Hello and welcome to my Union Falcor review.
In this review I will take a look at the Falcor as all-mountain-freeride snowboard bindings.
As per tradition here at SnowboardingProfiles.com I will give the Falcor a score out of 100 (based on several factors) and see how they compare with other all-mountain-freeride bindings.
Bindings: Union Falcor 2020
Price: $349 (USD recommended retail)
Flex Rating: Baseplate =7.5/10, Highback = 7.5/10 (based on Union’s new flex slider graphs)
Flex Feel: Medium-Stiff (7/10)
Rating Score: 94.1/100
Compared to other Men’s All-Mountain-Freeride Bindings
Out of the 14 men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings that I rated:
Overview of the Falcor’s Specs
Check out the tables for the Falcor’s specs and available sizes.
2 x 4 | Channel
US BOOT SIZE
EURO BOOT SIZE
UK BOOT SIZE
Who are the Falcor Most Suited To?
The Falcors are great for anyone who want great response out of their bindings for quick edge to edge speed but also want to have good board feel with a minimal “dead spot" feel underfoot.
They are great with boards that are rated 6 to 8 in terms of flex.
Not for the beginner, but anyone from a solid intermediate rider to an expert should really enjoy these bindings.
Not park specific by any means but you can definitely ride the park with these bindings. They have great board feel and great pop.
The Falcor in More Detail
O.k. let’s take a more detailed look at what the Falcor are capable of.
Bindings: Union Falcor 2019, Medium (M)
Date: March 21, 2018
Conditions: High cloud but still good vis. Wind was light but cold. Snowed for like 20 minutes, but very light snow. Was a bit bumpy and lumpy on groomers and quite crunchy off groomer.
This was my initial conditions, I have since bought these bindings, and have ridden them in various conditions.
Bindings angles: +15/-15
Stance Width: 555m (21.85”)
Board demoed with: Rossignol One LF 2018
Baseplate Length: 25.2cm (9.9”)*
*but this was measured on the top side of the footbed. Was 22.5cm on the underside of the baseplate (the bit that attaches to the board)
Highback Height: 21.2cm (8.35”)
Weight: 780 grams (lbs, oz)*
*a.k.a. super-light! This is per binding and includes disc and screws. For perspective, the average weight of a small sample size of 10 bindings I took was 864 grams. And 5 of those were Union bindings, which are all really light. The lightest was 760 grams and the heaviest was 1,000grams.
Union rate the baseplate as 6/10 and the highback as 8/10. The feel I got from them was about a 7/10, so that seems about right to me. They certainly had more forgiveness overall than the Ultra, particularly in the highback – so maybe even highback stiffness 8 is a little stiffer than what it feels. But yeah an overall feel of around 7 for sure.
These bindings respond so well. They improve the speed of changing edges on my Rossi One more than most bindings I’ve ridden. For a really stiff board, you might want stiffer bindings to get that response – but for boards in that 5-8 flex range, the Falcors respond amazingly well and provide great spring out of turns.
The Falcors get that elusive mix of board feel and response. Despite being relativey stiff and really responsive they still provide great board feel. You can definitely butter well in these bindings and just general feel is great. A lot of that is down to the mini-disc – but there’s something extra in there that I can’t put my finger on, but it might just be the lightness of them.
Great pop and I noticed an increase in pop on the Rossi One LF compared to a lot of other bindings. I would put that down to a combination of being super-light, the canted footbed and just the general springiness and responsiveness of them.
You can adjust the heel cup of the Falcors, which I really like. It helps you to achieve more even toe and heel overhang.
They are compatible with both the Channel and 2 x 4 mountain systems but not with 4 x 4 because of the mini-disc but not a lot of boards use the 4 x 4 pattern anymore.
The highback lean is tool-less, as are the strap length adjustments. There are 2 different toe strap positions and you can use it as an over the toe cap or over the boot.
What they’re missing in terms of adjustability is that there is only one ankle strap position, you can’t adjust the highback rotation (well you sort of can but not independently of the heel cup position and I’m not sure the heel cup adjustment is designed to also let you rotate the highback but it can be done). Also you can’t adjust the baseplate length – no toe ramp extension.
They aren’t the most shock absorbing of Union’s bindings but still have really good shock absorption overall.
The Ratchet system is nice and smooth which makes it easy to get in and out of them. Not the smoothest on the market but still very smooth.
Let’s Break up this text with a Video
These bindings are really comfortable and that’s no surprise given how light they are. Their lightness makes a noticeable difference on the lift (compared to the same board with heavier bindings).
As well as their lightness, they have a canted footbed which helps to keep them comfortable for longer periods of time, by aligning your ankles, knees and hips better.
The straps are also really comfortable and conform really well to your foot.
Their not the most supportive in terms of your ankle but their pretty good. Better than a lot of others in the Union line – but still not up there with some other brands. But that can be a good thing or a bad thing. If you like a more surfy feel with more freedom of movement in your ankle then you might prefer less support around there.
Price/Value for Money
They’re a little more expensive than the average price for bindings in this category – but they’re also better than most. So raw price they’re not the cheapest but for their performance they’re still good value-for-money.
Changes from the 2019 Model
THe 2020 model gets a new ankle strap and new toe strap in addition to new bushings. So a few upgrades/tweaks there for the 2020 model.
Changes from the 2018 Model
As far as I can tell the 2019 model is very similar to the 2018 model.
They have “Forma Elite” ankle straps whereas the 2018 model had the “ExoFrame/Air” ankle strap. But I didn’t notice any difference, so it feels like it’s just a name change, maybe? They still have the “exoFrame” ankle straps for 2019 but they look a lot different.
The toe straps are different, with the new “Hexgrip” toe strap on the Falcors. The “Ultragrip X” toe strap that it had on it last year was great, but the Hexgrip is a small improvement, IMO. Not a major thing but a subtle improvement.
Score Breakdown and Final Verdict
Check out the breakdown of the score in the table below.
Contribution to Final Score
TOTAL after normalizing
Overall, the Falcors are one of, if not the best all-mountain-freeride bindings.
They’re best for boards with 6-8 flex, IMO and are most suited to riding the groomers, off-groomer or backcountry, but you can definitely take them in the park, with their great board feel, shock absorption and pop.
More Info, Current Prices and Where to Buy Online
If you want to see how the Falcor compares to other men’s all-mountain-freeride bindings or want to check out some other options in that category, check out the next link.