Prevent Damage to Boot — Improper Use of Tech Bindings


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 27, 2009      

We got the following in via email a few days ago. I’ve actually seen this kind of boot damage a few times, so this makes a good blog post that will perhaps help prevent others from making the same mistake.

Garmont boot damage from Dynafit binding misuse.

Boot toe damage from tech (Dynafit) binding misuse.

Boot Eater wrote: “Hi Lou, It’s hard to find info about this, particularly in my neck of the woods. I did however check out a lot of the pictures on WildSnow.com to see if I could see similar wear on Dynafit compatible boots and couldn’t detect any evidence of similar damage. The damage is only on my right boot. My left boot looks relatively normal. I’m wondering now on second glance if I somehow managed to jam the pins into the plastic just aft of the toe fittings. One more thing I know it’s not recommended but I often ski with toe unit locked, could this play into the wear my boots are experiencing?

Boot Eater,
I’ve seen this happen a few times. Your damage is caused by not taking care while snapping into the toe of the binding, and subsequently skiing with the binding pins jabbed into the plastic behind the boot toe sockets. Problem is, once you’ve done this once you create a divot in the plastic, then each time you enter the binding it’s more and more likely you’ll miss the steel socket and end up with the toe pins stabbed into the wrong place. The damage takes place quickly as you’ve got hardened steel eating into soft plastic. As for locking the toe, not having the pins in the right place would probably cause some play or premature release, so perhaps locking the toe compounds the problem by reducing such signals.

Prevention is easy. Be more careful when getting into the binding (visual check). Perhaps make Sharpie marks on the boot welt just above the toe sockets, so it’s easier see what’s going on. Repair is difficult. Most common adhesives/fillers will not bond well to the boot plastic. Even so, I’d try filling the sad hole with some JB Weld. First, clean around in there a bit with the tip of a sharp clean knife, then clean out with a tiny bit of acetone on the corner of a rag. Don’t overdo it with the solvent, just hit it fast with a minimal amount to avoid damage to the boot plastic. Working at 70 degrees room temperature or above, put the boot on its side and paddle in a bit of JB and let it harden overnight before use.

The $600 question is did you dangerously weaken the boot? Probably not. The Dynafit fittings you see are at the ends of a steel bar that traverses the toe of the boot from left to right, and is molded into the boot. That being said, AT boots have been known to very rarely crack vertically just behind the tech fittings in the toe. If your damage was any worse I’d be concerned, but judging from your photos I wouldn’t worry about it (though I’d keep my eye on it).



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Comments

23 Responses to “Prevent Damage to Boot — Improper Use of Tech Bindings”

  1. JC November 27th, 2009 12:26 pm

    Hi Lou,
    OT, but just a quick question regarding heel movement for dynafits. I recently got a new pair of boots and had to adjust the bindings for a slightly shorter sole length. With the skis on the bench, I noticed that it was pretty easy to wiggle the heel of the boot back and forth a little bit. Is this normal? Do I need to put new bushings in the heel units? Thanks for your help.

  2. Lou November 27th, 2009 1:08 pm

    Hi JC, I’ve noticed that in other mounts, it’s a tiny amount of movement and nothing I’ve ever been concerned about. Some of it could be caused by wear on the bushings, but some seems to be inherent to the way the Dynafit boot/binding interface works.

  3. Bruce Newell November 27th, 2009 7:34 pm

    A friend and I repaired a plastic (Royalex) whitewater canoe using West System’s G/Flex epoxy. Since then I’ve used it to bond a variety of materials, including my aluminum-framed bike and a plastic part off of an old Ramer binding. G/Flex sticks to just about anything, or at least that’s how it seems to me. This is quality glue from a quality company, and it’s saved my bacon on several ocassions. If these boots were mine, I’d fair the divots with G/Flex.
    http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy

  4. Lee Lau November 27th, 2009 7:40 pm

    Lou,

    You are too nice. How about a simple “bloody well pay attention”

  5. Blair Mitten November 27th, 2009 11:25 pm

    Some time ago I wrote you suggesting that a notch cut into the sole of the boot might serve to guide the pins into the right alignment. Just kick the snow off the boot, let the pins slide into the triangular notch, and drop the boot into the binding. Sounds good in theory. Did you ever try it out on an old pair of boots?

  6. Magnus November 28th, 2009 1:12 am

    Hi,

    I just received my Titan boots and as I’ve read on your blog these boots may have a tendency to squeek a bit. Just as a precaution, is there any type of lube that weakens the PU plastic and shouldn’t be used for this purpose? Silicone for instance?

    Cheers!

  7. Al November 28th, 2009 7:14 am

    I have had success repairing damage to pebax and tradionally moulded boots using p-tex. Not that pretty but it seems to ahere well for filling gaps. Could be worth a try.

  8. Lou November 28th, 2009 9:09 am

    Hi Magnus. In my experience, PU is pretty stable stuff. Nonetheless, I’d try some pure silicon spray, but first test on a small area so make sure the propellent/solvent in the can doesn’t attack the plastic. The silicon spray I use has never been a problem, but you never know… talc powder is also worth a try for liner squeek. With all this, use small amounts in specific places. If you just blast the inside of the boot, you’ll feel the liner sliding all over the place while you use the boots and they won’t feel as solid.

  9. palic November 28th, 2009 9:46 am

    Hi everyone,

    this kind of damage can be easily made not only by inproper snapping into binging, but in other case too – if the shoe sole of your boots is overused (ie the shoe sole is much thinner than new one) or it is by damage taken away (this happen twice to my older Dynafit TLT 4 boots when the toe part of shoe sole got away). Then, if you are not enough careful with snapping into binding, you can easily damage plastic above or on left or on right side from the boot toe sockets. BTW, evenwhen with damaged shoe sole, you can easily step into binding, but you have to close binging by your hand.

    What’s more, there is possible to damage Dynafit TLT binding too:
    http://www.mountainski.eu/48/check-your-dynafit-tech-before-new-season
    suppose, that breaking of heel part of binding was caused by deflexion of ski during aggresive skiing with touching rear part of shoe and binding – evenwhen, there is 4 mm distance between shoe and binding.

  10. Randonnee November 28th, 2009 8:47 pm

    Thanks to the skier submitting this and for the Blog about it. I was not aware that this could happen. My thoughts also are to pay more attention…However, as Lou knows I have damaged Dynafit gear in a bonehead fashion, so it goes. Good information.

  11. Lee Lau November 28th, 2009 10:00 pm

    magnus,

    I’ve used a few different light lubes on the pivots to stop squeaking. Bike lubes because that’s what I had. Pedro’s bike lube worked. Didn’t seem to negatively impact the Plastic

  12. XXX_er November 28th, 2009 10:23 pm

    aqua seal which is liquid urethane will stick to pebax

  13. NickD November 29th, 2009 6:15 pm

    Lou and other esteemed friends of Garmont: In a related note, I just had the pivot/hinge fail on a Garmont Megaride boot. Exactly the same thing as described in this pistehors post: http://pistehors.com/news/forums/viewthread/146/P0/

    I got back from a tour and found the big round grommet (not the threaded cant adjuster) gone! Bummer is the boots are only a couple of seasons old.

    Any idea who in CO is authorized to repair it, or where the parts can be had so that I can have a local shop can do it? Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

  14. Greg Louie November 29th, 2009 6:51 pm

    Never had that problem with Mega or G-Rides, but my “alpine” Endorphins broke an inside rivet last year. My regular boot fitter Jim Mates fixed it in about 5 minutes, even offered a choice of black or silver.

    Any boot fitter with a rivet and press (alpine ski shop as well) should be able to fix it.

  15. Lou November 29th, 2009 7:32 pm

    Everyone up to speed with the latest anti spam setup, with the Quiz?

    One problem is if you get the quiz answer wrong your comment will be pretty much nuked.

    As always, it’s recommended when writing anything more than a short comment to copy it onto your clipboard before hitting any sort of submit. This is true for all blogs. That way, if it gets nuked you can still try placing it.

    BTW, the quiz is not case sensitive, and I’ll also always try to have a few alternate spellings in there in case of a typo. I’ll be changing the question fairly frequently, but it’ll always be easy.

  16. NickD November 29th, 2009 8:03 pm

    @Greg Louie Thanks – I tried a couple of local shops and the rivets they had wouldn’t fit both the seat and the hole in the Megaride shell – they suggested I get the actual Garmont part – thus the post here.

  17. Randonnee November 29th, 2009 10:41 pm

    This anti-spam setup is better than captcha in my view.

  18. Bar Barrique November 29th, 2009 10:57 pm

    My old Megarides are way uglier than those. Scuffed by rocks, chunks missing from the sole, and, dints from stepping into the Dynafits with the boot, and, binding covered in snow, possibly in a fog or driving wind on a ridge somewhere. I don’t know if I have got very far with the toe improperly latched in, but, it does happen.

  19. Lou November 30th, 2009 9:31 am

    Hey all, the current anti spam configuration seems to be working well. Greg’s most recent comment got stuck in the moderation que, and I don’t know why, as I even had moderation turned off… I’ll keep my eye on things. Got one comment from some bozo trying to fake his way in, but he’s burned. Thanks everyone.

    I’m trying to get the 2nd Part of Clyde’s custom skis articles out today, but this spam stuff has really put me behind. So we’ll see how it goes.

    Ever onward!

  20. Matt Kinney November 30th, 2009 10:50 pm

    Interestiing picture Used to have that problem with 3-pins. “put zeee pin in zee hole” :biggrin: Telemarkers used to have the same issue but we moved on with innovations and more ….. weight. 😆

  21. ScottP December 1st, 2009 8:03 am

    Lou,

    The quiz asked me which was warmer, winter or summer, and it didn’t seem to like my answer, “It depends on whether you’re in the northern or southern hemisphere.” What did I do wrong? =)

  22. Lou December 1st, 2009 9:05 am

    He he, I’ll try to make the question more clear. But regarding you hemisphere, winter is called winter no matter which hemisphere you are in. Summer is always called summer. So you were perhaps over thinking the question?

  23. palic December 4th, 2009 5:20 pm

    Another way of damage of shoes with damaged/missed toe shoe sole (Dynafit TLT 4) when fastening to Dynafit Tech binding: http://www.mountainski.eu/68/fasten-shoes-with-damaged-shoe-sole-into-binding-dynafit-tech and way to repair them.





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