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Railflex: Reviews? Advice?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

  Currently, I'm trying to research a binding purchase I need to make.  I am pretty sure I want a Railflex binding (going onto K2 ObSETHed skis) so I can play with the mount point.

  I hear Marker is coming out with the same kind of system ("Schizo" system on the Jester and Griffon, I think it is), but it's a new system, so I'm wondering if that's even worth the additional cost of Marker for a system that won't have all the kinks worked out like the Railflex probably does.

  I see many posts about Railflex bindings here, but mostly about "what's the difference between Railflex I and II" and not so much actual reviews of them!  Can anyone point to an actual review of Railflex??

  I am just over 6' but I am much lighter weight than most of you people here, so I am considering if the Railflex 11 might be better for me -- I am an advanced skier wanting to push to the next level, so I don't want to compromise too much on DIN, but at my weight, maybe 11 is more than enough???  Is the Railflex 11's lighter weight desirable in this case?

Thanks for any advice!
post #2 of 13
Why do you want to play with the mount point?  I ask only because those aren't the type of skis that are likely to prompt you moving it around.

I have a pair of Fischer AMC79s with 12-DIN Railflexes.  They're perfectly fine, although I don't think I've ever moved the bindings -- and those skis are the type that are actually likely to benefit from it.  It's nice to have skis I can lend to people easily, for one thing.

If you're not going to move them, though, all you're doing is adding a potential point of failure.
post #3 of 13
I have some RFD 11's that I leave on my Head im72's and another pair of  HD 14's I move between Dynastar Inspireds, Icelantic Nomads and a recently acquired pair of Icelantic Shamans (not yet skied on ! ).  I have never had any problems with them at all.  I'm 5'10 160# and a level 8/9.  I ski steeps, bumps, trees, but I'm not a charger, so I've never pushed the DIN above 8.  I have fiddled with the fore /aft adjustment on the Railflex and I found it did help in the Pow (but not enough to overcome my basic powder gaper-ism, which is the justification I used to buy the Shamans )

When I first switched from fixed bindings on my Fischer Sceneo 400's to railflex on the very similarly sized im72's I fancied I could get a somewhat smaller radius turn on the Heads, but how much of that is due to Railflex and how much due to a different ski I can't be sure (though Sceneo's theoretically have a 12 m radius vs 14 for the im72's).

Bottom Line: I bought them initially because I wanted to be able to adjust for different boot sizes and to permit me some fore/aft adjustment while I got used to new skis.  They've done that and worked out fine for me. I also only need to buy a $15 RF II base plate each time I indulge my gear whore-ism rather than a $150+  on a complete set of new bindings.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaosMath View Post

Bottom Line: I bought them initially because I wanted to be able to adjust for different boot sizes and to permit me some fore/aft adjustment while I got used to new skis.  They've done that and worked out fine for me. I also only need to buy a $15 RF II base plate each time I indulge my gear whore-ism rather than a $150+  on a complete set of new bindings.
 
I have a pair of rail flex bindings on a pair of 187 Movement Thunders. I bought them to have the option of moving them back in the event I needed to do so in deeper snow. I really found I didn't do that much, as I like the ski mounted on the line. They have been great bindings and I have the DIN set at 9 which is more than enough to keep me in when I want to be in and released prior to hurting a limb.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
(BTW, I'm new-ish to epicski and I have to say, for the middle of summer (in the north half of this sphere at least), the quality of people around here really kicks butt!!!)

@TheDad -- Well, I haven't completed all my research on mounting the K2 ObSETHed skis, but I have seen people who disagree with you... in fact in the shop where I bought them, their mounting guy was swearing that he really needed to mount them quite a bit forward to be happy with them.  You could be right, and I suspect that once I find the sweet spot, I won't be moving the binding any more.  But I'm still trying to figure out powder skiing and it seems like having that *option* of being able to change the mount point is a really good one to have.  Have you really heard of any Railflex bindings breaking?  Please provide links if so!  If they don't really break, and they give you that extra flexibility, why WOULDN'T you go Railflex??

@TaosMath -- Good point: I bought the K2's blind, so if I end up getting rid of them, I can move on to my next set of skis only needing to get a new rail.  Nice.

In general, sounds like Railflex 11 will be more than enough for me.  Supposedly lighter but still has all the features of the higher DIN models.

One thing I'd love for someone to clarify (as the Tyrollia website does a really poor job of explaining how they *actually* work).... how do the adjustments work?  I'd read somewhere that there are only three points from which you can choose to tighten them down onto the rail (something like +15/0/-15).  But I've also read (like you guys are saying here) that you can adjust the toe/heel independently on the fly to fit different boot sizes.  How do those two concepts fit together?  What if I want to just try +1 or -3 or ....?

In terms of adjustability, how do these bindings differ from demo bindings?

THANKS to everyone!
post #6 of 13
 RailFlex is a great system and highly reliable, but I would not put them on this type of ski.  There are three downsides: 1) narrower mount footprint with added lateral slop, which is something to consider for wide skis, 2) stand height -- it makes more sense to have flat mount bindings on powder skis, and 3) the plate stiffens up the middle of the ski quite a bit.  Normally, RF is targeted to narrower skis, perhaps with an on-piste focus (or maybe 50% on-piste) where you want stand height, can accept some stiffness underfoot, and the narrow mount footprint is not an issue.

The nominal mount points are ±15mm using the screw adjustment, just sliding the bindings on the rail (easy).  You can fine tune it in 2.5mm increments by stepping the bindings along the center bridge, but that requires taking the bindings off the rail and knowing how to do math.  The same technique can be used to expand the ±15mm range for smaller boot sizes (you'd run out of rail trying to tweak it on boots longer than about 330mm sole length).

There is a good knowledge base of experience mounting these skis, so I'd focus on researching the proper mount point (here and TGR).  It sounds like that shop guy you talked to probably didn't do his homework, or was new to rockered skis.

BTW, if going with Tyrolia, I'd get at least 12 DIN, as that pushes you into a better heel and toe piece design (depending on the specific model).  They will be safer bindings with more elastic range than the 11 DIN models.
post #7 of 13
219 posts wise, including alluding to the fact that the one real structural downside (aside from added complexity and points of potential failure) is that the Railflex plate places mounting holes closer to the center of the ski.  When you add the fact that these are plastic -- and remember that "plastic" is defined as "pliable" -- you should expect more lateral slop than with conventional bindings.

The Marker Schizo presumably has a wider interface.  It will still add complexity and cost to what is already a costly product.

One option that would allow you to play some with binding location until you've found what you like would be a thin carve plate.  I've got a 9mm Tyrolia plate that I bought specifically to allow mount point flexibility on a pair of Scott P4s, because I wasn't sure what mount point I'd like.  In the end, I mounted them flat, but I'm thinking about using the plates with the Moment Rubies I bought to replace them (although I liked the mount point on the demos I tried so much that I'm not sure). 

You will either like or dislike the additional stand height.  219 points out the conventional wisdom that says it's not necessary, but I've had some of my best times on wide skis with high stand height:  99mm-wide Bros with Look P14 Lifters, 99mm-wide Bros with Marker Dukes, 114mm-wide Moment Rubies with Look PX14 Demos.  I'm actually beginning to wonder whether I like wide, conventionally-cambered skis better lifted than flat (hence the temptation to mount the Moments on the plates).
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post

There is a good knowledge base of experience mounting these skis, so I'd focus on researching the proper mount point (here and TGR).  It sounds like that shop guy you talked to probably didn't do his homework, or was new to rockered skis.

BTW, if going with Tyrolia, I'd get at least 12 DIN, as that pushes you into a better heel and toe piece design (depending on the specific model).  They will be safer bindings with more elastic range than the 11 DIN models.
 
two excellent points!  Mounting point on the Seth and/or Hellbent is critical. AND the binding on the HD14 for instance is a much heavier, solid binding.  The lower level 11's are not a good idea on that kind of ski. Think griffon and proper mount point.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
More good stuff.  Thanks, guys.

@skier219 - Excellent points (although the shop tech I talked to was speaking from a place of having skied on them).  Anyway, I believe the Railflex RFD 11 has the same diagonal heel as the higher DIN models nowadays.  I could be wrong, though... there doesn't seem to be a good place to find what the actual differences are.

@TheDad - Carve plates sound like an interesting option.  Never paid much attention to them, so wouldn't know where to look to start to understand how they work, if they'd work for me, etc.  Any tips?  Also, I read the plastic argument in another thread and am not sure I buy it.... aren't most bindings made of some plastic?  Is the plastic really going to be that sloppy?

@Finndog - If the mounting point is so critical, that's *exactly* why I don't want to lock myself in with a non-adjustable binding.  Are you sure the newest RFD 11s aren't mostly the same binding, at least to lighter weight skiers?  You like Griffon, do you think it would be worth waiting for a Griffon with the Schizo system?


Having done more reading and considering the stand height of the Railflex maybe being too high, I'm wondering about something like this Jester demo binding:

http://www.untracked.com/p3309c81b54-10_marker_jester_16_demo_ski_binding.html

It's got 19mm stand height versus I think 35mm on the Railflex.  I don't know if demo bindings are a good idea, though.  When I was checking out used ones this summer, I felt some that seemed quite sloppy just in my hands.  Maybe waiting for the Schizo system is a good idea?  Too bad Marker isn't putting out any information about them at all yet (seems odd to me).
post #10 of 13
the marker schizo does allow you to fine tune the location of your boot center...the dilema is, they are only compatible with the "schizoFrantic" skis..the skis have screw inserts (similar to a snowboard)...so no schizo skis, no schizo bindings.  On the other hand, I wouldn't suggest mounting a RF plate on them for the reasons already mentioned above.  Unless you're planning on spending a lot of time in the park or you're big into riding switch and landing switch in the pow I wouldn't suggest mounting them on the midpoint/ "core center" of the ski.  Your best bet to determine where you want to mount them is to get a pair with a demo binding on them and try them with your boot center at the traditional mounting point and then move forward in 1cm increments towards the core center mark and see where they feel best.  Or you can buy a demo binding for your pair and play around with them all you want...but a demo binding will add weight and will inhibit the ski flex more than a retail binding.  If all that seems like too much work, mount them at the "traditional" mark on the sidewall and go have fun. 
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdontthink View Post

Are you sure the newest RFD 11s aren't mostly the same binding, at least to lighter weight skiers? 

Yes.
post #12 of 13
tyrolia uses fiberglass impregnated delrin in parts of the binding needing extra structural integrity.

I recommend a standard tyrolia binding (freeflex, hd, etc.) with a plastic carving plate.

I'm 5'11", 185 and rarely put my bindings higher than 7. I would rather come out than hurt myself.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I took a while off this thread to contemplate other options and have recently been posting in another thread where I'm trying to learn about the possibility of using a carve plate instead of RailFlex.

Unfortunately, some of the plates out there seem to have one shortcoming or another compared to RailFlex (which may have its own shortcomings, though - see above posts). 

The jury is still out on that, but in the meantime, I've been pointed to the Vist Speedlock system, which, from what I can tell (and it's hard to tell with Vist), this is a system that is more or less the same idea as the RailFlex.  Therefore, I thought I'd post on this thread and see if anyone has experience with Speedlock...?  How well does it work?  Are you stuck with Vist binders or not?  How does it compare to RailFlex?  etc.....
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