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Randy Kight

New Binding purchase assistance

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Hello everyone...hope all are well.  Wanted to throw a few questions out there to get my current setup, or lack thereof, moving forward.

After trying out some Sidewinders, a came to realize I really like toe lift and heel lift without much cant fore or aft.  After reading many of the threads on here about such topics, and after re-reading Beckman's article on Binding Setup, (fantastic by the way!) I came to realize I've been woefully short of a good setup for many years.  All my years of riding plates/hb's, I've always used the Burton 7* unicant wedge under rear, flat up front, and did not realize how painful/unbalanced I was until I brought the front toe up a few degrees.  My current interest is either a set of Sidewinders or F2's, where I can play with toe and heel lift as needed, making sure I don't get into something too stiff...tried Fin's TD1 years ago, both stepin and standard, and it was way to much for my riding.

I had purchased a set of Sidewinders a few years back, liked the softness and comfort of them, but did not get much time on the snow during that time, and foolishly sold them on here.  Tried like hell to buy a new pair of boots and another pair of SW's last year, but it was just too damn difficult/time consuming to get anyone at Bomber to take my money.  So, my current thoughts moving forward is either a set of F2's of some sort, or another set of SW's.  I do like simplicity, which my old/current set of Burton/Ibex offer.  Here are my questions about this, and I appreciate the time and information in advance.

I've never had/seen/setup F2's.  I'm interested in their supposed simplistic design (similar to my Burton/Ibex), and very interested in what I hear is pretty easy to do regarding toe and heel lifting, if that is truly the case.  I'm not at all interested in fabricating to make things work, as I just don't have the tools, etc., so I'm hoping all is easy to do out the box.

1. F2 Ti Race: Compared to my Burtons, are these much stiffer, or more rigid?  How about compared to SW's.?  

2. F2 Ti Race: What comes in the box regarding shims?  How readily can I add a few degrees of toe lift and maybe 3-4 degrees under heel...with, or without cant?  

3. F2 Intec Titanflex: I'm interested in these from a convenience and potentially a softer setup, but concerned about being to twitchy/stiff...as I found out from my TD1 Stepins many years ago.  Given the build on these, I see they may be, in theory, a little softness built into these compared to others, but for those that have played around with these, are they close to the SW's in give/play, or is there a noticeable difference in being a more stiff/unforgiving interface?

4. F2 Intec Titanflex: The descriptions of these would seem to indicate more customizations to lift/cant, etc. than the F2 Ti Race...Would this be true?

5: F2: Binding setup regarding lift/cant, etc.: Can anyone point me to a video, or series of pictures, that would illustrate what these offer and how to go about setting these up?  This would be huge to get a visual on my end.  Haven't had much luck in my searches finding such.

6: TD3 SW's: If I decide, based on opinions/information expressed here regarding the F2's, to go this route again, there is definitely a large price difference...and I'd be foolish not to bring this into consideration.  I'm assuming I'll be able to purchase these at some point in time.  I have read a little about the possibility of Fin/Michelle taking back over their creation, and I hope this is true.  It's unfortunate what seemed to have happened, but would explain my troubles in trying to place orders last year.   

FYI on me...I'm not as aggressive as I used to be, and ride small mountains here in VA and WV.  My current board is an old Volkl Spline 164 and usually rid mellow angles, 45-50 forward, 35-40 aft, and this is mainly due to riding a 91 Burton M6 with fixed 45 - 35 Vari-plates and Nordica SBH for ever.  I'm about 230lbs.  

 

I know...bunch of questions, but I just can't get my hands on any of this stuff where I am, and am trying to limit any surprises up front.  

All the best...

Randy

 

  

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54 minutes ago, Randy Kight said:

Hello everyone...hope all are well.  Wanted to throw a few questions out there to get my current setup, or lack thereof, moving forward.

After trying out some Sidewinders, a came to realize I really like toe lift and heel lift without much cant fore or aft.  After reading many of the threads on here about such topics, and after re-reading Beckman's article on Binding Setup, (fantastic by the way!) I came to realize I've been woefully short of a good setup for many years.  All my years of riding plates/hb's, I've always used the Burton 7* unicant wedge under rear, flat up front, and did not realize how painful/unbalanced I was until I brought the front toe up a few degrees.  My current interest is either a set of Sidewinders or F2's, where I can play with toe and heel lift as needed, making sure I don't get into something too stiff...tried Fin's TD1 years ago, both stepin and standard, and it was way to much for my riding.

I had purchased a set of Sidewinders a few years back, liked the softness and comfort of them, but did not get much time on the snow during that time, and foolishly sold them on here.  Tried like hell to buy a new pair of boots and another pair of SW's last year, but it was just too damn difficult/time consuming to get anyone at Bomber to take my money.  So, my current thoughts moving forward is either a set of F2's of some sort, or another set of SW's.  I do like simplicity, which my old/current set of Burton/Ibex offer.  Here are my questions about this, and I appreciate the time and information in advance.

I've never had/seen/setup F2's.  I'm interested in their supposed simplistic design (similar to my Burton/Ibex), and very interested in what I hear is pretty easy to do regarding toe and heel lifting, if that is truly the case.  I'm not at all interested in fabricating to make things work, as I just don't have the tools, etc., so I'm hoping all is easy to do out the box.

1. F2 Ti Race: Compared to my Burtons, are these much stiffer, or more rigid?  How about compared to SW's.?  

Rubber bands are stiffer than Burton Bindings, F2 ti race, well, I use the Intec system, the front bail can be set tight or loose, which makes the binding stiff or loose, the non-intec has a front clamp sucker si I assume only stiff, no adjustment.

2. F2 Ti Race: What comes in the box regarding shims?  How readily can I add a few degrees of toe lift and maybe 3-4 degrees under heel...with, or without cant?  

Two risers, two shims for the other side of the binding from the risers to ramp the boots to the risers, four cants.

3. F2 Intec Titanflex: I'm interested in these from a convenience and potentially a softer setup, but concerned about being to twitchy/stiff...as I found out from my TD1 Stepins many years ago.  Given the build on these, I see they may be, in theory, a little softness built into these compared to others, but for those that have played around with these, are they close to the SW's in give/play, or is there a noticeable difference in being a more stiff/unforgiving interface?

Titanflex bindings are inheritly adjustable to be stiff or very soft, I use intec and the front toe bail can be very loose or very tight, and the binding has pads under toe and heel to make it similar to the feel of sidewinders.

54 minutes ago, Randy Kight said:

4. F2 Intec Titanflex: The descriptions of these would seem to indicate more customizations to lift/cant, etc. than the F2 Ti Race...Would this be true?

Titanflex and race ti have the same parts for setup, the titanflex is simply 1/2" higher off the board and gives side to side play, like the sidewinder.

5: F2: Binding setup regarding lift/cant, etc.: Can anyone point me to a video, or series of pictures, that would illustrate what these offer and how to go about setting these up?  This would be huge to get a visual on my end.  Haven't had much luck in my searches finding such.

Do a google search for F2 bindings then click images, I did, it shows you the lift and cant kits, I tried to copy and post but no luck

6: TD3 SW's: If I decide, based on opinions/information expressed here regarding the F2's, to go this route again, there is definitely a large price difference...and I'd be foolish not to bring this into consideration.  I'm assuming I'll be able to purchase these at some point in time.  I have read a little about the possibility of Fin/Michelle taking back over their creation, and I hope this is true.  It's unfortunate what seemed to have happened, but would explain my troubles in trying to place orders last year.   

The titanflex is more expensive than the regular F2, btw, extra shim-cant kts can be bought for exact customization, check YYZ

 

 

  

 

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I've recently been through a learning cycle with the F2s,  so I can address a couple of your questions relating to F2 Race and Intec bindings, but since I'm about 60 pounds lighter than you I can't speak to flex comparisons.

First thing about the F2s are that the stock canting options are limited: the cant shims are 4*.  If that works for you then you're golden, if not, you're into custom territory.  I used to run 1* outward cant on my front foot on TD3 step-ins, but have found I can run no cant once I switched to F2 Race.  It may be that the flex provided by the heel and toe bails on the Race accommodates the difference.

You'll need a pozidrive #3 bit to work with the F2s (on amazon if you can't find one locally), if you use a phillips you'll destroy the bolt heads in short order.  

What's in the box: for both the Race Titanium and Intec Titanium (don't know about either Titanflex models), you'll get a single lift kit that includes a large and small ramp and 3 bolts (two 37mm, and one 27mm), and a 4-pack of cant shims.  The large and small ramps are for heel/toe on the same foot, and the 4-pack will provide enough shims for 4* canting of both feet.  If you're like me and want to have both toe lift in the front and heel lift in the back, you'll need to order a second lift kit when you buy the bindings, or ensure that the set you by used has two lift kits - make sure it's not just 2 ramps (1 lg and 1 small).

The 37mm bolts are to mount the large ramp under the toe or heel piece. The 27mm third bolt in the lift kit is a mystery until you go to combine a cant wedge with a small ramp.  The stock bolts are 22m long.  When you stack a cant wedge on top of the small ramp, the 22m bolt on the the taller side of the cant wedge should be replaced by the 27mm provided in the kit to provide enough thread engagement.

One thing that you can do to customize the lift is to stack opposing cant wedges so that they cancel each other out but still make a small flat stack.  I wear UPZ boots and use both heel and toe lift, and I found that the extra boot ramp in these boots made the lift angles not quite right, too much in the rear heel and not enough in the front toe.

I was able to stack two cant wedges under the large ramp to give more lift in the front toe using the 37mm bolts - still enough thread.  I was also able to stack the remaining two cant wedges under the small ramp at the rear toe to reduce the heel lift on the rear foot.  To do this I had to replace both the 22mm bolts on the rear toe with the two 27mm bolts that I had from the one lift kit that came in the box, and the second lift kit that I had ordered when I bought the bindings from Donek.

If I also wanted to cant either foot with the stock 4* wedges, then I'd be into custom territory, but that would most likely be finding 30mm and 40mm truss head bolts (the bolt heads need to fit under the sliding part of the toe/heel pieces), and I'm guessing that I probably wouldn't need to grind them.

Here you can see the large and small ramps under the front toe and heel, and the flat stack of 2 wedges under the front toe to increase the toe lift, and at the rear foot, the cant wedges stacked under the toe to reduce the heel lift.  

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I really love the bail f2 race titaniums.  People give them crap for being plastic but they are tough. The intec version does not share even remotely the same lovely flex. More parts support for f2 as well in the current market. Kind of a pain to get dialed in but once you do it's set and forget. 

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Thanks to all!  Sincerely appreciate the time. Jburk, great pics!  

I’m curious, when running only toe lift, or heel lift for that matter, does the boot sole no longer run flat on entire surface of the pad that has been raised?  Seems strange that would be the case...

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The small ramp opposite the larger one (they’re meant to be installed as a pair on the same foot) helps keep the two surfaces ~roughly~ coplanar. It’s rarely perfect, but in practice seems close  enough for government work.

Any potential misalignment should have less effect as the toe and heel pieces move farther apart  I’m guessing your shoe size is on the larger end of the scale  I’m a mp26 in UPZ, so a short sole length; I’ve had the toe and heel pieces quite close together and not noticed an issue, but maybe I’m just not very observant.

Resulting lift angles on the F2s vary as the spacing between heel and toe changes, so it’s hard to say “my toe lift is 4.2*” without an external measuring device. Without going custom, you get what’s offered by the combination of the size of the large ramp, the spacing between toe and heel, plus or minus the optional flat stack.  

Most people seem to find a working solution, this may be because I think small variances in lift angles are better tolerated than small variances in cant due to ankle joint anatomy, lift angles that are close enough are good enough. My 2 cents, following my advice may cause death, paralysis, or a tax audit by the IRS. 

I wish I could cant my front foot outward, but the 4* is too much, I get foot pain. No cant seems to be working for me, but I’d give someone else’s left arm for a set of 1* or 1.5 wedges. 

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My favourite binding is the standard, plastic F2 Race Titanium, although there are both stiffer and softer bindings in the house. No reliability issues with the F2s so far.

I have bought an extra set of lift wedges (to get toe lift with UPZ boots) for every set of F2 bindings that I own. No idea why they only provide one set of lift wedges with the bindings. 

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Lift wedges for the toe are also easy to make out of wood, HMWP or nearly anything else.  I was going to order a couple of sets of the F2 wedges but decided to make my own so I could get just the degrees I wanted.  F2s are very easy to work with if you're a DIYer.

I am going to try a Catek on the front and Intec Titanflex F2 on the rear to give me an extra set of bindings for my quiver.

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Have you ever looked into SG bindings?

It functions very very similar to the F2 but has more advantage than F2:

- All the nut/bolt utilize 4mm hex drive and it is easier to manage than Pozi drive that F2 uses. Also less likeliness of stripping it with hex drive.

- It comes with 2 lift blocks unlike F2's just 1. Also it comes with multiple cant wedges so the set up is pretty adjustable for lift/cant.

- Changing lift/cant is easier on SG bindings. In F2, you have to slide the toe or heel block to access screws to change lift/cant but in SG, the bolts are accessible from under the bindings without moving the toe/heel blocks.

- SG is stiffer than F2 unless you buy the CNC version of F2. but not overly stiff.

 

One downside is the cost, SG is more expensive than F2. 

 

I liked Bomber TD3 SW but it was difficult to center my new boots with SW. I've had burton (ibex), F2, bomber (TD3 SW, TD2) and SG, and so far I like the SG the best. I have 2 sets of SG binding on 2 different board.

Edited by yamifumi

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I'm usually in the minority in this but if you go with F2 I'd recommend also picking up a bag of extra T-nuts (Donek sells them) and do annual inspection of your bindings.  Great bindings though. 

@jburk That's a helluva lotta toe lift you got there, looks like my back heel!  Am I missing out on some magic by only running a teeny amount of time  lift in my front foot (two stacked cant wedges)?  

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16 minutes ago, st_lupo said:

@jburk That's a helluva lotta toe lift you got there, looks like my back heel!

With the UPZ internal boot ramp in the heel it works out to not as much lift as it looks.  Do you wear Deeluxe or HSPs?

Going with this setup (extra flat stack) in front and rear toe has been the missing piece for me in getting dialed in. Up until now this season for the first 13 days I was wiped by 9000 feet of vertical. I’ve got two days on this new setup, first day was 11.5k and still had gas in the tank, today was 18.5k, rode until the lifts closed and could have kept going. 

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Corrosion in the hardware (t-nuts or bolts) is a really bad, really CORRECTABLE Failure-Point in every screw-Fore/Aft-adjust Binding I've ever seen!!! All it takes, folks, is $1, per Binding, at the point of manufacture, to Ensure YOU don't get Nixon+Chinese Nickel+Iron version of what's Supposed To Be STAINLESS STEEL of a Hardened Tempur. Sorry, ya'll (especially, you,Jack), but I Didn't Vote GOP, not for 30 yrs., because I GOT IT; Cheap is CHEAP, and IT KILLS. Look at the balcony failure in Witchita, circa '84, Chinese/Nixon (and NO, I WILL NOT SEPERATE those two; Collusion, pure and deadly, and Simple;wrecked our WORLD economy), so CHEAP Via China = YOUR PROBLEM/Inury/death. whichever is a lesser lawsuit... BUY PARTS WITH KNOWING WHERE, HOW THEY'RE MADE!  QUIT SUPPORTING WAL-MART's ECONOMIC BASE of CHINA!

 

 

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Sorry PSR, but what the hell does the GOP have to do with cheap screws? (fair disclosure.. we are buds, PSR and I)

For my entire life, I have had to deal with shit grade 3 metal. At my age, this has been many a D or R as POTUS, and where the house and senate were united or split. The D or R does not make the CEO buy cheap metal, their purchasing department does so to save costs.

 

Let's step away from politics and call a spade a spade here. Companies who choose the line of saving $0.30 on their product with cheap shit parts simply need to go out of business by us leaving them in droves. Whether Walmart or some American company, there is no excuse.Toyota learned that back in the 70's, as they were the cheap shit foreign car company who was getting beaten by the American manufacturers all day long. They saw the market for fuel economy, and retooled their plants to be the quality they are today. Now, they dominate the market due to this quality, and having a product people want. This had nothing to do with the D or R, but more decided by market pressured and the buying power of the consumer.

Lets do the same lesson to these manufacturers. 

Edited by TVR
cannot spell

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1 hour ago, TVR said:

Companies who choose the line of saving $0.30 on their product with cheap shit parts simply need to go out of business by us leaving them in droves.

At a previous company, the purchasing department decided to buy non-graded weld-in studs to save a few bucks.  Our minimum standard was grade 8 hardware, but purchasing reasoned that studs were not hardware.  The field replacements cost a few thousand times more than the savings per stud.  Some lessons hurt more than others.  

No one was hurt, but I think a few contractors made decent money.  

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UPZboots.com sells Snowpro bindings which are similar in design to F2's where you're still fiddling with various wedges and blocks and different length screws to dial in your lift/cant. They appear to be more substantial than F2's, and like F2's, easy to adjust for centering your boots over the board edges. I had a few pairs long ago and I'm sure there was some flex and rocking going on, but couldn't say if it's the same amount of flex as you get with F2's.

I used tropical hardwood scraps to make custom blocks and bought a bag of long SS screws so I could cut them to the appropriate length for the blocks. I used a belt sander in a vise and held the wood block to it until I got the angle I wanted. 

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12 hours ago, yamifumi said:

Have you ever looked into SG bindings?

I see your profile says you’re in New Mexico. Where do you buy these in North America, do you get them from European sites and pay shipping and duty?

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1 hour ago, jburk said:

I see your profile says you’re in New Mexico. Where do you buy these in North America, do you get them from European sites and pay shipping and duty?

I got it directly through SG (I dont think anybody sells in USA). There is contact Email on the website and tell them that you want to by binding/board/etc. They will get back to you. It was a risk buying from overseas but they have good customer service.

Edited by yamifumi

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3 minutes ago, yamifumi said:

I got it directly through SG (I dont think anybody sells in USA). There is contact Email on the website and tell them that you want to by binding/board/etc. They will get back to you. It was a risk buying from overseas but they have good customer service.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy something off the website of an established and well-known European vendor like SG; if we didn't have the awesome custom options in NA offered by Donek, Coiler, Thirst, etc., (and I had the budget, maybe next year...), I'd certainly be looking at buying a FullCarve 163 from them.

But €350 for the bindings (~$430 US), + shipping?  Ouch.  As much as I dislike pozidriv and wish the h/w on the F2s was 4mm hex, that's a hard argument to win (for me).  They do seem nice though.  And I curse every time I have to move the toe/heel blocks all the way to expose the bolt heads on the F2s.

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10 minutes ago, jburk said:

I wouldn't hesitate to buy something off the website of an established and well-known European vendor like SG; if we didn't have the awesome custom options in NA offered by Donek, Coiler, Thirst, etc., (and I had the budget, maybe next year...), I'd certainly be looking at buying a FullCarve 163 from them.

But €350 for the bindings (~$430 US), + shipping?  Ouch.  As much as I dislike pozidriv and wish the h/w on the F2s was 4mm hex, that's a hard argument to win (for me).  They do seem nice though.  And I curse every time I have to move the toe/heel blocks all the way to expose the bolt heads on the F2s.

I agree, it was hefty price with shipping but I wanted to have a binding that I can change the block easily as I wanted to try different set ups (cant, lift, stance, set back). I tried with F2 and it was just a nightmare. I can carry very small L-hexagonal key in my pocket and adjust small amount while on the mountain but there is no way I can carry pozi drive in my pocket. To me, it was worth extra $$ and try diffrent set ups that I really liked. And the rubber on the F2 is not so good and the metal part that holds the bolts for toe/heel block dug into the board ( >_<).

I heard Full carve is awesome and fun. I was tempted to buy it but went with Donek and Coiler.

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13 hours ago, jburk said:

With the UPZ internal boot ramp in the heel it works out to not as much lift as it looks.  Do you wear Deeluxe or HSPs?

Going with this setup (extra flat stack) in front and rear toe has been the missing piece for me in getting dialed in. Up until now this season for the first 13 days I was wiped by 9000 feet of vertical. I’ve got two days on this new setup, first day was 11.5k and still had gas in the tank, today was 18.5k, rode until the lifts closed and could have kept going. 

Good to hear your vertical distance numbers are rising. You'll know you're dialled in when that 11.5k is in metres. 

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7 hours ago, jburk said:

I see your profile says you’re in New Mexico. Where do you buy these in North America, do you get them from European sites and pay shipping and duty?

Chances are good that you can get these here in the states too, From All Boards Sports. I haven't been there in a while to know for sure but Bola sells SG so I would assume he can get them.

 

Ink

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Once again, huge thank you to all. Spoke with S Martin at Donek yesterday...great guy.  I’m interested in the F2 Ti Race, but have to say the SG’s look nice.  

Having said above, I’d be tempted to buy another pair of SW’s if the store was open. But these make the SG’s look cheap by comparison. I wish I could demo this stuff!  Damn!

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