/ REVIEW: Wild Country - New Friends

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WC New Friends montage, 5 kbReleased in 2016, Wild Country's New Friends are the result of several decades of refinement on the iconic original. Over the last year Simon Verspeak has thrashed them on a wide range of rock types. What's the verdict?

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SteveSBlake - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:
Given the hollow stems are'stiff', do they permanently deform if they are loaded over an edge?

Steve
Post edited at 09:52
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to SteveSBlake:

Axles are hollow, not the stem. The stem is cable.
Big Lee - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

I have to say I'm not that bothered by thumb loops. They seem to me a solution to a problem that never existed. I mainly use Dragons but have a couple of 2014 model Friends with loops. I don't find them any easier or harder to handle, and I'm missing a couple of smaller fingers so dexterity is probably all the more important to me!

I also think WC are missing a trick by only having six sizes. No small sizes limits their appeal.
Sean_J - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

So WC and DMM make cams for Black Diamond now? Because you know, they're basically all the same these days. Black Diamond obviously came up with the best cam design decades ago in their eyes.
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

0.4 is coming out this year. Below that single axle makes far more sense due to strength issues with the cam lobes. The author is mistake when he says that double axle cams are stronger - that is simply incorrect - I know I shouldn't argue with him and all, but the reality is that double axle design means you have a large hole just where you need material, added to which the forces are not counterbalanced through the axle, which is why they need a plate at the end of the axles strapping them together. Stiffness in the axls is somewhat of a good thing in this case as the cams become loaded excentrically as the axles bend due to the forces and initiate a buckle in the lobes. As there is no material in the middle of them, that force needs to be directed through the metal at either ends of the slot which becomes the major failure point of a double axle cam lobe. As size decreases, axle size does not decrease as rapidly as you need it to meaning that material gets thinner and thinner and so it was felt we would rather deliver something which just hankers after market share we would go for high strength as far as we could. It's in suboptimal placements that you will especially see this - backed out placements where the cam is placed in the wrong orientation when you will see a lever arm effect caused by loading the stem and which will snap a cam lobe like a carrot. Hence one of the reasons we have gone for as wide a lobe as we can to counteract some of these forces.
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sean_J:

Not really. They all have differences. The sizes in the WC are the most consistent through the range out of all of them with consitent overlap as well as individual cam range. In both DMM and BD ccams there are quite large gaps in between some of the units, most likely because when BD first did them thy sized them according to inches rather than making them consistent.

As for the best cam design, that is in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately the beholder in this case is the market who seem to think double axle is the best. If I could have my way, WC would be making a range of each.
DocLemurian on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:
Thumb loops and extendable slings together are nice. However the most important question is: does Wild Country provide resling service on these cams? Otherwise only the thumb loop will remain after 3-5 years.
Post edited at 11:33
In reply to beardy mike:

> The author is mistake when he says that double axle cams are stronger - that is simply incorrect - I know I shouldn't argue with him and all, but the reality is that double axle design means you have a large hole just where you need material, added to which the forces are not counterbalanced through the axle, which is why they need a plate at the end of the axles strapping them together.

Knowing Simon, and having written plenty of reviews myself, I'd say that you SHOULD take us to task when errors are made Mike. As you say, this isn't a matter of opinion - it's wrong.

That said, from a consumer perspective (i.e. jargon to one side) they are neither stronger nor weaker - they are exactly the same strength as their single stem predecessors (12kN).
Rick Graham on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to DocLemurian:

> Thumb loops and extendable slings together are nice. However the most important question is: does Wild Country provide resling service on these cams? Otherwise only the thumb loop will remain after 3-5 years.

Any plans for reslinging service, WC or Mike?

How strong is a 5.5mm triple tied dynema cord as replacement.

How strong is the thumb loop if using a quickdrawer krab directly into it?
In reply to Rick Graham:

Hi Rick, I've just sent an email to WC to see if they plan to offer a re-slinging service.

I'll keep you posted as/when I hear back.
Rick Graham on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:


> That said, from a consumer perspective (i.e. jargon to one side) they are neither stronger nor weaker - they are exactly the same strength as their single stem predecessors (12kN).

I don't think it as simple as that, Rob.

They may all pass the standard test, but as Mike points out a lateral load on the cam lobe is not tested AFAIK.
This can happen in, for example, a rounded pocket, like camming on the inside of a sphere.

Also, Mike points out the variation in lobe strength, mid range, on a twin axle cam, compared to min and max range.
Twin axle cams require a lobe hole for the "other" axle.
In reply to Rick Graham:
Hi Rick,

This is a UKC review, not an in-house test at the UIAA (and from what you're suggesting not even they're going far enough). There is a fairly major distinction to be made between the two.
Post edited at 12:01
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rob Greenwood - UKClimbing:

Absolutely but from a design point of view, I could have gone much lighter if it weren't for market constraints. For example, single hollow axle, less overlap between sizes so single axle mid range fell directly over the top of their double axle counterpart, no thumbloop i.e. no copper ferrule to join sections and less steel, lighter, smaller lobes, silver soldered stem cable in the axle unit using the zero technology, but that's just not what the market wants apparently. Alpine friends - it would have changed the world ;)
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Rick Graham:

No - lateral stength is not tested, largely because it would be a difficult test to standardise and define in the first place - UIAA and CE testing regimes take many years to be agreed - it's still only 5kN to pass which is woefully inadequate in most instances. 10kN is pretty much where it needs to be in our opinion - given an average factor 1 is in the region of 7kN that's pretty reasonable.
Robert Durran - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Sean_J:

> So WC and DMM make cams for Black Diamond now? Because you know, they're basically all the same these days. Black Diamond obviously came up with the best cam design decades ago in their eyes.

Yes, WC, DMM, BD are all basically Camalots now. They all use Camalot sizes and even the same colour coding. The old Friends slotted nicely between Camalot sizes and carrying a set of each gave a more versatile rack than a double set of Camalots. Fortunately I've stockpiled enough sets of the previous version Friends to see me into my dotage!

Gerry Gradewell - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

Good review otherwise but the section on weight was unhelpful. From a recent thread here's a spreadsheet for some comparisons:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Fk8BPSkkuJmViEOEDWoTUdK6L1nRiG6ipffMyrc9igo/edit#gid=5793545...
Big Lee - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> 0.4 is coming out this year. Below that single axle makes far more sense due to strength issues with the cam lobes.

I find dual axle cams much more stable to place though. No wonky heads. I found this to be a small problem with the single axle Friends in the smaller sizes.
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

But then you also have the issue that with a double axle design by waggeling the stem, the cam lobe positions change and can make the cam less stable that way. All designs have compromises. To my mind once you get to that 0.4, the benefits of a double axle design are pretty much nil. And once you look at the X4, they are essentially single axle cams any way - they have no cam stop at 0.4 or smaller and they can invert.
flaneur - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, WC, DMM, BD are all basically Camalots now.

As the functional differences between the three are infinitesimal, choices will be made on price and indirect factors such as perceived reliablity, place of manufacture, and customer support. Wild country price similarly, don't manufacture in the UK, and offer less support (no reslinging, effectively building-in a 5 year lifespan) than DMM or BD. They have some catching up to do.

Buy Totems.
Robert Durran - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to flaneur:

> Buy Totems.

A couple of years ago the I snapped up bargain old Friends from the Joshua Tree gear shop. They said they wouldn't be stocking the new ones because they were effecetively the same as Camalots so wouldn't sell. Yes, they said that Totems were now what to go for to complement Camalots.

beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Whilst I understand what you're argument, wht is a company supposed to do? If the market strongly indicates that one type is prefered to another, should you hang on just in case they change their minds? And in the meantime run the risk of going out of business? Differntiators in the market work in both ways, they can set you apart, and for every one of you who finds plugging gaps useful, another will look at it in more simplistic terms and go for what fits in which what they already have...
Coel Hellier - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

Hi Mike, given that the new double-axle cams don't go small (even with the new 0.4) is WC effectively pulling out of doing small Friends and leaving these to competitors (such as Totem Basics, which are pretty good)?

I think I agree with you -- a range of lightest-possible *single* axle Friends would be really good, especially when doubling up and carrying large racks for long pitches. If one needs many pieces for many placements, the "larger range" argument of the double-axles is pretty moot.

Are you going to set up an independent company to make them?
El Greyo - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

For what it's worth, Mike, I prefer single axle cams too - I really liked the Helium friends. Yes, each one has a smaller range but then you have a few more cams available to last the length of the route.

With regard to differences between the brands - do BD still use a wider camming angle than WC's 13.75 degrees?
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to El Greyo:

I've never calculated the angle my self - it's not that easy to do without laser scanning it. But from what I've heard the angles vary across the range and yes they are larger that 13.75. Metolius comes in smaller at 12.75, but also modify the angle as they get close to the tips in an effort to improve range (at least on paper). Also worth noting they are the least consistent in their range amount and overlap between sizes, with some absolutely massive gaps at some points. Aliens are much larger, somewhere in the 16 degree range - I think the get around the reduced holding power of a greater angle by using a very soft metal. No idea what totem use.
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beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

No, something is in the pipeline but these things take time. I'm not working on them so I don't know what stage they are at. I think they have been concentrating on the Revo and bringing the superlights back.
El Greyo - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

Thanks for the reply. I was always wary of the old camalots because the holding power would be less than a friend due to the larger camming angle. Whether that holding power significantly mattered in real life isn't something I've tested extensively in the field though. WC have made quite a lot of the 13.75 degree camming angle and I got the impression that quite a lot of research had gone into the selection of it. It sort of feels right to me although that is probably because it's what I am used to.

Is there anywhere that is selling off stocks of the helium friends? It might be good to stockpile a few like Robert has.
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to El Greyo:

No idea I'm afraid. Think they are probably all gone now?
Toerag - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> No - lateral stength is not tested, largely because it would be a difficult test to standardise and define in the first place - UIAA and CE testing regimes take many years to be agreed

How does one get input into the development of UIAA standards? Could a test be proposed to cater for pocket placements?

beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Toerag:
It's not quite that easy - first you've got todecide what constitutes a standard pocket, and why that's a standard pocket. Pockets would be nigh on impossible to devise a meaningful test for as they are pretty random! A sie loading test would be much more straight forward. In that case it's more like what constitutes a severe loading, and one which is likely to occur given misuse. Then you just have to devise a test rig, get all the member states of UIAA to agree to the proposal, and off you go. It's a bit like the EU
Post edited at 16:19
lithos on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> No, something is in the pipeline but these things take time. I'm not working on them so I don't know what stage they are at. I think they have been concentrating on the Revo and bringing the superlights back.

when you described your alpine cams - i immediately thought of superlight rocks, they complement the standard fare and would fit in well as an additional filler in set...... get to it ... Mikes Optimal Alpine Cams ....
Timmd on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to lithos:
> ...... get to it ... Mikes Optimal Alpine Cams ....

MOAC! ;-)
Post edited at 17:36
Deadeye - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

Please don't pretend they're weight saving. It's not true.
TobyA on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Whilst I understand what you're argument, wht is a company supposed to do? If the market strongly indicates that one type is prefered to another, should you hang on just in case they change their minds?

Interestingly DMM still seem to be making the full range of Demons and 4CUs. Before I got the Camalots and Dragons to review about 5 years ago now, I had a rack of 4CUs, and was very happy with them. Those people asking about old school Friends should look at the Demons I guess if they want single stem, single axle cams, but the U stem, single axle 4CUs are great too.
beardy mike - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Don't ask me - I'm not the marketing bod. As I say, I always thought there was space for a single axle superlight cam.
SenzuBean - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Absolutely but from a design point of view, I could have gone much lighter if it weren't for market constraints. For example, single hollow axle, less overlap between sizes so single axle mid range fell directly over the top of their double axle counterpart, no thumbloop i.e. no copper ferrule to join sections and less steel, lighter, smaller lobes, silver soldered stem cable in the axle unit using the zero technology, but that's just not what the market wants apparently. Alpine friends - it would have changed the world ;)

Shut up and take my money!
Coel Hellier - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Yes, WC, DMM, BD are all basically Camalots now. They all use Camalot sizes and even the same colour coding.

I hate the fact that they've changed the size numbering. Surely many WC cams are going to be bought by people used to previous generations of WC cam and, like me, they will intuitively think in "Friend 1", "Friend 2" sizes, not the new sizes.

And, if you're going to change the scheme, how can it make sense to have "size 1" be a mid-range cam, when there are about 7 sensible cam sizes below it, down to micros?
thel33ter - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to SteveSBlake:

Having seen my green fallen on over a sharp (relatively) gritstone edge it ended up being a bit curvy, I just bent it back and it seems fine.
Robert Durran - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I hate the fact that they've changed the size numbering. Surely many WC cams are going to be bought by people used to previous generations of WC cam and, like me, they will intuitively think in "Friend 1", "Friend 2" sizes, not the new sizes.

Given that the sizes have changed as well, I don't really see that as a problem - they have just brought everything into line with Camamlot and Dragon sizes, numbering and colours, which makes sense if the plan is to lure people away one cam at a time from Camalots and Dragons. It is Wild Country's repeated tinkering with Rock colour coding that really annoys me!

The now universal Camalot colours are now so standard that in the US people talk about "red cracks" or "gold cracks" and so on.

It is interesting that some people think in numbers and others in colours while the odd strange person just rummages through their rack looking for something that looks the same size as the crack!
HfH on 15 Jul 2017

Mike, if you believe in your alpine cam design, do it!
People don't know what they want or need until they can try.
Having 3 practically identical cams on the market and accepting you have to follow just because that's what people say they want seems like a self fulfilling prophesy.

To show how fickle most consumers are- I'm considering WC now because of the range overlaps and mainly because the colour coding is finally the same as the others I own.

Speaking of which- since the 3 now agree on a colour code, why don't they 'standardise' the size numbering too?
Post edited at 13:05
kermit_uk - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Absolutely but from a design point of view, I could have gone much lighter if it weren't for market constraints. For example, single hollow axle, less overlap between sizes so single axle mid range fell directly over the top of their double axle counterpart, no thumbloop i.e. no copper ferrule to join sections and less steel, lighter, smaller lobes, silver soldered stem cable in the axle unit using the zero technology, but that's just not what the market wants apparently. Alpine friends - it would have changed the world ;)



Shut up and take all my money!


I still love my original tech friends. Would pay good money for a new set and if they were lighter then perfect.

The only thing i would change on mine would be extendable slings.

Please make the above!

routrax - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to DocLemurian:

I bought a complete rack of cams (00-6) earlier this year and chose Dragons for this exact reason.

The new friends look really good, but not offer a re-slinging service is nuts.

Aren't they made by DMM?? Surely they could strike a deal for DMM to resling them.
beardy mike - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to routrax:

No, they are made in the far east by a really high quality factory. DMM used to make WC stuff when they were part of the same company but they parted ways about 5 years ago now. Reslinging requires a sewing base in the UK and I'm not sure what WC's intentions are in this respect. But the question has been asked by Rob so I am sure you will find out.
r0x0r.wolfo - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:
I thought this was a very unbalanced review, and worth noting we're getting straighter answers out of someone with a more directly vested interest, (to Mike's credit).

We have the WC 13.75 degree angle marketing repeated by the reviewer and we are told about 'consistent holding power'. Great - but what are the trade offs (i.e. potentially lower range) and are BD cams not consistent in their holiding power, are metolious more consistent in their holding power? Has the reviewer observed any of this in practice or is he copying and pasting words from a WC marketing brochure to make up the word count?

Also see double axles being stronger with greater range, I guess WC were mugs perservering with those single axles because it's win win all round. Softer 6082 aluminium is 'kinder' on the rock, again, apparently this is just an advantage with no downsides at all. The only negative, is cited as user error with overcamming. Is this a review? Was it paid for? Did the reviewer return the products after use?
Post edited at 12:00
Coel Hellier - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> We have the WC 13.75 degree angle marketing repeated by the reviewer and we are told about 'consistent holding power'. Great - but what are the trade offs (i.e. potentially lower range) and are BD cams not consistent in their holiding power, are metolious more consistent in their holding power?

I suspect that the article is not correct here in saying that 13.75 deg gives "consistent" holding power across the expansion range. You'd always get "consistency" so long as the cam spiral was logarithmic so always giving the same cam angle.

As for trade-offs, a smaller angle gives better holding power at the cost of lower range; a higher angle reduces holding power but has greater range.

> Also see double axles being stronger with greater range, I guess WC were mugs perservering with those single axles ...

Until recently BD had a patent on double axles, which is why DMM and WC have only now brought out double-axle cams.

> Softer 6082 aluminium is 'kinder' on the rock, again, apparently this is just an advantage with no downsides at all.

Presumably softer metal bites better, but is less strong and less rigid, so the cam needs to be have more metal in it and so be heavier? (Hence, small cams, such as aliens and alien-clones can use softer metal but larger cams cannot.)

Maybe the next generation of cams will have the actual cam made of lightweight, strong and stiff metal, and there will be inset "pads" of softer metal to make the contact with the rock?
SteveSBlake - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

If I was in the business of buying cams (I'm not) then these are what I would get..... I much prefer the thumb loop over the DMM blob, it can be clipped short when aiding and the extendable sling is a more versatile option than the BD short loop.

I get a bit glazed over regarding the pros/cons of cam angles and their respective holding power. That is most of the time a real world non issue..... The things above however, significantly improve their usability.
beardy mike - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

There are various benefits to double axle for sure:

the fact that the lobes don't reverse and get hung up on the side of the crack as you retive them
innate passive strength
greater range
Less units to carry
More likely (marginally) to hit the right size first go

Single axle:

Lighter in every case
Simpler mechanics with less to go wrong
More stable in placements
more consistent behaviour when the stem is not symetrically positioned.
More units to carry so more placements!

6082 from a manufacturing perspective is preferable to 7075 - it forges cleanly. 7075 is super hard (for an aluminium) which means it tends to skid a little in placements. 6082 is weaker, therefore you need to use more of it, but the difference is a matter of grams. Its cheaper, both materials wise and processing wise making the units more affordable.
beardy mike - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> I suspect that the article is not correct here in saying that 13.75 deg gives "consistent" holding power across the expansion range. You'd always get "consistency" so long as the cam spiral was logarithmic so always giving the same cam angle.

Yes, as long as the angle follows a logarithmic spiral, holding power will be consistent. As stated above, I believe Metolius change the angle part of the way through their surface to drop increase range a little at the end of the range of the cam. It's hearsay but I believe BD lobes are not truely logarithmic or at least at one time they weren't - take that for what it's worth, speculation.

> As for trade-offs, a smaller angle gives better holding power at the cost of lower range; a higher angle reduces holding power but has greater range.

Yes, higher holding power which is created by higher outward pressure on the sides of the crack. This is not a good thing when placed behind a flake! Same goes for Totem totems (rather than the basic) which actively increases this pressure. You just needto be aware of this when placeing. How much difference? Not enough not to buy them.

> Until recently BD had a patent on double axles, which is why DMM and WC have only now brought out double-axle cams.

Actually WC stuck to single axle for many years because quite a number of the management felt they were still a better product. New masters and a new way of thinking?

> Presumably softer metal bites better, but is less strong and less rigid, so the cam needs to be have more metal in it and so be heavier? (Hence, small cams, such as aliens and alien-clones can use softer metal but larger cams cannot.)

Exactly - as explained above. What counts for more here is the type of heat treatment of aluminium used. Most alu's in their O start (annealed) are soft and malleable. It's only when its been treated under specific regimes that it adopts its final strength characteristics. Often material will be bought in a treated state (it's more common), then cut to size, annealed, formed and then re heat treated. With heat treatment comes increased hardness (and eventually brittleness). Old Zero's used 7075-t6. Aliens use 6061-T6. Not sure what BD cams us but I would imagine its some form of 6000 series, mainly because they use extruded barstock which again, 6000 series is better for. But it's worth noting it's hard to devise a test to quantify the bite of the metal under realistic conditions as rock is generally not consistent, so tests are not truly repeatable. ou would only ever see a trend.
Tony Stone on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:
Just curious, I remember a Welsh climbing gear manufacturer did *not* use a thumb loop on their new(ish) camming devices because:

...the extendable 8mm dyneema sling [...] was cutting through the wire stem loop at high loads.

They used a (opinion: crap) aluminium thumb grip instead.

How did WC get round this? Thicker sling sufficient? Other manufacturer not being entirely accurate with statement?
Post edited at 11:26
beardy mike - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Tony Stone:
The ultimate failure of the cable is as stated, the dyneema pulls through the cable. There is no getting around that - things will always eventually break. That is why BD have a (patented) sewn sling design with wide tape which spreads load. The reason I believe DMM went for the pigsnostril is because they wanted to achieve 14kN on their units. The question in our camp was whether that is a requirement or not - placing that constraint on the design means that you can't provide a feature many people like and want. So we rated the units at a lower level, made the tape wide and provided a lower rated level for the extended sling as it kinks the wire badly in that use beyond that point. We felt that because the average fall does not exceed 7kN that this was a compromise worth taking. Its worth noting that same welsh manufacturer also have a patent https://patents.google.com/patent/EP2853296A1/en?q=camming&q=device&assignee=dmm in which they described a thumb unit - personally I think it's a shame they didn't bringit to market as it would have been a great innovation. So they know that the pigs nostril is not the ideal and are obviously working on solutions!
Post edited at 11:33
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Tony Stone on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:
Cheers Mike. Your posts in this thread have been really enlightening. I and - I'm sure - others above appreciate your time and candour.

When I read that quote from the Welsh manufacturer my immediate response was, "well, use a thicker sling." Would have thought it'd have been a faster, cheaper, lighter and more elegant solution. Interesting about the patent.

Can't think why said manufacturer would get hung up on 14kN as a breaking strength. As you hint at further up, the practical strength of a placement is probably more often determined by other features of the placement rather than the max strength of the camming unit when placed perfectly.
Post edited at 12:45
Timmd on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to kermit_uk:
> Shut up and take all my money!
> I still love my original tech friends. Would pay good money for a new set and if they were lighter then perfect.
> The only thing i would change on mine would be extendable slings.
> Please make the above!

That's my thoughts too. Maybe we could crowd fund the money for him to start up in return for company shares?
Post edited at 13:07
beardy mike - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Tony Stone:

All you have to do is look at Metolius kit - nearly all of it is rated at a maximum of 10kN. I doesn't fail, it's super high quality if a little dated looking in some respects but its great gear. I worked closely with a guy who was super involved with Metolius for a decade and his feeling was that it's more than adequate to rate at 10. But everybody has their own ideas and sometimes those thoughts aren't as clearly articulated to the general public as maybe they should be. Don't get me wrong - I have truckloads of DMM kit, WC kit, BD and Metolius and it's all super good quality - you just have to take the time to read between the lines a little bit!
springfall2008 - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

Nice review, it's shame it doesn't compare them against the competition. For example why would I buy these instead of DMM Dragon?
TobyA on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

See my recent post about the sad demise of one of Dragons if you want one potential reason to consider something else!
Timmd on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

I'm glad you posted about that, it's very helpful for everybody else - if not for you!
Stuart the postie - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to springfall2008:

Thumbloop......
beardy mike - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Stuart the postie:

Better handling in general IMO. We optomised the length, thumbloop and trigger position so they all feel good in the hand. Dragons only real fault to my mind is that the stems are really short which if you have big mitts like I do, feels wrong. Saves a bit of weight mind...
Big Lee - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> See my recent post about the sad demise of one of Dragons if you want one potential reason to consider something else!

Just had a read of it. Given nobody else posted with similar problems it sounds like you just got a duff one, rather than a broader problem. I think somebody actually posted a few months ago ago a new WC doing a similar thing. And let's not mention BD recalls. Shame you didn't get a replacement but I thought it pretty impressive that they sent somebody to Stanage to try and inspect it.
Big Lee - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

Maybe it's just me but I've never understood how a thumb loop improves handling. Surely it's about a secure opposition between the thumb loop and the lever? The only time I've ever found a thumb loop of benefit is on small cams with skinny shafts (eg WC Zero Friends) where the thumb surface needs to be enlarged for stable thumb opposition. Maybe it's because I started out with older WC Friend models. If I'd started with Camalots then maybe I'd be swearing blind the need for a thumb loop.
beardy mike - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

If you read what I wrote I didn't say that the good handling was because of the thumbloop, rather that we optimised stem length and trigger position so that it makes them the most comfortable they can be. That would be the case if there was a thumbloop or not.
Big Lee - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

I did read it. That was me just going on a tangent with my own thoughts.
galpinos on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

I can see the advantage of a thumb loop for aid but having never aided in my life, it's not much of an attraction. However, the pigs nose on the Dragons is such a faff to use and feels horrible in the hand (to me) compared to my Camalots, I'd be looking at the new friends.

What I've never understood is, the old 4CUs had doubled over extendable slings on a not dissimilar loop. These are rated at 14kN so how come DMM can't get the new ones up to this and had to go with the inferior pigs nose option? I assume it's something to do with the bar across the loop on the 4CUs that stops the loop deforming?
beardy mike - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Big Lee:

Haha fair enough - that'll learn me
lanari - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to UKC Gear:

"With the New Friend, Wild Country have built the first double axled cam unit that combines a thumb loop with an extendable sling."

Actually the Czech manufacturer Rock Empire has sold their Axel cams for years with this sweet spot design. Admittedly, they are not as refined as WC units and are rated lower strength, but I´ve been very happy with my set of Axels. I think they are great for the price. Though, probably getting New Friends to extend the rack
Andypeak - on 01 Aug 2017
In reply to lanari:

I've got a couple of axle cams. They are pretty nice.

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