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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    31

    150g vs 200g Tech Bindings

    Just picked up a pair of 178 ZeroG 95s (thanks Dkla52 for the skis, and gregL for the rec) and now I need to choose some bindings for them. These will be for spring touring in the PNW.

    Current touring skis are 191 Wailer112s with Alpinist 9s. I've been happy with the Alpinists, so I'm looking for something even lighter for the ZeroGs, and I'm okay sacrificing downhill quality for that. Because of that, I'm looking at bindings that are ~150g and ~200g.

    Requirements:
    • Not heavier than Alpinists (<245g)
    • No brakes
    • Release value 9ish
    • Flat walk mode (no race flap with fixed heel)
    • Ski crampon mount
    • 2 riser heights would be nice, but I'd be okay with 1+flat. TBH I rarely even distinguish between the riser heights on my alpinists, I avoid rotating the heel whenever possible and just use whatever riser is there.
    • Not worried about BSL adjustability, I like my Maestrale XTs right now and I'll probably get a lighter boot for these in the future but I wouldn't be concerned about drilling a second set of holes to make that work.


    ATK Trofeo seems like a clear leader at 151g + 8g for the crampon holder. Kreuzspitze RS seems like a dark horse, looks like it's basically the same as the Trofeo with one less riser, for a savings of 30g?

    Alternatives at 150g that I'm seeing are the Kreuzspitze RS-A, Plum Race 150, Dynafit Superlite 150, or moving up to ~200g there's the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0, ATK Kuluar 9, ATK Haute Route 10, Plum Oazo 8, Ski Trab Titan.

    Seems like ATKs get a decent amount of love here, any reason not to pick the Trofeo? Any reason to choose a 200g binding over the 150g options?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Squaw valley
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    I guess the mtn is our of the question, but it's a great binding, no compromises.

    And it's the safest as far as pre release goes.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Fairhaven
    Posts
    106
    What about the Hagan Pure 10 without brakes? I just ordered the Core 12 Pros from them and the customer service was good.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    183
    Honestly if you care this much about a few grams, eventually you're going to upgrade those heavy boots. I would keep BSL adjustability in mind. It's nice to be able to use a binding with a couple different boots and not remount.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Squaw valley
    Posts
    3,552
    What difference will 50-100 grams make to you?

    I switched from zero g boots to dynafit hoji 130 , 200 g heavier per foot and because of the much greater range of motion, i skin uphill faster.

    But yeah, bindings should be the first place to save weight, agree.

    And btw, don't think that a light binding skis worse than a heavier one.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 8 Pro using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    1,066
    ATK Haute Route. True flat touring (Trofeo may catch your boot on the “flat” setting)

    Adjustable release. Multiple risers. Adjustable BSL. Clear winner for ~50g more.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    98
    I can vouch for the Trab Titans. They ski much better than any other race-type binding. Part of that is from the toe - some elasticity in a tech toe is a pretty big deal, and the Titan does it in a simple but effective way.

    Im going to be trying a Trab toe / ATK freeraider combo, which is a bit heavier than you're aiming for, but ticks lots of your boxes (plus hopefully being pretty good on the descents).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Location
    SLC
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    853
    The ATK Crest weighs around 25g more than the Haute Route and give you heel elasticity and faster BSL adjustment. The other drawback is the ramp angle is a couple mm steeper

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    31
    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    What difference will 50-100 grams make to you?

    ...

    But yeah, bindings should be the first place to save weight, agree.

    And btw, don't think that a light binding skis worse than a heavier one.
    This is the entire crux of my question. Certainly shaving 100g off my bindings won't make a meaningful difference in my tours, fitness will be the limiter 99.99% of the time. But if a 150g binding can ski as well as or close to a 250g binding then why bother choosing the heavier binding? I truly have no idea what I'm missing out on choosing an ATK Trofeo vs Haute Route vs MTN, hoping some here may have tried the full range and can speak to that

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    737
    The trofeo plus floats my boat for this category. Love it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    209
    Quote Originally Posted by tuowtraws View Post
    This is the entire crux of my question. Certainly shaving 100g off my bindings won't make a meaningful difference in my tours, fitness will be the limiter 99.99% of the time. But if a 150g binding can ski as well as or close to a 250g binding then why bother choosing the heavier binding? I truly have no idea what I'm missing out on choosing an ATK Trofeo vs Haute Route vs MTN, hoping some here may have tried the full range and can speak to that
    I wholeheartedly, 100% agree. Consider Lou Dawson's WS review of the venerable Salomon MTN/Atomic Backland binding. "Could the Atomic/Salomon Backland/MTN be the best tech binding ever made?" he asks? Maybe, but the reasons he gives don't seem to be very powerful: "In other words, Backland is simple, light, and just works." If that's what you're looking for, a race binding will be simpler, lighter, and it will also just work.

    I think the only non-race bindings that make sense under 350g are gapless bindings like the Ski Trab Titan Vario.2, the G3 Zed, or the Market Alpinist. The benefit you get there is actual elasticity and consistent release while your ski is flexed (most of the time...) Of those three bindings, the Ski Trab Titan Vario.2 is clearly the best binding. The G3 Zed is too heavy, and the Market Alpinist is not very reliable from what I've heard. I went with the Vario.2 for my daily driver ski because I knew I would be skiing that ski in the most varied of conditions. So I wanted the add'l elasticity. And the Trab toe is very, very good.

    If you're not going to get the Titan Vario.2, then I think it's most sensible to drop straight down to the 120-170g range. And I think those are all great bindings. First, I actually prefer a race-style heel. Fiddling with heel risers - or skinning behind someone who constantly does so - is a pet peeve of mine. I ski race bindings most days, and I never want for an extra riser height. I was talking about this with my ski partner just yesterday while on a steep uptrack. Set it and forget it. Sheesh!

    The same goes for release value. I'm totally mystified why I need the ability to set release value between 4 and 13. I know my release value... it is approximately 8.5. Maybe it's a bit safer because you can stop thinking about the numbers (they aren't standard anyways) and just adjust the binding tighter if you're releasing too much (and then dial it down looser once you get injured). But since it's a tech binding anyways, I try to just err on the side of skiing conservatively and hoping I never come out of my binding.

    Of the various race bindings under 170g, I don't think you can really go wrong these days. The Trab Gara Titan is the best because of the toe piece construction. The toe elasticity and independent wings are noticeable. Other than the Titan, I've skied the ATK Trofeo, which is totally bomber but hard to spin, and the Dynafit LTR, which has no flat mode (aka it sucks). Plum bindings are pretty comparable to ATK, and Skimoco have the Plum 150 for $390 right now, so that's a pretty good deal. I've heard Kreutzpitze are fine as well, but not spectacular. I'm also very intrigued by the Dynafit Superlite 150, but they are $550 and I don't see why you would get those over the Trab Gara Titan. I think I know of a used pair for cheaper if you're interested. PM me.

    The bindings below 120g are not suitable for general ski touring use imo. They are super sick - I briefly had a pair of Plum 99s, and they are really well-engineered. The binding has tons of cut outs and careful shaping to minimize weight. But they are not as durable as the 120-170g bindings and sometimes they are less user friendly and just don't seem as bomber. Titanium u-springs are not worth it imo.

    On the question of will you notice weight: I think you would notice 250g vs 150g. Also, cutting weight from your foot involves cutting weight from everything around your foot. So drop 100g from your binding, drop 300g from your boot, and drop 300g from your ski (looks like you dropped way, way more than that) and suddenly you're flying up the hill. It will legitimately feel magical. It also depends on your typical ski partners. When you use the ski in question, are you likely to be faster than your partners or slower than your partners? A quiver helps here, too. If you're faster than your partners on a given day, maybe you can take a heavier ski and binding combo. But if you got invited to hit some volcanoes with some local crushers, I bet you'll be happy to have a 150g (or less) binding with a 1300g ski.

    To sum up, I like race bindings because they are simple, and they are bomber. IMHO - and I know I'm outside the norm - more features = more stuff to go wrong in any icy, wet, hard-wearing environment. I can't stand it when my ski partners' stop every 90 seconds to fiddle with something on their binding, and it would drive me crazy if I had to do that too. I would have almost zero confidence if I ever came out of my binding or something didn't seem to be working quite right (like a heel spring is wonky or the tower rotates funny or the heel slips on the track or stuff like that).

    IMO, the decision tree is: Do you need a beef binding because you are an actual, legitimate freeride skier or you have a super burly ski? Then get a beef binding like the ATK Raider. Next, stepping one category down, do you want to trade 100g for the elasticity of the Titan Vario.2 (250g) or not? If not, then you want a race binding. Can you get the ATK Trofeo or the Plum 150/170 for cheaper than the Gara Titan AND do you care about that price difference? If so, get ATK/Plum. If you're paying full retail (all 450ish) then get the Gara Titan.

    This season, I have Gara Titans on race skis, I have Vario.2s on my daily drivers, and I have Trofeos on my powder skis. My decision tree: I never wanted a beef binding. I wanted elasticity for my daily drivers, but I prioritized weight on my race skis, and I didn't need elasticity on my powder skis. On my powder skis, I got the Trofeos from Europe for cheap last spring, and I cared about the cost difference (although I tried damn hard to shill the Trofeos to some people I met in hopes they'd buy them off of me for full US retail price).
    Last edited by CirqueScaler; 10-22-2021 at 01:05 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,440
    In my experience, most users aren’t going to notice any appreciable difference in the skiing, striding, or release characteristics of any of these bindings, and obsessing over these subtleties is just an amusing fetish for gear nerds. What I suggest is more important and often overlooked are the often significant differences in relative simplicity or fuck-a rounded ness experienced during changeovers, and when adjusting heel risers, in real world conditions.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Amherst, Mass.
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    4,449
    Quote Originally Posted by CirqueScaler View Post
    [...]Titanium u-springs are not worth it imo.[...]
    The one exception is this clever design from ATK that debuted here partway through the 2019-20 season:
    https://www.haganskimountaineering.c...o-race-binding
    ... which has a steel section at the ends covering the boot heel interface so it doesn't wear down, and also rotates for some add'l entry ease.
    (My most recently mounted touring setup has a rebranded Trofeo, but any future setups will have Hagan/ATK race bindings b/c of that new spring design.)
    Otherwise, agree, totally agreed on Ti springs (I swapped all my Plum and Dynafit LTR 1.0 springs to steel a long time ago on my touring setups), and the other points too.
    For those stuck in the Northeast, check out the NE Rando Race Series and my avalanche course. (For other avalanche course providers anywhere, feel free to use any of my "homework" assignments for your own courses too.)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    7,643
    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    In my experience, most users aren’t going to notice any appreciable difference in the skiing, striding, or release characteristics of any of these bindings, and obsessing over these subtleties is just an amusing fetish for gear nerds. What I suggest is more important and often overlooked are the often significant differences in relative simplicity or fuck-a rounded ness experienced during changeovers, and when adjusting heel risers, in real world conditions.
    Yup. Find a pair with he right release value that doesn't cost $700.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,859
    I have skis with dynafit speed superlights (the red ones) at 200g, whatever atk got branded the helio 200, and marker alpinists and they're all fine. The SLs are great because they're dead simple and just work. The atks are also great because they're simple and just work. The alpinists have also been great, and are on my bigger skis and give a little more solid feeling thanks to the zero-gap heel. I also pretty much just use flap-over-pins mode for all of them, which with an appropriately-walkable boot is great. It's hard to get in to a bad binding right now so figure out what ski/release/ramp characteristics you want and go from there.
    "High risers are for people with fused ankles, jongs and dudes who are too fat to see their dick or touch their toes.
    Prove me wrong."
    -I've seen black diamonds!

    throughpolarizedeyes.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Access to Granlibakken
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    I think the only non-race bindings that make sense under 350g are gapless bindings like the Ski Trab Titan Vario.2, the G3 Zed, or the Market Alpinist. The benefit you get there is actual elasticity and consistent release while your ski is flexed
    Agree, CS.

    However since I have 5 pairs of Alpinists in the household quiver, and many many friends who have been using them hard for 2+ seasons, I gotta say they’re pretty damn reliable.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    西 雅 圖
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    When I weighed the Alpinist is was 287 grams with screws. Yes, turning the heel to switch from medium to "high" is a PITA.

    Lack of a taller lifter option can turn into a deal breaker, depending on who's setting the skintrack.

    You don't mention ramp angle. If you like the Alpinist at +2mm, then the Trofeo may be great at +.5mm, I prefer the ramp of the Dynafit Superlight 150 at +6mm.

    The people who recommend switching to a lighter boot are also right; you'll potentially save hundreds of grams per foot, not 50 . . .

  18. #18
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    Aug 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    The one exception is this clever design from ATK that debuted here partway through the 2019-20 season:
    https://www.haganskimountaineering.c...o-race-binding
    ... which has a steel section at the ends covering the boot heel interface so it doesn't wear down, and also rotates for some add'l entry ease.
    (My most recently mounted touring setup has a rebranded Trofeo, but any future setups will have Hagan/ATK race bindings b/c of that new spring design.)
    Otherwise, agree, totally agreed on Ti springs (I swapped all my Plum and Dynafit LTR 1.0 springs to steel a long time ago on my touring setups), and the other points too.
    I have been intrigued by that ATK binding and almost bought it, but I went to skimo co to test it out, and I thought the heel-turning action was a deal-breaker. It's a two-step process to twist the binding to flat mode that requires quite a lot of force, while comparable options for Trab and Plum (and the Trofeo for that matter) have a smooth rotation to flat mode. The Trab rotation action feels particularly nice.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
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    5,706
    +1 for the 110g binding class not skiing any worse than the 350g binding class. Just go as light as possible for the retention that you need. FWIW I've never needed the elasticity of a heel spring to deal with ski flexing and I ski pretty damn hard on shit snow with them.

    I use 110g bindings in my lighter setup and was able to make high lifters from a Ti rod from Amazon and plastic cutting board from Walmart for 12g each ski and I don't have to rotate anything to engage them. The design is modeled after Voile binding lifters.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    The Fish
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    3,694
    Haute Route / Helio 200. IT sure packs a lot in at 200 grams. I have a set on my ZG 95's
    a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort

    Formerly Rludes025

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    +1 for the 110g binding class not skiing any worse than the 350g binding class. .
    Most ski better than older Dynafit models that have noticeable wiggle in the heel.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    Bay Area
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    327
    Quote Originally Posted by kootenayskier View Post
    What I suggest is more important and often overlooked are the often significant differences in relative simplicity or fuck-a rounded ness experienced during changeovers, and when adjusting heel risers, in real world conditions.
    This. I have some Crests and Trofeo plus/Helios and while I love the simple design of the Trofeos switching from flat mode to a riser is really annoying. Next binding purchase will be something where I don't have to bend down and spin the tower every time the terrain changes, and I'd definitely take a weight penalty for that. The Crest has some fucking around with the brakes during change overs, which aren't terrible but I'm finding I prefer leashes.

    I think someone also mentioned the Trofeo catching your boot in the flat mode, I haven't had that issue but be careful to install it in the right orientation. Some pictures online have it backwards and then the flat mode doesn't work well.

  23. #23
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    The simplest tech binding for transitions is the Raider. 2 riser height options without ever having to rotate the heelpiece. The Crest isn't much easier than the Trofeo, the front flap is about the same height. The crest does have the high riser which is nice

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Location
    Wasatch
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    209
    Agreed, the Trofeo heel is a significant downside of the binding. The Plum heels have a similarly difficult turn I think.

    For my skiing - mostly Wasatch, I find it only rears its head on a few skintracks and when I'm screwing or unscrewing the binding (i.e. if I ever have to move the binding on the adjustment track). For most tours, if the flat-preferred skin is short, I don't mind walking on the riser for a few minutes. I just don't think about it as an issue and it isn't one for me, much like ramp angle.

    If you live in a place with longer approaches like the Tetons or the Sawtooths, I could definitely see it as being annoying. More reason to get the Trab Gara Titan.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    7B Idaho
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    480
    I have spent the most time on Dynafit Comfort/Verticals (i.e. 10 years worth), but last season I mixed it up between Speed Radicals, Kreuzspitze GT 1.0 heels (with orig TLT toes), and Trab TR Race.

    I think they all ski fine, and the Kreuzspitze probably skis better than the Speed Radical. The GT is such an amazing binding when you consider the adjustable vertical and horizontal release, low stack height, ability to add an adjustment plate, and multiple heel riser options + flat. I typically tour on them spun 180 which is equivalent in height to race bindings with a pin flap. For long flat sections I will turn them 90 for flat mode but never do it for a simple laps skinning. They are also easy to step into because the heel pins can spin. If I could only have 1 binding for the rest of my life (out of what I've skied) it would be the GT. The difference in weight compared to a race binding isn't that significant but the options/benefits are a lot. Mine are on inserts and I can put them on my wife's skis but turn down the release values, etc.

    The TR Race has flat and flap heights, skis well, and is lighter but I'd take the GT over it except for my lightest skis.
    Last edited by skis_the_trees; 10-22-2021 at 08:23 PM.

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