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Freeflex 14 vs. 16 questions

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I've got a pair of 170 cm 2013 Head Supershapes  (pic below) with the Speedflex Plate 13 and SP12 demo bindings.  They're a little stiffer than I'd like for drills and all-mountain skiing, and someone at Head advised me that I should swap the SP12 for a Freeflex, since the latter's sliding action would allow the ski to flex more readily (plus, it's the binding the ski was designed for).   The plate is predrilled for both the SP12 and the Freeflex's, so this is easy to do. 

 

My plan was to get the FF14 (I'm 150#, and use a 7 toe/8 heel), but I just saw a great deal on a new 2015 FF16 ($130 incl. tax+ship).  So, questions:

 

1) Is the freeflex action the same on the FF14 and FF16 (i.e., will they have the same effect on ski flex; it's certainly plausible they could have set it higher on the 16)?

 

2) The FF16 is generally touted as being a better binding than the FF14, if you fall within the 16's DIN range (which I do).  But it weighs a half pound more per side; not sure if I'll notice that in the moguls.   Any general comments on the FF14 vs. the 16 for an aggressive all-mountain skier?  I gather the FF14 favors release, while the FF16 favors retention (twice the upward force needed at the toe, no diagonal in the heel).  Don't know how their elasticities differ.

 

3) When I attach the bindings to the plate, should I use waterproof wood glue (like one would when screwing directly into the ski) or, alternately, blue Loctite?  [Yes, I'll be having a shop do a release check; but attaching to the plate I can do myself.]

 


Edited by chemist - 11/7/15 at 11:12am
post #2 of 28

1. Yes, the free flex action is the same.  It is just basically a rigid start connecting toe and heel.  Haven't looked at the 14 lately but the 13 has a higher heel (greater ramp or delta) than the 16

 

2  Yes the 16 is a way better binding and if you are getting them at $130 that is a decent deal.  For 8 ounces more you will not notice!

 

3   I never use glue or loctite when mounting on a plate.  Particularly when it is predrilled like the speed flex, using a glue is more likely to score up the plate if you try to remove it

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 

1. Yes, the free flex action is the same.  It is just basically a rigid start connecting toe and heel.  Haven't looked at the 14 lately but the 13 has a higher heel (greater ramp or delta) than the 16

Thanks!  

 

Yes, the 16's delta is 5 mm, while the 14's is 7 mm.

 

I assume "rigid start" means you're a victim of autocorrect :D, and that you're referring to the band that connects the heel and toe.  But that's not what provides the flex -- it's supposed to be the free-gliding heel.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post

 

2  Yes the 16 is a way better binding and if you are getting them at $130 that is a decent deal.  For 8 ounces more you will not notice!

 

So why exactly is the 16 better than the 14, as opposed it simply being the case that the 16 is better for someone that favors retention while the 14 is better for someone that favors release (diagonal heel, etc.)?  I'd like to understand.  Does the 16 have less slop?  Or better shock absorption?  If it had metal toe and heel cups that would certainly be an improvement over the 14, but I think the 16's are plastic as well (at least in the toe, not sure about the heel).  

 

I suppose I should also ask if the guy at Head was right -- i.e., is it actually the case that the SP12 stiffens the ski more than the FF?


Edited by chemist - 11/7/15 at 12:10pm
post #4 of 28

The "free gliding heel" is just created by the rigid strap (!) maintaining closely the pressure and distance between heel and toe.  The connection pulls the heel slightly forward/pushes back depending on the pressure on the ski.  The heel simply moves in the same plate as a standard heel but is driven by the connector.    In a similar manner,Marker comps always work better when on a race plate providing more consistency of pressure.  I have had some pairs  of the older ff17s where the connection has been removed and they still work as independent units. 

 

Better retention through improved toe and non diagonal heel.  You overthink this too much!  :D 

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotsSkier View Post
 You overthink this too much!  :D 

It's not about overthinking, it's about gaining a clarity of understanding.  Everyone I know that deeply understands a subject, whether it's ski gear or something else, achieved this because they asked these kind of questions. ;)

post #6 of 28
FF16 for $130? Where?
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

FF16 for $130? Where?

Left Lane Sports, http://www.leftlanesports.com/Product.aspx?l=00000000000000000000&p=TYA01230  Good company, I've bought from them before.

 

$159.95, including shipping, minus 25% if you use the coupon code "NOV25".   The $130 includes CA tax, so if you're out of state it could be only $120.  Code expires midnight pacific time tonight (Nov 7).   Last time I checked they had ten pairs left.  If you want to risk waiting another few weeks, they should be having a 30% off sale, but there's a good chance the bindings will be gone by then.

 

If you PM me your email I can send you an invite, which gives both of us an additional $10 credit.

 

EDIT:  I forgot to mention that the ad copy lists the brake width as 78 mm (the narrowest Head offers), but then below it says "No Brake."  This may be a typo, so if you want the binding I'd recommend ordering it tonight (it shouldn't ship until Monday), and then calling cust svc tomorrow (they're open on Sunday), and asking if they could place a hold on shipping until they've confirmed it does come with a brake.  That's what they're doing for me.    Or just send them an email tonight saying you wanted to order and take advantage of the 25 off, but were confused about the brake, then call them tomorrow.  They'll probably still honor it.


Edited by chemist - 11/7/15 at 4:46pm
post #8 of 28

First- I think the ski will perform better with a Freeflex binding instead of a SP120 demo binding. Lower stack height, lower weight and less slop.

 

Second- I really doubt you will see additional flex from the ski with this change. The plate already isolates the ski from the stiffening effect of the binding/ boot.

 

Third- the 16's housing is much more robust, as is the heel. (The 18X gets the much better teflon AFD instead of the silly 'tank track' and gets a worm screw fwd pressure adjustment in place of the 'tab' which I feel is more precise)


Edited by Whiteroom - 11/7/15 at 4:50pm
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

First- I think the ski will perform better with a Freeflex binding instead of a SP120 demo binding. Lower stack height, lower weight and less slop.

 

Second- I really doubt you will see additional flex from the ski with this change. The plate already isolates the ski from the stiffening effect of the binding/ boot.

 

Third- the 16's housing is much more robust, as is the heel. (The 18X gets the much better teflon AFD instead of the silly 'tank track')


Thanks Whiteroom.  Stand height, with the plate, is pretty high right now with the SP12:  58.5 mm, which is 11 mm higher than the 14, and 13 mm higher than the 16.  

 

When you say the 16's heel and housing are more robust, I assume you mean by comparison to both the 14 and the SP12, correct?

 

In your opinion, how would the weight be a factor in performance?   I should point out that if I replace the SP12 with the FF16, I'll actually be increasing the weight a bit, not decreasing it.  From Tyrolia's 2014/15 tech manual; weights are per pair:

 

SP12 (DEMO): 2600 g
FF Pro 11: 2290 g
FF Pro 14: 2330 g
FF Pro 16: 2700 g
FF Pro 16X RD, 18X, 20X: 3020-3050 g


Edited by chemist - 11/7/15 at 4:54pm
post #10 of 28

Light, cheap, durable... pick two. :)

 

If it makes any difference, I have a FF16 mounted on my REV 85 pros. No complaints at all. 


Edited by markojp - 11/7/15 at 5:20pm
post #11 of 28

OK, weight won't be any different really, but I feel precision will be better with a freeflex binding replacing an SP12. Honestly, any 92W hole pattern binding will drop onto that plate and work well, so Mojo/ Peak/ Attack/ LX are all options that could cut weight. Weight only really matters when you stop using gravity pressure and sidecut and start steering, pivoting and muscling the ski around.

post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Weight only really matters when you stop using gravity pressure and sidecut and start steering, pivoting and muscling the ski around.

And on the lift, if there's no footrest :).

 

As a general rule, I'd agree, if you're using good technique weight shouldn't be an issue.  When it comes to skis, I've never concerned myself with weight, just performance--and the constructions I prefer are typically heavier.   But I think there are exceptions where weight does matter, particularly in moguls: if you get out of balance, recentering by pulling the skis back under you (which is good technique) is a bit easier if they're lighter.   And sometimes I mess up my line and need to redirect the skis in the air (which I suppose counts as pivoting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Honestly, any 92W hole pattern binding will drop onto that plate and work well, so Mojo/ Peak/ Attack/ LX are all options...

Neat, I didn't know that those others would fit as well.  And the adjustable delta on the AAAttack looks pretty cool for dialing in fore-aft.   But I think I'll stick with the FF for these.


Edited by chemist - 11/7/15 at 5:39pm
post #13 of 28

The brakes are the "A" 's if I recall, so you can pretty easily swap them out if necessary before mounting. 

post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

The brakes are the "A" 's if I recall, so you can pretty easily swap them out if necessary before mounting. 

My concern was that if they didn't have brakes that would kill the cost savings, b/c brakes go for ~$40.

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemist View Post
 

It's not about overthinking, it's about gaining a clarity of understanding.  Everyone I know that deeply understands a subject, whether it's ski gear or something else, achieved this because they asked these kind of questions. ;)


yes, but remember, greater understanding does not always translate through to better performance!  :D

 

In some cases it works the opposite way as it gives you yet another dimension to consider.  Me, i'm not that smart!    :beercheer:

post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Honestly, any 92W hole pattern binding will drop onto that plate and work well, so Mojo/ Peak/ Attack/ LX are all options that could cut weight. 

Actually, it occurs to me the Attack might not be the best choice for a 66 mm ski.  While it fits the hole pattern, it has a 77 mm wide AFD, so it's going to be overhanging the sidewalls by quite a bit.  Tyrolia's manual says "the AAAttack model can be ideally used on ski widths from 80 mm and wider."  Not sure about the others you mention.

post #17 of 28
Just use the FF. they're fine. I checked your link. Brakes are included, 78. They should fold up out of the way. Conversely, I have 78's stretched over my 85's.
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Just use the FF. they're fine. I checked your link. Brakes are included, 78. They should fold up out of the way. Conversely, I have 78's stretched over my 85's.


That's probably what I'll do.  But, as I said, I would like to confirm they have the brakes.  Check under "Product Info.," bolded, three lines from the bottom:  "No brake".

Like I said above, that's probably an error -- most likely the brakes are included, since it's only the AAA series and few others that are routinely sold w/o them.  78 is the right size -- it's the narrowest adult brake they make, and what they used on their race skis (until this year, when they switched to a more-foldable 85).

post #19 of 28

Unless they changed something drastically in last year or two, FF16 is race service binding (normally SL and GS binding on WC), while FF14 is consumer binding. This means, FF16 is full metal binding, while FF14 is plastic, and therefore a lot lighter. They might look same, but in reality FF16 (together with FF18 and FF20) is completely completely different thing. Angles are different, height is different (to fit FIS regulations) build is different and even how tight binding holds boot in is different. So if you don't mind 10-16 DIN, and extra weight, FF16 is certainly a lot better option then FF14. And if you get it for $130, get two, as normally these bindings are closer to $300 range then $130 :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by chemist View Post
So why exactly is the 16 better than the 14, as opposed it simply being the case that the 16 is better for someone that favors retention while the 14 is better for someone that favors release (diagonal heel, etc.)?
post #20 of 28
Primoz, I think you're talking about the FF 16 and 20 'x' bindings. Indeed, those are different and significantly more money. Just say ¥€$. smile.gif
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post


Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post

Primoz, I think you're talking about the FF 16 and 20 'x' bindings. Indeed, those are different and significantly more money. Just say ¥€$. smile.gif

Yes, while the ff16 is better build and different to the ff14, what primoz is describing is the 16 RD (or x series) which is a whole different animal as previously mentioned by white room. I have a few pairs of them on head slaloms and the 16 RD is a great binding
post #22 of 28

There is also nonRD FF16? Last 2 or 3 years I'm on Rossi (no more free skis from Fischer :D), so I'm not up to date with Fischer anymore, but until 2 or 3 years ago, FF16 was only RD version and nothing else. FF14 and FF17 were consumer version, but FF16 was just race version. But obviously things changed, so sorry for wrong info. :)

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by primoz View Post

There is also nonRD FF16? Last 2 or 3 years I'm on Rossi (no more free skis from Fischer biggrin.gif ), so I'm not up to date with Fischer anymore, but until 2 or 3 years ago, FF16 was only RD version and nothing else. FF14 and FF17 were consumer version, but FF16 was just race version. But obviously things changed, so sorry for wrong info. smile.gif

Easy t o get confused with these primoz! Iirc you are correct in that there is not a Fischer 16 in non RD, the ff17 is the consumer version. But there is a ff16 non RD with head branding. Go figure....😀
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 

primoz,  these might help (assuming you can read the tiny type!):

 

 


Edited by chemist - 11/9/15 at 6:25pm
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by markojp View Post
 

Light, cheap, durable... pick two. :)

 

If it makes any difference, I have a FF16 mounted on my REV 85 pros. No complaints at all. 


 

so i have a new head freeflex pro 14 sitting here.

i understood it mounts on flat ski just ok.

 

any reasons why not mounting on a piste oriented voelkl kendo ???

 

normally i have only salomons or looks, so no knowledge on race oriented bindings there. but they look just fine.

like these  https://www.levelninesports.com/head-freeflex-pro-14-ski-bindings

post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan1 View Post
 


 

so i have a new head freeflex pro 14 sitting here.

i understood it mounts on flat ski just ok.

 

any reasons why not mounting on a piste oriented voelkl kendo ???

 

normally i have only salomons or looks, so no knowledge on race oriented bindings there. but they look just fine.

like these  https://www.levelninesports.com/head-freeflex-pro-14-ski-bindings

 

If the brakes fit, then go for it. 

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by stefan1 View Post
 


 

so i have a new head freeflex pro 14 sitting here.

i understood it mounts on flat ski just ok.

 

any reasons why not mounting on a piste oriented voelkl kendo ???

 

normally i have only salomons or looks, so no knowledge on race oriented bindings there. but they look just fine.

like these  https://www.levelninesports.com/head-freeflex-pro-14-ski-bindings

 

No trouble at all. I ski the 16 on my Rev 85's. They' move over to the Monster 88's this year. 

post #28 of 28
Hey, thanks. I think the brakes are 85. So i guess i will just go ahead and use them
(or use the sally sth2 that have been on the previous Ski)
Edited by stefan1 - 7/17/16 at 2:25am
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