Gear Tidbit: SollyFit Swap Plate

Post by blogger | March 1, 2011      

With a new pair of skis in hand, you’d like to re-drill a new set of binding holes within 3 months about as much as you’d like to put a core shot in the base with a file just to get that first one “out of the way.” It’s unheard of, stupid, crazy. It’s like kicking a puppy…just wrong.

I was looking at such a scenario this winter with a new pair of DPS Lotus 120s. I had “some” bindings to mount, some old Salomon S912 Ti. But they’re projected lifespan was uncertain. I’d already “replaced” them on another set of skis and was saving them for a pair of water skis, or a saucer, or something.

So here I am with a brand spankin’ new pair of sweet pow skis and no budget for new bindings. So my option is to not mount the skis till mid-winter and some birthday money comes in? Not likely! Or mount some old bindings that might last till mid season and then unmount them (and DPS strongly suggests the use of epoxy) to remount something else. Oh, yeah. And I’d love to try these out as AT skis too.

A chorus out there is yelling “Dukes”, “Dynafit”, “Naxos” right now…well maybe not Naxos. I considered that. But I have some expectations that rule that option out.

I want to ski a binding that has a lower stack height. A rough goal would be 15-25mm (based on a pair of Salomon and Look bindings in my garage).

My solution: the SollyFit Plate from Binding Freedom.

The SollyFit Swap Plate Kit comes with the plates, screws for numerous Dynafit and Salomon bindings and paper template.

Once I saw this variation on the DynaDuke Plate, I was sold. The option to go from a lower stacked Salomon binding inbounds to a Dynafit in the BC was perfect. Plus I’ll only have to back out eight Loctited machine screws to remount new bindings once my current ones die. And with the future addition of some binding inserts on my primary BC ski, I can swap my Dynafit FT12s to the Big Skis when the day, trip or conditions call for it.

The drawbacks

There are a few drawbacks to this solution. First, additional cost. The plates are $115. That definitely cuts into my future binding budget. However, with the later addition of throwing on Dynafits, I’m sure I could sell my BC sticks to offset the cost. But the plates are still 1/2 the cost of the bindings I was eyeing. Two, additional weight. But why am I putting touring bindings on a 120mm waist ski if weight is my primary concern? Extra stack height? With Salomon Ti bindings or Dynafits, I still measure a stack height of exactly 25mm, same as my Looks with a short rise plate. And finally, when upgrading my bindings I’ll have to stick to Salomon brand, but I’m OK with that.

Why I chose this setup

The SollyFits are not for everyone, but for me they are perfect. I now have my old bindings mounted to ski the best powder ski I’ve owned to date. And once the bindings die (2 months? 18 months?), I can upgrade without having to pry the epoxy off the skis. And I can take them as a one ski, do-all quiver with a pair of Dynafits in tow. Who knows, I might even sell my BC skis now…

The final product. I can't say I'm not excited that the plates match the skis. And all at a mere 25mm stack height.

(Guest blogger profile: Dave Downing and his wife Jessica live in Whitefish, MT, where he is a freelance designer and owner of Ovid Nine Graphics Lab. Dave has been told that there is nothing to see in Montana, so please move along.)



23 Responses to “Gear Tidbit: SollyFit Swap Plate”

  1. scottyb March 1st, 2011 9:53 am

    I have three sets of skis mounted with Sollyfit plates, I love them. For me its a winner.

  2. cory March 1st, 2011 10:49 am

    I’m looking for a plate that allows a ski to be used with Dynafit ST’s and BD-01 tele’s…any ideas?

  3. Carl March 1st, 2011 10:56 am

    I would like to accomplish the same thing, but will likely use inserts for the cause. I also hear that NTN and Dynafit share 4 screw locations.

  4. Bill March 1st, 2011 11:00 am

    No more swap plate post , please… You promised! 😉
    Interseting read nevertheless. Thanks.

  5. Marcus March 1st, 2011 11:08 am

    As near as I can tell, the NTN & Dynafit pattern only shares 2 screw locations. Two of the four toe piece screws will land in existing NTN plate holes perfectly, but it looks like you’ll still have to drill the other two and the one under the toe lock (and of course the entire heel).

  6. Dave Downing March 1st, 2011 11:44 am

    @Cory: keep making noise about the Dynafit/tele plate, binding freedom is listening. It was mentioned that they are looking at binding options to put on the next incarnation of their swap plates…

  7. scottyb March 1st, 2011 12:19 pm

    Hey Cory, I have a Dobish plate that has Dynafit pattern and BD 01 pattern. It alos mounts to the K2 insert pattern. I have them on a set of Work Stinks. If you need them I could let them go or you can look up Dobish solutions to see if he has any plates.

  8. Ray Imel March 1st, 2011 3:54 pm

    Compare QuiverKillers to SollyFit?

  9. scottyb March 1st, 2011 7:21 pm

    Compare QuiverKillers to SollyFit?

    One is a threaded insert and one is a plate.

    If you are good enough to free hand 18 inserts per ski and get them all within .5mm of where they need to be then you are a QK kind of guy.

    If not then you are a Sollyfit kind of guy.

    I have done both and the 8 holes per ski to mount the plates is much easier.:wink:

  10. John Gloor March 1st, 2011 8:18 pm

    I just finished my first insert installation a few weeks ago. I bought a centering punch set which made my holes spot on. It was a labor of love though, and I only have Dynafit holes in the ski at this time. My only issue with inserts is that I have read two reports which gave very different values for the pullout strength of the 5/16 X 18 insert. Plus inserts for two bindings mean a lot of big holes in the ski . Sollyfits seem great if you like that binding combination. I want a set of Dynooks (Dynafit Look)

  11. Mark W March 1st, 2011 10:43 pm

    The plates look fairly trim. What is their weight?

  12. Chris March 2nd, 2011 10:47 am

    Something like 4 oz per ski

  13. Mark March 2nd, 2011 1:15 pm

    I used a combo of plates and inserts and here’s how. I have Coombas and I wanted to be able to tour with Dynafit and resort ski with Salomon since my touring boots don’t drive the Coombas well when things get tracked out. I am also one of those who don’t like the Dynafit ramp angle and I already use a shim under my Dynafit toe.
    So, I mounted the Sollyfit toepiece using binding screws and in the rear I have inserts for both the Sollyfit heel plate and Dynafit heel. When I tour I leave the Sollyfit toe plate in place and attach Dynafit heel without a plate. This helps negate the ramp angle. For resort skiing I switch out the Dynafit heel for the Sollyfit heel plate, attach Salomon bindings and I am ready for all conditions with my alpine boots. This really works well for me. 12 holes per ski instead of 18 if I went with all inserts, but 4 more than plates only. I was careful with laying it all out to keep the back inserts not too close to each other.

  14. Lou March 2nd, 2011 4:28 pm

    Mark, very well thought out!

  15. Sam F March 2nd, 2011 5:41 pm

    Prehaps this is mentioned somewere in the mounting instructions, and I just missed it. But, I’m I at least have found that to use these plates(which I love) brakeless with the dynafit binding could result in permanent damage to the plates. The plates didn’t provide enough support directly under the white platic piece that braces the post the heel piece turns on. The plastic piece was pushed into a thinner part of the plate, to the point it dented the plate itself, in such away that it allowed a bit of play directly under the pivot point. This after only one small tour. I feel that brakes supply enough extra support as to make this a nonissue when brakes are used. But depending perhaps on were in the rear track the heel piece sits, I don’t think these plates should be used brakeless.

    Perhaps this is already understood, but I just thought I should mention it. I caught it early and very little damage is done, and there appears to be no issue that I reinstalled the brakes.
    thought I’d mention this

  16. AC March 2nd, 2011 6:08 pm

    Just curious,
    Do you really wear out resort bindings so easily?
    Like you are putting something on your skis that you estimate might actually only have 2 months of life left?
    How much use are you getting out of these things?

  17. jondrums March 2nd, 2011 10:50 pm

    Dave- Thanks for the review, glad you are enjoying the plates.
    Sam- send me a note through the bindingfreedom website – I’d like to get more information about what you described here. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I’d like to remedy this in future versions!

  18. Matt March 2nd, 2011 10:52 pm

    Thanks for the review of these plates. I recently found myself with the same dilemma with a new pair of skis and an old pair of Salomon bindings. I just recently made the switch to Dynafit and also want my Vertical ST’s as an option. And, there truly is nothing to see in Montana…carry on!

  19. Sam F March 3rd, 2011 12:32 am

    I’ll email you some pics, and details. Great product though, and I should make it clear that i prefer the light weight well thought out approach you took. To something that might could be perhaps slightly sturdier, and simpler, but much heavier.

  20. dave downing March 3rd, 2011 12:38 am

    @AC, my bindings are from around 2003, then the side wing adjustment screw has been backing out on it own quite frequently. This is seems to have been a common issue with these bindings, and Salomon has since changed the design. Basically i just didn’t know if they would be worthy to be placed on the new skis….

    as for use. i’ve been averaging a couple days a week on them.

  21. john March 3rd, 2011 5:21 am

    Interesting that this should come up just now. I just received in the mail a set of B & D ( tele (standard 4 hole binding) to Dynafit adapter plates. I think they may be a scant bit heavier than the Sollys -advertised weight is 1/2 pound per pair with screws. I’ve just barely looked at them, but it seems that these may be just the ticket!!! Anyone else got any experience with these?

  22. Jared March 17th, 2012 2:46 pm

    I was wondering what the life span of these plates are? I am worried that the torque between the bindings, plates, and skis on steep and grinding resort terrain will bore out screw holes, create sloppy (and scary) situations, and eventually lead to ruining gear. Can anyone who has skied a number of hard days on these plates speak to this?

  23. hapro November 22nd, 2014 12:46 pm

    What is the minimum width ski the Sollyfits can mount to?

    Does anyone know what specs the screws for mounting the sollyfits to skis are?

    I picked a used pair of Sollyfits and don’t have these details.

    BTW, I just found out Sun Valley Ski Tools just purchased BF. I think that will be a good move for consumers.

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