10 Tips to Prevent Tech Binding Pre-Release


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | March 20, 2012      

I’m of the opinion that tech bindings (ATK, Dynafit, Plum, etc.), when cared for properly and used appropriately have little to no more propensity for accidental release than any other type of ski binding. Nonetheless, they do pre-release. Ask my left shoulder. Forthwith, a hand-count of things you can do to prevent.

1. Adjust your release values (RV) with care. If you experience an accidental release after messing with all the tips below, consider dialing that part of the settings up a number (vertical, or side.) See this post for adjustment tips.

2. Set heel gap perfectly (see link in #1 above.)

3. Before skiing downhill, clear ice under binding toe wings and check your work by snapping the wings open and closed by hand.

4. Be super careful about ice in your boot toe fittings. You can clear the fittings by attaching binding then swinging your foot so the binding pins pivot in the holes. Better, begin with a quick clearing of the boot holes using a tool such as the tang at the end of a Voile strap, multi-tool, or other pointed object. But do the “swing” anyway to clear any last bit of junk out.

5. When you enter binding for downhill, before stomping down to latch heel wriggle boot heel left and right while watching and feeling toe unit for solid attachment. If the toe wings are not engaged to the boot properly it is quite noticeable.

6. Regularly inspect binding for damage or cracks, especially the metal supports under the toe wings. To prevent damage due to leverage from wider skis, use bindings with wider support under toe area. It’s somewhat of a myth that wider bindings ski better, but it’s no myth that the base of a ski binding needs good support to prevent damage such as metal fatigue. By the same token, be sure your binding screws are tight and epoxied in.

7. Inspect fit of boot toe in binding, no rubber or plastic should be touching binding parts while in alpine downhill mode, the boot should be suspended from the toe fittings.

8. Bench test binding and boot for release. Side release should be smooth, without catching then violently releasing. Certain boot fittings over past years have been defective and not provided the smooth action necessary for proper tech binding function.

9. Know that while tech bindings usually have adequate elasticity in side release, vertical release at the heel is less elastic. Consequently, be aware that for aggressive skiing you may need a higher release value (RV) for your vertical release than you do for your side release.

10. If all else fails, you may need to ski with the tech binding toe locked in tour mode. Doing so provides no calibrated RV setting and reduces elasticity, and some say that with one well known brand you get RV values with locked toe that would fit in the range of 18 DIN, if such a thing existed (DIN scale doesn’t go that high). Also, know that when you lock the tech binding toe, you are only locking your side release, you will still release just as easy in vertical mode at the heel. In my view, if you’re finding you must ski with your tech binding toes locked that may indicate you either don’t take the care to adjust and use your bindings correctly, or perhaps you need to switch to a binding system more compatible with your style of skiing.

More tips, feel free to comment.



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Comments

53 Responses to “10 Tips to Prevent Tech Binding Pre-Release”

  1. Andy March 20th, 2012 9:10 am

    Great article. I was just skiing some really heavy snow in Jackson last weekend and having a fair bit of trouble with pre-release. The culprit is probably binding adjustment, but I’m not positive. On a somewhat similar note, do you know what the tech gap should be on Trab bindings? They came with somewhat spartan direction, and don’t seem to mention the recommended gap.

    Also, maybe the Anti-Spam Quiz should be changed for today 😉

  2. Greg Louie March 20th, 2012 10:07 am

    Silicone spray as a preemptive measure under the toe wings . . .

    You can check to see if the toe pins are seated properly by clicking the toe lever up into tour mode – if you can’t get the regular number of clicks (ie. four for Speed/Vertical, three for Radical) then something is blocking the toe (usually ice or debris). You can then unlock it, if that is your preference, to ski . . .

  3. Greg Louie March 20th, 2012 10:11 am

    PS Locking the toe does nothing to increase forward release values – if you are worried about pre-release while jump turning in two feet of breakable crust, you may want to consider a different technique.

  4. John March 20th, 2012 10:20 am

    One tip for heli skiing with Dynafits.
    Clean the toe piece and pull the lever up before putting them in the basket.
    They will be free from ice when you land.

  5. bryan March 20th, 2012 10:42 am

    Lou,

    Great post as usual. Perhaps it’s an obvious error, but I recently had a situation where I toured in vertical STs after walking through a muddy parking lot. After a pre-release while skiing in ski mode, I checked my boots today to find ground up / packed dirt in the toe fitting. The dirt was ground down into nearly the same color as the toe fitting itself, but did chip away with a needle nose.

    It’s not just ice / snow, could be dirt as well…and as in my case it could be very tough to physically see what’s in the toe piece.

  6. Tom Gos March 20th, 2012 11:39 am

    I’ve never had a Dynafit prerelease, and I’m a somewhat bigger guy (190lbs). Just completed the Haute Route with my 6 or 7 year old Comforts without a hitch. I did note that virtually all the Euro guides I saw and skied with were using Dynafits, and they all skied downhill with the toes locked in “walk” mode. Lou, it seems that people always speak of prerelease originating with the toe piece, do you hear of problems with the heel too?

  7. nick March 20th, 2012 1:10 pm

    The first year I had my TLT verticals I had some prerelease issues, but I was using a dalbelo virus boot. I now have the TLt mountain 5 boot with same binding and ski, no issue. Felt much more solid from first step in.
    Nick

  8. Tavis March 20th, 2012 1:24 pm

    I’m a newb to Dynafits and have pre-released in my ST’s/Maestrale set up. Fortunately I was able to keep my cool in the 18″ of new and methodically probe the snow in a 10 foot radius, finding it within 5 minutes.

    My question is: what is the best “leash” system?

  9. Gentle Sasquatch March 20th, 2012 1:55 pm

    This is only my second year in Dynafits. I’m 240lbs, 6′ guy. This year I have skied more resort that I would care to admit (due to our low snow season) but I also managed a fairly regular schedule in the backcountry. I have Radicals, Verticals, Plums and Sportiva’s on ski’s and not one of them has prereleased me yet. Not even last weekend when skiing from ice to mash potatoes back and forth.

    I did get a real release twice this season. Once I crossed my ski’s in muck on a really steep slope and once I just splayed out due to steep down to steep up transition.

    I try not to ski fast and stay under control but even with that, considering my weight I am mighty pleased with Dynafit like technical bindings.

    Before this season I was a little curious whether I will have any issues but I feel no worries anymore.

  10. jason March 20th, 2012 2:52 pm

    I have minor issues that can be traced to slightly mis-aligned tech fittings in my boots, but I usually have no “pre”-release issues and still do release when necessary (so far) by a partial toe lockout: I flip up the toe lever to 1 click. (this is on dynafits, not sure if there’s a incremental lockout range on the onyx and other newer tech bindings)

  11. RandoSwede March 20th, 2012 4:20 pm

    The point about the boot being suspened from the pins is key. Boots may have too much black sole material at the toe. This does not allow the front pins to engage properly but is quickly remedied with a file or grinder- a little at a time!
    Also, if on rock frequently you will see the toe/sole getting chewed up. Bring out the file again.

    For folks who have troulbe lining up/engaging the pins, I use a Sharpie to make a dot or > mark so it is easy to locate the toe holes from above. This will also make it easier to do side to side, rolling entry. A drop of TriFlo lube in the toe springs also works wonders and silicone per above.

  12. DENIS March 20th, 2012 6:52 pm

    Tavis, re Leashes, I have the B&D coils on my bc and inbounds setups. I find them to be deeply satisfying: The deeper the powder, the more satisfied I am. No searching — I just follow the outstretched coil from my boot to my ski.

  13. Bruno March 20th, 2012 8:22 pm

    Tip #9 is what I found to be mandatory. Even after setting the gap just right I done did the double heel pre-release.

    Tavis; some folks just use the equivalent of a 6′ length of surveyors flagging clipped to the binding, and coiled up and stuffed up their pant leg. I use to see that quite a bit in Alta back in the day. It is not as retention, but as a marker.

  14. Louie March 20th, 2012 9:53 pm

    A foolproof way to tell if your binding is completely ice free is too use your fingers to snap the toe closed. Do this at home, when you’r sure there is no ice in the binding, and observe how it acts. On all my bindings, it snaps into climbing mode (locked out). It only does this if I use my fingers, rather than snapping in with boots. I do this in the bc, and if there’s ice in the binding, it won’t snap into climbing mode, even if it seems normal otherwise. I clean it out until it does.

  15. Skian March 20th, 2012 10:26 pm

    People constantly blame the binding for pre-release but many times it can also be the boot.

  16. Lou March 20th, 2012 10:50 pm

    Indeed yes Skian, I allude to that several times in the tips above. Got any sordid details you can share with us?

  17. Skian March 20th, 2012 11:27 pm

    I already wrote 3 likes on one post on FB Lou. I like the fact that your bringing details that some of us take for granted to you readers. You have called it straight on this subject for many years. I will say this, it is a delicate balance between the boot binding interface. Tech manufactures build bindings. Boot companies build boots. One now builds both. A boot company may take a spec to build a tech boot but sometimes those specs might get out of spec in production. We do see more of this from the cottage industry product. Not all tech fittings are equal,( I believe you wrote about this once) I am not talking about the little stops either but the ramp angles as they rotate around the insert. Heel inserts can get knocked out of alignment. We see many different polymers being used in boot production and they all flex torsionally different. The polymers all set differently in production, even just changing the color can affect performance. We are constantly pushing the envelope for what this system was intentionally designed. All I am saying is it’s not always the binders, this system was designed as a boot-binding system where the boot is part of the integrity and performance and should be scrutinized equally in any malfunctioning system.

  18. Lou March 21st, 2012 5:33 am

    Good points. Regarding that I recall a few public as well as private incidents where the person with consistent pre-release had to switch boots. I guess that’s tip # 11

  19. Rob Mullins March 21st, 2012 1:16 pm

    13. Lose weight or ski smoothly.

    My weight and strength will release the Dynafit front pins in more than one way. First, I just walk or twist out of any Dynafit toe thus far. While walking on skis over skins, with clean boot insertion points even after long walking times, I will just inadvertantly twist out of a locked toe. I did the same with Fritsches before I had Dynafit if I did not pay attention to how I walked or twisted. Second, with wider skis even my FT12 toe will open with downward force on firm snow. I can do this at will when standing on a smooth. firm surface with my older Dynafit bindings. I have not yet tried the Radical, which may have solved this situation.

    Yet, I enjoy and trust skitouring on Dynafit, I make it work, I ski smoothly. Light is right!

  20. Skian March 21st, 2012 1:35 pm

    Hey, there is no “like” button as on FB. thanks

  21. Lou March 21st, 2012 5:41 pm

    Skain, the “like” button for WildSnow is over on the right sidebar. I don’t have individual post likes set up on blog, you have to do that on the WildSnow FB page. I didn’t like the way FB slowed down my website with a huge slug of Javascript when I tried to put it on every post. My loss in some ways as the advertisers like to see those “likes.” But even my greed has limits (grin).

  22. Skian March 21st, 2012 10:54 pm

    @Rob, without a video I can’t see your style. I’ve been skiing tech systems for almost two decades. I have skied with 230 pound men that have no problem and then 180 lb guys who cant stay in them. Your situation seems a bit rash and I would have Your equipment looked at by a reputable shop. Lou did a north American top Dynafit shops last year sometime so check into a good local. You could have a blown bushing a bad set of toe pieces or it could be the boot binding interface as I mentioned earlier. If I try I can blow out of any binding with the wrong settings. I believe that’s why Lou started this thread. This blog is a great resource to inform yourself on details that you just don’t get at your local sometimes. I would test it. Get the system into a top shop and maybe try another boot or try another friends setup. As I said if you want to make it fail you can, anyone can. If all the settings and safety perameters are attended to you could have a defective pair. I drive a Toyota truck but my accelerator pedal has never stuck. Sometimes your the guy that got the bad apple. Hope you get it figured out.

    “get outside have some fun and enjoy the backcountry”

  23. Rob Mullins March 21st, 2012 11:19 pm

    Skian, my Dynafit work well, I am happy with the bindings. I did say that I make Dynafit work. I am a 230 lb guy who makes four different Dynafit binding models work. I am strong enough to release the bindings, and as an example I stated that I did it with Fritsches as well. I tried to say that if I ski smoothly, which I do, I have no problems.

    In spite of that I can generate enough force easily on hardpack snow and wide skis to open the toes of Dynafit, so I need to lock them on hard snow- except on my narrower skis 70 waist and 80 waist. but on 88 waist, 95 waist and 106 waist, the toes open easily with my weight/strength on hardpack. And, as I said, locked, clean, proper functioning, I am able to twist out of Dunafit toes.

    The release is smooth, well-engineered in my view. The Radical, I believe, was designed to prevent the opening of the toes by downward pressure.

    My intent was to share my experience with big strong guys on Dynafit bindings.

  24. Christian March 22nd, 2012 2:40 am

    @Skian: The reason the dynafit prerelease get attention is that it different than other prereleases. I have skied since I was 1 1/2 and is now 40, so I have experienced unwanted releases with a portfolio of bindings. I have toured with dynafit since 2000. The other prereleases are vertical or horizontal, and is usually due to too low RW settings or a broken binding. The dynafit prerelease seem to be more of a “diagonal” release – i.e. something that is not possible on desgins where the toe only has the opportunity to slide sideways.
    I agree that the tips above will eliminate most of the prereleases – so there is no doubt Lou is helping a lot of people with it. But, on ice I still prerelease – and the RV setting does not affect it. I don’t have to ski hard. The one thing that seems to help me on ice, is to use shorter skis with more sidecut. I think the reason is that I can use modern race technique to get down without slarving/sliding. On straighter skis I have to put more force on one ski in order to bend it (i.e. more 90’ish style technique) – thus making a prerelease more likely. The other aspect might be that waist width affects the prerelease. On wide powder skis on ice, I will prerelease in walking speeds, while on narrow skis it has only happened when I have been doing SL-style turns – and even then it does not happen often.
    So – when I see blueish ice (e.g. glaciers, frozen streams etc) , I now lock the toe, or head over to softer terrains where it wont be problem.

  25. Skian March 22nd, 2012 8:51 am

    @Christian: You have to ski any product at its tolerance. If you are having issues with one tech system try another. I have found that on hardpack I again try ski within the limits of the equipment. Try to demo the Plum guide. Some feel it has a bit stronger toe retention on verglace or Icy conditions. When touring i find it hard to believe you come out of the binder if the toe is locked ( you can have false locks with this system) even with being a big guy. You will have high leverage on your system but if it is releasing when locked I would think you have a faulty binding. In testing lock mode i have seen torque settings for prerelease off the charts that would snap a tibia. What era is you binding and boot and model. What is your weight? what din do you ski at.
    No one is questioning your ski prowess. Many people coming from a hard angling racing background have to adjust style for skiing the tech system. My business partner is one who can walk out on command it seems as he skis aggressive angles from his bump and race background. He is another that had to adjust his style. It sounds like a defect in your system somewhere and in system it could be the boot binding interface unless you have this happen using other tech systems. Play with your release values. I adjust mine depending on the conditions, everything from 7-11. Bindings work best in the midrange. If you have a 5-10 din or a 5-12 din if you ski a 7.5 you don’t need a bigger upper din. If you ski a 14 or 15 din alpine setting you better adjust your style and ski lighter on your feet. Increase waist width by 10 mil and you increase this leverage on the system. Go from a 78 ski mountaineering ski to a 115 big mountain board its huge. Remember what the system was designed for. Nothing like what we are doing know. In my opinion we won’t see higher dins on tech bindings until we see a collaboration of a binding company with a boot company to take us to the next level. It’s the whole tech system that needs a redesign not just the binding. we are reaching the limits and only increased volume in tech sales will lead to innovation for the power skier. Money makes the world go round.
    cheers

  26. Lou March 22nd, 2012 8:57 am

    Indeed, we need tech 2.0, not a rehash of a 30 year old system. Guys thirty years old or younger, you are skiing on a binding that’s pretty much the same thing we were on 30 years ago BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. This is getting a bit weird.

  27. Christian March 22nd, 2012 9:24 am

    @Skian: I am not comming out of the binding when locked. My point was mainly that to refere to prereleases happening on other systems is somewhat misleading, as this is a different type. I have accepted that there is a problem, and have found my solution: i.e. use marker tour on wider skis, and lock the binding when skiing on ice. I really hope for a 2.0….and that is why I bother to involve myself in this issue.

  28. Skian March 22nd, 2012 1:18 pm

    Good on ya! Tech 2.0 here we come…..anybody out there?

  29. SCM Troy March 26th, 2012 6:53 am

    I find a helpful technique is to begin with the heel piece in tour mode, set the heel of the boot down first, and then rock forward onto the toe piece. (I learned this from Skian, if memory serves.). When the binding is properly set to the boot sole length, the pins will line up with the toe inserts perfectly using this technique. And it is much easier than “hunting and pecking” for the toe first or rolling in side to side.

  30. Torstein Lianes July 18th, 2012 5:29 am

    Great article! I am just wondering about buying my first dynafits. Then i where introduced to the PLUM bindings, do you know anything about them vs regular dynafit?

    I am skiing in some pretty steep trenches (westcoast Norway), often 40 – 50 degrees. And top priority in these conditions is ALWAYS to be 100% secure that the ski wont pre – release, or fall off/release in any way..

    The snow conditions is often really hard to predict, and can go from powder to some nasty ice throughout a run. Up until now I have used the Duke binding and f12 from Marker. The f12 nearly killed me a couple of months ago…! I hit some rugged ice in approx 45 degrees and the binding just collapsed. Pure luck i didnt get injured or worse… Im wondering if the Plum or dynafit can offer the same security considering pre – release as for instanse the Duke binding? (and of course strenght and durability, considering my f12 didnt pre – release but actually collapsed in front) or at least if they are close? I ve also heard that if you ski with the PLUM binding in “tour” mode it will be approx 16 DIN?

  31. Lou Dawson July 18th, 2012 8:37 am

    Hello Torstein, first see following links:

    http://www.wildsnow.com/bindings/dynafit-backcountry-skiing-bindings/

    http://www.wildsnow.com/articles/dynafit_faq/dynafit_faq1.html

    Plum has the appearance of being more durable, but other than the heel lifter being more durable than older versions of Dynafit bindings, it’s quite similar, basically a beautiful copy done with more aluminum. Both brands of bindings have a “lock” for touring that can be engaged while downhill skiing, and increases release value (RV) to large numbers (13-16) in the SIDE RELEASE. The lock does NOT change the upward (vertical) release at the heel. If you want a binding that has high RV at both toe and heel, has good stability (resistant to boot movement) and is durable, Marker Duke has been serving people well. Marker Tour has had a rough go, most current versions seem to be durable enough for most people, but it’s tough to know what version you have.

    Another option is G3 Onyx, which is carefully designed and tested to be reliable. Test before buying, however, as the method of entering and exiting the Onyx is can be less preferred.

    Tech bindings (Plum, Dynafit, Onyx, etc.) are against a wall in that their downhill performance is limited by how they interface with the “standard” tech binding boot fittings. For tech bindings to provide alpine race binding performance, they’d need a whole new interface, tech 2.0. Rumors are that a company is working on this, but it’ll cost huge money as they’ll basically have to pay to manufacture a line of boots with the new fittings to go with their bindings. Nonetheless, I can see it happening soon for a couple of reasons, mainly that a company that did tech 2.0 could protect their system with patents and thus make if financially viable. The tech 1.0 patents have for the most part expired, which is why folks such as Plum and G3 can make tech bindings.

    Lou

  32. Skian July 18th, 2012 2:56 pm

    Wow, I’m still doing fire mitigation. I partially agree with Lou.

  33. Torstein Lianes July 19th, 2012 12:14 am

    Still gonna have to struggle up the mountains with my dukes for the more extreme skiing then i guess.
    Anyway, I probably end up with a pair of PLUM or G3 on one of my skis for starters (have to try it out).

    And really looking forward to when someone introduces the tech 2.0!

  34. Lou Dawson July 19th, 2012 9:06 am

    Some of the best skiers in the world do all or most of their skiing on tech bindings. Much is about learning the gear and what it will do…

  35. Jonathan April 13th, 2013 7:00 pm

    I’m new to the Dynafit Radical FTs — bought them this Feb — and am having a pre-release problem while in _tour_ mode. When I do a good solid kick turn (ie on the steeper tracks) I have found that the toe of my boot knocks the lever out of tour mode and into ski mode, and from there, I had numerous pre-releases. On one occasion, the kick turn actually released the ski directly, which is how I finally diagnosed the problem. Have others found this? I wonder if it is a general issue or perhaps specific to my boot (– does the Dalbello Virus have a particularly pronounced toe?).

    I haven’t seen any discussion of this on WildSnow, but did see a similar gripe on (http://avidalpine.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/the-dynafit-experience-not-all-sunshine-and-lollipops/), where the author says: The second issue was that the skis would randomly disconnect while touring, which also would often happen on steep terrain, and almost every time you tried to kick-turn a switchback.

    Many thanks,
    Jonathan

  36. Lou Dawson April 13th, 2013 8:28 pm

    Jonathan, it is quite possible for the boot toe to hit the binding lever and unlock it. This is especially likely if dense snow gets packed between boot toe and the lever. Just be aware of that and all the other stuff above. If all fails, then it’s possible you have a defective boot or binding. If you can’t replicate the behavior on the workbench, then it’s probably ice not being cleared. The boot toe hitting the binding lever can be easily replicated on the bench, as can evaluation of defects.

    Whoops, zoning out here, I get that you decided your problem was boot hitting binding lever. Nope, not very common but it can happen, as mentioned above. Had not heard it was specific to Dalbello, and I was just out touring with a guy who has a pair of Viri and he was doing fine. Test on the workbench, it should be obvious if the boot is the problem, or if you are just being too agro with your kick turns.

    Lou

  37. Christi Cline January 6th, 2014 9:38 pm

    Hi Lou– another round of thanks for your website! I upgraded from my proto-old dynafit binding setup (blue anodized, red plastic post with not even a dimple for a heel post) this year because I was afraid they were getting so old I was going to have a disaster just because of metal fatigue. Ironicallly, I’ve had nothing but problems with pre-releasing with my new setup (K3 Backlash w/ Dynafit ST bindings & Dynafit Gaia boots. Skis/bindings skiied <5 days and boots brand new, so no issues with wear or broken stuff).

    The perplexing thing is that the first day I skiied the outfit, everything was perfect; the next time I had a little bit of trouble once I had boot-hiked up a short hill (skiing in-bounds both times to break in the new boots). The next time out the bindings would not stay closed despite repeated toepiece-sproinging to clear out ice and ticket-wire stabbing to clean out the boot's pivot holes. Yes, and doing the toe rock thing. I'd do that and then click in and promptly fall out with any kind of mid-ski edge pressure (i.e. a horizontal traverse, not even that fast).

    I took 7 pre-release body-slam falls on the way down to the bottom of the hill, where the techs at the ski shop allowed as they didn't have much experience w/ the Dynafit bindings but they thought they might be set at too low of a DIN. But since they didn't want to mess with the bindings (and I'm OK with that- I understand), I took them to BD in SLC. There, the guy said it was indeed the DIN and just raised it a notch. I'll note here that the folks at both Alta & BD did not have any kind of gauge for the heel gap, and just eyeballed it.

    Anyway, back to the hill, where the first day out, no problem, and the second, same problem. In fact, this time the ski released as I was skiing yet another semi-icy (Utah icy, not Michigan icy) traverse, again not even all that fast. All I know is that I suddenly saw my uphill ski rocketing in front of me, and was suddenly falling backwards. At least this time I didn't get the 7-slam trip back to the bottom because I took it in a ski patrol toboggan.

    So, one clinic visit, a near-miss strain, and a bunch of frozen peas later, I thought I should search your site for "Dynafit binding pre-release," where I'm now typing after reading. Thanks for this info, it gives me some ideas as to what to look for. But, a couple of questions: 1) can you recommend a shop in Salt Lake where I can talk to someone who has experience with these bindings, and maybe even a spacer gauge?; and 2) do you have any ideas why the performance of the binding would start out OK but then deteriorate over the course of 5-10 runs on a ski hill. At this point, going out into the backcountry is moot until my knee heals (and doubly moot because of our scary snowpack), but I definitely don't want to take these skis into the backcountry until I get this figured out! Thanks!

  38. Christi Cline January 6th, 2014 9:58 pm

    after re-reading your original post, just one thing else to mention– I’ve skiied my old Dynafit setup problem-free for 10 years, on a variety of skis, with the widest being a pair of pair of Atomic Tele-Daddy’s (OK, not that wide by today’s standard, but about as wide in the waist as the Backlash’s).

  39. Lou Dawson January 7th, 2014 1:53 am

    Christi, that sounds awful. Your first step would be to set the binding tech gap correctly , as well as dialing up the RV setting as you did. Beyond that, the behavior you experienced does sound like what happens when there is ice or dirt in the pintech boot fittings, or ice jammed under the binding toe wings. But I’m concerned that you’re either not using the bindings correctly, or that someone messed something up when adjusting them or mounting them. For example, the vertical release adjustment can be stripped and appear to work, or the one of the springs can be left out of the lateral release spring barrel. You need to work with a tech who knows what they are doing. Otherwise it sounds like you are blundering along and hurting yourself as a result. Lou

  40. Christi Cline January 7th, 2014 12:29 pm

    thanks for your reply, Lou. I’d love to take the bindings into a qualified mechanic, as soon as I can find one. One of the commentors up above mentioned that you had done a piece about good shops, but when I searched your site I couldn’t find it. Any good recommendations for the Salt Lake City/Northern Utah area?
    thanks again!
    Christi

  41. Charlie Hagedorn January 7th, 2014 1:10 pm
  42. Steven February 8th, 2015 2:34 pm

    This is baloney. The discussion is about a limited use product that pre releases a lot.
    My radicals bindings were mounted/adjusted perfectly and failed on moderate terrain
    with packed powder. That double ejection caused a terrible meniscal tear.
    Fritchi and marker dont suffer from limited tolerances or adverse conditions like this.

    Hard snow and blu ice are normal backcountry or glacier conditions.

    This is ridiculous. Buyer beware

  43. gjaldimont February 6th, 2016 2:58 pm

    hey lou/everyone i will try to gain some precious feedback from all the gear-savy heads here.

    i have a pair of old dyna speed turns. i’ve been using them for 3 years and they have been mounted on 3 different pair of skis (including present ones) over the. years.

    last year i have started to notice nasty prereleases when skinning and with the toes locked: every time i’d perform a kickturn my toe would just disengage from the binding, turning uphills into torture sessions. i should clarify that once i put myself into DH mode the problem vanishes.

    this year i’ve been experiencing this problem again: i thought my old worn-out boots were the culprit but the problem persists even with my new dyna mercurys, so i am really clueless right now.

    any feedback appreciated

    P.S: DIN and icing hypotheses should be ignored: i have already verified them

    thanks everyone

  44. Lou Dawson 2 February 6th, 2016 4:06 pm

    Either the pins are worn, the boots are worn, or the locking lever on the bindings is worn, or all the above. Lou

  45. XXX_er February 6th, 2016 7:00 pm

    You don’t know what the problem IS but you do know what ISN’T the problem …your new boots are likely not the problem, so it must be the toe pieces but you wouldn’t know until you verifyed by swapping them out

    this is how we fix computers eh

  46. See February 6th, 2016 7:57 pm

    I’ve used tech bindings for lift-served skiing. I am aware of new tech bindings that may offer improved release/retention performance. I know that we don’t always have access to a quiver of skis. But, in my opinion, #11 should be: If not using skins, use alpine or frame bindings.

  47. gjaldimont February 7th, 2016 4:45 am

    thanks everyone. i don’t think the last commenter was referring to my case, but my issue is strictly ascent-related so i do use skins.

    XXXer got it right i think: i know what does NOT cause the problem (boots are brand new, i have changed skis and nothing changed), so i guess toe pins are to be blamed.
    i personally can’t see any particular cracks/signs of shear/tear but i’ll try to check better, or i might just take them to a shop.

    thanks everyone, greetings from friuli-italy

    anyone else wanting to speak his/her mind feel free, i’ll be listening

  48. Lou 2 February 7th, 2016 5:14 am

    Check with the old boots! Sometimes boot sole rubber is too thick and presses the binding open. Remember that a process of A/B testing is the way to figure these things out. For example, if the binding works with the old boots and doesn’t work with the new boots, then look at the boots for the problem. Or wear one new boot and one old boot and go skinning up the hill and see what happens. And so on. Also, remember our little reminder here at WildSnow.com, if you expect your ski bindings to last longer than three sets of car tires you might be asking too much (grin). Lou

  49. See February 7th, 2016 8:18 am

    Yeah, I had missed this post and recent comments brought it to my attention. Pre-release is generally a ski mode related issue, and I’m concerned that tech bindings are increasingly being used for resort skiing and there isn’t a reliable way to track whether they really perform as well as alpine bindings in terms of release/retention.

    Re. your climbing related releases with locked toes: might I suggest good old analog bench testing? That is: attach ski to work bench, attach boot to binding toe, give it a twist and see what happens. (Taking them to a shop also not a bad idea.)

  50. Lou Dawson 2 February 7th, 2016 9:32 am

    See, I agree, claims of “bindings being safer” and “better retention” are flying around like yelling at the Super Bowl, but where is the data? As far as I know it does not exist. Lou

  51. jorge July 17th, 2016 7:16 pm

    Dear Lou

    I just broke fractured my left upper humerus: front left binding accidental release.
    I read your “ask my left shoulder” account. Could you please tell me what happened to you? may I ask your left shoulder?

    regards

    jorge barros
    chile

  52. Lou 2 July 17th, 2016 8:20 pm

    Hi Jorge, very sorry to hear that! It was a while ago but I recall that In my case I both had the binding set too low as well as not checking well for icing. I was on demo gear at an event and didn’t pay attention to things as I should have. At least you didn’t hit your head, which is a real danger in unexpected release. Lou

  53. Jorge July 18th, 2016 5:13 am

    Hi Lou
    Thanks for your answer.
    Now i know. My left shoulder needed an explanation.
    Thanks for taking time to answer

    Regards jb

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