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I started with a pair of Grivel G-12s with New-Matic bindings. They had a heal bail and the yellow plastic assembly for the toe. This worked fine with most of my boots. However, the toe assembly did not accommodate a telemark duckbill toe because the vertical posts were not set wide enough apart.  Note that I wear a size 15 street shoe and so these crampons, with modifications (as well as before) fit the largest boots around.
I used a Dremel with a cutting wheel to shear off the vertical posts that held the yellow plastic toe assembly. Notice here the shiny spots where the posts used to be. I drilled the front vertical points to accommodate a new toe bail. I have a pair of Silvretta 405 Alpine Touring bindings which came with these toe bails. I called Silvretta and purchased an additional pair of toe bails. Alternatively, you could probably get them from Grivel, Black Diamond, etc. The bins of spare parts in the basement of IME in North Conway might also have some.
This poor-quality picture tries to show how the toe bail fits through the front-most vertical points. These toe bails had a key pressed into them (so they couldn't bend out of their holes). After I had drilled the holes through the points, I cut a small slit to accommodate the key on the bail. I cut the slits in such a way that the bail can only be removed when it is pulled back all the way. This means the toe bail cannot possibly come out while a boot is engaged. Make sure to use the Dremel in short durations so you don't heat the metal too much and compromise its hardening.
Here you see the duckbill fits snugly in the toe bail. Also notice that your toes will not hang too far out in front, or be too far back. I positioned the toe bail so as to find the best compromise for toe position for each kind of boot.
My Serius boots have a heal bail welt
The modified crampons work equally well on both these boots. I also use them on my leather Merrell boots. I have had no problems after about 5 trips with them. I was worried the prongs of the toe bail that stick out underneath would increase balling up, but I haven't had that problem yet.


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This site was last updated 11/01/04  and is maintained by Spencer