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Swapping bindings, plate vs insert?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Rather than taking the original thread into the tangent, I'll starting a new thread.

I'm vaguely aware there're VIST plates and Quiver Killer Inserts, both allow easy removal of bindings from skis. 

There maybe other brands, but from what I can recall they all fall into the two main categories of plates or inserts. What's the pros and cons of each?

Context:

Like the thread that inspire the question, I've been contemplating a bit of AT foray beyond the boundary of resorts. Though unlike the other poster, I'm not anticipating a lot of long back country trek, at least not to begin with. So a resort skier who may go for some short'ish touring occasionally. At the moment, that is.

As all who started getting the itch of touring, there's a HUGE uncertainty as to which direction this may take. Maybe I will end up going touring A LOT. Or give up on the idea entirely and just stay inbound (not likely though)

Unlike alpine gears, the AT world has several different kind of boots and bindings that are all incompatible! Hence the thought on removable bindings that allows swapping back and forth.
 
So, in that context, what's the pros and cons of plates vs inserts when it comes to swapping bindings on the same skis?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Plates like the VIST ones don't really allow easy removal of bindings, you are still using the self tapping screws that come as standard with the bindings and there is a limit to the number of times you can use the same set of holes.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
A guy on TGR called Jondrums used to make a number of aluminium alloy plates that had tapped holes suitable for different bindings. His website is here:

http://www.bindingfreedom.com/

These would be great where mounting holes are too close for inserts. He doesn't seem to advertise these any more but you can glean some information from his templates page. Alternatively, you could easily make you own plates from HDPE cutting board.
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Inserts are better IMO - more flexible (work with any binding), and don't add extra height.

That said, over the past three seasons I've migrated back from using inserts on all my skis (with two bindings, one to use on all and the other to use on the two pairs I used for touring) to having one binding per ski.

If you think you'll be switching bindings over once a month or so, inserts work well. If in the end you're swapping bindings regularly - once a week or more - it soon starts to feel like a waste of time and pain in the back bottom.

If you're just going on shortish hikes once in a while, get a pair of Marker F10 frame bindings, and use them in resort just like a normal alpine binding the rest of the time. They will be compatible with all but the most extreme touring boots, which you're unlikely to be using when starting out anyway.
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Right, I forgot VIST plates only works with VIST bindings. I confused it with the kind of plates that work with multiple brand bindings.
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@abc, VIST make all kinds of plates, it is only the Speedlock ones that require their own bindings.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
A previous discussion:

https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/199684-Binding-inserts-verses-Sollyfits-Dynaduke-plates
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@abc, but are you talking touring for the up or being mobile enough to access the down?

If you're doing it for the up, and you have the local infrastructure, are you not better renting touring kit.

If just to get accessible down, "freeride" bindings and your alpine boots would satisfy for the access...maybe.
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Quote:

If in the end you're swapping bindings regularly - once a week or more -

@clarky999, I don't even ski once a week! Toofy Grin
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Quote:

If you're just going on shortish hikes once in a while, get a pair of Marker F10 frame bindings, and use them in resort just like a normal alpine binding the rest of the time. They will be compatible with all but the most extreme touring boots, which you're unlikely to be using when starting out anyway.

I really don't know how much uphill travel I'll be doing. That being the uncertainty.

As a skier, I have difficulty fathoming hours of uphill travel. That's why initially I'll be pragmatic and equip myself with primary in resort skiing with the ability for short'ish foray outside the boundary.

On the other hand, I do fair bit of xc skiing and hiking in the summer. Am quite fit. I can also see the appeal of travelling far away from civilization. So there's a also significant possibility that I might get hooked on uphill travel just for the heck of it. Granted, if that does happen eventually, I'll be getting myself setup with a really light ski/binding/boot.

It's the in-between period that I foresee that I might switch back and forth between multiple ski/binding/boots.
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BCA Alpine Trekkers are a simple solution.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
altis wrote:
BCA Alpine Trekkers are a simple solution.

That's what I'm afraid of.

Yes, I tried it, 3 years ago. It's miserably fussy, heavy, slow. The whole experience left me wondering if touring is NOT what it crack up to be!

It took me this long to forget about the bad taste (and got enough positive encouragement to counter the negative experience) to re-consider giving it another go.

Having done a few other recreation activity to a certain level, I'm well aware of the role decent equipment plays in making it enjoyable. And that's particularly tricky at the entry level. While not wanting to waste money on high end equipment that will never got used again, poor equipment may give the wrong impression on how difficult/strenuous an outing seems.

Have been out on bike, kayak or xc skis with fit & strong people who at the end of the day were totally knackered, I did my bit in selling high end equipment! I try NOT to make the same mistake myself. I really don't know IF I'll take to touring on skis. The way to find out is to try it, with half way decent equipment that gives a realistic impression of what it's like. So I fully expect I'll be "experimenting" a fair bit before I settle on a suitable setup.

Hence the interest on a flexible configuration.


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 16-05-17 18:18; edited 1 time in total
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
abc wrote:
altis wrote:
BCA Alpine Trekkers are a simple solution.

That's what I'm afraid of.


Laughing Laughing

That couldn't have been a more perfect reaction!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Just get some Marker F10s/12s They work all day as an alpine binding and fine as an intro to touring or as just a binding you can rely on in all conditions. All this swapping bindings between skis is un necessary messing about. I've tried most variations of it over 100's of days over the last 17 years. Unless a ski is touring only I just go with a binding that works reasonably for everything. The only limitation is no ultra light rando boots, but then again you won't be running anything like that. If anyone says they aren't compatible (and this goes for almost all the plate style bindings) with touring boots vs alpine. They are either full of poo-poo or trying to sell you something and full of poo-poo.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
abc wrote:
The way to find out is to try it, with half way decent equipment that gives a realistic impression of what it's like. So I fully expect I'll be "experimenting" a fair bit before I settle on a suitable setup.


I hired some touring skis and skins to try it. They had a few choices and I settled on some Cham 97s with Marker Tour bindings. I actually used my standard alpine boots, just loosened off. The movement on AT boots is mostly backwards, so it just means a shorter stride. The setup was fine for a few hours each day to test, with one blister.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Idris wrote:
Just get some Marker F10s/12s ... If anyone says they aren't compatible (and this goes for almost all the plate style bindings) with touring boots vs alpine. They are either full of poo-poo or trying to sell you something and full of poo-poo.


My wife used to have a pair of Black Diamond Shivas with a walk mode and swappable soles. They were definitely not compatible with Marker Barons when they had the touring soles in place. The problem was solved for us by SpyderJon who sanded down the soles to make them fit. I also have a friend who has small sized Scarpa Gea RS boots which aren't compatible with some models of Fritschi Freeride (they fit but the brakes don't retract). So I would say, if you want to use touring boots with frame style AT bindings, proceed with caution, as not all combinations work.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@abc,

I think you'd like to buy some kit but given your situation you probably KNOW you'd be better off hiring touring gear and seeing how much you enjoy it Very Happy
We have a shop in our resort that hires bloody good AT gear at very reasonable prices. Honestly buying is hard to justify unless you are touring a lot. Of course lots of us buy gear regardless Embarassed

Beyond that, If you just want to do some short skins from the lifts then I'd agree F10/12 and your existing alpine boots would be the way forward.

Hold off buying boots until you know what sort of touring you will be doing and how much. I don't think it is an easy choice - boots that are really good for long uphill days are too compromised if you are mainly going to be doing side country stuff on big skis. Heavier freeride boots with swappable soles are far from ideal if you are skinning 1000m.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

As a skier, I have difficulty fathoming hours of uphill travel. ...

On the other hand, I do fair bit of ... hiking in the summer


Well that is your answer - you need to see long touring days as more like summer hiking but with a bit of skiing thrown in. It's a great day out in the mountains and it sounds like you enjoy days out in the mountains.
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@jedster, like the poster who started the other thread, I'm in a situation that I will soon need to replace my alpine boots.

Rather than just blindly go for another alpine boot, there's now the very realistic option of a good "touring capable" boots that are every bit as good inbound as the average alpine boots.

Quite by accident, my current ski is a model often seen in back country setups.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Regarding hiring touring gears, I'm rather handicapped living in the US. There's simply not nearly as much of touring culture as in the Alpes. So, hiring options are much more limited.

Being on the very short end of the population size range doesn't help the matter.
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Quote:

Rather than just blindly go for another alpine boot, there's now the very realistic option of a good "touring capable" boots that are every bit as good inbound as the average alpine boots.

ah - makes sense. freeride boot with swappable soles sounds like a good idea then
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
abc wrote:

Being on the very short end of the population size range doesn't help the matter.


If you're short and light you might want to disregard most of the advice given on internet forums about the suitability of lightweight touring boots for sidecountry. I'm 175cm, 72kg and I prefer my TLT6s to my alpine boots for all skiing, including on piste. I have a nice well fitting pair of alpine boots, but I only use them if I'm skiing on alpine bindings. I've read on here that Warren Smith is a big fan of encouraging his clients into softer boots. Edit: Obviously you still need stiff boots if you are skiing very fast and hucking.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

If you're short and light you might want to disregard most of the advice given on internet forums about the suitability of lightweight touring boots for sidecountry.

Rather than disregard them, I take all advice with a grain of salt, knowing full well other's experience may be far from what I will experience. Still, I need a place to start.

It may take me more trial and error to get it right. So the more flexibility I have in the setup, the more options I get to try.

Also, this being the end of ski season, a lot of online retailers are having substantial discounts to move their gear from last year. If a see a tempting deal, I need to ascertain the suitability to know if it's a good deal FOR ME
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