Splitboard.com Forums

The World's first exclusive splitboard discussion forums






It is currently Fri Oct 31, 2014 3:15 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 87 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 11:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:06 pm
Posts: 157
Location: Kings Beach, Ca
Just got mine tonight, they are smokin'! My split actually looks like a board I would like to take out now, a little less frankensteinish. Looks like around 1.5-2 lb weight savings over my 2005 Spi's.....will post further review after I get some testing in. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 4:39 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:51 am
Posts: 643
Just got back from my first test of the sparks. Berthoud pass was windy and cold as always. Mr splita and I made a few laps on current creek side of the pass and the snow was great.

Anyway, the binders were freaking great! Took them straight out of the box and put them on the board with no adjustments. Have a few minor adj to make tonight.

I had a little rub on the heel lift block for the first run but it pretty much filed itself down. Had a few screws come loose because I have not loc-tited them yet. Doing that tonight.

The straps were nice and fit really well with no adjustment.

I wear size 12 so I might have to set the heelcup back a little. On steeper sections of the accent, my toes were hitting the board and if it was a little steeper it would have been a problem but extending the heelcup should fix that problem. It was kinda nice because I didn't have to use the heelifts at all, I just balanced on my toes and walked up.

Being more than a half inch closer to the board makes a huge difference! The board rode like a real snowboard with these bindings! I have always thought that it was my board that I was unhappy with but now I realize it was mainly the bindings. These give you such a solid connection to the board and the weight difference is really noticeable.

To recap:

Pros: better connection to the board when riding
2lbs lighter
closer to the board is good, can we get these baseless?
I like the flat metal baseplates, they really make clearing the snow easy
These are the best thing to happen to splitting since skins!
Cons: Toes hitting the board (hopefully fixes itself when I adjust the heelcup)
screws come loose (bindings came with loc-tite I just didn't use it yet)
Froze to the pucks a few times during ride mode and were really hard to get off (probably just needs to be broken in more)
I'm a little worried about breaking or wearing out the p-tex where the pin is inserted.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 9:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:12 pm
Posts: 36
Location: Vancouver, BC
I got my set on Friday and got to test them out yesterday on a fairly mellow trip in Squamish yesterday. Shipping was surprisingly fast - they got from Montana to Vancouver BC in 2 days. I used a shipping place in Point Roberts WA and was able to avoid Canadian shipping rates, taxes, and duties - It's a good way to go if you are in vancouver. When I opened the box I was impressed by the finish and quality of the baseplates as well as how light they are. I was kind of expecting something a bit rougher from such a new product. I maxed out all the settings and they ended up fitting my size 12 malamutes fine. I don't think I would want to try anything larger though.

When I first stuck them on my board it was a tight fit on one side and a really right fit on the other. 15 minutes later when I managed to get the stuck one off I looked through Will's instruction book and began sanding(I was impressed that even sand paper was included - it seems he thought of everything). I went through his instructions and set up the pucks and did the sanding as suggested. I had to move my back foot from +3 to 0 degrees because the pin was hitting on the lifters. Instructions are included on how to make the pins work in this situation but it was a lot easier just to change my stance 3 degrees. The only other problem I had was when installing the padding to the highback some of the adhesive peeled off with the backing. I was still able to get it to stick fine though. After playing around with it for a bit everything went together great and living room testing showed that the board felt more solid than with the voile tracks. In the ski mode the connection also feels better with less torsional play as the touring bracket goes inside the binding rather than outside.

Once I got them on the snow on saturday I noticed a big difference in the amount of effort required for skinning(I went from a 171 mtn gun with boat anchor salomon bindings to a mojo 171 with the sparks this season - it is a huge weight decrease). The lower height of the bindings is also quite noticeable both skinning and riding. I also noticed that the bindings turn better when descending in ski mode because of the way the back of the binding fits over the piece with the climbing heels. It gives a more solid side to side interface when trying to turn. I think everyone knows the advantages of these and I had the same experience that the rest of the users have been having.

The downsides:
-The #1 downside I see to these bindings right now is that there are no crampons available. I use crampons for probably 50% or more of my trips so I will have to revert back to the old setup for these or risk sliding down an icey traverse to my death. On a positive note I'd imagine the sparks will traverse better as they are lower and stiffer side to side.

The rest of my list are just tiny issues - they don't really effect anything..
-I'm not a fan of the pin leash system - it kept getting tangled and generally was irritating. I'll probably replace them with something that stretches and then it will not be an issue.
-I found that the bare metal base plates iced up pretty badly. They have a bit of a texture and the snow was sticking and really tough to get off. Eventually I just gave up and rode on the uncomfortable lumps of snow because I didn't want to wreck the nice anodizing by scraping it off with my poles.
-I'm also a bit worried about the durability of the plastic where the pin is inserted. I'm sure it will last as long or longer than the voile tracks but it is also a long more expensive to replace the base plates.
-They are so low that they are scuffing up the topsheet of my board a bit when they are installed and removed. Some of the rivets look like they are almost hitting the topsheet
-They are a fair bit louder than the voile tracks when climbing with them. I think this is due to the way that the rear of the binding hits the plastic piece that the heel lifters attach to.

Overall, they definitely worth the price and they make me want to ride my splitboard even more. Let's see some crampons!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:00 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Bozeman MT
Hey y'all, thanks for all the feedback! I'm stoked on how this is working out.

Here are my thoughts on the issues expressed:

Toes hitting: sounds like you need to move your heelcups back. If they're maxed out in the rearward position and you're still hitting you may want to shim up your touring brackets with some washers to increase the clearance. If this turns out to be something that the big feets need I'll get some plastic shims cut and shipped out so your ride doesn't look ghetto. I like the fact that I can't rotate my foot to 90 degrees to the board, it helps with kickturns and such.

Crampons: I'm working on it, prototyping this week and next.

Leashes: This seems to be the most controversial part of the system. Some love 'em, some hate 'em. I protoed some bungee ones which are on the other thread. If you want a set of those send me an email at will@sparkrandd.com. I might make these standard equipment since they work regardless of stance angles, but I like the durability and cleanliness of the stock leash system. Seems like a good chunk of people took the leashes off of their voile setups as well, just a personal thing I guess.

Icing: I wasn't really having trouble with this on my earlier protos, but did have some issues with it this weekend. It seemed to be aggravated by starting with warm bindings and heading out into cold conditions. The anodizing itself may have something to do with it. I was thinking about trying some rub on wax, or even just rubbing a candle on them to fill the texture and make them less sticky. The other thought would be to use some super thin stick on plastic, but I don't want to add anything to these that isn't totally necessary. If anyone tries the rub on idea let me know how it works out, I won't be out again until this weekend most likely.

Plastic durability: So far so good on all of my prototypes, we'll see what happens when they've been in service for a number of years. If that pivot does wear out they could be drilled out and sleeved with a different bearing material, or some other kind of fix which doesn't require scrapping the whole binding.

Scuffing topsheet: Take a peek at the rivets and see if there are any highpoints on them. If so a bit of filing should take care of it.

Louder while touring: This seems like a break in issue to me, usually when I get on a new set there can be a creak for a little while, but then it goes away. If it doesn't go away let me know and we'll figure it out.

Thanks again guys, keep it coming!

_________________
Will Ritter, Owner of Spark R&D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
The weekend before last I got a chance to check out the Ignition bindings on a Mojo demo for a short half day tour. Having used only the Burton system before, it took me a while to get the board set up. Here are some comments on the bindings, but maybe take these with a grain of salt since I only got to ride them a few hours, and it was on a completely different board than I'm used to.

Overall, I thought the bindings felt very solid. Nice solid attachment to the board in both ride mode and tour mode. Comments in no particular order:

- I need crampons! :) Out here you never know when you're going to find icy spring-like crust. With my Burton system, I found I was using the crampons at least once in almost every tour I did (I was doing more spring trips, but even in the winter there are often certain sections on the tour that are icy).

- I didn't feel any pressure points from the highback. I'm using Driver X's, which are really stiff. San Frantastico definitely had some pressure points in the same bindings, but with a softer boot.

- I ran into the same issue as dishwasher-dave, where the cap for the quick-adjust bolt on the toe strap could easily get knocked open. This happened at least a few times.

- The release for the binding straps are positioned such that they can be hit by obstacles on the skin track, or even the edge of the track itself if you're going through crust. This happened at least once where the toe strap actually got semi-released just during skinning

Image

- I like the built-in retainer for the pins. I never want to have those things without some kind of retention device because I know I'll drop one at the top of some chute. I was actually able to get the rear foot pin in (in the normal direction) with a +5 degree angle, but it was tricky.

- After skinning up, when I went to transition I was ready for the super-smooth self-cleaning action that everyone claims is great with the Voile system, and sucks with the Burton system (which it does). So imagine my surprise when one of the plates bindings didn't want to go on past the first puck. It worked fine when I set it up before the tour. Turns out this was because there was ice that had built up on the front puck above the screws holding the puck on. Because the binding base plate has the curve built into the front for the toe ramp, it was hitting that ice and wedging it under the binding, preventing it from going on all the way. This doesn't happen with the Voile slider plates, because they are flat on front, and the square edge can just push any ice out of the way. Dunno what the solution for this would be (other than clean your pucks off). Maybe if the baseplates were just flat and had separate padding for the toe ramp?

- I had a lot of ice collecting on the bare metal of the baseplate. When I transitioned, there was basically a full bootprint of ice in there. I'm thinking the stomp pad insert would help for that.

- I forgot to adjust out the heel cup to accomodate my largish boot (size 11), so when I started skinning my toe was hitting the board, as some others reported. I also noticed that my toes were hanging out over the toe ramp, which felt weird, and also made it feel a little weird on the descent. Easy fix, just move out the heel cup right? Well, I have a question about that. If you do that, you're just moving the heel back, and the toe position on the binding relative to the pucks stays fixed. With my previous Burton bindings, the adjustment was at the toe end, where the toe ramp could slide out to accomodate larger boots. You could adjust for this on the Voile slider track by changing the mounting position of the binding so that the boot was still centered with respect to the heel and toe edge. It seems that with the Ignition baseplate and only being able to move the heel out, that you might end up with your heels further out on the heelside edge, and then the only way to adjust for this would be to actually offset the pucks (which I assume would require using parallel slot pucks on both board halves). Either that or just deal with the toe ramp being a little further back on the boot than you'd like. Has anyone run into this issue? I realize it may be just conceptual at this point since I don't have a board to install these on at the moment. Though it does seem like it would be nice to be able to adjust the toe ramp position somewhat.

Oh yeah, regarding hitting your toes on the board, Will said:
Quote:
I like the fact that I can't rotate my foot to 90 degrees to the board, it helps with kickturns and such.

That was another thing that was nice about the Burton system. The interface and touring bracket were designed such that it would stop at about 70 degrees or so.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:12 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Also, about the binding scraping the topsheet - I noticed there are 4 nylon bushings on the bottom. Are those supposed to contact the top of the board, and prevent the rivet heads from hitting? Because the rivet heads protrude deeper than the bushings...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:25 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Bozeman MT
Jimmy Dubs,
Per your list:

Crampons: yep, in process, plenty of requests for those.

Quick adjust bolt being annoying: swap it for a M5 - 0.8 x10mm stainless steel screw:
Image

Buckle ejection: Hmmmm, you could shorten the adjuster on the other side of the toe strap to get the buckle further on top of your foot, trim the levers down, or not roll in cap mode for skinning. I haven't had this problem.

Snow jammage: yup, you can jam these full of snow. One scuff with your boot should clear the snow off your pucks if they've accumulated anything. I thought you were a burton dude, you should be used to having to do 10 times the snow cleaning! I need to have the built in toe ramp to provide room for the touring bracket underfoot. I can change the angle of the bracket, but then it would have to start further back. I haven't messed with it yet. I could put some vent holes on the bend at the bottom of the toe ramp to cheese grater the snow off of the pucks, then again so could you. I don't want to weaken the toe ramp, but it might not be that big of a deal.

Icing: I haven't heard back from anyone trying wax, give it a shot. Padding may help it out as well. I just scrape it with my strap ladders before it really gets iced on there.

Needing to adjust your heel cup: adjust your heel cup. The toe ramp position is static, if it feels really weird you could cut the foam shy of the toe ramp to decrease it's relative height. I'm not messing with adjustable toe ramps right now because it's more weight and junk on the binding. I'd rather take the inverse burton approach, rather than offering non adjustable heel loops and adjustable toe ramps, do the opposite. It's a different approach but is easier to execute with a split binder.

Board scraping: take a peek at your rivets, if any of them have a sharp edge hit it with the file. I'm looking for taller plastic rivets for the next release.

_________________
Will Ritter, Owner of Spark R&D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:30 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Will wrote:
Buckle ejection: Hmmmm, you could shorten the adjuster on the other side of the toe strap to get the buckle further on top of your foot, trim the levers down, or not roll in cap mode for skinning. I haven't had this problem.

Trimming the levers seems kinda ghetto, which doesn't seem like your style. :) I think this would only be an issue skinning through crust, which happens to be what I was doing when I tried them out. Obviously this isn't an issue in board mode, which is what those straps were originally designed for. I'll probably end up swapping them out for some Burton capstraps (haven't had any issues with those loosening accidentally, I guess the latch is just different enough that it doesn't happen).

Quote:
Snow jammage: yup, you can jam these full of snow. One scuff with your boot should clear the snow off your pucks if they've accumulated anything. I thought you were a burton dude, you should be used to having to do 10 times the snow cleaning!

Yeah, and I've heard so much about how this isn't an issue with the Voile system, that I was stoked to just be able to slam the binding on there without thinking about it. Which you can do with the Voile plate because it's flat; the square edge at the front shaves off the ice. Not a huge deal, just giving feedback.

Quote:
Icing: I haven't heard back from anyone trying wax, give it a shot. Padding may help it out as well. I just scrape it with my strap ladders before it really gets iced on there.

Again not a huge deal, it just surprised me. The "iceprint" is in the shape of the boot sole anyway! But there's no way I'm putting wax on there, getting it on the boot sole, then trying to climb around on some rocks...

Quote:
Needing to adjust your heel cup: adjust your heel cup. The toe ramp position is static, if it feels really weird you could cut the foam shy of the toe ramp to decrease it's relative height. I'm not messing with adjustable toe ramps right now because it's more weight and junk on the binding. I'd rather take the inverse burton approach, rather than offering non adjustable heel loops and adjustable toe ramps, do the opposite. It's a different approach but is easier to execute with a split binder.

I'll play around with this some more once I have a new board to actually set them up on. It just seems to me there may be some heel-to-toe boot centering issues and that the only way around it in some cases is by offsetting the pucks. With the slider plates you can move the fore/aft position of the binding.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:50 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Bozeman MT
jimw wrote:
Trimming the levers seems kinda ghetto, which doesn't seem like your style. :)

You're right, we're talking about your style Jim 8) .
Image

Seriously though, if you took your time machining them off I think you could make it not look like a hack job. I was checking out the C60's yesterday, those buckles are more low profile, seems pretty impossible to have anything snag and release them. Something I'll think about for future versions. Thanx for the input, something I hadn't really thought about.

I think your worries about waxed boots are unwarranted, I'm just talking about enough wax rubbed on there (not hotwaxed) to fill the grain in the aluminum, and the rest buffed off. I don't think you'd be taking any of it with you. But if you were using crisco, I'd be a little more concerned.

Heel toe centering is a bit of an issue, since the toe ramps are static, but we'll take it as it goes. Maybe in the future I'll offer something movable, but it's weight I don't want to add. I'd rather offer several sizes, but right now the one size seems to be fitting most people well.

_________________
Will Ritter, Owner of Spark R&D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:59 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 8:29 am
Posts: 583
Location: Oregon
Got my baseplates set up with my Drake F60 highbacks and straps. They seem to fit w/o any problems, only requiring a few washers. They look sweet, and can't wait to try them out on the snow this weekend. The baseplates slip on and off my pucks w/o issue and are about as tight as my slider tracks. Haven't weighed my board with the new setup, but I can definitely tell it's much lighter and my back is going to be happier. The Drake highback and straps are pretty lightweight, about as light as I've come across, though they are a few years old. The newer models seem to weigh a bit more. Overall, I can tell it will be a large improvement if it performs half as well as everyone else is claiming. Thanks Will - and I can't wait for the crampons! I'll post back after I've had the binders out for a tour. Here's a pic of the new setup.........

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:01 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:41 pm
Posts: 1622
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Will wrote:
jimw wrote:
Trimming the levers seems kinda ghetto, which doesn't seem like your style. :)

You're right, we're talking about your style Jim 8) .

Ouch. :)

I'll play around with them some more once the new board gets here...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:03 am
Posts: 55
Location: vermont
Got my new set up the other day. I followed instructions and went to the resort first to check 'em out ('cept we went after dark when we had it to ourselves...)

Killer set up. I had the same thoughts I read on previous posts - it doesn't feel like a splitboard. Very tight and responsive. Totally surreal carving trenches on a split in the dark. Effortless skinning up. Even on the groomer I noticed how much better control I had in ski mode.

Next day I went for a quickie in the backcountry and noticed that in ski mode the pin came out of the bracket a few times on the way up. I haven't noticed any postings about this, so I'm assuming I did something wrong setting up? Any ideas?

These things rock. I see no point in buying regular slider tracks again. Now I need a pair for the old lady......

Thanks Will for the hard work,

VTRider


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:16 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Bozeman MT
JimW: All in good fun dude, feel free to make fun of me whenever you want.

VT: Did you put the arm of the pin inside the toestrap when you were touring, like in the pic above? There should be no way that your pin is coming out if you're doing that. Look around at some of the other pics to see what I'm talking about. I'm stoked that you're stoked!

Off to OR with UB and Schralptowner, update later.

_________________
Will Ritter, Owner of Spark R&D


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 87 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 7  Next

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  





Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group