Dynafit Backcountry Skiing Binding Durability Tips and Tricks

Bookmark and Share
This post by WildSnow.com blogger  
Image to right is a 2011 Dynafit Speed Radical. It developed cracks at the base, visible in photo.

Image above is a 2011 Dynafit Speed Radical. It developed cracks at the base, visible in photo. Good example of a location on any tech binding that should be inspected periodically. Much of the force of skiing the binding is concentrated in this area. Thanks S.K. for the photo. Click images to enlarge.

Despite their minimalist appearance, Dynafit bindings (and many other tech binding brands and models) have proved to be one of the most reliable alpine touring binding types available. Hundreds of thousands are in use worldwide — they’ve served as reliable steeds for everything from Mount Everest descents to record breaking randonnee skimo racing.

Even so, every machine made by man eventually wears out or breaks. A good example is the Speed Radical model to right. This 2011 version developed cracks at the base. Failure such as this could be the result of defect in the plastic molding (our guess), or from the binding being improperly adjusted. No way to know for sure. What’s important is to know all the failure modes of tech bindings, and periodically inspect your bindings for impending breakage so you’re not caught unaware in the middle of the backcountry.

We receive quite a few emails about this subject. Below is harvested from your emails, published to help all tech binding fans to get more out of this amazing technology.

Dynafit spare heel unit.
Dynafit TLT spare heel unit housing for repair kit. Without lateral release spring and with heel lift removed, weighs 3.6 ounces (102 g).

The most common Dynafit wear scenario is when the heel unit develops play due to an internal bushing wearing out. This “thimble bushing” is super easy to replace. You just remove the cap over the lateral release spring, pull out the spring, then reach in with your finger or a right angle pick and pull out the bushing. Reverse procedure to assemble. Only gotcha is it’s possible to cross thread the cap while doing this, so be extra careful when reassembling. Lubricate parts with light lithium grease. (Procedure description.)

How to lubricate is another question that comes up frequently about Dynafit. Light lithium grease has been working for us, but OEM choice according to our WildSnow inside Dynafit sources is Dow Corning Molykote PG-75, but that stuff is very hard to find in small retail quantities. Perhaps the most available and appropriate grease is the binding lubricant sold my G3, which appears to be Molykote or something similar. The G3 grease may also be tough to find for sale, but calling G3 customer service will solve the mystery of where to buy it. Binding lubrication details here.

A less common Dynafit failure is when the screws holding the heel top-plate break. I’ve received several reports about this, all being high mileage bindings. What appears to happen is that the screws fatigue from use of the two heel elevated positions. Corrosion might contribute as well. If the top plate comes off you loose the binding internals and thus have catastrophic failure of the heel unit, this leaving you with free-heel touring mode but no latched heel downhill mode.

In light of this, my opinion is that if you’re using high mileage Dynafit bindings that are three years old or older, for long trips you should carry a spare heel unit in your repair kit. The minimalist way to do this is carry only the housing, with a cut down top plate. For big expeditions, bringing a whole spare binding would be wise (no matter what brand of binding you’re using). If your heel unit fails during a shorter trip, you can just ski home in free-heel mode.

Dynafit crampon mount.
The crampon mount may be a weak point, but works for most people provided it has the later model steel reinforcement. Thanks goes to a blog reader for this photo.

Another failure point of Dynafit bindings is the crampon mount on the rear of the toe unit mounting plate. Before recent models were reinforced with a metal fitting, this part was easily broken while using Dynafit crampons. It’s better now, but continues to be a weak point. Failure in this are is not catastrophic — it only obviates the use of Dynafit ski crampons.

Perhaps the most common Dynafit breakage is that of the plastic “volcano” heel lift on the Comfort model. These are designed to fit a ski pole tip so you can rotate the heel unit with a ski pole. If you get the angle wrong and force this, you end up placing immense torque on the binding and something has to give. In a good way the volcano acts as a “fuse” when it breaks off before further damage occurs. On the other hand, it does appear to be a bit weak. More, sometimes the screws attaching the volcano are what break, probably due to metal fatigue. A broken heel lift isn’t catastrophic — you can usually continue your trip and fix it when you get home. But carry a spare (with screws) if you’re on a big trip.

Breaking the aluminum post the heel housing rotates on is rare, but does happen to the Comfort model. One guy who reported this to me said he didn’t abuse his binding, but said they’d been used for at least three seasons. I also received another report that claimed use of about 100 days before the post broke. Metal fatigue would be the likely culprit, along with the possibility that the binding received a hard blow from something like falling off the roof of a car. From what I’ve seen this is an unlikely occurrence but worth mentioning for the record and is detailed in the following photos and captions:

Broken Dynafit binding
Broken Dynafit Comfort heel post. Photo courtesy kuchyna.net

Dynafit Comfort and TLT binding heel posts.
Comparison of Comfort heel post construction (left) with TLT (right). Notice how the TLT is solid at the base, while the Comfort is hollowed out and the amount of aluminum mating post to base is quite minimal. Moreover, note the brake fixation slots milled into the side of the post. Even with such minimal material these guys are strong. I tested a Comfort post to failure in my workshop and it took quite a bit of force to break it (as in yarding on a 24 inch lever arm with the unit held in a vise). With that in mind, I’d conclude that metal fatigue is probably what causes this type of breakage. Thus, this is not a concern if your bindings are low use. But if you’ve got a high mileage pair of Comforts, it might be worth inspecting the base of the heel post for cracks several times a season. That said, when experimenting in my workshop I dialed a set of Dynafit comfort bindings up to maximum DIN and noticed it took quite a bit of force to step the boot heel down into the binding, as well as an extraordinary amount of force to pull it up and out simulating a vertical safety release. This leads me to believe that using super high DIN settings (as in cranking both as far as you can) could indeed contribute to heel post fatigue and possible breakage in high mileage bindings.

Dynafit Comfort and TLT binding heel posts.
Another comparison of Comfort heel post construction (left) with TLT (right). Notice how the TLT post base is wider and has more taper where it mates with the base plate (and is also solid rather than hollow, as mentioned above). The Comfort not only appears weaker, but is taller and thus subject to more leverage. We repeat, breakage in this area is rare, but worth knowing about if you have high-use bindings.

Dynafit Comfort and TLT binding heel posts.
If your Comforts had a cracked heel post, it would look something like this. Again, a rare occurrence but worth checking for during routine maintenance and inspection. Photo courtesy Kootenayskier.

Broken plastic, as pictured below, is another failure sometimes seen with Dynafits. According to sources, plastic molding is tricky and weaker batches sometimes sneak into the retail channel. Dynafit/Salewa North American is usually very nice about replacing such failures, even after the official warranty is done. They also sell replacement parts.

Broken Dynafit heel platform

Broken Dynafit heel platform. This is where your heel rests at lowest touring position. Owner of these Vertical ST backcountry skiing bindings said he'd only toured five days and wasn't doing anything that created undue impact. We suspect defective plastic and recommended he get replacement parts from Dynafit. Thanks Henrik for the photo!

Another uncommon failure point is the rear pins, as picture below. Around 2007 a few poorly made pins made it into the retail channel and were subject to breakage. You’ll probably not encounter this, but if you do, the repair usually involves swapping both your rear heel units to a later version.

Dynafit binding breakage durability repair.

Dynafit heel unit with broken rear pin.

Be aware the superlight 'race' type bindings may not be suitable for heavy use.

While it's fun to mount superlight race type bindings for general touring, be aware the superlight 'race' type bindings may not be suitable for heavy use. This one probably broke during a fall, but could have been fatigued from heavy use. If you want a lightweight binding system, we recommend using a stronger toe unit and combining with a lighter heel unit. Many tech binding brands allow such customization with a bit of home engineering such as riser shims and such.

HOW TO PREVENT TECH BINDING DAMAGE AND FAILURE

A few minor maintenance routines and use techniques will prevent most problems with tech bindings such as Dynafit, Plum, G3 and more bindings. If you have high mileage bindings, GENTLY tighten the screws holding the top plate, and in the case of the Dynafit Comfort do the same to the screws underneath the red volcano heel riser. The thimble bushing in all tech bindings should be lubricated and checked for wear every year or so. As mentioned above, you get to this by removing the lateral release spring cap (again, be careful not to cross thread the cap when you replace).

Be aware that any type of wear in a tech binding can cause a chain-reaction to failure. For example, if you wear out a thimble bushing the binding will develop excessive play, this leading to wear and wallowing out of the heel unit housing, in turn possibly leading to cracking or breakage.

Be aware of corrosion; when done with a trip store your skis in a place where the binding can quickly dry rather than sitting there damp. Avoid getting road salt into the binding (as from a rooftop rack or skiing a roadside plow berm). Salt eats aluminum. If you do get salt into the binding at the least wash them with fresh water. As for technique: With Dynafit Comfort and Vertical models, when rotating the binding heel with a ski pole do so with care — it should flip between positions with very little force. If you use ski brakes, squeeze the brake closed with your hand when rotating the heel unit from alpine mode to touring mode, as the upward force of the brake retractor is harsh on the binding.

Another important item regarding backcountry skiing binding longevity: Quite a few people have told me that instead of carefully setting their release tension, they just dial it up to maximum and don’t look back. Avoid cranking your release settings to the max unless absolutely necessary. A binding skied with a DIN of around 7 or 8 will release before placing much stress on itself. Crank it to 10 and the binding has to absorb an immense amount of force to effect a release. For that matter, your joint tissue might do better with some care about release settings — do you really want to add the POP sound of an ACL injury to the day’s soundtrack? Dynafit bindings and most other tech brands have a smooth reliable release and little problem with pre-release, so try using a DIN setting that’s not in the stratosphere. (Tip: some skiers will find they tend to pre-release more in upward (vertical) release than to the side. In this case dial up your vertical release setting a bit, but leave the lateral alone.)

Same goes for using the Dynafit touring release lock while in downhill mode. While this might be wise while extreme skiing in fall-you-die terrain, it’s most often unwise because you’ve effectively locked out your safety release in the event of a fall or avalanche ride. Not to mention the stress placed on the binding toe unit in such situations, as without safety release something will have to give.

Lastly, if you’re a large person and backcountry ski aggressively, we don’t recommend you use the Dynafit as a cliff hucking alpine style binding. Dynafits are tough, but not as tough in alpine mode as a crossover binding such as the Marker Duke — or for that matter an alpine binding. In other words, as with any other gear you use in your life, it’s wise to not expect ski equipment to do everything. Most tech bindings are purpose-built to be light and efficient for ski touring. They are not alpine bindings (though starting around year 2012 bindings such as Dynafit Beast began attempting to provide both alpine performance and tourability in equal measure.)

We have Dynafit bindings in our family that have seen hundreds of days use over four or more years, and are still going strong. Conversely, we’ve had a few problems such has the Comfort volcanos breaking off. Let’s hear your Dynafit stories — be they carnage or success. Comments on!

(More details about Dynafit in our famous FAQs and other web publications.)

Shop for Dynafit bindings for skiing the backcountry.

Comments

231 Responses to “Dynafit Backcountry Skiing Binding Durability Tips and Tricks”

  1. Scott February 21st, 2007 11:45 am

    Hey Lou

    My comforts from last year accomodated the dynafit ski crampon. However I cannot get the ski crampon to slide in on my new comforts with the metal reinforcement. Any ideas?

    thanks!
    scott

  2. Lou February 21st, 2007 12:08 pm
  3. pat barill February 21st, 2007 7:39 pm

    hey lou,

    how ironic that todays blog was in regards to dynafit bindings. i just purchased the comforts and on day two hiking highlands in the am i cracked one of the volcanoes. i was using my ski pole to change the heel setting and i heard a small crack sound. luckily i eased up after that .

    it was great to read your blog today. now i know i must be smooth with this equipment in the future.

    do they sell replacement volcanoes around town anywhere ?

    pat barill

  4. altis February 22nd, 2007 4:59 am

    So far I’ve only managed two week-long tours plus a few odd days on my secondhand TLTs. The only problem I’ve had was, during the first week, after a fall I noticed that one of the heel pieces was missing! Fortunately, it wasn’t in deep powder so I found it again quite quickly and, after checking that nothing was missing, managed to refit it quite easily. I had the release set to the minimum – DIN 5, I think.

  5. Lou February 22nd, 2007 6:56 am

    Altis, when set at low lateral (rotation) DIN it’s possible to pull the heel housing up off the aluminum post that holds it on the ski, especially when the internal thimble bushing is worn. This doesn’t happen to people often enough to be a big deal, but it’s something to keep in mind. Check your thimble bushing for wear and perhaps crank your lateral DIN up a hair, and make sure your vertical DIN is set as low as it should be. If you fall frequently and this happens again, you might consider using a different brand of binding.

    Pat, we’ve gotten spare volcanos from Life-Link. Any Dynafit dealer worth beans should have a few spares for sale. If they don’t perhaps buy said Dynafit dealer a can of beans to keep in stock, as they might do better as a grocer.

  6. Jonathan Shefftz February 22nd, 2007 10:03 am

    I store my Dynafit bindings with the heel unit in ski mode (i.e., heel pins aligned with the long axis of the ski length), on the idea that any of the three tour positions would seem to be putting tension (and hence contributing to long-term wear) on the heel unit’s lateral release spring. Is this concern unfounded?

  7. Lou February 22nd, 2007 10:11 am

    Jonathan, from what I know about how the binding is constructed, it probably doesn’t matter what position the heel unit is rotated to during storage. That said, if you’re truly concerned it would be a good idea to do that same thing that picky alpine binding owners do: during long-term storage, back off any release settings that use springs. In the case of Dynafit, that would mean to back off the lateral setting, but not bothering with the vertical as it doesn’t have a loaded spring.

  8. Matus February 22nd, 2007 11:12 am

    Lou, thanks very much for this entry! Very helpful.

  9. Grant February 23rd, 2007 5:47 am

    Hi Lou,
    as always lots of good info.
    I just noticed on my TLT that there is some play, up down and side ways, in the heal unit pins. The pins also can be twisted/spinned.
    Is this normal or some thing to be worried about?
    Cheers
    Grant

  10. Lou February 23rd, 2007 7:20 am

    Grant, that doesn’t sound normal. Compare to another binding at a shop, or something like that. Gently torque the top plate screws, sound like they could be loose as the top plate holds all the internals together…

  11. Don Lange February 23rd, 2007 8:25 am

    Thanks Lou for mentioning some of these subtleties.

    I have had amazing success with several pairs of TLT bindings that I’ve had over the years. My older pairs have hundreds of days on them and are working just fine. I see now that I should feel lucky about this. I inspect, clean and regrease at least once a year. BTW, thanks for the official details on grease. Currently I am using “Finish Lineâ€?, with teflon…recommended to me by a bike/ski shop owner as his best low-temp plastic compatible grease. It works great and always looks good each year when I inspect the bindings.

    The only problem I’ve had is on a pair of bindings that go to the ski area a lot and have had some hard hits landing 20 footers (sometimes on harder snow than I thought was below). (I weigh 165 w/o pack.) One of the plastic joints at the end of the toe wing spring developed a crack in the corner years ago. It looks like the cracked corner will bust off one day, but I have been monitoring it all this time, and the crack has not grown, nor does the binding fail to work properly.

    To comment on some of the comments here, what Grant mentioned-I have seen with some of my new bindings out of the box. Seems the tolerances are such that I can wiggle some of the heel pins (and the plastic wedges they are nested in) up and down. This doesn’t affect function, but I did find it annoying, and on a pair I bought years ago, I lightly sanded the grey plastic heel body to lower the height where the wedges sit, and thus reduced the up and down play. However, I was careful to make sure there was SOME play in this area, so that the wedges would not bind and therefore…not release properly. As a test to make sure the wedges aren’t overly compressed, I make sure I can still spin the pins after screwing down the top sheet.

    Jonathan S. mentioned that he stores the bindings in downhill mode, and I do this also, plus store the toe pieces closed. This puts the springs in the most relaxed mode for storage. I always did this to promote longevity, believing that my bindings would last into eternity, but now I’m starting to see that 5 years and 300 days could be the average life expectancy…so maybe it was all in vain. Anyhow, if I get ten years and 500 days on a pair, I’ll let you know.

    Thanks again for getting into some of ultra specifics.

    Don

  12. Kevin D. March 20th, 2007 9:25 am

    Any ideas about where to get Dynafit parts, specifically the small stainless tension screw for the rear pin release adjutment. Mine striped and nobody in my town has anything that will work. It’s metric and stainless and has a very small square nut that sits in a molded slot. I have jury rigged a replacement by sanding down a hex nut but I am headed to Canada for a week at Powder Creek and would like some back up. Any Ideas?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

  13. Lou March 20th, 2007 9:34 am

    Kevin, I just asked a guy at Salewa North America about that and he said we still need to contact Life-Link for parts. That’ll change soon, and he said Salewa NA aims to offer the best customer service in the AT binding industry. Nice to hear that.

    Life-Link 800-443-8620

  14. Kevin D. March 21st, 2007 8:18 am

    Thanks Lou,

    I’ll try Life-Link. Hopefully I can get one quickly.

  15. Gary April 6th, 2007 2:14 pm

    Hi Lou,

    I’ve only done resort skiing to date, but would like to start exploring the backcountry. Accordingly, I am enjoying your wonderfully informative website–thank you! I’m currently trying to figure out what sort of “rig” to setup. I’m 135 lbs. and am fairly aggressive–though I haven’t learned to cliff-huck, yet. Based on extensive reading of your website, I’m inclined to go with Dynafit TLT Vertical FTs for a balance between light weight and good downhill performance (I already have the skis–Volkl Mantras (170 cm)). My plan is to use this setup for skiing in the backcountry and at the resort in softer conditions. Also, I don’t see myself putting more than 20 days a year on this particular pair of skis. Given my smaller size, is it reasonable to expect Dynafits to “hold up” in the event I do get to the point where I’m catching some air (no more than 20′ at the outside, say) on the backside? Or should I go with Fritschi Freerides to be safe? Thanks in advance for your (and/or anyone else’s) advice.

    Gary

  16. Lou April 8th, 2007 5:53 am

    Hi Gary,

    That setup will be fine to an extent, but I’d usually recommend Fritschi if you’re a newcomer to the sport as the Dynafit “fiddle factor” is more of an issue both on and off the ski mountain. If you’re new to the backcountry, you’ll have a lot of learning to do and messing around with a binding gets in the way of that.

  17. Gary April 9th, 2007 11:17 am

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks for the insight; Fritschis it is, then.

    Gary

  18. FRobinson April 16th, 2007 7:01 am

    Hey Lou, No sooner did I post a comment about the poor customer service I received from Life-Link when my heel unit blew-up earlier this year, then the same thing happened to my other binding–one of the screws holding the plate broke as you described above. To your description I would add that the other screws then pull out, stripping the plastic holes.

    I purchased these bindings two springs ago so they have only been used one season, yet Life-Link told me the failure was not covered by the warranty. The worst thing, though, was do to whatever investigation, paper-work etc. they thought they had to do, I lost three weekends of use on the skis. Now I have to go through it all again and it sounds like I still have to go through Life-Link. This time, though, I am just going to order the part and forget about the warranty.

    Anyway, I have a few questions: (1) could a guy put epoxy in the stripped screw holes so that they would hold again? (2) at 6’2″ and 195 lbs. am I too big for the Comforts (I do not ski aggressively)? (3) my left side seems to put some sort of torque on the heel piece when ascending such that the unit slips from 1st riser position back to level–maybe this is causing the screws to break? (4) are the Verts. less prone to these problems–plate screw breakage and riser slippage? (5) do the Verts use the same mounting screw pattern as the Comforts? Fred

  19. Lou April 16th, 2007 8:45 am

    Hi Fred, thanks for the comment. Yeah, most gear has only a one or two year warranty and Dynafit is no exception. Importers of this stuff sometimes do warranty coverage after the time is up, to create good will and keep the product bad-mouthing to a minimum. But all gear has a lifespan and the warranty has to obviously be on the profit side of that or the company would go out of business.

    As for your specific questions. If the stripped screws have any grip at all, you can put them back in with something like JB Weld and they might hold. BUT, what we’re finding is that some stripped screws are actually not holding because the hole in the plastic housing is cracked. Once that happens the binding is obviously toast. You can only check this by taking the heel unit apart, and while a hassle I’d advise doing this if you’re thinking of trying to re-insert the stripped screws.

    I’d say when people are larger/heavier they might experience more of these sorts of problems. But at around 200 lbs my opinion is you’re still within the range where the binding should work, given you’re not trying to go more agro than the binding is designed for.

    The heel unit rotation is a well known problem and usually caused by the lugs on your boot heel pushing the binding post to the side, or icy snow building up and doing the same thing. My FAQ talks more about this (via nav menu to left).

    Don’t know yet about Vert durability. Consumer testing has only just started. Our two sets are holding up fine, but we don’t seem to have much durability trouble with Dynafits so our experience is perhaps not a good take.

    All Dynafits use the same screw pattern, thank God, or life would be tough around here.

  20. Anthony Rabinowitz April 30th, 2007 8:50 am

    Lou, thanks for the blog post, very complete list of possible Dynafit binding failures. There is only one problem I have heard of (on different internet forums) that you don’t talk about.

    In cold weather, I have heard of the Comfot toe plastic base plate breaking in such a way that you can’t lock the toe into tour mode. I think this was only a problem with old style Comfort base plates, but I might have heard it about the new ones too. J. Shefftz solution was to reinforce the underside of the old style plastic toe plate with either JB Weld or silicone caulking. I just carry a spare toe piece on any long tours.

  21. Seth Schmautz October 2nd, 2007 11:14 am

    In reading your website (thanks for all of the great info, by the way), I have noticed that my Dynafit comforts are cracking precisely where this article them to do so at the base of the heel piece. After e-mailing you, Lou, I posted to the TGR website and sent an e-mail off to Salewa. I had a reply from Salewa within 10 minutes where Ryan Raymond had looked at your site, quoted me a price for the parts, and called my local Dynafit dealer to let them know that I had a problem and needed assistance. I work with more that 200 vendors at my business, and I have to say that the response time from Salewa is among the best that I have ever seen. The cost of the parts were $24 ea. A big thanks to Ryan at Salewa!

  22. Skibummer November 19th, 2007 11:16 am

    Lou-

    I spent quite a bit of time looking through the Dynafit FAQs and was unable to find much information about older TLT bindings and the various changes that have occurred to the binding over time. Were there major changes in models after ’93 (post u-shaped spring) and before the Tri-Step and Comfort were added? I have an opportunity to buy a used pair of TLT bindings, and I have nothing to reference how old they are and if there could be any major concerns. Any references or input would be much appreciated. It could be that there were not many changes over the years…?… Thanks for the great website.

  23. Lou November 19th, 2007 11:26 am

    Other than the change from the fixed vertical release spring to adjustable, the binding has remained essentially the same. Two main things to look for are worn thimble bushing and loose screws holding down the top plate. You want to GENTLY test torque of screws, if they tighten down a bit fine, but if they feel stripped the binding housing may be cracked at the screw hole. Way to check that is taking the top plate off then examining the screw holes with good eyesight or reading glasses (or both to be sure). Removing top plate is relatively easy but does involve cranking the vertical release down as low as it’ll go, and taking extra care while replacing screws to not strip them or over torque them.

  24. Eric Rentschler December 13th, 2007 8:28 pm

    I’m not sure that this is the right blog to ask this but here goes.

    Are there any drawbacks to using the Rental plate?

    I’m thinking of areas like performance, reliability, ease of use or other.

    From everything I can tell, with the rental plate you gain the ability to use other boots as well as the ability for other people to use your skiis with their boots. I just want to know what the drawbacks might be, other than a few grams of weight.

    Thanks,
    Eric

  25. Fred Robinson December 20th, 2007 9:39 am

    I am the guy that has had two heel pieces blow up–the screws holding the top plate break or the plastic around the screw holes break so that the plate is no longer secure and the unit falls apart. At the same time I was also experiencing unintended rotation of the volcano and Salewa recomended lubricating the heel unit and brake interface to help the heel unit return to center if it starts to rotate. So when I replaced the heel piece I also lubricated with white lithium grease. The unintended rotation has been cured. I wonder if the rotation and heel piece blow up were related. Could it be that the heel unit was not returing entirely to center such that when I stepped down to click in the heel, the prongs were not centered in the boot slots. Maybe the prongs were pushed down thereby leveraging and stressing the plate and heel piece connection. Just a thought.

  26. Lou December 20th, 2007 9:46 am

    Fred, I’d say that unless the binding is working correctly, one thing could indeed lead to another. Good tip about keeping it lubricated to prevent unintended heel unit rotation while in touring mode. I’ll add that to the FAQ.

    Eric, the rental version of the Dynafit bindings is indeed useful. Only drawbacks are weight and of course possibly having a boot mis-located in relation to the recommended location on the ski (as you use a smaller boot, it will be located farther forward in relation to recommended position.)

  27. Espen December 24th, 2007 9:51 am

    Hello!

    Does anybody know where I can buy new “plastic thimble bushings” on the Internet?

    I’m from Norway…

  28. John Wasson January 8th, 2008 10:29 am

    Some Dynafit binding comments and questions. This is my 1st ever blog so hopefully it is in the right time and place.
    -Brakes and phantom shifting. I finally gave up on brakes. They saved a ski from certain loss some years ago. Brakes are the weak link in the system I think. They aggravate phantom heel rotation and make ski pole shifting harder. If you do have heel ice build up resist the urge to hack at it with your pole tip. The new scratches will make the ice stick more. Thanks for the black spring info.
    -Tri Step heel question. I have a pair of Tri Steps that Life Link helped me convert to Comfort toes. No problems since. Question is 6mm heel space. My new Kilowatts (w/ old MegaRides) with a new pair of Comforts jamb up a bit while walking in low mode. I had to back off to a sloppy 6mm space. Careful adjustment leads me to think there is a slight difference in the Comfort vs. Tri Step heels. This is a walking in powder issue. My bench test is to put tip and tail on a 2×4 block and press the boot to the bench & lift heel.
    -DIY mounting. This is all good info. The rule is, measure twice, drill once, repeat. Really though it is a way of saying find a jig or take them to your local shop. Also, it’s harder than you think so think about vertical holes. My shop experience is a couple of decades past so I seek advice on the following.. Tapping and countersinking. When and how much? I’m not actually sure my old tap matches modern screws. I have now ‘fixed’ two pairs of friends skis that were shop mounted. Each had space between ski and binding base plate. I determined the base plate was holding the screws so well that its threads were preventing the screws from bottoming out. I drilled out the plastic base plate, problem solved. I dislike and am allergic to epoxy. I use Titebond 3 or Gorilla Glue. A plug in a hole over a bit of Gorilla glue makes a good seal. Gorilla glue expands and is OK in a damp hole. Use sparingly.
    -The recent factory insert story sounds interesting. My bet is that metal will prevail for buggered hole reasons. I’ve never dealt with a stripped or cross threaded insert though, so maybe plastic is OK ???
    -Museum question. I seem to have inherited a pair of Hexel Primer Cords w/ Ramer Universal bindings. Main plate of binding is anodized red. There are some minor differences from the museum photo. Do you want them?
    Thanks
    JW

  29. Eugen ionica January 15th, 2008 3:36 am

    Hi!

    I am 250 pounds weight and I wonder if the Vertical Ft or ST can take my weight.

    I do not ski very aggressively but I don’t know how the bindings feel my weight. Now I have an old Silvretta 404 and still work ok.

    I ski about 10 days per year on piste with ski lift and another 10-20 touring.

    Sorry for my poor english!

  30. Big Steve January 25th, 2008 2:53 pm

    I have pondered the rare catastrophic rear post failure, and I surmise that it may be fatigue failure associated with repeated collision of the rear fixture with the boot heel, which, in turn, correlates to the decambering of soft skis (or adjusting the heel unit too close to the boot). I’d be curious to know the following: (a) have the failures occured on soft skis? (b) are the fatigue cracks usually first appearing on the front side of the post (as depicted in Kootenayskier pic)? (c) if answer to (b) is affirmative, then would the problem be abated by placing a machined Al donut (i.e., compression member) sandwiched between the heel unit and the mounting plate? Or am I just too worried about this, and should merely plan to replace the post every 80 or so days of skiing?

  31. Lou January 25th, 2008 10:37 pm

    Last option, Steve, and you may not ever need to replace the post.

  32. Big Steve January 26th, 2008 12:12 pm

    Okay, Lou. Thanks for the dope slap. I’ll be carrying a spare binding.

    Eugen, I’m roughly your weight, and I know other big guys on Comforts and Vertical ST’s. I am aware of no problems with big guy using Dynafits. Get ‘em and you’ll love ‘em.

  33. Felipe February 11th, 2008 10:08 am

    Hi, I have a question about dynafit crampons.

    I own a TLT binding and I am worried about crampon plate failure during an ascent. I want to avoid that situation, because I often use crampons in steep and iced slopes, where a failure could be dangerous.

    I am thinking about building a small, but more robust device that can be bolted to the ski, just behind the crampon attachment.

    What´s the best material to build it? plastic, steel or aluminum? Any ideas for the design?

    I want to keep the non-fixed crampon design, however I will be glad if anyone can give me an opinion about fixed-crampons.

    Thank you.

  34. Lou February 11th, 2008 10:32 am

    Felipe, B&D has everything you need.
    See http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=860

  35. peter nielsen February 16th, 2008 11:33 am

    I recently experienced two problems with my Dynafit comfort bindings and Garmont Mega Ride boots. The first problem occurred on a windy powder day, when the front lever of one binding pushed into the locked position. I don’t know how long I skied in this positon, but am concerned about this potential problem causing injury in a situation when I need the binding to release. Is this a common occurrence? It may have occurred when I skied through a powder drift. But I was very surprised when it occurred. If this can occur under these conditions, why won’t it happen if I get into a sluff or slide in the backcountry and need the binding to release?

    I also had a heel plate failure on one of my Garmont boots, after about 8 days of use. The back plate and screw competely disapeared while skiing about 5 inches of powder on moderate terrain. Is this a common problem? I have had difficulty getting the dealer and Garmont to replace the boots or repair them.

    After these two incidents, I am quite uncomfortable with the dynafit technology and using it for skiing on area or in the backcountry. I am disatisfied with my local dealer and garmont also, If the boot failure had occured in the backcountry, I would have had great difficulty getting home safely. If the binding failure had occurred at a time when I needed the binding to release, serious injury may have resulted.

  36. Lou February 17th, 2008 6:55 pm

    Hi Peter, I suppose a binding could get locked while skiing but it would indeed be rare for that to happen. As for your boots, yeah, nothing is perfect and that’s why there are dealers and warranties. Having the heel fitting come off does happen on rare occasions, but it’s not common enough to be something we’re blaring warnings about. On the other hand, we would expect to hear that the problem was quickly taken care of by the appropriate people. If not, you deserve to be upset.

  37. Felipe February 19th, 2008 7:32 am

    Hi Lou

    Thanks for the info about B&D products.
    I have two new questions:

    If I want to make my own crampon adaptor piece, what´s your material of choice, plastic or metal?

    Also, I am looking for brakes for older TLT bindings (around year 2002).

    Will new TLT vertical/comfort brakes work with older models? (http://www.rei.com/product/758130)

    Thank you!

  38. Lou February 19th, 2008 8:38 am

    Felipe, I’d say your material of choice would be the one you were best set up to work with. As for info about what brakes work with what models, that’s probably a question best asked to Salewa/Dynafit customer service. See http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=693

  39. Geoff February 20th, 2008 12:34 pm

    Hi Lou,

    You recommend lubricating the Dynafit bindings with a plastic-compatible, low-temperature lithium grease. A numbet of the synthetic-based lithium greases claim to function at low temperatures (-40 C or lower), but none of the lithium greases that I have found mention plastic compatibility on the package. Is there a specific brand that you know of that is plastic compatible? Thanks.

  40. Lou February 20th, 2008 12:40 pm

    Geoff, they all seem to work fine. If they come in a plastic tube then they’re obviously not attacking plastic, that’s my criterion… I’ve always hoped Dynafit would sell a lube for the bindings, but that hasn’t happened. Perhaps it doesn’t need to happen, as the light lithium seems to be fine. I actually use engine assembly lube because that’s what I’ve got on hand (grin), even it seems to work fine.

  41. Geoff February 20th, 2008 9:20 pm

    Lou, thanks for the info. When you say “light lithium”, does “light” mean light in color (as in white lithium grease) or light weight (low viscosity)?

  42. Florian February 21st, 2008 5:00 pm

    Hi Lou and others,
    I have a question about a pair of 1993 tlt bindings i got my hands on. (the pink ones)
    Now that i have them, i’m thinking about switching to dynafit. Is it very unwise for me to use these? I weigh about 77 kilograms, and my skiing technique.. well, i’m dutch.. but i don’t fall often or very hard though. It’s mostly for haute-route type skiing. The release spring has number 9.
    Is it safe to use for me to use you think?

  43. Lou February 21st, 2008 5:13 pm

    Florian, I still see people on those and they work. DIN 9 might be a bit high. Caution.

  44. Lou February 21st, 2008 5:14 pm

    Geoff, I mean light in viscosity. The stuff I use comes in a plastic tube and it’s very light in viscosity. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

  45. Mike G March 22nd, 2008 11:13 pm

    Hi Lou, I have recently purchased a new pair of Volkl Mantra skis which I had mounted with Dynafit Vertical FT bindings. I am skiing on these with Scarpa Spirit 4 boots. I have had a problem the last two or three times I went skiing. The conditions were relatively cold when it it has happened. It seems that one of the toe pieces is allowing the boot to torque out and release. I have cleaned out the ice and snow as well as I possibly can, and cleaned the sockets in the boots, stepped back in to the binding making sure that it was completely locked in, and within two turns I was ejected from the binding!
    I sprayed some sewing machine silicone lube under the springs on the toe, and in the toe sockets and it doesn’t seem to matter too much. It seems like it only does this sporadically. Some times it works fine. Today I was traversing on hard snow for quite a ways, and could actually see the toe pins on the binding sreading as I side stepped!
    I should mention that I have owned two other pair of dynafits in the past, and never really had a problem with them other than coming out while hop turning in deep heavy snow which I found out is caused by up- unloading the heel.
    I’m wondering if anyone else is having this problem. Maybe there is a problem with the one binding, or is it possibly the boot toe ? Any advice will be much appreciated.
    Thanks, Mike

  46. Lou March 23rd, 2008 1:56 am

    Hi Mike, the only time I’ve had that happen was when I had ice under the toe wings or in the toe sockets and that kept the binding from closing on the boot even when locked. If you’re sure those things are not happening (it sounds like you’re on top of it), then I’d say you’ve got some sort of defect and should work with the dealer or Salewa/Dynafit NA. If this is only happening with one of your two bindings then I’d say the defect theory is even more likely.

  47. Mike G March 23rd, 2008 11:49 am

    Hi Lou, thanks for the reply.
    I need to for sure verify that it is indeed only one of the toe pieces that is acting up, then I will contact the distributor.
    Do you have the web address or e-mail info for them?
    Thanks again, Mike

  48. Lou March 23rd, 2008 1:52 pm

    Mike, check out this blog post
    http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=693

  49. Nick Thomas March 23rd, 2008 2:39 pm

    Last week I broke the lifter/top plate on one of the heelpieces of my Dynafit STs. It had rotated round to the downhill position and I was trying to rotate it with the pole to the touring position (boot heel wasn’t locked down). Won’t try that again without retracting the brakes first!

    It does seem like a poor design change from the Comfort to make the lifter integral with the top plate.

  50. Lou March 23rd, 2008 4:25 pm

    Sorry to hear that Nick. Yep, you can’t force it and you need to retract brake by hand (or by stepping on it) when rotating to touring position from downhill skiing position. Otherwise you’ll break the binding.

    I did like the idea of the red “volcanoes” on the Comfort acting as a sort of fuse so when one used too much force they would break as a relatively non-essential part. They were perhaps slightly too fragile, but there was genius to the madness (grin).

  51. Luke March 23rd, 2008 9:43 pm

    I had the same problem as Nick, breaking the top plate on one of my ST bindings. Where would I look to find a replacement piece? A quick glance on the Dynafit website didn’t offer many clues, but then again, I didn’t look too hard. Is there a person/company I can contact somewhere in North America?

  52. Lou March 23rd, 2008 11:51 pm
  53. Mark Worley March 24th, 2008 3:59 pm

    I got a replacement heelpiece from Salewa, and they’re quite nice and helpful.

  54. Doug W March 30th, 2008 1:52 pm

    I’ve had the same problem as Mike G (March 22 post). I have brand new Spirit 3 boots and brand new dynafit bindings. I cannot ski downhill at all unless both toe pieces are in the locked position. A normal forward flex on the boots causes the toe pieces to spread outward. If I apply any torque (for example, make a turn), the toe pieces release. I called Dynafit about it and they said it could be a tolerance issue between the boot and binding manufacturing. I’m planning to try and grind down my boot sole a little today and see if that helps…but not too psyched about it since they are brand new. Also, I have tried stepping into some of my friend’s older dynafit models with my boots and it locked in solid. Even if I fix the sole by grinding, I’m not confident it won’t be problem in the future. Lou – Any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Doug

  55. George April 16th, 2008 6:34 pm

    Hi lou, quick q: I’ve got a pair of tourlite tech bindings going into their sixth season of 80+ days a year. Besides the usual issue of heel piece play on the post due to the little red puck wear, i’ve also noticed a rocking of the heel piece on the post resulting in about 10mm of vertical play of the heelpiece of the ski boot when initiating a turn. Carefull examination of the mating area of the bottom of the heelpiece housing and the metal post shows an ovalization of the initially round mating area. Obviously this is due to wear but i’m curious if this is a ‘normal’ wear pattern for high mileage binders. As a note of interest, the bindings have been used for many miles of dirty spring tours, creek crossings, and summer skiing; probably introducing excessive amounts of hard debris to the internals. I maintain them quite regularily (hose the binders down, deconstruct and clean/lube when required) and have been extremely happy with their reliable service over the years. I don’t huck cliffs and try to maintain a smooth, balanced disposition on skis and had a minimal amount of prereleases or any other binding issues over the years of service.

  56. Lou April 16th, 2008 7:23 pm

    George, that’s all normal wear at high miles. I’d replace the thimble bushing “red puck,” but the egged out housing is a more tricky issue, and with almost a centimeter of play you definitely should replace that. I’d see if Dynafit/Salewa has housings they sell, if not, after all that use it might be time for new bindings. Nothing lasts forever — it’s pretty cool you got more than 500 days of touring on those little things!

  57. cory April 17th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Lou-
    You ever think of doing a little car-talk style in your blog? You know…click and clack from NPR? I was thinkin’ people write in and describe their skiing style and you suggest a set-up. Or they describe the issues with their gear and you suggest a remedy. All with a large dose of humor. Just a thought.
    Cory
    p.s. some epic spring corn has been had but has been buried by that pesky pow…so it goes.

  58. Damo June 23rd, 2008 6:32 pm

    Hey Lou
    Was hoping for some advice on a dynafit problem I’m having. Toe piece will prerelease while skiing unless locked into walk mode (sometimes even walk mode will pop into ski mode when provoked by a hard turn). It seems to happen when forward pressure is exerted on the big toe.

    First thought was that binding or mount was faulty. Tried new set of bindings and rechecked mount with jig- all seemed OK??? Do you have any ideas? Details- ski width under foot 108, boot is zzero4 c and bindings are 07/08 vertical FT.

    Thanks and keep up the good work,
    Damo

  59. Lou June 23rd, 2008 6:43 pm

    Wow Damo, that’s hard to figure out with remote view. Try to replicate on bench, and test the boots in another set of bindings to see if it’s the boot or the binding causing the problem. Perhaps the trigger zone on the boot sole is a bit too thick and not letting the binding totally close, or the fitting is out of line. Do you have access to a dealer?

  60. Jack November 8th, 2008 3:38 pm

    When using Dynafit bindings are your boots actually supposed to be supported by the heel pins as mine have about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of space under the heel? Is it safe to use the TLT without the brakes installed? Thanks

  61. Lou November 8th, 2008 4:02 pm

    Jack, yes, the boot is suspended between to pins and heel pins, that’s one of the beautiful things about the binding: little to no friction when release is required (depending on how brake interacts with boot sole). So, use without brakes.

  62. Sam Reese November 17th, 2008 2:39 pm

    When examining metal for fatigue points, I can’t say enough about using Optic Whitener (a UV reactive fabric dye, most commonly used to make wedding dresses look iridescent in the sun) and a black light. Just pour a little of the whitener over the metal in question, and hold it under a black light, any cracks or marring of the surface will hold more of the dye, and show up as glowing bright green streaks under the black light.

    Then again, if you don’t occasionally host raves in your metal shop, UV dye and black lights might not be in your tool inventory.

  63. Mark November 25th, 2008 2:14 pm

    Lou, went out in the garage last night to do a bit of ski tuning and was surprised to see the heel rest on one of my Vertical STs had broken clean off – the little tab that your boot rests on when in flat touring mode. Have no idea how/when it happened. The binders probably have 40 days on them and I pretty much ski nothing but BC soft snow – no snowparks, no hucking. I sent dynafit an email at their general email address to see if I could get just the titanal housing to replace. (haven’t heard back yet). Do you think this is a feasable option (just replacing the broken part) or should I bite the bullet and get a whole new heel piece. Be glad to send you a photo if you want to see it.
    Thanks!

  64. Lou November 25th, 2008 3:35 pm

    Mark, please send photo, but work with Salewa NA and you’ll probably be fine.

  65. Mark December 11th, 2008 5:42 pm

    Lou, thanks for the heads-up on Salewa NA. Sent them an email and after exchanging a couple more they UPSed me a new heel moulding. They just wanted to be sure I was up to doing the replacement myself – guess I’ll find out tonight! (with the help of your heel disassembly tutorial, of course) Kudos to Salewa for great service! (no charge, by the way)

  66. Lou December 11th, 2008 6:24 pm

    Mark, just be SUPER careful not to cross-thread the lateral release spring barrel when replacing. People make the booboo all the time, even done it myself. You should be able to thread the barrel in with your fingers to get it started.

  67. Mark December 12th, 2008 1:08 pm

    Lou,
    I had a successful heel molding transplant last night. Was actually easier than I thought it would be. Amazing little pieces of engineering. Thanks again for all the great how-to info.

  68. Lou December 12th, 2008 2:49 pm

    Congrats Mark, you are now a member of the Dynarati!

  69. ffelix December 26th, 2008 3:18 pm

    Hi Lou,

    Good post–thanks!

    I’ve been using various models of Dynafits since around 1990(?), so I’ve seen several of the failures you mention. The most debilitating problem was one that you didn’t mention.

    While packed in a ski bag, airline baggage monkeys managed to reef on my opened toe piece until the interlocking plastic tabs broke. Without the tabs, the springs want to fall off, so I had to gently insert my boot, then ski with the toe-piece locked. It worked to get me home, but at that time US distribution was basically non-existent & I could never find replacement parts [I got my bindings & boots from Europe]. I ended up switching to Fritschis for a few years until Life-link started bringing the bindings in.

    So now I carry extra tabs in my repair kit & always close & lock the toe pieces for air travel. Haven’t had that problem again.

  70. Greg S. January 20th, 2009 12:28 am

    wondered if you could shed some light on my ski brake issue?> i purchased these Dynafit TLT binding a couple years ago. they have > been flawless (once i got the din set properly). and they’ve held up > well under the heavy use.> last week we were skiing Silverton Mtn and the brake came off. not > during use just while stepping into it at the lift line. the fit > seemed straight forward and i slid it back into place until i felt it > ‘click’ into a lock-type position.> well it fell out twice more, and then again while shouldering the skis > to carry them.> Ive just been messin with them to see if there was something obvious. > but none found.> and before I tweaked the little metal stems that ‘lock’ it in place, i > thought I’d ask ‘da man’.> got any experience with this?

  71. Lou January 20th, 2009 12:38 am

    Hi Greg, it sounds like you’re missing a part I call the “retainer.” Who installed your bindings and brakes?

    See

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/dynafit_faq/comfort-brake-install.html

  72. kirk turner January 22nd, 2009 6:33 pm

    Hey long time reader, I just had a question if you have a minute. I was curious approx what a pair of the early dynafit TLT’s would be worth blue and red model with a gray plate that attaches toe and heel piece, (supposedly skied once). Also curious how much current models have changed since then. I’m a college student and am strapped for cash so considering a binding trade with this dude, but I don’t want to get screwed….

  73. Lou January 23rd, 2009 5:15 am

    Kirk, I don’t think there is any set price on that stuff. Also, I’m not clear on what model you’re talking about.

  74. kirk January 23rd, 2009 10:21 am
  75. Lou January 23rd, 2009 6:19 pm

    Kirk, wow, that is a variation I’ve never seen!!! Probably a collector’s item. The binding is basically an early TLT, known now as a TLT Speed, with some sort of connecting plate that was never officially imported to North America as far as I know. If the binding is in good shape it’s probably just as functional as a present day TLT Speed, which retails for around $350. I’d say your used older one is probably worth a cool $100 but that’s just an estimate. It’s worth what someone will pay…

  76. Phil February 4th, 2009 6:39 pm

    A question that may have been answered, but I missed it…in choosing between the Fritschi line and the Dynafit AT bindings…which would be the least likely to leave me stranded in the backcountry from a binding failure?

    Thanks..

  77. Lou February 4th, 2009 7:00 pm

    I’d say they’re about the same.

  78. Lee Lau February 4th, 2009 7:01 pm

    Well Phil – how much do you weigh? How do you ski?

    Dynafits are pretty reliable. So are Fritschis.

    If you’re a 100ft cliff hucker then nothing’s going to save you. Under intended use, both binders are pretty good. I’m 160lbs and never been stranded by either binding.

  79. Randonnee February 4th, 2009 8:10 pm

    My 1998 Fritsche broke while powder skiing. The bar broke right in front of the ski brake. I wrapped cord around it and the boot and limped out. But then, I am a big boy with a lot of years’ working and playing in the mountains. That binding had four years’ use including a Haute Route.

    Dynafits have never left me stranded, I have owned six pair, five different models. Dynafits do readily come off walking or skiing unless the toe is locked, and even that has limits for me. A Dynafit boot (cuff), the TLT AT cracked so badly while skiing powder that I used my heated Swiss Army knife awl to punch holes in order to lace it with wire. Then I skied the rest of the day on it.

  80. Phil February 5th, 2009 12:33 pm

    Good questions..I weight 189 lbs and my objective in going to a complete AT set up next season is to allow me to skin up in the Wallowa Mts [where I live] and be able to actually get turns after the 2 hours of grunts getting up…I have tried to free heel…but it is beating me to death, that an a torn meniscus has me switching to AT…my skiing ability is good but not “ski anything” and no thanks to air and drops…just carving the powder we get is my ideal..

    Hence the Dynafit Comfort is what I have been looking at, along with perhaps the Havocs…need to find somewhere to demo this gear…above all else I don’t what the gear to fail when I am out in BFE…

    Any and all input appreciated..other than “tele or die!” :)

  81. Ross February 5th, 2009 1:03 pm

    Hi, I’ve damaged the toe piece on my Fritschi Titanal 2′s, and can’t get hold of another (I’m in the UK). I found a forum which says I can use an Explorer toe piece on my bindings, can you confirm whether this is true? Many thanks, Ross.

  82. Lou February 5th, 2009 1:07 pm

    Phil, you’ll be fine on Dynafits, but if this is your first AT binding let me suggest you do consider Fritschi as a starter binding. You’ll be dealing with a lot of things to learn, and Dynafits do take some getting used to, though durability is simply not an issue in comparison to any other AT binding.

  83. Lou February 5th, 2009 1:09 pm

    Ross, probably so.

  84. Phil February 5th, 2009 4:42 pm

    Lou thanks…I do understand about the learning curve and will heed your advice…hate to push my luck…but can you give me a 1-2-3 rating of do it all AT skis for climb up/ski down powder we have out here?

    Thanks again…Phil::

  85. Lou February 5th, 2009 4:57 pm

    My favorite up/down pow ski is Dynafit Manaslu, for a less specialized ski I like k2 Baker SL. If you really really understand the Dynafit learning curve, then go with the Dynafit binding, especially if you’ve got a friend to mentor you. But if you’re skiing with a bunch of telemarkers that are just going to rib you while you fiddle around, then a step-in step-out binder might be better.

  86. GeorgeT February 5th, 2009 8:56 pm

    Lou & Phil:
    As an inbounds tele and OB AT guy I resemble those “ribbing” remarks on both ends. I have both Fritschi and Dynafits and I steer new AT users toward the Dynafit, especially if they plan to work 2 hours for turns. If the ribbing starts, remind the tele gods that your bindings are 2+ pounds lighter for the 2 hours. George

  87. Vintage Wedding Dresses February 11th, 2009 3:38 am

    I am a spam slave. My job is to sit here in Brazil and write stupid blog comments all night long that have nothing to do with the subject, just so I can get a link from back from a website that Google actually appreciates. Thanks for such a nice collection of wedding dresses. I like your collection of dresses. Thanks for time to collect this information.

  88. Scruppo March 19th, 2009 10:03 am

    Not sure if this is an issue or not – My local backcountry shop here in Boulder (that probably gives it away), mounted my Vertical ST’s a little off angle. When the toe is in and I pivot down to the heel to lock into downhill mode, the two rear binding rods do not line up with the boot “notches”. They are off by about 3 mm. I can stomp down and lock them in, but am worried that this is placing constant unnecessary twisting load on the toe. Do you think this is an issue? If so is the only remedy to remount them?

  89. Lou March 19th, 2009 10:11 am

    Scruppo, yes, the boot should align very close, definitely better than three mm. The problem you describe is just caused by poor craftsmanship while mounting (or in the case of boots with removable sole blocks, can be caused by the sole blocks shifting during or after the mount.). The shop should fix, which is easy and does not usually require a re-mount, just a loosening and re-tightening of the front screws (which should be re-inserted with fresh glue).

    Like another commenter said a while ago, beware your ski shop worker didn’t learn everything they know about ski mounting from People Magazine, sounds like this one might have…

    If I had nickle for every word I’ve written about this exact subject, I’d be rich !

    And why not just mention who this shop is? That way when people go in there for mounts they’ll know to be extra careful. (grin)

  90. Scruppo March 19th, 2009 10:18 am

    Thanks for the quick response! Guess I’ll be going back to Neptune for an adjustment.

  91. Kent June 12th, 2009 3:28 am

    Hi,
    I also have problems with boot aligning. In my case I think it is my Scarpa Skookum boots that are not aligning very well.

    The shop mounted the bindings a little off angle too (maybe 1-2 mm), but the bindings do not compensate for the boots, so I do not think it was made by purpose.

    It seems to be the left boot that is causing the most alignment error when used together with the “right ski” (I have K2 Coomba skis, so you can see a difference between right and left ski by looking at the paint design).

    The shop has been working with my skis, but seems to have failed. Now they want to replace my skis with next years Coomback, but not the boots. I suspect that they will mount the bindings even more off angle to compensate for the boots, making it impossible to swap skis.

    Should I complain about this or is common to end up with a left and a right ski when using dynafit?

  92. Lou June 12th, 2009 7:20 am

    The boots and skis should be interchangeable. If the fittings in the boots are out of alignment, making it necessary to have a right and left ski, then the boots are defective and should be replaced on warranty. Trying to compensate for this by mounting the bindings crooked is ridiculous.

    Another thing to evaluate with “tech” compatible boots these days is once they’re mounted, check the side release of the boot while in alpine mode in your Dynafit bindings, with your chosen DIN setting. Make sure it’s smooth and elastic, and doesn’t “catch” and feel “blocked” when you’re actuating it by pressing the boot heel to the side.

  93. Gordon June 30th, 2009 11:05 am

    I have had no trouble whatsoever with my dynafit bindings over many, many years – until the last couple of winters – the toe binding releases, not while skiing, but in locked mode when going uphill, eg during a kick turn. Now the first thought is, of course, worn boot/binding interface. But they don’t seem to be worn (no dealers nearby). Anybody else had this problem? – possibly new springs necessary?? More likely new bindings & boots (&skiis) necessary! – ouch!

  94. Scott Fennell October 30th, 2009 7:47 am

    Looking for some repair advice (please pardon my crazy Chilean keyboard futility ” the punctuation marks are a bit of a mystery to me)

    I need very desperately to come up with a bomber repair for the heel piece on my dynafit bootñ the metal fitting on the heel that the binding pins lock into. The screw that holds it in place has almost entirely stripped it{s hole. Even a short, easy descent leaves the metal piece flopping around in the breeze.

    I am thinking of either drilling the hole deeper to allow a longer screw, or using a circular file of some sort to increase the radius of the hole in the metal heel piece, to allow a wider screw.

    Any advice_

    I am trying to board the boat for the Antarctica Ski Cruise in like 6 days, so I am really concerned about this.

    Scott

  95. Lou October 30th, 2009 8:20 am

    Scott, taking that repair on an expedition sounds iffy. I’d use both a longer and slightly larger screw. Bed everything in JB-Weld.

    See this:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/1105/boot-maintenance-of-the-dynafit-kind/

  96. Scott Fennell October 30th, 2009 9:04 am

    I{m not too sure about the availability of JB weld in Patagonia. If you had to choose between Gorilla Glue, something called [Bart{s Cement[ and whatever may be available in a SODIMAC (if not JB Weld), what would you choose_

  97. Lou October 30th, 2009 9:20 am

    Nothing you can easily get sticks to the boot plastic that well. The idea is more to “bed” the parts so they don’t move as easily. Epoxy is what’s used for that, because it has some density.

  98. Thomas B October 30th, 2009 1:10 pm

    Scott, that friggin sucks,go to a boat repair place down at the docks, there will be some kind of epoxy laying around somewhere.
    Alternately you may have to return to the tele turn that you abandoned once your new Dynafit romance blossomed….
    Good luck.

  99. Lou October 30th, 2009 2:21 pm

    And everyone, CHECK THE TIGHTNESS OF YOUR DYNAFIT REAR FITTING SCREWS, and perhaps bed in JB Weld for insurance, per this:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/1105/boot-maintenance-of-the-dynafit-kind/

  100. Scott Fennell October 30th, 2009 5:14 pm

    I went with longer, wider, and a big helping of 2′part epoxy. There{s not too much else I can do, but I do have a file and an even larger screw in my kit now, just in case.

    Unbelievably bad timing, although better now than halfway down some exposed ski line.

  101. Lee Lau October 30th, 2009 11:01 pm

    Are you insane? Is this question a joke? You’re spending that kind of money and going to go to Antartica with a boot that badly compromised? I’m not even going to try to dignify that question with an answer

  102. Lee Lau October 30th, 2009 11:04 pm

    Oh wait. You’re in Chile now. Oh boy – you’ve got big problems. Lots of JB weld. Beg or borrow another boot.

  103. Scott Fennell October 31st, 2009 5:48 am

    Lee,

    Thank you for dignifying my question.

    Interesting note for anyone undertaking a similar repair that heel fitting metal is SUPER SUPER hard. In my initial attempts to widen the screw hole, all I managed to do was file my file!

  104. Lou October 31st, 2009 7:35 am

    Indeed, that’s one thing to note about Dynafit boot fittings, they’re made from carefully formulated and hardened steel, and the front ones are a more complex shape then they appear to be on first glance.

  105. Lee Lau October 31st, 2009 11:16 am

    Sorry Scott. I couldn’t edit my post after seeing that you were already in Antarctica. Bad situation for you and good luck with it. Bring some long straps with you so you lock your rear foot down if that fix gives way

  106. Scott Fennell October 31st, 2009 12:22 pm

    No problem. Gotta love internet communication sometimes!

  107. harpo November 29th, 2009 10:00 am

    Lou, could you do an update on common, or not so common, failures of the Vertical ST and Vertical FT? Specifically, I am wondering if the ST has problems with the base of the heel post breaking like you reported the Comfort does? I have to remount a pair of Comforts, and I am thinking of replacing them with a pair of ST’s I have lying around………..

  108. harpo November 29th, 2009 10:01 am

    noting I wanted to informed of updates on this post.

  109. Ben W December 5th, 2009 11:14 am

    Hi Lou,

    I bought some used Comforts off eBay. On one of the heels the fore-aft adjustment screw has a loose connection with the metal post. I think this will result in unwanted rotational play. What are my repair options?

  110. scott fennell December 5th, 2009 11:32 am

    As an update to my issue posted above, with the heel fitting screw stripping out. I skied as hard as I ever have on it in Antarctica and it held bomber the whole time! You can bet I will be carrying extra screws in my repair kit, and extra heel fittings if I can ever come by any.

  111. Keith December 13th, 2009 8:31 pm

    Lou,
    I am in need of some repair advice. I have mounted several Dynafit bindings using your instructions (which are great) due to the fact that the nearest shop is over 300 miles away. All the mounts came out great except for the last one. I was putting the first screw in the heal piece when I realized I used one of the front screws which as you know are longer. I pulled it back out but there is a bump on the base. I know I’m an idiot for not being more careful. Is there an at home repair to fix my screw up? Thanks for any help

  112. josh December 13th, 2009 9:36 pm

    I just bought the dynafit crampons for the tlt bindings… I cannot figure out how to get them in and out of the ski! Any suggestions???

  113. Keith December 13th, 2009 10:38 pm

    Josh
    Hold the crampon perpendicular to the slot in toe piece with the front of crampon facing down and slide into the slot from the side.

  114. Lou December 13th, 2009 10:52 pm

    Keith,
    I’ve never done that of course :angel:

    But I’ve “fixed” it a bunch of times. What I usually is, with the binding off the ski, I flip the ski upside down and set it on a hard surface just under where the base bulge is, then using the rounded end of a socket extension and a hammer, I lightly tap on the bulge to bring it back down a bit. Then, using a small drill bit I drill the screw hole a bit deeper so that when I epoxy the screw in the epoxy will migrate down into the area where the bulge is and reinforce it. After the screws are in, I sometimes do the tapping routine one more time, before the epoxy sets. Last but not least, use a sharp scraper to whittle down the Ptex at the bulge, or better, have the skis machine tuned.

    During above procedure, it wouldn’t hurt to clamp the bulge after the binding is screwed on. But don’t over-tighten the clamp and risk crushing the ski structure.

    This is all assuming the bulge is minor. If you really drove that screw to kingdom come and delaminated the base of the ski, you could be hosed. In that case, as a last resort you might end up removing a section of Ptex so you could epoxy and clamp the delaminated area, then replace the Ptex with an inlay or base welder.

  115. Keith December 13th, 2009 11:25 pm

    Thanks Lou, I also found a site that said if it was a minor bulge it could be machined, but with my location that isn’t really an option, or use silicon oxide sandpaper on a block and lubricate the base with soapy water and take it down that way. I think I will try your suggestions first though. Thanks for operating such a great site the information here is priceless.

  116. Lou December 14th, 2009 7:30 am

    The main thing is to know you’ll never get it totally flat by just clamping or tamping, you’ll have to mill down the ptex. The easiest way to do that without a machine tune is just use a sharp cabinet scraper.

  117. Gordon Nudd December 16th, 2009 1:08 pm

    For the last year or so I pop out of the front unit when going UPHILL! – if turning or putting a sideways force on it. I guess there must be wear somewhere – boot or the pins, or weak springs. Nothing immediately obvious.

  118. Josh Briggs January 2nd, 2010 12:06 pm

    Lou,

    Any comments on the build durability of the ST & FT bindings vs. the venerable TLT?

    I have broken comfort bindings in the manner than you describe above… essentially micro-fracturing the base of the the aluminum heel plate, and then driving the post through the plate. Not a defect on dynafit’s part, just a wear and tear result of me being heavier and skiing many days on the bindings.

    I currently use one pair of ST and another pair of FT bindings and am quite happy with the ease of use. However, I do notice a similar “sculpting” of the heel assembly aluminum to the comfort, likely to save weight– so am left wondering if the TLT is not a better option for all-round strength and durability.

    The TLT’s are, admittedly, more “fiddly” than the newer models, but do you feel that they are actually a stronger / more durable binding than the FT / ST models (excluding the higher DIN available on the FT)? Did anything change in the design of the FT or ST to make them more suitable to aggressive skiing, heavier skiers, and landing airs– something for which the FT is marketed?

    Regards,
    Josh Briggs
    Canada

  119. Lou January 2nd, 2010 12:51 pm

    Josh, the longer heel pins of the FT/ST make them better for aggressive skiing as they allow more flex of the ski without the binding hitting the heel of your boot (try it, put a boot in ski, flex, and watch.)

    Other than that the TLT is indeed equally as strong and the heel spindle/post is not doubt stronger, if for no other reason than it’s shorter so gets less leverage. Biggest problem in my view is that they don’t make brakes for the TLT, though there are some of the original ones floating around (but they never worked that well).

  120. Josh Briggs January 2nd, 2010 1:49 pm

    Thanks Lou,

    Very informative, thanks.

    Brakes… over-rated in my opinion. Create (minor, granted) trouble in switching from ski to tour, cause easier “flip” to ski mode when iced-up heel rotates in tour mode (plus have to remove ski to switch back).
    They do avoid the need for a ski strap to keep the skis together while carrying them but seem to provide only marginal additional friction to stop a loose ski when in low density snow.

    I’ve got one pair of Rossi B100′s mounted with FT’s (heavy) and one pair of Head Monster OB’s mounted with ST’s (light). No brakes on the ST’s and don’t miss them.

  121. Felipe January 4th, 2010 8:02 am

    Hi Lou, what`s the best way to modify earlier dynafit crampons to make them fit in newer reinforced toe plates? thanks!

  122. Lou January 4th, 2010 10:40 am

    Felipe, the best thing to do is leave the crampons alone and cut the offending junk off the binding.

  123. FRobinson January 27th, 2010 10:09 am

    On the way out from a recent trip in Glacier Park, I was in tour mode on a narrow trail at lower elevation where the snow pack was thin, and one of my tips went under a logs–I shouldn’t have been locked in but I was kind of lulled to sleep on that issue by the gentle terrain. The ski stopped but I kept going forward. Luckily, my boot came out of the binding. But the toe pivot was still in locked position. I can’t explain this very well, but the lever had been forced forward past the point of no return such that the only way to get it back to normal was to take this pin (with a spring attached) out and the toe piece off. Only then was I able to put everything back together.

    Now, my question is should I now go back and epoxy the screw holes? I don’t think they were epoxied before and I am concerned that if this ever happens again, I won’t be able to unscrew the toe piece.

  124. Jacob Hartsoch February 3rd, 2010 10:48 am

    I recently broke the heel on a Dynafit TLT Speed and wanted to see if anyone else has experienced a similar defect.
    Yes, I was following kids in the Terrain Park and went off a small jump :) As far as I can tell, the landing pushed down on the pins hard enough to break the plastic just below the pins. The top plate, pins, and spring all came off in one piece. The little screws are intact in the now-broken plastic. I was suprised how little plastic is expected to keep the pins from cantilevering up on a vertical impact.
    I was surprised to not see this type of breakage noted anywhere as it seems a weak spot in the binding. Essentially, all the skiers weight is pushing down on the pins as the heel doesn’t “rest” on anything else.

    Thoughts?

    Here is a link to a picture:
    http://tinypic.com/r/wrkin6/6

  125. Lou February 3rd, 2010 11:07 am

    Jacob, after you’re over the surprise, get some Dukes (grin). Lou

  126. Jacob Hartsoch February 3rd, 2010 11:49 am

    Lou,
    My resort skiing is limited to teaching my son to ski and the occasional groomer usually. I learned my lesson trying to take one run in the terrain park :)

    I’m just trying to evaluate how “careful” to be in the future and a bit nervous about ski mountaineering given this failure. If a 165 lb skier landing a 2ft jump is enough to break the binding this way, it could be problematic. I’m guessing it’s just a one-off on a well used binding, but it’s got me nervous when I look and see how little plastic actually connects the top plate to the rest of the plastic heel. A lot of force pushes up on the back of the pins with any vertical impact at all. Heck, the weight of the skier is always transfered to the upper plastic on the rear of the pins just standing in the binding. I wonder if running brakes (giving a bit of a platform below the heel) takes some stress off the heel piece?

  127. Lou February 3rd, 2010 12:10 pm

    Jacob, the binding is designed to have the boot suspended between toe and heel. That’s actually a safety advantage because it virtually eliminated unpredictable release friction. Millions of skiers are very successful with it. But if you’re uncomfortable with it, seriously, there are a ton of options out there. As for your breakage, if it was an older binding there is just no way to know if it was perhaps previously damaged, fatigued, loose, mis-adjusted or whatever. I can say that I’ve landed plenty of 24 inch airs with Dynafits, though usually not onto terrain park “snow.” We’ve broken a couple of Dynafits here, but only after a ton of use. Lou

  128. jones February 26th, 2010 3:12 pm

    Hope this isn’t a repeat, there’s a lot to read here:
    I’ve got a cracked plastic base plate on the heel piece of the my fairly new, barely used FT 12s. It’s a vertical crack visible on the back by the heel adjustment screw thereby disrupting the the continuity of the heel plate.
    Is this plate unreliable and may fail? Must i replace it? Who do i contact?

  129. Lou February 26th, 2010 5:05 pm

    Jones, usually, you’d contact your dealer first… Or Salewa/Dynafit N.A. in Boulder…

  130. Mark W February 27th, 2010 8:16 am

    Jacob, I have hucked some normal slopestyle jumps before with no problems, but don’t recommend making a habit of it.

  131. Matt Leidecker March 13th, 2010 4:06 pm

    Lou,

    I have a broken comfort heel post. I was wondering if you have any information about warrantying that part or picking up a new one for replacement. Who should I contact regarding these questions.

    Thanks

    -Matt-

  132. Lou March 13th, 2010 6:04 pm

    I’d try Dynafit/Salewa in Boulder, and also B&D Ski Gear (see banner to left). Lou

  133. Mikko Kurri March 18th, 2010 2:22 am

    Hi Lou & co!

    I have had, and still have, problems with the skibrakes of my Dynafit Vertical STs. I have been able to pull the skibrakes completely out of the binding three times from two different sets of Verticals. I got my first Dynafits this winter and set the DIN settings to 5.5 for both the lateral and forward release (63 kg/165cm/sole length 300 mm/type 2 skier = DIN 5.5). While testing the release, the bindings released easily laterally, but in the forward direction I had to use a lot of force in order to get the bindings release. As a consequence the other of the skibrakes was lying on snow and the retainer clip of the other binding was misplaced but the brake itself was still in the right place. I had not checked whether the retainer clips were in the right position before testing, so it is possible that they were originally not properly installed. I took the skis and bindings back to the local retailer and the skibrakes were properly reinstalled.

    To me it also seemed that the knobs of the heel section of the boot’s sole could have jammed with the brake actuator plate (the boots are Garmont Megarides, mondo 26, skis are K2 Payback 160 cm). I contacted the person from whom I bought the boots (as used), and he had been skiing over 4 years with the same boots with Dynafits and the skibrakes without any difficulties in the release or in detaching the brakes unintentionally (he did not remember the model of the binding, probably Comfort? According to the fotos at least the actuator plate is different between the skibrakes of the Vertical and Comfort). As a precaution I cut material away from the heel knobs closest to the skibrake plate so that the front edges of the knobs form a slant surface of about 140 deg instead of the 90 deg of the original ones. When the boot is locked in the binding there is about 3 mm distance between the back end of the release plate and the nearest “slant knobs”. When the back section of the binding has just released, i.e. the pins are out of the heel fitting, there is still some distance between these two. After this position the release plate will still move a couple of centimeters up-and backwards, thus sliding over the wedged knobs. This is not of course a frictionless transition but there is no jamming. Anyway, after these considerations I lowered the forward release DIN setting to 5 and tested the release. And again the other of the skibrakes was pulled out. At this time I was not wise enough to mark the bindings and brakes, so this could have been the same one that was previously pulled out (or not). The bad thing in this kind of pulling is that the hooks of the arms of the attachment system cut material away from the main post to which it is “clicked” thus making the attachment even more unreliable in the reinstallation of the brakes.

    Ok, at this point I got brand new heel units to which the skibrakes were preinstalled at the factory by Dynafit. I was pretty sure that the problems were overcome. For a precaution I lowered the forward DIN setting under 5 (hard to know the exact figure as the scale ends at 5). And then testing… and then Deja vu! The skibrake was out of the heel unit with nice wounds in the main post.

    Have you any experience of the same kind of problems or am I the only lucky one? This problem seems to be a mysterious mixture of the properties of the bindings, skis, boots, me, positions of the stars etc… My strongest theory at this moment is that because in the forward release the ski flexes a little bit downwards/away from the plane of the boots sole, i.e. is concave under the boot, AND the force experienced by the heel unit forces it to bend a little bit backwards, the retainer clip is not supported anymore downwards by the heel units bottom and is free to clip away. Any other explanations or theories? Any suggestions to fix the problem? Or has this problem been already dealt with in some other posts?

    As presented in FAQs gluing a solid “rubber bridge” between the lugs could eliminate the effect of jamming, but still, can the amount of friction (which is small in my opinion in this case) introduced by the sole of the boot create such a force that the attachment arms are pulled through the material of the main post?

    Best regards,

    Mikko

  134. Lassi March 28th, 2010 1:03 am

    I share the brake issue with Mikko with 2009 Comfort model. Other brake was pulled out yesterday wery strange and the locking plate was gone. I have Dynafit boots so it should be logical that Dynafit had dealt with friction issue but as usually this is propably some kind of design fault.

    I will make a new better locking plate today and will be reporting if it helps. I did not noticed any special abrasion in the heel post but I have to inspect it better. My both DIN settins are 6.

  135. Lou March 28th, 2010 7:14 am

    Mikko, sorry, but I’m having trouble understanding your comment. Are you saying the brake somehow jams under your boot heel as your boot rises in a vertical release? And that this is damaging the brakes?

  136. Mikko Kurri March 29th, 2010 7:16 am

    Hi Lou,

    Sorry if my explanation was unclear. When the skibrake was pulled out for the first time in the vertical/forward release I didn’t pay too much attention to the potential jamming issue as it was also possible that the brakes were not properly installed. Because pulling out the skibrakes has now happened also with preinstalled skibrakes, there has to be some other reason for this problem than bad mounting. As I wrote, after the modifications to the heel of the boot, there is now a visible distance (in the plane of the boot’s sole) between the “knobs” at the boot’s heel and the actuator plate’s rear edge. In the Verticals the actuator plate is rising with an angle i.e. the rear edge is at higher elevation that the front edge of the plate, probably this can increase friction/the potential for jamming in some cases? Anyway, after the modifications I have not observed any jamming. Therefore it’s hard to believe that the sole of the boot is causing this problem. If it’s not the boot nor the mounting then what can it be? I don’t have a clue, nor have the persons familiar with Dynafits to which I have been talking to. This has happened now three times (actually every time I have tested the forward release of the bindings) so it can’t be just bad luck…

    Best regards,

    Mikko

  137. Lou March 29th, 2010 7:37 am

    If an expert at a dealer has looked at your bindings and they’re still doing that, I’d say it’s way past time for a warranty return/exchange. It is also possible that you are not sliding the brake all the way on when installing the brake, and then after that perhaps not installing the brake retainer clip correctly. Again, get another set of eyes on your bindings. You do know that to install the brakes you have to remove the heel unit from the spindle, correct?

  138. Lassi March 29th, 2010 12:18 pm

    I found exatly the same in my main post as mikko did. The brake was pulled out so forcefully that the iron brake locking plates sharp corners has cut their way through the main post aluminium.

    I made a new locking plate but it will not help because the sharp edge on the backside of the main post is now round edge and that wil not hold the brake if there is lateral forces pulling the brake out.

    My brake was pulled out wery strange in anchor lift after my skis messed together and with a bouncy lift track. I falled down and lost one ski, slipped downwards the track couple of meters with other ski stucked on the other away from the binding and suddenly there was no brake.

    I have to contact the dealer in Germany to get information on Dynafit warranty and I hope they will send me a new main post and a new locking plate. The original locking plate is probably made from spring steel and I only had relatively soft stainless steel.

  139. Mikko Kurri March 30th, 2010 12:57 am

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks of you comments. Yes, the heel unit has been removed when the skibrake has been installed. After the skibrake was pulled out for the second time I got brand new heel units with preinstalled skibrakes (i.e. installation of the brakes was made by Dynafit not the local dealer) as a warranty exchange. The expert of the local dealer made the reinstallation of this new binding & skibrake “package” and we both inspected that everything was well in place. Despite of this the brake was pulled out. So I think that nothing will change even if would get another warranty exchange. That’s why I have been trying to think the main cause of this problem, jamming/friction issue being one of the candidates.

    As this has happened also with Lassi’s Dynafit boots, I am starting to be convinced that this is a Dynafit level design fault issue.

    -Mikko-

  140. Lou March 30th, 2010 10:20 am

    Mikko, it sounds like you should just be using a different binding. Not every binding is good for every person.

  141. ken holmes April 8th, 2010 7:05 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I have a pair of TLT bindings that have had 3 seasons of use, probably 50 days per season, average. I am not an agressive skier, 71years old, 165 lb with release setting about 5.5 to 6. I recently noticed that the heel bindings could be rocked side to side and “fore and aft”. I checked the plastic bushings and they were fine but I put new ones in anyway. This did not stop the ‘rocking’. I checked the movement of the post with the body of the binding removed and the post could be ‘rocked’. The only solution seems to be to remove the heel binding from the ski and put a shim under the post. This removes the ‘rocking’ motion. However, I am concerned about the bending stress that this solution puts on the plastic baseplate, so I am not happy with the solution. My second pair of TLT’s which probably had about the same amount of use for about 10 years are still solid, so it is a puzzle to me why this problem has developed. Can you offer any advice?
    Ken

  142. Lou April 8th, 2010 8:36 pm

    Hi Ken, 50 days a year at 71, now that’s fine!

    Yeah, I’ve seen that a bunch. What usually happens is the ski topskin under the heel plate gets a divot in it. The divot can be pretty small and still create the “rocking chair” effect. Paulo the Italian stalion, a guy about your age I met and skied with in Austria a few years ago, had a pair of skis with the same problem only the bindings wriggled so much I was amazed he could ski them. But he did.

    Back to the bindings, know that the heel spindle sits directly on the ski topskin. Thus, the ski topskin is actually part of the Dynafit binding. Which is kind of weird but does reduce weight. Different skis have different types of topskins, some divot out pretty fast, others seem to stay good for a long time.

    Nothing wrong with a shim under the spindle, just don’t make it too thick and stress the plastic heel unit plate.

    Have fun. Lou

  143. Jonathan Shefftz April 9th, 2010 7:19 am

    Instead of a shim, how about layer on some JB Weld onto the topskin, then it can be shaved down to get it perfectly smooth?

  144. ken holmes April 9th, 2010 12:28 pm

    Hi Lou,
    Many thanks for your explanation. The “divot” idea is not one I would have thought of. I thought it must have been a binding problem. Just out of curiosity, I mounted the heel binding (without shim) on an old wood core ski with metal topsheet in a previously unmounted area. “Lo and behold”…the binding was solid with no wobble thus confirming your diagnosis that it is a ski problem and not a binding problem. I put a straight edge across my “divotted” ski with a light behind it to try and get an idea of the depth of the “divot”, since it is not apparent to my eye. Even then it is hard to see. In response to Jonathons idea about using JB Weld and shaving it down. The thickness of the plastic ‘shim’ is only about 5 thou at a guess, so I don’t think the idea of building it up and shaving it down will work, but it might be worth a try.
    Ken

  145. Eli April 11th, 2010 6:56 pm

    I gotta nother breakage for you guys: Two of the top place screws broke, and the other two pulled out the plastic around them!

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2307/2323804295_667bdae001_b.jpg

  146. Jonathan Shefftz April 11th, 2010 7:07 pm

    Yipes, sorry that happened!
    A friend’s Comforts (very high mileage, though more recent vintage than yours — I can tell by the logo on the plastic) recently had a similar problem. Fortunately, before the binding exploded, I was able to disassemble the binding, extract the broken screw, and reassemble everything with a replacement screw.
    I suspect this happens when a screw looses up a bit, and then the exposed head gets hammered by a boot sole until it breaks.
    Checking all four screws’ tightness periodically is a good idea. (Though don’t get carried away with overtightening — definitely way less torque than with the binding mounting screws.)
    The Vertical has two of these screw heads recessed, but I wish all four were.

  147. Lou April 11th, 2010 7:28 pm

    Yeah, the screws breaking does happen. I’ve seen it probably 6 times over the years. It’s usually on high mileage bindings that the owner didn’t snug the screws down now and then. That said, in my opinion a Dynafit binding design improvement would be to countersink the screw heads so the weight of the boot isn’t coming down on them a zillion times and fatiguing them.

  148. Jonathan Shefftz April 11th, 2010 7:35 pm

    “That said, in my opinion a Dynafit binding design improvement would be to countersink the screw heads so the weight of the boot isn’t coming down on them a zillion times and fatiguing them.”
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/ybcxtmc

  149. SteveG April 11th, 2010 9:09 pm

    ken, I had the same issue with the heel rocking on a used Manaslu I bought and mounted. I was leery of over tightening the mounting screws (after stripping one) and Jonathan advised me to put a piece of duct tape under the heel post. An easy, instant fix. I only have 3 touring and 2 inbounds days on them, but so far that did the trick.

  150. SteveG April 12th, 2010 6:14 am

    Eli- I have 2 pairs of Comforts mounted that were bought used and one of them had a loose heel piece screw when I got it. I suspect that a combination of factors lead to the loosening and subsequent breakage. The screw itself has a coarse thread so there is, 1) less thread area for friction to do it’s job keeping it tight and 2) with coarse thread, a small turn loosens it a lot exposing the head and stressing the remaining 3 screws. Loctite and an occasional check would seem be the cure. Or you could do what I do, have two Dynafit rigs and don’t get to ski often :smile:

  151. Lou April 12th, 2010 7:08 am

    Steve, when re-inserting the screws a better locking solution is just a bit of epoxy on the threads. Regular hardware store blue or red Loctite really doesn’t work that well for metal/plastic, in my experience. In fact, I’d never use Loctite for such a thing (with the exception of perhaps Loctite 425, which is made for plastic).

    We have had good success with a dab of JB-weld or regular epoxy on the screw threads. Clean them first, of course.

  152. SteveG April 12th, 2010 7:20 am

    Thanks for the correction, Lou. Experience wins over conjecture. Research showed me the 425 was recommended but expensive and hard to find. Can the epoxied screws be removed if needed?

  153. Lou April 12th, 2010 8:37 am

    Steve, the epoxy doesn’t bond that well to the plastic, so in my experience the screws are still easy to remove. The epoxy just acts as a moderate thread locker, not a lock.

  154. John April 12th, 2010 9:11 am

    Low viscosity epoxies with a long pot life absorb better into wood and fibers, particularly carbon fiber. Theses generlay have superior water resitance and useful life compared to thick high viscosity resins, such as Devcon. I personally use West Marine’s epoxie.

    There are few adhesives that work well with plastics without some sort of solvent to soften and recure the plastic. Make sure whatever used is compatible with type of plastic to be glued.

  155. Lou April 12th, 2010 9:41 am

    John, I intentionally use hardware store 5-minute epoxy because I don’t want excess absorption into the ski core, as one is never sure if the epoxy is going to weaken any of the existing resins. The idea is that it doesn’t penetrate too much and cures fast, so if there is any adverse interaction with the ski core it is minimized. So far, years later, I’ve had 100% success. Another reason for using such epoxy is that it’s less heat resistant and softens with just a bit of warming for screw removal.

  156. John April 12th, 2010 10:15 am

    Lou,
    Epoxie is one of the most stable resins once cured. So applying a different epoxie resin to an existing unknown epoxie resin is typically not a problem. Warming a screw with a low watt soldering iron for about 30 seconds will generally soften the West Systems Epoxie for tough screw removal, and not effect the binding’s plastic.

    I used to build composite products with Hexcel’s Safe T Poxy (now EZ Poxy), BASF, and prepreg from Hercules Fibers resin systems.

    As you mention most threadlockers will continue to attack and weaken resins and plastics, and should be avoided. Unless they are specifically desisigned for plastic.

    Polyester resins are high viscosity and are not suitable for properly wetting out carbon fiber. These resins are solvent based and will adversely interact with more plastics and chemicals. I can’t say whether or not any company builds a ski with polyester resin, but it would not be as high of quality as one built with an epoxie based system.

  157. Lou April 12th, 2010 10:21 am

    Thanks John, appreciate the expert info. I’ll worry less about the epoxy, but let’s be clear with our readers that 5-minute hardware store epoxy is just fine for mounting bindings. Though one can go the high end route as you have, which at the least means more fun in the workshop so great!

  158. John April 12th, 2010 10:30 am

    Thanks Lou,
    5 minute epoxy is fine.

  159. jones April 15th, 2010 2:03 pm

    what’s the score with push pin (??) on the FT 12 heel volcano – the one directly below the volcano on the side of the binding (not one of the 4 screws on top)? i am trying to replace a cracked volcano and this pin is the only thing attaching the top plate/volcano and it will not let go. There is no hole in the replacement ST top plate i picked up at a shop for this “push pin”. – we have conjectured it is a push pin and not threaded. Suggestion, please?

  160. Lou April 15th, 2010 2:58 pm

    It’s a roll pin, and is just the right length to push it in, then take it out with some needle nose pliers. Use the correct sized punch or a reversed drill bit with a brass hammer.

  161. vanessa April 21st, 2010 8:38 pm

    I have the ft 10 and the housing broke right at that pin “jones” was commenting on. Also the toepiece has cracked plastic just inside of the spring. I’m sending both parts in for warranty…hopefully it will come back in good shape!! I’ve had the silvretta pmf, barons, tried fritchis, and now have dynafits…love the dynafits simplicity and design:)

  162. Marion Varner June 21st, 2010 9:19 am

    Dear Sir,
    I submit you an improvement for Dynafit bindings.
    Dynafit should widen the base of the TLT Vertical FT Z12, in order to widen the distance between the screws.
    More and more often this binding is mounted on fat skis, wider than 85 mm under foot, like the Manaslu, or the new
    Atomic Drifter, or the new Dynastar Alti Mythic Light, or any other fat skis.
    In widening the base of the front binding and the spacing of screws holes, the force will apply on a larger surface
    of the ski, helping to a better transmission of the input, and a faster reaction of the ski.
    The lever arm will be more efficient.
    In widening the base by two centimeters, the binding should still be used on narrow skis, but will also be
    able to fit better wider skis (they need more input than narrow skis).
    Best regards.
    Marion Varner

  163. Philip October 29th, 2010 4:13 am

    hey Lou, amazing website. i have one question regarding tlt’s. just got a pair recently. second hand ones, quite old i guess (purple/green color combo). both of the plastic heel base plates had cracks on the corners. one had only one and the second had two of them. previous owner somehow fixed it by melting/welding plastic back together. he even added some to reinforce it. do you think it will hold up or should i look for a replacement. is it possible to get those plates?

  164. Lou October 29th, 2010 5:59 am

    Philip, it was common for those to crack because of over-insertion of the mounting screws, or using the wrong screws. Reason was that the hole had a tapered countersink that caused the screw to force the crack. They later improved so the hole had a flat bottom countersink and used a flat head screw. As for using, they actually work for light duty use when you’ve only got one crack, but I really wouldn’t recommend it as failure of a heel unit while skiing downhill could result in injury or death. Not sure if Salewa NA in Boulder has he part or not, you could call and ask them. I hope you didn’t pay anything for them, with damage like that they’re not worth anything.

  165. Ryan November 20th, 2010 11:38 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I have an older, well used pair of dynafit tech’s (blue and burgundy, whatever year that is) and the heel has developed quite a bit of play. I just read this post regarding the replacement of the bushing, which sounds hopeful. However, I took the bindings to my local shop last year and they claimed there was nothing that could be done with these bindings. Is this possibly the case or am I dealing with a lack of knowledge?

    Thanks for any info!

  166. herve galley November 24th, 2010 3:37 pm

    French extrem skier Pierre Tardivel uses Dynafit TLTs, set at DIN 10, for steep couloir skiing.

    He has a trick for reducing the risk of breaking the aft binding’s axle after hard use, or jumps, etc, like what happened seemingly to Koochenay skier.

    Pierre Tardivel has a polyurethan chock glued in front of the aft bindings, so as to relieve any excessive overpressure from the boot’s heel on the binding. Link to his trick is :

    http://pierretardivel.aliceblogs.fr/blog/_archives/2010/11/9/4675938.html

    Hope this may help.

  167. Ryan November 26th, 2010 11:29 am

    Hi Lou,
    Bumped. The shop removed the binding from the ski and checked all components… Which irreplaceable component could be causing this play? I guess at some point the cost of repair may exceed the convenience of replacement.

    Thanks!

  168. Lou November 26th, 2010 11:51 am

    Ryan, the top skin of the ski supports the rear spindle. Sometimes it gets wallowed out. Also, sometimes the rear binding plate rises up off the ski a bit, thus introducing play. Beyond that, the internals of the binding get worn. some are easy/cheap to replace, some more expensive. Unless I’ve got your binding here in front of me, that’s about as much as I can venture in help… nothing lasts forever. Lou

  169. Ryan November 26th, 2010 12:07 pm

    That’s great, thanks Lou! They are old bindings and I’m due for a new pair, just thought I’d see if I can keep them going – maybe one more season… The heel unit itself rattles around on the post, so I guess they’re fixable, but alas maybe it’s better just to fork out for a new set.
    Thanks again.

  170. Ray January 9th, 2011 9:53 pm

    I need help with locating a place to purchase STL toe parts. I hit an under the snow tree last week and it broke the lift handles in my toe piece. Please help no one around here in VT sell parts.

  171. Lou January 9th, 2011 11:28 pm

    It sounds like Dynafit North America needs to do some web optimization, as I get the feeling they’re hard to find. To help, here is a link for info:
    http://www.wildsnow.com/693/psa-dynafit-north-america-is-available-to-help-you/

  172. Chris April 21st, 2011 1:38 pm

    Hi Lou and everybody else with interest in rare Dynafit failures.
    Upon disassembling my Vertical ST bindings for the first time i noticed a small crack in the side of the compensation plate. After taking the binding apart, the compensation plate was indeed in two pieces.
    The bindings are from april 2009, has seen probably between 40 and 50 days of use. The use they have seen have been everything from regular back-country touring to icy in bound skiing to expedition use involving multiple plane and mule rides.
    In other words, they’ve been banged around a bit.
    I didn’t notice anything unusual skiing the binding a couple of days ago, so I don’t really know how long it’s been broken.
    I will of course be replacing the broken part, even though the binding seems to be skiable.
    Have anybody else seen or heard of this mode of failure.
    I should state that I haven’t disassembled the binding before, hence I don’t think over tightening the top plate screws (at least not by me) could be the reason for the failure.

    Link to pics:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0WlnwHDKfSQ/TbCF_0fzQPI/AAAAAAAAA6U/7yH50l87zhA/s1600/IMG_0677.jpg
    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OEGs_hhaUOI/TbCF_uLx6qI/AAAAAAAAA6M/iOTOIwk41wI/s1600/IMG_0678.jpg

    Enjoy the spring.

  173. Lou April 21st, 2011 1:59 pm

    Chris, I’ve broken that myself while taking apart, but never seen it break on its own! Easy repair, and yes, it would probably ski with the break if necessary. I don’t know how banging around during travel would cause that kind of break, but I suppose it could…

    Thanks for sharing.

  174. Ben May 4th, 2011 7:42 am

    Hey Lou,

    I have a quick question regarding my pair of STs. At the end of my tour this past weekend I noticed a “clicking” sensation while skinning uphill somewhere in my right boot/toe piece connection. It seemed to be occurring after my forward stride when I would put weight on the heal and begin to step up. I wasn’t able to pinpoint where this click was coming from and have been unable to reproduce it in my living room. Upon inspection of the toe piece, there doesn’t seem to be any cracks or signs of wear, nor does there seem to be an issue with the toe sockets on my BD Quadrants. Just curious if you’ve ever experienced this click while touring, trying to determine if it’s something I should be concerned about.

    Thanks in advance!

    Ben

  175. Lou May 4th, 2011 8:10 am

    Ben, it’s usually caused by the toe unit having some ice under it and not being completely closed. If it recurs and you can’t get rid of it, then yeah, something is not right, but if it goes away no harm no foul.

    Remember that ice and tech bindings are a bad combination. Always deice.

    Lou

  176. edunz May 18th, 2011 2:54 am

    dear all,

    ending the season I found the screws of the front brinding part loose, and finally they could not stand any more the brinding during the last run… falling down in a hight steep, but without injury.

    http://edunz.blogspot.com/2011/05/cargols-passats-de-rosca-i-punteres-que.html

    I was asking in local backcountry sky web sites, and I am surprise about how common is this problem… several people report the same with the frontal brinding part screws, loosing this part (and the ski!) in the middle of the run. And several cases with Dynastar skis, but I think this is not relevant (my ones are Altritail powder, high use but only two seasons). We were discussing about the need of a good instalation and mantainance. Anyway, have you heard of it? it seems quite common…

    many thanks and sorry for my poor english

  177. Lou May 18th, 2011 4:18 am

    Edunz, if I understand correctly your binding screws got loose and you eventually pulled the binding toe off the ski while skiing. That simply does not happen under normal use if the screws are inserted correctly, with epoxy.

    That said, Dynafit and other tech bindings undergo an immense amount of force if you take a “knee fall” while the binding toe is locked in touring mode, and this can pull the screws up out of a ski, especially if the ski is weak or and/or the skier large. I don’t consider such falls to be normal use, but they do happen and if so the binding should be inspected.

    Also, virtually any ski binding screws may loosen and eventually pull out if they’re not installed properly. In most cases, the installer is to blame, not the binding.

    Lou

  178. edunz May 18th, 2011 4:59 am

    perfect Lou, I am sure my installer is a good skiman, this wintter I had some important falls with the binding toe locked in touring mode…probably this is the main cause … thanks again to help me in not loosing the trust in dynafit brindings!

  179. Lou May 18th, 2011 5:38 am

    Indeed, falling while locked in touring mode can really stress the screws. Lots of leverage, and something sometimes has to give…

  180. RobBJ August 1st, 2012 1:19 am

    Hi Lou. My daughter has lost or broken the spring in the brake heel pad on her new Radicals. It only helps to assist the boot to release in a twisting release and doesn’t seem to stop her using them but I want to try and fix it. She has only been using them in the resort for about seven days so far so to get used to them. It always looked to be a weak point to me and I am sure it will happen to plenty of others. I am thinking of just fixing it in one position like all the older models but just getting it apart is tricky. Any clues?.

  181. Lou Dawson August 1st, 2012 4:15 am

    Rob, that’s a defect of the binding. I’d suggest taking the brake or brake and binding back to the dealer, or contacting Salewa and getting warranty fix. When you do, get both brakes replaced. Newer brakes have tiny internal design change that prevents the problem. I covered that in a post this spring that you might be able to find. I’ll look for it. Lou

  182. Lou Dawson August 1st, 2012 4:19 am

    Rob, check this post for photos of how the brake was upgraded to prevent the spring problem.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/6908/dynafit-radical-broken/

  183. RobBJ August 1st, 2012 6:43 am

    Thanks Lou…I found that post re the newer afd after a little search through earlier Radical related posts. Its a bit like all new technology – never buy the latest release until they have worked out the flaws! Hopefully after fitting the new pins, afd’s and anti rotation device (do I really need them?) they should be good as gold.

  184. Eric Schneider August 19th, 2012 8:53 pm

    Lou or anybody else-I need a recommendation. I have a friend who is about 150# and 6′ tall. He jumps like a cat with forward and backward flips. He currently skis on Tele gear. Will Dynafit hold up to his style?

  185. Lou Dawson August 19th, 2012 9:07 pm

    I’d say don’t fix what works… more, if he’s doing that stuff on tele it’s going to take a major adjustment in style and technique to do it fixed heel. Time for some demo gear, perhaps.

  186. Rob August 20th, 2012 2:40 pm

    Wow Lou, if you’re not careful that could be construed as a pro-tele comment on Wildsnow . . .

  187. Max October 7th, 2012 8:47 am

    I am trying to replace the ‘U’ springs on my low tech race bindings. I thought I remember reading a tutorial a while back, but cant find anything now. Any suggestions?
    Thanks!

  188. Tony December 11th, 2012 3:13 am

    Hi Lou, while tightening my heel adjustment screw on my TLT Speed, I over-tightened it and the screw came out of that little washer on the other side of heel piece (below the pins). I am guessing originally the washer was inserted in the screw then the screw tip was pressed to prevent it from slipping out as you use the adjuster. Any recommended safe fix for this problem? Thanks

  189. Lou Dawson December 11th, 2012 5:59 am

    Tony, there is no real way to fix that other than getting a new part, or if you’re handy with machine work perhaps you could re-do it. Lou

  190. Tony December 11th, 2012 8:19 am

    What part would that be….seems to me the whole heel post/bottom is one piece, correct?

    I was able to insert that washer and hammer it lightly, so it’s well secure in place. I’m just afraid it will not hold in action though. Do you think a a drop of weld would do the trick.

    That’s a pretty flimsy weak part there! a quarter a turn over and it broke!

  191. Lou Dawson December 11th, 2012 9:06 am

    Tony, the replacement heel unit is sold as one piece. Literally hundreds of thousands of people successfully use that binding with that part, it’s not flimsy unless used incorrectly. As for fixing it, I’m truly not sure what would work, I’d have to have it here to experiment. Sorry I can’t be more helpful with a definite fix. Lou

  192. Greg Louie December 11th, 2012 10:12 am

    Tony, that factory-pressed washer is all that’s keeping your heelpiece from sliding backward and ejecting you from the ski – I’d be wary of using one that’s been “re-pressed.” I’ve tried using C clips with poor results, ended up replacing the whole baseplate assembly.

  193. Tony December 12th, 2012 5:27 am

    Thank you Lou and Greg. I will most definitely get the base plate replaced, because I would ski a lot more confidently doing so…

    I do have a question: Do you think the base plates between the TLT Speed and TLT Speed Radical are interchangeable?

    The nearest shop (2hrs drive) that only has the TLT Speed Radical base plate parts, but not the Regular TLT Speed (which is my binding). I’d hate to take the drive and find out they are not interchangeable and he does not have any TLT Speed bindings in stock to try them out before I go.

  194. Tony December 12th, 2012 1:43 pm

    any opinion on the above?

  195. Lou Dawson January 21st, 2013 6:06 am

    Tony, sorry we didn’t get back to you on this. Did you ever get it resolved?

  196. tony January 21st, 2013 6:13 am

    Hey Lou,

    I got that washer repressed and dropped a stainless steel weld drop on it just for extra safety. I’ve been skiing it since and monitoring…that thing aint going anywhere, as a matter of fact I am thinking about dropping a ss weld on the other side for additional peace of mind.

    The baseplates between the TLT Speed radical and TLT Speed are not interchangeable.

  197. Lou Dawson January 21st, 2013 6:17 am

    I added a photo of a broken superlight binding toe to this post, as public service. I’m seeing lots of skiers using race or semi-race bindings for general touring. While that can be a fun way to create a super light setup and compensate for bigger heavier skis, I’m not sure all such bindings are suitable for heavy use, especially with bigger boots and wider skis. If you do choose to tour on such a binding, I’d suggest carrying a spare toe unit during longer trips, as well as taking great care if you ski places where a broken binding could cause a life threatening fall.

    My suggestion for a super lightweight setup would be to use a conventional toe unit such as that from a Dynafit Speed Radical, combined with a race heel and shims to adjust binding height to your preference.

  198. Al Olby January 21st, 2013 1:56 pm

    Thanks for adding my broken Speed Superlight photo Lou. I had these mounted on Movement Fish X skis used with Scarpa Alien 1.0 boots for training and racing. DIN set to 7 – I’m fairly light…

    They’d had 4 months’ fairly heavy training and racing use when all of a sudden they started popping off my boot while I was in climb mode. About 2 weeks before I’d taken a side slide fall on some ice and gradually came to a halt. The ski didn’t release and I never felt a thing, but I suspect that’s what did it. And that’s using a superlight ski and superlight slipper of a boot. I should think the forces involved with a wider, heavier ski and beefier boot would be too much for these toe pieces.

    I’ll be looking for a stronger toe unit for future training set ups. That said my 2 training partners who had Speed Radicals on their training set ups both broke the heel pieces within 2 months, so the Speed Superlights outlasted them (grin)

  199. Lou Dawson January 21st, 2013 5:17 pm

    Al, well, like I said, use a Speed toe and a race heel!

  200. Al Olby January 22nd, 2013 12:09 am

    Yep, thanks for the advice Lou. I figure that’s the way to go.

  201. Mat February 4th, 2013 2:37 am

    I have a pair of vertical bindings. A significant amount of play has developed in the heel unit since removing the brakes. I’ve recently removed the brakes, after using the binding with brakes for many days over the past couple seasons. I’ve read that the plastic thimble bushing is typically the culprit in this scenario (heel unit play). I removed the lateral release screw, springs, and bushing to inspect. The bushing appears fine, and the heel tower with the rest of the heel unit removed continues to wiggle. I can’t imagine a way this could be fixed without dismounting the binding in order to inspect the heel tower more closely. I’m thinking the heel tower has been warped a bit due to use with the brakes for so long and that the absence of the brake unit has not exacerbated the problem. The play is less noticeable when a boot is locked into the binding in downhill mode. Do you have any thoughts on how safe it would be to continue to use the binding considering this type of play. Have you heard of this problem before? Can you offer any solutions or advice for addressing? Thanks!

  202. Lou Dawson February 4th, 2013 7:30 am

    Mat, what probably happened is the base of the heel unit spindle/tow has wallowed out the top surface of the ski. One of the biggest inherent potential wear problems of tech bindings is that the small aluminum base of the heel unit spindle rests on the top surface of the ski, essentially making the ski top skin part of the binding. Depending on the type of material this is, amount and type of use, weight of skier, and so on, some will wear out faster or slower. Only way to check this is by taking the rear binding off the ski and inspecting ski top skin. But if your heel spindle has a lot of wobble/play that’s easily visible when the binding heel unit housing is pulled off, this is probably the situation. Of course, always inspect for cracks and such first!

    Main thing to remember is that any machine wears out. Tech bindings have a service life just like any other ski binding. You didn’t say how much use you’ve put on them, or if you’ve pounded them during resort skiing use, but it sounds possible you’ve gone past at least the ski top skin’s useful life for supporting your binding?

    Please let us know if my nearly total guess above is right or wrong.

    Lou

  203. Mat February 4th, 2013 3:26 pm

    Thanks for the quick response Lou! Brian (Randoman) Harder said you were the guy to ask when I spoke with him about this issue while touring in the Chugach Front yesterday.

    As for more info about the issue at hand:
    The skis are BD Justice from last season (first season with the carbon to reduce weight). The skis have not been used much and only to ski powder at Turnagain and Hatcher Pass. On a side note, I was very disappointed with the craftsmanship of these skies as the top sheets were peeling bad after the first day on the snow.
    The bindings, on the other hand have seen much more use. Two long, hard seasons in the Chugach Front on the variable snow conditions typical of this area. They’ve never been used at the resort or for hard-hucking purposes, just for charging many long days in the CF.
    As for me, I’m 6’1″ 175lbs and like to get after it, but feel that I ski smoothly and take exceptional care of my gear.

    I have checked for cracks and such on the tower and inspected the rest of the heel unit as well. But as mentioned, even with the rest of the heel unit removed the tower still wobbles in the rear part of the binding that is mounted to the ski. I have a video taken with my phone of the problem. I will send it as a response to the email reply I received about my initial post. The video shows the wobble with the heel unit in place, but remember that the problem persists even with all the heel unit removed and only the tower remaining in the rear part of the binding that is mounted to the ski.

    Also, this problem wasn’t really noticeable until I recently removed the brakes.

    I’m thinking the binding tower needs to be replaced, or perhaps the whole rear of the binding altogether.

    Is there any chance that you think this problem is associated with the ski and not the binding, as you’ve mentioned the top part of the ski acts as part of the binding? It seems the top sheets on last season’s BD justice is cheap.

    Thanks again!

  204. ken holmes February 4th, 2013 4:17 pm

    HI Mat,
    I was touring last week with a friend who had a similar problem with a Speed binding on a Black Diamond ski.
    If you look back in the blog to April 8th, 9th and 11th 2010 you’ll see a similar discussion about how wobble was solved by putting a shim under the post.
    It’s a simple thing to try and may solve your problem. It solved my ‘wobble’ and is still ‘solid’ today.
    Best of luck
    Ken

  205. Lou Dawson February 4th, 2013 4:41 pm

    Mat, the brakes can mask the wobble due to upwards pressure etc. You probably wallowed out the ski top skin or the underside of the binding base. Or both. Let us know what you find after you pull the binding off ski. Lou

  206. Mat February 5th, 2013 1:28 am

    I think I’ve figured it out. I dis-mounted the rear binding from the ski and inspected closely for any divoted/wallowed out areas on the ski as well as on the underside of the binding base plate – didn’t notice anything. I then took the binding base plate and tower and put it on another flat area of the ski and held it down firmly while attempting to wiggle the tower – very, very minimal play. I did this again on another smooth, flat surface (countertop) and found only a very minimal amount of play that seems reasonable.

    It appears that the holes where the binding base plate was screwed to the ski have volcanoed/bubbled up a bit. I’m not sure if this is from wear, pressure from the brakes when they were on for two seasons, or a combination of both. I thought the raised part around the screw holes may have been simply from backing the screws out, but when I hold the binding base plate over these holes where it was mounted before I get the same amount of annoying, unreasonable play and wobble. Again, when I move the binding base plate back or forward to another smooth, flat part of the ski this wobble/play disappears or is subtle enough that I’m not concerned about it.

    The solution I have in mind is to sand down the volcanoed up screw holes and have them filled smoothly with epoxy, then re-mount the binding slightly forward.

    Let me know what you think, and if this seems like a viable solution.

  207. Lou Dawson February 5th, 2013 6:13 am

    Mat, good on you for figuring it out. Funny my sixth-sense for remote diagnoses of binding problems didn’t work, but at least I got you on the right track. It sounds like the binding was never mounted correctly, and you simply didn’t notice the play/wobble till you were fooling around with removing the brake. The rimmed screw holes are a common problem that any good shop tech is aware of and should deal with, but not every shop tech is good. Best practice for removing the rimmed holes is to knock them down with a razor scraper (be careful not to lift up excessive top skin and peel it) or, what I like is a wood screw counter sink on a drill, which I lightly touch to the hole and thus zip the rim down quickly. On skis I’m less careful with, I just hit the holes with a sanding disk on a disk grinder. Interestingly, drill bits for binding mounting sometimes carve out a slight dimple to compensate for the up-bulging rim of the screw holes as the screw is inserted.

  208. Lou Dawson February 5th, 2013 6:16 am

    Mat, in terms of re-mounting the binding, why are you not just using the same screw holes? I don’t understand where you’re going with all this, it sounds like you’re over-working the problem. Normally, you’d just flatten the tops of the holes, then re-mount the binding using a bit of epoxy in each hole, with care not to strip the screws as you tighten. Clean the screws off before re-using. Lou

  209. mat February 6th, 2013 3:52 pm

    Hey Lou, just now saw your update to my post. For some reason, I didn’t get an email update when you posted a reply. Hatcher Pass was excellent yesterday anyways, so I was preoccupied farming that pow…

    Anyways, thanks for more tips. I do have some questions though.

    As mentioned, I’m new to the dis-mounting/re-mounting of bindings. I also don’t have that many power tools.

    Do you think I can just scrape off the screw hole rims with a common razor blade and then touch it up with rough and then fine sandpaper – to smooth it all out?

    As far as re-mounting in the same holes. I like this idea, especially as I’ve only removed the rear binding unit from one ski and left everything else in place. However, the impression I had was that re-mounting into the same holes is a bad idea. Your thoughts? Also, if I go this route, what type of epoxy do you recommend? Do you have a go-to brand, and similar alternatives if the go-to isn’t a widely available one I can find in ANC?

  210. Lou Dawson February 6th, 2013 3:59 pm

    Mat, anything that will flatten the holes is fine. I’ve used everything from a steak knife to my own teeth.

    Nothing wrong with using the same screw holes, so long as they’re not stripped. Re-insert screws with care.

    Hardware store 5-minute epoxy is fine, or the one-hour type.

    If you’ve never mounted a binding, you might want to practice a bit on a junk ski.

    Lou

  211. mat February 6th, 2013 4:14 pm

    Got the new response. So quick. Thanks!

    As far as mounting is concerned – anything specific to watch out for besides stripping and taking extra care? I feel like, if I’m just screwing back into the original holes, I should be competent to handle this – don’t have junk skis…

    My plan:
    -Clean binding plate screws with toothbrush, rubbing alcohol
    -Clean all parts of rear binding unit
    -Lube thimble bushing and put binding unit back together
    -Knock down screw hole rims and smooth surface.
    -Carefully and manually (with screwdriver) re-insert screws with a bit of epoxy.

    Suggestions or anything I’m missing.

    Way to put your teeth to work!

  212. mat February 6th, 2013 7:15 pm

    Finished the job. Bindings now attached to skis more solidly than ever. Scraped epoxy from old screws and brushed with rubbing alcohol to get ‘em real clean. Cleaned parts of rear binding unit and re-lubed thimble bushing. Re-assembled rear binding unit. Shaved screw hole rims with sharp blade. Put epoxy in screw holes and cleaned residue from the screw hole rims. Carefully re-screwed binding into existing holes. Reset DIN and re-adjusted binding to boot with feeler tool. Thanks to all for the help!

  213. Lou Dawson February 7th, 2013 6:56 am

    Super!

  214. Sean March 2nd, 2013 1:47 pm

    Hey Lou, I have a pair of TLT speed bindings I am wanting to mount up to a pair of BD Drift skis, and I was inspecting the binding before dropping it off at the local shop. I noticed that one of the toe pins as its cutting slots oriented on the top and bottom of the pin which is different from the usual (all other bindings i have seen) front and back positions. It seems to me that the toe pins were rotated 80 degrees from spec when they were pressed in.

    Is this ok in terms of release, wear (on boot fittings) or any other possible issue? It seems to me that this would accelerate wear on the boot fittings. Under close inspection the slot on the upper side also has more chipping along its edge than any of my other binding pins.

  215. Lou Dawson March 2nd, 2013 3:12 pm

    Sean, that’s a pretty sharp observation! I just looked at about a dozen toe units, and yes, they all have the cutters oriented to the front/back. I’d say that orienting them to the top is a defect, but I have no idea if it would have any consequences. At low mileages, I’m pretty sure it would not. But at high mileage, I’m wondering if it could indeed be a concern. Time for the 20 year old ski bindings to get hung on your wall (grin)?

  216. Sean March 2nd, 2013 5:16 pm

    I guess I got the name wrong; they are speed classics possibly? They are only a year or so old and have a newer toe wing style than my ft12, and the same as my white st verticals. I have emailed dynafit about it to see what they have to say on the issue. Guess I will get word soon on if it is something to be concerned with.

  217. Lou Dawson March 2nd, 2013 6:38 pm

    Hmmm, that gets even more interesting. Apologies for my crack about antique bindings. And yes, as far as I know the cutter slots are always oriented horizontally (at 9:00). In terms of causing problems, hard to say.

  218. Al Olby April 10th, 2013 2:46 pm

    My warranty replacement Dynafit Speed Superlight toe pieces both broke today after just 2 and a half months’ use. Cracked across the rear mounting holes, similar to the first failure I had. No falls, and I’ve done around 30,000m vertical in great snow conditions on them. I don’t think I’ll be using these bindings again, at least not the toe pieces, even with another warranty replacement. I only weigh 150 lbs and have them mounted on rando race skis, but either there are quality issues and/or the design’s not robust enough. Compared to my (lighter) ATK race bindings the toe mount is far less substantial.

    Like you say Lou, time to combine a heavier toe with the light heel (though having to buy 2 sets of bindings to do this does bug me!) Or maybe Dynafit will replace the broken toe pieces with ST toes this time round…

  219. Lou Dawson April 10th, 2013 3:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing that Al.

    One thing everyone should be aware of is that when mounting Speed Superlight (red aluminum) be sure the crampon mount and crampon mount screws are not causing undue stress on the base plate when you screw the binding tight down on the ski. I have a similar situation and had to grind out a couple of small depressions in the top skin of my skis so that the binding plate could sit flat. Not sure that’s your situation, but it was mine and so far the bindings have not cracked. They’re not the exact same bindings, but they do have exactly the same crampon mount system.

    Lou

  220. Bar Barrique April 10th, 2013 7:45 pm

    Al; you can purchase the TLT toe pieces from Telemark Pyrenees for about 75 euros apiece. Possibly they are available more locally.
    I keep wishing for a lighter tech binding that is durable, but I guess I am going to have to stick with the old reliable options for now.

  221. Al Olby April 11th, 2013 2:11 am

    Lou, good spot on the crampon mount. I don’t *think* that’s caused a problem on mine but I’ll check it out. I’ve posted photos at http://www.valaismountainlife.com/assault-on-bindings/ if you’re interested.

    What I like about the ATK SL-R and RT toe is that the crampon mount is a forged part of the whole toe mount rather than being a bolt on extra. To my mind this makes for a more robust toe piece. I’d be very interested to hear of any experiences with the ATK RT’s durability. I’ve been using the ATK SL-R for races all season with no problems, and the toe *feels* much more solid/positive than the Dynafit’s when you click into the binding. In comparison the Dynafit feels ‘looser’ when engaging the toe pins – but of course that’s very subjective .

    Bar, thanks for the heads up on Telemark Pyrenees and the TLT. I’ve used Telemark Pyrenees several times and have always had excellent service from them. Let’s see what Dynafit have to say about this latest breakage – they’ve been really good to date with warranty claims i have to say. Just glad I realised they’d broken as I set out to train because the journey back down would have been really dangerous otherwise. Note to self (and others using lightweight bindings): check ‘em out before you set out EVERY time! And probably every time you get back too ;-)

  222. David November 21st, 2013 8:29 pm

    I’m sure I missed it somewhere in all of this, but so far I haven’t come up with anything about a problem that seems to be getting worse daily with my Dynafit TLT Radical ST bindings. They about 2 or 3 years old now (I think from the first year they made that model), and it seems like every time I ski them it gets harder and harder to lock into the heel piece for ski mode. Today I was in a precarious position atop some steep snow and simply could not get my heel to lock down (on either binding!). I pretty much had to wedge my skis against a rock and slam my foot into the binding, then repeat with the other. Needless to say…..a bit sketchy. I’ve tried the obvious, always making sure they are clear of snow and my boot inserts are as well.

    Have you heard of this problem before? Do I simply need to lubricate them? Are the heel inserts on my boots the culprit? Dynafit says I can send them in for them to take a look, but they are my only bindings and the thought of a week without them could lead to some clinical-grade depression.

    Thanks for the help!

  223. Lou Dawson November 22nd, 2013 5:22 am

    David, that is mysterious. I’ve not had that experience except when the boot heel fittings get clogged up with dirt. The first thing to do is get those bindings and boots onto a workbench and in front of your face. Check the tech gap first, then the release adjustments, then try snapping the boot down into the binding while holding the brake down and out of the way.

    Clue, if your boots are worn at the heel, the brake might be jacking the boot up and not folding down like it’s supposed to, and will when everything is new.

    Don’t lubricate the external parts, just be sure everything is clean.

    Please report back here.

  224. Neil December 23rd, 2013 5:09 pm

    Lou, I recently broke the heel piece of my TLT Radical FT’s. Two of the screws holding the top plate on were sheared off. Not sure if this was from ‘ice jacking’ or something else. They were only a year old and I take good care of my gear, so I was a little surprised. I was able to make a field repair with some cable ties and limp them back to the car. MEC has since repaired them for no charge.

    This has got me thinking about carrying extra binding components on traverses and longer hut trips.

    Can I use the heel and/or toe piece from an older dynafit binding as replacements on my TLT Radical FT’s? I have an old set of vertical ST’s, would that heel piece work in a pinch? Are any of the dynafit heel/toe pieces interchangeable and worthy of carrying as a spare?

    Thanks.

  225. Lou Dawson December 23rd, 2013 5:23 pm

    Neil, most Dynafit binding stuff is interchangeable to one degree or another. Main thing is that (other than Beast) you can use just about any toe unit with any heel unit. You’ll sometimes end up with different ramp/delta, or the screw pattern won’t be the same, or your release value settings will be off, but yes you can carry mix/match parts for spares. Just figure out exactly how you’d swap in the parts before you leave on the trip. Lou

  226. Ellen March 16th, 2014 9:54 am

    Hi Lou,
    My skis have a pair of radical ST bindings and today after one of them had released, I noticed that the small, black plastic slider plate on the heel piece (which allows for lateral release) didn’t move back into place. It was stuck more than halfway out into one direction, showing a small spring underneath. While I managed to push the plate back into position and ski down, it doesn’t seem to work properly anymore: it doesn’t spring back by itself if I pull it to one side and I cannot slide the plate out into the other direction at all. Have you come across this problem before? Is there a way to fix it and prevent this from happening again?
    Thanks!

  227. Lou Dawson March 16th, 2014 8:13 pm

    Ellen, funny you should ask, a guy I was skiing with today had that happen as well. It’s a warranty issue, was a defect in earlier Radicals. Lou

  228. Ed Caldwell March 26th, 2014 7:50 pm

    Just thought I’d report a Dynafit Speed Radical rear binding failure. Actually the binding still works and I only noticed it after finishing two days of skiing. Waiting for a response from Dynafit about warranty replacement. They are just over two years old and probably only have 20 – 24 days on them. On top of it I am only 130 lbs so certainly don’t stress them like an average size male. Photo at the URL below

    http://www.edwardcaldwellphoto.com/ClientGalleries/_DSC1837_FN.jpg

  229. Lou Dawson March 26th, 2014 8:19 pm

    Ed, that’s too bad but I’m not surprised. Some (perhaps all) Speed Radicals have a vestigial “notch” molded on the inside of the housing for the anti-rotation “pin” system that was problematic and discontinued some time ago.

    See http://www.wildsnow.com/8568/dynafit-speed-radical-review-binding/

    In the photos, you can see the thinner “notched” areas of the housing, in the breakdown photos.

    Later versions are either better plastic, or eliminated the unnecessary notches, or both. Your warranty replacement will probably be fine. You probably got an original first-run binding.

    Lou

  230. Mat - Anchorage Avalanche Center March 26th, 2014 9:04 pm

    Ed, my girlfriend had the same problem with an ST Radical. She is only ~115lbs and doesn’t stress her gear. Plus, they were relatively new with little use. I emailed dynafit photos and they sent a new heel unit. Lou has plenty of info on here about how to slide it off and slide a new one back on…pretty simple. Hopefully Dynafit will take good care of you.

  231. mason April 15th, 2014 7:38 pm

    Lou, I think I know what to do, but thought I’d chime in here… My original run Speed Radical top plate screws have stripped out the holes in the main body of the heel piece. (Somewhat unrelated, but just in case you’re wondering, upon purchase, I removed the anti-rotation pins.)
    I weigh 160 and don’t catch air. I skied the bindings about 50 backcountry only days for the last 3 years in a row. I checked the top plate screws periodically for tightness, and I had to lightly tighten them maybe 3 times. Recently, while skinning, I noticed some creaking coming from the top plate as I weighted and unweighted it. I had loose screws. I tightened a couple and a couple others just kept spinning when I tried to tighten. Later that day one heel pin disappeared, fun skiing peaks free heel!
    Back at home, before taking the top plate off completely, I lowered the RV. On one heel piece, 1 screw was broken, another had stripped out the hole. Other heel piece, 2 screws broke inside the hole while unscrewing, and 1 hole stripped. The plastic top plate is underlain by some thin metal plates, which are also broken in several places on both bindings, public needs to check for this problem as well.
    I did everything right! It’s IMPOSSIBLE to remove the broken end of the screw from the hole. These bindings are basically throw aways!!!!!!! My old Comforts are still kicking after twice as many ski days!! I plan on calling Salewa tomorrow for advice. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m hoping they sell me some heel pieces for cheap…
    Advice for the masses? Don’t use Radical heel pieces for more than 130 days. 100 days. Pretty junky in my opinion.

Got something to say? Please do so.





Anti-Spam Quiz:


If you need an emoticon for a comment just copy/paste off the following list, or use text code you might be familiar with.
:D    :-)    :(    :lol:    :x    :P    :oops:    :cry:    :evil:    :twisted:    :roll:    :wink:    :!:    :?:    :idea:    :arrow:   
  
Due to comment spam we moderate most comments. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly after we approve it. Once you've had one comment published, your comments will be pre-approved and appear immediately if you're using the same computer and not blocking browser cookies. NOTE however that ALL comments with one or more links in the text will be held for moderation no matter what, again for spam prevention.
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.

All material on this website online magazine is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked.. Permission required for reproduction, electronic or otherwise. This includes publication and display on other websites by whatever means. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

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.

Switch to our mobile site