When this article was first published, we called this version of Meidjo v2. Since then M-Equipment has made further changes rendering this version 1.2 (retroactively) and subsequent changes in December 2015 as v2.0. Please excuse any confusion on versions below.
Those who stood by and watched while the first wave of Meidjos was beaten upon the shores of reality will be thankful they waited. The M-Equipment’s founder and inventor, Pierre Mouyade, recently detailed the numerous changes that have been made to improve the durability and functionality of Meidjo (pr: may’-zho).
Meidjo is the first telemark binding to connect to a boot via Rottefella’s patented NTN second heel and tech inserts at the toe. The result is a binding that has the touring efficiency of Dynafit, with step-in convenience, safety release (verified but uncertified), and moderately active telemark performance.
Fixing the PinsThe first thing customers noticed if they went on a tour is that the walk mode that was supposed to prevent the toe pins from tripping open didn’t actually work under the typical pressure created when stomping on an icy traverse. The lock mechanism worked but the four rods inside the springs that squeeze the toe pins together would bend, allowing the jaws to flex open. The rods were made of stainless steel which is softer than it should be. In some cases these bent permanently, so that the jaws would no longer rest upright when closed which made getting in or out difficult, and compromised the integrity of the connection. Those internal rods are now made with hardened steel.
Fixing the PlasticTwo things were done to improve the durability of the plastic parts. First, the composition was changed to include more fiberglass. Pierre Mouyade said, “this is the same plastic composition used by Rossignol and Salomon on their [alpine] bindings.”
Secondly, wall thickness’s were increased in stress zones while also rounding most corners to prevent cracking. For instance, the outer walls of the spring tubes was increased. The spring box mates with a flex plate whose corners are also rounded.
Fixing the Mode LockNot everyone experienced broken plastic parts, but almost every Meidjo customer realized, even before they failed, how flimsy a piece of velum tape was to release the touring loop holding the claw down for touring. The current version now has a metal tab you can grab integrated with the locking hoop. I might still add a longer tab of Scotch 893 tape to grab for releasing the claw, but the metal prong will be a more reliable way to release the tour lock.
The bumper of plastic that is used to cock the claw into a raised position so it can slip over the second heel has been modified to use a pan headed screw in front so the plastic bumper doesn’t crack when screwed down, and to offer a scale for setting spring tension. Both nice improvements over ver. 1.
Fixing the collapsing climbing post required pitching it forward a few degrees so that it will tend to lean forward, locking it upright, instead of dead vertical where it would inevitably fall flat. To compensate for this slight, forward position when upright, ribs were added to the top surface of the plastic post so that it contacted the boot heel along the full width of the post, not one edge. A minor, perfectionist touch.
ConclusionMost of these improvements are obvious and in all likelihood will address most if not all the issues experienced with Meidjo ver. 1. If you have purchased Meidjo recently, this post should confirm you have the latest version. For those who bought early (S/N less than AA00149), either return your binding via the retailer you bought it from, or direct through M-Equipment.
It will take more time in the field putting Meidjo through the gauntlet of real world abuse to confirm these updates cure what ailed the version 1. Still to come are integrated ski brakes, an optional ski crampon, and a low-tech heel unit should you want to be able to easily switch between a free or locked heel. Estimated delivery for those options will be late Fall 2015. It may not be the grail of tele bindings, but with light weight, easy entry, safety release, a sweet turning sensation, and efficient touring it sure glitters.
If you have NTN boots and think these improvements are enough, I suggest you beat the demand that is sure to come next fall. Most telemarkers may be satisfied with their current rig, but if your boots are getting soft prudent pinheads will start shopping for an NTN tele boot with tech inserts. The choices are currently contracting. With any luck, interest in Meidjo could spur growth in tele equipment sales enough that we’ll see some new choices in tele boots.
We can dream. It can happen.
The M Equipment
Weight/binding: 1 lb. (490 g)
Sizes (mondo): Small (22.5-26.0), Large (26.5 – 30.5)