ATK RT Tech Binding Official North American Importer Announced


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | November 22, 2010      

“That thing is sold in Europe, order it from there.” Tired of that same old tune?

ATK RT backcountry skiing binding.

ATK RT backcountry skiing binding. Click image to enlarge.

We’ve been fascinated of late by the variety of tech (Dynafit type) compatible ski touring bindings available across the pond. La Sportiva has decided to do something about it. They’ll be importing a limited number of the ATK RT model binding, which is said to be super light (175 grams) and has an innovative way to adjust the holding tension of the toe wings. I’ve seen versions of this binding up close and personal, and the workmanship and engineering are indeed impressive. I didn’t see anything about brakes being available.



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Comments

39 Responses to “ATK RT Tech Binding Official North American Importer Announced”

  1. wick November 22nd, 2010 5:34 pm

    Nothing mentioned of La Sportiva’s sexy, albeit delicate boot…you can only get in Europe.! My guess is the lightweight line of skis will be Merreli’s…..Italian brotherhood. I think the Italian champion will be the SCARPA/Trab brotherhood….this combo has a much longer ski heritage….time will tell I guess (or should I say it already has for the latter combo). Keep doing your snow dances!

  2. Jonathan Shefftz November 22nd, 2010 5:59 pm

    “Jonathan, your take?”
    — The call I was supposed to have with La Sportiva was postponed b/c of my laryngitis (which I then made even worse by teaching an avy class). And I’m probably worsening my eyesight by staring repeatedly at the various pics trying to verify my hunch that the toe tension adjustment affects only the tour mode and also attempting to determine how the toe-mounted brake (shown at the ATK website) senses when the boot has exited the binding (and hence when to deploy) . . . these bindings are ruining my health!

  3. Mark W November 22nd, 2010 10:08 pm

    Nice, slightly evolved take on the tech binding. I like it.

  4. boz November 22nd, 2010 11:20 pm

    I think that this year and next there will be a number of very good tech options, Hopefully this will bring the price down a little..

  5. Tom Gos November 23rd, 2010 11:08 am

    It seems some clarification is in order with regard to the stated weight – it certainly dosen’t look THAT light. 175 grams is about the same weight as Dynafit toe piece alone. It looks to be made of machined aluminum, but even if it was magnesium or molded carbon fiber I would still doubt this weight. Does anybody know what this binding really weighs?

  6. Jonathan Shefftz November 23rd, 2010 11:47 am

    Yes, we do know: just click on Lou’s hyperlink (“variety of tech (Dynafit type) compatible bindings”) and on that page once you click on the picture, the enlarged version has the actual measured weights for various configurations.

  7. tony November 23rd, 2010 12:53 pm

    Does the ATK RT use the same mounting pattern as the Dynafit when used with the fore/aft adjustment plate? How many sizes can the adjustment plate adjust for?

  8. Jonathan Shefftz November 23rd, 2010 12:54 pm

    Two different plates are available — see the previously referenced chart for adjustment range.
    But I don’t know the mounting pattern.

  9. Jon Moceri November 23rd, 2010 2:43 pm

    I have the RTK RT binding.

    The toe pattern is the same, but without the 5th mounting hole at the front of the binding.

    The heel does NOT fit the Dynafit pattern. Here are the measurements of the heel pattern center to center of the mounting holes.

    Dynafit Speed Heel Pattern: 30 mm wide X 53 mm long
    RTK RT Heel: 25 mm wide X 33 mm long
    RTK Long Adjustment Plate: 25 mm wide X 85 mm long

    It might be difficult to mount the rear binding on pre drilled Dynafit skis as the holes do overlap.

  10. Jonathan L November 23rd, 2010 5:22 pm

    You know what they call a race binding without a ski brake used in the real world?
    A memory.

    Or a long hike home.

  11. Lou November 23rd, 2010 6:18 pm

    Excellent point there guy. I know of several stories that did not impress me.

  12. Jon Moceri November 23rd, 2010 8:18 pm

    I just matched up the RTK RT heel adjustment plate (long) with the Dynafit Stoke ski binding pattern. The long adjustment plate mounting holes are just outside the various inserts. And so it looks like you can mount the rear binding on a Dynafit ski with pre drilled inserts. Just be careful as there is maybe 5 mm space between the holes.

    As an aside, and for those fashion conscious skiers out there, the colors on the RTK RT binding match perfectly with the color graphics on the Dynafit Stoke. Looks like they were made to be together.

  13. Henri November 24th, 2010 1:31 pm

    @Jonathan L: ATK makes a brake (at 64 grams no less!) for this binding. You can find it on the their site.

  14. Bar Barrique November 24th, 2010 10:10 pm

    Interesting stuff; I have been waiting for Dynafit to bring out a lighter weight binding.

  15. tony November 25th, 2010 12:33 pm

    Just looking at the numbers, it looks like you could fit a long ATK ajustment plate around a rear Dyna mount pattern, so that the ATK holes are for and aft of the Dyna holes. Would this work?

  16. Jon Moceri November 26th, 2010 6:11 pm

    Tony, yes the long RTK RT adjustment plate would work, but just barely.

    I asked Adam who owns Pro Ski in Seattle if he would mount the rear adjustment plate. After looking at the plate and the ski he said “sure, no problem. It just needs careful hand mounting”.

    And you would end up with the same adjustment range that you get with the Dynafit pre drilled mounting inserts.

    I posted a long summary of the specs to the RTK RT binding on the “The New Plum Binding…. ” thread a week ago.

  17. neonorchid January 10th, 2011 8:55 am

    I’ve seen these for sale yet haven’t come across updates, anyone using them?

    How much closer do they get to the Marker Tour for safety?

    Also, i was surprised to read Powder magazine’s gear issue testers advocate Dynafit FT12’s for double duty on groomers as well as backcountry touring. It’s contrary to everything i’ve read, i.e., “don’t fall”, they wont hold up to the stress, and premature release related to ski flex.

    I would think user weight will affect safety and durability. Could sub 140lb lightweight skiers be ok and close to the safety of a Marker Tour on the RTK RT for days spent in-bounds on groomers?

  18. Lou January 10th, 2011 11:03 am

    Neon, Dynafits are a very special binding that’s not for everyone. No way to know exact answers to your questions, but if you’re concerned just get the Marker.That said, plenty of people, as in hundreds of thousands, seem to do just fine on Dynafits. As for Powder Magazine, don’t take their gear reviews too seriously.

  19. Bar Barrique January 10th, 2011 3:38 pm

    These bindings are on the Backcountry.com site listed as La Sportiva RT Tech binding. I don’t see a ski brake listed.

  20. Scruppo January 18th, 2011 2:44 pm

    Has anyone used these yet? I’m considering them, but it looks like you have to reach down and change the lifter position with your hand (ugh). Can you rotate them with a pole?

  21. Jonathan Shefftz January 18th, 2011 4:11 pm

    @ Scruppo – The version distributed by La Sportiva already comes with the little add-on for the ski pole tip insertion. How effective that one insertion point is (as opposed to, say, the whopping four insertion options on the Plum Guide), I have no idea, although a WildSnow review will probably be coming up later this season…

  22. Jon Moceri February 5th, 2011 4:52 pm

    I have skied the ATK RT on my K2 Anti-Piste with the Dynafit TLT5 Mountain boot for a little bit now. What can I say? With about 80,000 vertical downhill, no problems. No pre releases.

    The toe DIN adjustment is different. They have a tapered screw that you turn to adjust the DIN. But the DIN only changes when you have the toe in the upward locked position, or touring position.

    I’ve been told that some European ski tourers have concerns about being able to have a releasable toe when skinning up in case they are caught in an avalanche. Hence the design to work in the touring mode only.

    I’ve done a little bench testing of the ATK RT vs the Dynafit TLT Speed. This is with the boot locked in the toe and not in the heel, and using my arms to twist the boot with the ski braced.

    In the downhill, unlocked mode, comparing the ATK RT toe to my Dynafit TLT speeds, they seem to have about the same toe release DIN, i.e. it takes the same amount of effort to release either toe.

    With the ATK RT in the locked touring position and the DIN at the lowest setting, about a 4, I was just barely able to release the binding by hand.

    With the DIN changed to 7, I was unable to get the toe to release by hand. But I think a bigger, stronger person could get it to release.

    With the Dynafit in the locked mode I was also unable to release the toe by hand.

    I’ve done just a little bit of easy uphill touring, in soft snow, with the ATK RT. I haven’t had any problems with the toe releasing while in the locked touring position with the DIN at 7. I’ll need to get on some steeper, harder snow to see if there are any issues.

    So, the toe adjustment does work, but only in the touring position. If you are the kind of skier who regularly locks out the toe on your Dynafit binding to avoid pre releasing, the ATK RT may be a solution. You can ski with the toe locked but vary the amount of release tension. I think it would take some experimentation to find what setting works best, but it could be done.

    The heel doesn’t really accommodate a ski pole for changing the heel position. Yes, you can put the tip of the ski pole through the binding top, but it’s just as easy to bend down and do it by hand. The heel also doesn’t have the lateral elasticity that the Dynafit speed has. I don’t know if this makes a functional difference.

    Dynafit crampons do work well in the binding. I don’t have the ski brake and just use the B&D ski leash, which I like.

    My 168 cm DPS Wailer 112RP skis just arrived and I just moved the ATK RT bindings over to them. I mounted them with the Quiver Killer binding inserts so I can moved them back and forth between skis. No problems so far on the K2’s so I expect them to be just fine on the DPS skis. I’m excited to get out and see how it all works. Total weight skis and bindings 3.46 kg (pair).

    Jon

  23. Jonathan Shefftz February 5th, 2011 4:56 pm

    Jon, thanks for the feedback, very helpful.
    Just one question though: how did you test (or other conclude) that the heel unit has less lateral elasticity? And do you feel it has the same forward elasticity?

  24. Jon Moceri February 6th, 2011 2:01 am

    Jonathan, I tested the heel unit by just twisting it with my hand. With the Dynafit heel, I can twist it up to 30 degrees and when I let go, it promptly returns to center. With the ATK RT, I can ony rotate it about 15 degrees with it returning to center. Beyond that, it won’t return.

    I didn’t test the forward heel release or elasticity. I’m in Whistler now and I left the skis back in Seattle so I can’t test that right now. Actually, it never occured to me to test it. I was focused on the toe.

    I’m going to visit the Escape Route while in Whister and look at the Plum bindings and see how they compare.

    Jon

  25. Jonathan Shefftz February 6th, 2011 7:54 pm

    Jon, thanks for the clarification. I tested my Plum Guide and one of my Dynafits now in a similar manner to what you did, and somewhere around the 30 degrees you measured seemed about right for both of them.
    Hoping to have a demo pair (relatively) soon along with La Sportiva skis. Meanwhile, saw a pair at today’s rando race, on the Dynafit Performance race ski, with F1 Race boots, and the snazzy-looking new DyNA race suit. Only problem is that the owner lives in Virginia Beach (military), but cool that he made it to the race. We also had a visiting Colorado racer (sorry, I didn’t remember your name!) on Hagan X-Race, Low Tech Lite, TLT5. (And sorry the boot pack wasn’t well marked and you ended up doing the rec course – I also blew past the cut-off, then had to hike back up, ugh!)

  26. Bill Graf February 7th, 2011 1:54 pm

    Jonathan, Nice to meet you this past weekend. My first rando race-I’m hooked! Totally new rig with no snow time-nature of the beast living in Virginia Beach-still everything worked as advertised. Some trouble getting into the RT bindings which I’m sure has everything to do with my lack of experience. I also had trouble figuring out the boot pack portion of the course-only way I ended up in front of you at the next transition. Looking forward to seeing at one of the New England races later this year.

  27. Jonathan Shefftz February 7th, 2011 6:20 pm

    Hi Bill, great hearing from you, and hope you can join us at Magic & Bromley in March! Check out NE Rando Race Series on Facebook for all the details . . . although rest assured that the course layouts will be far more straightforward than yesterday’s race.

  28. scree February 8th, 2011 5:00 pm

    Here is some weight info. and then I have a question….
    FYI the La Sportiva weight according to my scale (+/- 2 gram accuracy)
    La Sportiva claims this thing weighs 175 g.

    ’10-11 La Sportiva RT (made by ADK) single binding total weight 190g/6.7oz.
    toe 90g
    heel 84g
    heel elevator post 8g
    screws 12g

    My other rando binder is Dynafit Speeds. They have 1/2′ more delta. The RT’s are much more level. This lack of delta is annoying with my boots (Dynafit TLT5).
    So I am thinking I want to put a 1/4″ riser under the heel to raise it up. But if I do that, then that will lengthen the distance between the heel and toe. Which means I would have to move the binding (the binding itself has no fore/aft length adjustment.) But it would be such a small amount to move. So my question is…. should I make a riser and create my own way to mount it into the ski and then screw the binding into only the riser? Or should I just move the whole mount forward so I have no screw hole overlap?

    Or………. can I get this plate in the US?
    http://www.atkrace.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=47:r02-piastra-di-regolazione&lang=en

  29. Jonathan Shefftz February 8th, 2011 7:32 pm

    According to my Tech Binding Summary Chart, the difference between the delta of the two models is 11mm, and according to Pythagoras such a shim (use LDPE from SmallParts dot com and longer screws from Slidewright) for, say, my 26.0/26.5 TLT5, would throw off the length adjustment by about one-fifth of a mm, so I wouldn’t worry about it.
    Contact La Sportiva in Boulder for availability of the adjustment track – I don’t see it listed at their four retailers, but some must available here because I know they have some demo setups.

  30. scree February 8th, 2011 8:04 pm

    Thanks Jonathan, great info, glad there are math folks out there 😀 ! I’ll just use the old holes and some LDPE.

  31. Lou February 8th, 2011 9:37 pm

    What Jonathan said… Also, while you might need more delta, you might not need the total amount you think you do, so perhaps try a thinner shim first.

  32. Jon Moceri February 8th, 2011 11:17 pm

    You can purchase accessories for the ATK RT (LaSportiva) binding here:

    http://www.verticalworld.it/magento/index.php/catalogsearch/advanced/result/?manufacturer%5B0%5D=46&limit=all

    They shipped my order promptly. The US prices are less than the listed ones because they don’t charge us the VAT.

    They also have a great selection of Dynafit gear that isn’t available in the US.

  33. scree February 16th, 2011 10:13 am

    I couldn’t find any LPDE locally so bought a 1/2″ cutting board. I traced the heel shape onto it and cut it out and routed out 1/4″ deep areas on the underside to reduce weight. Each shim is 12g. I can live with that since the performance for me is improved. Plus it raises up the height of the heel climbing post so it is a similar height to the Dynafit Speeds. Speeds seem so heavy now! The cutting board set me back 4 USA dollars. 8)

  34. Jonathan Shefftz March 27th, 2011 2:26 pm

    Finally checked out Bill’s RT’s bindings at yesterday’s rando race. Almost kind of a “fun house” effect, like when an object seems to be of normal size from a distance, but then as you get closer, you realize how small it really is. Even though I had seen Bill’s bindings at the February MRV rando race, only yesterday when I finally picked them up did I appreciate the miniaturization that ATK has achieved: the toe is fairly standard size for a “Tech” binding (even including the adjustable tension when in tour mode), but the heel is the size of a fixed release value race binding (and almost the same weight) yet has independently adjustable lateral and forward release settings. Impressive innovation!

  35. Jonathan Shefftz April 7th, 2011 5:36 am

    I just realized that I previously neglected to copy over the clarification/disclaimer I posted in my Tech Binding Summary Chart write-up:
    “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.”

  36. Brent July 28th, 2011 2:24 pm

    I was recently checking out a pair of the La Sportiva / ATK bindings and I noticed that the toe pins do not have the ice/crud cutting/clearing grooves that Dynafit bindings have. Has anyone noticed this being a problem in real life use? Do you have to use a nail to clear your boot’s toe sockets every time instead of doing the funky Dynafit dance? Thanks!

  37. Gentle Sasquatch November 3rd, 2011 8:28 am

    Is the Sportiva RT in any way adjustable to allow for different boots on the same ski or is it one setting and you’re done?

  38. Lou November 3rd, 2011 8:37 am

    It’s adjustable via a track under the heel with machine screws. I have that info in another review, somewhere in here….

  39. Jonathan Shefftz November 3rd, 2011 9:38 am

    That fore/aft adjustment is possible only if the binding is mounted with the separate plate (which also adds a bit of weight, as well as more delta — for both skiing and skinning).
    If you definitely want that plate, then when purchasing from a U.S. retailer, make sure it’s included. You can also order directly from La Sportiva.

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