By leaving my carbon-crime stack of paper catalogs behind in Germany, I saved weight and was able to haul a pair of brand new 30-year commemorative model Radical 2.0 ski bindings fresh from the assembly plant. These gems appear completely industrialized, ready for retail. I heard they’re doing limited distribution of my gold version as well as the regular Rad 2.0 version, starting now but only in Europe in the 90 mm brake version. Full worldwide retail will begin next fall, while a variety of media and athletes will receive samples this winter and spring. Thus, befriend a blogger for an in-person fondle of the Rad 2.0 binding.
While being a bit heavy of a “freeride touring” binding for my style, I was honored to acquire these and will indeed be “testing” them straight away. (Per a recent policy change at WildSnow.com, I don’t really “test” ski bindings as doing so can mean injury or death, but we’ll most certainly evaluate them on-snow — as carefully as if we were testing new dynamite formulations.) Eventually this pair will make a fine addition to the Wildsnow binding collection — the project we hope will someday be the backcountry skier’s equivalent to Egyptology. But we’ll be skiing them first as they look like a truly perfect binding for our larger setups.
Straight away, note these are almost nothing like the Radical FT/ST bindings that have dominated the Dynafit binding line for some years now. Indeed, I would have preferred they’d named them differently (they’re actually at least Radical 3.0), but you get what you get. Among a long list of differences, the rotating heel unit, completely redesigned rotation and brake lock and the beefed heel housing scream for a new model name. Oh well, you still get the power towers, and the flip-up heel lifters are similar though they feel slightly beefed.
– Radical 2.0 has a completely revamped brake lockdown and anti-rotation system. When you rotate the heel unit to position for touring, a plastic and metal flange engages the brake and holds it down, while at the same time resisting clockwise rotation. Unlike confusion with which way to rotate the earlier Radical bindings, with the 2.0 the only way you can rotate the heel and get anything to happen is by going clockwise. Rotating counter-clockwise doesn’t hurt it, but you can’t get anywhere useful by winding the clock backwards.
– Unfortunately, and this is there the naming convention falls flat, Radical 2.0 picks up about 76 grams per binding (2.7 ounces) over the Radical ST, (exact amount depends on which inline “model” of the Radical you compare.) What you get for the weight appears to be a stronger ski touring binding, with a very nice (though untested) brake lock and anti-rotation. See our weights chart for various comparisons.
– In terms of functional design, the other big change is the base of the heel spindle is now enclosed in plastic, located on top of the rear adjustment track. With all former Radical (and classic type Dynafit) bindings the spindle base rested on the ski and caused problems such as play and wallowing out of the ski top skin. This is a welcome change though it adds weight to the system.
– Heel unit rotation to change modes is obvious. Clockwise to touring mode, either squeeze brake closed with hand or step on it after you rotate (this also invokes anti-rotation). Return to downhill mode by rotating back counter-clockwise (watch your finger, brake snaps up). Very obvious.
– Other obvious change is the heel housing has evident reinforcement you can see in the photos; we assume quite a bit stronger overall.
Specifications (weights per single binding):
Weight total with screws and 100mm brake, 642 grams, 22.6 ounces.
Weight heel with screws and brake, 410 grams, 410 ounces.
Weight toe with screws and brake, 232 grams, 8.2 ounces.
Toe mount screw pattern: 43 mm wide x 58 mm length.
Heel mount screw pattern: 36 mm wide x 88 mm length.
Mounting template available from WildSnow.com, click here to download.;
Boot length adjustment range: 22.5 mm
Forward pressure travel: 10 mm (Compensation for ski flex.)
Delta-ramp: Heel pins 15 mm above toe pins, 2.8 mm more ramp than classic TLT, virtually same ramp as former model Radical, 3 or 4 millimeter toe shim recommended if you want less ramp. Please see binding delta angle chart here.
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.