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Binding Pin Heights

Alpine skiers can be surprised to learn that tech bindings essentially suspend your boot in the air above your ski.  Your weight is not resting on the ski at all, but rather is supported by metal pins that insert into reinforced holes found on Dynafit compatible ski boots.  It can be important to consider just how far off the deck your toes and heels are floating, since this can affect how your weight is balanced over your skis.

The height of the pins that hold your boots is not typically published by binding manufacturers.  However this can be good information to know if you are trying to determine the angle of ramp between your ski and ski boot.  As such, we took to measuring them.  See below for a list of pin heights in millimeters for common tech bindings, accurate to within one millimeter:

Binding Toe Height Heel Height Delta
Atomic Backland 30.5 39 +8.5
Dynafit Low Tech Race 28.5 28.5 -
Dynafit Radical ST/FT 35.5 50.5 +15
Dynafit Radical 2.0 38 51 +13
Dynafit Rotation 10/12 38 51 +13
Dynafit Speed/Speedfit 31 38.5 +7.5
Dynafit Speed Turn 28.5 44 +15.5
Dynafit Speed Turn 2.0 29 45 +16
Dynafit Speed Radical 29 45 +16
Dynafit Speed Superlite 28.5 31 +2.5
Dynafit Superlite 2.0 28.5 36 +7.5
Dynafit TLT Expedition 28.5 31.5 +3
Dynafit Vertical ST 33.5 49.5 +16
Fritschi Tecton 41.5 51.5* +10
Fritschi Vipec 41.5 51.5 +10
G3 ION 40.5 51.5 +11
Hagan Core 32 42.5 +10.5
Hagan ZR 28 27.5 -0.5
Kreuzspitze SCTT 28.5 28 -0.5
Kreuzspitze GT 29 28.5 -0.5
La Sportiva RSR 28 28.5 +0.5
Marker Kingpin 41 50.5* +9.5
Plum 99 30.5 28 -2.5
Plum 135 / 145 27.5 29.5 +2
Plum 150 28.5 29.5 +1
Plum 165 27.5 31 +3.5
Plum 170 28.5 31 +2.5
Plum Guide 29.5 47.5 +18
Plum WEPA 31 42.5 +11.5
Plum Yak 39 47.5 +8.5
RC1 by PG 24 30 +6
Ski Trab Gara Titan 31 30 -1
Ski Trab Titan Release 31 34 +3
Ski Trab Titan Adjustable 35.5 42.5 +7
Ski Trab TR Race 29.5 30 +0.5
Ski Trab TR Adjustable 29 35 +6
Ski Trab TR-2 36 44* +8

* Estimate of where heel pins would be.

The key number in the above table is pin height delta found in the last column.  This number is an indication of how much higher your heel is than your toe.  Higher deltas can shift your weight forward on the ski, which can be an unnatural feeling for some skiers.  Somewhat counterintuitively, those skiers tend to end up in the “back seat” since their bodies naturally compensate with additional knee flex and backwards lean.  While this is an OK position in certain situations, overall it causes poor control, unnecessary knee strain, and tired quads.

We would be remiss to not mention adjustment plates in this discussion.  A tool for skiers with a quiver of boots, these plates are mounted under the toes (uncommon) and heels (common) of race bindings to provide some fore/aft adjustability.  Since they are not zero inches thick, they will directly alter the pin heights of the bindings mounted on them.  Here are the thicknesses of some popular adjustment plates, which are added to the binding pin heights:

Adjustment Plate Thickness
Dynafit 4.8mm
Hagan 5mm
Kreuzspitze 5.5mm
La Sportiva 5mm
Plum 6.5mm

 

Now before you go calculating millimeters and adding shims, take a step back to realize there is no “correct” pin height delta.  Alpine ski racers are used to aggressive postures and tend to prefer driving from the front seat.  Casual powder hounds often like their weight back a bit as they surf through fluff with their tips high.  Cross-country skiers tend to prefer an upright stance, and don’t want to be nudged in any direction.  Lou Dawson defined a baseline goal to be roughly +12mm delta based on early Dynafit binding models.

We think you shouldn't worry too much about a few millimeters.  However skier balance is additionally affected by other variables, such as the forward lean of boot cuffs, ramp built into the boot sole, and stock or aftermarket insoles.  If all of these variables point in the same direction, it is easy for your balance to get out of whack.  This can often be a relatively straightforward fix that involves mounting shims or toe plates under your bindings.  If you’re looking for advice on your particular setup, please send us a message.


10/27/2015
Comment from Lubica
 
Hi! Came across your article while searching for the bindings. I am actually in a process of buying a light alpine touring setup for my upcoming trip to Denali. Already invested in Atomic Backland touring boots. I am about an intermediate skier (mostly downhill but I also do x-country). Anyway, I am between Dynafit Radical St and G3 ION bindings. Based on your article it seems like G3 ion would be a better binding to buy as it's closest to a magic #12 as Lou points out. But what would be your recommendation?
10/27/2015
Reply from jbo
 
Ciao Lubica, be safe on Denali! Indeed the IONs have a lower ramp angle than the STs. Just posted the measurements on the Radical 2.0s for you, they are a little lower than the 1.0s. I've heard many "magic" numbers that skiers try to target, hopefully you find one right for you.
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11/27/2015
Comment from Ron Moore
 
Nice website and parts selection. I want to add a shim under the toes of my Speed Radicals. Right now it feels like the original setup with the toe mounted flat on the deck is causing backseating. Think I want to rise it approx 3-4mm. What parts do I need to order including the proper screws. Is this mod a bolt on? screw length OK et et. Thanks, RON
11/27/2015
Reply from jbo
 
Thanks for the feedback Ron. The screws pass through the binding and shims and into the ski. For your target range, the easiest is the B&D 4.7mm classic shims and 23.5mm screws found here.
Reply to this comment:

1/8/2018
Comment from Stan
 
Your site has an amazing amount of info. As far as I can tell, it has everything except riser heights (in mm not degrees as some manufactures list). Dynafit website has no info either. Would love to see the heights listed!
1/8/2018
Reply from jbo
 
Hah, thanks Stan. We have an article just about ready to go with all the riser heights. Send us an e-mail and I can get you the data now.
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