Dynafit Vertical ST – First Look at a Backcountry Skiing Binding


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Official U.S. import of the new Dynafit Vertical ST binding recently began. We have our shiny new testing samples and we’re putting them through the WildSnow wringer. Before mounting debut bindings we like to publish weight, and do a vivisection. Here goes.

New Dynafit SL backcountry skiing binding.
New Dynafit Vertical ST backcountry skiing binding.

First things first: Word is this binding is intended to replace the Comfort model Dynafit. If it works and holds up, I see no reason why it should not. On our verified digital postal scale the Vertical ST weighs 14.1 oz (one binding, no screws, no brake, no safety strap) as opposed to Comfort at 13.5 ounces. I’d imagine one of the ST design goals was to keep them nearly the same weight as the Comfort. Hence the top plate and heel lifter are now all plastic (Comfort has a steel plate with red plastic lift known as a “volcano”.) For those looking for a more “real world” binding weight, the screws for the ST weigh .9 ounce, 24 grams (for one binding). Need titanium screws…

New Dynafit SL backcountry skiing binding, toe unit.
New Dynafit Vertical ST backcountry skiing binding, toe unit.

At least with this model Dynafit, gone are the days of eye burning Euro color schemes. We say hooray to that (though the FT model may still induce retinal discomfort). We like the longer toe lever (visible in photo above), which should make it easier to lock touring mode when you’re hands are small or behaving like a frozen chicken leg. As with all this year’s variations of the Comfort series, this binding has the reinforced crampon mount shown in the photo below. This adds weight (8 grams), but can easily be removed before mounting if you’re not planning on using Dynafit crampons.

New Dynafit SL backcountry skiing binding, toe unit underside.
New Dynafit Vertical ST backcountry skiing binding, toe unit underside. Steel plate is the crampon reinforcement.

Heel unit is functionally identical to the older Comfort model, but has an interesting change in that the heel lifter and associated mounting plate is an all plastic integrated unit, with a small steel reinforcement plate as shown in photo below. We’ve seen one Internet report of heel lifter breakage, so we’ll be doing our own durability testing of this part. We suspect it’ll hold up fine to normal use. It’s important to remember that building any AT backcountry skiing binding is an exercise in compromising durability and weight, and any binding can easily be broken if taken beyond design parameters.

In the case of Dynafit, twisting the heel unit with a ski pole that’s effectively a 4-foot lever arm places immense force on the binding. If resistance is encountered, as in trying to release the boot heel into touring mode without exiting the binding, something has to give if you keep twisting. We’ve broken the tips off many ski poles while doing this, and broken at least one heel lifter “volcano” off the older model Comfort. By adding a bit more care to our technique we’ve not had any breakage for a while, and we do the tricky on-the-fly change to touring mode by twisting the binding with a ski pole grip inserted between the boot heel and climbing post, rather than yarding on things with a big lever.

New Dynafit SL backcountry skiing binding, toe unit underside.
New Dynafit Vertical ST backcountry skiing binding heel unit with heel lifter removed. Underside of heel lifter is shown on right.

Dynafit Comfort ski brakes are forward compatible with the ST, another example of the effort Dynafit makes to keep many binding features interchangeable through the years. Best example of this is all Dynafit bindings have the same mounting screw hole pattern. This has remained unchanged since the first Dynafits were released almost two decades ago. Hooray to that! In all, the Dynafit ST looks like a fine binding and we’re looking forward to riding it.

Shop for Dynafit backcountry skiing bindings.

Comments

72 Responses to “Dynafit Vertical ST – First Look at a Backcountry Skiing Binding”

  1. Clyde December 14th, 2006 12:52 pm

    How about listing real-world weights instead of fictitious catalog weights? It’s the weight per pair that counts, be it ski, boots, or bindings. I’ve never seen a binding that doesn’t require screws. The ski crampon attachment should be viewed as standard equipement for any ski mountaineer. And leaving off the weight of either brakes (preferred) or leashes is false advertising. Sounds like this binding is around 2.5 pounds in the field

  2. Lou December 14th, 2006 1:15 pm

    Clyde, I don’t appreciate your accusation of my publishing fictional weights, and believe you owe me an apology for the insult. I do list real world weights. Unless stated otherwise I weigh everything on a digital postal scale that is checked for accuracy. I weigh without screws because people use different length screws to mount bindings sometimes, and it seems better to normalize binding weights a bit by weighing them all without screws, though I know that’s imperfect, hence I try to remember to also publish the weights of the screws. Many people use bindings without brakes, so I try to provide weight of brake separate from weight of binding. Weight of Comfort brake is available in my Dynafit FAQ, where I also publish the weight of the regular Dynafit screws.

    I also choose to figure weight per binding rather than pair. That counts just fine, x2 if you prefer.

    Not everyone skis with stock leashes, so again to normalize I weigh all bindings without leashes.

    Publishing weights of something with as many variations as a ski binding can be confusing, a long time ago I discovered it was less confusing to simplify by breaking the weights into parts. Not everyone’s mind works that way, but mine does so that’s what I do.

    Perhaps I’ll add the weight of the screws to the blog post, but like I said, the weights of the screws and of the brakes are available in my Dyanfit FAQ.

    ‘best, Lou

  3. justin December 14th, 2006 2:18 pm

    Didn’t the review state that a scale was used? I fail to see how listing the weight without brakes is false advertising. Although the blog doesn’t clearly state that brakes weren’t included in the weight, the picture of the item in question does not include brakes, and therefore I think it would be reasonable to assume the weight doesn’t include brakes. They can be purchased without brakes, and I (and many people I know) have never used brakes with their Dynafits. All in all, I think you need ease up a bit there Clyde.

    Thanks for the review Lou. It looks to me that the longer toe piece and the redesigned volcano will make them more user friendly.

  4. Lou December 14th, 2006 8:02 pm

    It’s worth mentioning that brakes are not sold with the ST, they are an option. To weigh the binding with them would be ridiculous, in my opinion. Weight of Comfort brakes is readily available in my FAQ. And by the way, I’ll add all the SL weights to the FAQ soon, including the weight of the screws.

    As it is, I’ll edit the review to say the bindings were weighed without the optional brake, but I’ll probably not mention they were weighted without the optional ski crampon (grin).

  5. Mike Marolt December 14th, 2006 8:52 pm

    Lou: I can honestly say I have never heard of the mounting-screw weight factor in a serous discussion of the light-is-right forum. That is some funny stuff.

    M

  6. Lewis December 14th, 2006 10:24 pm

    Thanks for the review. Can you clarify momenclature? On the Life Link site I see no mention of an “SL” model; there is an ST, however.
    The link for purchase at the end of your review just calls it a TLT Vertical (as does the label on the binding itself in your picture) but the BC.com site doesn’t mention either SL or ST. Any help with the alphabet soup?
    Lewis

  7. Kirk December 14th, 2006 10:48 pm

    Actually, if you order them from a Eurosite (like Telemark Pyrenees) they come complete with an 82mm or 92mm brake.

    Uhh, not that I would suggest ordering from someone who doesn’t advertise on the site!

  8. Michael Kennedy December 15th, 2006 5:34 am

    Re: brakes. I’ve never used them in the 10-12 years I’ve been on Dynafits. Don’t use the stock leashes, either, just a lightweight breakaway cord setup. Normalizing weights as Lou does makes sense to me.

  9. Lou December 15th, 2006 6:34 am

    Lewis,

    As for the Vertical models, they are indeed both called “TLT Vertical,” with one being the an FT and one being an ST. The ST is reviewed here. Calling it an SL was a typo on my part! Don’t know how that slipped by the editors, or readers like Clyde for that matter. Sorry folks.

    Full name for the binding reviewed here is TLT Vertical ST.

    Dynafit does has a habit of confusing nomenclature (which I succeeded in compounding). Seems like someone over there didn’t take marketing 101. For example, at one time the original Dynafit binding was called the “Tech” here and the “Low Tech” there. Go figure that one out! I’ll edit my blog post/review to clarify names.

    The buy link for Backcountry Store is indeed for the TLT Vertical ST model, as production FT model is not imported yet, and the ST model is what’s depicted on the Backcountry Store product page. They could do a better job of clarifying…

  10. Lou December 15th, 2006 7:01 am

    Kirk, while we do have quite a few European readers, I have to write from the North American point of view as that’s the bulk of our traffic.

  11. Mark Worley December 15th, 2006 7:33 am

    Yes, Dynafit likes confusing names. Here’s another example: The new, wood/carbon FT-10 ski is still called the Freeride 10, even though FT throughout the Dynafit site denotes freetour. Whatever quirks they have at Dynafit, they’re sure making great products.

  12. Mark Worley December 15th, 2006 7:35 am

    Lou,
    Do you have the new Comfort as well? They’re basically all silver, including the “volcanoes.”

  13. Lou December 15th, 2006 7:48 am

    Yeah, we’ve got the latest Comfort…

    That makes me think about weights. We’re constantly weighing these things and when necessary edit the copy here at WildSnow.com to show accurate weights for latest models, but this is an imperfect process because the bindings receive so many incremental changes. I’ll double check latest Comfort weight when I get a chance and update if necessary.

  14. Sky December 15th, 2006 12:40 pm

    I have the new Speeds and I’m psyched!

    -I always thought the brakes sucked. I finally quit using them last spring.

    -I also think steep skin tracks suck. I didn’t even put the little plastic things on the Speeds to make the highest setting higher.

    -The longer lever might make locking the toes easier, but whenever it’s mildly difficult I just use my poles. I’d be concerned with seeing exponentially more accidental toe releases from one ski clicking the other ski’s toe piece, with the larger lever arm.

    It seems to me that the Comforts and this newfangled contraption are trying to dumb Dynafits down for the masses. Keep Dynafits as sleek and light as possible; that is their true beauty!

    Damn, Clyde, that was harsh. Maybe it’s a professional gear critic thing? Either way, quality entertainment.

    I appreciate the copious gear review resources you have on this website, Lou.

    Sky

  15. wardog December 17th, 2006 9:31 am

    Sky, you say “It seems to me that the Comforts and this newfangled contraption are trying to dumb Dynafits down for the masses.”

    Here’s an odd but probably unimportant fact: when I saved the photo of the TLT Vertical from the Telemark Pyrenees website, the image name was…

    z_Dynafit-TLT-Vertical-ST-Rental-2007-TH.jpg

    Note ‘Rental’. This might suggest that Dynafit did the redesign at least partly for the masses.

  16. Matus December 17th, 2006 1:42 pm

    I do not like to see coming more plastic on the binding from Dynafit. Last season, my wife bought new grey Comforts and broke both volcanoes after about 3 rides. With her previous red Comforts – no failure at all during 2 years of frequent use. Our local seller explained that Dynafit tried to push down the price, thus, they used cheaper, lower quality, plastic (in Europe, the price of Comforts dropped form approx. USD 300 in 2005 to USD 200 in 2006). I hope that they will no more test new materials on us, customers. Nevertheless, Dynafit still remains our favorite bindings.

  17. Mark Donohoe January 2nd, 2007 3:09 pm

    Folks, Looking to buy my 1st Dynafits. What is confusing for me is, is the vertical ST worth the extra $100+ dollars over the comfort? I have heard some say the shorter front lever is a pain… but I would just use my ski pole…. Leaning towards the comforts due to the price. Am I buying something that is going away next year?

    Thanks for your comments.

  18. Ken March 6th, 2007 10:00 pm

    Here is a suggestion for Dynafit: introduce ski brakes in 92mm and 100mm widths compatible with the TLT Classic (formerly the TourLite Tech) binding. That way we could all save some money, instead of having to “upgrade,” and spend more for the Comfort, Vertical, etc., for our fat skis. Pretty simple, eh? But then what would the marketing department at Dyanfit have to do, except ski…

  19. Geoff March 17th, 2007 6:42 pm

    My wife and I recently purchased two pairs of Dynafit verticals. We have found that the brakes are diffcult to retract and that they don’t extend reliably when we step out of the bindings. Do you know a fix for this? Another skier told me that a shop was able to file a part of the brake to solve these problems, but he didn’t know the details.

  20. Lewis September 26th, 2007 7:39 am

    I’ve got a full season on my Vertical ST and find the brakes to be next to useless. I can get them to deploy indoors where it’s warm with some fresh lube in the pivot points but in the cold with even a little snow on the bindings, I’ve never been able to get them to deploy. If I whack them with a pole handle, they’ll usually pop out but it sometimes takes more than one whack.
    So far, the only advantage of having them on seems to be easier entry when stepping into them and some extra weight to help build my quads!
    I’m afraid to use them in area as they would almost certainly result in a runaway ski in the event of a release.
    FWIW, I also own some Fritschi Freeride Plus with brakes that don’t deploy much better. For the record, the skis are pretty wide but not crazy wide:93mm w/ the Verticals and 96mm w/ the Fitschis.
    =L=

  21. Lou September 27th, 2007 6:47 am

    Lewis, we’re working on a mod that might fix that, but it’s taking some time to get to. Meanwhile, did you try talking to Salewa NA?

  22. Al October 1st, 2007 12:28 pm

    Hi,
    Is it possible to adapt the Vertical ST binding to boot size, once mounted? Is this the functionality of the big screw in the heel unit?
    Al

  23. Lou October 1st, 2007 12:53 pm

    Al, yes, the binding has a range of several boot sizes. Not the wide range of a randonnee plate/frame binding.

  24. Lewis October 2nd, 2007 7:04 am

    No, I haven’t. But maybe I should.

  25. Lewis October 20th, 2007 7:52 pm

    Sent Salewa an email. They responded with see your dealer and possibly a warranty situation but no acknowledgemt of an “issue” or specific recommendation. I wonder if replacing the brakes with the wider 100mm brake would make a difference.
    =L=

  26. Geoff January 20th, 2008 5:25 pm

    I sent an e-mail to Salewa North America, but did not receive a response for about 10 days. Then I tried calling and was put in touch with Ryan Raymond (ryan.raymond@salewa.com), the Customer Service Manager, who was very helpful. He asked me to send a photo of the problem by e-mail, which I did. He then promptly sent replacement brakes for the bindings that my wife and I have.

    I have replaced one of the brakes. (I’m having some trouble getting the others to click into the post on the binding. I may have to file some of the metal off the center tab on the brake mounting plate in order get the brake to slide far enough onto the binding for it to click into the post.) So far the new brake is working much better. In 10 days of skiing, it has only failed to deploy once when I’ve stepped out of the binding to change from downhill mode to uphill mode. That one failure was caused by a buildup on ice around the brake. The new brake is also easier to retract.

    I can’t see any obvious difference between the old brakes and the replacements. There may be some subtle difference in the shape of the plastic grooves on the bottom of the brake pad that accounts for the difference in performance.

  27. Rob March 20th, 2008 8:27 am

    I have noticed the brakes not deploying as well, it is due to ice build up. If you keep the brake parts well lubed this is less of a problem. But do not disable one of the springs like people are saying in the forums this will make the brake less likely to deploy.

    One big improvement with the verticals is that they dont scrape the heel of your boot in flat tour mode like the comforts do.

  28. Rob March 20th, 2008 10:01 am

    Hey Lou,
    Can you expand upon the “tricky on-the-fly change to touring mode by twisting the binding with a ski pole grip” or is it somewhere else on the site (I couldn’t find it)?

    Do I flip my pole around and put the grip in there or bend down and grab the pole close to the grip?

    Thanks-
    Rob

  29. Lou March 20th, 2008 10:08 am

    Rob, first, you should really only do that on a binding without brakes. It’s really quite easy, just lock the binding first into touring mode, then lift your heel up to your rear, then insert ski pole grip between rear of boot and the climbing post. Give a quick flip of the pole grip to rotate the heel unit and your boot heel will pop up and out of the heel unit. The trick is to not step back into alpine mode, but rather get the heel unit rotated far enough so it stays in touring mode.

    Andrew McLean has a good video of it somewhere on his website. Perhaps he’ll give us a link — I’d find it for you but am kinda busy at the moment.

  30. Doug March 20th, 2008 9:33 pm

    Wow, thought this brake not deploying thing was a problem I was dealing with alone. Guess not. Have a pair of Vertical ST’s mounted on skis with a 94mm waist. I took a digger in area and lost a ski, fortunately the brake deployed. I do worry about it in the backcountry though. Be a bummer to be at the Goodwin/Greene and lose a ski…

  31. Lou March 21st, 2008 12:16 am

    What I’ve heard is there is a subtle difference in the shape of arms of brakes that deploy well as compared to those that don’t. Something about how they’re bent at the factory. If anyone has a problem with their brakes, just work with Salewa/Dynafit NA and I’m certain they’ll make sure your problem is resolved. But before calling them, try simply lubricating the brake. That’s really helped with sticking brakes we’ve had on occasion. Also, ice can cause the brake to stick on any ski, so keep that in mind as well.

    Also, if you buy and have your Dynafit bindings mounted at a dealer, I’d check the brakes for function before walking out the door, and have the dealer take care of any problems before you go ski on the bindings.

  32. Art March 21st, 2008 12:25 am

    I’m glad this topic has come up again. I just got my first pair of Dynafits — Vertical ST with 100mm brakes on a 91mm waist ski — I was practicing getting in and out of the different ski modes when I experienced repeatable problems with the brakes deploying upon exiting (they failed almost 100% of the time). I noticed there was a lot of friction at the pivot where the brakes slide through the holes at the base of the binding — probably because of a rough/sharp edge on the hole preventing the brake from sliding through smoothly as they expand to clear the ski’s edge. After fully depressing and releasing the brake (not twisting the heel) a large number of times — 50 times or more — the hole seems to be smoothed out and some paint has been removed from the brake where it slides across the hole. This seems to have helped the problem as I can no longer remove my boot from the binding without the brakes deploying. It seems like this would have never been a problem if the hole had been deburred after drilling. Unfortunately, I haven’t been out in the snow yet to see how the cold causes this friction to change.

    Lou, I think you’re absolutely right. It wouldn’t take much of a different angle on the bend to add significantly more friction. I still think a sharp edge will make it hard for lube to improve it a lot.

    Thanks to everyone involved for the wonderful site!

  33. Lou March 21st, 2008 12:29 am

    Yeah, I forgot to mention that sometimes you can open and close the brakes 50 times or so by hand and it seems to fix any problems with proper function. Sort of a “break in.” Lubricate after.

  34. Doug March 21st, 2008 10:43 am

    Thanks guys! Went and worked over the brakes, opening and closing and adding a touch of bike grease and the problem seems to be fixed.

  35. goingAT December 27th, 2008 8:34 pm

    I’ve got what may seem like a stupid question on mounting dynafit vertical ST on a new pair of K2 Mt Baker Superlights. I’m a recent convert to this setup from tele and really can’t speak to preferred mounting locations for an alpine or AT setup. I lined up the mid-sole mark of my boots with the factory mark on the ski. It looks like this mount will put my boot really far back on the ski. Do people generally go with the factory setup or move the binding forward?

  36. Lou December 29th, 2008 7:50 am

    Going, I just use the factory mark and they ski fine.

  37. goingAT December 29th, 2008 2:00 pm

    Thanks Lou

  38. Ray Thomas February 9th, 2009 4:15 pm

    Hi Lou

    Will the ski brake off a the Dynafit vertical St fit the TLT speed classic? I have a set of Vertical brakes but they seem too tight to slide on.
    Ray

  39. Lou February 9th, 2009 4:31 pm

    Ray, no.

  40. Gregg February 9th, 2009 5:28 pm

    Completely off-topic here, but I just noticed the Mustagh Ata’s that I got last winter are delaminating. Base extends about a 1/16″ beyond edges from tip to almost binding toe. Anyone else having any problems with these? I’m not large (170 lbs), not a hucker, and seldom break ski equipment!

    Thanks,
    Gregg

  41. Scruppo February 10th, 2009 10:38 am

    My Mustagh Ata’s delaminated last year. I only noticed it when I was first tuning them up for the start of this season. I’m 170 and not a huckster, er hucker, either. I called Dynafit North America and they had me send them to them. A week later I had a brand new pair at my door. While I was out a binding mount, the reset to new skiis for this season was well worth it.

  42. Gregg February 10th, 2009 11:06 am

    Thanks, Scruppo. I figured others must have had the same problem. I like the skis and they felt plenty sturdy and appeared to be well-constructed. I ordered mine from Telemark Pyrenees and have contacted them–I may contact the North America folks, too.

  43. Hugo February 20th, 2009 6:57 am

    Hi

    I bought a set of Dynafit TLT Vertical ST bindings at Snell’s in Chamonix last week (2009/02/08). I matched them to Scarpa Sookum boots, size 25. I weigh 88kg and am 1.75 m tall.

    When I took the rig out on the pistes I found the toe binding to release prematurely. I checked for dirt, ice etc cleaned the holes etc etc.

    I returned the set to Snell’s, who tested the binding again in their workshop and assured me it was within spec. The poor performance continued.

    I tried to identify a trend in the behaviour. Ultimately if the temperature was below -14 deg C the binding opens prematurely. Standing laterally on one edge at these temperatures shifts the boot across the binding, exposing a 4mm gap between the slopeside pin collar and the boot. I did not percieve this behaviour at warmer temperatures. The normal action of turning on the slopes then allows the binding to release with little resistance. The binding also generates clicking noises. The Snell shop tests at room tempreature and thus would not pick this up.

    I have checked the FAQ’s on the net and have not seen similar behaviour reported. I suspect a manufacturing defect, giving rise to lower spring pressure than required. Any other ideas?

  44. Lou February 20th, 2009 7:11 am

    Hugo, remember that ice in the boot toe sockets or under the binding toe wings could cause this behavior. Perhaps the problem is that you’re simply not cleaning all the ice out?

    Beyond the ice issue, test with a few different boots, other brands as well. Dynafit bindings are a combination of the boot fittings and the binding on the ski, so it’s tough to ID where problems are coming from without trying all variables. I suspect that the bench test in the shop simply does not replicate actual field use of the binding, perhaps because you don’t have body weight in the boot. Can you replicate the behavior by simply getting in the binding on carpet indoors?

  45. Hugo February 20th, 2009 7:22 am

    I really focussed on cleaning out everything, blowing on my binding as it it were a talisam and getting ice in my eyes for the trouble.

    The binding seems to behave well at room temp, exhibiting none of this vice at all.

    There also seems to be a difference in the locking lever on this model. Previous versions seem to have an intermediate lock whereas this one seems to be a all or nothing. How dependent on the front opening is the break-out?

  46. Lou February 20th, 2009 7:37 am

    Hugo, how many times have you been out on the snow and had this happen? Also, you sometimes need to physically clean the ice out of the boot toe sockets with a sharp object. The behavior you describe is exactly what happens when there is ice in the boot toe sockets.

  47. Hugo February 20th, 2009 7:45 am

    Sadly, about 2 to 8 times a day for five days. One day was nice in that the binding held. It was the warmest day of the week, being on the Bevant in Sunshine.

    I am, unfortunately, back in my home country, South Africa, so will not be able to do much more than carpet tests for the next five weeks before I return to France.

    In each case before setting off I would confirm that the silver shoulders that the grey toe pins are set into were flush against the boot sole, i.e. the pins were fully inserted.

    The upslope pin would become visible as the boot shifted when the ski was on one edge on for e.g. ice.

  48. Lou February 20th, 2009 7:56 am

    I suppose something about the boot fittings or the binding could be defective. Main thing is to test the boot in some other bindings, and test the bindings with some other boots. That’s the best advice I can give you other than making double sure you’ve cleaned the ice out of the boot sockets and from under the binding toe wings. Don’t just rely on a visual check, take a sharp object and actually clean those sockets.

  49. Hugo February 20th, 2009 7:58 am

    Ta

    No harm in trying the advise.

  50. Lou February 20th, 2009 8:01 am

    When you figure it out, please let us know.

  51. BillB February 20th, 2009 1:03 pm

    Hey Lou
    While skiing yesterday in temperatures in the 30′s my comfort binding was loading up on ice on the low touring shelf. My boot would first stick a bit, then it was piling up. This is the first time I have noticed it, but usually I am touring in TLT’s or race bindings that can clear better. This concerned me as I could see where you could end up putting a lot of rearward force on the heel post. Has anyone done any mods to allow the shelf to clear better. I would almost like to cut the shelf off and get the longer stride by allowing the heel to go to the baseplate.

  52. Lou February 20th, 2009 1:21 pm

    They break off on occasion (grin). Rub everything with alpine wax and know that ANY touring binding has ice and snow buildup problems in certain situations. I think this is because of something called the laws of physics, or something like that (grin)?

  53. BillB February 20th, 2009 1:59 pm

    I have not seen it with my TLT’s and it looks like the TLT design has a better shape to allow the snow to exit. The comfort has kind of a pocket where snow can trap. I do not have that much experience with it, but the Comfort design makes me want to cut a path for snow to exit.
    On the G3 Onx it looks like you could end up carrying a lot of snow.
    Here in California where temperatures go up after storms ( great crust making environment) you can end up haulling a lot of weight in snow, sometimes on both sides of the skis.

  54. Hugo February 23rd, 2009 2:03 am

    Hi

    I have spent some time examining the rig. The Sookum boots have a smaller visible metal flange around the boot holes then the Dynafit diagrams show. The boot holes are marginally recessed into the plastic sole. As can be expected, there are plastic shavings accumulation around the holes from where the point of the bolts scraped the sole. I am considering the possibility that these can get hard enough when cold to interfere with the mechanism’s proper closing.
    So I carved the plastic away, shaving off a couple of millimeters of material. Now there are no shavings or plastic near the holes and I will test the solution in a month’s time when I get back to snow.
    .

  55. nick July 29th, 2010 2:38 pm

    Hey Lou, thinking about buying a used pair of STs, but one issue is holding me up: the plastic toe release piece/lever is broken off on one of the bindings. I’m assuming this can be replaced? The owner claims that the missing piece does not affect the toe unit’s function, but I’m curious as to what you think. Thanks!

  56. Lou July 29th, 2010 4:02 pm

    Not sure exactly what you mean, but I’d tend to want the binding without broken parts unless I was planning on immediate repair… as for replacement, any part of a Dynafit binding can be easily replaced by someone experienced with the binding. ‘best, Lou

  57. nick July 30th, 2010 2:54 pm

    It’s actually the “touring latch” as you refer to it…pretty significant aspect of the binding

  58. F Porter November 25th, 2010 12:27 am

    Is there any difference in ramp angle between the Comfort and ST?
    thanks

  59. Lou November 25th, 2010 9:44 am

    F, nothing of any significance, perhaps a billionth of a degree. But I’ll check and make sure once I’m back at HQ

  60. F Porter November 29th, 2010 12:27 am

    Hi Lou,
    Thanks. I did find the binding summary chart
    http://www.wildsnow.com/3822/tech-binding-summary-chart/
    which helped. Your site is a great resource.
    thanks,
    Fred

  61. Lou November 29th, 2010 6:58 am

    F, due to recent ski testing and desire to make sure my bindings were not influencing my impressions, I checked the ramp angle of Comfort vs FT/ST, not difference I can see. The two bindings are more similar than they are different. Lou

  62. scott December 18th, 2010 9:57 am

    I broke the toe lever on my 07/08 vertical st binding yesterday. Is this an easy replace/fix. I can’t seem to locate a replacement lever online. I love these bindings and it’s dumping. Any help would be appreciated.

  63. Lou December 18th, 2010 10:02 am

    It’s easy to replace for someone handy with tools, Salewa NA probably has parts.

  64. Brandon January 11th, 2011 10:12 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I was touring in uncommonly cold Utah temps( -10!) and while skidding down a ravine the low touring shelf on the TLT verticals snapped off on one binding. I read your previous posts about the the shelfs occasionally breaking off. After reading that thread, my next question would be whether or not it would be better to warranty the binding or “alter” the other one so I have an equal stride? Have you heard or seen the shelf breaking off regularly or is it a fairly uncommon occurence? Would I gain that much stride advantage without the shelf? I do have a haute route trip coming up so I will be striding it out. Not in 20.5 hours though! Thank you for letting me “talk” out loud. Any advice would be great!

  65. Chas February 23rd, 2011 12:20 am

    I have had my brand new Vertical ST bindings out for 2 days (4 runs total) and the plastic “touring latch” (toe lever) broke on one of the bindings. All of the plastic was my primary concern about buying these bindings before I got them. Otherwise the engineering seems awesome… Was this just a likely defective part, or will I be plagued by this problem? Is it common on the Verticals?

    Thanks Lou! I was able to use your site for 80% (at least) of my AT setup research!

    Chas

  66. Ron March 14th, 2011 10:12 am

    Lou,

    I’ve been experiencing some play in the heel piece of my ST’s. This seems to originate from excessive play between the heel post base and the plastic base plate and not the thimble bushing. The bindings are securely mounted with no excess space between the plastic baseplate and the ski. This is the 2nd pair of skis I’ve used these bindings on and the play has been present on both pair. The heel post and base are not cracked.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    Ron

  67. Lou March 14th, 2011 10:19 am

    Ron, I’d have to look at the bindings myself to give a super solid take.

    Main thing to know is that what usually causes this is that the SKI topskin gets wallowed out or dented in the area where the aluminum spindle base rides on top of the topskin. Every time I’ve seen the problem you have, that has been the cause.

    But know that all bindings have play, and unless it’s excessive and you notice it when you ski, it’s not a big deal. Do check for cracks in the aluminum spindle/post that the heel unit rotates on. Also, make sure that heel base is screwed tight to the ski. As you know, the spindle base depends on the plastic base plate holding it down tight on the ski topskin. I guess another thing that could happen is that the alu spindle base could wallow out the plastic that’s supposed to hold it down. You’d need to remove the binding to check for that, or at least adjust length adjustment so spindle is in a different place and see if you still have the play. The fix might be as easy as getting another pair of plastic base plates from Dynafit customer service (provided they sell that part, which I don’t know).

    Please let us know what you find out and how you resolve.

  68. Darin November 5th, 2011 12:25 pm

    Lou, I just picked up some Vertical ST’s without brakes. they’re all mounted up, but without the brake there is a considerable space between the bottom of the heel of the boot and the binding plate. Essentially the heel is floating about 2cm above the binding plate. Is this ok or am I required to have a brake to fill that empty space? It just doesn’t seem like the heel will be solid enough when skiing in it’s current state.

  69. Lou November 5th, 2011 12:28 pm

    Darin, common question, but yes, with tech bindings your boot floats between toe and heel units. Frictionless for lateral release, much less issue with snow packing under boot sole, etc. Carpe skium.

  70. Darin November 5th, 2011 12:31 pm

    Cool, thanks Lou!

  71. John November 13th, 2011 6:28 pm

    Hey Lou, thanks a ton for the website, I just bought some Maestrale’s partially due to your advice, but actually had a completely unrelated question. My girlfriend has the Vertical ST bindings on her skis and thinks that the “Y” release value on both of her skis has loosened up a few release values since she last looked. The problem is the last time she looked was last April on one of her last ski days, so both of our memory is a little fuzzy on what values she was using. Have you heard of this problem before, or did both of us forget what RV she was skiing at and it likely hasn’t budged?

  72. Odd André November 28th, 2013 3:51 pm

    Hello.

    I was searching the web for Dynafit spare parts and ended up at telemark-pyrenees: http://www.telemark-pyrenees.com/en/dynafittltverticalstparts-p-5692.html

    When I look through the list it seems like you can assemble the entire binding with these parts at a very reasonable price. (approx 250 eur).

    Am I completely wrong or is it possible?

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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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