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Beware old bindings! (with exceptions)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

According to Murphy, this will happen at the worst possible time:







Old plastic bindings are just waiting to fail. 


On the other hand, some vintage all metal bindings properly maintained and tested equal or surpass some of what's on the shelves today.  IMO, I am safer on Look N77's than any first year Marker Royal's.  Ditto Salomon 444's compared to pre-Neox Atomic's.  And I will not hesitate to click in to Salomon 747 equipe's.


Some unindemnified bindings can be still be skied safely with knowledge and common sense, with respect to purpose.  Many can't.  And no binding will prevent injury in 100% of fall situations.  Skiing is a risk sport, part of that risk is the judgment of the user with respect to equipment.


If a person regards the binding as merely where the boot goes, it's best to stay with "indemnified" product.   But with product knowledge, some technical capacity and good judgment, many unindemnifed bindings can be used for years to come.





post #2 of 4

Salomon 444?   Really????  I worked in a shop when the 444 was the number one selling binding in the USA.  I couldn't believe how many were showing wear after a year.  The toe had two huge problems.  One, it was asymmetric.  When we bench tested them we always got a significantly different reading going to the left compared to the right.  The second problem was it had small part that tended to wear even though they were metal.  The small rollers would develop a flat spot flat where they made contact.  After a while the flat area became big enough to deter releasing in slow twisting turns.  I refused to sell the 444 to anyone.

post #3 of 4

Is the Salomon 555 one of the exceptions?

post #4 of 4

The 555 was much better built that the 444.  For one, the spring was mounted parallel to the toe holder and the rest of the toe was symmetric.  (The spring in the 444 was at a 30 to 40 degree angle making the interior of the binding asymmetric.)  The rollers on the toe holder were bigger and less prone to wearing down a flat spot, also.  My biggest complaint with the 555 was they lacked the range of retention the Look & Tyrolia bindings had at that time.  (The Marker bindings back then  were the first with the twincam toe which had severe problems with the spring stretching out and the toe piece getting sloppy.)

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