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Some thoughts about the DUKE - Page 2

post #31 of 53
Recieved our 30 pairs today, direct. Lots of freebies too. I guess Chamonix remains a bubble.
post #32 of 53
I got mine. I like that it comes with a nice mylar mounting template.
post #33 of 53
Thread Starter 
Cirquerider,

Any thoughts about the construction of the binding/plate interface now that you have it?

John
post #34 of 53

Are you a two pair of boots Duke user?

I posted this on the Gear forum but haven't gotten a response, so I thought I'd try it here. I am wondering just what people who are spending $450 really see themselves doing on this binding. Are you buying another pair of boots too? It is obviously a push into the alpine market, and a tool for going beyond the area, but how far do you realistically see yourself taking it?

Questions for Duke owners and those wanting Dukes:

1. What percentage of skiing using this binding do you anticipate that you will be utilizing the unlockable heel function?

2. Will you immediately (within first 1/2 season) be using them with both AT and alpine boots? If not, which one?

Thanks.
post #35 of 53
I'm not the best example, as I certainly didn't spend $450 on these, but I always have an opinion anyway

To start with no, I'm not buying new boots, my alpine boots are too comfortable to start with (Dalbello Krypton Pro with custom footbeds from the Feet Lab and Zip Fit Grand Prix custom liners).

1. I'd say hopefully maybe 25% of the skiing will be skinning up for my turns, but realistically probably 10-15%. But a big part of my reason for this is that I spend 5 days a week working inbounds on my skis, so it's hard to get up and skin in the morning before going to work and being on skis for 9 hours But again, I'm planning on more time BC this season

2. I will only use them with Alpine boots. I don't own AT boots, and i have yet to find one stiff enough, so I'll just work with a little less touring friendliness. As I said, I'm not going on hut trips, I'll be skinning up to find good lines to come down.

I got them because I live near fantastic backcountry (Berthoud Pass, CO, probably more sidecountry but amazing skiing) and as I said before, I don't trust Fritschi's anymore, and I wouldn't be caught dead on a NAXO (or maybe I would be dead, after it broke on my second or third turn).

I can't speak for my friends up at Berthoud every day, but I know a few are in the Scarpa Tornado Pro, and some are looking at the new Hurricane or Garmont Shaman or Adrenaline.

Hope that helps
Cheers
post #36 of 53
1. probably 5% of the time (hopefully).

2. Alpine only. No intentions of getting AT boots, I see no need for my application.

I'm not the best example either. I got them at cost. Will use them more as an in-bounds resort setup rather than a side- or back-country rig. I wanted the jester/duke for the larger track width. The duke was only a few $$ more than the Jester, so I went for it. I have friends in Salt Lake and Jackson, so it could come in handy when I visit. Also, I am moving to the PNW and will be skiing Hood, Baker, and Whistler in the next few months.

My only problem now is what ski to mount them on?? Seth or Gotama... lol.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post
I posted this on the Gear forum but haven't gotten a response, so I thought I'd try it here. I am wondering just what people who are spending $450 really see themselves doing on this binding. Are you buying another pair of boots too? It is obviously a push into the alpine market, and a tool for going beyond the area, but how far do you realistically see yourself taking it?

Questions for Duke owners and those wanting Dukes:

1. What percentage of skiing using this binding do you anticipate that you will be utilizing the unlockable heel function?

2. Will you immediately (within first 1/2 season) be using them with both AT and alpine boots? If not, which one?

Thanks.
FYI most on here didnt pay anything near full retail on these things...

1. 1-2 days a week the ski will be used for a tour...I bought the binding because I could have super burly bindings that make fat skis seemingly ski quicker edge to edge. Also for place like lapping, up in rocky point and sugarloaf, grizzly gulch,and white pine. You have short skin to long vertical drops and some 'fun' terrain to play on. Cliffs, man made kickers into powders, steeps, even some hidden pillow over by snowbird. This binding will be perfect for that. Make no mistake this a alpine binding that can tour.

2. I need to get AT boots, but I will be touring mostly on alpine boots with these binding, because the ski they are attached are more fun with alpine boots. If I find an acceptable AT boot, that can drive a 192 ski at speed, I will give it a try.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Why is everyone so concerned that you have get out of you binding to change between walk and ski mode. Whens the last time you put you skins on of off with your skis attached? everytime you change between walk and ski its going your going to put skins on or taking them off.
I routinely put my skins on and off while still in my binders. It's a hell of a lot better than stepping into armpit deep snow. Takes some agility, but a very useful skill when you are in truly bottomless snow. On skis that i have to step out of while putting the skins on, I have to balance on one foot.

From what I've seen so far, the best feature is the reduced side-to-side slop over my Naxos. Damn heavy, though.
post #39 of 53
Thread Starter 
1. Quite variable

2. I have AT boots, but will sometime use AT sometimes alpine - depends on the plan for the day.

I see these bindings as "option enhancers." For example, if I'm at Sunshine because my kids are training, and the crowds are bad, I can elect to shoot into the sidecountry and do a few yo-yo runs in powder and away from the hords. Or I can have a solid binding (assuming that the plate/binding interface works well) if my friends don't want to work alittle to get some turns or if the snow inbounds is good.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post
Cirquerider,

Any thoughts about the construction of the binding/plate interface now that you have it?

John
The carbon plastic or whatever plate seems very durable and strong. Its very lightweight. Compared to metal, it won't tend to freeze up. I think they got it right. The binding mounts with 9-screws per ski (18 total). This is a very secure attachment system.

My use will be both AT and alpine boots. With a solid binding, AT boots are not nearly the compromise as when you put them into something that wobbles. If I have partners and equipment, I'll be out of bounds or BC. Even though I don't enjoy big climbs, this gear makes the long walks out the ridge and return on flats back to the lift easier than boot packing. If we are talking about MILES of skinning, I think we are back to the lighter gear.
post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
My use will be both AT and alpine boots...Even though I don't enjoy big climbs, this gear makes the long walks out the ridge
2 questions for you there Cirque if ya don't mind..

I'm also thinking of using both AT and alpine boots with my Dukes, but I'm still pretty jongy with AT binders. How easy/safe/fast is it to adjust the toepiece for this with the Dukes?

Speaking of ridgelines, would you skin over to Estelle Bowl at Alpine or is that too gaperish? seems like it might actually be faster than bootpacking..
post #42 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by climbinjunkie View Post
The fact that the heelpiece is totally stolen from Look is pretty sweet.
The problem with Markers isn't the heel, it's the toe. Not that I mind having a heel prong, since it facilitates getting back in in deep snow and other circumstances where it's difficult to clamp in by pressing down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashed Potatoes View Post
Speaking of ridgelines, would you skin over to Estelle Bowl at Alpine or is that too gaperish? seems like it might actually be faster than bootpacking..
Speaking for myself, I can't imagine skinning to Estelle rather than bootpacking.

But assuming that you ski Alpine regularly, we can get together for turns and see who makes it up there first. <grin>
post #43 of 53
Thread Starter 
Mashed Potatoes,

IMO, the duke is fast and easy to adjust for an AT boot. The toe piece does not move up and down, rather it is the plate under the boot. This provides a stronger toe piece than if it were the toe peice moving. The toe plate under the boot slides back and forth, which facilitates release with AT lug boots; however, my take is that an alpine style plastic boot would be somewhat safer because the lugs of an AT style boot might have some friction on release. My plan with the Duke is to use the plastic "alpine" sole that comes with my AT boot most of the time with the Duke, although I have the option to use the AT style sole for trips where I anticipate walking. I'll also be using my alpine boots with the Duke, and I really don't want to change the setting that often.
post #44 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by canadianskier View Post
Mashed Potatoes,

.... My plan with the Duke is to use the plastic "alpine" sole that comes with my AT boot most of the time with the Duke, although I have the option to use the AT style sole for trips where I anticipate walking. I'll also be using my alpine boots with the Duke, and I really don't want to change the setting that often.

My thoughts exactly. AT boots with a walk mode are still more comfortale to skin in than alpine boots. Unless you are doing serious boot packing requiring for example the rockered vibram sole that come with the Adrenaline/Endorpine, then put the alpine sole on and take advantage of the safer release. The alpine sole should also be a tighter fit (no compression of the vibram), with an improvement in skiability.
post #45 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mashed Potatoes View Post
2 questions for you there Cirque if ya don't mind..

I'm also thinking of using both AT and alpine boots with my Dukes, but I'm still pretty jongy with AT binders. How easy/safe/fast is it to adjust the toepiece for this with the Dukes?

Speaking of ridgelines, would you skin over to Estelle Bowl at Alpine or is that too gaperish? seems like it might actually be faster than bootpacking..
The AFD (anti friction device) on the Marker actually slides, so the boot lugs make no real difference in release. I never had release issues with AT boots in any AT binding and don't expect that to change with the Duke. The adjustment itself is very easy IF you have a #3 Posi-drive handy. The adjustment is at the front of the toe almost at the plate. The AFD should be positioned so that a piece of paper can be slid between the boot sole and AFD. This is pretty standard for adjustable toes.

Boot pack to Beaver, skin to Estelle. Actually its not very far. Assuming there is good snow cover, its probably easier to skin that distance. In spring when there is a lot of rock exposure, you'll probably walk it. ANY time you are post-holing, skinning is better.
post #46 of 53
thanks Cirque!

oh yeah the #3 posi... hard to find IIRC?

one more question if I may, does adjusting the AFD accomodate for slight possible variations in length between alpine and AT boot? or does this situation require further tweakage?

Can you tell I've never adjusted anything more than DIN?

sorry if I'm jonging up this thread, much appreciate all the responses..

-MP
post #47 of 53
Toe height is independent of forward pressure. They are both very simple adjustments, the toe height is in front of the binding forward pressure is at the back.
post #48 of 53
picking mine up next week.

and i probably echo the majority here: using it as a slackcountry set-up to casually work my way into longer hikes for turns.

i'm actually quite jazzed about the whole set-up as i'll be working in new sticks (these Lib Tech Narrow A$$ Snowboards with "magnetraction"). we shall see (they are stiffies and to date the longest in my quiver @ 188cm).

looking forward to connecting with some other Cali Dukers and playing around a bit.

Heck, we could probably have a Duke Epic Cali Mini, huh? Me, Cirque, AD, Sinecure...I think there's a few others???
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
cant comment on the construction but will have pair mounted up this year. I guess I am taking one for a the team if its not nice.

Why is everyone so concerned that you have get out of you binding to change between walk and ski mode. Whens the last time you put you skins on of off with your skis attached? everytime you change between walk and ski its going your going to put skins on or taking them off.
I played around with this a little. If you can kick turn you cna take off a pair of skins with out taking off your skis. Taking skins off with skis still attached takes some practice and good balance but isn't that hard. At least not with he attachment system I have been using. Its substantially easier if I was using a slightly shorter ski and if your skins aren't totalled welded to your bases.
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I played around with this a little. If you can kick turn you cna take off a pair of skins with out taking off your skis. Taking skins off with skis still attached takes some practice and good balance but isn't that hard. At least not with he attachment system I have been using. Its substantially easier if I was using a slightly shorter ski and if your skins aren't totalled welded to your bases.
I think quibble has more to do with having to take the ski off to switch from free-heel (skinning) mode back to fixed-heel (downhill) mode.

If you have to take the ski off to put the binding into alpine mode anyway, it's probably going to be easier to take the skins off at the same time you switch out the binding. With a Dynafit, Fritschi, or Naxo, it *is* possible to skin up the hill in free-heel, and while standing at the top you can remove your skins and switch back to downhill mode without taking off the skis.

I think that from a *practical* standpoint that wouldn't be much of a deal except maybe in really deep, light snow. If I'm skinning up the hill for more than 30 minutes or so, I pretty much appreciate a break at the top where I would remove the skins and stand around for a few minutes.

A couple of days ago, I had my first chance to actually play around with a pair of Dukes. It seems like a great choice for a strong, aggressive skier who is *mostly* going skiing with some occasional skinning.
post #51 of 53
I finally saw a pair of these in person today. I really like the design. I really don't like all the plastic. I know it's supposed to be super durable and all, but I've had so many plastic bindings break on me it's ridiculous. It's lighter than I thought it would be - I wonder how much heavier it would be if they used a bit more metal in certain areas? I really don't mind a heavy binding and I also don't mind having to take my skis off to switch - usually wind-blown ridge tops aren't chest high powder. Also - the climbing elevators look kinda flimsy. I can see this system being really rad in the future, but I'm glad I refrained from buying a pair of 1st generation Dukes.
post #52 of 53

spot on climbinjunkie, ditto

Quote:
Originally Posted by climbinjunkie View Post
I'm not the best example, as I certainly didn't spend $450 on these, but I always have an opinion anyway

To start with no, I'm not buying new boots, my alpine boots are too comfortable to start with (Dalbello Krypton Pro with custom footbeds from the Feet Lab and Zip Fit Grand Prix custom liners).

1. I'd say hopefully maybe 25% of the skiing will be skinning up for my turns, but realistically probably 10-15%. But a big part of my reason for this is that I spend 5 days a week working inbounds on my skis, so it's hard to get up and skin in the morning before going to work and being on skis for 9 hours But again, I'm planning on more time BC this season

2. I will only use them with Alpine boots. I don't own AT boots, and i have yet to find one stiff enough, so I'll just work with a little less touring friendliness. As I said, I'm not going on hut trips, I'll be skinning up to find good lines to come down.

I got them because I live near fantastic backcountry (Berthoud Pass, CO, probably more sidecountry but amazing skiing) and as I said before, I don't trust Fritschi's anymore, and I wouldn't be caught dead on a NAXO (or maybe I would be dead, after it broke on my second or third turn).

I can't speak for my friends up at Berthoud every day, but I know a few are in the Scarpa Tornado Pro, and some are looking at the new Hurricane or Garmont Shaman or Adrenaline.

Hope that helps
Cheers
So, I couldn't believe when i read this response. it was almost exactly what I would have replied to this question. thx for taking care of it climbinjunkie.

other AT bindings are downright scary. my only near death and injury experiences seem to have been on them.

AT boots tend to put you in a funky position and ski a little odd. i tried to get my adrenalines to work for 2 years before i sold em. the shaman seems like a good new posibility, as its an alpine boot, except on my usual BC laps i don't need to climb around on rock too much, so do i really even need vibram soles?..

this duke skis great. for my 1 to 3 hr local tours, adding about .5 lb per foot is just fine, i'll just be a little stronger next mt bike season...

cheers,
holiday
post #53 of 53
Thanks Holiday

And I want to add that now I've skied them, and while I'm still a little bothered by the plastic, they ski FANTASTIC!

I mounted them up on a Black Diamond Zealot 182 that's 110mm underfoot and feels like it was built out of steel, it's a brick sh*thouse of a ski and I love it But as for the Duke, I didn't think the wider platform would be noticeable ... and I was dead wrong. You can totally feel it, and my 110 skis go edge to edge easier than skis I've used that are only 100 underfoot

So far, i highly recommend it
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