Unremovable Brake – Latest Dynafit Radical Binding

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | October 25, 2012      

Addendum: Apparently all Dynafit bindings with brakes may be going to this “permanent” brake configuration. If you want the old style slide on/off brakes better get ’em while they’re hot. Shop for Dynafit ski brakes here if you so desire.

Sometimes the “inline” changes manufacturers make are surprising. Indeed, a tingle ran up my leg when I saw Dynafit has made the brakes on their Radical series binding nearly impossible for the average consumer to remove. The tingle was a good thing, as the previous brake design required a retainer clip to install properly, and that little retainer clip was often lost or never installed in the first place resulting in ski brake sliding off the binding during the middle of your tour. More, now that the Radical heel requires an anti-rotation stop to be mounted on the brake retractor disk, you actually cannot run this binding without the brakes — if you don’t want a brake you need to retain the parts that interact with the binding and simply cut the legs off. So in that sense too, you might as well have the brake permanently installed.

Trapped brake of latest Dynafit Radical FT/ST series bindings.

Trapped brake of latest Dynafit Radical FT/ST series bindings. For different width brakes you'll need to buy different base plates and brake combos.

But I also got a chill when I saw this, since one of the best features of most Dynafit bindings has been the easy brake swapping you can do even with the binding mounted on a ski. Really quite ingenious. Simply pop the heel unit off, flick the retainer clip, slide brake forward off the binding base plate.

Please know that the way Dynafit intends customers to do brake width swaps for the Radical FT/ST is you’ll buy a set of base plates with the pre-installed brakes. That’ll be $79.95 MSRP and require both unmounting and partial disassembly of the heel unit. (Note that a handy DIY person can swap brake legs, even from other brands of brakes.)

While Dynafit says the way you will change brake width with this new fixed-brake setup is to purchase additional complete heel units, you can swap the brake arms or revert back to the removable brake. See photos below.

Dynafit brake arm swap is easy, just yank the short end out of the plastic sleeve -- do one at a time.

Dynafit brake arm swap is 'sort of' easy, just yank the short end out of the plastic sleeve -- do one at a time. Much tougher with brake mounted on the heel unit but it's quite easy getting them out of a free-standing brake unit as pictured. To remove and replace brake arms with brake attached to heel unit, you'll have to drive the pin out that holds the pair of small springs, or else unclip the springs from their anchor points. I've removed the arms by heavily prying on them but doing so is quite difficult and causes possible damage.

If you want to remove the brake entirely for whatever reason, follow the procedure below. (Again, know that presently the anti-rotation feature of the binding is part of the brake, so the below procedure may be next to useless for most people. We present it here for at least educational value.)

This one gets a 5/5 difficulty rating (most difficult) since it requires actually making a tool for the job as well as taking your bindings off the ski. I’m not sure if dealers could go this far. Perhaps it’s somewhat of a non-issue since most people will simply buy a binding for a given ski, and never need to extirpate the brakes from their bindings.

Previous brakes were retained by this clip system. They came off easily, which was a mixed blessing.

Previous brakes were retained by this clip system. They came off easily, which was a mixed blessing.

To remove the trapped brake, you have to back out the length adjustment screw. Easier said than done.

To remove the trapped brake, you have to back out the length adjustment screw--asier said then done as this screw is trapped with a thread locked nut that's difficult to get a wrench around.

Looking at binding from underneath, it's necessary to hold the nut as shown while you back out the length screw.

Looking at binding from underneath, it's necessary to hold the nut as shown while you back out the length screw. Thing is, a regular wrench won't fit in the small pocket where the nut resides. Solution: make your own wrench.

Official ANSI approved Dynafit nut removal tool is created from an 8 mm open end wrench, ground down to fit over the nut.

Official ANSI approved Dynafit nut removal tool is created from an 8 mm open end wrench, ground down to fit over the nut.

Once the screw is backed out the aluminum spindle post removes in obvious fashion.

Once the screw is backed out the aluminum spindle post removes in obvious fashion. The black plastic is a threaded insert that goes in the base of the spindle. Reassembly is tricky. Use thread locker, and position the spindle at the front end of the binding plate when you start threading everything. If you thread the screw into the nut and thread the spindle from the correct position you'll end up not having as much adjustment range. Saving grace is if you're careful you can thread and unthread these parts multiple times. A power driver helps, but keep it on low speed so you don't heat up the plastic insert.

I’m going to take a neutral stance on this inline design change. I like that the binding is more reliable and that the anti-rotation solution is “built in.” On the other hand, I’m starting to feel pretty nostalgic for the days of the Vertical ST and FT models with their easy swap brakes, little to no need for rotation stops, and overall simplicity. Luckily you can still shop for either binding, check here for that.

We’re anticipating questions about what width brakes the Radical bindings will be sold with. Here is the breakdown. Radical ST will be sold with all three size brakes, 100 mm, 110 and 130. Radical FT will only be sold with the 110 and 130. To use a 100 brake with the FT and retain that model’s special baseplate you’d need to use the complex procedure above.


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


91 Responses to “Unremovable Brake – Latest Dynafit Radical Binding”

  1. Brian October 25th, 2012 1:02 pm

    Hmm. First thing I did with my FTs was remove the brake. Makes it way easier to swap the binding between skis. In that sense, I’d be disappointed with the new model.

  2. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 1:16 pm

    Brian, if they’re a Radical series they’ll need the anti-rotation feature, which is now built into the brake… that certainly confuses the issue of removing brakes!

  3. David Aldous October 25th, 2012 1:45 pm

    So do early adopters have to purchase the new anti rotation piece?
    In my experience it wasn’t that hard to use the retainer clip with the original style of brakes.

  4. cam October 25th, 2012 1:45 pm

    An easier way to change brake size is to just swap out the brake arms…they’re way easier to remove than doing the procedure you suggest… very simple 2 part swap, leaving everything else in place.

  5. Tom Gos October 25th, 2012 2:03 pm

    I suspect that Dynafit has done this as a part of their apparent pursuit of DIN/TUV/whatever certification – as I have understood things, if you remove the brake you need to switch out the release spring in order to maintain the same release force. I believe the friction of the brake against the binding heel piece effects the release value.

  6. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 2:05 pm

    Cam, stoopid of me not to mention that. Not sure what the availability will be for brake parts from Dynafit, but worth a shot for folks wanting to change brake width and not spend $$$. I’ll add this idea to the review. Thanks, Lou

  7. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 2:09 pm

    Tom, my gut instinct is you are totally correct. As I covered in the following blog post, if chasing TUV certification helps the consumer, then fine. But as far as I can see the jury is out on that till the stamp is actually on the binding and we can evaluate as a whole.

    Thing is, the competition in the tech binding market has gotten ridiculous. That’s what happens when something is essentially not patented. Dynafit is understandably looking to every advantage they can get. TUV will be huge, as they can get picked up by shops that are leery of uncertified bindings. Again, if it benefits the consumer, then great. Otherwise, just B.S.


  8. Tom Gos October 25th, 2012 3:51 pm

    Lou, I agree, Dynafit is looking to become the first (and perhaps only) certified tech binding. I’m not sure that certification is really a big feather in their cap. I think you have stated before that it is probably time to start working on Tech 2.0 and that is probably a better path to larger profit than certification is. I would suggest that they start working on a tech sole standard that is also compatible with alpine bindings – maybe you would just remove the rubber lugs rather than the entire sole blocks. Then people could truly buy the one boot for everything, and the increased potential market is huge.

  9. Rob S October 25th, 2012 4:15 pm

    Lou – do I infer correctly that if you swap out the brakes on a pair of last year’s Radicals, you get the benefit of the new “anti-rotation” feature? Any word on whether Dynafit will offer up the new brakes to those of us who bought the ’11-’12 Radical?

  10. Mike Marolt October 25th, 2012 4:31 pm

    OK! Wild Snow. I am sold.

    Rig is on the way. I down with Dynafit.

    Wild Snow clones, no more NAXO jokes needed. haha. Dang, when i think of all those steps carrying all that metal, makes me tired.

  11. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 5:09 pm

    Rob, you can get the external rotation fitting from Dynafit or dealers. It’s not a big deal, just the little black plastic thingus you can see in the first photo in the blog post. No need to swap brakes, but if you do, yes, you get the anti rotation jingus, or is that a thingus? (grin)

  12. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 5:10 pm

    Mike, you were still on Naxos? That concerns me.

  13. Ed October 25th, 2012 6:22 pm

    Sorry folks, I am afraid I do not see this new series of fiddles as progress unless it vastly improves safety or something. To make changes or running changes for ski crampon bar sizes or brakes or other stuff leaves me much less inclined to buy new stuff because of the built up base of previous generation parts/ brakes, etc. I am running on a bunch of different skis. This to me is like Apple going to new video plugs and stuff for Thunderbolt displays and external drives. Not much wrong I can see in the old and I am running a business and cannot justify to my accountant swapping out all the laptops we run just to make the older stuff compatible with new monitor types. So I look at this stuff as a real skeptic – probably driven by a “consultant’s marketing study” and a bunch of marketing MBA’s . . .
    Are there any other skeptic non-early adopters out there?
    Sign me dubious . .

  14. Tom Gos October 25th, 2012 6:52 pm

    I agree with Ed in that the continual change to Dynafit products (bindings and boots) has not motivated me to purchase the latest and greatest. I’ve still been using Comforts, which worked just fine for me, and I just purchased a pair of Verticals for a new ski setup. I went with the Verticals as they are a substantial cost savings over the Radicals, and the design is tried and true – who knows what next inline change may be necessary on the Radicals. I couldn’t see any performance advantage of Radicals over Verticals, and there may even be a performance disadvantage.

  15. Phil October 25th, 2012 7:08 pm

    Lou, do you know if the Radical Speeds (which don’t have brakes) have any change to the rotation problem? Is it ‘use the brass pins or take them out and put up with occasional auto-rotation’?

    A lot of people run without brakes.
    If that problem still exists this season… I guess it encourages looking at some of the (many) other tech players.

  16. Lou Dawson October 25th, 2012 7:47 pm

    Phil, we have to do real-world eval of the Speed before I can give you an honest answer. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure Maruelli sells an anti rotation solution for the Speed.

  17. Nem October 26th, 2012 1:54 am

    I just sent back my old 11/12 Radical FT brakes to be replaced since the AFD spring got stuck on the old ones.

    If I receive these 12/13 brakes I will have to remove the whole binding from the ski. I guess more people with AFD issues will encounter this problem…

  18. Lou Dawson October 26th, 2012 5:13 am

    Nem, I’ll bet they just replace what you send. At least I hope they still have a bunch of those old style brakes warehoused! If not, I’m going to be pretty bummed since we run about 12 sets of Vertical ST/FT bindings on all our test skis, and are constantly messing around with the brakes on those bindings (breaking them, needing wider ones, etc.)

  19. Mike marolt October 26th, 2012 7:13 am

    No Lou not on Naxos since they went out of business. On Friche but i took a beating in a ws post some time back for Naxos.

  20. Lou Dawson October 26th, 2012 7:46 am

    To be fair, in some ways we liked the _concept_ of the Naxos, but man oh man, they were difficult to deal with from the journalism side, all the breakage and then the question of how much technique they required for side hilling. Oh, and then how poorly they tested out in terms of rolling deflection while in downhill mode. Still kind of cool how they helped with the stride.

  21. Mark October 26th, 2012 8:04 am

    Just got positive review from a Radical ST customer who is going to buy another pair. He’s a retired engineer, so when he removes the brakes (he HATES the added weight), he should do alright. Personally, I see the nearly permanent design of these brakes as potentially alienating to certain customers who may want to easily remove or swap brakes.

  22. Lou Dawson October 26th, 2012 8:13 am

    Mark, thanks for the comment. Hopefully, Dynafit isn’t marketing to a demographic of retired engineers (grin)!

    Remember a big point with this is if the brakes are totally removed from the latest Radical, your customer is going to lose the anti rotation stop. That’s probably not a good outcome.

  23. Eric October 26th, 2012 10:07 am

    I’ve not seen or used the Radicals, but from all of your descriptions, it doesn’t sound like any of the changes made on the heel piece are what I would describe as useful for my skiing. And in fact, several sound like a step backwards.

    How long are they producing Verticals? Should I stock up on a few pair for future skis?

  24. See October 26th, 2012 10:25 am

    If anyone has any insight regarding using afd brakes with Verticals FT’s I’d be interested (do they fit? do they improve binding performance?). I assume this would effect the release value due to reduced friction at the brake pedal/boot sole interface (the reason for doing it in the first place). I would adjust RV to compensate.

    This is probably the sort of scenario that Dynafit is trying to prevent by “permanently” attaching the brakes, thereby suggesting that removing them is an unauthorized modification. Making the brakes “unremovable” would also probably reduce the number of people locking the toes to prevent losing a brakeless ski.

    The weird and contradictory thing is that they seem to be simultaneously pursuing the “freeride” market, and making it harder for people to use the bindings in the ways that built their good reputation with this group in the first place.

  25. Phil October 26th, 2012 10:27 am

    Be careful about the new Verticals if you are looking for the traditional Dynafit easy-swap brakes. The MEC description indicates th 12/13 Verticals ALSO have the new unswapable brake… Perhaps Lou can check on that for us. I’m not too confident in catalog descriptions!

  26. kevin October 26th, 2012 12:25 pm

    Dynafit is bumming me out. I love the new radical toepiece, but sure not happy with the direction of the heelpiece. I was hoping to purchase the old style heel piece with the new toe, but unfortunately that’s not an option. I really wanted the new Plum Yaks, but financial reality set in and I ordered another pair of the Speeds. Last season I ran the speeds without pins. This year I plan to put in the break away pins. I had enough auto-rotation incidents w/ the pins removed that I am going to suffer through the 270 degree rotation to engage ski mode. Seriously, DYNAFIT, seems like you guys are doing a lot of work to fix problems with the new design, when the new climbing post and TUV just isn’t worth it. Yes, there seems to be more competition, unfortunately it’s not driving prices downward.

  27. Drew Tabke October 26th, 2012 8:49 pm

    Oh Dynafit,
    I will always remember those exciting early days. You were an older woman, on the scene for years, but to me you were new. New and willing. We didn’t care if the TUV approved of what we did together — we were free! I’d touch you and you’d spin clock or counter-clock. It didn’t matter, we were rebels.

    Life in the fast lane. AFD’s were for those poor saps stuck in the 9-5, but you and I were on a different trip. I’d grab your toe levers and pull as you clicked — one… two… three… four… we were locked in, baby. Locked in.

    When did it all change? I hardly recognize you anymore. I feel like I’m trying to fit a Posidrive bit in a Torx head.

    But let’s be honest, we knew it couldn’t last. I don’t speak deutsche or wear spandex. I’m seeing a French girl now and she really gets me. And she doesn’t get jealous of my Italian boots like you used to. I think she might be the one….

  28. Greg Louie October 26th, 2012 11:23 pm

    Good one, Drew. I’m digging that French embrace myself.

  29. Charlie October 27th, 2012 12:15 am

    Indeed, there’s no substitute for elegance. It’s the svelte black dress of bindings; always in style.

  30. Lou Dawson October 27th, 2012 6:06 am

    Drew, that is great, thanks! Lou

  31. Christian October 27th, 2012 11:43 am

    Phil, I checked the MEC Vancouver stock of Dynafit Vertical ST and they still have the old removable brakes. It’s just a typo on the website since they copied the information over from the Radical ST.

  32. Phil October 27th, 2012 1:41 pm

    @ Christian
    Yes! I was just down there doing the same thing.
    Perhaps Lou can delete my comment above. The Vertical ST still has the swappable brake.

  33. Bernard October 27th, 2012 5:58 pm

    So how hard is it to actually swap just the brake legs? I’ve got swap plates on my skis and was planning on going brakeless for at least one pair to avoid buying another brake, but it looks like I’m not going to be able to do that easily now.

  34. P October 28th, 2012 10:35 am

    re. Dynafit Speed Radical
    I just received an update bulletin from Dynafit that talks about the changes made to the Radical bindings for 12/13. It will be interesting to see how these play out with real testing…

    For anti-rotation control for the Speed (no brake) version:
    “… the housing and baseplate lock into each other by downward force on the climbing aid in walk mode.”

    The diagram isn’t very clear, but it looks like there are serrations on the lower plastic baseplate that the heel unit can catch on when loaded (?).

    Dynafit also talks about making changes to all the different Radical bindings (Speed/ST/FT):
    * the heel unit housing (on all Radical models) that reinforce its structure. I expect that is likely in response to all the pin-related housing breakage last season.
    * “… the hardness and surface coating [of the flip-down climbing risers] to eliminate the hydrogen embrittlement issue and improved the strength and durability considerably.”

    So, it does sound like there were numerous changes made for this season.
    It will be interesting to hear from Lou and other users once they get some time on this years bindings.

  35. Lou Dawson October 28th, 2012 2:36 pm

    We’ve got bindings coming for a look-see. Indeed, should be interesting!

  36. Steven October 28th, 2012 8:51 pm

    I’m glad to be a small dude and can run brakeless fine with Radical speeds. I agree the added brake fixation seems it could be a headache.

  37. Rob S October 29th, 2012 3:04 pm

    Posted this in another string as well….I just spoke to Dynafit, and arranged to get a set of the anti-rotation devices for the brakes to retrofit my ’11-’12 Radicals. (Big kudos for their customer service.) I asked about the pins, and was told to go ahead a remove them. I will, of course, defer to the High Priest of All Things Dynafit on that issue….Lou?

  38. Juergen October 30th, 2012 2:41 pm

    I’ve just bought a lovely pair of Movement Bond X with Dynafit Vertical STs. The dealer I know for decades. He owns 5 big stores south of Munich and stocks hundreds 12/13 Dynafit bindings. We checked the latest deliveries of Radical STs and apart from the anti-rotation devices shown in Lou’s pics further up, absolutely nothing visible has changed compared to the original release. If the housing material can be improved so that the original pins work as intended, we should see a fading out of the external ARD. We’re short of any insights how many thousands 11/12 Radicals remained in Dynafit’s stock once the massive problems occured rearly last season. Unless they’re sold, the ARD won’t disappear. If ever.
    I went for the Vertical ST due to the significantly higher second heel lift mode and a silent brake in ground zero mode.

  39. P October 31st, 2012 1:36 pm

    Just to confirm what has been said above, if you bought 11/12 Radicals (ST/FT), you should be able to add the screw on brake anti-rotation devices by warranty. If you can’t do that locally, you can contact Salewa-Dynafit Distributor (if you are in the USA). Either by email on their website or calling them (303-444-0446).

    They’ll send you the little plastic stoppers.

    They also confirm that if you add the external brake arm device, you can remove the internal pins. (of course, the external rotation device doesn’t work if you don’t run with brakes – so then leave the brass pins in the housing).

  40. Rob S November 4th, 2012 11:15 am

    Anti-rotation locks successfully installed. Dynafit got them mailed to me in just a few days time. BTW, the package didn’t include any intallation instructions, and although it’s fairly obvious, Lou’s photo in this blog post is helpful. I tried to install them without removing the heel piece at first, but soon realized it would be much easier if I removed it.

    As to removing the pins, unless you are more skillful than I, those little buggers will fall out when you remove the heel piece, and you probably don’t want to fiddle with putting it back it, so the decision is an easy one! 🙂 Incidentally, one of the two pins in mine was visibly bent, so I’m glad it’s gone.

  41. Phil November 16th, 2012 3:42 pm

    the sliding release plate on the brakes has come off my radicals. I still have the plate and spring but I’m having trouble re installing it. if you have any tips that would be great. Also I have first generation radicals I have added the anti rotation fitting to the brakes but I haven’t changed the pin. It does seen hard to remember to only turn the heel one one so i haven’t bothered changing it but is there still risk of damage the binding?

  42. phil November 28th, 2012 1:43 pm

    any thoughts on the above question?

  43. Mike B December 9th, 2012 8:50 am

    So, would it be possible to have two different base plate/brake combos mounted on two pairs of skis, and just swap heel pieces between them? Or do you need to remove the base plate to get the heel piece off? It seems like if you could just switch heel pieces, this would actually be nicer for a multi ski quiver, because you would only need to install inserts for the toe piece.

  44. Lou Dawson December 9th, 2012 8:54 am

    Mike, you could do exactly that. Not sure how much the base unit costs or if even available without the upper housing and parts.

    Personally, I’d tend to just do inserts front and back.

  45. Mike B December 9th, 2012 9:00 am

    Thanks Lou. I’ve heard you can get the base plate/brake from Dynafit for $80/pair, but I’m not sure what parts that includes.

  46. Lou Dawson December 9th, 2012 9:50 am

    Mike, I checked on that a while ago. If memory serves, that’s the _whole_ rear unit, idea being that now with the fixed brakes (frown) you have to obtain entirely new heel unit if you want to change the width of your brakes. I actually can’t believe they went this route, instead of improving existing swap-brake system which was/is beautiful. I suspect it’s because of the TUV vacuum cleaner and dishwasher testing engineers dabbling in ski gear… but I could be wrong. And I’ll concede that perhaps it’ll be better in the long run, jury out on that…

  47. John S December 26th, 2012 8:10 pm

    Hey Lou, my daughter has the previous gen DynaFit Vertical ST bindings on her skis, and when she took her skis off today, she had a brake come off one of the bindings. I’ve never heard of a brake popping off. The binding seems fine and she skied the rest of the day without any issues. I see that I have to remove the heel piece to reinstall the brake, bummer.

    Is this a problem with the Vertical ST bindings?

  48. Lou Dawson December 26th, 2012 9:24 pm

    John, it’s only a problem if the bindings and brakes are installed incorrectly. Lou

  49. See December 28th, 2012 5:05 am

    I hesitate to continue the linguistic nit-picking, but perhaps you meant “extricate” not “extirpate?”

    (Also, those BC photos are superb. Thanks again to Lou and the wildsnow team for producing such consistently excellent content.)

  50. Lou Dawson December 28th, 2012 9:07 am

    See, I was just having fun with the language… but yeah, “extricate” or even good old “remove” would probably be better.

    Glad you’re enjoying the content, working hard on it here as always. We’ll be heading back to Colorado soon, then over to Europe soon for Dynafit product launch and some travel fun, so stay tuned.


  51. Eli February 8th, 2013 10:27 pm

    I didn’t have a small enough wrench to hold the locking nut, so I just cut the thin metal holding the break on to the post with a dremel tool – real quick, just be careful not to nick anything!

    I really hate breaks on dynafits, they seem to jam, make it more difficult to get into the bindings and just generally be a pain.

  52. Phill F March 17th, 2013 2:15 am

    Great blog and comments. I removed the brakes before mounting the Radical FT bindings and purchased a set of Vertical brakes, so I now still have the option to go with or without brakes depending on where I’m skiing.

    The Vertical brakes perfectly fit the Radical FT binding. However, I did make one modification to ensure full compatibility as the plastic pedal that your boot heal depresses is different between the Radical and Vertical brakes … the Radical brake has a sprung plate insert that allows your heal to slide laterally without friction during release, no such plate exists on the Vertical brake (the inherent friction with the Vertical brake is why I assume they are supplied with a replacement set of heal piece springs). I therefore swapped out the plastic pedals so I have Vertical brakes but with Radical pedals. The easiest way to do this swap is to press out the hinge pin on the rear edge of the pedal. I used a nail as a punch.

  53. Lou Dawson March 17th, 2013 7:17 am

    Phill, nice job! Beware that the AFD on the Radical brake actuator pad (pedal) may have durability issues, let us know how it goes.

    As for how necessary the AFD is, the jury is out on that. Word on the street is it’s just there for possible TUV certification and really has no practical value. On the other hand, I have tested certain boots that seemed to have undue resistance to release due to how the lug soles on heel interact with the brake plate, so perhaps it has some practical value.


  54. Phill F March 17th, 2013 11:21 am

    By the way, I spoke with Salewa last week and they advised that the Vertical bindings will be discontinued next year. So it’s time to snap them up, or the brakes at least, if you don’t like the idea of non-removable Radical brakes.

    Now I’ve completed my removable brake mod, the big issue I’m finding with the Radical binding is the side towers on the toe piece. These are supposedly designed to allow you to step in easier … all well and good if you have a firm flat surface to push against. However, in powder on a steep pitch they are a PITA ! Primarily as you have to get the sole of your boot perfectly in plane with the plane of the ski before pressing down … no longer can you hook a pin in one side of your boot and just rock your foot sideways to engage the toe piece. Expect longer transition times because of this (even if you’ve mastered removing skins with your skis on you’ll encounter the problem on the steep pitches that you boot up with skis on your pack). The trade off is the time saved on the ascent using the flippable heal risers (these work great and are the reason I bought the Radical).

  55. Lou Dawson March 17th, 2013 2:52 pm

    Phill, yeah, that’s been the common wisdom, that those bindings would go away sooner than later. Quite a drag, as the wide-brake Vertical FT (has stronger toe springs) configured with an ST toe base plate and cosmetic connector plate chopped off is the best Dynafit binding ever produced, in my ever so humble opinion (grin).

  56. jeremy April 6th, 2013 3:22 pm

    OK so this a little off topic, I just got some Radical FT bindings (3rd pair of Dynafits) as wife and I got new skis and swapped my not so old Vertical FT’s to my wifes new skis. I should of kept the Verticals. A few days of use and the rear heels on both bindings are super loose, they rock back and forth, it’s not the mount. Tech took them apart a few times and pulled apart a Radical ST’s as well which don’t move a bit. There seems to be another clip at the base in the ST. Anyway, Dynafit is going to replace the brand new bindings which is great. But it’s a bit of a bummer since we are rapidly running out of ski days here and of course no other FT at the shop. I really wanted to use my new skis and boots a handful of days to have everything dialed for next year.

    I was curious if anyone else has had this problem, if it’s a known issue or if something is missing. I even brought the bindings to another back country shop and they brought over another tech from another shop next door to try and trouble shoot. Given the cost I am a bit disappointed, I know things happen and I appreciate Dynafit replacing them. Do I need to have concerns about re-mounting the new ones in the same holes. They are on some Volkl Nanataq skis which are just wood, should I be concerned about any longer term issues with the holes being reused, they tried to tighten them a a bunch of times already into the skis so was worried about the holes being stripped or getting loose over time?

  57. Matt July 16th, 2013 4:25 am

    hey guys,

    sorry if I missed this info in another topic, but I’ve just purchased the Radical ST bindings and noticed an unusual play between the ski brake and the rear unit stop that should keep the brake pressed.
    I hope I’m not mistaken, but it might be very annoying while touring without risers, since at each step the boot will first rest on the brake, then press it further.
    I’ve also noticed in your first picture a plastic tab strapped with two screws on the brake. I don’t have this on the bindings, are these meant to fix the issue mentioned above ? Thanks.

  58. Lou Dawson July 16th, 2013 7:21 am

    Matt, the plastic tab is a rotation stop, if your bindings don’t have it they’re out of date older ones, where did you get them? Please browse all our other Dynafit Radical blog posts, use search function or “Categories” menu for binding reviews.

    Below is a search link:


    And yes, with all Radical bindings, the brake retractor plate gets compressed by the boot slightly during every step in heel-flat-on-ski mode.

    Please let me know if you need help finding all the other binding content. There are hundreds of blog posts and zillions of comments.

  59. Matt July 17th, 2013 9:06 am

    Thanks Lou,
    are there any other updates of the Radical ST bindings thatI should be aware of, if it will proove that I’ve purchased an older version ? (need to check this with my dealer also).

  60. Tim August 9th, 2013 4:57 pm

    How do you neatly attach the retaining lanyard to new Scarpa Rush ski boots? Was easy with my old Scarpa Spirit 3s with a ring and webbing through an existing hole in the middle strap. Always trying to keep to a minimalist option! 😉 So trying to avoid a separate lanyard around the ankle and have opted for the Dynafit model without brakes as I don’t like them on steeps! ;-(

    If I cow-hitch and stitch the webbing and ring onto the middle strap of the Rush, would the middle strap bear the load of a dislocated ski?

    Any ideas please . . .thanks. Tim

  61. Lou Dawson August 10th, 2013 7:52 am

    Tim, it’s always a question of how strong that buckle/strap is, vs how strong you really want a ski safety strap. In the backcountry, I prefer a fairly weak strap so I won’t get severely injured in a trapped ski situation. But at the resort I prefer a stronger strap so that I can’t lose a ski and hurt someone else.

    Have you seen some of our other posts that show solutions? I tend to call these “straps” when writing, we should probably use the word “leash” more often.




  62. Clive September 7th, 2013 3:30 am

    Ok I have Radical FT with 130 mm brakes and I want them to have 100 or 110 mm brakes…I can see that it is a giant hassle to change the whole brake assembly over but it looks to me that you can change the brake arms…as people above have mentioned…could those people please elaborate on how to do this…
    Many thanx…Clive

  63. Greg September 9th, 2013 9:54 am

    I’ll give Clive’s comment a bump, as I have the same question – I have Radical ST’s with 110 mm brakes and 86 mm waist ski, so I’d like to swap brake arms for a skinnier set – I looked at the brakes and it wasn’t terribly obvious – any tips or guidance would be appreciated!

  64. Lou Dawson September 9th, 2013 10:15 am

    Ok kids, here we go.

    1. If your Radicals have the non-removable brake as pictured, you have to buy a new set of heel units, unmount old units from ski, and mount the new units. Or, swap arms (see below).

    2. If you have removable brakes, the procedure is about a 4 on the ten-wrench difficulty scale, but you have to be _super careful_ you don’t strip the spring cover threads — and you have to remember to install the special clip that keeps the brakes from falling off. All made clear at the following link:


    3. Back to the beginning and the blog post above, if your brakes are NON-removable, you can cut them off with a small cutting wheel on a die grinder, then replace with swappable brakes per the older style as detailed in link above. Doing this would be about a 9 on the ten-wrench scale and is not recommended due to the difficulty of not damaging the aluminum spindle post. Instead, you can make a special wrench as shown in post above and do a brake-ectomy.

    4. Oh, and yes, changing the brake arms is quite easy and perhaps the best way to do this if you have the permanent brakes. In terms of elaborating on how, I just did it to be sure and I simply pulled one side out at a time, by pulling the end of the arm out of the tiny plastic sleeve. I’ll post up a photo.

    Next question?

  65. Toby September 9th, 2013 11:07 am

    Tim, I’m using Rush boots with the carabiner type of Dynafit leashes. (Parts of the set) My method is to keep the webbing ring assy always installed on the binding’s “mode lever”. Then girth hitch the leash to the metal ring and finally clip the carabiner on the lower buckle of the boot. In avy terrain you can simply (back)-clip the binder to the ring. I tried many different variations and found this most practicable. Cheers

  66. Clive September 9th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Ok I have managed to remove a brake arm from my Radical STand reinstall it and it is quite easy and fast. I removed the rear assembly from the spindle tower which gave the brake enough room to pop more upright so the brake arms clear the plastic tab on the side of the afd plate and can now be pulled out. Next I need some different arms…it seems I have to buy a pair of complete brakes to achieve this…so be it.
    Cheers Clive

  67. Greg September 9th, 2013 10:12 pm

    Clive and Lou – thanks for the info! I was able to get the brake arms out while still attached to the base – I just removed the heel unit, and then adjusted the spindle to its rearmost position – just took a little fiddling after that to get the arms in and out. Nothing too bad! Now to see if I can find a pair of 92 mm brake arms laying around, anyone have any hints there?

  68. Clive September 10th, 2013 2:13 am

    Hi Greg. I have attacked a 130mm brake arm with propane torch and vice grips and have turned it into a 92ish brake arm. It actually hangs down a decent amount when deployed it might even stop a ski now. Not sure how long it will last but it looks good. Sounds brutal I know but this is what we do down under in NZ. Cheers Clive

  69. jerry hance September 16th, 2013 10:40 am

    Is there any brakes that work with the TLT Speed binding ?

    I can stay in conventional downhill heels bindings that go to 12 set on 9.5 or 10 but cannot stay in heels with a binding that goes to 10 if I set them on 9.5 or 10.

    How does is dynafit din compared to conventional bindings, and do you think I could stay in the heels on a dynafit that goes to 10 ?

  70. Lou Dawson September 16th, 2013 11:18 am

    Jerry, the release value (RV) setting of a Dynafit is not a “DIN” setting, it is just an approximation. DIN references a calibration system of ski binding machinery that’s certified to certain standards, which no tech binding is certified to. More, in some modes of retention/release the tech binding has quite a bit less elasticity than a good quality alpine binding. Hence, multiple factors prevent an apples to apples comparo. The basic standard is, if you want to use a tech binding, you figure out a style of skiing and release settings that allow you to stay in it. Otherwise, it’s not the appropriate binding for you.

    We have a ton of stuff about this here at WildSnow. Probably several hundred thousand words. Try this search:


    And this:


  71. Rob S October 8th, 2013 5:48 pm

    Lou – getting ready to order a new pair of Radical ST, and given the relative pain in the swap you describe here, I;d like to get the brake width right the first time. Planning to mount on DPS Wailer 99s….is the 100mm brake wide enough for that ski, or is it better to mount the 110mm brake?

  72. Michael Finger October 8th, 2013 6:01 pm

    100s will work fine on a 99 waist.

  73. Clive October 8th, 2013 6:19 pm

    Dynafit brakes open out significantly wider than their closed width…my 100mm brakes work on my 108 waisted G3 Manhattans.
    I was using 130 mm brakes on the Manhattans as that is what came with the FT Radical bindings when I bought them on sale back in June….but as above I took them off and heated then rebent them down to a 90ish width and I am using them with my Radical ST’s on Nordica Steadfasts 90mm waist….and these will open out enough to use on my 98 Kabookies. They actually hang down a decent amount now when deployed so I reckon they will stop a ski better…
    As above, I took the 100mm brake arms off the Radical ST’s and put them on the FT’s…they work fine on a 108 mm waisted ski…
    I have them all mounted with binding freedom inserts so can swap them around as needed, can also put alpine bindings on all these skis if i want as I am still coming to grips with using Tech bindings…
    Cheers Clive

  74. Frame October 9th, 2013 7:22 am

    Hi Clive, how do you find the kabookies have you used them in resort?
    Do you find the swap from alpine to tech with the inserts takes long ?

    I travel a fair distance to get onto snow, so always interested in a do everything ski/binding combo to go with my swappable sole boots.

  75. Clive October 9th, 2013 12:43 pm

    Hi Frame

    I really like the binding freedom inserts for lots of reasons, but a full binding changeover from alpine to touring is not a 5 minute job. One factor that slows it down is the need to put some loctite on each screw. The toe pieces are quick enough, but to remove a heel involves winding the tower into position to enable access to the screws, or when installing winding the tower into place and checking the heel clearance. You need a flat surface where dropped screws wont fall through some crack and good light. I have lots of spare screws on hand and use the long T- key that Binding Freedom sell – this is important as it has a good torquing action almost essential for cracking the loctite seal when undoing a screw.
    When travelling with several pairs of skis in an airline bag it is good to be able to remove bindings or parts of them to meet weight limits – equally effective to total removal is simply removing the heel pieces and leaving the tracks mounted if the binding allows eg my Marker Griffons.
    I have 180 cm Kabookies which I bought down here end of last season with ST Radicals mounted, Coltex skins and crampons, all from a guy down south, unused, at a really good price. I put Marker Griffons on them and took them to Colorado this last January…and skiied mainly rocks and ice. Back here in NZ this season I have not had much soft snow either. So I have skiied the Kabookiies inbounds mainly on hard snow, they perform OK but I have other better skis for this role. The few occasions I have had them in some soft snow I have had glimmers of greatness….one day at Vail found some scraps of pow through some trees suddenly they were no longer gs skis but instead flicky lively dynamic…But now I have some Rossignol Soul 7’s coming and the Kabookies might just get neglected and so turned over next season. I did tour on them with Dynafits twice and they feel very trustworthy in variable conditions I was crossing ice and skiing heavy crud with no concerns.
    Cheers Clive

  76. Frame October 10th, 2013 6:17 am

    Usful feedback, cheers Clive

  77. Eric Rentschler November 4th, 2013 10:09 pm


    Have they made the 100 mm brake available with the FT yet?

    If not, is it worth going through the changeover process to 100 mm brakes from the 110 mm brakes for a 99mm ski?

    Any feedback appreciated.


  78. Clive November 5th, 2013 2:13 am

    I have been using Radical ST and FT over the last few months I have some feedback on the ski brakes. I mounted FT’s with 100mm brakes on my new Soul 7’s 106mm waist and went spring touring down here in NZ. I went wide off-piste then skiied down through lovely soft spring snow, then skinned back up in the heat then stopped on a moderate-gentle slope, took skis off and removed skins…dropped one ski onto the snow with brakes deployed…and it slithered off down the hill!!!!
    I chased it briefly floundering through boot-plus deep snow and realised I couldn’t catch it so went back to my gear, packed up and on one ski headed back down after the runaway, retrieving it where it stopped against some rocks.
    Big lesson: don’t trust these brakes they do not hang down enough to stop jack****
    How did i get 100mm brakes on the FT’s? I took them off the ST’s. Then I took the 130 mm brakes off the FT’s and I rebent them to approx 95mm wide and put them on the ST’s which are now mounted on Steadfasts 90mm..they also fit on my Kabookies 98mm…and they hang down enough that I think they might actually work…although part of the problem with the brakes is the angle of the dangle…it is not steep enough so the arms do not bite in much..adding to this is the feeble plastic teeth on the ends of the arms they are not very grabby.
    The arms are made of pretty stiff steel…but when red hot it bends ok. I have yet to find out if they will hold up or will they break under load at very cold temperatures after being heated and rebent…any thoughts on this Lou?

    Cheers Clive

  79. Scott November 15th, 2013 8:59 pm

    Lou, forgive me if there’s a better place for this question but it seems to fit the general theme of brake sizes…

    How do you feel about slightly bending brakes to make them a bit wider? I imagine you’d lose a bit of depth that the brake penetrates the snow and increase the chances of having a runaway ski, but I’ve heard if you do it with a boot in the binding (and possibly an assistant’s weight in the boot) that it can be done without damaging the interior mechs.

    Cheers to all you do.

  80. Rob November 22nd, 2013 8:19 pm

    I just changed some brakes over on new radicals. The design seems to have changed somewhat. There is now a spring which fits into the heel post that holds a second almost square captive nut into a small notch in the base plate of the post. It is a colossal pain in the ass to place it against the compression of the spring.

    I assume it is to replace the plastic threaded insert you mention and is in your photo Lou.

    I thought I’d done a straight swap with someone for the entire assembly but he mistakenly dissembled them and only shipped the brakes to me.

    I’d rank it it now as not being worth the amount of cursing given that you still have to deal with the previous issue of the original captive nut. (Which I just about manged to grab with some needle nose pliers).

    Very poor design.

  81. Jack December 26th, 2013 9:06 am

    My just self-installed Dynafit ST’s are giving me fits. I have them mounted with Binding Freedom inserts and just the degree of interference between front mounting screws on the heel unit and the brake is frustrating. It takes adjustment of the fore-and-aft to near its limit and a real skinny T-handle on the posi driver just to clear the brake bracket. The Radical ST appears to be a mix of sweet design and kludge. My next pair of bindings will be Radical Speeds. Retainer straps with a break-away loop on the boot (thanks, Lou) just seem a lot cleaner than this.
    I guess that part of the thrill of DIY is the freedom to obsess over “stuff”.

  82. Lou Dawson December 26th, 2013 9:14 am

    Jack, with the brake in the correct position and yes the binding moved fore/aft, you should be able to spin those screws no problem with a skinny shaft driver. If necessary, you can dremmel out the back of the brake actuator pad a few 1/000ths of an inch to make it easier. But yes, Speed Radical without brakes is a sweet spot for sure. And yes, if you’re doing to DIY, don’t whine (grin).

  83. Jack December 26th, 2013 10:12 am

    Lou, thanks. Yes, I was treading awfully close to full whine mode. I’m thinking Speed Radical on my next pair of skis with Binding Freedom mainly for pullout strength, not swapability. Your site, videos, etc. have been *enormously* helpful through this.

  84. John Mletschnig October 12th, 2014 6:05 pm


    I have run vertical ft heel units without brakes for several years and never have had a problem with unwanted rotation in any conditions. When is the anti rotation feature on the radical going to be useful?

    I really wish dynafit had the goal of light and strong still without any unnecessary extra frills.

    I’m considering getting radical fts now and surgically removing the brakes but am a bit concerned about it changing release tension capacity for the worse( probably minor id imagine) and also about stressing the little tab that holds the brakes up when my heel risers are down. Soo, I many need to make supports for the tabs?? or place a higher block forward of it to contact the boot first? On the verticals I broke these tabs off two separate heel units unintentionally and those tabs seemed more substantial than the ones on the radicals …


  85. Lou Dawson 2 October 12th, 2014 7:42 pm

    John, I wouldn’t worry about changing the release value without brakes, the DIN standard allows quite a bit of variation anyway… side release might be a little easier with 0 friction, and vertical a little harder without the brake spring loading under your boot heel and pressing upward.

    Am not sure about the tabs breaking, I do know you’ll want some kind of anti-rotation as the Radical doesn’t resist rotation like the Verticals do.

    Why not just use a Speed Radical and be done with it?


  86. John Mletschnig October 12th, 2014 10:26 pm


    The speed radicals are an option but I’m concerned with their durability when getting radical.


  87. Lou Dawson 2 October 13th, 2014 6:46 am

    Welllll, same toe as a Radical FT/ST, pretty much the same heel unit. Lots of experience with both including taking them apart numerous times, the internals in the heels are virtually identical. Main point of Speed INHO is that it doesn’t have a brake., and of course has the lower release values of the Radical ST. If you’re getting radical you might want to consider something designed for being radical, like Beast. Lou

  88. John Mletschnig October 13th, 2014 11:30 am

    In your opinion would you compare the durability of the speed heel unit to that of rad st/ft, vert ft and plum guide? Is it a wide margin? The plastic around the post of the speed just seeps so narrow and perhaps prone to cracking from lateral torque. Beast is unfortunately way too heavy for my squirrelish nature, I am considering the plum guides but service here in the states seems pretty good with dynafits and the price is better. Also with a brake on the rad ft is the same weight as the guide with no brake at 600g. Perhaps there is less to go wrong there though. When will Dawson tech manufacturing open?? 😉

  89. Lou Dawson 2 October 13th, 2014 12:26 pm

    They’ve both had their share of breakage. Or to put it more positively, now that the bugs are worked out I’d give them both good marks. The heel lifters flipper on the Radical are still fragile for larger skiers, and the Plum did have the pins break at one time. Plum of course has industrial design that looks beefy but the heel housing is still plastic. I’d think service and availability would trump durability mythology. Lou

  90. Mike November 2nd, 2014 4:35 pm


    My partner has a pair of Vertical ST’s mounted on her skis with no brakes. I’ve searched for a long time for brakes but no luck, but I have a pair of radical st base plates with the right width brakes. Will the radical brakes work with the vertical bindings?


  91. Lou Dawson 2 November 2nd, 2014 5:51 pm

    Hi Mike, I’m pretty sure they’ll work, I just went out to the workshop and halfway tried the swap, didn’t have time to go all the way. It’s just a 10 minute or less job to try one… Lou

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