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A stroke of brilliance.
Have a hard time believing that dinky pin bindings are going to give you the downhill performance you want after you've spent all morning hiking for that one run? Then step into the Tyrolia Ambition 12 Carbon Touring Bindings to shed serious lbs from your setup without sacrificing an ounce of safety or downhill prowess. How did they do it you ask? A special ingredient called carbon is used in the frame of the binding to make this variation of the Ambition almost a whole pound lighter than its non-carbon cousins.
Tyrolia has been producing bindings for going on 85 years and its release of the Ambition last season was the company's first offering in the AT market. Far lighter than almost any frame binding you'll find on the market today, the Ambition 12 Carbon is the first major innovation we've seen in frame-style bindings for quite a few years, and it will be a welcome companion during those longer tours when you don't want to just make it down, but ski, huck, and rail your way down your line.
Since The Ambition is made by Tyrolia, it delivers the same high elasticity and freeflex technology you get from the company's dedicated alpine bindings. With the exception of the carbon frame, the Ambition is identical to Tyrolia's other AT bindings. The AT toe piece smoothly pivots as you walk, but has a gliding AFS plate for a friction-less feel on the downhill. The Freeflex technology allows the binding to maintain its natural flex through a free gliding plate that runs withing the titanal heel track, the result of which is the solid downhill performance you'd expect from a pair of Tyrolias. The binding can be switched from walk to ski mode, without having to step out of the binding, and the heel has three different climbing aid heights for the ascent. The DIN maxes out at 12, making it a great binding for all but the biggest skiers.
- 4-12 DIN
- Carbon frame
- AFS plate
- Alpine Touring toe with AFS plate
- Three-position climbing aid
- Freeflex technology
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Caveat - I have the regular binding, not the carbon. I put these on a pair of skis for primarily in-bounds skiing this year. They feel really great and are easy to step in and out. On a tour however - at least in wetter conditions - they repeatedly got compacted snow in the notch the heel retainer slides in and out of. Basically, the heel couldn't get down quite far enough to re-engage it - often frustratingly close (like a mm or 2). This meant any time I wanted to transition to lock the heel down I had to chip the snow/ice out. Sometimes this meant taking the ski off. This gets really old really fast. Not a huge deal if you are only transitioning a couple times, but sucks for yo-yoing or other frequent transition situations. I ended up doing some tele technique just so I didn't have to lock them down. Excellent, versatile binding, but not great as a regular touring rig.