Thanks to Alpenglow Sports in Lake Tahoe for these photos.
I received some Dynafit spy photos from Alpenglow Sports in Lake Tahoe via Faceplant yesterday and it looks like the company is going big and burly for the 2011-12 season with the new Radical Binding series. With stiffeners, dampeners, easier entry, a new crampon attachment and climbing bar, the FT version looks wicked intense.
Most of this info is just what I can decipher from the descriptions of the photos and some of the videos on the Alpenglow Facebook Page (click here and here to check them out for yourself), but it looks like there are three models in the Dynafit Radical Binding line up and my guess that it replaces the Vertical series of the past few years. It looks like the bindings have a new metal baseplate, crampon attachment and varying levels of stack height, but all have the new climbing bar.
There seems to be much more going on with the Radical toepiece and carbon plate. It looks to have a new ergonomical lever that tapers more in the front, a beefier metal baseplate, and a larger diameter ski crampon attachment. Extra “towers” below the pins supposedly increase side impact and make getting into the binding much easier. The different models will have different amounts of stack height, which I’m not sure what to think of, but I’ve seen some home versions in the past where folks have mounted their bindings on DIY plates and the reports were promising.
What is really different, and I can’t quite figure out what’s going on with just the photos, but behind the crampon attachment, there is a white component that moves forward and back, and adds dampening or shock absorber to the binding. It also supposedly stiffens the ski and adds torsional rigidity between the carbon plate and toepiece. In the “unlock” position, the ski is allowed to flex more naturally. This is a pretty big step in the design of Dynafit bindings, where the binding attempts to improve the performance of the ski, as opposed to just being an extremely efficient boot to ski connector. Pretty cool stuff from a design perspective and I could see a lot of Marker Dukie users stepping up and making the conversion to “tech bindings” with the new offerings in the Dynafit Radical line in the Fall of 2011.