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Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:06 pm
by DaneFisher
I'm trying to get all geared up for the spring season in Colorado and wondering particularly about bindings: trying to decide between the G3 Ion 12 LTs, G3 Zed 12s, BD Helio 145, and Salomon MTN bindings. But more generally I thought others might also be interested in bindings gear talk as a whole. Naturally I'm trying to balance weight and performance, but not sure if the G3s will be too heavy or if the BD Helio will perform too poorly on steep couloirs (thinking Holy Cross Couloir type terrain). I know Shifts are a dream, but at almost 4lbs they are way heavier than I'd like. Any input is cherished, even talking about the rest of your setup and how all your gear works together. I am intending to mount them on some Blizzard Zero Gs either 85mm or 95mm (feel free to weigh in there) and am 165lbs, 6ft. I've done all the 14ers in summer and lugged all 15lbs of my inbounds skis up Tuning Fork Couloir on Torrey's last spring and subsequently greatly felt the need to cut weight.

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:22 pm
by cottonmountaineering
IMO don't go too light if you are skiing 14ers, light skis/bindings will be harder to control if the snow isnt absolutely perfect

for bindings i like the dynafits with the rotating toe (dynafit st, rotation, look hm rotation), i dont feel comfortable that the low tech/lightweight pin bindings will release when they need to, and stay in when they need to. other good options are the shift, vipec, kingpin

95 width skis are about right for spring, i have salomon qst 106 skis for an all arounder

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:38 pm
by Bale
IMO, those BD Helios are the best on your list, light, simple, and tough. They are rebranded Italian ATK Trofeos and if you are worried about retention, don’t be.
Obviously, if retention is more important than release, get the #10 spring and lock the toes, and if you want to ski stuff like Pyramid, get a beefier binding like Cotton said.

\/ Bean, I take “extreme” to mean simply, “if you fall, you die”. In that case I’m getting the burliest alpine bindings I can find and cranking them to like DIN 18. (For me the point is moot since I don’t ski stuff like that.)

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:44 pm
by Bean
Something else to consider is how sensitive you are to binding ramp. Some people aren't, at all. Turns out I am, quite a bit. The BD/ATK is pretty flat (0.5mm), and even with an adjustment plate is still pretty moderate and less ramp than most other bindings. The Salomon MTN is mid-range at 8ish mm but a bomber binding. G3 Zed is pretty flat at 4mm and reportedly skis well but there are enough reports of breakage that I wasn't comfortable getting a pair, the Ion is supposed to be pretty solid but has 11mm of delta, and also both G3 bindings are not compatible with standard ski crampons so you have to get G3-specific ones.

Marker Alpinist are something else to consider, I was skeptical of anything Marker but after a couple years they seem to be pretty good on the durability front. I picked up a pair this year, only have one day on them but was very happy with their ski performance.

And I have to strongly disagree on the "get a beefier binding to ski extreme terrain" stuff, IMO bindings are a fantastic place to save weight these days. Control (or lack thereof) will come from your skis and boots a lot more than the interface that connects the two. When I want to be confident I'm staying in my bindings I'll take my dynafit Speed Superlites over pretty much anything else (though I did swap the toes out to speed radicals because I want to pretend I'm rad enough to need the extra 2oz of steel on each foot). They're super sturdy and I will take them over a dynafit rotation-style heel every day of the week.

Pretty much all tech bindings have a type of fall you won't release from, and alpine bindings have a different type of fall you won't release from. If you're worried about spring peak skiing in CO you want to keep your skis on your feet, and binding release characteristics belong pretty low on the priority list anyway.

I have both ZG 85s and 95s, the 85s 171 with speed superlites and the 95s are 185 with Helio 200s, both great skis and sized differently enough that they have very different applications for me. If I had to pick just one, I'd go with the 178 ZG95. I'm pretty similar size as you, 5'11" and about 170lb.

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:57 pm
by SkaredShtles
Get the red ones.

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:42 pm
by pvnisher
After a fall and subsequent shoulder surgery and months of rehab, release characteristics and and ease of use (ie, hard to screw up, non-fiddly) are now even more important to me than weight.
In that regard, my next set will be Shifts or whatever comes along that uses an alpine-style toe for the descent.

Also, I can't stress enough how much binding inserts have changed my life. The ability to mount one pair of bindings on multiple skis, or swap bindings on one ski pretty easily, is game changing.
I'm going out this weekend for 3 days. First day will be touring so I'm mounting my Tectons. The next two days look like powder days so I'll pull them off and mount my Wardens.
Throwing an extra set of bindings into the bag doesn't take much space, and it takes about 30 minutes to swap and adjust the bindings.

Plus whenever I buy a new set of skis I don't have to buy new bindings. Boom.
#winning

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:18 pm
by Bean
pvnisher wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:42 pm
After a fall and subsequent shoulder surgery and months of rehab, release characteristics and and ease of use (ie, hard to screw up, non-fiddly) are now even more important to me than weight.
In that regard, my next set will be Shifts or whatever comes along that uses an alpine-style toe for the descent.
It’s critical to know how your bindings can fail to retain, usually ice and snow in the wrong places, and how to manage the issues.

I’ve got a set of like-new shifts I can sell if you’re in the market.

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:41 pm
by Jorts
DaneFisher wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 2:06 pm
(thinking Holy Cross Couloir type terrain)
I'm the same size as you and skied the cross two Aprils ago on ATKs mounted on Denalis (99 underfoot). As long as you're a decent skier you don't have to worry about them releasing on you. Lock the toe piece... unless you're concerned about a slide. I had fairly good conditions in there.

On long objectives like that, I trend light.

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:52 pm
by SchralpTheGnar
Do you have skis/boots/skins and just looking for bindings? If not I’d just buy some used setup (skis/skins/bindings) but get the best boots you can buy. If you don’t like, resell and try another. In my opinion confidence in your gear is the most important characteristic for skiing high consequence terrain. I also spent my first spring ski season in 1998 carrying my alpine boots in my backpack so anything after that was gonna seem lightweight anyways. Ha ha ha ahhhhh ha

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:23 am
by pvnisher
For skins (if that's included in topic), I went with cheap, super grippy ones. Almost no glide and take up a lot of space in my pack or pockets.
I would have spent a little more and gotten glidier ones that fold smaller, especially to fit into my jacket pockets.

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:20 am
by Gandalf69
As a snowboarder, i say that right bindings make a huge difference, but it doesn't matter what they are, as long as they function properly. I've been snowboarding before work each day in breck, I hike up the uphill path before the lifts open. My favourite ones are burton bindings because they are easy. I'm waiting to do Quandary, if we get enough snow.... if it weren't for man made snow, we might be closed down. This is definitely a snow drought year so far

Re: Bindings! What's the word?

Posted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:00 am
by Snow_Dog_frassati
pvnisher wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:42 pm
After a fall and subsequent shoulder surgery and months of rehab, release characteristics and and ease of use (ie, hard to screw up, non-fiddly) are now even more important to me than weight.
In that regard, my next set will be Shifts or whatever comes along that uses an alpine-style toe for the descent.
Little bit off topic but I'd probably pause on the shifts and maybe look at the marker dukes or even kingpins tbh. I got mine for the same reason and while they do ski really well (better than my alpine bindings) I'm done with them for touring. Its been a nightmare getting them to lock into uphill mode, the breaks pop down randomly, they do ice up and makes transitions hard and I know three others who have had the same or different issues. Basically I think they have definite drawbacks that are covered up by good advertising. I think they are a really interesting idea but not good if you're spending any significant amount of time touring. My instructor during my AIARE course said he's seen issues with a pair almost every class🤷🏼‍♂️