Sans adjustment plate sub 200g- check. This small unit has an adjustable vertical and lateral release, clean lines and a solid build. Another sweet binding option from Italy? Check. The high-functioning and minimalist Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 looks to be a savvy binding.
Go lighter, go further, without compromise. Depending on how pure you want to adhere to this backcountry skier’s axiom, the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 tech binding could be your link between skis and boots for years to come. We’ll jump right into who this binding might be for, as it has a feature set (specifically its adjustable vertical and lateral release) we are used to seeing in heavier bindings.
We’ll likely transfer this binding to a more spring-oriented ski when the sun rises high in the sky this March. For now, the GT 2.0 is mounted on a pair of DPS Pagoda Tour RP 112 (184cm) to derive a ski/binding combo that is 1840g. The bindings, with an 18mm adjustment plate and screws, is 218g; without the plate + screws, it’s 190g. Not too bad for a 112mm underfoot ski. This made-for-soft-snow-ski should be complemented nicely by this Italian binding jewel.
The Toe Unit
The toe unit is simple enough. A double spring on both sides of the pins offers a smooth and secure “snap” upon stepping and tensioning the springs. The toe lever, too, is basic; pull up on the lever to lock out for skinning or steeper higher consequence terrain — you’ve got two lock-out positions. If you have worn the tech inserts because you are skiing too much (a nice problem to have) the second lock-out position might buy you some more time in those keepsake boots.
The Heel Unit: Adjustable Vertical and Lateral Release Values
The heel unit on this get-up is where the simplicity and complexity fuse. An adjustment moves the steel U-spring fore and aft— and again, it’s worth repeating; there are two different adjustments for lateral and vertical, respectively. This race-weight binding (maybe not for the pure Lycra crowd) moves towards the fuller featured class of bindings.
I envision these release value adjustments adding a bit more range to a binding with a racing pedigree. Many race-style / ski mountaineering bindings have fixed release values. The PLUM R-170, a lovely and red and capable binding, comes to mind: both lateral and vertical are fixed at eight.
Release values range from 5-10 for both lateral and vertical adjustments. I’m not hucking, so that range for the 160-pound body I’m riding out the rest of my life in, works well.
With the Kreuzspitze GT 2.0, you may want to dial up the release values as firmer and steeper terrain is sought come spring. Additionally, adjustability ensures the bindings can be appropriately used by a broader spectrum of skiers or even a growing skier.
Two riser options are available, with a clean flat mode easily accessible by rotating the heel 90 degrees in either direction from pins forward. The flat mode is nearly flat; the adjustment plate puts an extra 3mm under the heel (in flat mode), which is unnoticeable. The heel strikes the adjustment plate, not the ski’s topsheet.
An ample but relatively low riser flips over the pins for those seeking greater efficiency. The low riser affords ~37mm of height (If you are new to the riser-over-the-pins world, look for a how-to soon.)
To access the high riser, spin the heel 180 degrees from pins forward and ascend the steeper skintrack. That riser adds ~52mm of height.
It is possible to mount these bindings without the adjustment plate.
We’ll dabble a bit with riser options in the long-term review. With a binding like this, you are likely on light boots with a nifty high range of motion. Riser options might be no biggy. For those like me, who desire a light binding (more race than full-featured) for a powder ski, risers options are good, as I’m using a beefier boot with ample, but not best in the world range of motion. Blasphemy? Maybe. But I do employ risers.
Overall, the GT 2.0 looks like a durable and able-to-handle-rowdiness race-type binding. More to come later this season.
Kreuzspitze GT 2.0 Basic Stats
Weight Heel+Toe Unit: 190g
Weight Heel +Toe Unit+Plate/Screws: 218g
Weight Toe Unit: 92g
Weight Heel Unit: 98g
Weight Plate+Screws: 28g
Lateral Release Value: 5-10
Vertical Release Value: 5-10
Riser Positions: flat, ~37mm, ~52mm
Delta: ~0 degrees with no plate.
Ski Crampon Slot: optional/included
Made In: Italy
Price: MSRP $459.95
Jason Albert comes to WildSnow from Bend, Oregon. After growing up on the East Coast, he migrated from Montana to Colorado and settled in Oregon. Simple pleasures are quiet and long days touring. His gray hair might stem from his first Grand Traverse in 2000 when rented leather boots and 210cm skis were not the speed weapons he had hoped for. Jason survived the transition from free-heel kool-aid drinker to faster and lighter (think AT), and safer, are better.
Binding after binding … the same bad design choice: Need to rotate between flat and first riser. Very few options in the “speed tour” type binding that have proper heel lifts. I want to turn the heel once and then be able to flip between modes easily as I skin. I’m not racing: Going from skin to ski happens once a lap, but I want to easily change heel riser heights a bunch of times. I don’t buy the argument that we don’t need heel lifts, or that we don’t need a flat position. If you tour in varied terrain, you will want flat, rise 1 and rise 2. ( or you are special and flexible … but normal people want risers) The most common positions are flat and rise-1. Atomic backland/Salomon do it right. Plum Pika does it right. ATK C-Raider 12 looks promising. Nothing else in this weight class. ( just full-beef binders like G3, ATK14 etc )
I want a 200g binding and eat my cake too!
I agree. I do love just lifting the flap to uncover the pins rather than rotating but like you said that is a rare circumstance outside of resort skinning. Additionally this binding is not easy to turn, just like most other race bindings. The idea that I am going to stop and awkwardly kneel down to turn that thing for the high seems unrealistic. Dynafit just needs to put the Speed turn on a diet already and give us the easy to turn 200g binding with all the release adjustment.
I have heard that the supposed “release adjustment” on this binding doesn’t actually do much to change the release characteristics, and it is kind of a gimmick add-on to a normal U-spring race-style binding. I would be curious to see a release test on this binding in its different settings to see if it makes an actual difference.
Assuming one does not have ankle mobility problems, those who like risers have boots with not enough or easy enough cuff motion. Otherwise, changing riser heights is just fiddly and a bad habit. When hiking up a steep hill, do you put on high heels? More likely, you bend your ankles to accommodate steepness.
The ATK Trofeos I’ve been using for several years have thin flaps to cover the heel pins. Good enough. No fiddling. Boots are Atomic Backland, lots of cuff range of motion.
Jim, I think what Eric and SLC punk were talking about, is being able to switch from flat to low riser WITHOUT rotating the binding, just flipping a riser up or down. I agree, I iss that on my ATK’s.
Bindings like the KS reviewed here, and your Trofeos don’t offer that.
Yeah…I’m not buying this – you can’t tell me that heel risers are a bad habit. They just work! Yes – boots with high ROM help. Yes – setting a skin track that is reasonable is good. That still leaves lots of room for heel risers. Its awesome that you don’t need them, but I don’t buy that as the only way and that wanting them is somehow a whiney/whimpy/extraneous/luxurious/ concept. Tim’s comment further down is a pretty reasonable middle ground. And I’m not advocating that every binding have 10 heel lift positions – but the overwhelming number of bindings that don’t have a way to change from flat to climb-1 without a heel turn is what is bothering some of us 😉
Hmm Jim, I can’t say I agree. The hiking boot analogy is not valid. The reason hiking boots don’t have high heels is that you also need to hike on flat and descending trails. Snowshoes, which are used with hiking boots, often DO have risers, and some trail/firefighting boots do have high heels.
I have both a very high degree of dorsal flexion in my ankle, and boots with large and easy forward range of motion. Still, it feels nice to me to have a (modest) riser sometimes.
Jason, cool bindings, and good and thorough first look.
In your on snow review, I would be great if you could compare them to ATK Haute Routes, as they appear (to me) to be identical in specs and (nearly) identical in weight.
I have been using the 1.0 version of the Kreuzspitze GT heel units for 4 seasons now on a few pairs of skis from 84mm to 112mm widths and they have been excellent and reliable. The 2.0 version so far seems to be a little better in the details in its first year, but overall very similar to use. My 2c is to be quite sure you have set the heel gap correctly with the Kreuzspitze spacer or your boot’s heel tech fitting will eat metal away from the heel unit as you tour. There is very little tolerance for ski flex as you are skinning. The pins don’t look as deeply inserted into your boot’s heel tech fitting, when set correctly, as some other brands.
The tired riser debate is alive and well. As with many things, I feel like the middle ground is probably the key here. As Jim points out, yes, you can go down a fiddly rabbit hole of constant riser faffing that bears diminishing returns in any efficiency.
However, for most people it seems like parsimonious and specific, intentional, appropriate riser usage yields comfort and at least perceived increases in efficiency.
Guess it’s just a personal preference.
I agree with SLCPunk. Jim’s comment is a bit of a blanket statement and doesn’t apply to everyone. I have ATK C-Raiders with the brakes off. Best heel risers in the business. Every year for about 5 years (since I got my first pair of ATK Raiders) I’ve been emailing ATK encouraging them to make a super light binding with the Raider style heel riser. 200g or less with 3 (well, with the Raiders technically 5) heel riser heights. But the C-Raiders without brakes are about 280 g (similar to the Pika) so hard to complain too much.