ok, just got back from hell. alright, id like to consider myself somewhat of an expert on these bindings.
now, in thier current incarnation, the heel piece is the best they've ever been. the new style of attachment to the tt baseplate is much stronger and stiffer, and they ski even better. the old ones that just hook in, instead of the burly rivet still ski great, but not as great as the new ones. also, the current toe piece being sold with the 155s-185s is imo pretty shitty, at least for freeriding. yes, it provides a very direct interface, but it has VERY limited release functionality. most other single pivot toe pieces have at least some degree of upward release (so when the toe gets kicked out to the side far enough, itll start to allow upward toe release), but the race toe is strictly side to side. for freeriding, having that upward toe release is crucial for not blowin your knees.
my all time favorite toe piece for these guys is this older racestock design.
its mostly metal, the toe wing assembly is one piece, and floats for a 3D release zone. theres a small switch on the binder that allows you to adjust how active the upward release function is. there is also another screwpiece ontop, which puts pressure on the front of your boot. the ONLY downfall to these guys is a 3 screw mounting pattern, but thats not that big of a deal. they ski amazingly.
the other toepiece i would recommend is this guy,
the previous generation the the racestocks. they function almost identically to the current pivot toe, but are metal, and much more durable. (BTW, if anyone has some they wanna get red of hit it up). these guys also have significantly less slop than the consumer pivot toe found in the 120 level turntables and the axials.
so yea, if your serious about it, hunt ski swaps and ebay, and build composite binders. they are actually pretty basic to pull apart and repair. ive scored a number of TTs that just needed a few lil parts. take those off shitty shitty old ones, and your good. brand new pair of bindings for next to nothing. my current project is stripping and repainting/rebuilding one of those ^^ racestock toes with the newer style turntable heel.
oh yea, the brakes are not that hard to swap out. i can do it by myself in like 10 minutes. anyone whose complaining, stop.