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  • #622969
    jimw
    Participant

    @BGnight wrote:

    @WhitePine wrote:

    @BGnight wrote:

    Blazes are really nice in pow, but they’re just too flimsy for hard pack although they will get you by and there really isn’t a better alternative. I won’t even get into light rails 😉

    How exactly are Sparks too flimsy? They are solid airplane grade aluminum. Sure, everything flexes to some degree but several times when I ride my split inbounds and I hit hard pack I’ve noticed how much more solid they feel than a traditional binding. Aren’t Karakorams aluminum as well?

    Please explain.

    i can roll my foot sideways both ways with ease when strapped in. That’s not suppose to happen. Flex is ok, but I shouldn’t be able to literally lift my sole completely side to side. I love the feel in powder and they’re even fine on chalky snow, but on hard pack at high speeds they feel dangerously unsupportive. I thought russman was full of crap talking about lateral support with the extra material down the side being significant. But he’s correct that it makes a huge difference. The sides of the foot need some sort of material to lean against in the binding to keep the foot from lifting

    but like i said, i’m happy with them and they get the job done in most situations.

    Sparks aren’t anywhere near as supportive as regular bindings. Not sure why you would think that. It’s not even close. My homemade Ride binders that rughty welded (see DIY thread) and constructed for me were soooo much nicer feeling and supportive than the Blazes. Unfortunately they bent a tad too much or I’d still have my Blazes in the box.

    Interesting point about the side material. Hadn’t ever really thought about that! I wonder if it would help if you stepped down a baseplate size? So that it’s narrower, and the strap ends and heel cup are closer to the sides of your boot. But I can see how the lack of side material might be an issue though. Pretty much all regular bindings have at least a little bit of a ridge around the perimeter. I think in the Karakoram case, it’s more of a side effect of the desigh – there are separate front and back pieces to the base, and the heel cup needs to hold them both together. The bonus is you get that extra bit of support on the side. The old Ignitions have a raised piece all the way down the side too, but more like the size of a normal binding as opposed to the Karakorams. Anyway, interesting point.

    I got to try out some Karakoram prototypes this past spring, and I was really pleased with them. Always meant to put up a review but got busy with a bunch of stuff and haven’t been on the forum as much lately. Had no idea this thread was so out of hand! At the risk of actually dispensing some useful information, I may try to post up an actual review. I’m scared of you guys though… 🙂

    #622970
    rughty
    Participant

    @jimw wrote:

    I got to try out some Karakoram prototypes this past spring, and I was really pleased with them. Always meant to put up a review but got busy with a bunch of stuff and haven’t been on the forum as much lately. Had no idea this thread was so out of hand! At the risk of actually dispensing some useful information, I may try to post up an actual review. I’m scared of you guys though… 🙂

    Be afraid. Be very afraid…:lol: Good to see you posting again Jim!

    #622971
    zerodog
    Participant

    I will throw in my 2cents. I have been riding my Karakorams every weekend since mid october.
    Other than breaking a toe strap and having mounting screws loosen up on me a few times I not had any issues. I have even been resort riding a few times with my split when we got totally dumped on and conditions were sketchy.
    In fact every time I switch them from one mode to another I am still saying “fuck yeah”. I spend more time messing with my skins than I do with bindings. I try to hose them up. They really take a lot of ice and snow build up to not clip in easily. And it has never once been an issue like it was with voile pucks and sliders. For me this is the new way. It is fast and easy.

    #622972
    Zee
    Participant

    @zerodog wrote:

    …I spend more time messing with my skins than I do with bindings…

    I thought this was normal :scratch:

    Goes to show… this is my first set-up, and I find skins to be a pain in the butt. The rest of the transition is pretty easy.

    #622973
    WhitePine
    Participant

    @Zee wrote:

    @zerodog wrote:

    …I spend more time messing with my skins than I do with bindings…

    I thought this was normal :scratch:

    Goes to show… this is my first set-up, and I find skins to be a pain in the butt. The rest of the transition is pretty easy.

    +1

    #622974
    Borneo
    Participant

    Soooo, has anyone been to the Jones or Mervin SIA booths yet??? 😉

    #622975
    Zee
    Participant

    They have some pics up on their Facebook page. They’ve lightened up the bindings, and the highback is different. Looks like they will be a lot nicer than the this years.

    #622976
    Borneo
    Participant

    Show went really well.

    The new version I believe is still called the Superlight and has a carbon fiber highback along with other weight reducing features. It’s going to be an option along with the “standard” Split30 version.

    #622977
    tiltedworld
    Participant

    @Borneo wrote:

    Show went really well.

    The new version I believe is still called the Superlight and has a carbon fiber highback along with other weight reducing features. It’s going to be an option along with the “standard” Split30 version.

    Hopefully they’ll offer an upgrade package for those who supported them in their first year, those new ones look fan-friggen-tastic.

    By any chance did they show the crampons?

    #622978
    Borneo
    Participant

    I believe that has been discussed.

    I don’t think so. (Not dialed perfect yet…?)

    #622979
    zero
    Participant

    I’ve had the Karakoram set up for a while, and although I generally like them, something about my split setup always felt a bit off in the ride mode and I always felt strangely unbalanced and klutzy in lower speed/tight powder situations. I could never ride pow like I do on my normal setup. I didn’t know if it was the board, bindings, weight of the setup, wearing a backpack, or some hidden problem with the stance.

    Anyways, I finally realized that even at minimum forward lean, the highback was too far forward for my forward leg, which created problems for me in powder, although it felt good on hardpack. I’ve been using less and less forward lean almost every year—partly because I’m riding better snow. Also, the highbacks sit almost an inch higher on my boot than my normal Burton Co2s. I put a set of old Ride highbacks on the Karakorams—these are slightly lower (same height as the Co2s), allow less forward lean, and also are flatter with less aggressive “calf cupping” shape so it gives more lateral mobility. These fit perfectly, using the extra hole already drilled in the binding.

    I then rode my split setup on my normal inbounds terrain on a powder day with no backpack. Wow…the change was massive, and I now feel 100% comfortable on this gear and can ride just as well on it as my normal setup. This really surprised me. I had been skeptical of claims that the gear was just as good as solid setups based on my past experiences, but sometimes it’s hard to make great comparisons in the backcountry because there is limited vertical to test, the terrain is different, you’re tired, wearing a full pack, etc.

    But riding this on a good inbounds day with no backpack really converted me. The extra weight isn’t even that noticeable, except for boot packing. Basically, if I was forced to ride my split setup all year inbounds, it wouldn’t be a real compromise for me. Anyways, with this highback mod, I can now give the Karakoram setup and the Jones solution my highest recommendation.

    Although this is a great binding system, it’s hard to have every part of it be perfect for every rider, so I really think it’s worth customizing if it feels different than your normal bindings. Personally, riding with a backpack still throws me off sometimes, but now I know that’s the only issue, and there’s nothing wrong with what’s under my feet.

    #622980
    FirstAscent
    Participant

    I just saw a pic of their new superlights. They do looks amazing. They probably won’t be available for a few months still I’d imagine and I hope they offer some type of upgrade package as well so you wouldn’t have to buy a whole new set, again (we all know they aren’t cheap!!)

    #622981
    phreadi
    Participant

    Anyone have a link to photos of the superlights?

    #622982
    FirstAscent
    Participant

    @phreadi wrote:

    Anyone have a link to photos of the superlights?

    I think I saw them on the karakoram facebook page

    #622983
    amkaplan
    Participant

    I was up at the Vertfest at Alpental outside Seattle yesterday and saw a Karakoram demo. The system is impressive. All pieces appeared well-machined, and everything was nicer in person than in the pictures on the website, which appear dated. The hinge mechanism at the toe is very burly and has a positive fit, and the rest of the binding has a three-point locking mechanism towards the heel. The pair I saw had a sizable metal lock that folds down over the locking lever that I didn’t see in the photos. When the binding locks down to the board, it pulls it together to some extent, but with its broad footprint, its main effect is to make the board very rigid torsionally. The binding itself is a solid unit and the straps seem strong and comfy, and it was plenty wide for my size 12 boots. Between the base and the upper binding, there should be no more binding-to-board flexing than on a regular board, a drawback with the puck system. The hooks Karakoram has devised to replace the standard Chinese hooks are no-brainers and strongly pull the board halves together. They fit on the standard screw pattern, so you can retro-fit your present board for $50. If you have a DIY board, this seems to me like a must-have upgrade; if you have factory inside edges, hopefully your clips were installed to make the fit snug. The tip clips seemed to me to be much more finished than the ones on the website. I did strap my boot into the binding and was impressed with the side/side rigidity in touring mode.

    I was told that crampons are in the works, as is the SL (SuperLight) unit that appears to have a carbon fiber highback and some titanium parts. The Split30 binding is 875g each, while the SL is 695g. That’s a 360g savings total, which is about 12oz. I have no idea of the cost.

    All in all, the Karakoram system is the next-generation splitboard hardware system, IMHO. While the Sparks system is an improvement on the existing Voile hardware, the Karakoram system is a total revamp. At $600, it sounds like a big chunk, but if you consider paying $300 for Sparks bindings, $80 for the LT, $50 for the Karakoram hooks, and add in tax and shipping, you’re at about $450-500, so the cost for the entire Karakoram system isn’t that much more. Of course, going the Sparks route allows one to upgrade gradually vs. dropping $600 at once.

    I want to add that these are my opinions only, I am not a dealer, have no affiliation or vested interest in Karakoram, and have not received any renumeration for what I’ve said (damn – a pair of hooks would have been nice!).

    Allan

    #622984
    russman
    Participant

    Thanks for the review Allan! I enjoyed your descriptions. Its always super interesting to hear what other people’s perspective are on the system. We all have our own experiences and lenses that we look through.

    Good man posting the disclaimer at the end. We wouldn’t want anybody posting stoke and then having everybody else thinking we’re getting paid big bucks! :rock:

    #622985
    Taylor
    Participant

    Have there been any reports this season of Karakoram parts breaking?

    #622986
    amkaplan
    Participant

    @Taylor wrote:

    Have there been any reports this season of Karakoram parts breaking?

    I have no idea, but having seen them, I have a hard time imagining that happening unless it’s just a ladder strap.

    #622987
    russman
    Participant

    @amkaplan wrote:

    @Taylor wrote:

    Have there been any reports this season of Karakoram parts breaking?

    I have no idea, but having seen them, I have a hard time imagining that happening unless it’s just a ladder strap.

    I’ve broken ladders and buckles, but those aren’t Karakoram products. I had a toe ratchet snap off while I was on a 50 degree glacier above a 500 foot cliff, and that sucked pretty good… I just had to leave it cranked as it was until I was off the line. I let them know about this though and I think they are going with different ratchets in the future.

    I certainly don’t take very good care of my splitboard, and they are looking pretty bashed up and scratched. I think I’m at 70 something days on Karakoram binders total, and no catastrophic failures yet to report.

    Oh, do remember to locktight your screws though. I still haven’t done that and sometimes find my strap screws wiggling loose.

    #622988
    PedroDelfuego
    Participant

    @russman wrote:

    Oh, do remember to locktight your screws though. I still haven’t done that and sometimes find my strap screws wiggling loose.

    +1 on that Russ

Viewing 20 posts - 201 through 220 (of 237 total)
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