Forums Bindings My Karakoram Review (now with pics)
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  • #573522
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    I haven’t tried sparks so my point of view is from an old voile set up. I tried my Karakorams for the first time yesterday. But I have been out once last week on my old setup too, just so I can remember clearly why it sucks.

    First impression, Wow. Way better than my old setup with the voile plates and bent metal bindings. My board felt 10lbs lighter. Skinning was easier for some reason. Not sure if it is how stiff the attachment is, or the axle system, or the low profile. Every step felt more locked in on the snow and I just slipped less.

    The transition to ride mode was the easiest I have done yet. I barely cleaned the snow off of the parts and all clipped together with ease. I tried to hose it up. And it still worked easily.

    Riding was the biggest improvement. I have always hated my Voile freeride. I have always felt that the tail was catchy and the board was unpredictable in varied conditions. The bindings were a huge improvement in the way the board rode. I never really gave the bindings much thought in the past. It was more of something that held your feet to the board and not much more. But with a splitboard, they are what gives the board its structure. The Karakoram system pulls the board together with the clamps and the bindings for less slop in the whole board. So maybe it was never my tail catching. Maybe it was the middle of the board flexing on the tail area and catching? All I know is it is gone now. It felt like a normal snowboard.

    The only downside to these is they are the first run of a brand new product. So they are still a bit rough around the edges. They are not anodized and the paint is a bit weak on the hoop portion. The machining on some of the plastic parts is a bit rough too.

    Mounting them was a bit like giving birth. At first I slapped them on and found they went right on, but they were not on right. They had some side to side play. To get the most out of these bindings they need to be mounted just as the instructions say. The screw heads on the heel plate behind the pin need to hit the back of the lower heel bracket. If not there will be play in the binding. To do this seems easy but it was not easy at all because of an interference with the middle pin bracket. I ended up bending the tab/ bracket in a few degrees. This gives clearance for the binding as it is swinging into ride mode and gives enough clearance to make the critical adjustment to the binding. I will post more pictures of this later. This mod is a must for anyone that has these bindings. Or it could just be something weird with my old voile board. After the the adjustments were made, I can not move them side to side on the board at all. Zero side to side or up and down motion. They are more solid feeling than the burton bindings on my solid board.

    So aside from some cosmetic stuff that will just get better in later runs, these things are the bomb. They work really well. The ease of transition and the rigidity of the board are worth the $$$. With time we will see how they hold up. I am totally impressed that the brothers at Karakoram got these to market and to my doorstep pretty much on time. For 2 guys to get that done is a lot of work. They have also beaten Spark and …………..Jones on delivery.

    #630784
    russman
    689 Posts

    Thanks for the review! Pics of your setup?

    @zerodog wrote:

    …….It felt like a normal snowboard…….

    That’s how I feel 😉

    #630785
    jlag
    118 Posts

    Thanks, that is a good quality review and will be helpful to others looking at throwing down mad $$$.

    JL

    #630786
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    Ok you asked and you got em.

    This is the critical adjustment. The heel stay screw needs to hit the tab of the heel bracket. This pulls the binding into the toe hook on the toe plate.

    To do this you need to adjust these screws on the toe section of the binding. Sliding this plate back until the rear screws contact the tabs.

    To be “able to” make this adjustment, I needed to bend the center tab a few degrees. This gives clearance for the adjustment, and lets the binding easily swing into position when you transition to ride mode. I gently did this with a large crescent wrench.

    With the binding in place.

    Without the binding

    I also eased this lower edge of the binding and the center pin with a file to make sure a square edge of the binding did not hit a square edge of the center tab when the binding swung into place. I did this before I bent the tabs, so you may or may not need to do this. I have the center pin stuck out a little so you can see the tiny relief.

    This all works smooth as hell now. No catching at all when clipping the binding into ride mode, and best of all no motion at all. Rock solid baby!

    #630787
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    Another day on the Karakorams. All I could say everytime I transitioned was “FuckinA”. No fighting with snow and pins. Just fast as shit. I need to start practicing transitioning without taking the bindings off my feet. At least from ride mode to tour mode is totally doable. Just need to try it and practice it. Great job guys!

    #630788
    frigginjeff
    17 Posts

    Z-dog…

    Thanks so much for your thorough post. I just finished making the “bend” modification to my split 30’s toe plate and now its slicker than 2 snails fornicating in a bucket of snot. Your pics and explanation was KISS (keep it simple stupid) and totally fixed my issues. :thumpsup:

    “Word” to the Klosters for making such a “tight” product. Literally.

    The tolerances were so close that even after “maxing-out” the “Toe Stay” screws, I was still too far off with the Heel-guide screw. The toe attachment was prohibiting the back 1/2 of the binding from seating properly. :banghead: Note: OK..I should say by “maxing” I mean “Minimizing” i.e bringing the the toe-set screws in as close as possible to the heel attachment piece).

    I have pics but cannot figure out how to attach them. Will do once I do.

    I cannot wait to get out on the snow…alas, NH is having a BAD snow year and my Solution 168 is one of the “bad batch” what has miss-set tour-mode mount inserts (see Post under Boards for more info if your 68 has the same issue. Josh at Solution is working with the Kloster boys on a fix and has been SUPER cool and accommodating :headbang: . If you are having issues with your 68 contact Josh…heel take good care of you!)

    Cheers!
    Jeff

    ~ Frigginjeff
    Ehhn yah tuhns, bub...

    2015 Karakoram Prime 1 binders
    2012 Jones Solution 168W
    2010 Burton Driver X
    Handlebar moustache

    #630789
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    What I found after mounting the bindings on 2 different brand boards is that the “standard” mounting holes for the bindings are not so standard in width. My Storm has a different fit than my Voile FR. But they both fit. Just different adjustments. Hopefully with the introduction of these new high performance binding offerings from Karakoram and Spark manufacturers will make the “standard” standard.

    #630790
    G-man
    3 Posts

    Z-dog…just wanted to give further props for the thorough post. Thanks! I just did the same bend trick and it worked perfectly. Yes, you’re right…apparently the hole spacings are not exactly standardized across boards.

    #630791
    mtsurfr
    48 Posts

    Im having a little issue with some slop between the binding/base. Ive tried adjusting the toe bar position to tighten things up as much as possible, but still a bit of play. Anyone else having this issue? Any ideas for solutions?

    #630792
    Flying Scotsman
    23 Posts

    Had my Karakorams for a couple of weeks now so managed 4 trips out so far. Got to say it has revolutionized my riding again. Switched board from the Voile Mojo to a DIY Flow Solitude and the KK bindings and it just inspires confidence for me. Pow riding was always OK but of variable conditions I used to struggle with my old setup. Now I feel confident and can manage the board so much easier.

    Still having a bit of trouble getting into ride mode but from ride to tour is really quick and and dummy proof. Can do transitions with thick gloves too which is nice.

    I have broken a ladder strap on the toe but I know the twins found this as an issue anyway.

    I’m giving big thumbs up, superb product. :thumbsup:

    #630793
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    @mtsurfr wrote:

    Im having a little issue with some slop between the binding/base. Ive tried adjusting the toe bar position to tighten things up as much as possible, but still a bit of play. Anyone else having this issue? Any ideas for solutions?

    The solution is in my first photo. You need the the 2 screws on the heel plate to be touching the 2 heel mount brackets on the board. If it isn’t up tight against it when clipped in, you will have slop. To do this on some boards you might need to bend your center tab a little bit, like I show in another photo. This gives you a tad more more to adjust and it gives you more room to swing the binding into place. Just make sure after you bend that the center pin has good engagement. So go with as little as you need.

    #630794
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    @Flying Scotsman wrote:

    Had my Karakorams for a couple of weeks now so managed 4 trips out so far. Got to say it has revolutionized my riding again. Switched board from the Voile Mojo to a DIY Flow Solitude and the KK bindings and it just inspires confidence for me. Pow riding was always OK but of variable conditions I used to struggle with my old setup. Now I feel confident and can manage the board so much easier.

    Still having a bit of trouble getting into ride mode but from ride to tour is really quick and and dummy proof. Can do transitions with thick gloves too which is nice.

    I have broken a ladder strap on the toe but I know the twins found this as an issue anyway.

    I’m giving big thumbs up, superb product. :thumbsup:

    What troubles you having going back to ride mode? I find this to be as easy as tour mode. Are you having some center mounting tab interference? When I first mounted mine I had this, that is why I bent mine a little. And a little goes a LONG way. That fit is close. So a few degrees can make all the difference in the world for letting the binding swing into place when you clip it into ride mode.

    #630795
    Professor cookie
    29 Posts

    Zerodog, out of curiosty what is the width between your inserts? mine are 123mm-ish(prior khyber 170, L karakorams). the bindings slide neatly in, but the posts that interface with the right board half mounting plate dont make it past the bevels.

    #630796
    zerodog
    93 Posts

    P Cookie. Sorry for the slow reply. Haven’t looked on SB.com in a while. Post a picture. I am not sure what fit your are referring to. I will measure my board. But I am sure you have the adjustment you need somewhere. You might need to un-bolt the toe piece and slide it to the other mounting position to get the width you need to make things tight.

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