PR — Garmont Introduces Proprietary Tech Inserts

Post by blogger | April 30, 2010      

Editor’s note: This is cool. Everything they say is correct; the “standard” type of toe insert does allow for more sole rubber than Dynafit’s “Quick Step In.” What the press release doesn’t mention is that the “Quick Step In” is patented by Dynafit and costs a bundle for other companies to license and use. So be it. Garmont has perhaps improved on the standard insert, kept the cost down for themselves and hopefully their customers, and forward we go (instead of backwards). Lack of info about the heel inserts is interesting. They’re much easier to make and install in a boot than the toe inserts, so perhaps a non-issue. But it would be nice if Garmont improved on Dynafit and we didn’t have to keep tightening the heel fitting screw…

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GARMONT introduces new proprietary Tech Inserts in 2011 ALPINE TOURING BOOTS

(For immediate release ) — A major innovator in alpine touring boots, Garmont is pleased to introduce its own proprietary “Tech Inserts” for fall 2010.

Since introducing the Tech system in its alpine touring boots in 2000, Garmont has exclusively featured Dynafit-manufactured Tech Inserts. The program was hugely successful, as the combination of Garmont performance and Dynafit binding compatibility provided exceptional results for lightweight ski touring.

Garmont Tech Insert

The new Garmont tech (toe) insert for backcountry skiing boots. Similar to Dynafit OEM but said to be improved.

With the January 1, 2010 expiration of Dynafit’s patent on the design, Garmont has embraced the opportunity to bring a superior Tech Insert to the marketplace: one that is specifically manufactured to support the increasing number of skiers turning to the system for aggressive freeride performance as well as lighter ski touring.

Garmont tech insert on edge

Garmont tech insert on edge, inserted object is just propping it up. Note the nibs protruding, these are perhaps an improvement on the Dynafit version.

Side view of Garmont tech insert. Note added beef of socket area.

Side view of Garmont tech insert. Note added beef of socket area.

“We chose to develop our own Tech Insert as soon as we could, knowing that we could improve upon the quality and consistency of the current product,” said Paul Parker, Garmont Ski product manager “We feel that elevating the standard for Tech Inserts is essential, as the use of alpine touring systems has rapidly evolved from predominately light touring to aggressive freeride skiing.”

'Hannibal 2" tech inserts testing machine.

'Hannibal 2' tech inserts testing machine.

The new Garmont Tech Inserts are the culmination of two years of research and product development and extensive field testing. Built from the highest quality die-cast steel alloy, the material construction of Garmont Tech Inserts has been meticulously researched, tested, and proven to be equal or superior to all other inserts on the market today.

Garmont’s proprietary Tech Insert design is based on the “Standard Insert” template, clearly the most robust and versatile option available. A primary benefit of the “Standard Insert” over the “Quick Step-In” design is additional room for more sole rubber — providing better abrasion resistance in a zone which is particularly vulnerable in a rigid-sole boot, while still satisfying the ISO Touring norm. The “Standard Insert” is also smooth-sided, as the ISO Touring Norm calls for no protrusions beyond the sides of the sole for full compatibility with step-in bindings.

In Garmont’s design, the thickness and perimeter for the Tech Insert’s fixation are identical to the well-proven “Standard Insert” to assure optimum retention. The “cones” of the interface have been improved as well, with thicker material adding more durability.

Another view of Hannibal 2, don't you love this stuff?

Another view of Hannibal 2, don't you love this stuff? Way to go Garmont!

The new Tech Inserts will be guaranteed by Garmont, based on rigorous testing for life-cycle durability, safety and performance, using machinery and testing procedures that far exceed all anticipated industry standards. The Garmont testing procedure was established early in the product development process, with the development of a proprietary testing machine: “Hannibal 2.” Unlike conventional tests, Hannibal 2 operates both in transverse and longitudinal axes with an elliptical motion that better simulates the imperfect nature of a walking stride. The machine loads the toe of the boot with 150 Kg to simulate the additional stresses of freeride skiing. During the walking motion Hannibal’s excessive pre-load more than doubles the 100,000-cycle life-cycle test as, unlike walking, the insert is loaded during both the forward and rearward motion.

Garmont Tech Inserts will be available for 2011 in all Garmont Tech-compatible ski mountaineering boots.

Shop for Garmont ski boots here.


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26 Responses to “PR — Garmont Introduces Proprietary Tech Inserts”

  1. Colin in CA April 30th, 2010 4:53 pm

    A breath of fresh air after the Salomon recall.

    I personally place a GREAT deal of trust in the words of Paul Parker.

    Thanks for the update Lou. I’m set with my Factors for now, but it’s nice to know that companies are trying to improve the standard (even though there is still no certification process for the fittings).

  2. Fraser Foulds April 30th, 2010 4:59 pm

    Sounds pretty cool. Don’t quite understand how they’re getting more rubber on the soles though. Maybe some pics would help?

  3. Jonathan Shefftz April 30th, 2010 5:05 pm

    “The Garmont testing procedure was established early in the product development process, with the development of a proprietary testing machine: “Hannibal 2.””
    — I wonder how long the Salomon Quest interface would hold up to Hannibal 2?

  4. Lou April 30th, 2010 5:21 pm

    Fraser, we’ve got pics all over the place.

    Above link shows the “Quick Step In” type fitting. Note how tall the metal is, which results in less room for sole rubber. The “standard” type fitting has just a small socket which allows for more sole rubber.

  5. Fraser Foulds April 30th, 2010 5:33 pm

    Weird. The pics didnt show up the first time I read it.

  6. Lou April 30th, 2010 5:42 pm

    I just added the pics to this blog post moments ago. I thought you wanted pics of the inserts in a boot to see the sole rubber issue. Those pics are in other blog posts. Sorry about the confusion. Just got back from some skinning and skiing, which included almost driving my truck off the side of a mountain and in the process trashed a tire (thankyou thankyou), but am in the middle of getting another tire, etc…. waah waaaaah (grin).

  7. Fraser Foulds April 30th, 2010 5:56 pm

    ^Yes I did. That cleared it up for me. Never really payed attention to the quick step in vs the standard fittings. Thanks again for posting. Good to see someones doing it right after the Salomon debacle.

  8. Bar Barrique April 30th, 2010 9:24 pm

    “procedures that far exceed all anticipated industry standards” Hmmm; sounds like they are anticipating a standard for “tech” bindings. That would be nice.
    I always buy my tires from the guys with the “road hazard warranty” cause I always abuse them.

  9. Lou May 1st, 2010 6:29 am

    In using the word “standard” for current sate of the industry, boot makers just mean there is a “standard” type of insert that works, not an international norm. Though I’d expect to see a norm established in coming years, that is unless a norm is too little too late for a binding system that’s more than 20 years old and could quite possibly soon lead to “tech 2.0” with wider mounting platform and wider heel pin spacing for more stability.

    Paul Parker wrote me in an email: “… we’ve been working hard on our own insert and improving upon the standard. Without an official norm, it’s important to get this brought to surface and eliminate speculation. Our testing machine is cool. The 150kg weight on the boot toe is abuse beyond the norm, allowing us to evaluate wear on the insert. Your knees—or knee, in this case since it’s one at a time—would fail with 150kg long before the insert.”

  10. Mark W May 1st, 2010 6:55 am

    Look at the sole of a Garmont Radium. It has noticeably thicker sole rubber than many other AT boots.

  11. Jordo May 1st, 2010 9:59 am

    After the Salomon fiasco, that’s an interesting (refreshing) PR move to detail the testing procedures. Glad Garmont sees the greater need for sole durability over quick step in convenience.

  12. Michael Silitch May 1st, 2010 12:42 pm

    Alright Garmont. Way to go–this looks great!

  13. XXX_er May 1st, 2010 12:51 pm

    what Jordo said

  14. John Gloor May 1st, 2010 1:52 pm

    It is hard to believe this is the culmination of two years of research. The Garmont insert looks like a clone of the Dynafit original, with a couple of metal cones added and some extra metal around the socket. I get the feeling they did the same research Dynafit did twenty years ago. On the plus side we should not hear any horror stories about Garmont’s new boots

  15. XXX_er May 1st, 2010 5:05 pm

    Well at least Garmont has TESTED the fittings they are about to put in boots they want to sell us AND there would be things you don’t see like using the correct metal which has been hardened to the correct spec , the correct size and profiles of hole in the sockets

    I think Garmont realized they should speak to the Dynafit press release that stated Garmont would not be buying tech fitting from them

    This was a perfect time for Garmont to talk about what they were doing for the customer …before TECH users could decide they don’t want to look at a boot unless it has real dynafit fittings

    Maybe the manufacturers DO read these blogs eh??

    so I guess I have to eat my words , I WOULD now buy a garmont boot … good thing cuz I don’t fit in scarpa’s

  16. John Gloor May 1st, 2010 6:26 pm

    I have total faith is Garmont’s products. I am on Axons with the Dynafit brand inserts now. I only meant that there does not seem to be much engineering involved to make virtually the same piece with the same or similar strength and hardness.

  17. Lou May 1st, 2010 6:55 pm

    John, I’ve gotten several reads on that. Some folks claim it’s difficult to clone the fitting, others say it’s not. Probably somewhere in between. From what I understand the crux is twofold: The steel has to be surface hardened in such a way as to leave the underlying metal ductile enough so it doesn’t crack or chip, and the tiny angles on the socket rim have to be tuned perfectly.

  18. Tim May 2nd, 2010 4:58 pm

    ……could quite possibly soon lead to “tech 2.0? with wider mounting platform and wider heel pin spacing for more stability….

    Lou, do you know something that you haven’t shared with us???

  19. Tim May 2nd, 2010 6:10 pm

    So just to clarify the 2010 boots (including the Shogun) currently for sale feature the Dynafit insert ? I was a little spooked by the Salomon fiasco having read the Garmont’s use a different insert to the Dynafit ….

  20. Lou May 2nd, 2010 6:40 pm

    Tim, just one of my crystal ball hunches, which sometimes do tend to come true. It would be HUGE if that happened as it would be a game changer, but super expensive and risky. Since Dynafit is the only tech company making bindings and boots, they’d have to be the ones to do it. But nope, nothing from them about it that I’ve heard. As they say, a man can dream (grin).

  21. Johnny May 3rd, 2010 8:40 am

    Since they say that their tech insert construction exceeds all others, i am
    wondering if they had tested the Salomon inserts on their testing (Hannibal)
    machine? And if so, when?

  22. Lou May 3rd, 2010 10:53 am

    Jonny, that’s probably just PR speak. But who knows, perhaps they did go out and get all the other inserts and test them.

  23. Lou May 3rd, 2010 10:55 am

    BTW, I heard from Parker about the heel inserts. He said that a while back Garmont changed the thread pitch on the screw that holds the rear insert and that it’s thus less prone to loosen. He said he might have more info coming. If so I’ll blog it.

  24. Mark W May 5th, 2010 6:48 am

    I pulled/lost a heel fitting two years ago. No heel retention made for some UGLY non-tele turns. Pretty sure it came out due to rock scrambling.

  25. RICHARD MORSE May 5th, 2010 6:57 am

    Can I mount these on my full tilts? Giddyup!

  26. COOPDOG May 20th, 2010 7:14 pm

    Yo, can I retro-fit my Garmont Adrenolins to be Dynafit compatible????????

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