Tyrolia TRB 1982, Online Binding Museum


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

In the history of randonnee bindings, you get the feeling certain companies used complexity as a design and marketing goal. I mean, some of the things look like they must have taken a raft of engineers and 600 gallons of espresso just to go from sketch to prototype, let alone manufacturing. The peak of such folly might have been 1982, when Marker released their M-Tour battleship and Tyrolia introduced their TRB navy destroyer. I added the TRB to our online binding museum yesterday. What you’re reading here is an intro and place for comments, Check out the full display here.

Tyrolia TRB backcountry skiing binding.

Tyrolia TRB backcountry skiing binding of 1982 is complex and heavy, but had some interesting features and was somewhat popular.

Both the Tyrolia TRB and Marker M, while amazingly full featured, rivaled the complexity of a laser printer and had the mass of a sandbag. Thus, not surprisingly it was that same year that Fritz Barthel began developing the snowflake light tech (Dynafit) binding in earnest, which not long after that sent the AT binding world into a tizzy by making gigantic frame bindings such as TRB and M look like Edsels. (To be fair, the somewhat problematic yet usable Ramer bindings of that period were significantly light in weight.)

The elegance of tech bindings aside, while we probably couldn’t even lift our legs with a binding such as a TRB on our feet, they’re fun to observe and quite interesting in how they solved problems such as ski flex and the near biblical necessity of latching the heels for the down while still being able to effectuate a walking stride on the up. Probably the most interesting part of the TRB is a double pivot in the binding plate/frame, which acted a bit like the now extinct but fascinating Naxo binding of just a few years ago. Another feature of the TRB is a toe that on first glance appears to be alpine-like and was thus good for marketing, as tour skiers coming from an alpine background have always been skeptical of bindings that do their side release by rotating out at the heel (as the Marker M does, as well as all tech bindings.)

More in the Tyrolia TRB backcountry skiing binding museum display. Enjoy this bit of our history.

Comments

12 Responses to “Tyrolia TRB 1982, Online Binding Museum”

  1. Robert Lee July 28th, 2011 9:08 am

    brings back memories, I used to have some of those in my younger days, Mounted on Peter Habeler labled Fisher Skis , Bright orange, and old dynafit plastic AT boots, cant even remember what they were called but they were red

  2. Mark July 29th, 2011 6:46 am

    I’m sick of summer already.

  3. Richard July 29th, 2011 8:06 am

    These came with an over engineered ski crampon as well. No brakes, just a strap. I logged about 10 years in the Koflach Vallugas from the early 80′s into the 90′s. There weren’t many other options. Very heavy for the up part but skied down with the support of a tennis shoe and the finesse of a cinder block. Paired with a stiff, skinny 195 GS ski, it was a dream package. 3X Haute Route + 4000 de Saas Fee and Berner Oberland on this set up. Glad I was a lot younger then.

  4. Jonathan Shefftz July 29th, 2011 10:15 am

    “[...] complexity as a design and marketing goal. I mean, some of the things look like they must have taken a raft of engineers and 600 gallons of espresso just to go from sketch to prototype, let alone manufacturing [...] complexity of a laser printer [...] mass of a sandbag [...] probably couldn’t even lift our legs [...] they’re fun to observe and quite interesting in how they solved problems such as ski flex and the near biblical necessity of latching the heels for the down while still being able to effectuate a walking stride on the up [...] a toe that on first glance appears to be alpine-like and was thus good for marketing, as tour skiers coming from an alpine background have always been skeptical of bindings that do their side release by rotating out at the heel [...]”
    - Lou, you seem to have mixed up your review of the 1982 Tyrolia AT binding with your upcoming review of the 2012 Salomon AT binding.

  5. Lou July 29th, 2011 1:43 pm

    LOL !

  6. Kirt Brown August 2nd, 2011 1:20 am

    I liked this binding. I replaced my Ramers, the first year the TRBs were imported, and used them until this last year, when I retired my fourth set. I found them simple and easy to work on, I carried spare parts and could fix anything that I broke. I had made shims that took out some of the play and I liked the Lipe Slider antifriction plate, .. I personally didn’t see anything that I thought was a significant improvement, with the exception of the Dynafit, but I don’t like the release with the pivoting at the heel, I had tried some other bindings, but they all seemed to have play in them, some more than the TRB. I didn’t realize how sloppy my TRBs had got until I got some Marker AT bindings this year. They are relatively heavy also, and bit of a hassle to lock down when they get snow packed in them. But they are incredibly solid. I could not believe how much better they make my boots and ski perform.

  7. Lou August 2nd, 2011 8:29 am

    Kirt, thanks for the comment. The TRB was indeed used quite a bit, amazing you got so many years out of them.

  8. stephen August 17th, 2011 12:23 am

    Strangely enough, I actually still have these monstrosities (and the crampons) out in the garage attached to some Blizzard Alpin Extrem skis, plus a second pair bought on some crap skis for spares. The best thing that could be said about them is that they mostly worked okay – apart from the split pins holding the numerous toe shims in place tending to occasionally fall out without warning, resulting in haemorrhage of parts down the snow.

    I skied on these a fair bit in 1986 when I worked at a ski resort, and they only fell apart once or twice. Compared to the leather tele boots and 3-pin bindings of the time the increase in power and stability was very noticeable; unfortunately, so was the weight and complexity. It took me until last year to try AT again, thankfully Dynafit this time.

    The crampons are no more over-engineered than are the Dynafit ones, being pressed into a slightly more complex shape than say those from B&D.

  9. Chris Kipfer September 1st, 2011 10:16 pm

    I still had two pairs of these one on Habeler Fisher Skis with serated edges and the other on Kaestle CArbon Tour skis. Unfortunately they burned up with my garage this spring. I can’t remember skiing on either of them in the past few years. Dynafits kind of spoil you going uphill. If I rermember corrrectly I used the fishers on the Haute Route and in the Ötztaler Alpen while stationed in Germany about 25 years ago. I guess that the garage fire was a blessing. The binding was fragile enough that I carried another complete binding in my pack. Also the heel hold down was terrribly sloppy. For it’s day it wasn’t too bad though.

  10. Lou September 2nd, 2011 6:05 am

    Hey, I thought telemarkers were the only ones who had to carry a complete spare binding in those days. My bad.

  11. Wynn Miller March 28th, 2012 11:11 pm

    They took me places that I otherwise could not have gone…

  12. Eric March 19th, 2013 12:02 pm

    the Tyrolia binding was easy to detect in a group of skiers going uphill, by its distinctive squeaking noise ! I called it the Meow binding …
    It was never very popular in France, due to competition with Petzl, Emery and Silvretta models, much more reliable.

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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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