Review of the Meidjo Telemark Binding

Meidjo

This is my first impression of the Meidjo Binding.

I wanted to do a review for this equipment but warning. I’m not a pro at doing reviews. I’d like to point to my friend Craig Dostie from EarnYourTurns.com for a true review on this binding or actually any review on telemark gear.

He did a complete review of the binding with clear views of all aspect which this review is not. This is more about giving my impressions

I want to mention that I was also trying a new ski, the Corbon Convert and some new boots, the Scarpa TX Pro.

I had a lot of anticipation for this set up. It’s like whenever you go see a movie that you heard was the best of the year. You will be disapointed if it’s just great.

So first the technology of the Meidjo.

This is binding as all the ingredient to become the next big thing in Telemark.

It’s Step In, releasable, It’s light and it’s suppose to ski great.

Plus it’s got low tech touring capacities. When I first wrote about the preproduction model last spring, I was already in awe.

Like I said, It’s got to be a great movie or I’m going to be disapointed.

I think that every body in the telemark tribe looking at this binding for the first time are like, wo, it looks complicated, How do you go from walk mode to telemark mode, it’s such a different design that I didn’t understand it before I actually tried it.

So behold, let check this beatifull design and put it to test.

So I went in the Chic Chocs backcountry for 3 days with some friends and tested the thing.

First,

I’m no used to low tech and getting in and out, I expected it to be hard. Craig Dostie mentionned to me that it was the best fitting low tech he had seen on the market and he was right, It’s fairly easy to get it on.

I like to have the binding in the touing mode to put it on, so their is nothing in the way to get the insert lined up.

To do so, you have to do these steps, harm the binding up, push down and clip the touring hook.

Then, put it on by aligning the the pins witht the boots inserts and press donw, you can wigle a bit if needed to get it on.

Then, to get in telemark mode, release the touring hook and clip on.

This is not the way Pierre, the inventor explains how to put the binding on, because, by doing it this way, I have to bend down, so it’s not a true step in. So maybe with more experience witht the low tech, I will simply arm the binding and step in. In the end I’m so used to bendind down to put on my skis that I really did preffer to do it like this.

On the down side, I had some icing problem once and it prevented me to properly in the second heel. I simply had to manually snap the binding a few times and it was ok. It only happened once. I have to mention that I don’t know one binding on the market that never ice up.

Telemark is a downhill technique

Everybody so far liked the skiing so I was not so worried. Usually, everybody can’t go wrong. I want to point out that there is two dials to adjust tension and that you have the choice to add a second spring on each side for more tension. My good friend Max form Xalibu skis, mounted the binding and had already added the second set of spring knowing my style. It created a really active feeling very close to HamerHead #4. It did not feel like a NTN binding but it’s neither anything like the mellow 75mm binding Black diamond O1 or Voile.

I will play with the springs tension to see all the possibilities

Note on the skis and Boots:

I had never tried the Carbon Convert and this is a solid charger. It’s not at all a mellow soft playful ski that you can push around. It’s a driver and it contributed to my feeling of having a strong set up.

The only odd were the boots. I actually love the Scarpa TX pro, there so comfy, light and warm but I had to adapt to it’s softness.

Conditions were windpack and I had to tighten the boot like mad to get the power I needed.

After a few days, I got used to the boots and it was ok, but I really missed a more powerful boot.

So I would give the Meidjo a strong 10/10 for skiing.

It really delivered in terms of power vs feeling it’s unmatched in my mind except for the HamerHead/Axl and definitely better than the NTN freeride

Release

There is no clear indications on how to set the release tension.

I love the idea that the tension of the release is independent of the tension of the binding activeness. But I would like to know how to adjust the release tension. My tech set it up half way as he didn’t have any more cues.

I had no pre release problem while skiing either on the toe piece or on the second heel, I did not fall either, so really, I did not test this part of the binding.

Touring

For me, this was by far the part that interested me the most.

All the TTS family binding alike like the original TTS, the light moon and the Meidjo uses the low tech advantages of what ATers have had the pleasure of having for years. I have never tried the TTS or the Moonlight so I will consider the Meidjo as my first binding that integrates all the benefits of low tech in telemark gear.

What a pleasure.

The touring hook was changed and this is one aspect I was worried about not being user friendly. It never iced, I was easy to operate and I actually love how easy it is to go from walk mode to telemark mode. To go the other way around you have to remove the binding, which is not my favorite thing, but I can live with that

I had tried Plum, which is a light low tech AT binding many years ago and I don’t remember the low tech to be sooooo efficient.

But with the Meidjo: WOW.

In this, I have to consider the whole package. Boots offered great comfort, movement, skis are very light compared to my Amperage and the Meidjo really delivered. Wow again.

Untill I had a lot of release of the pins, with medium side force. This is wrong. I was missing something. All the people can’t be in Awe if this binding is always releasing in walk mode. But where is the walk mode!

This is a great exemple of a telemark skier not used to a completely new design and being confuse. And Although I feel dumb about not finding how to look the front low tech on the binding at first, I’m sure I’m not the only one that will make this mistake.

I kept trying lifting the red tab from ski to walk like on a Dynafit, or any low tech binding I know, this is not how it is…

In the end, I had to read the instructions (I can hear Craig Dostie laughing at me right now) to find that you have to press a big black bar that simply locks the red tab.

Told you, I’m no expert at all the gear

What I’m good at thought is being out in the mountains and telemark skiing. I do more than a lot and this binding delivered in every aspect except one. the Climbing raisers. The red one sometimes fell without any cause. The second wire one was ok. Maybe I still need to read instructions…

In the end, I did not use and of the two climb riser simply because the efficiency of the low tech is that much more. I could easily climd very steep tracks all the way to the skin holding limit so I never fell the need for the risers.

In the end

I have to say that I’m very impressed. The binding hold to the reputation it already have.

  • Skiing is very good, a strong 10/10 and that’s number one for me,
  • Touring is exceptional, and it makes the game radically different in the mountains
  • By far my biggest surprised is that the overall binding is very user friendly. It all makes sense and I got the hang of it very naturally (Okay! except on how to lock the front pins :)

Time will now tell if it holds up and until then, for me there’s just no point in going back to another system.

On that note, The Meidjo have already made a few adjustments, adding some screws to better hold up, changing the touring hook, which like I said I found very convenient.

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  • Luca Spadola

    Hi, René, great review! Thanks. In few words, could you explain the difference in feeling you have with a Meidjo binding (feeling similar of the 75 mm) and a NTN in term of skiing?

    • Rene-Martin

      That’s really a feeling thing I think.

      And that’s why a lot of people have gone back to 75mm after trying NTN and a lot have gotten addicted to the NTN.

      So, I really felt like in a powerful 75mm binding like the HamerHeads. THat’s really the closes comparaison I can give. And I 100% sure that some of the telemark tribe will disagree after trying the Meidjo and that’s going to be fine too. There are just so many styles of riding and everybody gets a different feel out of their equipment. In the end, It’s still the boots that where the main concern for me, the TX pro is just too soft for my style.

      • hafjell

        The cuffs are on the TX Pros are soft, aren’t they? Almost squishy.

        • Rene-Martin

          I have to agree, yeah, very soft.

      • Motown

        What boot will you be using going forward for a stiffer setup? And what happened to them having a brake?

  • hafjell

    René, thank you. Very helpful review.

    1. Just to clarify: when you say this skis better than the Freedom because it allows for a more classic, 75mm turn, does that mean a lower, more traditional telemark stance (not as upright as the normal NTN stance)?
    2. How often will you ski these for the rest of the season? I am interested in durability. Any thoughts there?

    • Rene-Martin

      Hey Hafjeff,

      1. it still is a very active binding so getting low means a lot of forces, so no. BUT, it’s not like NTN either, where the binding as a blocking feeling after something like 45 degres. The Meidjo let you go as low as you can. Like I said, I will need to test with different spring tension.

      2. I’ll probably have a good 30 days on them.

      • hafjell

        1. It the Meidjo somewhere inbetween NTN and 75mm? I’m not looking for knee-to-ski flexibility; just a little more classic stance than I’m getting on Freedoms.
        2. Please share your thoughts on the binding at the end of the season.
        3. The podcasts are getting better and better, thank you!

  • Ivan Locke

    Rene, I agree with most of your review. I, however, have my own take on these, after skiing them for 10+ days. Still working out the bugs.
    Ditto on USELESS heel plates, and recurrent icing on metal components under plate. I found that taping them with duck tape (or equivalent) helps lessen this problem.
    They ski well in soft snow and powder, still trying to figure out the weighting on hard pack. The design does not allow the ball of the boot to contact the ski, so I am finding myself having to weight through all of these components in order to get response. Very squirely on hardback. This might be user errror, or related to the fact that I am 135 lbs, i.e.: not enough weight to drive these efficiently.
    I also prefer soft boots and soft skis, so we differ on that account. I purposely got the Scarpa X’s because they have three buckles, one of which I never bother buckling because I like to collapse my heel while skiing, and with my weight and size I find it impossible to do this with top buckle engaged.

    Caveat: I have not skied Roteffella NTN to compare with. Just coming from a 23+ year background in leather and plastic duckbills. Three-pin, Targa, Hammerhead, etc.
    The Meidjo, in my opinion, come close to a HH 4. Way stiff. I think Pierre would do good for us softies to come up with a friendlier spring. Again, this is coming from a little guy, who likes milking the fall line in the soft.

    The main reason, aside from curiosity, to try NTN, was the releasable feature. Period.

    The LTS is awesome for touring, and getting in and out of. Ingenious. I am using them with my Targa risers/climbing bars, in leu of nothing better. Been thinking of sending the heel plates back to Pierre but… why bother. I just want to ski these and come up with a good verdict.

    If you need more feedback from me on the Meidjo, please contact me at vampyreworks@gmail.com

    Rene, thanks for your take on this binding,

    Ivan

    • Rene-Martin

      Great input Ivan.

      Thanks for sharing all this. I still have to try on hard pack and that’s what I’ll do today…

      • Ivan Locke

        Cool. You should let us know how they felt on piste…

  • Jackson Lynne

    Thanks to Rene-Martin for providing a great and detailed review of the Meidjo and for all the other comments offering additional insights. After nearly 10 years on 75mm set-ups – G3 Targa, 7TM, Voile Switchback X – and Scarpa T1 boots (which I love), I’d like to move to a lighter and more efficient package (not to mention one that releases). I’m drawn to NTN boots largely because – after spending the last two years in Europe and doing a good deal of ski mountaineering – I find that climbing, especially with boot crampons on, is far easier without the duckbills.

    Rene-Martin, I’m sold on the value of at least trying the Meidjos, but I’m wondering what you might think about how they would perform on a pair of BD Carbon Aspects (versus the Carbon Converts that you tested them on)? I’d like to try to keep up with all the folks on AT gear (at least going uphill!), and thought that the Aspects are worth considering given their touring dimensions and light weight. Would the Meidjos be “too much” binding for them??

    Lastly, appreciate any thoughts you have on another good boot pairing with the Meidjo. Going with the lighter theme, I wonder if something like Scarpa’s Terminator X boot might not be optimal for the binding.

    Thanks for any thoughts on all that!!

    • Rene-Martin

      Thanks for the comment Jackson,

      For me, I would use them on any skis no problem, including the Aspect. I’ve skied Aspect for the last few years with O1 or O2 and I would have skied them with HH4 no problem. With narrow, lighter skis, you also get in situations where you need the control and the edge power that an active binding will give you. Carbon or not, it’s still a shaped ski that will lot’s of lateral forces.

      That been said, it’s only personal preference.

      For the boots, I’ll let you decide. I realize that my like for stiffness is not share by every telemark skier, which is ok.

  • Hannes Weiß

    great review! Tanks! I am looking for a lightweight tele touring binding and the meidjo seems to be the perfect fit for that. Im just wondering about the durability, i mean i just cant trust these small pins. dont they bend or break if you do some powerful turns?

    • Rene-Martin

      So far the pins have hold very good. Mine have been reliable. Pierre said that he did put a lot of attention into building them extra strong.
      As with anything new, innovative and so drastically different, I think only time will tell

  • Mélisande Fortin Boisvert

    Very, very interesting! Are they available in Québec or around?