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Old 04-30-2009, 04:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
legallyillegal
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Default Raiden Zero review

Long-term review time!

I'll probably do a more in-depth review later, including a direct comparison with a popular binding from a popular company.

This is the 08 model, but it's the same as the 09 and 2010 models (unless there's been major fundamental changes that nobody knows about). Some of the stuff will apply to other models in the Raiden lineup.

For now, a summary using a familiar format...

Picture of all the parts. Ignore the stuff in the top-right corner.


Binding Adjustability: Heelcup uses only 2 screws and is anchored at the forefoot (I see a design flaw). The straps are tool-less adjustable. FLAD is decent and tool-less. Ankle strap has 2 mounting locations. Unfortunately, the highback rotation system is flawed (and still is for 2010).

Straps: Toe strap is a standard two-strip non-cored design. Do it tight and you shouldn't have slippage problems. Ankle strap could use some less foam, but it's not excessive. The ankle strap's inner structure is similar to Ride's cored ankle strap.

Padding: Not much. The padding on the base cover/toeramp is the same as the highback padding. Heelbag works for impacts. A basepad would have been beneficial.

Disc: Raiden's 4-hole is a micro-adjust disc. Benefits of Burton's ICS along with the drawbacks. Raiden will send you notched universal discs if you ask for them (really should be included with all bindings).

Highback: Not as short as it seems. The top is the same height as another popular binding. Symmetrical for an even flex throughout. More flex laterally. It's not a true Zero Degrees. It starts slightly angled at the bottom and flattens out at the middle (both vertically and horizontally) for a contoured shape.

Baseplate: Reinforced nylon. White plastic painted white (why?). The heelbag does its job when it comes to impacts. However, it removes the lateral support of a traditional chassis - meaning a slightly softer toeside and lateral response. The heelbag will compress easier at the outer heel edge due to the way the whole baseplate+airbag is designed (will explain later).

Heelcup: Aluminum. Painted (not really necessary) - not as thick as it looks. Some coring to save a couple grams. It rises lower than another popular binding, allowing a little more of the highback to flex heelside.

Overall Flex: Softer side of mid. Nothing funky going on.

Ratchets: Average speed. A full 4 clicks will take a full 180-degree throw (which can lead to spring durability issues). They grip well, and feel very solid. I like them better than another company's ratchets (I won't mention any names right now, but their ratchets suck2 ass).

Rider in Mind: Park kid that wants some solid, all-mountain capability.
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Last edited by legallyillegal; 04-30-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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