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Bindings 2000: Look

Bindings 2000: Look

By Cliff Meader
posted: 10/27/2000

The Look name and the turntable heel have been synonymous since before the Beatles invaded America. This season the company's signature heelpieces¿now called Pivot heels¿are still turntables but benefit from a stylish redesign that gives them step-in convenience. Look's line also has three women-specific models. The Venus bindings have 3 mm of lift at the heel but are otherwise technically identical to their gender-neutral counterparts.

Release Features: The flagship Pivot models all have the step-in turntable heel, which rotates with the boot during a twisting release, and Look's new Full Drive Toe. The TX models have the Full Drive Toe but use a traditional step-in, upward-releasing heel. The same heel combines with the 3D toe for Look's XR models. Both toepieces have upward release; the difference is that the Full Drive Toe has a tighter boot-binding interface than the 3D.

Passive Enhancers: Look says that Pivot models have a shorter installation footprint (the distance between toepiece and heelpiece) than typical step-in heels. This allows the ski to flex more evenly underfoot. Pivot bindings may be paired with Look's Maxflex II Plate (around $50), a 15-mm lifter that improves leverage but doesn't dampen the ski.

Active Enhancers: There are no active enhancers in the Look line.

Pivot 8.0 Lifter
Adjustment Range 4-12
The Adjustment Range is a little on the high side, although not as high as the 5-14 on the next model up the line, the P 9.0, for which we'd pay a $65 premium. We like the 8.0's solid construction¿it's got the high-end toe, the cool-looking Pivot heel, and a 10-mm lifter. The Maxflex II Plate is worth considering for this binding: Fork over the money saved by not buying the 9.0, and we've still got enough left for a base-lodge cheeseburger and Gatorade. $285

TX Sport Lifter
Adjustment Range 3.5-10
This may be the best deal in Look's line. The higher TX 7.0 Lifter ($200) has Look's latest toe design; the Sport uses the tried-and-true 3D toepiece. The Sport has a 10-mm lifter, just like the 7.0. But we see what really makes the Sport Lifter attractive: the dealer's cost¿it's low. So we'll expect to pay less, around 50 bucks less, than the MSRP listed here. That's a sweet deal for a good, serviceable binding. $180

XR 6.0/XR 6.0 Venus
Adjustment Range 3-9
Another great deal here. You still get upward release, a mechanical AFD, and a serviceable heel. For $160, that's not a bad package. But look for this binding advertised for around half of that, which makes it such a good deal it's ridiculous. $160

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