It’s the end of the 21st century’s teenage years and tele tweaks keep marching on to the future. The bad news is early adopters of Lynx might be envious of the changes for 2020. The good news is those who thought they missed it will be glad they were forced to wait.
According to 22 Designs’ Chris Valiante, there are, “quite a few small changes to the Lynx, mostly in the toe geometry.”
Having tested a few of those changes late last season I understand their necessity, and applaud them.
He went on to add, “They snap on more like an Ion now, and stay on — no lazy toes. Also changes to the rear with a new claw, improved plastic geometry, and longer springs on the Small bindings. Also improved climbers. We thickened the main and flex plates slightly and made them more durable.”
Let me address the rest of Mr. Valiante’s reply with some background to each point.
22D: They snap on more like an Ion now, and stay on — no lazy toes.
CD: For the record I haven’t tested the final toe, but there was a clear difference between the toe of the beta Lynx and the first gen production Lynx. Lazy toes that didn’t want to close and struggled to do so were the result of a pin that held the toe lever to the base, and about which it pivoted. There was too much friction in the pin that the lever rotated about, making the toe arms act lazy. Not in all cases, but too many to be acceptable.
I tested a stronger version last May. It was so strong I could barely push it open so that it locked in the open position. Something was wrong with the geometry on this beta version. However I’m confident 22D addressed that. If it snaps shut like an Ion, everyone will be happier.
22D: “[There’s] changes to the rear with a new claw”…
CD: One of the odd problems with Lynx v1 was the tendency for the claw to grab the 2nd heel of your boot while touring. (Ed. Note: This only affected the few who were not using their climbing post – so for most users, a non-issue.) It latched with random abandon, usually in sticky snow. It seems snow would pack underfoot above the composite plate and trapped by the retracted claw acting like a small, but obviously effective, dam. Over time enough snow might pack in to push the claw back. Once back far enough the tooth on the side would disengage from the cam holding it in tour mode and the claw would snap up, grab the duckbutt and your frictionless walk would be terminated with full tele tension. Wha??? And just to keep you confused, as soon as the claw flipped up, the snow that created the problem would flush away leaving no trace of the trouble.
Collins Pringle sent me a revised claw that allowed the snow to sneak out the bottom so it never filled up to be pushed back. One tour in sticky snow told me it works.
22D: “…improved plastic geometry…”
CD: The plastic nubs that hold the claw in tour mode have been beefed up a bit to prevent those spontaneous mode switches while touring.
22D: “…and longer springs on the Small bindings.“
CD: Okay, I’ll take that, even at the cost of a few grams more.
22D: “Also improved climbers.“
CD: Now I never had an issue with the climbers, but I rarely used ‘em and even when I did, I always used the shorter of the two. Apparently some of you Neanderthal climbers thought the tall climbing wire was a bit too wiggly. I would agree it was. Just to confirm whether they were unstable or not I tried the high wire once. Yeah, it is / was a bit wiggly when flipped up. Technique could definitely overcome that bit of instability most of the time. On the other hand, sometimes you’re in a precarious position climbing, especially with high heels, so this needed to get tightened up because gear is supposed to help us overcome our lack of technique. Thank you Chris and Collins for addressing this issue.
22D: “We thickened the main and flex plates slightly and made them more durable.“
CD: This probably makes the Lynx a bit more “active.” If you like the activity level of your first gen Lynx, hang on to those plates but make sure you’re on activity setting #2 or #3, not #1. If you missed it, a few folks managed to crack their flex plates in the furthest forward position (#1). All on size large bindings.
Not only are the flex plates thicker, the activity adjustment zone has been shifted back one hole, effectively offering positions #2, #3, and #4. The new position four will make a lot of folks happier that Lynx is more than a soft puddy-cat; if you prefer, it can be mean as a feral cat.
The question on everyone’s mind is, are these upgrades available as a warranty replacement, or are they optional upgrades? A more fair question might be, which of these improvements addresses a problem you have actually experienced. F’rinstance, if you routinely use a climbing peg you probably never had the claw grab your duckbutt while skinning, but you might have had a wobbly heel wire collapse. You don’t need the improved claw, but you might want the revised heel climbing assembly. If you want the option of moving the pivot bar further aft, you should sell Lynx v1 and get the newer improved version.
BUY LYNX HERE
Weight: 1000g / 2 lbs., 3 oz (Lg) • 960g / 2 lbs., 2 oz. (Sm)