Binding Roundup: 390's, targas, CO2's, Ride EX's
My experiences with a couple of these (with a 11.5 Burton ion boot):
07/08 Ride EX bindings, 4 days of riding; Ratchets stuck on me a couple times to the point where i had to sit down and yank on them a couple times to get them free. Super stiff feel. I like the toe strap actually over my toe, and having this one snug created pressure points on the ends. Slightly bent the aluminum disc my first day out, didn't notice it until i actually removed the binding itself for adjustments. Took a nasty fall where i rolled a couple times, got up, and noticed my right foot was a little higher than before. Found out i bent the disc and the baseplate. Warrantied by my local store no problem.
During the turnaround time, i got to try out the 07/08 Burton co2 (2 days of riding). These are by far the most comfortable binding i've tried on. I could just crank the ratchets as tight as i could and not feel any pressure points. Toecaps and gel ankle strap matched my burton boots perfectly. These bindings had alot of flex. Ratchets were very smooth. The highback seemed really fragile to me. Size-wise they were bulky and heavier than the other bindings.
Rome Targa's (2 days of riding). Those auto-open ankle straps are gimmicky, and while they do keep your ankle strap open for easy entry of your foot to the binding, I can see them possibly wearing quite quickly, especially if you like to keep your bindings strapped up when stored. More padding underfoot vs the 390s. There's a denim cover behind the ratchets that holds the latter down when strapped up, but very often i found that it folded down and blocked the entrance of the ladder into the ratchet. I was debating cutting them off to make it easier, but i just couldn't. Ankle strap feels stiffer than the 390 one. Toe strap is the same, nicer than the ride one, but not as comfy as the burton toe cap and created slight pressure points on the ends. Ratchets look just like the ride ones, but haven't had a problem with them sticking yet.
Rome 390's (12+ days of riding). Like the targa's, all-around build quality seems superb and adjustability is almost limitless. The Gel ankle strap is very comfy, like the Burton ones. A tad more flex all around than the targas. Binding plates/discs are very similar to the Burton ones and seem much more sturdy than the ride ones. The cover behind the ratchet's is leather or vinyl and hasn't folded on my yet, so i haven't had a problem strapping up like i did sometimes with the Targas. The Rome bindings also have like a rubber pad that goes in between the actual binding and the board. I don't know why all companies do not include these. Aside from the shock absorption properties, they don't scratch up your board.