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Discussion Starter #1
All on a 152 Easy Livin. 150lbs, 22 wide, 18/-12, size 9 Flow Hylites.

After riding all three back to back the Malavita is the overall stiffest. The frames of the Mala and Gen are the same and a littlse softer than the Cartel becaue of the Hinge. But with the way the Hinge works, though it softens them up a bit tip to tail, they're both still a little more responsive. The hinge lets you direct more energy to the tips.

Genesis:
The best way I can find to decribe the highback is all the benefits of a urethane back without any of the faults. You dont feel it on your boot but its there 100% when you drive into it. When you push through the side it does give, so compared to its "predecessor" the Prophecy it is not as aggressive or responsive. With the way Burtons Flying V works this isnt too much of an issue though. With the extra bit of rocker outside the camber zone you're really directed more towards driving the board with centered weight. So you aren't really driving into the outside of the highback much since when you try you just sort of wash out unless your super on top of it and in grippy conditions. So, these are a comfy responsive all mountain freestyle binding. On a cambered deck or something you can really drive into the tail on the highback will be more of a factor.

Cartel:
It rides softer. Like with the Genesis it isnt really different driving through turns on Flying V. Where you feel the softness is playing around on your tips. In my opinion for Burtons direction this is exactly what they needed to do with the Cartel. The last couple years its been more an all mountain/freereide feel, giving it just a bit of softness to the inside brought it back to the all mountain/ freestyle killer it used to be. In my opinion it is the best Cartel yet. Without the hinge it just felt like a more precise ride and for a higher end jumper the hingeless frame I think makes more sense. Its just a bit more accurate.

Malaita:
The whole idea of riding your ankle strap a click or two looser because of the hammock is sound. I felt more comfortable in the binding that way and felt like it rode more the way it was designed. In reality this was the stiffest of the three. The highback just makes that difference. Again, on Flying V you really only notice it when playing around. It's stiffer to the inside and makes for manipulating the board more powerful. For the higher end park rider that likes a bit more of a skate pop these are money. Otherwise they are a great do anything binding with a good chunk of response and a dash of playability with the Hinge.

ReFlex:
This changes some things. I didnt ride the ReFlex version, but the Mala and Gen have the same baseplate. So in realtion to each other they just both get an equal amount stiffer. Not much, just a hair really. But with the Cartel since it doesnt have Hinge in EST the overall feel of the binding is more or less just the difference between EST and ReFlex. So since the Mala and Gen get a bit more precise and the Cartel basically stays the same, the relation between the three changes between EST and ReFlex.

Overall how I'd categorize the three:
Malavita EST-High end park rider that likes a little more skatey pop or a general all mountain comfy ride.
Malavita ReFlex-High end parkk rider, solid comfy all mountain ride.
Cartel EST-park destroyer who knows what they're doing and wants some precison.
Cartel Reflex-Park destroyer who likes some more play in the highback.
Genesis EST-Rides everything, long days, and not afraid to spend $$.
Genesis ReFlex-Responsive binding for someone that liked the idea of a urethane highback but thought they were just a bit too loose.

For matchups with decks I think the Cartle and Gen depend on how the board is meant to be ridden. They'll feel softer on boards you drive into the tips more with and "stiffer" on boards you stay more centered on. Straight back the response between the two was minutely different with the Gen being just bairly more relaxed. The two part back and all.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry about the typos. I know there are probably a lot. I typed it on my phone at work during a dead spell.
 

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good reviews. one thing though, the hinge was just brought in to mimic the natural flex disc bindings provide, I'm not sure there is a noticeable difference between a hinge est binding and a reflex binding.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know whether or not that's true, but they ride with a little more flex tip to tail than ReFlex. That's always been clear to me. I rode this years ReFlex Missions R's all last year with the 30% short glass frame. I can feel the bit of give in the Hinge on the Mala and Gen compared to the solid frame Reflex.
 

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Awesome review man. I've been waiting for a comprehensive review of these three bindings. The 'Vitas used to be more park and now they seem to be the stiffest? The lineup is a bit murky (spec and purpose wise) and I suspect they will make things more clearcut next year.

How did you feel about the durability of the genesis highback?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Not great. It's two parts are fairly thin, so it will be more prone to snapping if you forget to kick it down. If you've broken a fair share of highbacks I'd be wary. Only time will tell with these. They are comfy and very enjoyable to be in.
 

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I have the 2011 cartels and they are great for freeride and have enough play for a little freestyle. I do very little park so mostly 3s and tweaked grabs of natural hits, a few presses too.

I am looking to get some new bindings and thinking 13 cartels.

I realize they will be a lot more freestyle in flex but can they can still be stable and responsive enough for some more serious freeride?

Also considering NOWs.

Any thoughts Nivek?
 

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very nice review! Thank you.

Where does the Cartel Restricted stack up? Seems to have the "Asym React Strap" like the Malavitas! So I'm guessing it's more comfort!

I got the Cartel Restricted to mount on my Travis Rice mainly for park jumps and playing around tricks, trees and stuff. That and the occasional speed runs when I see open trails (not much of a rails/boxes guy anyway).

Burton web site lists the Malavitas as more park oriented and the Cartels as an all mountain!!!! But by hand flexing both I got the feeling the Cartels were more flexi vs the Malavitas and not the other way around!

Cheers...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have the 2011 cartels and they are great for freeride and have enough play for a little freestyle. I do very little park so mostly 3s and tweaked grabs of natural hits, a few presses too.

I am looking to get some new bindings and thinking 13 cartels.

I realize they will be a lot more freestyle in flex but can they can still be stable and responsive enough for some more serious freeride?

Also considering NOWs.

Any thoughts Nivek?
If I had the chance I'd grab NOW's. They're super rad. The new Cartel will handle freeriding fine. They will stand the most trouble on a stiff full camber deck. If you're freeriding on something hybrid like a Heritage or Flagship or something you wont notice the softer highback all that much. Only when you really get onto the tips. Its a personal preference thing. If you're in deeper snow a lot a little give up top is great. If you're mostly doing sketchy shoots with chopped up out-runs you probably want something stiffer.

very nice review! Thank you.

Where does the Cartel Restricted stack up? Seems to have the "Asym React Strap" like the Malavitas! So I'm guessing it's more comfort!

I got the Cartel Restricted to mount on my Travis Rice mainly for park jumps and playing around tricks, trees and stuff. That and the occasional speed runs when I see open trails (not much of a rails/boxes guy anyway).

Burton web site lists the Malavitas as more park oriented and the Cartels as an all mountain!!!! But by hand flexing both I got the feeling the Cartels were more flexible vs the Malavitas and not the other way around!

Cheers...
I haven't ridden the Restricted Version of this years Cartel, but I have ridden the Asym Strap at length. For me the react strap was just better. Same comfort, better wrap, and more support. Both are good though. The one nice thing about the asym is you can sorta customize your support. By switching the straps between bindings you can put the high section above or below the ratchet. Above is more support, below is less. Less is more forgiving and better for getting onto your tips, more is better for driving into your tips. Your choice.

Though the site lists the Cartel as stiffer, they aren't. The EST versions are fairly comparable as the hinge gives the Malavita a little more play in the base and the softer highback on the Cartel gives more play up top. But when you move to ReFlex the Malavita gets "stiffer" by losing the hinge, and the Cartel doesn't change. So for Reflex I'd have to say the Malavita will perform stiffer than the Cartel.

On a T.Rice you won't notice too much of a difference. It's a twin and center rocker so you aren't driving REALLY hard into the corners of the top of the highbacks. Cartels are lighter. So boom.
 

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Thank you much Nivek for prompt and well detailed reply!!!

You think the hammock adds any noticeable advantages to the Malavitas? Like more comfort (not cranking it tight), chatter/vibration absorption, etc.

I ride 6-8 hrs straight! So anything that adds comfort (without sacrificing performance) is a big plus!

Cheers...
 

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If I had the chance I'd grab NOW's. They're super rad.

The new Cartel will handle freeriding fine. If you're in deeper snow a lot a little give up top is great. If you're mostly doing sketchy shoots with chopped up out-runs you probably want something stiffer.
I ride powder 70% of the time.

Have done a few checks and sadly the NOWs are not looking easy for me to pick up here in Large which is what I need. Next year they will be more available as they are proving popular.

The cartels however are everywhere here in Japan.
The restricted reflex and the regular cartels are pretty easy to get hold of.
I did see some limited cartels as well with the react strap.

Seems like the limited are the ones to get?
They will be going on a proto by the way.
 

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Question for you Nivek...

So I got some quality time in with my genesis bindings yesterday. I noticed that every time I did a prolonged tail press (I really lean into it), my toe caps would loosen up. Now, to be fair, this happens to me a lot with Burton toe caps during demos.

Do you ever experience this issue?

I was wondering what was causing it and I pinpointed it to the ratchets. When you lean into the press, it slightly lifts the ratchet off the ladder teeth. Burton is known for their buttery releasing ratchets... Perhaps they are too buttery?

Anyway, just wanted your thoughts. I'm gonna see if I can tweak some settings to resolve this issue.
 

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I mounted the 2013 Cartels on my T.Rice and took 'em out today for a spin!!! I'll post a review later.

But a quick take... they are AMAZING!!! And I wouldn't want them any bit stiffer or softer. If the 2013 Malavitas are more stiff then I wouldn't have liked them given how the Cartels responded at every level!

I seemed to be having great control while carving and chasing, as well as higher jumps and ollies! Very comfortable and responsive (trees, pops) and in control of the board at all times. LOVE 'EM!

Cheers...
 

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@Dice do you have the regular or restricted cartels?

How do you like the ankle strap?
I got the Restricted Black (matte grey)! The coating on the entire bindings feels like rubber so it REALLY grips to my boots! Looks like the Malavitas matte, but that one has a gloss. The Cartels matte is sticky (me likes)!

The Restricted straps are SUPER comfy! They are different from the non-restricted. I had to adjust a little (two holes up) but that took like a minute. The strap wraps around very well & was awesome and pain free on a super cold freezing night.

The Toe Strap I'm still trying to figure out how it should fit! :dizzy: I think I got it by days end where to place it on my boots for max grip. I never had an issue with it either way. Just where it should fit on my boots.

GREAT bindings. I'll post a review on it later on today.

Cheers...
 

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Yeah those restricted cartels are sweet, had some in my hands a few days ago.

I am torn between them and some limited cartels.

The limited are a little more expensive, but they are lighter (no doubt minimally) and they have the react ankle strap.

Both are black so it really comes down to the ankle strap.

I hear the asym strap is money but the react is even better.

Anyone who has ridden both straps have an opinion.

Am I just drinking Koolaid?

Is the react strap really better?
 

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I think my 2013 Cartel restricted do come with the "Asym React Strap" which is what I experienced! :D Very comfy. And when you adjust it right it's seamless with your feet; like you don't feel pressure points anywhere!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Question for you Nivek...

So I got some quality time in with my genesis bindings yesterday. I noticed that every time I did a prolonged tail press (I really lean into it), my toe caps would loosen up. Now, to be fair, this happens to me a lot with Burton toe caps during demos.

Do you ever experience this issue?

I was wondering what was causing it and I pinpointed it to the ratchets. When you lean into the press, it slightly lifts the ratchet off the ladder teeth. Burton is known for their buttery releasing ratchets... Perhaps they are too buttery?

Anyway, just wanted your thoughts. I'm gonna see if I can tweak some settings to resolve this issue.
i never had any issues with the caps on my Missions last year. Riding Bear as my home mountain that year and nose presses as my go to I pressed a lot. Butters too. I haven't had a Burton ratchet loosen or blow on me since I had '05 Cartels. Sounds like a strange fit issue with your boot I'd say.

Is the react strap really better?
I think its better. Same support and more comfort.
 
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