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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thoughts on which way to go here?

I live in Hawaii, so I can't really walk into a shop and try everything on.

I'm 6'1", 185lbs. Size 11 Burton Ruler boots (bought them in 2012).

I just ordered up a Jones Frontier 161wide snowboard. Upgrading from a 2012 Signal Omni Wide 162. I also have a Bataleon Camel Toe board sitting in Japan that I hope to use 1 day, and I would swap the bindings over to it if the conditions are right.

I've been riding off & on since 1998. I mostly ride Japan or Tahoe nowadays, but I can also do other USA spots in the future.

Looking for Freeriding, Powder when available, Happo-Banks style board parks, and slow speed cruising with my wife/daughter.

I don't jump besides small hits, I don't butter, I don't do rails, etc. I don't ride switch much.

I don't charge hard or bomb down the mountain fast, although I'm hoping to re-boot my riding the correct way. I know I have bad habits on being upright.

My current bindings are 2007 Burton Cartel where I swapped out the high back binding from Burton & put low backs on them. My forward lean stoppers on my bindings fell off years ago.

Sooooooo, with all that being said, what are the thoughts on choosing between the Burton Cartel bindings versus the Jones Mercury bindings? Like would the Cartels fit better with a Burton boot?

Any other bindings in the sub $300 price range to also consider?

Aloha!
 

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I am currently using both now drive and Burton Cartel. I love the now drives. Feels great. Straps might be a bit better on the burtons though. I would go with the mercurys if i were you since they are a re-branded now drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting. I've never heard of "Now". Looking at the drive bindings. Not totally sure if "aggressive" freeriding is my thing. Are they comfy enough for normal freeriding? Is Now Drive the same as Jones Mercury, but with a different brand name slapped onto it?
 

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Jones Mercury = Now Pilot

Both Cartel and Pilot are great do-it-all bindings. Essentially the same in terms of response but with slightly different feel especially with how they pressure the edge. Now has a bit more edge response and a slightly stiffer but shorter highback; Cartel are a bit more overall playful with a little taller but softer highback.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jones Mercury = Now Pilot

Both Cartel and Pilot are great do-it-all bindings. Essentially the same in terms of response but with slightly different feel especially with how they pressure the edge. Now has a bit more edge response and a slightly stiffer but shorter highback; Cartel are a bit more overall playful with a little taller but softer highback.
Ok interesting. On my last pair of Burton Cartels that I bought (2007), I felt like the highback was too high and digging into my calf. I called up Burton and bought some lower backs & I swapped them out. Although now I realize that maybe my dislike from the 2007 highbacks might've been a function of the lack of forward lean when I ride.
 

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Both are great bindings.

I personally would take the Now/Jones bindings over the Cartel because they're just more responsive. Too responsive is never a problem I have but if so that's an easy fix; less forward lean or looser straps or boots. There's not much you can do to fix "not responsive enough."

If you're into the flexy/surfy feel of re:flex bindings or aren't riding stiff boards Cartels are great though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Both are great bindings.

I personally would take the Now/Jones bindings over the Cartel because they're just more responsive. Too responsive is never a problem I have but if so that's an easy fix; less forward lean or looser straps or boots. There's not much you can do to fix "not responsive enough."

If you're into the flexy/surfy feel of re:flex bindings or aren't riding stiff boards Cartels are great though.
Yeah I'm not sure about the feel of the "re:flex bindings" Does that mean that the back is more flexible than others? My board isn't going to be stiff. Sure would be nice if I'm by shops where I can walk in & check out the stuff. Instead I settle for ordering and having it shipped.
 

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Yeah I'm not sure about the feel of the "re:flex bindings" Does that mean that the back is more flexible than others? My board isn't going to be stiff. Sure would be nice if I'm by shops where I can walk in & check out the stuff. Instead I settle for ordering and having it shipped.
No, Reflex is actually stiffer in the back (heel cup) than the EST Cartel.

What the Reflex disc does is that it can fit in all mounting types (channel, 2x4, 3D) and also has a little reduced section through the middle of the disc, which allows the binding base to flex along with the board.

What the Now/Jones bindings do is that the mounting disc allows the binding to pivot to the heel and toe; so that it adds a bit more response or power to your edging without being a super snappy rigid response.

Both are great bindings really. I have both (but my Cartels are EST) and I love them both. I like the Cartels a liiiiiittle bit more, but it's marginal. I definitely like Cartels more than Malavita.

You can put Cartels on any board and they're not too much, not too little. Same with the Pilots.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So the Jones mounting disc is kinda like having a skateboard with stiff bushings in the trucks but they give you a little bit of lean into the turn before the board itself starts to pivot from heel to toe?
 

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So the Jones mounting disc is kinda like having a skateboard with stiff bushings in the trucks but they give you a little bit of lean into the turn before the board itself starts to pivot from heel to toe?
Not really haha
There is no slack or delay. The binding pivots but the bushings are at the 4 corners, so you're pressing against them pretty much right away.
 

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I have Cartel and Pilots. I prefer the response of the Pilots, but they don't have much fore/aft movement so I find it harder to press and Ollie with them.

I might get soft bushings for them for playful riding. I think the Mercurys come with hard and soft bushings in the box
 

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I'm actually between these two bindings for the same board - got my new jones frontier 158 wide board and originally bought some Union Strata bindings after research. However, i don't like how big the baseplate is even on the wide board, and want to change for either the Cartels or Mercurys. I'm learning towards Cartel also being a burton boot guy, but also tempted to have the full Jones setup!

EDIT to add - i think at this point what i'm really looking for is comfort to not kill my knees!
 

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With size 11 boot you are between sizes in Cartel, M will be a bit small, L a bit large. Latest cap-strap could work bad with size 11 im M.
 

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The NOW's are the ticket. Your questions should be whether you get NOW's with hanger 1.0 or hanger 2.0, how stiff you want them, whether you will use the kingpin tooless or not, if you want highcups and a variety of bushings. There are certain bindings sold with these, other's you have to buy the additional parts later.

Full Jones setup doesn't have much to do with it. The Mercury is a NOW binding, just rebranded.
 

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I'm actually between these two bindings for the same board - got my new jones frontier 158 wide board and originally bought some Union Strata bindings after research. However, i don't like how big the baseplate is even on the wide board, and want to change for either the Cartels or Mercurys. I'm learning towards Cartel also being a burton boot guy, but also tempted to have the full Jones setup!

EDIT to add - i think at this point what i'm really looking for is comfort to not kill my knees!
Stratas have very hard rubber in the baseplate. I dont know why a lot of reviews say they have good cushioning - they just dont. Ive sold them for that reason.

Cartels have good shock absorbing footbeds. Never used Nows.

Off-topic - i would recommend fp insoles, as knee savers.
 

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I haven't ridden a Cartel in close to 10 years (early reflex versions), but have ridden a few other models. I've owned various NOWs over the past 6 years.

I feel a lot more later-medial play on Burtons and much more locked in heel-toe with NOWs. I suspect this is due to the relatively higher basetray on NOWs. Here's an old CO2 Reflex side by side with my Pilots... you can see the heel cup starts a few cm higher and is thicker than Burton's so it ends even higher.

I much prefer the feel of NOWs, but YMMV. FWIW I also replace all my NOW heelstraps / ratchets / ladders with Burton hammock straps with double take hardware.

1583205443932.png

Also your 2007 Cartels will be VERY different from 2020 Cartels. Besides the update to the Reflex baseplate and the new straps and whatnot, you have the notorious old calf-biter Team Skyback Cartels with INSANE forward lean. I crank my Drives up to max forward lean that's MAYBE 1 notch on your Cartels.
 

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FWIW I also replace all my NOW heelstraps / ratchets / ladders with Burton hammock straps with double take hardware.
I was hoping to put my Burton straps on my Now bindings, but they don't fit (The round bit that sticks out of the ends of the straps is bigger on Burtons and I can't physically get them to go into the smaller Now slots).

How did you do it?
 

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I was hoping to put my Burton straps on my Now bindings, but they don't fit (The round bit that sticks out of the ends of the straps is bigger on Burtons and I can't physically get them to go into the smaller Now slots).

How did you do it?
I don't know? They slot in perfectly on my medium Hanger 2.0 baseplates. I get the slightest bit of play because keyhole for the Burton ladders / sliders are a mm or two wider, but not enough that I worry. Maybe other sizes, hanger 1.0, and/or 2020 Burton straps peripherals have compatibility issues, but I've never had a problem.
 
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