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  1. #1
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    Post Tech binding preferences.

    Hey all,

    I'm getting myself lost reading reviews and opinions on Tech bindings. Trying to work out if there is a general consensus of what a ski orientated tech binding should do/be... with this in mind, heres a few questions:

    Do we want energy absorption a'la Dynafit/G3, long spring strokes for a more reliable release, OR have ATK and the Alpinist got it right and it's best to save the weight as pin binding releases are already very sensitive?

    Is vertical release energy absorption less important than side absorption?

    Whats better, forged toe parts which are stronger but less precise resulting in variations in function but a higher overall strength. How important (being honest) are the clean lines milling delivers?

    Is a step-In aid on the toe actually helpful or a waste of grams?

    Whats better? Sprung length adjustment or the standard 4 / 5.5mm offset'?

    Does the heel block ATK use make a difference skiing? or does it just make stepping in with ice under the boots more risky?

    How important, being honest is a sexy design?


    I have a million other questions, but im just trying to get a feel for opinions on here, is there anything major i have missed?

  2. #2
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    Ok, I’ll play. It’s possible that you’re over thinking things. For what they’re designed for, you’re likely not going to notice any difference in the way any of them ski, and they’re all going to be acceptably durable. The small differences that matter to me are the relative ease in stepping-in and operating the heel lifters, and how often I need to clear packed snow from under the toe piece.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    Ok, I’ll play. It’s possible that you’re over thinking things. For what they’re designed for, you’re likely not going to notice any difference in the way any of them ski, and they’re all going to be acceptably durable. The small differences that matter to me are the relative ease in stepping-in and operating the heel lifters, and how often I need to clear packed snow from under the toe piece.
    +1

    More important to decide : I do/do not want an alpine style heel like a tecton/kingpin/shift. Having skied most on the market, they are more alike than different.

  4. #4
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    this is a bit like shopping for cars

    "whats the deal with four wheel drive, do i want it, is it good?"

    "should i buy the red one or the black one"

    "does electric vs gasoline make a difference?"

    "whats better toyota or honda"

    the tech binding market is very mature right now, and there's a flavor for every taste. anything from full alpine bindings which can tour (duke PT, shift) down to 140g skimo race bindings that are little more than spring-loaded paperclips.

    my advice is to find the lightest possible ski binding that gives you the skiability/usability that you need. ie - if your expectation is that the binding has an identical feel to your pivots, you're gonna want a beef binding (shift or duke or whatever). if you are comfortable with a lighter binding and prioritize weight over other concerns, then there are a bajillion choices in the market. different bindings for different jobs, obviously.

    to answer a few of your questions -

    - the atk stomp pad thingy is rad, and it totally works
    - i don't care if a binding is forged or composite or made from dried elephant dung if it's durable and skis well. lots of ways to skin that cat. my tectons are plastic, they ski great. my atks are metal, they ski great.
    - pretty much every binding on the market these days has some sort of step-in aid. some are better than others. if you tour enough you'll get used to any of them, and only some are noticeably bad (gen1 vipecs still give me ptsd).
    - it's not as simple as "Do we want energy absorption a'la Dynafit/G3, long spring strokes for a more reliable release, OR have ATK and the Alpinist got it right and it's best to save the weight as pin binding releases are already very sensitive?" - both the alpinist and many ATK bindings do have some sort of forward heel pressure/energy absorption, and i cannot speak to the royal we here.

    every binding on the market is some sort of compromise. figure out what matters most to you and try to maximize on those areas. for me - i care about a light binding that skis reasonably well. this year i'm going with atk release 10's. they have compensatory heel travel, a super-wide (free-ride oriented) toe mount, super useable risers, and no brakes. they weigh 250g. i have some friends who insist on a 550g binding and others who say that 250g is way too heavy.

    or you could just buy the red one and call it done.

  5. #5
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    You may want to consider what kind of snow you'll be touring on if you are trying to decide if you want an alpine heel/elastic travel or something more bare bones. For a powder ski it probably doesn't make a big difference, but on hardpack/ice I think some of these bindings are noticably less harsh and jarring.

    Also unless you need higher release value, ATK crests have adjustable release, heel travel, AND are red.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using TGR Forums mobile app

  6. #6
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    The release values should be adjustable

    the rotational & vertical release values should be adjustable separately,

    i like brakes
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  7. #7
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    Does anyone ski vastly different front and side release values?

    With regard to energy absorption I was thinking more about the release stroke of springs and return to centre. Dynafit style ones (beast was a prime example) tend to be more elastic, the lighter atks and alpinists are more on/off. Does anyone think about this when buying?

  8. #8
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    To mitigate pre-release I ski Rads and Verts with the vertical release ( small screw) 1 din like mark higher than the Horizontal ( big screw) which is I assume what ^^ you mean

    A Vibram AT sole in an AT frame binding I set the heels 1 Din higher or i get pre-release while a plastic Din sole in the same binding ( FR+, Baron) is no problem
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt D View Post
    Does anyone ski vastly different front and side release values?

    With regard to energy absorption I was thinking more about the release stroke of springs and return to centre. Dynafit style ones (beast was a prime example) tend to be more elastic, the lighter atks and alpinists are more on/off. Does anyone think about this when buying?
    a few folks will ski with a vertical release that is slightly higher - that way your skis don't pop when you stomp a landing.

    to your other question, if you're referring to elastic travel/dynamic heel compensation, that matters to some but not to all skiers. some dynafits, some atk's, fritschi bindings, and a few others all have a similar feature set. for the most part, those bindings weigh more, and some skiers don't feel like the increase in ski quality justifies the extra weight. like others have said, if you're skiing mostly powder, the binding makes very little difference. on hardpack/ice, it may make more of a difference.

    to summarize - here's what i would say the biggest questions in tech bindings are:

    brakes or leashes
    alpine heel or tech heel
    alpine toe or tech toe
    # of risers
    weight
    adjustable release
    ramp angle
    dynamic heel travel
    lateral toe release (a la vipecs - this one is big for many skiers, as it makes tib/fib fractures less likely)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    IMO:

    "Normal" winter touring - you might want your ski to release, and you are usually skiing good snow - more full featured bindings (independent pins, length compensation) make sense. G3 and ATK are good options. Flippy risers are great.

    Spring touring - you don't really expect your skis to release - U-springs are simple and light and cheaper. Flippy risers are still great.

    XX%/XX% - Shift. I think that Kingpin/Tecton is out of date technology, since the toe is the weak point of the tech binding release system.

  11. #11
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    I got the flippy & rotate lfters, can't say I preffer using one over the other but every set of rad1's ever made/still out there are just waiting to explode in mid turn leaving you spooning a tree

    becuz the flippy part prys the top off the binding like a can openner, the skiing out on 1 ski just builds character

    but the safety, a binding that is there when its suposed to be until you don't wana be attached to it is just so fucking boring and heavy

    if you are into super light/ red/orange/green/ whatever Lou likes

    just say that up front

    a binding is suposed to be safety equipment and it should work all the time otherwise ... you might as well telemark
    Last edited by XXX-er; 10-09-2020 at 02:25 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  12. #12
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    For spring and fall groomer exercise I like vipecs. For deeper snow and bigger skis I like tecton. They ski surprisingly well and are pretty light. Also like the fact they operate similarly except heel. Preferred is tecton and snap in heel gives solid feeling confidence.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    this is a bit like shopping for cars

    "whats the deal with four wheel drive, do i want it, is it good?"

    "should i buy the red one or the black one"

    "does electric vs gasoline make a difference?"

    "whats better toyota or honda"
    Very apt analogy, tgapp.

    I like the lightest bomber option I can find for the ski. That means the ATK Trofeo/BD Helio 145 for short light skis for spring and summer, Salomon MTN/Atomic Backland Tour for mid-range skis (Zero G 95 and 105), and Shift for my travel ski (180 Rustler 11). If I had a ski in the 108-110mm range that would see 50/50 lift/tour use, I'd probably get Tectons.

    In my experience, you can get them all to work reliably if you're fairly normal in size/weight and reasonably smooth as a skier.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    . . . every binding on the market is some sort of compromise.
    Another good one.

    Every piece of gear you'll ever acquire for touring is some sort of compromise. You are essentially doing two different sports with one boot/binding/ski.

    U-spring not having separate forward/lateral adjustment? Hasn't made a difference to me, though in the old days I adjusted the forward 1 number higher than the lateral on some Dynafits.
    "Kiss gap" vs 5.5 or 4mm gap? Spring loaded heel probably offers an advantage in elasticity, but most of my bindings have a gap and it's not a problem.
    Lateral release at the toe safer? Could be, but it wouldn't have prevented my ACL rupture last year.
    Spring-loaded cam-over heel vs pins? Alpine-type heels definitely have an advantage in elasticity. They also transfer energy better. IF you plan to ski hardpack in the area on them, probably a good call.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Another good one.

    Every piece of gear you'll ever acquire for touring is some sort of compromise. You are essentially doing two different sports with one boot/binding/ski.

    U-spring not having separate forward/lateral adjustment? Hasn't made a difference to me, though in the old days I adjusted the forward 1 number higher than the lateral on some Dynafits.
    "Kiss gap" vs 5.5 or 4mm gap? Spring loaded heel probably offers an advantage in elasticity, but most of my bindings have a gap and it's not a problem.
    Lateral release at the toe safer? Could be, but it wouldn't have prevented my ACL rupture last year.
    Spring-loaded cam-over heel vs pins? Alpine-type heels definitely have an advantage in elasticity. They also transfer energy better. IF you plan to ski hardpack in the area on them, probably a good call.
    Quote Originally Posted by gregL
    I like the lightest bomber option I can find for the ski. That means the ATK Trofeo/BD Helio 145 for short light skis for spring and summer, Salomon MTN/Atomic Backland Tour for mid-range skis (Zero G 95 and 105), and Shift for my travel ski (180 Rustler 11). If I had a ski in the 108-110mm range that would see 50/50 lift/tour use, I'd probably get Tectons.



    yeah i agree with all of greg's sentiments here as well. the deal is, the ski touring binding market is so mature that really, what you should do is find what segment of the market appeals to you for a particular ski/use case, and then compare bindings in that segment. IMO there are 3 segments in the market -

    race oriented/speed touring bindings (helio145s, helio180s, dynafit superlites, atk trofeos, etc)
    all-purpose touring bindings (salomon MTN, helio 350, atk crest, fritschi xenic)
    free touring bindings (kingpin, tecton, shift, duke pt)

    so, while a comparison between a helio145 and a shi(f)t is very much an apples to oranges comparison, a more meaningful question might be "i want something burly enough that i can take inbounds on a powder day while still touring well", and you'd have a bunch of people talking about tectons vs shifts vs whatever.

    my lineup is like - something super light for my 84mm fitness skis (TBD, likely helio145s), atk release10's for my 104mm daily drivers, tectons for my 50/50 powder skis, shifts for my 70/30 resort/sidecountry skis.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt D View Post
    Hey all,

    I'm getting myself lost reading reviews and opinions on Tech bindings. Trying to work out if there is a general consensus of what a ski orientated tech binding should do/be... with this in mind, heres a few questions: .....
    Read what Greg and Kootenay said. Add to that.... reliability

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    37
    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    [/COLOR]
    IMO there are 3 segments in the market -

    race oriented/speed touring bindings (helio145s, helio180s, dynafit superlites, atk trofeos, etc)
    all-purpose touring bindings (salomon MTN, helio 350, atk crest, fritschi xenic)
    free touring bindings (kingpin, tecton, shift, duke pt)

    my lineup is like - something super light for my 84mm fitness skis (TBD, likely helio145s), atk release10's for my 104mm daily drivers, tectons for my 50/50 powder skis, shifts for my 70/30 resort/sidecountry skis.
    Thank you, this is super helpful for a tech newb. There is so much lingo out there and this really simplifies things.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrian.bee View Post
    Thank you, this is super helpful for a tech newb. There is so much lingo out there and this really simplifies things.
    it's part of the second category in the block of text you quoted from me

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    this is a bit like shopping for cars

    "whats the deal with four wheel drive, do i want it, is it good?"

    "should i buy the red one or the black one"

    "does electric vs gasoline make a difference?"

    "whats better toyota or honda"

    the tech binding market is very mature right now, and there's a flavor for every taste. anything from full alpine bindings which can tour (duke PT, shift) down to 140g skimo race bindings that are little more than spring-loaded paperclips.

    my advice is to find the lightest possible ski binding that gives you the skiability/usability that you need. ie - if your expectation is that the binding has an identical feel to your pivots, you're gonna want a beef binding (shift or duke or whatever). if you are comfortable with a lighter binding and prioritize weight over other concerns, then there are a bajillion choices in the market. different bindings for different jobs, obviously.

    to answer a few of your questions -

    - the atk stomp pad thingy is rad, and it totally works
    - i don't care if a binding is forged or composite or made from dried elephant dung if it's durable and skis well. lots of ways to skin that cat. my tectons are plastic, they ski great. my atks are metal, they ski great.
    - pretty much every binding on the market these days has some sort of step-in aid. some are better than others. if you tour enough you'll get used to any of them, and only some are noticeably bad (gen1 vipecs still give me ptsd).
    - it's not as simple as "Do we want energy absorption a'la Dynafit/G3, long spring strokes for a more reliable release, OR have ATK and the Alpinist got it right and it's best to save the weight as pin binding releases are already very sensitive?" - both the alpinist and many ATK bindings do have some sort of forward heel pressure/energy absorption, and i cannot speak to the royal we here.

    every binding on the market is some sort of compromise. figure out what matters most to you and try to maximize on those areas. for me - i care about a light binding that skis reasonably well. this year i'm going with atk release 10's. they have compensatory heel travel, a super-wide (free-ride oriented) toe mount, super useable risers, and no brakes. they weigh 250g. i have some friends who insist on a 550g binding and others who say that 250g is way too heavy.

    or you could just buy the red one and call it done.
    damn you figured that out pretty good and you didnt even need to do a decade of differnt frame binders
    to find out what you wanted
    i poo pooed tech till dyna went 12 din
    i value metal and simplicity atk has provided that for several seasons for me
    Quote Originally Posted by gregL View Post
    Very apt analogy, tgapp.


    In my experience, you can get them all to work reliably if you're fairly normal in size/weight and reasonably smooth as a skier.
    9 outta 10 ski techs will tell you trying not to suck is your best tech binder safety feature
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    ....9 outta 10 ski techs will tell you trying not to suck is your best tech binder safety feature
    And the tenth is a dentist.

  21. #21
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    actually 8 outta ten
    ones a dentist and doesnt tour
    the other one spends all day on wild snow and geekin out on grams and only skis frischi cause lou says theyre safetyest
    i try not to bullshit people
    like bro said its all a compromise in a risky sport
    and what works for my priorities may not be yours
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by doebedoe View Post
    And the tenth is a dentist.
    And five of them ski well but suck at being a tech.

  23. #23
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    I try not to suck
    At the techin and skiing end
    I go with expert at neither
    It's all about being a passionate
    seasoned journeyman
    I'm pretty religious about clearing cleaning my toes and beacon check and a pre run litany of stuffs a functional stoner might forget
    That being said I've skied a lap with mohair skins still on and more than a few with a boot in walk mode
    "When the child was a child it waited patiently for the first snow and it still does"- Van "The Man" Morrison
    "I find I have already had my reward, in the doing of the thing" - Buzz Holmstrom
    "THIS IS WHAT WE DO"-AML -ski on in eternal peace
    Yo poliassfuckers
    theres a special basement for your lame shit

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by skifishbum View Post
    I try not to suck
    At the techin and skiing end
    I go with expert at neither
    It's all about being a passionate
    seasoned journeyman
    I'm pretty religious about clearing cleaning my toes and beacon check and a pre run litany of stuffs a functional stoner might forget
    That being said I've skied a lap with mohair skins still on and more than a few with a boot in walk mode
    Wasn't referring to you SFB, I would totally trust you to work on my stuff based on past threads.

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