Dynafit Radical Binding Upgrade — Not a Safety Issue, but Recommended


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

So, I head up to WildSnow Field HQ for the night, come back, and what’s happening to the binding world, a total meltdown or something? Shew, not quite. Sounds like the new Radical bindings from Dynafit have a problem with the tiny “stop pin” that prevents the binding from rotating counter clockwise. It’s not a safety issue and makes no difference in downhill mode, but something I’d recommend all you Radicalized Wildsnowers take care of at some point. Following is the basic info from Dynafit. I’ll fire up more details after I get tomorrow’s “real” blog post done. (Please note, this is not the dread word “rec**” but is recommended if not required).

Dear Dynafit community,

We are writing to inform you about an issue related to our new Radical bindings. We have discovered a quite specific and unlikely circumstance that can lead to the heel unit being damaged. Since identifying this issue, our international team has been working hard on understanding the issue and finding a solution.

After intensive testing, we are confident this identified damage DOES NOT present a safety risk. But at the same time, we aim to take a proactive leadership approach and as a result are communicating a “required technical upgrade of the Radical series”. This includes all bindings in the RADICAL series, including RADICAL ST, RADICAL FT, and SPEED RADICAL.

Details on the issue and the solution:

Issue: The damage can happen when the heel unit is subjected to forces in a particular way. This particular arrangement of forces is pretty rare. In the ascent mode (when the heel unit is in “lock” or “tour” position) the housing may be damaged if the unit is strongly impacted in a counter-clockwise direction (back towards “ski mode”) causing the internal PIN to strongly impact against the internal housing wall. Damage can only occur in ascent mode, not in the descent (or “ski” mode).

(Editor’s note from Lou: This is simply the pin that’s supposed to allow you to only rotate the heel unit in the clockwise direction, as indicated on top of the binding in red.)

Even if the housing is damaged, the binding should still release perfectly in any mode, and there is little danger of the heel unit detaching. Therefore this does not constitute an acute danger or risk for the skier. Essentially after the damage, the binding functions similar to a TLT Vertical binding which doesn’t have a PIN in the back unit (this “lock position” was introduced to prevent the inconvenient – and fairly rare – rotation of the heel unit back into ski mode, while touring).

Solution: The good news is we can eliminate the risk of damage. This is achieved by a quick and easy exchange of the small PIN which is within the heel housing. For bindings in the market, this exchange can be completed without having to return the bindings. Please see the attached visual and written description of the solution.

Details on next steps:

Dynafit inventory – We will hold additional sales of Radical bindings until our existing inventory has received this technical upgrade. We expect this will be complete by the second week of January (week of January 9). In the meantime, we have availability in Vertical ST and Vertical FT bindings.

Dealer inventory – We are requesting dealers also hold sales of current Radical bindings until they have completed the required technical upgrade. This upgrade can be completed after we ship the replacement PINS to dealers, with a target ship date of the second week of January (week of January 9).

In the meantime, dealers have the ability to sell the Vertical series of bindings. In addition to any dealer inventory, we have Vertical FT’s and ST’s in stock, as well as Speed Superlights.

Consumers – We are also requesting consumers with Radical bindings to undertake the required technical upgrade. This can happen in one of three ways:
We can send PINS to the consumers to replace themselves.
The consumer can bring the bindings to a retailer for the upgrade.
The consumer can call us for a return authorization, and then return the binding directly to Dynafit in Boulder, Colorado for the upgrade.

In the meantime and into the future, of course, we will continue to honor any valid warranty claims for bindings that incur damage to the heel unit.

THANK YOU for your understanding and your partnership in working through this matter together. We appreciate your support, and we are at your service.

– Your team at Dynafit North America

Okay, that’s what Dynafit has to say. They’re also publishing instructions on how to swap in the new pin. Ours are probably just as good. Really quite simple. To get clear on what we’re talking about, first see our blog post showing Radical backcountry skiing binding internals. Note the problematic “pin.” Then use this post to take the heel unit apart, with addition of keeping your fingers wrapped around base of heel unit housing so the tiny pin doesn’t shoot out (it’s got a spring behind it). For the upgrade, simply remove the original pin (use needle nose pliers if necessary) and replace with the swap pin, curved/beveled end facing out. Be sure the tiny spring remains installed behind the pin.

One word to the wise: It is extremely difficult to prevent cross-threading of the spring barrel when you re-assemble the binding. Thus, unless you’re good with tools and/or have experience with this exact procedure, you’d be best to take the bindings to a dealer for the upgrade.

If needed, we’ll publish the Dynafit instructions, but I’m sure they’ll be included with the upgrade for those of you who do it yourself. Otherwise, the dealers and distributors will be ready to help.

Comments

111 Responses to “Dynafit Radical Binding Upgrade — Not a Safety Issue, but Recommended”

  1. Steve December 21st, 2011 9:31 pm

    Interesting. I have been debating dremmelling my pins out. Now I just hope they break. The new design does not allow for the pole grip to be wedged in-between the boot heel and rear binding to easily switch between climbing modes.

  2. Lou December 21st, 2011 9:51 pm

    No need for a dremmel, it’s just a pin that can be removed. Simply remove heel unit as if installing brakes, as you lift heel unit keep your fingers snug around the bottom so the “pin” doesn’t shoot across the room. Pull the pin out if you don’t want it, or swap for the new one.

    See this: http://www.wildsnow.com/4828/dynafit-radical-backcountry-skiing/

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

  3. nate porter December 22nd, 2011 7:12 am

    Lou, I think you alluded to this, but is there any harm in simply removing the pin and being able to twist the heel both directions? It doesn’t seem like that would be a problem. I rarely had the heel rotate into downhill mode, and would not miss that pin if it didn’t have to be there. Oh, and thanks for keeping us all up to date on this, I heard about it from you before Salewa.

  4. Philip Maynard December 22nd, 2011 8:05 am

    Nate-

    Yes, you can just remove the pin. As stated above, this just allows the binding to potentially flip to ski mode from touring mode. Not a big deal for my use, so I might just pull the pins for now and maybe get replacements later.

    “Essentially after the damage, the binding functions similar to a TLT Vertical binding which doesn’t have a PIN in the back unit (this “lock position” was introduced to prevent the inconvenient – and fairly rare – rotation of the heel unit back into ski mode, while touring).”

  5. David Aldous December 22nd, 2011 8:10 am

    Does anyone know what is different about the new pin? Is it a different shape or a softer material or have people not seen it yet?

  6. Keith Roush December 22nd, 2011 9:37 am

    The original pin is brass and can crack the housing if counter-rotated with enough force. The replacement pin will be plastic, and work like a shear pin to purposely fail if abused.

  7. Philip Maynard December 22nd, 2011 9:47 am

    I pulled the brass pins out of my Speed Radicals. In the Speeds the pin is retained by the base plate after the heel piece is removed, and you’ll have to crank the binding to the extreme limits of the length adjustment screw before you can get the pin out. A strong magnet works well for removing the spring, which can be stuck in place with grease.

    On the plus side, it’s impossible for the spring and pin to shoot across the room on you.

    Be sure to carefully mark the position of your binding before adjusting it, or re-set the gap with a 5.5mm gauge. Details on that here:http://www.wildsnow.com/2599/dynafit-tech-heel-space-shim-gauge/.

  8. James Broder December 22nd, 2011 10:29 am

    Dynafit have another problem brewing with this binding. The new Radical FT Z12 has a bad design flaw in the brake. Second day I had mine, I was doing a high-speed warmup run on a groomer before heading into the backcountry. My heel twisted out and it blew the dinky little rivet hinge completely out of the proximal side of the brake. Also bent the brake mechanism. The brake did not deploy, and the ski got away.

    None of the shops in Whistler had a proper replacement brake, so I wired the hinge back together with two cotter pins, but it’s still bent up and the mechanism doesn’t work quite right. A replacement is on the way.

    The next day I was in the backcountry with a professional guide, who told me his new FT Z12 did exactly the same thing on the first day he used them. The brake had to be replaced.

    I have added a half-dozen cotter pins to my backcountry emergency kit. I am thinking about replacing both of the dinky little rivet hinges on each brake with a small stainless machine bolt, terminated with either a wing nut or a nut, either welded or gunked on with a big dollop of Lock-Tite.

    Lou, if you’d like a photo of the blown-out rivet hinge and the bent-up brake, please e-mail me.

  9. Nick December 22nd, 2011 10:53 am

    James, I assume you mean the rivets at the lower rear of the brake. What is weird is that the ones on my new Radicals look identical the ones on my old Verticals.

  10. Nick December 22nd, 2011 11:01 am

    Another thought on that brake failure. I noticed that the new brakes didn’t mate with the cleat pattern of my boots very well (old Megarides). The back of the plate under the heel fitted into a gap in the cleats and as a result it wasn’t held flat and looked like it could catch when the boot heel rotated in a release. I used some shoe goo to fill in the gap in the boot cleats because I thought it might interfere with release despite the anti fiction mechanism in the new brakes.

    I wonder if a mismatch like this between the boot sole and brake heel plate could result in a large twisting force being applied to the brakes and that was what caused the rivet failure?

  11. slave.to.turns December 22nd, 2011 11:58 am

    Dynafit brakes are always terrible.

    Two things of note, as someone who broke this binding.

    1. Heel piece was turned the correct way.
    2. Dynafit is saying that it does not affect the release value, which I found to be true with 1500ft of skiing after mine broke. What they are failing to say is that you will likely not be able to tour in it as it will repeatedly turn itself to ski mode after the breakage occurs.

    YMMG, these are just my observations.

  12. Mike December 22nd, 2011 12:57 pm

    I had the heel unit housing break on my second tour earlier this year. When I took it to the dealer they said they have seen “several” of the new radicals come back for the same reason. My question is how do we order the new shear pins from Dynafit and will they send extras? These pins are bound to fail…it will be nice to have extras at the house for a quick fix upon return from skiing.

  13. Drew December 22nd, 2011 1:37 pm

    Drew from Dynafit here, jumping in here to clarify how to request pins. You have the option of contacting us directly by email (service@dynafit.com) or phone (303-444-0446). We’re happy to send out 2 pins per pair of Radical bindings you own. Please let us know your address and how many pins you need.

    At first, extra pins may be in short supply, but eventually we will have plenty of replacement pins and will be glad to send spare pins. You also have the option of working with the retailer where you purchased bindings to get replacement pins.

  14. Greg Louie December 22nd, 2011 1:54 pm

    @slave.to.turns:

    “What they are failing to say is that you will likely not be able to tour in it as it will repeatedly turn itself to ski mode after the breakage occurs.”

    This happened to you? In nine years of Dynafit use, I’ve had “auto-rotation” into ski mode happen maybe 3 times, and never from flat position, always from high lifter position, and only with a certain boot/binding combination (Spirit 3/Comfort).

  15. slave.to.turns December 22nd, 2011 3:24 pm

    GregL

    Caley here. I’ve only had it auto rotate myself from ice build up, but this was the sign that told me something was wrong when it broke. Kept going to ski mode from tour.

    Medium lifter/Factors.

    BTW, let’s go skiing sometime.

  16. Greg Louie December 22nd, 2011 4:41 pm

    Hey Caley,

    That’s interesting. I was thinking that if they would stay put or only auto-rotate once in a blue moon, you could just take them out and leave them out.

  17. Patrick December 22nd, 2011 4:52 pm

    FYI, mail to service@dynafit.com bounces. Correct is service@dynafit.us

  18. Greg Louie December 22nd, 2011 6:46 pm
  19. Lou December 22nd, 2011 7:04 pm

    Mine auto-rotated the other day, I didn’t think it was any big deal but now I guess I’d better have a look-see. Lou

  20. Lou December 22nd, 2011 7:07 pm

    James Broder, sure, always up for carnage photos! If it seems like something that might happen to others, I’ll place on our carnage page when I’ve got the time (Christmas seems to intrude). Just use the contact link in menu above. Thanks, Lou

  21. Mike December 22nd, 2011 7:26 pm

    Hey Caley…I had the same experience in high heel lift mode; it kept turning back to ski mode which made me take a closer look at the binding to find that the housing had broke. I had a little better luck in mid heel lift but it was still annoying. I had to tour the rest of the day without any heel lift. I think a PIN is necessary.

  22. Blackdog102395 December 22nd, 2011 9:22 pm

    So, I was just about ready to purchase the Speed Radical when I heard a few rumors of this particular pin breaking. At first I didn’t think this was that big of a deal. Like others, I assumed the binding could be used without the pins. However, after reading the comments posted here, I am concerned that this is a bigger deal than I first thought. IF the new replacement pins are made to shear before causing damage to the housing, are they more likely to break compared to the brass pin? In short, is this “minor” design flaw turning out to be a major flaw. Sure it doesn’t affect the safety features, but from a usability standpoint, It would be incredibly frustrating to blow this pin regularly and have to deal with the binding constantly turning from tour to ski mode. Any thoughts?

  23. Kevin December 22nd, 2011 10:41 pm

    Hmmmm, this thread has gotten longer. I was mounting up my Speed Radical bindings on a new pair of BD Justice skis. I am optimistic that we will have powder again one day. I pulled the brass pins/springs before mounting the bindings. Took less than ten minutes. Unfortunately, even though being extremely careful, I slightly stripped the threads on the heel piece. I definitely think that anyone that is changing their pins needs to be hyperaware of how easy it is to cross-thread the heel rotation din screw when reassembling the binding. I was trying to be super careful and still screwed up. This fix could cost dynafit more than pins if the heel piece threads get buggered up. Now reading the latest posts, sounds like I should have kept the pins in place. Also want to note that I definitely feel a slight amount of side play when rocking the heel piece side to side. This seems to be due to the simple base plate on the speed version.

  24. Tony S. December 23rd, 2011 1:15 am

    So let me get this straight, does the binding auto rotate easier after the pin failure than the previous models without the pin? So eseentially they are useless in tour mode with the higher lifters after the housing cracks or the new pin breaks? Sweet…

    Oh wait, I shouldn’t worry, it’s only .003 percent chance the failure could happen… B.S.

  25. Gari Beet December 23rd, 2011 5:46 am

    I just bought some Verticals and have had 3 days on them, mainly skinning as the snow coverage was quite patchy.
    I found on the second day out that the rear would rotate counter clockwise(left foot) when traversing on a slope. Did it several times, often within a few metres of each other. In the end I had to point the skis closer into the fall line as it where, and walk “crab like” to keep the traverse line. The snow was windblown into narrow bands precluding me just traversing the opposite direction, hence the “crabbing”
    I searched this forum and found the advice that the brakes can contribute and so had ‘em removed and set the release a little higher. Now I am wondering if I am having the issue mentioned here.
    Snow has all but disappeared here so no chance to go try them since making the changes.

    First lift position by the way, in all cases.

  26. Tony S. December 23rd, 2011 11:56 am

    You mean Radicals, right? ^^^

    After thinkiing about it last night, I realize what the deal is. The pin/housinig is taking all the torsional forces when the ski is on the opposite edge while on traverses. This is why dynafit is being vague about the forces involved, because it is a common force that the bindings have to deal with, about half the time your skinning. It’s not people trying to rotate them counter clockwise, as evident in the responses here.

    So when you are skiinning up a steep, hard skin track that’s maybe a little off angle, on the higher lifter, the housing gets busted by the pin as it tries to sustain the leverage of the higher lifter torquing it in the counter clockwise direction. The new breakable pin will likely occasionally fail in the field. In addition, there must be something different about the forces applied by the new lifter design on the heel unit that make it auto rotate easier than a vertical.

    Sounds like Dynafit screwed the pooch on this one.

  27. Steve December 23rd, 2011 3:38 pm

    Here’s my thought: pull the pins and use the mid climbing position as it was used in the past: boot heel on fat back part of binding. There’s no need for the new climbing posts.

    The binding flipping back to ski mode from the high lift position is actually a good thing if you ask me. If using that, the skier is either on an up track that needs some highway improvement funding or setting a skin track that’s too steep.

  28. Gari Beet December 23rd, 2011 4:03 pm

    No, Verticals.

  29. Philip Maynard December 23rd, 2011 4:17 pm

    Steve-

    There’s no detent to hold the binding in that position. It will rotate away from it very easily.

  30. Lou December 23rd, 2011 5:37 pm

    Tony! I think you nailed it.

  31. Tony S. December 24th, 2011 10:33 am

    I was hoping I didn’t nail it actually. Especially the part about the new pins breaking more than is neccessary. Maybe I am jumping the gun a little there, but if they are “shear pins” designed to fail before the housing as some describe and the housing itself breaks so easily, well, I’m nervous. Are yours broken Lou? Any other experiences with the auto rotate being chronic on the Radicals after this failure or is that overblown? That is all I really care about. I don’t want to be overly negative as I really hope they work out in the long run, especially for the 600$ I dropped on them.

    I hate steep uptracks too but that’s all anyone sets anymore and you can’t always be there first.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas.

  32. Ron December 24th, 2011 11:19 am

    Interesting, I also have a new pair of Speed Radicals but haven’t used them yet. So, after reading about potential problems I went out to my ski shed and got my new setup out and rotated them. Funny, I rotated one and heard a little click and the binding locked in place like it should. I rotated the other one into place, no click, and it wasn’t locked. These are absolutely fresh bindings that have never been used or fiddled with. I brought the skis into my house and played with them again after the skis were warmed up and then both bindings worked as they are suspose to. My shed was cold maybe around 0 so possibly the cold stiffened the grease on the pin and stiffened it so the pin hung up. But, WTF, whats going to happen once the pin/hole gets a little warn or the unit doesn’t move freely when it is cold. I guess it doesn’t matter if the counter rotation back to ski mode doesn’t become a issue and is similar to to older bindings. Personally, I have been on Dynafits for about 6 years and auto rotation into ski mode has rarely been a issue for me and I could most certainly live with the bindings if the lock went away. Anybody know if a ST housing is interchangeable with the Radicals? Seems to me everytime a MFGER adds bells and whistles to a proven product and adds mechanical elements it becomes a source of failure. I guess we will see, I got my setup from a local shop and not some sort of internet buy so I have good resolution to what ever happens.

  33. Kevin December 24th, 2011 1:55 pm

    Took my new radical speed bindings out touring this morning for the first time. I removed the pins before I installed the bindings. I am happy to report that I had no auto-rotation problems. Also, I appreciated being able to change modes with only a quarter turn rotation. My wife has about 5 days on her Speeds with pins and has no issues.

  34. Drew December 24th, 2011 4:49 pm

    Hey Patrick – The correct email address for requesting replacement pins is service@dynafit.us (not .com as I errantly wrote above). Info@dynafit.us will work also.

    The new pins will be brass like the originals, not plastic as stated above. The new pins are designed to serve their function of keeping the heel unit in tour mode while also eliminating any potential damage to the plastic heel housing, even under the highest loads and forces they are expected to encounter.

  35. David December 24th, 2011 7:57 pm

    I’ve never had an issue auto-rotation with my verticals – is there something significantly different about the radical rotation indents that make it more prone to inadvertent mode changes?? I always thought the radical clockwise only rotation was stupid – seems it may be worse than i thought. Time will tell but removing the pin altogether is looking like best option to me.

  36. Tony S. December 25th, 2011 11:33 am

    I guess the new pin will not be a shear pin, and will be made of brass, so it must distribute the load differently or something to prevent housing breakage while keeping the pin intact as well. Sounds like the solution Dynafit has worked out is for the best.

    Although maybe the auto rotate thing with these without the pin is worse than with Verticals for whatever reason, I bet it might have something to do with the fact that most skin tracks in North America right now are beat, off angle icy abominations at this point so that might have something to do with the reports of chronic auto rotation from some people.

    I’m just gonna go ahead and get the new pins now, sounds like they worked out a reasonable solution so I won’t have to worry about it.

  37. Philip Maynard December 26th, 2011 12:13 pm

    I wonder if it’s rounded enough to not hold the heel piece completely securely. That would really be ideal – just a firm dedent biased in one direction.

  38. Ray T December 26th, 2011 6:11 pm

    Hi Lou
    After reading your post I removed the pins from the bindings. We were out touring today and didn’t have any trouble with the bindings. I’m not putting the new pins back since I rarely have the binding kicking into ski mode while climbing. i’m on the same wavelength as Steve, I see way too many steep trails out there in the BC.
    What I can’t figure out is all the trouble people are having with the Dynafit binding. I’m on my third pair of bindings since 1996. I’ve never had a pre release while skiing powder or the ski hill. My original bindings are still in use after 15 years

  39. Garrett G December 27th, 2011 8:41 am

    Just caught up to this post. I am also having issues with the pin and cross-threading in the heel piece on my new Radicals which replaced a Pair of Plums that broke my second day on them. Bad winter for bindings! On the Dynafit I simply just tightened down the DIN on the heel right after mounting them and the heel piece must have came cross threaded from Dynafit because I couldn’t get it past what is their DIN rating of 6. I also have ejected out of my binding from the heel rotating twice now (both on firmer snow). If this problem is only .003% it seems like a lot of folks are addressing the issue. My ideal setup would be the new radical toe piece with an older generation heel. Has anyone tried this or had any luck with warranty on these Radicals with Dynafit?

  40. blackdog102395 December 27th, 2011 9:17 am

    FWIW-After talking with the tech at my trusty ski shop, I’m steering clear of the Radical Series until they iron out the problem. It was the tech’s opinion that the problem lies in the heel piece itself and not just the pin. He thought it unlikely that that the replacement pins would fix the problem and that the only sure fix is to replace the heel piece.

  41. Blake December 28th, 2011 4:48 pm

    I had similar brake failure as James – rivets popped while on hard pack.

    I’m thinking about leashes. The brakes definitely don’t look as robust.

    I haven’t had any auto rotate problems. Personally I like a more direct approach up the fall line as a sloping traverse (especially on hardpack) is awkward and uncomfortable between boot/ankle rubbing.

    It seems like this years current snowpack and people’s desire to get out there are testing these bindings right out of the gate.

  42. Ryan December 28th, 2011 5:50 pm

    Do they not field test these $600 bindings? This issue seems way to consistent to miss with proper testing.

    I am guessing they are going to have reengineer the heel because this is a half solution. Bummer. Looks like I am back to the fristchi or marker duke bandwagon for another season or 2.

  43. Eric January 4th, 2012 5:40 pm

    Just an FYI:

    I emailed a request for replacement pins to service@dynafit.us and heard back in 2 minutes from John (CS Rep) that they would be shipping out replacements “soon.” How soon remains to be seen, but just wanted to give the heads up to those who might be trying to find replacement pins, and give props for quality Customer Service.

    As a side note, I was extremely careful when installing my DIN “cap” into the housing, and I got what felt like cross threading… I took the cap out, inspected the threads, and things looked OK. BUT there was clear interference between the outer most lip of the cap, and the body of the heal piece. This happend on both heal pieces, no matter how careful I was… I eventually got the DIN where I wanted it, but was a little disappointed in my shiny new bindings… Probably 8 full days on them so far, and no issues beyond initial setup.

  44. Gentle Sasquatch January 4th, 2012 5:42 pm

    I emailed more than a week ago and heard back nothing.

  45. Gentle Sasquatch January 4th, 2012 5:44 pm

    btw. I skied the bindings lift served for a day and had a great time :-) and no problems.

  46. Conor January 14th, 2012 11:51 pm

    I got a pair of the Speed Radicals, they are perhaps not the most radical bindings I have owned. Day one on them was New Year’s Eve, I’ve skied them 10 days; with the recent cold temps we’ve had here in Revelstoke, I’ve broken both housings.

    The first one occurred in the medium heel riser position on a rain crust…not a very steep up track and I was really trying not to bash it.

    The second happened yesterday. This one happened while I was in flat tour mode, no heel riser. While walking on a scoured ridge and a slight side hill, the binding snapped back to ski mode and broke the housing. Again, I was being gentle.

    As for what it is like to use these bindings after the housing breaks, well, if you ever used the G3 tele touring binding heel risers, you would know…a real pain in the rear. The heel piece snaps back into ski mode quite often on skin tracks that are old or fresh. I don’t use the high post.

    I’ve been breaking a lot of trail lately and that doesn’t seem to make a difference either, anytime you get on a bit of a side hill, there is a good chance the binding is going to snap back into ski mode. My solution, don’t use the heel risers….A pretty raw deal if you are trying to get anything done out there.

    Frankly, I am looking into Plum bindings…too bad I drilled my skis for Dynafits.

    In my opinion, Dynafit dropped the ball with the pin design. I’ve been using the same pair of TLT classics for four years (100+ days per year) and never had an issue. It would be sweet if they could drop the pin idea and go back to the old school post, which has a position that holds the heel piece in place for flat walk, medium rise and high rise.
    Anyway, just some more feedback and what my experiences have been.

    Happy trails,
    c

  47. nate porter January 15th, 2012 8:04 am

    I agree with Conor- back to the original heel post design. The pins and one way rotation are designed to fix a problem- auto rotation into ski mode- that while, annoying, is not nearly as annoying as the problems, confusion, and doubt created over the pins. In several years on older Dynafits, I can still only recall a few times they rotated back to ski mode.

    I know plenty of people are using the new heel design with no issues, but there do seem to be more issues the more people use it. I don’t know which group of users with issues is bigger- the auto rotate group, or breaking pins group. But auto rotation hasn’t lead to breaking bindings. Hope these storms come through!

  48. Tony S. January 15th, 2012 1:02 pm

    Changing the pins is no big deal, I highly encourage everyone else to just do it, it only takes ten minuts. They should send you new housings soon and you can get on with it. I just hope there aren’t any other widespread durability surprises, but hey, it’s not just like, tiny screws into plastic the whole heel housing assembly depends on or anything :roll: :wink:

  49. Lou January 16th, 2012 5:37 am

    I’ve used the Radical a zillion days now, and still like the heel lifters for slow paced touring, but I miss the ease of rotating the STLT/FT/ST heel back into alpine position by flicking with a ski pole, in order to do fast transitions. I’ve not broken any Radical housings, but I’m pretty easy on my gear so I don’t claim to be much of a binding durability tester.

    In the end, it saddens me that instead of just concentrating on how the bindings work, we end up with a durability issue out-of-the-box. To say I’m feed up with such things is an understatement. It’s like the old days of Microsoft Windows, when the old joke was “what would it be like if your car behaved like Microsoft Windows?” Well, what would it be like if your car behaved like some of these recent ski bindings? I’ll let you jokers answer that one (grin).

    I had an interesting conversation with an engineer the other day, about product defects. He said that product engineering rule of thumb is that at every stage of the design and manufacturing process, a defect or mistake costs ten times more than it would to correct in the previous stage. So if it costs $10 to fix on a napkin sketch, it costs $100 to fix on the computer drawing, $1,000 to fix in the first prototype, $10,000 to fix in the beta testing, and so on until at the retail stage the cost is staggering. Thus, we were mulling over how something like the Dynafit pin problem could have made its way all the way to the retail stage, with so much financial incentive to have caught it at an earlier stage.

    Such things do happen in any industry, due to all sorts of strange reasons. But it’s indeed surprising that many problems are not caught earlier.

    A good example of a defect making it to the retail stage is the Marker Tour problems last year with pivot wear and other breakage. When at Marker in Germany a few years ago, they showed me some impressive test equipment that should have easily at least hinted at those problems. Yet the problems made it all the way to the retail stage. Gremlins in the machine, I guess. Or more likely, designers vs engineers vs marketing vs release-date vs gremlins.

    Lou

  50. Dan January 23rd, 2012 7:00 pm

    In an earlier post I mentioned that one of my new Radical bindings had rotated and cracked the housing. I am easy on my equipment. I had only skied the radicals 6 times. I was in the “middle” heel lifter position, skinning a fairly benign skin track when the heel (rt. ski) auto-rotated. The shop contacted Dynafit today (Boulder office of Salewa). The Dynafit rep requires a photo of the cracked housing before they will send replacement parts or heel or whatever. I was also told that the Radical will behave just like the Vertical if the replacement pin (shearpin) fails or if I choose not to use the pins. I recall reading somewhere above in this thread that the radical had a different design and that it would not be a good idea to pull those pins. So, let’s see who knows what they are talking about. I am going to field-test the Radicals w/o pins as soon as the housing is replaced. I hope it works because I like the “levers”. Stay tuned.

  51. Tim January 23rd, 2012 10:06 pm

    Dan the heel will auto rotate easily without the pin .Went up hollyburn woods ,sticky snow on a hard crust the usual Vancouver conditions.I was using the lifts . The downhill ski heelpiece,while traversing steep terrain, rotated 7 times to ski position.My feeling is there are some significant rotational force on the heel when using the new flip down heel lifts. Dynafit needs to do something more than temporary breakaway pins, like exchanging for vertical heels while they redesign the housing. Been using dynafits for 10 years with no issues this is very annoying because it makes the binding totally unreliable. Tim

  52. Dan January 24th, 2012 9:34 am

    Tim: Thanks for that little tid-bit. It will save me the trouble of experimenting. I plan to try to talk to the Dynafit N.A. folks in Boulder today. I’ll report back.

  53. ed caldwell January 24th, 2012 10:34 am

    Pulling the pins is very easy on the Speed Radical. The only tricky part is the pin might need to be pulled out with needle nose pliers. With the housing all the way to the rear the pin may still hit the mounting plate and using the pliers will allow you to pull up slightly to clear the track. One came out easily without using pliers and the other needed the use of the pliers.

    Think I’ll try the bindings sans any pin and then put the new ones in and see if I have a preference. It seems if the new pin is meant to break that could be a problem in and of itself since once broken where is it going to go? I suppose it probably shears off and then the binding functions as if there is no pin. Hum…

    I am here in California so I have still not been able to use my bindings for the first time in fact they are not even mounted which I plan on doing this week since winter has finally come to the Sierra. I’ve been on Fritschi’s so this will be my first winter using Dynafits. Just hopin the Sierras get more winter delivered soon.

    Ed

  54. stefano February 5th, 2012 10:20 am

    Hi,

    I’ve developed a strong “aftermarket” solution for this problem:

    http://www.maruelli.com/radical%20upgrade/DYANAFIT%20RADICAL%20UPGRADE.htm

    Needs just 2 bolts (included) and solve FOREVER twisting problems.

    The new Radical Bindings wil no loger affected by this problem.

    Ciao
    Stefano

  55. Lou February 5th, 2012 11:21 am

    Stefano, that is beautiful! Very smart!

  56. Patrick February 5th, 2012 9:58 pm

    New pin sheared already! Installed the new replacement pins last week. After an easy tour this weekend one housing will now rotate freely in either direction. That pin must have sheared. Big disappointment to put it mildly.

  57. David February 6th, 2012 10:02 am

    x2

    Skinning uphill on a reasonable grade with slightly sticky snow and downhill binding sheared the new pin. Yes it did its job but…

  58. travis February 6th, 2012 12:58 pm

    On the Speed Radicals, one could remove the shear pin entirely, and screw a bushing or spacer into the ski at about the 7 o’clock position adjacent to the heel piece. 3 turns clockwise from tour into ski, and 3 turns counterclockwise from ski into tour. The spring housing would hit the bushing, preventing counterclockwise rotation from tour into ski.

    On the Radicals with brakes, this wouldn’t work because the brake tab would get in the way.

  59. travis February 6th, 2012 1:01 pm

    edit: 8 o’clock

  60. stefano February 6th, 2012 11:19 pm

    Or buy this one for the Radical Speed since “hand made” job onto the Ski requile lot of works and the risk of destroying both…

    http://www.maruelli.com/RADICAL%20UPGRADE/DYANAFIT%20RADICAL-SPEED%20UPGRADE.htm

    Ciao
    Stefano

  61. James Broder February 7th, 2012 9:41 am

    Stefano, where are your products offered for sale? They look very interesting.

  62. stefano February 7th, 2012 9:45 am

    We are selling directly, I can give you all the info by e-mail at our address:
    robotec(at)netsurf.it

  63. travis February 9th, 2012 8:55 am

    Anyone around Tahoe want to share shipping from Europe? I would like to try Stefano’s Anti-Twist on my Radicals with brakes.

  64. Shawn February 23rd, 2012 6:18 pm

    OK gotta good one. The pin is stuck in the hole and I can’t get it out. Tried sticky tape to try and stick it to the end of the pin an pull it out. Ideas? Would prefer to not drill out the center of the pin incase the bit skates off the pin and hits the plastic. May have to do this if no other ideas.

  65. Shawn February 25th, 2012 7:34 pm

    Figured out what happened. The shop where I had the pins replaced put the new pins in the wrong way…skinny side out. First incase you want to try it out, don’t. The binding can break same as if it had an original pin. Second if you had the new pins inserted incorrectly and have spent a few days touring in them, make sure the pin did not get bent. If it is bent at all when you reverse it and put it in the correct way it will get stuck in the hole and you will not be able to get it out. I think it jams against the spring and gets locked inside the hole. Luckily dynafit had shipped me a complete heel piece when mine broke so I swapped out the post. They thankfully also sent me extra pins so that when I was correcting my wife’s skis I had spare pins that weren’t bent. Man this little pin sure seemed to cause me a lot of problems. :) At least I can tear apart and put together a binding without looking now. Hope this will be the end of my “dynafu” issues. Love love the way they tour and ski.

  66. Lou February 26th, 2012 12:31 am

    Good stuff everyone. But seriously, if in doubt just try using without the pesky pin and see if the binding works for you. If necessary, go back to the pin, or get the aftermarket “anti rotate” thingus.

  67. Sandels March 1st, 2012 9:41 am

    Gents,

    has anyone experienced weird axial play developing in the left toe pin holder of the front binding? I have now 15 days on my Radical FT’s, and both bindings have developed approximately the same amount of play to this part assembly on the left side. You can look into it and test it by putting your boot in the binding and then twisting the heel from side to side. Seems that this is a tolerance issue related to the cast left toe pin holder as I have it in my both bindings. My ski shop says they have now had 6 pairs with similar issues. They have also notified Dynafit about this and got a response too: Dynafits doens’t recognize nor admit this problem at this time. The part is difficult or almost impossible to replace without drilling out the pin, so they do have a challenging problem here.

    It is very annoying as it makes a loud and noticeable click/movement in each and every turn… I just wonder what kind of play it will develop in a couple of seasons, as these things usually tend to accelerate in wear once they get started. All in all, I am quite disappointed. Should never have bought 1st year generation bindings…

  68. Garrett March 1st, 2012 9:46 am

    I have had that same issue as well with both of my pairs of Radicals and it only seems to get worse every day I ski on them. I really think Dynafit blew it with this new binding and they sold something that was not ready for the paying market. Something more than just replacing the pin needs to be addressed.

  69. Lou March 1st, 2012 10:04 am

    Guys, that sounds like a drag, please update us on what happens with the play getting worse, and/or you being taken care of by Dynafit. I’m near some high-use Radicals at this time, I’ll take a look at those and see if there is anything like this going on. Lou

  70. Stefano March 1st, 2012 11:38 am

    I’ve the same little play from long time but it don’t rise much more, in my using, of course.

    The play is due to the “too big” working tolerance between the Radical Alu base and the jaw: but we are talking about just few points of millimeters !

    Of course is little beat more than what necessary to let the jaw rotate, and probably enought to “disturb” super precise skiers.

    I confess that I’m not able to hear nothing durring skiing probably because I use light ski and I’m light too… still if I’m able to go fast and make perfect curving on hard from long time ago and downhill racing too…

    Sorry this time seems to me “gasoline onto the fire”.

    Thanks Lou for nice meeting yesterday !

  71. Lou March 1st, 2012 11:40 am

    I just checked the high mileage Radicals here, no play.

    Stefano, yes, thanks for the meeting. I’m preparing some blog posts.

    Lou

  72. John Milne March 1st, 2012 12:05 pm

    @ Sandels and Garrett
    I run the warranty department for Dynafit North America and I don’t have a record from any of our dealers pertaining to play developing in the toe pins or toe wings on the new Radical bindings. I would love to know which shop you’ve been dealing with and who they talked to.

    (Assuming you’re here in North America) If you could please contact me at john.milne@salewa.com I’d be happy to get you set up with a Return Authorization number so that I get the bindings back and evaluate the situation.

    Thanks.

  73. James Broder March 1st, 2012 12:11 pm

    I wonder if the excess play is boot-related? Perhaps non-Dynafit boots are more susceptible?

    Also, Lou, did you get a chance to try or at least take a close look at Stefano’s clever-looking aftermarket solution to the pin-breaking problem? Would love to hear what you think.

    I agree with Garrett, I think Dynafit really screwed the pooch with a not-ready-for-prime-time product. It’s not a money issue with me, but rather, I just can’t risk further breakage problems when I’m working. I’ve gone back to Fritschis for the time being, even though in doing so I am the subject of endless abuse from my Austrian colleagues.

    As an engineer, I appreciate the flippy heel lifters, the stiffer toepieces, and the other improvements of the Radical line, but as a company owner I cringe for Dynafit at all the ill will this has created amongst consumers in their market.

    Will be interesting to see what Dynafit does to (A) remedy the constellation of problems, and (B) deal with the public relations disaster they’ve created.

  74. Lou March 1st, 2012 12:37 pm

    Sandels, I have several versions of Stefano’s “anti rotation solution” for the Radical. It is very smart, though adds a few grams more. Review coming next week if not sooner.

    BTW, I’ve run Radicals quite a bit now without the internal anti-rotation pin and they’ve worked fine… For what that’s worth.

    Lou

  75. Gentle Sasquatch March 1st, 2012 12:40 pm

    I’m on the opposite side. I have no problems whatsoever with these bindings and don’t understand when someone refers to this issue as a disaster. I love the flippers and I do not want to have any problems with my bindings in the future so I do hope that if there is an issue that it gets remedied.

  76. Lou March 1st, 2012 12:42 pm

    I’d agree, disaster is a pretty strong word. But some of the problems are real.

  77. Sandels March 1st, 2012 1:44 pm

    Thanks for your response and offer for assistance, John – however, I am in Europe. Can you connect me with your counterpart here in Europe? As I said, I have already tried to take this issue forward through facebook, my dealer and country distributor without success, and then decided to raise the issue here hoping it would result in a response.

    I made a short video to demonstrate the problem. It is easier to detect if you only attach the front binding, and then move the heel to the sides. Sorry for low quality; I only had my mobile at hand… http://vimeo.com/37756885

  78. JakeS March 1st, 2012 6:19 pm

    Sandels

    I would suggest trying a couple of other brands of tech compatible boots to rule out a boot issue.

  79. Stefano March 2nd, 2012 12:23 am

    for Sandels:

    If you’re in Europe e-mail me directly: you don’t need other boot or other think…

    too many “fighting” voices on this…

    robotec (at) netsurf.it

    To be clear: I’m just a ski friend.

    Ciao
    Stefano

  80. Sandels March 2nd, 2012 1:18 am

    Thanks for all the feedback. As far as I have understood this left front wing issue and the back binding rotating issues are two different things and have nothing to do with each other?

    Regarding the boots – considering the way Dynafit binding attaches the boot to, I don’t see any possibility how a boot type could have devoted to the development of the play in the wing axis. If there was some kind of fundamental geometrical incompatibility with BD factors and Dynafit bindings, I am sure the wear pattern would have created the play on the right wing of the other binding as well. I would say this is at least manufacturing tolerance issue between the left wing and the front binding frame. Then again, I don’t think the material pairing is very good either – now we basically have two aluminum cast parts with rough surface finish which are constantly moving and rubbing against each other during dynamic loading… Not a very long lasting bearing solution in my opinion. In the previous Vertical bindings the design in this pairing was smoother stamped sheet metal steel against aluminum; in addition to that the structure probably allowed the removal of additional play during assembly which naturally also prevents the start of any play induced micro level chipping of material during loading.

  81. Stefano March 2nd, 2012 2:00 am

    … my “last” on:

    Pls be “realistic”: wear is “nothing” in this little mouvement. Yes non zero, but still nothing !

    Still if you’re 8 (and seems, fortunately, not ;-P) your Radical front binding will survive you (with same little play of course, but nothing more) !

  82. John Milne March 8th, 2012 3:45 pm

    Hey Sandels,

    I passed your video up the chain and we do want to see your bindings back. You’ll talk to different people depending on where you are in Europe. Worst case scenario you can contact international@salewa.com and they should be able to point you in the right direction. If you email me with your contact info I can probably get it sent to the right people faster.

    Thanks.

  83. Ryland Nelson March 9th, 2012 8:43 pm

    I have been experiencing the same issues as Sandels as well as the rotation issues. I have never had any issue of the binding pre-releasing while skiing. Although i ride it with the toe locked in!

  84. George March 29th, 2012 9:43 am

    Just to chime in: I am generally a big fan of Dynafit gear and was excited to swap my old Dynafit Vertical ST for the Radical ST. But oh what a mistake! I had it installed in early January, and was assured that the new pin was already installed on it. After two tours, one of the two bindings started rotating both ways, and while using the climbing bar, it rotated into skiing position while traversing a difficult, steep slope, obviously a very irritating situation.

    I brought the ski back to where I had the bindings installed, they looked at it and said it was broken, and replaced it straight away. Two tours later, the exact same happened on the other binding that wasn’t replaced.

    I still kept my hopes up that I just had a bad batch, and that with these two replacements, things will now work as they should.

    But two tours later, I now have a broken climbing bar on one of the two bindings. The black part that holds the climbing bar in place and appears to be out of plastic was just ripped into two pieces today, and I was using the climbing bar for a total of about 15 minutes during the tour.

    Extremely irritating and disappointing. I am now stuck with this expensive unreliably piece of bad engineering that I wouldn’t even want to bring to a tour of more than a day, because it breaks every other day. Not to mention what happens once the warranty runs out.

  85. George March 29th, 2012 9:50 am

    To illustrate the damage mentioned above, here some pics on Dropbox:

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cnk1gkmrkvfh2j2/efguXclbFU

    And for the record, I’m 75kg and very careful with these bindings because I already don’t trust them given my prior bad experiences.

  86. tony s March 29th, 2012 1:42 pm

    ^^^They really need to just completely redesign that whole heel piece assembly. Enough with the little screws into plastic and the expectation of a little plastic plate to hold up to such massive leverage. I do really like the way they ski and am sold overall on tech bindngs, but for the love of Ullr, beef up this weak point and get rid of the useless damper gimmick plate. I didn’t get to use mine much this year because of knee problems, but now I know for next year, don’t go for any serious tours without an entire spare heel housing.

  87. George March 29th, 2012 1:49 pm

    Actually, under this thin plastic there is another layer of metal that you can see from the side. This layer is supposed to hold the climbing bar in place. But the weak point is in this metal plate, where it is fixed to the heel piece: There’s only about 1.5mm of metal next to the screw whole towards the outside, and that’s exactly where mine ripped apart. But how could it not, given the leverage it has to sustain? Also, how any serious engineer could design it this way and not expect it to break is beyond me.

  88. James Broder March 29th, 2012 2:04 pm

    Tony,

    What you wrote is so funny to me because after two Radical FT 12 heel failures this season, that’s exactly what I started doing. I keep an entire spare heel binding (including brake) and a Torx key set in my pack now.

    I mostly tour in Austria, and showing up with anything other than a full Dynafit setup results in endless abuse being heaped upon me courtesy of my Tirolean touring posse.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hopefully Dynafit will issue a fix and a retrofit kit one of these days.

  89. Stefano March 29th, 2012 11:50 pm

    Hi Friends,

    Probably for Radical & FT user will be nice to be back @ the origin… with this upgrade.

    “First” is the Click-Clack step (pls find here in wildsnow review of severals years ago… so you can understood what “was” and what “is”.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/277/click-clack-dynafit-aftermarket-heel-unit-review/

    Or on my web site:

    http://www.maruelli.com/CLICK-CLACK/CLICK-CLACK%20IT.htm

    So I’m the Click-Clack (/Radical) not luky inventor… It comes for my ski-Mountaineering experience and needs… to solve several problems.

    I work on for 5 years… I spend money for patent /fairs/ad etc.. All for no Income back !

    But some pcs was sold w.w…..

    We have just 1 failure due to cilindric little 3mm pin, immediately replaced with stronger 4mm conic.

    With the Click-Clack I invent the antitwist too (see the inox plate on the old pictures) since I well know the self locking problem durring steep crossing etc…

    But still if I spend several thousand euros in fair, advertising, and “free sample shipping” Click-Clack rest in the shadow for others cupple of years till Dynafit bought the “rest” of the patent (for pinuts…)

    NOW for those who wanna make a “step back” and wanna solve Radical Problems or Upgrade the old FT ones, there are two solutions from “maruelli”:

    1- Click-lack step

    http://www.maruelli.com/CLICK-CLACK/CLICK-CLACK%20IT.htm

    2- Radical & FT Antitwist plate

    http://www.wildsnow.com/6859/anti-twist-dynafit-radical/

    Thanks to Lou that give me space on this nice website.

    He Is one of the few people that ever take a look to new think without “big brand-ised” opinion.

    Ciao
    Stefano

  90. Lou March 30th, 2012 5:41 am

    Stefano’s comment above got held in moderation line because of the number of links. Normally I wouldn’t publish such a commercial comment, but in light of issues with Radical bindings, it seemed good to get Stefano’s links in an obvious location.

    Of course, at some point I’ll have to explain to him that we do sell advertising and need to do so or Wildsnow.com will cease to exist (grin).

    Also, Stefano included some digs on Dynafit, several of which we redacted. Wildsnow is definitely not the place for one commercial endeavor to be dissing on another. Indeed, doing so appears rather petty and unprofesional. Products should stand on their own merit, and not require childish behavior as a substitute for marketing.

    Commenters, please let me know if this kind of thing gets out of hand.

    Lou

  91. stefano March 30th, 2012 8:29 am

    Sorry Lou,

    I thought Busines = money, so since I’m not able to pay a pack of pinuts with this job… I thought that here I’m just craing knowing that “others” are making lot of money on.

    Remove in case you find my post inappropriate or remove links, half are at your pages.

    Be sure if it will become a business (more than 10000 pcs sold) I’ll pay you a page of banners…

    Ciao
    Stefano

  92. George March 30th, 2012 8:39 am

    I was glad finding out about Stefano’s original design, didn’t know about it so far, and as an engineer I can relate to his situation. The click-clack step is how I exepect Dynafit would build such a thing, without knowing it already existed. Shame to hear they ripped you off Stefano, and did such a bad job at it too.

    It is amusing to then read their official statement on the matter, which states that only 0.17% of all produced bindings are touched by these errors. After 3 repairs in 6 tours, which all consisted of replacements, I find this hard to believe.

    http://www.firsttracksonline.com/2012/03/14/dynafit-stands-behind-radical-binding-failures/

    Dynafit is really loosing credibility with this product, in more than one way. A pretty sad story.

  93. Lou March 30th, 2012 11:49 am

    Amazing how fast the deterioration of our level of discourse sets in.

    So now we have Stefano claiming Dynafit somehow didn’t do him a good deal on a patent purchase, and suddenly he was “ripped off.”

    This is an example of exactly what WildSnow.com is NOT about, it’s not a B-to-B dirty laundry venue. More, this kind of stuff might even be legally actionable. Not against WildSnow, but against Stefano.

    So, Stefano, please no more whining about the inside operations of your business. And everyone, he is just ONE SIDE of the story so let’s not take it too much as gospel.

    To be fair, Stefano is making some nice stuff. But his PR and marketing is rather inexpertly done. So I’ll go easy on him, but I’m pretty close to just deleting the dirty laundry. (I can do so and leave the links to Stefano’s stuff, which I agree are useful.

    And Stefano, as to who’s making “a lot of money,” are you suddenly privy to Dynafit’s book keeping software? For all we know they could be anywhere from profitable down to breaking even. The state of affairs in that area is not public knowledge.

    Lou

  94. stefano April 1st, 2012 12:26 am

    Right Lou,

    I rest to the History only:

    Radical was born from here::

    http://www.wildsnow.com/277/click-clack-dynafit-aftermarket-heel-unit-review/

    But I’ve no part in Radical development.

    Thanks
    Ciao
    Stefano

  95. Lou April 1st, 2012 4:47 am

    Thanks Stefano, please stick around, but try to be positive and helpful — that’s the best way to market your business. Lou

  96. Pat May 4th, 2012 9:49 pm

    Re: the click-clack climbing aid. It is all metal yes? and can I bolt it strait on to a radical heel-piece or have they changed the screw pattern?

  97. stefano May 5th, 2012 9:32 am

    Hi,

    Yes is all worked by Mill from Aeronautical Aluminium with Inox shaft and springs.

    Holes are exactly the same.

    But you have to consider that:
    - you have just 1 hell (in the middle of the 2 of Radical)
    - we hoghly suggest to install our Antitwist Inox Plate, to stop any unwanted rotation.

  98. Sveinung June 3rd, 2012 12:43 pm

    I have just replace a broken pin. I got new brass pins from sport konrad. Are they the ones that are recalled? I also received some plastic stuff, not pins, that I dont see where I can put. They are called “Rotation Lock” and have article number 48684. Does anyone know what this can be?

    My experience when the rotation pin is broken, is that the bindings will not rotate to ski mode as long as I dont use the heels lifters. But if I use heel lifters, the binding will rotate to ski mode within 10 steps.

  99. Lou June 3rd, 2012 12:55 pm

    You can see the Rotation Lock in photo in blog post linked below. It’s also supposed to come with directions.

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

  100. Mic July 29th, 2012 8:08 pm

    Another sad face to add to the tally.

    The Radicals STs are the first pair of AT bindings I’ve bought and I went with Dynafit in large part from reading the solid reviews of the system on on Wildsnow. Agree with everything that’s been said on this site about their superb handling downhill and comfort of use uphill.

    Picked them up in Italy in January and the autoreverse twist happened to me with the old pins after only a few days of very gentle touring (by a 65kg weenie). Happened several times a day heel lifters or not…. and was very awkward dealing with a locked heel on some precarious steep ascents.

    Unfortunately I only noticed the breakage in the plastic after I’d returned to Australia. The plastic cuff around the mounting post cracked to reveal the small metal sleeve describe above. The Italian retailer very kindly sent me a replacement heel unit and the new pins and I installed these according to their instructions.

    Heartbreakingly, I the auto-rotation problem occurred again several times last weekend on one unit in particular (yes it’s winter in Australia! Yes we have snowy mountains! Though not too steep or high, there is something pretty gorgeous about gum trees under the snow). Touch wood, I don’t think there has been any damage to the plastic again.

    Thanks to all the comments above, hopefully I will be able to diagnose the problem this time and come up with a permanent solution…… unfortunately it may cost me more in shipping as Dynafit has pulled out of distribution in Australia!

  101. Mic July 29th, 2012 10:01 pm

    PS- just a thought. Would removing the brake entirely stop the the heel unit being squeezed back into the wrong alignment? It seems to provide a lot of pressure so that it would essentially push the stop sideways as soon as there is any jiggle from the correct alignment.

  102. Lou Dawson July 30th, 2012 6:33 am

    Mic, first thing to do is put the anti-rotation parts on the binding. The after-market version info is here:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/6859/anti-twist-dynafit-radical/

    The Dynafit OEM version is the little plastic parts in the ziplock, part number 48684. Instructions for installing it are here:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/7898/dynafit-anti-twist-rotation-48684-installation/

  103. Mic July 30th, 2012 5:17 pm

    Thanks Lou. Where to get the bona fide Dynafit part was going to be my next question. Hope our friends across the Pacific are happy to send one over.

  104. Raphael Roth October 28th, 2012 5:34 am

    What I don’t get with the entire auto-rotate problematic is why this apparently only occurs in one direction (CCW) and noth in the other. Also the ant-twist upgrade kit from dynafit only prevent the rotation in CCW direction, what about CW? Sorry for the question I don’t own radicals myself

  105. Ed November 24th, 2013 8:59 am

    Lou, as an old guy, I gotta wade in here. I say up front my intent is not to offend but to lay down a challenge to Dynafit in the factory (our guys here in Salewa can only try and make do with the hand that is being factory dealt them no matter how much after market servicing we try and apply!).
    So here goes – the old style Dynafit TLT’s with the Mud or White colour towers were bomber as far as I’m concerned. Yeah some tower breakage, some plate breakage and some rotation when you didn’t want it maybe – I hadn’t seen this in all my time on them but I’ll give. The beauty is – the setup was SIMPLE and you could swap brakes etc. without hassle (never did have spring problems or cross threading all the time I fiddled with these things).
    So to address the latter problem or perceived problem of rotation, the heel unit was re-designed. Voila – away go swappable breaks (now you buy a unit) and this is all sorts of fun for ski shops when they run out of heel units with a specific size of brakes, but the autorotation problem doesn’t go away as you and the readers chronicle above.
    So now there’s another running change made in the design of the infamous “pins”.
    But people are still having problems.
    Now I find the last set of Radicals I bought have a little teeny weeny tiny screw and a slider plate screwed onto the semi-circular plate that forms part of the brakes – yet another effort on the fly to prevent auto-rotation.
    Look guys please – little teeny weeny tiny screws have no place on the Wapta in the dead of winter. We’re a long way from home, not a chopper ride by Air Zermat.
    So now, I for one, disagree with the title of this piece – IT IS A SAFETY ISSUE. A buddy of mine kept having his Radical heel unit pop into downhill mode on a steep up-track this weekend. While the line formed in a somewhat exposed position!
    And what is the solution if these bust-able parts are not field swappable? We seem to be goin’ in a direction that is backwards!
    For my money, the old heel units were head and shoulders above these “New, Improved” models. Let’s be honest, been a couple of years now and we’re still making running changes. Someone in engineering at Dynafit better think long and hard about direction they’re taking their formerly highly regarded bindings. Marketing doesn’t cut it in the real backcountry. Simple, functional, robust does.

    And this was a safety issue this weekend as we tried to hobble out of the woods.

  106. Greg Louie November 24th, 2013 10:43 am

    Ed, were your buddy’s bindings Speed Radicals or FT/ST? IME the little anti-rotation tabs on the brakes are very effective in stopping auto rotation, tiny screws and all. The Speed Radical heels, even with the second generation ridges in the base plate and heel housing, still rotate back into ski mode sometimes (though they are better than the first generation ones).

    As far as heel top plates go, I too thought the Vertical ones were pretty bomber. The Comfort ones were even better – if you broke the volcano, the aluminum plates (all that holds you to the ski) were still intact. The Speed/Classic ones were even better, they didn’t break – maybe that’s why they’re bringing them back in the form of the Speed Turn bindings.

  107. Ed November 24th, 2013 11:02 am

    Greg, they were TLT Radical ST’s (Lou can you maybe fix my first breakfast typo?). My only point in all this is that two or three running fixes isn’t probably progress over an old simple design!
    If the old towers did break we could’a moulded the part out of metal or something (Plum??).
    I don’t want bindings that drag us down the path of “features” – these things aren’t software or smart phones – my values are Simple, Robust, Interchangeable and they work for years and years.
    In the cold . .
    Again, think trusty Labrador Retriever . . . . :-)

  108. Tony Bob November 24th, 2013 11:26 am

    Ed and others,
    I agree completely on all the pesky little issues with the Radical series. And yes, little issues can turn serious very quick when they occur in the mountains away from the hut or car. Just to add an opinion here. The most trouble free tech binding I’ve used (and beat up more than any other) is the ATK RT. Those little suckers have perform in everything for me and never failed. The only improvement I could recommend would be to add the little de-icer grooves to the toe pins.
    I wish someone would look at importing their whole line of binders. I’d definitely buy another set of RTs and possibly the Raider 12.
    My 2 cents.
    http://www.atkrace.it/eng/complete-catalogue.html

  109. Greg Louie November 24th, 2013 2:10 pm

    Well, in fairness Vertical and Comfort heels autorotated once in a while too – FWIW I never had it happen with Speed/Classics.

    If your friend has plenty of money and time (and doesn’t care about brakes) he could buy some Plum Guide heels (probably have to go through someone in Europe) and replace the ST’s . . .

  110. Lou November 24th, 2013 7:20 pm

    Good discussion you guys, thanks. You can bet folks from Dynafit are reading…

    Yeah, I had the old Comfort and Verticals auto-rotate just as much as my Speed Radicals, meaning perhaps once every few days. Radical FT/ST with the tiny black plastic stop screwed to the brake retractor plate, I’ve had no auto-rotates that I can remember.

    My favorite Dynafit binding is still the Vertical FT with power blocks and the wider brakes so it comes with stronger springs, then swap on whatever brake is appropriate. But the Radicals I’ve been running are working fine (both Speed Radical and ST Radical).

    Ed, specifically to your friend’s problem with auto-rotate, I would perhaps advise him to get rid of those Radical bindings if the antirotation doesn’t work. BUT, there is a bomber solution out there that allows him to keep the bindings and never auto-rotate again. See following link.

    http://www.wildsnow.com/6859/anti-twist-dynafit-radical/

    I’d also tend to agree with the ranting about Dynafit not coming up with better solutions. But not totally. I’ve had many insider views to the binding design process, including several visits with the engineers in Germany, as well as spending time with the inventor. It is amazingly hard to get these things working 100% and keep the weight down. It’s rocket science, basically. So I do cut them some slack. After all, even Plums broke and the common wisdom was they were somehow stronger! On the other hand, I sure don’t like the non-removable brakes!

    Lou

  111. Ed November 24th, 2013 9:03 pm

    Lou, you run an awesome board here. The intent wasn’t to rant but to perhaps throw down what we call the “friendly challenge”. Material science and design for this stuff can’t be easy. But I am all for a really methodical way of implementing design changes, bearing in mind the users who get stung if there’s a failure way back in the sticks somewhere. I’ve seen a few companies become “market driven” and end up making a pile of bucks short term and then tank ‘cuz their stuff starts to leave their original users in the dust. Anything we (humans) make will have a failure rate of some sort, for sure.
    Agree too on the favourite binding – . . . fav “Dynafit binding is still the Vertical FT” – they even sorta looked “tough” I think!
    The Salewa store in Zermatt has some old historical pictures on the walls there. I just hope we honour that time and the folks who started the company and don’t start making running shoes and lycra and stuff and desert the original founders and users! I wish Dynafolk the best. Anyway ’nuff said.
    Will pass on the link to my ski buddy too, thanks (his carbon planks/ bindings have been returned to the hanger for maintenance).

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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