Comparo: Fritschi Freeride Plus vs Naxo NX21 Backcountry Skiing Bindings


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | May 2, 2007      

Scott Newman

The great debates continue to be waged. Coke versus Pepsi. East Coast versus West Coast rap music. AT versus Telemark. (Backcountry skiing versus park and pipe?)

All great debates involve subjects that are fundamentally the same but with subtle differences. All involve zealots who extol the virtues of their favorites and trumpet the shortfalls of their rivals. Usually, the supporters’ rants are marked by incomplete knowledge of the rivals’ position. Here, at WildSnow.com, we realize that knowledge is power and would like to insure that both sides in the Naxo/Fritschi debate are well informed, so that they (individually) can settle the dispute as to whether the Naxo NX21 or Fritschi Freeride is the superior step-in AT binding — once and for all. Therefore, we present a head-to-head comparison of the two backcountry skiing bindings.

Naxo and Fritschi backcountry skiing test rigs.
My setups for this test. Same skis, different binders for backcountry skiing.

For the showdown, I mounted two pair of Stockli Stormriders with both the NX21 and the Freeride, so as to remove the variability of test ski from the equation. As with any true contest, one must keep score. Therefore, I tested each in four categories: Stats, Climbing, Descending and Miscellaneous. Since each category would in theory have a distinct winner, a head-to-head would result in clarifying which is the superior step-in AT binding.

1. Vital Statistics

Stats Naxo NX21 Fritschi Freeride
Stack Height 44 mm 43 mm
Weight (per binding) 1191 gr, 39.8 oz 1022 gr, 36 oz

As I mentioned in my review of the NX21 last year, initially I had been concerned with its stack height. This turned out to be a non-issue. I include it here because my research included a helpful discussion with Mike Marolt and he expressed some interest in the stack heights. More importantly, the Freeride takes the weight prize by a mere 169 grams or just shy of four ounces per clamp. I typically am a single day (or half day) user and for me this is a negligible difference and a wash. Though some may say this is a significant difference, I disagree. More, four ounces of weight savings can easily be had with ski or boot choice. Therefore, Round One results in a tie.

2. Climbing

Climbing Naxo NX21 Fritschi Freeride
Flat/Approach X☼  
Steep X☼ X☼
Trail Breaking X☼  
Kick Turns X☼  
Lateral Stiffness   X☼
Climbing Lift Adjustability   X☼

These are AT backcountry skiing bindings, so arguably, the way they climb is their most important attribute. Neither binding proved to be dominant in all aspects of ascent and, in fact, I could tell very little difference between the two when climbing steeper angles. Therefore, I looked at the strengths of both.

The dual pivot design of the NX21 is dynamite for approaches and the flats. Even in alpine boots, it creates a stride that is natural and comfortable. Honestly, I could walk for days on these things without feeling it in my calves or hips. This design also aids with trail breaking and kick turns. Because of the forward position of the front pivot, gravity pulls the ski tails down when the skier lifts his foot. This causes the tip to rise up through the surface when trail breaking and clearing the slope when reversing course during a kick turn in steep terrain.

It should be noted that some Naxo reviewers have had difficulty doing kickturns with the Naxo. I attribute this mostly to technique, but the balance point of the ski also plays a part. If your ski tail doesn’t drop when you pick up your toe in touring mode, doing a kick turn can be awkward. If you go with Naxos, check this at home when doing your “carpet test.”

The dual pivot is the Naxo strength but it is also its Achilles heal. When traversing a steeper slope on hard snow, the dual pivot’ lack of lateral stability makes it more difficult to hold an edge. Since the Freeride has a single pivot under the toe, it doesn’t twist laterally allowing the user to set an edge and provide more security on sketch traverses. The Freeride also has a simpler heel lift system that is easier to adjust; simply lift the ascender and the heel is released. Then it is simply a matter of raising or lowering the ascender to one of three heights to match slope angle. The Freeride provides a higher platform than the NX21 for steep skinning (Naxo claims a higher heel lift is unnecessary because of the dual pivot, but I feel the Naxo heel lift could be a bit higher). The NX21 lock and ascender system is a little more complicated and not as user friendly as the Freerides.

In summary, the NX21 excels on the flats, trail breaking and kick turns, while the Freeride provides superior edge-hold on traverses and the locking mechanism, adjustability and height of ascender is much more user friendly. Both handle direct fall-line skinning well. Again, no clear cut winner. Perhaps, the NX21 should be your choice for routes with long approaches, while the Freeride might lend itself better to laps from the car.

3. Descending.

Descending

Naxo NX21

Fritschi Freeride

Lateral Stiffness

X☼

X☼

Insta-Tele

X☼

X☼

Both ski great. When Lou updated his Backcountry Binding Flex test last fall, he found little difference in the lateral stiffness of the NX21 and the Freeride, while in ski mode. My unscientific testing this winter confirms it. My 230 pounds in Lange Race boots couldn’t feel a difference while descending. One of the great fears with AT bindings is the heel releasing to touring mode while descending, otherwise known as “insta-tele.” I can say that I am lucky enough to have never experienced this phenomenon and would rank both the NX21 and Freeride equally in insta-tele avoidance. Round Three again produces no absolute winner.

4. Miscellaneous

So it all comes down to the miscellaneous features/observations about the two bindings.

Miscellaneous Naxo NX21 Fritschi Freeride
Simplicity in Design   X☼
Adjustability X☼  
Liberal Use of Metal X☼  
Solid Click-in   X☼
Ease of Entry X☼ X☼

Freeride has the simpler design than Naxo. It has only one pivot, which provides great lateral stability while climbing but leads to frankenstride on flat approaches. The heel locking mechanism is much easier to engage and disengage as is the ascender lift. Thumbs up to the Freeride.

While the Freeride’s design is simpler, the NX21 gets the nod for adjustability. Forward pressure and sole length can be adjusted with NO TOOLS. The clamp and well marked slide makes these adjustments a breeze on the NX21. Props to the NX21.

The NX21’s toe piece is almost all metal. It is bomber, but you pay a little in weight. NX21 wins for liberal use of metal.

The Freeride has a more satisfying click when you step into it. Winner.

BOTH are easier to get into than Dynafits!

So there you have it. In short, both descend remarkably well. The difference is climbing. Both have strengths and both have weaknesses. Interestingly, none of these strengths and weaknesses parallel one another. So the decision between the two comes down to which strengths are most important to your style of skiing. Both are fantastic bindings. My choice? As long as I can keep the WildSnow.com loaners I’ll use ’em both. After that, I’d be happy with either one.

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Comments

49 Responses to “Comparo: Fritschi Freeride Plus vs Naxo NX21 Backcountry Skiing Bindings”

  1. Ken Gross May 2nd, 2007 8:02 am

    I can attest to the differences in Mode selection and Climbing Post manipulation between the 2 binders. I ski on Fritschis and am frequently waiting for my buddies on Naxos while they fiddle with their climbing post.

  2. Steve May 2nd, 2007 9:20 am

    Great review Scott and Lou. Here’s a video link that shows how to use the pole grip to engage/disengage the Naxo heel levers:

    http://www.bcaccess.com/documents/NaxoHeelOperation.mov

    Keep in mind that the Nx21 has a locking mechanism on the heel lever that does not allow it to disengage (“insta-tele”) by mistake. This needs to be popped with the ski tip before the user can perform the technique in the above video. For people who ski tour most of the time it’s no issue to remove this piece. The heel lever is designed vertically so “insta tele” is almost a moot point. I removed mine because it’s one less step to go through when engaging touring mode. But it can also be argued that the user only disengages this piece when he/she is putting skins on the skis. For people skiing serious and critical lines, using the locking mechanism is a good idea.

  3. cory May 2nd, 2007 9:48 am

    It used to be said that these were the bindings to choose from if you were predominantly an area skier and occasionally ventured into the backcountry. I’m wondering if this still holds true or if the Dynafit binding dominates in that area as well?

  4. Ken May 2nd, 2007 10:02 am

    Great review Scott and Lou. The analysis holds up on the retail side as well. Both bindings are rock solid in performance and neither have major durability or maintenance issues. In general, people that purchase one of these two bindings are very satisfied with their purchase and we have had no one call up to tell us that they should have purchased the other one. Both are a great way to go for their intended use.

    Cory – Although the Dynafit bindings are used often in-bounds, these two bindings are still the consumer’s binding of choice when it comes to in-bound use. Consumers just feel better at this time about something that looks beefy. Whether or not they actually ARE better in-bounds than a Dynafit binding is certainly up for debate!

    Ken
    Owner, http://www.randogear.com

  5. Lou May 2nd, 2007 10:11 am

    I’d say the biggest downside of using Dynafits at the resort is that they’re not step-in, though close to that once you get it wired.

  6. Shastafarian May 2nd, 2007 11:06 am

    It seems like the focus on pivot points always neglects to mention that this is the weekest point of both these bindings. Over time the pivot points develop more slop, eventually leading deflection of the whole binding during climbing so that it misses the heel risers and grinds outside of the heal pieces laterally. These pivot pins are commonly where these bindings fail.
    Ultimately, if you want a binding that is known to fail after moderate to extended use, buy fritschis/naxos. You will have heavy, step-in bliss until the day they catastrophically fail you. It is almost built into the design.
    For simplicity, light weight, and durability neither can really compare to a dynafit. For skiing performance, there is no comparison that needs to be made; you either like being held to the ski with a metal-to-metal interface with exact edge control or you like a bunch of plastic that flops around before engaging your edges.

  7. Scott Newman May 2nd, 2007 11:52 am

    Shasta, I think you’re missing the point with this review. This was a comparison of the Naxo and Fritschi, not a comparison of Naxo/Fritschi to Dynafit. All have different places within the AT universe. Besides Lou does a pretty good job at preaching the Dynafit gospel. Let’s give viable (and in some cases, preferable)alternatives some props.

  8. Shastafarian May 2nd, 2007 12:34 pm

    Scott,
    Yeah you’re right. It is a comparison of the two, sorry.
    So, which one will break first?

  9. Eric May 2nd, 2007 12:51 pm

    Scott-

    Great review! The only thing you did not address was the astetic value of the 2 models. Since so many people us the Fristchi bindings, you could tip the scale slightly in favor of the Naxo since they seem to be less in vouge-it is always nice to be a little different than the crowd! This coming from a guy who has been on three different Silvretta models for years, and also owns a pair of Naxos-never had a problem with any of these, but have been defending them vs. the Fristshis for years.

  10. steve May 2nd, 2007 7:10 pm

    I admit to having become a complete Dynafit snob for touring/skinning applications, but I currently have two pairs of skis mounted with Fristchis…my ‘rock-skis’ and my ‘hiking Glory and skiing the area’ skis.

    I will attest to the ‘solid’ feel when stepping into the Freerides and like the fact of their more alpine-like release…and it instills confidence when skiing hard with the Pass rippers and Village hucksters. Never tried Naxos.

  11. Skinny D May 3rd, 2007 5:30 am

    Hi, great review, unfortunately it doesn’t settle the banter between me (Naxo) and my mate on Fritschi.

    Will there be a follow up “cravasse fruit bat” test (http://www.wildsnow.com/?p=708)?

  12. Lou May 3rd, 2007 5:34 am

    The banter will never end – that’s part of the fun! I considered asking Scott to hang upside down in the bindings to see how they performed in the “crevasse fruit bat” configuration, but that seemed a bit much (grin).

  13. Christian May 3rd, 2007 12:32 pm

    Scott:

    Hope you cured your AT syndrome on those naxos. Funny to see how they stacked up against a bunch of tele meadow skippers when you toured with us earlier this year.

    http://bagwhan.smugmug.com/photos/124935399-L.jpg

    Good review, thanks.

  14. jack labudde May 3rd, 2007 12:41 pm

    sorry to continue the debate for the dynafit “snobs” but i thought the naxos or fristchis were to have a more alpine/resort binding safety release compared to the pin design for dynafit.

    didn’t one of you break a leg on this pin release design.

  15. Joel May 3rd, 2007 12:53 pm

    Regarding engaging/dis-engaging the naxo binding heel lift

    I looked at the video that BCA has (steve posts it in this thread). Engaging and disengaging the lifts is way easier and less bashing than the video shows. I use the tips of my poles and the baskets. I’ve got black diamond baskets (pretty hardy) – the stiff baskets work well. I raise the heel lifts part of the way with the basket, and then place the pole tip in the hole and lever the lift the rest of the way. It’s way easier than the video and requires zero bashing. You also don’t have to bother with turning your poles upside down. It’s just as quick as freerides and faster than dynafits.

  16. telemyk May 3rd, 2007 3:41 pm

    Having owned both Naxos and Freerides, the most important consideration is the length of the binding. Always go as short as your boots will allow. My first pair of Naxos (Nx01) were Long/Large and always felt really sloppy. When I switched to Freerides it felt much more like an alpine binding. But I had also moved down to the Regular/Medium length. Huge difference.

    Also, the older Freerides had a tendency for the tiny little tabs in the heel piece to wear out. This was because there was a gap under the red support pegs, between the binding and ski topsheet. You could eventually top the binding against the ski while sitting on the chairlift. No doubt leads to more deflection. We started fixing that by putting a couple layers of the Voile anti-ice device (for their telemark toe pieces) under the red pegs. The Plus model fixes that permanently.

  17. Steve May 3rd, 2007 4:56 pm

    Joel,

    I use the pole grip to change modes so I don’t risk breaking a carbon fiber pole tip. Although it’s only happened to me once, I’ve seen it happen quite often with all sorts of touring bindings. Maybe I am paranoid…

  18. stephen May 3rd, 2007 8:25 pm

    One thing I have seen several times with NX21 is the heel peice breaking straight up. no hucking, no real abuse, just light skiing or click in click out.

    I also spoke with an engineer who is a b/c skiier who mentioned that the FR+ is a MUCH sturdier plastic mold and that the way the NX21 is manufactured it is prone to cracking and failure.

    I owned both, skiied only the NX21.

    feel that the NX21 lockdown is better than the FR+ and there is less chance of insta-tele, but that the FR+ is a more durable peice of equipment, both from feel and what I have seen above.

  19. Matt T July 23rd, 2007 7:50 pm

    Nice comparison test. i skied the NX21 on my touring set up the past two seasons (mostly slack-country and sled access abuse) and am excited to ride a freeride plus setup this year. after way too many days on the naxo’s i look forward to the simple sturdy design of the fritchi’s.
    some of my thoughts and (personal) test comparisons would be (consider i only have a handful of days on the fritchsi):
    -naxo’s dual pivot is a ++ on flat approaches, but became a constant headache with creaky, high-maintenance bolts and pivots, not to mention tons of flex on side hills, even one broken pivot frame in cold temps! after a season, i noticed i could watch my toepiece flex laterally as i was skiing, a very unnerving and loose feeling (even though the pivot was tight), and things have regressed from there.
    the fritschi’s get a little freaky in the flats for sure, but the tall lift is a godsend, and doesn’t incur crazy side flex on sidehills like the naxo’s. not to mention it feels way more solid while hinged underfoot!
    -i did the pole grip bashing thing for a while, but always felt foolish and stupid hacking my equipment at the trailhead before figuring out you can flip with a pole tip as fast as fritschi’s (i break more poles that come from the lost and found, get cut down and taped so ‘breaking carbon tips’ doesn’t really apply – ps: aren’t you worried about planting into rocks then? is that an excuse?) BUT, you can’t pop the bloody tele lock without a goofy yoga move and light gloves! – so close to perfect!
    -no tools on the naxo is killer. a nearby group got caught in a slide last year, and buddy lost his skis, being able to quickly jerry-rig a ski up for him using a knife only for toe height was wonderful.
    many of my test ride efforts on the fritshi’s involved miraculously setting up my naxo’s for a buddy, then f””king around with the leatherman in the snow getting ready with the fritchi’s, innapropriate!
    -all the sharp pointy bits on the naxo? what’s up with that, i understand you need to lock the heelpeice into the lifts for various heights, but why the devil horns? i was almost inclined to saw them off after one particular incident with some brush that pulled the heel lift back (also frequently happens if you don’t check on it in heavy snow) and took me in the back seat.
    note: you cut the prongs off, your about as useful as ice-skates.
    im not certain the fritschi looks any safer, but at least in ski mode, all the pointy bits should stay down and aligned with the ski, hopefully protecting your anal virginity.
    -naxo was rarely clogged up with snow after a tour, a quick ski flick and it was clear to re-engage. cool. fritschi’s get a little frustrating in wet snow clearing the grooves.

    i enjoyed the hell out of my naxo’s, at the time i knew they were the best for the stiff ski’s i was lugging around (weight not being a priority over durability and performance, not to mention abuse). they just wore out, an toepeiced picked a few battles with my bod, and had some funky “i just hiked all day for this line, and my ski pre-released two turns in” epic adventures due to a finiky

  20. Matt T July 23rd, 2007 7:54 pm

    that was a finiky toepeice. sorry to all the editors out there, i’ll stick to yelling at trees.

    naxo’s were sweet, but now im sold on the yummy goodness of freeride +’s in the backcountry (until the next best thing happens, or the duke loses a pound and i can demo one first).

    always thinking about snow

  21. Peter J August 27th, 2007 6:13 am

    My son has Naxos and I have Freerides, so it has been interesting to compare the two this (Southern Hemisphere) season.

    In New Zealand we have a maritime snowpack, what the commercial operators euphemistically call “firm-packed powder”, so binding crampons are fairly essential when touring.

    I’m not at all impressed with the Naxo crampon design compared to the Freeride crampons – the Naxo crampons clip under the rail, rather than between the rail and the boot with the Freerides. They are basically only held in place with a small plastic clip.

    We have found that they often slide along the rail, and in two situations completely fell off the binding while skinning. The Freeride crampons by comparison cannot fall off because they are trapped between the rail and the boot.

    Something to bear in mind if you are looking for AT bindings and don’t expect to be touring in too much powder.

  22. Eric February 25th, 2008 5:31 pm

    Concerning the lift adjustment on the Naxo’s. I’ve never had to use a pole as a lever to change my heel lifts. For the low lift. Simply lift the large lever until it pushes the lower lever forward a bit. Then just click your heel down on it. It will snap into place. The high lift moves freely fore and aft with a little help from a pole basket. I’m on my third Naxo set-up and couldn’t be happier. Particularly with the beefier touring boots which are “Softened” by the dual pivot on climbs and approaches.

  23. Gary March 9th, 2008 10:11 am

    I have been skiing Dynafits and twice broke the base plate when the crampon was in (big inconvenience!). I now have the new plates made w/ this tiny amount of metal where the crampon slides in. Living in the east, I have not used them yet and am planning a trip to Alaska in May. Anyone have any thoughts on these? Also, w/ all the talk about Fritchi, Naxo and Silveretta, how and to which would I choose to switch and feel like I made the “best” choice for safety on hard back, steep ascents (crampons), descents (edging) and increase my chances of not breaking a binding? Thanks

  24. Lou March 9th, 2008 10:48 am

    The metal reinforced Dynafit base plate works well in my experience, but consider this: If the crampon is much wider than the ski, when you’re sidehilling the crampon ends up being torqued sideways, sometimes under massive load. Something could give way in that situation. One key to having active (move up and down) crampons that are reliable is that they be nearly the same width as the ski, ideally just a millimeter or two wider, that way they are stabilized from side torque by the sides of the ski as they move up and down. Otherwise, while traversing, the crampon is being forced to the side with every step. In moderate use the crampon and mount can probably handle that, but in heavy use, it could be a different story.

  25. alex greenman January 16th, 2009 6:27 pm

    I have been sking fritchis for over 10yrs. I think the main reason for there popularity is they are marketed by black diamond. I have one gripe with this binding, toe release. I recently spiral fractured my tib and fib due to no release on the toe. i cant blame the binding entirely for this like all accidents there were multiple factors at fault including the fool on the skis. I got another set of skis this year with some NX21 naxos basicly thrown in on the deal. Just grabbing the toe pieces with my hand and forcing a release I can feel a substantial difference in the smoothness and sensitivity of the bindings. In my unproffesional opinion safety wise the Naxos are suppieror. If you value reliable release I would favor naxos. BINDINGS ARE FOREMOST TO PREVENT INJURY.

  26. Hojo March 2nd, 2009 11:15 am

    It would be good to see a comparison of release specs if at all possible. I would imagine this may be a touchy subject as you’re testing what the manufactures claim as fact. If it could be added, however, that would be nice.

  27. Lou March 2nd, 2009 11:23 am

    Hojo, what kind of specs are you talking about, perhaps we could do something in that direction?

    FYI opinion from Lou: The thing to remember about this is that backcountry skiers frequently ski DIN numbers higher than those recommended in the charts. Once you do that, your binding is not longer the safety binding it was designed to be. Yes, there are good reasons for dialing up your DIN, but if you do so you should have good reason, know the consequences, and don’t blame your bindings for leg injury.

  28. Hojo March 2nd, 2009 1:02 pm

    What I meant (I worded my post poorly) was: How is the release performance of the advertised spect to actual specs? So, take each binding, set them to say 9, and then measure the force required for release. Test the specs to see if they match up and how far off they really are. Perhaps see if you can test different release scenarios (skis going under a log thus effecting a double heel release). Mind you, I’m not suggesting going under a log to test it nor do I even know how such tests are done. Perhaps they don’t even need to be tested and I just need to learn more about the temperament of such bindings. I’m still not sure if I”m going to go this route or dynafit.

  29. Lou March 2nd, 2009 1:14 pm

    Hojo, I saw with my own eyes that companies such as Fritschi actually test EVERY binding they make for DIN calibration! Many other companies do the same. Not sure how Dynafit does it, but I’m sure they at least test a random sampling. Perhaps I can find an old release checker and install it in the WildSnow shop and calibrate it with some release telemark bindings (grin).

  30. Nick March 5th, 2009 10:52 am

    This is exactly the kind of info I’ve been looking for regarding these two bindings, but I still need a bit more. I’ve been going back an forth with these two bindings for a few weeks now and my main concern is weight vs durability for a larger skier. I’m 6’3″ 220lbs and use both the Scarpa Typhoon boots the light weight Rossi Alti-bird skis. I’m not a cliff hucker and don’t plan to use these skis in the resort all that much.
    I am looking at these two as a replacement for my Silvretta Pures that didn’t hold up, failed on the 3rd trip out this season. Basically I just want light bindings to go on a pair of 7+lb skis and have them hold up normal use.
    Ideally the Fritschi Explore is what I would like but I don’t want to have to go through this again. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks for the great read and I do apologize if this post is in the wrong location.

  31. Lou March 5th, 2009 10:58 am

    Nick, sounds like you’ve be fine on a Fritschi Freeride as that’s the lighter weight choice, what’s the big issue that’s making it hard for you to decide?

  32. Brad June 5th, 2009 3:08 pm

    Naxo vs. Freeride debate may be over. Naxo’s owner, Rottefella, announced on 3/20/2009 that it will close Naxo; due to low market share.

    I currently have a set of Naxo 21s and 01s. Both have worked well, but 01 front pivots are worn out after 3 seasons. I ordered some Freerides for replacement , since I heard Naxo closing news.

  33. Lou June 5th, 2009 4:22 pm

    Brad, we covered that ages ago. WildSnow is always first with that stuff, or at least close (grin).

    See
    http://www.wildsnow.com/1757/naxo-binding-discontinued/

  34. shay January 7th, 2010 9:29 am

    Thanks for the review! Lots of answers I needed. Have fun out there.

  35. Nick January 19th, 2010 12:41 pm

    Hello All/Lou. I made a post last year on March 5th 2009. Lou you asked me a question and I never replied. Sorry. I figured I’d give you an answer and update this thread on my AT binding decision. The answer to your question…I was concerned with the overall weight of my gear. Had a tough time on one trip with Alpine Trekkers and my reg alpine gear… I swore I’d never do it again. I went for a setup (my first) that was as light as possible. Well obviously the bindings didn’t hold up and the skis seemed to lack the performance I was used to with my alpine skis. I’ve now decided that sacrificing performance is not worth shedding a couple pounds. I also figured that there are better light-weight options out there and that I could always check them out later. (We all need more than one pair of skis right?) So…I got my money back for the Silvretta’s and later in the spring bought the NAXO nx02’s. They were the lighter version of the “beefy” nx22’s and my g/f had been pretty happy those. As it turned out, I never got them on my skis before the snow melted and they ended up sitting there in the box for 3 months until one day I said…screw it, I’m just going to buy the Fritschi Freerides. Why? Because I wanted to have the option of using my AT setup inbounds without having to worry about breaking my gear and I like the looks of them. :biggrin: I then exchanged the NAXOs for the Fritschi’s. Since then…I have also bought new skis, the 2009 BD Verdicts. I have yet to ski them (will soon) but I am already happy. They just look plain awesome, and from what I have heard, that won’t change when I finally get to ride them. So Lou, thank you for this site and this thread. They helped tremendously, keep it up!

  36. Lou January 19th, 2010 2:04 pm

    Nick, good to hear and yeah Fritschi Freeride is an excellent choice. Naxo was too sloppy.

  37. Lou February 5th, 2010 9:26 pm

    David, yes, you won’t find parts very easily, and don’t worry about them breaking. The breakage was mostly on the consumer test run when they first started selling them.

  38. David February 5th, 2010 9:07 pm

    I have been skiing on the NX21 and NX22’s for over four years now without a problem. I have very hard use on the 21’s as i use them on my Alpine skis like you would Nordic on trails for getting into shape. I have used some of the tricks posted on other websites to tighten up the slop with good success.

    I just purchased another pair of NX22’s that i was planning on mounting on my new Rossignol Super S7’s but have been reading about all the horror stories on the heals breaking that has me worried. Now with Naxo out of business warranty and support is probably out of the question if they do break.

    When the heals break how and where and what part is it that breaks, i have resources and could CNC the part or parts out of Aluminum to fix the problem.

    I really like my Naxo’s and i never had anything fail on them but things i read from others say the opposite. 🙁

    Anyone have any comments or help with an answer to this…..

  39. NickDavies February 6th, 2010 1:03 am

    Hey guys. I broke a toe wing on my lightly used Naxo 01’s last year. Finally got around to find replacement. Cannot just replace the toe wing part BTW. Need whole new toepiece. Alpina Sports came through for me and sent TWO new toepieces when I only requested one. They are the official Rottefella distributor/warranty folks. Fine service and only billed me for shipping.

  40. Lou February 6th, 2010 7:20 am

    I guess I was wrong about the reliability being more an issue with the first production run, or perhaps your bindings were from that run? I think I said it before, I generally don’t recommend Naxos. Too much slop, and reliability is questionable. Basically, just because a binding looks like an alpine binding doesn’t mean it skis like an alpine binding. I mean, who died and made toe wings king?

  41. David February 6th, 2010 9:40 am

    I made my first Naxo purchase because Wildsnow was the only one who took the time to do the comparison test against the Fritschi it was a flip of the coin but the higher DIn and natural stride and lock down heal, i chose the Naxo over the Fritschi with the Franken tele stride and insta tele heal lock release :w00t: . I like to use my 21’s set up for cross country skiing, the kick and glide motion on the Naxo’s is simply wonderful :wub: ! If i could come up with the actual failure area on the binding i think i could do something about making
    them better than tossing them away. I am a sort of a tech kinda guy that likes to fix and improve things and would like to do the same with my Naxo’s because they do have some good points over the competition. With a little tweaking hopefully i can save them 🙂 .

    Episki thread:

    http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/29539/naxo-vs-freerides

    And a link to Stefan Lindgren’s site, on removing some of the heal slop.

    http://hem.bredband.net/evapeva/skigear/

  42. NickDavies February 6th, 2010 8:18 pm

    My initial decision to get the naxos was to be main binder on beefy skis for riding the lifts with some sidecountry. The more natural ball of foot flex for touring was the decision point vs the fritschis. They also work nice for instructing beginners where having to walk around with AT shoes beats real alpine boots. All a moot point now since that category is either fritschi or marker for new purchases.
    If I had to do it over: full alpine for lifts and dynafit/tech for bc and don’t bother with the compromises.

  43. ScottP February 9th, 2010 5:35 pm

    Naxo has its own section on Wildsnow even a year after it was discontinued. Don’t get me wrong, I still like this info up there because I still ski NX01s, I was just wondering when the G3 Onyx will get its own section under the “bindings” header? There’s been a lot of info on this binding already at Wildsnow and it would be nice to collect it all in one place, especially since I’m eying it as a replacement for when my Naxos eventually break.

    Even better, what about a Dynafit/Onyx direct comparison, like this one? I’m looking for a binding to do a few days of resort with a bunch of BC days per year, maybe a 30/70 mix? I’m light (150lvs) and try to ski with a “fine touch”, would either of the Tech bindings work for me? Is the marketing hype really correct? Is the G3 really just a “less fiddly, slightly heavier” Dynafit?

    P.S. As long as I’m nitpicking, the Fritschi Eagle hasn’t been added to the Fritschi section, either.

    Thanks!

  44. David February 9th, 2010 6:41 pm

    I made a little modification to my heals that may keep them together.

    Thread on it can be found here.

    http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183719&page=2

  45. patb February 24th, 2010 12:07 am

    Does anyone know where to find Naxo crampons? Since I don’t think they’re available anywhere new because Naxo is defunct; does anyone have any ideas on how to fit another brand of ski crampons to Naxos? I just saw the BCA trekker crampon and it looks pretty simple. Ideas on how it could be modified to fit the Naxo? Or, got any Naxo crampons sitting around you want to sell me cheap? (AT skier on a shoestring!)

    Any help/ideas are much appreciated!

  46. Jens April 23rd, 2010 2:29 pm

    @ patb: Don’t know whether this is really helpful, but there seem to be some retailers over here in Europe who still have some Naxo crampons in stock.
    Check these german/austrian places:
    http://www.antrieb.com/
    http://www.1-2-sports.com/shop_8051/harscheisen_fuer_naxo_bindungssystem

    Reviewing an essentially dead product is kind of pointless, but I had a good time with these bindings, so I feel I kind of owe the engineers who came up with them:

    I am using the NX21 since 2007 (so this winter has been their third season, if I count correctly). I probably don’t tour as much or as intensively as most of you guys do (maybe 15 days a year with making around 1500m in height on an average day). Never had a problem with these bindings per se. No heel-peace broke, no pivot arm broke, I never even experienced the sloppiness or the flex that other people report. The heel-lift-sytem was a bit awkward in the first season, but I think it simply had to be broken in – I can nowadys flip the heel-lift up and down with the basket of my poles.

    The crampons, however, are pure, undiluted crap.

    I bought the Naxo because (i) I weigh 90kg, (ii) I am clumsy as a child, so I tend to break things and (iii) downhill-performance is more important for me than uphill performance. The Naxos just looked sturdy. In my opinion they are sturdy, too. Weight was less of an issue, because I ski Shuksans, which are heavy anway, so I felt I might as well go the whole way. With the amount of climbing I do in a typical day, the weight has never really been an issue.

  47. patb April 25th, 2010 10:51 am

    Jens,

    Thanks for the response. I ended up finding some Naxo crampons used in my area. I just used them for the first time this weekend and they actually worked pretty well. I never put the heel lift to the highest setting because the crampons don’t work very well in that position. Overall though for morning spring skinning, I think they’ll do me just fine.

    As for the bindings, they have also treated me well so far. I like the natural pivot system for skinning. They stride so well, half the time, I forget to put my boot in ‘walk’ position and don’t even notice. I just hope they wear well and don’t break on my like some have said. These are my first AT bindings though and I spent less than $200 on them new so I think I’ll get at least that out of ’em.

    (I must admit though, I’m already wanting some lighter Dynafits on some wider skis for touring next season!)

  48. Eugene March 7th, 2013 2:38 pm

    I know it is a old thread, but one small remark:
    I’m building universal setup for my 11 years old and naxos are cheap and small and easy.

  49. Chris Kelly November 17th, 2013 2:47 pm

    Hello

    I have a pair of Naxos but not the ski crampon. Finding it hard to locate a pair.
    Can anyone help please?
    Thanks

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