The pivot style heelpiece (P12 etc up to 04/05) was, and still is a real classic. The release/retention performance is great, allowing you to ski at lower DIN settings than most other bindings, and the short mounting footprint means it feels really nice on snow, letting the ski flex smoothly. However it has been replaced by the more conventional PX12 etc for the 05/06 season. The toepiece is still the same but the new heel is a combination of the intermediate range mounting track and the pivot retention arm. The jury is still out on whether the new design is an improvement on the pivots or not.
The reasons that Look gave for the change were:
- The new heelpiece offers a tighter coupling to the boot - (but when the pivots came out they said they had the tightest coupling on the market, and I have never heard anyone complaining about it before.)
- Increased reliability, the track of the pivots could bend under certain circumstances - (I have only ever heard of two cases of this and I suspect the binding had been abused and mis-mounted in both cases, in general the pivots were among the most trouble free designs.)
- Increased forward pressure - (but lower forward pressure was one of the things that made the pivots better than the other designs.)
The cynical among us suspect that the real reason for the change is it was just easier than explaining to consumers why the heelpiece looked different to all the other brands.
However the danger is that Look are fixing imagined problems by changing some of the things that made the pivots better than all the other heelpieces, and in doing so losing loyal customers who appreciated and understood how the pivots were better than conventional designs.
My advice would be to get the 04/05 era P12 before they are all gone.