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Plum Guide AT binding failure

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been skiing on a pair of Plum Guides since spring, 2011 (so mine are one of the first imported into the USA, with ~70 days use on them), and I've been a big fan, due to the very high strength to weight ratio.  However, about three weeks ago I had a heelpiece totally fail, which is disconcerting. I pulled out the skis to use and noticed that one heelpiece had an almost through-and-through crack in the metal, running more than halfway around the entire heelpiece, starting at one of the heelpins.  I've heard of heelpin failures being frequent with the Plums, but I haven't heard of total heelpiece failure before, and I wonder about others' experiences?  It's hard to imagine what could have caused solid metal to crack so dramatically; possibly very low temperatures?  Plum is replacing them, but if I'd not noticed and skied hard on them in no-falls terrain, the result could have been catastrophic. 

 

Rich

post #2 of 13

Do you by chance have a picture you can post?  I also use the Plum Guide and have about the same number of days on them as you, but got them in December 2011.  I also haven't heard of any instances of the type of failure you describe, but if I recall correctly most of the bindings that had heel pin or other issues seemed to be from one of the early manufacturing runs, which sounds like yours could have been a part of based on the date you purchased them.  I'd suggest emailing Lou Dawson over at Wildsnow.com and letting him know what happened as he is very knowledable and has done lots of testing / reviews of tech bindings and their associated issues.  Also posting about the failure over at TGR wouldn't be a bad idea either as a lot of people there use the Plums too.

post #3 of 13
You mean the black plastic Delrin housing, right, not metal.
I thought that was clear in my original review for Lou, but maybe not, especially since I still come across so many strange claims of all metal...
Anyway, one guy at tgr, pretty big guy too, had this happen to both his heel units.
As for the heel pins though, only a few such firsthand reports of that were ever posted.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

No, I mean the metal heel block. There are no plastic parts on Plum Guide bindings whatsoever; they are indeed all metal. As shown in these photos, the entire heel block cracked almost through and through, with no obvious cause.  Plum has already replaced them for me.


Edited by raspritz - 1/12/13 at 10:37pm
post #5 of 13
The black heel unit housing is Delrin plastic. I don't know who started that weird incorrect rumor about 100% metal, but it sure wasn't me in the 2010-11 season reviews that I wrote for Wild Snow, and even the Plum website has specified plastic components.
post #6 of 13
Note the reference here to polyvinyl (i.e., plastic):
http://fixation-plum.com/en/fixation-complete/1-plum-guide-3700693400015.html
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

You seem very certain that you are right, which seems surprising given that I have one in my hand right now and presumably you do not.  Just possibly I might know what I'm looking at?  Every Plum Guide binding I've seen has a solid milled metal heel block, not delrin plastic.  Maybe you should be less dismissive of the "many strange claims of all metal" and that "weird incorrect rumor of all metal". Obviously the version you were given to review in the 2010-11 season was changed in the production version. 

post #8 of 13

Jonathan is correct.  The main body of the Plum heel really is plastic and not aluminum.

 

Send an email to Ian Reid.  He is the distributor/NA Director for Plum.  He might be able to help you out.  Warranty is 2 years.

 

skian@apexmountainproducts.com

post #9 of 13

As others have said, the black is definitely plastic, not metal.

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by raspritz View Post

You seem very certain that you are right, which seems surprising given that I have one in my hand right now and presumably you do not.  Just possibly I might know what I'm looking at?  Every Plum Guide binding I've seen has a solid milled metal heel block, not delrin plastic.  Maybe you should be less dismissive of the "many strange claims of all metal" and that "weird incorrect rumor of all metal". Obviously the version you were given to review in the 2010-11 season was changed in the production version. 

I was never given a preproduction version.  Instead, I bought (with my own money, and no reimbursement) a regular production binding (which I still own, and of course still use).  

Since that first production season, the toe lever has been slightly redesigned, the crampon slot has been modified, the four heel unit "sandwich" screws have been changed, and the heel unit mounting plate has a new attachment point (for the "stomp" platform).  

However, the black heel unit housing has not been changed from plastic to metal.

Here's one review that gets it right:

http://skitheory.blogspot.com/2011/01/plum-guide-binding-overview.html

 

Quote:
The heel is pretty cool looking.  Its only plastic piece, the main body and housing for the springs, is actually made from aerospace polymer to ensure the bindings stay light.
post #11 of 13
Yep. ^ this dude knows his stuff. It is delrin, not metal.
post #12 of 13

Plum Guide failure today landing hard on a jump.  No injuries.  Hoping for a replacement, but thought the community would want to know.  About 10 days only on this pair of bindings.  Love those on my other skis though.  

post #13 of 13

I have been skiing on Dynafit for many years and decided to try the Plum Yak last year.......Broke the heel on my third turn. Very disappointed I am back to Dynafit Rad FT for daily driving and bought the Beast for the hell of it. No issues ever with the old guard.

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