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Atomic Bindings 2002

Atomic Bindings 2002

Gear
By Stu Campbell
posted: 12/12/2001

Atomic's story for 2001-02 is two-part: the Device and the Chassis. The Device, a convenience item, comes pre-mounted on the popular Beta 8.18 and 9.18 Atomic skis. Device models cannot be purchased separately. Mounting is a snap, requiring that just one screw be turned. No drilling. No waiting. And obviously, it is meant to encourage the Atomic ski buyer to purchase an Atomic binding.

The Beta 4 Chassis is a slick plate that comes on four high-end Atomic skis. It fits their Beta shape exactly and is pinned at three points in a way that allows the ski to flex fully.

Centro 4.12
$259
The Centro is a popular binding for those who need to fit many boot sizes to the same ski (great for rental operations or testing situations). It's a credible binding with lots of horsepower. For this review, Atomic presented it without the Chassis, to isolate the effectiveness of the Chassis itself.

Device 310 (packages only)
Offered only as part of a package deal with certain Atomic skis, the Device 310 is extremely light, with a clacky-sounding one-piece heel. It's comfortable to get in and out of, though it apparently lacks an anti-friction device under the boot toe. It looks like other Atomic bindings, so it appears more sophisticated than it is. The Device skis as well as can be expected, though it did not particularly enhance the exceptional qualities of the 9.18 ski it was mounted on. It is not overly lifted, which is fine for the target audience of intermediate skiers. Though even Aspiring Carvers deserve the benefit of some lift, they can be confused by too much.

Xentrix 614
$299
There is no reason for the non-racer to look beyond the Atomic Xentrix binding. Atomic's race bindings have no Chassis and actually provide less lift, while the Xentrix actually exceeds FIS stand-height regulations. That's a benefit for advanced and expert skiers looking for maximum leverage and minimal boot-out. Don't get a swelled head skiing on this setup: It is a powerful confidence builder, with enormous leverage. If you want the sensation of the tail following the tip precisely, this is it. Let the ski go way out from under you, and it will be there arcing for you. Try it in the most forward of the five Vario positions and it will be responsive and quick-without loss of contact in the tail.

Recommended Models
Race Race 310, Race 614
All-Mountain Expert Xentrix 412, Xentrix 614
Freerider Xentrix 412, Xentrix 614
All-Mountain Cruiser Xentrix 310, Xentrix 412
Player Device 311 or 412 (package only), Xentrix 310
Aspiring Carver Device 310 (package only), Xentrix 310
Women Device 310 (package only), Xentrix 412

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