Binding Model: Ride Rodeo
Binding Size: Med
Stance and Angles: Goody, 21in wide, 9/-9
Board Used: Niche Theme 157
Boot Used: Ride Fuse
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Location: Arapahoe Basin
Conditions: Late spring, semi firm in the morning turning to slush corn by mid-day.
Binding Adjustability: The tray and heelcup or the frame are separate and the heelcup slides forward/backward for different boot sizes. It works well and I was able to get everything adjusted with ease. The straps are on cams that are a little stiff to pop open, but are otherwise easy to use and get your straps centered.
Straps: The toe strap is super solid. The urethane mesh does a fantastic job conforming to any boot shape, gripping the toe box, and staying put. I never had to readjust anything due to slippage. The new design eliminates any urethane webbing from surrounding the support strands and has done wonders to eliminate webbing blowouts.
Ratchets: Work smooth on and off without any binding or slipping.
Highbacks: A new solid one piece highback that tapers towards the top. Provides a little bit of flex and give up top to keep things tweakable and is super solid and supportive down low. It has a little bit of a flatter shape up top to help aid the freestyle feel.
Binding Flex: The frames and heelcups are full aluminium so while there is some flex, it’s very minimal. Board flex comes from how small of a foot print they have on top of the board as well as the mini disc. Overall it’s a rigid and supportive frame. The ankle strap has some good give to it. It really helps define the Rodeo as more of a freestyle oriented binding but there is still enough meat there to keep it responsive.
Ride: The footbeds have been minimized a bit from previous years so you do get a touch more board feel. Now, aluminium isn’t damp, so especially with the now slimmer footbeds you feel what’s coming up from the board. Smoother riding boots help. I’ve never had any qualms with it but I personally like the feedback.
Rider in Mind: Freestyle all mountain ride everything and everywhere.
Personal Thoughts: I actually really enjoyed these. I like the more rigid higher feedback feel aluminium gives and the straps were comfy and the right blend of soft and supportive that I like. There is also a limited version of the Rodeo that has a full webbing ankle strap that rides a little stiffer and has a similarly shaped but softer highback. I actually think it would make more sense based on how they both rode the swap ankle straps. Or swap the highbacks. Basically put the stiffer strap with the stiffer highback.
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*Disclaimer this binding did not change for 2018 so we carried the 2017 review over.*