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Old 02-12-2011, 09:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I will agree with you Leo that there is deff some better stuff out there than union, but the one thing that suprises me is that people complain about the ratchets when the ratchets on my contact SLs are the only thing that have not given me problems on my bindings haha, mine have been super smooth cranking and releasing.

Scary thing happened to me with my contacts is that the screws that hold in place the heel strap tend to come loose throughout the day (with loctite) and so i tighten them every day before riding, however this last day, they came super loose without me noticing, and the heelcup went from the "zero" position to the "three" postition after a landing a jump.

Scary stuff, don't buy into the union hype, i did, and now i regret it.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
Hey guys, so I finally got an opportunity to demo some Union bindings... The 2012 Force.

Alright, let me just start out by saying this is completely unbiased. And of course, this is all just my humble opinion.

These were by far the worst bindings I demoed the entire test fest (two days, around 16 boards). I'm sorry, I just don't get the hype. Sure, they are light, but they weren't substantially light. And the feel, just felt really cheaply constructed. Nifty colors though.

So I have heard from numerous Union lovers that the 2012 line-up has a much needed toe strap upgrade. My thoughts? Really? Are these really an upgrade? Because the bottom lip of the split toe strap didn't even touch my boot. And to be fair, this was the same case for my riding partner David Z. We both have different size boots and brands so it's not a fluke. We both had to go old school and rock the toe straps on top of the toe rather than over.

The ratchets... I can't say much other than they are horrible. I literally had to pimp slap them to release. Cranking them down also felt really sticky. It just wasn't smooth.

I demoed these on a Skate Banana and didn't like the setup one bit. The Force offers nothing in terms of dampening or comfort. Response was okay and it got me down the mountain.

I'll do a more thorough review soon, but I just felt compelled to mention this right now because of all the hype around these bindings.

If you like em, more power to you. I know I'll never purchase a pair at least until they redesign the wretched toe straps and ratchets the correct way. I can give you a long list of much better bindings in the same category.

I demoed Flux RK30's as well. You want good bindings and can't decide between those or Forces? Go with the RK30. I liked those so much that I put them on 4 of the 16 boards I demoed.

Honestly Union... Even Rossignol has a much better toe strap than you. At least their toe straps hug my boot for dear life. Same story for Salomon as well. Two really ski heavy companies design better snowboard toe straps...
Leo, just curious as to what boots you and david z were rockin?

Also, did you get to preview any of the 2012 salomon bindings?
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:33 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Not just me bro... my partner in shred too. His particular set was worse on the front foot. After cranking the toe way down, he needed help releasing it.
I have the same problem in my right front toe strap. Sometimes I need to sit back down, take off my gloves to release them. I wear a 32 Lashed boots
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
Not just me bro... my partner in shred too. His particular set was worse on the front foot. After cranking the toe way down, he needed help releasing it.
True story.

Half the toe-strap doesn't touch my boot no matter what I do and ratchets were damn near impossible to release.
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Old 02-13-2011, 12:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jliu View Post
Leo, just curious as to what boots you and david z were rockin?

Also, did you get to preview any of the 2012 salomon bindings?
Leo was on some Burton Hails (IIRC) size 10 and mine are ThirtyTwo TM-2 size 11.

Yeah we rode two Salomon sticks (Drift Rocker, Salvatore Sanchez) both with the same Salomon bindings but I don't know what model name they were. Decent bindings I preferred to the Unions but nothing to write home about. Their toe strap is funky, it doesn't fully release the ratchet from the ladder so you have to remember that. I kept forgetting, and I trip on myself when I was unstrapping but I think once you get used to that it wouldn't be an issue (my wife has Salomon bindings and I've never seen her trip getting unstrapped).
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Mt. Brighton - 13
Hawk Island - 6
Mt. Holly - 5
Mt. Bohemia - 3
Mt. Tolle - 3
Boyne Mountain - 2
Pine Knob - 2
Crystal Mountain - 2
Treetops - 2
Alpine Valley - 2
Caberfae Peaks - 2
Cannonsburg - 1
Urban - 1
Slackcountry - 1
Nub's Nob - 1
Sugar Mountain, NC - 1
Beech Mountain, NC - 1
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I actually had 2008 Burton TWC in 10.

Here's the deal guys. Both the Contact and Forces got me down the hill. I really do hate the toe straps and that part isn't an exaggeration. They also were honestly the worst two bindings I tested at the test fest.

Now, are they OMG PIECES OF STEAMING ELEPHANT POO? No, they aren't. I've seen worse... *cough* Lamar *cough*.

The thing is, with as much hype as these bindings have, I expected a great deal more. Any company that specifically makes bindings should be better than a company that is very ski focused. The fact that I liked Rossignol and Salomon's bindings more than Unions says a great deal.

Were the Rossi and Salomons really good bindings? Not at all. They were just better than Unions. I won't write Union off altogether though. When they decide to get the toe strap and ratchets right, I will give them another shot. Until then, I'm avoiding them like the plague and will not recommend them.

I just have to wonder how many hardcore Union lovers actually tried a decent amount of other good bindings?
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I agree with the last part of your post. I myself love my 2011 Forces but have not tried anything else with in the past few years of tech to compare them to other bindings.

After reading a few of your posts I am looking at trying out some RK30's and possibly some Targas this year.
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I have some white 2010-2011 forces and my ratchets aren't that hard to release or crank down. Atleast it doesn't feel that way to me. The toe strap is killing me though. The little split piece doesn't touch or barely touches my ZF1's. I have to rock them sorta on top of my toe for it to touch completely. That's really my only complaint with them though.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:13 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Leo can u please list other bindings you would rather ride, I few for park, i few for free ride, and some in the middle.

This would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Park bindings - Doubles as my all-mountain freestyle since I only do jumps in the park... and recently wide boxes

Flux RK30

Rome 390 Boss

Ride Delta

If you have an ICS Burton Board... Restricted Malavita or Cobrasharks. For 2012, add the Cartels to my list

Flow NXT-ATSE or M9SE

K2 Auto Uprise


Freeriding:

Rome Targas

Flow NXT-FSE

Ride SPI or Double Agent

K2 Auto Ever
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