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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Choosing b/w Cartels/Union SL's/ Ride Maestro

Hi guys, I really need help choosing between these three bindings. I have read just about everything I can on both of them and just need some experienced non-sales person opinions. Been riding 15+ years all-mountain style with some park riding.

They are all pretty much the same price (270-300) and pretty much have the same technologies on each so its just a matter of which are the better bindings.

If anyone owns/knows a friend that owns any of these I would love to hear any pros/cons of these because I just can't seem to pull the trigger!!
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:40 PM
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What kind of board are you sticking them on? Cartels are always viewed as a "safe" choice. From what I've read, the Unions are probably a little stiffer but I've no experience with them. All 3 are solid options I think.
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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They will be going on the 2013 ride DH2. I figured that about the Cartels since they are touted as the " most ridden by pro's" thats why I wanted the opinions of people who weren't making a commission off me lol.
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:07 PM
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The SL's are my favorite binding right now. They're light, ankle strap is extremely comfortable, toe strap is super responsive, assym highback is flexible and supportive, dampening is soft enough to absorb impact but not so thick to take away the feel of the board. I can't say enough good things about them.

The last Cartel's I rode didn't have reflex but the straps were great. Flex was in the mid range. Highback was responsive. I actually liked them for park riding a lot.

I haven't ridden the Maestro but I've ridden the Capo and Ride's metal baseplate are super stiff. I dont know how much the urethane highback softens it up.

Each binding has a different feel and flex pattern so really the best way to decide is to try them. But my top 2 are the SL's and the Cartel. I'd throw in the Raiden Phantom as well.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Extremo View Post
The SL's are my favorite binding right now. They're light, ankle strap is extremely comfortable, toe strap is super responsive, assym highback is flexible and supportive, dampening is soft enough to absorb impact but not so thick to take away the feel of the board. I can't say enough good things about them.
Would you say these would also work in the park? Cause I'm dabbling in the park a little more these days but not enough to consider buying a park only binding.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:45 PM
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It's mostly personal preference when you get to high end bindings like these. I've used Ride Deltas before and personally, I don't like how metal bindings feel. Unions are pretty sweet although I haven't used the SLs. I've heard mostly good about the Cartels but it sounds like they tend to chew the back of your boots up quite a bit. I second the Raiden Phantoms. I haven't used the Phantoms in particular but I have the Raiden Zeros and am really high on them right now. I think the Phantoms would be a killer binding.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 01:56 PM
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Would you say these would also work in the park? Cause I'm dabbling in the park a little more these days but not enough to consider buying a park only binding.
Yeah, the park is where I think the SL's excel. The baseplete flex is mid stiff, so its strong enough to stomp big landings, the assym highback allows good torsional flex and lateral movement, and the dampening isn't too soft so you can really feel the jibs under your feet. It's billed as an 'all-mountain freestyle' binding but to me it's got a perfect aggressve park flex. I'm surprised they're not in the line next year.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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I actually tried the Maestro's but they were the mediums which didn't really fit my boots so well so i can't really give an objective view of them because that was really annoying to deal with. The wedgie footbeds did make it really comfortable to ride with the canting. Do the Union SL's have any sort of canting built in? Because I didn't ready anything like that in their description.


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I've heard mostly good about the Cartels but it sounds like they tend to chew the back of your boots up quite a bit.
I was reading this as well so that is definitely a hit against getting those. Im not rolling in dough so anything that beats up my boots is gonna be a hard choice.

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I second the Raiden Phantoms. I haven't used the Phantoms in particular but I have the Raiden Zeros and am really high on them right now. I think the Phantoms would be a killer binding.
Your now the 3rd person to recommend these bindings to me. I talked to someone in person at a shop who said the same thing. I searched on the internet real fast and found the 2013's for 208 dollars which is well below the price of my other 3 options. Is there something I'm missing why such a great binding would be priced so low? I would obviously love to save the 50 or so dollars if they are really all that but I'm willing to splurge a little more if I'm really gonna get what i pay for.

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Yeah, the park is where I think the SL's excel. The baseplete flex is mid stiff, so its strong enough to stomp big landings, the assym highback allows good torsional flex and lateral movement, and the dampening isn't too soft so you can really feel the jibs under your feet. It's billed as an 'all-mountain freestyle' binding but to me it's got a perfect aggressve park flex. I'm surprised they're not in the line next year.
They seem like a pretty badass binding from what your saying. I do a lot of hard charging stuff so need to have that all mountain versatility and super response for ducking in and out of trees which requires every second of response I can get. If your really saying these have the great response and feel yet excel in the the park they sound like exactly what I'm looking for in respect to that perfect all mountain binding. Are you more of a park rider or have you used these pretty extensively in the all mountain setting as well?
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:35 PM
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The SL's don't have canting. That's the only drawback.

As far as riding goes, I suffered a bone contusion the almost sidelined me for the season last year. My doc said no jumping so I ended up just charging the rest of the mountain which is what led me to buy these. I didn't end up riding them in the park until this year and fell love with them even more. A few clicks of forward lean and they can charge anywhere. Run the highbacks straight up and they're the perfect park binding.

I really wish they had canting though.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 02-12-2013, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DrEwTiMe View Post

Your now the 3rd person to recommend these bindings to me. I talked to someone in person at a shop who said the same thing. I searched on the internet real fast and found the 2013's for 208 dollars which is well below the price of my other 3 options. Is there something I'm missing why such a great binding would be priced so low? I would obviously love to save the 50 or so dollars if they are really all that but I'm willing to splurge a little more if I'm really gonna get what i pay for.


The Phantoms are just bomb bindings. The metal baseplate isn't too stiff. The assym ankle straps feel like Burton and Unions. The toe strap is solid and responsive. The highback is stiff but shaped to allow lateral flex.
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