/ REVIEW: DMM Dragonfly Micro Cams

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The ultimate test for a cam: polished Stoney limestone DMM's long-anticipated entry into the micro cam market was worth the wait, says Theo Moore

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Paul Sagar 01 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

I took an absolute monster lob off Sacre Coeur (E2 5c) in August, ripping two RPs and a No. 1 brass straight through the culm, falling about 13-14 meters in total. That next piece, the one that held? The yellow dragonfly.

Splendid pieces of kit. Don't enter the E grades without 'em.

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Duncan Campbell 01 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Gear: Interesting that they are slightly offset in size comparison to dragons/Camelots/friends. I wonder what the thinking was behind that.

I like the way that Aliens/totem basics/maybe BD micros? Fit the same sizes where they overlap as it means you can take one type or the other... maybe a clever sales ploy from DMM? 
 

They do look good though is a shame they’ve not gone for a softer alloy. A major plus is that they are in regular production though I guess! 
 

on a final note, more effort next time during the testing process please Theo! If you aren’t whipping on to these things or at least putting your life on the line during testing then I think you should hand over kit to more committed testers ;) 

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In reply to Duncan Campbell:

> They do look good though is a shame they’ve not gone for a softer alloy. A major plus is that they are in regular production though I guess! 

Interesting answer to this one, and realistically the review will need to be updated accordingly, but we've been speaking to DMM about this over the course of the day and the response is potentially quite positive.

As a quick recap, the Totem Basics feature 6061 alloy, whereas the Dragonflys' feature 6082. On the surface of things that does indeed suggest they are harder, but here's what DMM had to say:

“6061 and 6082 are essentially the same alloy with the same hardness. 6082 has slightly better corrosion resistance. 6061 is commonly available in America as it conforms to ASTM (American standard) and 6082 is more commonly available in EU as it is made to EN standard."

As such, it would appear that they're fundamentally like-for-like in terms of softness. 

Thanks to DMM for a) the clarification and b) keeping it soft

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Duncan Campbell 01 Nov 2019
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I stand corrected  

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Jus 01 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

Cheapest place to buy them?!

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John Kelly 01 Nov 2019
monkey man 01 Nov 2019
In reply to Duncan Campbell:

> Interesting that they are slightly offset in size comparison to dragons/Camelots/friends. I wonder what the thinking was behind that.

Maybe single axel limiting range vs the double axel of the dragon/c4?

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olddirtydoggy 01 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

These will open up a few routes on lines that I perhaps wouldn't have tried due to protection being a bit marginal. I wonder if we will start regrading some routes or just accept that gear improves and makes routes slightly safer. Whatever gear we carry, the route is still the same pieces of rock.

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jezb1 01 Nov 2019
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> These will open up a few routes on lines that I perhaps wouldn't have tried due to protection being a bit marginal. I wonder if we will start regrading some routes or just accept that gear improves and makes routes slightly safer. Whatever gear we carry, the route is still the same pieces of rock.

There's been micro cams available for donkeys years... don't think Dragonfly cams will effect any grades.

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Duncan Campbell 02 Nov 2019
In reply to monkey man: in the smaller sizes the double axel doesn’t really add much. On my rack I have dragons from green upwards but carry the red, yellow and green totem basics to replace my old purple, grey and blue Camelot’s. When you put these next to each other the difference in Camming range is either very hard to tell or negligible.

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In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

I've been told this by a number of engineering companies. If we want ali parts made they're almost always 6082 in Europe and 6061 in USA. Nothing special or fancy about it. It's your bog standard, everyday, off the shelf, "I'd like this not made out of steel please" stuff.

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bpmclimb 02 Nov 2019
In reply to John Kelly:

Thanks for the link: they were full price until fairly recently, didn't know they'd dropped. Just ordered some

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Aly 03 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC Gear:

Anybody else got their hands on these yet?  From the photos in the article I'm assuming they are copies of Aliens (and Totem Basics) - they look almost identical.

From what I can gather the second smallest size (size 2) is a black alien (in a nutshell) whilst the bigger ones (sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6) are blue, green, yellow and grey alien respectively, does that seem about right?  Great to have a black alien back again, with an even smaller size below that!  Shame the colours are all wrong but I guess you can't have everything!

Any plans in the pipeline for offsets?

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asteclaru 03 Nov 2019
In reply to bpmclimb:

What's the discount @ Needle Sports? 10%?

GoOutdoors, Dick's Climbing and Ellis Brigham also do 10% off if you need more purchasing options (use your BMC discount at Ellis Brigham).

I'm gonna go against the popular opinion here and admit that I'm not that impressed with the Dragonflies, from a build quality point of view. The trigger action seems to get gritty really quickly (there's plenty of other people on Mountain Project claiming the same thing, so I'm rather sure it's not just my set that does this) and I don't even climb that much! If I did, I'd probably have to constantly clean and lube them, which is just too much faff.

Also, the wires on my red one popped out from simply pulling the trigger (to DMM's credit, they did repair it quickly). Luckily, it happened while I was packing for a trip, and not actually while trying to place it or anything.

I'll probably sell mine and get the Z4's instead, or some Totem Basics if Totem ever bring them back.

Post edited at 18:17
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bpmclimb 03 Nov 2019
In reply to asteclaru:

> GoOutdoors, Dick's Climbing and Ellis Brigham also do 10% off if you need more purchasing options (use your BMC discount at Ellis Brigham).

Needlesports full price until recently, but now 10% off, and all sizes in stock. Dick's my natural choice when the price is right, but they'd sold out of the red. GO had the discount but I wasn't sure about stock in any one local store. Didn't know EB were doing BMC discount; vaguely remember some problem getting it, but that was some time ago, admittedly.

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Duncan Campbell 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Aly: from the review it seems that red-purple will cover the roughly same range as black-red aliens/totem basics but the purple DF will stop a bit short of a purple Camelot/dragon. Sort of strange they did that as it means you have to carry an extra cam to make the sets meet up.

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Tom Ripley 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Aly:

Hey Aly,

Hope you’re good. I see from your profile that you’re living in Australia, not Northern Ireland?!

I’ve got the the three biggest Dragonflies (Purple, Grey, Blue). They’re different sizes to Totem Basics.

The Purple is halfway between Red and yellow Totem. 

The Grey is halfway between Yellow and Green. The Blue is somewhere between yellow and blue.

I would agree with what the other poster said about them getting gritty easily. 

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Aly 04 Nov 2019
In reply to Tom Ripley and Duncan Campbell:

Hi Tom, yes living it up down under!  Been working too much for the last year, but now have some time off, and heading out to spend 6 weeks at Arapiles in the morning

Hope you are well.

Hmm, OK, thanks for you help guys it's starting to make a bit more sense.  Why, oh why did they change all the colours...!

I've been trying to get my head round this, and found a great website with the old Alien sizes on it:

https://mojagear.com/learn/2014/05/19/cam-range-comparisons/

So the Dragonflys fill the space of what was the smallest 5 Aliens.

The largest (purple) Dragonfly must be the equivalent of a Grey Alien (a smidge smaller than a Friend 1.0) which fits from the measurements.  Totem Basics never came in this size.  They then follow getting smaller in size the Yellow, Green, Blue and Black Aliens.  Then there is an even smaller one.  It seems odd to not have the largest (Red Alien) size as that's really useful.

I'm keen to have a look at these, as I have an old yellow and grey Alien still, and love them, but the slings are getting pretty tatty (following a big whipper from Offspring years ago I think).  They seem to available over here but are expensive compared to the UK, I'm back home for Xmas so maybe a present to myself is on the cards. 

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asteclaru 04 Nov 2019
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Didn't know EB were doing BMC discount; vaguely remember some problem getting it, but that was some time ago, admittedly.

As far as I know, they've only fairly recently started doing it. I think I was first given the discount back in July.

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