Atomic Salomon Backland Tour Binding — Unboxed

Post by blogger | November 5, 2015      

I’ve been jonesing for a test samp of the new Atomic Salomon tech binding. Rather fascinating to see one of the most highly technical ski binding companies on the planet go low tech. But the design is proven by literally millions of ski tourers. We went over this binding in more detail last winter when we visited Atomic. This pair will go on some test skis ASAP and get passed around amongst our guest bloggers. In fact, I guess I should stick them to the Atomic Ultimate 85 we have leaning against our ski rack here in the skunk works. These bindings came direct from Austria to feed our gear blogging fanaticism.

Direct from Austria to Colorado Wildsnow HQ.

Direct from Austria to Colorado Wildsnow HQ.

Out of the box.

They literally jumped out of the box on their own,; special Salomon secret sauce is to blame. What’s super interesting about this binding is how the spring bar-pins control BOTH lateral and vertical release. That’s the thing about tech bindings based on the old Barthel design; they’re so open to innovation that’s still fascinating to watch thirty years later. It has no release value adjustment; this pair feels like they’re set at around a value of 8. It’s possible springs will be available to change release value. Off the top at first glance, my only concern is the fairly thin aluminum toe wings. Note the toe pins appear massively peened-riveted into the aluminum — a lesson taught by other brands attempting to carry steel toe pins in aluminum wings.

Disclaimer is quite specific about this binding not having what I'd call 'modern' release.

Disclaimer is quite specific about this binding not having what I’d call modern release.

Three different rear release "U-springs" are available and I'm pretty sure will ship with each binding (though I'll check).

Three different rear release “U-springs” are available and I’m pretty sure will ship with each binding (though I’ll check). The U-spring to left is the “W” version with some material cut away to tune it down, probably to around release value of 6. The spring on the right is the super beefy version that I’d imagine yields at least a release value of 10.

Total binding weight with screws, no safety strap: 280 grams.


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19 Responses to “Atomic Salomon Backland Tour Binding — Unboxed”

  1. Charlie Hagedorn November 5th, 2015 11:56 am

    Interesting – is the binding function the equivalent of a u-spring race binding without a rotating heelpiece, i.e. to switch from downhill to uphill, you click out of the toe, disengage the heel from the heel pins, flip down the lowest heel riser, and click back in at the toe?

    Super simple, and inherently resistant to ‘auto-rotation’….

  2. Lou Dawson 2 November 5th, 2015 1:37 pm

    Not quite. The spring does rotate out of the way for heel-flat mode, but does not point backwards. Normally you’d just use the golden colored heel lifters flipped over the spring prongs. So you can go to downhill mode by simply reaching down and flipping up whichever heel riser you’re using, then stepping down into the heel unit. I’ll detail one way or another. Lou

  3. RobinB November 5th, 2015 3:26 pm

    Adjustable for varying BSL?

  4. Lou Dawson 2 November 5th, 2015 4:07 pm

    Robin, yes, 3 centimeters. Lou

  5. Mark Worley November 6th, 2015 6:47 am

    Looks nice. Having so many choices in bindings is a good problem to have.

  6. Scott Newman November 6th, 2015 8:39 am

    Lou, Given that all new tech offerings seem to be based on the original Barthel design and all seem to have issues that Dynafit has already sorted, why stray? Is there a grail that the new entrants are seeking or are they merely attempting to piggy-back on Dynafit’s success and steal some market share? I may be mistaken but it seems as if the majority of improvements to this design have been driven by Dynafit.

  7. Dave November 6th, 2015 10:25 am

    I’m liking…kind of a hybrid speed superlite and speed turn.
    Has the simple no rotation function of the superlite but adds the BSL adjustment plate of a speed turn.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 November 14th, 2015 3:50 pm

    UPDATE, I just noticed that Atomic shipped both women’s version and monster version of the U-springs that control vertical release for this binding. Took a photo and added to the post.

  9. justin November 28th, 2015 10:45 am

    Did you mount these yet? The heel risers can rotate independently of the rest of the heel unit, is that right? So you can just flip the risers down over the heel pins if you don’t want a flat (no riser) mode, or rotate the heel 90 degrees so you have the option of flat plus two different heel lifters? Sounds cool but I wonder if that extra rotating piece will be strong/durable enough

  10. steeplechase December 11th, 2015 12:57 pm

    How tall are the heel risers? Atomic says the risers provide 0°/7°/13° but without a boot sole length I don’t know how a person would compare those numbers with other bindings. FWIW, riser height would be a great addition to the “Ski Boot Binding Ramp & Delta Angle” chart.

  11. ratatouille January 5th, 2016 4:10 pm

    Mine arrived about a week ago. Time to mount them. Are the mounting patterns identical to some other binding? Reusing a jig for drilling would be nice.

  12. Maz February 18th, 2016 11:48 pm

    Very curious about these. Having just peeled the top plate off my Radical ST 1.0 heel, I’m wary of the large torque on the heel riser assembly. Are the top plates alloy or steel, and are they screwed into the main heel unit with machine screws?

    It would be great to hear more. Thanks.

  13. See January 23rd, 2017 10:38 am

    Assuming the U springs provide reasonable lateral and vertical release values and the toes have good geometry and spring stiffness, these look fantastic.

  14. Lou Dawson 2 January 23rd, 2017 10:55 am

    See, the Salomon-Atomic toe jaw closure pressure is fine, quite stiff in manual testing. I’l rig up the testing system again but not for a while, headed to Europe next week for ISPO and some traveling. Lou

  15. See January 23rd, 2017 11:31 am

    Bon voyage.

  16. Paul Jacobs March 27th, 2017 12:54 pm

    I was wondering have you measured the ramp on these puppies yet?

  17. Paul Jacobs March 27th, 2017 12:56 pm

    Lou, Have you had an opportunity to measure the ramp/delta on these puppies yet

  18. Lou2 March 27th, 2017 1:13 pm

    They are in the chart. Use site search and see how it works. Let me know. Lou

  19. Ben January 19th, 2018 3:51 pm

    In the third photo (info paper, bottom right): “Furthermore, these bindings are not compatible with soft boots such as Scarpa F1/F3/Tx.” Seems like the F1 could be a popular boot choice with these bindings. What’s the story there? Does anyone know if they still come with such a disclaimer?

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