Forums Bindings Malfunction/Pins falling out of Tesla-bindings
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  • #579563
    46 Posts

    I don’t know whether there was a bad batch of Tesla Magneto bindings sent to Japan, but two local friends experienced lost pins within a week here. One guy found out he was missing the pin while packing his gear early in the morning, the other guy found out while preparing to switch back to touring mode, after a run.

    I thought the first malfunction was just a fluke, but this second time we took a long look at the binding when we made it back to the car. It turns out we could push out the remaining pin with only moderate finger pressure, and the pin will not hold well when put back in. I would advise anyone using the Tesla binding-system to definitely check your gear every time before using it.

    The design of the pins is such that they are press-fit into the binding, and there is nothing to hold it in place should they become loosened. Some possible solutions would be to use threads, drill in a cross-pin, or use something like JB Weld epoxy or some other glue and hope it holds the pin in there. But, these are all hacks. I personally am definitely sticking to my old pin-based Burners for now.

    first guy’s binding

    second friend’s binding

    679 Posts

    Wow, that’s freaking terrible. Thanks for the heads up. We are going out on our Teslas today, and I’ll definitely check that. The bummer is that you can’t just carry a spare easily like you could with the old pin system.

    Update: I just gave them a shove and they seem to be in there snug, but I’ll keep an eye on them. These are from the first batch of Afterburners.

    11 Posts

    Get in touch with Spark – they’ve got great service.

    34 Posts

    I have a similar type problem – out on Saturday, probably my 10th day of the year, with my Magnetos.
    Don’t know how to post a picture, but I found the pin under the toe ramp moved “in”, preventing the toe ramp from locking down in ski mode, and preventing the binding sliding onto the pucks in ride mode.

    A little concerning given the problems described by the original poster. I managed to finish the rest of the day by smashing the pin back out (flush) using my leatherman and shovel handle, but it took a lot of smacks and force to get the pin to move back to flush so the toe ramp would close and binding slide over the pucks. Interestingly, depsite all the force I had to use to smash the pin back to flush, after each subsequent touring or split skiiing, the pin moves back in (not flush). Maybe something about the pivoting/rotating motion.

    Just really glad the pin didn’t fall out all together.

    I’ll be contacting the Spark guys for the second warranty problem this year. They came through with some replacement Sabretooth crampons after the pin broken after < 1 hr of use.

    I’ll update this thread after I hear back from Spark re: my Magneto pin issue

    679 Posts

    @andbrown wrote:

    Replacement Sabretooth crampons after the pin broken after < 1 hr of use.

    Just to be clear, the pin is the steel pivot rod that slides into the touring bracket, or the pin is a rivet that holds the steel pivot rod to the crampon body? Either way, I have thought these parts look a little skinny given the forces at work on them.

    34 Posts

    the rod that slides into the bracket (not the rivet) was the problem with the Sabretooths, but I moved that over to another thread

    329 Posts

    The pin from the sabertooth is not the Problem…. the real Problem is the youser.
    the crampon is not in the right Position….

    look at his :


    34 Posts

    Hi Burton and Philip (and everyone else) – please have a look at a new thread I created to discuss Sabretooth crampon problems viewtopic.php?f=11&t=16586

    Don’t want to take away from this thread talking about tesla system pin problems which is a much more serious problem in my opinion. Sorry to have hijacked this thread in the first place

    233 Posts

    For the snap ramp pins: threads and the pins going in from the other side, like the original Dynafit Low Tech toes from um 1980s with a slotted head so that one can use a screwdriver to change / install new in the field, if necessary.


    82 Posts

    Any new info guys? I am really watching this thread as I was gonna buy some Magnetos this week, but now I’m wondering if I should be waiting for 2nd Gen, with this new found issue… Any reporting back on this issue and how it was or was not resolved is much appreciated.



    46 Posts

    pow_hnd, Spark got back to me and said they would send some replacement baseplates
    for my friends here.

    My opinion is this is a low-probability / high-risk situation. You might be ok for half the
    season, but should the pin fall out, you could be in a very exposed situation. What are
    you going to do if you have a +5 hour exit that you were planning to skin out of?

    If a 2nd generation Tesla design completely eliminated any possibility of pins falling out,
    I make take a look, but to be honest I am very happy with my older LT-pin system version.
    At this point, I would much rather favor a robust design than additional convenience in transition.

    Hope that helps.

    @pow_hnd wrote:

    Any new info guys? I am really watching this thread as I was gonna buy some Magnetos this week, but now I’m wondering if I should be waiting for 2nd Gen, with this new found issue… Any reporting back on this issue and how it was or was not resolved is much appreciated.

    34 Posts

    I filled out the warranty form on their website on Feb 10, someone got back to me Feb 12 saying they’d send a new baseplate, but I haven’t received any tracking/shipping number yet, so not sure when it will go out, or when it will arrive.

    In my email I asked them; any ideas how that happened, any idea how to prevent it from happening, is this something common, anybody else experience these kinds of problems. They didn’t acknowledge any of these questions – just said they’d send a new baseplate.

    It was pretty crappy when my I found my pin moved halfway during the day and it was a real p.i.t.a to smash back into place, but I’m really glad none of the pin nubs fell out all together as the original poster experienced.

    I love the bindings, but so far I’ve had a crampon break, the plastic piece under the toe ramp break, and a pin move. I’m 165 lbs max (with out gear), and by no means an aggressive rider or hard on gear, so was surprised at these issues. Not sure what I’d suggest pow_hd? Not sure how many people have the Tesla system and are getting out a lot, but if myself and the original poster are the only ones having any issues, I’d say the odds are pretty good for you of not having any problems should you buy a pair this year. Like montoya says though, there could be high “risk” associated with that low probability, but I think that applies to everything?

    My $0.02

    82 Posts

    Thanks for the reply guys… I have been on Sparks for years and love them. Had some issues with a pair of binders 3 generations ago and their service was top notch on getting the issue resolved.. Think I’ll take a gamble and buy them. I usually always do quick tours close to my vehicle ( one of the many benefits of living in SLC ) and I’ll pay close attention to my gear. I’ll just hang on to my other Sparks which was the plan anyways, just in case. If by chance I end up doing a super long tour maybe I’ll fall back to my Burners just to be safe. In the end as long as Spark is on it and taking care of issues I feel good about it.



    298 Posts

    i don’t think this is a universal problem, rather a small batch that may have gone wrong. We were out with 7 riders on Tesla’s last week for 3 days without a single problem.
    I’ve not heard of this problem here in Europe yet, so it’s possible that it’s an isolated issue.

    It’s not a reason not to buy them imo. They are superior to last years bindings, and there was always the possibility of losing or breaking a pin with the old bindings anyway. You could easily bring a small replacement pin or fabricate something with stuff you have in your pack and still get back . it sucks, but is not the end of the world. Spark will get you replacements anyway, because they always do.

    254 Posts

    I learned my lesson a couple of years ago when i bought the first batch of Karakorams and the back foot blew out on a run,coming off the board altogether,there was a big thread on it on here too,still rocking the burners from 2 years ago,despite my urge to buy new shit,will wait it out

    2 Posts

    I also lost a pin on my Tesla magneto binding today. I noticed when I went to transition to skin for a second lap. No touring for me until spark can send me a replacement base plate.

    Any body else had this or an I unlucky with a dodgy batch?

    620 Posts

    I believe that anything coming out of the shop now is got the magnifying glass on them. I was informed that this was a batch which was off on tolerances enough to allow the pins to come out under stress. couple things that could be done to mitigate any risk would be to use a drill press and drill straight down through the top of the baseplate and through the middle of the touring pins and pressfit a spring pin through the whole thing. also, lubing the pin/bushings will keep the friction down a little which may be causing some of these problems. Any misallignment under stress causes failures and thus the risk is higher without having a solid pin to tour with. :twocents: I’ll be getting mine soon, so it’s definitely worth the risk to me!

    233 Posts

    Was it an early batch or late batch?

    I hope Spark isn’t going to just wait for failures to send replacements / address in some way?

    46 Posts

    Just an update for anyone following this thread, I was with the original
    friend who experienced the lost pin (right binding). Today we hiked 700
    meters to the top of a chute here in Japan and when he transitioned from
    skin to ride mode, the inside pin on his left binding was protruding
    enough so that he couldn’t lock the toe-ramp down, like andbrown
    posted about earlier. He eventually used the other binding to bash the
    pin back so that the top-ramp cleared enough.

    Not exactly confidence-inspiring.

    220 Posts

    They clearly need a dowel/pin /grub screw to keep them from falling out.

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