Originally Posted by Eagles Pdx
For Vokl and Atomic, I think the integrated bindings are more of a marketing issue than a ski performance issue, a way to increase their profits by selling more products.
Interesting how your binding broke in the way the lateral release bindings work.
I agree system skis provide a financial benefit to the manufacturers -- typically people don't care about the binding, so why not essentially require them to buy yours? However, that doesn't necessarily mean that at least some of them aren't also highly designed to work as integrated units. If I were considering, say, the Atomic Redster D2 GS, I would need to hear some actual evidence that I wouldn't experience a performance hit before I removed its plate/binding system and replaced it with a KneeBinding.
I should add, OTOH, that I've found binding delta (stack height difference, heel vs. toe) is critical -- I need bindings to be relatively flat, and most aren't (my Atomics have a 4 mm delta, the least I measured back in 2000, while I found others were up to 10+ mm). And one thing that impressed me about KneeBinding is that they appear to be the only manufacturer (at least no one else did back in 2000) that shows explicit awareness of this, offering shims with specific deltas (0 mm, 3 mm, 6 mm, etc.).
And yes, the failure mode is interesting.