Spark R & D has made a name for themselves coming out with multiple innovative binding systems, so it came to no surprise that they invested time and energy on there own touring bracket and pin system. Attempting to make a lighter more efficient setup for skinning and changeovers.
The LT pin system was tested nonstop for a full month in a vast array of conditions and scenarios, from side-hilling on 30 degree slopes to skinning 4000 feet up a steep mountain on 4 inches of snow on top of ice.
Here are my thoughts on the touring bracket and why I feel it is superior to the original Voile system.
From the get go, I could tell that it was incredibly light, smooth and stylish looking. I wondered how much of a difference they would make on the uphill. Ten minutes and six screws later the brackets were in place and I was ready to test them out.
In The Field
I immediately noticed how stable and sturdy the system felt compared to the wobble that is notorious with standard touring brackets. Both sliding the pin system in and out of touring mode was smooth and the board was easy converted while my hands stayed dry in my gloves. Multiple times throughout the day I would find myself traversing across steep icy slopes with ease, instead of focusing on absorbing the flex on my ankles the brackets held strong. On flats and small downhill stretches the strides felt both smooth and natural.
What makes these brackets such a vast improvement.
By shaving off excess material they were able to create a strong, lightweight and durable system, thick in contact zones but almost nonexistent in others. There is more then 3 times as much surface interaction between the pins and bracket/bindings compared to Voiles brackets/plates making the bindings feel solid and secure. There are bushings in the bracket (and the Blazes) which dramatically reduce wear and tear on the new aluminum pins (also included with the package).
Why would I use the Brackets?
For years we have waited for a product that would make skinning easier and more efficient, this product delivers. If you are planning on long distance tours, expeditions or just getting out a few days this season I highly recommend this product.
- It gets rid of excessive material and only keeps what you need
- Super light weight
- Much more surface interaction compared to the slider plates
- Much less lateral flex
- Bright colored pin easy to spot in snowy conditions
- aluminum pins
- Self-lubricating plastic bushings within the touring bracket drastically reduce wear
WHO: Spark R& D
WHAT: LT Pin System
WHEN: Anytime you are skinning
WHERE: Traverses, expeditions and everything in between
WHY: Its lightweight, strong and sturdy
Is it worth it?: Well worth every penny and once you try them out you will understand why.