Dynafit Beast Heel Lifters — Week of the Beast Part 4

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 29, 2013      

Beast 16 backcountry skiing binding heel lifters give you average height for climbing, but the bottom one also acts as the brake retractor. In our view, this is one of the most ingenious aspects of the Beast. Video below does a better job of explaining; in writing I’d say that you simply flip down the low lift when you’re switching to touring mode (yes, you have to exit binding to switch modes), snap your toe back into the front binding unit, then stomp down firmly with your heel. As your heel goes down the binding rear unit slides backwards and the brake folds up. Reminds me of one of those “Transformer” movies. How this will work with snow and ice involved is for the jury to decide.

Dynafit Beast lower heel lift position while touring, not flat on the ski but not much lift either. Could be useful but we'd like to see at last another height option.

Dynafit Beast lower heel lift position while touring, not flat on the ski but not much lift either. Could be useful but we'd like another height option between lowest and highest. Note that the reason the heel can't be any lower is that unlike other tech bindings, Beast heel unit and pins do not rotate out of the way when you're in touring mode. Thus, the boot heel still has to rest above the pins for lowest touring position. Interestingly, if you did remove the brake from Beast, the heel unit does rotate out of the way and stick at 90 degrees, producing a very low heel position.

In terms of comparison, Beast high-lift and that of Radical model are roughly equivalent. Heel of boot in Radical is about 5 mm higher than a boot in the Beast. Once you were used to either binding you’d probably be happy, but coming from a Radical to Beast you would perhaps notice the difference.

It’s sometimes confusing what you get in terms of the lower lift positions on tech bindings. Main thing to know is (in this model iteration, anway): Beast only has one lower lift position, which places your heel 4 mm higher than your toe — essentially a heel-flat-on-ski mode though it could be flatter. In my original Beast intro video I mistakenly said the binding did not have much of a heel-flat-on-ski mode, when it actually does. Dynafit Radical has two lower lift positions: medium lifter places your heel 19 mm above your toe, and you can go one step down from there to a flat-heel mode.

It bears repeating that that the reason Beast doesn’t have a lower heel position for touring is that the heel unit doesn’t rotate like other tech bindings, thus the pins stay oriented forward and the boot has to rest above the pins for touring.

Heel lift in highest position on Beast ski binding.

Heel lift in highest position on Beast ski binding. The binding is configured to this mode by simply flipping the grey plastic arm to a forward position.

This high lift position is tempting and worked with our prototype, but it's not correct and could be damaged in this configuration.

This lift position is tempting and worked with our prototype, but it's not correct and could be damaged in this configuration. We'd guess that retail binding version will eliminate the ability to stand the lift up under your boot as pictured.

I’ll be moving some of this today over to Page 2 of our Dynafit Beast 16 Review FAQ.



12 Responses to “Dynafit Beast Heel Lifters — Week of the Beast Part 4”

  1. Knut August 29th, 2013 11:21 am

    Thanks for all this series on the beast, very informative and good to have it all together.

    Everything about the heel lift sounds very positive. But I don’t see why. No flat mode, very big differences between the heights and a ridiculously high upper heel lift (I rarely to never use the highest on my radicals or verticals) is what I read out of it.

  2. Lou Dawson August 29th, 2013 11:45 am

    Knut, glad you’re enjoying it. Yes it’s not a true “flat” mode but it’s more low angled than it appears at first glance. I won’t be surprised if the angle is lower on the production/retail model. Lou

  3. Lou Dawson August 29th, 2013 12:12 pm

    I just found out that the high lift as pictured might not be correct. More soon after I play around with it. Lou

  4. Rodney August 29th, 2013 4:08 pm

    I know this is the week of the Beast – but any views on what is happening with the Frtischi Zenith binding? This seems to (potentially) have some significant benefits over the beast in the it will be DIN certified (even if to a 12 – plenty for me), be switchable to walk mode on the fly and not need special boot adapters?

  5. lou August 29th, 2013 5:20 pm

    I was just speaking with insiders about zenith. It is still slated fo winter or show and to be sold a year from now. If switching modes without exiting binding is a deal maker perhaps wait for it. Lou

  6. David B August 29th, 2013 8:05 pm

    Rodney, switching on the fly without exiting is definitely a plus for me. When guiding in deep snow climates (Japan) the ability to break trail without exiting is very handy.

  7. Matt Kamper August 30th, 2013 5:44 pm

    Nice feature. One of the things I like about the G3 Onyx is that it does this -automatically retracts the brake when you go to tour mode (but it can do this without removing your foot from the binding). The downside is that the mechanism gets sticky so that the brake sometimes fails to deploy – something I hope Dynafit’s engineers won’t allow to happen, and which seems to be unrelated to ice buildup.

  8. Lou Dawson August 30th, 2013 7:21 pm

    The brake retraction on Beast is very positive, but yeah, you do need to remove your foot from binding to change modes. Personally, I’ve come to the opinion that for most people this is an incredibly minor or even null issue. But I understand how some folks use it — have done so myself over the years. Hopefully the Beast toe unit is so easy to step into it’ll be trivial to exit and step back in for a mode change. Lou

  9. Nick Crews May 9th, 2015 3:30 pm

    You mentioned that the brake could be removed so you could rotate the heelpiece and make the touring mode flat. Could you post some pictures or go more in depth into this? Does it compromise any durability? Thanks!

  10. Maenu January 12th, 2018 5:26 am

    “Beast only has one lower lift position, which places your heel 4 mm higher than your toe — essentially a heel-flat-on-ski mode though it could be flatter. In my original Beast intro video I mistakenly said the binding did not have much of a heel-flat-on-ski mode, when it actually does.”

    Can you explain how to install the position where the heel is 4 mm higher than the toe? With my Dynafit Beast 14 bindings, when I use the lower heel lift position, the heel is at least 20-25 mm higher than the toe. I would certainly not call this a heel-flat-on-ski mode.

  11. Lou 2 January 12th, 2018 6:54 am

    Hi Maenu, looks like I was clear as mud on that, eh? I’ll look at it today and reword if necessary. One thing to remember is that my post above regards original Beast, the 14 version has a toe unit that brings your boot toe down closer to the ski, thus making a less ideal heel-flat-on-ski mode. Lou

  12. Maenu January 14th, 2018 10:27 am

    Hi Lou. Thank you for your reply. Oh okay, didn’t notice that it’s not the same bindings. I’m just wondering if I can somehow get a reasonably flat position without tinkering around too much.

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