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Busted Binding (and almost busted body)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I was skiing at Huntah this morning when, during a fairly high speed medium/long radius turn my ski decided to pop off sending me tumbling through the woods (yes, helmets are good as I did bang something solid and got a bit dazed). Upon further inspection, I noticed that I could step right out of my binding. In other words, when locked in, I could lift my heel vertically out of the binding with a moderate amount of force. I attempted to tighten the DIN in the back to the highest setting but that did nothing to help. I also tried to fool with the adjuster screw below the DIN setting that moves the binding on it's track but that didn't seem to do anything either. I brought it to the Hunter repair shop but the guy couldn't tell anything off the bat and he wanted me to do a $20 binding check. Nothing against that but I'd rather go home than situp there for 3 more hours.

Is there anything I can do or is this binding toast? No physical damage outside of normal wear and tear.

Almost forgot! I'm talking about ~4 year old Atomic bindings (412 or 472, something like that) mounted to ~4 year old 9.22 Beta Rides.

post #2 of 16
I had a pair of Salomon's that did the same thing at Solitude a few years back. Contact Atomic. Sounds like they're toast to me. You may be surprised to find that Atomic may help you out even 4 years in. I've heard great things about their customer service. Salomon ignored me...
post #3 of 16
I'd give 'em the full story of what happened and see what they're willing to do. Sounds to me like they may have gotten water inside that froze. Have you tried them since they warmed up?
post #4 of 16
It's always worth contacting the manufacturer about replacement. At worst they'll say you're out of luck, but you never know.

About 15 years ago, an adjustment screw on one of my 5 year old Tyrolia bindings stripped or rusted out. On the advice of my local shop, I called Tyrolia, who asked me to send them in. About 10 days later, I received a set of their newest top of the line bindings (the ones I sent in were a model or two below that).
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by ssh
Sounds to me like they may have gotten water inside that froze. Have you tried them since they warmed up?
Shouldn't a binding be able to stand the cold? It is a snow ski binding. A binding that is good in just warm weather really won't do him much good.

Did that sound too sarcastic?
post #6 of 16
Some of the older 4.12 & 3.10's had a known defect.
Get hold of Atomic 1-800-258-5020, pick the option for warranty returns and explain.
post #7 of 16
I had 2 Atomic 412 heel binding defects. Replaced without question.
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
Did that sound too sarcastic?
Not from you, no. :
post #9 of 16
What Atomicman said.

Definitely contact Atomic (or take them back to the shop where you bought them). Many Atomic bindings from those model years turned out to have serious problems.

Atomic should replace them. Don't stop whining or complaining until they do.
post #10 of 16
I have never had a problem with a binding mfr agreeing to replace a broken or defective binding (then again the oldest binding I ever needed to replace was a 5 year old Salomon, and they replaced it without issue - note, it came off a demo ski so why they replaced it is a mystery to me). The key is to call Atomic directly and discuss the problem with a warranty tech. Do what is requested and I doubt you will have any problems.

The only ski mfr I ever had problems with was Dynastar, which I still won't buy.

post #11 of 16
As I recall there was something about the lever of the heel pieces breaking, it was in a thread here at some point. You might run a search on Atomic bindings, if only to be better informed. I'm sure Atomic would be especially interested in making right if they knew the defect caused your head to impact with something (helmet or not), that sort of thing could be somewhat embarrassing to them.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. The event is leading me to speed up my purchase of the Metron M11's (funny how I'm buying Atomic again right after a defect almost made me kiss a tree at 25 mph - sort of like repetitive Audi owners). Regardless, I'm going to call Atomic on Monday to try to get some replacements so I can have a pair of rock skis.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention, the frozen water warmup trick didn't work
post #14 of 16
Same happened to me - had a pair of BetaRide 10:20 with the Atomic 412 bindings. Fortunately I discovered the problem while standing and waiting for my +1 - otherwise the results could have been ugly. I had a long argument with the local (Australian) Atomic rep, who is perhaps not noted for his customer service ethic, and finished up paying about $70 contribution to a new pair of Atomic bindings. :

That episode, and experiences like in this thread, have convinced me to not buy Atomics again until they provide a choice of bindings. Fischers, with Tyrolia bindings, will be my next skis.
post #15 of 16
Are Atomic and Tyrolia bindings much different??
post #16 of 16
Originally Posted by Ron White
Are Atomic and Tyrolia bindings much different??
Not sure how to answer that one. Tyrolia has been making bindings under their own name "for ages". Atomic bought out ESS and rebadged their bindings. Is that a big difference? I guess it depends on whether you have view on ESS.

For mine - I have skied on Tyrolia bindings for a long time, never had any problems, and they close with a satisfying "thunk" - they feel solid. My Atomic bindings have been trouble since new - particularly the ski brakes, which would sometimes stick in the up position. That, plus my broken heel piece, the attitude of the Atomic rep, and the number of other similar stories, are the reasons why I will not have them again. That is however a personal view, based on personal experience, and I am sure there are others have had a positive experience with them...
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