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Hanwag Men's Banks SF Extra GT
|MEC Mountain Equipment Company Ltd|
Tacx Flux 2 Smart Trainer
Flux SF 2016 - 2014 Review by The Good Ride
The Flux SF is pretty much the Flux DM with a little less of a snappy responsive feel but for the money, it’s one of the better bindings in the “pretty damn responsive category” that you can get your hands on. Even though it’s really responsive we find this works with a wide variety of boards.
2016 Flux SF Binding Video Review
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. No one is perfect and we do make money from the “Where To Buy” links below, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
The big change to the 2016 Flux SF is the ankle strap, It’s thinner and lighter but still provides that great locked in feel on your boot.
Flux SF Past Reviews
2014 and 2015 Flux SF Snowboard Binding Review
So the 2015 Flux SF has only a few minor upgrades. The 15 Flux SF has a slightly changed ankle strap that tapers more on the sides and a new toe strap that fits over the toe better than the previous toe strap while using less material. Other than that the ride is the same.
Riders: James, Peter, Mike, Stephen, Jimbo, Eli, Mary and Stephen
Boots: Burton Ion, Burton SLX, Burton Imperial, Nike Kaiju, Burton Ruler, Nike Lunarendore
Boards: Jones Mountain Twin, Yes Greats, Rossignol One Magtek, Never Summer Cobra, Lib Tech Lando Phoenix, Lib Tech Hot Knife, Nidecker Megalight, Arbor A-Frame and many many more boards.
Flex: So the flex has changed a little from size to size but to us our size medium was exactly the same as the SF45. I think the others have slightly different flexes based on the size of the riders. It still feels really stiff when you try to twist it but it does have a little bit of give at the top when pulling it straight back. You could call it stiff or med/stiff. Either way you would be right.
2014 Weight: 4.2lbs
Adjustability: Flux makes almost everything tooless and that is outstanding. You can adjust everything but the disc on the fly without a tool and that is really good.
Comfort: Flux makes comfortable bindings that have comfortable ankle straps and good fitting toe straps. They fit very well when it comes to most boots and most will not have issues.
Turn Initiation: The Flux SF has a very smooth but very quick response edge to edge and despite the somewhat lower high back it’s very balanced between the heel and toe. If you flexed the high back in a store you wouldn’t think it’s as fast edge to edge as it is. It’s a great binding for someone who likes technical camber ride all the way down to a hybrid shape that has moderate response. It’s the kind of binding I like to use when I’m demoing an aggressive board.
Buttering: So with the little stoppers off on the side the SF makes it a bit better to butter but the entire base plate is in full contact with the board. Even with the lack of a reduced dead spot the supportive ankle strap helps you get some pretty solid leverage on the board for a butter or press. It’s a different feel compared to mini disc bindings and Burton Re:Flex bindings but the end result is similar.
Boot Support: The Flux SF really locks in your boot and it’s near the top or at the top of the industry when it comes to this. The lack of a lot of padding in the heel combined with the very form fitting ankle strap makes for some serious hold without any real pressure points or the need to really crank it down. Also all Flux ankle straps are mounted on the inside of the heel loop so its even more form fitting around the boot. Very well done.
Ratchet System: The ratchet system is top notch and none of us noticed anything about it. It came on and off easy.
Shock Absorption: This is the one problem here. We’d like to see much more shock absorption because there is a noticeable difference compared to most other bindings. It’s good to have a shock absorbent pair of boots on you if you choose these bindings. If they fixed the problem with the lack of shock absorption I would have zero issues with these bindings.
**If they added about twice the EVA foam on the top of the heel that is there now it would help. I also think it would be a great idea to utilize the removable heel pad and create a super soft urethane heel pad accessory for those that want more shock absorption but those that don’t’ want to give up an ounce of response can keep the existing heel cup. Since it’s removable they might as well make it interchangeable. It think the binding would still have the trademark Flux personality but just help those that want more shock absorption enjoy these bindings more.
So aside from shock absorption this is an exceptional binding for those who want the best in support and response for this price range. If you absolutely have to have the lightest and the best the Flux DM is going to be the binding but for most this will do the job.
2014 Binding Comparison
Flux SF Images
Flux Company Information
Flux SF User Reviews
What can I say ......I ride the 2015 model like you see on the left side in the photo. Watch the video review ! Everything James said is correct ! I love these responsive bindings on my Ripsaw!
The 2016 Diodes I was riding bevor have to go....sorry Burton.
Extraordinary edge-to-edge performance and control but virtually no dampening
Out of the box: very light binding - lighter than several top models of other brands. But, apart from the discs and screws nothing else! If you ever saw the cool suitcase of a Ride binding includind all the tuning parts, the dull carton box and the poor package Flux offers is a bit disappointing, especially considering the price.
On the workbench: adjustability: very good: both straps incl. fine tuning, twistable high back, mostly even tool less. Installation was fine. Although everything is plastic, the binding doesn't look cheap.
On the slope. I found 2 features very remarkable. First of all its edge-to-edge performance. Really extraordinary! It would be a bit exaggerated to say it's close to a hard boot binding, but it is the best performance I saw in terms of soft boot bindings! Boot support is also far beyond average without becoming uncomfortable (regarding the ankle strap). The ankle strap is really very good, similar to the one of the Burton Diode (which is even a bit broader). I was a bit sceptic as I saw the toe strap, but it does its job very well - no complaints.
I rode the Flux on artificial snow, i.e. harder than hardpack, which is not the ideal surface for softboot carving, Nonetheless, the board didn't chatter, which partly comes from the dampening of the bindings (to other parts from the board and the greatest part from the driver ;-)). I was able to transfer plenty of power to the edges. Compared to an overdamped binding like e.g. the Ride El Hefe, it cost far less energy to do so. Controlling the board was plain vanilla! In slushy, bumpy conditions the same result: even there I could set my carves precisely and full control over the board, regardless of the speed.
The drawbacks: as already stated in the videos, dampening is virtually nonexistent. On this "even-harder-pack" I felt every chunk of ice on the slope, especially on the heel-side. After 1 hour, my left achilles tendon started aching. Even my bomb-proof full metal hard boot step-in binding combined with my hard boot offer more dampening. As Flux obviously ignores this problem consequently, I'll try to solve it on my own. I think, some mm of firm foam or a thin urethane plate below the binding could already make a difference.
Stepping in: compared to e.g. the Diode it is more difficult to get into it. Especially threading the ankle strap takes its time as the tooth belt often stucks in the attachment of the ratchet.
Over all, the best SB binding I rode for carving so far. I can recommend it for big mountain use, carving, fast riding on the slopes. Due to its firmness and missing dampening, I wouldn't use it for tricks, jumps or similar.