“Tech” Binding Summary Chart

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 16, 2010      

In the beginning, God created Dynafit. Well, okay, so the Dynafit binding was really created by the Barthel father-son team, but they are definitively worthy of worship (or at least veneration) by backcountry skiers.

Tech bindings summary chart, revised Jan 16. Click to enlarge to readable dimensions.

Anyway, God saw that Dynafit bindings were good — really really good! — and that such “Tech”-style bindings with a zero-resistance and zero-lifted-weight tour pivot should be fruitful and multiple. But patent law said otherwise, and even that was still good too, since anyone who devises such an innovative product deserves a temporary monopoly.

Once the Dynafit patents (at least some of them) expired (or perhaps even before then somehow), first out of the starting blocks were a slew of race bindings, with nonadjustable (and for many perhaps also unreliable) values for their release settings. But for this coming season, a wide range of full-featured “Tech” bindings is now available, as shown in this summary chart, with an equally wide appeal. (Note that the chart is a work in progress — as are some of the bindings! — and will be updated as needed.)

Before delving into a quick summary of Dynafit’s competitors, why would anyone want to experiment with a binding other than Dynafit? A good question indeed, and I would be perfectly happy even if all my backcountry bindings were the TLT IV from the late 1990s (which continues to this day essentially unchanged as the Speed model). But could you be even happier with an alternative Tech binding? Read on, and decide for yourself.

G3 was first in the backcountry appropriate Tech competition with the Onyx, now joined by the max-10 release value (“RV”) Ruby. With almost an extra pound and a half of heft compared to the Dynafit Vertical ST/FT models, and more moving parts and more plastic, the G3 offerings seem targeted more toward backcountry skiers who for a variety of reasons have been reluctant to take the Dynafit plunge.

By contrast, the other offerings seem aimed at Dynafit’s core users. First out with some teaser pictures this spring and available for purchase as of Fall 2010 is the RT from well-known rando race company (or at least as well-known as a rando race company can be) ATK Race. The RT seems designed to combine certain elements from typical rando race bindings with the Dynafit Speed, and also offers an innovative toe-mounted brake and an adjustable-tension tour lever. [Feb 3 ‘11 edit/clarification follows in the next sentence:] La Sportiva North America is selling ATK’s RT binding as the La Sportiva RT in North America under a private label arrangement between ATK and La Sportiva Italy, which means that La Sportiva North America will fufill all the usual functions of a distributor but only with respect to its branded RT bindings, whereas any ATK-branded bindings (whether the functionally identical RT or the full-on race models) are not connected in any way with La Sportiva North America.

Next up is another well-known rando race company (ditto the previous caveat!) Plum with its Guide series of bindings. With a weight comparable to the Dynafit Speed, the Guide once again incorporates some typical rando race features, yet with a fore-aft adjustment range comparable to the Dynafit Vertical ST/FT, and an RV range comparable to either the Vertical FT12 or alternatively a special 3-7 range for lighter skiers.

Moving into the more theoretical offerings, the snowboard binding company PHK has coupled its rando race toe with what appears to be a knock-off of the Dynafit Speed heel in its 10 binding. And finally, saving by far the most innovative for last, Trab, well-known for its ultralight touring and racing skis, has offered some teaser previews of its TR2. Although comparable to the Dynafit FT12 in weight and RV range, the TR2 retains only the touring pivot from the Dynafit design, moving the lateral release function to the toe (i.e., as on a typical alpine downhill binding) and eliminating the heel pins in favor of a clamp-style heel fix (i.e., once again as on a typical alpine downhill binding). Although the predecessor TR1 was demonstrated with a standard AT boot, the TR2 requires a special heel interface: unclear if this can be retrofitted onto an existing boot, or would require Trab-specific boots, or if after-market sole blocks could be provided for boots with swappable soles (e.g., Dynafit Titan, BD Factor), or if the final design might once again be compatible with regular AT boots.

(WildSnow guest blogger Jonathan Shefftz lives with his wife and daughter in Western Massachusetts, where he is a member of the Northfield Mountain and Thunderbolt / Mt Greylock ski patrols. Formerly an NCAA alpine race coach, he has broken free from his prior dependence on mechanized ascension to become far more enamored of self-propelled forms of skiing. He is an AIARE-qualified instructor, NSP avalanche instructor, and contributor to the American Avalanche Association’s The Avalanche Review. When he is not searching out elusive freshies in Southern New England or promoting the NE Rando Race Series, he works as a financial economics consultant.)


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108 Responses to ““Tech” Binding Summary Chart”

  1. Matthew November 16th, 2010 3:14 pm

    Awesome writeup Jonathan. If you hadn’t heard, Scarpa is taking over the distribution of Trab products in the USA. I think that you’ll see collaboration between the two on a new heel insert.

  2. John S November 16th, 2010 9:55 pm

    Awesome!! Thanks for this effort.

    I think the expiry of the patent is great and terrible. It’s great as we will see increased competition and more choice. It’s terrible as Dynafit has done a great job of quality control (kudos to them!!) and we might have less than stellar offerings thanks to the lack of DIN cert with respect to these bindings. (Salomon has already shown us this…)

    I’m surprised that the other companies involved in the tech fitting industry haven’t declared it open season on Salomon. Garmont, Scarpa, Dynafit, Black Diamond and the others face some serious threats from a giant like Salomon, and they have a chance to give Salomon a beat down.

    However, the power of the internet is in many ways doing the jobs for them, and they don’t have to get their hands dirty…

  3. David November 17th, 2010 12:07 am

    Matthew, that sounds like a good deal for both Scarpa and Trab. Could increase visibility to two Italian manufacturers of quality products.

  4. skian November 17th, 2010 10:53 am

    I think this is a little incomplete. Be nice to have all the Dynafit options in this chart.

  5. Lou November 17th, 2010 11:17 am

    Skian, what should be added? It’s just touring bindings, not race bindings… I’m sure Jonathan can get something in there if he missed it.

  6. Jonathan Shefftz November 17th, 2010 11:18 am

    Skian, based on my review of the Dynafit website (both U.S. and international), Dynafit has discontinued all of the prior models that allowed for adjustable release yet lacked a fore-aft bsl adjustment (i.e., Race Ti, Speed Lite, Vertical Race Ti, Vertical Lite). And I don’t see any point in including the discontinued TriStep, Comfort, and FT10.
    Perhaps the version of the Vertical ST with the longer adjustment track could be included, but as its “Rental” model name suggests, it really isn’t aimed toward consumers.
    And the two current Dynafit race models (plus the discontinued model) are all listed in the separate race binding chart.

  7. Lou November 17th, 2010 11:23 am

    I’m looking at my 10/11 catalog. It has 4 touring bindings, including the Broad Peak Limited which appears to just be a green TLT. So as far as I can tell the three bindings Jonathan has on the chart are the three touring bindings that Dynafit offers?

  8. Greg Louie November 17th, 2010 11:28 am

    I believe this is just the “touring” portion of the spectrum – the myriad “race” tech options are not covered by this chart, though I bet Jonathan has them on a spreadsheet as well?

    Anyway, it didn’t seem to work – I left it up on the computer when my wife came home, so she’d easily be able to see how a small €399 gift could save me 170 grams on my touring setup, and she didn’t notice!

  9. skian November 17th, 2010 11:51 am

    Low tech light in my opinion is in this category. You may feel differently but for the money I feel it straddles touring, speed touring and race. Not saying the chart is not fantastic to have but for touring we must think out of the box. IMO a Broad Peak,Seven Summits and or Manaslu style ski with a Mistrale or TLT5 mountain from Dynafit is an unbelievable match. I tour with nothing else now. Ski,Skin,Binding and boot total weight 6 lbs or 2700grams (Broad Peak, Dynafit skin,Low Tech light,TLT5 performance. this in my opinion is the current and future for ski touring. That is why I feel low tech light Should be included in this group. In the last 2 weeks i have 20,000 uphill vert in this setup and its been from Jackson to Aspen with a flawless test. you have bindings in here that are 55% of my entire setup which this binding is an integral part.
    Thanks for having such a great resource for an over opinionated Scotsman to spew on.
    “get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry!”
    See ya


  10. Jonathan Shefftz November 17th, 2010 11:58 am

    Skian, as I wrote before, the category is defined as Tech bindings that have adjustable release settings. If I were to expand the definition to include all Tech bindings regardless of release adjustability, then I would need to include various models from 11 different companies — which indeed I have done, but in a separate chart. Some skiers do use such race-oriented bindings for touring, but like I said, that deserves a separate chart.
    Anyway, I’ve updated the chart to include the ATK RT info provided by Jon in his comment at a separate post. (The updates show up only when you click on the chart — somehow I can’t figure out how to get the file name right for the sneak preview . . . . Lou, help?)

  11. skian November 17th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Jonathon, thanks for doing this. I know this is a practice that is new and unfamiliar and until the lowtech lite not commercially viable because of the high cost of race binders. But Europe is a few years ahead of us on this category and when you go to Europe you see this type of setup everywhere. For every point a counter point. You guys do a great job and thanks for the new expanding charts are AWESOME!
    Ciao Ian

    “Get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry!”

  12. Lou November 17th, 2010 12:35 pm

    Jonathan, that’s something I’ve got to fix… I’ll explain in email.

  13. 2wheeler November 18th, 2010 1:16 pm

    The European prices quoted include VAT, which if you live in North America you don’t have to pay. That will reduce the price of Plum by 50 euro. Not a bad price point.

  14. Walt November 23rd, 2010 3:00 am

    Unfortuately, the chart fails to show other critical factors such as reliablity and trustworthyness. For example, if you’re taller and stronger, Dynafit bindings toe pieces will pre-release all the time and without warning. So, have your safety leashes in deep powder and stay out of the steeps or ski with them locked and risk your knees. Where as the new G3 onyx is very reliable and the extra weight in gold. Not sure about the Plums… never even heard of them before but they defintely seem interesting and worth checking out.

  15. Lou November 23rd, 2010 4:27 am

    Walt, good points. Glad you are finding the new Onyx to work, I was hoping you’d get going with that. Some of the “other” tech bindings do have adjustable toe jaw tension, so that also may be good for larger skiers.

  16. skian November 23rd, 2010 8:38 am

    Walt, what exactly is going on with pre-release? how many Dynafit bindings do you own? Sounds like you might have an interface issue. Would love to have you get them tested instead of making blank statements. My father was the first to introduce me to the binding when i was a Telemark Mountaineer over 15 years ago. He was 6’3″ 250 and skied this setup in all conditions. I have tested evry bining in the market with respect to some of the new product just seeping into the US now from Europe and nothing has the retention of a dynafit. In the AT market it has the lowest return for defect ratio. What setup do you use?? Boot? Binding? Ski? Lets theorize on your problem.

  17. Walt November 28th, 2010 11:27 pm

    I have Dynafit FT 10 vertical bindings and Dynafit TLC bindings. For boots, I have Black diamond factors (with tech inserts) and Dynafit Zero carbon. (At least they make really good boots) The toes pieces pre-released in all combinations. Now, I’m riding 192cm Voile drifters with the onyxs and never have a problem. My other long distance tour/mountaineering setup is the Dynafit 187cm Manaslus (which I like) and I just keep the toe peices of the Dynafits locked. It kind o sucks. But that is what I have to do. But come on any way … a lot of people have pre-release issues with Dynafit toe peices. I’m not even close to being the only one. There is even a lot written about it on this site. You have to be paid by Dynafit to actually make a comment like : “nothing has the retention of a dynafit” Come on. Almost all of them have better retention… Fritschis, Markers, etc. Of course, there is a weight penalty. I would say that nothing tours like a Dynafit (or a tech binding) . But there must be a defect in some of their toe pieces or the problem wouldn’t be so widespread. I know other people who have this problem. I’m not saying the G3s are the best but they work well for me and it’s a good setup for my drifters with the 130mm brakes that they have. I would choose the new La sportivas over Dynafits any day. They have adjustable DIN on the toe pieces and that’s what dynafits really need because they are WEAK.

  18. Skian November 28th, 2010 11:44 pm

    Well i could go on but….Ya your probably right. You should ski the Onyx

  19. Christian November 29th, 2010 4:14 am

    I am starting to think the problem might be with wider skis – but don’t quite understand how that can be. I had prereleases on a coomba/zzero/ft setup, that led me to recreating the problem on the living-room floor…but later in the season the boot sole broke, and one of the pins on the bindings.
    Before that I had 10 years without prereleases on correctlty installed bindings (I had some on misalligned bindings) – but that was on 75mm skis. With my current mustagh ata I had one prerelease (caused a broken ribb) that I thought was from the toe, but that I now believe was from the back binding. The bindings were set at 8/9. After adjusting the bindings to 10/10, I haven’t prereleased. (I’m 184cm, 87kg, x-race-technique). That I need a higher din setting on wider skis might indicate something…
    In powder I have never had problems, not even with the faulty boot/binding…but I am not 100% sure I would trust dynafit for snowboard sized skis skied agressivly on hardpack….

  20. Lou November 29th, 2010 7:29 am

    Here is the deal, or at least the closest I can come to what might cause Dynafit toe pre-release for some skiers who otherwise have everything dialed (no ice in boot fittings, adequate RV settings, etc.). Put a boot in a Dynafit binding in downhill mode. Place ski on solid workbench and set on side, with binding at about a 60 degree angle to the bench so you can press down on side of boot without ski moving. Apply sideways force to boot toe, pressing down towards bench surface. Watch binding toe jaws open. Reality strikes. Toe jaws of Fritschi or Marker open in this mode as well, but you can adjust their resistance via the lateral release setting.

    Perhaps some folks have trouble with this when actually skiing (not on workbench). Most of course don’t, otherwise when skiing places such as slopes in EU with hundreds of skiers on Dynafit, there would be skiers laying all over the slope having pre-released. Those of you who do have trouble with Dynafit pre-release should ski another binding, or perhaps lock the Dynafit and accept that your locked binding does not provide normal lateral release. Reality is that literally millions of skiers enjoy Dynafit bindings and have little to no trouble of this sort. If the few that do have problems switch to G3 Onyx or other, it will not affect Dynafit’s bottom line and would actually help both Dynafit and G3. Dynafit would get less criticism, and G3 would get more business. Everyone wins.

    I’ll say it again, Dynafit bindings are not for everyone. For example, they are more difficult to get into than “frame” bindings such as Fritschi or Marker, most skiers have to exit binding to change from alpine to tour mode, and yes, perhaps they have a pre-release mode due to toe jaws opening sideways, as is possibly experienced by skiers such as Walt and can be demonstrated on the workbench.

    (I’d add that there is no binding in this universe, that when set with reasonably safe RV values according to DIN chart will not have inadvertent release at one time or another.)

  21. Drew Haas November 29th, 2010 7:37 am

    What Dynafit binding did you do this test with?

  22. Lou November 29th, 2010 7:44 am

    FT, but FT/ST have the same toe unit so it applies to both.

  23. Drew Haas November 29th, 2010 7:49 am

    Give it a try with comforts and speeds If you can…

  24. Jonathan Shefftz November 29th, 2010 7:51 am

    The *current* Speed toe piece is exactly identical to the ST/FT. (Well, except for the plastic mounting plate and the toe lever.)
    I know that your coworker has a theory about the differences in the older toes, and I have measured some slight differences in the pincer span.

  25. Lou November 29th, 2010 8:06 am

    Drew, it’s super basic, it’s just the toe jaw opining to the side under force. I checked other bindings and they do it as well, though different models behave slightly differently. I was going to video this, but it seemed like doing so would put too much emphasis on something that is really no big deal for 99.9% of binding users, and perhaps not even a problem for the other .1%, since it’s just a theory of mine.

    If you want to replicate on your workbench, know that it takes quite a bit of force, not just a gentle press to the side.

  26. rod November 29th, 2010 8:47 am

    I may have experienced the jaws opening a few times. This was skiing in a track at the end of a ski run, low angle terrain, with sharp turns. A foot or more of powder, so the track was pretty deep.
    I felt the toe almost releasing laterally, then as I went past the sharp turn, it snapped back in.

  27. Lou November 29th, 2010 9:14 am

    I should add, and this is important, that the behavior I describe is probably less consequential with a boot that has a sole in new condition under the toe area, and a boot sole that is the correct shape in that are. Reason, once the binding wing opens, pressure from the boot makes it close again just as if you are entering the binding. If the boot is worn, this behavior is less positive.

  28. Walt November 30th, 2010 11:17 am

    That’s it exactly. The dynafit doesn’t have adjustable lateral release. Dynafit believes in a one size, fits all mentality. it doesn’t work that way for some. The new La Sportiva tech binding went the opposite way with an adjustable toe piece. I can’t wait to see your review and test results.

  29. skian November 30th, 2010 11:31 am

    Hmm? Think your wrong?

  30. Jonathan Shefftz November 30th, 2010 12:46 pm

    I agree with Walt that although the Dynafit toe unit pincers tension/span have a one-size-fits-all approach that might not work for everyone (especially since the pincers have the difficult job of retaining the boot when the heel pins are still engaged yet releasing the boot once the heel pins are disengaged), I disagree that the ATK / La Sportiva RT solves this problem, since the toe adjustment seems to take effect only with the toe lever in tour position. (I could very well be wrong about this, but all the RT pictures sure seem to indicate that this is merely a way to obtain more consistent tension along the lines of counting the # of Dynafit “clicks” which are subject to the relationship of the ski topskin to the binding.)

  31. Walt December 2nd, 2010 12:05 am

    Really?, Jonathan… the ATK / La Sportiva RT toe DIN adjustment doesn’t control jaw tension in ski mode? What good is it then?
    By the way… a few more observations with dynafits. Today, I saw a large group of 8 skiers. Everyone of them had dynafit bindings and everyone of them put their toe piece in skin mode (lever all the way up) before their descent … just like I do. Hmm…. must be worried about pre-release? Also, a friend of mine who is only a 135 pound woman had dynafits that pre-released so much that she got rid of them. Turns out they were the model about 4 years ago and it was quite common in that model. Turns out one pair of my dynafits is that old too. Is there anything to this or is this just another “fluke”? Anybody heard anything about that year causing so many problems? My other dynafits are vertical FT10s and they pre-release too and I think they are only 3 years old … but they could be 4 years old too … not sure.

  32. Lou December 2nd, 2010 6:07 am

    Walt, I hope you just miss-wrote about Dynafit not having lateral release adjustment. Otherwise, you are woefully misinformed about your bindings! Yes, Dynafit does not have adjustment of toe jaw “pincer” tension, which is what I assume you were actually writing about and is a valid criticism, but it has a perfectly adequate lateral release function that occurs by rotation of the heel unit, and which has adjustable tension.

    As for skiers locking the toe during the down, whatever, I know of hundreds that don’t and hundreds that do, usually just because they can and saw other people doing it that way. And again, if Dynafits don’t work for someone, they should first look at the variety of factors that can cause problems, and if that doesn’t help, they should just switch to another binding system and not obsesses on it — and in my opinion not be locking their binding and thus inuring the risk of severe leg injury in even the most innocuous fall.

    I’d also like to submit that if nearly any skier adjusts release bindings to RV settings that will protect their legs from injury per the DIN release values chart, and skis aggressively, they’ll experience a pre-release now and then. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but it’s as certain as the sun rising in the morning. That’s why so many skiers dial their RV values up high no matter what binding they’re using.

    Indeed, if Marker or Fritschi bindings had a “release lock” like Dynafit would it get used? You bet it would.

    The fact that AT bindings are all imperfect machinery sometimes gets lost in all the yammer about helmets and avalanche beacons, but there is nothing in AT binding release machinery that’s newer than two decades in terms of innovation, and most of it is approaching more like three decades. Even the Dynafit is basically an inverted Ramer binding with highly innovative miniaturization, and has remained essentially the same thing for over 20 years now!

    G3 might argue that they made enough changes in the Dynafit type binding to call it different enough to be “new,” especially in the toe. But I think no matter how well intended that was by them the jury is still out on that (though it should be noted that in my lateral jaw opening bench test the Onyx has significantly more resistance than Dynafit). Marker looks and behaves like a basic alpine binding, but still with toe and heel unit that work the same way as alpine bindings from the 1970s. Same with Fritschi. And again, if set to leg protecting values they’ll pre-release if pushed.

    Lastly, I doubt all those skiers we see who are locking their Dynafit binding toes for the down are aware that all they’re doing is cranking up their lateral release to perhaps RV 14 to 18 and eliminating most of the bindings lateral elasticity, and doing nothing to lock VERTICAL release?

  33. Lou December 2nd, 2010 6:18 am

    Walt, As for certain years of Dynafit being more prone to lateral pre-release in alpine mode, I honestly have not seen that and as most people here know, I’ve probably got more experience with different Dynafit models than just about anyone on this side of the pond.

    That being said, Dynafit has indeed changed the distance between the toe jaw pincers while in open mode (smaller), which I suspect created more tension/pressure when they’re closed on your boot. I’m pretty sure that change occurred AFTER the Comfort model, but I could be wrong. So, though I’ve not observed or experienced any noticeable difference in terms of pre-release in those models, there could perhaps be a difference as you point out. Also, it is possible that the toe jaw tension was increased slightly in the FT/ST models.

    Thus, you indeed have a good point about folks with older model Dynafits perhaps trying a newer model before they give up on the binding due to pre-release problems.

    Which brings me to another point. Dynafit bindings last incredibly well so they can keep working long after their service life should be over. They have a moving part that wears (the toe pins). If a binding and boot combo had a significantly worn toe pin interface, this could also change the release characteristics of the binding, so again, another reason to try a newer and later model binding if a person is having problems (and another thing for Dynafit fanatics to obsess on (grin)?

  34. Bill December 2nd, 2010 8:16 am

    Lou, I wonder if the springs soften with time.
    Most springs loose some tension with age/use.
    I have never seen this brought up as an issue though.

  35. Lou December 2nd, 2010 8:20 am

    Bill, great point!

  36. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 9:15 am

    Looks like it’s time for the annual Dynafit toe-prerelease discussion. It’s been interesting to watch this evolve–just last year nobody was willing to admit it existed, and anyone who had the problem was written off as not knowing what they were talking about. Thanks Lou for validating the issue with posts like the Onyx bench test, and starting to admit that this is a real problem for some skiers. I’ll throw my experience in here again, as I think it’s instructive and I’ve actually spent a bunch of time testing various Dynafit bindings with this problem in mind.

    I love Dynafits. I try to sell them to any backcountry skier that comes in to the store. I own and regularly ski two pairs of “old” Speeds and one pair of Comforts. I can take all those skis to Whiteface and rip fast super-G turns on their man-made concrete. I can’t make it 300 vertical feet with Vertical ST/FTs. I’m 160lbs, 6 feet tall and ski like an ex-racer.

    I believe that whatever change occurred with the “new” toe is causing more lateral toe pre-release. I simply cannot ski Vertical ST/FT bindings on very hard snow without locking the toe: I pre-release every time. I’ve tested five different pairs, all on different skis (skinny to mid-fat) and with several different boots. I haven’t tested the “new” Speed, but since it’s the same toe as the Vertical I imagine it wouldn’t work for me either. I know that most skiers don’t have this problem, but I feel there are enough of us who do to warrant a change in the binding (which should be pretty easy–just stiffen up the toe springs).

    As a retailer I’m tired of having to tell customers that they might have to lock their toe on hard snow. I can’t make a Dynafit binding sale in good conscience without saying this, especially now that I’ve had two (maybe three?) customers come back and tell me they pre-release too. Note we’re not talking about the occasional pre-release that you get with any binding–we’re talking chronic pre-release on hard surfaces, to the point that you HAVE to lock the toe or you’d fall every five turns.

    I’m looking forward to trying the new Vertical FT w/ 110mm brakes, which has stiffer toe springs. Just mounted a pair for a customer who was pre-releasing in last year’s Vertical FT, and the springs are indeed different. Note this is only on the 110mm brake model. I think this is a good sign that Dynafit recognizes the problem and is hopefully going to do more about it in the future–it really is the perfect binding and if it weren’t for this issue I wouldn’t see the need to own any other binding (at least as someone who skis 90% backcountry).

    Jan Wellford
    The Mountaineer
    Keene Valley, NY

  37. Skian December 2nd, 2010 9:33 am

    Love to know the combinations of equip that is releasing. Ski boot binder tech fitting other??

  38. Lou December 2nd, 2010 10:08 am

    Jan, I took it seriously when you, Walt and others told me about your problems with the binding. On the other hand, I know so many people who ski the binding successfully that it’s hard for me to really get on the band wagon about it. So I guess I’m neutral, and fine with doing whatever reporting I can and letting this be a forum for the issue.

    As for stiffer springs in toe, where exactly did you get this information? I find that hard to believe, especially identifying the binding by what brake it comes with, since the brakes swap around so easily.

  39. Lou December 2nd, 2010 10:22 am

    Anyone else have problems with Dynafit website? I can’t get the videos to play, tried on two different computers… too bad they don’t just provide their sales story in text so one can just get in there and get the info quick…

  40. Walt December 2nd, 2010 10:51 am

    Lou, I was replying to Jonathan’s prevoius comment on the ATK / La Sportiva RT bindings on the lateral toe piece adjustment… not the dynafits. That question (my first one) was never answered. After I asked that, I then went off on a tangent about dynafits. It is interesting that you never heard of a specific year of dynafits being more prone to release than others. (~ 4 years ago model) I think it defends on what you are skiing as to whether it is dangerous to lock the toe pieces. I ususally use my manaslus (which have the dynafits) for longer tours and just skiing bowls. I only fall like once a year skiing that stuff, so i’m not worried. I also use them for mountaineering descents, and for that stuff, I think almost everyone locks them down. (You will have far greater problems if you fall than worrying about whether you come out of your bindings?) By the way, Lou,did you actually not lock your dynafits on your gnarly descents when you skied all the fourteeners?
    I’m sure what to say. I have the gap between the boot and the rear binding adjusted correct. I always have the rear DIN maxed out and my boot inserts are in really good shape. I think the solution is for some company to make aftermarket springs to replace the weak ones on dynafit toe pieces. (There’s a business idea.) Or, like I was wondering, the ATK / La Sportiva RT bindings, which have the adjustable toe piece DIN. (Why didn’t dynafit think of this?) Any way, my question on the La sportivas never was answered.

  41. Lou December 2nd, 2010 11:15 am

    Walt, of course I locked my Dynafits for extreme skiing, as I keep them at about RV 7! I’ve even mentioned the usefulness of the lock in various reviews and such, so don’t try to call BS on me for that. All I’m saying over and over again is that plenty of people ski them without locking (including me, 99% of the time), however hard it is for you to believe that.

    I didn’t even lock them when I skied off the summit of Denali, though I did pull the lock up lower down on Washburn Ridge where the consequences of loosing a shoe were your life.

    As for the ATK bindings (La Sportiva branded), we’re not sure how that toe adjustment works but will know soon.

    I’d add that in Europe I’ve seen a number of tech bindings that had ways to increase toe jaw tension. So this is definitely something other people are paying attention to and I totally acknowledge that, to the point of replicating your pre-release on my workbench, as I’ve described above.

    I’m also wondering if there is some kind of boot/binding interaction that exacerbates this problem. Yes, I know you guys have experienced with different boots, but that only proves that the boot is less likely to be the problem, it doesn’t totally prove it is not.

  42. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 11:21 am

    @Lou: Info on the stiffer toe springs comes from straight from Salewa NA (Drew) and our regional rep (Kaz). I didn’t realize you would hear it from me first. They do indeed look completely different from the regular springs.

  43. Lou December 2nd, 2010 11:27 am

    Jan, I try to be the all knowing oracle, but my human side comes out now and then (grin). It’s actually too bad they didn’t get me up to speed on this, and surprising I didn’t get the story after all the traveling to Europe and stuff. I guess I’ve been too busy with things like the Denali expedition!

    At any rate, I’ll get some bindings and evaluate.

    Thanks, Lou

  44. Lou December 2nd, 2010 11:32 am

    P.S., just because they look different doesn’t mean a whole lot. But we’ll try to devise some kind of test that’ll tell the story. Also surprising Skian didn’t mention this in one of his comments, or did he?

  45. Lou December 2nd, 2010 3:14 pm

    I’ve covered this elsewhere over the years, but the ST/FT series bindings have about 2mm less distance between toe pins than earlier models. I used to think that might _increase_ the spring tension/compression when the binding is closed on the boot, and it probably does. BUT, it also might mean that when the binding is closed on a boot the over-center pivot is not quite as much over-center as earlier models, which would actually make it open easier. Just theory, but interesting….

  46. Skian December 2nd, 2010 3:24 pm

    To my knowledge the toe springs are not stiffer. The redesign of the toe was in the torsional rigidity. This is from the new bars not springs. Maybe Lou can post a pick of the new cad design bars on the toe from the side. This was primarily done because the mold was wearing out not performance driven.

  47. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 3:26 pm

    I’ve experienced the pre-release on snow with the following boots: Dynafit Zzero4 C & TLT5 Mountain, Scarpa Spirit 3, Maestrale & Laser and Garmont Radium. I’ve replicated the issue using the “carpet test” with other models. Two of the skis/bindings were mounted by me, the rest were from Dynafit demo fleets. I can confidently say that I will have the same problem no matter what boot or ski I use.

    The new “stiffer spring” FT12s just failed the carpet test (with Zzero4 U boots, perfectly aligned mount). I hope they work out for my customer but am not reassured.

  48. Jonathan Shefftz December 2nd, 2010 3:31 pm

    All the pictures I’ve seen of the FT12 toe with the wider brakes look exactly the same as last year’s version (which is slightly different than prior years, although the ST and Speed also sport those same changes).
    A TGR thread did have the diagram of the Powerplate, which is a retrofit specifically for the narrower FT12 toe unit baseplate.
    Jan, do the FT12 toes you have look different in the spring area, or are you referencing the “Powerplate” support outside/underneath the pincer arms?

  49. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 3:34 pm

    No powerplate. The springs are a duller metal (not shiny like on other recent Dynafits) and have one fewer coil.

  50. Skian December 2nd, 2010 3:43 pm

    K I was skiing so had to be short. The ST and Ft are the same springs. The FT with 110 brake has a stiffer spring by 10-15 %. Think you guys can figure out why. K back to skiing whimpy’s in Jackson. Oh did I say it’s going off here!


    “Get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry!”

  51. Skian December 2nd, 2010 3:48 pm

    Jan, sorry to hear your having these problems. You can get my digits from Lou. Please contact me when you can. Let’s get to the bottom of this sooner than later.

  52. Jonathan Shefftz December 2nd, 2010 3:52 pm

    So only 4 coils?
    (I count 5 on all my various vintages, although sometimes likes like 4 at first b/c of the way the ends are positioned, even though it’s really 4 coils full plus 2 half coils.)
    I’m also not convinced that the carpet test is indicative of whether a particular skier will experience toe prerelease, even though it does illustrate the failure mode. After failing to replicated your carpet test failure previously, last season I was showing it to a prospective Tech buyer last year when I finally “succeeded” in initiating the failure. (I think my prior lack of “success” was attributable to trying it on an energy-absorbing climbing wall mat instead of a regular carpet.) The irony though was that I’d just skied the worst refrozen junk on a 40+ degree section of Tux (Triple Left Gully) without incident. So, better to have the simulation fail instead of the real thing!

  53. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 3:54 pm

    @Jonathan: photos of the toes:

    @Skian: thanks, but I’ve walked through this with Dynafit in the past and have one of the the best reps in the industry just down the street from me. I don’t think there’s any bottom to be gotten to. If you have questions for me shoot me an email: jan AT mountaineer DOT com

    I’ll stop blabbing about it now. The stiffer springs got my hopes up.

  54. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 3:56 pm

    @Jonathan: yeah, as you found out you have to use a stiff carpet!

  55. Skian December 2nd, 2010 4:00 pm

    Btw I can make any binding release on a carpet with the right settings.

  56. Jan Wellford December 2nd, 2010 4:15 pm

    It’s not that I can make it release, it’s how easy it is to make it release in the exact way that it releases when I’m skiing on hard snow.

    The reason the carpet tests work and are at least semi-scientific is I have a control ski on one foot and a test ski on the other. The control ski has one of my Dynafits on it (old speed or comfort), or an Onyx, or something that I know doesn’t release for me in those conditions. The Vertical ST/FT pops off noticeably easier than the control ski (which I actually can’t make pop without hurting myself).

  57. Lou December 2nd, 2010 4:34 pm

    Very interesting this stealth change would happen around the time I was experimenting with this:


  58. skian December 2nd, 2010 4:53 pm

    can you send me a video of this carpet test

  59. Drew Haas December 2nd, 2010 4:59 pm

    It’s up on youtube

  60. Lou December 2nd, 2010 5:26 pm

    Drew, link?

  61. Lou December 2nd, 2010 6:53 pm

    Skian, please just link your name to your website, adding your link to each comment post sets a bad example for spammers that are ready to attack… On the other hand, a standard sig at the end of your messages would be good, just without the link. Thanks, Lou

  62. skian December 2nd, 2010 8:39 pm

    Sorry, Lou that was my email address? I’ll call you later to find out how to add my sig? I just wanted to help Jan out and trouble shoot his issues.

  63. Walt December 2nd, 2010 10:18 pm

    You know….there might be something to that about the FT/ST being narrower causing more problems. Although I’ve had all my tech bindings pre-release (except for the new onyxs) , my FT10s pre-release a lot more than my older TLC bindings. But doing the carpet test, I can’t really tell any difference by looking, but you sure can from skiing. The FTs release a lot easier. The toe pieces look the same except for the carbon connector on the FTs. But when I’m skiing, they are much worse even though I have the gap between the boot and rear binding set exactly the same on both. I’m starting to think that the TLCs are what they are and there is nothing wrong with them. But the FT10s are defective. They got to be. After all, why did they make them for only one season? I never had the TLCs both release simultaneously like the FTs did just doing some easy powder skiing. I wonder if Dynafit will take them back on warranty? I bet they know this model was junk and just aren’t saying.

  64. jay j December 2nd, 2010 10:50 pm

    I finally convinced myself to try the dynafits, just bought the FT w/110 mm brake. Haven’t tried them yet but this is making me nervous. Never had a problem with Fritschi.

  65. Walt December 2nd, 2010 11:32 pm

    Just test them for a while with leashes, Jay, you might have a good pair that will work for you. Yeah, my Fritschis never pre- released either. But tech bindings tour way better because you are not lifting the weight of the binding on every stride and they put you lower on the ski so you don’t have that tippy feeling when skiing.

  66. Christian December 3rd, 2010 2:15 am

    Not sure why the test should be done with leashes – I would be actually prefer to not not use the leashes….after all it is good to avoid the helicopter effect, and the ski will stop due to the breaks.

    That aside. I guess what is frustrating about the dynafit prerelease, is that it is not horizontal nor is it vertical. It is a release due to rotation around the ski’s axis. My experience, however, is that increasing the horisontal release setting does help. Semi-locking of the toe also helped. I also think that moving the back binding forward helpes, and that skis that are not torisonally stiff increases the problem – but that is just a theory. The result is that I have to ski dynafit with a higher RV than with other bindings. (I have skied for over 38 years, inlcuding racing, and have always used low values. The setting on my current dynafit setup is higher than I have ever had – including my super-g setup.)

    On snow skiing technique influences how big a problem this is. Good weight distribution helpes. The problem for me was always on icy slopes doing short turns. The release would typically come after putting pressure ont he the tail before quickly intiating a new turn by putting pressure on the front ski: a technique I use to prevent skidding on ice. I never had a problem doing regular carving or powder skiing.
    I almost never fall, so skiing with the bindings locked would not be a big problem. But, as I ski slightly more reserverved with locked bindings, I would not get the problem if I ski that way with the bindings unlocked.

    On my first pair of dynafits (1999) I got prereleases on one of the skis. Mounting the back-binding slightly “duck-stance” solved the problem. But that was with a tlt4 boot with an insert that wasn’t 100% centered.

  67. Lou December 3rd, 2010 5:09 am

    Skian, sorry, I glanced at that quickly and didn’t notice it was your email address. That’s totally OK if you want to do it, just know that the spambots harvest email addresses that are published in public. A better way to get people to contact you is have a defended email address contact page on your website (see mine), and refer people to it. If you do that in our blog comments, that’s OK as well.

  68. Lou December 3rd, 2010 5:31 am

    Walt, I don’t know what you mean about the FT being made only one season. Also, the mechanicals of the toe unit of both FT and ST models were identical, and may still be so (I need to check, but Dynafit has an excellent history of using interchangeable parts in all their bindings, so I’ll be surprised if things have changed much from that culture.)

    If you have one binding that has tons of inadvertent release as compared to others, that binding could very well be defective.

    Someone mentioned that setting the heel unit gap differently seemed to change things. Setting this gap smaller may cause the heel of the boot to bump into the binding when the ski flexes, and is not a smart thing to do. Also, changing the heel gap changes the RV value, smaller makes the RV value higher. Thus, if a person had pre-release, made gap smaller, and they had less pre-release that could simply be the result of effectively having a higher RV setting. If they made the gap larger and that improved things, perhaps the boot and binding were bumping together and causing the pre-release, which in my opinion can happen with a flexible ski and large skier.

    Since we’re on this subject, the fact that tech binding RV values change as the heel gap changes, and that the heel gap changes as the ski flexes, is one reason why tech bindings are not TUV certified to DIN/ISO ski binding standard.

  69. Lou December 3rd, 2010 5:39 am

    Just wanted to say something about the overall tone of this discussion.

    If any ski binding appeared to me to have serious inherent problems, we’d be on it like mad dogs and covering it here as we did when the Dynafit Tri-step had problems with pre-release in touring mode, or when Solomon had defective fittings in their boots. But despite the focus of this discussion on some folks having Dynafit pre-release problems, I know so many people who ski various Dynafit models with no problem that my alarm radar is simply not getting triggered.

    Now that’s not saying there isn’t an issue here, nor that some bindings could be defective. But I just wanted to clarify for new “Dynafitters” checking in here that all tech bindings, including Dynafit, are working fine for zillions of people out there and probably will for you as well.

  70. Drew Haas December 3rd, 2010 7:11 am

    Here is the video from Jan’s binding test. It’s really quite scientific.


  71. Lou December 3rd, 2010 7:28 am

    LOL !!

  72. Jonathan Shefftz December 3rd, 2010 8:31 am

    Walt, only the FT toe plate “wing” support is narrower than the default (i.e., Speed, Comfort, ST). And the FT10 wasn’t so much as discontinued as it was upgraded to the higher RV FT12 (which retained the same toe unit).
    At some point in time Dynafit tweaked the pincer gap. Then for 2009-10 the toe unit got some more tweaks, for both the Vertical ST/FT and Speed. Now for 2010-11 apparently the FT12 has different springs for the 110mm brake version?
    P.S. Best wishes to Jan for his recovery from the binding test!

  73. Kelly December 3rd, 2010 10:33 am

    Lou –

    Why Dynafit toe pieces can’t be beat…. Can’t do this with Marker or Fritschi!


  74. Lou December 3rd, 2010 10:35 am

    Yep, another reason to ski with your toe locked!

  75. Walt December 3rd, 2010 11:03 am

    I was only sugesting he use leashes so he would lose a ski during the testing period. What’s wrong with that?

  76. Lou December 3rd, 2010 11:05 am

    Walt, why not use brakes?

  77. Walt December 3rd, 2010 11:05 am

    Yes, I’m right. The FT 10 was made for one year …. maybe two. Then they changed to the FT12. I checked with Dynafit. I was going to get FT12 springs but was told they would work because there are subtle difference in the base plate.

  78. Jonathan Shefftz December 3rd, 2010 11:10 am

    “The FT 10 was made for one year …. maybe two. Then they changed to the FT12.”
    — That’s essentially what I wrote previously:
    “And the FT10 wasn’t so much as discontinued as it was upgraded to the higher RV FT12 (which retained the same toe unit).”
    — In other words, the toe stayed the same, while the heel unit springs upped the RV.

  79. Walt December 3rd, 2010 11:20 am

    I never really found brakes to work except on groomers. I figured he be skiing powder this time of year. So, I don’t think he would want to lose a brand new ski/binding setup.

  80. Walt December 3rd, 2010 11:21 am

    Maybe brakes with powder cords (long ones) as an alternative to leashes…

  81. Walt December 3rd, 2010 11:26 am

    The heel doesn’t pre-release so I don’t know why they did that. But you are wrong on the toe pieces. I wrote to Dynafit and they responded by telling me that the springs are interchangable and that there are subtle differences between the two bindings (FT10 and FT12) I wish I still had the email but that was years ago. But I heard it from the horse’s mouth. So they are not the same. Who are you to know differently? Are you a dynafit rep?

  82. Lou December 3rd, 2010 11:27 am

    Walt, a reasonable take. In my opinion brakes do work in pow, just not as well as we’d sometimes like them to. That said, the only lost ski I’ve heard of around here over the last few years was someone on Dynafit not using brakes OR straps, but depending on locking their toe… go figure…

  83. Walt December 3rd, 2010 11:28 am

    Mis-wrote AGAIN! Dynafit told me that the springs are NOT interchangable.

  84. Lou December 3rd, 2010 11:38 am

    Let’s put it this way, you could put an FT12 spring pack in an ST10 binding heel, but that doesn’t mean they are “interchangeable.” Also, some of what makes FT12 go to a higher RV is a washer in the spring cap, this washer also protects the inside of the aluminum spring cap.

    BTW, some of you might not have seen my comparo of 10 vs 12 Dynafit:


  85. Lou December 3rd, 2010 11:50 am

    From the horse’s mouth (Dynafit) and the pony (me) about Dynafit toe unit springs:

    Yes, the toe pincer spring in the latest run of FT12 binding is stronger (horse says 15%) to help performance with stiffer boots and bigger skis. I suspect Dynafit didn’t shout this out because they didn’t want to appear to devalue the FT12 itteration with the original springs. This is a common dilemma for companies who make incremental improvements in products, and very tough to deal with from a marketing and sales standpoint. Main thing is that Dynafit tries, and I applaud that.

    That being said, and in all fairness to both Dynafit and skiers such as Walt, one has to conclude that indeed some skiers had problems with FT12 toe jaw tension, and that this change is intended to remedy that.

    I’ve got a pair of the changed bindings on their way here, and will do a report. The timing is good, because I was just about ready to go ahead and video how a Dynafit toe can open while you’re skiing, and this will give me something positive to talk about when I play around with that.

    And yes, it is only the wide brake model that has the stiffer toe springs.

  86. Jonathan Shefftz December 3rd, 2010 11:51 am

    “I wrote to Dynafit and they responded by telling me that the springs are interchangable and that there are subtle differences between the two bindings (FT10 and FT12) I wish I still had the email but that was years ago. But I heard it from the horse’s mouth. So they are not the same. Who are you to know differently?”
    — When the FT went only to 10, the toe (setting aside the separate baseplate) was identical to the toe of the ST. And when the FT upped to RV to 12 (via changes in the heel unit), the toe did not change. For this season apparently, and only for this season, the FT toe is different, but apparently only on the version with the widest brake.

  87. Lou December 3rd, 2010 2:25 pm

    I’ve got most of the last 5 official Dynafit catalogs here in front of me. It starts with 2006/2007 was when they ramped things up to make their line “vertical” with more clothing, more bindings, skis, etc. Bear in mind that these catalogs jump ahead as for they are for the next sales season. For example, the one I got last winter is for 2010/2011

    Here is the lowdown of the ST FT bindings in these catalogs.

    2006/2007: TLT Vertica FT, yellow, with fiberglass connector plate, RV 10, same mechanicals as Vertical ST, no connector plate, RV 10. We deemed these two bindings to be identical mechanically, and only a cosmetic different to try and market the FT to core skiers.

    2007/2008: I’m missing this catalog, but remember that they introduced cool new boots that year such as Green Machine, but didn’t do anything major with binding models.

    2008/2009: Stiff boot was introduced ZZeus, along with FT12. ST still available, so this is third season for ST 10 binding and first for FT _12_.

    2009/2010: Name of Vertical FT 12 changed to FT Z12, but still same binding. Toe wings look different because of some cosmetic releif that was added. They’re said to be stronger, and if they are great. ST model still sold.

    2010/2011: Vertical FT Z12 unchanged in this catalog, Vertical ST still sold as well, unchanged.

    2010/2011: Unbeknown to clueless journalists such as myself, after we go to press trip and study catalog all summer, Dynafit binding line is broken out with an FT Z12 version that has stronger toe pincer spring and is identified by 110mm brake.

    Thus, I don’t know where some of you guys are getting the idea that the ST model was only sold for one season, or is discontinued… let me know if you want more clarification, or if I got something wrong. Lou

  88. Jonathan Shefftz December 3rd, 2010 2:36 pm

    “2009/2010: […] Toe wings look different because of some cosmetic releif that was added.”
    — The little ridges were added, plus the vertically oriented portion of the wings (arms?) got little cutouts. This was for both the Vertical ST/FT and the Speed.

    “Thus, I don’t know where some of you guys are getting the idea that the ST model was only sold for one season, or is discontinued…”
    — Walt was referring to the RV 10 version of the FT.

  89. Lou December 3rd, 2010 3:01 pm

    Oh, ok, thanks for clarification. Sorry Walt.

  90. Walt December 3rd, 2010 9:23 pm

    just going by what Dynafit told me when I wrote them. I wish I could remember everything thing they said, but I clearly remember my hope of putting FT12 springs in the FT10 denied. They are different. Sure, they my look the same, but….

  91. Jonathan Shefftz December 4th, 2010 1:53 pm

    We seem to be referencing different issues. My claim was that when the FT10 became the FT12, the toe piece remained the same. The email you’re recollecting seems to be claiming (and somewhat dubiously too, but that’s a different issue entirely) that the FT10 heel piece can’t be upgraded into an FT12 equivalent by swapping in different innards. Those two claims are by no means mutually exclusive.

  92. Jonathan Shefftz January 16th, 2011 1:02 pm

    I updated the summary chart to include both the new 2011-12 Dynafit models and my various measurements for the new Plum Guide bindings I’ve been testing (review to follow soon…).

  93. Jonathan February 3rd, 2011 5:01 pm

    I added a sentence to the original write-up to clarify (or so I hope!) the RT distribution in North America for this season:
    “La Sportiva North America is selling ATK’s RT binding as the La Sportiva RT in North America under a private label arrangement between ATK and La Sportiva Italy, which means that La Sportiva North America will fufill all the usual functions of a distributor but only with respect to its branded RT bindings, whereas any ATK-branded bindings (whether the functionally identical RT or the full-on race models) are not connected in any way with La Sportiva North America.”

  94. Norwegian June 9th, 2011 11:03 pm

    On the Dynafit web site, a video claims that your boot is closer to the ski on the FT than on the ST. But in your chart, the measures for the FT and the ST are identical. Are your measurements correct, or is the video making false statements?

  95. Lou June 10th, 2011 5:11 am

    Norwegian, I don’t recall that video but it’s either erroneous or they’re talking about a different binding or measurement than Jonathan is. The FT and ST bindings of the past few years are nearly identical in construction and dimensions, and if there is any variation on how high they hold your foot up off the ski, it is such a small difference as to be virtually zero. I’ll measure them again later today, but my recollection is that they’re identical in terms of stack height. Lou

  96. Norwegian June 10th, 2011 5:35 am

    Lou, the video is the main one (topmost) on this page: http://www.dynafit.com/product/bindings/vert-ft-110mm . In the video, “Low height off ski” is listed as one of the key features of the FT over the ST.

  97. Lou June 10th, 2011 5:51 am

    Well, for starters, I know for a fact that the heel height is exactly the same for both bindings as that’s dictated by the internal heel spindle, which is an interchangeable part as most other parts are. If the FT toe is lower enough to make any difference in how the binding skis I’d be very surprised, but I’ll have another look at it later today. I remember measuring these way back when, but I’ll have to dig up that info. Meanwhile, if you’re trying to decide between the two bindings, know that any difference, if there is one, is miniscule and not something to base a shopping decision on. Lou

  98. Norwegian June 10th, 2011 6:41 am

    So basically, if you don’t need DIN 12, there’s no reason to even look at the FT12? The ST10 will be just as good, or maybe even better, with the wider toe plate?

  99. Lou June 10th, 2011 1:51 pm

    Nor, I could not have said it better.

  100. Jonathan Shefftz September 13th, 2011 12:19 pm

    Dynafit website is now updated with all the new models.
    I’ll update the chart here once we have some add’l real-world data.

  101. Maki February 11th, 2012 5:00 am

    What about the Radical’s delta?

  102. Lou February 11th, 2012 7:43 am

    Radical has ever so slightly less ramp than Comfort/Vertical series bindings. Very slight difference.

    Mentioned in this review:


  103. Maki February 11th, 2012 12:53 pm

    Thanks Lou. But I was rather thinking about the Speed Radical and also the Speed Superlite which is possibly the more interesting one.

    BTW one more measure that would be interesting to add is the *real* heel gap. You know, the classic Speed officially has 4 mm, but in practice it’s more like 1 mm while with some other bindings the specified gap is real (old Vertical, Plum Guide…).

  104. Jonathan Shefftz February 11th, 2012 12:56 pm

    Unfortunately I’ve botched a few opportunities to get precise measurements on skiing delta and heel elevator differentials.
    But for heel gap, there are only two measurements: what the company recommends vs. what you set it at … and they should be identical, so I don’t understand what is meant by the “real” heel gap.

  105. Maki February 11th, 2012 1:45 pm

    I mean that some models have the (in)famous bump that reduces the actual clearance. Both the TLT Speed and the Plum Guide have a spec of 4 mm but with the Speed there’s just 1 mm or so of air between the boot and the binding.

  106. Jonathan Shefftz February 11th, 2012 1:48 pm

    Ahh, right. So, Plum, ATK / La Sportiva RT, Comfort, Vertical, all bumpless. The venerable Speed has the bump, and apparently the bump is back with the Radical.
    BTW, interesting observation on the Speed Superlight: not only is the adjustment setting shared between lateral and forward release values, but apparently the release function is too. Or at least when I was checking out a demo binding, rotating the binding also caused the heel pins to spread out (as they would in a forward release).

  107. Marcus November 30th, 2017 11:17 am

    I have a pair of Dynafit Stoke skis mounted with Vertical FT bindings (including the toe/ heel connecting plate). I would like to purchase a spare toe piece to carry as a spare in my repair kit. It is difficult to find parts for older bindings though Skimo.com has a spare toe for USD120 or close to CAD155, which is a little expensive.

    Someone recently responded to my online wanted posting stating they had a TLT Comfort toe piece.

    After reading several Wildsnow articles, I have confirmed that the screw pattern is identical, and it looks like the height/ ramp angle is the same.

    My questions are: 1) is the Comfort toe piece compatible with the Vertical base/ connecting plate; and 2) are the Vertical mounting screws compatible with the Comfort toe piece (ie depth and head style).

    Thank you,


  108. Lou Dawson 2 November 30th, 2017 11:35 am

    As a spare, it’ll probably work, no need for worrying about exact fit, just get it and experiment a bit. To use it you’d probably just remove the toe base plate and screw the toe piece directly to the ski, with shorter screws. But as I’m sure you’ve thought, if you’re doing something like an expedition where you might need to use your spare for multiple days rather than a quick exit, you’d be better just getting another Vertical FT or ST toe. You might check with Cripple Creek as well, perhaps you can get them into a price war with Skimo (smile). I know they’ve got a big bin of junk they keep around for just this sort of thing. If I had an extra Vertical toe I’d give it to you, but all mine are still part of complete binding sets. Lou

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