First, terminology. Both our vivisection victims are the ST version. Good for comparison, though FT version weights do vary. Further, we’ve lost count of the “in line” variations of the Radical 1 so we tend to call it Radical 1.x not as a joke, simply to make it clear you should pay attention to what version you’re sporting. In truth, I tend to regret not keeping a spreadsheet recording every “in line” change to Radical 1.x, as it would have been fun to number each version and made me look smart. On the other hand, doing so might have been like people who catalog every different shift knob variation used in the 1953 through 1986 Chevrolet Corvette. Smart, or just weird?
Examples of Radical 1 inline changes: Absolute first retail version of Radical 1 had an AFD that failed, which was fixed — yet there are still bindings with the AFD weakness out in the wild, we know so from personal experience and reports. Next came a problem with a clever but dysfunctional “anti rotation” system consisting of a brass pin inside the rear binding housing. This was not user friendly and weakened the housing to the point of easily failing. The legendary pin of brass was fixed with an external anti rotation system. Then a spring was added to help the rear housing move fore/aft as the ski flexed. Next, fragility of the heel unit instigated what we count as at least three different heel unit upgrades. I’ve probably forgotten something, but you get the point.
So, Radical 1.x binding we compare here with 2.0 has all the upgrades, thus weight and such are accurate if not slightly over stated. As always, we have no alternative but to recommend anyone using Radical 1.x sports a binding with all the upgrades. How could we say otherwise in good conscience? In that case, we feel the Radical 1 is equivalent or exceeds functionality and reliability of the Vertical series bindings it replaced (Vertical is our all-time favorite Dynafit full function binding, meaning the option of ski brakes and such).
Onward, first, weights (1.x weights are with all known upgrades, both with <>100 mm brakes, no screws):
Radical 2.0 toe, 224 grams
Radical 2.0 heel, 402 grams
Radical 2.0 total, 626 grams
Radical 1.x toe, 182 grams (with crampon mount at 10 grams)
Radical 1.x heel, 378 grams
Radical 1.x total, 560 grams (66 grams – 2.33 ounces, less than Radical 2.0)
Following photos detail a sometimes perplexing features we’ve seen added to Dynafit’s (and a few other brand’s) bindings over the last few years. Yes, Virginia, a binding needs to compensate for ski flex. Most tech bindings do so by simply allowing heel pins to slide in-out of boot heel fitting. Worked for 25 years, change needed? Read on.
Takeaway points about tech binding ski flex compensation springs. 1.)Adjust heel gap correctly. 2.)These are not “forward pressure” springs, they remain passive until activated by the ski flex, and somewhat during lateral release rotation of the heel unit.
There you go folks. I’ll continue dissecting the bindings and adding commentary if more questions come up. Comments on!
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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.