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Is Free Flex necessary with a Carve Plate?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Does Free Flex offer any greater (and relevant) degree of free flexing of a ski if it already has a carve plate on it?

I am contemplating either a free flex (more $) or (less $) or possibly a railflex (in the middle $)

From past threads such as the one below I have read that the toe/heels have the same release function. My understanding is that the main difference is a free flex rod which allows you to either let it flex freely or let set it to not flex and create a stiffer ride.

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=53253

Is rail flex identical in motion to the free flex other than the ability to lock the free flex and the rails of the rail flex? Do the toe and heel other wise move identically?

Thanks,
Gord
post #2 of 21
Gord, Railflex bindings can't be mounted on a Carve Plate. Railflex bindings require the Railflex plate, which can't be mounted on top of a Carve Plate (and even if you could, it proabably wouldn't be advisable).

For that plate you need a FreeFlex or LD (light diagonal) binding. I recommend the FreeFlex 14, it's a pretty well built binding. The LD12 is decent, but IMO the FreeFlex 14 has a little tougher construction (the 16 is even tougher).
You can also ski it with a demo binding (SP120 for example), but that's unlikely to be cheaper, and they also tend to be heavier.

As to the advantages of the FreeFlex system, I don't have much experience to compare it with. I've never had much opportunity to ski the same ski with different bindings (FF14 vs. LD12 for example) back to back, so it's hard to say for sure. I think it helps, but I wouldn't say it's a night and day difference. I like the FreeFlex bindings for their construction, the additional features are a bit of a bonus.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks,

My thinking was to replace the carve plate with the rail plate, but maybe thats a bad idea too.

I'll try to hunt out a freeflex deal.

Gord
post #4 of 21
Level Nine Sports has the FF17 '06 model for $139. They are greast to deal with.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordM View Post
Thanks,

My thinking was to replace the carve plate with the rail plate, but maybe thats a bad idea too.

I'll try to hunt out a freeflex deal.

Gord
In theory you could do this, but you'll end up paying for a Railflex plate in addition to the bindings, so you're shelling out more money (it's been a while since I've checked, but I think Railflex bindings aren't any cheaper than their standard counterparts, so you're not saving money there). It also means you're drilling more holes into the ski needlessly. The skis with CP13s have them for a reason, so unless there were a large price discrepancy, I'd avoid doing it.

Let me know if you've got any other questions, I'm happy to help, as is everyone else around here
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
CanuckInstructor,

Uncle on the Railflex's I won't pursue them.

Per Puck it's suggestion, I ski at a din 7-8. The din range on the ff17's is 6-17. Is that cutting it too close for me?

Thanks,
Gord
post #7 of 21
Its not too close it will be fine. I think I saw a Freeflex 15 on ebay, cheap.
post #8 of 21
Others may feel differently, but I don't subscribe to the theory that you should have your DIN 2 levels above the binding's minimum. All manufacturers test their bindings pretty thoroughly, and I find it hard to believe that they would sell bindings rated for a DIN that they don't perform well at. I don't see any problem with you using that binding.

There's also the new for 2008/09 FreeFlex Pro 16, which replaces the old FreeFlex+ 17. The range for this one is 5-16, so that's another option for you, but given that it's new, the price may not be as attractive as the FF17. Bottom line, I think you'd likely be happy with any of the FreeFlex bindings from the 14 on up.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordM View Post
CanuckInstructor,

Uncle on the Railflex's I won't pursue them.

Per Puck it's suggestion, I ski at a din 7-8. The din range on the ff17's is 6-17. Is that cutting it too close for me?

Thanks,
Gord
FWIW most boxed Railflex bindings come with the plate at no cost to you.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
FWIW most boxed Railflex bindings come with the plate at no cost to you.
That is what I am seeing, but then it comes back to drilling more holes. So I am sticking with the freeflex's.

Thanks,
Gord
post #11 of 21
If you run 7-8, you'll be fine (and save weight) with the 14 or 15 DIN Tyrolias.
post #12 of 21
For that matter he can even use the FF+ 11
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
FWIW most boxed Railflex bindings come with the plate at no cost to you.
Thanks comprex, didn't know they were doing that now. Last time I dealt with a Railflex binding was a few years ago, so I guess they've changed that. Good info to have.
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
For that matter he can even use the FF+ 11
The DIN would work. Unlike the 14+ Tyrolias, though, I believe that uses the SL hardware, which may be less durable.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckInstructor View Post
Thanks comprex, didn't know they were doing that now. Last time I dealt with a Railflex binding was a few years ago, so I guess they've changed that. Good info to have.
My experience is the opposite -- I bought two pairs of RFD11s, neither of which came for mounting rails.

On the plus side, rails are $10 at LevelNine.
post #16 of 21
I think I have seen some FF11's around but do not recall price. I just picked up FF14 at Ski Haus in NH for 159. I went with these since shipping would have been for 20 for the FF17's in UT. Search ebay. I buy alot of of there and only had one problem with a pair Dragon goggles that never arrived and was out only the shipping charge.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
The DIN would work. Unlike the 14+ Tyrolias, though, I believe that uses the SL hardware, which may be less durable.
Less durable than the 14-20 perhaps, but not less durable than the railflex bindings. That being said, my RF bindings that have been used and abused since 02-03 function at 100%.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your interest.

Level Nine's site states that they do include a railflex plate with either the skis or binding which ever one you purchase.

I read somewhere in this site that the FF11 does not have diagonal heal release (where as the LD 12 does have that but does not have the FF).Therefore I was ruling an FF11 out.

So my options in order or preference are:

1) FF14 if I can find one or FF17, which appears to be more abundant, full diagonal, freeflex, better built, works with carve plate (everyone appears in agreement on my din 7-8 being okay with the ff17 (din 6-17) if the FF14 is not available at the same price).
2) LD, full diagonal, cheap, works with the carve plate, not quite as well built as FF
3) Railflex,which is more available, but that is less appealing because of the extra drilling into the core to mount the plate.

Does that sound about right.

Thanks again,
Gord
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post
Less durable than the 14-20 perhaps, but not less durable than the railflex bindings.
To clarify, by "14+" I meant the FF14 and higher models, not models with a minimum DIN of 14. They use different hardware, not just different springs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordM View Post
I read somewhere in this site that the FF11 does not have diagonal heal release (where as the LD 12 does have that but does not have the FF).Therefore I was ruling an FF11 out.
The FF11 also has the LD toe (vs. the Aero toe on the 14 and higher DIN models).
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
To clarify, by "14+" I meant the FF14 and higher models, not models with a minimum DIN of 14. They use different hardware, not just different springs.



The FF11 also has the LD toe (vs. the Aero toe on the 14 and higher DIN models).
I know, I understood, and I too was referring to the 14+, 15+ 16+ 17+ 18+ and 20+
post #21 of 21
FF+11 does NOT have a diagonal heel. It is a very different binding.

Gord M is correct.
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