The Great Fritschi Change of 2018-19


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | December 17, 2018      

Note: Due to my using several sets of bindings for the photos below, I got some of the “new vs old” confused in the photo captions. Should be fixed now. Apologies. Lou

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry. Let them explain the arcane differences between various Fritschi options.

The new Fritschi toe bumper (front) will with most boots allow better touring range of motion.

The new Fritschi toe bumper (front) will yield better touring range of motion with most boots. More, it’s less likely to dent your plastic.

Okay wunderkinder, it began with rumors, now the metamorphosed Tecton/Evo are in our scarred, sun burned paws. The change is subtle, a re-shaped toe “bumper” that nicely flattens when you shift the toe to tour uphill mode. Results: Less chance of your boot being dented during a forward “knee fall,” and more range of touring stride motion. The original version binding will be available as well, as it functions adequately with some boots — dealers can show you the difference. If in doubt, buy the new version. The two varietals will boast different SKU numbers, thanks Fritschi for that nice Swiss touch, instead of doing in-line changes and calling them exactly the same name and model number (as certain other companies are prone to foist on our poor overloaded ski touring brains).

New version to left, note how the bumper is wider and flatter as well.

New version to left, note how the bumper is wider and flatter as well.

Photo above this one makes it difficult to spot the difference, this might be more legible.

This photo makes it easier to spot the difference in toe bumpers. New on left.

The new version, right, had additional space between boot toe and binding.

The new version, LEFT, appears to have additional space between boot toe and binding.

If your toe does bump, force is distributed, less possibility of boot damage.

If your toe does bump, force is distributed, less possibility of boot damage due to the boot toe bumping the binding, as shown here with the OLDER VERSION BINDING.

Old style, for reference.

NEW style, for reference.

Hoji boot, due to Speed Nose and location of toe tech fittings, is blocked from  full range of motion.

About the Hoji boot: Most boots we tested achieved close to 90-degrees range of motion, which is adequate for touring (though we prefer more). Hoji Pro range of motion, however, is in my opinion compromised (as shown in photo) due to the Speed Nose and location of tech fittings. I’d thus not recommend the Hoji Pro for use with Tecton or Evo, though you could do so if you didn’t mind the lack of stride (perhaps you’re rigging for mostly downhill skiing, with occasional short tours.) See our previous blog post about Hoji Pro with Fritschi.



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Comments

20 Responses to “The Great Fritschi Change of 2018-19”

  1. Darin Berdinka December 17th, 2018 11:12 am

    Just curious…does anyone using dynafit boots…find the benefits of the Speed Nose, whatever they maybe, to outweigh the incompatibility with crampons and certain bindings?

  2. Darin Berdinka December 17th, 2018 11:18 am

    and….having bought Tectons last year….glad to see they are one of the rare bindings to sort of/kind of pass the “first year debacle” test. While I never noticed a lack of range in stride I just popped my boot in there and sure enough it has just under a hair of 90 degree ROM. Seems like the toe bumper could easily be ground down a bit to quickly increase that range. Is that a L.D. approved mod?

  3. Ryan December 17th, 2018 11:38 am

    Good question Darin…. I was wondering the same thing. Maybe a better question would be can the new bumper be retrofitted into the first gen EVO and TECTON? Looks like pins and such would need to be pushed out, but I’m always game to mess with my bindings.

  4. Jeremy December 17th, 2018 4:34 pm

    In reply to Darin… I’ve got the TLT7s with the speed nose and don’t notice an appreciable difference while skinning. I otherwise like the boot but would prefer the traditional lip at the front of the boot. Crampon use is my main reason for this.

  5. Lee Lau December 17th, 2018 7:54 pm

    Darin – for sure you can grind down the bumper. I did that for the previous years version and it worked fine.

  6. Mike Henrick December 18th, 2018 10:27 am

    FWIW this is my fourth season on the 2nd generation Vipec’s and they are still going strong – glad to see Fritschi is continuing to improve them! The newer model will be on my future skis for sure. They handle resort moguls and backcountry no problemo!

  7. Lou Dawson 2 December 18th, 2018 10:59 am

    Thanks for your take Mike. Indeed, those 2nd gen Vipec’s when paired with a good boot and properly used/adjusted, are entirely functional. Lou

  8. Collin Becker December 19th, 2018 9:49 pm

    Just got my 2018-2019 Tectons mounted to older gen maestrale RS at a big store with three letters. They failed bindings because the wings were not opening all the way. I confirmed this with DIN at 5 the wings will not open when bench testing pushing boot to the outside. It opens *usually* however when pushing to the inside. The wings open easily when the heel is not in the heel piece. I am not seeing anything on the boot that is blocking release I don’t think. I am wondering since everything works beautifully when the heel is not in the heel piece, do I just need less forward pressure, ie lengthen the binding? How should I set this? Apologies if you already posted some info on this.

  9. Ryan December 20th, 2018 7:33 am

    Hey Collin,

    What type of boots do you have? The Fritschi toe pin(s) are adjustable because the toe sockets on the boots are not all the same dimension. If the adjustable pin is not adjusted correctly the toe will not release properly/as designed. You may want to check this Video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuXDwwNZBjA) out and then adjust the pin accordingly. Lou has some good info on the site about proper procedure for adjustment of the pins.

    Cheers,
    Ryan

  10. Collin December 20th, 2018 8:17 am

    Hey Ryan,
    I have Maestrale RS from 2013 (quick step fittings). I’ve seen that video before and everything checks out (they even use a Maestrale in the video). There is no indication of a problem other than when testing on a bench and smacking the boot with my palm (DIN of 5), the toe pops over and the wing partially opens but then requires another slap to fully open the wing. However, the force is pretty light and for example I can open up fully with a moderate amount of force with just my fingers. But even before the install the tech told me “these test terribly, the binding only partially opens, maybe that means you have actually released, but we have to fail the binding if this happens.” I want to play around a bit more with the forward pressure and I also have some Tecnica Zero Tour boots coming today and I can see if they release any differently.

  11. Ryan December 20th, 2018 8:42 am

    Cool… Sounds internal to me. I’ve taken a few Vipec toes apart from different generations. Fairly simple mechanism to perform complicated tasks/movements. If the machining of the metal parts were off or there is a burr it could cause some stickage. Same for if the plastic molding has a burr or nub in the wrong place.

    I just walked out to my shop and did a release check on my toes. They do the double stick in the toe wing release too (all 3 sets) if I just try to push the boot through the release, but if I strike the side of the boot with the palm of my hand it drives through the motion and the wing fully folds down.

    Sounds like you know your boots and bindings…. Play with it, but if you have bindings that are not releasing check in with BD, they are great at getting back with a solid answer and helping you suss through the issues with the Fritschis…

    Good luck….

  12. Lou Dawson 2 December 20th, 2018 10:33 am

    I’ve not seen any trouble with Dynafit Quick Step in Tecton or Shift. In the case of Shift, when you test, carefully observe when the tech Quick Step fitting (on a 9523 norm boot) might encounter the binding wings. The moment the release cycle begins, neither fitting is in contact with the wings, and never is again. Thus, if you’re getting some sort of “catching” or “double action,” look to other factors. What you are seeing in that case is the normal sometimes compromised performance of an alpine ski binding. They’re imperfect, contrary to the seemingly worshipful opinions about the Shift. Likewise, with Tecton, you are just seeing the normal mechanics of the binding and it is in my opinion even more consistent than Shift, due to no need for an AFD type anti-friction system that was invented at the time they were building the Pyramids. Lou

  13. Justin December 22nd, 2018 10:23 am

    Lou – for the Hoji boot, can you comment on if the new Tecton toe provides more range of motion than the old Tecton toe? Also, for the new toe, does the boot still contact the smaller bumper (with green strip on top) before contacting the larger bumper?

  14. Lou Dawson 2 December 22nd, 2018 10:57 am

    Justin, the new is better by a few degrees with Hoji, but the boot does not go to ninety degrees. In both cases the boot toe hits the smaller green bumper first. You might be able to grind a bit off the green bumper, but it wouldn’t make much real difference. Note that since the Hoji fitting is located a few mm back from normal, it compensates a bit for the limited stride range, but not to the extent where I’d recommend touring with Tecton/Vipec/Evo Hoji. Lots of other boots available. Lou

  15. Chris December 22nd, 2018 1:00 pm

    Justin,
    FYI, just because I have them here and can measure it. Measured from horizontal to the sole of boot with large digital angle finder (2′ arms typically used for large crown molding). Where your lower leg actually encounters resistance will vary with the individual, lean lock angle of the boot, stride style, etc. The newer toe piece hits the green plastic bar first, but I don’t see damage to either boot.

    Spectre 2.0 with ’17-’18 toe piece= 65 degree. Lower leg is almost parallel with ski. I never noticed interference with this set up at all, even in steep kick turns you would almost have to have your lower leg less than horizontal to the ski and this just doesn’t happen.

    Spectre 2.0 with ’18-’19 toe piece= 77 deg. More range than I think anyone could put their body in.

    Hoji with ’17-’18 toe piece= 49 deg. This I never did ski, but it appeared that it may interfere with your stride.

    Hoji with ’18-’19 toe piece= 60 deg. No problems with this set up. Lower leg is almost parallel with the ski.

  16. Collin December 23rd, 2018 8:28 pm

    I was able to bench test and carpet test with my Tecnica Zero Tour AT boots. I set the forward pressure by turning the adjustment screw until it started to go into the socket, then backed it out so it was flush again. Along the way I tried a few other positions as well. I’m seeing the Tecnica boots release very, very nicely. You push on them or twist your toe and the carriage slides over and the wing flops down and your boot comes out. It seemed relatively tolerant of the binding length +/- a few clicks. On the other hand, I tried a lot of different forward pressure configurations with my 2013 Maestrale RS. I’m not getting great results and often times the binding seems to jam when pushing on the boot and the wing will not flop down up to the point where I don’t want to force anything and maybe break something. I’m not seeing why this is happening though. My tech inserts are in great shape and the sole of my boot is also in good shape. I do not see any spots where the boot is jamming up in the binding either. The BSL is only 1mm different between the two boots. The biggest difference is the Maestrale is Quickstep and the Tecnica is the original insert style. FWIW, the quickstep benefits of getting the boot in the binding seem pretty negligible.

  17. Richard January 4th, 2019 10:09 am

    I read with interest the experiences of Collin and Ryan. I have last year’s Tecton, and have also seen issues with the Maestrale. Similar to Collin, my 2013 Tecnica Cochise releases by hand very smoothly. Not so the Maestrale (also 2013 I think?). The Maestrale jams up halfway through release, and it needs an easing of pressure and then reapplication to make it drop the wing fully and release. I haven’t had a twisting fall on them to know for sure what happens in real life, but I don’t fancy the chances of a clean release. A friend of mine using a Gea RS/Vipec combo last year had a slow speed twisting fall and the binding seemed to only half release in exactly this way. Hurt her ankle quite a bit, now mostly recovered thankfully.
    Well, what does Lou tell us? BENCH TEST!! Shame we didn’t pay attention earlier. Anyway, my current theory is that the problem is the rubber sole area under the toe catching hold of the plastic piece of the wing that hinges upwards as the main wing falls outwards, before the toe pin has disengaged (those with bindings to look at will see what I mean!). This stops the wing fully rotating and prevents release. When I find a minute, I’m going to keep shaving rubber off this area and see if it resolves. Shame to lose my sole though!

  18. Lou Dawson 2 January 4th, 2019 10:53 am

    Thanks for the comment Richard, let us know how the sole shaving goes. Lou

  19. Richard Hope January 5th, 2019 2:28 pm

    Well I did bit more tinkering today. It does definitely seem to be that the black plastic step-in guide is catching in the boot sole rubber before the pin has left the socket, causing it to lock up. Some judicious rubber removal from the sole helped a bit, and then in a spirit of adventure I followed it up with some reshaping of the step-in guide (with this boot toe they don’t actually seem to serve a useful purpose in any case). That did the trick – seems to work smoothly now without catching. So far I’ve only worked on one boot and one side of one binding, partly for time and partly because I’m still puzzled why this seems necessary – the Maestrale is hardly a rare boot! I think I’ll drop a line to Fritschi, though might stop short of telling them I’ve been chopping pieces off their binding…

  20. Lou Dawson 2 January 5th, 2019 4:57 pm

    Hi Richard, the reasons this sort of thing happens are pretty simple. Mostly, boot and binding companies simply can not test every combination. For example, some boots don’t even exist when a binding is produced, and vice versa. Also, the existing industry standards do little if anything to help. I don’t see this changing quickly, and I wouldn’t want it to change radically as one reason we’ve seen such wonderful innovation in ski touring is the non-compliance with standards. Lou





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