Strength of Dynafit Radical — Dynafit Announces Return Program for Early Versions


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | August 31, 2015      

UPDATE: January 2016. It appears there have been (at least) THREE different versions of this binding heel unit upgrade.
1. First version added the reinforcement rib to the lower plastic housing, but did not add stronger screws (see photos below).
2. Second version has stronger screws as well as the rib.
3. Third version adds a metal plate below the top plate, along with the two upgrades above.

THE INFORMATION BELOW COULD BE CONFUSING DUE TO THESE DIFFERENT ITERATIONS. IN MY OPINION MOST SKIERS WILL PROBABLY BE OK WITH VERSION 2 (stronger screws and reinforced housing) but larger and/or aggressive skiers in my opinion should be on version 3. THE PHOTO OF SPEED RADICAL ver 3 BELOW SHOWS THE ADDED METAL PLATE.

Added metal layer is a clear identification.

Added metal layer is a clear identification.

UPDATE: Sept 9, see bottom of post for official info Dynafit sent to North American dealers.
UPDATE: Sept 2, added information about binding heel unit top plate-cap screws.

We’ve heard of and seen in person the top plate broken off Dynafit Radical 1.0 versions (FT, ST, Speed) ski touring bindings. This is not uncommon. Check out the photos below.

Word from Dynafit is yes, first generation Radical FT/ST/Speed may be weak, manufactured 2011-2012. More recent versions have a reinforced rear housing, with stronger top plate and screws.

If you have the weaker versions, Dynafit North America has a swap program for the heel unit — Dynafit Service in North America, same in Europe. You’ll probably be able to do this directly if you like, or work through a dealer.

(Note, there are no issues with any Radical toe units — AND REMEMBER THIS IS ONLY FOR THE EARLIER RADICAL HEELS; try and swap a later heel and you’ll just be making trouble for yourself and others, so photos above and below for ID.)

Dynafit claims the later version has no unusual problem with heel unit top-plate strength. They say the breakage we’ve been discussing here at WildSnow.com are in the earlier binding versions. Thankfully, differentiation is easy. The, in my opinion best, later version has an extra metal plate under the top plate. See photo above.

Radical binding 2012-2015 version is identified by this reinforcement rib on rear plastic housing.

Radical binding 2012-2015 version is identified by this reinforcement rib on rear plastic housing. If you carefully compare to photo below, you’ll also notice the plastic is thicker at the base of the housing, that’s quite important in my opinion and is a major upgrade. Photo from Dynafit.

Original binding does NOT have the reinforcement, and also has weaker screws and top plate.

Original binding does NOT have the reinforcement, and also has weaker screws and top plate. Photo from Dynafit.

Frankly, I would have liked to see this announcement and return program happen some time ago. Yet to be fair, this kind of thing is not easy as it’s based on global consumer return numbers, and such metrics take time to gather. The other side to that is of course “make a stronger binding in the first place.” I’d agree, but making a ski touring binding strong, light, and functional is simply not easy. Thus, we might see the day of a flawless tech binding, but don’t hold your breath. Do support companies who stand behind their products. Apparently Dynafit is doing just that.

All Dynafit Radical 1.0 versions, Speed, FT, ST have the nice flipper heel lifters. Potential problem is that weight of a person on the lifter causes a bend in the 'line of force" and possibly damaging leverage and force on the binding top plate attachment.

All Dynafit Radical 1.0 versions, Speed, FT, ST have the nice flipper heel lifters. What in my opinion caused the problem is that weight of a person on the lifter causes a bend in the 'line of force" and possibly damaging leverage and force on the binding top plate attachment. There is however some debate — it is possible the damage is simply caused by the binding housing and screws not being strong enough to handle forces produced by bindings set to high release values. In any case, the updated version will be easy to come by if you don’t have it — though you’ll have to do a heel unit re-mount.

Dynafit Vertical series bindings had a heel lifter with a pretty much straighter line of force that did not unduly work the top plate.

Dynafit Vertical series bindings had a heel lifter with a pretty much straighter line of force that did not unduly work the top plate.

Known issue with Radical 1.0, one or two top plate screws  probably get fatigued from all the movement and  force from the heel lifters, then a screw breaks and the top plate gets ripped off.

Known issue with Radical 1.0, one or two top plate screws probably get fatigued from all the movement and force from the heel lifters, then a screw breaks and the top plate gets ripped off. This is unfun and possibly even dangerous for backcountry skiing situations.

Another breakage view.

Another breakage view.

Radical 2.0 is much stronger. Note how the rear of the top plate has 'claws' that key into the housing, and the front has a lip of aluminum that mates with the housing and prevents wobble movement of the top plate.

Radical 2.0 is much stronger. Note how the rear of the top plate has ‘claws’ that key into the housing, and the front has a lip of aluminum that mates with the housing and prevents wobble movement of the top plate. We anticipate ZERO strength problems with the 2.0 top plate assembly.

After you do the swap, or if you already have bindings with the reinforcement rib:

We are not sure where to go with this. Aparantly there are two versions of the reinforced binding out there, one with original black screws, and one with grey screws that in our opinion after doing research are stronger. A reader kindly sent these photos over, I'll do a more detailed screw comparo when I have more of this season's retail bindings on hand.

Apparently there are two versions of the reinforced binding out there, one with original black screws, and one with an “in line” change to grey screws that in our opinion after research are stronger. A reader kindly sent these photos over, I’ll do a more detailed screw comparo when I have more of this season’s retail bindings on hand. Insider at Dynafit tells us that they will NOT swap bindings based on type of screws, as they don’t feel there is any meaningful breakage problem caused by the screws. In other words, they feel that the reinforced binding housing is the key. Thus we have to guess and assume they upgraded the screws just for insurance that they were beefing all the right stuff. We are not sure where to go with this in terms of opinion writing-blogging. On the one hand, we like the idea of stronger screws. On the other hand we have not personally experienced any breakage we can blame solely on the screws — though we have had emails that showed photos indicating the broken black screws were the root of top plate failures. Rather confusing. From an engineering standpoint, we do “stand” by our opinion that the angle of the flipping heel lifter puts quite a bit of strain on the screws and they could be prone to fatigue and breakage the triggers a cascading failure that involves the rear housing, but that’s just theory. At this point let’s just say that if you do swap your binding heels, you want to receive replacements with the grey screws so you get the “full monty” in terms of beef. Otherwise, unless you are a very heavy user of Radicals (more than average weight, hundreds of hours on high heel lift), just be sure you have the reinforced heels — with either black or grey screws.

For those of you who want to make sure you get the grey stronger screws, I made another photo that'll help you with comparo. Both the housings in this photo are 'gen 2' with the reinforcement rib.

For those of you who want to make sure you get the grey stronger screws, I made another photo that’ll help you with comparo. Both the housings in this photo are ‘gen 2’ with the reinforcement rib.

To be clear, check out the screws in all their naked glory.

To be clear, check out the screws in all their naked glory. Grey upgraded screw is visibly larger. When a fastener is this small, slight changes in size and material strength can equal huge percentage changes in durability.

In case anyone is wondering, the Speed Radical is also subject to issues. Even if it has the reinforcement rib on the lower rear housing, you should still be rocking the stronger screws in my opinion. WildSnow reader Erich testifies and sent in the following photos.

Broken Speed Radical has reinforcement rib but weaker screws.

Broken Speed Radical has reinforcement rib but weaker screws.

Another view of Erich's blown up heel unit. Notice how the front screws are cleanly broken while the rear involved the plastic breaking as well as the screws.

Another view of Erich’s blown up heel unit. Notice how the front screws are cleanly broken while the rear involved the plastic breaking as well as the screws.

(Editor note, dealers received this around September 8, 2015)
Attn: DYNAFIT Dealers:

DYNAFIT International has recently announced a service program related to the Radical 1 (v1) binding. Research found the first generation of Radical 1 and Speed Radical bindings sold in the 2011/2012 season had an outlying number of broken heels. ALL later generations have been reinforced with regards to housing, top metal plate and screws. (Editors note, see above on how to verify your bindings have the stronger screws, housing, etc.)

DYNAFIT NA is committed to offering the best possible service and we have decided to issue a free service update for consumers with first generation Radical bindings. DYNAFIT NA will exchange any pair of v1 heels with the updated v2 at no charge.

1. Please inform your service team about the free update.
2. Please offer the free update if you see first generation bindings coming in for service, etc. Please see the attached document to note the v1 vs. v2 visual differences.
4. Consumers can also contact us directly at the Boulder offices to request this free update.
5. Replacement ST heels will be available November 1, 2015. Replacement FT heels will be available December 15th, 2015.

Comments

129 Responses to “Strength of Dynafit Radical — Dynafit Announces Return Program for Early Versions”

  1. Ian Spare August 25th, 2015 5:24 am

    Do you mean something like this?

    https://cdn.swissmountainleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/20150131-171043.jpg

    If so, I can say dynafit in Europe aren’t interested. I contacted then and they didn’t bother to reply.

  2. Mark Worley August 25th, 2015 5:47 am

    I’ve held that 2.0 in my hands, and it truly looks MUCH stouter. Don’t anticipate any problems with it.

  3. Tyler August 25th, 2015 10:01 am

    The rib is only on one side, yes?

  4. Lou Dawson 2 August 25th, 2015 10:16 am

    Tyler, yes, very easy to spot. Lou

  5. Max August 25th, 2015 10:39 am

    What happens to Dynafit users outside of Europe and America (in this case, South America)? We simply get screwed out of our replacement?

  6. Lou Dawson 2 August 25th, 2015 4:29 pm

    Max, this from Dynafit in Germany:

    Outside of Europe and US you can send to the International Headquarter of Dynafit in Munich, Germany for free service replacement:

    Send back units to:
    Oberalp Deutschland GmbH
    To: Claim department Dynafit / fee update Radical 1
    Saturnstr. 63
    85609 Aschheim
    Germany

    BE EXTRA CAREFUL TO ONLY SEND FIRST-GENERATION HEEL UNITS, AS DETAILED IN BLOG POST ABOVE.

    Lou

  7. XXX_er August 25th, 2015 4:57 pm

    The Rads I peeled the top off of last feb in <1 season of use have that rib so it happened to a housing WITH the rib and my buddies Rads would be even newer, can't say about the other guy but he has gone G3, in any case I really don't see what the rib is gona do for screws that snap off/strip out of the housing?

    those pictures are indicative of what happened and yes it was unfun & possibly dangerous spooning a tree

  8. Lou Dawson 2 August 25th, 2015 5:26 pm

    Xer. word is that the rib indicates a binding that supposedly has stronger screws and stronger top plate. It’s not just the rib. It’s entirely possible that some bindings have the visible housing reinforcement but didn’t get the screw upgrade. I’m in the process of checking back with some of the folks who have emailed me about broken heels to see if they had the upgraded version, but so far everyone I contacted has already sent their heels in on warranty and thus no way to know what version they were.

  9. Lou Dawson 2 August 25th, 2015 5:56 pm

    Xer, can you send photos of broken binding showing the 2nd gen reinforcement rib? Thanks, Lou

  10. XXX_er August 25th, 2015 6:10 pm

    Exactly Lou, my local dealer swapped in a new heel piece and kept the the broken one which he probably returned to the dynafit rep for more spares

    I don’t have (lets call it ) a 1st gen rad with no rib to look at but I’m comparing the screws on my second gen rad WITH rib to a couple pair of verts (one 4yr old, one 1 yr old) AND the screws are definaltley different

    Not gona pull them apart but The flange of the screw head measured with my machinist calipers (tip of torx slot to outside edge of flange) is broader on both pair of Verts than the flange of the screws on my 2nd gen rad

    so I found different screws on my 2nd gen rad which is suposed to be ok (but broke) than on my verts …dunno if that means anything??

  11. Lou Dawson 2 August 25th, 2015 7:03 pm

    It gets tricky here at HQ, as I have bindings I can use to evaluate screws, but I’m not sure if they are a full retail version. Am working on it. Thanks for your attention to all this. Nut of the deal is anyone with the older Radicals should swap, in my opinion. Beyond that, remember that anything can break, and that part of Dynafit upkeep is to lightly tighten the heel plate screws once a season or so. Lou

  12. XXX_er August 25th, 2015 8:28 pm

    I should mention I originally bought Rad st’s and so to get me up & running they gave me a Rad ft to replace the broken st heel piece SO I have a Rad ft and a Rad st heel piece on a pair of skis AND the screws are different .

    The st screws are a more shinny black color (look kinda cheap IMO)

    The ft screws are a matte finish lighter grey color and the area around the fastener slot is countersunk slightly (looks like a real fastener IMO)

    so the screws are a different shape and a different color

    So I have verts/ rad st’s/ rad Ft’s which all have different screws, so I could believe Dynafit got some bad screws but I question whether or not they know exactly where those screws are AND if they have the problem accurately scoped down to only heel pieces predating Gen 2 ??

  13. XXX_er August 25th, 2015 10:17 pm

    SO after a few glasses of wine the enquiring mind has to ask

    If its only bad screws that are breaking why did dyna redesign the top plate of the 2.0 to clip into the housing??

  14. Dave Field August 26th, 2015 10:16 am

    I’d really like it if Dynafit machined or forged the heel piece housing out of aluminum and improved the threaded barrel of the heel with a longer acme thread or other less suceptible to cross threading and gave the adjustment barrel a recessed allen socket for adjusting. With plastic you get nice and light however durability of threaded connections is less robust.

  15. Jeremy C August 26th, 2015 10:18 am

    I had not noticed that I was on the Mobile version (since it appears to be identical to the desktop), I switched to the Desktop version, and the double refresh still occurs.

    This thread is under https://www.wildsnow.com/17797/dynafit-radical-rear-break-screws/#comment-70176

    I just tried website in Safari, and got the same double refresh. I can’t check the refresh/home issue until someone else makes a new post.

    It is not a major issue, but it is change in the behaviour in the last couple of weeks.

  16. Dave Field August 26th, 2015 10:19 am

    Oh yeah and while I’m speculating about the ultimate dynafit touring heel, what about an integrated pole activated release from downhill to touring mode? Seems to me there’s potential for redesign to improve durability and function that wouldn’t end up being a heavy brick.

  17. Olivier August 26th, 2015 10:58 am

    I broke 4 of the 2nd generation radical heel units in 2 seasons using the binding. From my experience, the problem of the weak screws/top plate doesn’t just affect first gen. Will the radical 2.0 heel units be compatible with 1.0 radicals heel post?

  18. Max August 26th, 2015 11:24 am

    Lou, it seems wildsnow.com is the only site confirming this information. At the moment, i’m trying to talk some sense to my local dealer in Chile: is there any newsletter or press release from Dynafit directly confirming this recall?

  19. Lou Dawson 2 August 26th, 2015 12:00 pm

    Max, there is something coming from Dynafit in Germany or so I’m told. I just wanted to get the info out quickly since North American winter is just around the corner, and it’s going to take some time for some folks to get this swap done.

    Oliver, yes, I’ve heard from a few people now who’ve broken the 2nd Generation heel. I’d imagine Dynafit will stand behind it.

    What I’m hearing from sources is that breakage of the 2nd generation heel is very rare. But I’m keeping all emails and reports in case that’s actually not so and we need to cover more extensively.

  20. Lou Dawson 2 August 26th, 2015 12:16 pm

    Oliver, I’m pretty sure that to swap a Radical 2.0 on to a ski that has Radical 1.0, you’ll need to remount a new binding. Once I have retail version of 2.0 I can check. I have a pre-retail version and don’t want to publish wrong information based on things that might have changed.

    Lou

  21. Lou Dawson 2 August 26th, 2015 12:22 pm

    Olivier, can we chat on email? If so, please sent a message to contact option in menu above. Thanks, Lou

  22. Tom Wolfe August 26th, 2015 3:45 pm

    I broke (and warrantied) so many Radical heel pieces (in several different ways) I finally lost count and had Dynafit send me a pair of old Vertical heel pieces — buildings which have never caused me trouble.

    The problems with the Radical binding have been public knowledge since 2011 or earlier. It took way too long (as in years too long) to issue an official recall.

    My problems with the Radical extended well into 2013. Maybe they were sending me old stock. But why would Dynafit want to intentionally provide me with so much unfun when they already knew about the problem and had an upgrade on production?!

  23. Lou Dawson 2 August 26th, 2015 3:55 pm

    Tom, I agree, Vertical was a fine binding, with a bit of tweaking it could have been viable through now… We still use a bunch of them and yes have had almost zero problems. Lou

  24. Lou Dawson 2 August 26th, 2015 3:57 pm

    Hey everyone, it’s a huge help when you email me about gear breakage that is possibly caused by defects. Always include photos and let me know your weight, style, and approx number of days on gear before it broke. Thanks, Lou

  25. Andrej August 27th, 2015 1:24 am

    Hi, Lou and others,

    Here is my bad experience with ST bindings. In middle of skiing, last March 2014, I notice, that one ski was unstable. I found, one heel had gap between top plate and heel. Problem was broken front pair of screws. Bindings are 2012-2015 model. I took everything to local dealer. Hi sent pictures to Dynafit and ask them to change heel under warranty. The answer was, bindings were not under warranty, because were older then a year. So, I bought a new heel. It cost around 80 USD.Than I compared them, the new one and broken one. Only difference, I observed, were screws. Broken one had black screws, the new one had gray screws. By my opinion, problem are screws. The same happened more then a year ago ( April 2013) to my friend. Hi had version 2011-2012 and bindings were older then a year, when screws broken. But, hi was more lucky then me. Dynafit changed him both heels under warranty. Procedure was taken at same dealer, as I did. You can imagine, how I was disappointed. His new heels have also gray screws. I thing, Dynafit knows very well about this problem with screws, but they ignore this problem. And if you ask me, what will be next bindings, definitely will not be Dynafit.
    I still have broken heel and I can send pictures.
    Best regards

    Andrej

  26. Andrej August 27th, 2015 1:28 am

    Sorry, I mixed years. My case happed in March 2015 and friend case in April 2014.
    Best regards
    Andrej

  27. Ian August 28th, 2015 12:47 am

    Just to confirm what I mentioned above, Dynafit Europe aren’t interested at all in this. I’ve contacted them a second time and, yet again, they can’t be bothered to reply.

    I think that’s quite poor really. The original failure occurred skiing just outside the boundary of the local ski station and I was lucky that a) I wasn’t hurt in the fall and b) that I could ski back into the ski area and come down the piste. When Dynafit couldn’t be bothered to reply I ended up buying new bindings. So I feel feel pretty unhappy with Dynafit really.

  28. Lou Dawson 2 August 28th, 2015 7:36 am

    Ian, with all due respect to you, I know for a fact that Dynafit is very interested in all this and will be doing exchanges, albeit they do need to organize for the parts exchange, as Dynafit NA needs to do.

    Something sounds off about your experience.

    How are you contacting them?

    I would suggest that perhaps you might try a different way of contacting them. Also, can you work with a dealer?

    Lou

  29. Ian August 28th, 2015 8:18 am

    By magic, after my post here they’ve contacted me. I’ve used their contact form on the website on each attempt to contact them. Today the Swiss distributor contacted me. I’ve no way of knowing if Dynafit did or didn’t forward my original report back in Feb or not.

    The expectations in the comments here about the service level in NA compared to Europe are way, way off. Any sort of return here in Switzerland is always, always a battle. The only positive exception ever has been BCA replacing a tracker 2 for me. I would suggest that’s because there’s a fear of class action in NA which doesn’t exist here. I have another example of epically bad service if you want to drop me a line, not Dynafit but another backcountry supplier.

    Even now, Dynafit are playing hard to get. They claim to need to see my failed unit. This is, of course, nonsense. Either there’s a recall or there isn’t. How, why or whether my unit failed is of no relevance. We’ve three more sets with the exact same heel unit as far as I can see.

    There’s zero acknowledgement from Dynafit that any problem exists. There’s nothing on their website, no press release and they refuse to admit any known problem to me so far. Having a broken heel unit I’ve no doubt there’s a problem!

  30. XXX_er August 28th, 2015 8:24 am

    no problems up here good dealer & a great rep!

  31. Lou Dawson 2 August 28th, 2015 8:28 am

    Ian, thanks for sharing the details. Please let us know how things progress.

    Everything I heard from a source about as high up as you can get says that Dynafit will replace 1st generation Radical heel units by swapping them, if you or a dealer send in the originals, and that they will replace any broken Radical heel unit, again by having it sent to them. I would imagine that for obvious reasons they can’t just send out bindings based on emails or phone calls, they need the unit to swap, and they need broken units so they can keep track of possible endemic problems.

    What is more, the turnaround time on customer service communication, in any industry, is not always instant and sometimes takes way too long. Perhaps that’s all you’re really experiencing with Dynafit.

    Lastly, if you are Swiss, why are you not using a Swiss binding (grin)? Had to ask…

    ‘best, Lou

  32. Lou Dawson 2 August 28th, 2015 8:31 am

    Thanks Xer, glad you had a good experience.

    All, there is always a tendency for these comment threads about customer service to go negative. If you have a bad experience, please follow through with the final outcome so we all know what really happens, rather than initial experience.

    Lou

  33. Ian August 28th, 2015 8:47 am

    Lou, can you email me? If you didn’t just get mine. I can’t share the email I got from them publicly (please feel free to zap this comment as well!!)

  34. Jeremy C August 28th, 2015 9:22 am

    Excellent service from dealer and Dynafit in the UK. Not with my Radicals which fortunately have the reinforcing strut, but with my Beast heel. The dealer logged the issue on the Dynafit website, and the same morning had a call back from the Beast designer Fredrik Anderson. The dealer was requested to strip down the heel and provide exact measurements of some key parts. In turned out one part was under sized, and a complete new heel was supplied within the week.

  35. Lou Dawson 2 August 28th, 2015 9:32 am

    Ian, we don’t show any emails here in public. I’ll email you with what you left in private when you made comment. Thanks, Lou

  36. John August 28th, 2015 7:02 pm

    Maybe I missed it in the thread, but is there a way to tell for certain if I have a model that’s being recalled? All I see on my binding is “Speed”, no other part numbers are visible. Thanks!

  37. Lou Dawson 2 August 28th, 2015 7:28 pm

    Hi John, the whole point of the blog post photos is to show a binding WITH a reinforcement rib, and one WITHOUT. There are no numbers or anything else. If you have the rib, no return. The Speed Radical housing is white, but it’s from the same mold and will either have the rib, or not. Lou

  38. Michael August 29th, 2015 9:46 am

    well this isn’t the most comforting blog post. I was able to pick up 3 pairs of speed radicals this summer (at discounts fortunately) and I’ve got 3 pairs of skis mounted up for this coming touring season. At least they’re 14-15 stock with the grey top plate screws, bomber antitwist feature, and the reinforcing rib on the housing. And at least they’re light.

    Didn’t Dynafit say that the radical top plate breakage was very rare back in 2012 (less than 1% or so) when the had some issues with the metal stamping of the top plate? I guess that didn’t turn out to be true. Only time will tell if their claim is true regarding the newer stock. I take some solace in the fact that I presume Dyanfit has sold tens of thousands of radical speeds, STs, and FTs. I hope that 99% of users haven’t had any issues with newer stock.

    Lou, any worth in your mind to backing the top plate screws out (not all the way, maybe just a cm or so), dabbing them with epoxy, and then gently re-tightening? Or is this overkill?

    And who’s abused some radicals from the newer stock and lived to tell about it?

  39. XXX_er August 29th, 2015 11:54 am

    Apparently epoxy does not stick to delrin plastic and in any case that wouldn’t do anything for the broken screws

    I will admit to these patterns of abuse but I have seen the error of my ways and I’m trying to walk more softly

  40. Lou Dawson 2 August 29th, 2015 12:59 pm

    Michael, if you have the grey screws im certain you will be fine unless you are a very heavy skier doing hundreds of days using high heel lift. Even then I’m at tripple 9 confidence in the latest Radical. Lou

  41. Michael August 29th, 2015 2:04 pm

    Thanks Lou. That’s good to hear. Love everything else about the binding. Flippers are easy to use, 3 climbing riser heights, lots of adjustability fore/aft, bomber radical toe, and of course, very light. Can’t wait to ski ’em this winter.

  42. Lenka K. August 31st, 2015 4:02 am

    Hi Lou,

    all talk here is about screws on the top plate breaking.

    I, however, had to have one of the 1st-generation Radical heelunits swapped after I noticed cracks in the eyelets used for afixing the climbing aid. I was told by the shop (one of the “Dynafit Competence Centers”) this wasn’t such a rare occurrence.

    Any changes on this front, either in the newer Radical 1 iteration or Radical 2?

    And, BTW, I still wish the Vertical would come back, have four pairs with over 300km vertical mileage and no problems.

    Lenka K.

  43. Lou Dawson 2 August 31st, 2015 6:00 am

    Vertical is one of the best tech bindings ever made, if not _the_ best for ski touring. It was before all the fooling around with TUV, sliding heel units, rotating toes, flip lifters and other assorted gadgetry that is possibly good, but possibly dubious and only time will tell which is which. The sweet spot in Vertical line was the wider brake FT model with stronger toe springs, run without the heel-to connector plate which probably did nothing but add weight and cost.

    In terms of design, I’m taught by professional industrial designers that one does a very careful study of “pain points” if one wants to design a compelling product, and then act on those pain points as a design priority. What is more painful than having your binding break and become non-functional in the middle of the backcountry? I keep asking myself that question, and the only answer I can come up with is, nothing.

    P.S., I’d add that I don’t know of one tech binding brand/model out there that has not had some breakage at one time or another. And the top plate-cap screws have been an issue on-and-off for years now. Remember when Plum had to do a “recall-swap” for theirs?

    Lou

  44. Frame August 31st, 2015 8:30 am

    Whilst I agree, not breaking is the most important, shiny new things sell. Is it the industry that needs to change or the mindset of of the consumer/society. Getting heavy now!

  45. Lou Dawson 2 August 31st, 2015 8:58 am

    Frame, you’re right, “shelf appeal” is a big thing initially in sales of a product, but shelf appeal only never works in the end. I’d include being a few grams lighter than the other guy as “shelf appeal.” If a binding is lighter and durable enough than terrific, otherwise, fail…. Lou

  46. swissiphic August 31st, 2015 11:58 am

    Lou: any guesses as to when a tech binding manufacturer gonna truly innovate again and bring forth the WIDE HEEL PIN spacing tech binding? You mention the concept every once in while…what’s the industry holdup? Not to throw the baby out with the bathwater but me thinks the market is due for a paradigm shift, not just yearly fresh layers of lipstick on a pig; incremental refinements but more of the same… Previous concerns about the cost/complexity of boot mold changes due to redesign of the pin/boot interface seem to assuaged with precedent setting mod options like the Beast screw on heel thingy… i.m.o. seems feasible.

    Out of personal curiosity, I fashioned a ghetto wide pin spacing model heel piece and some custom fabricated ‘insert’s mounted laterally on the boot heel shelf. Carpet testing and clamping down the ski and just torquing the boot side to side (old soft garmont mega ride) showed a lot of promise in terms of game changing lateral stiffness at the heel compared to present design.

    What’s the holdup? Any thoughts?

  47. Lou Dawson 2 August 31st, 2015 12:07 pm

    Swiss, the holdup isn’t the boots. A heel fitting similar to Beast could have wider pin layout and just require a tiny router bit to follow a jig to widen out the boot slots and holes. We’re only talking about a few mm wider layout, any wider and the width of the pins would exceed what a ski boot heel would allow. They could even make a boot that could use either heel pin width by swapping fittings.

    The holdup is just general inertia and the cost of retooling for companies who actually make/control both boot and binding lines, which is what, just Dynafit, perhaps Salomon now? Dynafit’s hands are full just making bindings that are durable enough and innovative enough to stay in the running, starting a whole new standard would be a reach, IMHO, though you never know what on their 3 or 6 year development cycle plan.

    Lou

  48. swissiphic August 31st, 2015 12:45 pm

    Thanks for the thoughts Lou!

  49. Bryce September 2nd, 2015 11:25 am

    Thanks for posting this Lou. I also broke the heal piece on a 2013 model (reinforcement folded bar, black screws). Lightly used, maybe a dozen days. Wrecked the best powder day all year! I’ll email you photos for your records. A buddy broke two of them last season, I think also 2013 models.
    I hope dynafit will replace the back screw models as well, I am def going to ask my dealer. The 2.0 looks way better, I would be keen on upgrading the heal plates if that becomes an option.
    After the way this has all been handled, I think the next bindings may not be dynafit…

  50. Lou Dawson 2 September 9th, 2015 9:39 am

    Dynafit North America announces dates for Radical binding heel swap program. See updated post.

    Replacement ST heels will be available November 1, 2015. Replacement FT heels will be available December 15th, 2015.

  51. TimZ September 9th, 2015 10:24 am

    No info on Speed radical heel dates?

  52. Lubo October 29th, 2015 7:24 am

    Hi Lou, a reader of mine at Hiking.sk sent me couple of photos of two Radical heels broken during skiing a resort piste. It HAS a reinforcement rib, however it looks like it got those old black weaker screws. Do you want me to send those pictures to you?

  53. Lou Dawson 2 October 29th, 2015 7:30 am

    Hi Lubo, I got plenty of photos from readers so no need. I’d agree that the stronger screws are probably necessary. Lou

  54. Rick November 5th, 2015 8:37 pm

    Oh man, I rue the day I ever bought Dynafit. These guys are asleep at the wheel; other companies have developed competition while Dynafit saws logs. This heel replacement program is operated by fools – none of the ski shops I deal with in Canada can get them – the latest is that the dude running the program out of the States is on holiday. It’s freaking November!!!! I am about 10 minutes from taking both our pair of skis in and getting Ions put on and ending this Dynafit boondoggle forever.

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

    Rick, I’d agree it would have been good if they’d gotten on this faster. But I know from speaking with insiders that it’s not easy for Dynafit N.A. as they have to coordinate this with Europe, get the new heel units over here in such a way that shipping doesn’t require the budget of a small country, etc.

    Note the dates on the press release above for the Dynafit N.A. replacement program:

    5. Replacement ST heels will be available November 1, 2015. Replacement FT heels will be available December 15th, 2015.

    I think it’s fair to cut them a few days slack. Though if they’re 5 days late on being able to replace ST heels they indeed need to get on the case… and yes I’d agree it would have been much better if they’d “officially” been able to start this weeks ago, as there is going to be a delay effect as the parts filter from distributor to dealers and consumers.

    Lou

  56. Lubo November 6th, 2015 7:09 am

    Just couple of days ago I got an official statement from Salewa manager, that in Europe they are doing heel replacements only on broken pieces in warranty! Products w/ expired warranty should be repaired, not replaced. He said it is only about 3% of units having trouble, so they are not doing general replacement program.

  57. Andy November 6th, 2015 8:59 am

    To re-iterate TimZ’s question above – any word on Speed Radical Heels?

    Thanks,

    Andy

  58. Rick November 6th, 2015 10:02 am

    Well, my wife has made the decision for us. After I told her about not knowing what the state of the return program is, she’s no longer comfortable with her Radicals and stopped in to look at the Ions last night, and bought a pair. The ski shop she bought them at is happy because they say the customer service from G3 is so much easier than Dynafit. No kidding!

  59. Rick November 8th, 2015 5:02 pm

    A little more clarification on the “return program”. We went to one of the most reputable shops in our area today and I asked them about getting the upgraded rear housing. They have been instructed they must return any part to Dynafit, BEFORE Dynafit will ship a replacement.

    In the words of our shop, this is insane. They specifically asked for a supply of housings so that they could serve their customers within one day, and have been refused. To manage the return program the shop is now going to charge a handling fee and are telling their customers to expect the entire process to take at least four weeks.

    The service manager recommends continued use of the binding and says he’s only seen a handful of problems with them. He also said that if the binding fails during the season it’s up to the customer to decide whether they can wait for Dynafit or not. He them proceeded to show me the bindings that they are selling if a customer decides they need an immediate replacement. It might not come as a surprise that he did not show me a Dynafit product.

    We are from the Calgary/Banff area, and we are getting great early snow, so people are getting excited about getting out there. Who is going to take their binding out of service for a month during the season?

  60. Lou Dawson 2 November 8th, 2015 5:41 pm

    Thanks for dropping by Rick. I’ll follow up on this.

    I do know that the issue is they can’t just ship dozens of binding rears to dealers, they’re constrained by economics and reality. This is essentially a recall but like all recalls it’s not instant service. While I have total sympathy for those of you (us) with Radical 1.0 that needs to be swapped, “insane” is pretty strong. For longer than nearly anyone Dynafit has done an amazing job nearly single handedly supporting the total ski touring market. This is a glitch and while I’m not happy with it, at least they came to the table and have a swap program going.

    Other brands are indeed an option, but are not immune. I’d suggest if you do switch brands, beware of being an early adopter. I’ve not been happy with any brand in terms of the job they’ve done with reliability. From Marker, through G3 and on, it’s been a rather rough ride. Pisses me off, actually.

    If I had the money and time I’d build the testing facility that the brands for some weird reason don’t seem to be able to come up with. Sigh. Instead, we continue the consumer testing program. That is until the CPSC (and Euro equivalent?) gets involved.

    Again, this next week I’ll talk to industry insiders and report a bit more.

    Lou

  61. XXX_er November 19th, 2015 9:41 am

    I can say that my experiances with Dynafit warranty have been AWESUME so it appears that what service you get depends on whom you deal with.

    Consider this is a ” product return” program NOT a “product recall” SO there is a whole bunch of stuff not required on a return vs a recall SO business as usual.

    BUT there are LOTS of Rad 1 bindings problems out there, I doubt Dynafit know (or are admitting to themselves?) just how far this problem goes BUT in any case Dynafits barely adequate business-as-usual isn’t gona accommodate a “product return” let alone a “product recall”

    In the mean time I am still heavily invested in Dynafit but wary of my Rads so I swapped the heel pieces to a ski I don’t use as much.

    Dynafit are no longer the only game in town, last season I noticed my long time dynafit-using-guide buddy on IONs attached to G3 skis and he was very happy, IMO if Dynafit keeps pissing people off … they will lose business to G3

  62. skier6 November 27th, 2015 1:20 pm

    Thanks for all this info ,Lou
    I just sold a set of Vertical STs on my old Coombas. Feeling kind of stoopid now, I missed all this and that I didn’t keep the Verts. 😥
    I did pickup a pair of the Radical STs at the end of last season, so I thought I didn’t need my 3rd (!) set of Verts anymore.
    At least my new Radicals do have the grey screws and reinforcement rib.

  63. Lou Dawson 2 December 3rd, 2015 6:41 pm

    Updated post about Dynafit Radical durability issues. Lou

  64. Rick December 3rd, 2015 6:59 pm

    What post are you referring to? Do you have a link?

  65. Ben W December 4th, 2015 8:50 am

    Anyone have ever deal with major rust on toe pins?

    It’s happened for me on last year’s Speed Radicals. Just pulled them out of a closet and saw the rust. I rubbed with a mineral oil soaked cloth and some came off, but the rust is more than surface deep. Using steel wool or a wire brush seems like a bad idea. Or is it?

    I’ve had 2 pairs of Classics, Comforts, 2 pairs of Verticals and 2 pairs of Radicals, but this is the first time I’ve seen toe pins corrode badly. Rest of the binding is fine, as are my other bindings and ski edges.

    What’s going on? Is this a warranty issue?

    Thanks,
    Ben

  66. Rick December 9th, 2015 7:57 pm

    Completely out of the blue one the shops I had talked to about heel replacements called me and had a set of heels via the replacement program. Very generous of them and I did take them up on it.

    This shop is located in a mountain town and the owners are Euros, and it was interesting to hear that they now recommend G3 over Dynafit and are currently selling G3 Ions about five times as frequently as Dynafit competitors.

    Each to his own – just thanks to the shop and to Dynafit for getting the replacements completed.

  67. scott December 31st, 2015 9:45 pm

    I have the reinforced ST bindings with blacks screws. last month blew the top plate off a heel piece. 2 front screws were sheared and rear plastic ripped apart around screws. this week 2nd heel piece sheared the front 2 screws. noticed before I went down so the rear ones are still intact, and top plate still in place. likely would have blown the top off again had I skied. the pins and top plate could move up and down 1/4″ or so with only the rear screws holding it down. so I defiantly say the front screws shearing is most likely the cause of the rear plastic giving out.

  68. scott December 31st, 2015 10:25 pm

    ^
    bindings from dec ’15 12 months old

    picture of first failure at 11 months. ~40 ski days
    http://members.shaw.ca/smacken/binding1.JPG

    picture of 2nd failure 12 months ~50 ski days
    http://members.shaw.ca/smacken/binding1.JPG

    180lbs. almost never use high lifter. pretty mellow skier. don’t huck anything.

  69. scott December 31st, 2015 10:27 pm
  70. Ray January 1st, 2016 8:15 am

    I’m guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve been on the 1st generation Radicals and have not an issue with them. I had the heel replace a couple of weeks ago by ROAM in Nelson,BC and had no issues about getting them replaced, glad we have a good dynafit dealer in Nelson.

  71. Ray January 1st, 2016 8:18 am

    I’m guess I’m one of the lucky ones, I’ve been on the 1st generation Radicals and have not an issue with them. I had the heel replace a couple of weeks ago by ROAM in Nelsonnd had no i,BC assues about getting them replaced, glad we have a good dynafit dealer in Nelson.

  72. trollanski January 4th, 2016 7:20 am

    Well my wife and have jumped ship to other brands. I personally replaced five heels for myself, family and friends last year. Wont go into details, but heroics were involved…Replacement parts were always quickly in the mail, but we all basically had resorted to skiing with a spare heel unit.
    This hasn’t really been mentioned as a possibility, but it seems like when the tail of a ski flexes, and the heel unit and boot heel butt-up together, the tiny cap screws and miniscule amounts of plastic at the upper rear end of the housing shear off. Happened to me when softly bumping up onto a snowed over boulder last year at a hut. Skied out in tele mode. First tour this year for wife, same thing happened skiing slowly over a pow’d over fallen tree.
    Will prognosticate that there will be more good will/customers lost before they recall all Radicals prior to the 2.0.

  73. Wally Macfarlane February 20th, 2016 9:12 pm

    I just broke a heel piece on my Radical ST binding and I don’t trust the design anymore and don’t want to deal with the warranty BS. So I was wondering if I could replace the heel pieces with a Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0 Binding? I don’t want to remount the toe piece if I can help it. Please advise and thank you.

    BTW: I’m 6 ft 210 pounds and I use the highest riser a lot, I ski fast and hard. I had 25 days on the bindings all backcountry. I purchased from Backcountry.com and they did not warn me of the frequent heel piece failures.

  74. Charlie Hagedorn February 21st, 2016 12:10 am

    Unless the 2.0 bolt pattern is different from the 1.0 (and every Classic, Comfort, Vertical, Turn, and Radical heel I’ve mounted), it should be a drop-in replacement at the heel. Skimo.co sells heels alone, many shops can get them, too.

  75. Michael February 21st, 2016 9:49 am

    2.0 mount pattern is different than 1.0

  76. XXX_er February 21st, 2016 9:54 am

    I’ve seen a 140 lb finesse skier break the rad st heel piece, I don’t think its your size that broke the heel piece … they really do break just walking along

    A vertical heelpiece will go right in the holes already drilled in your ski and is very reliable

  77. Travis February 21st, 2016 10:04 am

    Wally,
    I do heel piece swaps at my shop from time to time, due to the Radical warranty/breakage or frankenbinding needs of customers. No big deal at all. Just get a set of the Turn heel pieces and they will go right on just fine. Maybe use epoxy for the remount depending on how fragile the core of the ski is. I have been noticing a lot of these really light carbon skis don’t want to take a remount in the same holes as well as good old wood skis.

    Travis

  78. XXX_er February 23rd, 2016 9:55 am

    Hey Lou thanks for showing us the difference between the screws, I suspected as much but I wasn’t going rip mine apart, I now have an ST heelpiece with the weak screws and an FT replacement heelpiece with the stronger grey screws so I’m waiting for the other one to break. I now look at the screws on every heel piece i see and i notice the FT have all been the thicker screws?

    “Dynafit claims the later version has no unusual problem with heel unit top-plate strength. They say the breakage we’ve been discussing here at WildSnow.com are in the earlier binding versions. Thankfully, differentiation is easy. The better, later version has an extra metal plate under the top plate. See photo above.”

    I think you have nailed the situation pretty good in this latest piece while Dynafit does not have a handle on their problem and it will cost them as skiers look at other brands

  79. Lou Dawson 2 February 23rd, 2016 10:02 am

    Xer, yes, it’s really bad to take the heel apart as the screws are thread cutting into the Delrin plastic and the second time you put them in they’re prone to stripping. When I take apart, I put the screws back in with plastic enabled epoxy, very carefully. In any case, the metal plate makes it easy to ID the latest upgraded heels.

    That said, I think the earlier upgraded versions, with stronger screws and the plastic rib, but no extra plate, are probably fine for smaller to average weight skiers who don’t ski aggressively, but that’s just a guess.

    I’d add, be SURE that heel gap is adjusted correctly for which binding model you have.

  80. XXX_er February 23rd, 2016 10:11 am

    Totally agree with that last post … YUP!

  81. harpo February 23rd, 2016 8:02 pm

    “I’d agree, but making a ski touring binding strong, light, and functional is simply not easy.” Dynafit themselves did this 20 years ago. How hard can it be?

  82. Mikael February 25th, 2016 12:02 am

    Some information regarding the Radical St 1.0 version – replacement in europe:

    I examined my own radicals 2 days ago and noticed they are of the first release (with the pin replaced though but no reinforcement in the plastic molding) and contacted dynafit about it:

    I got a reply from someone at Dynafit that they do not have any official replacecment program going on in europe for Radical ST 1.0 heelpeace. In other words, you might get a replacement in case the binding breaks apart and you send it in, but no “preventive” just-in-case replacements for intact 1.0 heel pieces by default

    (Seems you have better customer protection/product warranty in NA in this issue, as is usually the case in these types of issues… 🙂

  83. Lou Dawson 2 February 25th, 2016 7:01 am

    That’s interesting Mikael. Thanks. Lou

  84. JCoates February 25th, 2016 8:08 am

    Mikael,
    That’s cuz us Mer’cans will sue your a$$ if we get hurt in the outdoors.
    Seriously though, sounds like Dynafit knows this is a problem and should do the right thing and fix it.
    What also makes me grumpy, is that they have a great product, but every year try to modify it just a little so they can charge more for an “improved version.” More money for an over-designed product that then fails. To me, the Speed and Expedition model (which was sold for $250 less as the race model 6-7 years ago) are about as perfect as you can get.

  85. Tom Wolfe February 25th, 2016 4:06 pm

    This is supposed to be an official recall — yet I can’t find any official Dynafit sources publishing this recall. Do you have a link or an official document Lou?

    I have six (6) heel pieces I need to get warrantied. Do I send them directly to

    Oberalp Deutschland GmbH
    To: Claim department Dynafit / fee update Radical 1
    Saturnstr. 63
    85609 Aschheim
    Germany

    and hope for the best, or do I contact someone to get an RA#? Thanks.

  86. XXX_er February 25th, 2016 9:22 pm

    They are both “R” words but i believe there is a difference between a “return” and a “recall”

    Maybe some legal type could help us out but a recall means the mgfer has some obligations they must fulfill while a return does not

  87. Rick March 1st, 2016 7:01 pm

    Note to those getting “returns” mounted. I got a pair in mid-December but as things work out I did not use them until this past weekend. We toured from the top of a local resort, so I did not have to use the heel lift until we were almost four miles out. First time I did – the heel rotates anti-clockwise into ski mode. The old pair of heels I had came with the anti-rotation pin; the replacements did not. I had a very, very tough trip back UP to the resort.

    Honestly folks, this is ridiculous. These guys at Dynafit are amateurs, true amateurs. I am going to buy the anti rotation piece of plastic that attaches to the brake, but when I can afford it, and IF my skis can be remounted, I am buying a tech binding from a different manufacturer. I am finished with Dynafit. I am going to pulverize these bindings with a hammer, and LOVE every minute of it. I will never buy another product of theirs – never. I look at their boots and I think garbage, and it’s all because of this horrible binding experience.

  88. Joe K March 15th, 2016 1:28 am

    Awesome. I have 3 pairs of speed radicals. One with the rib but black screws, the other two with grey screws but no extra metal plate. I’m rolling a bit over 200lbs these days. Are they replacing the units with ribs but black screws in NA? Guess I should start with that pair. This does not make me happy.

  89. Lou Dawson 2 March 15th, 2016 7:36 am

    Joe, it is indeed confusing but Dynafit will help you sort it out. Please report back on how you end up resolving everything. Lou

  90. keith nunn March 15th, 2016 9:58 am

    I purchased a pair of radical st’s this season. They have the reinforced rib and the thicker grey screws. Just noticed last night that the two front screws on one of the heel pieces have sheared. I’m glad they didn’t fail while making hop turns down some steep couloir. Reading all of the posts above is discouraging. It looks like I have the stronger version, but they still failed. It’s hard to imagine a replacement form dynafit is going to fix the problem. I’m wondering which bindings out there have the same hole pattern so I can replace the radical heel piece with something else. Can I get some vertical heel pieces from dynafit? Other options? I have two sets of skis with quiver killer inserts so I would really like use the same holes.

    I probably had around 30 days on the bindings. Heel risers at max height often. Fat powder skis. 185lbs aggressive skiing no hucking.

  91. eggbert March 15th, 2016 3:56 pm

    +1 on the auto rotation “feature” described by Rick. My heel pieces were replaced as part of the repair/warranty program and sure enough, it appears the anti-rotation pin is gone.

  92. Lou Dawson 2 March 15th, 2016 4:29 pm

    Eggbert, you’ll probably need the anti-rotation stop that is attached to the brake retraction plate.

    Sorry this blog post is so hard to find:

    https://www.wildsnow.com/7898/dynafit-anti-twist-rotation-48684-installation/

    And here is another one:

    https://www.wildsnow.com/8765/dynafit-maruelli-anti-twist-step-by-step/

    Lou

  93. eggbert March 15th, 2016 5:13 pm

    Thanks Lou. I’ll explore the fix with my local shop.

  94. Lou Dawson 2 March 15th, 2016 5:38 pm

    I think the “local shop” is key in much of this stuff, so good to hear you’re using one. Lou

  95. Jasper March 15th, 2016 8:15 pm

    Keith nunn, I used radicals for a few years and never had any failures. Nonetheless I switched to the Plum Guide this year and I am very happy with them. The guide has the same hole pattern as the verticals, and I did that swap without any problems. I’m not sure how the radical and the guide heel match up, but I can say for sure the toes are different. I think you can probably buy just a guide heel if that’s the route you want to take.

  96. XXX_er March 15th, 2016 8:52 pm

    Keith nunn, its not the hucking that breaks the screws its the just walking along or maybe stomping hard on the heel lifters which shouldn’t break the screws but it does … seriously

    at some point the plum heelpieces might be the logical replacement if my Rad heels break again and I can’t get warranty

  97. keith nunn March 15th, 2016 9:11 pm

    Jasper,

    Did you mount Plum Guides on the same skis drilled for radicals? Any interference with the toe piece holes?

    I think i’m going to go the frankenbinding route. Radical toes and Plum Guide heels. I have lost confidence in the radical heel. Imaging if one of these things fails in commiting terrain. Anybody have any experience with using a radical toe and plum guide heel?

  98. Ben W March 16th, 2016 7:24 am

    Keith,

    I know a few folks who have used a Radical tow and a Plum heel. On the other hand, it’s my understanding that Plum guide toe failures are pretty much a thing of the past.

  99. Lou Dawson 2 March 16th, 2016 7:56 am

    I’ve not heard of any Plum toe unit failures for quite some time, I’d say definitely a thing of the past, but don’t buy used ones of unknown vintage. FYI, the Plum heel has a defect history as well that we’ve covered over the years, such as breaking pins and a breaking screw issue similar to what’s been going on with Dynafit Radical 1.x, but that seems to be gone as well.

    The logical concern with smaller companies is they may not have the alpha testing program of larger companies, but that logic seems to be flawed as we watch companies such as Marker and Dynafit (and look at Black Diamond’s recent carabiner debacle) struggle with quality control. Perhaps in the end, the only meaningful testing is you guys, the consumers? Wow. If that’s true I just wonder where to go from here… I wonder if the buying public would support a company that slowed down their product development in lieu of more consistent quality? So problematic. You wouldn’t even know what company that was until several years had gone by, and if they delayed their products too much they’d be out-of-date by the time they hit retail. Truly, this whole situation is very challenging for everyone involved, from the CEO to the shopper (not to mention the writer!). In my opinion it’ll only get worse, since the product development-retail cycle continues to accelerate and become more competitive.

    Lou

  100. JoeK March 16th, 2016 12:47 pm

    I just heard back from Dynafit US. Unless you have the heel that lacks the rib you’re out of luck. I may test my luck with the two pair of speed radicals I have with grey screws but no extra plate. At my weight I can’t fathom skiing anything remotely committing while relying on the black screws on my older pair. Guess my business is going to Plum. No idea why I’d ever throw more money Dynafit’s way after this.

  101. Jim Milstein March 16th, 2016 7:24 pm

    Just wondering why you’d blame broken screws on the binding. Why not blame the broken screws? I always chose screws made from unobtainium salted with plutonium. Costly, sure, but reliable.

  102. Lou Dawson 2 March 16th, 2016 7:48 pm

    Jim, yes,, screws can be defective for sure. That’s what happened to Plum way back when.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/10091/plum-binding-screw-replacement/

  103. See March 16th, 2016 10:05 pm

    On a practical level, it doesn’t matter how brilliant the design is if it breaks or otherwise doesn’t work. I’m inclined to cut the folks making something in a garage some slack. Big business should provide customer service commensurate with their marketing hype. If they want to take the credit when it works, they should take the blame when it doesn’t.

  104. jasper March 17th, 2016 7:35 pm

    keith nunn,

    I put my plums on two skis. The first had vertical holes, the second had no holes, so no I did not put plums on skis set up for radicals. I imagine you could make it work some how, but with quiver killers you might have less room to play with.

    I like the frankenbinding idea. I really love my plums, but I also think power towers are great. A radical toe and plum heel combine the best of both.

    A couple of side notes: The plums are harder then radicals to step into (with my dynafit certified scarpa boots). The plums SEEM to have a stiffer toe spring, and I can do a lot of soft snow skining without locking the toe, which is comforting when on steeper slopes.

  105. See March 17th, 2016 8:06 pm

    I’m just speculating here, but if you’re going to be using heels and toes from different bindings I think the lateral release value numbers are going to be off. For example, if you use a heel designed to work with a toe that has stiff springs, but pair it with a toe that has softer springs, maybe the lateral rv’s numbers are going to be low.

    https://www.wildsnow.com/18803/comparo-toe-jaw-closure-strength-marker-g3-dynafit/

  106. Lou Dawson 2 March 18th, 2016 8:03 am

    See, exactly. The vertical release value is probably the same but the lateral is going to be off.

    As for toe jaw strength, yes, thanks See for keeping that link alive! That was an expensive and time consuming project.

    Another thing about toe jaw spring strength: I was asked by at least one binding maker at ISPO “why did you check toe without heel?” Well for a lot of reasons but one the makers don’t seem to get is that stronger toe springs help overcome icing in the boot toe sockets and under the binding. The more obvious thing is stronger springs allow you to sometimes tour without locking the toe (nice in avalanche terrain, or just for convenience sake). And the truly subtle aspect is that a certain mode of pre-release is caused in my opinion by the binding toe opening up while skiing downhill, and stronger springs help prevent that.

    Lou

  107. Liz Repetto March 19th, 2016 8:03 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I just experienced tower crack and failure on not one, but TWO heel pieces of my radical speeds 2011 generation. I have good close-up pics if that would help. The first fix was done with a new heel piece right out of the box (2011 new spares) and failure occurred with this replacement after two days skiing. Breakage was same place on each- right below the two pins at base of the heel post. We decided for the second fix to replace the heel piece AND base and re-glue/screw the whole rear piece.

    Curious to hear your thoughts on how to trust the unbroken binding from here on out (which is an original 2011 binding too)

    I guess I am a bit confused on warranty/returns. Do I bother contacting dynafit?
    Open to hear options. thanks!

  108. Patrick Campbell April 4th, 2016 2:01 pm

    I am confused – which models come with the new metal plate?

    I just broke my 2012-2015 binding. It clearly has the rib, but the older black screws.
    I ordered a replacement from SkiMo and it didn’t come with the metal plate. Should I be upset about this?

    I’m waiting to hear from Dynafit about potentially replacing my broken one and perhaps old unbroken one.

  109. Lou Dawson 2 April 4th, 2016 3:47 pm

    Yeah, I need to find time to do more editing on this blog post. It’s been difficult as things have changed three different times that I can remember.

    In terms of what comes with the new metal plate, as far as I know that would be all Radical version 1 and Speed Radical version 1 shipped this winter. Before that, who knows, and there is old stock out there.

    To clarify: Dynafit will sell you the bindings with the added metal plate. Before that, they first upgraded with the reinforcement rib, then with the stronger screws. I’ve heard mixed reports of what they’ll upgrade for free but if your binding lacks the screws or rib, or both, contact them for possible free swap. And indeed, it would be insane not to replace both the broken one and the unbroken…

    Please let us know how it goes.

  110. Patrick Campbell April 4th, 2016 5:48 pm

    Thanks for the reply. Do you think the Speed Turn 2.0 experiences any of these heel problems?

  111. Lou Dawson 2 April 4th, 2016 5:52 pm

    Patrick, Speed Turn uses essentially the same parts as the Speed Radical, only with a different top plate. I’d think it needs the same upgrades as they apply. That’s an opinion. I’ve not heard of any broken ones. In other words, you’re asking me if I “think” not if I “know.” (grin) Lou

  112. JoeK April 4th, 2016 7:11 pm

    I bought two new pairs of Speed Radicals earlier this season and neither of them had the extra metal plate. I’ve yet to even lay eyes on a pair that did have the extra plate. Dynafit officially only replaces the earliest version that lacks the rib, but, as Lou said, what happens in practice can be different. They’ve kept me happy enough.

  113. Patrick Campbell April 18th, 2016 12:17 pm

    I just received my replacement heel from Dynafit – it does indeed have the extra metal plate.

    They didn’t seem to want to replace the one that wasn’t broken but maybe I will ask again .

    So I now have 1 heel and with extra metal plate + new style screws, 1 heel with rib + new style screws and 1 with rib + old style (smaller) screws.

  114. Lou Dawson 2 April 18th, 2016 1:20 pm

    You should be doing blog posts for WildSnow, comparo!! (grin)

  115. Lou Dawson 2 May 13th, 2016 8:22 am

    Post from John re broken bindings, placed in moderation pending verification of authorship and possible edits. I’ll get it back up in some form just as soon as I hear from John and know he’s for real.

    Summary: John asserts he was skiing at a resort on Dynafit bindings. His comment implies he took a bad fall, either because he simply fell, or else his bindings either broke pre-released (he’s not clear, doesn’t remember, and the only information he gave about the bindings is a ski shop looked at them and said they were “suspect”). John writes that he woke up some time later in the hospital with multiple injuries. He claims he’s been in touch with Dynafit, dealing with a possible financial settlement and that they have some of his gear for testing.

    Again, if I hear from John and can confirm his identity and what happened to him, I’ll be happy to publish a comment from him, though I’ll probably get him to edit or rewrite what he sent, for greater clarity.

    Lou

  116. Lou Dawson 2 May 13th, 2016 8:36 am

    Update: I’ve not heard from John a day later, so I’ll add some info to my post above for those of you who are curious.

    John, I’m sorry to hear of your problems, sounds terrible.

    I need to substantiate your blog post or else condense it or delete it. As you can imagine, I can’t just publish random posts like that with allegations of things that could bring legal actions, with no verification that what we’ve published is true or real. Doing so could lead to legal problems for me.

    That said, I’m entirely sympathetic to the take that some of these bindings have broken in normal use, and again, I encourage all users to be sure they have any upgrades handled.

    I’ll try to email you. I’ll probably put the post into moderation until I hear from you. I’m not taking sides, just being careful. Indeed, I was told by an attorney some time ago that if a person is experiencing a product liability legal problem, they should not do ANY public postings due to the possibility of their postings being used against them in court.

    Thanks for understanding.

    Lou

  117. Olivier December 16th, 2016 5:01 am

    I’ve just stopped by my local ski shop and looked at this year radical ST and speed and noticed that the bidings heel pieces didnt come with the additionnal metal plate. Are the new ones supposed to have it?

  118. Lou Dawson 2 December 16th, 2016 7:11 am

    Radical ST 2.0 doesn’t need the thin steel plate under the heel unit, as the sliding components are internalized into the heel unit, probably true with Speed as well? Lou

  119. VT skier December 16th, 2016 9:00 am

    A quick note
    I skied on Vertical ST for years, still have two pairs, great bindings, very reliable.

    On the Vertical ST I would occasionally get a pre-release, usually skiing at high speed on icy, chattery snow. I weigh 195 lbs.. Say during a few resort r
    laps, before a sidecountry trip.
    I now have switched one pair of the Verts, over to Radical 2,0 on my Nunataqs. This season I have been skiing these Radical 2.0/Nunataqs in controlled test runs, on some Eastern resort, icy snow, and so far have had no pre-release…at speeds I might have come out of the Verts.
    So it looks like the Radical ST 2.0 with rotating toe piece may be the answer !

  120. Olivier December 16th, 2016 9:22 am

    I was thinking of the additional metal plate under the heel lifters as pictured at the beginning of this post. They are not shown on radical 1.0 pictured on dynafit website too.

    I broke a few radical 1.0 heels and I’m not pleased by my radical 2.0 (rotating toe is pain without gain and the brakes deploy in touring mode in wet snow) so I would like to switch back to radical 1.0 once they are reinforced..

  121. Lou Dawson 2 December 16th, 2016 9:37 am

    Oh!

    My understanding is that the last manufacturing runs of the Radical 1 did have the additional metal plate, and that the Radical 1.0 is now replaced with the 2.0 and Dynafit is just selling the remaining stock of 1.0 with no plans to manufacture. I could be wrong. It’s hard to get a straight answer on this sort of thing, as most companies don’t like to give bad impression of their older model products they’re still selling.

    IMHO the latest, upgraded Radical 1.0 is really nice, though I’d suggest the FT model as you’ll be sure it has the strong toe unit springs. It can be run without the connecting plate between toe and heel, which is superfluous.

    Lou

  122. JoeS December 29th, 2016 2:05 pm

    Hi Lou, Thank you for all hard work in gathering this info. I am looking for my first skimo binding and arrived at either the Speed Turn 2.0 or the Speed Radical. I really like the flip down risers on the Radicals compared to the rotating volcano of the Speed Turns, but my only hang up is the potential for damage that you’ve presented.

    It sounds like with the most recent build I should be fine, do you agree? Or is it hit and miss if the heels come with the longer screws? It is also hard to tell with pictures online if the extra plate is included or not.

    Any info/advice/opinions you can share would be very helpful! Thank you!

  123. Lou Dawson 2 December 29th, 2016 3:35 pm

    If you like the flipper lifters, just go with Speed Radical, the bugs are pretty much worked out in my opinion. Lou

  124. John January 4th, 2017 8:45 pm

    Well after reading all of the comments about this issue as I’m trying to figure out if I should buy Speed Rads or continue to swap my Verticals back and forth I just want to say thanks for the awesome website. I’ve been reading/commenting for a while but figure actually saying thanks couldn’t hurt. It’s a hell of a resource!

    And it didn’t hurt that the question I was preparing to ask was answered in the last comment made by Lou.

  125. WasnatchJerry January 31st, 2017 3:01 pm

    Lou,
    My 120# daughter experienced TLT Radical heel piece failure and a long walk out. The plastic foundation cracked in half. Can you please tell me if this a common issue? Thank you.
    p.s. I have photos, is there a way to upload?

  126. Lou Dawson 2 January 31st, 2017 5:30 pm

    Hi Jerry, nope, that’s not a common failure, especially for someone 120#. I have to wonder if the binding had a defective mount or something. Or, someone tried to adjust the binding too far forward or back, which will easily damage the base plate, and such damage is hard to spot. I’ve done it myself, with a power driver. Lou

  127. Brad March 15th, 2017 5:29 pm

    I broke screws last season on a heelpiece on a Radical ST purchased in early 2014. Seems mine had all of the updates except for the extra metal plate. Used ~50 touring days, I am 175 lbs, and avoid using my high risers as much as possible, but most of my touring is in Roger’s Pass, and although there are lots of long flat approaches, there are also lots of steep finishes to those. It seems like most evidence points to this failure being due to riser use and not downhill, but I am not jumping off of many things on these bindings, mostly just skiing pow in the trees with my friends, but sometimes the long, fast bobsled tracks out of our tours may put undue downhill stress on them. Replaced that heel with a new one with the metal plate for $120-$150 Canadian (can’t remember exactly). Just bought a new set advertised as 2016, but they came with the same heels as my last one, no extra metal plate.

  128. Lou Dawson 2 March 15th, 2017 5:35 pm

    Hi Brad, I think the consensus now is don’t use any Radicals without the fully reinforced heel unit (metal plate). That only seems fair, considering all. Lou

  129. Andres March 19th, 2017 10:30 pm

    Will the radical heel piece fit on the old vertical spindles?

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  Your Comments

  • Ryana: I've never had the heel lifters flip up inadvertently. The brakes work for ...
  • Ryan: Those heel lifters seem to be the only real negative. I wonder if they can...
  • Joe John: Gringo, thanks for sharing the video link. That was special....
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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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