Binders On High — Radical 2.0 Graces WildSnow HQ


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 20, 2015      
Dynafit Radical 2.0, 2015-2016. 30 year commemorative version shown here.

Dynafit Radical 2.0, 2015-2016. 30 year commemorative version shown here.

By leaving my carbon-crime stack of paper catalogs behind in Germany, I saved weight and was able to haul a pair of brand new 30-year commemorative model Radical 2.0 ski bindings fresh from the assembly plant. These gems appear completely industrialized, ready for retail. I heard they’re doing limited distribution of my gold version as well as the regular Rad 2.0 version, starting now but only in Europe in the 90 mm brake version. Full worldwide retail will begin next fall, while a variety of media and athletes will receive samples this winter and spring. Thus, befriend a blogger for an in-person fondle of the Rad 2.0 binding.

While being a bit heavy of a “freeride touring” binding for my style, I was honored to acquire these and will indeed be “testing” them straight away. (Per a recent policy change at WildSnow.com, I don’t really “test” ski bindings as doing so can mean injury or death, but we’ll most certainly evaluate them on-snow — as carefully as if we were testing new dynamite formulations.) Eventually this pair will make a fine addition to the Wildsnow binding collection — the project we hope will someday be the backcountry skier’s equivalent to Egyptology. But we’ll be skiing them first as they look like a truly perfect binding for our larger setups.

Straight away, note these are almost nothing like the Radical FT/ST bindings that have dominated the Dynafit binding line for some years now. Indeed, I would have preferred they’d named them differently (they’re actually at least Radical 3.0), but you get what you get. Among a long list of differences, the rotating heel unit, completely redesigned rotation and brake lock and the beefed heel housing scream for a new model name. Oh well, you still get the power towers, and the flip-up heel lifters are similar though they feel slightly beefed.

Underside. The HUGE change is of course the long anticipated, or at least tentatively looked forward to, toe rotation.

Underside. The HUGE change is of course the long anticipated, or at least tentatively looked forward to, toe rotation. A properly functioning classic style tech binding paired with a properly shaped boot fitting has smooth lateral release with a modicum of elasticity. If the boot fitting is even slightly off specification, however, lateral release can be compromised. The rotating toe virtually eliminates exact performance of the boot fitting from being a factor and ostensibly lets the boot not only smoothly release but also yield a snappy return-to-center shock absorption. Real life? Hard to say. I’m a big fan of the simplicity of the classic tech binding design. Moving parts add weight and complexity. But to repeat, it’s no secret that the elasticity and release performance of the classic tech binding can be spotty if boot fittings are not exactly shaped. (Note that the Radical 2.0 toe still has a touring lock that also works in downhill mode to lock out lateral release; doing so also locks out the toe rotation.)

– Radical 2.0 has a completely revamped brake lockdown and anti-rotation system. When you rotate the heel unit to position for touring, a plastic and metal flange engages the brake and holds it down, while at the same time resisting clockwise rotation. Unlike confusion with which way to rotate the earlier Radical bindings, with the 2.0 the only way you can rotate the heel and get anything to happen is by going clockwise. Rotating counter-clockwise doesn’t hurt it, but you can’t get anywhere useful by winding the clock backwards.

– Unfortunately, and this is there the naming convention falls flat, Radical 2.0 picks up about 76 grams per binding (2.7 ounces) over the Radical ST, (exact amount depends on which inline “model” of the Radical you compare.) What you get for the weight appears to be a stronger ski touring binding, with a very nice (though untested) brake lock and anti-rotation. See our weights chart for various comparisons.

Heel housing is noticeably beefed in comparison to earlier Radical and Vertical models.  This is a welcome change.

Heel housing (circled) is noticeably beefed in comparison to earlier Radical and Vertical models. This is a welcome change that will help make the binding more forgiving of manufacturing variations that can result in less than perfect material strengths. The brake lock and anti rotation is also circled.

– In terms of functional design, the other big change is the base of the heel spindle is now enclosed in plastic, located on top of the rear adjustment track. With all former Radical (and classic type Dynafit) bindings the spindle base rested on the ski and caused problems such as play and wallowing out of the ski top skin. This is a welcome change though it adds weight to the system.

– Heel unit rotation to change modes is obvious. Clockwise to touring mode, either squeeze brake closed with hand or step on it after you rotate (this also invokes anti-rotation). Return to downhill mode by rotating back counter-clockwise (watch your finger, brake snaps up). Very obvious.

– Other obvious change is the heel housing has evident reinforcement you can see in the photos; we assume quite a bit stronger overall.

Specifications (weights per single binding):

Catalog page, Dynafit Radical ST 2.0

Catalog page, Dynafit Radical ST 2.0


Comments

84 Responses to “Binders On High — Radical 2.0 Graces WildSnow HQ”

  1. Tuck February 20th, 2015 11:26 am

    Wow, neat. Nice work making a binding review LOL funny. Guess I’m a geek…

    Question about the heel movement: is the default mount in the middle of the heel range, or at the end?

    If it’s in the middle, would it abate the forward release issue (allow for the heel to absorb some of it)? Yes, sometimes forward release is good, but as an ice mogul reminded me out in Utah, not always…

  2. Bruno February 20th, 2015 11:33 am

    Can you expand on this?
    Forward pressure travel: 10 mm

    I also believe in KISS for most all this equipment that we drag miles into the backcountry, but if lateral release is improved for a bit of weight gain, I’m very interested. I’ve heard that having a Stryker nail inserted into you tibia adds weight too.

  3. Bruno February 20th, 2015 11:46 am

    Just read your Radical 2.0 post from Jan 15th, and think I got it. There is 10mm travel to accommodate ski flex?

    Are the brakes still retained with the same c-clip? I find that to be a weak link.

  4. Lou Dawson 2 February 20th, 2015 1:14 pm

    Bruno, the C-clip went away ages ago. Brakes are now fixed, to change width you have to buy a new heel unit. The 10 mm accommodates ski flex. It’s quite a bit more than the classic tech binding that absorbs flex by only having the heel pins slide in and out of the boot fitting. On the other hand, there is some question as to if many of us need this additional “feature” or if it’s just there for TUV certification. It might make the binding safer, I’ll give it that. But no way to know for sure. Lou

  5. Lou Dawson 2 February 20th, 2015 1:19 pm

    All, exact info about availability of Radical 2.0, blog post needed a slight edit.

    Rad 2.0 will not be available in North America at retail until next fall. Limited launch in Europe this spring but in 90mm brake version. Limited distribution of test samples to media and athletes is occurring now so that a sort of beta test will commence.

  6. confluence kid February 20th, 2015 1:43 pm

    Hey Lou,

    Retro Ski Party at the PAC 3 tonight. Love to see you there in your retro.

  7. Maki February 20th, 2015 2:47 pm

    Hi Lou,

    I’m a big fan of the simplicity of the classic tech binding design, too. It just works. But there is one thing that bugs me lately. A lot of french retailer are pushing Radicals saying that the Speed Turn is not recommended on skis wider than 85mm, because of the risk of stripping screws. Some say explicitly that warranty is void. To me it’s ridiculous, since it has the same hole pattern of the venerable Speed and Vertical that have been used on any ski. Have you heard any *official* word from Dynafit or ski manufacturers about that?

  8. wyomingowen February 20th, 2015 2:52 pm

    ” Limited distribution of test samples to media and athletes is occurring now so that a sort of beta test will commence”

    I truly hope I stop reading “early adopters” on this blog. Ultimately, as quoted above I believe early adoption should equal compensation ie sponsorship or at least an angle to make a living (media) in exchange for being a guinea pig.

  9. Lou Dawson 2 February 20th, 2015 3:05 pm

    Maki, no, that is indeed ridiculous. Screw strength depends as much on ski construction and mounting technique as it does on binding width. In fact, binding width is way over rated as a strength component. According to engineers I know it can help, but is not an essential factor, again depending on the ski model not to mention skiing style and stiffness of boots. It’s quite common worldwide to see skimo race bindings driving 110mm+ width skis. Pretty cool, actually.

  10. Lou Dawson 2 February 20th, 2015 3:06 pm

    Gowen, exactly, very good move on the part of Dynafit. Paid athletes should be the first “early adopters,” and after that any journalists who care to play with fire. Learning from history (what a concept), the vast majority of tech touring bindings are going to fail in the first go-around and require “in line changes” or downright recalls, so beta testing and limited early adoption would seem to be key. Lou

  11. XXX_er February 22nd, 2015 10:10 am

    the top plate design of the heel piece looks the same and IME its a weak spot since Dynafit went to with the rad lifters

  12. Nicholas February 23rd, 2015 2:34 am

    Dynafit is actually selling them online directly on their website for 500 euros, here in Europe. But it seems you don’t get to choose the brake width which is odd…

  13. Guide Garagw February 23rd, 2015 3:39 am

    Interesting. But if it still requires 3 separate screw drivers in the field for bindings screws, forward pressure and DIN adjustments… then they have not improved the basics! Not to mention those total shi* star drive mounting screws… disposable.
    Bells and whistles…

  14. Lou Dawson 2 February 23rd, 2015 7:00 am

    Garagw, I was mounting the Rad 2 yesterday (as well as skiing on them), agree about the tools, it drove me crazy swapping between 4 different screw drivers — and I still intensely dislike the star drive screws. The bindings seemed to work well for skiing, though they’re way more than I need for my normal ski tour.

    drivers required:
    1. Star drive
    2. Small flat for vertical release
    3. Pozi for boot length (also now can use 8 mm socket, which is nice.)
    4. Large flat for side release

  15. XXX_er February 23rd, 2015 9:20 am

    Just a couple more bits ^^ with an extension to fit my driver all fit easily in a little food saver which is a size to strap inside of my nesting ski crampons and the strap was handy to strap my foot to the ski when the heel exploded

    I have heard of those torx screws being a problem but I haven’t had any problem, I often wonder if people try to use an allen wrench instead of the correct torx bit?

  16. Greg Louie February 23rd, 2015 11:06 am

    I recommend swapping out the Torx 20 screws for regular Pozidrive 3’s.

  17. TimZ February 23rd, 2015 11:32 am

    I prefer torx screws to pozi, as they are much less likely to round out and strip in my experience. I must imagine that people stripping are using allen keys or not fully seating the driver bit.

    It is a pain to have multiple screw heads/bits needed, but not difficult with a ‘binding buddy’ type tool.

  18. Daleyo February 23rd, 2015 11:46 am

    Lou,

    As you stated, these are only being sold in 90mm brake width currently. I want to put these on 105mm skis. Is there any chance of making this work??

  19. Greg Louie February 23rd, 2015 3:34 pm

    Very few of the available Torx 20 tools is rigid enough to put in (or remove an epoxied) binding screw without twisting – IMO Dynafit should have spec’d Torx 30. I’ll continue using Pozi #3’s until I run out.

  20. Tabke February 23rd, 2015 3:58 pm

    As a fellow (albeit occasional) screw-turner, I’m with GL.

    Great to see continuing dedication to new concepts from Dynafit. Though as Lou said, time will tell if the updates actually serve the user or just the certifications.

    But in my opinion, and as many a reader here will likely attest – once you go low-tech, you ain’t going back.

  21. Thomas February 24th, 2015 3:59 am

    Took the leap of faith and ordered a pair of Anniversaries 🙂

    Might need some bending to cover my 102mm 4Frnt Ravens but not to worried about that!

  22. Mark Worley February 24th, 2015 6:46 am

    I got my hands on a rep sample back in the fall. Very nice. Looks like the durability should be much improved.

  23. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2015 7:06 am

    Thomas, the brakes work without mod on my DPS Wailer 99 (Tour 1), I’d think for a 102 first remove some plastic from the inside of the brake feet and see how they function. That’s better than bending.

    The brakes can also be cut off, but you have to leave the actuator pad and rotation lock due to the rotation lock being integrated with the brake. That’s a downside for folks wanting to run without brakes and save weight.

    Lou

  24. Ryan February 24th, 2015 2:33 pm

    Nicholas- Good question.

    The question is why you would bother putting these on a < 100m ski. I would assume this burlier tech binding version is going to be bought by people mounting on bigger skis. Do they not sell with at least a 110 brake?

  25. XXX_er February 26th, 2015 12:16 pm

    “Very few of the available Torx 20 tools is rigid enough to put in (or remove an epoxied) binding screw without twisting ”

    No problems getting them in but I have had PZ & torx screw I couldn’t get out either so now I just heat all binding fasteners for 20sec with a soldering iron as a matter of policy before I wreck the heads which seems to work

  26. Lou Dawson 2 February 26th, 2015 12:58 pm

    Not to mention the tox bits and drivers simply shattering, wear eye protection. Please, bring back pozi… Lou

  27. Zach February 26th, 2015 2:39 pm

    Best Torx 20 hand drive I have found is from Wiha. I have not broken one yet and our shop averages 30 dynafit installs a week. As far as epoxy, listen to XXX_er and bring the heat.

    http://www.wihatools.com/300seri/362serSF.htm

  28. Adam March 3rd, 2015 1:30 am

    Any one have links to how any of the guinea pigs are finding these bindings? Or may be still too early.

    Skiers are going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to tech binding options for 2015/16.

  29. Lou Dawson 2 March 3rd, 2015 7:35 am

    Well, Hayden Kennedy raced the Power of 4 skimo contest on them, and I’ve been on them a few times. So far so good.

  30. TimZ March 3rd, 2015 8:48 am

    Wiha and Wera make great tools. I use Wera 3mm allen bits on my M5 insert screws after ‘normal’ allen keys were stripping the heads. I actually prefer this to Pozidrive. I’m looking for M5x10mm machine screws with Torx heads but they are difficult to source at less than 1000pc boxes.

  31. XXX_er March 15th, 2015 9:36 pm

    So I did not ski but I got to fondle a pair of the Rad 2.0’s at the Extreme Everest Challenge, while the toe piece does look cool what spoke to me was that Dynafit has addressed the load problem that pulls the top plate off of a Radical binding

    the top plate now slides onto the heel piece from pin side (front to rear ) while engaging with lugs in the plastic heel housing, they still use the same 4 screws in the top plate but on the 2.0 those screws only locate the top plate … thumbs up Dynafit

  32. Thomas March 24th, 2015 5:26 am

    Received and mounted mine with Wildsnow’s template (thanks BTW).

    I like them a lot so far after spending 5-6 days on them. They do feel more alpine binder like – much like the Beast. Probably more complex and more stuff to brake than low tech but still. Still need a shim IMO so if B&D can make a purty one that fits the Rad2 toe I’ll buy.

    Not that it matters the most but the golden anniversary’s do look sexy on my 4Frnt Ravens. The fit was ok for a 90mm brake over a 102mm ski as well with only minor bending needed.

  33. Lou Dawson 2 March 24th, 2015 6:41 am

    Thanks for the report Thomas, let us know how they hold up. Lou

  34. bob April 16th, 2015 8:33 pm

    Lou,
    Do you have an opinion on the Radical 2 brake compared to the old brake? Do you think Dynafit addressed the issue that resulted in the delay in this binding? Icing issues? durability?

  35. Lou Dawson 2 April 17th, 2015 7:43 am

    Hi Bob, I do think that Dynafit addressed the issue that resulted in the delay of Radical 2.0. In terms of my opinions, I prefer the brake retraction and heel rotation system (not to mention the removable brake) of the Vertical ST/FT, but if used correctly with attention to clearing ice etcetera the Radical 1.b, 1.c, 1.d and 2.0 do work.

    Where I would warn you off is as I always say, the history of all brands of tech bindings is fraught with 1st generation durability problems. Unless you can’t live without the “first” of something, I’d suggest not paying to be a consumer beta tester. If you want something “new” consider what was released this winter of 2014/2015 and buy the 2015/2016 version. Lots of times you’ll end up with something that has bugs worked out. Examples abound.

    Lou

  36. jeremy cole April 20th, 2015 12:56 pm

    Dynafit Radical 2 bindings – failure of brake lock.
    I purchased a pair of Dynafit Radical 2 bindings which were fitted to Movement Response skls. After approximately 5 days of skiing the brake on both skis was failing to lock in place. On closer examination it was clear that the mechanism that locks the brake down to go into climbing mode is very fragile. There was one other person in the party with the same bindings and he encountered exactly the same problem. As result the only way we could lock the skis in place for climb mode was to use wire to hold the brakes in place. This mechanism does not look fit for purpose and that is supported by our experience.
    Has anyone else had the same problem and if so how did Dynafit respond?
    Many thanks.

  37. Gary April 30th, 2015 2:18 pm

    Can you change the brakes on this binding when moving to a different ski?

  38. Nick September 28th, 2015 6:16 am

    Hi,

    Has anyone heard any more on these? I just bought a pair with a 120mm break to go on some Armada JJ 2.0’s.

    I’m quite light (140lbs) and a good but not aggressive skier, so hoping I won’t be releasing at unexpected times on the downhill…

    Thanks,

    Nick

  39. Lou Dawson 2 September 28th, 2015 8:26 am

    The brakes on these (and all recent Radical model bindings) are fixed, not removable. Thought I’d get that out once again. It’s too bad they didn’t improve the removable brake system, but them’s the breaks. I suspect that the permanent attached brake might have something to do with the TUV certification, or at the least they were a customer service nightmare as they’d often get installed wrong and come off during tours.

    Even so, how about it G3, Dynafit, etc? How about supplying different width brake arms that can be swapped in and out?

  40. Lou Dawson 2 September 28th, 2015 8:33 am

    Hi Nick, the ski touring industry consumer testing program just got started last winter, jury is still out on Radical 2.0, please drop in here with your impressions after you’ve given them a few days of testing. I used them quite a bit last winter and found they behaved pretty much like the Radical 1.0, though the rotating toe unit made them slightly harder to snap into, and you absolutely can’t tour uphill with the toes unlocked, not a big deal but should be mentioned. Most importantly, the heel unit is stronger than Radical 1.0, or at least that’s my impression.

    One thing to observe during your testing is how well the brake lock behaves during touring and during transitions. It’s a real engineering challenge to get the brake locks on tech bindings working well.

    Lou

  41. josh November 6th, 2015 9:07 am

    Hi Lou – I am close to pulling the trigger on these to replace some TLT Vertical FT 12s that I’ve been using for several years.

    Overlaying the two templates looks like I’d need to redrill all 4 toes screws. The rear templates appear to match for the back two screws but it looks like the front two would need to be redrilled.

    Do my observations sound correct? Any suggestions for this sorta retrofit?

    Cheers,

    -josh

  42. Lou Dawson 2 November 6th, 2015 9:24 am

    Josh, for sure, you’ll drill a new set of 4 holes for toe. Regarding heel, if some holes match up for the heel unit position you want, then no harm. We usually fool around with heel unit position according to possible changes in boot length during ski and boot testing. Lou

  43. Josh B November 8th, 2015 7:13 pm

    Hey Lou I was wondering, I have COMBING the internet to find out one truth: is the Look HM 12 Tech Binding a rebranded Dyanfit Radical 2.0 binding? Looking at the pictures of the Look HM 12 Binding and comparing them to the Radical 2.0, it seems like it is visually true, can you confirm this? I cant find out anywere? Is it a certified releasible binding? Thank you !

  44. Lou Dawson 2 November 8th, 2015 7:25 pm

    Yes. But don’t put too much stock in “certified,” it’s a pretty archaic standard.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/14843/din-iso-13992-binding-release-safety-testing-summary/

    It’s just a ski touring binding, perhaps a bit better than some others but consumer testing has yet to commence to any significant degree.

    Lou

  45. Josh B November 8th, 2015 8:42 pm

    Wow thanks so much for the response Lou, well its just at my shop we carry Look/Rossi/Dynastar and I really want the rad 2.0, what would you recommend? I am making the right choice here? Ha, thanks a lot man!

  46. Lou Dawson 2 November 9th, 2015 8:22 am

    If you want a Radical 2.0 then any of the branded versions are identical. Sorry to hear that confusion reigns, I kinda suspected that would be the case when I heard of the re-branded products. Lou

  47. Stefano November 16th, 2015 12:58 am

    Hi Lou,
    I hope you’ll test soon this bindings again in the snow, since the Clock-wise anti-rotation is absolutely unusefull… since the problem of SELF LOCKING always occour in ANTI-CLOCK-WISE SELF ROTATION… due to the Hell’s Lever…

    “– Radical 2.0 has a completely revamped brake lockdown and anti-rotation system. When you rotate the heel unit to position for touring, a plastic and metal flange engages the brake and holds it down, while at the same time resisting clockwise rotation. Unlike confusion with which way to rotate the earlier Radical bindings, with the 2.0 the only way you can rotate the heel and get anything to happen is by going clockwise.”

  48. Lou Dawson 2 November 16th, 2015 10:57 am

    Hi Stefano, we have two pair in play, we’ll eventually review but we need to go beyond first-looks and get some time on them, so it’ll be a little while. I’m trying to avoid being a mouth breathing gear blogger and instead be more deliberate. Though I do start panting and blogging quickly, on occasion. (grin)

  49. stefano November 16th, 2015 11:36 pm

    Pls Lou,

    Don’t you forget your mission…

    You’re our gear’s bug liberator !

    Is the only indipendence voice, blown in the wind ?

  50. Grant January 1st, 2016 1:13 pm

    Hey Lou- I’m having a bit of trouble getting my boots with the Beast (16) horseshoe to play nicely with the rest of my quiver. If I can’t mod the Beast horseshoe, I’m thinking about ditching them and moving to either the CAST system, or the Radical 2.0 for my ski hill/slackcountry/sled laps setup. (I’m an avalanche forecaster and long time Dynafit user, I’ve got two other dedicated touring setups with Radicals for pure touring.) Now that the Radical 2.0 has some travel in the toe, is it ready for proper ski hill shredding? Or is it still going to feel under-gunned when you turn up the speed at the resort? I’d love to see a Beast vs Radical 2.0 comparison! Thanks Lou!

  51. Mark W January 6th, 2016 1:23 pm

    Just got done mounting 30th anniversary model. Boots are women’s Radical, and the heel interface, notably when heel rubber pushes down on AFD and then the heel fitting meets the pins, causes the binding to push backwards. Even with the gap set at the .2 mm, the heelpiece pushes back several millimeters. At this point I observed the heelpiece slowly move forward until the .2 millimeter gap returned. Weird. Used silicone spray on pins and even the AFD to little improvement. Haven’t seen any other Radical 2.0 do this. Please comment if you have experienced anything similar. Thanks.

  52. Susan January 8th, 2016 4:36 am

    I was wondering if anybody else already managed to break off the little sled from the heel piece? I got out of the binding after the second ascent with my new skis when the sled just slid out to the side and the plastic broke that held the sled in place and also the little spring came out. Ughhh.

    I do not see an easy way to replace the part where the plastic sled piece and the spring are mounted. When I tape the piece back in place the whole tilting/release mechanism won’t work anymore.
    I will also talk to my Dynafit dealer next week and see what he says. Thanks!

  53. Mark January 12th, 2016 9:36 am

    Susan, can you describe in detail what you mean by “little sled from the heelpiece” so we can attempt to diagnose? Thanks.

  54. rob January 21st, 2016 6:11 am

    I also had problem with locking down the brake, when changing to walk mode. This was on my first tour ever on these bindings, i.e. they are brand new. I couldn’t get the brake down far enough to lock it under the heel piece tab. This doesn’t bode well. I have long experience with the “old” radical, which never gave me any problems. (except pre-release on ice). I also had a pre-release with the new bindings, on piste when I hit some icy chuncks. I don’t want them anymore, might sell the whole thing and buy some new ski’s with ATK 12. Finally , I had trouble locking the toe, when changing to tour mode. Probably due to some snow under the lock.

  55. See January 21st, 2016 7:09 am

    I’m guessing the “little sled” is the sliding AFD.

  56. Erroneous January 21st, 2016 12:57 pm

    @ rob – The Rad 2 brake is intended to be locked by stepping down on it, unlike the old style, where you have to hold the brake down while twisting the heel. You can also set the brake by hand after twisting the heel. Either way, you still need to clear the snow from under the brake. I also found the toe to be a little more difficult to put into touring mode on my first trip out. I’ve subsequently realized that it was my failure to line up the toe with the slot when pulling up the lever (i.e., pull up lightly and turn the toe to the center, until you hit the slot). As for your pre-release, I suspect either your retention settings are too low, or the heel gap is incorrectly set. The Rad 2 has stronger and more dynamic retention than any past Dyna versions (other than the Beast of course).

  57. Kenny January 23rd, 2016 6:53 pm

    I have been skiing on the Movement version of the Dynafit Radical 2.0. I want to transition from uphill mode to downhill mode without taking my skis off. This was easy on the previous version of the Dynafit radical. The new brake mechanism seems to prevent rotation of the tower with my ski pole. Has anyone been able to do a transition from uphill to downhill on the 2.0?

  58. emily sullivan February 3rd, 2016 9:57 pm

    Lou,
    Can you offer any info regarding a comparison of the Radical 2.0 and the Fritschi Vipec? Mainly addressing skiing in variable snow conditions, and safety. I’ve read a lot about the two but I am not sure if I am tech-savvy enough to understand how the ride will be effected.
    Thanks!

  59. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2016 5:42 am

    Emily, in terms of the ride, if you put one binding on each foot for an A/B comparo, you would notice that the Radical would feel a little “softer” at the heel because the heel unit moves from side to side while you ski, and much of the control-pressure-connection-power between boot and ski happens at the heel. The Vipec heel unit does not move side-to-side so it can feel stiffer, or in marketing spreech, “power transmission.” In my opinion, either binding skis fine, and you’re going to get benefits or detriments depending on snow conditions and personal style. For example, perhaps on icy hardpack a bit of give in the heel is better? Or you’re an aggressive skier and not having sideways give at the heel of the Vipec is your preferred feel?

    In terms of one being safer than the other, there is no clear answer to that question. Even defining “safety” is difficult. Studies show that having lateral heel release might protect your knees better, but common wisdom is that heel lateral release may produce accidental release at normal release setting values. On the other hand, my studies indicate that side release at the toe such as that of Vipec might protect your leg bones from breakage and the solid heel might eliminate a type of accidental release (heel thrust to the side when skiing aggressively, using normal release value settings).

    Both bindings have limited vertical heel elasticity, which in my view is the gorilla in the room. Thus, the most alpine-like binding might be the Kingpin, but it doesn’t have the wonderful lateral elasticity of the Vipec.

    I know this whole deal is confusing as heck, and the industry is doing nothing to help sort it out. We need an industry association that would fund studies of ski touring bindings vs injuries, and we need a stricter and revamped DIN/ISO standard that puts more emphasis on things like elasticity and retention, and less fooling around with spraying bindings with water and freezing them.

    Lou

  60. Callum February 4th, 2016 6:12 am

    Speaking of differing bindings having different advantages, I would like to propose an interesting test. Has anyone mounted the toe piece of a Vipec, to give the lateral toe elasticity, and the heel piece of a Radical or Kingpin, to give more heel elasticity on the same ski? This seems like it could give the best of both worlds, both in how well they ski and providing release at both the toe and heel. I currently ski on Vipec Black’s (only 5 days deep on this new pair) and like how they tour and ski, but I wish that they could also have lateral heel release. If I had a second pair of bindings, I’d give it a try, but the Vipec’s are my only pair of AT bindings. Is this something you guys at Wildsnow could play around with?

  61. Lou Dawson 2 February 4th, 2016 6:53 am

    Hi Callum, sure, I could do all sorts of mixes and matches. I do already, frequently mixing various tech binding toes and heels to create lighter and sometime more reliable bindings using all the stuff I have laying around. But I use stuff that pretty much is the same in function, only different in things like stand height and weight. For example, I use various Dynafit toe units with a bunch of TLT heel units we have around here. I know from years of experience as well as bench tests that these mixes work as well as similar stuff in stock configuration (“as well as” being the operative concept).

    On the other hand, making a “safer” frankenbinding by mixing toes and heels is pretty much impossible unless you’re willing to sacrifice your own body for testing.

    For example, sure, I could slap a Fritschi toe on a ski with a Kingpin heel. But what kind of forward pressure would I use? How would I figure out the release settings? Go ski on it and see if I flew out of the binding, or broke my leg?

    I could probably get a log of blog traffic if I made some frankenbindings and got some photos, perhaps when I’m in a mouth breathing phase I’ll do so, and even ski a run on them. But doing so would just be a lark, it has no use to people in the real consumer world.

    Lou

  62. Bao February 4th, 2016 9:46 pm

    @Susan, I was at home testing the release mechanism and also managed to get the sliding AFD on the brake to slide off sideways. I remounted the spring which includes a slider piston inside, which is supposed tonstop the sliding of the AFD past a given travel. To do this I had to take off the 4 screws holding the AFD plate to the rails plate and sandwhich the spring/piston inside. It is true that the little plastic tab on the sides of the brake which are supposed to hold the spring seem to be gone already, and so will probably lose the spring next time the AFD slides violently. That tab sure looks weak. Were you able to get a replacement?

  63. Susan February 5th, 2016 12:08 am

    @Bao In my case also the spring broke off and the plastic underneath holding the sliding AFD in place. So disassembling the sliding AFD and trying to repair it did not help as it would never hold in place again due to the broken plastics underneath. My dealer replaced the stopper with a part from last year’s binding – the new sliding AFD on the replaced stopper is now gray instead of black 🙂

  64. Rob February 9th, 2016 1:44 pm

    my sliding AFD has also come off.. its the grey one. These are brand new bindings not been used.
    Also can you please let me know what the gap is at the back of the boot? some people are saying 5.5 mm but i’ve read some are .2 mm.Bindings are Radical 2 ST

  65. Erroneous February 9th, 2016 4:25 pm

    My sliding afd has held up well, with around 20 days of touring so far.

    Proper heel gap is .2mm. i used a feeler gauge under the pins. Super easy that way.

  66. Paul February 25th, 2016 6:31 am

    Anyone managed to do a self-test vertical release from the radical 2 heel, i.e. stand in bindings indoors and then try to lift heel to simulate vertical release. Can do this laterally, but vertical doesn’t budge even at low DIN ~5. Always been able to do this on alpine bindings. Is it to do with elasticity, i.e. so little that you can’t statically release under these conditions, and thus needs momentum of skiing? Though on last trip I had a nose dive of ski tips in heavy snow and they didn’t vertical release even though I felt a fair stretch in the calf – but no injury.

  67. Lou Dawson 2 February 25th, 2016 6:57 am

    Paul, all classic tech bindings can exhibit odd behavior in release modes, and yes if you’re doing the old carpet test involving jerking your heel up and trying to release the binding vertically you might encounter a lack of elasticity that is not exactly conducive to really wailing on the release check and suffering a leg injury. What is more, it’s possible that due to friction or a binding defect your indicated DIN setting is quite a bit different than what the binding is actually performing at. Fortunately, the vertical DIN calibration can be checked by any of the variety of machines out there. I was even doing it back in the 1980s on the old fashioned check machines at ski shops around here. That’s when I learned the results could be all over the place. I also check the vertical release with skis on workbench, using a flat prybar under the boot heel, as a crude way of seeing if it’s actually working. I’ve run across a couple of bindings over the years that actually would not release vertically without extreme upward force. Lou

  68. Paul March 1st, 2016 6:21 am

    Thanks Lou,
    I thought being a 2015/16 Radical 2 (DIN Certified) the release settings would at least be controlled within a tolerance from the standard. The boot is a Scarpa (which I’m sure I’ve read somewhere, probably on Wildsnow :-), has Dynafit standard fittings) so that interface should be OK. Same effect on both bindings so unlikely (I hope) to be a spot defect in a unit.

    I guess what your saying is that being unable to do a carpet release test on the vertical does not in itself mean there is anything wrong.

    Cheers
    Paul

  69. Lou Dawson 2 March 1st, 2016 7:05 am

    Well….. “DIN Certified” means the actual release “force” can vary quite a bit from what’s printed on the binding housing. “Should be OK” is problematic, not all fittings work correctly, even if they’re Dynafit. Easy to check. Just put the ski on the bench, boot in binding in alpine mode, and release boot to the side by rotating the heel unit with your hand. With slight movement you should see some smooth action and return-to-center, with more force you should be able to smoothly release the boot out of the toe. If the boot “catches” or has no return to center action, something is amiss.

    As for the heel fittings, I’ve never seen any that were defective to the point of blocking out release, as the heel release happens due to the very visible and simple inclined plane of the slots riding up and spreading the heel unit pins.

    As for not being able to do a carpet release test, vertical, yes that can be a poor indicator. But try this: On carpet, buckle boots tightly in downhill mode. Set binding vertical release to low setting, around 5, but don’t crank down down down or you risk stripping an internal screw. Have someone stand on the tail of the ski. Now try to jerk your boot heel up out of the binding by driving knee forward at the same time pulling heel upwards. If you can’t come out of binding while doing this then indeed I’d say something is strange and you need to have the binding checked on a machine, or else you need to be using a bit different technique for the carpet test, for example a soft touring boot might not be the best support for the carpet test…

    We have had some tech bindings here over the years that seemed blocked in vertical heel release, even while testing with a pry bar under the boot heel, so keep that in mind.

    Lou

  70. Lou Dawson 2 March 1st, 2016 7:09 am

    I’d also add that just because a binding is TUV certified to a DIN standard, that doesn’t mean the exact binding you have on a ski was tested. Some binding companies test every binding at the factory, some don’t. For example, last time I was at Fritschi they had a machine that tested _every_ binding, but I’ve never gotten a read on if Dynafit does that or not. Lou

  71. james March 8th, 2016 9:07 am

    I’m thinking about picking up a pair of these and am wondering if there are any observations of weaknesses or breakage now that some folks have had most of a season on them?

    Thanks!

  72. Bao March 12th, 2016 12:49 pm

    @Paul, I was able to release vertically quite feasibly doing the carpet test at low DIN. No elasticity whatsoever, but at least I was able to get it out of the binding. I imagine the heel gap must come into play as well.

    As I mentioned previously the plastic retainers stopping the sliding AFD are half broken while I was experimenting with RV at home…. Anymore lateral releases and I risk losing the sliding AFD on the brake.

    Otherwise the binding feels solid and haven’t had any issues at all after 10 days. Wish winter was longer in this neck of the woods though.

  73. VT skier April 1st, 2016 9:08 pm

    Like Rob February 9th,
    I lost one of the grey AFDs. I dropped the bindings off at a shop to get them mounted on my skis, got home and one of the AFDs was gone. Called the shop back to see if the AFD came off on the bench, no luck.
    Nowhere to be found.

    These are new bindings, hadn’t even skied on them once. I didn’t even put a boot in the binding yet.
    ( I posted this on the other Radical 2.0 thread)

  74. XXX_er April 1st, 2016 9:48 pm

    Is the Rad 2 AFD in question^^ anything like the rad1 AFD cuz in spite of my expertise macgyvering all kinds of broken mechanical stuff for money, I couldn’t put the spring back on a Rad1 sliding AFD pad

  75. Lou Dawson 2 April 2nd, 2016 11:42 am

    Rad 2 AFD is totally different. Seriously, the Rad 1 and Rad 2 are entirely different bindings. There is no equal comparison. They perhaps look a bit similar and have similar names, but it ends there. Lou

  76. Piotr April 17th, 2016 1:44 am

    Hi ,
    I am trying to choose a binding I will buy as there are a lot of good deals now. I do not have so much experience as you guys. Hours of reading of the Internet brought me here as it seems to be the most reliable source of knowledge and I thank you for that. As I am amateur race alpine skier, do SL/GS/SG, I really care about downhill performance and safety of the binding. I want to have quite low wieght. Is the radical ST 2.0 going to satisfy me? Or Speed Radical is enough? Or I need to buy something else?

  77. Lou Dawson 2 April 17th, 2016 11:15 am

    Hi Piotr, what’s your intended use?

  78. Jeff December 6th, 2016 11:40 am

    Anyone struggling with pre-release on the Radical 2.0? I had two very painful pre-releases today in a few inches of resort powder. I was running my release value at -1 from recommended (yeah, I know that probably explains it), but it was still striking how benign the skiing was that resulted in the pre-releases.

  79. Lou Dawson 2 December 6th, 2016 12:06 pm

    Jeff, if you’re trying to do precise release settings, you probably need to get it measured with a machine, it can be way off from the numbers printed on the binding. In any case, the process you are doing does work so long as you don’t get hurt. Just dial up a half number at a time till you feel like the binding is giving you expected retention, along with proper adjustment and use of the binding of course… Lou

  80. Michael December 6th, 2016 12:26 pm

    Jeff, I’d also make sure the rubber boot sole isn’t interfering with complete closure of the toe jaws. Might have to grind some rubber on certain boots. I know for example I had to grind the toe of the Scarpa Freedom so it wouldn’t interfere with the 2.0 toe.

  81. Jeff December 6th, 2016 3:09 pm

    Thanks, Lou and Michael (on the boots, I will check, but they are Dynafit boots, so hopefully not the issue). Got out of the ER and fortunately nothing is broken. Lessons learned, including to read the fine print on the Dynafit release value chart (I neglected to apply the factor based on skier type) and that pre-release may well be a worse evil than cranking them down too much. I still don’t really know what to do with the skier Type II vs III (never have and I know opinions abound). I do wish there was a shop in the Vail Valley that would mount Dynafit bindings *and* bench test them. I will be making a trip to good old REI for that.

  82. Przemek January 28th, 2017 9:55 am

    I’m not sure if I understand it well but reading some comments it looks like the early batch of Radical TLT 2 has some issues. If that so are they absent in current – 2016 manufactured copies?

    I’m asking because I was about to mount newly manufactured copies TLT Radicals 2 ST from the end of 2016 but in the same time I found a deal on Gold – Anniversary edition which I like more visually and would prefer their look – but these where the first batch right with some quality problems?

    To sum up, should I stay with 2016 copies or I can mount anniversary edition and stop worrying.

    I’ll appreciate your help.

  83. Lou Dawson 2 January 28th, 2017 11:26 am

    I asked Obewhanskinoobie about this. He said “With any purchase of new tech binding, latest version, to do otherwise is silly.”

  84. Przemek January 28th, 2017 12:42 pm

    I couldn’t ask for better guidance.
    Thank you Lou!





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    Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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