Dynafit Speed Radical 2014-2015 Unboxed


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 24, 2014      

Shop for Speed Radical.

This season’s Dynafit Speed Radical ski touring binding is mostly unchanged from previous (2013-2014). The external rotation stop is better integrated and the box includes a brand booklet detailing tech binding history. For true human powered backcountry skiing we still feel this is the sweet spot in Dynafit’s binding lineup. Simple. No monkey business. Only change we’d suggest would be a 3.2 mm shim under the toe (with longer screws and heel riser ‘nubbin’ extender), easy to acquire from B&D ski gear.

This goody box is not trivial.

This goody box is not trivial. Overall, you get the impression of a mature product, what with a nice safety leash setup and more.

The glowing white box with Dynafit logo could be pretentious -- if you were not already the brand leader in backcountry skiing bindings. Dynafit has a huge advantage in the business as they were the first with a tech binding offering, beginning in 1992 when Dynafit branded Fritz Barthel's invention (he'd begun innovation in the mid 1980s, by reversing the toe mechanism of a Ramer binding.)

The white box with Dynafit logo could be pretentious — if you were not already the brand leader in backcountry skiing bindings.

What you get in the ski touring binding box.

What you get in the ski touring binding box. Leashes at upper left, rotation and crampon attachments at lower right.

Brand book is a nice value added.

Brand book is a nice value added.

Heel rotation stop is a separate piece you install during the mount.

Heel rotation stop is a separate piece you install during the mount. Last season’s version required small washers as spacers, this year the binding base is molded slightly different to allow for the thickness of the extra part.

Looking underneath with rotation stop installed.

Looking underneath with rotation stop installed. Arrows indicate thickness of part and extra height in the base molding to compensate for it. Overall increase in height is one millimeter with corresponding weight increase of 12 grams. Note that you can not mount without the rotation stop.

Rotation stopper with binding in downhill skiing position.

Rotation stopper (circled, to right) with binding in downhill skiing position. It’s not used in this mode. The circle to left indicates a system of notches that Dynafit tried to implement as another method of rotation stop. It worked to some extent, but was not 100 percent reliable.

Use of Speed Radical with the external rotation stop is confusing for newcomers. Graphics and hang tag indicate only rotate clockwise, which is wrong in my opinion, though if forced you can get it to work. The instruction to only rotate clockwise is probably an artifact from a few years ago when Dynafit tried to include an internal anti-rotation pin, which if rotated the “wrong” direction damaged the binding.

Smooth and logical rotation of heel is this: Starting in alpine mode (pins forward), rotate counter-clockwise until the heel lifters are forward and base engages anti-rotation tab. If in touring mode then yes, rotate clockwise to achieve pins forward alpine mode. In other words, ignore the “Clockwise Only” hangtag. Once you own and use a Speed Radical, the heel rotation procedure is obvious though training yourself might take two tries. (Note you can indeed rotate clockwise from pins forward downhill mode. Doing so requires popping the binding housing over the rotation stop and in our opinion places undue stress on the system.)

Speed Radical heel internals showing how rotation can go either direction with no issues.

“Speed Radical heel internals: rotation can go either direction with no issues due to identical aluminum edges (indicated by arrows) the black thimble bushing has to ride over as the heel unit clocks. True, if you rotate clockwise from alpine mode there is indeed a flat land on the left side (looking forward) of the spindle post that the thimble bushing immediately invokes, but that same position can be reached while rotating counter clockwise — without having to jump the heel unit over the rotation stop. Thus, the eternal question for any Speed Radical fan, which way will you rotate?

Toe unit means business, includes power towers and what appear to be the 'grey' springs that might be slightly stronger than earlier springs.

Toe unit means business, includes power towers and what appear to be the ‘grey’ springs that might be slightly stronger than earlier springs.

Hang tag indicating importance of compatible boot inserts.

Hang tag indicating importance of compatible boot inserts. Fischer is the new kid on the block. While it’s true official Dynafit inserts may provide more reliable performance out of the box, other brands make good inserts. For example, Scott’s are excellent. Yet in any case, EVERY insert needs to be checked for performance while still on the workbench. Doing so is easy. During your release hand checks, set the heel unit at about 5 for lateral (side) release value. After you check for rattling and play in the boot toe fitting and pin interface (there should be none), with binding in alpine mode and boot inserted, rotate the heel unit with your hand. As you turn the heel simulating a side release, the boot fittings should slide smoothly on the binding toe pins showing the binding has a small but nonetheless real capability for elasticity and return-to-center. If the boot seems to catch and require quite a bit of force to eventually “pop” out of the toe, your boot fittings are probably to blame. For final determination, try other boots in a process of elimination.

Weight with screws and all other parts is 392 grams total.

Weight with screws and all other parts is 392 grams total. You can save 8 grams by leaving off the crampon holder bracket, in doing so carefully check length of screws as you may need to shorten the pair that insert through the crampon bracket (depending on ski thickness).

Overall, Speed Radical continues the tradition of simplicity in tech bindings founded three decades ago in the basement of an Austrian farm house; a bauernhaus where harvesting blueberries could easily take priority over the drill press and milling machine. No fooling around with forward pressure springs, no brakes, no hype about TUV and DIN. Mount and go ski tour. No monkey business.

As happens with mature products, at least two companies offer aftermarket mod parts for Speed Radical. Check out Maurelli rotation stop (you can mount it with fixed non-adjustable heel for a delta drop and weight savings) and break-away leash connectors. And let me repeat, B&D has the nice toe shims you want for modern style skiing, along with “Nubbin” heel riser lift kits.

Shop for Speed Radical.



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Comments

55 Responses to “Dynafit Speed Radical 2014-2015 Unboxed”

  1. XXX_er November 24th, 2014 9:42 am

    So is it safe to assume that Fisher is buying toe fittings from Dynafit which can only be a good thing?

  2. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 10:03 am

    Yes, If they were super careful they could have their own made, but they’ve opted for the simple solution. I’ve been told the cost of going with Dynafit fittings is steep, but in terms of business the advantage is not only quality but co-branding. Main thing is that Dynafit fittings are truly better. As stated in review, some are equal, in fact most are ok in my experience, and like I said, it’s easy to test them in the shop. Lou

  3. Mike November 24th, 2014 10:03 am

    It seems I may be the only person that still finds brakes to be incredibly convenient.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 10:08 am

    I like them, but don’t like the weight and occasional weirdness like jamming, failure to deploy, influence on safety release, etc. In fact I’ll go either way. Some years I get on the ski lifts more often and like to have a rig with brakes. Most of the time I prefer to run without. Interestingly, in Europe I’d say about 90% or more tech binding ski tourers run without brakes, and most of the frame binding users as well sport leashes. Perhaps that’s a tradition engendered due to glacier skiing, where leashes are considered important to prevent loss of a ski in a crevasse. Lou

  5. Doug Hutchinson November 24th, 2014 10:33 am

    I am confused about the (years listed in the) title of this post – you are reviewing the current season’s binding, correct? Or is Dynafit already sending you the stuff for next year?

    +1 for B&D shims and leashes!

  6. rangerjake November 24th, 2014 10:49 am

    I am sure Fischer and Dynafit were easy to strike a deal on those fittings since I believe the Dynafit skis come from Fischer’s factory.

    And these bindings are 14/15, not 15/16 correct?

  7. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 10:50 am

    Weird typo on my part. Apologies.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 10:52 am

    Ranger, the Dynafit and Fischer boots are made in the same factory. The skis get made various places, sometimes probably the same but not always. All to the best of my knowledge. Lou

  9. DouglasSproul November 24th, 2014 10:55 am

    Hello everyone! Wanted to inform all of you Wildsnow readers that there will be a new guidebook to Rogers Pass this season! There’s ONLY 46 HOURS LEFT for you to pre-order your GeoBackcountry Rogers Pass guidebook on Kickstarter!

    Kickstarter book backers will receive their book before they go on sale in stores!!! We’ve passed the second Push Goal, so everyone that pledges for a print book will receive a FREE GEOBACKCOUNTRY MAP as well! We are now reaching for the Give Back to Rogers Pass Goal!

    http://kck.st/1tcYcU6

  10. bob hughes November 24th, 2014 11:43 am

    Thanks for the tips Lou! By chance,I just had a pair of Speed Radicals delivered to my door step Saturday.

  11. AAE November 24th, 2014 12:06 pm

    I just purchased some speed radicals and some FY13 Scarpa F1’s. The boots came with a 8mm slider to shim the boot. Will the 8mm work with the speed radicals or do I need the 12mm shim? Thanks.

  12. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 12:12 pm

    Pretty sure it’ll be the 8 mm. Since you already have the shim and the F1s fit it up and see. Lou

  13. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 12:17 pm

    Doug, thanks for the reminder. Everyone, none other than Greg Hill sent over a guest blog about this.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/15050/kickstarter-rogers-pass-guidebook/

    Order up a few copies for all the backcountry skiers in your life.

    Lou

  14. AAE November 24th, 2014 12:32 pm

    Lou

    Thanks for your input. When I did a test mount of the binding on the ski without drilling anything in the boot was slightly above the slider. Should the boot be touching the slider or is a small gap OK.

    If nothing else I will know once I fully mount the binding.

    Thanks again.

  15. XXX_er November 24th, 2014 1:08 pm

    I notice that a scarpa maestrale RS has the real dynafit tech fittings and an intuition liner, but still costs less than my mercury for which I still had to buy an aftermarket liner. So a scarpa must be more expensive to make but is still cheaper for the customer to buy and Scarpa still appear to be making money which doesn’t completely add up for me ?

    Dynafit brakes sure tuck in nice but are a little lacking when it comes to stopping on any kind of hard piste … I got some B & D leashes coming

  16. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 1:24 pm

    AAE, small gap ok and probably best. You don’t want the shim jammed up under there. Lou

  17. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 1:28 pm

    Xer, the permutations of European business models are beyond what we can grasp… bear in mind that Scarpa is a tightly held private company, owned by a family, while Dynafit is a subsidiary of Salewa. Also, one is based in Germany while the other is in Italy, and so on.

    As for ski brakes, the more stopping power the heavier. It’s all about compromise. I’ve had plenty of alpine skis go skittering if not rolling down a steep piste with alpine brakes deployed. One reason I prefer leashes is that brakes will never be 100% reliable unless they’re 10 pound lengths of chain that get thrown under the ski when it’s time to STOP. On the other hand, I firmly believe that you are much safer with brakes than leashes if you do get caught in a slide.

    Lou

  18. XXX_er November 24th, 2014 5:07 pm

    You gotta compete in business, if they had fit me I would be in Scarpa’s and savings hundreds for a product with similar performance

    No brakes doesn’t look like a good idea to me and I’m not normaly a short leash guy but the B & D uncoils to a 6′ long length, has a link that breaks at 40lbs in the event of an aviy so I am going to give them a try

  19. Plinko November 24th, 2014 6:38 pm

    I have an extra B&D 3mm toe riser and Nubbins that are PERFECT for this binding! Just mounted mine over the weekend and are loving it so far.

  20. stephen November 25th, 2014 1:49 am

    While we’re on the subject of leashes versus brakes, I’m considering switching to brakes on one pair of skis as my B&D leashes have let go a number of times due to the clips popping undone. Admittedly, this has mostly happened at the resort, but it’s not good. For occasional resort skiing brakes ought to be more convenient, and are less likely to cause liability problems if the skis escape, hopefully.

    Also, I haven’t yet sighted any of the Radical bindings here in Oz – is step in at the toe really significantly less fiddly than with the Verticals as Dynafit claim?

  21. Matus November 25th, 2014 7:39 am

    Leashes vs brakes: I find brakes much safer for stepping in – the ski does not tend to escape when placed on the snow. Also, the ski with a break should not escape as far as one with no limits. I solved the weight by purchasing ATK RAIDER12.

  22. Phil November 25th, 2014 10:42 am

    I’m debating between the Speed Radical and the ‘old school’ Speed Turn. I prefer the toe on the Speed Radical although I don’t believe it adds any release reliability and there is the obvious difference between the operation of the climbing lifts in the two bindings.

    If you prefer or have no problems with the old rotation heel tower design, are there any benefits at all to going with the Speed Radical? Elasticity, release, reliability?

    It appears there are some issues with slop in the Radical 1.0 tension spring – does that exist in the Speed Radical?

    Thanks for any advice that Lou or other knowledgeable wildsnowers can provide.

  23. RT November 25th, 2014 12:48 pm

    Matus, can you share your experience with the ATK raider 12? How does the brake and heelrotation work?

  24. Matus November 25th, 2014 1:00 pm

    @RT: All I can share at this moment is that they look beautiful on my new Volks Nunataqs. I have no experience – got them after 2013-2014 season.

    What I can say after some carpet testing is this:

    The brakes are rather symbolic, made of a thin wire. I will not do much work when stopping the ski – that is for sure. I just need them to keep the ski in place while stepping in.

    The rotation of the heel works fine – but the operation with the ski pole tip is problematic. Seems that the old school hand operation will be needed. The rotation gets harder with higher release values.

    The red colour of the binding – looks great when new. However, it is just anodized aluminium that gets scratched extremely easy. Not a problem for me.

    Front wings: made of alu – I hope they will last.

    The price – after some dealing with the seller, you can have it for approx EUR 400 (inc VAT). Still much but the you pay for the lack of weight.

    The material: The binding is almost completely made of aluminium. Hardly to find the plastic parts. Is it good? We will see.

  25. Matus November 25th, 2014 1:03 pm

    EDIT of my prev. post:

    Instead of “I will not do much work when stopping the ski – that is for sure.”

    “It will not do much work…”

  26. David November 26th, 2014 11:13 am

    Lou,

    So the extra 1mm in height from the latest anti-twist fix on the heel means the toe riser needs to go from 3 mm to 4 mm? Or did the pins stay the same height on the heel?

  27. RT November 26th, 2014 12:06 pm

    @Matus: Thanks for these first insight. Keep us posted on field testing.

  28. Lou Dawson 2 November 26th, 2014 3:18 pm

    David, yes, the heel is 1 mm higher so if desired one would use a thicker toe riser. It never ends (grin). Lou

  29. Greg Louie November 26th, 2014 9:21 pm

    Definitely replace those 3mm toe risers . . .

  30. Rob November 27th, 2014 12:26 am

    Lou,

    Is there any definitive difference between each of the toe pieces? E.G. you mention grey springs above that “might be” more burly. Do you know for certain whether there is any difference between the Radical FT and ST toes in general and whether there is any difference in the springs?

  31. Lou Dawson 2 November 27th, 2014 5:46 am

    Rob, other than each toe having a different (or no) stock baseplate, I believe they are all the same. Lou

  32. Rob November 27th, 2014 8:40 am

    Thanks Lou. Always a wealth of info! Happy Holidays to you and the WS crew.

  33. Mark Worley November 29th, 2014 6:41 am

    Got my Speed Radicals mounted on BD Carbon Converts and can’t wait to ski them. Design of binding indeed has matured, and I like the anti-rotation stops and flip-up heel lifters. The history booklet that came with them is VERY cool. Fritz and crew have a good sense of humor.

  34. Mark Worley November 29th, 2014 6:46 am

    I mounted mine with Dynafit Radical toe plates and 19 mm screws which are easily obtainable from a dealer.

  35. john walker November 29th, 2014 2:24 pm

    Does anyone have a Beast 14 template? If so please post a link.
    Thanks, Happy skiing

  36. Damien Nee November 30th, 2014 3:10 pm

    Hoping someone can give some advice with regards to the springs in the Speed Radical heel piece. I have a pair of more or less finished FT 12’s that I have both sets of springs for (the ones that came with the bindings and the slightly longer ones for going brakeless). As I am taller and heavier sort, I was thinking of getting Speeds for a new pair of traverse skis, and swapping the springs out for the heavier ones from the FT 12. Unwanted or pre-release has always been problem for me with the 10 din dynafits. I have a pair of Plum Guides on my powder skis which I like, but Dynafit parts are much easier to come by so I figured I’d try going back to Dynafit for my spring/traverse ski. Would either of the FT 12 springs fit in the Speed Radical? Any ideas/suggestions/comments?

  37. Lou Dawson 2 November 30th, 2014 3:54 pm

    Damien, if the bindings are “finished” so are the springs, especially the coil spring, as I assume you skied them cranked down to the max. Sounds like a pretty iffy mod, especially considering that if a binding is designed for higher release values it usually is stronger, this isn’t true of the Radical toe, but I’m pretty sure the Radical FT heel unit has some reinforcements… In other words, what you’re proposing sounds like buying a new bicycle tire and putting an old worn out inner tube inside it.

    Coming from the other point of view, the binding you’re proposing is simply a Radical FT with the brake removed. That’s viable, so long as you leave the anti-rotation system intact.

    Lou

  38. MG December 2nd, 2014 12:49 am

    Lou, why do you say that you can not mount these bindings without the rotation stop? I left them out and can rotate heel unit both directions with no problem much like the old tlt’s.

  39. Lou Dawson 2 December 2nd, 2014 6:05 am

    If you mount 2014/2015 Speed Radical without the rotation stop you’ll have too much space between the base of the heel spindle/post and the ski, due to the 1 mm thicker plastic around the binding screw holes. If the bindings mounted without the stop don’t already have excessive play, it will develop and possibly even damage the top skin of your ski where the heel spindle rests. 6th from the top in the above blog post.

    The 2013/2014 Speed Radical add-on rotation stop used washer around each screws to lift the rear binding plate 1 mm, so you could leave the washers out and mount without the rotation stop. I kinda wish they’d stuck with that system, always better to have mod choices.

    For more illustration: https://www.wildsnow.com/10742/dynafit-radical-vertical-comfort-bindings-brake-removal-install/

    I used my 2013/2014 Radicals without the stop and they worked ok, with an occasional auto-rotate, about the same as the older Vertical and TLT.

    Lou

  40. MG December 2nd, 2014 8:07 am

    Thanks for the explanation. So I guess the mod would be cut off the black stopper but keep the rest of the plate under the heel to act as a shim. It should be noted that this “mod” is only to help an aging brain that is too use to TLT’s and has found rotation to be a rare problem.

  41. Lou Dawson 2 December 2nd, 2014 11:21 am

    Yes, mod would be to cut the arm off the anti-rotation device and leave the plate under the binding.

  42. Carleton December 15th, 2014 8:40 am

    Lou and Wild Snow Folks,

    I just mounted up these bindings as a super cheap, bargain basement rando-race setup. I’ve been trying to figure out if I could swap the top plate on this binding with a TLT Speed Superlight top plate, for faster and less frustrating transitions…does anyone know if these are compatible?
    I would use the B&D as a flat riser but I’m worried about heel unit rotation while I’m racing. Thoughts?
    Thanks!

  43. Lukas December 16th, 2014 4:00 pm

    Hi Lou,

    do you know about the problems with Dynafit’s radical 2.0? I thought, release was planned for this season.

  44. Lou Dawson 2 December 16th, 2014 4:58 pm

    Hi Lukas, we covered that a while back, Radical 2.0 release has been delayed till next season and with a long delay like that, in my opinion who knows what’s really going to happen due to the tech binding picture changing so rapidly.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/15021/news-backcountry-skiing-touring-52/

    Lou

  45. Mike February 23rd, 2015 6:24 pm

    Can you turn the Speed Turns in either direction? I’ve caught myself turning them coutnerclockwise a couple times, by accident.

  46. hairymountainbeast October 4th, 2015 6:43 pm

    Mounted a pair of the speed rads recently for LA sportiva spectres and there is a small amount of vertical play that’s noticeable when carpet testing. As far as i can tell the mount is excellent. Haven’t skied on em yet, so not sure if it will be noticeable while skiing, but I find it a little unsettling. I use the same boots on another pair of skis with vert st’s and they’re solid. I found one old post on tgr with one guy experiencing the same thing, but I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this.

  47. Lou Dawson 2 October 4th, 2015 7:57 pm

    Hmmm, I’ll grab some of my Speed Rads when I get home and check. See if you can put them on the bench and actually see where the play is. Lou

  48. Lou Dawson 2 October 4th, 2015 8:02 pm

    Mike, Speed Turn is the older style tech binding heel that can easily be rotated either direction, so long as it doesn’t have an anti-rotation stop installed. If you can pretty easily rotate it either direction, then it’s ok to do so. Sorry for the late answer (grin).

  49. hairymountainbeast October 5th, 2015 6:33 pm

    The play appears to be between the pins and the rear boot fitting. It’s exactly like this:

    https://kootenayskier.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/dynafit-binding-issue/#comment-3898

    That guy ended up warrantying the heels and apparently that solved the problem.
    I clicked in a zzeuss just to check and same thing happened. I’m pretty light (155#) and not too agro. I do ski some high consequence terrain on occasion, so not sure about this.

  50. Lou Dawson 2 October 5th, 2015 7:08 pm

    Hairy, I’d just send them in. Doubt is a buzz kill, for sure. Lou

  51. Mitrik December 7th, 2015 9:04 am

    These bindings prematurely released thrice, luckily on low consequence terrain. Once the going got tough and the speed got going: boom! they popped off (once the snow got icy with hardened wind formations). I’ll recheck all the settings (once again) and give it a second chance on low angle terrain this season but once trust has been broken it may never be repaired. Problem could have been ski flex but if that is the case then no tech binding can be trusted, so I doubt that was it. Used with BD Quadrant boots.

  52. Patrick Fortino March 23rd, 2016 11:08 pm

    RE the stop. Does this mean there is no speed radical without the stop?

    If so, why does dynafit keep fixing things that are not broken. Maybe twice a year my heel piece rotates into ski position due to snow buildup under the heel. I certainly don’t need a heel stop or the extra weight.

    I totally hate this idea. With the stop, it’s almost impossible to remove skins and lock binding without rupturing a disk or taking off your skis.

    Is there any dynafit non-race binding now without the stop?

  53. Skafti May 6th, 2017 9:28 pm

    How come you suggest the 3.2mm shim and not the taller shims? Wouldn’t taller shims lead to less delta?

  54. Lou Dawson 2 May 7th, 2017 3:22 pm

    Skafti, of course a taller shim would make for less delta. I suggested the 3.2 because it results in virtually the traditional delta of most Dynafit earlier bindings, which is the delta we like because it allows the ski boot to have good performance during dirt hiking without skis, then gives a bit of “tilt” in downhill ski mode so it has more forward “lean.” It’s a way of getting both hiking and ski performance out of a boot. Not for everyone, but I’ve always liked they way this works.

    To be clear, a boot that hikes nicely on dirt due to relaxed cuff and footbed angles might feel “flat” when used for skiing in a binding with little or no delta.

    It’s all very personal, requires trying different setups.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/

    Lou

  55. Al May 28th, 2017 5:31 pm

    Hey lou- I hope you can help me out. Just mounted speed radicals. Going to try them factory before trying shims. Then I put the boot in. The heel is a full cm off the base of the heel piece! I just about passed out. I guess this is expected as other bindings with brakes have that under the boot heel so you don’t realize the heel is actually suspended by the pins!! I looked all over for some sideways mounted pictures with a boot in them and didn’t find any to assuage my terror. Thanks, Al

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