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Rome Black Label 2020 Review by The Good Ride
The Rome Black Label is super expensive and we aren’t fans of the stretchy toe strap. That being said it does have many unique features like D30 in the base plate, It’s lighter than other upper-tier Rome bindings, has a mini disc that makes it easy to butter, and a really cool ankle strap adjuster than changes your support level. If this was $350 it would be a no brainer but at $549 it is a tough call.
Ethics Statement: We don’t get paid by the manufacturer to write these reviews. We do make money from the “Where To Buy” links, but this is our best attempt at an honest and objective review from an average riders’ perspective.
How This Review Happened: We borrowed this for an extended demo and then returned it.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs), Nick (Size 10, 160lbs, 5’8”)
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV, Burton Imperial
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers
Boards: Rome Ravine, Rome Agent
Highback Flex: Very nice easy twist to it but pretty firm pulling it back.
Binding to Boot Adjustability: The Rome Black label has a lot of adjustability to it. It has the standard high back rotation, forward lean, gas pedal adjustability and very good strap adjustability that allows you to center your boot in the binding. What is also cool is the ability to adjust the angle of the high back to match the angle of your legs. It also has the ability to adjust the angle of the ankle strap. It’s called “Pivot Mount.” It can sit high on your ankle to give lots of support/extra response or low to make it feel more skate like and less responsive. It’s a really cool feature.
Stance Width Adjustability: You should be able to center most boots in the suggested sizing range. That means you can turn the discs sideways with most boots to have lots of stance width options.
Ratchet System: Smooth and seem reliable.
Boot Support: As we said above, you have a unique option with the adjustable ankle strap angle. You can make it really supportive or really free. The toe strap doesn’t help with this job though. It just keeps stretching and never really feels like it’s locking in your boot. The ankle strap is mostly some sort of EVA foam that is soft and comfortable. None of us loved it and none of us hated it. If it wasn’t for the adjustable ankle strap angle the Rome Black Label would not have as much support. We couldn’t believe that the $330 cheaper Rome Crux had toe and ankle straps we liked better. Being pretty severe gear whores, we usually are attracted to the pricier gear too.
Turn Initiation/Response: When the ankle strap is up near the top of your ankle the Rome Black Label jams. It can really power pretty much any board well edge to edge.
Shock Absorption: The Rome Black Label has a very damp feel to it that makes the board underfoot feel less chattery. You have a lot of shock absorption but also D30 underfoot which forms an Exoskeleton on impact.
Feel Under Foot/Buttering: What is really cool about the Rome Black label is it has all the dampness and then some of the other full-size disc bindings like the Targa but a much better flex underfoot. The mini-disc along with less full-on contact seems to make the board flex better underfoot. Coming from the DOD we had at the same time to this you could feel a massive difference underfoot when it came to the boards overall flex. It was easier to butter on this. Then if you play around with the ankle strap angle you could get more freedom to lean into butters. Very cool.
So the Rome Black Label has a toe strap we aren’t into but almost everything else about this binding we have a Snow-Broner for. The only issue is the price. At $549 it should also have an onboard computer that makes you funnier and also corrects my grammar on this review.
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