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Old 10-12-2011, 11:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default flow 5 vs k2 cinch or other flows?

I have been thrilled to see the discriptions on the flow 5 bindings but have also read both good and bad reviews on them as well.

however i have read they are good all-mountain bindings and are unfortunately bad in pow and major mountain riding aka cliffs and deep pow?

K2 has the cinch and i have been tempted to go with the standard dual strap systems. but want an expert opinion before commiting to them. i just cant trust product distributors(3rd party) product reviews.
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Old 10-12-2011, 11:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ive ridden older flows. and all the cinches. i like that cinches open. It seems more logical that the binding will close down securely on the boot.
where flows only drop the highback... which means that, there has to be some wiggle room within the strap to get your foot in and out. may not be noticable but its there... and after a couple seasons. your boots will have a wear from it.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zk0ot View Post
ive ridden older flows. and all the cinches. i like that cinches open. It seems more logical that the binding will close down securely on the boot.
where flows only drop the highback... which means that, there has to be some wiggle room within the strap to get your foot in and out. may not be noticable but its there... and after a couple seasons. your boots will have a wear from it.
thats a total bummer. none the less i guess it makes sense to have a strap in to secure high/low points of the foot. but the flow concept seems really good. guess experince pays off
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What are you looking for in a binding? I have ridden some older (circa 2005) flows and some mid-quality two strap bindings (Head P4).

I sold the old 2005 Flow Amp5 bindings and have some 2010 Flow NXT-AT bindings on the way. The Amp5's were very so-so. Heavier than I would have liked and took 1 or 2 runs to set up properly. I have heard it said that you should either use Flow's high end stuff or not at all. Guess I will find out.

Rear entry bindings are more difficult to get back into if you are stuck in deep powder.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tarzanman View Post
What are you looking for in a binding? I have ridden some older (circa 2005) flows and some mid-quality two strap bindings (Head P4).

I sold the old 2005 Flow Amp5 bindings and have some 2010 Flow NXT-AT bindings on the way. The Amp5's were very so-so. Heavier than I would have liked and took 1 or 2 runs to set up properly. I have heard it said that you should either use Flow's high end stuff or not at all. Guess I will find out.

Rear entry bindings are more difficult to get back into if you are stuck in deep powder.
that makes sense. its unfortunate because i really like the concept of the flow style bindings. but im a big, moutain/pow rider and im looking to step my game up for parks jibs and jumps as well. however i will not stray from the pow and want to enjoy blasting through it with ease and comfort. but still falling back to the jib rails and jumps part too.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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you can still unbuckle and buckle them with the ratchets just like a conventional binding. Mine are perfect for my conditions and ability Flow NXT ATSE's
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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you can still unbuckle and buckle them with the ratchets just like a conventional binding. Mine are perfect for my conditions and ability Flow NXT ATSE's
I am very happy with nxt atse. Even in deep powder you can treat them like a normal binding and pull the one side off, or ratchet it back on. It does take about 3 seconds longer though .... The other flow bindings can do the same thing, just a little easier on a nxt atse.
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Old 10-13-2011, 06:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zk0ot View Post
... which means that, there has to be some wiggle room within the strap to get your foot in and out.
Just a not on this. Flow bindings can be used in a number of ways nowadays. You can rear enter, conventional enter, rear enter and then ratchet, etc. Probably the most common way is to set the binding once and then reare enter. In that case you would not leave any extra room. Some think that you should be able to kick all the way into the bindings in one step. That is not how they work and you will be missing the best part of this system if you use them that way.

For this style of entry our suggestion is:

Set each of the 4 strap adjustments to the very last tooth on the ladder strap (largest position). Insert your foot (must be tightly laced in the boot-do not set up with a loosely laced boot). Position your foot so that the highback can clear the heel (but just clear it-as far back as possible). Now rathet the strap down to your boot. The binding is now ready to ride. When you go to kick in again, your boot will not get all the way in. It will be resting on the highback. That is correct. From this position, pull up on the high back, and stand down on your heel. The boot will "shoehorn" into place. As your boot will always be moist from snow when riding, this is very easy when riding, a bit harder when dry.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Flow every single year improves their bindings. Sometimes they improve drastically. Comparing a pair of 2005 Flows to a 2010 and above is like comparing two totally different bindings from different companies with the only similarity being the look.

Flows used to be tank heavy. That is no longer the case. WiredSport posted weights for various bindings in comparison and Flow was as light as most. Even then, it was heavier by a negligible difference.

I had the '05 Flite 3, '06(?) Pro FS, and the '10 NXT FSE. The FSE's were badass. Very light and responsive. The only reason I don't ride Flows currently is because of canting. My left knee is starting to give me problems and cant beds really help out. I wish Flow would get canting, but they said they have to get rid of their rocker baseplate if they do that.

Also, Flow has had mini ratchets for the past few seasons. I believe they started that in '09? Basically, they are smaller versions of traditional ratchets. You can unstrap the cap in deep powder situations and strap in like you would with normal bindings. Just undo the outer two ratchets. The SE versions of Flows only have two outer ratchets because the inner two ladders are tool-less adjustments just like traditional bindings.

In my experience, Flow gives you the best edge to edge response. This is just an inherent quality of the cap design. You can really drive into those edges too. What Flow lacks though is lateral flex of traditional bindings. This is why many people feel that Flows aren't as responsive, particularly freestylers. This is the reason I prefer traditional bindings for freestyle riding. But hey, Scotty Lago does fine (for what it's worth ha).

I recommend Flows if you get pressure points on your foot from traditional bindings. Flow distributes this pressure evenly on the top of your boot so it practically eliminates foot fatigue.

Another benefit is the easy of entry (outside of powder situations). Not because you're going to get in 10 more runs, but because you won't be bending down as long to strap in. Really great for small hills.

If you are doing riding that involves cliff drops and deep powder, I really don't think the 5 is right for you. I'd at least get the AT/ATSE and above. If all you do is freeride like that, then the FRX is the binding for you. The FSE is great for all-mountain riding as well.

One word of caution with Flow bindings... they have more moving parts. That means there are more chances for failure. It's important to check your bindings regularly. I was checking my Flows every time I completely unstrapped. Takes seconds. Contact Flow and request spare hardware and bring that with you on the mountain. The most that has ever happened to me with even my '05 Flites were things like loosening screws. Easy fix with a pocket tool.

Also, the point about the tightness of Flow's cap. You really don't need to crank them down like you do with your traditional straps. Yes, this definitely feels odd at first. Hell, even when you have them cranked down, you're going to have this awkward feeling for a few runs coming off traditional bindings. My first switch to Flows had me falling like I was a noob again. Once I got the learning curve down... beautiful.

You'll also eventually learn techniques to kick in easier. I was able to have my caps fairly tight and still kicked in easy. I was also at the point where I could kick in while skating off the lift. Even kick in at an incline. Definitely takes time to learn all the little tricks like that. No doubt Flows also take a long time to set up and dial in properly. If you're lazy, they might not be the best option.

And yes, they do create wear on your boots. Mainly on the back of the boot in the heel area. This is due to the highbacks constantly rubbing on them as you lock up. This is why Flow boots have this harder rubber on this area.

Sorry for the dissertation. As a long time Flow user, I have a lot to say about their bindings
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:47 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What he said! Plus, they are great. I won't go back!
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