/ NEW VIDEO REVIEW: Assisted-braking Belay Devices

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Climbing Technology Click-up in action, 4 kbA video review of 5 of the current range of assisted braking belay devices. Featuring Alan James and and Mark Glaister and filmed by Dominic Green of Weekday Productions at the Edge Climbing Centre.

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3498
Lemony - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: Have to say that out of a first gen Gri Gri, an Edelrid Eddy and a Mammut Smart I've ended up only really using the Smart. As far as I'm concerned the other devices don't justify the extra cost.


I've used it on reasonably skinny ropes without a slippage problem though it has to be said my partners are probably at the weighty end of the climbing spectrum so maybe it locks up better under heavier loads.
supos - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

According to Mammut the slippage of the Smart device is actually intentional, serving to lower impact forces (see comment here: http://www.supertopo.com/review/Mammut-Smart ).

Perhaps more interesting to a UK audience is that there is now a double rope version, called the Smart Alpine available, making it the only assisted braking device that will work with doubles.
In reply to Lemony:
> (In reply to UKC Gear) Have to say that out of a first gen Gri Gri, an Edelrid Eddy and a Mammut Smart I've ended up only really using the Smart. As far as I'm concerned the other devices don't justify the extra cost.
> I've used it on reasonably skinny ropes without a slippage problem though it has to be said my partners are probably at the weighty end of the climbing spectrum so maybe it locks up better under heavier loads.

I would have thought that weightier climbers would test the slippage problem more.

We did test them all (where appropriate) with a new 8.9mm rope so that was at the extreme end of the ranges claimed, but there was definitely a bit of slippage with the Smart and you couldn't 'hands off' - not that you should ever do that! The rope in the video is a 10mm which worked fine with the Smart.

Alan
Lemony - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to Alan James - UKC: I think the thinnest I've used it with is about 9.2 and I didn't notice any problems. Maybe the rope's a bit chunkier than that now, it's a few months old.
billy no-mates - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to Alan James - UKC:

Do you think that there'll be dramas in walls where grigri 2's don't work on the fatter toproping ropes? I thought they were 11mm?
terryturbojr - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to billy no-mates:

I was going to buy a GriGri2 today but having read this not so sure now as my rope is a Beal Eldridge 10.2mm.
Enty - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to terryturbojr:
> (In reply to billy no-mates)
>
> I was going to buy a GriGri2 today but having read this not so sure now as my rope is a Beal Eldridge 10.2mm.

I'm using a Beal 10.3 with the Grigri 2 and if you use the new technique where you put a thumb on the handle it's fine.
It does however work much better with my mate's 9.3.

E

jimtitt - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to billy no-mates:

Donīt understand this myself, Petzl say they are stopping the original Grigri which is going to cause problems all round, my local wall use 10.5īs and have ordered all they can get hold of for this very reason.
For bolting routes setting and dogging projects where normally you want a 10+ rope and probably it wants to be fairly robust as well then you also have a problem.
Iīve done pull tests on the new one and even with normal, good condition 10mm I still had to hold down hard against locking-up when testing the feeding resistance and found it far too grabby to be useful.
Great for 9mm but nothing for 10mm.

Useless for lead roped soloing even at my snail-like pace, feeds o.k. for top-rope soloing. Used as a bottom jumar on the harness the rope tends to drop under the handle, nasty.

Jim
imagist - on 24 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:
This review is very useful, thanks for giving an overview of what's available and some idea of strengths and weaknesses of devices which would otherwise be difficult to achieve in such an easily accessible way. All for free! Many thanks.
Mick
Max factor - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to imagist:
Seconded, have been looking at getting one of these but it's hard to get a balanced review, so thanks.

On watching the video at first I thoguht it was a bit of an advertorial, but with the article as well it seems a well balanced review.

is the smart OK with older & fatter 10mm ropes do you think?

M
coldwill - on 25 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I use the Cinch and it's my first and only auto locker, tried to use a mates Gri Gri, big mistake, couldn’t get out of the old habits. It works fine up to about 10.5 then starts to get a bit grabby with older furry 10.5s and above. I really rate it, it'll also freak out the floor walkers at your local wall if there not familiar with the technique.
Jubjab - on 26 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear: I watched the video, and the belaying with the Cinch looks incorrect. The belayer is not holding the brake side of the rope at all. It looks like he just holds his hand around the rope, but does not really even touch it. No wonder they feel it is "slightly un-nerving". Like with all these devices, you should always keep a grip on the braking side of the rope.

One benefit with the Cinch is that it apparently is easy to use for left-handed persons, when compared to the GriGri.
mumtaz.ay - on 27 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:

Click up looks interesting. Any idea about what happens if something gets caught in the hole during the fall. Or if the screwgate turns sideways during the fall?
ashley1_scott - on 27 Feb 2011
In reply to mumtaz.ay:
> (In reply to UKC Gear)
>
> Click up looks interesting. Any idea about what happens if something gets caught in the hole during the fall. Or if the screwgate turns sideways during the fall?

I have had my Click Up for a year now, and have never had anything get caught in the hole during the fall as the device is almost vertical when in use.
Im not sure about it if the HMS turns sidewards during the fall, it has never happened to me.
Just to provide a little bit of info, I normally use a 10.2mm rope but have also used my friends 9.5mm rope both are equally held with a fall.
Andy3131 - on 27 Feb 2011
In reply to UKC Gear:
In the vid, when using the Trango Cinch, the "rope hand" seems to become the "device hand". When the climber fell, the catch was performed completely by the device. Is that intentional, or am I missing something??

In reply to Jubjab:

The way that the device is held is also demonstrated here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9TO5ikqXwo


In reply to Andy3131:
> In the vid, when using the Trango Cinch, the "rope hand" seems to become the "device hand". When the climber fell, the catch was performed completely by the device. Is that intentional, or am I missing something??

Mark is holding it correctly in our video. You grip the device and the rope with your right hand and use your left hand to feed. If you take your right hand off the device then it locks completely but, as with all these devices, best practice is to always keep a hand on the lower rope as a safe guard.

Alan
In reply to UKC Gear: Just as a note Wild Country also have a device that fits this category - not reviewed here because it's not new I presume - which is called the SRC or Single Rope Controller. This is what Mammut took their 'inspiration' for the Smart from and has been around for about 10 years. It's offered with the Belaymaster karabiner as a set and retails at Ģ39.99.
You can see more about it at Wild Country's website here:
http://www.wildcountry.co.uk/Products/AscentDecentBelay/SingleRopeController/

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