I currently use a DMM Bug belay device. I've recently splashed out on a set of 8.5mm half ropes (Mammut Genesis) for trad. 8.5mm is at the very bottom end of the Bug's rope diameter range and I am pondering whether it's worth using (or giving my belayer!) a new belay device with 8.5mm closer to the middle of its range to get a bit more bite?
Any thoughts/experience on Bug + 8.5mm's would be very much appreciated.
I have used my Bug with my 8mm ropes and whilst it was okay, I now use a Reverso. One of my climbing partners happily uses his Bug with them and I take leader falls whilst he's belaying - no dramas yet.
In reply to Otis: Go get yourself the DMM Bugette. It can be had from Outside for £9 with P&P. Gives a very smooth feed even in high friction mode with my 8.5mm ropes, and holds falls easily. It was bought for my mates 7.5mm ropes and at 27 grams it'll make a great spare device anyway!
According to the Outside website 8.5mm *is* in the middle. http://outside.co.uk/shop/Bugette
"If you are using ropes from 7.5mm to 9.5mm this is the belay device for you."
Though in the table underneath it states a rope diameter of 7.5 - 9mm
In reply to andy_e:
Once 8.5 mm ropes get furry the buggette is too narrow. This device is better for 8mm ropes. I think the ATc xp (not the guide) is the best device on the market for 8.5 mm ropes. I found on even 8 mm ropes once they get a bit furry the bugette is a bit too grabby (but still ok)
I would take the ranges that manufacturers state belay plates work with a large pinch of salt. There is no way a bugette would work well with even new 9mm ropes and the ATc xp is not really grabby enough for holding single strand high factor falls on 8mm ropes IMO (despite what BD say - the ATc xp guide is grabbier but not as nice to use)
In reply to CurlyStevo: I think with modern skinny ropes you need to ditch them a lot more frequently than old 9mm
if it's furry you might want to consider a new rope one rather than a less grippy plate
In reply to MFB: Ok i didn't mean really furry I meant when the ropes are about 50% through their usable life (if you retire due to how abraided the rope is rather than for age alone.)
I used to have 8mm mammit Phoenix and the bugette was generally good on these although
I preferred the hb air Marshall as it is grabbier than a normal plate but smoother than the bugette especially as the ropes aged. Both devices can be problematic in winter if the ropes Ice up a bit
I replaced my 8mm with 8.5 genesis and I wasn't happy with the bugette on these from new as the rope just didn't feed nearly smoothly enough (perhaps it's ok on some other 8.5) although the hb air Marshall is ok until the ropes fur up quite a bit (but still in their safely useable life span)
One thing worth mentioning is if you buy skinny ropes (I don't consider 8.5 skinny) it's worth getting two skinny rope belay devices one for you and one for your climbing partner.
Thanks to everyone for you help on this one. It sounds like a bugette would be a sensible addition to my rack for now (with a possible excuse to go shopping again in the future when the ropes have seen a bit more use!).
As I do most of the leading with my current climbing pals I think I'll be giving it to them as a priority though
In reply to Otis: As mentioned I own genesis 8.5mm and a buggette (bought for my old 8mm ropes) and I don't think its a good combo. For me I wouldn't want to put more than an 8mm rope in a bugette its too graby and not slick enough.
Get an BD ATC XP IMO
One major gripte of the bugette btw is that standard single rope will not fit in it at all, which doesn't seem such an issue until you consider abseiling.