WildSnow Reader’s Rides – John’s Dynafit Race Setup

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 3, 2008      

John D. scheduled a WildSnow shop session for his new Dynafit TLT Vertical Race Ti binders, combined with Black Diamond Cult skis and the known performance of Scarpa F1 boots. John’s plan is to run this rig for a few months of hard training, then test everything (including his lungs) in the Elk Mountains Grand Traverse sufferfest.

Randonnee ski race gear.

The rig takes shape.

Installing the heel unit is tricky, as Dynafit race binders don’t have a boot length adjustment and you’ve got to thus mount them perfectly. Key is to go slow, tripple check everything, and know you’ve got a millimeter or so of error tolerance but really no more.

Backcountry Skiing

Heel unit and supplied template on ski.

Dynafit supplies a screw pattern template for the heel, but it’s not well marked for centering. My method is to first mount the binding toe and get the boot perfectly centered. Next, you insert the heel unit in the boot heel, position it with the shim/feeler, mark the screw holes, then apply the template over the marked screw holes. To keep myself honest I also mark a square line through one set of screw holes. This is done by aligning the center axis of the ski along workbench edge, then using a large carpenter’s square to run a square line from workbench edge.

Randonnee ski race gear.

With this project, taking your time is extra important.

We epoxied the toe and heel unit screws, and Gorilla glued the Scarpa F1 shim screws since they don’t endure much abuse. For those of the F1 uninitiated, when you use F1 boots with Dynafit you need a shim under the ball of your foot so the boot doesn’t sag too much when you’re in alpine mode or heel-flat-on-ski mode. With some race versions you need a shim under both heel and ball of foot. Since the Vertical series bindings have a heel rest incorporated into the binding, you don’t need the heel shim. You can see the shims in photo below.

Backcountry Skiing

Yellow binders, yellow skis, had to get the yellow Bee in the photo.

John D. and his new ride above (the skis, not the CJ.) If I convince him to hack on his gear, we’ll get him over here for some mods such as a custom leash system, speed holes and more. For now, time for the die hard Fritschi user to learn how to CLEAN THOSE HOLES and LOCK THAT TOE!



9 Responses to “WildSnow Reader’s Rides – John’s Dynafit Race Setup”

  1. ScottN December 3rd, 2008 12:10 pm

    Nice setup. Nice to see someone else on the F1’s in this blog. You’ll love ’em when climbing. I’m jealous of the Vert Race Ti bindings. I hope you have better luck on the Cult’s than I did. Mine were horribly concave right out ot the wrapper, switched to a K2 Sahale instead and love ’em. Also, you can definetly put a smaller shim on there for under the F1’s sole. I have smaller ones, and they ski fine. I like the idea ( not mine) of using cutouts from a plastic cutting board, like an 1″ or so in diameter. You’ll lose a little weight from that too. I think Lou was just trying to weigh you down too much (grin).
    Also, Lou, I’ve used Gorilla Glue in all my screws holes when mounting my Dynafits. Is that a bad idea? I have had no problems so far….

  2. dave downing December 3rd, 2008 8:04 pm

    It’s like Knight Rider Meets WildSnow!

  3. brian December 3rd, 2008 8:36 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Send us some snow, eh!

    Quick rando question for you… Is Powderkeg happening this year or not.? Heard a rumor that a sponsor pulled out and it’s off the schedule. Only solid clue is that it is not listed on the USSMA list of races. Others will want to know but you can answer me at brianharder@gmail.com if you like.


  4. Lou December 3rd, 2008 9:24 pm

    No Keg this year. See http://www.straightchuter.com for Andrew’s lament.

  5. Bill Bollinger December 4th, 2008 1:44 pm

    Hey Lou

    Of what benefit is the heel shim?
    I do not use it and feel I can get a longer stride without it.
    More close to what I can get with cross country gear.

  6. Lou December 4th, 2008 7:58 pm

    Bill, the heel shim just supports your boot so it doesn’t bend over the front shim, if you don’t mind that effect leaving it off is no big deal. Vertical series bindings don’t need the heel shim because they have a heel rest built into the binding. On my rigs I prefer having the heel shim.

  7. Ben N. December 4th, 2008 8:26 pm

    A question for John D when he posts a follow up to his new rig:

    Have you had any problems with the Vertical Race Ti bindings? Specifically the heel unit rotating unexpectedly while skinning/uphill running?

    I had a pair of these for winter 06-07 and found that the heels were rotating at very inopportune times. I’m curious if the problem was isolated to my particular pair/personal technique/etc.

    For that reason (and to shave some weight) I eventually switched to an aftermarket heel piece.

    With the new TLT Low Tech, even the Schia heelpiece looks like a tank now, but at a pretty high cost.

  8. AK Jack December 4th, 2008 11:36 pm

    Ben, I have the occasional problem with my TLT Vertical ST’s. I mistakenly tightened what I think Lou refers to as “vertical release” which seemed to reduce the unexpected heel rotation on ascent, but created a bigger problem. My heel failed to release on a crash while unknowingly crossing a creek in a whiteout – tweaked my leg and kept me off my skis for a while.

    I’m still unsure how the heel release adjustments work. Would really appreciate a how-to from any experienced folk. Jack

  9. Chilly October 30th, 2009 11:00 am

    John, Im wondering if I we could get some follow up of your set up – specifically on the Cults. Im wondering if that ski could hold an BD 01 binding for touring and peak ascents with moderate steeps.

    interested in your thoughts.

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