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Race weight Tech bindings that have flat-on-ski position?

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  • Race weight Tech bindings that have flat-on-ski position?

    Warning - techy question best suited for the rando race crowd. I am looking for a real lightweight pair of tech bindings (meaning less than 200g/foot) for this season but hate any tippy-toe feeling when touring so don't want something like the Dynafit Superlights SL or Low Tech Race that do not offer a heel-on-the-ski touring mode.

    The Kreuzspitze SCTT looks pretty ideal:
    http://skimo.co/kreuzspitze-sctt-bindings

    I think the ATK WC SL/SL-R bindings offer a boot flat-on-ski position because the heel can rotate 90-degrees but heard that the boot can bind against the heel unit because there is only a 4mm gap (versus 6mm for the Kreuzspitze).

    Any other options out there or thoughts about touring with a delta of 5-10 degrees on bindings without a flat-on-ski position? Racing and race weight tech bindings aint my bag so I am pretty ignorant about this stuff.

    (It being the off season, I assume this post will die a lonely death over here in the backwater of the Bindings forum and/or get bumped downward when folks wander back to resume endless discussion of the merits/demerits of TTS )
    Last edited by djhutch; 3 September 2014, 03:45 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by djhutch View Post
    Warning - techy question best suited for the rando race crowd.
    I think the ATK WC SL/SL-R bindings offer a boot flat-on-ski position because the heel can rotate 90-degrees but heard that the boot can bind against the heel unit because there is only a 4mm gap (versus 6mm for the Kreuzspitze).
    Me thinks you be making a mountain out of mole hill here. 4mm should be plenty of gap unless you're using two different boots with different BSLs. The old La Sportiva race binding (made by ATK) is 130g per foot. If weight is an issue that begs the question - what boot are you planning to race in? Seems there's more weight to be shed with the right boot versus shedding 20-30 grams with various bindings. But then again, I'm not a rando racer either and think such minutia is like cocaine, evidence one has too much free time to contemplate such trivialities.

    Do podium finishers really think 20-30 grams makes the difference in where they finish? Isn't it more about training and race strategy (and luck)?

    ain't no turn like tele!

    Comment


    • #3
      dj,

      Been doing a bit of research after my smart-ass comments above. I see the problem - ultra light race bindings don't spin 90 degrees to switch to touring mode, thus, no flat tour mode. I think the ATK solution may be the way to go, especially considering anything close to that with the Dynafit name on it is around $850 with no flat tour mode. Ouch. Have you looked at Plum's race binding?

      ain't no turn like tele!

      Comment


      • #4
        You should try to get in touch with Jonathan S., who mostly posts over at TGR -- he seems to wonk out on tech bindings and may have once created a of the various angles. I'm a stupid telemarker, what do I know?

        Originally posted by djhutch View Post
        (It being the off season, I assume this post will die a lonely death over here in the backwater of the Bindings forum and/or get bumped downward when folks wander back to resume endless discussion of the merits/demerits of TTS )
        There's one innovation happening these days, with a few worthy spinoffs. Endless discussion? Progress in the making, I say.

        Comment


        • #5
          @ Dosite - the Jonathan S referenced in dschane the post above is the one that reported the boot can bind against the ATK heel piece when rotated 90-degrees due to the smaller gap. This could be a mole hole or gigantic pain-the-ass on longer tours - that is why I wanted to hear from others who have skied the ATK. I am not a racer either and I would not feel the difference of 20-30 grams except I do do 30 mile plus tours and weight does add up. As opposed to tele bindings, I feel you don't get more performance with heavier tech bindings, only more features (OK, maybe the newer tech bindings with elasticity offer something in the way of performance but I have never tried). I listed the weight cut off I wanted to be below so posters would not suggest bindings like the Dynafit TLT Speed Turn/Radical which, besides being heavier, have too much ramp (another whole discussion or another mole hill depending on your point of view) - race bindings seem to have less ramp across the category. If I was really a weight weeny (I ski mostly on Axls and Pushes so obviously I aint), I would focus on the ski more than the boot but I am hoping that I will be using with F1 Evos this year (light, but not really that light compared to a race boot). I think the Plum race bindings don't offer the flat-on-the-ski mode but I am not sure. This site: http://www.skintrack.com/bindings-comparison/ has lots of great info but is inconsistent about calling out the flat-on-the-ski mode since they don't mention it for the Kreuzspitze, but it has it. One of my main ski partners broke three Plums last year, so I am a little wary.

          I really would like to hear reviews of the Kreuzspitze SCTT because, besides the flat-on-ski mode, I love the optional heel lifts (which are not found on other race weight bindings as far as I can tell).

          @dschane - I am "stupid telemarker" too about 65 days a year and only use "enlightened" AT gear about 10 days. I was joking about the TTS discussion - that is why sites like this exist. I am dying for someone to get TTS right (jasonq - I am still waiting for the box to arrive with your Dynaxls) so hope the discussion and progression continues.

          Comment


          • #6
            dj,

            Think you made a good call with the F1 Evos. It may be too early for you to comment but I hope you'll report back later on whether you like the BOA closure on the boot lower better or worse than trad buckles.

            I've also seen quality issues with Plum and they don't return emails from the likes of yours truly with legitimate questions about their ski brakes. Now that Marker is in the game, and Salomon intends to be, plus improved options from the inventor of pintech bindings, Dynafit, and let's not overlook worthy contending models from Fritschi, Ski Trab, and G3, this is going to be a very interesting playoff game with consumers over the next five years to see what features matter the most.

            I'm afraid much ado will be made of TUV certification to the detriment of innovation but some standards conformity could be beneficial, like with insert dimensions and interfacing.

            ain't no turn like tele!

            Comment


            • #7
              First, a few background resources:

              1. The comparison I assembled at Skintrack.com is indeed incomplete, since we posted it before many of these bindings were available in North America, and hence somewhat of a mystery. (Hoping to update it later this fall…)
              2. Fortunately, Skimo Co has both been importing all sorts of skimo exotica and also writing up excellent custom descriptions (i.e., not just the company boilerplate that all other etailers post).
              3. Skimo Co has created very helpful comparison charts. Here are race bindings: http://skimo.co/compare-race-bindings ... and here are links to all the other charts too: http://skimo.co/product/compare
              4. Skimo Co has published highly insightful technical articles: http://skimo.co/article/index ... with more to follow, especially on skimo binding effective release values (imputed from shop machine torque testing results).
              5. Skimo Co also tends to attract more in-depth user reviews than other etailers. You can see a list of all my reviews at … well, actually, I’m not sure how to do that, but maybe it will get added here soon: http://skimo.co/profile/view?skier=1027


              Second, should you care about a “flat” elevator-less position on skimo bindings:

              1. As I switch back-and-forth throughout the season between bindings that do or don’t support this, my personal experience is that it doesn’t matter.
              2. With a boot like the Dynafit EVO or Scarpa Alien 1.0 that offers more rearward cuff articulation than is allowed by my own body parts, and a kind of “half step” heel elevator position that is far lower than a typical Tech touring binding’s middle position, when I do use a binding that can go flat, I hardly ever bother turning it to flat.
              3. Notable exceptions: back East, the long initial flat stretch of the ART on Mt W’s West Side; PNW, the long flat stretch along the Adams crater ridge.


              Third, my understanding of the current status among different models:

              1. Bindings that won’t go flat no matter what include the Dynafit Low Tech Race, Low Tech Radical (discontinued?), and Speed SL.
              2. Bindings that can be turned 90 degrees but will bind include the various ATK WC variants and their rebranding by Hagan, Fischer, Movement, plus the slightly different version rebranded by La Sportiva. This is because the heel spring holddown allows each fork to independently flex out before releasing, and that extra width in the heel unit can jam up against the boot. But ATK says that a 5.0 to 5mm gap will solve this, and apparently ATK doesn’t seem to be concerned about any potential release/retention implications.
              3. Bindings that can be turned 90 degrees (without binding) but will actually be slightly negative (i.e., boot heel resting on the ski topskin) include Trab TR Race, Kreuzspitze SCTT, Plum 135/145 – unless mounted on an adjustment plate. (Trab fits in the ATK R01 plate rebranded by Hagan and La Sportiva; Kreuzspitze has many plates, which also take a Plum 135/145.)
              4. Bindings that can be turned 90 degrees and will be truly flat (via the boot heel resting on the integrated adjustment track) include Plum 165, Plum 185, Trab TR Race Adjustable.


              (Whew, so much for dying a lonely death – more like beaten to death! And although the F1 Evo is heavier than any boot I regularly use – almost entirely Dynafit EVO and Scarpa Alien 1.0 now even for backcountry touring – it’s still a good match for a skimo race binding … although how did your partner break any Plum bindings?)

              Comment


              • #8
                Two corrections/clarifications:

                1. Skimo Co has the "flat" issue included in the "Riser Heights" row of this comparison table: http://skimo.co/compare-race-bindings
                2. The "negative" issue can be addressed by screwing down a small LDPE shim (or pretty much any random little thing) at nearly negligible weight.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dostie wrote, quote
                  Now that Marker is in the game, and Salomon intends to be, plus improved options from the inventor of pintech bindings, Dynafit, and let's not overlook worthy contending models from Fritschi, Ski Trab, and G3, this is going to be a very interesting playoff game with consumers over the next five years to see what features matter the most.
                  It's a shame there isn't competing development like this in Telemark/NTN binding world.

                  I am very interested in the new Scarpa F1 EVO too. Why can't we get new telemark boots as light as the new F1?
                  Last edited by chamonix; 5 September 2014, 08:13 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jonathan, thanks for the great input! This is obviously a follow-up conversation to the one started on Dane's blog but he never posted my follow up questions to you so I appreciate your wandering over here to finish the conversation.

                    I really want to believe you that a flat position is unnecessary but I lost a big toe nail last year on a 20 mile Nordic tour on a three pin setup I cobbled together the morning of the tour with a heel "platform" that was 7mm higher than the toe which resulted in unbearable toe bang by the end of the tour. I was using Garmont Excursions which do not have great rearward cuff ROM so probably not a fair comparison to a modern AT boot but I figure why go without the flat option if I don't have to and I don't really need to save the final 10-20 grams I could get with a race binding that doesn't rotate?

                    Dostie - to be clear, I do not own the F1 Evos (yet). I have not seen them in stores yet this season but they appear to be the best boot for what I want and my foot shape. The BOA is third on my list of concerns. First, I hope they fit - TLT5/6s don't and I do have a Scarpa foot so fingers crossed but 102mm may still be too narrow. Second, is my concern that I will miss being able to release the cuff when my heel is locked. My concern with BOA is mostly about durability and paranoia that a poorly aimed front point is gonnna severe the BOA knob off the boot. Buckles have had a really nice run but I have been wondering when someone would figure out a better option. I am really stoked to get on the F1s. And the Synergys, gonna be an expensive Fall...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chamonix View Post
                      It's a shame there isn't competing development like this in Telemark/NTN binding world.

                      I am very interested in the new Scarpa F1 EVO too. Why can't we get new telemark boots as light as the new F1?
                      Rhetorical Q right? Just in case you really wonder, there's no* money in tele.

                      * - precious little.

                      PS: I also think the goal of lighter weight will run in to practical problems because of the flexibility required in the sole of a tele boot. That doesn't mean we can't trim some weight, but I doubt tele will ever be equal to AT without sacrificing downhill performance as weight is reduced. For example, an Excursion is a lot lighter than a T1, but doesn't perform the same.
                      Last edited by Dostie; 5 September 2014, 10:18 AM. Reason: add PS

                      ain't no turn like tele!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ... all I really want is better unlocked cuff range without having to dink around with undoing buckles.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kinda interesting that the OP doesn't state what kind of skiing/touring/climbing he actually wants to do. Doesn't sound like he is doing Rando racing so why the need for Rando race gear for recreational touring? One could put together a nice very light setup with something like Dynafit Speeds, new two/three buckle AT boots and light mid fat skis and be around 14/15# and would do it all except resort. Speeds in the lowest level are pretty flat and with new AT boots that have a lot of ROM they would cruise the flats comfortable and fast.

                          Anyway, I can see that doing a 20 miler with Excursions and three pins would cost toe nails, But IMO, Race Rando gear is specialized and costly. Recreation wise totally unnecessary even for long tough tours...........
                          "Just say no to groomed snow"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by djhutch View Post
                            I really want to believe you that a flat position is unnecessary but I lost a big toe nail last year on a 20 mile Nordic tour on a three pin setup I cobbled together the morning of the tour with a heel "platform" that was 7mm higher than the toe which resulted in unbearable toe bang by the end of the tour. I was using Garmont Excursions which do not have great rearward cuff ROM so probably not a fair comparison to a modern AT boot but I figure why go without the flat option if I don't have to and I don't really need to save the final 10-20 grams I could get with a race binding that doesn't rotate?
                            Honestly, I know very little about tech bindings, but I know a lot about boot fitting and toe bang while touring.... IMO, you don't get toe bang from skiing downhill, you get it because striding drives your foot back and forth inside your boot when you walk or climb. A thousand little taps on your big toe and it's a problem, which you know about...

                            I had toe bang issues with garmont prophet NTN boots. The boot is poorly shaped IMO, and has no instep buckle. It skied ok, but still lacked a solid grip on my foot when I walked in them. When I switched to scarpa, the boot was definately not longer than the garmont boot, but because the scarpa had a more pronounced heel cup and an effective instep buckle, my foot didn't move around in the scarpa boot and I have no toe bang issues with that boot. I found there was a fine line between losening my buckles for a less restrictive feel when I walk and losening them too much and having my foot move around a bit... Too tight feels restrictive, too lose and you get toe bang...

                            I really don't know how that compares to other people's experience. I am a performance fit in 30.5 boots, so I don't have an option of a bigger boot (and having loose buckles) My solution was to find a boot that held my lower foot still, and have just enough buckle tension to have a balance between unrestricted ankle movement and having my foot held solidly in place...

                            As far as ramp angle goes, I have written about the relationships between boot cuff angles and ramp angles a few times. It all adds up to maximize your comfort and efficiency. I think it's important stuff to know because it saves me energy. I am not racing, but I do ski with a lot of really fit young men who just fly up the hill. As the senior member of this group, I need all the efficiency I can get...
                            the fall line is your friend.... resistance is futile

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              tele.skier
                              wrote
                              IMO, you don't get toe bang from skiing downhill,
                              I respectfully disagree
                              I had toe bang in the Garmont Prophet too. Lost the big toe nail on my right foot (which is slightly larger than my left) when I was spring skiing at Fernie resort. I had never had a problem with short days of skinning here in VT, with the Prophets, when my foot seemed to stay back in the loose heel pocket. However, at Fernie my foot slid forward enough in the boot with the steep terrain, and heavy snow to bang it up.
                              I have a gross picture of my toenail coming off somewhere, but can't find it ..
                              Last edited by chamonix; 5 September 2014, 07:13 PM.

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