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Differences in bindings?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Could someone educate me (or point me to something I could read) about bindings?  I'm an intermediate skier, and most bindings offer the DIN settings I need -- so why the HUGE difference in price on bindings?  It seems one can spend from about $100 more or less to $500.... and if I assume that there really is a difference to justify the price, why are expensive bindings that much better (aside from perhaps a higher DIN capability)?


Do skiers with more experience & expertise really notice much of a difference?




post #2 of 6

All modern alpine bindings from major manufacturers are very good. We all have our favorites, and there may be very small differences that affect knee safety for already damaged knees, or performance in racecourses or very difficult snow at speed, or whether their position on the ski can be changed. Best to find one with upward release at the toe (which is most these days except the very high DIN models. Which you should avoid anyway). Then go for the best price. Which is probably at an online clearance house or fleabay for 2-3 year old new bindings. Alpine bindings have evolved very slowly, no reason to get this year's lastest and greatest. Personal favorites: Look and Tyrolia/Head. Suggest Real Skiers for fairly objective getting up to speed, then try a search here for arguments about individual brands.

post #3 of 6


Originally Posted by SportyandMisty View Post


Do skiers with more experience & expertise really notice much of a difference?




It's more about durability. As long as its decent and doesn't pre release most wont notice. I've broken a lot of bindings so a high performance binding which are mostly metal makes more sense. Plus then they last you much longer. 

post #4 of 6

One other factor to consider:


Many ski manufacturers extend the warranty of the skis when mounted with a same-branded binding.  For instance, I believe that Dynastar and Rossignol do this with their own (or Look) branded bindings.

post #5 of 6

A lot has to do with materials used in the bindings, plastic vs. metal, etc.  Unless your extremely aggressive, doing really big drops, or skiing "if you fall you die" lines, than a new binding by any reputable manufacturer should be fine. Since you stated you're an intermediate skier, I would think that a good binding on the lower cost side of the spectrum should suit you just fine.

post #6 of 6

There are some differences in release directions, for example diagonal heel release on some tyrolias/Fischers/Heads, and pivot heels on old Look some modern bindings I can't recall (Rossi?).  The cheaper bindings are simpler and don't have all the release mechanisms.


There is a difference in the material used vis-a-vis plastic fatigue cracks, etc.; gererally the more high DIN bindings are also built more robustly (too handle the higher DINS) and because they are over-designed for the lower forces will last longer.


There is a difference in elastic travel and re-centering, that is, how much movement the binding allow due to a shock load, like hitting a frozen rut at speed or landing some air, without releasing, and also how well and quickly it will re-align everything for the next impact.


I would recommend you get a higher DIN binding, but not one that doesn't include your Charted DIN. Whether you use the chart to get I,II, III, III+ or III++ is up to you, but once you have determine your DIN (based on boot sole length, weight, height, and how much you weight the cost of non-release versus the cost of non-retention), don't get a binding that starts higher than that and bump your DIN, just because you want that binding's features.


IMO, it's all right to be at the low end of a bindings range; you don't have to be in the middle.  E.g. if your DIN setting is 6, go ahead and  get a binding that goes from 6 to 17 (like Fischer FF17 +), but don't get a binding that goes from 10 to 20 (like Marker Comp 20) if your DIN is 8. 

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