UKC

GROUP TEST: Mid-range Sport Ropes

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 UKC Gear 21 Dec 2016
Sport Rope Review Montage, 6 kbWe compare eight of the best all-round sport climbing ropes, the sort of reliable workhorse that many will use as their sole rope both indoors and out. So which is right for you?

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 snoop6060 21 Dec 2016
In reply to UKC Gear:

I bought the edelrid python as it was the cheapest 70m rope in outside at hathersage. It's took an absolute pasting for a year. It's heavy and seams to just suck up dirt but im quite surprised it's not needed chopping yet. It must have held over 100 falls at least. Plus repeated abuse from dogging routes, lying in the grit, top roping, rain, fully submerged in the sea (lpt fail). Good value for sure.
You defo feel it on 50m pitches tho!
 Jim 1003 22 Dec 2016
In reply to UKC Gear:

Can you believe any UKC gear reviews, rope prices at almost double those offered by Rock and Run and Decathlon?
If the information about the price is wrong is the rest wrong to.
https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rope-98-x-60m-id_8249403.html
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 Ally Smith 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

What's your point?

The budget Simond rope you've linked to isn't in the review, which quite rightly is labelled as a "mid-range" sport rope review?
In reply to Jim 1003:

The prices are rrp taken from the manufacturer. You have linked a rope not reviewed in the test, and mentioned Rock and Run which sells over stock and last year's models at great discounts. But look on r&r at the Sterling rope, they quote the same rrp as here and give their slightly discounted price below. Just like you might be able to get 10 percent off from Cotswold or similar if you're in a club.
 JR_NL 22 Dec 2016
In reply to UKC Gear:

I have owned the Petzl Contact for 2 years now, and agree with this review.

It's a great rope to climb with and a really soft and supple feel. It has frayed a little but overall not much. It does however get dirty like no tomorrow, but nothing that a little hand soap can't fix.
In reply to Jim 1003:

> Can you believe any UKC gear reviews, rope prices at almost double those offered by Rock and Run and Decathlon?

We have to publish manufacturer's recommended retail prices with all our reviews since this is a fixed amount and enables people to compare relative prices, and the RRPs in this review are correct.

Of course you can shop around and get deals, and in 12 months time you may be able to get even better deals, but we can't check out the best prices and publish those since they are always changing. Have a look at some of the retailers on the base of the review and you can link through to some good deals.

Alan
 Jim 1003 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Ally Smith:

The point is obvious, the review is not much use if it doesn't include the best prices and those offering the best prices.
It would be better to call articles like this advertisers reviews or something similar as it's by no means an independent review,.
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 Jim 1003 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:

The point is they're not good deals, their prices are much higher than for example rock and run or decathlon, you have no links to them.
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 HeMa 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

> The point is obvious, the review is not much use if it doesn't include the best prices and those offering the best prices.

Ah, I see someone volunteering to rehash the absolutely best price every 10 mins...

And don't forget to call for the small, non online bread & butter shops in obscure alpine valleys, as I've often found them to give the best prices...


All comparison reviews online and in print use SRP/RRP, which is given by either the manufacturer or importer. And why isn't Simond tested... well, either UKC didn't ask them for a suitable rope... or more likely they never got back.
In reply to Jim 1003:

> The point is obvious, the review is not much use if it doesn't include the best prices and those offering the best prices.
> It would be better to call articles like this advertisers reviews or something similar as it's by no means an independent review,.

I am not sure I follow your logic. I have explained why we don't include the best shop-around prices above. I don't follow why the omission of this information makes the review less accurate on other aspects, or less independent.

Alan
 HeMa 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

Oh, and I'm waiting on your 1st update on them prices...

Be sure to include big non UK websites prices.

And you can add ropes that were not reviewed if you wish, but make sure you include best prices on all ropes that were review... preferable with links...
 Al_Mac 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

It's impossible to include every price, especially as many of the cheapest prices fluctuate on a weekly basis in some shops. All you can do in a product review is mark on performance and value for money, and perhaps intimate that if you shop around and get a great deal then a product would become the preferential choice. Across all gear reviews, across all sports, RRP is the benchmark. What else can you compare against? Just as you will always miss out a product that someone feels you should have tested, if you put in the cheapest prices you've found there'll always be one smartarse saying that your prices are wrong and that they've found it cheaper. Surely the most important part of the review is an objective and unbiased impression of each product?
In reply to Jim 1003:

> The point is they're not good deals, their prices are much higher than for example rock and run or decathlon, you have no links to them.

I haven't got time to do a complete check but, on the ropes covered in the review, the prices are comparable across all the specialist outdoor websites, linked and not linked, mostly £10 to £30 cheaper than the RRP.

Yes, the companies at the base of the review pay to have a presence there. That is one of the things that funds the site. It is also another reason why we don't go into any close scrutiny of prices since that could undermine that relationship, but this is extremely easy to do elsewhere. We never promote these as price comparison articles, they are 'Group Tests'.

Alan
 Jim 1003 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
I appreciate you've got to make a living, but I presume I am right in saying those buisnesses having their ropes reviewed have paid for this? Any rope sellers or manufacturers not paying are not covered.
I'm just saying the review is not independent or objective because there are others out there much cheaper and just as good, so I wonder about the point of the review? However, if that was made clear in the review then I wouldn't have an issue. The review is almost really an advert as opposed to a review?
Post edited at 12:31
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In reply to Jim 1003:

> I appreciate you've got to make a living, but I presume I am right in saying those buisnesses having their ropes reviewed have paid for this? Any rope sellers or manufacturers not paying are not covered.

No-one pays for reviews but we do usually only review gear from businesses we are working with on a day-to-day basis although they don't necessarily have to be advertisers. We have no current advertising from Beal, for example, but their rope is in the review.

We are not reviewing shops in this review (or any review TBH) so I see no reason why we should link to shops who aren't advertisers.

In terms of missing brands, I think you are probably only referring to Simond (who are in fact Decathlon). We have made various approaches to Decathlon over the years but have never had any working relationship with them.

> I'm just saying the review is not independent or objective because there are others out there much cheaper and just as good, so I wonder about the point of the review?

How do you know that the "other ropes out there" are "just as good"? Have you an example that you have tested?

> However, if that was made clear in the review then I wouldn't have an issue. The review is almost really an advert as opposed to a review?

I can assure you that some of the brands featured in all our Group Tests don't regard them as adverts if their product doesn't do well.

Alan

 Jim 1003 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
I take your points and good to see a response from yourself. I have 5 ropes, the most expensive being a 60 m sport Mammut, and the cheapest being a 60 m sport rope I bought from Rock and Run, it was their cheapest at the time.
The cheap one was actually the better of the 2, the Mammut being very poor in terms of twisting and generally bad handling.
I just think that you should make clear on what basis products are tested, and what basis products are not tested, I appreciate you may think, why should you test people's products with whom you don't have a business relationship. However, I think you do have a relationship with us your readers, and testing products you don't have a business relationship with, as well as the others, would be good for your general credibility and be more useful to us, your readers.
Post edited at 15:01
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In reply to Jim 1003:

> I just think that you should make clear on what basis products are tested, and what basis products are not tested, I appreciate you may think, why should you test people's products with whom you don't have a business relationship. However, I think you do have a relationship with us your readers, and testing products you don't have a business relationship with, as well as the others, would be good for your general credibility and be more useful to us, your readers.

I think what you are after is a sort of GoCompare for outdoor gear. UKC will never be this. We don't have the budget to buy gear in, we would have to completely restructure our business model to be devoid of brand advertising, and we don't have the resources to review many different product variations and monitor the prices and availability.

Outdoorgearlab.com make an attempt at it, but it is very US oriented and they don't do anything else but gear. The have no brand advertising though which is admirable but their rope test isn't very impressive - only 9 ropes from 5 brands and a weird best buy system which gave a very high UK price for one item I looked at.

I do take the point that crops up whenever we run these Group Tests and that is people pointing out missing brands. It would perhaps be worth us looking at the odd budget brand occasionally in some reviews.

We did include the IKEA shopping bag in this one - http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=3625

Alan
 Jim 1003 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Alan James - UKC and UKH:
I would like to just see impartial tests of equipment such as Which do for some things. You see this in car magazines where cars are tested and can often get quite a slagging off, but that's what readers/users want, they want to know the best products and bargains and what is over priced. You might find you have more traffic then and more advertising as a result. Of course, I know nothing about business.... I just know what I want to read about climbing gear...
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 gethin_allen 22 Dec 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

Is price the only factor for you?

If so go and buy a bale of blue nylon rope, it's totally inappropriate for climbing with but it's dirt cheap.

If not you can read the review to see how a rope handles etc. I don't think you'll find out from a manufacturer of their rope is soft and picks up dirt easily or if it's as stiff as wire.
In reply to Jim 1003:

> I would like to just see impartial tests of equipment such as Which do for some things. You see this in car magazines where cars are tested and can often get quite a slagging off, but that's what readers/users want, they want to know the best products and bargains and what is over priced. You might find you have more traffic then and more advertising as a result. Of course, I know nothing about business.... I just know what I want to read about climbing gear...

Every time someone makes this point, the obvious question is how much are you willing to pay for it? You don't pay to use UKC now, the website exists purely because it can sell adverts. If you can tell Alan how he can pay the people who work for UKC and for the cost of technical infrastructure to run the website and be Which magazine for outdoor gear as well, I'm sure he'd love to know. I presume you buy the car magazines, and at least when Which was a just a paper magazine, you subscribed to it, as my dad did all through my childhood. So how much a year would you be willing to pay for the site to not need to rely on ads?

 Jim 1003 23 Dec 2016
In reply to TobyA: Oh dear, upset the UKC groupies.....

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 wbo 23 Dec 2016
In reply to UKC Gear: no, you just dont make sense and just seem to want to pick a fight. ITS a test of ropes that appears honest to me. The ropes are categorised by RRP. The ropes included are those provides by suppliers , UKC doesn't go out, buy an example of every rope on the market for the reasons above.

You know perfectly well that you can't have prices listen that match every possible deal that may only apply for a few days. Luckily ukc has a forum where you can ask about current deals, but including a one weekonly web special is nonsensical


In reply to Jim 1003:

I write reviews for UKC hence my interest and also my familiarity with the points you are making. So, again, would you be willing to pay for a website that doesn't take advertising from the brands it reviews?

Some years back I got quite far discussing with a former UKC editor about starting a gear reviewing website but we couldn't really see a way of making it viable beyond doing what UKC and various other sites already do, mainly because people aren't willing to pay for web based content almost regardless of what it is, and this is such a small market compared to say cars.

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