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Falling out of Dynafit bindings with Dalbello Virus Tour boots

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi All, 


I'm new to touring and am having a strange problem with my gear.  I'm on Dynastar Altitrail Vertical Light skis with Dynafit bindings.  I've got Dalbello Virus Tour boots.  I weigh 85kg and the DIN setting on the heel is 8.


Here's what happens: I'll be diagonally traversing a 20-25 degree incline with the heel setting in the middle position and the front binding locked (the clip is all the way up) and then as i'm taking a step forward i just fall out of the bindings on one ski.  What seems to be happening is that I'm twisting the heel with my pressure on the most-weighted ski and it is slipping into the next lowest position.  This causes my boot heel to fall at an angle which in turn twists me out of the front binding points and then i'm left lying in the snow.  This also happens when i've got the Dynafit heel on the highest setting.


I've spoken to a mountain guide about this and he says it should not happen.  Others tell me that I should not be climbing diagonally with the heel raised - it should be on the flat setting.  Still others tell me i should always be using my couteaux since this will give me greater stability.  From all the video i've watched i've seen plenty of people doing what i'm doing with no couteax and with the heel on the middle or top position.


I've read another post on here about someone saying that the contact between the boot and the Dynafit heel is not good.  I've looked at this and my boot has a raised bit of Vibram rubber where the contact with the heel binding is.  The boot is basically sitting on top of the raised screw in the top plate of the heel binding.  That is, it's not making a flat contact with the heel binding, it's connected with the screw only, and i wonder if all my weight on this one small point on the heel binding is creating too much pressure and causing it to twist.



So, since I don't know much about this, should I be climbing diagonally with the heel raised?  Should I be wearing couteax?  Or is there a problem with my bindings/boot combination?  Or is it just bad technique on my part?

post #2 of 10

Interesting.  By couteax you mean ski crampons right? Funny how there are about three or four different names for those suckers...


What you are describing doesn't sound right to me. I traverse inclines with my heel raised in the middle position without that happening. I wouldn't think the couteax would contribute at all except, if anything, make things better as you probably have more stability.


But, what you are describing with the twisting is plausible. Is this a new setup or a new problem? Some things to think about:


1. Is the heel the appropriate distance from the back of the boot? You know, that whole little spacer check. There should be about a quarter of a inch or so (imperial I know...) gap between the end of the boot and the heel assembly when in downhill model. I would have it checked out by a shop that knows what they're doing with Dynafits


2. Could there be a problem with the toe assembly? This would be a problem if toe assembly was defective, springs worn out or something there. Essentially, the all up lock in isn't "locked in".


3. To that end, you said you have the toe lock in lever fully raised. I am not sure about your model but mine goes through several clicks as I raise the toe lock lever. Give it a really good yank up to make sure it is fully raised. That could do it.


4. Are your toe holes clear of ice when you click in? This probably isn't it but it is worth mentioning...


5. Is the binding misaligned? This could cause it too. When the shop mounted the binding, is it perfectly aligned or could one assembly be mounted at an angle rather than running true to the ski?  Probably the best way to check this would to take a boot, clip in the front, spin the heel to downhill model and slowly lower the heel onto the rear prongs. A misalignment will manifest itself with the prongs moving to one side or the other of the grooves in the boots when resting on top of the rear prongs.


6. Boots. Just throwing this out there but if the boots somehow had a defective toe that could cause it. Like the toe being too wide or too narrow and thus the toe prongs not being properly seated with the correct amount of tension.  Probably the best way to check this would be to take the boot to a shop and compare against boots from other brands (Dynafit).


7. Downhill Mode: You have any problems with releasing in downhill mode?


8. Weight: Are you really heavy? Sorry to ask but I guess that is a factor in the force being exerted.


9. Write to Lou Dawson @ www.wildsnow.com. Lou is a Dynafit guru and might have some other ideas.


Hope this helps!




post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Que!


Really useful reply thanks!  This is a brand new setup and i've only been about about 10 times so far doing "baby" tours close to the resort to learn.  I took the skis into the hire shop and they used the spacer to bring the rear binding in a little (only about 1mm) but thinking of the boot as a lever to move the back binding this could make a difference.


Then, on the carpet at home i decide to give your 3rd suggestion a go.  Everyone i've spoken to has asked: "is it clicked up", to which i replied dutifully: yes.  However, i didn't realise it had more than one setting.  Previously, when it clicked once, i thought that was it.  Now, with pulling really hard i can get 5 clicks out of it.  The front binding has a little red walking man on the front of them which was always angled away from me which i thought was weird but not important.  Now, i realise that when it's fully locked up the front plate of the tab that you pull up is almost vertical and the red man is facing me.


I took a good look at the front binding and saw there are about ten grooves on a "cog" and i could probably get another two clicks out of it if i had the strength.  When the boot is out, i can get that tab fully vertical.  When the boot is in now and i've clicked it up 5 times, i tried jumping up and down (on my carpet!) with the ski angled (not good for my knees) and i can see the back binding twisting but the front binding is now so tight it won't let the boot go all the way.


So, i need to try this in the field but i'm sure your suggestion is right.  Previously, with one click i could twist the boot out with my hands, now i can't get it out with all my weight above it.  Thanks so much!!  Going to give it a try tomorrow morning.  We've had about 50cm of fresh this afternoon so tomorrow is going to be great!


PS.  Couteaux is what my French ski shop owner friend calls them...  I could be wrong - my French isn't that good but it does look a bit like two knives dropping over the side of the ski!

post #4 of 10


This site and displayed links may be helpful.



post #5 of 10

That's great news. I'd bet that was it. For reference, here is what mine look like in lock mode. My model is older but basically you just give the lever a good yank until it stops going up.


Love the 50cm of fresh. Post some pics! Where abouts are you?
post #6 of 10

Ian - another thing to check w/r/t that toepiece...


Ice tends to build up underneath and a lot of times you may think you're locked in but in reality you're only in as far as the ice will let you go.  Be sure and clean out the ice underneath the toe piece before you try and click in - you'll see a marked difference.  I keep a Voile strap around my leg for just that purpose... keeps it easily within reach, don't need to go rooting around during a transition to find it.


Also, listen - when you're well clicked in you'll hear it click.  No click, no good contact, even if it looks like you're in (and even if you can pull the lock up).


Good luck - those bindings are fussier than some but IMHO well worth it, that's why I have them on two of my three BC setups.

post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by Ian Davies View Post

PS.  Couteaux is what my French ski shop owner friend calls them...  I could be wrong - my French isn't that good but it does look a bit like two knives dropping over the side of the ski!


Yes, the French call them couteaux/knives, the German call them harscheisen, and English speakers call them ski crampons so as to distinguish from boot crampons.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses!  I owe Que a beer when s/he is next in France!  Went out on Sunday up an easy valley but found some stupidly steep things to climb up just to prove the point.  I would have been falling out all over the place, but now, with the binding actually clicked into place (and yes i feel very stupid now!) i have so much confidence in these bindings.  Thanks! :D

post #9 of 10



A minor point, moot since Que solved your immediate problem, but Dynafit heels have two different DIN adjustments, one for the X axis and another for the Y axis.  Most folks set them the same.  On a related topic, I've been told from a very well-placed source that next year's Dynafits will have very major improvements, though he wouldn't tell me what. Has anybody heard?



post #10 of 10

Ice/snow under the toepiece springs is pretty common, that happened to a friend in Zermatt

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