Expert Review: Rome Vice Snowboard Bindings · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the snowboard bindings, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2021.
The Rome Vice snowboard binding is the surfier workhorse in the Rome line. It makes a great do-it-all binding for someone looking for a bit of a surfier feel without sacrificing edge-to-edge power.
About the gear
- Model: 2022 Rome Vice binding
- Size: M/L
- Burton channel compatible: Yes
- Mini disc: Yes, compatible with 4x2 and 4x4 mounting patterns.
- Height: 5’8”
- Weight: 160lbs
- Experience: 20 years of snowboarding
- When I bought these: November 2021
- Days tested: 30
- Board: Nerd Relic
- Boot: Rome Libertine
- Where I’ve used it: Breckenridge, Keystone, Beaver Creek
- Terrain: Anything and everything CO offers, from manmade early snow, mid-season ice, and light pow to late-season slush and heavy pow.
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a binding with an ankle strap that rode relatively high on my boot that would match up to the surfier feel of the Relic but with enough power edge to edge to drive the volume-shifted width of the board.
Why I chose this gear
One of the main driving factors for me was their PivotMount strap system. It allows for a height adjustment of where the ankle strap hits the frame. I also looked at the Jones Meteorite, Arbor Hemlock, and Burton Malavita.
What I love about them
- Binding adjustability to boots: These have all the expected adjustments I see on two-piece framed bindings. The heelcup can move forward and back to center the boot and accommodate different sizes with four positions. The ankle and toe straps are on flip cams to adjust their length, and then there is the unique PivotMount. The ankle straps are mounted to the frame on arms that can rotate to four different positions. This adjustment allows me to tailor how stiff the straps feel and eliminate any pressure on top of my boot. I run each in the high/forward position except for my front inside ankle strap, which I run low to make it feel slightly softer on the inside.
- Stance adjustability: With the mini-disc that can fit on both 4x2 and 4x4 patterns, I can get any micro-adjustment of stance width I need. Using the 4x4 pattern makes the binding feel stiffer laterally but not so much that it changes the overall feel.
- Comfort: I am a big fan of these ankle straps and how they conform to my boot. They bend as needed but still provide good support and rebound. It’s comfortable underfoot and, overall, a feel that more or less disappears as I ride.
- Shock absorption: The frame has a full EVA gasket underfoot, and the footbeds offer a nice foam balance with a 2.5-degree canted footbed. Enough thickness in the foam that they feel well cushioned but not so much that they feel disconnected from the board. The canting helps to take some of the outside pressure off my knees and provides a little more drive and power out to the tips.
- Responsiveness: Rome builds their heelcups so that the front of them wrap under the toe of the frame. This creates the longest lever point they can, making for a very responsive edge-to-edge feel. That, combined with the straps sitting up higher on my boot than any other binding, provides a locked-in feel that leaves no wasted effort switching edges.
- Carving: The board I’ve been primarily riding these on is built for carving. They have a lot of drive edge to edge, but with the asym build of the heelcup, they allow me to be able to move my weight across the board without feeling like the binding is restricting any of that movement or effort. It works very well for a surfier kind of carving. For more powerful driven carves, they can feel a bit soft but still get the job done.
- Ease of turn initiation: With the underwrap frame's style, they require minimal effort to get the board up on edge.
- Buttering: Having the asym build to the binding and mini-disc works well for buttering. Not having much of any frame restriction out towards the tips works well to be able to throw my weight out there. Even with the straps mounted in their most responsive position, I never feel like these fight my efforts in getting my weight over the tips.
- Straps: I have always felt like Rome has had some of the best straps in snowboarding. These straps meet that expectation. The toe strap conforms well over the rounded and smooth toebox of the Libertines I ride. They stay put, and I never have to think about them. The ankle straps blend softness and conformity with performance and rebound very well. I never experience any pinching or hotspots. They don't show signs of wear.
- Durability: Other than the usual scuffs and scrapes, I have not had any durability concerns. Everything has functioned as expected, with no failures and no early signs of wear.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Buckles: While I never really have any failures or issues, they are not the smoothest releasing buckles out there. The more pressure they have from tightening the straps, the more effort they take to pop loose. I never had them stick on me.
- Weight: The AsymWrap frames from Rome are their lighter options, putting these in the middle of the range for what is out there. If weight was a large concern for me, they might be more on the heavy side. However, it’s not, and I never noticed them feeling heavy daily, but they are heavier than some other options out there.
Favorite moment with this gear
The level of comfort was really the shining moment for me. I find that I have to run most bindings’ ankle straps a click or two looser than I normally would to take the pressure off my foot or pop them a little at the base for the lift ride. I never have any unwanted strap pressure from the Vices and never have to readjust them throughout the day to accommodate my dumb feet.
Value for the money vs. other options
If I was looking for all-out drive and response at this price, I could find some better options. But for all-out versatility, these stack up against anything else, if not outperform, with their level of customizability. I would compare them to the Jones Meteorite, Arbor Hemlock, and Burton Malavita. I find they are more adjustable than all three, more responsive than the Malavita and Hemlock, and have more comfortable straps than the Meteorite.
The Rome Vice is a standout do-it-all binding for all but the stiffest and most aggressive boards. There really isn’t any kind of riding or board style that they won't work well for due to their response level and customization.