UKC

NEW REVIEW: Friction Labs Chalk

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 UKC Gear 10 Sep 2015
My favourite chalk bag...and Friction Labs Chalk..., 4 kbNew fancy expensive chalk? Is it worth the money? Rob Greenwood finds out!

"Friction Labs chalk seems to stick and hold onto your hands for much longer than standard chalk, something became all the more noticeable when I went back to using my old chalk-bag...

Read more

 Dennis999 10 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

The Metolius block chalk is 100% Mag Carb and costs £1 for 2oz, you can also buy 500g (17oz) of pure magnesium carbonate off ebay for less than £10 delivered. Why is this stuff any different?
 conorjclarke 10 Sep 2015

Same question! A quick search on Amazon shows many brands of chalk that are 100% magnesium carbonate and much cheaper than Friction Labs -- so it doesn't seem like the presence or absence of calcium carbonate can explain the full price difference. Is the theory that not all magnesium carbonate is created equally? If so, why?
Post edited at 13:23
 stp 10 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

There are actually a bunch of different chalks available at the moment. Since this is a comparison between chalk A and chalk B its essential to know which the first chalk was for this review to be meaningful. For instance maybe chalk A was a particularly poor kind of chalk and thus almost any other brand would be considered much better when compared to it.

In the same vein it would be much more useful to review several different chalks together rather than just one type on its own. For instance another reviewer, on UKB, reckons, that Beta chalk is almost as good as Friction Labs but a fraction of the price.

The implication here is that there are just two types of chalk, Friction Labs and all the others. For marketing purposes I'm sure that's just what Friction Labs would like us to believe but for a serious review that's misleading. Metolius, Moondust, Rock Technologies, Beta chalk, Edelrid, Camp, and Snap are just some of the other competing brands.

How about a proper head to head review of at least 5 of the more popular types of chalk? That would be so much more useful than this which reads more like an advertisement to me.
In reply to Dennis999:

Hi all,

I had a suspicion that this review would stir up some controversy simply because of it's price (!!) and the fact that the actual difference between it's performance vs. it's competitors isn't something that I have tried to test scientifically. It's an expression of my opinions/experiences at the end of the day, not fact.

To allay people's fears it is worth mentioning that I have used a lot of differing types of chalk, hence would like to think I have a reasonable appreciation of what is out there (and how they perform). There are some I find too fine, others I find dry my skin too much, but for the vast majority I have found actual performance much for muchness. Friction Labs Chalk did feel different and if this sounds like an advertisement then please accept my apologies.

It would be interesting to hear feedback on other people's experiences, after all this is one of the benefits of the forums - lots of opinions from lots of different people (and not just mine!!).

Finally, I'd be open to the idea of a Comparative Chalk Review (but it might take a while to do properly).

p.s. the following link has the percentages of Magnesium Carbonate used by Friction Labs and other brands: http://trade.mountainboot.co.uk/where-to-buy-friction-labs-chalk/
 Steve nevers 10 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Hi all,

> I had a suspicion that this review would stir up some controversy simply because of it's price (!!)

Now i think its more because it sounds like bollocks. TBH.

> p.s. the following link has the percentages of Magnesium Carbonate used by Friction Labs and other brands: http://trade.mountainboot.co.uk/where-to-buy-friction-labs-chalk/

Chart is kind of meanless, for a start this 'wunderchalk' claims to have almost 0.80.. 0.80 of what exactly? Seem like they have cherry picked data. As someone else has mention, many other brands are 100%, so would that be 1.00 on that chart or?

 ex0 10 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Same as I posted last time, Metolius superchalk feels basically the same and it's almost 4 times cheaper than this stuff. I've used both and the bit about this stuff lasting longer than any other chalk is certainly not something I experienced.

Way too expensive.
 Bwox 10 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

> Finally, I'd be open to the idea of a Comparative Chalk Review (but it might take a while to do properly).

Sounds like an opportunity for some clever sausage to come up with an objective scientific test.
 Offwidth 10 Sep 2015
In reply to Dennis999:

Its not 100% magnesium carbonate. This subject has been done in detail on the other channel.

http://ukbouldering.com/board/index.php?topic=25981.0
In reply to UKC Gear:

I was under the impression that the main reason people think JA's FFA of GW doesn't count is that Iain Edwards had done it first.

jcm
 mattrm 10 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

It's got to be tested via blind testing if there's going to be a test. Personally I reckon it's a load of whooey, but then lots of folk swear by bits of randomly coloured tape in other sports. If it helps your mental edge and you want to spend the money, then feel free.
 stp 10 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Thanks for the reply Rob. The chart is interesting - I assume .8 means 80%. It would be interesting to see a comparison with more brands.

I tried the Beta chalk. The density of a block seems much higher. A block feels much heavier than one would expect. Also it crumbled up fairly easily which was nice. Whether its performance is any better than the Camp chalk I usually get is hard to tell. There are so many variables when testing chalk: temperature, humidity, how thick one's skin is (which can vary with each try on some problems), how tired or strong you're feeling, whether there's a breeze, motivation, expectations etc.

One area I think Friction Labs are ahead is their marketing. This has to be the best marketed chalk ever, by a long way. It makes me think of a Derren Brown episode where he gave a bunch of volunteers suffering from different phobias a blue (calming colour) anti-fear pill. There was a whole big charade of the lab tests and history of the pill before the participants took it. The pill worked wonders and they all overcame their fears in a decisive manner, and long term. However the pill was nothing than inert powder and the effect was entirely placebo.

Of course all there's no relation in the marketing to the quality of a product. But I do think if I were to fork out and try some Friction Labs chalk my expectations would be a bit higher now and so I'd be looking for signs to confirm my belief that this is a superior chalk (and that I hadn't wasted my money).

I agree with others that the price would be a concern and I'm not convinced by the 'you'll use less argument'. I find on hard routes one tends to chalk up whenever the chance arises - at each stopping or resting spot - and that would be the same whatever chalk you use. When the climbing is hard then you just have to keep going.

The idea of having a separate chalk bag for the expensive chalk is interesting - a bit like having a lightweight rope for hard redpointing and/or very long pitches.
 Rob Parsons 10 Sep 2015
In reply to Steve nevers:
> Now i think its more because it sounds like bollocks. TBH.

> Chart is kind of meanless, for a start this 'wunderchalk' claims to have almost 0.80.. 0.80 of what exactly?

The figure on that chart is 'Magnesium : Calcium Carbonate'; i.e. the ratio of Magnesium Carbonate to Calcium Carbonate in the stuff. So, assuming that the stuff is a pure mixture of the two, a figure of 0.8 means it's 44% Magnesium Carbonate and 56% Calcium Carbonate.
Post edited at 23:46
1
 andrewmc 10 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The figure on that chart is 'Magnesium : Calcium Carbonate'; i.e. the ratio of Magnesium Carbonate to Calcium Carbonate in the stuff. So, assuming that the stuff is a pure mixture of the two, a figure of 0.8 means it's 44% Magnesium Carbonate and 56% Calcium Carbonate.

I'm not sure about that? Technically I guess a ratio should be expressed as a pair of numbers, i.e. 1:2 or similar (or indeed 0.8:0.2), but in this case I just assumed without even thinking about it that 0.8 meant 0.8 of 1.0 is magnesium carbonate (and having thought about it I still think it means that). I think I understand your argument but I don't think I've ever seen anything expressed like that - you have assumed the sum of the ratio is 2.0, but there is no real reason it should be and again I have never seen anything expressed like that? I think the sum being 1.0 is much more common (i.e. normalized).
1
 Jimbo C 11 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:
I believe my cheap as chips Camp chalk blocks are made of Magnesium Carbonate.

edit: and I can make them into any size I want.
Post edited at 13:57
In reply to andrewmcleod:

I have access to analytical reagent grade materials and once experimented with some magnesium carbonate powder from this source and found it wasn't as effective as the block chalk I used. I concluded there was something more going on than purity. Particle size/consistency?
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The figure on that chart is 'Magnesium : Calcium Carbonate'; i.e. the ratio of Magnesium Carbonate to Calcium Carbonate in the stuff. So, assuming that the stuff is a pure mixture of the two, a figure of 0.8 means it's 44% Magnesium Carbonate and 56% Calcium Carbonate.

Or it's 80% magnesium carbonate and most competitors are 20%. This doesn't make sense to me as I'm pretty sure it isn't that difficult to get hold of magnesium carbonate (but I'm ready to be proved wrong). Also I think you'd have a hard time claiming 100% magnesium carbonate content if it was at the 20% level (or less)
 Rob Parsons 11 Sep 2015
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:
> Or it's 80% magnesium carbonate and most competitors are 20%.

The vertical axis on that chart reads - verbatim - 'Magnesium : Calcium Carbonate'. The symbol ':' conventionally denotes 'ratio' - so I'm assuming that's what's meant.

Note that I really have no interest in this subject; I was just interpreting their figure of '0.8' since others were asking about it.
Post edited at 15:26
 andrewmc 11 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> The vertical axis on that chart reads - verbatim - 'Magnesium : Calcium Carbonate'. The symbol ':' conventionally denotes 'ratio' - so I'm assuming that's what's meant.

But a ratio is technically two numbers, so you can't actually plot a ratio on a graph. You can plot one part of the ratio and state (or imply) the other number, and usually if you are using decimals it is normalized to 1.
In other words the graph itself is technically a bit wrong/vague but I'm pretty sure if I ran round my (Astrophysics) office with that plot 95%+ of people would assume it was out of 1.0, and there is no reason to think it is out of 2.0.
 Andy Say 11 Sep 2015
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

> I was under the impression that the main reason people think JA's FFA of GW doesn't count is that Iain Edwards had done it first.

> jcm

A good climbing, as opposed to marketing bollocks, post!
 Andy Say 11 Sep 2015
In reply to stp:

> One area I think Friction Labs are ahead is their marketing. This has to be the best marketed chalk ever, by a long way.

And, just maybe, the review, and this thread, is all part of the marketing campaign?
 Andy Say 11 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Having now read the advertisement for this chalk, thinly disguised as a review, I would comment:

'Back in 1975 when John Allen completed the first free ascent of Great Wall it was considered as ‘invalid’ due to his use of chalk'.

Not by me it wasn't. And I was actually climbing at the time.
1
 AlanLittle 11 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

I notice that Beta Chalk (also?) claims to be 100% magnesium carbonate.

Whether or not a given type of chalk is "better" for climbing purposes is admittedly a subjective and qualitative judgement.

Whereas how much magnesium carbonate is in a given chunk of white stuff is a matter of objective fact which it surely can't be *too* wildly difficult or expensive to determine? Or so I naively imagine as somebody whose last contact with inorganic chemistry was O-Level forty years ago
 Rob Parsons 11 Sep 2015
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> But a ratio is technically two numbers, so you can't actually plot a ratio on a graph. You can plot one part of the ratio and state (or imply) the other number, and usually if you are using decimals it is normalized to 1.

> In other words the graph itself is technically a bit wrong/vague but I'm pretty sure if I ran round my (Astrophysics) office with that plot 95%+ of people would assume it was out of 1.0, and there is no reason to think it is out of 2.0.

I'm not sure where you get the 'out of 2.0' from?

A ratio is a fraction. If the ratio 'Magnesium Carbonate: Calcium Carbonate' is 0.8, that is the same as saying that the fraction (Percentage of MgCO2)/(Percentage of CaCO2) = 0.8.

If I am interpreting the label on the vertical axis on the chart correctly (and I am only, after all, taking it to be what it verbatim claims to be; if it means something other than what it says, then we're all just guessing) then, sure, it is reasonable to ask: why didn't they just have a chart which simply shows the percentage of MgCO2? One answer might be: the way they have done it gives them an larger figure (e.g. a straight 50/50 mix gives a ratio of 1.0; but a percentage MgCO2 figure of 'only' 0.5) - and perhaps the ad-men like the larger number?

Anyway I'll drop this subject now. The entire 'review' (which as another poster pointed out is bogus: the only way to do this for real would be blind testing) reads as a puff piece, and I have interest in drawing any more attention to it. Note that the 'review' was written by this site's advertising person.
Post edited at 20:56
1
In reply to Andy Say:

Agree I can never remember any discussion in the magazines at the time that it was invalid.
 jon 12 Sep 2015
In reply to Kipper-Phil Smith:

> Agree I can never remember any discussion in the magazines at the time that it was invalid.

Well, maybe not discussion, it was only really Ken who held that opinion, as I remember. However, I'd never heard the Iain Edwards story - what's all that, then? Sorry for the thread drift...
 Tomtom 12 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Acquired a sample of friction labs, and tried it out today. I'm not gonna scream that it was the best chalk I've ever used, as I tend to stick to metolius super chalk, and don't have much else to compare it to. Also one session working a few routes isn't really enough to go off.
First impressions though are good, it actually felt nice to apply, I felt less of a need to rechalk, and my hands actually felt dry (I'm a heavy sweater). Did I climb harder? Nah! I'm still weak as owt. But it was a comfort thing I suppose, and I'm looking forward to finishing off the sample next time.
Is it worth the money? Not entirely sure. I certainly wouldn't fill my bouldering bucket with it. I tend to make pointless dips, and don't need to rechalk on problems anyway, so I feel it would be wasted there.
In my waist bag for routes though, I could certainly see it making a regular appearance.
I do like super chalk, but I have sensitive skin, and that aggravates it. Friction labs is seemingly better, without that negative effect.
Just need to decide whether I want to double the cost of chalk... For not much gain...
It may be over marketed, but often, that's the key to business success. Find somewhere that will give out samples, or buy the small bag, and see how you feel about it.
 Doug 12 Sep 2015
In reply to jon:

> Well, maybe not discussion, it was only really Ken who held that opinion, as I remember. However, I'd never heard the Iain Edwards story - what's all that, then? Sorry for the thread drift...

But wasn't Ken editor of Mountain at the time ? so his point of view was given a platform, and this the time of the 'Clean Hand Gang' so it wasn't just Ken.

And I've never heard the Iain Edwards story either, anyone know more ?
 jon 12 Sep 2015
In reply to Doug:

My own recollections are that Ken did his best to put down the ascent. I was climbing just about all the time in N Wales in the mid 70s and don't remember anyone being as outspoken about it as him. Sure Pat and co were also anti chalk but I don't remember John Allen specifically coming under fire from them. Maybe I missed it off course - news didn't travel as fast then and unless you happened to be in the right place at the right time it would be weeks before stuff filtered down. You really have to hear Ken to believe it when he gets his teeth into something that interests or infuriates him. That said, neither me or my partners used chalk then so I'd have thought we'd have got wind of anything as dastardly as that!
 Doug 13 Sep 2015
In reply to jon:

> You really have to hear Ken to believe it when he gets his teeth into something that interests or infuriates him.

I camped next him once (mid 70s), and heard him 'discussing' various topics at great length, long into the night....
 bensilvestre 13 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Although I definitely agree that some brands of chalk are better than other, for instance moon chalk over super chalk, my experience of this stuff is that even if it is marginally better, it's absolutely nowhere near good enough to justify the outrageous price. Having said that I have been on a roll since I put this stuff in my chalk bag so who knows... Realistically my recent success comes down to pretty tangible circumstances, and I won't be buying more friction labs chalk, certainly not for regular use. Personally I think friction labs would do a lot better selling this at two thirds the price, which would still be dead expensive, though from what I hear the markup is marginal so the whole business concept may just be f*cked.
Ysgo 14 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:
I love the fact that everyone's harping on about how expensive it is. Yes, it's more expensive than the £1 block of Camp dust, but how much do your climbing shoes cost? And do people not think that La Sportiva are just one big advertising company? And no-one complains about that.

Ok so Friction Labs chalk is well marketed, and beautifully packaged, but fair enough. No-one's ever really given a toss about chalk before these guys came on the market. I did a brief bit of Googling and found this podcast which convinced me to give the stuff a try http://mantlepressmedia.com/friction-labs-climbing-chalk/

Also, if something as unreactive as gold can't claim to be 100% pure then how is a mined material like chalk ever going to be 100% pure magnesium carbonate. I think that any chalk claiming to be 100% magnesium carbonate is probably exaggerating somewhat.

Personally I found that it keeps my fingers drier for longer which means on lots of boulder problems I don't need to take a chalk bag with me. I just use the boulder bucket with Friction Labs chalk in it. I also find that it helps me hold certain holds a little bit easier. I feel like I can hang stuff which I can't with other chalks. I've been a massive fan of Beta block chalk for a couple of years but have now switched. I also agree with the review that my skin rolls less when training indoors, thus my skin is in much better condition, meaning I can train more often rather than repairing split or torn fingertips.

I'd be interested in getting some of the strong climbers views on it too. Sounds like Ned is pretty psyched on it, and rumour has it that Ben Moon was using it at Malham not too long ago. I also understand that there are certain sponsored climbers who want to use it but are sponsored by conflicting companies.
Post edited at 10:07
 andrewmc 14 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I have read the paper and decided you are probably correct. It is a weirdly misleading way to plot the data though, and they have not stated in the graph whether it is a stoichiometric ratio or fraction by mass (or even by volume). My best guess from reading the paper and a few paragraphs of the Wiki article on x-ray fluorescence is that it is probably stoichiometric? I'm also not sure they haven't stretched the conclusions just a little bit...

If it is stoichiometric, and the Mg:Ca ratio is 0.8, then only about 40% of the sample is MgCO3 by mass even if you assume there are no other impurities, and this is allegedly the 'best' chalk... pretty depressing?

Assuming that most chalk is at least mostly MgCO3 and CaCO3, you could try dissolving some... calcium carbonate is almost insoluble and according to Wiki in ten litres of water at 20 degrees C you should only get about 0.07g to dissolve, whereas magnesium carbonate is much more soluble and you can get up to 3.9g to dissolve in a litre. Which I admit still isn't a lot, and probably isn't very practical to test :P

(you may need to boil the water briefly to get the stuff to dissolve apparently?)
 Rob Parsons 14 Sep 2015
In reply to andrewmcleod:
> I have read the paper .... It is a weirdly misleading way to plot the data though, and they have not stated in the graph whether it is a stoichiometric ratio or fraction by mass (or even by volume).

FWIW I've also now read the report (I wouldn't call it a 'paper') and agree: the significant line in Table 1 is:

Chalk-ID Mg Si S Ca Ti Fe
C 6699 608 1882 8844 1573 8160

So that's Mg/Ca = 6699/8844 = 0.76 ~ 0.8

(Btw I think that has to be a stoichiometric measurement on account of the test method described. That doesn't prove that all the Mg is present as MgCO3, mind ...)

The weird thing is: I decided to waste a few more minutes of my life by listening to the 'podcast' mentioned above (Jesus Christ! 'Wayne's World' lives!), and the people involved evidently don't understand their own figures. After the bit where Wayne asks 'Do you guys have a background in any kind of sciency ... anything?' one of the people involved claims that while most chalk is 20% Ca and 80% Mg, this new stuff is 80% Mg and 20% Ca. Well, from their own published figures: no, it isn't.

This pseudo-scientific approach is depressingly familiar in advertising, of course: 'New Stuff - now with 20% extra pro-biotic compounds, for added vitalift!' - etc. etc. etc. ...
Post edited at 14:50
 andrewmc 14 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Parsons:
It does all sound a little dubious!

PS I would also agree with 'report' and also agree the Friction Chalk people haven't really understood it (or its limitations, which in fairness are not well-detailed in the report). Strictly speaking all the report really says is 'sample C is the purest sample', which is probably fair; using the figures to calculate fractions is probably a bit of a push, claiming 80% Mg is just nonsense!
Post edited at 15:55
In reply to andrewmcleod:

Reading the table and other information I am pretty sure they are claiming circa 75% MgCO3 which means they are saying other chalks are ranging from 20% to 40% MgCO3.
I think it is more complicated than Just MgCO3 = good BTW.

It's all complicated by the fact most forms of magnesium carbonate are hydrated to a lesser or greater degree.

Mammut quite helpfully give a formula for their chalk as MgCO3·Mg(OH)2·4 H2O) which is called hydromagnesite according to the quote below. Strictly speaking the term magnesium carbonate should only be used for the anhydrous form (water free) but it appears not to be the case outside of the chemical world.

From Wikipedia:

The most common magnesium carbonate forms are the anhydrous salt called magnesite (MgCO3) and the di, tri, and pentahydrates known as barringtonite (MgCO3·2 H2O), nesquehonite (MgCO3·3 H2O), and lansfordite (MgCO3·5 H2O), respectively. Some basic forms such as artinite (MgCO3·Mg(OH)2·3 H2O), hydromagnesite (4 MgCO3·Mg(OH)2·4 H2O), and dypingite (4 MgCO3· Mg(OH)2·5 H2O) also occur as minerals.

So you see they can all claim to be 100% magnesium carbonate.

It explains how 'pure magnesium carbonate' can have peculiarly low levels of MgCO3 as, in the Mammut formula, I calculate that this contains 39% MgCO3. (which puts it in the best of the rest camp according to Fricion Lab's figures)

Interestingly if you perform the same calculation for the other formulae then the dihydrate (barringtonite) gives 72% of its mass as MgCO3 which is roughly where the chart claims Friction Labs chalk to be.

From Wikipedia again:

"The barringtonite is a mineral that takes its name from the place of discovery, Barrington Tops , New South Wales , Australia ."

OK so it's a bit of conjecture but it seems likely that it is the dihydrate they are using to make their chalk. The calcium carbonate reference seems to be a red herring/irrelevance.

I was highly sceptical about the idea of this being better than 'normal' chalk when I read the article and, while I wouldn't be convinced without trying it, there seems to be a rational explanation for there being a difference in performance characteristics well as a potential justification for the cost.

The obvious question is why not just use 100% MgCO3 as it is readily available and water free. Perhaps it is too aggressive or it doesn't 'wet' readily.
In reply to Rob Parsons:

There is another dimension to this, if this stuff really gave a substantial gain, is there a point at which it becomes an artificial aid?
 Rob Parsons 15 Sep 2015
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Reading the table and other information I am pretty sure they are claiming circa 75% MgCO3 which means they are saying other chalks are ranging from 20% to 40% MgCO3.

No, that's wrong. Have a look at 'Table 1' in the report on their website.

 Ardverikie2 15 Sep 2015
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

At least you've given me an explanation for all the references to magnesia alba in http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2012/em/c2em30289f#!divAbstract
In reply to Rob Parsons:

I was referring to the table on the website not the one on the report (which bears no direct relation that I can see)
But I should have said 10-40%
 Rob Parsons 15 Sep 2015
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:
I think it's directly related, as explained above. Namely: 'Table 1' in the report has the line

Chalk-ID Mg Si S Ca Ti Fe
C 6699 608 1882 8844 1573 8160

giving a Mg:Ca ratio of 6699/8844 = 0.76 - which is the figure you see for their chalk on the barchart on the website. And the same for the 'competitors' stuff.
Post edited at 11:44
In reply to Rob Parsons:

That makes sense.

But the report says that while the counts are proportional to content they are not corrected to standards so do not give concentration. So for all we know a 5000 count for Mg might be 60% where as a 5000 reading for Ca is 1%.

You can get MgCO3 pretty cheaply at high purity (note the calcium content)

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/sial/13118?lang=en&region=GB

And this is an expensive way to buy it
 Steve nevers 15 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

FFS its chalk and 99% of us aren't going to be pushing grades where its going to make much difference.

Drink coke, Eat MaccyD's, play for Engerland. Yeah right.
 Andy Say 15 Sep 2015
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:
> I had a suspicion that this review would stir up some controversy simply because of it's price (!!) and the fact that the actual difference between it's performance vs. it's competitors isn't something that I have tried to test scientifically.

To be honest, Rob, I don't think that it is really about the price; though climbers are notorious tight asses who tend to bridle at attempts to rip them off because their 'sport' is seen as marginal and aspirational and a fairly closed market.

It's more to do with the deluge of marketing bollocks we get about products like this.

You know what: I'm totally confused about which harness / shoes / chalk / blah / blah will make me the best climber in the world. Can you help me?


Blimey. Just seen an advert next to my post for 'the world's most breathable insulated jacket'. Sorry; gotta go and get one. It will make me better.
Post edited at 19:22
3
In reply to Andy Say:

> It's more to do with the deluge of marketing bollocks we get about products like this.

Just don't pay any attention?

> You know what: I'm totally confused about which harness / shoes / chalk / blah / blah will make me the best climber in the world. Can you help me?

I think your beyond help mate... Maybe just get on with going climbing and not wasting energy on Internet forums?

 tk421 15 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Day 1 of a very qualitative test.
2 chalk bags one with friction labs gorilla one with moon dust. Bouldering for 2 hours at a wall.
Cant say I can see an immediately noticeable difference in how long the chalk stays on. Hands are similarly unchalky after a given time...
Not convinced yet.
Although the packaging is a much improved way of transporting chalk (similar ish to a dry bag not just a ziplock)
 inspector 16 Sep 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Hmm,

Last week I bought one bag 70g for around £5.5! and since that time I did a few outside campus sessions in my garden at around 8pm (level of relative humidity quite high range from 70 to 89%)
How did I test it out? On my left hand I applied super chunky friction labs on the other regular one during next session I did exactly the same with that difference I applied onto right hand.

For me the result it is obvious there is now difference between them. Sticks to the hand exactly the same, I also did some dead hangs and the rate of finger slippage from the rungs was the same.
 petellis 17 Sep 2015
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

> Reading the table and other information I am pretty sure they are claiming circa 75% MgCO3 which means they are saying other chalks are ranging from 20% to 40% MgCO3.

> The obvious question is why not just use 100% MgCO3 as it is readily available and water free. Perhaps it is too aggressive or it doesn't 'wet' readily.

I suspect it just picks up moisture from the air (we use it in chemistry to dry out solvents).

If you want me to measure the MgCO3 content of this fancy new chalk against another brand I can do that for you...
In reply to petellis:

> I suspect it just picks up moisture from the air (we use it in chemistry to dry out solvents).

> If you want me to measure the MgCO3 content of this fancy new chalk against another brand I can do that for you...

Sounds like a good idea. (so long as you aren't expecting me to provide samples or payment)
Ysgo 17 Sep 2015
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

Maybe everyone interested (myself included) could provide one chalk sample?
In reply to Ysgo:

I've got some wild Country chalk...
 PPP 17 Sep 2015
In reply to petellis:

I can send you a sample of Beta chalk if you want me to.

Anyone else found the chalk to be somewhat moist? It's quite weird feeling, most chalks are really dry, but Friction Labs chalk felt quite slippy. Once applied, it's OK. Just when you touch it, it feels a little bit weird.

I noticed that I was chalking up with Friction Labs chalk sometimes when my hands were completely dry...
 petellis 18 Sep 2015
In reply to PPP:
> I can send you a sample of Beta chalk if you want me to.

So you want friction labs vs beta chalk? You can send me a couple of kilos for analysis if you want but since its a consumable I'll just buy both and use them.

I'll take me a week or two and I'll have to pull a favour but I think can probably definitively answer the question.

[Edit]: scratch that - I can't get to a shop to buy some so PM me if you are prepared to send me a tablespoon of the stuff in the post.
Post edited at 11:36
 ex0 18 Sep 2015
In reply to petellis:

> send me a tablespoon of the stuff in the post

I can see this ending badly..
 petellis 18 Sep 2015
In reply to ex0:

I thought that too....

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