/ Dynafit binding choice.

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zarb - on 19 Feb 2012
Hi guys/gals,

Starting some ski touring this winter in Australia and was a little confused about the bindings available and their intended purposes. I am coming from the resorts so my knowledge is limited.

I suppose I am looking for a middle ground binding, one that can perform well on downhills out in the backcountry, but will also survive trips to the groomed resorts when my lazy friends don't want to walk up anything.
Also, I am not a racer, but I would like something that is comfortable and reasonably fool proof on the skinning parts.

The skis I have are the Black Diamond Aspects, which I got because I was told that they fill the above criteria pretty well, so I guess I am just looking for a matching binding. I settled on the Dynafit Radical FT, because they seem to be able to handle a little more on the downhill. What am I sacrificing for that plus? I don't care about added weight (within reason), but if it's a bad ascender for other reasons than weight, that might give me pause.

Please any advice would be welcome.

PS: Boots are Dynafit TLT5 Mountain
Morgan Woods - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

I have the ST on a similar ski to you so I think the FT would be overkill but apart from a minor weight penalty it won't do any harm. I can "shred" pretty much any descent as hard as i like on the ST without issue both on and off piste, so I am not missing the extra stiffness of the FT. If anything the limiting factor will be your boots which although nice and light are a bit soft. The other thing to consider is the 110 wide brakes on the FT might not be as nice a fit for your skis as the 100 ST's but we are only talking a few mm either side.

Some thoughts on my set up here:

http://www.epicski.com/t/99830/2011-scott-crusair-mini-review#post_1347188
Morgan Woods - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

sorry just re-read your post....I had thought you said Austria!!!
zarb - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to Morgan Woods:

Austria.. I wish!
rogersavery - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

Sounds like fritschis might be a better option. Dynafits are great for touring, but I am not convinced they are up to regular piste skiing. They won't last and they are expensive to replace. Dynafits are also quit fiddly compared to normal downhill bindings

The other alternative is a 2nd pair of downhill skis to save wear on the dynafits


graham F - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb: Sounds like a good set-up to me. The TLT boots ski really well. Dynafit bindings in my experience are stronger than Fritschi and will easily outlast them. You'll quickly get used to the fiddle...
Morgan Woods - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery:
> (In reply to zarb)
>
> Sounds like fritschis might be a better option. Dynafits are great for touring, but I am not convinced they are up to regular piste skiing. They won't last and they are expensive to replace. Dynafits are also quit fiddly compared to normal downhill bindings
>
> The other alternative is a 2nd pair of downhill skis to save wear on the dynafits

Speaking from experience I would say that is simply not true. I charge hard on piste in my dynafits and I am yet to see serious signs of wear after about 60 days. Fritschis are heavier, less rigid and have a higher stack height and probably won't work with the OP's boots. Yes they are a bit more fiddly but newer boots like the TLT 5 have the helper grooves on the tech insert.
tri-nitro-toulumne on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery:

"They won't last and they are expensive to replace."
I've met quite a few people who have Dynafits, none of them have ever said that their bindings "didn't last" piste skiing (whatever that means).

"The other alternative is a 2nd pair of downhill skis to save wear on the dynafits"
What wear?

I think these comments are just supposition and not informed by any user experience.

"Dynafits are also quit fiddly compared to normal downhill bindings".
Yes, this is true. If you're spending your time getting in and out of cable cars and fitting your skis before you hit the piste then you will find them fiddly compared to Fritschis.

You have to decide how much lift served skiing you'll do compared to backcountry stuff. Dynafits are a better choice for touring but if you're spending most of your time in resorts with just the occasional tour then Fritschis may be a better option (because of their convenience).

I've used TLT's both on and off piste. I'm not a hard skier, but I've never found them wanting. There's not much difference in weight (140grams) between them and the Radical FT's. Hmm... I guess I'd be tempted by the slightly beefier Radical FT's too, although I suspect a lot of the difference is in marketing. They both have the same maximum DIN setting.

I used to have Fritschis and I didn't like their extra height (and weight!) compared to Dynafits. I did however like their convenience, but not enough to convince me to keep them.
rogersavery - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to tri-nitro-toulumne:

>I think these comments are just supposition and not informed by any user experience.

broke a rear vertical st after 1 week piste skiing, I have used dynafit bindings for piste, off piste and touring

I have also used Fritschi binding for piste, off piste and touring

I don't hang about on pistes, so maybe this is why I feel more secure with conventional bindings at 60mph+ on steep blacks

I have no experience of the radical, I understand the toe is better
Simon05 - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery: Just go for te standard older model TLT speed, they are full proof and can be found pretty cheap now. With regards to all the other arguments here on dynafit vs fritchis, the dynafits are far superior in every way. I ski 2 sets of bindings day in day out every day of the winter, a set of ATK @ 115g and Plums at 145g and never have a problem. Besides which, the TLT 5 boots cannot be used with any other binding system than the dynafit style. Whatever you get, enjoy!
mike kann - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery: Utter tosh. 2 pairs of Fritschi's broken during piste skiing, compared to 0 Dynafits, dynafits over many seasons, compared to not very much skiing on the fritchis. Dynafits are nearly all metal - there simply is nothing there to break. Dynafits are more fiddly but you soon get used to them and they are 100% better at touring - kick turns are much much easier, they are lighter, they are more robust and they simply wipe the floor with Fritchi. If you want a piste binding, buy a piste ski - they are simply better at the job than a touring ski as there is no compromise.
mike kann - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery:

>
> broke a rear vertical st after 1 week piste skiing, I have used dynafit bindings for piste, off piste and touring
>
To me this sounds like you were unlucky...
rogersavery - on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to mike kann:
>Dynafits are nearly all metal - there simply is nothing there to break

Except the housing for the rear pins - when it cracks the rear pins retract

tri-nitro-toulumne on 19 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery:

Okay - I apologise. Your comments obviously are informed by user experience.
Jonny2vests - on 20 Feb 2012
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to rogersavery) Dynafits are nearly all metal - there simply is nothing there to break.

I really wish that were so.
zarb - on 21 Feb 2012
For the Lift vs Backcountry time spent, most of it will be BC, with the odd trip to the lifts whenever my friends decide they want to come up for the weekend and hire some gear. I would say 90-95% BC, 5-10% Lift skiing.

Like the others have said, I don't think anything outside of the Dynafit binding range would be best for the boots I already have (TLT5 Mountains), and these boots are a must for their crampon compatibility with the Petzl Lynx, and their good reviews in ice/mixed climbing. So at the moment the argument is solely between the Dynafit Radical ST vs FT.

So far the only real downside I can see to the FT's is weight, the width of the brake (My skis have 90mm waist), and a little extra cost. Being a slightly heavier guy (82kg and planning to carry a bit on the back for overnight stuff), and still very much starting out in the skiing world I might end up wanting to ski some harder descents down the track, maybe the FT's wouldn't be such a bad idea?

The only other things I am still worried about is what people have said about the pair up of the TLT5 Mtn boots and these bindings. You have said that these boots are softer than usual, would this pose a compatibility problem when paired up with more heavy duty bindings? Similar to the same problems with soft boots in stiff crampons etc etc?

And the other thing was that people have highlighted that the FT's would be 'overkill' for general touring. Is there a specific downside to using these for ascending/travelling other than the weight? I know that the FT's have a dampening tech and reinforcement in the toe or something similar to make it more of a descender. Does this interfere with quick ascending in any way?
Morgan Woods - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

to answer as best i can:

- can't really go "wrong" with either
- the max DIn of 10 on the ST might be more than adequate for everything you would ever do but if you feel not go for the FT (i could be wrong so check the din charts....i'm 74kg so on about 7ish)
- there is no incompatibility issue with the TLT5 and any dynafit binding. all the range has the same two pins front and back holding things in, so it's not analogous to a soft boot and rigid crampon.
- the weight diff is pretty small so apart from the extra expense i can't see an issue with the FT, i don't think the extra parts would interfere with climbing
- some thoughts on hard charging in dynafits here:

http://www.wildsnow.com/5411/dynafit-eric-hjorleifson/

- by the way where are you planning on ice/mixed climbing....surely not in the Australian "Alps"?
Blinder - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb: What about Plume Guides? No breaks but at 640 gr a good alternaitive.
neilnt - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:
>So at the moment the argument is solely between the Dynafit Radical ST vs FT.
>
Both great bindings. I will be getting one of these on my next set up for sure.

> So far the only real downside I can see to the FT's is weight, the width of the brake (My skis have 90mm waist), and a little extra cost. Being a slightly heavier guy (82kg and planning to carry a bit on the back for overnight stuff), and still very much starting out in the skiing world I might end up wanting to ski some harder descents down the track, maybe the FT's wouldn't be such a bad idea?
>

The big difference for you is weight, performance and price. The FT transfers more weight onto your edges, which is a big advantage for anybodybody using fatter skis, not so much difference on thiner skis (this is why they have wider ski stoppers) than the ST).

> The only other things I am still worried about is what people have said about the pair up of the TLT5 Mtn boots and these bindings. You have said that these boots are softer than usual, would this pose a compatibility problem when paired up with more heavy duty bindings? Similar to the same problems with soft boots in stiff crampons etc etc?
>

All touring boots are softer than a "normal" on piste quality ski boot, which locks your foot into the correct skiing position. If you use the extra "downhill booster" then the difference is not so great. I would not worry about this too much as it much like comparing apples to pears (or a farriari to a hummer). The TLT5 boots will work great with either binding IMO.


> And the other thing was that people have highlighted that the FT's would be 'overkill' for general touring. Is there a specific downside to using these for ascending/travelling other than the weight? I know that the FT's have a dampening tech and reinforcement in the toe or something similar to make it more of a descender. Does this interfere with quick ascending in any way?

No it's just the weight really. More weight = slower / more work on the ups, but generally better performance on the downs. Downhill Race skiers have very heavy boots, skis and bindings, Touring racers have very light boots, skis and bindings. Bear in mind that some people even buy titanimium screws to save a few grams on the binding weight, as they feel it's that important.

Hope this helps,

Neilnt

Henry Iddon - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

How about Plum bindings ? As I understand they are machined from metal where as Dynafit are cast which adds to the strength and quality.


http://www.fixation-plum.com/index.php?lang=en
smithaldo - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery: 60+mph on steep blacks.... i assume you are on the world cup downhill circuit then?
rogersavery - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to smithaldo:

If it is smooth with no one on it then it is easy to do 60mph+, it takes very little skill, you only need to be brave (or stupid) - just point the skis straight down hill and dont turn

The bottom section of Trollies in Tignes is a good one to try this on, usually smooth and empty with a hugh flat section at the bottom (if your familiar with Tignes, doing this will get you past the aero ski, across the flat area in front of maison du tignes, and to the palafour lift without pushing or walking)
Henry Iddon - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery:

From my experience the speed you are going at and the actual speed your are doing are entirely different things. I assume you have sat nav that gave you top speed info and were on a stiff long ski with binders cranked up.

Personally going full gas on public pistes is a very sketch pursuit. It may look quiet but people and less experienced skiers can appear out of nowhere. I know of one case when a skier who was 'pushing on' collided with, and seriously injured, someone they hadn't seen who moved out from the side of what appeared to be an empty piste.
Henry Iddon - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to rogersavery:

As you give no info on your profile then I apologise if you are super experienced and have it all dialled.
Henry Iddon - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

I was typing to fast.....

What I meant was -

From my experience the speed you think you are going at and the actual speed your are doing are entirely different things.
Blinder - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon: second Plume, however managed to break a pair over the weekend, however everybody is shoked how I managed it. However picking up a new pair tomorrow.
rogersavery - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Henry Iddon:

gps
Pinch'a'salt on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

If you already have the boots then pin bindings (Dyna/Plum) it should be - the TLT5 was not designed to work with a Fritschi or similar (check the toe/heel rands - they are not as prominent as on other touring boots (hence the super-low sole length compared to similar sizes of different models - Dyna Titan 28.0 = 322mm, Dyna TLT5 28.0 = 307mm (from memory)).

Realistically what you lose with the FT is a bit of extra weight for the ups and what you gain is some (questionable) extra beef & skiability (but I have mates who ski with Speeds on some pretty big skis no problem).

As for the fiddle factor this has largely dissappeared, already with the Dynafit's 'offset' front inserts of 2/3 years ago, now with the 'power towers' on the Radicals they are as near step in as you like... Having watched numerous people faff with Fritschis in deeper snow they are by no means quite as idiot proof to put on as people make out.

As to the speed question 60mph straightliniing Trolles puts very little stress on your bindings since you are not turning - that is where the stress & wear comes in... I side with Henry Iddon's arguments on this one though and the boy knows what he is talking about when it comes to speed skiing.
BruceWee - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb: Just one thing to add about Dynafits on piste. While the front bindings aren't super fiddly it is worth checking that they have actually engaged properly.

As I found out at the weekend when I got on the chairlift and managed to lose a ski.
graham F - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to BruceWee: On chair lifts it's easy to knock a ski off by catching the toe release lever under the footrest. I usually pull the lever up when getting on chairlifts to be on the safe side, then push it down again when I get off.
ads.ukclimbing.com
craigloon - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to graham F:
> (In reply to BruceWee) On chair lifts it's easy to knock a ski off by catching the toe release lever under the footrest. I usually pull the lever up when getting on chairlifts to be on the safe side, then push it down again when I get off.

The other problem causing non-engagement of the toe can be icing in the boot holes where the calipers go into or in the wee well under the toe spring.... as I found out at the top of a col after a boot tromp recently. A jar of silicon grease is the answer.
BruceWee - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to graham F: That's a good idea. The only reason I'd be worried about doing that is in case I forgot to push the lever back down at the top, especially given my (lack of) skiing skills :-)
nopants - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

Hi Zarb, I see on your post you have TLT Mountain boots. These are only designed to work with dynafit style pin bindings, so all the talk of fritschis & other plate bindings is irrelevant. I have heard you can get them in fritschis, but I wouldn't...
zarb - on 22 Feb 2012
Thanks everyone for the massive response. Given me a lot to consider!

In regards to ice/mixed climbing in Australia, we have to work with whatever we get here! There is a bit of ice, and a lot of granite. So any mixed climbing is mostly just rock with a little ice if lucky. Across the ocean though there is plenty of stuff in NZ.
zarb - on 23 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb:

Ok new comparison... Radical FT's vs Vertical FT's.

Verticals weigh less, are not as high off the snow, 92mm brakes on a 90mm ski versus a 110mm brake, all with the same DIN as the Radicals.
barney800 on 24 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb: Where are you based? I've recently arrived in Melbourne and am keen to get some touring done if/when some snow arrives.
zarb - on 24 Feb 2012
In reply to barney800:

Canberra
barney800 on 24 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb: Ah well, I guess our local ski areas don't overlap then! By the way, I'm probably going to get myself some Radical ST's, but currently have no first hand experience with anything other than Fritschi bindings.
hedgehog77 - on 28 Feb 2012
In reply to zarb: I have Fritschis for sale if intrested?
zarb - on 29 Feb 2012
In reply to hedgehog77:

Sorry, def going with the Dynafits!
msjhes2 - on 29 Feb 2012
In reply to smithaldo: I did 93kph on the speed run in hinterstoder on my dynafit speeds and my carbon tlt5. I have to confess I have never been so scared and I reckon I would have been faster on my old fritschi bindings.

However to answer the OP's question I wouldn't go back, Dynafit are great and I had no issues piste skiing blacks in them. The newest Dynafits with the towers really are step in. My only problem is I don't have brakes so still need to bend down to fasten the leash.

I have man handle the Plum bindings and have to say they also look very good.

Mark

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