Although limited in boot compatibility*, the TR-2 binding is not limited in features and performance. Ski Trab developed a unique heel design that uses downward pressure to maximize steering precision. It also lets you change from ski-mode to walk-mode without exiting the binding; just press down with your pole. At the toe, the wings can open to the side, enabling a twisting release like an alpine binding. These highlights combine to make the Trab TR-2 one of the more interesting ski-touring bindings on the market.
The TR-2 binding has two models with different release value ranges: 5-11 for most skiers and 7-13 for heavy/aggressive skiers with shorter feet. Brake widths available are 88mm, 104mm, and 115mm. The detailed feature list is lengthy:
- Downward heel pressure gives a stable, locked-in feeling while skiing.
- 75mm wide base plates help transfer power to the edges of the ski.
- Lateral release at the toe reduces twisting-release forces on your tibia.
- Brakes are included and replaceable if you decide to change skis.
- Lock lever at the toe offers a fully-locked uphill mode for climbing.
- Ability to change modes without exiting the binding is a huge plus.
- Fully adjustable release values can be dialed for your size and ability.
- 30mm BSL adjustment in the heel lets you adapt to different boots.
- Two riser positions in addition to flat mode give skin track options.
- Short binding plates enable a natural ski flex, improving ski control.
- Flatter ramp angle than comparables which reduces quad strain.
- Leash attachment point at the toe gives a backup ski-catch option.
- Included crampon attachment lets you climb supportable crusts.
* Please note this binding is compatible only with La Sportiva Spectre 2.0, Spitfire 2.0, Sideral 2.0, Starlet 2.0, and SCARPA Spirit boots.
|Weight (pair)||1218g [104mm]|
|Boot Compatibility||TR 2 only|
|Brakes||88mm, 104mm, 115mm|
|Vertical Release||5-11 or 7-13|
|Lateral Release||5-11 or 7-13|
|Materials||Ergal hardened steel|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Touring, mountaineering, free touring|
|Notes||Lateral release at the toe|
|Bottom Line||High-performance binding with a focus on safety|
|Compare to other Full-featured Bindings|
Questions & Reviews
I met Rick Howell recently, here in Vermont, and we had a really animated conversation about the risks associated with skiing with standard Touring Tech bindings. I happened to be driving my car ;) wearing my NTN tele boots, which impressed Rick, when we met at a gas station.
The Trab TR2 is one binding he recommended, if I must tour with pin tech free pivot at the toe..
This does exist; see photo of my Vulcans. It is done at the Ski Trab factory, as well as a few ski shops throughout Europe that have got the factory training and jigs from Ski Trab. (Maybe the skimo.co crew want to do a trip to Italy for the training, and bring the Tecton/Shift killer to the masses here?) So I would contact the factory first; and depending on where you are located or potential travel plans, either deal with them or get referred to one of these shops.
Anyway, my story with the TR2 began as I was intrigued with this binding and its specs. Unfortunately, the available LS boots were not for me. I then came across some Italian ski productions floating around with freeriders in Ski Trab-modded Nordicas and Dalbellos slamming these things in the park then slaying pow in the BC. This helped convince me to give the mod a whirl; and once I did I was hooked... lighter than Tecton/Shift/Kingpin, way more confidence-inspiring metal/less plastic, shift on the fly ski/walk mode, a much more connected feeling to the skis through the heel, some welcome elasticity in the toes, etc..
I e-mailed the company, referencing these videos and asking about a mod, and was put in touch with Sara De Lorenzi (email@example.com) who arranged everything by e-mail i.e. shipping both ways, the heel mod, and payment. Additionally, the binding-side heel piece for modded boots has a different part number, as the jaws are something like 4mm wider than the standard version. They can swap your normal set of heels if you include them with your boots when sending them in for some nominal fee, as I recall it was $20 or $30. I would assume they have to be unused. So you could either purchase a normal set of TR2's and send in the binding heels with the boots; or get skimo to special order a set with the alternative heels. The part number is in the Ski Trab catalog (54mm heels). With the marked down pricing here on skimo.co, you'd likely be better off ordering regulars from skimo stock and then including the heels with the boots for the swap.
Your chosen boot needs to already have toe inserts. They can only mod the heel.
Because various boot manufacturers use house or other brand toe inserts that may slightly differ dimensionally and have different amounts of ramp, and lateral release now happens at the toe inserts, Ski Trab makes you sign a waiver saying as much as part of the mod. In my mind, this is the same situation that the Tecton binding is in, with various brands/sources of toe insert being the release interface, so I think Ski Trab is just being abundantly cautious here, but it is something to bear in mind.
For what it is worth, my Vulcan's with official Dynafit Masterstep inserts passed in a Wintersteiger tester, only about 0.5 DIN off the indicator. True alpine-style release. Interestingly, TR-2 was actually in the database of the Wintersteiger tester. Real world results also check out. For example, I caught a hidden rock early last winter mid-turn on the outside ski's inside edge, found myself doing the splits. Popped off no problemo.
On the flipside, I am aware of another individual with Salomon MTN LABs who, if I recall correctly, was able to dial in the RV he desired, but actual RV as tested was a few DIN off the binding's indicator. Indeed, Salomon toe insert seemed to have less ramp than official Dynafit.
Again, makes me wonder about the Tecton scenario.
But anyway, this is something to consider.
Also to bear in mind; after the mod, your boot will still work in bindings with pin heels; but not in alpine heels, as the insert gets in the way of the heel lug. This is obvious in the photo.
Also, if you lose or damage your boots, your skis are out of commission until you can get a new pair fitted with heel inserts to work in your bindings. This is always in the back of my mind when travelling (another reason for skimo.co to go to Italy for some factory certification on TR-2 boot modding ;-)
Notwithstanding, I am totally stoked by this binding and would not go back. I have 2 sets that I move around my quiver on inserts, with a pair of brakes in all 3 sizes and a leash for when it suits. I love and cherish these things like I never thought I could a binding.
I opted for Scarpa Maestrale RS, which has Dynafit toe inserts, so this perhaps won't be an issue.
Interestingly, Ski Trab did partner with Scarpa at some point and the latter released Scarpa Spirit boot.
I wonder if they continue to work together.
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