Binding Model: Bent Metal Joint
Binding Size: Medium
Stance and Angles: Goofy, 21in wide, 15/-3
Board Used: Mostly on my Rome Agent Alek 155, but also quick demo’s on the Niche Story, Niche Aether, Niche Maelstrom, Lib Lost Rocket, and Lib Ejack.
Boot Used: DC Tucknee
Boot Size: 8
Rider Weight: 155lbs
Location: Breck on the Alek, Copper on the others.
Conditions: Breck was early spring conditions with good snow. Pretty prime early spring conditions where the snow was soft and good, but hadn’t quite turned into slush soup. Copper was mid-winter with good snow. Little pockets of fresh to be found, but overall just your average mid winter Colorado conditions.
Binding Adjustability: Not all that much going on. The straps are on tooless bolts that you spin out, adjust the length, and bolt back down. The highback forward lean is the only holdout from the last generation of Bent Metal, just a square with an offset mounting hole that you spin to get different forward leans. It’s extremely simple and works.
Straps: All plastic with no foams or rubbers to be seen. They are heavily 3D shaped and actually do a pretty good job of molding around your boot. The ankle strap is more towards the middle flex side of things with more emphasis on movement than support and power. The toe strap is as simple as it gets with an open window between two plastic bands. It allows the toe of any boot to poke through and stays put. Sometimes simpler is just better.
Ratchets: The only thing to really mention is the nice sound they make. Not sure why they sound different than everyone else’s ratchets, but they do, and it’s nice. Other than that they worked as a ratchet should and went otherwise unnoticed, which is a good thing.
Highbacks: On the more movement side of responsive. It’s a classic nylon construction with a big window at the top. There is just a bit of flex at the very top to keep the highback from feeling to intrusive and there is a nice cupped shape to it. It’s stiff enough to always deliver, but definitely a little more geared towards freedom of movement.
Binding Flex: Freedom of movement is the best way to talk about the flex. The unibody frame feels comfortable to be in and the slightly more flexible strap and more movement oriented highback meant I was relatively unhindered moving around on top of the board, but it never felt sloppy.
Ride: Drive plates are truly the story here. In the joints they are using their “boron” construction. No clue what that really means, but they feel similar to the basalt ones in the Transfer. The story for me with drive plates is really getting the best of both board feel and damping. It’s like riding a super damp board, but since the board itself isn’t offering the damping you still get to ride something lively. I am a fan.
Rider in Mind: Someone looking for a less frills get the job done binding. It’s not for the heavy chargers or freeriders, but anyone looking for something to cruise on or get loose with will like these.
Personal Thoughts: I still tend to prefer the Transfer over these for the extra power and response of the aluminium heelcup, but overall this was a really solid binding and a great way to get into the great feel of drive plates at a lower cost. On top of that, with no adjustable heelcup and no foam or rubber in the straps, there is just about nothing to degrade or wear down or come loose on these. So if you are super hard on your gear but don’t want a stiff beefier binding, these are worth looking at.