If your board is wider than 26.5 you can call him and get some custom width crampons, I've done that and he's great to work with. I also had him put some custom heel lifters on my crampons because I'm picky.
I've been using his stuff for 5+ years without issue.
Chips are flying and making lots of good progress. As usual, things are taking a little longer than I hoped for.
Thanks for the team effort as a few of you are kind enough to help me double check boot fit. Thank you. I need to make sure the binding will fit a wide range of boots and sizes. I really do appreciate all the feedback and I'm working hard to give you something you will like. Hopefully by the end of September, I'll have a final product ready for release and preorder.
Looks like I will not be able to make the binding adjustable for a TLT5 Mondo 23, but should be able to fit all other sizes. Big thanks to Buell who has been helping me fit check that part of the system.
Hopefully I will be able to find out how they fit the BD Prime, but it looks like the USPS lost my proto binding plate in the mail. I guess I shouldn't be so cheap and next time will get a tracking number
Final bit of machining and fit check should be done this week and then off to the anodizer. Plan is to get the parts back, more fit check and then invite people up to the house to check them out in person. Should be ready to release pictures and videos in about two or three weeks. Getting close.
I know I've said it before, but I'm doing everything I can to make the best binding I can build for you guys, but this will be a proto year and I will need everyone to sign a wavier. If you break the binding, then I will do everything I can to fix/update design and get you back on your board, but like any unproven thing, start small and test these things out for yourself. Also, these are not designed for carving. I've never ridden carving boots and bails, but my guess is that these bindings are going to be much softer than those setups. This also means that they may be more prone to breaking. It's a fine line between being light and strong. I'm sure I'm more on the light side when compared to the other production hardboot carving bindings, but also sure that I'm not as strong. However, I ride these things and don't want them to break while I'm miles from help and I'm trying to lean more towards leaving a little extra material rather than going for the lightest setup right out of the gate. Not trying to scare you guys off, just want to keep expectations in check. I'd rather under sell something and see it turn out then the opposite
I've never ridden carving boots and bails, but my guess is that these bindings are going to be much softer than those setups. This also means that they may be more prone to breaking. It's a fine line between being light and strong. I'm sure I'm more on the light side when compared to the other production hardboot carving bindings, but also sure that I'm not as strong.
I've never ridden carving boots and bails, its all very new to me too.
Maybe others can chime in on light vs stong and I'm sure all of us want the lightest setup possible, but there is no way I would sacrifice a couple hundred grams on my back for something that may be prone to breaking. I would rather have something be a bit heavier and have the feeling that it is bomber that be worried about them breaking. Breakage miles from help doesn't concern me as much as breakage when I'm torquing them in a crux/no fall situation.
However, I ride these things and don't want them to break while I'm miles from help and I'm trying to lean more towards leaving a little extra material rather than going for the lightest setup right out of the gate. Not trying to scare you guys off, just want to keep expectations in check. I'd rather under sell something and see it turn out then the opposite
Give me something heavier I can be confident with. Lighter weight is optional, strength is mandatory. I think you have gone beyond most expectations in what we have seen , so let's try version 1.0, and if you can get them lighter then great.
Look at how the Spark bindings have progressed in 5 years. Compare a pair of Burners to the original Ignition, night and day.
Many thanks in advance for hard work, I'm sure you are going to make many of very stoked this winter.
Good news, I got all my paperwork in so I can officially say I'm "Patent-pending"!!!
For those of you who are in the Front Range, I'm having a kick-off party on Saturday, Sept 22. Send me an email if you want to come and I'll give you more info and directions jkeffler AT gmail.com
Now on to business...
Before I go into the details of the design, let me try to address a basic question, are they strong enough?
I'm with you Jamie, in that I'll take a stronger binding over a lighter binding if it's a safety issue. What I've tried to do is strike a good balance, so I put in a call to my 20 person testing department and here's what we worked up.
First we need a binding to test. I had an extra binding that is actually on the thinner side of what the design looks like right now and put that on a board I used to setup my table saw for making DIY splits. Looks like a good start. Good job team of brilliant test engineers.
Now I just need some thing that resembles a foot. How about some 2X4 and a 4X4, this should do...
The 2X4 was held together with (4) 3" deck screws.
Now, how can I hold the board down while I try to break this thing. Hey look, cars are heavy...
Here's a link to the video of the first test...(sorry, I'll try later to get it embedded)
As you hopefully saw from the video, I did manage to break the binding, but it took what I thought was more static force than what I believe a person could generate. I'm guessing your knee would give out, long before the binding breaks. However, I think it does show that there is a potential that the binding could deform a little under regular use. I'll post pictures later comparing the new adjustable design to what I rode on all last season which did not show any signs of deformation or fatigue cracking.
Not surprising, the weak link is the 5mm threads in the 3/16" plate.
Only minor damage to the tabs and they showed no signs of deformation.
To my surprise, the small part where the tabs overlap the board plate, survived pretty well.
OK, so here is what I think I learned. I don't think that they will just break while riding them. If someone is dropping big cliffs or something else to induce large dynamic forces, I believe they will deform but not break. However, I can not guarantee that since that's not what this tested. I did learn where a few critical areas of the design are and I believe I have a few ways to make the design stronger if the need arises. The good news about these ideas to make it stronger is that I should be able to take the existing design and just do some simple modifications. So if these items I have on a "watch list" do show signs of problems, people can send me there bindings and I'll upgrade them free of charge. So you might ask, why not just make the changes now, well they involve more parts and machining which equals more cost. I'm trying to keep the cost down of course. I also don't think under normal usage, these items will be an issue.
Let me know what you think. I'll post more detailed pictures of the design and a video showing how the bindings lock down in a few days. I just thought this would be more fun to look at and discuss right now.