This season’s Dynafit Speed Radical ski touring binding is mostly unchanged from previous (2013-2014). The external rotation stop is better integrated and the box includes a brand booklet detailing tech binding history. For true human powered backcountry skiing we still feel this is the sweet spot in Dynafit’s binding lineup. Simple. No monkey business. Only change we’d suggest would be a 3.2 mm shim under the toe (with longer screws and heel riser ‘nubbin’ extender), easy to acquire from B&D ski gear.
Use of Speed Radical with the external rotation stop is confusing for newcomers. Graphics and hang tag indicate only rotate clockwise, which is wrong in my opinion, though if forced you can get it to work. The instruction to only rotate clockwise is probably an artifact from a few years ago when Dynafit tried to include an internal anti-rotation pin, which if rotated the “wrong” direction damaged the binding.
Smooth and logical rotation of heel is this: Starting in alpine mode (pins forward), rotate counter-clockwise until the heel lifters are forward and base engages anti-rotation tab. If in touring mode then yes, rotate clockwise to achieve pins forward alpine mode. In other words, ignore the “Clockwise Only” hangtag. Once you own and use a Speed Radical, the heel rotation procedure is obvious though training yourself might take two tries. (Note you can indeed rotate clockwise from pins forward downhill mode. Doing so requires popping the binding housing over the rotation stop and in our opinion places undue stress on the system.)
Overall, Speed Radical continues the tradition of simplicity in tech bindings founded three decades ago in the basement of an Austrian farm house; a bauernhaus where harvesting blueberries could easily take priority over the drill press and milling machine. No fooling around with forward pressure springs, no brakes, no hype about TUV and DIN. Mount and go ski tour. No monkey business.
As happens with mature products, at least two companies offer aftermarket mod parts for Speed Radical. Check out Maurelli rotation stop (you can mount it with fixed non-adjustable heel for a delta drop and weight savings) and break-away leash connectors. And let me repeat, B&D has the nice toe shims you want for modern style skiing, along with “Nubbin” heel riser lift kits.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.