Comparo — 09/10 Dynafit ST with Previous ST Binding

Post by blogger | December 29, 2009      

Was fooling around with the latest production Dynafit FTs a few days ago, and realized we’d not yet published a comparo to previous year’s itteration. Both bindings are virtually the same, with a few small differences. Probably due to thicker steel in the toe wings, the newer binding toe weighs 14 grams (.6 ounce) more than the older. The toe wings are said to be stronger (let’s hope that’s true, to make those 14 grams worth it), but my understanding is that most of the difference in appearance of the toe unit is cosmetic (mainly, the small ribs on the toe wings). The heel unit remains exactly the same as far as I could tell.

09/10 Dynafit ST binding has a few small changes, weighs slightly more.

09/10 Dynafit ST binding has a few small changes, weighs slightly more.

In photo above:
1- Thicker toe wings are slightly stronger, and previous ones did break on rare occasions.
2- Larger access hole for front screw, this is the best change as far as I’m concerned.
3- Tiny steel tabs are thicker, I’ve seen a few of these fatigue and break over the years.
4- Steel here is slightly thicker and perhaps a bit stronger.

Best change for the new ST is the screw driver hole actually fits a standard insert bit. For previous bindings, you had to modify the bit by shaving off a few hundredths of diameter or it would get stuck in the hole or not align properly with the screw.

Best change for the new ST is the screw driver hole actually fits a standard insert bit. For previous bindings, you had to modify the bit by shaving off a few hundredths of diameter or it would get stuck in the hole or not align properly with the screw.

Weight 09/10 toe, no screws, 6.5 oz, 182 gr

Weight 08/09 toe, no screws, 5.9 oz, 168 gr


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30 Responses to “Comparo — 09/10 Dynafit ST with Previous ST Binding”

  1. Justin Wilcox December 29th, 2009 10:56 am

    slightly off topic, but you previously showed your mod to the toe baseplate to make ski crampons easier to fit. Did you simply grind off that portion? Any negative effects from that?

  2. Lou December 29th, 2009 10:59 am

    Justin, yeah, the plastic actually breaks off sort of like it’s meant to be removed, then you clean it up with a grinder or file…

  3. Bill Bollinger December 29th, 2009 1:15 pm

    Hey Lou
    I was wondering if the 4 little ribs added to the top of the toe arms increase they build up of ice. Or, is there somthing they do that helps keep it cleaner that I cannnot see.

  4. Lou December 29th, 2009 3:02 pm

    Bill, sadly I think they have no other purpose than to look cool. But then, perhaps that’s not so sad, as we should all look cooler whenever possible.

  5. Bill December 29th, 2009 3:29 pm


    I guess some of us have always been cool. So we just do not receognize the need to add coolness. Yah, thats it.

  6. John W December 30th, 2009 1:31 pm

    Was checking out the Onyx at my local shop. Have you reported lately on the Onyx in the real world? What about putting it on standing on a pointy hardpack summit w/ no brakes?

  7. Jonathan Shefftz December 30th, 2009 4:44 pm

    You left out the little cutouts in the wings (visible only in the second picture) — look really cool!

  8. mark c December 30th, 2009 5:52 pm

    I’ll bite here. Jonathan turned me on to the dynafit world when I had some knee probs and gave up free heel. The Comforts I’m on have components that appear to be investment cast or lost wax steel alloy, a process that dates to the ancient Egyptians, with a zinc finish of some kind. Relatively crude and low cost to tool up. The versions in the photos look to be made using a process call MIM. Metal injection Molding. Very different animal. 20th/21st century technology that allows things like finite element analysis and mold flow software to max stregth, minimize mass. If they are MIM, it’s a big investment up front, think $30-40K usd for the toe wing dies, but should eliminate secondary operations like machining and drilling. MIM can get to something like 10x tighter tolerancing. Plus you can add cool details at no or minimal charge using 3D modeling and machining, you could probably alloy the material, make it stainless or add a binder that would repel water and ice if you got creative enough. Thinking is if Dynafit is investing in MIM technology, they have a lot of room to improve the product once they get it down. Think minimally invasive surgery products or precision fire arm components.

  9. Jonathan Shefftz December 30th, 2009 5:56 pm

    So Mark, I somehow never bothered looking up before exactly what kind of products your firm sells, but now I’ve looked it up, your detailed comments make sense.
    P.S. I have a pair of the 09-10 bindings in case you ever want to inspect them in detail close up.

  10. Mark W December 30th, 2009 8:54 pm

    John, would brakes be of any real use on a pointy, hardpack summit? I’m not a huge fan of brakes with Dynafits. I do, however, look forward to more testing of the Onyx as you do.

  11. Lou December 31st, 2009 8:30 am

    MarkC, thanks for the insight!

  12. Mark W January 2nd, 2010 7:01 pm

    Ever seen cracks in TLT heel baseplate?

  13. Lou January 2nd, 2010 8:29 pm

    Mark, all the time.

  14. Mark W January 2nd, 2010 10:25 pm

    I remounted a pair of TLT Classics, about 4-5 years old, and one crack appeared laterally upon tightening one screw, though I’m sure I didn’t overtighten the screw. Beyond that, I noticed on the other heel baseplate (yet unmounted) what appeared to be very fine cracks lateral to the mount screws. At that point I decided to hold off on finishing the mount job and will contact Dynafit regarding the problem.

  15. Lou January 2nd, 2010 10:56 pm

    Older TLTs have tapered rear screw heads that wedge the baseplate hole apart and crack the baseplate. Later model screws are flat underneath the head. When mounting the older type you have to be super careful. But, even if the baseplate is cracked at one or two screw holes it seems to work fine for most skiers. Mount with epoxy, of course.

  16. Rick Boebel January 3rd, 2010 5:51 pm

    Not sure where I should post this Lou but it is about bindings somewhat please move it to anywhere you think it might fit.
    My setup (I live in New Zealand and ski around Wanaka but travel to Canada, Revelstoke area for 2 weeks a year) has been Skarpa Spirit 4s on feet with 174cm K2 Coomba with Marker Dukes. I had decided the Dukes are a bit heavy and after reading WildSnow thought I’d try Dynafits.
    So I bought a used pair of 174cm K2 Mt Bakers with Dynafits with binding brakes that looked relativily unused at the end of my NZ season. I think they are Comforts but they may be STs, they have about 2.5cm of adjustment and look just like the ones in the wildsnow binding brake install post. My Spirit 4s fit the mounting on the Mt Bakers very well, boot midpoint within 2mm of ski mark.
    I love the Coomba’s as I use them for everything as snow in NZ is highly varible and was thinking of transfering the Dynafits to them. Alternate would be just to switch to skiing the Mt Bakers or buy new pair of Coombacks and put Comforts on them. Or perhaps suck my wallet dry and buy new skis and new Dynafit FT12’s and sell the old setups. I’m 59 (started skiing in late 1960s when I went to Colorado College) and may as well spend money before my kids do. 8^)
    I’d appreciate any comments, advice. As I plan to journey to Canada in Feb, Revelstoke/Rogers pass and then some cat skiing at Mustang powder afterwards.
    Thanks in advance, Rick Boebel

  17. KDog January 4th, 2010 9:30 am

    Hi Lou,

    I have a new pair of Coombacks and want to mount them with Vertical FT12’s, but it’s going to be a month before I can get them. I have some old Comforts I could mount in the interim, so two questions.

    Are the screw patterns the same for the older/newer Dynafits and what do you think about reusing the screw holes for the second mount? I’m thinking that I wouldn’t use epoxy on the first mount, maybe just some wood glue.

    I could also just be patient and ski what I already have, as my wife advises. :ermm:

    Thanks Lou. All this wouldn’t be necessary if those FT12’s were not so damned expensive. :w00t:


  18. Lou January 4th, 2010 11:31 am

    Kdog, you’re overthinking it. The screw holes are the same. You can use epoxy both times and just heat the screws with a soldering iron to remove. Don’t overheat the screws, it doesn’t take much to soften regular 5 minute epoxy. Or first time use Gorilla Glue, which tends to be a bit easier to back out of, though it does grip pretty good.

    I don’t recommend regular type wood glue. It’s not water resistant enough. I’ve removed tons of binding screws that used wood glue, and found them corroded and not sealed well. Gorilla glue and epoxy are nearly or totally 100% water proof. That’s the ticket.

    In terms of how many times you can run those screws in and out, if you do it each time with epoxy, heat the screws when you back them out, and clean the screws off before they go back in, the number of times you can use the holes is nearly infinite. Clean the screws with a small wire-wheel on a drill, while holding screw in a vise or pair of pliers.

    At least the above is what Obewanshoponie told me last time he delivered new posi drive bits to the WildSnow workshop.

  19. Lou January 4th, 2010 3:28 pm

    Jim, yes, for starters there are no ski brakes available for the Speed. Also, the FT and ST have longer heel pins which allow more ski flex, and the FT/ST have more boot ramp angle. Other than those things, the bindings are very similar and mechanically function in exactly the same way.

  20. Jim January 4th, 2010 2:40 pm


    Is there any functional difference between the Dynafit TLT Vertical ST and the Dynafit TLT Speed?


  21. KDog January 4th, 2010 6:47 pm

    Thanks Lou,

    Yeah I’m over thinking it, but when I see shiny new skis leaning against the wall the palms get sweaty and the wheels start turning.

    Another 40cm of fresh here in the Koots has got me wanting the wide planks.


  22. John January 6th, 2010 10:12 pm

    My older FT 12s have the the older style toe wings as weel. So the change seems to be with the 2010 FT-12s and STs.

  23. Jonathan Shefftz January 7th, 2010 7:55 am

    The other bid difference is that the Speed/Classic has only about 6mm of fore/aft adjustment, whereas the Vertical has about 26mm.

  24. Rick Boebel January 7th, 2010 7:15 pm

    Hi Lou,
    I bought a pair of Mt Baker skis because they had Dynafits mounted on them that looked practially unused, the heels have 25mm of fore/aft adjustment and have wide ski brakes on them, brakes still with the red sticker with Wide/Breit on it. How do I tell if these are Comforts or TLT Verticals as I understand both have about this adjustment amount. Also is there any way for me to tell what year , i.e., how old these bindings are?
    I plan to remount these on K2 Commbas, anything I should pay extra attention too? Also from the FAQ I see there is a gap that should be left when the heel unit is adjusted, Dynafit supplies a 4mm gauge for this, what is usually used in it’s place if that is AWOL.
    Thanks in advance, Rick

  25. Rob C January 7th, 2010 11:02 pm

    Rick Boebel,

    Perhaps the answer to your questions could be to hurry and get in on the TGR “Binding Insert Group Purchase II” here:

    Reviews have been favorable with no reports of failure. Clever design (by a skier) and made of stainless steel. Plus retrofitting into existing (Dynafit or other pattern) holes is probably the easiest way to accomplish installation.

    On the downside you will probably need to buy several drillbits, a tap, slow cure epoxy and machine screws. Fore/aft changes to mount position will be impossible without the insertion of more inserts. If you are not really a DIY type, installation would be daunting.

    (Beware of three inserts across in a row, perpendicular to edges. The Manaslu skis seem to almost seem to have three inserts in a row but having a “t-nut” style inserts installed pre-layup/pressing is different than post-press installation of inserts.)

    The advantage of all of this extra work/worry is quantifiable. You only purchase one pair of bindings and switch between skis with a tool and a bottle of (blue) loctite.

    I am amazed at what a dedicated group of people can accomplish, cool stuff.

    Between the TGR tech talk forum, Wild Snow, Straigh Chuter, TetonAT etc. almost all my BC related questions have been answered, great resources.

    Side note, after speaking with a AIARE instructor over the weekend, he mentioned it would be cool to see the Utah Avalanche Center SLC danger rose in series for trending purposes. Being relatively nerdy I created the following, perhaps some Wild Snow readers will find it useful:

  26. David March 31st, 2010 9:18 am

    Anyone have an opinion on TLT Speed vs. TLT Vertical ST (no brakes)? Cost is a factor: The Speed is $50 cheaper. Is this a no-brainer, or does the Vertical have any advantages (durability, etc)? Thanks for your opinion(s).

  27. Lou March 31st, 2010 9:47 am

    Main advantage is the brakes, in my opinion.

    TLT has less boot ramp angle and shorter pins that insert in boot heel (though next year’s TLT will have same length pins as ST/FT models).

  28. David March 31st, 2010 9:56 am

    Thanks for the quick response Lou! Any chance you’ve got an opinion on the Rossi Altibird question I posted yesterday? Learning a lot through your site, love it!!

  29. Lou July 5th, 2010 10:51 am

    David, belated response on my part: Hopefully we’ll get some ideas about Rossi when the fall gear fanatic season kicks in, if not before. Thanks, Lou

  30. David July 6th, 2010 7:17 am

    Hey Lou, I actually got a few days on the Altibirds this spring here in VT. A little soft when in the sun-baked slush, and I didn’t get on any boilerplate… to be cont. I guess.

    Awesome job on Denali! Thanks for the posts and responding to so many fans and info-seekers!

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