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2005 CWB Zeus Review

2005 CWB Zeus Review
By cramey on Tuesday, April 19, 2005 @ 4:34 pm
Bindings break. Rubber stretches. Baseplates bend- unless of course you managed to score yourself a pair of Zeus Bindings from CWB. Back in 2003 CWB sent me their new boot for the year, which caught my attention quite quickly. With dual lace points, a heel retention system, and extra cushy footbeds, the Zeus were and still are high performers. But how did they last? Well luckily for you we will be reviewing them side by side to the new 2005 model, and I have to say, all the required changes have been made to take this 2005 boot to the next level.

The Look
From top to bottom, these new 2005 Zeus bindings come in a combination of matte black, gloss black, and everyone's favorite '05 accessory, chrome. It really sets the look off nice on these. While the diamond stud chrome inserts won't take your riding to the next level, or make you stick that gnarly nine, it sure will turn heads. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it, and neither will your riding buddies.

Build & Functionality
After nearly two years riding on the previous Zeus bindings, they have been sure to take a beating, as I tend to be pretty hard on equipment. As with just about any binding that is exposed to the sun and face smacking binding ejections, the rubber begins to crack and give way. While the 2003 Zeus's do show this rubber and overlay cracking, it is quite minimal, and I haven't noticed any structural degradation. The lace points are all still intact, especially in the upper overlay area where the binding takes the majority of the abuse. The biggest concern I have with the 2003 models after hundreds of uses is the upper lace loops giving way after the supporting glue and stitching breaks down from excessive use.

Now how does this affect the 2005 models? It doesn't. Not one bit. CWB engineered out this problem, which effectively increases the lifespan of these bindings significantly. In 2005 CWB replaced sewn and glued lace points with riveted plastic loop holes and threaded them with a thinner, stronger string. This allows the lace to pull evenly through all lace points and reduces stress on upper lace holes.

The support on these bindings, just like the previous model, is perfect for my style of riding. The forefoot overlay keeps your foot locked in, while the top overlay area allows enough manipulation to tweak grabs, spins, and just your riding in general. The dual lace setup allows me to configure the lacing how I want it, tight on bottom, and a little looser on top. The other function of the support as mentioned above is the heel retention system that is used. Simple yet effective, there is a piece of rubber that lies between the inner layer, and the lacing layer. This piece wraps around the top of your ankle, can be adjusted, and locks your heel to the back of your binding. While tight when you first try them on, after three to four sessions all you will notice is the benefit of never having your toes slip out the front of your binding on ugly crashes.

The base plate has also been altered in a way I haven't especially seen before. All the places where the binding is not meant to be mounted has simply been removed. After you look at the binding from the top you honestly ask yourself why this hasn't been done before. The other main change that was made was to the footbed. Not necessarily for the good or bad, it's just a substitution of color and material. Instead of a layered footbed like the 2003 model sported, the 2005 model is one and the material is a bit stiffer. There is virtually no difference riding, and any difference felt will soon be forgot when you realize there will be no chance of delaminating between the soft and stiff layers of the 2003.

What to do?
With manufacturers constantly updating their product, CWB did what every great manufacturer has done- improve on a great performer. With great features that set this binding apart from others, it's hard to not give these shoes a try. At an MSRP of $410 and a street price of just under $330 you definitely get great bang for the buck. I would recommend these bindings to any one who likes great flexible support and who is an intermediate to advanced rider. While these bindings will honestly work for anyone, the people who will enjoy them the most will be those who know the difference between a top of the line binding and lower, more entry models. This binding will provide seasons of use, while maintaining its comfort and bling bling steez. So as this summer warms up, check out CWB at your local shop, and give them an honest try, you won't be disappointed.

Check out the old 2003 ZEUS review, and compare!
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