2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12

2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12, BLISTER
Fritschi Tecton 12

2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12

DIN Release Value: 5-12

Available Brake Widths: 90, 100, 110, 120 mm

Climbing Aids: 2°, 9°, and 13°

Lateral Elasticity (Toe): 13 mm

Vertical Elasticity (Heel): 9 mm

Forward Elasticity: Yes

Stated Weight: 550 grams (without brakes)

Blister’s Measured Weight:

  • Toe pieces: 280 & 280 grams (with screws)
  • Heel pieces: 330 & 328 grams (with brake mounting pieces)
  • Brakes: 73 & 73 grams (120 mm)
  • Total Weight per Binding (with 120 mm brakes): 683 & 681 grams

MSRP: $649.99 USD

Test Locations: Canterbury, New Zealand; Arapahoe Basin & Colorado backcountry

Days Tested (so far): ~16

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 17/18 Tecton 12, which was not changed for 18/19, 19/20, or 20/21.]

Intro (by Sam Shaheen and Brian Lindahl)

When you are standing on top of line and stepping into your skis, it is pretty confidence-inspiring to feel the CLUNK of the heel piece of an alpine binding snapping into place. Until this season, if you wanted that feeling while ski touring, you either had to settle for heavy and cumbersome frame bindings, opt for something like the CAST system, or you could go with the Marker Kingpin, which has been our favorite touring binding when it comes to combining uphill efficiency and downhill performance.

But this season, Fritschi has released the Tecton 12, which competes directly with the Kingpin. The Tecton is getting a lot of buzz because of its feature list that — currently — no other binding can match. The Tecton 12 has:

  • an alpine-style heel
  • a weight that’s lighter than the Kingpin 13 by nearly 100 g per binding
  • elastic travel in both the heel and toe (the Kingpin only has elastic travel in / at the heel)

We want to get more time on the Tecton 12 before offering our full review and comparisons, but we have had the Tecton 12 on snow, so we’ll offer our initial thoughts, impressions, and questions here.

Deep Dive Comparisons

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our AT Binding Deep Dive where we directly compare the Tecton 12, Fritschi Vipec Evo 12, Dynafit ST Rotation, G3 ION 12, Salomon / Atomic Shift MNC 13, Marker Kingpin, Marker Duke PT, & CAST Freetour, and discuss what you tend to gain and give up by going to much lighter AT bindings.


The Tecton 12 uses the same toe piece as the new Vipec Evo (review coming soon), which features 13 mm of lateral elastic travel and adjustable toe pins for different boot widths.

2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12, BLISTER
Fritschi Tecton 12 — Toe

This Evo toe piece has been updated from last year’s Vipec TUV (“Vipec “Black”) so that stepping in is easier, and Fritschi has added a small bumper that releases the toe in the event of an ‘over-the-handlebars’ fall. The lateral release in the toe already sets the Tecton apart from most other tech bindings, and we talk more about its potential safety benefits in the next section.

But then there’s also the Tecton’s heel…

The Tecton 12 heel piece shares many similarities with the Kingpin. It moves forward and back on the ski to switch from walk mode to ski mode; it has two climbing risers mounted to the front of the heel lever; and it has a plastic, alpine-style step-in mechanism (rather than metal pins).

Like the Kingpin, the Tecton heel piece holds the boot directly to a platform on the base of the binding, which means that there is a direct connection between the boot and ski rather than a floating pin interface, and the Tecton’s heel offers 9 mm of vertical elasticity.

2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12, BLISTER
Fritschi Tecton Heel in Walk Mode (Left) and Ski Mode (Right)

The Tecton 12 also features what Fritschi is calling “Power Rails”. These are basically protrusions of plastic that fit into the pin channels cut in the heels of tech boots, and they fill the space normally occupied by typical tech binding heel pins.

In theory, these Power Rails should increase lateral responsiveness and eliminate any play between the heel of the boot and the heel piece of the binding.

2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12, BLISTER
Fritschi Tecton 12 — Heel & “Power Rails”

Lateral Release at the Toe

In our review of the 16/17 Vipec, I spent quite a bit of time talking about lateral release at the toe and why it matters. So I’m not going to rehash everything here, but there are certain circumstances in which the Tecton, Vipec and alpine bindings will release, but traditional tech bindings (which release at the heel) will not. I illustrated these differences in a video in the Vipec review, so if you’re concerned about safety, I suggest you follow the link to read our coverage of this concern. The main takeaway is that I consider the Tecton and the Vipec, both with lateral release at the toe, to be safer than the other tech bindings on the market (Note: I’m ignoring the Trab TR2 binding which doesn’t have wide appeal, due to a lack of boot compatibility). We’re currently working on a deeper exploration of the release characteristics of touring bindings, so also stay tuned for that.

Measured Weight + Comparisons

For reference, here are some of our Blister Measured Weights of AT bindings:

  • Fritschi Tecton 12: 683 & 681 g (120 mm brakes)
  • Marker Kingpin 13: 774 & 775 g (75-100 mm brakes)
  • Fritschi Vipec Evo 12: 595 & 595 g (110 mm brakes)
  • Fritschi Vipec TUV 12: 589 & 591 g (95 mm brakes)
  • G3 Ion 12: 636 & 641 g (105 mm brakes)
  • Dynafit Radical 2.0 FT: 652 & 653 g (105 mm brakes)
  • Dynafit Beast 14: 831 & 833 grams (105 mm brakes)
  • Dynafit Beast 16: 957 grams (120 mm brakes)

In summary, the Tecton 12 comes in almost 100 grams lighter than the Kingpin 13, and nearly 100 grams heavier than the Vipec Evo. So if you thought the Kingpin 13 was just a bit too heavy, take note.

Mount Pattern & Crampon Compatibility

For those that have used the old Vipec TUV or Vipec Evo and are interested in the Tecton 12, you’re in luck. Fritschi uses the same mount pattern for all three bindings. This is a nice touch, and something we’d like to see across other brand product lines to avoid having to drill new holes for every new binding. Both the Vipec and Tecton are also compatible with the same ski crampons.

Setup and Boot Compatibility

Setting up the Tecton is a bit trickier than more traditional tech bindings. So if you are mounting these yourself:

  • It’s important to follow Fritschi’s instructions for adjusting the pin width to match your boot toe sockets.
  • You should check for proper forward release when in ski mode — the boot toe needs to make solid contact with the release trigger at the base of the toe lever in order for release to occur. (Note: Fritschi says that the toe piece for the Tecton and Vipec Evo will not work with Dynafit’s “shark nose” boots like the TLT7, the regular Scarpa Alien, and the Scarpa Tronic F1. It will work with the Scarpa Alien RS and standard F1).
  • It can be a bit tricky to attach the brakes to the heel unit — it requires a bit of force, so take your time.
  • Finally, once the toe unit is properly configured and tested, and the heel unit and brakes are installed, set the length adjustment such that there is a paper-thin gap between the edge of the binding heel lip and the heel of the boot.

Initial On-Snow Impressions

We still want to get more time in the Tecton 12 to put together our in-depth comparisons and conclusions, but after some initial testing, we’ve been impressed.

Like every tech binding we’ve used, the Tecton 12 goes uphill nicely, and the Tecton’s new Evo toe is easier to step into than the toes on previous iterations of the Vipec. The heel risers have been fairly easy to actuate with a ski pole so far, and switching the heel between ski and walk modes has felt smooth and solid.

In terms of downhill performance, we are currently willing to say that the Tecton 12 is at least in the same ballpark as the Kingpin 13. This is where we’ll need the most time to offer direct comparisons to other bindings, but the power transmission of the alpine-style heel of the Tecton 12 is impressive, and when combined with the added lateral release in the toe, it makes the Tecton 12 a compelling option for those looking for increased downhill performance over traditional tech bindings.

Our good friend Ally Kerr (owner of Gnomes Alpine Sports in Christchurch, New Zealand), has actually put more time on snow in the Tecton than we have so far (he’s got about 10 days), so we thought it would be worth sharing his initial impressions that he shared with us.  (Ally is 6’0” / 183 cm tall, weighs 180 lbs / 82 kg, and the Kingpin has been his go-to touring binding, for the past several years. He’s got the Tecton mounted to the 188 cm Rustler 10, and most of his days have been in the Atomic Hawx Ultra 130 boot.)

From Ally:

“The updates on the toe unit over the Vipec Black makes it even easier to line the boot up, add a slight pressure downwards at the toe and the wings/pins snap into place…

Sam Shaheen reviews the Tecton 12 for Blister Review
Ally Kerr on the Fritschi Tecton 12.

The new auto height toe bumper means less work to do in the initial setup or if you change boots. Changing from walk mode to ski mode has been seamless, with a solid lever that gets cocked into position. Climbing aids are easily accessible and flicked up or down without issue. Skiing in bounds I have hit some extremely variable snow and have had no issues with pre-release, I have felt some lateral toe movement (elastic travel) where in other pin bindings I may have released in unwanted circumstances.”

A week or two later he then added:

“I have had a few more days on the Tecton, two of them skiing inbounds, and I’m charging around with full confidence now.”

Sam Shaheen reviews the Tecton 12 for Blister Review
Ally Kerr on the Fritschi Tecton 12.

We’ve spent a lot of time skiing with Ally and comparing impressions about gear with him, so we trust him. Now we’ll just see the extent to which we agree with him….

But we feel comfortable saying this: if you want to know whether we think the Tecton 12 looks like a legit competitor to the Kingpin, our early impressions and experiences with the Tecton 12 indicate that it is.


For now, then, we’ll leave off with some of the questions we’re still most interested in answering:

(1) The Tecton 12 is composed of a lot of plastic, which is likely why it’s coming in almost 100 grams lighter than the Kingpin 13. Will this have an impact on the Tecton’s long-term durability?

(2) How does the Tecton 12 compare when skied back-to-back against the Kingpin 13? Does the Kingpin 13 still feel like it has the best-in-class power transfer that we love so much about it? Or is the Tecton 12’s just as good? Or even better?

(3) How does the downhill performance of the new Vipec Evo compare to the Tecton 12? Is it similar enough to make the weight savings of the Evo (~88 g per binding) interesting?

(4) Do the Tecton’s “Power Rails” really make a noticeable difference on snow?

(5) With elasticity in both the heel and toe, how different does the Tecton feel compared to a traditional alpine binding? Will the Tecton solve the pre-releasing issue that some other tech bindings have faced in the past?

(6) How effective is the Tecton 12 as a 50/50 binding, and how comfortable would we feel using it inbounds — and how comfortable will we feel recommending it as a 50/50 binding?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The new Fritschi Tecton 12 is definitely an intriguing product, and the Marker Kingpin now has a direct competitor in the “tech bindings with an alpine-style heel” category. The Tecton’s design incorporates our favorite aspects of the Fritschi Vipec, and adds better power transfer in the heel. Again, we’ll continue to get more time in the Tecton 12 to compile our full review, and we’ll update along the way. But so far, we’ve been impressed, and you can now check out on the next page our findings after A/B-ing the Tecton 12 and Kingpin 13.

NEXT: Update with A/B Comparisons to the Marker Kingpin 13

92 comments on “2020-2021 Fritschi Tecton 12”

    • Stack height at toe will depend on how much rockered the sole is underfoot. For the record, this is what I have measured with a Salomon MTN Lab size 26.0 shoe :
      – toe stack height at lowest point = 24 mm (including 3 mm clearance between sole and toe unit upper surface);
      – heel stack height at lowest point = 27 mm.
      The resulting ramp angle is therefore 3 mm.
      Compare that with the stack height of the Diamir Freeride Pro frame binding of about 39 mm.

    • … I am also interested if you’ve felt the skiing differently, Brian, when comparing the Tecton with the Kingpin considering the 9 mm overall difference in their height at the toe piece?
      (referring to another source Tecton’s stands 41 mm above the ski surface whereas the Kingpin’s only 32 mm)

      • Hi Peter,

        No, I haven’t perceived the differences in stack height between the two bindings. I plan on continuing to do some back-to-back testing, however, and will be talking more about the differences in performance in the full Tecton review.

  1. Swiss/G. Can’t recall front and rear stack heights. It’s in a Wildsnow review. But the delta is just 10mm so it’s more modern stack wise than the older Dynafits

  2. After they have been tested more extensively, I would be really interested to know if any issues are revealed due to heavier snow clumping between the moving parts. For example, on the Kingpin I have found that spring snow tends to clump up between the brake platform and the carbon strip/plate, preventing the brake from being stomped down far enough to initiate its locking mechanism while in walk mode. Thanks, these are an intriguing option.

  3. I have been struggling with a variety of touring setups in the past few years. I have dynafit radical FT and have paired it with the la sportive spectre (which I didn’t like) and then to the Salomon Quest 130, and a dynafit stoke to a line sick day 110. basically I have not been able to get a setup which feels like I can get a strong turn, or have the stability closer to that of an alpine setup. I never really thought that the heel piece of the dynafit radical may be the problem, and the kingpin or the tectron might be the answer. Do you feel that this type of heel piece may be my solution to the ‘weak’ feeling of my previous touring setups which I have been blaming on the boots and skis?

    • Hey Michael, the short answer is: perhaps. Each part of a setup (skis, bindings, boots) contributes to the total feel and power transfer. However, the binding is probably the most difficult to single out as most of us are used to skiing on alpine bindings that are fairly refined and all feel quite similar.

      In my opinion, touring bindings are definitely the least refined piece of the typical touring setup. Traditional tech toes offer good power transfer but suffer from a very harsh ride and inconsistent release behavior while the pins of a traditional tech heel offer next to zero torsional power transfer to the tail of the ski due to the “floating” nature of the heel and the design of the pins.

      Newer tech bindings address these issues in different ways and definitely offer considerable performance improvements over bindings like the Radical FT. The Tecton, Kingpin, Vipec Evo, Ion, and Radical 2.0 will all offer better power transfer than the old Radical. I think that poor tech bindings contribute to “weak” setups without good power transfer, especially in the tails — like driving a Ferrari on a gravel road.

      Try giving your binding an upgrade. I can’t say that switching to a Tecton or a Kingpin will certainly alleviate your issues, but it will definitely help.

  4. Any idea when the review can/will be updated with the comparison between the kingpin and the tecton? I want to buy new bindings, but it would be interesting to know if the tecton’s really are as good as the kingpins? They are a bit more expensive but lighter…

    • Hey WimD, that really depends on when it starts to snow more here… We’ll want to do a thorough comparison so we’ll need to get the Tecton into a variety of conditions. Right now all we have in Colorado is windblown over scree. Stay posted!

  5. The lateral toe release is the biggest piece of this puzzle in my opinion. If it releases reliably during high speed wrecks when needed (like a fined tuned alpine binding), blown knees and lower leg spiral fractures should be a rarity – something that is all to common on traditional pin toe’d bindings.

    • I’ve been on regular vipecs and I took a fall last season in deep PNW concrete of Bachelor that really yanked one of my skis in a slow rotational manner. The binding released laterally at the toe but I was off skis for about a month. Doctor and PT guessed more force would have probably done enough damage to warrant surgery or long time PR.

  6. As an advantage of an alpine binding over the Tecton or Kingpin you mention the power transfer in the front.

    I would just like to share that Chris Davenport (said on the cripple creek backcountry podcast) that the transfer from the pins on the outside of the shoe might be more direct/powerful than the plastic tow piece of an alpine binding and that they have already tested pin binding systems for alpine racing.

    • Hi Lukas,

      That is interesting information about testing pin binding systems in alpine racing.

      When I talk about power transfer, I’m talking about loading up the flex of the ski and then getting power out of the tail of the ski as the flex releases towards the end of the turn. You’re transferring power into the flex of the ski, and then the flex jets you out of the turn. This is one of the benefits that the Kingpin and Tecton provides over other tech bindings.

      Note that the differences in design from a normal tech binding is somewhat related to the lateral control over the tail of the ski as well. The Kingpin and Tecton do a better job here than traditional tech bindings, but I don’t want to talk about it just yet, as I’m still teasing out the differences in this regard between the the Kingpin and Tecton.

      It appears that you’re talking about toe-piece slop and rigidity, and how it affects putting a ski on edge. I consider this to be a different topic. Maybe we should call this ‘lateral power transfer’, and the other, ‘tail power transfer’? I’m skeptical if a pin-binding system provides anything over an alpine binding in this regard, at least to a perceivable level.

      Toe sockets and boot pins are also subject to manufacturing tolerances and wear just like alpine bindings, so it’s quite possible you have slop in that system as well, just as you would with DIN-specification tolerances and wear for the boot toe welt and the alpine binding toe wings. Granted, it’s a metal-to-metal connection in pin bindings, and plastic-to-plastic connection in alpine bindings, but I would guess that any response-delay due to the stiffness of the plastic-to-plastic connection would be imperceptible, especially when compared to response-delay introduced by tolerances and wear.

      It’s interesting to note that with adjustable-toe-height alpine bindings (such as most Salomons), you can ‘preload’ the binding toe wings onto the boot toe welt at the cost of additional friction imposed at the AFD when undergoing a lateral release. If you do this, then I would say that these alpine bindings have a significant advantage over tech bindings when it comes to response-delay related to putting a ski on edge.

      • Thank you Brian for your elaborate reply. I share your concerns.

        I don’t know what the results were of the testing Chris Davenport talked about. I haven’t seen pin bindings in alpin racing yet, so there’s that :-)

        Seems like the king-pin was just overtaken at the left from the Tecton and at the right from the Shift.

        I am riding the Kingpin on two of my skis (Salomon MTN Explore 95 and Bibby Tour) and so far the binding always released or did not release in the right moment (if you disregard my human errors :-).

  7. Hi
    Interesting review – thanks. We have the Nordica Enforcer 100s and looking to get the Fritschi Tecton 100mm to go with them. What crampons would you recommend for this set up? Thanks. Carla

  8. Excited to see your Shootout against the Kingpins… Been on Kingpin13s since they came out w/ zero issues. Shopping for some new bindings for my QST106s (which will be 75/25 Resort/BC here in the Tetons) and it’s pretty much down to Kingpin13s again or try the Tectons. However, I’m a little leary of 1st yr Fritschi products given their track record over the years on Year 1 products, but the toe release of Tectons is intriguing…. What to do?? Is the Toe release that much better than the Heel release of KingPins?

  9. If only Fritschi would make good looking bindings… For me the design won´t influence my buying decision but the fact that they make two really nice bindings which I almost never see them on the mountain says enough. It doesn´t need to be a super flashy binding since form follows function but i just think that a lot more people would get a pair of Tecton´s or Vipec´s if they looked a bit more appealing.

  10. Hi Brian,
    100 mm or 110 mm brakes should I go for with my 106 mm under the food ski?
    I am afraid if the wider brakes will worsen the skiing performance on some firm conditions.

    • Hi Peter,

      With the Tecton, I have used the same brakes on both a 112 mm ski, as well as a 98 mm ski, and haven’t noticed any problems with having wider brakes on the 98 mm ski. I would cautiously suggest the 110 mm brakes. It would be best, however, to ask your local shop.

      • Hi Brian,

        Just to make sure I got it right: was it the 110 mm model you used with the 112 mm ski? Did you have to bend the brake arms in order to fit it in? I have seen comments that the brakes on Tecton are fairly wide for the given size.

  11. Regarding the revelation of the potential for ‘boot damage’ in a forward fall while skinning….any chance you guys can post some pics detailing the sequence of consequence?

    Wonder if a simple home brew mod can mitigate the issue.

    • I wouldn’t recommend modifying the binding. The design of the toe bump (that causes the damage) is critical for proper forward release when in ski mode.

      Also, I really am skeptical as to whether we’ll see this type of damage occur during correct usage patterns. One of the two examples of it occurring was a relatively contrived test to see if they could reproduce the issue. The other example of it occurring has me questioning whether or not the person was actually touring at the time (vs. skiing downhill with the lever locked out). We’ll know more as the year progresses, but it needs to be a very forceful fall for damage to a boot to actually occur.

      • Brian you said:

        “I wouldn’t recommend modifying the binding. The design of the toe bump (that causes the damage) is critical for proper forward release when in ski mode.”

        The design of the toe bump allows for forward release in kneefalls when the toe lever is is in ski mode correct? If so I note that Dynafit Comfort/Vertical/Radical toes; Marker Kingpin toes; G3 Ion toes do not have a toe lever bump. I just removed the toe bump of the Tecton toe lever and will post the process and pictures. The removal is reversible and can be accomplished with standard shop tools

        “Also, I really am skeptical as to whether we’ll see this type of damage occur during correct usage patterns. One of the two examples of it occurring was a relatively contrived test to see if they could reproduce the issue. The other example of it occurring has me questioning whether or not the person was actually touring at the time (vs. skiing downhill with the lever locked out). We’ll know more as the year progresses, but it needs to be a very forceful fall for damage to a boot to actually occur.”

        You are correct that it needs to be a forcefall fall. The force needs to be approximately the body weight of a person on a knee-fall forward with the toe-lever locked out. I suspect that this use-case will be more frequent then either you or Fritschi surmise

        • Forward fall damaging the boot just happened to me last week — something like the 40 – 50th day I’ve had on these. Very icy hard slab, superexposed ridge top, slipped while trying a kickturn.

          Boots (Salomon MTN guides) are damaged / ruined.

          So: not a common failure mode, but not exceedingly *un*common or impossible. But that’s not good enough — I don’t have big binding releasing falls either, but when that rare event does happen, I want it to work.

          Although a decent enough binding otherwise (ski crampon inferior to dynafit IMO), I would strongly recommend against purchasing this binding.

          Fristchi essentially blaming the user is extraordinarily disappointing. I would recommend against any of their products just for that attitude.

  12. Regarding the issue of tech bindings toe pins closing above the sockets when stepping in; it’s a common problem i’ve experienced with almost all my ski touring boots after the rubber soles wear down at the toes after time due to lots of dryland hiking.

    The simple solution I used was to build up a little pad of shoe goo on the boot sole on the trigger area then shave it down to precisely the thickness required to step in the toepiece correctly.

    Add layers of shoe goo over time to restore thickness as required after initial repair wears down or chunks out.

    Also had issues of new boots’ sole rubber being too thick and causing the toe pins to close below the sockets…ground the rubber down with sandpaper or grinding wheel to correct thickness.

    Finally, some rubber soles had rubber that was too thick/incorrectly shaped laterally so just used a utility knife to shave it down so the lateral rubber wouldn’t ‘catch’ on the toepiece to wings.

    If it’s of any interest, I have pics of an example of the shoe goo sole repair on 600 days/use high mileage dynafit mercuries to give a visual of what i’m talking about if I could send them to you or somehow post pics in the comments section here.

  13. Hi!
    Will you try the Dynafit Hoji Pro tour together with the Tecton binding? Maybe want work because of the shark nose?

    I’m very interrested in the Hoji Pro tour, but if it doesn’t work with either the Tecton or the Salomon Shift it’s a shame..

  14. Can you elaborate a little more on the issues you saw using these with the Cochise? These sound like great bindings for me, but I’ve got Cochise Pros, and am not really looking to change those up.

    • The Cochise boot has a DIN sole, which is quite a bit thinner than a rockered touring sole. As a result, the Cochise can have difficulty stepping into tech bindings. It still works, but may take a few tries more than with other boots. Cochise works very well with the Tecton (and new Vipec Evo), however, because it’s step-in design is more adaptable to different boots than other tech bindings.

      Why? Tech binding step-in is sensitive to boot sole height, since it’s the boot sole that presses on the platforms to close the toe pins into the boot toe sockets. If the boot sole is worn (or thinner) then the toe pins can close too late, and miss the boot toe sockets.

    • Hi Delaney,

      Yes, when locking out the toe when skiing down, you lose forward (vertical) release, and the lateral toe release is elevated. We haven’t seen official figures from Fritschi as to how much the lateral release is elevated.

  15. Hi

    I was not a fan of the Vipec, too hard to get into and I had to have the heal part replaced as it started travelling backwards, But after having a ACL reconstruct I am now looking for the safest possible tech binding – it looks like you would favor the Tecton for safety – would that be a right assumption?

    I don´t need a Kingpin style binding – I just need the safest binding possible as I do not feel like doing the ACL thing again.

    For other readers the ACL tear was a result of using RS Maestrale boots on Baron bindings – it was very obvious that the two did not fit together :(


    • Hi Ivar,

      Yes, I personally would favor the Tecton/Vipec for safety reasons. However, I haven’t seen any evidence that it would be safer in regards to ACL injuries. The only evidence I’ve seen is that it perhaps might be safer regarding ankle and tib/fib injuries.

    • Ivar,
      can you please write more about the Maestrale RS vs. Baron not fitting? How was it obvious?
      I have the old Dukes and Maestrale RS The ski service shop tried to set them up to the desired DIN setting but the ski binding tester machine results always came back off. The technician gave up and couldn’t give me the proper test results but I ski them anyway. However, I don’t see other issues there. What did you see?

  16. I just took a chance on these tecton’s & I’m on Van. Island BC. We get some higher temps with dense warm snow. I already broke three brakes because when I step down in touring mode it forces the snow into the brake system causing the little plastic nubs on the sides to break off & the brakes drop & won’t stay up.
    They worked well when temps were -5 C & below but not at -1 or higher.
    Also, the heels were set at 6.5 according to my weight & size. I tried them on my rug at home before I took them out. On the Mtn. they didn’t release when I wanted them to & I brought them home & put them on the rug & wound them back to 5 & they still didn’t release.
    Also, when in touring mode I recommend not locking the toe lever up if you think you might fall forward as that little nub will push the toe of your boot in so you will be taking them home to use a heat gun to pop them out again.
    If I could take the brakes of & use a leash I would but the brakes need to be installed for the heel set up.
    I’ve heard of a few touring guys new to this sport have longer steps at first thereby causing the toe nub to push in the toes of their boots & took their boots to the shop to get the toes popped out.
    I will be replacing mine to something else. Maybe Fritchie will find a way to remove the brakes or make that part in metal where the heel sits. And a release spring with less tension.

  17. Rented a BD Helio 115 with Tecton on it for a day.
    We did several runs inbounds, on powder morning (10” overnight, still snowing gently during the day). The a short tour in the backcountry.
    So I skied, Powder, chopped powder, soft moguls at slow speed and soft, messed up packed groomers.

    My Cochises (current version with the Tech fittings in the boot, not in the sole block) with the regular DIN hybrid sole worked fine.

    Stepping in was challenging for me, but got easier with practice. I would bet it would be fine if you owned it.
    Riser were very easy to use with poles, even on the first try.
    It was cold enough that the snow was dry, so the brakes went down without any problem, but I could see how that would be an issue in wet snow.
    I took a tumble in the powder and one ski released nicely. Didn’t pre-release on the groomers on moguls.

    • Hi Jay T,

      Yes, that’s correct. The Tecton is less sensitive to boot sole thickness. The difference is even greater when considering a worn Cochise boot sole (where the rubber has degraded or is partially missing).

  18. Has anyone had issues with the 2017/18 Tecton brakes releasing while in walk mode? Both of mine are releasing very 30 or 40 steps. If i try to use the risers both brakes release after 2 or 3 steps. Ice and snow build up is not the issue.

  19. Hi Todd,

    I haven’t had issues with the brakes releasing in walk mode. However, I have had problems over the last 2 weeks with snow packing into the brake system and the brakes failing to deploy in ski mode when I remove my boot.

  20. Hi Brian,

    So I recently purchased the Tecton after having been on Dynafits for years. All was fine for the first couple of tours but now I’m having issues with one of bindings during my last tour – which is frustrating. On one of the bindings the heel piece does not stay engaged when in walk mode. At the slightest tap, the heel becomes disengaged and sends the brake into release mode. This is even occurring when the riser is on. Things that set off the brake are touching a twig with the brake or even the inner brakes gently colliding while skinning.
    I’ve called the BD warranty department and they said this issue has not been reported to them by others and to dry skis and spray down with white lithium grease – which I’ve done – and tested in my living room with just mildly touching the affected binding and it has not helped. He also thought that maybe my DIN was not set high enough- which I’m not sure that would make a difference in walk mode. I’m a 145 lb female and they are already at 8.

    I had the skis mounted at a small local ski shop and am wondering if they were mounted incorrectly because if the complexity.

    Any thoughts?

    • Hi Julia,

      Does your problem happen in the living room after your skis have been inside and all snow has melted off?

      Snow can easily pack into the pocket underneath the heel cup and prevent the walk mode from fully engaging. While it appears to be fully engaged, it actually isn’t – as you have experienced, the slightest bump can disengage it. Cocking the heel back (as if you were stepping into ski mode), and clearing snow from the pocket will then allow you to get a proper and full engagement in tour mode. Hopefully this will solve your problem.

  21. This is my one ski/binding quiver. I have skied these bindings for 11 days, I pushed them as hard as I could. Running super fast downhill , bowls filled with moguls, tree skiing, side country touring, and skiing with my kids.
    I have not had any issues, I have not missed my alpine bindings at all.
    I was concerned when doing endless laps of high speed groomers that had some variable chop in them. However the binding never let go.
    I took one fall but the skis didn’t come off, so I will remain optimistic about the binding releasing when I really need it.

  22. I have toured on these all season (but with limited days as Colorado snow sucks this year). So far I am extremely happy and they are so better than the downhill performance of the older Dynafit Radical FT. Very confident inspiring. I cannot compare to the kingpin but I am very happy with them.

    Scarpa Masetrale RS (new model), 4FRNT Raven

  23. I’ve had Vipecs on some Soul7s as a tour setup for soft snow and I’ve been happy with the Vipec performance both touring and in bounds on softer days (hard days those skis suck so I don’t use them). Now I’m looking at some new ON3P Kartel 108s to keep up with my 8 year old and do some 47 year old freestyle but mostly use in bounds and some slack country. So question is this. Is the Tecton a good choice for 90% in bounds if generally soft, some freestyle, lots of switch, no rails, light airs, charging soft chop. Will the pins survive this sort of use?

    • Hey Erik,

      Yeah, I’d personally have no concerns about using them 90% in bounds in soft snow. I probably would use them that much in firm snow conditions too, except I’d be a bit concerned about hardpack airs, and firm straightline runouts. So if those aren’t on the menu, then I’d be happy to use the Tectons 100% of the time, inbounds or not.

      • Thanks. I know pins in bounds are not per design but I really like having the option for slack laps. I’m on Lupo 130C with din sole plates so much the same binding-boot fit as the Cochise. Did I read correctly that there is a height adjust of the underfoot in the toe so the pins don’t see full downward force? That would be a nice add with AFD of sorts but I wouldn’t expect that since most boots are rockered. I swapped the WTR for din plates on so the boots would work with my whole quiver.

  24. I’m very curious how You will compare ATK FreeRaider and alpine-heel bindings like Tecton, Kingpin or other modern pin bindings like G3 Ion and Vipec.

    • Hi Mario,

      I’ve only skied the older ATK FreeRaider 14, which did NOT have the freeride spacer (the plastic piece that goes under your heel). The Tecton and Kingpin skied with noticeably better power transfer than the OLD ATK FreeRaider 14, as did the Vipec. Other pin bindings were pretty comparable. However, it’s possible that adding the freeride spacer would change my opinion.

  25. I and others have had trouble with the brakes not deploying on older Vipecs. Has this been a problem in US? Can anyone comment on brake deployment on the V4?

    Alan in Scotland

    • Hi Alan,

      I’ve had problems with brake deployment on all Vipecs and Tectons I’ve skied. All of my problems are associated with snow packing into the heelpad, adding friction to the system and preventing the brakes from deploying. I’ve tuned the friction in the system by using a dremel tool, but it still happens on occasion. The later models are a bit better than the earlier models, but not a huge difference.

    • A little late to the party but….I started having the same problem on Tectons I have about 20 days on. A little plastic-safe grease solved the problem. I used Super Lube Multipurpose Synthetic Grease. G3 sells a much more expensive ski binding specific product. So these bindings might require a little bit of ongoing maintenance. Not a bad thing.

  26. were there any updates to the fritschi evo for 18/19? I know the official word is that TLT7 is not compatible but i’ve heard/read of people using them and that there were to be some tweaks for this season to improve compatibility. any comment on this?

    • Hi Dominik,

      The only changes I’ve heard about is a change to the toe-piece to reduce the changes of a forward knee-fall causing boot damage when the toe is locked out. From what I can tell, the chances of this happening are very rare (not many occurrences being reported), but it is an improvement.

  27. I’ve been using Vipecs (second gen, 2014/15) with Scarpa F1 Evos and I’ve noticed the forward release no longer works with one boot, due to a weakening at the toe. This was caused I think by the design of the toepiece, putting pressure in one spot, damaging the plastic over time. Does the new toepiece spread the load more effectively I wonder?

    I’ve managed to fix the issue by taping a five swiss franc piece to the toe, preventing it from denting in. Also, I now always have an emergency beer token when I’m in Swizerland :)

    • Hi Will,

      The forward release trigger HAS been changed from the earlier Vipecs. It’s also been further refined in 18/19 in the Tecton and Vipec Evo. I’m not sure if the new toe design would help solve your particular problem, but it is different…

  28. I’ve been touring on some Radical ST 1.0’s and have had no issues in consistent, soft, backcountry snow. When touring in more populated areas and running over older tracks or dealing with slabs, spring snow or anything less than smooth my setup feels pretty jarring.

    I’d consider myself a relatively conservative backcountry skier. Would picking this binding (over one in the lightweight shootout) for my next setup provide a more enjoyable experience in those conditions? Or is this really meant for someone charging hard in the backcountry/occasionally riding lifts on them?

    • Hi Eric,

      The Vipec and Tecton do provide an improvement in jarring snow conditions over the Radical ST 1.0s for many skiers. Whether or not the improvement will be significant enough (for you) to warrant a new binding is a more difficult question, as the improvement is NOT a night-and-day difference.

    • FWIW another opinion. I noticed an enormous difference when I switched from Radicals to Tectons . Way more control and pretty much the total elimination of rattle and jarring. Considering the relatively minimal weight penalty I would recommend tossing the Radicals immediately!

  29. If the Tecton skis (more or less) identically to the Kingpin would it be safe to say it’s really the heel that makes the difference over traditional tech bindings, and not the elasticity in the toe of the Tecton/Vipec?

    Is the elasticity in the toe really only a safety/pre-release benefit?

    • Hi Erica,

      While we can often discern differences between equipment (e.g. the Tecton and Kingpin vs other bindings), it’s really hard to attribute these differences to one specific design detail or another.

      In this case, I can’t really tell whether the difference in ski performance is solely due to the heel, or if the toe plays a role as well. We’d probably need to try it with a fixed toe and the same heel to say anything with certainty.

      That said, the difference in the toe’s design from traditional tech bindings provides a very real difference in terms of safety/pre-release. It’s not just the elasticity in the toe, but also the fact that it releases FROM the toe (and not the heel). Whether or not you’d prefer release from the toe, or release from the heel, I’d suggest you read my Vipec review which discusses the differences in detail.

  30. Would you trust the Tecton on a 45 degree slope where you have to make jump turns, with maybe not icy conditions but hard, packed snow?

  31. Hi Brian!
    When you first described the Tecton binding you had a question about the plastic components and its durability. What is your experience so far?

    • Hi Inger,

      I haven’t had a lot of time on them in super firm snow (we’ve had a lot of powder days), but I haven’t noticed anything that would be a cause for concern regarding durability of the plastics. I’ve heard *rumors* of the brake retainer cracking, but I haven’t experienced that myself, nor do I know anyone that has.

  32. Is there any better template available than the one available via wild snow-I used that to mount my initial set of Tecton’s-[which by the way have been bulletproof-use them in the resort + backcountry and have performed well with no major hassles for two years now]-have bought another Tecton binding to mount on a new set of ski’s and was wondering if there has been any changes to template

    • You can get a nice jig from Black Diamond for the tecton/vipec. Send them a message and they will mail you one. Might cost a couple bucks but it is adjustable, can be used many times, and is harder/thicker paper than a normal printout.

  33. Because the Tecton locked-in walk mode is activated by lifting up on a lever that sticks out in front of the binding, is there any practical risk that charging through something (like a tree branch) could snag and lift the lever, forcing it into locked-in-walk mode?

    All reports suggest the Tecton is more reliable than the 2019 SHIFT (which has icing and transition issues), but I like that the shift in downhill mode has zero risk of somehow getting locked in.

    • Hey David,

      After having skied the Tectons and Vipecs for a few years, I’ve never had that happen to me. I don’t think it’s really something to be concerned with. Of course, there’s always a very small chance something like that could happen, but I don’t necessarily think that’s a compelling reason to not choose the Tecton or Vipec, if you prefer it over the SHIFT or another binding.

  34. One of my favorite 50/50 tour/ lift set-ups is the Mantra M4 with Tectons, so I know that works for me on the down. But still, that combo is on the heavy side for most tours.

    What I’m trying to figure out is the most plush suspension for BC tours in a lighter (mid-weight) set up, and trying to significantly better the suspension of an aging pair of Zero G 108s with Tectons without going much heavier. I own multiple pairs of Shifts and Tectons and like/ feel familiar with both.

    The “suspension” question comes down to the skis and bindings in combination. For instance, the line Line Sickday 104 with Tectons weighs about the same as the Zero G 105s with Shifts. Of those, which do you think would feel more plush and forgiving?

    It is very interesting to watch Cody Townsend’s “50” series. It seems like he started the series on the previous QST 106, which was lighter than the new one, and then switched to the new QST 106, which is a heavier ski. He uses Pin-tech bindings nearly all of the time even though he helped design the Shift. Going off of that, maybe a more plush ski like the Sickday coupled with the Tecton would be better than the Zero G 105 and the shift(?) —–But wait, recently, Luke K said something in a podcast about wanting Shift/ Cast/ new Marker Duke PT whenever feasible. So it seems like there are good examples going in both directions.

    Anybody have experience mounting Shifts on a light, stiff ski? How was that by comparison?

    (I’ll be posting this on the Shift comments as well)

    • Interested to hear any follow up on this – I just picked up a Line Sick Day 104 (172 length) and am deciding between mounting with shifts or tectons. Likely will be doing 10-12 days resort and 10ish days backcountry when there is more variable snow in the Whistler/S2S. I have a second lightweight setup with Ions on G3 Seekrs for longer pow days with lots of transitions or traverses. I’m a pretty lightweight short guy at 130lbs and 5′ – 7″ so I’m starting to lean toward the Tectons for lighter weight and for something a bit simpler on transitions. Does that logic make sense to go with the Tecton, or would you reconsider Shifts for that setup?

  35. I purchased these, Tecton 12’s, for this season and used them about 45+day/ another 25 days skinning with some traversing and steep climbing. These bindings are Perfect for flexibility, yet sorry on durability. They are light weight as mentioned above with all the nerd talk and really durable to put through some grind. Im a hard skier and put everything to a test.. these are some tough SOB’s but.. they have their own weakness as anything else. Below is my issue;
    I would pop out of the front (usually right) pins with a little slight pressure the wrong way while climbing. It was obvious that too much forward I would pop out, I get that, but not when doing quick turns that put pressure on the right, yikes! The front bump toe stop on one of mine finally busted off and cracked the lower casing, thus leaving me with an expensive paper weight for the moment. I wish I could load pics on here to show the cracked case and missing toe stop. I did ski the rest of the way down after the incident without the stop there (had to try, I was still halfway up on the climb.. might as well go down the fun way) and the front pins actually did hold any forward movement of my boot as they normally would while in “ski” mode. I was thinking that missing that one stop would be super crucial but it turned out not. That these mega clamp pins held all that pressure coming back down. Matter of fact getting into these things feels like a rat trap just tackled my boot when you get in to them..its amazing! I definitely feel confident when getting in them. On my set up I have the brakes and just didnt feel like having a leash on.. so anyways, at random times while walking I did have one ski that the brake would keep kicking out and not staying in the upright position. Annoying at times, helpful in others yet still its design was to keep them up while walking.. Some Pros and Cons in there for this season on them. FYI, the warranty is with Black Diamond not with Fritschi.. lets see if they honor a solution now so we can get these back up and running.

  36. On the top of the 3rd page you briefly mention the Atomic Backland boot. Has anyone seen info that says the Backland is compatible with the Tecton? All I’ve found is this document on fritschi’s site listing Hawx and Prime being compatible. https://www.dropbox.com/s/nk5tso14m0oqoeq/Compatibility%20boots_with_TECTON_2020-21.pdf

    I wonder because my girlfriend currently has Tecton with Technica Cochise, which is supposedly compatible, but she want to switch to a more skimo like boot, namely the Backland (previous years model with the insert or the newer model with boa).

  37. These are my first touring bindings. Mounted to DPS Wailer tours which i got half price so it’s not as bad as it looks… i think my tectons were 2019 model.
    I’ve had the issue with snow/ice buildup preventing the heel-piece from completely locking into walk mode. It’s usually as the day gets a bit warmer which is common down here in NZ. It’s pretty annoying to suddenly be dragging the brake and I usually have to step out to fix the issue. I know to look out for it now tho and this season i might pack something to help clear it out at transitions. It seems one is more prone to it than the other – go figure. Will try the silicone spray or grease option.
    I’ve also had the toe stop break off (it connects by a small bar held in by plastic tabs). Didn’t notice till i got back to the car after a 1000m day… but we weren’t skiing hard. Was warrantied quickly. I think new ones have addressed this – looks more robust.
    Otherwise v happy and they’re great inbounds too for me; light and not too aggressive.

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