- Posts: 2799
- Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
- Location: New Hampshire
- Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
- Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Ripstick88 XC: MR48, Nansen, Gamme, E99
- Favorite boots: T2Eco, Alaska, Rossignol BCX10
- Occupation: Aspiring M F PIMP
I just went to the shop and operated the pink-tabbed scissor lever on all four of the NTN Freedom pairs I maintain.They all were able to be pushed down with the thumb without too much pressure, but these bindings are all dry and clean at the moment. As it's pushed down, the scissor lever pushes a wedge into place into place into the binding's main guts, and it's easy for me to imagine something in there (debris or gunge) blocking the wedge or otherwise making the fit too tight. Examine it closely from the side so you can see what's blocking it or hanging up. Silicone spray is Rottefella recommended IIRC, and will make things operate more smoothly in those interior wedge parts if there's no outright obstruction.
I operate both levers with my boot or ski, when I put the ski on. The NTN freedom allows full step-in with no bend-over since I close the main bale of the first ski with my boot toe, and close the main bale of the second ski with the base of my other ski (now attached to boot). Works fine in practice and is the usual practice with NTN Freedom as I understand it from online sources. To the original question, when I close the main bale and notice that the pink-tabbed scissor lever is up (touring position) and I don't want it up, then I press down with my boot or ski. There's lots of easy leverage that way and it always closes smoothly although it can feel difficult to press down by hand.
Just so I understand, it sounds like you're not saying it's difficult to depress the lever to close the binding itself, but that it's difficult to depress the scissor lever (with little pink tab) which changes the binding from touring mode (scissor lever up) to ski mode.
I found the boot size limits between NTN Freedom size L and S to be fairly hard limits. I tried fitting boots in each that were just one half mondo size out of limit and neither worked. I agree using the size L with your smaller boot is not a solution, as you have found already.
I maintain both sizes large and small NTN Freedom bindings (a couple each, the small size for my ski partner), and I agree the scissor lever is fairly difficult to push down when skiing and boot-in-binding (on both sizes). Difficult because it's not at all easy to press it down with the hand from standing height, and because I don't see a way to push it down with a ski pole. It should be designed with a hard metal divot insert at apex so you could push it down this way. (Main bale should be designed with a way to push it down with a pole too.)
In practice I always push down the pink tabbed scissor lever before I put boot in ski. That doesn't solve the problem because that scissor arch lever tends to pop up along with the main bale when it's opened to prepare for step-in. In other words, when I open the binding for step-in and toss the ski down to the snow, the pink tabbed scissor lever is often also popped up. Then after I step in and push the main bale down, the scissor lever is still up and difficult to push down separately--or at least annoying that it takes a separate procedure.
When in the up position, the mail bale is over the scissor lever and blocks it, IIRC, so it's not possible to push down first, before closing the main bale.
Apologies if I haven't understood the original question. Please re-state if so, and I can take another look at my NTN Freedoms and maybe help.
I like to ski the NTN Freedom at the lowest or lower settings, so the PowerBlocks are already screwed out most of the way which also makes it easier, as you're aware. (The Freedom is still a way-active and powerful binding at the lowest setting.)
As someone else mentioned above, check the binding for obstructions, but after mounting some small Freerides for my wife last week with a 22.5 boot, first make sure that the claw is fully closing on the second heel. If the second heel doesn't seat all the way into the claw, it creates a ton of extra tension in the binding, as all the springs are compressed a bit, which may inhibit the tour lever from closing (would be similar to trying to force it into ski mode with your heel in the air).
When I step into NTN's I cycle my heel up, which will seat the second heel if it didn't get there initially. In working with my wife's bindings/boots, on the bench it seemed like the short boots/small bindings were more prone to not get the second heel into the claw on closure compared to my larges (w/28 boot).