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 Post subject: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
I switched from traditional boots to TLT5's last last February, and though the boots were great the binding options were not. What a difference a year makes............



Spent a few days on the new Phantom prototypes, let's start with a photo dump

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First release version 1.0, December this last year.

My initial thoughts from December........

"Picking the box up at the Post Office I thought damn, it's heavy.
I was stoked that right out of the box Keffler had it set up for my fit, including a small heel riser under the back heel.
Set it up and took it out for a few laps in the resort on firm conditions.
I was really surprised on how much of an improvement it was over my current set up. I only rode Voile Plates a few times before I threw them out and figured something else out.
Having already been on this
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set up for 30 days I had a good comparison with a system that already had more contact with the board.
The Phantom binding is just as much an improvement over what I was riding as the modded Spark plate was over the Voile plate system. I don't know how you guys have put up with that Voile plate but I can only imagine the Eureka moment moving form it to the Phantoms.

The Phantom system not only improved overall response but it made the board feel so much less than a splitboard, the closest I have had to feeling like a solid board under my feet. The torsional stiffness is vastly improved.

Climbing/tour mode weight
-----Going from only having Voile pucks on my board for the uphill to the Phantom system added a fair amount of weight. When Keffler asked for input about weight vs strength we all asked for more strength so I'll be happy with the trade off for version 1.0.
That being said I still remember how heavy my first pair of Spark Fuse's were and how light in comparison Spark's are now. I can see version 2.0 is in the works and I'm sure these are only going to get lighter.

I think the best way to express how much of an improvement the Phantom system is that I've noticed I now feel the need for a softer board and I need to soften up my boots a bit. The little amounts of play that had been with the previous system are gone."






Fast forward to today and having put another 30 or so days on the Phantoms I did encounter some problems.

Fit-Not because of the bindings but because of boards. I have 3 boards I am riding and with the pucks being so tight any board with a small gap will be nearly impossible to put together. My biggest issue being with a Furberg split I received that was factory cut very poorly and combined with badly fitted Karakoram clips left the board bowed. Best to loosen the K clips and try and twist on the binding.The only advantage a traditional puck had......more play.

Pins-I've had 2 pins break on me and a 3rd come apart. The narrow top part broke twice and became screwed out of its bottom piece once. This is not a big problem as one pin will hold the system in place.
Each set of bindings came with a replacement pin and a quick email had me a couple more.

I definitely became slower with my transitions. Had to scrape all the snow off the board and trying to twist the plate on(especially on the Furberg) was damn hard.

I have softened my boots up more and riding the bindings is amazing. Great board feel.



Version 2.0

First thought, light.
Much of the material has been taken off, each pair of the previous pair of pucks came in at around 250g. A pair of the new ones 145-165g.
I was sent 2 different puck baseplates. One for splits only(photo 6) and one that can be used for a solid or split!!!(photo5). The split only top half of the pucks also had a separate plastic base piece as opposed to the fully metal one(5).
No longer are the vertical spring loaded pins but rather a latched horizontal pin which is on the plate with the bails. This plate is another 13% lighter than the original.
The entire system just relies on one size of an Allen key, a good improvement as my smaller bolts were close to stripping(one did) on the originals after repeatedly moving them from board to board.
The bottom half of the puck baseplate now has more holes to screw in to for stance adjustments, again I feel an improvement.

Unfortunately its been really warm here the past week so I've been on them in spring like conditions.
Easy to set up I went out for a couple tours.
On the early morning groomed hardpack they were great. Still have a bit of lateral play in the locked out plate. Much easier to change over, the footprint of the puck that sits over the locking plate has been reduced so it requires less twisting to get the binding off after the pins have been opened. The latch system is way easier than trying to pull 2 pins simultaneously.
Climbing I noticed the weight reduction.
Putting the plate back on is once again much easier.

Riding.....
I can't say I noticed a difference between these bindings and the original system. I was told they may be softer but I can't tell yet. The one difference seemed to be the lighter weight on the feet. 1500g total vs 1050g, thats a pound off the feet riding. Still a great ride, infinitely better that the other options I've been on.

Issues....if you look photo 2 you will see the upper red part of the puck which locks in to the pins in not in the same position as the white plastic piece underneath it. The position of the white piece is where it was originally but it slipped during my last long run, although I didn't notice till I put the board in the back of the truck. Did I not screw the puck on enough? I though so. I would prefer this to be one metal piece like the one in photo 5. Although I haven't had any problems yet I haven't had enough time or a good warm valley/cold alpine day to properly test the new pin system. There are more parts and more room for ice to cause issues with it.

I did set up the system a solid board and had a great day on it. Went and hit a bunch of booters in the park and took it through the pipe. I usually ride my traditional boots and bindings on the resort but really enjoyed the ride. Damn it feels light on the feet.



Forecast is for some snow, so I should get some good conditions to get a better review of these.
My biggest problem.......having to give them back


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 312
Does the second set of pucks work with a diy boards original inserts? And are those touring brackets working? Do the knobs stay tight?


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:17 pm
Posts: 277
Wow, thanks for the awesome photos and review. I am totally stoked with the performance of the Version 1.0 bindings......and I look forward to adding a pair of the Version 2.0 to the quiver. They look awesome!!

Nicely done Keffler!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:05 am
Posts: 72
Location: Oslo, Norway
Looks great!

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Venture Odin 164
Furberg 167
Phantom Alpha's


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
Zude wrote:
Does the second set of pucks work with a diy boards original inserts? And are those touring brackets working? Do the knobs stay tight?




I don't have a DIY split.
If you look at photo 4 you will see the split insert mounting holes are channelled width wise for a small amount. The mounting holes for a traditional boards mounting holes are not channeled, don't know if they need to be and I don't know how much material is lost on a DIY split but I'm sure Keffler could take this in to consideration for the the final version of the binding.

Brackets have worked with no problem for the first couple days.

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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:24 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:45 pm
Posts: 844
Location: hopefully not at work
JimmyC wrote:
Wow, thanks for the awesome photos and review. I am totally stoked with the performance of the Version 1.0 bindings......and I look forward to adding a pair of the Version 2.0 to the quiver. They look awesome!!

Nicely done Keffler!!!!!!


Can't wait to get my hands on a pair. Keep up the great work Keffler!

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Chris

165 Venture Divide, Spark Franken-Burner, LaSportiva Spantik
163W Jones Solution, Phantom Alphas, Dynafit TLT5
162 Furberg


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:14 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:35 pm
Posts: 109
I've got ~50 days on last year's model and just got the new prototype mounted up to a board yesterday. Still need to get out on it but will be putting in a good 10 days of riding over the next two weeks.

My first impression with the new bindings is that the finish and workmanship is excellent, looks amazing and significantly lighter than my first gen stuff. I love the new heel lifters, very strong work by Keffler.

My only gripe with last year's stuff was the fiddle-factor with the pins. From the carpet testing I've done so far, I think Keffler has really cut down on that with the new model. I like the new design, significantly faster in the transition.

Given my weight and poor riding skills, I expect to beat the heck out of these things this spring. I'll post my results up here but I'm expecting good stuff from these.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 11:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:20 pm
Posts: 312
Thanks for the reply and the review. I'm saving my dollars, this system is impressive.


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:56 pm
Posts: 40
I can't wait! Loving the 1st gen phantoms! Those look even better!


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:15 pm
Posts: 673
Location: mountains of portland, oregon
what are the touring brackets you got there?

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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:55 pm
Posts: 290
Location: Whistler, Coast Mtns
christoph benells wrote:
what are the touring brackets you got there?



Maurelli M2split, 150Euro a pair, 57g each, the last pair of touring brackets I will ever have to buy
The knob on the right screws in and out to tighten
http://www.n-w-b.com

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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 385
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
Just got to try next year's model.

I am impressed. I did not do a side by side / back to back carpet test on the difference in flex between the 12/13 and the 13/14 until after I rode them, but I knew it was a nice improvement to the ride when I was on my first run. The added flex in the new binding rides much smoother. I got to ride them on nasty rime ice, rain ice, wind hammered powder and both frozen and soft corn. Everything except good powder. At times the snow conditions were pretty rough. The ride of the prototypes is a marked improvement over the first model.

The carpet testing with the original version confirmed improved lateral flex coming from additional bail movement due to the binding being more flexible, instead of mostly just from boot movement under the bails.

It was an inbounds test so I did not get to test transitions in the field but it feels quite a lot easier at the house compared to the two pin system. Likewise, the binding plate seems to slide much easier under the locking tab when rotating them into place.

They still had incredible board connection and tie the halves together so well. I have never been able to say that the split felt like a solid before these bindings. And they look so good! :thumpsup:


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 Post subject: Re: Phantom Bindings 12/13 vs 13/14 comparison
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2011 1:05 am
Posts: 72
Location: Oslo, Norway
Any chance you could upload a picture of the inside of the parts that hold down the bails?

Working on my own ghetto phantoms in POM plastic :lol: Bought the bails and coverplates from carvers paradise, but the coverplates are on the heavy side so would like to make my own.

Since the bails are pre-bent I am curious to see what the phantoms look like on the inside.

Thanks!

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Venture Odin 164
Furberg 167
Phantom Alpha's


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