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  1. #1
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    Tech Binder Mount Width vs Ski Width and Other Considerations

    Hey all, just wanted to pose these questions to the greater TGR world to see how other folks think about it. I've long been a fan of ultralight binders on my fat pow skis to save a little weight. Right now I'm on a Helio 200/Protest set up. The theory being that when you're in soft snow and mostly pow, the mount width of the binder doesn't necessarily matter because less force is required between the snow interface and the ski to initiate a turn. On the other hand, my daily driver/spring ski has been ~104-112 underfoot ski with a Zed (or formally Ion), the reason being that the wider mount pattern helps edge hold and makes the ski/binding interface more responsive. An added benefit being the elastic travel in the binding is beneficial when skiing in firmer conditions as to not pre-release.

    The inverse of this I suppose is to put the "burlier" binding on the fatter ski to make it more responsive and the lighter weight and slightly narrowing mount width binding on the skinnier ski since the 10mm narrower mount pattern will be less noticeable on a skinnier ski.

    Anyone have a different way of thinking of this? Any other variables to throw in the mix?

  2. #2
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    I have never noticed even the tiniest bit of difference in power transfer due to mount pattern width.

  3. #3
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    I think it sounds like over thinking,

    I go with the same tech bindings so that when something breaks i got spares
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  4. #4
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    Hard to think skis bend enough laterally for it to make a difference. Any mount patter variation will be insignificant compared to the boot/pin binding slop will

  5. #5
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    I get why people thing about this so much, but in my experience, width of the mount pattern is very far down the list of things I worry about in a binding. I just can't tell the difference in performance based on that number alone. I skied ATKs and Vipecs back to back on the same ski, the ATK mount is so much smaller that the toe fits easily, inside the Vipece mount, but the ATKs still felt more powerful, probably because of the freeride spacer.

    I would reverse my priorities, the reason to run bigger bindings on bigger skis/skis that will see firmer snow and higher speeds is that the elastic travel helps ward off pre-releases and makes for a more comfortable ride. The wider mount pattern is just an added benefit to that.

    Helios on a fat ski sounds like lots of fun. Don't let a couple mm make it less fun for ya.

  6. #6
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    With tech bindings there is far more play in the boot-binding interface than in the ski-binding interface. Only the most insufferable PSIA dork, probably one who has saved all his silver Nastar medals from middle school, would claim to notice (and complain about) the difference in mount patterns.

    The purpose of big, wide, burly tech bindings is usually to show the world that you need big, wide, burly tech bindings. Near-race bindings are where it's at, unless you're doing lift assisted touring. Then dampening and release characteristics of the big, wide, burly tech binding can be pretty great. I guess if you ski beyond your limit (or just suck) and fall a lot then a binding with more consistent release should be a priority too.

    A larger mount pattern, especially at the toe, can help prevent screws from ripping out. But how often does that happen these days? Skis with softer cores usually have Titanal mounting plates and the plates work.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    A larger mount pattern, especially at the toe, can help prevent screws from ripping out.
    IMHO this is the main reason I'd pay any attention to the width of a ski for a tech binding. But since I only use tech bindings for backcountry, and since my main reason to go backcountry skiing is to ski powder, I've never had an issue with pulling out screws on a tech binding.

    YMMV if trying to ski a tech binding as an everyday inbounds ski, skiing hardpack, jumping off stuff, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  8. #8
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    we were skiing at low tide couple yrs ago and buddy hits a stump which pulled out a Vertical toe that was lost in pow, so 5 screws pulled out/ delamed some top sheet with not much effort, do other bindings use more screws I don't think so,

    Dynafit put the original tech bindings on 67mm skis, the design might be pushing some parameters in terms of release or ability to handle shocks but I don't think it has anything to do with ski width
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cydwhit View Post
    I skied ATKs and Vipecs back to back on the same ski, the ATK mount is so much smaller that the toe fits easily, inside the Vipece mount, but the ATKs still felt more powerful, probably because of the freeride spacer.
    Say what? Powerful in as direct/harsh or as in alpine binding like power transfer?

    You know what you felt, but that a non-elatic binding with heel release should feel more powerful in the traditional sense of the word when talking about bindings compared to a non-rotating heel with a toe with elasticity sounds like a tall order to me.

    I have lots of days on both, and while I agree that ATKs ski well they are also harsh as hell in variable/hard pack, much more so than Vipecs that I prefer by a mile.

    Yeah, not much of a factor when skiing untracked like the scenario the OP talks about, but still.

    oh and yes, you could probably feel a difference on the most noodly of touring skis, but then the mount pattern width is not what is holding you back.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    we were skiing at low tide couple yrs ago and buddy hits a stump which pulled out a Vertical toe that was lost in pow, so 5 screws pulled out/ delamed some top sheet with not much effort, do other bindings use more screws I don't think so,

    Dynafit put the original tech bindings on 67mm skis, the design might be pushing some parameters in terms of release or ability to handle shocks but I don't think it has anything to do with ski width
    What kind of skis? I used to hear about Dynafit rip outs pretty often. Not anymore. I think it's because ski construction.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid-kapow View Post
    Say what? Powerful in as direct/harsh or as in alpine binding like power transfer?

    You know what you felt, but that a non-elatic binding with heel release should feel more powerful in the traditional sense of the word when talking about bindings compared to a non-rotating heel with a toe with elasticity sounds like a tall order to me.

    I have lots of days on both, and while I agree that ATKs ski well they are also harsh as hell in variable/hard pack, much more so than Vipecs that I prefer by a mile.

    Yeah, not much of a factor when skiing untracked like the scenario the OP talks about, but still.

    oh and yes, you could probably feel a difference on the most noodly of touring skis, but then the mount pattern width is not what is holding you back.
    Beast 16s were nice and damp, but had mediocre power transfer. Same with the Radical 2.0/ Rotations to a lesser degree (less damp, even less connected- not a competitive product). Put a block under your heel with a minimalist tech binding and you get great power transfer, but a jarring ride (and likely questionable release properties). Tectons manage to do a great job of both. I think Kingpins actually have a slightly more jarring ride than Tectons.

    Great product those Tectons. But I don't really like using them. Zero G 105's with Tectons weigh about the same as a pair of Black Crows Corvus, Rustler 11's or UL Protests with a near- race bindings. I'd rather lug more ski than more binding.

  12. #12
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    some maybe 8-10 yr old K2's, the ski core didnt look particularly great

    buddy went back in the spring and found the toe piece which still had all the screw,

    using a medium syringe I injected slowset thru one of the binding holes, clamp/ let cure, it turned out to be a great way to get slowset into the delamination/ pullout

    Had to move just the toe piece half an inch didnt have to change the heel, buddy said don't bother remounting the other ski

    so the binding mount is mismatched by 1/2 inch and he sez he can' tell the difference
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I have never noticed even the tiniest bit of difference in power transfer due to mount pattern width.
    Same here. Helio 200s on my GPOs (116mm).

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

  14. #14
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    To be clear, Iíve never thought the low tech/fat pow ski combo was holding me back. This was mostly just a hypothetical and Iíve rarely skied the same ski with multiple tech bindings especially back to back. I do agree that elastic travel is more important for a ski seeing mixed conditions. Iím still tempted to think a slightly wider mount point on a narrower ski used in firm conditions would probably be noticeable if you back to backed it with a narrower binding.

  15. #15
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    its possible that buddy is so insensitive that he can't feel a 1/2" mismatch

    or maybe there are limits to what joe average skier can really feel ?

    so he is not a dentist but what difference would that make ?

    '
    '
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post

    using a medium syringe I injected slowset thru one of the binding holes, clamp/ let cure, it turned out to be a great way to get slowset into the delamination/ pullout

    You didn't use Aquaseal?
    Quote Originally Posted by powder11 View Post
    if you have to resort to taking advice from the nitwits on this forum, then you're doomed.

  17. #17
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    I know
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    Beast 16s were nice and damp, but had mediocre power transfer. Same with the Radical 2.0/ Rotations to a lesser degree (less damp, even less connected- not a competitive product). ...

    Great product those Tectons. But I don't really like using them. Zero G 105's with Tectons weigh about the same as a pair of Black Crows Corvus, Rustler 11's or UL Protests with a near- race bindings. I'd rather lug more ski than more binding.
    Yeah, don't get me started on Dynafits... There are just so many better bindings on the market.

    As for Tectons -I totally agree that heavier ski + lighter binding is the way to go and that yields the best skiability. just hate the tech toe harshness, so Vipecs is as light as I am willing to go. I will probably reconsider at some point if I start doing morer huge days, but so far so good - I really like how both Tectons and Vipecs ski and tours.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoSlowGoFar View Post
    Iím still tempted to think a slightly wider mount point on a narrower ski used in firm conditions would probably be noticeable if you back to backed it with a narrower binding.
    there is only one way around what you are irrationally thinking and that is a blind test
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    there is only one way around what you are irrationally thinking and that is a blind test
    May be irrational but it is logical. If I had another pair of skis and set of binders Iíd be into it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoSlowGoFar View Post
    Iím still tempted to think a slightly wider mount point on a narrower ski used in firm conditions would probably be noticeable if you back to backed it with a narrower binding.
    It is so far down the list of things that influence the feel of a tech binding as to be irrelevant.

    You can tell the difference between Plum Guides and Dynafit Verticals when you ski them back to back on firm snow. These bindings have almost the exact same design. Same mount pattern. But the Plums ski significantly better because they have less rotational play in the heel. SSL 2.0's and some race binding ski a bit better than the Plums because they have even less play. And SSL 2.0's and race bindings have a tiny mount pattern at the heel. I've also skied the SSL 2.0's with two different types of heel adjustment plates. I can just barely notice the chance in ramp angle with the (4mm?) plates but the feel of the bindings remains the same. The wider heel pattern with the plate changes nothing.

    If you click your touring boot into a tech binding on your bench and start cranking on it and whacking in multiple directions. It moves. Just a tiny bit at the toe, and a bit more a the heel. Put a block under the heel and it moves less (but likely impedes release, imo). Clamp that heel down, like a Tecton or Kingpin, and pretty much stops moving at the heel. Tectons actually move more at the toe than Kingpins, but I think that helps smooth out the ride, and the solid connection at the heel provides plenty of power/control. Lateral elasticity at the toe is similar to an alpine bindings. That's different than the multiplanar wiggle that you get from traditional tech bindings.

    Now, all those little movements, which are happening in all directions, are enough that whatever rigidity you might gain from a wider mount pattern will never be meaningful. If that wider mount pattern comes from 150 grams of metal and/or plastic, you might notice a difference from the added mass, but that hardly seems worth it.

  22. #22
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    Ya so why do you want to ski Plum Guides on firm piste?

    The Verts can be adjusted for lateral/vertical release independantly so IME I can turn up vert setting independant of lateral setting which might be what saves the knees as opposed to just going stiffer ?

    the local plum dealer told me " the plum is all metal" to which I said " check again, they are not " in any case he gave that foolishness up and now just sells beer
    Last edited by XXX-er; 11-25-2021 at 11:21 PM.
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    Ya so why do you want to ski Plum Guides on firm piste?
    Who said anything about a piste? And I sold my Guides years ago. I like those U springs you think are so dangerous.

    I had occasional prerelease issues with Verticals (and Comforts) unless I skied all dainty-like. The toe springs were too soft and the heels too wiggly. Fine in pow, but scary in spring snow. If I set a hard edge at the right angle I could pop right out. My step dad still skis my old Verticals without issue because he never makes a turn that isn't smooth. The older TLT Speeds (I had a sweet purple and green pair) were better as long as you replaced the thimble bushings every so often.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid-kapow View Post
    Say what? Powerful in as direct/harsh or as in alpine binding like power transfer?

    You know what you felt, but that a non-elatic binding with heel release should feel more powerful in the traditional sense of the word when talking about bindings compared to a non-rotating heel with a toe with elasticity sounds like a tall order to me.

    I have lots of days on both, and while I agree that ATKs ski well they are also harsh as hell in variable/hard pack, much more so than Vipecs that I prefer by a mile.

    Yeah, not much of a factor when skiing untracked like the scenario the OP talks about, but still.

    oh and yes, you could probably feel a difference on the most noodly of touring skis, but then the mount pattern width is not what is holding you back.
    Powerful as in a less vague sensation when I lean the boot over, and it leans the ski over. A more immediate and precise edge initiation.

    I get the "more alpine feeling" argument for the Vipecs, and I love that binding. But I don't really notice a more "alpine" or "damped" feel on the down, even when skiing it on an inbounds ski, in variable inbounds snow. Not saying you're wrong at all, just saying, in my experience they don't feel significantly "better" to me. And the wiggle in the toe on the way up gets somewhat annoying.

    If you made me choose between a Vipec or an ATK inbounds all season, I would go with the Vipec, for the potential safety benefits of that toe design, but not for any "performance" difference I've found.

    Regardless, a few mm of width in the mount pattern is a tiny piece in the much larger puzzle that defines how well a tech binding transfers power from your boot to the ski.

  25. #25
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    Dynafit used to recommend maximum ski widths for some of their bindings. Not an engineer, but I often wondered if it had more to do with the forces a wide ski puts on a narrow lightweight mount than the bindings ability to drive the ski.

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