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Picked up the new K2 "Cinch" bindings....a Review!!

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I used K2 "Clickers" for almost 10 years on my (5) K2 Eldorado boards. I gave them up for Burton step-in's after the Flow systems felt too stiff for my tastes. I gave up on the Clickers because they didn't have any comfy boots I liked...they were all too stiff.

I been on Burton strap binding for the past (3) years and they are OK but the less bending over I have to do at my age, the better. I read about the K2 "Cinch" but had not seen them. As soon as I saw them at a shop this week in Park City, I strapped into their demo board and was sold right then.

It basically has (1) latch on the back plate that provides tension via a cable, similar to the "Flow" system I guess. The difference is you still have regular straps up front like "standard" bindings. All you have to do is set them once and you're done. The back plate opens up by dropping back to let you in or out of the binding. To get in, just step into the straps and then pull up on the one latch and you're done!! There's no sitting in the snow, you don't need a bench either....it literally takes less than 3-5 seconds. As far as riding goes, I couldn't tell ANY difference in comfort or performance anywhere (trees, terrain park, groomers, etc...) on the mountain.

I guess the important part to all the riders who think they are "core" is you still have the "feel / touch" of straps but the near simplicity of a step-in and you can use ANY boot xou want.

They retail for $219 and I'd give them a 9 out of 10....they need to perfect the cable "latch" in the back to make sure it gets "hooked" EVERY time w/o fail. I had (1) OR (2) times where I had to set it in place by hand before being able to close up the binding.

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 44
Thanks for the review. I'm going binding shopping with a friend who, I swear, must take two or three minutes to strap in every time he gets off the lift.

Think I could get Cap Straps to work with those?
post #3 of 44

K2 binder...

K2 rider,

in the advent of step ins... hands down the in and out bennies rule. I have tried every thing form the earlier clickers, rossi / o-sin , burton as well.

As an instructor/coach/clinician...the only thing that I see as some what of a set back. The binding not being able to allow for a great range of ankle flexsion. What is this you say? Well ankle flexsion is very helpful in terms of fine tuning both what both the body is doing and what the board is doing.

*Some riders may tilt the board onto it's edge buy using the boot/binding interface as a lever. Does that make sense? When alot of tilting in this particular set up is present, the twisting of the snowboard is often either not there or very minimal.

At any rate my point, because of the way that the K2 cinch binder works it inhibits to some degree the riders ankle flexsion. Which in turn may keep the rider in more of an upright or taller riding position.

Either way to me it sounds like you most certainly are happy with what you have purchased. As always in almost any web based forum you'll get fifty million different reason's both pro and con for the K2 Cinch binder.

Good luck enjoy your season hope the snow in Cali is better that the EAST right now: .


*There are a number of variables here that may change the above stated;
>Board length
>Stiff vs. soft board flex
>Rider height
>Rider weight
>Past experience level of riding
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonah D.
...because of the way that the K2 cinch binder works it inhibits to some degree the riders ankle flexsion. Which in turn may keep the rider in more of an upright or taller riding position.
Can you clarify?

The buddy I referred to in the above post and I went binding shopping together to find a replacement for his busted setup.

He actually walked away from a new pair of '05/06 Burton Missions for $107 in favor of the K2 Cinch bindings for $219, which he's going to pick up next week.

I did some web sleuthing for him, and although I found mixed reviews of last year's K2 Cinch due to mechanical failures and some unintended openings, I couldn't find much of anything negative about this season's version.

But the real point I'd like you to address is, ignoring all the fancy pivots and cables that make these do what they do, once strapped in, they appear very much like any other strap-in binding system: high back, ankle strap, toe strap.

I'm not sure what it is you're describing that inhibits the ankle flex when compared to any comparable strap-in system.

In fact, if anything, I would expect the cable-actuated back to provide for a little more give/flex than a conventionally fixed high-back design.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Can you clarify?


But the real point I'd like you to address is, ignoring all the fancy pivots and cables that make these do what they do, once strapped in, they appear very much like any other strap-in binding system: high back, ankle strap, toe strap.

I'm not sure what it is you're describing that inhibits the ankle flex when compared to any comparable strap-in system.

In fact, if anything, I would expect the cable-actuated back to provide for a little more give/flex than a conventionally fixed high-back design.

Speed;

yes I most certainly will clarify. A local shop did have the first generation of the cinch binders. I did recall seeing a few pairs have some cable issues As far as the straps etc...no major issues.

As far as the ankle flexsion...with the way that the toe strap, ankle straps are configured (to work as an interface) the ankle's range of motion is somewhat limited. If you recall looking at the system...the high back/cinch mech basically works on two hinge points at the back of the bindings heel cup. In order to get the the clip to engauge or close it requires the high back it's self to put a fair amount of pressure on the back of the boot.This in turn makes utilizing one's range of anlke flexsion limited. When I refer to ankle flexsion I'm talking about being able to used this specific movement for example to assist in a number of board performance concepts; Tilting & twisting board, refining the boards edge tilt during a turn etc. Rinding very active or dynamic.

Let's not get away from the original post topic, the K2 cinch is a great binding for the right person. Some folks are very happy with riding their equipment in a very upright or static postion. More often then not my main point...a step-in interface is what it is. Just like a hybrid bike, kinda does a little bit of every thing well.

These observations are coming from actual field work. I'm an AASI III instructor at a local mtn. The above mentioned reply is what I have had experienced first hand. Does this say that your buddy will not like the binders vs. the mission?? probably not. Again the beauty of this forum is the just throw filler out there for general commentary/debate.

Is what I say the gospel on K2 cinch binding? Not at all...but thank you for asking for clairification.
post #6 of 44
Jonah,

I'm not understanding how the ankle strap prevents flexion. Wouldn't it need to have contact connecting the top of the foot to the shin and be stiff to prevent dorsiflexion (raising of the toes) and grab and hold the top of the boot in order to prevent plantar flexion (lowering the toes) (possible if the ankle and toe straps were connected?).
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Jonah,

I'm not understanding how the ankle strap prevents flexion. Wouldn't it need to have contact connecting the top of the foot to the shin and be stiff to prevent dorsiflexion (raising of the toes) and grab and hold the top of the boot in order to prevent plantar flexion (lowering the toes) (possible if the ankle and toe straps were connected?).
You know what I must be a horses ass!! i freakin just got off the k2 web site. My confusion in what I have been talking about is the Flow binding system. You are correct the K2 binder pretty much has the exact same strap configureation as a normal two strap binder minus the step in high-back feature. My apologies...

Thanks for the shoulder check into the boards rusty
post #8 of 44
: Eeks even worse. One of my fellow pros is a flow rep who's trying to convert our mountain's rental fleet to FLOW. The only thing holding them back is that FLOWs are selling like hotcakes and there are no demo bindings available. Roundtop in PA has committed to switch next season.

I've seen these but not ridden them. That top cover looks flexible enough to allow ankle movement, but it might inhibit it.
post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
I tried the Flow's a few years back. I bought a high end model based on my riding style and they were way too stiff for my tastes. I sold them on ebay after (1) day of riding them.

*However*, I thinkthe Flow system would be much better than the K2 Cinch for a renatl fleet. I could see the K2's giving people fit when the "catch" on the wire doesn't line up as expected each and every time. Also, the K2's might be more labor intensive (for your staff) to get them dialed in tright to a different renter every day.
post #10 of 44
I demo'd the K2 Cinch and was very impressed with it. Basically all the pro's of the Flow and none of the drawbacks. You can set your forward lean to whatever. I pretty much ride pow so I run very little forward lean. In addition to easy rear entry, you can strap and unstrap like a standard snowboard binding. Handy on super steeps, or where you are fighting a ton of snow.
It is a little heavier than a standard binding setup, not by much though.
It took a little doing to figure out the release. I was trying to force the heelback down by hand. Turns out you just release and then "twist" your foot out. Worked great when I started doing that.
A well fitted flow is probably slightly more comfortable due to the large signal strap that distributes pressure. Maybe a large toe cap strap in the future would raise the comfort level. I know the bindings I have with toe cap straps are much more comfortable than the one's without.
post #11 of 44
K2Rider or killclimbz,

Any inconsistancies with tightness upon subsequent re-entries?

I read some complains about the straps not setting the same way every time the foot is inserted in the binding, resulting in the need to fidget with the straps each time.
post #12 of 44
I didn't notice any change once I had the bindings set. I did just demo the cinches for a day, but from what I can tell I doubt you would experience that. The bindings were solid for the 2 hours or so that I demo'd them. Obviously they had been heavily used by many other people. There wasn't any slop that I could find. The only reason I could see that you would need to reset the straps is if you didn't get them right in the first place.
Even if you did need to tighten them, slipping your foot in first is still easier than redoing the straps everytime you lock in.
post #13 of 44

type of board

I like the sound of the cinch's but am unsure whether they're suited to my burton jeremy board. Any thoughts?
post #14 of 44
Ok, I sprung for a used set of Cinches on eBay and have some time on them now. I managed to get ahold of a pair of the 05x model in pretty nice condition.

I mounted the right one on the rear of my board, but for the sake of economy and simplicity, I am sticking with my traditional Burton strap-in for the front foot. (The left over left Cinch is closing tonight on eBay.)

I've got no complaints -- in fact, I love the way this binding works. A minimum of monkeying with the straps is usually required, but for the most part, it's kept my arse off the snow run after run after run.

The tricky part for me has been finding a flat enough place to stand and clamp in. For the most part, no problem at the top of most lifts. But the top of the Lincoln chair at Sugarbowl had no such flatness and gave me fits every run. I eventually began working on developing my sliding cinch-in technique, but that was hit-or-miss with only modest signs of improvement.

For the one occassion where I did have to plant my butt and strap in "the old-fashioned way", it was a little bit of a pain to have to first secure the highback in the closed position, then undo the straps. The lever and folding highback are a little tricky to operate when sitting down with the highback basically laying in the snow.

The ratchets have friction devices installed in them, making operation of the ladder straps not-so-smooth. K2 did this on purpose, so that with the foot out of the binding, the straps aren't accidentally compressed down into a tighter position.

Operating the rear lever takes a little bit of muscle and a little bit of finesse (but not much). See, I'm not the most coordinated guy, but I didn't have too much trouble giving my binding the blind, backsided reach-around, identifying the right part of the lever or leather strap to yank on, and closing it on my boot.

In actual use, the ankle strap is remarkably consistant. Never felt "too tight" or "too loose", so I never had to make any adjustments to it once I was cinched in.

The boot heel, every now and then, gets hung up on the highback padding and doesn't fully seat, but this is pretty rare -- so far only when I was rushing my half-baked "sliding entry" manuever. Be nice though if K2 replaced the lower portion of highback padding with an anti-friction finish.

The toe strap is a little more quirky. It likes to shove forward from time to time, and fastenes in like a poorly designed Cap-Strap. But this quickly stopped being a nuisance as I began to automatically crouch down and re-orient it at the same time I was dusting any excess snow from the footbed, prior to stepping in.

Speaking of Cap-Straps, I modified one of my Burton Cap Straps and attempted to install it on the Cinch bindings. The installation actually went OK -- the Cap-Strap mates up perfectly with K2's ladder strap, and I used a razor blade and a drill to enlarge the opposing side of the Cap-Strap to accept the threaded bit and attach it to the binding. However, because I'm wearing a 29.5 boot in a binding designed for sizes 29 to 33, I couldn't ratchet the strap tight enough without the ratchet running into the sidewall of the binding. If I had a longer foot, or if I had the next size smaller binding, this wouldn't have been a problem.

In any case, no big loss. The Cap-Strap is great for my left foot, which is strapped in for hours at a time. But the run-at-a-time traditional toe strap on the rear foot hasn't caused me any discomfort.

Hits:
+ Easy in, easy out
+ Solid, secure fit
+ Can be used like a traditional strap-in on tricky terrain

Misses:
- Heel sometimes gets hung up when rushing entry
- Toe strap needs a minor repositioning tweek here and there
- Do we really need all this complication for the front foot?

In summary, two big-toes up for this great hybrid binding which, in most cases, gets me from lift to sliding in about 10 seconds, with no more sitting around on my tender tailbone, blocking the trail.
post #15 of 44
You must the crazy man selling the left binding only on eBay then, right?
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonpole
You must the crazy man selling the left binding only on eBay then, right?
Yep, dat's me. How'd you guess?
post #17 of 44
My nephew has a K2 snowboard. I'm not sure the model, but he's happy with it. He has a birthday coming up. Would these bindings be a good gift for him? How complex would it be for me to buy something like this for him, I'm assuming new boots would be in order too???
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by trekchick
My nephew has a K2 snowboard. I'm not sure the model, but he's happy with it. He has a birthday coming up. Would these bindings be a good gift for him? How complex would it be for me to buy something like this for him, I'm assuming new boots would be in order too???
I dunno... ski gear can be a pretty personal preference. How old is he, and do you know what model bindings he has now?

New boots aren't necessary (and like ski boots are a very personal preference, both in fit and stiffness), but occassionally there can be boot/binding fit issues when mixing brands. Also, you would need to know his boot size to determine the correct binding size (M, L, XL).

If you really want to do this for him, I'd skip the whole "surprise" aspect of it, ask him what he wants, and/or take him shopping.
post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
How old is he, and do you know what model bindings he has now?
He's 19, a big kid(do I sound like an aunt?) And I'm not sure what bindings he has now. they are strap in's and they were just slightly above mid range in quality when we got the board for him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
Also, you would need to know his boot size to determine the correct binding size (M, L, XL).
I believe size 12:

Quote:
Originally Posted by speede541
If you really want to do this for him, I'd skip the whole "surprise" aspect of it, ask him what he wants, and/or take him shopping.
Yeah, that's what we did when I helped him get his board for his 16th birthday. It was a big step up from the beginner board he started with and a major purchase for him. I agreed to pay half of whatever board he wanted. Mostly we had fun shopping for it together. Sweet!
post #20 of 44
If that's the case, he'd take a Cinch in the XL size (fits 11-15), and the less-expensive Cinch 05s is every bit as good as their pricier 05x, just without the leather.

Just don't buy the old 2004/2005 model, they had some release problems. Make sure they're listed as '05s' or '05x' to be sure they are the current 05/06 product.
post #21 of 44

k2 cinch plus burton / technine toe cap?

speede541, I read your comment about adding the toe cap strap to the K2 cinch. I have been riding on my 05 cinch bindings this season and have been loving it -- the best of both worlds.

How hard is it to add the Burton toe cap strap? Did you look at the Technine toe caps? Are they identical? I'm thinking of buying the toe cap straps and giving it a try as well for my front foot.

I have been able to step in and lock my binding high back backwards on steep slopes. Just slide in and reach back to lock the highback. Works okay, otherwise it's sit on your butt and undo the straps.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomber160
How hard is it to add the Burton toe cap strap? Did you look at the Technine toe caps? Are they identical? I'm thinking of buying the toe cap straps and giving it a try as well for my front foot.

I have been able to step in and lock my binding high back backwards on steep slopes. Just slide in and reach back to lock the highback. Works okay, otherwise it's sit on your butt and undo the straps.
The Cap Strap mod was easy, but permanent (and as I mentioned, didn't work for me).

The inside plastic strap (the non-ratcheted Burton one that the toe cap piece screws to) needs the end nubs sliced off, then the hole diameter increased with a drill bit, so that the K2 strap nut can be inserted. This allows the strap to be fastened into place with the screw that comes with the Cinch bindings.

I posted on USENET for some help on strapping in on "gently sloped" terrain, and the best answer so far has been to turn my back to the hill and dig my heel side edge in to the snow. While not always the easiest manuever to pull off, I haven't since had to sit down to strap in.

Luckily, the K2 ladder strap engages perfectly with the Burton ratchet on the toe cap.

But again, I couldn't ratchet the Cap Strap tight enough without the Burton ratchet coming in contact with the Cinch's base plate. If I had longer boots or a smaller sized binding, I don't think this would be a problem. So for some folks, this mod would work.

I'm familiar with the Technine Baltimore straps, but haven't seen them in person. I've found references on the web to other Cinch owners outfitting their bindings with these, but I wonder if I'll run into the same problem.
post #23 of 44
I emailed K2 and they said that 06 will include the Top cap option. They also said that the 05 cinch will not be able to be upgraded since there are changes to the baseplate in 06 to accommodate the top cap strap.
post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by bomber160
I emailed K2 and they said that 06 will include the Top cap option. They also said that the 05 cinch will not be able to be upgraded since there are changes to the baseplate in 06 to accommodate the top cap strap.
That's unfortunate. I really like the Cap Straps, and find normal toe straps uncomfortable by comparison.

I heard a nasty rumor Burton is working on a similar binding, but haven't seen anything post-SIA'06 to substantiate it. Anyone with info?
post #25 of 44
step ins are for rooks

blue/green bindings only
post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedhero
step ins are for rooks

blue/green bindings only
The K2 Cinch is not a step in binding....
post #27 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedhero
step ins are for rooks
I guess you would call me a rook then.

I've not been a called rook on a snowboard since the mid eighties. Sweet.

I've got Burton SI's on four of my boards. Next year I am thinking about switching to K2 Cinches.
post #28 of 44
curios. do you backcountry/hike summits alot? or do you just play at a resort.

because i i tried step-ins for a while and they sucked

is your boot like superstiff?


i dont know, bindings dont take enough time to not be worth it

(btw i ride Technine MFM Pro's with boston capstrap, and they work as good on a 55 pitch couloir as they do on kickers and groomers)

its a very aggresive binding and i put it on my differnt boards... total reccomend from someone who has tried to many shitty bindings


- i will have to check out the K2's next season, but i really dig the traditional standards
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedhero
curios. do you backcountry/hike summits alot? or do you just play at a resort.

because i i tried step-ins for a while and they sucked

is your boot like superstiff?
I have done a little bit of everything. That being said, I teach at a small feeder mountain right now. My boots are soft. I actually do not like the ones that I rode this year. The SI boots that I have had in the past were great.

BTW, I also ride hardboot step ins. UPZ boots and bomber step ins on both my GS and SL setups. I have done backcountry and hiked in them too. That would be funny to say that they are for rooks.
post #30 of 44
maybe not for the rooks

but SI's are crap, im sure they can work but basically they came out for people who rode lifts to blues to save an extra 30 seconds so they could cruise with their skier friends

i guess im just used to terrain and lines that would most definatley put their lockage abilities to the test.
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Gear mentioned in this thread:

EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Snowboarding Discussions, Gear and Instruction › Picked up the new K2 "Cinch" bindings....a Review!!