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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Simple question about TLTs vs. newer bindings

    Apologies for the jong question but Im upgrading my touring skis for the first time in about ten years. Probably getting some Blizzard Zero Gs.

    My old skis have classic Dynafit TLTs and the skis have a bunch of mounts - at least three - so are likely not even worth keeping as buddy skis.

    Provided I am using the skis for fairly easy alpine touring in the White Mountains, Adirondacks, Cascades volcanoes, and Scandinavia, is there any reason to upgrade my bindings to Verticals or Radicals or Solly MTN, or Marker Alpinists? Or should I just mount my TLTs on the new skis and have at it? Thanks for any thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Functionally they are mostly the same if you're talking about lightweight, touring bindings. Most the innovation has been on the burly touring binding segment. So if the few hundred dollars makes a big diff, just mount what you know as long as they are in good repair.

    That said, after a decade it may just be worth the investment in something with less miles on it. I don't see a reason to consider anything on than the Solly MTN right now in that segment, unless you're willing to go boutique. It's light, dead reliable, simple to use. Verticals are great but hard to find, Radical heel lifters are known to implode (at least gen 1 or speed radicals, not version 2) Alpinists are made by Marker, Fristchi is overly complex and heavy (I like how Vipecs ski but they are the first touring binding to break on me). ATK produces some cool stuff.

    If you want the lowest cost, functionally equivalent, not-gonna-break, new binding, get a speed turn 2.0.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2010
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    Stay away from anything Marker makes. first gen radicals also littered with issues, second gen seem heavy for the performance.

    In the weight class, I'd look at solly mtn/fritschi zenic/g3 zed/ atk sumthinorother

  4. #4
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    unless the TLT are failing in any way or there is a lot of easily decernable wear just keep using them IMO
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  5. #5
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    Sep 2016
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    Thanks for the advice. Much obliged. Going to see if I can find a deal on MTNs. If not, Ill mount the TLTs.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2005
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    Those TLTs are completely utterly reliable. Unless you've been hucking flat drop meat on them - ski them with confidence

  7. #7
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    Jan 2013
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    261
    What's the verdict on Plum Guides these days?

  8. #8
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoooL View Post
    What's the verdict on Plum Guides these days?
    I was going to echo the comments on sticking with the TLTs. Maybe disassemble, clean the heel, regrease and possibly replace the thimble bushing? Don't cross cross-thread the big screw when reassembling.

    Selling a pair of TLTs is one of my regrets.

    In that spirit (simplicity), I'll be receiving delivery of a pair of Plum Guides on Thursday for some lighter skis. We'll see how that works out. The last bad news I've read about them is some 5 years ago (toe failures), and nothing since then.

    I was really leaning toward the ATK Crests (the 300g binder thread), but at the end of the day simplicity and a tried and true design won out.

    I've had good luck with my Vipecs, and hopefully, @dobedoe's loose nut was as bad as it gets. Failures in the field suck.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    No longer somewhere in Idaho
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    Id stick with the tlts, but take a moment to replace the toe lock levers. Dynafit calls them excenter levers; its maybe the only thing that Id expect to break on older dynafit stuff. Easy preventative maintenance.

    Also, salomon mtn does rock.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Gravity always wins...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    The one thing MTNs have as an advantage is adjustability, 30mm as opposed to 6mm I think. I suppose that might help resale value in another ten years LOL... but I suppose it could help if I swap boots in future. Scarpa F1s are pretty short for 27.0 boots at 297.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorn240 View Post
    The one thing MTNs have as an advantage is adjustability, 30mm as opposed to 6mm I think. I suppose that might help resale value in another ten years LOL... but I suppose it could help if I swap boots in future. Scarpa F1s are pretty short for 27.0 boots at 297.
    Yep. That's the biggest plus. I'd say the lifters are a bit quicker to operate but it's all preference and not very meaningful overall. Speed turns would also get you 24mm adjustability and are a direct evolution of the TLT.

  12. #12
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    Dec 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorn240 View Post
    The one thing MTNs have as an advantage is adjustability, 30mm as opposed to 6mm I think.
    You also don't have to worry about the top plate screws loosening up, because the heel is held together by one large nut on the bottom. The MTN/Backland Tour lets you tour the majority of the time without rotating the heel at all, unless you want to access flat mode - simpler then rotating the TLT heel for different climbing levels. The single downside for some people is the lack of fine tuning for release value, though the MTN does go higher than "10" with the Expert spring and so may be an improvement for those who maxed out the TLT. I actually preferred the old TLT toe lever with the tab on the left side, as it allowed you to use your thumb for leverage. IMO, the adjustment track on the MTN is stronger than the one on the TLT, which is only held in place by a rather wimpy "C" washer.

    If I still had a set, I'd have no qualms about using an older set of TLT's - just check the pivot post for cracks, the bushing for wear, and make sure the screws are all snug.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    37
    Freeze Pro Shop has Look ST10 branded Speed Turns for $193. As much as I like the MTNs, thats a good deal and will allow me to use the current TLTs for some powder touring boards or on my current skis for buddies and not need to learn a new riser mechanism.

    Thanks guys. Really appreciate the feedback - especially getting it from some real TGR luminaries!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Bought my first pair of tlt tourlite tech binders back in the mid to late 90's or so i think...

    Here's the wear pattern sequence that i've noticed after (speculating) close to 2 000 000 vert feet of touring/heliskiing use over a good 15 years, minimum.

    1. the bushings wear -- solution: new bushings, or, rotate existing bushing 1/4 turn or 1/8th of a turn if yer cheap like me and wanna wring every last bit of life out of em.

    2. the plastic housing on the heel piece gets 'ovalized' at near the base which causes fore and aft 'rocking' on the alu heel post. solution: live with it and enjoy the pseudo vertical elasticity or replace the housing. I'm cheap so i just lived with it.

    3. have never experience a proper alu heel post crack/failure in the tlt tourlite tech but have gone through a few vertical st heel baseplate due to broken alu heel posts. what failed on the tourlite techs were the metal baseplates for the alu posts. suspect due to simple corrosion/weakening of material over time due to moisture and wear/tear? Solution; figure out the exact position required for proper fit of your boots to give the right heel gap, slide the cracked/separated baseplate segments together after cleaning/dumping some epoxy on the mating surfaces, fill the fore and aft gaps with hard ptex, file smooth, reinstal on ski. Giv'er still it breaks again (hasn't yet failed on me; prolly put another few hundred though ski touring/heliski vert feet on 'em apres repair)

    4. the fore/aft adjustment bolt head snaps off, bolt head gets stripped and/or something down the line cracks. same repair as for issue #3

    5. toe pieces have endured well. no long term issues. I was quite fastidious with cleaning the boot pin holes and excavating snow under the toe wings and i think due to proper boot/binding engagement every-single-time, wear of pins was mitigated for the long term.

    Bindings are now in semi retirement mode.

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    What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?

  15. #15
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    Oct 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoooL View Post
    What's the verdict on Plum Guides these days?
    After the first generation toe debacle they are good to go.

    Add $30 to the list price cus you're gonna want toe shims. Still one of the biggest heel-toe-deltas out there.

    Are they much better than a tlt? Nope. I bought em cus I found them cheap. Usually they're pretty spendy for how widely-available the technology is nowadays. Weight-wise, there's probably better options for how they ski now. Must say they look damn fine on a wood veneer GPO, though...

  16. #16
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    After the first generation toe debacle they are good to go.

    Add $30 to the list price cus you're gonna want toe shims. Still one of the biggest heel-toe-deltas out there.

    Are they much better than a tlt? Nope. I bought em cus I found them cheap. Usually they're pretty spendy for how widely-available the technology is nowadays. Weight-wise, there's probably better options for how they ski now. Must say they look damn fine on a wood veneer GPO, though...
    Yup, I have my UHMW sheets out - ready to cut some shims. I'll start by matching the delta on my Vipecs - 5/16" under the toe. That ends up with about 4mm less stack height than the Vipecs, so I ought to be happy with them on my wood veneer EXPs.

    $322 + shipping from Telemark Pyrenees for the brakeless version ($358.45 delivered price).

    ...Thom
    Last edited by galibier_numero_un; 04-24-2019 at 05:06 PM.
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    tahoe de chingao
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    448
    oh yeah add another $20 for leashes, too

  18. #18
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    oh yeah add another $20 for leashes, too
    Leashes come with the brakeless version (65 Kg. breakaway strength).

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    tahoe de chingao
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    448
    oh I know - if it's the green nylon thing, then trust me, it's worth 20 bucks to buy some carabiner-based leash system. hate those leashes, personally

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    oh I know - if it's the green nylon thing, then trust me, it's worth 20 bucks to buy some carabiner-based leash system. hate those leashes, personally
    I read some conflicting info on these leashes (breakaway vs. non-breakaway): https://skimo.co/plum-binding-leashes

    I'll likely run some Maurelli breakaway loops on them (they're sitting around - unloved in my parts bin).



    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Sandy
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    1,103
    Happy to see so many attesting to the durability of the old TLTs. I have a pair on some old wailer 105s I picked up from someone on here a few years ago. I had issues with the heel tracks cracking but replaced both the baseplates and have been fine since. My cracking may have been exacerbated by overadjustment at the end of the track. Everything I touch breaks though.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    261
    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    After the first generation toe debacle they are good to go.

    Add $30 to the list price cus you're gonna want toe shims. Still one of the biggest heel-toe-deltas out there.

    Are they much better than a tlt? Nope. I bought em cus I found them cheap. Usually they're pretty spendy for how widely-available the technology is nowadays. Weight-wise, there's probably better options for how they ski now. Must say they look damn fine on a wood veneer GPO, though...
    Good info that toes seems to be holding up, might add a pair later on, running the heels only for now in combo with Radical toes. I sure can attest to the need for shimming the high delta, even more so with the Rad toes as the Guide heels were a good 3 mm higher than Rad heels.

    Edit for clarity; Rad heels in question were Speed Radicals.

  23. #23
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoooL View Post
    Good info that toes seems to be holding up, might add a pair later on, running the heels only for now in combo with Radical toes. I sure can attest to the need for shimming the high delta, even more so with the Rad toes as the Guide heels were a good 3 mm higher than Rad heels.

    Edit for clarity; Rad heels in question were Speed Radicals.
    I just cut some 6mm (1/4") shims out of UHMW (cutting board material) for my Guides which arrived yesterday.

    Off to the hardware store for longer screws. Since I knew I'd be experimenting with shims, I mounted with inserts (easier to find metric screws than binding screws). 8mm will match the delta on my Vipecs and I'll likely cut a second thin piece to stack on top. But first ... some skiing.

    ... Thom
    Galibier Design
    crafting technology in service of music

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