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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Backcountry, Telemark, and Cross Country › G3 Onyx vs Dynafit Radical - Request for opinions from users retailers?
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G3 Onyx vs Dynafit Radical - Request for opinions from users retailers?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I’ve used Dynafit bindings for a while and had planned on putting them on a pair of Soul 7s that I just purchased.  Specifically, I was going to put on the Radical FT or ST.  I have to say that I have found the Radical ST to be good and I like it much better than older versions like the Vertical.  However, a couple of folks recommended the G3 Onyx, so I’m considering them.  These are the basic specs according to the manufactures (prices from Backcountry, but I’ll buy from my local shop). 

                             Weight                Price      “DIN”                                                                                                                      

G3                        640g                    $439      6 – 12       - weight does not include brake = 136g

FT                         599g                    $599      5 – 12       - weight includes 110 brake                           

ST                         531g                    $499      4 – 10       - weight includes 82 mm brake

For me, the draw of the Onyx is the price and the ability to go from tour mode to ski mode without removing boot from binding.  According to WildSnow, another design feature that G3 touts is elasticity in the heal, it supposedly will return to center after a shock.  There also seems to be some elasticity built into the toe piece.  Some on TGR suggest that this elasticity helps prevent pre-release when on chattery and icy surfaces.

The downside of the Onyx is the weight and some of the reviews.  While the reviews that I’ve read are mostly good, there are some that are downright bad and it is the not-so-good reviews that worry me.  For example, a reviewer from Backcountry Skiing Canada suggested that he “found it difficult to adjust the tour mode lever (the round unit off the heel) with my pole. Actually, I found it impossible. I’ll bet I could figure it out with practice.”

More worrisome is the one from a MEC user…  “The problem is that while G3 has made a beefy enough binding, their bolt pattern is far too narrow which puts tremendous torque on the toe bolts. Both of us ripped our bindings out of our skis within 1 week, destroying our new skis. To give some more context to the situation; we both bought brand new skis in different sizes and brand and had our bindings installed by different stores. Mine were even mounted on a pair of G3 skis. We are both medium-weights (I'm the fatty at 185lb) and we ski at a moderate to advanced level. Furthermore, I was sad that G3 did not recognize this problem and had no interest in helping us as loyal customers….  An additional flaw is that the screws holding the binding to the mounting plate simply screw into the plastic in a 'self-tapping' way. I am concerned that this will not hold up to regular switching between skis…..These bindings, in our experience, are not appropriate for skis over 100mm or heavy skiers or advanced skiers who want to push hard. Until G3 comes up with a bigger bolt pattern, I do not recommend these bindings. I hate writing bad reviews but I hope less people will get burned the way we did.”

So, after that longwinded post, what have been your experiences using the Onyx (in particular) versus the Radical? 

 

I didn't discuss the Radical because I know what to expect.   

 


Edited by canadianskier - 10/20/13 at 10:01pm
post #2 of 17

“For me, the draw of the Onyx is the price and the ability to go from tour mode to ski mode without removing boot from binding.”
- The Onyx typically is heavily discounted toward the end of the season, and the used/resale price is also far lower than Dynafit.  But looking at the MEC website right now, the Dynafit Vertical ST is $5 less than the Onyx.  The Radical though does cost $60 more than the Onyx.
- All Dynafit and other “Tech”-style bindings go from tour mode to ski mode without exiting the binding.

 

“According to WildSnow, another design feature that G3 touts is elasticity in the heal, it supposedly will return to center after a shock.”
- Are you referencing lateral release or forward release?
- And if by “elasticity” you mean the amount of travel before the binding releases, I have never seen any evidence that G3 is any different in this regard.
- Alternatively, if by “elasticity” you mean return-to-center force for a given release value, once again, I have never seen any evidence that G3 is any different in this regard.

 

“There also seems to be some elasticity built into the toe piece.”
- G3 originally touted its stronger toe springs relative to Dynafit (and provided convincing evidence in this regard).
- Now G3 touts how the toe springs have been softened for ease of entry (since they must be actively spread open, with no “detent” position).
- So for a comparison of the current G3 toe versus Vertical or Radical, nobody seems to have any idea.  (And the ultimate effect is further complicated by the “Power Towers” on the Radical.)

 

Regarding the MEC review:
“G3 has made a beefy enough binding, their bolt pattern is far too narrow which puts tremendous torque on the toe bolts. Both of us ripped our bindings out of our skis within 1 week, destroying our new skis.”
- The G3 mount pattern (into the ski, which is what appears to be referenced here) is identical to the Vertical.
- In turn, this is identical to the Radical heel.  The Radical toe pattern is the same width as the Vertical toe pattern.  The pattern for the two sets of Radical side-by-side toe holes is elongated, although since the fifth center hole is eliminated, the length overall is still pretty much the same as the Vertical.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Jonathan

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jonathan Shefftz View Post
 

“For me, the draw of the Onyx is the price and the ability to go from tour mode to ski mode without removing boot from binding.”
- The Onyx typically is heavily discounted toward the end of the season, and the used/resale price is also far lower than Dynafit.  But looking at the MEC website right now, the Dynafit Vertical ST is $5 less than the Onyx.  The Radical though does cost $60 more than the Onyx.  Price is not that different - however, probably would go with the Radical over the Vertical
- All Dynafit and other “Tech”-style bindings go from tour mode to ski mode without exiting the binding.

Sorry - typo - It does go from ski to tour mode without exiting - but in reality, I might only use that feature occasionally.  Would be handy at times in some terrain if the conversion works well.

 

“According to WildSnow, another design feature that G3 touts is elasticity in the heal, it supposedly will return to center after a shock.”
- Are you referencing lateral release or forward release?
- And if by “elasticity” you mean the amount of travel before the binding releases, I have never seen any evidence that G3 is any different in this regard.
- Alternatively, if by “elasticity” you mean return-to-center force for a given release value, once again, I have never seen any evidence that G3 is any different in this regard. I think this what was being referred to.  This was also mentioned by sales rep at store - might have just been hype, but the implication was less chance of pre-release when in rough conditions.  Having said that, I never had an issues with pre-release from the heel with Dynafit

 

“There also seems to be some elasticity built into the toe piece.”  Some TGR's felt that the chance of pre-release is lower on the Onyx as compared to the Radical.  this was also mentioned by sales rep.
- G3 originally touted its stronger toe springs relative to Dynafit (and provided convincing evidence in this regard).

Yeah, I saw the chart on Wildsnow (http://www.wildsnow.com/2823/wildsnow-tech-onyx-and-dynafit-jaw-pressure/).  I've only had one pre-release on the Radical ST when doing a hockey stop on a pair of wide skis on crunchy hard snow.  But when out in the BC I tend to ski a bit more conservatively and this has not happened.  Still a point of consideration
- Now G3 touts how the toe springs have been softened for ease of entry (since they must be actively spread open, with no “detent” position).
- So for a comparison of the current G3 toe versus Vertical or Radical, nobody seems to have any idea.  (And the ultimate effect is further complicated by the “Power Towers” on the Radical.)

 

Regarding the MEC review:
“G3 has made a beefy enough binding, their bolt pattern is far too narrow which puts tremendous torque on the toe bolts. Both of us ripped our bindings out of our skis within 1 week, destroying our new skis.”
- The G3 mount pattern (into the ski, which is what appears to be referenced here) is identical to the Vertical.
- In turn, this is identical to the Radical heel.  The Radical toe pattern is the same width as the Vertical toe pattern.  The pattern for the two sets of Radical side-by-side toe holes is elongated, although since the fifth center hole is eliminated, the length overall is still pretty much the same as the Vertical.  That's interesting - Thanks- I haven't done a direct comparison.  These folks bad luck must have been a fluke? 

post #4 of 17

Any enhanced retention value at the Onyx heel (whether lateral or forward) is pure hype, and is probably just unintentional/mistaken hype, since the claim has always been for the toe ... which could be real, since Tech bindings do vary in their toe springs and pincer spans.
(I’ve tested just the toes using my calibrator:  http://www.vermontskisafety.com/files/VERMONT-RELEASE-CALIBRATER.pdf
... and found that for one brand, the spring on the nearly weightless race binding are stronger than on the supposedly “burly” freeride binding!)
But such a moving target, i.e., the quantified comparison was heavier-springed Onyx vs Vertical, but now we’re onto lighter-springed Onyx vs Radical, so who knows...

 

Probably a poor mounting job with those skis, although of course hard to tell not knowing anything else.  
Either way, definitely not the fault of the hole pattern/layout.
Pet theory (totally unproven!): binding blow-outs provide plenty of advance warning.  
So periodically I ensure that all my binding screws are tight.  
I bet that binding screws have often become spinners long before catastrophic blow-outs from skis.
(I’m setting aside from this theory SG/DH races in which bindings set well into the double digits rip out during major crashes.)

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks again Jonathan.

 

If I'm reading your comments correctly, the G3 only really ads the ability to move the heel back and forth.  I think that I'll stick with Dynafit unless I find compelling reason to change.

post #6 of 17

The G3 ability to switch from ski mode to tour mode without exiting the binding (and without bashing the heel unit, as some Dynafit users promote) is an advantage if you ever have a need for it (which I don't, since only about once or twice a season do I need to go from ski to tour w/o affixing skins).

 

The retention characteristics of the G3 toe relative to Dynafit models is kind of a mystery right now, given that G3 has been backing off its toe springs while Dynafit has been making other types of changes.  And even small changes can make big differences:  I was recently testing the toe retention of two different vintages of the same rando race binding, and although the springs sure felt the same when opening and closing the bindings, the measured results on the torque tester were far different.  Hmm.... then I remembered that the earlier vintage had a user-adjustable toe pincer span.  Sure enough, the digital calipers revealed that I had set that span noticeably wider than the new factory-set span, and the wider span resulted in an easier boot exit.

 

G3's ability to buy extra mounting plates and thereby swap a single pair of bindings among multiple skis is another potential advantage, but now that inserts and various after-market plates are so popular, the same can be done with Dynafit or any other bindings.

 

Overall, G3 = more moving parts + more weight + some features that some users might prefer + more price discounts = makes sense for some skiers to buy, but also makes sense that Dynafit still has way more market share.

post #7 of 17

Have G3 Onyx and ST Vertical on different skis. Like the Dynafit toe better (as jaws stay open when stepping in) but like the Onyx heel better for step-in, release and climbing positions.  Would be happy with either. If weight major consideration then Onyx looses.  Also like the lower ramp angle of the Onyx (could always shim Dynafit toe piece) and Onyx has greater range of binding movement once skis are drilled to adjust for different boot sizes and binding position on ski (though I've generally now got my preferred binding position on most skis at +1) ......

post #8 of 17

Re fore-aft adjustment range, G3 is stated at 33mm for toe & heel combined.

This is more than the competition (excluding rental versions), but no by all that much:

30 Plum Guide & Yak

27 Trab TR2

26 Dynafit Vertical

25 Dynafit Radical (and new Speed Turn)

25 Fritschi Vipec

Note that all of these are just at the heel, so G3 allows for shifting the boot position, which helps for bsl changes at the extreme end of the range.

Plus playing around with the fore/aft position for a given bsl can be really helpful.  That and partially zeroing out the heel>toe delta can have much bigger performance impacts than ski & boot model selection.

post #9 of 17

Fritschi Vipec - The Zenith has finally surfaced.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman View Post
 

Have G3 Onyx and ST Vertical on different skis. Like the Dynafit toe better (as jaws stay open when stepping in) but like the Onyx heel better for step-in, release and climbing positions.  Would be happy with either. If weight major consideration then Onyx looses.  Also like the lower ramp angle of the Onyx (could always shim Dynafit toe piece) and Onyx has greater range of binding movement once skis are drilled to adjust for different boot sizes and binding position on ski (though I've generally now got my preferred binding position on most skis at +1) ......

 

Thanks, I didn't consider the extra fore/aft range that the G3 gives with the base plate.  Like all things in skiing, there are trade offs.  Still leaning toward the Dynafit.

 

 

post #11 of 17

I have a pair of 188 Soul 7's on the way and a new pair of G3 Onyx bindings waiting. I'm using TLT6 Mountains so I have to use a tech binding. These will be used for inbound skiing and I am not getting skins for these. I have some Volkl Nunataqs with Radical STs (for weight saving) used for soft snow in/out bounds. I also have both Voile Vectors with fishscales and without fishscales and G3 Onxyx bindings that I switch back and forth with the mounting plates. The easy touring/downhill switch works well with fishscales and the plain vector is a fun inbound ski.

 

I ski at Alyeska which tracks your vertical and I skied 773,000 vertical feet inbounds last season, mostly on the G3 Onyx, so I have a high degree of confidence in the binding (if you are using the newer version). The binding gets bad press but If you are skiing inbounds a lot I would get the G3, 

 

In addition to the other noted issues with the MEC review, the statement "An additional flaw is that the screws holding the binding to the mounting plate simply screw into the plastic in a 'self-tapping' way." is wrong, there are metal inserts underneath the plastic adaptor plates mounted to the ski (at least on mine). These guys may have been drinking before noon.

post #12 of 17

OP--if you are still looking, G3 has announced a new tech binding, the Ion.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Carey View Post
 

OP--if you are still looking, G3 has announced a new tech binding, the Ion.


Thanks.

 

Ended up with the Radical FT on a pair of Soul 7s - very happy with the binding. 

post #14 of 17

so,

 

unexpectedly, I think I learned something from this thread.

 

"The G3 ability to switch from ski mode to tour mode without exiting the binding (and without bashing the heel unit, as some Dynafit users promote) is an advantage if you ever have a need for it (which I don't, since only about once or twice a season do I need to go from ski to tour w/o affixing skins"

 

my plan is to create a light fast setup w/ the voile vector w/ scales, and tech boot, but I would like to be able to between ski/tour mode without removing, so maybe G3 is my ticket. w/ scales, i won't ahve to remove skins

 

thx,

Holiday

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
 

so,

 

unexpectedly, I think I learned something from this thread.

 

"The G3 ability to switch from ski mode to tour mode without exiting the binding (and without bashing the heel unit, as some Dynafit users promote) is an advantage if you ever have a need for it (which I don't, since only about once or twice a season do I need to go from ski to tour w/o affixing skins"

 

my plan is to create a light fast setup w/ the voile vector w/ scales, and tech boot, but I would like to be able to between ski/tour mode without removing, so maybe G3 is my ticket. w/ scales, i won't ahve to remove skins

 

thx,

Holiday

 

Setting aside my skepticism about patterned-base ski with AT bindings (perhaps unduly influenced by an attempt years ago with the Fischer Outtabounds + Dynafit MLT4 boot + Dynafit IV/Tech/Classic/Speed binding), if you want a light setup, the G3 Onyx is adding on a considerable weight penalty.
For a lighter binding, and the easy ability to go from Ski>Tour w/o removing skis (since you won’t need to affix skins), the Fritschi Vipec looks much more promising.
Of course, Fritschi has a firmly established track record of not delivering so well right away on promises (e.g., first year of first-generation Diamir, and then the disastrous Skyhoy), and I’m suspicious that they’ve achieved the goal of the Trab TR1/TR2 so quickly, and without requiring a proprietary interface.  (The Trab TR2 is currently compatible with only one single boot model!)
But if the Vipec turns out to be unreliable, at least BD as the U.S. distributor has an established track record of strong customer support.

post #16 of 17

I agree that adding weight to a patterned ski set up leaves something to be desired.  I have Speed Radical on my Karhu Guides and this combo offer some strong advantages over my 4 pair of AT skis with tech bindings (waists 76-105).  I use the Guides mainly on Nordic ski patrol where I patrol highly variably groomed, often just occasionally groomed forest roads, the vary from flat to relatively very steep, especially when icy.  Grooming is done either with snowmobiles or with snow Cats with a grooming attachment (no set tracks, often lumpy, bumpy, rutted, and slanted). Often includes some jumping off the roads for fun.  The kick and glide possible with TLT5s and the Guides is pretty good and it is pretty quick to switch from downhill to tour at the bottom of a steep hill when facing a stretch of flat to rolling to some uphill.  I have yet to have to use skins with the Guides on these roads.  I have used some AT setups and find them annoying slow on the up and frustratingly arduous when hitting the flats on the down.  Now, I do not at all like the Guides when I go alpine touring.  I have yet to find a patterned ski that I didn't need to use with skins in the backcountry and the turning of these ski in the bc is sluggish and boring compared with the AT skis.  But for exploring in more or less rolling terrain with not so deep & light snow I can see using the patterned ski; other people I know prefer the wider Rossi and Voile, but I haven't tried them; I like the climbing ability of the Guides.  I prefere XC on normal (truly groomed) XC trails.  I think the emphasis on switching ski to tour is overrated--with the Dynafit, just press the toe lever, swivel the heel piece, and step back in, takes a few seconds with something like the speed, comfort, and vertical, takes a little more effort with the radicals that you can't turn with your pole.

post #17 of 17

Dead thread fred here... just wanted to point out that the easy heel piece actuation isn't just for patterned skis. For anything with any sort of approach (which is just about everything in my area) I'm using kick wax on my regular skis; you can breeze through approaches and long runouts, and take advantage of gentle, short downhills in a way that is just impossible with skins on. Obviously I still throw on skins for the steep stuff, but if your tour involves any sort of gradual terrain, not using kick wax is nuts IMO. For me heel release w/o stepping out is an absolute requirement in a binding. Currently I'm on Fritschis (looking to get Onyx soon though), and the ability to free the heel while still on the move is beautiful, and it adds up quickly to cover more ground in flattish/rolling approach terrain. Seriously, if you're currently skinning this kind of stuff just get yourself a stick of Blue Extra wax and thank me later.

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