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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:19 pm 
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I was in the same boat as you, got a new setup this year. I ended up with a Venture Zephyr and the Blaze's. My thought was that Spark has been tried and true for so many people and so many people sing praises of them, you really can't go wrong. While Karakorams are cool, and innovation is great, I figured I would let some of the guys here try it out and get in their opinions before I threw down. I didn't want to drop extra money (already had plenty of parts to reuse, so no voile interface extras) on something that wasn't completely proven yet, although it has a lot of potential to be great. Then maybe in a couple years after they have finalized their production, came up with new innovation (who knows where they will go, but it will be better), possibly dropped some costs from manufacturing, I would look into it again. Until then I really think the Sparks will be great. They are lighter and been in the biz for longer. The clips on Karakorams do seem sweet though, and I might look into them later in the year.

Product innovation is only going to get better. One must say that the battle these guys will have from competition is only a good thing for us consumers. Go CAPITALISM! :scratch:


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:48 am 
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Location: Bozeman, MT
Karakoram Split30

Image
Weight: 920 g (single binder)

============================================

Spark R & D Blaze

Image
Weight: 798 g (single binder)

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:16 am 
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Location: Colorado
And, for those who are not good at metric system, the above posted weights end up being 8.62 oz. less for the Spark for a pair of bindings... this is weight on your feet, which you lift with step forward when skinning.
Looking at the pictures of the Karakorums, I cannot see how they adjust for size and for boot centering? The Sparks allow for precise adjustment of size and boot centering-I am sure Karakorum must adjust somehow.

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:17 am 
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Location: California
Are either of the toe straps able to be toe caps? Now that I'm used to it I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back. Nothing like spending $500 and immediately having to buy parts and do a mod.

Also, The Karakoram doesn't have a solid baseplate, has anyone noticed this to be a concern on the down. It's probably no big deal but I can't remember a binding that doesn't have a solid base. Maybe that's the next place for sparks to try some swiss cheesing?


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:26 am 
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samh wrote:
Karakoram Split30

Image
Weight: 920 g (single binder)

============================================

Spark R & D Blaze

Image
Weight: 798 g (single binder)


Remember that most of the weight on both of these bindings comes from the highback and straps. The actual aluminum components of the Blaze are very close to the Fuse weights.

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:32 am 
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Sorry for the two in a row replies..

Ecobrad wrote:
Are either of the toe straps able to be toe caps? Now that I'm used to it I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back. Nothing like spending $500 and immediately having to buy parts and do a mod.


Yes, the toe straps of the Karakorams are indeed cap straps


Ecobrad wrote:
Also, The Karakoram doesn't have a solid baseplate, has anyone noticed this to be a concern on the down. It's probably no big deal but I can't remember a binding that doesn't have a solid base. Maybe that's the next place for sparks to try some swiss cheesing?


Actually you don't notice it one bit. If you look at your normal solid board binders, when your foot is in there the arch region doesn't even touch. Burton actually drops the base disk down so it doesn't contact your foot; this way you get more toe and heel leverage through turns.

Also, because there is no metal in the middle, they don't ever get that major ice buildup while touring (I'm constantly fighting an ice block under my Fuse binding on cold snow days).

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:48 am 
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Location: Denver
barrows wrote:
And, for those who are not good at metric system, the above posted weights end up being 8.62 oz. less for the Spark for a pair of bindings... this is weight on your feet, which you lift with step forward when skinning.
Looking at the pictures of the Karakorums, I cannot see how they adjust for size and for boot centering? The Sparks allow for precise adjustment of size and boot centering-I am sure Karakorum must adjust somehow.



Barrows,

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:50 am 
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Sweet, thanks russman.

russman wrote:
I'm constantly fighting an ice block under my Fuse binding on cold snow days).


Me too. I end up using the pin to chip it away.


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:18 am 
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russman wrote:
Remember that most of the weight on both of these bindings comes from the highback and straps. The actual aluminum components of the Blaze are very close to the Fuse weights.


Weight is weight is weight.

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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:25 am 
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8 oz on each foot over the course of a long day still ain't shit. Performance and durability far out"weigh" a few grams. I'm a 145lb chicken legged iggy pop looking mother fucker and a I know a 1/2 pound isn't effecting me. And if you factor in the ice build up underneath the sparks during the day you probably end up lugging around more weight anyway.

Hell, lifting an extra 1/2 pound on each leg is just gonna make you more bad ass in the long run! :D

But, if you do go w/ Sparks (a fine choice for sure), it's a must to get the Karakoram clips to replace the chinese hooks. Trust me.


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:06 pm 
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BGnight wrote:
8 oz on each foot over the course of a long day still ain't shit.... I'm a 145lb chicken legged iggy pop looking mother fucker and a I know a 1/2 pound isn't effecting me.


I gotta say I'm 145lbs (chickenlegged too but look more like Mr Bean) and when I switched from old voile-metal-plate-w/bindings to the Sparks bindings a couple years back, I saved about a 1/2 pound per leg, and it made a very noticeable improvement in my skinning due to the weight savings.

But also, the math above indicates 1/4 lb per foot, 1/2 lb total weight difference between Split30 and Spark Blaze. Not 1/2 pound per foot.

Zak's thread seems to confirm this, as he found the Split30 setup was essentially the same weight as a Fuse setup, and a pair of the new Blazes are supposed to be 1/2 lb lighter than a pair of Fuses.

I love scales they help make my body happy.


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Location: Colorado
Like I said, 8.62 oz. per pair.

HFT, thanks for posting those details, that appears to be pretty limited adjustment to me, just two possible positions, and no way to adjust centering and sizing independently. Unless the Karakorum "pucks" (or do we call them mounting plates?) offer adjustment across the board. Not that I care personally, I ride plate bindings (lighter than anything listed here, especially in tour mode with Dynafit toes).
4.3 oz off each foor is a lot of weight on the part of the system that is lifted with each step up, perhaps Karakorum will be able to source/produce lighter straps/highbacks in the future. I could not believe the touring advantage when I went to the Dynafit toes, I really felt like I could fly uphill.
One of my riding partners will be receiving his Karakorums later this week; I look forward to checking them out in person.

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


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 Post subject: Re: Karakorams or Sparks?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:52 am
Posts: 118
You also have to factor in the total weight of the system, not just the binding. Pucks/ mounting plates, tour mode brackets, pins, all weigh something. It would be interesting to see total weights on these too.


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