Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

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MikeK

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Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby MikeK » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:35 pm

This is an old debate, and a relatively unimportant one as both products provide similar performance, but there are differences.

Similarities:

  • For use with 75mm NN boots and does not accept cables. But you're an XCD skier, so you already knew that ;)
  • Aluminum base plate (Voile is 5052-H32 AL, Rotte is unknown spec)
  • Steel bale. Based on the resistance of each to bending, I'd guess both steels are fairly hard but no spec is given for either.

Differences:

  • Rotte ST is lighter. Claimed weight is 370 grams for the ST, 440 grams for the HD.
  • HD can accept a heel riser. ST has a simple fixed heel pad.
  • ST can clamp duckbills less than 15mm. HD can accept 16-20mm bills.
  • HD is grey and red. ST is black.

So besides all the tech specs, there are some details that really do make these bindings different in use.

First off the HDs have a really stiff action on the bale. It makes it hard to get in and out but I would imagine this tight fit eliminates any possible lash at the bale pivot. The ST has a really smooth action and it is very easy to enter and exit. Even the plastic pole push on the end of the bale works better.

The HDs have a bit tighter fit on the side of the duckbill as well. You might find some of the older boots even need to be ground down on the sides to fit. The ST provides a bit more clearance, which also aids in entry and exit but povides a slight bit of lash for side to side movement. When the bale is clamped tight, there really isn't much to notice.

The HD accepts the climbing wire. Although maybe a selling point, I've never used it personally. My thought is most skiing on plain pins won't actually use a climbing wire.

The hammer coat finish on the HD bale seems to chip fairly easily, and since there is no plastic for the pole push, the carbide tip on most poles will wear it and it will rust here. Maybe not much of a concern but rust does weaken parts, and maybe over time it could fail. The ST will rust as will if the finish is chipped but it's design lends itself to preserving the finish.

Overall, I think the Rotte ST is a nicer binding. It's easier to get in and out of and the bale design clamps down very securely to the duckbill. The slight lash at the wings is a performance detriment, but not a major concern for me.

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Johnny

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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby Johnny » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:25 am

The ST is without a doubt a MUCH, MUCH better binding...

If Rotte would add the option of adding cables, it would become the standard and Voile would have to stop production of the worse-then-ever 3pc...

I still don't see the point of using cables, but from a marketing point of view, they really should add the option...
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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby Cannatonic » Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:20 pm

Voile 3pc is a nice solid binding, nothing wrong with it. I actually prefer the lower heel pad of the ST, I like the feel of my feet close to the ski. And the ST weighs even less than NNNBC. So minimalist & versatile. You can use everything from XC shoes to plastic boots.

maybe a truce was negotiated by the high council of XCD knights on the cable thing? Seems like Rotte could easily offer an add-on cable as an accessory. The old ones had a little module in front of the toe piece to hold the cable.

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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby MikeK » Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:26 pm

I'm pretty sure the Knights own stock in Rottefella (and not Voile).

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lilcliffy

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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby lilcliffy » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:13 pm

MikeK wrote:I'm pretty sure the Knights own stock in Rottefella (and not Voile).


HA! You may be on to something there...I also wonder whether the entire Norwegian population owns stock in Rottefella...

I have to admit that I "like" the Super Telemark better as well- not the least of which because of the wider range of duckbills it will easily accomodate...

(However, my current use of 75mm goes beyond either of these bindings...I too like being able to switch into "Telemark" mode and engage the heel cable...)

But- I must say there is nothing like a set of climbing wires for when you really want to climb a steep slope...
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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby iBjorn » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:31 pm

Is there any differences between maximal toe bill the ST and 3-p can handle, the ST locks the duckbill very good on my T4s - but it is on last slot of the binding, and I would like to have a more "loose" setting when I am skinning.

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Johnny

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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby Johnny » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:31 pm

Maximum height is the same on both bindings for thick plastic duckbills...
But the ST's can handle a lot more thinner duckbills...

Voile Mountaineer and 3pc: 16 to 20 mm duckbills
Rottefella Super Telemark: 12 to 20 mm duckbills

All older Voile bindings (pre-2013) could handle 13-20mm duckbills. You can always grind a millimeter or two from your T4s... ;)
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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby iBjorn » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:29 pm

Thanks for the answer, I already grinded a millimeter of the front edge of my race T4's - just wanted to check the option of using the Voile binding before I grind of some more of my T4's...

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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby phoenix » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:18 pm

I prefer the Voile's myself; they have better coverage of the duckbill, and I have seen a few ST's bales break or bend. The Voile's handle plastic boots better. ST's do definitely handle a wider range of thinner soles, as Johnny said.Grinding down the duckbill is OK if that's the only binding you'll use for the lifetime of the boot - and not so OK if you're in a different binding (one with a fixed bale).
Just been out a few times on my Telebulldog "Spike" 3pins... put simply, they easily outperform both the Rotte's and Voile's, with both my Excursions and Alaskas. They wouldn't handle a thinner sole though.

Johnny - Rottefella DID make a Super Tele with cable, and that's just what it was called.Came out in the mid 80's as I recall, just after the ST itself. They had a seperate front throw lever for the cable, which was a one piece with a spring around the heel. Pretty much a first attempt on the newer version of the alpine bindings that'd been around since antiquity (well, 20th century antiquity).
They were somewhat of a pain to mount, but it was a start for the freeheel rennaisance.
Last edited by phoenix on Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Johnny

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Re: Classic Pins: Rottefella ST vs. Voile HD Mountaineer

Postby Johnny » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:19 am

phoenix wrote:Johnny - Rottefella DID make a Super Tele with cable, and that's just what it was called

Yeah I still have a pair of these old ST with cables... They were terrible. Super tricky to install, almost no room for adjustment, you had to remount the front throw lever for different boots... And in the end, the very little added activeness wasn't worth all the trouble... BUT... They do look absolutely beautiful on vintage skis... 8-)

It wouldn't take much to add hooks for heel throws...
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