The Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 binding comes in a weight-wise package (sub 200g for the basic unit) and adjustable release values. Click in and go.
Kreuzspitze GT 2.0, say it ten times fast. Or, pay for it once, at $495.95, and you have an Italian-crafted binding weighing 190g without the adjustment plate and the ability to adjust the lateral and vertical release values between 5-10, respectively.
I’ve had the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 binding mounted to a DPS Pagoda Tour RP 112 this winter. The ski weighs, sans binding, in the 1620g range; with the binding (and adjustment plate), I’m pushing an 1840g ski with plenty of float and size (184cm) for me to find joy. And that’s what I was looking for, joy, which I’m sure in some corner of the universe is mathematically aligned with lighter ski setups when it comes to skiing powder snow.
The Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 could be called a scaled-down tech binding interfacing race bindings on one side of the spectrum and more full-blown tech bindings on the other. You can find a lot of this info in the first look, but the binding arrives with a flat, low, and high riser and a ski crampon slot compatible with Dynafit-style ski crampons. The toe piece features two springs per side for retention and two lock-out modes for skinning and skiing in “I can’t lose my ski” terrain. So far, all is good—nothing not to like.
The machining is lovely, turning the heel is easy, and the parts, so far, seem matched for big mountain terrain. If this binding has what you are looking for: score.
The Heel Unit
This is where (by reading the comments from the first look) folks find a lack of consensus. First, the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 heel has a race-flap low riser that plops right down over the pins. That’s nice for those wanting faster transitions. To deploy the high riser, you must rotate the heel unit 180 degrees from forward. And for flat mode, rotate the heel 90 degrees from pins forward.
I get it; in rolling terrain, this may be a pain in the rear for those liking to swap between the low riser and flat, or even the low and high riser. Nobody wants to be rotating the heel constantly. If that is you, this binding will not gel with your riser-and-heel-rotation worldview.
I live in a part of the world where it is varied terrain if you skin into many of the lines we ski. Having options is nice; in other words, flat to low to high and back again. But if you live in a mountain range, as many do, where you set the riser once and then skin 4k for the day’s line, having to rotate a heel is no big deal. I’m not going to call out any mountain range specifically, but I know plenty of skiers who could go with a low riser only, send up the skintrack for many hours, never rotating the heel piece, and call it good. If that is you, and a 190g binding with adjustable release values works, then spending your cash on the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 is money well spent. I do not think you will be disappointed.
One comment from the first look caught my attention regarding the heel unit. Here it is: “My 2c is to be quite sure you have set the heel gap correctly with the Kreuzspitze spacer, or your boot’s heel tech fitting will eat metal away from the heel unit as you tour. There is very little tolerance for ski flex as you are skinning.”
The heel gap for the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 is 6mm. I used the proper spacer and had to nudge the heel unit back a hair to ensure my heel tech fitting did not rub aluminum when in flat mode. You’ll see from the photo that when the heel unit is pivoted to flat, one side is closer to the tech fitting than the other. (Note the difference with a Plum R-170 heel unit: when in flat mode, the heel unit is a single uniform distance from the tech fitting. There’s less potential for rubbing/interference.)
Mostly, I had no rubbing. Except on a semi-humid day in Canada where snow/frost/ice built up on my tech fitting, and the skis flexed on the skintrack, the rubbing ensued. I could, for the most part, mitigate the issue. I adjusted the bindings that night at the hut, and with no heel gap tool on hand, eyeballed maybe .3mm, and problem solved.
As I wrote above, many users live in regions where rotating a heel is an afterthought: some simply don’t do it much by choice, or they live in a zone where long, steady grades are the norm. Frequent insightful commenter, Slim, asked for a comparison with the ATK Haute Route. I’ve owned a set of BD Helio 200s for several years; these were Black Diamond’s rebranded version of the Haute Route. Generally, both bindings are well made. The weights, with adjustment plates, are similar, ~218g for the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 and ~210 for the Haute Route.
The main difference, at least for me, brings us back to….the heels. In flat mode with the Haute Route’s heel rotated 180 degrees from pins forward, you’ve got access to pure flat and the higher of the two risers. If you live in or frequent a range with set-your-riser-preference-and-ascend terrain, then either binding should work great.
Getting into and out of the toe units is smooth and crisp, as is stomping into the heels. The risers on the Haute Route are magnetic and are just ever so slightly easier to deploy than the risers on the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0.
The Haute Route will cost you ~$600.00 and comes with a 30mm adjustment plate. The Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 costs ~$460.00 but will costs between $45-$57 depending on the adjustment plate option you choose.
Closing it Out
The Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 is recommended if the feature set is to your liking. You do, however, have options. You could go with the Salomon/Atomic Pure and have fixed retention values depending on your chosen U-spring value and access to flat-low-and-high risers with no heel twist. You could opt for something like the Haute Route or the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 and be well served too. If opting for the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0, nail the heel gap down.
And a minor issue, really, for all binding manufacturers: leashes can be pricey. I like to pay for quality and have no issue supporting companies that support backcountry skiers. My ATK leashes do not work on the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0. Something like $37.00 later, and I had a suitable leash. Anyhow, it all adds up.
In the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0, we see another bright spot in the tech binding segment that is light and solid.
Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 Basic Stats
Weight Heel+Toe Unit: 190g
Weight Heel +Toe Unit+Plate/Screws: 218g
Weight Toe Unit: 92g
Weight Heel Unit: 98g
Weight Plate+Screws: 28g
Lateral Release Value: 5-10
Vertical Release Value: 5-10
Riser Positions: flat, ~37mm, ~52mm
Delta: ~0 degrees with no plate.
Ski Crampon Slot: optional/included
Made In: Italy
Price: MSRP $459.95 (no adjustment plate)
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.
What you don’t mention is that the ATK Haute Route has the cam design with independent rotating pins, which has lots of advantages. One advantage that’s underappreciated is that putting your boots on the binding and clicking in, for carrying boots and skis together, is hard on U-spring bindings. Another advantage is ease of step-in for very soft snow.
As I understand it, the release settings on the Kreuzspitze are at least in part just a forward-aft movement, which may exacerbate the heel-rub situation you refer to.
I had to be a curmudgeon, but I’m not convinced the Kreuzspitze is worth the cost savings over ATK.
The forward movement should not have any impact on rubbing. I believe it is all contained entirely in the heel unit(there is a sleeve around the u spring which changes the effective length of the u spring, but the amount protruding from the heel unit into the boot is unchanged)
Hey Tzed (and Eric) , that is correct; the way you describe the sleeve and U-spring. The rubbing is not due to the insert rubbing on the U-spring. When twisted 90-degrees from forward, the U-spring is clear and out of the way. The rubbing does occur occasionally in this orientation, but it is the heel insert rubbing on a small portion of aluminum on the heel unit.
I get around the boots on skis on pack difficulty by sliding the heel pins into my boot first then applying pressure to the toe. Hope it saves you some slamming.
That’s a good point, thanks!
The other advantage of ATKs heel is that the release force doesn’t vary as the heel gap changes due to ski flex or a slightly mis-set tech gap. This is so because the lever arm that acts on the release spring works in the vertical axis (the pivot points of ATK’s lever arms are the two silver pins that pass through either side of the heel tower near its base), rather than in the horizontal as with a U-spring.
In my experience, I have done the gap of this binding at 6mm with the ski decambered. That may solve some rubbing issues on some skis.
Jason. On a dynafit scale from 1-10: 1 being the Speed Turn 2.0 and 10 being the TLT Expedition. How does the ease of rotation of the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 rank compared to the Plum 170? I would say the the Plum is a 8.5 with thick gloves on.
Hey Erik, my usual go-to gloves aren’t that thick (BD Excalibur), I don’t find either too hard to rotate… a 5 maybe a 6.
Erik, the heel rotates easily. On the GT 1.0 I have my lateral release turned up to about about 9 or 10 and it’s way easier to turn than my Dynafit TLT Speed 12 bindings, which have a little nub to rotate past (silly how hard those are to put in DH mode!). I’ve never spun Plum but I would say it’s just a bit more firm at RV9 than a Speed Radical and a step up in from older Trab TR Race (which I will spin out of in the heel on some jump turns!)
Jason, looking at your photo of flat mode, is it possible you installed the binding backwards (i.e. rotated 180deg) from where it should be on your swap plate? My GT 1.0 rotate to exactly 90deg and occasionally rub on the side when the ski is decambered. Your photo shows it slightly off from 90deg, and if you were to spin the binding 180deg you would have MORE room for your heel than the original GT1.0 at exactly 90deg.