|The answer to the question. Yippee, we get to hack on more gear!|
I’m buying rando gear for the first time. Considering the following gear:
Dynafit Zzero 4C-TF (low weight, 4 buckles, good stiffness)
Dynafit Vertical FT (low weight, good stiffness)
Black Diamond Verdict 07/08 length 180 or 190cm
Found the gear for a reasonable prize in Germany but they have a problem mounting the binding with stopper (brake) as the stopper only comes in 100mm and the ski is 134-102-120mm ….? Should I ask them to mount without the stopper ? Does the stopper detach from the binding? Should I rather choose a different binding (Speed or Speed Lite ? Would you recommend a different ski ? If I stay with the ski, would You recommend 180 or 190cm ? Million thanks in advance for Your help and your website which has helped tons so far in learning about/choosing gear ! Feel free to post this a a blog question if You can…
To paraphrase Warren Miller: “Every minute, of every day, there is someone somewhere wondering if they can use Dynafit bindings.” So Morten, welcome to the club.
In Morten’s case it sounds like the deal maker or breaker is the ski brakes. Answer is yes indeed they’ll work with a 102mm waisted ski. The brake is officially said to go to 100mm, but we’ve seen them work on skis a few mil wider than that with no modifications, and still wider by simply grinding the plastic off the inside of the “feet.” We sometimes have success with bending the binding arms out a bit, but doing so can mess up the angles that allow the arms to extend and retract, so we only recommend that option as a last resort. The photos tell the tale:
|Photo to left shows clearanced brake “foot,” with plastic ground off in indicated area. Photo to right is before modification, red box indicates plastic you remove for clearance. Don’t grind down to bare metal as the plastic foot will fall off and you’ll be left with a skinny metal rod that could be dangerous. When you grind the plastic, try to do so in such a way that it’s angled to allow the brake to slide off the ski as it deploys, to prevent dreaded “sticking Dynafit brake syndrome.”|
Surprising a ski shop in Europe didn’t know how to do this — I guess that’s why I’m headed over there in a few weeks, do do binding modification clinics? Also, perhaps his shop should look at our instructions for brake installation, available here.
Tips for brake install: Remember the retainer “puzzle clip,” AND DON’T CROSS THREAD THE SPRING BARREL when you’re assembling the binding. To prevent cross threading, start screwing the barrel in with a coin and gentle touch, then switch to a wide blade screw driver after you know it’s going in correctly.
Oh, and about Morten’s skis. In another part of his email he said he wasn’t that aggressive of a skier, so we recommend he stays with the 180 cm or even shorter if they’re mostly for touring. As for the binding, the Vertical is an excellent choice and what we usually recommend.
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.