Low-tech returns to its roots

If Dynafit makes the catwalk strutting supermodels of the ski binding world the new Low Tech Race must be Kate Moss. It is positively skeletal in looks, consisting of nothing more than a curved spring and post for the heel. This brings the standard binding weight down from 335 grams for the TLT Speed (without mounting screws) to just 160 grams. Extreme skier and journalist Volodia Shahshahani suggests that Dynafit had been feeling the heat from “artisanal” products. It is possible to buy similar heel units built by ski mountaineering fans in their own workshops.

dynafit low tech race
Dynafit low tech race

Dynafit’s French commercial director Robert Gonzales told us that this was really a return to the original concept of the Low Tech binding. Back in the late 1980s when Tirol farmer and part time engineer Fritz Barthel developed the original Low Tech binding design the heel consisted of a U spring. Different release settings were achieved by changing the spring for one with a different tension. The first production units, which some people are still skiing, kept this idea. However regulations forced Dynafit to adopt a vertical and horizontal DIN release that could be set easily by a ski tech or user. Barthels himself didn’t take part in ski mountaineering competitions but competitors quickly saw the advantage of the Low Tech binding even if penetration into the wider consumer market has been slower.

The front end of the new binding is also different. It uses an aluminium alloy base plate that doesn’t take a ski crampon (maybe we’ll see a second life for the Petzl/Sk’alp half moon crampons?). The binding is largely built from a micro-fusion of titanium and aluminium which is very strong. There are no DIN settings but that’s not the point. The binding will release if sufficient force is applied, such as during a fall but it is aimed at athletes whose legs can also take a fair amount of punishment. Dynafit also have a version of the TLT Vertical with an integrated rental plate. This gives a full 56mm of travel required for ski hire shops, hopefully we will see more Dynafit equipped skis available for rental next season.

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 04 March, 2007 at 09:57 AM

When will this be available for purchase?

Will we be able to buy different heel springs for different skier weight ranges?

Posted by  on  Wednesday, 07 March, 2007  at 05:45 AM

The binding will be available next season. I will check up on what the spring tension is and whether it can be swapped over.

Posted by davidof on  Thursday, 08 March, 2007  at 10:27 PM

I got back to Dynafit on this. The binding will have a fixed spring which will release however Dynafit are not quoting any specific release tension as this would require it to confirm to DIN standards. A binding for the specialists.

Dynafit’s French rep thinks that the TLT Speed Light will eventually replace the TLT Speed as their main lightweight touring binding as few skiers use the highest heel setting.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 26 March, 2007  at 03:24 PM
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