Real World Backcountry Binding Weights – Fritschi

Post by blogger | October 7, 2005      

The latest model Fritschi backcountry skiing bindings greeted me on the doorstep today. Interesting weights now that we could get them on our digital scale. Turns out the Freeride has lost a smidge of weight over the older model, but the amount is so small it could have just been the type of screws I weighed it with. BUT, what I found interesting is that the Explore/Express weighs out at nearly the same weight as the Freeride (if used with brakes)! see FAQ for weights

I have to admit this drove me crazy for a while, I just couldn’t believe the bindings would be so close in weight and thought my scale was messing up or something.

So I weighed each binding several times and continued getting the same results. One factor in this cosmic convergence is that the Freeride does NOT have return spring, while the Explore/Express does (a pair of return springs weighs .6 ounces). I updated the Fritschi FAQ for you ounce watchers out there. So why use the Explore/Express? I guess price and color, and to save an ounce or two. Why use the Freeride? It’s said that the stronger DIN 12 spring might behave differently as to elasticity, and perhaps the binding is built with better plastic or something like that…or perhaps having the word “Freeride” on your gear is self actualizing…or perhaps you need DIN 12…

Remember that I weighed the Explore/Express and Freeride with no brakes. Weights you’ll find elsewhere are confusing for comparison because the Freeride is sold with brakes, while the Explore/Express is sold without.

As an experiment I also weighed the Freeride without the shim and bumper that goes under the toe (many people eliminate this stuff so the toe is lower, for better ramp angle). The stripped Freeride weighed virtually the same as the Explore/Express. In other words, don’t buy the Explore/Express to save weight.


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12 Responses to “Real World Backcountry Binding Weights – Fritschi”

  1. Dave DePodwin November 11th, 2009 8:27 pm

    Took the plunge today, bought new skis on the web (BD Kilowatt’s 175) and Fritschi Diamir Freeride Plus (med. for my 330mm length boots). Read lots on your equip blogs, talked to hardened ski gear heads, attended a local (new!) ski shop clinic, talked to reps, scoured the web for 2 weeks and snagged the package for $330 skis and same for bindings, mounting free at local shop looking to build biz! Many thanks for the guidance from your responses Lou to other people’s q’s with the same interest, getting the best advice!
    Veterans Day, Remembering the Ski Troops, Ski and Live on!
    Dave D.

  2. Lou November 12th, 2009 7:37 am

    Dave, that is some masterful shopping! Congrats!

  3. ScottP March 8th, 2010 7:47 pm

    Any tips on removing the return springs on the Explore? I just bought a pair would prefer not to have them in there. Is it fairly straightforward?

  4. Lou March 8th, 2010 7:53 pm

    Just take out the screw that holds the spring.

  5. ScottP March 8th, 2010 8:24 pm

    Thanks again! I was afraid it would be more complicated than that (not an entirely unreasonable fear given the brake installation on these things).

  6. Charlie Mohr January 12th, 2011 1:24 pm

    I need some Fritschi return springs. Where can I get them?

  7. Greg Louie January 12th, 2011 2:28 pm


  8. Bar Barrique January 12th, 2011 11:10 pm

    I believe that the Fritschi Freeride has never had the return springs. I am pretty sure that you can get a set from Fritschi, I have been able to do this in the past. The springs are useful in some situations, but, they are exposed to the ski edges, and, tend to get busted.

  9. EdR November 23rd, 2014 10:17 am

    Hey, where did the Vipec review go?

  10. Lisa Dawson November 23rd, 2014 10:40 am

    Here’s a link to the Vipec reviews that Lou has written. Is this what you’re looking for?

  11. EdR November 24th, 2014 4:24 pm

    Thanks for the links, I was trying to find it all under the “Bindings” button!

  12. Lou Dawson 2 November 24th, 2014 4:31 pm

    Ed, yeah, I need to add more things to the Diamir index.

    Main thing to remember is we worship Google here. If you want to find something Google it. 2 ways:

    Use the search box in our header, at left.

    Or use Google site search by typing in “” (without the quotes) before your search keywords.

    Thanks for visiting!

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