would test mount the toe without glue and with the screws lightly snug. Then remount with epoxy.

    This is required reading but you could skip the measuring.

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

    “Should I remove the glue from the holes before re-inserting the screws? ” – Only if there are small pieces you can pick out.

    ” So many questions…”- Here’s one for you. What ski are you mounting?

  334. Gogi March 5th, 2014 12:45 am

    The top sheet of the ski had some “volcanoes” from the drilling, which I tried to remove with sandpaper. Any other ideas for removing these volcanoes without damaging the top sheet?
    When I remounted the binding, the wobble was still there, although less than before. But after tightening the screws as much as I could (really tight), the wobble is minimal.
    If I use duct tape under the binding, as SteveG suggested, wouldn’t it interfere with the sliding plate used for fore-aft adjustment to the boot sole length?
    The skis are BD Converts.

  335. Gogi March 5th, 2014 2:22 am

    Just to be clear, the volcanoes are really small, less than 1mm in height. I would think that such a small rise shouldn’t be a problem.

  336. Billy Balz March 5th, 2014 5:32 am

    You need to counter sink the volcanoes. The metal plate is part of the new dynafit…..already reviewed by His Blogness last month….you can search the site and find it. Then re-epoxy after a dry fit shows the the problem to have been solved by countersink.

  337. Gogi March 5th, 2014 5:43 am

    I missed the info about the metal plate, you are right, it is part of the new binding.

  338. Lou Dawson March 5th, 2014 7:07 am

    Good job on the binding trouble shooting tips you guys. Yeah, Gogi, you need to remove the bulging rims around the screw holes. And yes, just dry-fit the binding and see how it does, with the metal plate.

  339. Lou Dawson March 5th, 2014 7:55 am

    Gogi, the best way to remove the “volcanoes” is either carefully grind them down with a rotary grinder with a sanding disk, or else use a drill countersink and a light touch. You do need to entirely remove them, as they throw a variable into your trouble shooting. Lou

  340. Gogi March 5th, 2014 8:20 am

    I removed the “volcanoes” using a large wood drill bit (gently twisting it by hand), replaced the thin metal plate and screwed the binding back on (not very tightly). Now there is much less wobble, although there is still some (see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwmAIvB_Ivg). Would you guys consider this amount of play to be acceptable?

  341. Lou Dawson March 5th, 2014 9:02 am

    Gogi, that still looks wrong. But before testing you need to tighten the screws and be sure plastic base plate is totally down on ski top! If it still wriggles, time for warranty. Lou

  342. Gogi March 5th, 2014 9:23 am

    So basically it shouldn’t move at all, not even slightly?

  343. TomWilliams March 5th, 2014 9:35 am

    Hi Gogi. Have the screw holes in the heel piece base been drilled out. If you the screws thread into the plastic of the base, they can feel seated when the screw head hits the plastic even when the base is not hard to the ski. I always drill out the base holes so the screw just touches the edges of the holes, but the threads don’t bite enough to tap the hole. Good luck.

  344. Lou Dawson March 5th, 2014 9:46 am

    Gogi, I might have asked this before, if so sorry, but do you have another binding you can compare to?

  345. Gogi March 5th, 2014 9:55 am

    Lou, tomorrow I’m going to compare it to a Speed Turn binding, that’s the closest I can get (although Speed Turns don’t have the new heel elasticity feature, as far as I know).

  346. Gogi March 5th, 2014 9:57 am

    Tom, the screw holes in the heel piece base haven’t been drilled out, might try that as well.

  347. SteveG March 5th, 2014 6:54 pm

    Try screwing the heel down on a board to test. Fewer on and off’s on the ski is best.

  348. Gogi March 7th, 2014 12:44 pm

    Happy to report that after completely removing all the volcanoes and putting some silver tape under the binding, the slop is almost completely gone (I also put some epoxy into the screw holes). My heel unit has less slop than my girlfriend’s freshly mounted speed turns (mounted yesterday by a qualified local shop), and even those don’t wrrigle much.
    Thanks again everyone for all your helpful suggestions.

  349. SteveG March 7th, 2014 4:32 pm

    :-)

  350. Rod March 7th, 2014 4:55 pm

    I’m happy that you solved your dynafit heel problem, My radicals developed the same issue after a year of use, unfortunately I was not able to study/ fix the problem on time because they ended up breaking

  351. Lou Dawson March 7th, 2014 8:44 pm

    Gogi, just make sure you put that tape _under_ the stainless steel plate that the heel spindle/post sits on. Lou

  352. Gogi March 8th, 2014 10:04 am

    Lou, of course :)
    Rod, which part of your binding broke?

  353. Tom Wolfe March 8th, 2014 10:38 pm

    Probably the same part that breaks on all Radicals — one of the critical binding parts :)

  354. Gogi March 19th, 2014 6:38 am

    Hello everyone,

    Dynafit sent me new gliding sheets (https://www.flickr.com/photos/119337308@N03/13264906153/), which are supposed to reduce play in the heel unit. I’m not sure how much of a difference they would make, so I’m not going to install them, unless the play in my bindings develops again. I’m happy with how they are now :)

  355. Lou Dawson March 19th, 2014 7:41 am

    Gogi, thanks so much for keeping us informed on your project. Glad to here you were able to fix by just doing it yourself, but very interesting that Dynafit is providing those “Gliding Sheets.” Lou

  356. Jack March 19th, 2014 7:56 am

    elementary question: I have little time on my Radicals (TLT5 boots, 182 Coombacks) and was carpet testing them last night in prep for a trip this weekend.

    Settings on the heel are ~ 6 and ~6. The toe piece will come out with
    modest (but reasonably high) effort just standing on the rug. The heel piece
    will twist release with a sharp directed effort (standing), similar to an alpine
    binding.

    I tried to step forward and drive my heel up to get an upward release and couldn’t do it. I drove hard enough to bend the tail of the ski up.

    Does this sound like normal binding behavior? Should I just loosen the
    heel setting and retest? Any thoughts?

    There is no play, the pin gap is perfect and functioning is just fine in all modes.

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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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Backcountry skiing is a dangerous sport. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. While the authors and editors of the information on this website make every effort to present useful information about ski mountaineering, due to human error the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions or templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow its owners and contributors of any liability for use of said items for backcountry skiing or any other use.