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Union Strata Snowboard Binding
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Union T.Rice 2017 - 2015 Review by The Good Ride
The 2017 Union T.Rice binding has a new much more supportive ankle strap in play and it’s much more fun to ride now.
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.
Union does offer other straps is you can upgrade at C3 here.
How This Review Happened: We spent our precious Good Ride dollars to buy this and review it.
Riders: James (Size 9, 5’10” 180-190lbs), Peter (Size 8, 5’11” 185lbs),Grant (Size 11 6’ 160lbs), Jimbo (Size 11, 5’11” 160lbs),
Boots: Burton Imperial, Burton Ion, Burton SLX
Insoles: Sandsole Custom Insoles, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers, Footprint Insole Technology Gamechangers Lite, Footprint Insole Technology Gameghangers Low Profile
Union T.Rice Past Reviews
2015-2016 Union T.Rice Binding Review
The Union T.Rice is new this year and it’s got a higher tech version of the Union Factory.
Here are the differences between the Union T.Rice and Union Factory.
1. Lighter and slightly more responsive base plate.
2. It has an asymmetrical high back compared to the symmetrical team-high back.
3. It’s got their high-end toe strap that offers up a better fit for over the top and really good grip over the toe.
4. It’s got a smaller ankle strap.
Both have a shorter ankle strap connector in 2015. If you want the longer ankle strap connector from the 2014 bindings just contact Union and ask them.
Flex: Snappy and stiff but not the stiffest binding in the line.
Adjustability: the Same adjustability that is great in some areas and lacking in others but there is more great than bad. It also has a toolless toe strap this year and a better tool free ankle strap. You hear this in all Union reviews. The heel loop’s adjustability is really good for dialing out the binding for your boot size but not ideal for rotating the high backs and there is no way to adjust the ankle strap angle.
Comfort: no pressure points with our crew and like all Union bindings it’s got a good fit around your boot.
Turn Initiation: Very snappy and quick. We were on a mid/wide board and this turned it like it wasn’t. For Peter and I this was great because we have size 9 and 8 boots so it made the mid/wide experience much easier for us.
Buttering: Nice easy buttering ability but felt a shade less easy than the Factory and it was probably because of the smaller ankle strap.
Boot Support: For all of us we preferred the more supportive ankle strap of the Factory over the T. Rice binding here. It just felt like our ankle was overexposed and our boots would fold way too easy at the ankle if we hit some rough terrain. It was fine on groomers and only really came out in rough terrain or awkward moments on the board. It’s an interesting move to go with such a narrow ankle strap in a world where everyone has gone for more supportive bigger ankle straps.
Ratchet System: Pretty smooth and easy to use.
Shock Absorption: Nice thick shock absorption that doesn’t sacrifice response. Also, love the canted footbed similar to the Factory.
So we liked all the new tech except for the new smaller ankle strap. If we could take the Factory’s ankle strap and put it on the T.Rice we’d have a favorite. That being said if you like a lot of freedom of movement then you will like the new ankle strap but all of us prefer either support or a balance between freedom of movement and support.
Union T.Rice Images
Union Company Information
Union T.Rice User Reviews
Union T Rice
I own 3 pairs of the Gold Coloured 2016-2017 bindings, in less than a couple of week the ‘Gold Colouring’ was flaking off on all 3 pairs, I had a replacement to toe buckles on one pair the Union reps in Australia posted me replacements. Besides these problems these bindings are stiff, so at high speed turns they are rock solid and support you well, they are relatively light and even in extreme cold weather (at Chamonix) the buckles did not seize up like the Burton Malavita’s that my son was riding. So great technical bindings cosmetically they are fragile.
I bought the red ones last week and was so excited to try them. Light, responsive and all in all great bindings. However, seems that Union has an issue with front buckles. After 2 rides my right buckle stayed in an upright position and after 3 days of riding the left one started to be loose as well. I have contacted Union Europe and you always fear how these companies will react, but Union's support was great and they will be sending me 2 replacement buckles that I hope will last a bit longer.
Broke after 3 days, can't get them fixed
These were gifted to me a while back and I have never hated a product more, first pair of Union bindings I've owned and had nothing but trouble. Biggest issue was BOTH toe buckles breaking after 3 days riding and no where seemed to stock replacement Union buckles let alone the specific magnesium T. Rice buckles these things brag about. Burton's replacement toe buckles are also incompatible.
Took them to my local store who confirmed something inside the buckles had snapped and kindly tried to follow up with Union on getting them replaced, but after 6 months there was no reply from Union and now I'm forced to either buy a new pair of bindings or face another trip riding with my toes unstrapped. I accept it's possible my pair was faulty, but the difficulty I've had in fixing them or chasing up a warranty claim has ruined any love I had for Union. Complete waste of money, if you're looking at these: don't.
You'd be better off duct-taping the board to your feet.
Union T.Rice 16/17
Very nice bindings, very comfortable, light, fast edge to edge with only a small(if any) deadspot. I chose these ones over Burton because these are much easier to fix. Straps are 'standard' style, you can take a spare parts from almost any other binding. Ratchet system works very smooth in any temperature. And the red ones - they actually look much better in real life than in the photos. They are in red metallic. I bought size L for my 44EUR size boots, they fit perfect, so I wouldn't recommend to go for size M.
You can check out my videos from the Alps(La Plagne) and Georgia(Gudauri) this season. Videos may not be available on smartphones and tablets due to music copyrights.
Have a good one,
Eduards from Latvia(a country in Europe) :D
Ive bought the 2015 lib tech T.Rice Pro in 157 because i got a good deal. I was worried about the stiffness of the Board because im pretty light weight so i was looking for an stiff/aggressive binding.
I was planning on getting the 2015 Union Factory but since the Navigator seems to be an slightly improved factory and my previous reviewer got an ankle strap from Union i got this one and was hoping to be as lucky as him.
So far i was used to the rather big Burton ankle straps which support your boot very well and react immedietally so i contacted union Eruope as well and guess what ?! I got an reply the next day and my Contact Pro ankle straps 2 days later !
Now this binding is the best one ive used so far, turning that big, stiff board is easy as pie :)
i really liked everything (superfast edge to edge, lightweight, responsive, canted footbed, reduced deadspot, great shock absorption) about the t.rice except for the ankle straps. For me they are too small/ unsupportive/loose…
I contacted union (Europe) and told em about my issues with the straps and they immediately sent me 2 contact pro straps for free!
now with the contact pro´s straps on it i kinda found my dream binding. i got all the support i need from the straps and they feel super comfy and secure compared to the original straps. the combination with the rossi xv magtek 163 is perfect for me.
the only minor issue i got with the toe strap is that it creates a pressure point at the outer part of the toe area (burton ruler). but usually i dont crank it down that much but if u accidentally go one snap to far it starts to pressure down.
yesterday I put them on my slash aurora which I was was about to sell because I didn’t really like it with the contact pros. But putting the t. rice bindings on it was a game changer.
this really stiff and aggressive board need a binding that can handle it. And the t.rice did a perfect job.
all in all a almost perfect binding if you put “better” straps on it.