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 Post subject: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:09 am 
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Location: Finland
I want to start out by saying hi to everyone as this is my first post!
I've been lurking around for some time now and I'm getting my first split this season, I'm so done with snowshoeing.
I have already made up my mind about wich board I want to get, big thanks to this board!
Now I have to decide on the binders, Karakorums or Sparks? I'm totally torn between them.

Here's what I'm thinking about the two:

Split 30:
+Active engagement in clamping the skis together, both the clips and the bindings.
+stoked that you don't have to open the bindings in transitions.
-I'm a bit worried that there are a couple of parts that might give out after a lot of use and aren't that easy to replace.
-What happens when you get water inside the chambers where the locking rods move and it freezes, does the system work?
-No crapons yet (propably going to be solved before it comes an issue).

Blaze:
+Tried and true system.
+With the new climbing bar I think they're going to be in par with Karakorams in skinning.
Image
+Highback angles
+Mr. Chomps
-Transition takes propably a bit longer than on Split 30 system. It's a big factor as I tour a lot with skiers.

Any thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:31 am 
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Location: Denver
Hard to say at this point, as only a handful of people have tried them, and likely no one has tried both the blaze and the karakoram. Since this is your first split, it may be hard for you to tell performance differences until you have had a chance to get out there a bunch. You could consider waiting until there is more information available?

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:33 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:18 pm
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Location: reno
Out of curiosity, what board did you get? As far as the binding choice goes... I don't think you could go wrong wither either. I talked with Bryce about water getting into the binding and freezing and he assured me that won't be a problem. I am a little relieved that I can't afford either setup new right now so I can get some feedback on both systems over the course of the season. Being a fan of new technology, I am leaning toward Karakoram. If you do go with Spark, you should at least give those Karakoram clamps a try. They are sic!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 6:27 pm
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Location: South Lake Tahoe
Some people seem to think that the karakoram product is bulletproof. For these peoples reps... well I hope so. If something does break in the BC.... How easy is it to rig up to get your ass back to the trailhead? Does your riding buddy have compatable spare parts? Do you have spare parts, screws, bolts, DUCK TAPE? I tend to lean towards the sparks. Plus when I blew out MY Ignition 2s Will sent me the Fuse. Total down time 1 week. Sparks has great customer service and stands by their shit.

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:01 pm
Posts: 800
Location: Colorado
Sparks no question....

Karakorams dont exist yet, at least practically.
This is their first season; its all pure speculation at this point.
They have yet to even ship let alone have they gear tested and destroyed by splitboarders.
What about the warranty? They are here now but tomorrow???

Spark has been proven, and they are the sole reason for karakoram, and Voile's new binding (also not torture tested) .
Just pony up the dough to Spark and revisit the Karakorams in a few years, if they are still around.

:twocents:

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
As someone who has ridden extensively on both systems, I really will say that you cannot go wrong. Both bindings work fantastically well.

As far as addressing your concerns:

Its true that Spark has been around longer, and is more well established, and their customer service is off the hook... Will is downright the raddest dude in snowboarding. However, the same can be said about Bryce and Tyler. What I wish everyone understood, is that Karakoram really is just two highly passionate and driven engineers putting their heart and soul into this project.

Let the best product win!

JayBee wrote:
-I'm a bit worried that there are a couple of parts that might give out after a lot of use and aren't that easy to replace.


I'm yet to have a catastrophic failure in the wilderness. No other prototype tester has either, I believe. The binding is actually very simple and easy to work on. I'll go as far to say that the linkage is impossible to break with human produced forces. The tolerances are just too high. We're talking about material strengths in the area of thousands of pounds. Also, because the binding incorporates an axle as opposed a pin, there are negligible frictional forces between materials. I found the axle on my Fuses to significantly wear through my baseplate, yet there are no signs of wear on the Split30's.

JayBee wrote:
-What happens when you get water inside the chambers where the locking rods move and it freezes, does the system work?


I'm doing this experiment right now. So far, in actual riding situations, I haven't been able to ice them up (I have iced up my Fuses). So, tonight I'm laying the binding submerged in a tub of water for 30 minutes to get it good and soaked. Then I'm putting it in the freezer. In the morning if I can't get it to work, you'll have your answer! (I'm curious to see how this goes too)

JayBee wrote:
-No crapons yet (propably going to be solved before it comes an issue).


Crampons are very close behind :)

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:52 am
Posts: 118
As far as availability? My Karakorams should be showing up today! Not to say there won't be supply issues later this year, that is why I ordered mine a long time ago. But they are on schedule for the first run and hopefully have everything lined up to keep cranking all winter.


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:18 am 
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Posts: 522
Sparks $300, Karakorams $599.

Is money an object? I know that I'm unable and unwilling to spend $600 on snowboard bindings.

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:32 am 
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Location: Cupertino, CA
ehcarley wrote:
Sparks $430, Karakorams $599.

Is money an object? I know that I'm unable and unwilling to spend $600 on snowboard bindings.


Fixed

Not advocating either one since I own neither, but if you're base on $$ only - at least compare apples to apples. You still needed to add $130 in Voile mounting hardware to have a comparable cost. Just sayin' :roll:

Very interested to hear more about the real-world performance of the Karakoram's though before making a decision on which to buy.


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:39 am 
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Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
russman wrote:
JayBee wrote:
-What happens when you get water inside the chambers where the locking rods move and it freezes, does the system work?


I'm doing this experiment right now. So far, in actual riding situations, I haven't been able to ice them up (I have iced up my Fuses). So, tonight I'm laying the binding submerged in a tub of water for 30 minutes to get it good and soaked. Then I'm putting it in the freezer. In the morning if I can't get it to work, you'll have your answer! (I'm curious to see how this goes too)


The verdict is IN! Karakorams pull through in the freeze test!

Here were my methods:

1) Set Split30 in 4 inches of cold water, let sit for 35 minutes.

2) Pour out water until 1/2 inch sits in bottom of tuperware.

3) Place in industrial freezer along with all the dead deer, salmon, beef and turkeys.

4) Leave alone for 13 hours.

5) Remove from freezer (my industrial freezer is set at 19 degrees F).

6) Test linkage system. Here were my questions:

-Does the lever move?
Yes
-Do the pins push out?
Yes
-Does the lever still cam over?
Yes
-Is the motion still smooth and continuous?
Yes
-Do the pins still push into the baseplates perfectly?
Yes
-Does the front axle still rotate and glide perfectly in touring bracket?
Yes
-Were there any significant notable functional differences in how the binding works or feels other than being frozen?
No

7) Subjective thoughts:
Most notably, when the binding was frozen solid, it took a tad bit more force than normal to get the pin to move. This was negligible though, and once moving there were no differences.

Overall, this is the toughest freeze test I could come up with. The only way to make it more knarly would be to leave the binding completely submerged in water and let the whole thing freeze inside a block of ice. I might try this version too, and see if it still works after I chip it out.

GO SCIENCE!!

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:35 am 
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Posts: 174
tiltedworld wrote:
ehcarley wrote:
Sparks $430, Karakorams $599.

Is money an object? I know that I'm unable and unwilling to spend $600 on snowboard bindings.


Fixed

Not advocating either one since I own neither, but if you're base on $$ only - at least compare apples to apples. You still needed to add $130 in Voile mounting hardware to have a comparable cost. Just sayin' :roll:

The Karakoram system also comes with board clips.


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:44 pm
Posts: 418
Location: Cupertino, CA
jeri534 wrote:
The Karakoram system also comes with board clips.[/quote]

yep, accounted for that - missed the 4 gaskets though

Tour bracket - $36
Hooks - $24
tip/tail clips $24
Pucks/gasket $36
Climbing bars $36

Total $156


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 1:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:47 am
Posts: 12
Location: Finland
I ended up gettin a 166/26 Venture Storm R. Can't wait to get it on some snow! :bananas:

Thanks to Russman for doing the test! It was just what I wanted to know, thou it did make the decision harder again. I was leaning a bit on the Sparks side, but now I'm back in square one... :scratch:

I'm willing to spend some $$$ if I get good bang for the buck.

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