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"free" bindings vs. others

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Could someone please tell me when one would prefer "free" bindings over ones that have an attachemnt between the toe and heel. For instance, the marker titanium 1200 free vs the attached 1200

Is one more desirable than the other, and if so, when.
thank you
post #2 of 7
The free bindings are generally (this is my opinion, shared by some) better on 'freeride/style' style skis such as twin-tips, mogul skis and powder skis. The idea is that being flat (no lift) to the ski is quicker and less carve oriented so it's easier to smear a turn, ski a zipper line or stomp a landing switch.

The connected bindings almost always have some lift built in, this is better on carving oriented skis. You get additional leverage over the ski and usually a free-flexing mechanism that eliminates a flat spot under the boot. Great for carving railroad tracks down courdoroy.

Many people like lifted bindings on their wide skis to create a narrower 'feel' and a little more power to the edge. It really all comes down to personal preference. I'd say that if carving clean turns is high on your list of ski qualities go with lift, if park/ pipe/ mogul skiing is important go flatter.
post #3 of 7
It depends which binding you're talking about. You mentioned Markers. The difference between the Free and the EPS is that the EPS has the "EPS" technology- Edge Pressure System. It's designed to distribute the pressure transmitted by your boot evenly along the ski. While it increases edge hold, you don't really need increased edgehold in a freeride application- whatever the ski provides is plenty enough for the occasional hardpack you run into. There's an even bigger difference when it comes to the piston control bindings- the piston dampens the ski on hardpack, reducing chatter. Again, since you're not running into hardpack too often while freeriding, there's no need for this technology and it simplymakes a ski feel lifeless off piste.

In Look and Tyrolia bindings, the difference is only in the amount of lift.
post #4 of 7

like an "idiot" i mounted Marker Titanium 13 Pistons on my Mantras. Perhaps I should turn them to the "off" postion when freeriding and back to the "on" when shooting out onto hardpack...
post #5 of 7
I never noticed that turning the piston on or off made any difference, but I had them on a pretty stiff and damp ski.

I have the Marker 1400 Free mounted on Fischer Sceneo 500s. The skis have a built-in lifter which is divided into separate sections for heel and toe. The advantage to the Free is that it accomodates the gap between the front and rear part of the lifter, and it mounts flat so that it creates no additional lift.
post #6 of 7
I got two pairs of free bindings off of old skis last year, both are Salomon 957 Composites. Good, skiable condition, stiff, light, low lift, etc. Best skiing related ground-score in a while.

They are good freeskiing bindings.

On a side note, marker gimick bindings have always had minimal effect and are pretty worthless. Anybody remember Selective Control? That said, different bindings can ski very differently.
post #7 of 7
Free the heel, and ski for real.
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