Worth a binding swap? Old Dynafits and safety?

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 neuromancer 28 Dec 2020

I've always skied (with work mainly) in frame touring bindings. I bought myself a pair of backcountry skis cheap secondhand last year to open up scotland but never managed to get out.

The skis are 177 mtn explore 95's. They came with what I am pretty sure are pre-anti-rotation-plate Dynafit tlt speed radicals. No noticeable damage, and they rotate firmly and the toes snap in and out well (though I am not an expert).  The guy I bought them from had also planned to put a more burly binding on - Kingpins (post recall), so I ended up with the lot (for not a whole lot of money, frankly).

I'm not a strong skier - a 78kg climber turned skier rather than the other way around, but happy on steeper stuff until the snow is cruddy and soft when I can get chucked into the back seat and struggle to get out. 

The radicals fit my bsl. Is it worth having the skis redrilled and fitting the kingpins? Would it make my life easier? Skiing easier? I have piste / front side skis with alpine bindings fwiw. 

 HeMa 28 Dec 2020
In reply to neuromancer:

I wouldn’t. Unless After a lot of skiing you feel the binding being the one that gives out (not likely, I recall the MTN 95 is rather touring specific, so a tad ”flimsy”).

But Why het something like a King Pin? Why not a Switch? Not much more weight penalty, but a lot beefier (and then the week point in your rig is either the skis or boots).

 neuromancer 28 Dec 2020
In reply to HeMa:

Because I have a set of kingpins sat here in a box. I think if I were buying a set new, I'd probably order alpinists or something similar, but here I am. I don't get out enough to warrant spanking loads of money on new stuff - I just want to make my life easier and/or safer. I was just worried as they were bindings from like 2008 or something and I need all the help I can get. Boots are Vulcans.

Post edited at 13:41
 HeMa 28 Dec 2020
In reply to neuromancer:

No worries. The boots are more than enough.

And all tech bindings are stiff/solid when compared to frame bindings. Heck my old TLTs (before even Comfors) have actually less slop than my worn Dukes.

So K wouldn’t be worried. Kingpins will be have a tad less slop, but will also weigh a lot more (about twice as much).

So as said you’ll not get much benefit from the Kingpins. So try them now and If you feel the power transfer is not enough on the Speeds, then remount. Otherswise no point. 

The only reason to remount imho would be the brakes or other features the Kingpin has. AFAIK Kingpin does not have a flat freepivot mode the Dyny has. This is important if the approaches contain long gentle slopes or flats. 

 HammondR 28 Dec 2020
In reply to neuromancer: you have a good touring set up there. Salomon MTN Explore 95 in your length have been my firm conditions/longer tour ski for the past 4 seasons in Chamonix. I have put 60,000+ metres uphill on them so know them pretty well. The only difference between older models and the latest is the topsheet colour. They are a touring ski, but far from flimsy. Read the Blister review to make yourself feel even better about your purchase!

I got 3 happy years out of my Vulcans as well! The Dynafit bindings should be fine so long as they are in good working order. In my experience I would not put a binding as heavy as the Kingpin on those skis. It is a relatively burly binding. It may (or may not) have more reliable retention/release characteristics. If that is uppermost in your requirements the Shift should be top of your list. For my money however that is a mismatch for a 1500g ski. Only you can weigh that up. I use an even more minimalist binding on that ski (Dynafit Superlite). 

For my money I would flog the Kingpins, buy or make shim to lift the toe piece by 4 or 5 mm (don't forget longer screws), and enjoy your bargain kit. 

 John2 28 Dec 2020
In reply to neuromancer:

Your bindings may not be the very latest, but there is nothing wrong with them.

 neuromancer 28 Dec 2020
In reply to HammondR:

The bindings are these;

What are you talking about with a shim and why?

If I remove the toe piece, can I screw the bindings back into the same holes or do I need to epoxy them?

Appreciate the advice. 

 random_watcher 29 Dec 2020
In reply to neuromancer:

That's a Speed Radical which is still a current Dynafit binding, nothing wrong with it.

A shim would go under the toe piece to raise it, some tech bindings have quite a steep ramp angle compared to alpine/frame bindings from the heel pin height to the toe, so adding a shim reduces it. You may or may not notice this, you can buy shims and longer screws from in the UK.

As long as the original mount didn't use epoxy you should be able to remove the toe piece quite easily and reinstall it using wood glue, only use epoxy if you the original holes are a sloppy fit.

 HammondR 29 Dec 2020
In reply to neuromancer: what charlie.wilkinson said. If I remember correctly those bindings have very steep delta/ramp. So when your boot is clipped in the heel is up to 1cm higher than the toe, relative to the pretty much flat of an alpine binding. Counterintuitively, this excessive heel lift tends to throw you permanently into the backseat with all the bad things which flow from that, which doesn't sound like something you need.

Speak to Jon Coster at the Piste Office. He has all the bits you will need. These are not significant modifications and could could make a big difference to your ski pleasure. Virtually all touring pin bindings have much higher ramp than Alpine bindings to varying degrees. Wildsnow website has a definitive table.

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