Improved and Updated Dynafit Bindings FAQ

Post by blogger | January 27, 2015      

I’m staying here in Austria at the Barthel home, where the Dynafit binding was invented. Once in a while I sneak into Fritz Barthel’s workshop and see what he’s got vised into his milling machine — cameras verboten! Inspiration to finally do a sweeping update of our famed Dynafit Binding FAQ. Thanks Barthels! Suggestions and corrections are welcome. Leave comments on this blog post, or possibly on the FAQ page if I turn that option on (most of our static pages have comments turned off).

Dynafit FAQ is here.


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17 Responses to “Improved and Updated Dynafit Bindings FAQ”

  1. Len January 27th, 2015 7:38 am

    What happens if you turn a Dynafit Radical clockwise? If you think you may have turned it that way in the past, what should one do?
    Thank you

  2. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 7:44 am

    Len, good, I’ll add that to the FAQ. There are three types of rotation locks, only one damages the binding if it’s turned the wrong way, and that one is discontinued. Lou

  3. Nick January 27th, 2015 9:53 am

    There’s some confusion regarding heel gap for radical bindings. This page calls for no gap, while this page calls for pushing the binding forward, then using the spacer.

  4. Peter January 27th, 2015 10:48 am

    Maybe not for the FAQ, but a question for the Dynafit designers:
    Will the bindings ever feature a pole-operated-rotation feature again? Or is the hand-op of the Radical and Speed Turn the direction the company is going?

  5. Phillip January 27th, 2015 11:52 am

    Peter, the Speed Turn is fairly easy to operate with a pole. The only problem I have is when I’m in low touring mode and a ball of ice forms in front of the binding. That requires reaching down to clear, but usually I just put my pole in the post and rotate.

  6. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 12:12 pm

    Nick, I’ll check that. Really confusing. The problem begins with them calling the binding the same name when it really should have been a new model name for the one with the forward pressure spring in the heel. Creates huge consumer and blogger confusion. Lou

  7. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 1:24 pm

    Peter, you should be able to flip the lifters with a ski pole basket, that’s what I watch hundreds of people doing… Lou

  8. Nick January 27th, 2015 3:27 pm

    In line with what Peter mentions above, I’m glad the Speed Turn is still available as I prefer the solid metal rotating volcano to the chintzy flippers. It’s possible to turn the Radical into ski mode from tour mode with a pole, but difficult to do and can easily put enough torque to break it. The old TLT/Speed Turn metal volcano is easy to use (especially if you grind the hole bigger) and is so much simpler/more durable than the flippers. The Comfort volcano is pretty nice too but it jambs with snow and is also prone to breakage.

    I just mounted a new pair of Speed Turns and was dismayed to find some slop/play in the heel. Turns out that since the Speed Turns use the new Speed Radical heel plate, the Speed Turn needs the thin piece of metal on the bottom (which is on the Radical to hold the new anti rotation block) to take the play out. I remounted using a folded up piece of beer can to act as the metal spacer- worked like a charm, but c’mon Dynafit. Between that and my new worry of the Speed Turn/Speed Radical heel breaking (watched it happen to a friend over the weekend), I’m thinking that I might go back to the old TLT binding that the new Speed Turns were supposed to replace and use an adjustment plate. Despite not having much BSL adjustability, the old TLT binding is almost perfect.

    Is it just me or is Dynafit slipping? They keep adding weight, complexity, and quality control problems to a beautifully simple and reliable design. Wish they’d bring back the TLT with brake but with a larger BSL adjustment range.

  9. Paddy January 27th, 2015 7:01 pm

    I’m with Nick, the radical heel flippers are chintzy. As is only rotating one way (G3’s Ion gets manages to one up Dynafit in this regard). The best tech binding I’ve used from the heel-top-plate design perspective is the Plum Guide. It’s nicely machined, durable metal, rotates both ways, and has one more “hole” than the old Dynafit “volcano”, so you never have to do any wierd yoga to change mode. If only Plum had gotten the brake-thing right…..

  10. See January 27th, 2015 7:32 pm

    Is it possible to retrofit afd equipped brakes to vertical heels? Would it improve binding function?

  11. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 11:05 pm

    See, not a big deal. In my opinion The AFD is more along the lines of gradual changes so the binding could eventually pass TUV tests for certification. If the boot lugs don’t catch on the brake pad it’s probably a non issue. The sliding AFD also introduces another failure point.

    Paddy, agree the Plum is nice but it’s not all metal.The housing is plastic. Strange they never made a decent brake. I suspect that in their culture, ski brakes are something like the human appendix, so they were never very inspired. Or more likely I’ve heard ski brakes are covered by zillions of patents that are hard to work around, unlike the basic tech binding design which can be legally copied and perhaps improved.


  12. Lou Dawson 2 January 27th, 2015 11:23 pm

    Nick, where Dynafit is now in the business arc is very tricky. When you’re the leader you have to innovate, but you have to do so successfully. I’d agree that due to the glitches they keep having, their innovation is a mixed success. Also, when you’re the leader you have to try and open new markets, hence the obvious push of Dynafit into the “freeride” market, recently with skis that drop all pretension of being dedicated touring skis.

    In my little world, I’d like to see Dynafit concentrate on innovation and refinement in their touring gear, but what they’re doing is business 101 and we’ll know if it works in perhaps 3 or 4 years. I’m still a big booster of Dynafit as they’re the only 100% backcountry skiing full-line brand (G3 comes close, but no boots), and of course they’ve been a big part of our success with WildSnow, which has benefited so many people. No sign of that stopping, they have an incredibly vibrant corporate spirit, with some very special people at the helm — people who are dedicated ski alpinists and heavily use the gear they make.

    Perhaps Black Diamond is another 100% backcountry skiing brand, but they confused me with their push into the alpine skiing market a while back and I’m still not clear on what they’re now targeting — perhaps meeting with them at ISPO will clarify.

    In any case, Dynafit has the chops, the patents and the experience to still make fantastic if not the best touring bindings. And the Ultra Lock lean-lock system for boots is so elegant, boots such as TLT6 are hard to beat. Dynafit is being chased down, but could stay on top if they listen to consumers and outside consultants, keep weights down, innovate — and release bug-free products. So we’ll see. Of all the bindings out there ION is the wake up call in the massive (but small compared to alpine) touring market. Sounds like it’s not bug-free either as I’ve heard some reports of brake issues, but overall a very strong campaign, only too heavy (grin).


  13. Peter January 28th, 2015 5:11 am

    Lou, Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I’m not talking about changing riser height with a pole, obviously that’s easy with the Radical. I’m talking about changing modes with a pole. I am unable to do this, or even imagine how to do this, with a Radical. I haven’t used a Speed Turn, but looking at it I don’t see how I could reliably use a pole to switch into ski mode, only one hole and it’s so small. Phillip can do it though, so I’ll give it try on a shop model. Maybe the Speed Turn is the thing I need?

  14. rangerjake January 28th, 2015 9:02 am

    just need to find good verticals and ride them till they die. still clinging to my 2 pair of vertical FT 12 exclusively due to the volcano- rotate from tour to ski, and less ramp

  15. Buck January 28th, 2015 11:04 am

    I’ve been using the speed superlight for so many days now that I’ve forgotten that I previously had to twist the binding to change modes. Don’t miss it, don’t want to go back, ever. Not to mention the occasional auto rotate into ski mode in sticky skinning snow. Combined with the much lower ramp angle, these bindings , for me, make all other Dynafits obsolete.

    Only concern when first buying the superlights was lack of flat touring position, but with the more than sufficient articulation of the TLT 6 (and other modern touring boots, I’m sure) it is not noticeable. At all.

    Curious to see if the new green superlights just announced remain as awesome.

  16. See January 28th, 2015 8:19 pm

    Re. Vertical brake AFD’s: even if just a small deal, I suspect they would improve function and could be assembled cheaply from existing parts. Come to think of it, this is the sort of question that testing with shop equipment could perhaps shed some light on (manufacturers probably already know but aren’t telling). Wasn’t there an early AFD equipped version of the detachable brake that might fit the Verticals? Test the same set of skis and boots with both types of brakes and you might find something interesting.

  17. Lou Dawson 2 January 30th, 2015 9:16 am

    Len, I attempted to add “rotation” info to the FAQ. Pretty hard to sort out.



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