/ Trad Rack Cams

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Akers - on 31 May 2013
I've been learning to trad climb a little while now with a set of hexes and nuts, quickdraws, slings etc that's all fine. However now seems to be the time to add a few cams to the rack.

I mostly climb in Yorkshire/Northumberland. I'm poor and can't afford to just take a punt :p so I'm looking for a few recommendations for sizes of cams I to start with.

Any suggestions?
Mike Stretford - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers: If I was poor and camless I think I'd go for one of the deals on DMM 4cu's, sizes 1,2 and 3.
Owen W-G - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers:

You are best of buying a 3 pack of mixed sizes.
After you've got three, start filing in the gaps at your leisure.

Do your bit for the economy and buy British!

WC and DMM on offer here.
I've always liked WC Friends and 129 seems decent value
http://outside.co.uk/shop/climbing/protection/protection-active-sets
csw on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers:

Firstly, you might consider checking out tricams. Cheaper than friends and will go into places that friends won't. Slightly fiddlier to place, but they don't wander like friends do and when you have one well placed it's a lot more confidence inspiring than a spring loaded device. That's my opinion anyway, it's by no means universal :)

One cam on its own isn't much use, so if you're going to be buying them piecemeal, it will be a while before you have a useful selection. When I bought mine, I chose 4CUs from needlesports, because they were cheap and I started in the middle of the range and worked outwards in whole sizes, ignoring the smaller end of the range [below size 1] I think it took me about six months to accumulate the whole set.

You're the best person to judge what sizes to go for at first, since you can see the climbs you'll be using them on. it doesn't matter too much where you start. You'll have them a long time and sooner or later they'll all get used.
CurlyStevo - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Owen W-G:
needle sports will do 3 x 4cu for 85.47

and joe browns 3 x dragon for 120

Personally I'd opt for one of those two
jkarran - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers:

Sizes to suit the features you climb but currently struggle to protect. Could mean bigger cams for those wide gritstone breaks or finger/hand sized stuff for parallel cracks where you don't want to be hanging about trying to make a hex sit right.

On a tight budget the 100 set of DMM Demons looks good value. Just remember to get them re-slung in good time (<10 years is it?) as they don't seem very diy friendly.

Assuming they still make them the DMM 3CU and 4CU have always been excellent value but the frames are a little easier to kink than single stem units.

So long as you go for kit from a reputable supplier you'll use whatever you get for years, it won't be money wasted. If you can afford the extra cash a lighter set would be nice but it's not essential.

jk
CurlyStevo - on 31 May 2013
In reply to jkarran:
Do you not think the Demons would resling with 5.5 spectra? I'm pretty sure they would (having visually checked this out with my dragons with the same sling fitting), I think the holes are approx 8mm as the slings look to be 8mm and fit through the centre of the holes without being scrunched.
GridNorth - on 31 May 2013
In reply to jkarran: I'm currently in a quandry about replacing my cams. I have several HB Quadcams that I have always preferred to Friends but the slings are original and probably past their sell by date. I tried re-slinging but I don't like either option that I have tried. Tubular tape with a water knot is too bulky and doubling a 30 cm sling through them makes them too long to rack and awkward to handle as I tend to carry two cams to a krab.

I know that slings deteriorate with time but has anyone heard of an aged sling breaking in a real life situation. I've seen the DMM video but I look at my cams and think that even if the sling is compromised by age they just do not look as though they would break. They have never taken a fall. Manufacturers quote figures but even a 20% deterioration could stiill mean that the sling is stonger than the cam or it's placement.
CurlyStevo - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
Im guessing the slings were rated to 22 kn when manufactured and the cams more like 10 - 15kn. So even if they were only half as strong they'd be around the strength of the rest of the cam. That said with the quadcams you are loading over thin wire (with plastic around it) so they may not have been as strong as 22kn when new.
CurlyStevo - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
I'm finding with my quadcams the springs go at around 10 years old.
GridNorth - on 31 May 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: Yes and that's my point. Isn't a worst case fall which I think would be highly unlikely only be about 10 or 12kn? My Quadcams look in better condition than my Friends although it could admittedly just be cosmetic.
CurlyStevo - on 31 May 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
I think we need an expert like Jimtitt to answer that, I suspect the max force on the top bit of gear isn't actually twice the impact force of your (single!) rope but it gives a general gist if you weigh 80 kg.
The Ex-Engineer - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers: Look at Joe Browns, they generally do the some of the best online deals around on cams, especially if you can afford to buy 3 or more - http://www.joe-brown.com/climbing_cams

For single axle cams (WC Helium/DMM 4CU/DMM Demon) it is generally worth buying alternate sizes e.g. 1,2,3 or 0.5,1.5,2.5

For double axle cams (DMM Dragons/BD Camalot C4) it is probably better to buy a range of 3 sequential sizes in the middle as buying alternate ones will often leave too much of a gap between sizes.
martinph78 on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers: Keep your eye on the FS board, there's usually some good deals on used cams to be had.

I find I use WC friend 0.5 & 1 the most around North Yorks/Northumberland, followed by a Dragon Can No.4. Keep in mind you still have the rest of your rack. I use my cams when nothing else fits, not before anything else.



Dean177 - on 31 May 2013
In reply to csw:
> (In reply to Akers)
>
> Firstly, you might consider checking out tricams. Cheaper than friends and will go into places that friends won't. Slightly fiddlier to place, but they don't wander like friends do and when you have one well placed it's a lot more confidence inspiring than a spring loaded device. That's my opinion anyway, it's by no means universal :)
>

Do not get tri-cams, nobody uses these and they will be a waste of your money, they are much less versatile than cams.

For grit start with 1,2,3 then add a 4, for limestone add a 0
Nigel Thomson - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers: Hi, I have a surplus of cams if you're interested in second hand. Some of them haven't been placed and I just bought them coz I can't see shit pass me.
csw on 31 May 2013
In reply to Dean177:
> (In reply to csw)
> [...]
>
> Do not get tri-cams, nobody uses these and they will be a waste of your money, they are much less versatile than cams.
>

Well I use them :)

In what way do you see tricams as less versatile? They'll go anywhere a friend will, and lots of places they won't. They're good in icy cracks that a friend would slip out of and if you're really desperate, you can stack them. I think friends are easier to place, but that's the only advantage I've ever noticed.



Siderunner - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Akers:
McNamara has a great article online about selecting cams.

My tuppenceworth ... Don't skimp, get black diamond camalots in 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, as they'll last forever and you'll only end up replacing any other brands with these later. I know several people who've done this, including myself - once you've used camalots you'll never be happy with anything else, they're just so reassuring.



Jamie Wakeham - on 31 May 2013
In reply to Siderunner: I'd agree - don't skimp. Otherwise you'll end up selling your cheapo cams in a year, taking a big loss, to trade up to better ones.

I would heartily disagree about BD though. I have a rack made up of mostly BD Camalots, and now they need reslinging it's a bloody nightmare. I will never buy a non-UK manufacturer again.
CurlyStevo - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Jamie Wakeham: bd resling and return them for free you just post them out there, works out cheaper than uk manufacturers if you have a job lot but you have to wait about 3 weeks!
CurlyStevo - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to csw: i like tricams but to say they will hold every where a cam will (or vice versa) is rubbish. Cams are much more versatile imo.
GridNorth - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo: I have always thought of tricams as being for rather specialised use. In some limited situations excellent but not nearly as versatile as a cam.
csw on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to csw) i like tricams but to say they will hold every where a cam will (or vice versa) is rubbish. Cams are much more versatile imo.

I have to say I just don't see this at all. Apart from the fact that you can get some truly monstrous friends, I can't think of anywhere a friend would go that a tricam wouldn't. I'm not saying I'm definitely right about this, only that my experience suggests it.

Tricams were my cam of choice for probably about ten years, and the only reason I bought a set of friends was that I didn't own any and I'd run out of other stuff to buy. I tend to use friends more now [in summer], simply because they're easier to place, but there have been times when, being unable to place them, I've sincerely wished for a tricam - the reverse has never been true.


crash matti - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to Akers: I use tri cams, brilliant in shot holes and you can use them as rocks or cams
CurlyStevo - on 01 Jun 2013
In reply to csw: they dont hold as reliebly in smooth parallel cracks and they will only hold in flared cracks if the nose goes in to a hole or rests against an edge.
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csw on 02 Jun 2013
In reply to CurlyStevo:
> (In reply to csw) they dont hold as reliebly in smooth parallel cracks and they will only hold in flared cracks if the nose goes in to a hole or rests against an edge.

I've never had any kind of a problem with getting them to seat in smooth sided parallel cracks. As for flared cracks, you may have a point. They're certainly at their fiddliest there, but I'm not convinced that a friend would hold any better in the event of a fall, just because it's got spring loaded lobes holding it in place. Tricams do work in flared placements.

After my last comment I remembered that one place I'm not keen on using them is limestone. They don't seem to seat as well there, but that could be because I don't climb enough on limestone. Where friends really score is the fact that you can just pull the trigger and fire them in, in about as much time as it takes to say, which is not to be sniffed at when your forearms are on fire. As I said, I tend to use my friends more than tricams these days, but only because I'm lazy :)


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