Too many Dynafit options is a good thing.
Like you, I often struggle to decide what bindings I want to mount on which skis and it kills me when there are so many great options out there. On some skis, lightweight is the most important factor, but for other skis, having a bit more boot retention and downhill security sometimes trumps going with the lightest option out there. Add in the fact of changes in binding design and construction over the years, and a person can really drive themselves crazy looking for the perfect AT binding setup.
Iâ€™m partial to Dynafit and in general, my favorite binding over the years has been the Speed Classic. The old-school design that has proven itself, is simple, light and quite durable. Yes, the relatively newer Vertical series does have its advantages, like an increased heel pin length, a larger range of adjustment for different boot sole lengths and ease of use regarding moving to different climbing bar heights using your ski pole (as well as DIN to 12 with the Vertical FT model), but some of these features can often be sacrificed in the quest for lighter weight.
In addition to the challenges in deciding between the bindings mentioned above, the newest and latest/greatest Dynafit Radical series of bindings also have their own advantages. A stronger and more rigid toe piece with the addition of Power Towers, wider mounting pattern and single piece machined aluminum construction, really ups the bar from the older bent steel plate base-plate and plastic lifter that was used in nearly all the Speed and Vertical binding generations.
The Speed Radical seems to be the most popular of Dynafit’s new Radical series of AT bindings.
Though there are advantages in the design of the counter-clockwise-only rotation (eliminates auto-rotate while in tour mode) and the flip-able climbing bars (easier, faster, more durable?) in the new Radical bindings, Iâ€™d have to say from my own perspective, and the vibe Iâ€™ve been getting from some other folks, the jury is still out on how these changes in heel-piece design will be received by the public. Old habits are hard to break and having to bend over (instead of just using my pole) to engage into ski mode has honestly kept me up at night over the last few weeks as winter gets closer. (I knowâ€¦First World problem.)
Would a hybrid Speed Radi-Vert FT (right) be the best of both worlds?
With all that being said, I am definitely going to mount at least one setup this year with a complete Speed Radical binding and Iâ€™m keeping my mind open to the new Radical heel-piece design. But, I also think Iâ€™m going to try out a hybrid Speed Radical/Vertical FT combo or â€œSpeed Radi-Vert FTâ€, which will consist of a Speed Radical toe-piece and a Vertical FT heel-piece. The skis Iâ€™m thinking about for this binding setup are quite wide, but also lightweight, and I donâ€™t want to anchor weight them with a full Radical FT setup. At the same time though, I also want a little more DIN boost in the heel than just a straight Speed Radical heel-piece. With a Speed Radi-Vert FT hybrid binding, I get the best of both worlds since it offers a bomber, rigid, and lightweight toe-piece of the Radical, along with the increased DIN to12 and ease of use in heel-piece position selection of the Vertical series of binding in the back.
On the flip side of this, it also seems like a combo of a Speed Classic toe-piece and a Speed Radical heel-piece, or â€œClassic Radicalâ€, might be something fun to play around with on a narrower pair of skis. Anyway, something to think about if youâ€™ve got a couple generations of Dynafit bindings lying around.
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