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Union Falcor 2020 - 2018 Review by The Good Ride
The Union Falcor is our most recommendable binding in the upper tier of Unions Line. For 2020 it got a new more supportive ankle strap and also has a damper material at the base plate than 2019. It is a nice balance between response and butterabilty that we feel a lot of people looking for a responsive binding will enjoy.
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. We borrowed this for a day and then returned it. We had a couple of laps at a frantic manic demo day. We liked it so much we asked to keep it (we only do this with our favorites). After a demo, we liked it so much we bought it. We spent our precious Good Ride dollars to buy this and review it.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 185-195lbs), Jimbo (Size 11, 5’11” 160lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs), Steph, Jack, Kyle, Stephen, Ginger, Mary, Grant (Size 11 6’ 160lbs), Zobel (Size 11.5, 6’ 180lbs),
Boots: Adidas Tactical ADV
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers Lite, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Boards: Gentemstick Mantaray 156, Korua Pencil, Korua Dart, Korua Otto, Lib Tech Lost Rocket, Yes Optimistic, Yes Greats, Yes Pick Your Line, Jones Mountain Twin, Jones Ultra Mountain Twin, Jones Flagship, Jones Hovercraft, Loaded Algernon, Burton Flight Attendant, Gnu Mulair, Capita Mercury, Rome Powder Division 153 and a ton of other boards.
Highback Flex: Pretty stiff pulling it straight back but more twist than you would think.
Binding to Boot Adjustability: So there is one complaint with the Falcor for those who have a size right on the border. For example if you are on the border between medium and large you might have to push the heel loop all the way in or out. If so, you won’t be able to rotate your high backs. If you are right in the middle of the recommended sizing then all you have to do is push in the heel loop on one side to get some high back rotation. Some won’t mind if you don’t have it but some with medium to bigger calves might feel some calf bite. It twists pretty well for a stiffer flexing high back but not enough to completely eliminate calf bite.
Stance Width Adjustability: The mini-discs that the Union Falcor can get the right stance width for most riders if you can center your boot in the binding.
Comfort: Very comfortable every year we tried it.
Boot Support: The toe strap has always been great at pulling the boot into the heel cup but the real talking point for 2020 is the new ankle strap. It’s bigger than last year and makes the Union Falcor just as supportive as Burton and Flux bindings. I really liked the 2019 ankle strap a lot but this steps it up a good bit.
Turn Initiation: Very fast edge to edge and it’s not recommended to partner up with quicker turning boards. It could overpower them a bit.
Buttering: The new more rubbery denser material underfoot makes it little less easy to butter this year compared to the 2019 Union Falcor but it still has a lot of flex underfoot.
Ratchet System: Smooth and easy. Very reliable and really comes on and off very well.
Shock Absorption: So the new more rubbery like dampening material at the bottom of the Union Falcor 2020 makes it a little bit less easy to butter but it sure dampens the ride a good bit compared to the 2019 model. Last year it seemed like you could get a damper ride from the Union Strata which didn’t seem right. This year it’s dampness matches the Strata and also is more appropriate for going bigger which is what this binding likes to do.
So all in all the improvement in the more damp base plate and also the more supportive ankle strap really makes the Union Falcor a good call for anyone looking to pair this up with an aggressive board that likes a responsive binding.
Union Falcor Past Reviews
The Union Falcor replaced the T.Rice from last year. It keeps the same fast response edge to edge but adds more butter ability. It’s a great binding for those that want really upper tier response.
The 2019 Union Falcor has a couple of improvements that make it the call over 2018.
- The ankle strap is probably my favorite in Unions line. It’s big, comfortable and super supportive.
- The screw that holds the heel loop and ankle strap received a new washer that keeps it from coming loose like the older models did. It’s such a little thing but it makes a really big difference. I tested one of these washers for a season and the binding never needed tightening where my other union bindings needed them about once every 4-5 days of riding.
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.
Highback Flex: The Union Falcor has a very minimalist high back that looks like it might be soft but it’s pretty stiff when pulling it back. It twists pretty easy for how much carbon fiber is going on with this so it doesn’t bite as hard into your calves if you don’t rotate the high backs as you think it would.
Boot Adjustability: You can’t adjust the toe ramp but the heel loop is and it’s pretty easy to dial this out to your boot length so you can center your boot on your board. You can’t rotate the high back without doing it with the heel cup so it does compromise dialing out your boot to fit center if it’s on the bigger or smaller side of the sizing recommendations but it should work for most. The only other issue is you can’t adjust the ankle strap angle without un-centering your boot but this isn’t as big as a deal as centering your boot.
Stance Width Adjustability: These mini-discs can get just about any stance width. The only issue is they don’t work with those 1×2 inserts that are set back 1.5″ from the rest of the insert pack. A lot of companies have this option these days so it’s the only real drawback.
Comfort: The new ankle strap really makes the Union Falcor such a more comfortable binding and it works well with most boots out there.
Boot Support: Again, the new ankle strap is very supportive and matches the aggressive go big nature of the Union Falcor.
Turn Initiation: Super fast edge to edge and only a few bindings are faster. It can overpower some easier turning boards so make sure it’s paired up with a board that likes responsive bindings.
Buttering: Super easy to butter with and it makes stiffer boards feel softer underfoot.
Ratchet System: Super smooth and reliable.
Shock Absorption: Not incredible but very good. They seemed to take some of the Union Falcor’s foam out to improve response so there is a little trade-off here.
So as long as you don’t plan to use these bindings with an easy turning board or a board with setback inserts the Union Falcor is a great choice for those that want a lot of response and butter ability.
Union Falcor Images
Union Company Information
Union Falcor User Reviews
best out there
Superb If you’re looking for a dynamic, fluid binding. Rides better than the goodride review. I have multiple seasons on boards such as the jones mountain twin and bataleon riot. Also race in snowboardX. I’ve always had a battle between compromises of the Burton Genesis and the Salomon hologram. The Falcor beats these both out of the park in every way and I don’t usually give glowing reviews. Genuinely the best advantages of both bindings. Superb response with a smooth fluid ride, and so much scope for adjustment. The only disadvantages of the Falcors is the large size is just a little too large for any snowboard under 26cm width and the square bases increase the binding width at boarderX angles a bit too much. Also the highbacks have only three settings but they felt fine. I wouldn’t know how these would turn a more flexible board than say a flex of 5/10 though, potentially would overpower a jib board. Perfectly matched with my Lib tech Travis Rice and Arbor Iguchi camber.
Best Binding ever rode.
Nice aggressive All Mnt. Binding. Perfect for all conditions.
Good board response! Can't complain about anything!
Even better than I expected
Earlier this year I bought some new Stratas and was stoked with them. Theryre a great do everything binding, light, really comfortable, etc. Recently I came across a really good deal on some falcors and couldn't pass them up. These are so comfortable, super light, super responsive front to back, but surprisingly flexy laterally. The most impressive thing for me is the ankle strap. I have 2 bone fragments in my ankle from old injuries, and most bindings cause serious pain for me. These ankle straps are the first I've ever ridden that give me no pain at all.
When you combine the light weight with the response and the comfort. I feel no pressure points anywhere, which is a new feeling for me! Its hard for me to imagine a better binding for those who want to go fast and want a very responsive binding, but also want to still be able to poke grabs and butter around. Im a huge fan of these!
2018 Union Falcor - First Impressions
I haven't ridden these yet so can't speak to their performance but I doubt I could add anything further to the review from the team at The Good Ride anyway. I just wanted to get some information out to potential buyers of Falcors after my experience with seeing them in the flesh and setting them up with my boots and board.
I'm running these on a Jones Mountain Twin 161W and with size 10 (US) Adidas Tactical ADVs. I purchased the Falcors in size M and the size 10 Tacticals fit in nicely.
Straight out of the box I was surprised how light the Falcors feel. I also have Union Contacts, which are quite light but the Falcors are impressive.
The all black Falcor looks like a cross between some military stealth machine and a ninja's home made weapon. Most of the construction is beautiful but the forged carbon on mine is a bit raw in places. One binding has a few burs remaining and the other seems to have been sanded smooth. I may remove the burs because some are touching my boot but it's not an issue. Considering the price and looks of these bindings, I had to smile when I remembered old sayings about the gap between Italian design and manufacturing. They are a bit like the Ducati motorbikes I've owned; look great, are a blast to ride... but are never perfect.
The ratchets seem really smooth and strong. The toe strap is a super grippy beast that moulds to the toe of the boot a little better than the toe strap on the Contacts. The ankle strap is an interesting design, you can immediately feel it will be more supportive than other Union offerings. The size of it means the top edge is close to the bottom lace hooks on the Adidas boots but doesn't seem to touch, no matter how much forward lean I try to simulate. I only mention it because different size boot and binding combos might have different results (running a size 10.5 or 11 boot in a large binding with the heel cup pushed in for example.) I was able to get my strap lengths perfect but be aware that the first time you use the tool less adjusters you will need the hands of Hercules. There is some sort of blue thread grip on them, which eases up after the first use but I wouldn't like to be trying to do it for the first time on a mountain with frozen hands.
The heel cup is fully adjustable and I easily got the boots centred over the board. The high back rotation is gone though. I like my high backs nearly parallel to the edge of the board. Apparently Mr Rice doesn't because although I've gotten close by pushing the heel cups in and out on opposite sides, you can't get to the parallel position. I really don't mind because it's close enough and using the heel cup method has meant there is no hook created at the base of the high back to gnaw away at my boots, (which was a problem with my Contacts until I learned this trick.) There is forward lean available in the high back but the convenience of tool less or quick release to do it has been taken away too. I suspect it makes for a stronger and more durable system, so again, I don't mind (I had someone bump the tip of a board into the back of my binding once and it smashed the lean adjuster, it likely would't have affected the Falcors).
Although only aesthetically 99%, I've given these five stars because there is something in the uncompromising design of them I just love. The ethos seems to be about putting some time into getting them dialled in for a rider and never looking back. It's all about performance first, cost be damned... and no apologies for it.
I'll do a ride review of them after my next trip if I've got anything worthwhile to share.
Responsive, Light, Great binding
I would have given this a 5 star review but couple of things that people need to know when they buy this binding.
This binding is using EVA foam which is super comfortable underfoot but during the first day of riding, you have to check and tightenyour screws. This is because the EVA foam takes time to compact under your foot. Your screws have more room to travel each time if the foam isn't compacted.
Other than that, this binding is one of the best out there.