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Kingpin vs Beast

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

it's been a couple of season now that both Kingpin and Beast are available on the market.

What is your experience re. Kingpin vs Beast if you only look at:
- safety release
- downhill skiing experience
- how close they are to alpine safety bindings

Weight and flat skinning option is easily assessed objectively, but downhill experience and safety might be harder.
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@vasja, I haven't used the Kingpin, but I have skied the Beast 16 for the last 3 seasons. In answer to your questions:

- They haven't released when I didn't want them to, and they have when they should have.
- I haven't noticed any difference, and certainly a lot better than TLT style bindings in terms of vibration.
- I'll happily use mine on anything I would ski alpine bindings on.

The only issue I have experienced is icing in the toe piece. The effect of this is that the toe doesn't reset properly when it is opened, so you can't step in. This is solved by lifting the tab under the toe and cycling the toe a couple of times. The icing has typically happened after the binding have warmed up in a lift, melting the snow slightly.
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I've just got a set of Beast 14's. I've only had about six days on them (including a day of instruction in the bumps) they ski just like alpine bindings.

Is there still a pre release issue with the Marker toes??
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Mosha Marc wrote:

Is there still a pre release issue with the Marker toes??


I skied on the Kingpins for 5 weeks last season, having had Barons before, had no issues with pre release and they ski just like alpine bindings, but climbing is brilliant! No experience of Dynafits...

I found engagement easy, but I think it's always a good idea to engage the toe piece, lift the boot to rotate the pins in the holes to clear out ice and ensure a solid engagement before clicking into the heel.

In fact so good I bought another pair for my other skis as swapping over, with quiver killers, is more of a faff than with the Barons
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@vasja,
Choosing between the 2 before last season my prime reasons for opting for the Beast

1) Lower ramp angle/delta, so a smaller to shim to ensure a flatish foot

2) Moving toe piece on the Beast = more useful side to side elasticity/less pre-release risk.

3) The Beast looks like a product of the Fireball XL5 design team.

I am sure both are lovely.
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vasja wrote:
safety might be harder.


The Italian magazine Skialper carried out independent tests on the safety release of a number of pin tech bindings, here are some of the scores for the Beast and the Kingpin...


Toe Release Left (Dynafit Inserts) .........Toe Release Right (Dynafit Inserts).........Toe Release Left (Non Dynafit Inserts).........Toe Release Right (Non Dynafit Inserts)

BEAST ....................10/10..............................................9/10...................................................9/10........................................................9/10...........

KINGPIN ..................5/10...............................................2/10...................................................8/10........................................................3/10...........


8/10 (or higher) means that they found that the binding released at (or near to) the force that corresponds to the release value that the bindings were set to.

Lower scores indicate that the binding did not release at (or near to) the force corresponding to the RV they were set to.

Widely differing scores between left and right tests are particularly concerning as they suggest that the binding's release characteristics are unpredictable.

n=1 for the tests.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sat 26-11-16 8:02; edited 1 time in total
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I've had Beast 16s now for 3 seasons, and have a new pair lurking on my subs bench that will be there for a couple more seasons yet. I'm so impressed with their bullet-proof construction and they ski exactly like an alpine binding, no release issues, to the contrary they feel much more solid underfoot. NO faff factor either, really like the way the pins in my Dynafit Mercurys drop in.

My pals missus has the Kingpin front end and I have to say they seem much more of a faff and proper Dynafiddle, I don't really see the point unless you are planning full day touring (which i'm not), and they seem less solid but not having skied them I can't really compare.

16's are brilliant. One minor point - just remember to grease them at start of the season to prevent infrequent icing up.
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+1 to all the comments above!
2 seasons on the Beast 14 and to my mind perfect release capabilities on and off-piste.
They ski like an alpine binding, but lighter, so a plus for boot-packing etc.
I've also got Kingpins on my "proper" touring skis to obviate the lack of true flat mode on the Beasts and they're ok too, the climbing steps are easier to use than the Beasts and there are two height settings as opposed to the Beast's one.....
That said, I've done a hand release test on my bench and the Beasts have a really free, elastic feel to the lateral release whereas the Kingpins are more sticky, so I would say the Beasts are ultimately a safer binding........
The toe icing can be an issue on any tech binding, my solution is to close the toe piece when not in the binding, ie gondola rides, lunch etc, and when stepping in, do a couple of "touring strides" befor clicking in the heel, this clears any ice from the pin sockets and checks you're in right!
If you don't intend to do a lot of flat approach type touring the Beast 14 is a no-brainer and spyderjon has them at £225 so........................
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Thanks for all feedback.

It looks like, looking from safety and "alpine feel" perspective, Beast has an edge over Kingpin.

Also my (casual) online research shows this and a lot of users (not all) agree debate in this direction. Some like Kingpin for it's feel of almost alpine heel but overall I've found more positive Beast reviews when it's talk of safety and alpine feel.

So, how big is the difference between Beast 14 and 16 in this perspective (safety and feel). There is "only" cca 240g difference in weight per pair...

Anyone tested all 3 bindings or both versions of Beast binding?

I could not find any independent technical test comparing both Beasts. What I see is that Beast 16 has some (more?) lateral protection in the toe compared to 14 which has less (none?). Is that correct?

Aslo did anyone tried to use Beast with heel rotated and break locked with something in order to achieve flat walking mode? Does it really work?
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The toe I think on the 16 has more rotation but you'd be out of the heel before that anyway, not worth the extra weight imo
The ghetto fix for flat touring works fine if you don't mind the faff...
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Quote:


The toe I think on the 16 has more rotation but you'd be out of the heel before that anyway, not worth the extra weight imo
The ghetto fix for flat touring works fine if you don't mind the faff...


Hi KenX... I know about rotation, but I thought that Beast 16 also has some additional lateral "spring" in the toe... it's not adjustable but maybe that helps even further with proper release...
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
If you are after the simple life go with the Beast 14, as the toe piece is easier to use (you are either clicked in or you aren't). The Beast 16 toe now has the flip up tab to indicate that the toe is properly set, so after you have clicked in you need to make sure the tab is flat against top of the toe piece. It is simple task, but an extra step over the Beast 14 toe.

Personally I like the engineering in the Beast 16 toe, it shows what is possible when 30 years of design is wiped from the page, and a fresh start is made.
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Thanks for interesting info PowderAdict

But is Beast 16 toe also safer protecting more against knee injury and provides more "alpine like" feeling while skiing downhill?
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You know it makes sense.
@vasja, the additional little bit of rotation in the 16 toe is of no benefit as you're already out of the heel by then. There is a very small bit of 'trapezoidal' elasticity in the toe of the 16 that's not in the 14 but I've skied them both extensively & can't tell the difference between the two. The 16 & 14 are equal in terms of 'safeness'.

The 16's toe is heavier, over complicated & a lot more prone to icing than the 14. The 14 does 99% of the 16 but does it lighter & without the icing issue. It's also a lot more expensive, or at least it should be. This season is the last season for the 16 as Dynafit aren't offering it in 17/18 as the 14 does it all. In fact there won't be anymore 16's after the current production has been sold which will probably be this season.

The one big benefit of the 16 to me as a retailer is that it has a different toe mounting pattern to the 14 (the 14 uses the Rad 2 toe) so it gives me two different Beast mounting location solutions when trying to mount them on a ski which has been drilled for another binding.

The Kingpin is a very good binding (I sell a lot of them too) & I've skied that alongside a Beast 14 but the key to me is the rotary toe of the Beast (or the Rad 2) which takes the harshness out of the tech toe when on a stiff ski on hardpack. The additional lateral & vertical elasticity of the Beast is also excellent as it matches the best alpine bindings.

The Kingpin can't have a rotary toe as it's a Dynafit patented item. I also believe that Dynafit also have a patent on a tech heel c/w brakes which is why the Kingpin has to use an alpine style heel (other brands that have a tech heel c/w brakes pay a fee to Dynafit to use it).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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spyderjon thank you for really insightful information! this explains much of what I was wondering about...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

any more experience/opinion on this two binding alternatives? Dynafit Beast 16 and 14 vs Marker Kingpin?

Any additional feedback will help ...

Currently "result" is that Dynafit Beast are probably safer and have a better alpine feel for downhill skiing. And out of two versions Beast 14 looks like the option to go with...

I'll personally put Beast 16 on BC Nocta (122mm under foot) and Beast 14 on Navis freebird (102mm light turing ski) ...

thanks for all feedback.
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Quote:

The ghetto fix for flat touring works fine if you don't mind the faff...

@KenX,

Hi Ken,

What is the ghetto fix? Sounds interesting .......
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@bobbyn, Turn the heel 90 degrees, and then hook up the brake arms with a band or strap. This means your boot heel strikes the AFD plate, rather than the first riser position, so it is much lower or flatter.
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@PowderAdict, Very Happy
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That was already shared by @spyderjon here: http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=126245&start=40#2912461

@spyderjon have you also tested this in "real life"
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PowderAdict wrote:
@vasja
The only issue I have experienced is icing in the toe piece. The effect of this is that the toe doesn't reset properly when it is opened, so you can't step in. This is solved by lifting the tab under the toe and cycling the toe a couple of times. The icing has typically happened after the binding have warmed up in a lift, melting the snow slightly.


Wish I would have read this thread before using my Beast's for the first time... had a mare getting em on after a gondola ride...
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
...


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Thu 11-01-18 16:33; edited 1 time in total
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Same toe as Radical2 so standard practice for pin bindings..............
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@skimottaret, The worst icing case I had was in Japan, came out of a lift into what felt like a blast freezer, hiked up for 5 mins, and the toes were frozen solid, so that when you stepped in nothing moved. Eventually got them to work, and they were fine. I think it is only a problem due the skis being too fat to fit into the racks, so they are taken inside which allows partial melting.

They are now pack with Jon’s low temperature Dynafit binding grease, which definitely helps.
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So guys, share the love, what needs lubrication/greasing? Presumably the two pin inputs on the toe piece and the spring on the rear?
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I just give mine a proper kicking before clicking in and then half a dozen up/down strides to work the ice clearer. Then "click" in at the heel and jump about to make sure it all holds ok!
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
JeanPaulValley wrote:
So guys, share the love, what needs lubrication


Oooooh matron!!
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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
@JeanPaulValley, Basically, you need to get grease on any part of the toe which moves. The pictures below are from @Sypderjon:





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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
First week of use and my Beast toe binding failed/broke... had problems with snow building up in toe piece and not engaging when clipping in plus the whole mechanism froze up solid after a short gondola ride. Not impressed...

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PowderAdict wrote:
The Beast 16 toe now has the flip up tab to indicate that the toe is properly set, so after you have clicked in you need to make sure the tab is flat against top of the toe piece.


one of mine broke when I pressed down with the handle of a pole. Is the binding safe without the tab engaged ?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I really don’t know. The original Beast 16’s didn’t have the indicator, and they worked fine. I don’t know if there is any difference between the green Beast 16’s with the indicator and the gold ones. I know on my gold ones, when the indicator is fully depressed, the angle of the horizontal thin link arms, move from pointing slightly forward, to pointing slightly backwards (over centre?), so must be applying force in a different manner. When in touring mode the retention force is much higher with the indicator depressed.

As shown below:




















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thanks Smile wasn't sure if the tab affects the release setting somehow. probably but skied all afternoon with busted tab and didn't release so will wing it tomorrow. Not sure I would want to tour in any sketchy areas though...
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Not having the closure indicator working won't be an issue prividing you've not got boots with out of spec inserts. IIRC you've got Dynafit Titans so you're good to go. And when touring you'll have the toes locked.
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@spyderjon, thanks Jon, reassuring...
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@spyderjon, managed to pop out of a ski on piste at a reasonable speed today. I recon it was down to the mechanism being froze up and not fully shut...

To all SH's Although not originally supplied by @spyderjon, he very very kindly sourced me a replacement toe binding. Once again fantastic over above the call of duty service by Jon. Many thanks buddy.. snowHead snowHead
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After all the praise I've heaped on the Beast 16's, I've just had a toe failure Sad. The toe is stuck in the open position, yet the step in tab is in the down position, and depressing the black open lever does nothing as it doesn't contact anything, the main bar which is normally depressed by the black lever is too low. The indicator tab seems to be more vertical than normal, so it appears the mechanism has gone over centre.

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I hit an ice block with the other ski which released (binding still works fine). I had to take this ski off to reach the other ski, and when I tried to put it back on I realised it was damaged. Resulted in a 30 min walk to the nearest gondola Sad

At least I have other skis with me, including another set with Beast 16's, but I've kind of lost confidence in them. Had this happened tomorrow, when I plan to be in the middle of nowhere, it would have been an expensive helicopter ride........



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@PowderAdict, that sucks man and I hear you on loosing confidence in the 16's. I like the way they ski and unfortunately cant replace the toe pieces with 14's as my skis had previously been drilled for other bindings which clashed with mounting holes. pain in the neck as to change skis means new skins as well..
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@skimottaret, Fortunately for me the Beast 16’s were the first mount on this ski, so I have some options. The other ski with the Beasts is Quiver Killer’d for Marker Lord SP’s, which work with touring boots, but since the Beasts worked so well, I didn’t bring the Lord SP bindings.

I’m hoping the the new Salomon Shift binding lives up to the hype, and doesn’t clash with the Beast mounts, as looks like a Beast replacement Very Happy
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@PowderAdict, drop some Beast 14/Rad 2 toes on to the ski. They're superb & the mounting locations will work great around the existing 16 toe holes.
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Thank you @spyderjon, do you happen to know a Dynafit dealer who could supply and mount a pair of Beast 14/Radical 2 toes before the 14th Feb? Very Happy
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