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Fritschi Freeride Plus AT bindings: how do they ski?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Does anyone here have the Fritschi Freeride Plus AT binding mounted up to a standard alpine ski? I was thinking of one mounted onto an Elan 888, but didn't know what the performance level of the binding is. I was hoping for something comparable to a good alpine binding, but with AT compatibility. The Marker Duke on a Blizzard Magnum 8.7 is the other option, but I wasn't crazy about being limited to that ski.

This will be my main ski if there is new snow to be had, so I don't want to sacrifice alpine performance. I do need AT compatibility, however, as I need to stay in shape this winter and not just ride the lift all day!
post #2 of 9
If you want an at binding with alpine performance Duke or Baron is the way to go. The penalty is weight.
Dynafit is another option the penalty is $$$$
post #3 of 9
I see lots of folks at Crystal Mountain or Alpental ski the Fritschi on alpine skis with alpine and Randonee boots.

Check out Lous Dawson's Wildsnow.com for more infor on the Fritschi setup.



PS: And thanks for the Head I.M. 88's from a few years ago. It is still my favorite ski for everyday use.
post #4 of 9
FR+ with a wider ski 100mm+ skis fine if you are skiing in soft snow. If you get into hard snow they aren't as torsionally solid as you might want. Dukes probably ski better. But I wouldn't know.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replys. I had no idea that the Freeride wasn't built for tons of vertical, but when looking at the construction (kinda wimpy) it makes sense. They are light, but weight isn't an issue: I will be AT'ing to keep in shape and to access more terrain. A couple of extra pounds won't kill me (I upgraded to Cat 2 on the road last year and the season starts in March: I can't be lazy all winter like in years past , or my spring races will be VERY unpleasant).

JonnyMo: I am glad you like those skis. Head pretty much hit a home run there.
post #6 of 9
Hey Dawg.

I have taken several skis and removed an alpine binding and changed to the Fritschi.

They all seemed to ski a bit worse. There is a bit of slop which shows on hardpack. The AT binding is light, and I think heavy bindings improve ski performance. The Fritschi binding has no ramp angle, so your stance seems off.

On the other hand, they have been tough enough to survive days of patrolling, the heel can be lifted a bit, and light bindings are nice a lot of the time.

I would put them on anything but a carving or slalom ski.

That move to Cat II is not trivial. Get out with the dawm patrol and log some vertical. Maybe we can do a few laps together this winter.

post #7 of 9
I mounted up an AT rig with Naxos a year or two before Marker came out with the Dukes, and it was obvious that all traditional AT bindings were generally focused on the uphill climb aspect, and the best ones were optimized for that (better articulation, lighter weight, etc). The downside of course are all sorts of compromises for skiing back down, and newfy mentions most of them. The biggest one to me is a clumsy feeling underfoot compared to alpine bindings, because of a high stand height and flimsier structure. You get used to it, but it doesn't ever go away.

For what you're after, the Dukes would be the way to go as long as you don't mind the weight and the less efficient climbing capability. For the type of usage I get out of my AT rig, they would be my choice nowadays. I'd only go back to traditional AT bindings if the emphasis was more on the touring/climbing aspect over a long distance, where "per-stride" efficiency is very important (it really adds up).
post #8 of 9
I have the Fritzi fr. I used it a lot up in BC and liked it pretty well. I do find it a bit funky to ski in bounds at the Village, but it does work and I know people who use them like that. Sounds like you want the Duke or the Baron. I'm planning on getting a Gotoma/Baron setup in the next few weeks. Hope this is usefull.
post #9 of 9
The Freeride is not a full time substitute for an on-area alpine binding, but is acceptable for soft snow as everyone else has noted. Be advised the the second generation FR-Plus is far superior to the orignal Freeride that did not have the heel stabilizer component. I use my FR-Pluses for bc skiing and will adjust them for my alpine boots for cat skiing or a powder day in a pinch, but IMO you will blow them up if you ski hard in bumps or hardpack for very long, that's what Dukes and Barons are for.
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