The Radical 2.0 is Dynafit’s latest update to to their bread and butter all around touring series. They are the perfect balance of low weight, durability, and safety. The Radical ST 2.0 actually is a touch heavier than the old version, but hopefully the new features will justify the minor weight gain.
Now, we haven’t yet skied these bindings so we can’t comment on their ease of use or their on snow performance. However, Dynafit has been doing this for 30 years and I trust that they know what they’re doing.
So what can we tell you about the Radical 2.o that hasn’t already been said on Wild Snow? Probably not much, but there are a few things we’d like to draw your attention to.
Model: Radical ST 2.0
Weight Per Binding: 599g / 1.32lbs
Release Range: 4-10 (lateral and vertical)
Rotating Toe Piece: Yes
Elastic Travel In Heel: 10mm
Brakes: Not Swappable or Replaceable – 90mm, 105mm, 120mm, 135mm
Riser Settings: (3) heights
DIN Certification: Yes
Here’s a look of the toe unit. Dynafit has definitely spent some time with the industrial design team to improve the aesthetics. We’re definitely liking the gold and black theme, but haven’t decided on the neon green accents. In the end aesthetics don’t matter much if the performance is there, but that doesn’t mean people don’t like good looking gear.
In this view you can see the Radical’s side towers. These make the bindings a bit easier to step into. The towers act to catch and stop the boot from moving too far forward and aid in aligning the pins. They also provide some protection against pre-release when encountering unusual side impacts to the toe.
Here’s a view of the underside of the toe unit. You can see the rotating portion on which the toe jaws are mounted. The ability to rotate 5mm adds some lateral elasticity to the binding which should improve performance on rough terrain and improve the consistency of release. The elasticity acts like a shock absorber to take the edge off chattery terrain and absorb unusual impact forces. The result should be a slightly smoother ride and lower possibility of prerelease.
That said… we do have our concerns. The tolerances between the rotating platform and the rest of the unit are pretty tight. It seems like a little bit of ice could bind things up. However, I suppose even if things do freeze up the new version should be no less safe than the old version.
The heel unit also looks the part. With 10mm of elastic fore/aft travel in the heel you no longer have to leave a gap between the heel unit and the boot. This makes setup easier, reduces the chances of prerelease, and helps with the consistency of release by keeping the heel from locking up under pressure created when the ski flexes.
There are 3 climbing levels and the flip-flop levers make it super easy to make adjustments on the fly. Also, the new brakes are pretty slick, but probably an unnecessary “improvement”. Here you can see the binding with the brakes locked up and the heel unit in touring mode.
Here you can see a closeup of the brake locking mechanism. It looks relatively durable and worked well in my brief testing unmounted. However, I really do think this “improvement” was unnecessary and feels like an attempt to solve a non-existent issue.
This new mechanism allows you to rotate the heel into touring mode while leaving the brakes deployed. Then once you’re ready to climb you step in and step down on the the brakes locking them into the stowed position. Supposedly this keeps your skis from scooting away during the transition.
The problem is that skis sliding away during the transition from downhill to uphill mode was never a real problem. With the old brake system you had to compress the brake by hand then rotate the heel unit to lock it in place. You’d then put on your skins before finally placing your ski on the snow. With the skin on the base your ski isn’t going anywhere… so there’s no need for your brakes to be deployed.
The second, and much more annoying issue is that the new brake system means that the brakes themselves are not replaceable or swappable. Want to use these bindings on a different size ski? What if you bend or break one of the brakes, or the locking mechanism wears out? You can’t just get a new brake. Now you have to get a whole new heel unit. Personally I think this was an extremely poor choice on Dynafit’s part and I really don’t understand why they’d go this route.
Anyway, despite the brake issue, we’re really excited about these bindings and looking forward to trying them out this winter.