9/15/2014
 
A caveated Five Stars for the Fischer rebranding of the latest tweak of the ATK SL-R World Cup, a race binding that is outrageously light and innovative, even among lots of competition from other light and innovative race bindings. The major caveat for lightweight skiers: the effective lateral release value is at least somewhere in the low double digits (in contrast to a typical high single digits for the competition), and probably ditto for the forward release. The flip side of this caveat is a major b...
9/4/2014
 
Five Stars to B&D for filling a highly valuable niche in Tech binding after-market parts, and to Skimo Co for enhancing the availability. More specifically though, many Dynafit and Tech-bindings are faulted for their relatively high heel > toe delta. The heel pins have to rest above a large spring to control lateral release, along with an adjustment track, yet the toe has no other reason to be anything but directly on top of the ski’s topskin. (For the detailed measurements, see Skimo Co’s “Binding Pin...
9/4/2014
 
Five Stars to . . . Skimo Co for stocking these! Yes, they’ve always been available from Dynafit, but exactly what was available has been mysterious, and the shipping charges can be prohibitive for their smaller-value items. Highlights for some of my favorite items: LTR Titanium Forks – Ti race forks will eventually notch to the extent that they’re somewhat rattly and also so hooky as to interfere with lateral release, so stock up on a backup set whenever they’re available. LTR Steel Forks – Alternative...
9/4/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for a very nicely designed ski crampon, with reinforcement ribs, a smooth retainer bar, holes nicely positioned for adding spacers, and an expanded variety of width options. Just be careful on the sizing, which can be somewhat confusing. Background on product familiarity: Starting in the 2004-05 season, I’ve used a wide variety of Dynafit crampon widths, with a wide variety of ski binding crampon attachments, in a wide variety of conditions and terrain. First, the first impressi...
9/4/2014
 
Overall: Five Stars for a highly water-resistant pant with full side zippers, with the weight only a fraction of the types of shell pants that are typically lugged around the backcountry. The Flash Competition Pants are perfect for racing and training when your lycra suit might not be quite enough. Only major caveat is that they definitely won’t hold up to sustained rain. Background on product familiarity: For three seasons so far, I’ve brought along the Flash Pants pretty much whenever I’ve worn a ly...