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Bindings, bindings, bindings

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Not having bought bindings in a while (either came with skis or I have used older ones,) I am a little surprised to see that most shops seem to be selling only the Marker Royal Family line with a limited selection of others

 

I have been a Marker guy for a while and used civilian versions of their race bindings with the Biometric toe, which they made a big deal out of.  Now, you can't seem to find them anywhere, and if you listen/read anything, it sounds as if bindings made for wide skis make a difference on wide skis.  Before, I bought top-of-price-line bindings, which were derivative of race bindings.

 

I have a 10-year old pair of Marker 1400 EPS w/ the flex adjuster on some Mantras.  I am thinking about buying a new set of skis, and wondered about moving the 1400s to another pair.

 

Has technology changed?  Does a freeride binding work better on a fat ski?

 

I am not hucking or hiking.  I ski the frontside and love the days when I am lucky enough to find powder.  I want something that is above all safe, easy to get back on after crashing and suitable for a heavier dude.

 

The reviews out there are practically non-existent, and the dudes in the shops are not helpful.  Will you be?

post #2 of 15

Personally, I wouldn't move over those 1400's onto a new ski. First you don't need all the plumbing and lift that the 1400 has. Second, the 1400 is damn heavy and the weight isn't an asset on a bigger ski. Third, that generation (of Marker) aren't as laterally rigid as some of the more modern bindings a la the Royal family, Look Pivots and Salomon Sth series, other than the Royals are born from a race heritage of bindings and vary primarily only in graphics from their race ancestors and relations. 

post #3 of 15

I use that binding or something like it on many of my skis. When you are talking about a frontside carver, that binding makes perfect sense. Maybe less so on a big freeride ski, but it is fine there too. If you want one that is easier to get into, the Head/Tyrolia has quite a bit lower force required to get in. If I was going to leave Markers, that's where I'd go.

post #4 of 15

I love my Jesters.  I think I'm going to put them on all of my skis.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

So is the trend towards "free  ride" bindings (not even sure what that means) more of a marketing thing?  Curious as why there are no race bindings or skis for that matter at the shops.

 

Is there any new technology in bindings over the last few years??

 

Philpug, I wasn't sure if you are saying that the Salomon STHs or Look Pivots were race derivatives or more modern designs.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfscott View Post

So is the trend towards "free  ride" bindings (not even sure what that means) more of a marketing thing?  Curious as why there are no race bindings or skis for that matter at the shops.


It's only because they don't sell. They still work just like before. 

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfscott View Post

Philpug, I wasn't sure if you are saying that the Salomon STHs or Look Pivots were race derivatives or more modern designs.

 

They are modern derivatives of race design bindings. The Sth comes from the Driver evolution starting the 727 and the Look Pivots come from the Nevada/N77 series. 

 


 

post #8 of 15


The shop I worked at and buy from is around 70% race skis and equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfscott View Post

So is the trend towards "free  ride" bindings (not even sure what that means) more of a marketing thing?  Curious as why there are no race bindings or skis for that matter at the shops.

 

Is there any new technology in bindings over the last few years??

 

Philpug, I wasn't sure if you are saying that the Salomon STHs or Look Pivots were race derivatives or more modern designs.


 

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteinPC View Post


I love my Jesters.  I think I'm going to put them on all of my skis.




 



I'm not a shill for this product - this is more of a FYI-PSA, but just use these inserts on all your skis and move the single pair of jesters. www.bindingfreedom.com
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post





 

I'm not a shill for this product - this is more of a FYI-PSA, but just use these inserts on all your skis and move the single pair of jesters. www.bindingfreedom.com


Sweet, I'll check that out.  Will I give up any power transfer to the skis because I'm adding an extra piece?  I'm a pretty big dude (6'2, 220lbs), and I refuse to go to an AT setup because of the same reason.

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteinPC View Post




Sweet, I'll check that out.  Will I give up any power transfer to the skis because I'm adding an extra piece?  I'm a pretty big dude (6'2, 220lbs), and I refuse to go to an AT setup because of the same reason.



 



If you use the inserts you shouldnt notice any change at all I would think. They're essentially a helicoil liner for the screw holes into the ski allowing you to move a single pair of bindings from ski to ski.

As for DynaDuke plates (allowing you to switch between binding types on the same ski) it does add a bit of height (which may or may not be a good thing). Not sure about the power Xfer question. Havent heard the concern voiced before. Ping the owner though as it is a good question if you are considering the plate option.
post #12 of 15

Interesting topic, this Marker design change.  After much consternation and over analysis, here are my conclusions.  

 

After the K2 Corporation acquired Marker and Volkl, the bean counters decided that these two companies were underperforming financially.

The Marker Biometric toe was typical German engineering, high performance, lots of parts, and expensive to build.  The Biometric toe also had a bad reputation for "pre-release" in some circles, namely the freestyle community (those that ski backwards and land big airs in the backseat).  I never had any issues with this toe, and on the binding test bench (using the Vermont Calibrater), these are the gold standard, and I still strongly believe that this is the safest toe design around.  The Marker Royal Family bindings are a much simpler and lighter design with older technology, my guess is that they are at least 50% cheaper to build than the biometric and twin cam bindings.  The wholesale and retails prices remain the same or more, so more profit for the coporation.   Kind of like making skis in China at a fraction of the cost of making them in the USA or Germany and charging the same wholesale and retail prices for them.     There are also no "pre-release" issues with the new design, and they are probably laterally stiffer than the biometric toe.  But, I don't like their release characteristics at all.  IMO, Marker went from the safest binding on the market to one of the worst (as far as safety).   Does it matter?  I guess that I'm not sure,  I don't think that the binding will protect the knee, regardless of technology, because we are probably subjecting this joint to more stresses than it was designed to handle anyway.

 

Funny thing though, the ski binding market used to be about safety and performance, now not so much.  Now, it is all about, wide brakes, light weight, low stand height and retention, retention, retention.  I can't tell you how common it is to hear "I don't want to come out of my bindings at all".  The Marker people also tell me that the Biometric/Twin Cam bindings weren't selling at all, and that they are killing right now with the Royal Family bindings.   I still have quite a few Biometric/Twin Cam models that I bought from Marker for my customers that want safety and performance (ie lift, piston dampeners, plates that don't interfere with ski flex etc).  But alas, the market doesnt' feel that way, and the Royal Family bindings will continue to be successful for Marker.  I for one, am going to keep skiing the biometric/twin cam design, because I think that they are safer, but what do I know, I only function test about 500 pair of bindings a season.

post #13 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolhand View Post

Interesting topic, this Marker design change.  After much consternation and over analysis, here are my conclusions.  

 

After the K2 Corporation acquired Marker and Volkl, the bean counters decided that these two companies were underperforming financially.

The Marker Biometric toe was typical German engineering, high performance, lots of parts, and expensive to build.  The Biometric toe also had a bad reputation for "pre-release" in some circles, namely the freestyle community (those that ski backwards and land big airs in the backseat).  I never had any issues with this toe, and on the binding test bench (using the Vermont Calibrater), these are the gold standard, and I still strongly believe that this is the safest toe design around.  The Marker Royal Family bindings are a much simpler and lighter design with older technology, my guess is that they are at least 50% cheaper to build than the biometric and twin cam bindings.  The wholesale and retails prices remain the same or more, so more profit for the coporation.   Kind of like making skis in China at a fraction of the cost of making them in the USA or Germany and charging the same wholesale and retail prices for them.     There are also no "pre-release" issues with the new design, and they are probably laterally stiffer than the biometric toe.  But, I don't like their release characteristics at all.  IMO, Marker went from the safest binding on the market to one of the worst (as far as safety).   Does it matter?  I guess that I'm not sure,  I don't think that the binding will protect the knee, regardless of technology, because we are probably subjecting this joint to more stresses than it was designed to handle anyway.

 

Funny thing though, the ski binding market used to be about safety and performance, now not so much.  Now, it is all about, wide brakes, light weight, low stand height and retention, retention, retention.  I can't tell you how common it is to hear "I don't want to come out of my bindings at all".  The Marker people also tell me that the Biometric/Twin Cam bindings weren't selling at all, and that they are killing right now with the Royal Family bindings.   I still have quite a few Biometric/Twin Cam models that I bought from Marker for my customers that want safety and performance (ie lift, piston dampeners, plates that don't interfere with ski flex etc).  But alas, the market doesnt' feel that way, and the Royal Family bindings will continue to be successful for Marker.  I for one, am going to keep skiing the biometric/twin cam design, because I think that they are safer, but what do I know, I only function test about 500 pair of bindings a season.


 

I have had a biometric toe set at 13 (with correct forward pressure) prelease me on a compression and send me for a slide over a cliff.

 

So not fun. It is still one of the worst design ever. Look manages to have upward releasing toe that doesnt prerelease.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Any strong opinions on the STH Driver or the Look Pivot?

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfscott View Post

Any strong opinions on the STH Driver or the Look Pivot?



Yes!

 

Look Pivot is the evolution of the Look Nevada/Grand Prix that first hit the slopes in 1963. Very simple cam and spring design, Great retention from its elasticity.

 

IMHO the finest binding ever made  biggrin.gif

 

 

Look n17s 01.jpg

Look Nevada T Brochure 1975.jpg

 

rossignalfks180l.jpg

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