Plum invested 5 more grams into the ol’ reliable race 145 binding. The primary return on that investment is a toe lever that is smoother and easier to operate. Gone are the fiddly-to-mount striker plates that previously decided whether you were in walk mode or ski mode. The lock-stops are machined into the toe and feel buttery to operate. The lever itself was widened and smoothed of rough edges that could be a pain to grab. Also improved are the optional crampon attachments, which are now machined bits of aluminum that accept Plum crampons from the top (and others with the traditional sliding motion). The heel piece remains the robust design that many folks use on all their mountain adventures. The Plum 150 continues to be a benchmark against which other race bindings are measured.
- Improved lever design is better integrated into the 7075 aluminum toe pieces.
- Heel pieces have a simple flap-riser plus flat-on-ski mode with a 90° turn.
- Binding can be locked (no lateral release) or unlocked (lateral release).
- Updated optional riser can be plugged into the heel fork if you back it out.
- Optional crampon attachments accept Plum crampons quickly.
- Steel heel springs (aka forks) are resistant to notching plus easy to replace.
- Adjustment plates are available if you need to switch boots in the future.
Update 2017/18: Plum redesigned the toe lever to avoid unlocking problems with some boots. All of our inventory has the update.
Update 2018/19: Plum reshaped the toe piece, moving material to more critical areas from less critical areas.
||1 + flat, optional high riser|
||7075 aluminum, steel|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Notes||Much improved toe lever|
|Bottom Line||Hard-wearing race binding|
|Compare to other Race Bindings|
Questions & Reviews
If it matters, the ski would likely be the Movement Race Pro 85, although I haven't decided on that either.
The two very minor gripes I have are:
1) it's tough to lift the heel lever with your ski pole like you can do with eg Gara Titan heels. I know you have to bend over to flip your ski mode lever anyway, but sometimes I don't want to go quite that far ;)
2) they are kinda difficult to rotate into flat mode. It helps if you rotate them a few dozen times indoors in warm temperatures. Maybe both things will loosen over time, not much so far though.
Aside from that, there's not much to dislike. The toes are solid, easy to click into, confidence inspiring when skiing unlocked. No heel slop that I've noticed. Simple, functional, lightweight. Aside from true race setups where ever gram counts, I'm not sure I see any reason for buying a more expensive binding (Hagan Ultra, Helio 110, etc) with the same feature set, and this is to me the ideal feature set.
Skip these bindings.
I have two complaints, one is that you need to buy additional crampon clips, and they're oddly expensive, and second the heel piece is quite difficult to rotate into flat ski mode. Other than those these are great.
The Plum Race binding is no frills, no fuss binding and does a super job keeping the boot attached to the ski for both the uphill and downhill. I have taken these touring with sizeable packs and have had up to 190 lbs on top of them, they have done their job without notice in a wide range of terrain and conditions. Prior to trying this binding I was concerned about the single-position heel lift as my previous bindings had multiple positions and after using them I have not noticed any significant negatives of the single-position heel lift. The single-position is so simple and easy to use, it frees up time, I now find myself waiting for others to turn or flip lifters up/down, more than I would expect, it is nice to not have to do that. And without sacrificing comfort.
Besides just plain working (as would be expected) one of the major positives is that the bindings are so darn light, really light, I laugh at how light they are, every time pick-up the skis it is almost ridiculous but the pattern is: pick up skis, laugh diabolically, smile big-bigger, go skiing! Ya they are that nice, between working and being so light, very nice. When considering lighter weight equipment there is always the concern of durability, thus far I have had no durability issues, though they are still pretty new.
The one thing I do not about these bindings is the crampon attachment and crampon performance. Initially I was pretty impressed, looking at the design of the attachment and crampon, it’s pretty unique and works super well indoors but that is where it ended. Once in the wild the crampon attachment proved to be less than ideal. Issues observed are: 1. Snow/Ice gets in the crampon attachment which makes getting the crampon into the attachment difficult/fiddly and it is difficult to clear snow/out. 2. It is nearly impossible to attach the crampons without removing the skis. Between attaching straight down insert method and snow/ice (issue 1). 3. I feel like I am only one easy error away from breaking the attachment. With the snow/ice preventing proper insertion and the difficulty just lining things up, if you miss align the crampon and force it I’m pretty sure the beautiful/delicate attachment will break. Which for me is likely to happened in a cold, slippery and scary place. 4. Final crampon complaint: Performance, once attached the crampons do not move well uphill, this is in comparison to other crampons I have used, these feel like dragging anchors where others seem to lift up and let you slide/glide the ski a little once unweighted, verses a full step. Perhaps this is snow and ice left from the attachment issues that prevents movement or it is the crampon tooth shape, I am not sure. I’ll have to compare to my other crampons and look more closely next time I use them.
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