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Telemark Bulldog

Simple. Effective. Superior Quality!

CONSTRUCTION: The main parts of the binding are machined aluminum, with a blue hard coat. There is a plastic insert in the aluminum center block. The remainder of the parts are stainless steel. This includes the crossbars, locking center spring pin, ski brake, screws, springs, and the 3-pins.

WEIGHT: Currently at .94 lbs. each unit. Can be reduced with minor design changes.

DESIGN: Based on 75 mm Nordic norm 3-pin; cantilever front hinge; three cross bars unite the lateral wings; center block with locking spring pin and front toggle release; integrated ski brake provides upward lift to lateral wings which maintains them open; when the boot is inserted, downward pressure retracts the ski brake under lateral wings.

The Telemark Bulldog - view from the side

SPECIAL FEARTURES: Step-in design, integrated ski brake.

A variety of features make this telemark binding unique some obvious, but several more subtle. Starting with the most obvious, of course, is loose that heel strap!. To allow for a step-in, I can see little alternative than to have only a toe piece. This won't be for everyone. But for those hard core, die hard, 3-pin lovers, it's a great leap from the old front throw. The convenience of a step-in with a ski brake, alleviating the retention strap, will be a welcome advantage for many. Personally, I find that the combination of a plastic telemark boot with a heel cable is much too restrictive. This binding performs well on hard pack as well deep snow conditions. It has a broad, flat boot platform that efficiently transfers carving energy. Boot rocker and forward throw are minimal with this design.

What are the mechanics that make this binding work? The key to the design is the cantilever hinge in the front of the binding, and a center block, which supports the lateral wings. When applying force downward on the lateral wings there is mechanical advantage produced which applies a significant force to the toe of the boot under the top cross bar. This holds the ski boot in place firmly. In addition, the three-pin plate is slightly higher than the rest of the binding's top surface. This allows for a precise, tight contact between the boot and the three-pin plate. This feature also raises the toe of the boot slightly higher than mid sole minimizing rocker.

View from above of the step-in design

A raised ridge is machined across the mid aspect of the pin plate which gives some extra purchase on the boot sole. The front hinge has a micro adjustment that allows the binding to be adjusted for slight variation in boot sole thickness. This combination of features creates a snug fit, eliminates 'slop', and minimizes wear on the pinholes. There are two upright posts in the front of the binding which stops the front of the boot when stepping into the binding and aligns the pin holes correctly every time. This also saves wear on the pinholes and allows for easier and quicker step-in action.

The 3 Pin Plate

You will also notice that the boot/binding interface surface is smooth and unencumbered by screws or sharp edges, which prevents snow from catching under the sole of the boot. This alleviates the annoyance of a big wad of sticky snow under the sole while skiing a sweet crud line. The boot platform is slightly angled downward towards the rear of the binding, also minimizing rocker effect.

The ski brake is one piece, and tucks neatly under the lateral wings when the binding is locked down. It is spring activated upward and holds the binding open. The ski brake also prevents the ski from sliding forward when inserting the boot. At times, though, I find it is necessary to step on the back of the ski to hold it in place while sliding the other foot forward into the binding. This depends on the type of snow surface you are on.

The center block of the binding attaches directly to the ski with four screws. It is made of 1 x 2-inch stock aluminum and produces a 1-inch riser effect. The front release toggle is attached directly to the locking pin which extends the length of the binding through the center block. The binding is locked down by the center pin latching across the rear cross bar. There is NO safety release mechanism designed into this binding. The binding is released by manually depressing the front toggle downward with a ski pole. This binding is designed so it won't release inadvertently.

The boot stopper

I was very pleased with the performance of the binding during some early season skiing in Chile during the last week of September. But the proof is in the pudding! Wait till you ski on it!

We will keep you updated with reviews and comments on this web site as the season gets rolling.

Click on image to enlarge drawing.
Detailed blueprint of the binding
The Telemark Bulldog ski binding in the tele position

The binding can be seen at Firstrax ski and bike shop, Montgomery Center, Vermont.

*Patent pending

For more information e-mail: info@burntmtn.com

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