Pierre Mouyade, Meidjo’s designer contacted me to say, “Begin January I discover a problem on the low tech. The four pin inside the 4 spring of the low tech [toepiece] were [made of] Stainless steel. It was a mistake to choose that material. The pin are not stiff enough. Some rider deform these pins and some problems appear, mostly in touring mode.”
At least two people have noticed this. In the comments to the First Look review, Mathias said, “The BIG issue I have is uphill (the one thing I really thought would work!); at the slightest touch of hard snow or ice the toe-piece flexes and I lose the ski. This is even with the toe-piece locked (I’ve quadruple-checked this). It seems the construction flexes such that I’m able to escape the pins without the toe-piece releasing; it is locked also afterwards. Touring is paramount to this binding so I am very disappointed at the moment and can’t recommend it to anyone who plan on earning their turns…
Not to belabor the point, but BCTalk’s jfb noticed the same thing.
Pierre responds, “Since I discover that problem I immediately change the pins to hardened steel and there [is] no problem anymore.”
According to M-Equipment, there are 140 pair of bindings built with the stainless steel pins that are bending. If you think you have one of those, (S/N: AA0001-AA0140) contact the retailer or M-Equipment directly to confirm the need for an upgrade. The serial number is on the underside of the toe plate.There is another problem that I wondered about, but have learned to keep quiet until proven otherwise. That was the position of the rear most screws, near the spring-loaded cable bars. They were in front of the cable and history shows that unless the rear-most mounting holes are behind the cable that tensions a telemark boot, they will pull out. Only one incident that has been reported so far, but there is a fix for that too, which adds two more mounting holes, with four centered about the cable bar. As history has shown, using plastic saves weight, but manufacturing needs to be meticulous. Again, Pierre found that the plastic wasn’t properly cured, so it was brittle. (The lazy workers responsible for not reading the directions where tied up and whipped; they won’t be making that mistake anymore. Just kidding.) Since mid-January 2015 the quality control process has been tightened up on the plastic baseplate.
Early Adopter License required
It was mentioned in the First Look article, and anyone who has been around the block a bit knows that first year products are the bleeding edge of development, so the chances you’ll draw blood using a first year product are high. Literally. This puts a premium on getting the design close enough to perfect that a manufacturer doesn’t bury itself with costly replacement issues. It is why, even if they don’t announce it as such, customers who buy a first year product must expect they are part of a beta test team and there will be quality issues that either will or won’t be dealt with to a satisfactory level. If they are, then goodwill is established and problems resolved become a badge of honor, not a blemished reputation. If they don’t, a company will have to work doubly hard to overcome a B grade reputation. Replacing 140 pair of bindings isn’t chump change. Thankfully it’s only 140 pair, not 1000.