B&D Ski Crampons – Part One


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

[part two]

My wife wants me to aerate the lawn, so I figured a pair of skis with crampons would do the trick. But what crampons to use? A few weeks ago, Bill Bollinger at B&D Ski Gear set us up with a selection of ski crampons and associated mounts. His crampons work in similar fashion to those from Dynafit, only more versatile.

You can use the B&D along with its slick little catch (“crampon lock”) that fixes it to the ski so it doesn’t hinge up and down. Along with that you can use Bollinger’s spacer system that allows the crampon to hinge up and down — thus ending the most important philosophical debate in North America, that of whether your crampons should be fixed or hinged. We’ll cover the hinged setup in part two. For now, here is how I mounted some B&D 90 mm cramps on Lisa’s hot Goode Carbons (so she’ll have to do some lawn work too.)

Ski crampons.
Bill sells 100% Dynafit compatible crampons, but we didn’t have those in this shipment of B&D stuff, so I made a simple mod to the binding so I could use his regular crampons. As can be seen in the photo above, my first step was to grind some plastic off the Dynafit toe unit base plate so the opening in the B&D crampons fits down over it when the crampon sits flat on the ski. A sanding disk on a grinder made short work of the project, but the binding does have to be off the ski. You can use the B&D mount and not use the Dynafit attachment slot, but this requires drilling two more holes in the ski and we’re trying to keep a minimum of Swiss cheese effect in the Goodes.

Ski crampons.
After you’ve got the crampon working correctly on the ski, you use it as a jig to position a paper template for the catch screws, as shown above. Installing this could be a cake walk. In my sad case, the Goode skis were so thin I had to shorten the screws. Pain, but it least the screw mod required power tools and kept me away from the lawn project for a few more minutes.

Ski crampons.
You insert the crampon in the Dynafit binding by holding it in the hinged up position and sliding to the side. It’s a tight fit, which is probably good. In Lisa’s case, B&Ds 90mm crampons fit the Goode skis like they were made for them, with a snug fit against the ski sides and absolutely no play. B&Ds crampons come in three widths, 85mm; 90mm; 100mm, so you can fit just about any ski, albeit with a bit of side room that might allow some play and possibly damaging torque in odd situations such as walking across a dirt or rock area while wearing skis. Most of the time, some space betweeen the ski sides and crampon is not a big deal.

Ski crampons.
Our selection of B&D gear, ready for summer projects! More coming in Part Two.

Bill also makes a Fritschi Freeride crampon. More, his product will also work with just about any other randonnee binding, either fitting under the boot area or mounted in front of the toe.

Comments

13 Responses to “B&D Ski Crampons – Part One”

  1. Travis R July 23rd, 2007 8:25 pm

    Hey, I stumbled on your site, great blog! I have a backyard skiing blog back here in VA. Stop by sometime!

  2. Jonathan S. Shefftz July 24th, 2007 5:30 am

    Curious what you think of their apparent strength, and if you plan any tests?
    I ask b/c a friend bent his Dynafit after-market B&D ski crampons on Mt Adams earlier this month.
    Granted the conditions for skinning on the Crescent Glacier were horrendous. (Fortunately we didn’t have to ski down it since we took the SW Chutes instead.) And he thinks a rock might have caused the damage. (Plus perhaps had I put the same stress on my OEM crampons I would have damaged either the crampons or the binding mount, although I was using the new reinforced Comforts.) But still, he bent *both* of them, one so badly that we had to spent lots of time trying to bent it back to be usable again.

  3. Lou July 24th, 2007 5:54 am

    Jon, sure, we’ll be doing the real life test but I also tried to bend them in my shop vise and was surprised at how strong they are. It’s 6061 T6 aluminum and the bends get work hardened so they’re stronger than they look. Nonetheless, ski crampons need to be built light and no doubt most will compromise weight and durability. Also, they’re definitely not made for walking on rocks as that’s a pretty uncommon mode of use, to say the least. I prefer the approach of using something that’s lighter rather than carrying huge hunks of metal that can stand up to anything. By the way, Voile’s offering is made of thicker aluminum, so perhaps they’re a bit stronger for folks who really abuse their gear or need something for expedition use while carrying a huge backpack. More about the Voile here: http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=531

  4. Tony July 24th, 2007 9:51 am

    I use B+D’s crampons and love them. Did he send you any of his multilevel crampon posts? They work with the climbing posts on the back of your binding so you can get good bite with the ski crampons at different climbing post heights. B+D sent me two different styles, one to designed to work with dynafit bindings, the other with telemark ones. I couldn’t get the Dynafit ones set up to work right, but the telemark ones work great with my Dynafit bindings.

    I am using F1′s so I have the B+D crampon mount screwed on right behind the F1 shim. The multilevel crampon post contacts the bottom of the boot right under the instep arch. It lets me get good bite with my crampons in either the high climbing post position or the medium climbing post position. In the lowest climbing position (with no extra elevation), the boot rests on the crampon post not the binding so it is not ideal. However I have been able to use it at that level for the level stretches in the icy climbs I do.

    Also, I think B+D can make you custom ski crampons as wide as you want for not much extra cost – I have heard of guys with split boards using his products.

  5. nick July 24th, 2007 9:56 am

    I’m interested to see how your’s hold up. I bent my pair the first day i used them- no rocks involved. I’ve also broken the plastic mounting block due to shear (i think a little too much space between the ski and crampon).

  6. David July 24th, 2007 10:14 am

    “Along with that you can use Bollinger’s spacer system that allows the crampon to hinge up and down — thus ending the most important philosophical debate in North America, that of whether your crampons should be fixed or hinged”

    Brilliant comment…

  7. Mark July 24th, 2007 2:57 pm

    Please correct me if this incorrect, but aren’t Dynafit crampons made of ergal rather than 6061-T-6 aluminum like the B+D?

  8. Dave January 14th, 2009 6:21 pm

    I realized about that pesky piece of plastic on the back of the toe-piece after mounting a pair of the new Comfort bindings. My previous comforts were pre-pesky piece of plastic. After fretting a bit I was able to carefully cut the pieces off with a small hacksaw without taking the bindings off or damaging the ski.

  9. Shane December 12th, 2009 8:56 am

    Anyone using the B&D crampons with the FT12 Dynafits? ( you know, with the dumb plastic piece that runs from toe to heel) Trying to find a crampon that will work with that ( voile seems right out … ) Any suggestions? Should I / Can I just get rid of that “torsion” bar? ( sure seems too flimsy to be of much use )

  10. Lou December 12th, 2009 10:28 am

    Shane, the composite connector between FT12 toe and heel in my opinion does nothing except make the binding look better to some folks. Style is important, I’ll give it that, but we do sometimes end up removing the part that’s attached to the toe unit, so the aftermarket crampons will work better.

  11. Lou December 12th, 2009 10:42 am

    The Dynafit crampons might be “ergal” which is 7075 aluminum alloy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7075_aluminium_alloy

  12. Shane December 12th, 2009 11:40 am

    Lou, thanks for the quick reply. To remove that connector, do I have to unmount the binding? Also, just for everyone’s info, I contacted B&D with the same question, and they said the best idea is to get rid of the connector and use the classic crampon – its the strongest.

  13. Lou December 12th, 2009 12:42 pm

    To do a nice job I’d unmount the binding toe. The connector will pull out from under the heel unit since it just slides in and out of a track under the heel unit.

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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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