It didn’t take long for the maveriks on the bleeding edge of the tele-tech frontier to discover yet another flaw with the Lynx claw. The latest permutation of Lynx’ claw seems to stay down when told to, but now has a penchant for letting go while telemarking, when it shouldn’t. It’s not really the claw, but modifications to the main flex plate might be allowing this. Not in all cases, but too many to ignore.
The claw falls off
Two things could be happening. One is happening for sure and the other potential cause leaves no evidence.
In a few cases the cam stop, which holds the claw in the up or down position, is pushed forward on the flex plate. If it moves too far forward, the claw tooth disengages from the detents in the cam stop preventing it from staying in either mode, turn or tour. This allows it to unhitch from the second heel while skiing, a perilous condition if you’re bouncing between left and right telemark turns. This is not happening with flex plates prior to the 21/22 season.
However, @Pherick has demonstrated that even without a cam stop, disengaging from the boot while under dynamic tension requires substantial force to get the claw to let go. A cam stop moved too far forward only seems to prevent holding the claw flat for tour mode, or conversely, makes connecting the claw for turns inconsistent or problematic.
In the same thread discussing Lynx pros and cons, @Pherick also showed what could be the real cause of the claw disengaging while telemarking — snow packing between the spring strap and the baseplate, effectively pushing the claw back so that it disengages from the boot when the heel comes down. I’ve experienced this myself but shrugged it off since it only happened once. Looking back I remember the binding was unusually packed with snow underneath.
The latest version of the main flex plate adopted a different strategy to hold the cam stop in a specific position. The first two versions used external tabs to keep it sliding forward, but the tabs were prone to splintering lengthwise; again, not in all cases, but enough to warrant revision. This time 22D tried an internal wedge shape to eliminate the splintering. They accomplished that, with the unexpected consequence of allowing the cam stop to move forward while telemarking. Not for everyone, but enough to go back to the drawing board.
Fixes in the worx
On World Telemark Day a crew from 22 Designs set up a demo tent at Alta to help fuel the stoke. Jake Garcia, the voice you may hear if you call 22 Designs, showed off some future fixes for Lynx. One possible solution to prevent the cam stop moving forward could be a modified top flex plate that is long enough to act as the positioner for the cam stop. The top plate is already thick and dramatically less flexible than the main flex plate. Simply lengthening it would make Lynx unbearably stiff, even for pinheads that prefer an extraordinarily stiff binding. To allow some bend to the top plate 22D showed a prototype that was hollowed out to make it less stiff. This potential solution offers the ability to fine tune the flexibility of the top plate with different width cut outs. Time will tell if it works.
Kitten springs comin’ for Lynx
For those of you who’ve said Lynx is too stiff, especially size small last Winter ’21, 22D is working on offering a soft main flex plate. Yours truly gave it a static test and can say for those who prefer a less active binding this will definitely make you smile.
To me, the claw disengaging issue, which is the major issue I’ve encountered this season, with 21-22 plates/cam stop, was always due to snow packing just behind the solid aluminium front part, under the springs. Even with anti Ice tape everywhere. A little amont of snow is enough. On this very spot, the snow packing can become very dense and you need to take all the plates away to remove the snow and go on riding.
Otherwise I love this binding :-)
Benoit from the Pyrenees.
I just had this happen this weekend and it scared the hell out of me. I was finishing a dynamic turn with my left knee down, and then my boot completely popped out. I did not fall too badly, but it certainly shook me up. When I checked the binding , I realized I needed to add a few spacers to the spring — which surprised me. However, I also noticed the snow pack issue that had created a few problems too. I skied yesterday with no issues, but with some snow packing, I did worry. I await a flex plate and cam stop that eases my mind a bit more (and probably a pair of Outlaw Xs when I am on my resort focus).