better, but definitely not perfected
first off, love the contrabands, from the OG's to the Nitrane to the Optimo. funny thing is, as the binder progresses, the V-strap gets worse! seems the only solution is to just slap the original V-strap on all the contrabands, since its the only one that hasn't failed repeatedly. the first pair of Optimos i had, the stitching that keeps the velcro attached to the nylon strap began to shred and separate, rendering the strap useless, on the second day of riding! also, the paint job on the heelcup is pretty janky and scratches off with your fingernail. I'm on my second pair, and after a full season riding about 25 times, no real issues (besides the paint job again, but whatever). they are super light, awesome flex with great response. they can be adjusted so many different ways with ease at any time, anywhere. no issues with the velcro, YET. unfortunately, unless Ride makes a change before next November when they release the 2012 Optimos, the only difference between this and next years is going to be the colors and some improved easy glide ratchets. no real change to the imperfect velcro strap. even though the optimo's are pretty sweet in hot pink, with such a history of failing V-straps the focus should be on the quality of the binding, not necessarily the steeze. just sayin.