Dynafit Radical FT Review

April 15, 2012
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
77
Ease of Entry
5
Ease of Transition
7
Uphill Performance
5
Downhill Performance
8
Security
8
Value
4

The Good

  • Easier to switch between different heel lift heights.
  • Transitions done easily with a pole.
  • Easier in and out of toe piece.

The Bad

  • Suffered from some manufacturing defects (see review).
THE VERDICT

A good first attempt at a new version of the time-test Dynafit tech binding, although with a couple of manufacturing setbacks. I think next season’s offering will be a big improvement.

FULL REVIEW

Dynafit started all of this tech binding business, and seem to be steadily trying to improve the low-profile, low weight backcountry touring experience. In regard to the Radical FT, I think in some respects they were successful, but the bindings needed more hardcore testing before getting put out in full production.

As with all tech bindings, the Radicals take some practice to get into, but the new power towers certainly make it easier to step in than the previous versions without it. In my testing, this came as the new binding’s single biggest improvement.

Another big change from older Dynafit models is the new “flickable” heel risers. After rotating into ski mode, you have three options: flat, mid, and all the way up. I found this system to be far more convenient than that of previous versions, until I noticed the top plate of the heelpiece cracking and breaking. A quick trip to the local Dynafit dealer, and Dynafit’s customer service quickly righted the issue.

Something else that was new with the new Radicals was the single directional heel twist.  Now you can no longer go counter clockwise with the heelpiece. This was done mainly to avoid the auto rotation that rarely happened with previous models. The problem this year was that they made the small pin that stopped the rotation stronger than the rest of the binding, so their first fix was a smaller weaker pin designed to shear before the binding broke. A fix, but still not quite perfect.

I think Dynafit has a really good thing going here, and I think next year is the year to think more about getting the perfected version. As will all Dynafit bindings, you still have to step out of the binding to switch from ski mode to touring mode. Get used to it.

 


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