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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    82

    Fritschi or Dynafit on my new skis?

    One of the metal edges cracked after lotsa years on my favorite skis, so I'm about to buy a new pair.

    All my AT boots are Dynafit-compatible. I own a pair of light skis with Dynafit and a pair of mid-weight skis with Fritschi, so I know I can make either kind work. I ski mainly backcountry.

    I'm probably missing some point which is important for my decision about which binding to choose -- which someone can tell me about.

    So here's my thinking so far . . .

    (a) release safety:
    Important for me. Two of my most frequent ski partners have broken their legs skiing on Alpine Touring bindings, one on Dynafit, one on Silvretta 404. Fortunately both were quickly rescued with mechanized transport -- but I ski lots of times in situations where that might not happen for me.

    I like feeling that I can ski crud and crust confidently without endangering my legs. When I'm at a ski resort, I look forward to skiing bumps -- and I find myself doing that more days a year, either with Sharon, or when training by skinning up a groomed trail.

    I find that my Fritschi has lots more "travel-and-return" range of motion (esp. lateral, also vertical) than my Dynafit. Seems like I can ski crud + bumps at a much lower setting on my Fritschis without getting lots of releases.

    It might be that the Dynafit has as good a release-safety capability as the Fritschi, but I don't think that was the main design goal of the (brilliant) Dynafit design. And it seems like the community of Dynafit users has a much higher percentage of skiers who don't care as much about release safety.

    (b) weight
    I do think weight attached to the feet is significant. But it's not so important any more for me. Because I skin up on lots of days, so my legs get accustomed to the extra weight. And in pre-season I do workouts with weights around my ankles, so the specific muscles which need to lift the extra weight of ski + skin + boot + binding get specifically trained.

    So for me, while the extra weight of a Fritschi binding over Dynafit surely slows me down a little, it's not a major "bottleneck" for my climbing performance. I've had no problem doing single-day ascents of major peaks on my Fritschis -- e.g. Mt Whitney, Mont Blanc, Dome de Neige des Ecrins.

    I doubt the extra weight slows me down more than 3%, so for a long climb of say 8 hours, that's 15 minutes. I don't find it a big problem to set my alarm 15-30 minutes earlier.

    (c) harscheisen / couteaux / "ski crampons"
    The basic Fritschi have performed great for me in all kinds of situations on Europe -- where people do lots of skinning up on hardpack + crust snow. Beautifully engineered to provide just the right amount of surface penetration, just when it's needed. (Somebody gave me a pair of the new "convertible" Fritschi harscheisen, but I never tried them, because the "basic" ones have been so trustworthy.)
    It's been a lot of years since I've used my Dynafit harscheisen, and I assume they work well -- and they surely are less bulky + lighter than my Fritschi. (Unlike the Frischis, they might drag in the snow between steps?)

    (d) kick-turns
    I've found the Fritschi Explorer + Diamir bindings are well balanced and designed for making quick low-energy kick-turns -- as are Dynafit. (Why so many Fritschi users do not learn to use them to make quick efficient conversions, I do not know.)

    (e) social
    Seems like about half my partners are on Fritschi, half on Dynafit. With no particular correlation of Dynafit versus Fritschi to faster versus slower. I'm not a racer, and I don't see ski-rando racers very often in the places I ski.

    So what am I missing?

    Ken

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In the swamp
    Posts
    1,809
    sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet blog dude.....

    www.epicski.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    268
    I figure you'd need a crystal ball to make a perfect decision. Who knows exactly what situations you'll be in that will bring out the best or worst of the Fritschis or Dynafits? They're both good. You don't have a crystal ball, so maybe flip a coin or decide by price.

    I've used both, and I prefer Dynafits because of their light weight and simplicity and boot/ski rigidity. There's not much that can go wrong with them as long as they're very carefully mounted and the screws are kept torqued. I've seen Fritschis break, and I can't get that out of my head. My partner and I were skinning out to an ice climb once on an awkward trail with a lot of ups and downs and roots and rocks. He was right in front of me. At one point the tip of one ski hit the Fritschi heel piece of the other ski, and the heel piece broke. I saw it happen clearly -- it looked like nothing at all. My friend probably wouldn't even have known it happened if I hadn't told him. There was no way the broken heel could have been made usable at all. Of course he was still OK for tour mode (except no heel lift capability), but could not lock down the heel.

    Good luck with your new rig.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ventura Highway in the Sunshine
    Posts
    14,467
    1) move this to tech talk

    2) edit it significantly

    3) buy dynafits, but I didn't read the whole thing, see two above.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    the ham
    Posts
    2,651
    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    1) move this to tech talk

    2) edit it significantly

    3) buy dynafits, but I didn't read the whole thing, see two above.
    this ^^^

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    5,702
    ditto...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Colorado Cartel HQ
    Posts
    16,234
    Watch the seventh episode of
    The Blurred Chronicles
    Episode Seven
    The Blurred Chronicles on facebook
    'Karma' is an Eastern religious concept which views all human dramas as the will of God as opposed to present - and past - life actions.

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