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 Post subject: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:22 pm
Posts: 44
Kinda shitty I just rolled out a little paragraph on my take on the pro's and cons of the bindings but things seemed to have glitched and I lost it.

I'm going to summarize and see if it's of any use to you guys. Clocked a bunch of Uphill and Downhill mileage on them and this is my take so far.

Base plates are great.. great work Will!!! You are closer to the board and there are masive gains sidehilling... pleasant suprise as that was certainly one of the downfalls of the voile system. Downhill.. the baseplates are fine. To be honest, I never had issue with the rise, the voile slider plate actually a tighter fit than the r&d... so the Spark has a bit of jiggle room that I don't have with the voile plates. However, absolutely unnoticeable when on the move. This is just me checking them side by side, on the workbench. I hope it doesn't get any worse though. Any comments??..

Pin system is fine.. so was Voile's.. Will's is cleaner and fits together like a tight little puzzle. They were a bit sticky at first but after working them a bit they slide in and out like butter. I guess this is the plastic wearing a tiny bit... one again, I hope that over time I do not develop more play due to that same plastic that contacts the slider pucks. Time will tell, or maybe you guys will tell me ;). I figure the plastic on the binding is harder than that of the pucks.. I hope so.

OK so my only beef... it isn't with Will's product, it's simple, brilliant, skins way better... sidehills with the skiers.. the crampons are easy on and off (never actually used them but have tossed them on for kicks and there is no reason why there would be trouble with them) the crampons are smaller/lighter. The entire system is lighter and it looks clean as can be.. So, so far so good.

Here's the catch.. Bent Metal.. ever wonder why you don't see a bunch of this stuff around the mountains. Well I don't see a bunch of it anyways. I'm in Whistler and suffer from seeing masses of setups day in and day out so feel I have a pretty good idea of what has caught the masses appeal, and it ain't bent metal technology. It isn't because this is well thought out, boutique stuff that is hard to get your hands on.. I would love to chalk it up to shitty marketing or uneducated buyers etc.. but in this case I don't think that is the situation either.

Their bindings are second rate.. period. They are bargain setups with sloppy highbacks(picture me twisting them nearly in half with my hands), a ridiculous sandwich/bolt/plastic on plastic mashing system to adjust strap length (failed immediately on one foot), ratchets that slip under mild tension... and straps that I guess you would say are comfy.. but, wow... not up to snuff as far as performance.

Keep in mind, I don't have much brand allegiance when it comes to bindings, I just ask for solid and simple. I run, Ride SPI's, a number of Burton setups, and most recently my binding of choice has been a Rossi HC Works and a Rossi Jer Jones (essentially the same binding). I'm not picky but this stuff crossed the line. I recommend the best place for it is in the trash. On that note, I have some for sale I guess hahaha

Back to the greatness of it all though... I pieced out one of my Rossi bindings and everything came together tickety boo. I had to keep the bent metal heel cup/horseshoe thingy but other than that, the rest of the binding was bounced of a wall towards a garbage bin. I wish I could post a photo of the binding I put together but I'm not too sure how to go about it. Seems I can't just attach it eh? Anyways.. Essentially Rossi Jer Jones bindings with the Spark baseplates.

Oh yeah, first day one other thing failed. One of the little metal triangles that are used to keep the pin attached to a string which attaches to your binding to avoid losing them just slipped out and I had to run the pin not attached. I noticed a few folks mentioning that having the pin attached to the binding is for "noobs", but well, yeah.. ummm.. I won't get started, bottom line, I have liked having the pin secured for many years and will continue to do so. Why freaking not, jesus!!! If you're one of those folks who like to run free pin. don't expect sympathy from me when you're digging in the blizzard for a 1 " by 5" rod in the snow. Why the fuck would you set your self up for that dram?!?! I will laugh and then carry you home..

Carry extras and attach.. once again... why not ?!?!? , Anyways.. thankfully didn't lose the pin out there. I got home and replaced the busted one with a little bungey string (lace from a climbing shoe) and a key chain ring.. girth hitched it to my strap and it worked like a charm. I have kept the not busted one as it was shipped thus far and it has held, but it will be replaced. I suspect I was just unlucky, but am not taking the chance, unfortunately I didn't think to order an extra.
I heard Prior picked up the line so I'm hoping pals will have extra's for me to buy.. that way I don't have to go through the ordering process, but that's cool if I do. Will was great at getting the stuff out to me quick here in the great white north.

So yeah.. that's it.. not so short afterall. I hope that comes across properly. What Wil has created is great and certainly an upgrade on many levels, however... In my humble oppinion, in order to run a decent binding you will have to cannibalize another binding to make the real magic come alive :).

That's all

Oh yeah.. I'd love to see other folks mods. I've been reading about a bunch of folks that made other stuff work ie: "bcrider" runs burton etc..
Just so everyone knows.. the Rossi stuff is pretty much plug and play, I tried the Spi and the forward lean angles didn't agree.I think if I dug up and older version (not this years), they would bolt together but I can't be sure.
I think you would have to drill and cut the plastic on the Burton.... but once again didn't try it. .

That's it that's all, any offers on some Bent Metal Restraints?? Don't bother

Don't often take part in these forums but everybody elses' info was helpful when I was looking into the product so I thought I would share my experience.

Cheers folks, will be rolling on them all next week, I'll keep you posted on how they hold up as the season continues..

Happy trails.. keep on keepin' on


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Posts: 1522
Location: Colorado
Budge, thanks for the review. I have the Ignition Is and love them, but share the same criticisms of the Bent Metal highback and straps. Thanks for letting us know that the Rossi parts can be retrofit no problem. I just took a look at the Rossi site, and it appears that both the HC-2000, HC-3000, and Jones bindings share the same basic design for the straps, buckles, and highbacks. Can you confirm this to be true? I have no experience with the recent Rossi bindings, but these look like quality designs with reliable parts. I am strongly considering picking up a pair of the HC-2000s to retrofit straps and highbacks to my Ignitions.

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Never Summer Prospector 167X, furberg 173 DIY, Dynafit TLT5/6 Mountain , Phantom Bindings, BD Glidelite Skins
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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:22 pm
Posts: 44
Getting simmilar questions in my private message box. I'll fire up photos and outline the limitations of running the Rossi stuff on there.

Really it works pretty solid without a bunch of mess, keep in mind that I am still running the Bent Metal heel cup. This limits me to only a few notches of forward lean. As you add more forward lean you lose purchase and the forward lean wedge eventually falls inside the heel cup. Where I run it, it is dead solid and I would never need anymore.

I'm happy with the forward lean that I get, and I do run a fair bit, so I guess no worries.. however that means buying a set of shitty Bent Metals, just to get that heel cup. I'm going to look closer at the Rossi to see if I can get it on there, I also have a sneaky suspicion that the old style Ride/Preston part would work. I would have to dig deep into storage to find one.. not sure if I'm up to it. I'm sure someone on here has done it.

Can someone give me a hand on posting photo's. Do I need to upload the photos to a web location in order to post them?


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:24 am 
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edit: question answered


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:19 am
Posts: 156
Location: Wasatch mountains, UT
It looks to me like the Rossi HC/Jones heelcup and highbacks should work fine on the Ignition 1's... Just have to run the forward lean with a few more clicks than normal. Seems like the hole pattern would line up nice... STOKED to try this out!!!
Image

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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:17 am 
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Yeah man! That looks like it will line up just fine. I know when I pulled mine apart and lined them up with the ignition 2's the hole patterns had issues, I'm going to take another look. That looks like it's going to be solid. Let me know how that goes :)


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:53 pm 
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On my way up the Duffey for the week, will get to some pics of the bindings when I get back.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:22 pm
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Back after a stellar three days. Will get down to a few pics of the bindings when I get a moment.
Neil, did you ever get that heel cup on your Sparks?

Another quick bit of advice for those getting on the Sparks. I would recommend replacing the metal triangle and black string that is meant to leash your pin to your binding. Both of mine have failed. Loads of easy solutions. I used a strechy lace from a 5:10 climbing shoe and a keychain ring. Works just great! System is just about dialed now... I think. :shock:

Cheers Will, good job on the baseplates, thorouhgly enjoying them. Huge improvement.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Here is what I've put together for a binding. Everything is pretty much explained above. I will work on getting the Rossi Heel Cup onto the baseplates when I have time. I think it will take some drilling. For now the Bent Metal setup is holding up fine, you will notice that I am limited in forward lean. I cannot go much further than what I show in the photo, perhaps a click or two more, but that's it. I slip past the cup and you are stuck totally upright. Anyways.. that's it that's all. So far I have been very pleased with what I have on the go, and I've walked quite a bit on it. :) Let's see if I can do this photo upload thing.

Oh and yes, I do have my highbacks marked as RB and LF. (right back, left front)... sometimes in moments of exhaustion it's nice not to do any thinking eh?! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
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Location: Colorado
Thanks for the pics Budge. I am currently refitting my Ignition Is with Rossi Jones parts (got a good deal on the Rossis). The Rossi heel loop will not fit without substantial mods, so I used the Bent loop, and got the Rossi highback to fit tight by drilling some new holes in the heel loop. I like to offset my highbacks, so this worked great. I also like substantial forward lean, so I had to make sure the highbacks were as deeply placed in the heel loop as possible.
I should have this ready to ride by the weekend, hopefully the avy danger will subside a little by then.
Next mod will be replacing the hardware with titanium bits, I can save a couple of ounces by doing this, and perhaps get a little cleaner hardware in the process.
Thanks for the inspiration, this looks like it will make for a nice improvement.

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Never Summer Prospector 167X, furberg 173 DIY, Dynafit TLT5/6 Mountain , Phantom Bindings, BD Glidelite Skins
Quiver Killer inserts

http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 6:22 pm
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I've clocked a bunch of miles on the setup and it's all good. Really excited about it. I'm going to to do exactly what you did and drill some holes in my BM heel cup, so the system dials in perfectly. Ti hardware eh :).. i like it. I'm on it!! haha. Cheers man.. be safe. Avy has relaxed in our zone and stuff is gettin tracked fast! Good fun, more people out than ever!
Enjoy the setup.


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:56 am 
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Posts: 79
Location: Narvik, Norway
I´m about to mod a pair of Rome heelhoops to work with Ignition II plates. It will be good. And yeah, there will definitely be pictures!

I don´t have the same gripes with BM hardware as you; I do think it´s quality, and I don´t see myself breaking any of it in the near future, but I´m definitely a Rome binder fan, so would like to get the same comfort on my split as on my solid boards.

Edited to add: I have absolutely no wiggle room in the interface between the baseplates and the Voilé interface and board. It just works, and excellently so.

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Spark binders, Blaho T5 163, Flicklocks.
Solidgear:
Igneous custom R/R 175, Union Force DLXs
NS Heritage 162, Rome 390s
Boots: Mallies.
http://www.angrysnowboarder.com


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 Post subject: Re: Spark R&D review
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:18 pm 
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Good luck with that.. would love to see what you come up with. Those Rome bidings look pretty solid.


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