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Old 10-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fastec - K2 vs. Gnu

I'm intrigued by these Fastec bindings. Who's got these who can comment?

I ride with a big group of people, one of the girls in my group has a hookup with Roxy and scored a set of their bindings. She loved them.

I've seen Gnu Park bindings (2012 model) going for $160-$200, and they are the closest to functionally identical to the Roxy's of these two.
No Park model this year, but this Choice (2013 model) is the same chassis, and similar straps.

In researching the Gnu's online, I found the K2 Cinch's are also built by Fastec.
Tonight, I stopped by a local shop that carries K2, and they had some of the 2012 K2's I could get for about $180 locally.

But there's big differences - these definitely aren't just rebadged versions of the same binding:
  • GNU binding has a buckle on the ankle strap that flips up if you want to relieve tension on the lift. When you lower the back, it releases automatically, making it easy to get in and out.
  • K2 binding has a totally different mechanism. No tension relief, but when you lower the back the chassis tilts up, still making it easy to get in and out at least.

The K2's seem solid as a rock in person, but while I'd like to spend my money locally, I was a little psyched on the idea of the tension relief feature the GNU bindings have.
That makes me lean towards the GNU bindings, but I haven't seen them in person.

Also- [before the road goes there] I'm not interested in Flow bindings. Another buddy of mine has a set, I've ridden them - definitely no tension relief, not even when the highback goes down.
And they feel different when riding. Even he hates them, and he's used to them. I'm not going down that road.


I'm a veteran rider, I've been riding traditional 2 strap bindings since the early 90's.
What intrigues me about the Gnu and K2's is that they look to hold just like a 2 strap binding, and still offer highback adjustment (I dial mine back).

Thoughts on the K2 vs GNU?
Or any females with experience with their Roxy's?
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've ridden a few different Cinches and Mutants. I hated them all. If you want speed Flow is better. Do you get strap relief? No. You don't need it. That big strap distributes strap pressure better than trad straps so you don't crank the strap like you do for trad. It will feel different yeah. But you will get used to it and then you can enjoy quickened edge to edge performance. That cable triangle thing works. Cinches are heavy and they don't adjust right in the toe area. They force you to have too little toe overhand regardless of boot size/binding size and you lose leverage. Gnu's felt like 4 year old Rides. So if you really liked the pink Beta Mvmnts you'll be able to get all nostalgic with the Gnus. Except have to deal with less adjustability.

If you're in it for speed, Flows are superior. If you're not and you don't want Flows, then there is no reason for rear entry.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nothing I've ridden is worse than flows. (As mentioned in the OP) - not going that route, not asking about flows. Not interested in flow, not to sound ungrateful- thanks.

What specifically intrigues me about the gnu in particular is the 2 straps, 4 solid contact points, like a traditional binding, but addition of rear entry. That, in theory, would fix much of what keeps flows from riding like a traditional binding... and enhance the rear entry aspect to boot (no pun intended).

I thought the K2 was a close sibling, but I'm concerned the K2 might also (like the flows) potentially lose a feeling of solidity, with the actuated frame [and potential movement] that the gnu doesn't have.

If not the gnu, I'm sticking with one of my traditional favorites, Burton Missions, for my Pickle. That's the reference standard, for comparison.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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K2 is not made by Fastech at all. Fastech is crap, cinch is crap, flow is the only one that's gotten it right.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Read what I dealt with with the Mutants.

Last thing I'll say on Flow, when set up properly they hold you down just as well despite the "feeling" of it being looser. When set up right, the looser feel is all in your head.

The Restricted Mission for this year was a solid binding that never gave me any issues. I will recommend them over the Gnu every day of the week.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have 2012 Choice and I imagine they are quite similar to the 2013.

The tension relief does not do too much at all. Not really something I do as you kinda have to release it before you do anything - I am pretty lazy

Also I am finding with my left binding (I'm goofy) that the buckle is slowing down with its release significantly and I have about 15 days use on it.

The release of the bindings when you pull the high back down makes the smallest difference with any other rear entry binding.

This is all just my experience with it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think based on the flex ratings on GNU's site, I'm second guessing either.
The K2's I worry about play in the binding, and seem like they have very rigid bases.
The GNU bindings seem the same - the Parks I was looking at have an aluminum base, and a stiffer rating. Strap comfort is important to me as well, which is an unknown.

I have been checking out Burton's 2013 line, and the bindings that seem best suited for this kind of riding seem to actually be the Custom Restricted (re:flex), over the missions - or the Cartels I used to own - and they actually cost a tiny bit less. The restricted's have the upgrade of the asymmetrical strap over the basic customs.

On that note - a buddy of mine who lives in California recommended Flux bindings - I don't believe anyone even sells them locally so that throws a wrench in the process a bit - but I'm interested if anyone has any comments about Flux bindings that would compare to a Burton Custom (good flex, comfortable, secure, with bulletproof rachet hardware)? He didn't mention a particular model, I may call him to find out.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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From Flux you'll probably like TT30's or DMCC Lights.

Personally for 2013 I like the strap on the standard Cartels more than the asym.

And the Cinches actually have a less rigid baseplate. That lift arm is the reason.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Checked them both out - quite a price difference between them, and besides the stabilizer pads and "light" designation, I'm not seeing much difference between them - possibly the DMCC had the more advanced ankle strap, but the regular strap on the TT30 doesn't seem like a compromise. What's the big upgrade on the DMCC vs. the TT30?

Edit 1:
Also, Flux has an excellent website. From their product page, I'm wondering if the DS30's might better fit - more flexible, more of a skate feel. $250 is still up there in the price range, and makes me wonder similar to the above, what's the real differences between that and the SE30's, which is a midgrade binding with more flex (according to their very generalized mouse-over popup)? Half the cost, nearly.

Maybe I shouldn't say their website is excellent - trying to find the difference between the TT30 and RK30 is puzzling...
Both claim to use allllll the same parts... but are different bindings
Edit 2:
Looks like the RK30 highback is urethane while the TT30 is nylon. I might like the more flexible back better, I rode back in the 90's cut-down era, I don't put much lean in my highbacks, I don't really rely on them.

Last edited by geolemon; 10-09-2012 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Flux are great if you don't need canting and too much dampening. Super solid and light, great ratchets and straps.

The difference between the RK30 and the TT30 is that the RK30 highbacks are very soft. I found them very comfy but mainly suitable for jibbing and park. The TT30 highback has that typical all mountain flex. not too soft but still pretty flexy. Can't go wrong with them.
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