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Duke/Baron advice

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hi, Happy New year, I am considering a Baron or Duke for my Bushwackers, but am unfamiliar with performance characteristics of these bidings and what changes in downhill performance to expect. I understand the baron is slightly lighter and has a weeker rear spring, which would be fine for my skill and size, but i can get 2012 Dukes for 325.00 usd (mounted). The Baron I have to get from another shop due to needing a small, and will run me 369.00 mounted. While i am not worried about the extra cash, I am worried about the performance/weight because these skis will be my daily's for family/resort  skiing also.

 

As far as touring performance I am a begginer, maybe not even a begginer yet,.......lol. Since I have never used AT bindings or skins and will be using alpine only boots with cuff unbuckled, for now. My current setup is some tubbs with my skis and boots on a backpack. I am a non aggressive, adv intermediate 5'5" 155lbs, 7 DIN setting, so far just hiking a closed down, grown in ski hill locally, having lots of fun, but starting to get bored

 

Could someone point me in the right direction before I waste some hard earned cash.

 

Thanks for any, and all advice.

post #2 of 23

Do a search- I think this has been discussed here before, and also take a look at the wealth on AT information on wildsnow.com. Since you don't need the higher DIN (and most people don't for the backcountry) the Dukes are wasted weight- but not a lot (about 100gms, I think, maybe less). Both are really heavy, however, compared with other frame AT bindings like the Fritchi's or Marker F10's (by several hundred grams), but they are more burly and possibly more durable for inbounds use. I have a pair on my K2 Coombas, and they're great inbounds, but heavy on the climb. If I am doing any more serious BC I will use my dedicated AT setup with Fritchi's (which also can be switched from climb to ski mode without taking off your skis), and if I was really serious I would finally break down and spend the money on a pair of Dynafits- the REAL AT bindings, which save real weight and have no lifted weight (with frame or rail type bindings you have to lift the weight of the frame and heel piece with every step, not so with the Dynafits). All of the frame AT bindings have a fairly high rise off the deck, too, so that may take a bit of getting used to, and the ramp angle is said to be less than some standard alpine bindings.

post #3 of 23

You ask for someone to point you in the right direction, but I'm not really sure what your question is, honestly...

 

If you can get the Dukes cheaper, I'd get the Dukes.  Not because they're better but because they're cheaper.  The Barons are lighter, but not by a lot.  Not enough not make me pay the extra money.

 

There are other option out there these days as well.  Atomic/Salomon Tracker/Guardian or Tyrolia Adrenalin.  Not necessarily better, depending on your priorities, but possibly.

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I see this has been disussed here, and on a few other forums,...lol..I should have spent more time searching. I will stop wasting time over a tenth of a pound and get the Duke. This is too good a way to start your day, or get some solitude in the afternoon now that the days are getting longer. At this stage I am only concerned with downhill, and inbounds, I'll figure the rest out as I go.

 

Yhanks again, Have a great season!

post #5 of 23

Dukes are a great start and would suit your needs just fine.  Eventually if you are really into AT i would invest in some dynafits.

post #6 of 23

I never thought bindings could have much impact on performance until I skied on a pair of Barons.  My balance and rhythym were completely thrown off.  The next day I rented the same pair of skis with other bindings, and felt back to my normal self.  I posted about this before and there were many doubters and naysayers, but I thought you should be aware of my experience.  In the end it was never clear whether it was the high stand height, the flat binding ramp (heel and toes are the same height) or the heaviness of Barons.  Presumably some combo of these factors.  Maybe I would have eventually adjusted, I only skied them 3 days.  I'm sticking to resort skiing.

post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

I never thought bindings could have much impact on performance until I skied on a pair of Barons.  My balance and rhythym were completely thrown off.  The next day I rented the same pair of skis with other bindings, and felt back to my normal self.  I posted about this before and there were many doubters and naysayers, but I thought you should be aware of my experience.  In the end it was never clear whether it was the high stand height, the flat binding ramp (heel and toes are the same height) or the heaviness of Barons.  Presumably some combo of these factors.  Maybe I would have eventually adjusted, I only skied them 3 days.  I'm sticking to resort skiing.

Wow, thanks dude, thats what I was afraid of. This 173 bushwacker is too much fun for me right now to risk a drastic characteristic change. I t would also spoil the descent for me. I have a pair of Legend 8000, maybe I will mount them on those ya, but they are only 165cm..... hmmm...back to the drawing board

post #8 of 23

Agreed....just pick up the Dukes and the cheaper price and if you get into it invest in a dynafit setup.

post #9 of 23

Get the dukes, it's a better binding and your getting it for a better price. If you are only touring a few days a year you won't even notice the difference between a baron and a duke. They are both great bindings if you do mostly downhill skiing but like to hit the backcountry once and a while. I have probably 60 days on a pair of barons and they are great, I'm going dukes on my next pair of skis only cause I got a better deal on them over the barons this time around.

post #10 of 23

Either or. I have Barons and they're fine but I haven't toured on them yet. I usually tour on my Icelantic Nomads with Fritchi Freerides. Both are heavy setups but the Nomads are lighter than my Dynastars by quite a bit. I can't really bring myself tpo tour on the Dynastars....they're more of a back-up or for use on short side country stuff with little touring. They do ski more like a "downhill only" setup due to the binding rigidity. FWIW, be careful of blisters when touring in alpine boots. I did it for a couple years and couldn't believe the difference when switching to AT boots. I have BD Methods, which are also pretty heavy, but are Dynafit compatible.

post #11 of 23

I'm touring on barons on r2 122, and, honestly, I don't find the difference between barons and griffons (on Bones) really identifiable. 

 

Yes, they don't make for a light setup. But they ski-- for me, a light guy who likes to go off lots of little kickers-- just like a downhill binding. 

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

I never thought bindings could have much impact on performance until I skied on a pair of Barons.  My balance and rhythym were completely thrown off.  The next day I rented the same pair of skis with other bindings, and felt back to my normal self.  I posted about this before and there were many doubters and naysayers, but I thought you should be aware of my experience.  In the end it was never clear whether it was the high stand height, the flat binding ramp (heel and toes are the same height) or the heaviness of Barons.  Presumably some combo of these factors.  Maybe I would have eventually adjusted, I only skied them 3 days.  I'm sticking to resort skiing.

 

Don't listen to this. If the difference between a baron and a demo/rental binding is enough to ruin your day, then there is something else going on than the weigth of the binding.

 

Get barons or dukes or whatever. But if you start to enjoy touring a lot, the only sensible solution is eventually tech bindings (dynafit, plum, G3 etc...)

post #13 of 23

^^^ actually, you should listen to hirustler^^^ bindings like Dukes/Barons/Guardian/Adrenaline do effect the way a ski performs. Some people are sensitive to the effects, others are not, but touring bindings ski different than alpine bindings. I, for one, hate skiing on them.

post #14 of 23

I hate skiing on fritchie's, but they tour fairly well.  Dukes, while not ideal, aren't that bad to ski on, but kind of have a weird gate for touring. I have no experience with the newest generation of any of the touring bindings.

post #15 of 23

Dukes of course, cheaper and stronger.  The difference in how they ride vs a normal alpine binding is negligible, and you should easily adapt to the binding...after all you ski a lot if you're considering a AT binding.

post #16 of 23

i am 75kg / 180 cm and i am not aggressive skier using din 9.5-10.

 

I am selecting between Duke EPF and Baron 13 EPF. I know that duke have better construction and higher din but I do not need it. On the other hand I am looking that bindigs would be light as possible. Should I go with Baron or Duke is better performer in general no matter what din I am using?

 

Thanks!

post #17 of 23
Or you could chose a lighter binding (which is pretty much everything on the market) with a DIN 13. Salomon/Atomic or Tyrolia.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Or you could chose a lighter binding (which is pretty much everything on the market) with a DIN 13. Salomon/Atomic or Tyrolia.

 

Do not find many feedback on tyrolia. Adrenaline or Ambitions you mean?

post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzi View Post
 

i am 75kg / 180 cm and i am not aggressive skier using din 9.5-10.

 

I am selecting between Duke EPF and Baron 13 EPF. I know that duke have better construction and higher din but I do not need it. On the other hand I am looking that bindigs would be light as possible. Should I go with Baron or Duke is better performer in general no matter what din I am using?

 

Thanks!

 

If you want light, neither.  If you want light, avoid frame bindings.

post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman View Post
 

 

If you want light, neither.  If you want light, avoid frame bindings.

 

There's not much difference between the Duke, Baron, and F12 besides weight and DIN... and there are reports the F12 is actually stiffer (or perhaps that was pre EPF Duke/Baron). If you need the higher DIN, get the binding that supplies it. If you don't, get the cheaper binding. If they are the same price, get the lighter binding.

 

It's true that a frame binding will never be a pure winner for long-day, big-vert touring where going up is the priority over going down-- not only because of weight, but also because of the stride geometry. In the resort, or on shorter tours (vert ≤1000m/3,300 feet), the frame binding is nice because it skis very, very similarly to a normal alpine binding. For me, it skis identically... I don't feel any difference. Going down, the extra weight right under your foot doesn't matter. Yes, dynafit is lighter and strides better, but it doesn't release the same way and it's definitely not an ideal resort binding even if it is possible to ski a tech binding in the resort (which plenty of folks do). 

 

If you're never going to tour = alpine binding.

If you tour here and there = frame binding

If you tour all the time = dynafit.

 

Between these paradigms one has to make a judgement about one's individual priorities, desires, weighting of risks, compromises.

 

Sure, my ideal setup would be to have a couple models of skis in full triplicate-pairs with dyna, frame, and alpine bindings respectively. Then a quiver of boots ranging from dyna, to swappable soles, to alpine. Then a couple of those skis in their various weight/models-- carbon and hybrid (to use DPS's marketing terms)-- and widths and lengths. 

 

But for most of us, even the rabid for skiing, owning an easy $10K+ in snow equipment isn't really feasible-- let alone storing it all. So for many of us it's: I like powder (fatter ski), and resort (not-dyna; probably not massively fat ski) and to tour here and there (frame). Or some variation of that equation to figure out what you're going to do with your one, two, three, or however many ski quiver. 

post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post
 

 

But for most of us, even the rabid for skiing, owning an easy $10K+ in snow equipment isn't really feasible-- let alone storing it all....

 

I added up my equipment expenditure a while back on my odyssey from alpine skier to alpine tourer... which included all of your mentioned between steps.... Marker Dukes, swappable soles etc..... and the cost was over double your $10k figure.... It was a fun journey

post #22 of 23

Yeah, it gets nice and pricey! :)

 

Then I go up in the Alps on a tour and get passed on the uphill by a solo 60 year old Austrian on 72mm underfoot, near-straight, what's-rocker?, 160cm skis on bindings that no business in their right mind would ever still service... he's on gear that's probably worth $50 total (for the dump acceptance fees), and uses it in the resort and touring 50 days a year. Makes me smile! (Of course I look much prettier-- though not from his euro-powder-touring-turn hip-swivel perspective-- when it gets to the going downhill part.) 

post #23 of 23

Just had a weeks fun in the New Zealand Alps and not a frame binding in sight. Light and reliable was called for.

 

 

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