Review: Meidjo 2.1

It has been five years now since Meidjo was first introduced to the world. At the time it was the first telemark binding to merge the New Telemark Norm with a 2-pin low-tech toe. It blended the efficiency of the Telemark Tech System (TTS®) with the control of the NTN connection.  Out of the gate everything needed to be polished with v1.x. The second version came pretty quickly, but v2.1 didn’t arrive until late 2017. It’s had two years of abuse in the field now and it finally works, more than less, as originally claimed.

Meidjo v2.1. Stronger, more reliable, greater immunity to icing, and less expen$ive.

Why le Meidjo Rocks

What rocks with Meidjo is the step-in function, especially the toe pins, the lateral safety release,
the touring (duh), ski brakes and crampons; but most importantly the downhill thrill because Meidjo
makes smooth tele tracks that turn on fast with precise lateral control.

Tele On

The edging possible with NTN has been undeniable for years. The 2-Pin toe connection makes it even tighter.  With standard springs, Meidjo isn’t much more powerful than SWX2 in terms of tele tension, but it turns that medium level of power on instantly, with a steady increase as you raise some heell.  The net result is a sweet tele flex that hangs tough in the rough, but plays soft in the deep. That tele tension can be adjusted two ways; first by tightening the nuts at the end of the spring rods which yields a micro adjustment to the tension. Second, a macro adjustment is done by changing the springs used; the standard outer spring alone delivers the softest tension, say HH#3 minus. Adding an inner spring in parallel increases it a notch (HH#3.5), or you can swap in a stiffer outer spring plus an inner one for HH#4 level tension. Le Meidjo may appear delicate to the eye, but she is high performance when going down.

Safety Release

As to the safety release, I don’t think I’ve ever released skiing, and so far, haven’t needed it either.  I kicked out of a Meidjo once by mule kicking it with the other boot.  It popped out. That was good enough for me. The bottom line? Release is possible, both at the toe and the second heel. And the release at the heel can be dialed up or down. If you have experience with a Meidjo release, let others know below. Or not, as the case may be.

Ski Brakes

Optional brakes and a crampon clip available.

Yes, brakes are available and much easier to install than they used to be. If you’re primarily a resort skier, you’ll want ‘em.  In the backcountry the brakes are nice, but they make clicking in at the toe more challenging than when they’re absent. I took mine off, not for that reason, but because they squeaked when skinning. It means using a leash, but I’m okay with that.

Fix the Heel

Optional v2 heel available if you want it.

If you want, you can lock the heel. The optional alpine heel rests behind the heel lifters so it doesn’t interfere with skinning. To engage, the U-shaped spring slides forward to lock the heel, or back to disengage. It adds a DIN release value of approximately 1 in combination with the uncertified, adjustable release at the second heel. It most definitely delivers the sort of connection you expect for snapping off sharp alpine turns. It adds weight, two more holes and complexity, but you won’t have to swap bindings or rigs to switch between a free and locked heel.  Patrollers are most likely to see value in this. For everyone else, remember, you don’t need a locked heel to make parallel turns, but you may need to defend this purchase with a tele snob.

Bite my Toe

Toe bumpers on the front of the pin arms make alignment easy.

If this is your first foray into the realm of two hardened steel pins clenching the tip of your boot, you may become spoiled. Meidjo has one of the easiest 2-pin toes I’ve ever used, AT or Tele. Slide the tip of your boot forward until it contacts the two bumpers at the front of the toe arms. When it makes contact with both tap your toe down and – SNAP – gotcha – you’re in.  I still bobble it occasionally, maybe 10% of the time because I didn’t make sure the toe was on both bumpers. Ordinarily though, first time.

Touring Performance

Besides being easy to get in to, it’s been several years since I’ve twisted out of le meidjo when skinning, er, the only time I have is when I forgot to lock the toe out. Otherwise, the lock is solid and you don’t need to pull beyond a few clicks for it to truly be locked. When you point ‘em down, turn it off, except of course when the situation is extreme enough to demand no release.

As for efficiency, what’s not to like about a one pound tele binding with Dynafit-style touring.

Where Meidjo might come up short for you is the reliability of the heel post. Since the last revision to the heel, I’ve had zero problems. The top is no longer open creating a snow sucking cavity. It stays upright far better than v1, thanks to an increased angle to keep it upright, but it isn’t very stout. Admittedly I haven’t subjected this climbing peg to the rigors of relentless stomping because I rarely even use a heel lift while skinning. Even so the thickness of the plastic does beg concern for durability, especially if you always use it going up.  For me, it works well enough for part time use. I even removed the extension wire; why carry what you’ll never use?

Icing

A-I tape on the topside…

With v2.1 Meidjo has definitely improved its immunity to snow build up. Overall I’d say it is no longer an issue, but it remains a potential weakness that must be dealt with occasionally.

In tour mode the claw probably will pack with snow but usually it clears easily. About half the time (YMMV) it turns to ice, sometimes clearing easily, other times it means taking skis off and clearing it carefully with a ski tip. A-I tape would minimize any snow packing but I’ve been too lazy and it hasn’t been that bad to motivate such preventative measures.

What surprised me the most over the long term is the propensity for snow to pack in and jack the binding up while turning. Not very often, but always when the snow was sticky. In those conditions I am compelled to stop and remove my ski to clear it out. Keep in mind this is without adding any A-I tape to le Meidjo. The propensity for snow clogging under the flexor plate was dramatically reduced when a pyramid shaped foam plug was added beneath the flexor on v2.1, even without any A-I tape; in combination with it the snow jack might vanish.

A-I tape applied to the underside…

The beauty and the trouble with le Meidjo is the red jack stand. It’s the lever that shifts the binding between modes. The step-in function is easy and when you hear the red stub snap up inside the spring box, reassuring. That part is magic. The problem is the stub tucks away in a cavity that allows snow to cling and grow until it jacks your heel up when turning. Judicious use of anti-ice tape helps a lot to reduce snow packing here; apply as needed. One intrepid soul proposed using a bicycle tube around the springbox as a sort of snow condom to prevent snow getting in this cavity.

As long as you regularly clean out excess snow around the claw and under the springbox, you’ll be impressed with the overall ski performance of Meidjo. Get lax with snow maintenance and cursing may follow.

Switching from Tour to Turn

Aside from the necessity of at least checking to see if the claw needs clearing (probably), let alone actually clearing it out, there is the unavoidable inconvenience of unhooking the tour-lock wire. Spearing it with your ski pole requires a lot more accuracy than is typically available. Either you can’t move the pole precisely enough to hit that tiny millimeter-sized target from a meter away, or it’s hidden beneath the snow. Over time I’ve learned it’s much easier to simply bend down and reach back with a finger to release it. I don’t need to see the wire to feel it and unhook it. Some days are easier than others and even though I’m not too proud to bend over, I still prefer to release the tour lock with my ski pole if and when I can.

Mounting

You will figure it out. Tutorial here.

HOW TO USE TUTORIAL:

Bottom line:

Compared to the competition, Meidjo’s toes and step-in function are arguably the best. It skis great and tours great. It has the option of ski brakes and crampons but it requires regular cleaning to avoid trouble. How much depends on what prevailing conditions are in your neighborhood, and whether you’re willing to pro-actively work to prevent icing. If you are, you’ll be happy you stepped into the future.

The M Equipment

Meidjo v2.1
MSRP: $579 — BUY HERE
Weight/binding: 450 g
NTN sizes available: Sm & Lg

© 2020

16 thoughts on “Review: Meidjo 2.1

  1. cdn-dave, I got on them for the first time this weekend, it makes step-in easier with both a Crispi and Scarpa boot. I could get my scarpa TX pro to step in to the old one with a lot of force but I couldn’t get the Crispi to do so. Now, both step-in easily without having to cock the lever.

    I know what you mean about the claustrophobic feeling. I have the alpine heel for mixing it up and in case the tele mode fails on my deep in the backcountry. Locked heel coming from tele feels much less dynamic and I feel restricted but it sure makes powerful turns.

  2. Anybody try the new claw yet? Has bit more of a ramp to allow for step-in without having to first engage the red bar. The latter never really bothered me though…

    Lost a red spring adjuster knob on the weekend. Was tempted to just dial the remaining knob tight, but locked down my heel instead. Felt…claustrophobic?

  3. Had for 2 years and they broke in 3 different places. Last time the bottom plate broke entirely off at the front and then also where it clips onto the bottom of your second heel on your boot. Yes they are super light and transfer power well, but the plastic is just too damn cheap. And yes snow build up occurs in warmer weather. I was going to try to send back for a replacement binding, but to be honest I don’t want to have to deal with the headaches again . . . I am not a big guy either 165 lbs . . . but for the plastic binding to break off from the boot was a too much for me. Gonna try 22 Designs…

  4. I got my new ski with Meidjo 2.1 last year and have had around 10 trips to different mountains in different weather conditions. Love the bindings, and how they perform. When it is cold, powder, etc. I experience no problem with the bindings. But when it is warmer and more sticky snow, I have had huge problems engaging the heel in the springbox due to icing. It is no fun standing alone on the top freezing and everyone else gone. But after been in contact with excellent service point at M-equpment- and reading your experience with the binding, it seems like anti – Ice tape would do the trick, or maybe som silicone so the ice wont build up. Where to you buy antic ice tape? When I google the shops I only find Voile 75 mm. Tape. Maja:-)

  5. I agree with Francis L. and I don’t know why these bindings get so many good reviews. Mine started falling apart in less than 2 weeks. & if you write to them about spare parts they don’t respond. They have sacrificed durability to cut weight–I don’t think they tested them thoroughly. Very expensive plastic crap that even a light 65 kilo person like me will break in no time. I’ve switched to the Outlaw X.

  6. Great review and good to know about the A-I tape. I have been on Rotteffella Freeride (RF) for years but just bought the M 2.1. I know others do not like the way the RF ski but I do or just used to them.
    Would the red spring make the M2.1 ski more like the RF?
    Also – Does anyone know if there is a riser plate for the Meidjo 2.1 with the alpine heel?
    Thank you for any input/help!

  7. My experience is that most telemark bindings will develop a snow plug between the boot or the plate and the base in the right conditions. In that regard the Meidjo is no worse than any other binding. The solution is to make alpine turns when the snow is deep or use anti-icing tape. I’ve had a problem with
    an ice plug forming on the heel plate of the Meidjos in certain conditions. A-I tape works pretty well for that too. From my perspective, the virtue of the Meidjo is that
    it is light weight; inspires confidence when I ski; and it has a mechanical lateral release. Taking a telemark binding that does not release into avalanche terrain is irresponsible. I’ve seen some of the injuries caused by skis that did not release in an avalanche. They were horrific. Pierre deserves thanks and praise.

  8. Very fair review

    I had the v1.2 – boot came out of the pins when skining, even when locked, numerous snapped ski brake springs (ice) and warped the crampon clip and the red tab wouldn’t hold down in tour mode… lots of issues. But it skied so well (except in sticky snow).

    But I persevered and bought the v2 and bought the upgrade to 2.1. Since the upgrade plus AI tape (and I have some foam under the pin springs too) no issues on icing, snow build up, brake springs feel more solid…. all in all I love it. My 14 year old now has the same foot size as me and is learning on my old v1.2. It’s fun watching him try and line up the pins for the first time.

  9. Nice post! Good Job! That reflects a real test! I like the retrofit from Allan Fici, it is seems very practical. Any suggestion where I can find this A-I tape? I also have the same problem with the brakes, horrible noise, I would suggest a retrofit that locked the brake while you are touring. Once you are in the downhill at full speed, you do not hear that noise :D

  10. Article intéressant. Comme le dit Debbie, cette fixation a un réel problème de conception car un espace se crée entre la plate-forme et la semelle de la chaussure lorsqu’on est en flexion. En neige profonde, de la neige s’accumule entre la semelle de la chaussure et la plate-forme, formant de la glace et entraînant le déchaussage de la plate-forme. En ce qui me concerne, cela m’est déjà arrivé à trois reprises en plein virage, le genou venant taper le ski dans le meilleur des cas. Le problème a été signalé à 4 reprises à Pierre Mouyade (le concepteur) via la page Facebook de The M equipment et son mail personnel. Celui-ci n’a jamais daigné répondre à mes interrogations concernant ce problème MAJEUR.
    En résumé, cette fixation est DANGEREUSE et sa conception clairement pas au point.

  11. I’ve had mine now since March last year and ski almost every day during the winter. Up until now I’ve not had any problems but the last two times I’ve been skiing I’ve been ejected straight out of one binding after about an hour of skiing. I’ve noticed that ice builds up between the boot sole and the plastic plate. Eventually it builds up so much that when you press down on the ski it pops the toe of the boot out of the pins. Not very pleasant if you are going fast at the time.

  12. Had the 2.1 about a year now. On my first tour I noticed the sqeaking brakes – any solution for that? On my second tour the wire to hold the red bar wouldn’t stay in place – I held it up with a rubber band around the spring nuts, like a hammock ;). Afterwards I tweaked the wire with pliers and it works flawlessly now. Otherwise love the step in and skiing performance. I removed the inner spring and that made it even better for me (I’m a lightweight)! Had one release while skiing switch and catching an edge, no big deal. I’m a convert – sold both sets of Rottefellas (the freedoms had worse snow buildup problems).

  13. Ive had issue with snow and/or ice packing in under the toe pin springs and when I try to release and quickly re mount my boots (ie taking skins off) the packed in snow prevents the springs from getting all the way down and subsequently the toe pins from engaging. Also, with powder present, the jack stand wont engage when lifting up on the claw and I have to put in a finger underneath to get it to catch.

    Once all engaged, it does rock the tele turns! And light as a feather of course for the skinning up.

  14. I just got rid of the Meidjo 2.1 i installed in 2018. They were just a bunch of crap. Too much plastic so way too delicate and fragile for cold climate. When it got warmer, snow piles-up and nothing works anymore. I’ve broke the red jack stand numerous times, mostly in the backcountry, far away from civilisation. Yes they do ski very well and are very light but i’ve lost confidence. Just got myself a pair of 22Design Lynx. If it doesn’t perform better, i’ll go back to 75mm duckbill.

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