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08/18/18, 02:44 PM

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Author Topic: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir  (Read 2243 times)
ridngoofy
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Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« on: 02/07/18, 05:36 PM »

I haven't posted on TAY in years and regret this one but I want to share.

I’ve Vipec 12 bindings since 2014 as they ski great and release as advertised.  Now the Tecton is claimed safer so I purchased them for my wife. She enjoyed skiing 8 days with them in temps ranging from -8 to 20 degrees F mounted on her Black Crows.  So when our local hill, Snoqualmie,  was closed I decided to take them for a spin with my new Atomic Hawx 130 boots.  I set forward pressure as described (flush screwhead), set DIN 6 and did a few laps around the piste. The snow conditions were large flakes to grapple to sleet at about 33 degrees F on top of many inches of new snow that received several inches of rain the previous day.  It’s the kinda snow that quickly forms a block of hard styrafoam under your boot heel while skinning and it has to be removed forcefully with a pole tip several times on ascent.  Every PNW backcountry skier knows what I’m talking about.  On my last descent I relaxed on the piste flat and let the crows run.  In the blink of an eye one crow caught an edge and my left knee was looking at my backpack.  After ankle plate and screws I’m trying to determine what went wrong.  Forward pressure too strong?  Umm, I doubt it. 

Here’s what I believe happened.  Every tech pin toe collects snow between the boot and binding while skiing.   In the older Vipec (with the wire trigger) the boot sets about 6mm above the binding and the surface of the toe is rather flat with minimal plastic edges to catch snow.  This allows snow to escape the rear of the boot toe easier than the Tecton.  It has 1mm of clearance between the binding and the boot toe.  The trigger sets on a large ridge that forms wells on each side of it due to the additional plastic edges.  I believe skiing coupled with the side to side motion of the toe piece packed snow into the little wells much like the syrafoam action under the heel ( icing).  So now instead of DIN 6 I’m skiing >= DIN 10 maybe.  A Fritschi engineer may claim I’m full of it.  But you examine these toe pieces and tell me what you think.  All comments welcome. 
« Last Edit: 07/07/18, 07:21 PM by ridngoofy » Logged
haggis
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #1 on: 02/08/18, 07:58 AM »

I have the VIPEC 12 from 2016/2017 on my Dhaulagiri skis.  I've never popped a binding in about 30 days on them which has made me a bit scared too.  Are these the same gen as yours?  I too have wondered about what happens when it gets packed with snow, mainly when I'm putting my boot back into the binding after skinning up and yes the worst snow for this is the 32F Cascade stuff that packs solid and or ices up.  Did the ski ever release or it smashed your ankle.  Sorry to hear that part, sounds awful.  Any photos to share of the binding?  Heal fast.
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ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #2 on: 02/08/18, 08:12 AM »

No sir that toe piece is a little different than the 2 I have.  Give me some time and I'll post photos. 
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haggis
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #3 on: 02/08/18, 08:42 AM »

You are right, mine are the Vipec TUV 12.
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sgertz
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #4 on: 02/08/18, 09:40 AM »

I've got the Vipec TUV as well (not the newest model though), and I have gotten it to release multiple times. I have the DIN setting on the toe set as low as it will go and still grab onto the boot well enough. I wouldn't trust setting the DIN on a tech binding to the same value that you would an alpine binding. There's a couple of Wildsnow articles about the variability in release testing of tech bindings.

https://www.wildsnow.com/21232/skialper-binding-intro-translation/
https://www.wildsnow.com/15123/tech-binding-release-testing-acl-broken-leg/
https://www.wildsnow.com/21152/ski-binding-release-avalanche-safety/
« Last Edit: 02/08/18, 09:57 AM by Micah » Logged
ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #5 on: 02/08/18, 06:57 PM »

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/PMGQjeiqAm5EUqye0ve4qSdG76CnXUFoQu4or9NfYMn?_encoding=UTF8&%2AVersion%2A=1&%2Aentries%2A=0&mgh=1
Here's URL to pics of my Fritschi toes.  Notice the metal piece just under the middle of the boot sole on the Tecton toe.  That is the jaw close trigger that sets really close to the boot and snow has to move around that. 

Thanks for those links.  All this is interesting about how manufacturers test these things.  Having machines test them in a nice dry shop is one thing and having people test them in various snow is another.  I'm certain the testers are expert skiers who never need to release anyway.  I think the only real way to test bindings is to give them to 500 skiers of all abilities and see how many injuries come back Smiley 

This assessment is my average Joe non professional opinion.  I mean one could argue that the side to side movement of the Fritschi toe helps clear the snow from under the boot.  And maybe in the old Vipec white it does.  The only fact I am certain of is this:  Over the years I've owned Fritschi Freeride, Fritschi Vipec, Dynafit comfort, G3 Onyx, Dynafit speed and Marker Kingpin.  They have all released when called upon.  Tecton missed the call. 
« Last Edit: 02/11/18, 11:10 AM by ridngoofy » Logged
ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #6 on: 02/16/18, 11:15 AM »

Hey SGertz I'm digging into this one:
https://www.wildsnow.com/21232/skialper-binding-intro-translation/
It reports wide range of results from the Winterstiger for touring bindings except ones claiming TUV certified to DIN/ISO.  Tecton and Vipec do this as well as Dynafit radical 2.0, beast and Marker Kingpin.  However, they did not test the Vipec due to legal issues in Italy.  Humm.  But that is understandable as they state in some Europen countries the Winterstiger results are taken very seriously.  I mean Fritschi has made a big deal of advertising in the USA that Tecton is certified to be as safe as an alpine binding.  But the user manual has embedded a disclaimer that this can't be verified for all skiers in all snow conditions.  Makes sense.  This cool url was included in your post and it claims I'm setting my DIN properly.
http://www.mechanicsofsport.com/skiing/equipment/bindings/din-calculator.html

Anyway when I can walk around again I'm taking Tecton to REI to have them function and stress tested And I'll post results.  And I'll purchase the english version of the SkiAlper report.  Lou Dawson claims its a winter's worth of reading and I've nothing else to do.  I retired (again) mid January ,so.  Thanks for the feedback. 

Hey I want to give a shout out to RustyKnees who helped me crawl out of the ski area and the snow moblie driver who gave a final ferry to my car.  "Thank You"
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Don Heath
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #7 on: 02/16/18, 01:56 PM »

Hey!  I'm glad you posted.   I wondered what happened.   You are one tough goat,  crawling all the way down,  then driving yourself to the hospital.   Glad to have been able to keep you company.

I just had my own season ending injury.   We can rehab together!
Don
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The best part of summer skiing is napping on a warm rock.
ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #8 on: 02/16/18, 03:24 PM »

Da'Gum Don. Sorry to hear that.  I must be contagious.  What happened? 
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ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #9 on: 03/06/18, 03:45 PM »

I finally had the bindings function tested at REI and they failed.  One binding required > 2x force to release.  So mystery solved.  No weird boot placement nor tricky snow as I was guessing in the initial post.  Just simply defective gear.  BTW, I did not buy these at REI.  But -- a moral to this story -- if you are riding the new Fritschi TUV toe it may be a good idea to get them function tested.  REI will do it for $25 and if they fail you get your $25 back Smiley

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sgertz
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #10 on: 03/07/18, 12:32 PM »

I would not necessarily trust the REI testing results. My girlfriend had some alpine bindings mounted there recently and when we picked them up, they told us that they didn't pass the release test. I didn't believe them, so I took the skis to Sturdevant's in Bellevue and they said that the bindings did pass the test. Sturdevant's said it was because REI doesn't have an automated testing machine. I suppose the traditional testing equipment probably introduces a lot of error.

Every time I've taken gear to Sturdevant's, I've been very impressed. They know their stuff.

I finally had the bindings function tested at REI and they failed.  One binding required > 2x force to release.  So mystery solved.  No weird boot placement nor tricky snow as I was guessing in the initial post.  Just simply defective gear.  BTW, I did not buy these at REI.  But -- a moral to this story -- if you are riding the new Fritschi TUV toe it may be a good idea to get them function tested.  REI will do it for $25 and if they fail you get your $25 back Smiley


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ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #11 on: 03/09/18, 09:22 AM »

Now that is interesting.  But I can understand such a difference if the binding is not ISO certified like the new gear.  That leaves a wide range of results and opinions start to become a factor.  I have plenty of time so I'll get another shop to test.  Several shops do not have the sofisticated Winterstiger type equipment.  I took them to REI Bellevue but don't know if Seattle would be different.  The tech did claim he's done a few Techton's this year and never seen this behavior.  Yea, I veered away from REI several years ago because they seemed to not understand tech pin backcountry bindings but now I find the reps and techs seem up to speed with our gear.  The manufactures are making life easier too with all the new ISO certified gear.  That is easily quantifed me thinks. 
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ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #12 on: 03/09/18, 09:23 AM »

Oh excuse me!  You said Alpine bindings.  Yea those would have ISO creds for sure, eh? 
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sgertz
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #13 on: 03/09/18, 10:35 AM »

If it does turn out that your bindings don't test within the allowable range, you should be able to warranty that shit. Just send Black Diamond copies of the test results and a slightly angry letter about how you hurt yourself because the bindings didn't release properly.

While we agree that the release values are all over the board, if they're claiming to be certified, then they should stand by that certification.
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Randy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #14 on: 03/09/18, 08:44 PM »

The old skool test is to see if you can twist out using your own muscle power.  For most people this is a lighter setting than the DIN chart. 
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ridngoofy
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Re: Tecton Trouble 1/25/18 Silver Fir
« Reply #15 on: 05/25/18, 04:43 PM »

I've had opportunities to speak with several ski shop owners and ski techs locally and in Whistler about the Tecton.  They all agree there's no consistent measures when testing most tech bindings.  I've even seen the Fritschi toe pin hang in the boot during a winterstiger test.  But we have to admit that test is not a good reproduction of a real release on snow as this happens fast and with a lot of force.  Not a slow applied pressure.  So what actually happened to me is still ,kinda, mysterious and i have to go with the deficient item theory.  I agree with SGertz in that something certified should have rigorous parameters one can trust.  But sadly, our gear is not there yet despite a manufactures claims.   

My accident was rare for an ankle in that it is reproduced in high performance athletes or automobile accidents.  Fractured fibula with dislocation and deltoid ligament damage.  Since I'm not high performance mine is more the latter. I was hoping for a Memorial Day tour but Ill have to wait until next season.  And I'll probably be on a Marker plate.  That's right.  Its now release ability over tour ability for me. 

Should you read this and wonder about a Tecton purchase, for backcountry travel, I think you'll do just fine.  My wife really likes the way it skies and tours.  But should you find yourself feeling like a high performance athlete sailing down the piste on this binding you better double check your stuff.  You could end up in a car wreck right there on the slope.
« Last Edit: 05/25/18, 05:01 PM by ridngoofy » Logged
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