Hello and welcome to my Rome Cleaver bindings review.
In this review I will take a look at the Cleaver as freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Cleaver a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other Freeride bindings.
Bindings: Rome Cleaver 2023
Price: $449 (USD recommended retail)
Other Uses: Aggressive All-Mountain
Flex: Stiff (8/10)
Rating Score: 91.8/100
Compared to other Men’s Freeride Bindings
Out of the 13 Men’s Freeride bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Cleaver’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Cleaver ’s specs and available sizes.
Freeride, aggressive all-mountain
2 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who are the Cleaver Most Suited To?
The Cleaver are best suited to those looking to charge and carve but at the same time want good board feel and shock absorption.
Matches best with boards in that 7/10 to 9/10 flex range.
Not for beginners and too stiff for most intermediate rider's too. These are for advanced to expert riders or particularly strong/athletic or heavier intermediate riders.
The Cleaver in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Cleaver are capable of.
Binding: Rome Cleaver 2023, M/L
Date: March 18, 2022
Foggy but visibility wasn't terrible, but not 100%. I'd say about 70%. Snowing to start with, but quite wet snow.
Temperature was ranging from -1°C (30°F) to 1°C (34°F) through the day. Ranging from -5°C (23°F) to -2°C (28°F) with wind chill.
24 hour snow: 19cm (7.5")
48 hour snow: 21cm (8")
7 day snow: 63cm (25")
On groomer: Soft packed to start and got a little slushy later in the day.
Off groomer: Soft with a fresh layer on top. Nothing super epic or anything but still fun to get off groomer and into the trees.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance width: 555mm (22″)
Board demoed with: Lib Tech Terrain Wrecker
Baseplate Length: 25.1cm (9.9”)*
*measured on the top side of the footbed - a little bit of angle down to underside of baseplate where it's 23cm (9.1")
Highback Height: 21.7cm (8.5")*
* from board to top of highback is 28cm (11")
Weight: 960g (2lb 2oz)*
* for one binding, including screws and disc. The average weight of around 60 bindings (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023 models) I have weighed, was 913 grams. The lightest was 680 grams and the heaviest was 1,240grams. So the Cleaver was very slightly heavier than average, but essentially average - and felt normal on snow.
The highback felt similar, in terms of twisting and pulling back on the highback, to the Katana, which I also tested on the same day but slightly stiffer. And overall flex was a bit stiffer as well. Noticeably stiffer than my control bindings (Malavitas) but also not the stiffest I've ridden.
The Cleaver's can really help to rail big carves and sustain them. Compared to the Katana and particularly the Malavita, you could get more from these bindings in terms of big, deep carves.
When it came to maneuverability at slow speeds, they made the board perform worse than the Katana and Malavita, which wasn't surprising, given their stiffness.
For how stiff they were, they had surprisingly good board feel. Part of that is likely down to the smaller disc that they use.
A little above average. Very similar to Katana.
Like the Katana, the Cleaver are super adjustable - you can adjust pretty much anything. The only downside is that, with the mini disc, they won't mount to 4 x 4 insert packs, which for the most part isn't a big thing - the only real place that that will come into play is with some boards that have an extra set of insert holes setback 4cm from the main insert pack.
Heel Cup: Yes. This is great for boot centering.
Stance Width: The disc runs horizontal (and there's no need to have it able to run vertical with the heel cup adjustments doing the boot centering for you) - which gives you good stance width adjustability. It's not the most, because of the mini-disc, but the mini-disc is big enough that there is some micro adjustability.
Highback Lean: Yes and tool-less.
Ankle Strap Position: Yes. The Cleaver have a pivot mount on the ankle strap that gives you around 8 (yes 8!) different positions. So you can have it sitting high on the ankle for more ankle support/a more locked in feeling or you can have it sitting low on your ankle for a more free/surfy feel.
Toe Strap Position: Yes - 2 position options.
Ankle and toe strap length: Yes, like every binding. These adjustments are tool-less.
Gas pedal/toe ramp extension: You can't technically extend it. As in you can't make the footbed longer. But you can adjust the footbed backwards or forwards, which helps with getting your boots centered on the bindings and your footbed in the best position on the board (along with that heel cup adjustment).
Highback Rotation: Yes
Compatible with: 2 x 4 | Channel
You can also adjust the canting of the highback.
There is a really nice spongy feeling in the footbed, which is particularly soft and cushy in the heel and toe and firmer through the midfoot. There's padding on both the top of the footbed and on the underside of the base plate - allowing both good shock absorption and good board feel.
And on snow you can really feel that. They do a great job of dampening vibrations in chatter and absorbing impact on landings.
Nice smooth ratchets. Not the smoothest on the market but still really good. Generally easy and work well in terms of getting in and out of them.
Nice and comfortable, particularly for stiffer bindings, which tend to be less comfortable, all else being equal.
Ankle Strap: Had a bit of a pressure point on top of right foot - as I had with Katana - initially, but having the strap slightly less tight helped that to go away, without loosing any response or ankle support. But yeah, I found that you could over crank it and get a pressure point there - at least with my feet. But overall the ankle strap is really nice and conformed well.
Toe Strap: No pressure points and felt really nice.
Canted Footbed: Yes
Padded Footbed: Really good padding (see shock absorption above).
Highback: Padding all over and felt nice and comfortable. No calf bite whatsoever, which is really impressive for a stiffer binding like this.
In the position I had the ankle strap in, the ankle support was good - it was a really good balance of support with enough freedom. And the best thing is that if you felt like you wanted more support, you could easily achieve it with the pivot mount that gives you 8 different positions for where you want the ankle strap to sit. Same goes, if you wanted more freedom of movement for a more surfy vibe.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
The Cleaver are first and foremost about charging and carving. But they also have surprisingly good board feel and are surprisingly comfortable.
They also have high-end shock absorption, so when you're in any not so smooth terrain, they do a great job of dampening chatter and absorbing shock on landings.
All round just a great pair of bindings for those looking to charge.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to check out some other freeride bindings or want to see how the Cleaver compare to other freeride bindings, check out the next link.