B&D Ski Crampons – Part Two


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | July 24, 2007      

[part one]

Dynafit binding with B&D crampon
Today’s snow invoking (hah) project is mounting the B&D crampon system with an older Dynafit TLT backcountry skiing binding. This is a good example of how B&D crampons work without a factory binding connection. Instead, you use the fitting shown in the photo above, which screws to the ski and holds the crampon pivot axle. In this case, we added the crampon catch for fixed mode (crampon doesn’t move up/down with foot), and we installed a spacer so the crampon can also be used dynamically (moves up/down with foot).

Dynafit binding with B&D crampon
In dynamic mode, the spacer (AKA pressure post) indicated in photo above allows the boot to push the crampon down for more engagement with the snow. As shown it’s configured for the medium heel lift position, and will also work with boot in high position albeit with less crampon penetration. One problem I noticed is that the Vibram sole boot lugs catch on the spacer, this can be remedied to some extent by skiving rubber off the boot lugs and rounding the corners of the spacer, but a spacer with more surface area might work better. B&D will assist with modifications and custom applications, so getting a different size spacer from them should be trivial.

Dynafit binding with B&D crampon
For me, the crux of configuring this setup was making sure I could use the heel-flat-on-ski binding mode that helps so much with long flat tours (without crampons). As shown in the photo, the crampon fittings barely fit — I had to grind about 1/16 inch of rubber off a few sole lugs to clear the front fitting. The important thing to note here is that without the spacer (pressure post) for dynamic mode, you could use the crampons in the lower heel position, but with the spacer installed they only work for the medium and high heel lift heights. That’s okay by me, as it’s rare to need ski crampons in flat terrain, and one could always switch to the medium heel lift if they found crampons to be indispensable, perhaps while maneuvering in a crevasse field or something like that.

Conclusion after two days of messing around with B&D crampons: If anything, these guys are versatile. You can figure out a way to get them working with just about any binding/boot combo. More, B&D is there to help if your application requires custom sizes or mods. I’m looking forward to using the B&D crampons as soon as the snow falls. Tomorrow, right?



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Comments

17 Responses to “B&D Ski Crampons – Part Two”

  1. Mark July 24th, 2007 2:51 pm

    Cool goods. I got a close-up look at those when Craig showed me his collection of various ski parts at the Couloir (former) world headquarters. Those Goodes ought to climb icy uptracks with lightning speed now.

  2. alex July 24th, 2007 10:23 pm

    with verticals, using as spacers the rounded plastic bits from the tlt heel post allows one to use the crampon with spacers on even on flat position.
    this wont work on tlt bindings due to their lower profile..

  3. Geof Corriveau February 8th, 2009 9:52 am

    Lou,

    Have you had a chance to test this configuration in the fixed mode? Are the blades of the fixed Dynafit crampon too long when fixed?

    I’m considering adding the B&D lock to my TLT Classic setups. That would put a lot more stress on the all-plastic hinge, so adding the F1/F3 hinge like you have done here looks like the way to go. What do you think?

    I’m a hinged crampon guy (with a shock cord loop fastened to the crampon and run over the toe of the boot to pull the crampon out of the snow when striding.) I’ve never tried fixed so this lock looks interesting.

    I’m 6′, 150 lb, and at 50 one of my life-goals is to never again carry a pack over 35 lb. Of course life doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to, and I can imagine a situatation where a locked crampon could see well over 200 lb of force.

  4. Jonathan Moceri February 8th, 2009 7:50 pm

    Off the topic, is this Geof Corriveau from Mercer Island? AKA “Bones”?

  5. Geof February 9th, 2009 1:32 pm

    Indeed it is, Jon. Email me your contact info: geofc atsign comcast dot net

  6. Greg February 18th, 2009 9:49 am

    Hi Lou. Do you think the Dynafit and Dynafit-compatible crampons (hinged and attached to the toe piece plate) is more or less prone to failure then the Voile fixed crampon? I’m considering mounting the Voile on my Dynafit Manaslu’s, and am a little concerned about the screws pulling out that hold the base plate (since I’m not sure if there is any metal in the Manaslu between the heel and toe). Thanks!

  7. Lou February 18th, 2009 10:04 am

    Greg, I don’t see any difference, though in the case of Manaslu I’d tend to use the Dynafit compatible ones to avoid placing screws in the non-reinforced area. I did screw a B&D crampon lock on my Manaslus and never had a problem, but I didn’t use it much.

  8. Greg February 18th, 2009 10:41 am

    Thanks Lou. You are, as always, a big help.

  9. Rob April 19th, 2009 7:44 am

    Is there a post/spacer or lock system available for OEM Dynafit Crampons?

    If not why does Dynafit even make crampons? They are pretty much usless without a post or a lock?

  10. Lou April 19th, 2009 3:53 pm

    Rob, last time I looked they sold the Dynafit cramps with some spacers you added for a given boot/binding setup. They don’t sell a lock, which is a matter of personal preference rather than a necessity.

  11. Rob April 20th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Hmm…I was at the shop and we looked in the catalog and there are no such spacers. No spacers in the sealed crampon package from Dynafit.

    So far my experience using them without spacers is not so great. in the middle heel position they only engage in the snow an inch or two.. not enough for purchase if there is a little dust on top of the crust..

    Also I will add that it seems as if they are really meant to help the ski not slip sideways in the skin track, they dont help you climb up steep track as much as you would think. But they really help in those slippery traverses.

  12. Lou April 20th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Wow, that’s news to me! They used to come with spacers in the package. The spacers where the same small plastic disks used for spacers on the heel riser of the TLT/Speed binding. If the shop has any of those kicking around they will work. I’ll ask powers that be what the deal is with no spacers.

  13. Jonathan Shefftz April 20th, 2009 2:59 pm

    I have never seen any Dynafit ski crampons come equipped with spacers. Instead, I use the spacers that come with the TLT Speed/Classic bindings along with some fasteners from a hardware store. (Upcoming guest blog on the new Dynafit wide crampons vs the B&D aftermarket crampons complete with some AK ski touring footage – once I write it all up…)

    BTW:
    “I’m a hinged crampon guy (with a shock cord loop fastened to the crampon and run over the toe of the boot to pull the crampon out of the snow when striding.)”
    – This strikes me as entirely unnecessary. When the boot is not pressing down on the crampon, the crampon just bounces along on the surface. Any efficiency from that level of drag is far less than the potential trouble caused with the shock cord jerryrigging.

  14. Lou April 20th, 2009 3:28 pm

    I swear I got some Dynafit cramps some time ago that had the spacer disks in the baggie. Perhaps I’m dreaming. Whatever the case, apparently they don’t come with them any more and it’s time for some blogging about that! Jonathan, fire me the content that guest blog ASAP and I’ll get it up.

  15. Lou April 20th, 2009 4:42 pm

    I just heard from Dynafit. No spacers are sold with the cramps. Why? They don’t recommend using them with high lift. That’s of course just their take, not necessarily reality for you WildSnowers. Thus, please know that indeed the small plastic disks that come with Dynafit TLT/speed bindings make excellent spacers, or you can make a spacer out of plastic cutting board or whatever. Or, get a set of spacers from B&D, drill two holes per crampon, and you’ve got a finished looking product. But I like the cutting board idea. After all, what would a state of art ski binding be without a chunk of cutting board to top it off? It’s always good to have a place to slice salami.

  16. Rob April 21st, 2009 6:06 am

    Salami cutting station, Brilliant!

    So how are you guys mounting the tlt round spacers to the crampon?

    Nut and bolt?

    Looks like that would require drilling the holes in the crampon bigger.

  17. Jonathan Shefftz April 21st, 2009 7:27 am

    “So how are you guys mounting the tlt round spacers to the crampon?”

    Details are in my upcoming guest blog; draft excerpt follows below:

    *****

    The B&D “100mm” crampon actually measures 103mm inside, which matches up with the website’s information (i.e., interior clearance is 3mm in excess of the stated width). Weight including the lower-height spacers (and mounting screws) is 9.8 ounces. The thickness of the metal is about 2.6mm.
    The Dynafit wide crampon measures about 108mm inside. Weight including spacers (i.e., TLT Speed/Classic heel post extensions) and fasteners (hardware store T-Nut with Brad hole 6-32 x 1 ¼ plus corresponding machine screws, no drilling required) is 8.0 ounces, so almost two ounces less than B&D despite being 5mm wider. The thickness of the metal is about 2.5mm.
    [Note that Dynafit has never included spacers with their crampons, and explains this is because they advise against using the crampons with the bindings in the higher heel elevator position. I agree with this advice: ski crampons are intended for traversing skin tracks, not going straight up. And if you’re on a skin track with firmer snow — i.e., ski crampon territory — the higher heel elevator position will create a less stable platform. However, I have been in some situations that merited keeping the uphill ski binding in the lower heel elevator position but the downhill ski binding in the higher heel elevator position: this differential helps to even out the disparity in the downhill ski being lower than the uphill ski. Moreover, using the ski crampons with spacers in a Comfort or Vertical ST/FT binding is creating essentially the same snow penetration or “bite” as using the ski crampons without spacers in the original TLT IV/Speed/Classic binding, which has less stand height.]
    As shown in the various pictures, the Dynafit wide crampon is just a wider version of the current “92” (with ~87mm interior clearance) crampon but with the front “tooth” eliminated. The snow penetration or “bite” with the TLT spacers is essentially the same as the B&D crampons with the lower-height spacers, although the teeth configuration is quite different. When I was ski cramponing along on some flatter terrain with the Dynafit crampon on one ski and the B&D on the other, I tried concentrating on which crampon had less drag, but I wasn’t able to discern any difference on shorter stretches.
    Since the B&D crampons are just metal sheets bent into shape, they can be nested together for packing, entailing a little bit of splaying out in one crampon. (One approach is to tuck the nested crampons together underneath a pack strap, then secure the package in place by clipping a biner through the pack strap and the cutout in the crampons.) The Dynafit crampons have significant contours in the metal and do not splay very easily, hence they can’t be nested for packing. The upside of this is that I’ve never heard of a Dynafit crampon bending or breaking. By contrast, B&D crampons are supposed to be reinforced for this year, but their crampons in prior years have suffered from crippling bends.

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