Dynafit Speed Radical Heel Swap Upgrade

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 23, 2016      
Original Speed Radical to left, upgrade to right can be identified by slightly larger and shiny screws.

Original Speed Radical to left, upgrade to right can be identified by slightly larger and shiny screws. Better way to ID is by seeing an extra layer of metal under the top plate, see photo below.

I know from emails that folks out there are still uncertain about upgrading their Dynafit Radical 1.x binding heels. As in, can anyone tell me what binding I actually have!? I just got the upgrade for a set of Speed Radicals as well as Radical FT and ST. The new heels are clearly beefed. Here is a comparison to help cut the confusion. Chances are if you’ve had your Radicals for some time, they should be upgraded as they’re probably the older version. More about that here.

Added metal layer is a clear identification.

Added metal layer is a clear identification.

Weight of non-improved unit 148 grams, new is 164 grams, 16 gram weight creep for 95.5987645876% more reliability. Good trade.


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25 Responses to “Dynafit Speed Radical Heel Swap Upgrade”

  1. Michael February 23rd, 2016 9:37 am

    well shoot, I’ve got 4 pairs of Speed Radicals. All 4 pairs have the plastic reinforcement rib in the housing and gray topsheet screws. I thought these were good to go. But they do NOT have shiny screws or the additional layer of metal. Send ’em in? I guess I should contact Dynafit.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 February 23rd, 2016 9:51 am

    Michael, yes, I’d contact Dynafit, it’s all quite confusing as there are fully at least 5 different versions of the Radical 1.x heels! Writing about them is causing my brain to explode, but I’ll try:
    1. Ancient, had the infamous brass anti-rotation pin slots that caused the housing to shatter, or was there a version even before this that had the heel lifters that broke off? I can’t remember, but all that stuff has probably long been upgraded for most users.
    2. Upgraded without the internal pin, doesn’t have the reinforcement rib on plastic housing, very few of these around as far as I can tell.
    3. Has rib, but same black screws which are known to break.
    4. With rib and stronger, grey instead of black screws, much better, probably ok for average weight skiers who are not aggressive, but I’m not sure.
    5. With rib, different screws, and extra plate layer of shiny metal, in my opinion clearly best but may not be what they offer for swapping, instead this might be a for-sale item.

  3. Lou Dawson 2 February 23rd, 2016 10:07 am

    BTW, everyone, I’d suggest attempting to work with a dealer on this stuff, as a good shop should be very aware of the differences in bindings and can help you with identifications and suggestions. Lou

  4. Jeremy February 23rd, 2016 11:39 am

    Thanks for the info. This is very frustrating as I received upgraded heel units from Dynafit NA in late November that clearly do not have the additional metal plate. The replacement was for first generation Radical ST’s (no plastic rib, with the brass anti-rotation pin).

  5. Lou Dawson 2 February 23rd, 2016 11:56 am

    I’d agree, it’s frustrating. The huge huge gorilla in the room is, if they don’t fully upgrade all Radical bindings, those bindings will eventually end up on the used gear market as nearly all Dynafit bindings do (to their credit), but they will then be a time bomb. Seems like a complex issue. Even writing about it is complex. Lou

  6. swissiphic February 23rd, 2016 12:15 pm

    …and through it all…the circa 2001 tlt tourlite tech heels just keep on keepin’ on…even managed to keep with with ‘elasticity’ trends with the ovalized housing plastic offering a good 10mm of vertical float.

  7. XXX_er February 23rd, 2016 12:33 pm

    Lou the RAD1 problem is actualy a very very large elephant in the room because there is a lot of product out there, but obviously YOU as the blogger can only report and let the skiers figure it out themselves

    Dynafit might want to consider that at some point an exploding heelpiece could cause an injury maybe a law suite along the lines of the Salomon toe fitting debacle?

    I often wonder if maybe heel pieces are not exploding across the pond in euro land where dynafit sell most of their product?

    Buddy of mine still has some tri-step toes which she tells me have been falling off for years so I gave her the heads up, fortunately she had retired those dogs …for radicals

  8. PieterG February 24th, 2016 5:19 am

    Hi Lou,

    Just be sure… also the beefed up non-speed radical heel pieces have the reinforcement plate?

    I just had my gen 1 radicals replaced but with your option 4 heel pieces… with nice grey screws… but no metal plate.

    Even in Europe the swap tends to take a lot of time. My dealer swapped the heel pieces at beginning of January and they told me I was the first customer who dropped by for this heel swap.

  9. Phil February 24th, 2016 5:40 am

    I also received option 4 in November. I have a hard time believing that between then and now, Dynafit figured out they needed the extra metal plate (the one I m missing) and got it manufactured for exchange like Lou got. What’s going on? Anyway the screws seem to be the main default, I carry a few and the torx bit in my pack, and hope it does not happen again in the wrong place, like at the top of the Petzhold last time.

  10. rob February 24th, 2016 8:34 am

    so are you saying dynafit will warranty these? free of charge?

  11. Dave February 24th, 2016 9:01 am

    FYI I have version 3 and Dynafit declined replacing them but would sell me new heel units for $67/ea.

  12. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2016 9:15 am

    Rob, are you asking me that? I have no insider concrete knowledge of what exact treatment folks will receive re warranty/exchange/recall. My guess is they’ll swap you the Version 4 but you’ll have to buy the Version 5. Lou

  13. Mark W February 24th, 2016 10:08 am

    Dynafit has been quite accommodating when a top heel plate has broken. I don’t know if they will simply upgrade to the metal plate version without prior breakage. Definitely recommend contacting a dealer for further assistance.

  14. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2016 10:17 am

    I’ve been doing some scientific testing that involves a 5 pound sledge hammer and large bench vise. The original Radical heels I have here, with the black screws, no upgraded top plate, are amazingly durable. In fact, we wailed on one so hard we finally broke a pin, but the top plate never came off or broke. This leads me to the theory that some screws are defective and that’s leading to the broken bindings we are seeing — BUT — there are bindings out there that will probably never have the top plate breakage problem. PROBLEM, no way I can figure out to ascertain which bindings are weak and which are not.

    In any case, this supports my take that average weight skiers should be fine with the “free” upgrade as detailed in the other blog post (see below), but I’d also say in my opinion that all Radicals should be upgraded to the “stronger screws no additional metal plate” version they’re ostensibly not charging for.



  15. See February 24th, 2016 10:39 am

    Fatigue (repeated smaller loads) is different from the load applied in sledge hammer testing.

  16. Dave Field February 24th, 2016 10:46 am

    Wailing on the bindings with a hammer is also different from fatigue induced cracking from thousands of heel strikes in normal use. Bottom line seems to be to upgrade for relaibility. The basic speed turn/TLT design seems to win for both simplicity and long term durability.

    It will be interesting to see how the optimal tech binding for touring evolves. Will it incorporate vipec or kingpin innovations? More forged or machined aluminum and less plastic? My biggest concern is improved lateral toe release to address tib/fib fx concerns while maintaining the advantages of the side release at the heel.


  17. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2016 10:53 am

    Dave & See, I’d agree and the “hammer” testing is indeed a flaw I’ve seen in some of the factory test systems. But the bindings I wailed on had about 150 days of use on them… but I’m not big and they were mostly not big days… still… I think it was a pretty good test, as I also hit moderately hard quite a few times, then eventually harder when I couldn’t get anything to break. Lou

  18. See February 24th, 2016 11:01 am

    As Lou’s recent Frankenbinding experiment suggests, a Vipec type toe won’t “address tib/fib… concerns while maintaining the advantages (knee protection) of the side release at the heel.” It’s still not clear to me how to make a pin binding toe that releases effectively both with and without heel piece rotation.

  19. Lou Dawson 2 February 24th, 2016 11:21 am

    It’s harder than many people realize. It’s like helmets, way harder to make one that works well than most people realize, and most (if not all) ski helmets provide what in reality is very little protection from injury. Gets back to skiing with care for your body… the gear just isn’t going to provide the level of protection from injury that we tend to think might be present or promised. Lou

  20. XXX_er February 24th, 2016 4:59 pm

    Not only are the grey screws bigger they don’t look so cheap so I gotta wonder about the quality of the black screws?

    If exploding Rad 1 heel pieces are not an issue why did Dynafit change from the black screws to the grey screw and why did Dynafit redesign the Rad 2.0 so the top plate clips on the heel piece and no longer depends on those screws ?

  21. Hippie February 25th, 2016 9:31 am

    Have you tried crampons on the new bindings?


  22. Bernard February 25th, 2016 12:52 pm

    Tried to get replacement heels for my radical fts that have the reinforcement rib but the older screws. Dynafit was unwilling to replace. From everything I’ve seen it looks like the screws are the big issue so this seems odd to me.

  23. Andy Carey March 9th, 2016 2:09 pm

    Help! Just got the upgrade for my early Speed Radicals. Not only did they send the heel pieces with the gray screws they also sent new bases and an anti-twist device that looks like it fits over the plate. Now, I had already tried moving as Radical St heel to my speed radical bases and if wouldn’t fit. Does this mean I should remount my heels using the new anti-twist and bases and heels? I sure would like to get my skis working today!

  24. Lou Dawson 2 March 9th, 2016 2:35 pm

    Andy, it would be best to do a remount, and install the anti-twist. The Speed Radical anti twist, at least the one we’re used to, goes under the base plate, between the binding and the ski. If you got something that goes _over_ the base plate then that’s a new one on us (it happens, once very 35 years or so). Did they send some instructions? Lou

  25. Andy Carey March 9th, 2016 2:46 pm

    thanks, Lou. I know what I’ll be doing this afternoon, besides waxing my Movement Shift–replacing the speed radical heels on my Vector BCs. 🙂

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