Diamir Vipec 12 — Inline Changes for 2014-2015


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 1, 2014      

I was going to add this to our previous Vipec reporting, but figured a stand-alone post was better. Sounds like most changes are in the toe unit for ease of entry and improvements in the much reviled adjustable toe pin. All four changes are listed below. The heel unit will remain unchanged. “Pin Locker” is the most interesting development, see photos below.

Vipec changes for 2014-2015

Vipec changes for 2014-2015

The big change for Vipec is the pin locker.

The big change (#2 below) for Vipec is the pin locker. It’s the skinny steel clip that’s inserted into the outside of the right hand pin. It obviously mates with the slot for total rotation prevention. I’d still recommend red Loctite as well as firm tightening of the lock nut, but this looks like a nice solution.

    1. Adjustable Front Pin remains. This is listed as an inline change but it appears to be listed more as a way of emphasizing that the adjustable pin is still part of the system. Honestly, this is not a well liked part of the original Vipec design, but it does have a purpose in that it compensates for the known problem of boot tech fittings having no standard shape or dimension. The change here is the pin locknut and threads are M6 instead of M5, which is a major and logical size increase that will allow for better locking.

    2. Pin Locker. Improvements in how the adjustable pin locks are achieved by moving the pin from the left to right wing, improving the locking nut, and adding an additional spring-loaded locking pin. The locking pin appears to be a wire yoke that fits over the binding wing arm and probably prevents the pin from rotating accidentally. I’m not sure why having the pin on the right side is any better for rotation prevention; perhaps it is because of the way it’s loaded during a stride.

    3. Step in and Step Out. “Self-centering jaws” with repositioned opening springs appear to do something similar to other bindings with boot location features to allow easier step-in. Fritschi also says “New compression spring disengages the pins from the boot with a higher power allowing the user to remove the binding more easily. The compression spring has been redesigned from an axle based spring to a horizontal spring that is located higher on the wing.” This actually sounds like a fairly major change, but one that’s not very visible. I do remember that when testing the original version Vipec it sometimes was difficult to kick off when stepping out, so perhaps that’s what this change addresses.

    4. Releasability. Improved toe clip M comes pre-mounted and allows for a better frontal release for square-toed boots. The high toe clip will continue
    to be included in every box; the low toe clip will no longer be used. This is simply a continuation of the Vipec system for configuring the shape of the binding toe lever to mate correctly with the shape of your boot toe. Nothing to be too concerned about.

    5. Reliable facts. One of the worst things I’ve seen binding companies do over past years is do fairly major “inline” changes but keep the same product SKU numbers. Can you say “confusion?” Thankfully, the 2014-2015 Vipec will have its own SKU, thus eliminating mystery (as well as not requiring harried bloggers to try and describe exactly how to differentiate one product from another, though in this case it would be obvious.)

    6. What about the original 2013-2014 model? It works, but just remember that the adjustable toe pin needs to be correctly torqued with red Loctite thread locker. To be fair, along with that I’d suggest fairly regular checks to be sure the pin isn’t rotating or loosening.

    7. When available? (Edited: The improved binding began shipping in October 2014.)

    shop for Fritschi Vipec here.

Vipec 2014-2015 drawing hints at the locking system for the adjustable toe pin.

Vipec 2014-2015 drawing hints at the locking system for the adjustable toe pin.

New boot guides are visible in this photo, indicated by arrow.

New boot guides are visible in this photo, indicated by arrow.

Another view of the pin lock clip.

Another view of the pin lock clip.



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Comments

146 Responses to “Diamir Vipec 12 — Inline Changes for 2014-2015”

  1. C Blank October 1st, 2014 11:53 am

    They already have them in stock at the BD website.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 October 1st, 2014 12:53 pm

    Insiders tell me that they’re shipping 2014-2015 bindings and they should be going up for sale shortly both etail and brick-stick. Black Diamond probably already got theirs or are just hours away from having them.

  3. Matus October 1st, 2014 5:39 pm

    So here it is again. Real world testing seems to be the only way how to test the new ideas. The same applies for eg Kingpin dear early adopters. After spending 15 ski touring days with first gen Vipecs I was superhappy to return to my trusty Dynafits. Maybe this new iteration of Vipec (what a name!) will work fine. Time for another next round of real world testing (grin).

  4. Lou Dawson 2 October 1st, 2014 5:47 pm

    I’ve said it before, I think early adopting any tech binding is something that requires a realistic view of the past, which tends to repeat itself. If Kingpin can retail bug free from the start that might be a first for a tech binding. Though I was impressed, I’m waiting to see how it goes. Lou

  5. Ben October 2nd, 2014 1:44 am

    Moving the pin to the right side sounds like pedals on a bicycle, the left pedal has a left hand thread, the right is normal, so any torsion applied tends to tighten, not loosen the attachment

  6. Mark Worley October 2nd, 2014 6:35 am

    We got ’em. No instructions regarding pin adjustment–or any other except for basic jig usage–were included. They do look promising, but I will wait to judge.

  7. Richard October 2nd, 2014 7:55 am

    I bought a pair in March and only used them a couple of times with no issues. Nice to see the improvements but I’m now feeling like a chump for diving in too soon. I guess if I do end up having any issues that I’ll have to go the warranty route and hopefully be able to get the new and improved version via that route.

  8. Gentle Sasquatch October 2nd, 2014 11:32 am

    I didn’t know there were issues. Got a pair last year and used them 4 times without any issues. Actually, love them.

  9. rangerjake October 3rd, 2014 11:42 am

    Does this new iteration still require that a threadlocker be applied after adjusting for the specific boot? Or do all the other changes (side, size, and wire lock) render the addition of thread locker unnecessary?

    Thanks!

  10. C Blank October 3rd, 2014 7:18 pm

    Just got the new ones that I ordered. The locking pin is just a piece of spring steel that slots into the flathead section of the pin. (Will get photos soon) Looks like the threads are fine enough that only 1/2 turn adjustments would be ok for dialing in any pin gap. Also I didn’t get any sort of paper template or mounting instructions (did they ship last year with one?)

  11. Lou Dawson 2 October 3rd, 2014 7:32 pm

    Blank, I’ve got good photos, uploading ASAP just as soon as I get another thing off my plate. Thanks, Lou

  12. Lou Dawson 2 October 3rd, 2014 7:59 pm

    New photo is installed in the post, shows detail of the “pin locker,” looks nice, Swiss. More photos coming.

  13. Matus October 4th, 2014 1:39 pm

    Vipec needs to sort out distance between front pins. Based on my measurements on two pairs, the distance betweem distance is 2mm-4mm smaller than Dynafit (which has very consistent distance) in step-in mode. This makes almost impossible to step into the binding without pushing the lever to the ski surface.

  14. Matus October 5th, 2014 12:40 pm

    Sorry for the typos in my previous comment. I was talking about the distance between the front pins. The Vipec needs to be improved in this respect to be more consistent.

  15. Alin October 6th, 2014 10:35 pm

    Any Good Samaritan around to help us translate this?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZjEC7AXbDw
    Danke!

  16. Aham October 7th, 2014 2:01 am

    Hi Alin, the guy in the video speaks swiss-german and addresses a few problems of the first generation of vipecs and the changes that will be made.

    1.) The most important thing: Be sure to regularly check that your adjustable front pin is tight, as it can loosen and ultimately destroy the thread. The second generation will have the adjustable pin on the right side of the binding, the idea is that when in walk mode, your movements will rather tighten the pin than loosen it. It remains to be seen if that will help.

    2.) It can happen that when the binding is stored in open “step in mode” (lever pushed down), after some time the jaws come closer to each other and in order to be able to step into the binding, you have to actively push the lever down each time. This is because when in open mode, the front piece of the binding is under high pressure from the spring and the lever, especially if you have set a high release value. This can wear out the plastic that should hold the binding in place. Therefore always store the binding with the lever up. The second generation has some metal at the affected places to prevent this.

    3.) Always clear the heel piece from snow and ice and be sure that it’s fully closed when in ski mode.

    4.) Sometimes it can be difficult to step out of the binding. As stated above, this may be also fixed with the new generation.

  17. Alin October 7th, 2014 10:43 am

    Thank you Aham, this is really helpful. I think that the new iteration addresses most of the problems I was concerned about.

  18. C Blank October 8th, 2014 1:20 pm

    The bolt on the adjustable pins is actually a 9mm now, instead of the 8mm that they showed in the mounting and adjusting document last year.

    Source: Having to adjust my pins to properly work on my 2012 BD Primes.

  19. Jona October 12th, 2014 1:33 pm

    I am curious if Scarpa F3 boots can be used with these bindings. With my Dynas I have to use the slide in puck that keeps my boot from flexing and possibly pre-releasing. I’m curious if the plate of the toe piece actually carries the front end of the boot enough to limit boot flex.

  20. Alpine Hoser October 22nd, 2014 6:29 am

    Due to the frustration level, I only used my Futzi Vipecs twice last season. It was nearly impossible to step into this binding because the wings would not open wide enough. Once in, the Vipecs would then refuse to spit the boots back out.

    Since I live in CH, I called Fritschi and after a lengthy discussion, they agreed to let me send the bindings back to them. They replaced the toe pieces with new ones having all the improvements depicted in the post above. Carpet-testing yesterday was promising.

    I appreciate what Fritschi did, and my faith will be restored pending satisfactory operation in the snow.
    Ciao for now.

  21. Lou Dawson 2 October 22nd, 2014 7:55 am

    Alpine, thanks for giving them your time. Please let us know how they are on snow! ‘best, Lou

  22. Canadian m October 22nd, 2014 10:05 pm

    I work for a large North American retailer and BD have replaced all the toe pieces on old SKUs to the updated version. Hopefully it solved the problems we saw last year! We have also asked for spares to replace any that customers are not happy with.

  23. Lou Dawson 2 October 23rd, 2014 6:27 am

    Thanks Canadian, good to know the improved toes and bindings are indeed being distributed. I’ll edit the post. Lou

  24. Jason K October 23rd, 2014 12:41 pm

    I too had last year’s Vipecs and was underwhelmed by both the ease of step in (or lack thereof) and ability of the binding to stay in tour mode when used with the “Toe Clip High” and TLT6 boots.

    I now have the updated toe pieces mounted up and, at least via carpet test, every issue I had with last year’s binding is fully resolved. As long as this trend continues on snow, I think Fritschi/BD may have a real winner on their hands.

  25. Enrique November 3rd, 2014 10:08 am

    Hi there,

    Anyone has an idea if the previous version of the toes can be retrofitted to match the 2015 model? It looks like at least for some of the parts it should be possible/feasible…

    Any idea if Diamir will offer a package to do that for the early adopters? It would be really nice 🙂

  26. Lou Dawson 2 November 3rd, 2014 10:26 am

    Enrique, I have not heard of a retrofit but I’ve heard that if you have problems it might be possible to simply swap the toe for a new one. Talk to a dealer? Lou

  27. Traverse City Tim November 8th, 2014 9:24 am

    The vipec rear pins, without the standard tech gap, chafes the dynafit boot sole on the tlt6 & Neo. the sole snags when stepping in. overtime will it gently wear down the sole or will the sole tear & hinder binding release?

  28. Jim Milstein November 13th, 2014 9:40 pm

    I recently bought a pair of the new Vipecs, and apparently wasn’t the only one. At Pine Needle in Durango they were mounting up seven pairs today. We will soon know much more about this promising device.

    I especially plan to know more. It’s snowing on Wolf Creek Pass.

  29. Gavin November 17th, 2014 10:41 am

    In the UK at least, it is possible to get the pin assembly in the toe piece swapped out for the 2015 version for a nominal fee (£12).

  30. Jim Milstein November 17th, 2014 8:49 pm

    I’ve got two backcountry days on the new Vipecs.

    Climbing with the toe units in Ski mode has worked well for me. It’s nice not to bother with changing the toes to Walk mode.

    I’ve had some trouble with stickiness in the heel units. Changing mode without dismounting is not necessarily as easy as the videos would have you think. Also, at the end of skiing today, when getting out of the bindings in Ski mode I noticed that the brakes did not deploy. A little manipulation got them working again, but why have brakes if they don’t deploy on their own?

  31. Traverse City Tim November 18th, 2014 8:48 am

    No Trouble Found! The Vipec system works as advertised. 40 laps on a 400′ long, low aspect gladed slope. Swix xc kick wax in place of skins with VIPEC provides zero turn around time to head back up. no wear noticed on the tlt6 heal rubber that chafes the pins when stepping into the binding.

  32. Jim Milstein November 23rd, 2014 9:52 pm

    Five days on the Vipecs now. The heel unit stickiness reported on day two has not returned. Just to be sure it didn’t return I sprayed them with Teflon lubricant.

    I’m learning the moves for the Vipecs. So far, so good. It might be worth noting that I adjusted them very light, but have no problem ascending with the toes in Ski mode, and that is quite convenient. With the Radicals I’d walk right out of the bindings shortly if I forgot to lock the toe units for ascent.

  33. EdR November 24th, 2014 6:36 pm

    Last season I learned to stick the tail of my ski into the snow at a low to moderate angle, then set the heel of my boot back against the heel unit pins (heel unit in ski mode) A little bit of rotation of the boot and pop (slide) onto the heel pins – THEN click easily into the toe as the distance is perfect. The rockered toe of my TLT6 boots allows the pin sockets to go too low for the pins to insert unless I keep my heel low anyhow. I’ll be lookin’ to get the new toe mechanism though, when I can.

  34. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 6:39 pm

    Ed, using the heel unit to index your boot is a good technique, we should mention it more often, it’s especially good with current bindings that make an effort to be ever more “step-in” friendly. Lou

  35. EdR November 24th, 2014 7:14 pm

    The heel first entry should solve any heel chafing problem I believe. You have to depress the brake pad of course to get onto the heel pins. I like having an actual ski brake with the Vipec. Never had Dynafits, hard to imagine their brake stopping a ski unless running backwards on a low angle hard surface. Plus the walk-ski mode change is so much easier with the Vipec brake.
    I’ll get the new Toe Clip M, hope it does the trick. The high clip resulted in release with every kick turn. Without it, they did not release at all (straight forward, lever release) until I reshaped the toe of my boots. Now, one does.

  36. Jim Milstein November 24th, 2014 7:41 pm

    EdR, I like your suggestion of sticking the ski tail into the snow shallowly for entry. Don’t get your point about the Vipec brake making the Walk/Ski mode change easier. If anything, the brake mechanism would seem to make the change harder.

  37. EdR November 24th, 2014 9:39 pm

    Jim Milstein, perhaps an incomplete reference to the manual fuss of holding the Dynafit brake up (during heel unit spin) to get into walk mode. I’m a big fan of quick walk mode to get across a short flat (pond, meadow, parking lot).

  38. ph December 1st, 2014 2:17 pm

    Hello,
    Does anyone have confirmation of pin width adjustment steps for the v2 vipec?
    I got my v1 upgraded to v2, and initial pin width fit with Spectre boots using the old instructions (set toe RV to 6, put boots in, and push off-center) seems too narrow – they don’t come back to center.
    A couple of questions:
    1) pin width check is the same as before? (set toe RV to 6, put boot in, put toe binding in ski mode, and push toe binding/pin/boot sideways to check for automatic return)
    2) anyone know if the v2 come with loctite from factory (so need to heat first before loosening?)
    3) loctite recommendations for an adjusted binding? 2701 loctite still recommended on pin threads and bolt?
    thanks!

  39. Enrique December 1st, 2014 2:36 pm

    PH,

    I am afraid I cannot help as I am still “stuck” with v1. How did you get the upgrade fro v1 to v2? Did you have to pay for it? how much?

    I also have the Vipecs v1. I tried contacting Diamir in Switzerland but the forwarded my message to the Spanish distributor… and they told me that it was not possible!!! I also went to a store where the Vipecs are sold and they told me that they do not know anything about the upgrade… but that they could give it a try at the end of the season… Any advice on how to proceed will be useful.

  40. Lou Dawson 2 December 1st, 2014 2:55 pm

    PH, I never heard anything about the adjustment procedure being any different. I just got v2 today for my own experiments, so I backed out the adjustment screw just for you. Yes it has thread locker but doesn’t need heat, use a 9 mm socket on the nut and loosen it first, then try adjusting with screwdriver, if the pin doesn’t rotate easy enough to prevent damage from the screwdriver perhaps apply a bit of heat, but mine rotated easily (after removing the locking pin of course). I’d go ahead and thread lock again during final part of adjustment procedure. Lou

  41. ph December 1st, 2014 2:57 pm

    Enrique,
    I asked the store in Germany I bought from, and they contacted the German distributor who participated. There was no cost for the upgrade itself, although not surprising I had shipping costs to get the binding back to the store.
    best of luck,
    ph

  42. ph December 1st, 2014 3:07 pm

    Thanks Lou for the info!
    I’ll let you know any useful results I have making the adjustment for my Spectre boots.
    Looking forward to your potential ‘long-term’ test type of review of the Vipec!

  43. Enrique December 1st, 2014 3:29 pm

    PH,

    Thank you for the answer. I’ll try again with my local store and the distributor… Thanks again! Let us know how the v2 performs, btw 🙂

  44. Lou Dawson 2 December 1st, 2014 4:47 pm

    Yes, these long-term reviews tend to take a long-term time since just about every binding we “test” has to get swapped out for version 2, or even 3…. am hoping that changes, getting tired of it to be honest… been 30 years

  45. Derek December 13th, 2014 6:47 pm

    I used version one of the Vipecs last year as my first tech/pin binding and liked how they skied and climbed and the other features but hated how difficult it was to get the front of my BD Quadrants into the pins. After reading about version 2 I was hopeful the ease of entry problem might be addressed. I went to my local shop with just the toe pieces taken off my skis (Quiver Killers). The shop said the warranty covered not the whole front piece but just the part with the pins and they changed that part out and returned my toe piece to me which I then put back on my ski. I skied yesterday in our early season Vermont snow. Not only did I find the toe piece MORE difficult to get into but the toe pieces released my boot a number of times during my time skiing, which never happened last year. I brought the Vipecs back to the shop that did the work and this time I left the Vipecs on my skis and left the shop my boots as well. I am hoping there may be adjustments the shop can now make that address why the version 2 Vipecs with the warranteed part worked so poorly but not feeling all that hopeful at the moment… Have others had the entire toe piece of the Vipers replaced by warranty or just the pin and metal parts? Have others had the toe pieces work better with the new parts or had similar experiences to what I had? Any info is welcome!

  46. Jim Milstein December 13th, 2014 9:13 pm

    Derek, that sure sounds like an adjustment problem. Maybe the pins on the new pieces were set a bit wide for your boot.

  47. Cody B December 13th, 2014 11:17 pm

    Yeah Derek it sounds like an adjustment issue. I had to dramatically adjust mine to fit my BD Primes properly, but now they are perfect.

    Got to ski them at Sugarbowl today in over a foot of fresh, chopped up snow, and groomers. Loved em and they released properly when they should have.

  48. Jim Milstein December 21st, 2014 3:14 pm

    Ten days skiing the Vipecs. No problems, after a little teflon spray lube and learning the Vipec-specific moves. No pre-releasing or, for that matter, any releasing at all. They are set light, fore and aft. I climb in Ski mode and do not walk out of the bindings. Mode change while skiing down is easy. Mostly skiing powder, logs, and a little bit of breakable crust. No lift-served.

  49. JB December 21st, 2014 9:06 pm

    I am also setting up Vipecs with the V2 toe. I have not skied the Vipec yet. I’m not sure it was the factory setting but I had to widen the pins quite a bit to get my BD Quadrants to return to center and it still does not seem perfect. There is a bind up point at the almost max side travel. I am using a rubber hammer to test the fit/return side to side. Are you all testing the lateral travel with the heel locked down or not? (Obviously the toe is in ski mode). Maybe a dumb question but what is the sign of pins a turn or 2 or 3 too wide? If too tight the side to side movement clearly binds up.

  50. Ticketchecker December 26th, 2014 9:59 am

    Any advice for brake width on a 112 waist ski? 108 v 120

    Muchos gracias!

  51. Lou Dawson 2 December 26th, 2014 10:33 am

    Try the 108, you could always grind a few mm off the inside of the plastic feet… Lou

  52. Cody B December 26th, 2014 10:39 am

    I would go with the 120. On my Amperages(115 waist) the 120 just barely clear…but I do have a slight forward mount.

  53. ph December 31st, 2014 12:19 am

    Followup about adjustment for Spectre boots.
    Stock width was definitely too tight for the Spectre boots to have the return to center test work properly, although felt fine moving the boot up/down in walking motion.

    Heat didn’t seem necessary to unscrew the nut on the V2 upgrade, just a bit of force with a wrench was enough, and it did appear there was a tiny amount of loctite inside the nut, and nothing between the pin threads and wing.

    Widening pin width with 2 or 3 half turns of the pin seems to be enough for the Spectre boots to get return to center working.

    I used one drop of loctite before tightening, which seemed more than sufficient, backed out the pin a bunch of times, to make sure loctite got in wing area and nut. I used 2701 loctite left over from V1 adjustment, although I saw a recommendation for 270 as well. From spec sheets it looks 2701 weakens faster under significant heat which is probably useful for adjustment and not a problem for winter usage 🙂
    I also double-checked to have 2mm space (3 credit cards) at the heel.

    Bench tests make it appear that the new plastic toe guides will be helpful and dynafit inserts with the metallic boot toe guides (borrowed some dynafit one’s) seem to work even better, which one would hope for.

    JB: I find there is some ‘binding’ at testing max lateral toe travel, but this may be as designed, starting to engage the side release mechanism. I think I mostly tested the lateral travel/release with heel locked in, but I’m not sure there is much a difference locked or not. Too loose, I think you’ll start to feel too much play at the toe binding with lateral heel movements in touring mode.

  54. Jim Milstein December 31st, 2014 9:02 am

    “I also double-checked to have 2mm space (3 credit cards) at the heel.”

    I just checked the Vipec mounting instructions on this site, and image 20 shows no gap between the shallow rectangular boss on the heel housing and the boot heel.

  55. Lou Dawson 2 December 31st, 2014 9:08 am

    https://www.wildsnow.com/11228/mounting-adjustment-fritschi-vipec/

    Gad, it’s amazing how all this mythology circulates. You adjust Vipec in resting position so there is no pressure on the boot heel, but virtually no gap. Easily done by adjusting the heel unit forward to the point of obvious pressure, then backing it off while looking at the “gap” area from the side.

    Lou

  56. ph December 31st, 2014 6:33 pm

    I saw the 2mm info here, last part of blog posting:
    http://www.passemontagne.ch/Update-de-la-Diamir-Vipec-12-2014-15?lang=fr
    But if this not true and to stop the mythology feel free to delete that info from my previous post and this one.

  57. Erik January 6th, 2015 1:38 pm

    Just spent the last three days skiing the new V2. My dealer refurbished/upgraded the V1 toepiece to V2 (free of charge). I’ve had some trouble stepping out of the toepiece with the V1. Now, with the V2 toepiece no problems whatsoever. Stepping in is even easier than it was with the V1. I use the heel-line up method as well. Works great. Skied icy groomers and triebschnee at speed and no pre-releases. Binding has a nice solid feel to it. It’s mounted on a 196cm ski with 116mm underfoot.
    The only letdown is the obvious trollability incorporated in the heelpiece. From the moment that your mates discover how easy it is to get the heelpiece in tourmode you’re in liftline hell for the rest of the season (or untill they mount their own Vipecs :))

  58. Lou Dawson 2 January 6th, 2015 1:42 pm

    I thought liftlines were _always_ hell? You gonna use them for what they’re designed for anytime soon (grin)?

  59. Erik January 6th, 2015 3:22 pm

    Most definitely am Sir. Depending on the snow (avy) conditions here in Middle Earth, for a try-out we’ll be skinning up to the Bietschhornhütte for a sleepover and then up and over to the other side skiing all the way down to St German.

    http://map.geo.admin.ch/?X=137230.07&Y=630415.93&zoom=7&lang=de&topic=ech&bgLayer=ch.swisstopo.pixelkarte-farbe

  60. Jim Milstein January 18th, 2015 10:55 pm

    After over twenty days with the Vipecs, I removed their brakes. Very easy, two screws. Suddenly, whatever balkiness they had is gone. Who needs brakes? The brakes weigh five ounces. Who needs an extra five ounces on the skis?

  61. Benoit January 23rd, 2015 5:37 pm

    Hi guys! did anyone have a probleme with the break? Those i have felt in mid position when it (trig) not sure about the term. when i felt anyway .My ski just dont stop..

  62. Jim Milstein January 23rd, 2015 7:31 pm

    Not any more, Benoit. I took the brakes off. My life is slightly better now. (faster?)

    Brakes, in theory, are a great idea, but they are a mechanical complication. I ski almost exclusively soft snow with occasional excursions into wind or sun crust. I’m hoping never to need them. If I do, I’ll probably substitute leashes with breakable links, so I don’t get beat to death by a freed ski.

  63. EdR January 24th, 2015 12:51 am

    Not sure what happened to you, Benoit. Did your brake not engage? I’ve had mine “freeze-up” from snow accumulation on some days. (Noticed when clicking out at the bottom of the run. I’m thinking/hoping they will spring out with the crash and snap of an actual binding release.) But, I have had many other alpine binding brakes do that too. I must have 50 or 60 days in on the binders, have no other issues with the brakes, and would not remove them to save a few ounces. I have not released at all from these binders, however, I can twist toe or pull heel out fairly easy. Of course I have not crashed on the skis either, only a few gentle plops

  64. ph January 25th, 2015 8:00 am

    Remarks about Vipec entry and release values:
    With a few days on the R2, toe entry is better than R1, but by no means always on the 1st try. On average 2 tries, using Spectre boots that don’t have the Dynafit inserts with guides. Acceptable, comparing with older Fritschi bindings, ease of entry not as good, but huge weight savings. Maybe with practice, different technique (heel alignment or one side pin first), different boots it could be almost always on the first try?

    RV: Listing a Type II skier, my RV target is normally 6.5, but I have had a tendency to ski older Fritschi bindings around 5.5 or 6 in the front, and 6 in the back and never had undesired release (Obviously, I’m not particularly aggressive/fast skier!)

    I’ve skied the Vipec mostly around 5.5 – 6 and not released accidentally (nor had any falls where I would have expected them to release). Recently I got them tested on a Wintersteiger machine, and the machine could not test the front lateral, seems the machine has preset expectations on toe lateral range. Don’t know if there is a more ‘manual’ mode of the machine where an expert operator could get some useful data. Testing the back, initial results seemed to indicate that 6.5 was too strong, but some spray grease seemed to make it work better, and operator was hesitant to put RV number too low. In the end not very conclusive.

    Then I found a shop with a more manual test system called Fixatec 2000. That simulates a foot in the boot with torque-measuring levers, etc. Here my bindings came back at around 6.5 – 7 indicated value, apparently successfully tested.
    Depending on terrain, I very well may still drop the values down a bit given number of days skiing fine already at lower values.

  65. Jim Milstein February 2nd, 2015 9:25 pm

    Apropos the Scarpa F1 Evo spontaneously changing from ski mode to walk mode, a mysteriously similar mode change happened to me yesterday skiing the Vipecs. I was skiing through some trees and stopped to get my bearings when I noticed that one binding had changed from ski mode to walk mode. That cannot happen. The heel carriage would have to move back and its lever go from vertical to horizontal. It did, somehow. I expect the explanation would have to involve user error, mine, though not sure just what it was. I think this was an anomaly, but if it repeats, I will report it here and to the shop.

    Otherwise, I like the Vipecs, especially after I amputated their brakes. They work easier with less spring-loaded mechanism.

  66. Ryan February 8th, 2015 8:05 pm

    I now have 5 days on the V2 Vipec 12. 3 days touring and two days at the resort chasing my kids around in the trees and some groomer bomber runs. I’ve got them mounted up to a pair of Icelantic Shamans with a 161 length. The ski/binding combo is unreal and am finding that other than bumps it excels at just about everything.

    I am curious if folks are finding the rear a little more stiff to step into than the normal click from a dynafit. The toe is slightly fiddly, but I am getting much better at it. The stiffness with how the heel pins click into place though is rather disconcerting to the point that I am rather skeptical with the release values being anything even close to what the folks at Fritschi/BD are telling me. Anyone else sketched out with the heel due to the pins stiffness stepping in?

  67. Jim Milstein February 8th, 2015 10:35 pm

    Just spent a day in adverse backcountry conditions with the Vipecs. I think that in the springlike conditions now plaguing S Colorado, ice can prevent the heel lever from being returned to its full upright and locked position when making a mode change on the run. Extra care (visual inspection) is good practice to make sure the lever has clicked into position. Otherwise, one risks a spontaneous transition from ski to walk mode.

    My preferred method now for getting into the bindings is to have them in ski mode and to set the boot heel onto the heel pins without engaging. Then the boot toe is perfectly indexed to click in. After that I either stomp down for ski mode or poke the heel lever down for walk mode. I always walk with the toe in ski mode.

    Twenty-nine days using the Vipecs, all backcountry. Still good.

  68. Ryan February 9th, 2015 10:07 am

    Agreed Jim on the toes and making it easy to get in. My issue is how stiff the rear pins are to step on to and if anyone else is experiencing this. I am running a relatively light release value (7). I can’t help to wonder if the stiffness in stepping in is proportionate to how stiff an upward release would be…

    BTW – No dirty snow in VT right now – and no warming up either!!!!! Cold smoke is the conditions du jour this season………

  69. Rodney February 9th, 2015 12:37 pm

    I have posted this on Teton but thought it might be useful here too:

    I have after a year of experimenting given up on the Vipec’s and gone back to Dynafit. Last year getting in and out was a nightmare and occasionally the heel would release leading to telemark skiing.

    This year I had the toe piece changed and hoped things would improve. Getting in was slightly easier. However, now I had repeated (say 20) releases out of the toe piece while Aki touring – some out the front and some out the side. The side releases were interesting as it showed that despite claims, the walk mode does not lock the the toe unit from sliding sideways. I thought this might be because the pins were not tight enough. The release happens on the same side all day.

    I visited a good shop. They checked the binding and said the pins were fine. Instead they had seen this before and recommended cranking the din to 10 or 11 at least to combat the problem. I elected to go to a 10. They also said that in dismantling the Vipec on a previous occasion they had found here is not mechanism to lock the toe from sliding despite – so my experience was reasonable.

    The next day while skiing I heard a clicking noise in my binding. I looked down to see that I could move my one foot from side to side in the binding (the binding was not grabbing the boot properly and there was play). I exited the binding and it was ok when I re-entered it (the issue on this day all happened on the other side – eliminating a specific boot problem). The later pre-released while skiing between trees when taking a sharp (and necessary) turn – but certainly not in a release range. I exited out of the front of the binding (rather than the side).

    My boots are La Sportiva Spectres. I did not have the pre-release problem with the first edition of the toe unit.

    This was the end of the Vipec experiment – I can not trust these while touring (one of the exits while touring happened while kick turning on a steep slope) or skiing.

    I have gone back to Dynafit

  70. Jim Milstein February 9th, 2015 2:05 pm

    In contrast to Rodney’s experience, my Vipecs are adjusted to DIN 5 fore and aft. They have never released while skiing, nor have they needed to. My boots are Sportiva Siderals. I ski mostly in trees and logs (this year in S Colo, sadly!) and do lots of short turns and whoop-de-dos on logs. There seems to be some individual skier variation. It’s good there is more than one binding to had.

  71. Rodney February 9th, 2015 2:15 pm

    Thanks Jim – there seems to be quite some variation in experience. I think it is one of the two bindings that is playing up rather than both.

    Is your Vipec using the new or old toe units?

  72. Jim Milstein February 9th, 2015 2:48 pm

    Rodney, I have the new Vipecs — got them in November. As mentioned elsewhere here, I amputated the brakes and have been happier since, though I doubt that affects how they release. They are just easier to use without having to work against the brake springs.

  73. Rodney February 9th, 2015 3:24 pm

    Jim – I am pleased they have worked for you. Bindings are the most important part of safety equipment and so our subjective experience of them working or not plays an important mental factor when facing a challenging situation! I suspect I was just unlucky and one of my bindings has something not quite right about it and that is just my bad luck. However, I can’t be sure – so have chosen to move on to bindings that have a longer/stronger track record for me personally and based on other experiences on the internet.

  74. Ryan February 9th, 2015 7:08 pm

    Jim and Rodney,

    Sounds like totally different experiences for the Vipec, between you two. I don’t think I got a square answer though on the stiffness of stepping down on the heel pins. Did either of you feel that the pins in the heel seemed stiff, concerning stiff???

    Thanks,
    Ryan

  75. ph February 9th, 2015 11:55 pm

    Regarding heel pin stiffness:
    On older, Diamir Freeride Plus frame binding, when I put a lower DIN value (5.5) on the heel than what I should have, I can make the heel release by leaning forward with the leg.

    On my Vipecs I am unable to make the heel release forward by giving a similar good force forward, even with the release value set at or below the lowest 5 indicator.

    I have no idea if this is a valid test, or possibly issue with the older frame bindings (wear/play or adjustment of)? I could imagine some logic saying that a sharper force should be required that could be more like a real fall?

    I don’t have Dynafit or real alpine bindings so I can’t compare entry or release pressure. Boots are La Sportiva Spectre. Bindings purchased last year, toe upgraded to v2 this season.

  76. Jim Milstein February 10th, 2015 12:35 am

    Ryan, I haven’t noticed much difference between clicking down on the heel pins with either the Vipecs or the Radical STs, but I wasn’t looking for a difference. I sold the Radicals, so I can’t go back and check. Both bindings got a stomp. I am not a subtle person.

  77. Lou Dawson 2 February 10th, 2015 6:21 am

    Ph, you are correct that a comparison between bindings with that test is not very helpful. Do know that when you test a true pintech binding (pins at heel, not Kingpin) that way (boot pulling up and forward with ski planted at front), the release force tends to increase above what the setting would indicate.

  78. Ryan February 10th, 2015 7:27 am

    Thanks Jim & Lou & Rodney…

    I did a comparison with my Dynafit FTs , and older set of TLTs and the Vipec 12s…. Besides the obvious toe engaging issues that everyone has cited (and get easier to get into every time out), I definitely find that the Vipec is CONSIDERABLY stiffer to step into… So far no issues, no releases front or back…. Been skiing them hard in a good mix of BC conditions – including resort speed laps. Funny that the toe seems to have had all of the problems – the V2 that I have, the toe seems to be more robustly built than the heel unit. I’ve got a warranty on the bindings so we will see if I need to utilize it. The warranty on the two rebuilt ACLs of mine ran out a long time ago…I ski’em like I own’em……

  79. Ryan February 15th, 2015 4:16 pm

    Several more days on the Vipecs, both BC and inbounds. Yesterday was a massive tour with lots of wonky skinning moves. I am a tinkerer by nature and am always looking at my gear while moving along. I notice that both of my pins (both toes) were lose…WTF, thought this was fixed with V2 of these bindings. None the less, I had a multi tool to crank them down. If I had lost those pins where I was, it would have been a horrendous situation for sure. I got the lock nut cranked down, had to do a number of times over the course of the day. Also had icing issues with the heel… End of tour, couldn’t get heel to go into ski mode, Good think I was at the truck…

    Moral of story – bindings still skiing good… I took them apart today in the shop, re greased everything in the heel and took the pins out of the toes….. NOT A DAMN OUNCE OF LOCKTITE on the pins!!!! So be forewarned – they are still shipping these things w/o locktite….buttheads! No damage and caught it early in the unraveling of the vipec.

    Those of you that own V2 of these things – do your self a favor and pull the pins and apply locktite on your own. Just make sure to note the depth of the pin in the wings before you remove, so you can get them back exactly as the were prior…

    More to come……….

  80. Lou Dawson 2 February 15th, 2015 7:39 pm

    Ryan, I don’t understand how the pins could thread in or out with the ver 2 retainer, please explain. Lou

  81. Ryan February 15th, 2015 9:17 pm

    Hey Lou,

    They didn’t spin due to the retainer pin, but te lock nuts came loose. When the lock nut becomes loose the pins are actually wobbly. My guess is with them wobbly, they would be pretty prone to damage and or stripping out. There wasn’t any loctite on the lock nuts for my v2 binders. I’m really kind of questioning the adjustable pin…I’ve had a bunch of Dynafits and never had any problems in different boots. Will be interesting to see if they keep the design…..

  82. Jim Milstein February 15th, 2015 10:18 pm

    That just sounds wrong, Ryan. Your bindings must be defective. Technically, the lock nuts are there for double assurance. It’s like using both a belt and suspenders to hold your pants up.

    I have adjusted the pins on my v2 Vipecs, and there is no play at all in the pins when the lock nuts are loosened. It’s hard to see how play could develop when the pin is fully engaged in its wing threads. Also, though I had to break the lock nuts free, there was little visual evidence of “Locktite” or the like. Thread locker is used very sparingly.

    I have, recently, had some ice get in the way of returning to full ski mode. Some heel stamping usually clears the ice, but if that fails raise the heel lever with the boot heel lifted, then engage the heel pins.

  83. Ryan February 16th, 2015 2:06 pm

    Hey Jim,

    There is definitely a slight wobble, but that is the tolerance in the threads – nothing messed or galled out… again slight, but there and definitely could be an issue if the locknut wasn’t snugged up. So with this situation, the fat lady needs a belt and suspenders to keep her from singing! The extra steel anti-rotational spring pin, to hold the actual pin from rotating will do that, but wont keep the pin from wobbling (ever so slightly) if the locknut isn’t snugged up. I think the wobble would be enough to thrash the alloy wings and their threads. For the record – it was way too cold to tour today with my wife (both had president’s day off), so avoiding a home project or some other constructive use of time, I heated up one of the pins I set yesterday with red Loctite and pulled it to see the threads again – all is good and once the Loctite was off, there was just a smidge of wobble. Not enough to see but could feel with finger tips….

    AS for the heel and freezing Jim, you are already one step ahead by removing your brakes (hope you have some leashes on there and where are you attaching them?). I find the brake mechanism the issue on the freeze. I get snow up under the back side of the binding but it hasn’t created the ice block that I’ve seen in the reviews. This was ice and junk in the break contraption. A good dose of silicon grease spray (from wally-world) on a rag and wiping all surfaces down as well as grease in key locations applied with a q-tip should take care of any more of that BS. I do the same thing with my FTs and older tour-tecs. I hate being out skiing with my codger tele friends and have them roll their eyes at folks on dynafits and say, “great we are in for a fiddle session today”.

    Alright – ’nuff said. I’ll be interested to see if the maintenance and preventative measures squares things up….

  84. Jim Milstein February 16th, 2015 7:49 pm

    When I removed the Vipec brakes, Ryan, I agonized over leashes . . . and then decided against them. I seldom fall, never ski lift served, and am almost always on soft snow. In thirty days of skiing the Vipecs: zero releases. So far, so good. If I planned to ski an icy couloir, I’d use leashes with breakable links. I hate getting beat to death with my skis. It’s happened before.

    I was recently a codger tele-guy. With pintechs I am fiddling less than ever. It’s mostly a question of figuring out the moves with the new gear, then (as a codger) remembering them.

  85. Ryan February 17th, 2015 9:31 am

    I hear ya Jim – no one wants to be flogged with their ski in a fall – been there done that as well. Skiing tight trees in VT doesn’t allow for much error or falling either, but I think a leash would be a royal PIA in the crumholtz that we push through to get to our lines.

    Yea – my partners on tele are a dyed in the wool crew, I luv when I bring a split boarder into the fray and they are faster in the transitions than all of us!

    Like you I am luving the Vipec, I just don’t have tolerance for mechanicals in the field. Seeing those locknuts spinning while I was kick turning up a 40 degree pitch had me frazzled.

    More snow on the way for VT this week… Definitely a good year for new planks and binders….

  86. Ray Klukoske February 17th, 2015 2:33 pm

    Garbage, not for use in the mountains…. I was excited about the Vipecs as an ugrade to my dynafits because they have brakes, releasable toe and the mostly because of the ability to change from walk mode to ski mode without taking my boot off the ski! First impressions were great and “carpet” testing as well. I liked them skiing at the resort on a few firm days. Touring on easy, low angle, well traveled skin tracks is fine too. Problems begin when I used them in deeper or heavier snow or steep terrain…..
    1.The heel risers do not give much lift. (My impression, I haven’t actually measured the angle, but the high level seemed low and I never found a reason to use the mid level at all.
    2. Heel risers are constantly knocked back down in heavy and crusty snow… just plain annoying.
    3. Heel pieces are easily clogged with snow and become difficult to change between walk and ski modes.
    4. Walk mode does NOT lock in the toe pieces. No one seems to realize this, not even half a dozen salespeople I’ve talked to including those at BD and also the BD warranty department was unaware. The toe piece is releasable in walk mode, it’s supposed to be a little harder to release but I can’t tell a difference. This is presumably for safety and it works ok for mellow skinning. It does not work for steep conditions, hard snow, side stepping, kick turns, icy side hilling, or simply tapping the snow off your skis on a slushy day, basically any condition you might come across while ski mountaineering where you may have to exert a bit of lateral force on your ski. In one day I had over 15 releases while in walk mode and touring in various conditions in the Wasatch. By the end of the day I had the DIN cranked up past 12 and it helped a bit but did not resolve the problem.
    Bottom line is, they probably work great if your idea of backcountry skiing is the golf course but I think I have to get rid of them because I can’t trust them to stay on my feet in any number of critical situations.

  87. Jason K February 17th, 2015 4:12 pm

    Ray,

    I’ve had the Vipecs for the last two seasons and while the V1 disappointed with its pin stripping issues and difficult entry/exit, I haven’t experienced most of the issues you seem to have with V2.

    While the heel rarely does ice up a bit, it has never prevented me from changing modes with a little coaxing. I have a feeling a little silicone in the tracks or similar would help this minor issue. Also, with the toe pin width properly adjusted, I have been able to skin and ski some fairly steep and technical terrain with never an unnecessary release except when using the old “toe clip high” during kick turns. I weigh about 175 lbs without gear and ski the heel and toe at 7.5 (actually came down from 8.5 and still no pre-releases, fairly aggressive skier but limited air time). I have skinned steep ice on Cascade volcanoes with ski crampons as well as deep, heavy cascade “powder” and I haven’t had an issue with the toes coming off while skinning.

    Is it possible that the pins on your binding are adjusted too tightly? That would potentially predispose you to coming out too easily. Not saying this is your problem, but my experience with these bindings has been much different than yours.

  88. Rodney February 17th, 2015 5:22 pm

    Ray – your experience mirrors my own – see my comments further up

  89. Jim Milstein February 17th, 2015 8:23 pm

    Just came back from a backcountry ski adventure in the very bad conditions now found in southern Colorado. Had to dismount and carry skis quite a few times today over bare regions. This is pretty unusual in the Wolf Creek backcountry in mid-February.

    But the interesting thing is that for the first time, after getting back on the skis, sometimes I’d walk out of the bindings. This could be prevented by putting the toe into Walk mode (“locking” it). I think the problem may be very small particles of dirt or ice in the boot toe pieces, not visible to the skier. Anyway, walking a ways with the toe in Walk mode fixes the problem. Whatever was in there gets ground to atoms.

    Ray, I don’t think cranking up the DIN settings on your bindings is the cure for your problem, and it may lead to much worse problems. Jason’s suggestion about checking the toe pin adjustment sounds plausible to me.

  90. Ray Klukoske February 18th, 2015 12:03 pm

    Rodney, I see your review with the same types of problems. Like you I have ended my vipec “experiment”. I was wondering how wide your skis are?(more on this later)
    Jim and Jason, The toe pins adjustment was fine when I mounted the binders. I did not check it again and also BD warranty did not mention this as a potential problem when I took them in. The binders stayed at BD warranty and will not be going back back on my skis so unfortunately I can’t recheck the toe pins.
    The day when I had most of the problems was a really warm slushy/corn day. The kind when you get about 15 pounds of snow on your ski every 5 steps as you’re breaking trail and have to constantly tap your skis on your opposite boot to knock the snow off and not haul that extra weight up the hill. I encounter conditions like this a lot when traveling on AK glaciers in the spring and summer so I need my skis to work in this kind of snow. Funny, BD suggested that the problem was caused by my 171 Icelantic Keepers being “too heavy” for the binders at 4.5 pounds each, you know, compared to a Carbon Megawatt that is only 4#’s per ski. But really, any ski is this heavy when it has 15 #’s of snow on it and the binders should still work.
    I know its not good to crank the DIN setting up past the limit and I’m not happy that it was the only way to make them work. I normally ski with a DIN around 9 and would like to keep it there. I don’t think it’s reasonable to either change your DINs every time you change from walk to ski or have to ski around in DINs that are too high all the time, (another reason the binders will be staying at BD).
    I think the problem is a design flaw in the bindings; the toe release is great when the heel is locked down because it allows a release from a twisting fall to save your knees. This is an awesome innovation in a tech binder! However, when skinning, with the heel free, the toe releases from a lateral force, not a twisting force, so it doesn’t really even keep your knees safe from a twisting fall and your skis can come off at all the wrong times. Of course this would be resolved by having an actual walk mode where the toe piece locked and did not release, but for “safety” they decided to have a walk mode that does NOT lock.
    Maybe this lateral release problem is compounded by wide skis? The Keepers are 150-119-136.

  91. EdR February 18th, 2015 1:42 pm

    The start of my last tour was up a low angle creek bed with low snow cover, downed trees, linked tree wells and rock hard crust necessitating the use of my Voile crampons. The ugly conditions meant all kinds of awkward strides and lots of stress on the toepiece due to the crampon “locking” the ski in place with each step. The climb up the mountain was on a steep rib with numerous kick turns. One side of the rib was sun softened and the other remained rock hard. I climbed far steeper than I like too as the grip was bomber and I wanted to get to my line while the sun was still strong on it. Although I usually skin with the toe in SKI mode, I had them in WALK mode. My V2 toes are set on 5 1/2. I had NO PROBLEMS whatsoever!

    On many tours here lately (Washington N Cascades), a portion of the climb has been on semi-firm crust. When without the crampons, sidehilling meant a lot of stomping for the leader to create a good track to follow. Again NO PROBLEM for the Vipecs.

    My boots are TLT6, I now use the medium height “toe bumper” on one side with none on the other where I ground down the white bump to make it work. The difference being the angle I achieved after heat molding the toe of my boot shells. Now, in SKI mode my skis “bump” off when I rotate all the way forward. In WALK mode it takes a really hard “bump”. I usually climb in SKI mode, use WALK when the going gets rough. Every boot model toe is different, the shops and us DIYers will have to learn how to modify for each. Hopefully Fritschi/Diamir will address this further as standardizing of boot toebox is not at all likely! This feature is needed on the Vipec for a pure upwards release at the heel when skiing. This is because the toe does not release easily (as the Dynafit and most other copies) when your heel is free. If it does, most likely it is due to an adjustment problem and NOT the RV adjustment. I realize that a slip and fall forward in a steep, icy location could result in a “bump” release with consequences. I rarely encounter such, and would likely be boot packing with crampons and ice axe if so.

    The pins on my V2 replacement needed no adjustment and are not loose at all. I have not needed to silicone or grease the heels as of yet to prevent icing up. They go in and out of modes with very little fuss (we have plenty of icing conditions here, temps usually not super low though so maybe the ice clears with the mode change). My heel risers have never been unruly and give me all the angle I’m used to. Of course I prefer the mid level as it is the most efficient and allows me to go all day. With the V2s, I usually just step directly into the toe without the heel first trick needed for the V1s. Clicking into the heel afterwards is simple, even with the brake. I have no problem with the brakes and would not go without them. In our usual deep soft snow, the thought of being on the ” backside” of a tour with only one ski (the other zooming down into who-knows-where in the trees), is quite scary.

    My heels are set as low as they go, well below the 5. I have not come out of them yet other than at home on the carpet, and I have hit plenty of transitions throwing my weight forward. I am 5′ 10″ and about 160lb with pack on and rarely catch air with that weight on my back. I have been skin climbing for 40 years. I know this is an advantage in avoiding unwanted release and others will have different experiences and may need different binders. So far, I’m really happy the Vipec came out as the weight and ROM of my pintech gear is a big advantage especially at my age. I am rather adverse to how other pintech binders operate, especially when I view others skiing them in walk mode out of necessity!

  92. Lou Dawson 2 February 18th, 2015 3:26 pm

    Nice report Ed, thanks!

  93. Jona M February 18th, 2015 3:49 pm

    Many days in all conditions this season in western Montana. As with Eds review an issue I have come across is the toe bump release which happened maybe 2 or 3 times across hours of skinning and climbing and when climbing with the tall riser I noticed a squish and upon investigation the heel piece would push back ever so slightly when I push my heel down. Any thoughts around that? I haven’t seen or felt anything come loose. The bindings have performed very well on wide skis, 120 underfoot, and in hard and variable conditions at high speeds without any complications. I am a larger skier (6’1″,230lbs) and I have had the bindings release when they should and stay on when they should. The RV is set around 10. Overall I have been quite happy about my switch from Vertical ST’s Although I still have them mounted on another set of BC skis. Haven’t used them once this season.

  94. Rodney February 20th, 2015 4:53 pm

    Ray – my skiis was Nunataq’s 186 in length – there are around 106mm wide

  95. JD February 20th, 2015 9:36 pm

    I’m still happy with version 2 toe and heel on BD Convert with BD Quadrant boot. Obviously ‘your results may vary’. The non rotating heel is def a plus for the AARP user group…..Two questions: Do Dynafit boots with proprietary toe ‘wings’ work better or worse? Are there any changes coming in the binding for next year? Did not see anything in the OR or ISPO reports.

  96. D-Run March 23rd, 2015 2:41 am

    Ed, why do you set your heel RV so low?

    I’ve generally had very good experience with these bindings. Small issues: the toe pins sometimes ‘stick’ when trying to release from the boot; I’ve skied and then noticed the whole toe-piece ‘carriage’ has deflected from centre but not returned; sometimes very difficult to reset the toe piece after a lateral release.

    As for improvements; make the brake articulate inward when closed, like the Marker Kingpin – with wider skies it’s easy to ‘clip’ the ski brake when skinning.

  97. ph March 24th, 2015 3:23 pm

    D-Run:
    Toe carriage not returning to center is a possible indication that pin distance is too narrow.

    On V2 I’ve had fewer issues ‘sticking’ trying to release, in particular when you’re pressing down with ski pole to release, it is useful to move front of boot a bit upwards.

    I’ve also had heel RV way below 5 for last few outings. Logic is that in going so low I finally found a setting that will release in a test, if I do a sharp and sudden movement of knee forward and down, and heel up, from standing position on flat snow, or carpet, the binding releases.
    In fact before this binding I used the traditional Fritschi binding (freeride+/eagle) and this same test released at heel RV values of 5.5-6.5 and in my very moderate ski style and terrian skiied this way for years without undesired release, but on the Vipec requires way below the 5 with my Spectre boots and 150lb weight for same effect.
    In the end it will be an individual call based on your skiing style and terrain if you prefer possible error in the direction of being held too well, or not enough – of course neither is good. Get your binding/boot tested with the RV testing machine/device for extra info.

    A note about getting in, I tried a technique mentioned with respect to getting in the new Trab bindings, which entails picking up the ski with your hand and bringing it to your foot raised and angled (start with binding in ski mode, hand ready on lever to press it slightly open to get pins around the boot) and other hand on ski pole for balance and find it can be a useful alternative method to get boot in the binding in certain conditions. I find picking up the ski with arm/hand opposite side of foot attaching is easiest, and putting pin in one side of boot first, then slightly pressing lever to get other pin in works best for me.

  98. Lou Dawson 2 March 24th, 2015 3:51 pm

    Ph, remember that the better the binding elasticity, the more difficult it is to perform the carpet twist out test. It’s a very rough indicator, but I do recommend at least giving it a bit of a go on any binding that’s intended to provide safety, at least to see if it releases too easily. Just be careful of being too aggressive and injuring a leg. Lou

  99. EdR March 25th, 2015 12:26 am

    With the carpet test, I have always started with a VERY low setting so I release EASILY. This gets my leg muscles accommodated to the action needed for the release. I work up from there but avoid too many reps at settings that require a lot of effort. When to stop raising the settings is a decision for each individual and I have always included the “feel” of the release. Especially with twisting release at the toe, I have often used a higher setting when it releases smoothly. This seems mostly related to elastic travel, but also to how the release action happens at the end of travel. The Vipec has a bit of “snap” at that point and I choose a slightly lower setting because of this.

  100. Jim Milstein May 28th, 2015 10:36 pm

    After sixty days on the current Vipecs in the backcountry I’ve yet to have them release, but there’s been no need. They are set at 5 fore and aft. I weigh 150 lbs.

    For easy entry I’m using the drop-the-heel-onto-their-pins-first method to index the toe. Works every time.

    Normally, I climb with toes in Ski Mode, but if a ski could slide far backward unexpectedly (steep climb, steep traverse, steep icy crust), I pull the toe levers up to Walk Mode, which prevents the boot toe from accidentally opening the binding. Also, Walk Mode helps when portages introduce grit into the system.

    As mentioned previously in this thread, I’m much happier with the Vipecs without the brakes. They get in the way; they add weight. However, as brakes go, they’re pretty good, if you need brakes.

  101. Matt B June 8th, 2015 6:27 pm

    Has anyone had the toe pin carriage stick when performing the gap test? ie. suggesting the pin gap is too narrow?

    More of concern is that the pin carriage also sticks without the boot in the binding.

    The pins are set so that there is minimal wobble in the boot (TLT6) but not close enough to be over set.

    Any ideas? Thanks

  102. Leszek August 25th, 2015 2:12 am

    Hello Lou. You have knowledge if Vipec with 115 mm ski stopper will work with 4FRNT CRJ 118 underfoot ? They don’t have bigger ski stoppers and I wonder if they will be working with larger skis.
    Thanks and regards.

  103. Gabe December 6th, 2015 2:43 pm

    My Wife and I are heading up to the Bill Putnam Hut at Ferry Meadows and both have Vipecs (new toe) on some Carbon Converts. What have people found is needed for a repair kit? Have their been parts that have broken on a more regular basis? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

  104. Lou Dawson 2 December 6th, 2015 4:29 pm

    Gabe, I’ve not heard of anything breaking on a regular basis. In my opinion you’d just want to carry the usual generic repair kit stuff. Perhaps someone else can chime in. Lou

  105. Iulian January 18th, 2016 3:01 am

    Hi guys

    I have the following issue with a Vipec 12.

    When is open, the pin piece is fixed on the center of the ski, when is on ski or walk is moving free on left and right.
    Video here

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=x0eJYoS77ow

    Did anyone know what’s the problem?

    Thanks,
    Iulian

  106. Swiss Hoser January 18th, 2016 8:54 am

    Iulian, it looks like you have your release value set to -3. Do both bindings behave like this?
    Took my twice-updated Vipecs out into 50cm of fresh pow in the Berner Oberland today. This is the last update before the Black was introduced. I can finally step into these puppies first time. every time. I’m very pleased about that. Recall, I bent the trip wire down 2mm and this really helps. I’m sure those of you lucky enough to get the Black will enjoy it.

    Keep calm and stay home on powder days.

  107. Iulian January 18th, 2016 11:10 am

    Just one of them. I move the screw from min to max, nothing happen, same free move left and right.

  108. Tom Powell February 9th, 2016 3:05 am

    I have been experiencing an issue with my Vipecs which I haven’t come across on any of these threads before, if anyone is able to shed any light I’d be very grateful. As I ski the heel unit of one binding seems to work its way backwards, so that after a descent it is a few mm further back than the correct setting, thought still locked in ski mode. The first times this happened I didn’t realise it until my heel came completely free as I was sking. Once I realised what was happening I had to screw the heel unit forwards to return to the correct size at the end of each descent.

    When I remove the heel unit completely, I cannot see any wear or damage to the threaded worm that holds the heel in place on its mounting plate. There is, however, some play between the heel unit and the mounting plate (the piece screwed to the ski), and so I believe this flex must allow the heel unit to lift as I turn, and cause the threaded worm to jump backwards in the corresponding threads on the mounting plate.

    If anyone has experienced similar or is able to shed any light on the issue I’d be very grateful to hear, I’ve loved the bindings otherwise and would like to get this sorted so that I can continue to enjoy skiing them.

    Thanks in advance,

  109. Lou Dawson 2 February 9th, 2016 5:18 am

    Tom, that sounds like a defective binding, especially if it only happens on one heel unit, and always the same one. I’d get it warranty swapped ASAP as it sounds dangerous. Lou

  110. Tom Powell February 9th, 2016 5:50 am

    Thanks for the response Lou, I’ve probably used the bindings about 40 days over the last 3 seasons, and they developed the problem this week, always in the same binding. I’ve contacted Diamir, but had no response yet, hoping to hear from them soon!

    Tom

  111. Lou Dawson 2 February 9th, 2016 6:32 am

    That sounds like 1st generation bindings, I don’t recommend those… Lou

  112. Dck Geiser February 9th, 2016 7:14 am

    Watch out for loosing the spring when cleaning ice .A few weeks ago in heavy snow twice my rear bindings iced up, luckily a friend had a posi driver.the second time after working on the ice I taped it to knock the ice out and the screw and spring went flying. Lucky that the snow was so heavy that they were on top and I found them or it would have been a long sort of ski out.I bought these in december and twice asked the shop if they were the new model and they said yes but they are the 14 -15 model [disapointing].I do now have a posi-driver in my pack,any ideas on preventing ice?

  113. Erik February 9th, 2016 7:42 am

    @Tom Powell I had the same issue. Mailed my dealer (snowcountry), they contacted Fritschi Diamir and told me to send in the heelunits and swapped them for a new pair, no costs. Haven’t skied the new bindings so can’t tell you if the swap is effective.

  114. Tom Powell February 11th, 2016 3:08 am

    Thanks Lou and Erik,

    They are the first generation version, but I wasn’t aware that there was any difference in the heel unit between V1 and 2? I had the toe pieces upgraded to V2 last year, but wasnt concerned about the heels from anything I’d read.

    I’ve been trying to contact both Fritschi and the dealer I bought the bindings from, but haven’t heard back from either.

    Tom

  115. Brent MacGregor February 24th, 2016 1:41 pm

    If Vipec brakes can be easily removed, I assume they can be swapped. I’m thinking of getting a pair of the Black and using quiverkillers to mount them on two pairs of skis of quite different widths which would need different brakes.

  116. Jim Milstein February 24th, 2016 7:44 pm

    You can swap Vipec brakes, Brent, but why? Brakes make everything worse. Use the B&D leashes instead: safer, more secure in more circumstances.

  117. C ___ February 25th, 2016 9:55 am

    Jim, because some people like skiing runs or features at a limit they might crash and having two huge sticks attached to you while you tumble sucks.

  118. Lou Dawson 2 February 25th, 2016 10:08 am

    Brakes do have their place!

  119. Jim Milstein February 25th, 2016 3:33 pm

    You are right C___ about short leashes. They can get you thrashed by your skis. The B&D leashes I referred to are plastic-coated coiled cables which stretch out to six feet. Unstretched they are only a foot. They are also supplied with breakable links so they will separate in case of an avalanche. I attach them at the trail head and remove them when done skiing. All the usual ski manipulations like skinning/deskinning and scraping can be easily done while the leashes are attached.

    Consider whether you would want to trust a leash like that or a brake on a steep, icy slope, where losing a ski could be very bad. Consider also a ski releasing in deep powder. Lots of skiers lose skis with brakes in that situation. You won’t lose the ski if it’s attached to your boot with a long very springy coiled cable.

    Brakes are a convenience feature, but even so they compromise the operation of the binding by adding complexity and mechanical resistance.

  120. RyanA March 8th, 2016 2:06 pm

    Tom, I have the same issue with latest Vipecs. Only one of my heels moves backwards quite quickly while skiing. I managed to reproduce the issue on the bench. I took the base slider plate off the ski and put it in the binding and adjusted so the binding would be as if it was on it’s smallest setting. I then held the top of the heal while pushing the protruding slider plate repeatedly into the bench. This activates the spring. After a only ten fast repetitions it was clear that the length adjustment screw was working loose. It seems the bouncing motion somehow makes the barrel screw rotate. This is supposed to be counteracted by the enclosure on the screw head which works as a sort of a cam but is obviously not strong enough.

    Key words: Vipec heel works loose moves lengthens self adjusts auto adjusts.

  121. Tom March 9th, 2016 5:36 am

    Ryan, yes that sounds like exactly the same issue. The Mk1 heel units I was using didn’t even have the shaped plastic around the head of the screw. Diamir have now replaced my heel units (with the latest iteration of the white Vipecs, not the new black ones), but I have to say it’s not reassuring to hear that you’re still having the same issue! Maybe I need to work on skiing more gently..

    Tom

  122. Tom March 9th, 2016 5:44 am

    One other quick query; I think I need to adjust my toes pins, as I’ve noticed that there is actually some play between the pins and the toes of my boots. The pins are held with loctite (green) as well as with the wire lock introduced in the MkII version of the toe-pieces.

    Is there anything I should be worried about using a heat gun to loosen the loctite? Am I at all in danger of damaging the metal of the ‘wing’ by heating it?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  123. Jim Milstein March 9th, 2016 6:44 am

    Normally, Tom, you shouldn’t have to use heat to break Locktite. Try it without, first.

  124. Ryan March 9th, 2016 6:51 am

    Be Gentle Tom… If it’s not budging, use a wood burner or soldering iron on the bolt/pin to heat up the metal. It pin points the heat instead of a heat gun that may actually heat more than you want (plastic pieces).

  125. Lou Dawson 2 March 9th, 2016 7:24 am

    Indeed, heat gun for reversing locked threads, bad idea. Soldering iron good idea, especially if you need quite a bit of heat. We also use the reversed small drill bit spun against the middle of the screw, but I find the soldering iron to be better when things are really locked up. In the case of Loctite, sometimes it works to actually tighten the fastener first to break the bond, that way if your tool cams out of the screw head or wrench slips, you still have fresh geometry for reversing the fastener once you’ve used the heat on it. According to google research you need to get the Green Loctite above 300 degrees for full heat release, that’s probably pretty easy with the soldering iron method, but be careful since aluminum is such a good heat conductor. If I was going crazy with this I’d keep things cooled off with water spray or small chunks of wet cloth. Lou

  126. Peter T October 31st, 2016 12:46 pm

    Like Ryan above, I also discovered the hard way that some V2s shipped without loctite on the pins. Except worse in my case, I ended up losing one of the nuts! Have skied without the nut, but am concerned about the leverage on the pin and worried that it will eventually fail.

    I was given a replacement pin and nut, but it didn’t fit the toe piece wing. I guess it was for V1s and that these are an entirely different size.

    I have been trying to get the nut from a fastener shop, but been unable to find a match so far. Does anyone happen to know what the thread gauge is on the 2nd generation pins? It is NOT the M5 mentioned in the V1 service bulletin.

  127. Ryan January 5th, 2017 8:30 am

    Hey guys – I am thinking of tapping down the toe trigger on my Gen2 Vipecs. Anyone have any directions or suggestions. I am still not super happy with entry and am not dropping the coin on a set of Blacks this year to replace, especially with the Evo and Titrons coming to market next year.

    Would be great to have some instructions and pix for the procedure to adjust the trigger.

    Thanks

  128. Lou 2 January 5th, 2017 10:47 am

    Hi Ryan, any chance a small bit of mod on your boot sole would be easier? That way you’re not messing around with the bindings, better for re-sale etc. Lou

  129. Ryan January 5th, 2017 3:38 pm

    Howdy Lou, that may work. I’ll give it a gander this evening in the shop. Probably a hell of a lot easier to do and less of a chance of fouling up the binding. I was curious how that wire got bent down over a fulcrum w/o screwing up something inside the toe piece. Will report back to success (or lack there of).
    Cheers, Ryan

  130. Jim Milstein January 5th, 2017 6:45 pm

    I had the white Vipecs before I got the black ones, and I bent down the toe trigger a little bit. It helped. Put a small piece of metal rod, say ¼”, under the trigger and gently tap the end of the trigger, maybe with a short wooden stick between the trigger and your hammer. It will slowly bend. Stop when you are satisfied. (Or keep going and regret it. If I were Lou I’d put in a “(smile)”) (Anybody else would use an emoji, but not me)

  131. Lou2 January 6th, 2017 7:45 am

    I’ve fixed tech binding trigger problems probably at least a hundred times by simply modifying the boot sole. Though we’ve been known to mod the binding as well, especially in the old days when we’d add a dab of epoxy on the Dynafit binding trigger area to fill space.

    Remember that any tech binding entry can get fouled up by ice on the binding or boot, no matter how nicely tuned you get it on the carpet.

    Lou

  132. Ryan January 7th, 2017 7:09 am

    Thanks Jim and No doubt Lou. I’ve been amassing a few of the V2 Vipecs. It’s easy to be on the back end of the bubble, cheaper too.

    That said, having a few sets mounted up in scaled skis like the BC125 and Voile offerings to poke around the wilds of VT (and share with friends) is a fun way to jazz folks on the walk to ski mode changeability of the binding. They just have to be easier to get into for the masses (enter black or Evo) with a slight mod to get the trigger/pins/sockets closer to GO when actuated. I’ll definitely let you guys know what I do and how it works out…

    And again – saving my pennies for the Tectron!!!! Awesome.

  133. Andy Barnes December 9th, 2017 3:53 am

    Has anyone go experience of the vipec sole length i.e. heal piece ‘slipping’ or unscrewing whilst touring. After a 2 hour climb yesterday mine had moved about 15mm on one ski requiring winding it back in to get the heal pins to engage in the boot. Any causes/solutions much appreciated.

  134. Ryan December 9th, 2017 5:26 am

    That would be a warranty issue. Super dangerous if it happens when skiing. They have improved the threads and tolerances on both the plate and track of the actual heel piece. Get ahold of BD, they’ll and you new pieces.

  135. Jim Milstein December 9th, 2017 7:26 am

    Definitely sounds like a faulty part, Andy. I have over a hundred days of touring on an early black vipec and the adjustments haven’t budged.

  136. Peter T December 9th, 2017 6:49 pm

    Andy, I have found the heel piece can be a bit fiddly if disassembled. Although I have not seen your problem, I can imagine the adjustment screw not seating properly, which could possibly cause what you describe. If you haven’t already, I would screw the heel piece right back off the base plate, eyeball the innards for any sign the screw is not sitting squarely and check the baseplate for any sign of having been chewed out. If all good, screw the heel piece back into place again; checking as you do that it is biting smoothly and evenly.

  137. Lou Dawson 2 December 10th, 2017 7:17 am

    Andy, any progress on your issue? My recollection is that’s a known thing and easily taken care of by warranty return/swap. Lou

  138. Andy Barnes December 11th, 2017 9:19 am

    Lou. Stripped them apart and put them back together- nothing obvious or signs of wear, a bit of movement between heal unit and base plate but nothing excessive. Seemed OK today but no big hikes yet, just some powder! Keeping a close eye after every run and carrying a big screw driver!
    Contacted the UK dealer (i’m in Italy so no support) but no response as yet

  139. Lasse Haverinen January 15th, 2018 8:38 am

    Andy Barnes, I have experienced the same problem. I have the first gen Vipecs bought in September 2014 and this is now the fourth season with them. The problem has gotten progressively worse from having to readjust maybe once a week, every couple of days to now almost every run.
    I have been wondering why this happens, but now i think I know why. My wife has also Vipecs, but couple of years newer. I removed both heel pieces to see what is the difference since just by looking my own heel piece I could not find anything wrong.

    Here is photo of my heel piece:
    http://lassehav.kapsi.fi/vipec/IMG_3247.JPG

    Here is a photo of my wife’s newer model heel piece:
    http://lassehav.kapsi.fi/vipec/IMG_3248.JPG

    The main difference was noticeable immediately when I started screwing the newer heel piece away – it had definite notches *click* *click*. The screw in my heel piece does not have any noticeable notches.
    Looking the photos you can see that Diamir has made a very small change to the plastic ‘arms’ around the screw head. The result is that the newer arms seem to be much stronger and they hold the screw in place very effectively and you have to use quite a lot of torque when adjusting.
    The arms in my heel piece are much looser and visually you can see only minimal movement in them when rotating the screw. The screw also rotates quite easily and has no notches to be felt.

    I do not know the function of the two black rectangular black plastic pieces around the arms in the newer model, they do not seem to affect the the arms or the screw.

    This is a super annoying issue and it does not feel right to have to buy entirely new bindings for such a minor mechanical difference. Of course the warranty period (24mo) is already over. Even more annoying is that I had the front units replaced under warranty when the pins came loose, but the manufacturer representative here in Finland said that only the front unit had changes between the model generations. Obviously that was not the case and Diamir has recognised this problem since they have made the change.

  140. Lou Dawson 2 January 15th, 2018 10:07 am

    Andy, what’s happening with your bindings is ridiculous, if they are still under warranty it should be taken care of immediately by your dealer and Fritschi, IMHO.. Just curious, but do ski binding dealers in Sweden expect you to ski around with a screwdriver clipped to your belt? Lou

  141. See January 15th, 2018 11:27 am

    Just a thought, but maybe try and lock the threads where the fore/aft adjuster worm screw interfaces with the base plate?

  142. Andy Barnes January 16th, 2018 1:59 am

    As a tempory fix I tried heating and bending the plastic suround to make it a little tighter which seems to have worked.
    The UK dealer is convinced that it’s not the screw per se but slippage/vibration due to movement between the heel unit and the base plate. Late units of the base plat were apparently made slightly thicker so less movement.
    I have been sent new plates and put them on and so far so good- certainly feels like less movement and I have not had movement (yet)

  143. Ryan January 16th, 2018 6:58 am

    The new plates will make a difference, creating a more positive interface. I had a similar issue and they sent me new plates. Definitely made a difference.

    Heating anything on a binding sounds like a scary endeavor. Hope that doesn’t bit you in the a$$. Ski them hard and if they break, get the new ones. They are light years better than the gen1 and gen2 anyways.

  144. Jim Milstein January 16th, 2018 8:00 am

    I am experiencing blog-auto-rotate, Lou. Have been removed from comment subscription twice for no apparent reason.

  145. Lou Dawson 2 January 16th, 2018 8:17 am

    Hi Jim, that subscription plugin is probably a bug ridden junkshow, as many are. Constant battle here in the internet publishing jungle. I’ll check into it. One thing comes to mind, once in a while due to various factors over which neither you nor I have much control, one of your comments gets a false positive flag as spam, which I’m pretty sure triggers removal from the subscription plugin, only reason I think that could be happening is I was looking through the plugin PHP code the other day for possible security issue and saw a function that does something with spam comments. Understandably so, as one wouldn’t want flagged spammers to still be able to subscribe to comments. Lou

  146. Lou Dawson 2 January 16th, 2018 8:23 am

    Andy, I’m chuckling, it’s 2018 and we’re still applying blow torches to our bindings to try and get them to work as promised. Will it ever end!? Lou

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