/ Petzl Nomic (Winter 11/12 Model) fault again??

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Lamb - on 07 Jan 2012
I received my brand new, updated and 'fixed' Nomics back in September there. They have been subjected to 4 routes so far this season, plus a bit of dry tooling. Just back from 3 days in the Northern Corries and realised this morning that one of the pommels has started the wee wobble about, which my first 'faulty' pair did towards the end of last season.
I have dismantled both to take a look, for the one that's wobbling, the pommel tooth looks very very slightly worn, however the em placed 'fix', i.e. the higher grade metal part that Petzl have placed into the axe itself is moving about rather freely which it did not do when I first received the new pair, and to be honest, I think with just a little concerted effort I reckon I could remove the new part from the axe. My other axe which is still solid, the new part is still pretty rigid in place and only moves a fraction.
I reckon my pommel is wobbling due to the play within the new part fixed in the axe shaft and not the actual wearing of teeth this time round. My worry is as to why the new part has began to move about. Obviously the part is free, i.e. it is not welded in place and sits in the socket drilled out for it, however it appears with just a little use this season it has been moved about enough to begin to work free. Now, am I correct in thinking that the new part is of a higher grade metal than the shaft itself? If this is the case, then surely with more use and subsequent movement, the new part will begin to wear away the socket drilled for it and eventually fall out?
For the moment I have just tightened up with an alan key the pommel and it is now not moving, however this is exactly what I had to do with the first pair, and obviously before I used the axes this season the pommel was not moving and the screw was not as tight.
Is anyone with the new pairs having any issues or has anyone heard of such issues? I think I may recollect Dane mentioning something about this however I may be incorrect?

Luke Brooks - on 07 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb: Hi, I've not had a problem with the pommel moving when it's all tightened up but the separate tooth bit that you mention has come completely free when I took the pommel off and needed to be put back in place before putting the pommel back on. I'm not sure if its a problem or not yet.
Dane1 - on 07 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb:

Your were right, the piece falling out was mentioned on the blog. Seems to be a rather common occurance with little use that started as the new tools became available in the Fall.

I suspect the stainless steel insert will eventually wear out the aluminum handle. Bad engineering on Petzl's part for a "fix". Dissappointing as the tools won't even last their 3 year warrenty time frames for most.
Dane1 - on 07 Jan 2012
In reply to Dane1:

I should the best American political manner . They will likely last 3 years or better, just that I would rather have mine not rattle or come out in bits if I want to check the internals. It just seems all so unseamly ;)
Lamb - on 08 Jan 2012
In reply to Dane1: Hmm, thought this would be the case, think I will give the guys at Lyon a buzz and see what their chat is about it. Can't say I am happy about it, disappointing really, they are superb tools otherwise. There must surely be a permanent fix for this around the corner from Petzl surely?
ice.solo - on 08 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb:

the whole scenario is getting absurd - its all over a bloody pommel that they had right in the first place!

in my paranoid moments it makes me wonder if theres something new round the corner (something like the avatar???) and petzl is just seeing the nomic out the door before nailing the market again with another landmark tool.
Lamb - on 08 Jan 2012
In reply to ice.solo: Well my pommel was moving about a fair amount come Spring last year, and I think another season would have seen it swing freely, so to be honest, if you are paying circa £400 for a pair of tools, you would like/hope/expect! to get more than 2/3 seasons back from them. So they definitely had to do something about it.

Dane, just reread your blogpost from mid October regarding the pommel issue. Do you know or expect a proper 'fix' to be carried out on further Nomics or is this current 'fix' it for sure? I can't say I'm happy to hold onto this pair, as you say in your blogpost, the current 'fix' just looks haphazard and not completely thought through. The comments from Pyyno are interesting on your blog regarding the pommel hitting the wall first with certain styles of swing. Can't say I have noticed this myself, having only climbed mixed over here in Scotland so far this season as winter has been slow to arrive this year, so couldn't comment directly. However, I think the issue has arisen on my axes through torquing and the fact that during a torque the pommel sustains a lot of force between my weight and the rock it is in contact with. So I guess it is interlinked with what Pynno was commenting on, i.e. the 1.5mm square area of contact in the tooth of the pommel is never going to be able to cope with such force, especially the lateral force it is put under during a torque.
Have you been in conservation directly with Petzl regarding the issue and will you be holding onto your current pair? I will get in contact with Lyon to see what their side of the story is and will post further information from them if I gleam anything useful!
Dane1 - on 08 Jan 2012

From Lamb:
"Have you been in conservation directly with Petzl regarding the issue and will you be holding onto your current pair?"

No, I have not talked to Petzl. But I have asked. Here in the US Petzl NA makes a significant point not to talk out of house about such things. I have held on to my original Nomics (after playing with several pairs of the new Nomics over two seasons) and I have a pair of Ergos that I am treating gently.

"Premature pommel strike" was not an issue on the original version no matter how you climbed on them. I'm surprised lateral force from dry tool torquing is causing a failure. Either way the pommel is now failing. I believe the majority fail from PPS because the serrated pommel blade is sticking in the ice when we reef side ways on them and in the strike as we set the tool and the pommel isn't allowed to move around a bit as we strike. But interesting to hear your tools haven't been on pure ice. That one surprises me and should give us all an idea just how weak the "fix" is strength wise. I've never seen a tool get worse or be less reliable as a gen. II version let alone a gen. III version. Dissappointing at best.

Please post what you find out.

KiplingGroove1 on 09 Jan 2012 - whois?
In reply to Lamb: Hi Lamb, could you contact me at Lyon Equipment please? This isn't something that I've heard of in the UK and would like to look into it. Contact details are on the letter that went with the revised tols we sent to you last year. Looking forward to hearing from you, Roger C
Dave Williams - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb:

Hmmm, this is very disappointing news. TBH I'd have expected better from Petzl and I share your disappointment. This must really spoil what otherwise is such a brilliant tool.

IMO, other than for purely marketing purposes, there was no justification in putting spikey bits on the pommel as there was nothing wrong with the original design.

For once I'm glad I've got a pair of 1st generation ones and at this rate I'll be in no rush to change them for newer ones either.

Dane1 - on 09 Jan 2012
In reply to Roger Chaldecott:
> (In reply to Lamb) This isn't something that I've heard of in the UK and would like to look into it.

The tools I have pictured in my blog and several other pairs that I have seen or been told about have been on UK climber's Nomics. The early reports were all from English speaking climbers in Cham this last Fall. Common issue here in NA as well once the tools made it to the climber's hands.
WILLS - on 10 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb: honestly can't petzl just sort this out? As an engineer i despaired when i took off the pommel to see what they had done! Just chuck in a stainless piece and press it in. Bollocks! Anyone take into account the fact that if this is done at room temp then when we take them out in minus temps that the metal will shrink and then a little bit of play will result cause wear and then get worse.
Is there a proper fix on the horizon or are we going to have to diy fix them?
stuart58 - on 10 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb: Should have bought reactors

WILLS - on 10 Jan 2012
In reply to Roger Chaldecott:
Go look here bud and you can see the pics.
iksander on 11 Jan 2012
In reply to WILLS: Bugger. Anyone heard from Petzl or Lyons yet?
Lamb - on 11 Jan 2012
In reply to iksander: I am in conversation with the guys at Lyon at present. Lyon are currently looking at my tools and have been very helpful I would like to add. I will post any further news regarding the matter in due course.
Pete.T on 17 Jan 2012 -
In reply to Lamb: Any more news on faults / fixs with the new Nomics. Have been considering buying a pair but my doubts over the whole pommel/griprest/ umbilical attatchment design have led to me holding off. When this is coupled with the hammer issue having a negative impact on the balance, it makes me wonder how much time has been spent by Petzl seriously looking at these issues. For those that have used them -is the cold thistle hammer much better in regards to having less negative impact on the balance.
Lamb - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to Pete.T: I am still waiting to hear back from Lyon, should be soon however. I have the Petzl hammer, sure it effects the balance, but not as bad as some will lead you to believe, can't comment on the Coldthistle hammers. The umbilical issue isn't too hard to overcome either, I wouldn't let that deter you from a pair. Hopefully some resolution can be found for the pommel issue, as they are superb tools.
Lamb - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb: Heard back from Lyon today; they agree that there is a fault with the steel insert, i.e. it is moving about. Lyon have contacted Petzl about it and Petzl now want a look as this is the first Petzl have heard about such problems. So will await and see what Petzl say about it and will let you know.
ERU - on 18 Jan 2012
Thanks for the update Lamb. My pair are ok atm but are also new...

I'm also interested to ear any more feedback on the hammers. I've just got the Petzl ones (so not tried them in anger yet) but would be mightily keen to know if Dane's ones are worth a punt. I thought they were just a solution for the older Nomic?
Col Kingshott on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to ERU: I had one of the Petzl hammers on my nomics and wasn't to impressed. I used it for all of last season and it definately alters the balance of the tool. They are very hard to use with the pick weights fitted, unless you have massive arms! Once the Petzl hammer is fitted the balance changes from being front heavy to being rear heavy, which I did not like.

For this season I have invested in a pair of Coldthistle hammers (thank you Dane) and am much happier with them. The tools now seem much better balanced and no-where near as heavy. It took a bit of work on the pick with a file to get the CT hammer to fit, but there is a description and pictures of how to do this on Dane's site.

I haven't used my axes in anger since fitting the CT hammers, but am going to Rjukan next sunday for a week and then got 2 weeks in Scotland so am happy to report back again after i've used them if you want?

My Petzl hammer is now sitting in the bottom of my 'I might need it so won't get rid of it' box, I will not use it again though.

Pete.T on 18 Jan 2012 -
In reply to Lamb: Thanks for the reports. Updates regarding pomel issue and hammers in use would be great. Think I am gonna hold off on buying any and see what develops, as it seems Lambs pommel problem is not an isolated case and their fix is less than 100% satisfactory.
Dane1 - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to:
> Lyon have contacted Petzl about it and Petzl now want a look as this is the first Petzl have heard about such problems.

I beg to differ. We got the same story a year ago last fall when the steel on aluminum failed in just a few pitches on the new tools. "First we've heard about it" was Petzl's response then as well. But an obvious problem from a design stand point and even just a tiny bit of use. The new insert is a similar situation. They were coming out of the handles within days of being back on the market.

I prefer Petzl tools over BD's or the others for a number of reasons. The most important is I think they climb better for most users. One of the reasons I haven't made a big deal about it on Cold Thistle. But "first we've heard about it" is simply rubbish.

Either Petzl needs to get better beta testers that find the design faults before going to market or Petzl needs to listen when the faults are found. This isn't a new issue but literally a problem from the reissue back in Oct. of 2011.

Most I know would rather have a Nomic with a faulty pommel than no Nomic at was the situation last winter. But "first they have heard about it?". Please! Might have bought that line in 2010 but not in 2011 and certainly not now, mid winter of 2012.
mark davidson - on 18 Jan 2012
In reply to ERU:

I agree with Col about the Cold Thistle hammer. I have used them extensively for over a year on my nomics and they do not noticeably affect the swing of the tool. Dane's delivery service was also very good.

I am much happier giving my money to a quality independent, especially one that provides a solution before the big companies like Petzl even realise anything is wrong.

Dane1 - on 23 Jan 2012
did Lamb leave a message that was deleted?
Lamb - on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Dane1: No further update at the present Dane. My axes are off to France for Petzl to take a look at them. As I said earlier, Petzl claim this is the first they have heard about this, struggle to believe that myself. So we shall wait with interest to see what Petzl have to say about it. I am not sure what Petzl can do about it, as it is just a basic design flaw, not something they can properly fix quickly without a complete overhaul in the design of the pommel area in my opinion.
Col Kingshott on 23 Jan 2012
In reply to Lamb: When I took the pommel off to have a look when I first got my replacement axes I just thought that Petzl had found the cheapest possible way to 'fix' the problem. They had obviously manufactured a lot of these axes and still needed to sell them. I thought they might of replaced the shaft or changed the pommel design, that little piece of metal must of cost pence.

I haven't used mine yet, but will from the end of this week. I will be paying close attention to mine as well. Nomics are really good axes, be nice if they got sorted properly.
ice.solo - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to colk1000:

not trying to be divisive, but ive found after a day or so - with a hammer on one tool, not on the other, and weights on both - i dont notice a difference at all (except when using the tools heads-down on low angle stuff, where the hammer reduces traction from the row of teeth along the top of the dry picks).

would love to try danes hammers tho
Scarab - on 24 Jan 2012
Dane, when will your hammers be avail again? You wont ever make your own picks ;), cascade style?
Hannes on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Scarab:
> Dane, when will your hammers be avail again? You wont ever make your own picks ;), cascade style?

I'd settle for anything that isn't made out of recycled sardine tins
Scarab - on 24 Jan 2012
In reply to Hannes:

haha, you should search for that thread with homemade tools.

I was more thinking of the new picks for nomics, and their angle decline. Pref the old cascade pick.
Dane1 - on 25 Jan 2012
In reply to Scarab:

> I was more thinking of the new picks for nomics, and their angle decline. Pref the old cascade pick.

I do as well. (prefer the original Cascade picks) Would seem to be a no brainier for Petzl to continue to offer them. They don't now but surely could with little to no effort.
iksander on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Dane1: I have a petzl hammer on one of my tools and didn't notice the difference, but I'm just a punter.
tall paul - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb: Any updates on this?
alpinestar_no1 - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to tall paul: Mine are 2012 models, after 2 days of ice, the little metal piece with the teeth on came loose on one. I have glued it back in, and it seems to be ok for now. I dont think it will be a issue as long as you make sure the metal insert stays in place.
Lamb - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb: No further update at present. Petzl are looking at my tools at the moment. Will update as soon as I hear.

In reply to alpinestar: I can't say I agree. If there is play between steel and aluminum, them the aluminum is always going to wear. Sure it is no real issue at present just to reinsert the steel piece, but continual movement is storing up problems for the future, that could surface before or after the end of your 3 year warranty.
CurlyStevo - on 07 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb:
has the law not changed in this regard, if you can prove that failure has occured due to manufacuring fault they now have to warrenty up to 6 years.
edinburgh_man on 08 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb:

I have a new pair of the 2011/2012 Nomics which I have now been using for around a month. Already my pommel is wobbling, it is showing the same problems as described above.

My friend from Sweden also has a pair which are showing exactly the same problem.

I have not yet decided what to do about it.

Disappointing from a tool that climbs so well.
Lamb - on 08 Feb 2012
In reply to Ross Mathers: I would encourage all to speak to the guys at Lyon regarding their axes. Not sure what use it would be everyone sending their axes back as it is just the same problem for Petzl to look at, however maybe that is what Petzl needs so that they wake up and smell the coffee as such. Not heard back from Lyon/Petzl at present, as said, I will post when I do.
It is however very clear that this is a widespread problem and not just happening in a few axes. I hope the issue can be resolved, they are superb tools.
ice.solo - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb:

i know its mostly all been said and done, but:

today i was at a trade show where petzl were present. they had the nomics and ergos there and i was having a play with them when one of the reps asked what i thought.

so i told him i thought theyd messed up bad with the pommels. i said i climbed about 50 days plus a year on nomics and thought they were great, but that the new metal scalloped thing and the lame attempts at resolving the breakages were letting them down. that i knew 5 people at least who had gone with fusions and about 5 others unhappy the tools now slashed up the little fingers on their gloves, costing them maybe the price of new ice gloves a season.

to every thing i said the rep said i was wrong, that there was no problem, that everyone was happy. according to him there never had been an issue. he refused to acknowledge the band-aid remedies made up for a $300 tool that had inherant problems when a $250 tool from the compeditor had resolved it.

now this guy i know doesnt represent petzl as a whole - i think. i hope not.
but it was amazing to see such lack of recognition, made only wose when he tried to tell me he climbed a lot too and could then barely swing a tool in the showroom, claiming no one ever hung their little finger off the grip rest so it might catch on the spike-type thing.

i hope petzl gets it together on this soon (tho the rep said there was nothing new coming on the horizon), because heres one little consumer thats almost had enough.

those avatars are looking pretty good for next season...
iksander on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Dane1: re "premature pommel strike" I was acutely aware of this when using mine, but found it impossible to avoid in some circumstances eg. reaching over bulges, on easier ground etc. let alone in piolet canne position when of course the pommel hits everything (I resorted to walking with them holding them upside down by the pommel which seems ridiculous).

I think it would be unreasonable in the extreme to suggest that any of these scenarios was in some way abusing the pommel.
mkean - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Dane1:
Would seem to be a no brainier for Petzl to continue to offer them. They don't now but surely could with little to no effort.

Wouldn't surprise me if they had worn out the old tooling used to make them, the cost of new tooling is pretty high so you normally only change it if you need to.

Pete.T on 21 Feb 2012 -
In reply to Lamb: Still no reply from Petzl ?
Hannes on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb: My new set of axes at least seem to have much stronger picks. They didn't go anything as blunt as my old set did, the ones I usually refer to as the recycled sardine tin picks. Now they are actually good
coldwill - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to ice.solo: How about almost chopping your finger off with the pommel while dry tooling! Ok, so I exaggerate but there was blood everywhere. I was hopping there would be a new pommel without the spikes to use when tooling. Wouldn't make a difference to me though as I still have the mk2s with the diy mod so it can't be changed, might just grind the spikes off.
ice.solo - on 21 Feb 2012
In reply to coldwill:

according to the rep it never happened, you are fine, no reason for it to.

what you describe is the 6th or 7th report almost word for word of this same thing.
maybe its the japanese market that doesnt get the feedback. the tools certainly move off the shelves, so maybe its the climbers here. i dont know.

i just found it rich that he as a rep of the company was so dismissive of me as a rep of the consumer. ata tradeshow, no less.
wouldnt matter if it was cellotape or pillow cases, but its ice tools for f's sake.
Lamb - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb: Called Lyon Equipment this morning to see if they had received any update from Petzl. No real update whatsoever, Petzl are aware of the issue but continue to proclaim that "it is not a safety issue" which I can appreciate, yes my pommel wont start spinning round in circles however my concern is that there is clearly some level of wear between the shaft and the insert; that is indisputable.
Petzl have said that when they received my pair of Nomics with wobbly pommels, they simply tightened the bolt up further and the wobble stopped. I made it clear when I sent the axes back in January, that when I first received the 'fixed' Nomics in September of last year the pommel did not wobble at all, neither did the insert. A few routes down the line, both the insert and pommel were wobbling, so in order to stop that I tightened the bolt up. This was the exact same story from Winter 10/11, until it got to the stage where I had the bolt tightened so much in order to stop the pommel wobbling, that the bolt was sticking out the washer on the other side of the pommel wearing away my gloves, and the plastic pommel was beginning to split from the force it was under from the bolt. I have stressed this again to Lyon and they say they will pass this on again to Petzl.
My concern is not that it is a safety issue, and I know that the pommel will not suddenly jump sizes. It is the fact that these tools have a 3 year warranty, and there is clearly wear going on between the insert and the shaft which is noticeable within the space of 6 weeks of the Winter season beginning. So my question is, what state will the insert and shaft be, come 3 years down the line? I have been told by Lyon that in all cases where there are moving parts in a piece of equipment that you can expect some level of 'play' between each piece, and that the Nomics are a special case within the current range of axes on the market in that you can change handle sizes and thus there are moving parts, therefore this 'play' is tolerable, right? I disagree with that as I have stated above. I have made these points clear again to Lyon and they are going to pass on my comments to Petzl today or tomorrow.
On another note, Lyon have been in conversation with some other user of Nomics, who claims that he experienced the same small amount of wobble in the pommels of the Nomic MK1's and that it was never an issue. I have never owned the first generation Nomics however I haven't heard of pommel wobble before in the first generation Nomics, have others heard or experienced the same pommel wobble in them?
I genuinely would like Petzl to find a resolution to the issue and I am not creating an issue for the sake of it. I am however getting the vibes that Petzl don't really want to know about it, and the comments from ice.solo about the Petzl rep I think speaks volumes. If this is the case then it is very disappointing indeed, as they do make fantastic gear. I am unsure as to what Petzl can look at further as they say they are doing, as in my eyes it is simply a haphazard fix with a clear design fault and that is it.
Hopefully Petzl will be able to respond to my comments, which I did initially send them first time round, and we can take it from there.
Will update you further in due course.
ice.solo - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb:

cheers lamb.

as a user of nomic MK1's, possibly putting in now close to 200 days of use on them, theres never been the slightest wobble or problem - still the finest tools of their generation.

nor am i to hear issues from first gen users. dane can probably comment on an even larger crowd.

fuel on the fire is - these are $350 dollar tools that were changed for pointless cosmetic reasons and they fcuked it.
they were great with previous recalls (i swapped sarkens for darts 5 years ago).

why the inertia i dont understand.

hope you solve it asap.
Dave Williams - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Lamb)
> as a user of nomic MK1's .... theres never been the slightest wobble or problem ....

My experience too. No issues whatsoever.
> why the inertia i dont understand.

One interpretation is that perhaps they simply don't see it as an important issue. Their reaction so far may support this pov.


Lamb - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to Dave Williams:
> (In reply to ice.solo)
> [...]
> One interpretation is that perhaps they simply don't see it as an important issue. Their reaction so far may support this pov.
> Dave

I would agree, but I fail to understand why (obviously financially they don't want to know about it)? Is my worry over the lifespan of the pommel area unfounded and am I being over critical? What are other users with the same problem thoughts on the matter? Are you happy to keep them?
Graham - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb:
Many years ago, I had a pair of the original Quark Ergos. After about a year of climbing on them some "play" developed in the rivet that held the shaft to the orange handle, first on one tool, then on both. It was most disconcerting to have the two parts of the tool (shaft and handle) wobble independently of each other. I sent the tools back to Petzl because that shouldn't happen. They basically said "it's not a safety issue, nothing wrong with the tools". Sure, the tool's not going to fall apart mid-climb but who wants to climb on tools where the shaft is loose from the handle! So Petzl does have a history of doing something like denying a problem is a problem. I was so pissed, as I was stuck with tools I didn't feel comfortable climbing on - I haven't purchased a petzl product since. I really want some nomics, but all this has made me pretty wary of them
coldwill - on 22 Feb 2012
In reply to Lamb: Not sure how much of a problem this will actually be, looking at the picture; it looks like the area of contact between the steel insert and the alloy shaft will be much bigger than it was before the mod. Loose or not, the wear will not be as great if any at all.
Stuart the postie - on 23 Feb 2012
In reply to Graham:

I used to own Charlet Pulsars, after 1 seasons use, play between the shaft and head occured, which I put down to a single rivet holding these together.

I sent tools back, they 're glued' and replaced rivet.

This happened again the following season, sent back again and fixed. Same again the next season (3rd time), fixed for a 3rd time.

Fourth season, pick bolts sheared through alloy head, sent them back. Charlet offered me new tools for half price (Quasars or Axars), I bought Piranhas!!!


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