/ COMPETITION: WINNER - Wild Country Rocks: A revolution and the core of any trad rack

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UKC Articles - on 21 Aug 2017
Naomi Buys: Earl Buttress E2 5c, 5 kbThe Rock with its curved sides is a Wild Country original and revolutionised how we protect routes. Here's your chance to win a full set.

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Coel Hellier - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Latest-generation cams from WC and DMM have machined lobes since bare metal gives a better grip than an anodised surface.

Wouldn't the same apply to rocks? Wouldn't it be better to go back to un-anodised rocks with colour coding on the swage?
MG - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Rocks don't primarily rely on friction though. Also glittery things sell better, I'm sure!
beardy mike - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

No - as MG says, nut's don't rely on friction to work. It's also a factor of surface hardness - minor deformation provides mechanical interlocking with the rock crystals, which will be reduced by a hard anodised surface.
Coel Hellier - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> ... minor deformation provides mechanical interlocking with the rock crystals, which will be reduced by a hard anodised surface.

. . . and thus un-anodised Rocks would "bite" a bit better when you give them a tug, and be less likely to lift out?
beardy mike - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Yeah maybe. It's all moot seeing as the anodising wears off in no time at all
Michael Gordon - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>Wouldn't it be better to go back to un-anodised rocks with colour coding on the swage?

Definitely - that way they would actually stay colour-coded!
Robert Durran - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Definitely - that way they would actually stay colour-coded!

Indeed. And save us the trouble of having to wrap little bits of coloured insulating tape around the swage. I don't know what came over them with the anodisation nonsense.

beardy mike - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Stress corrosion cracking protection? Anodising does serve a purpose other than looking pretty you know. Even if it wears off, it delays the onset. I suppose they culd clear anodise them
Robert Durran - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Stress corrosion cracking protection? Anodising does serve a purpose other than looking pretty you know.

Is that a real problem? Has anyone died?
beardy mike - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
Not that I know of, but it makes your gear last longer making it better value for money. Besides, is the requirement of someone having died the only reason to improve kit?
Post edited at 19:35
Robert Durran - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Not that I know of, but it makes your gear last longer making it better value for money.

All my rocks have eventually been retired when the wires are knackered, so I don't believe anodisation makes any difference.

> Besides, is the requirement of someone having died the only reason to improve kit?

I think I'm more lkely to die as a result of getting confused by the anodisation colour coding (or lack of it once it's worn off) than by non-anodised nuts cracking!

beardy mike - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
Fair enough - that's up to you. Manufacturers anodise for a reason, but if that's lost on you then there's not much to say really. That said, I'm not sure how you could get confused by coloured nuts - are they really that difficult to get your head around? I mean not ALL the anodising wears off. Personally I tend to look at a crack and know what colour will fit...
Post edited at 20:54
Wayne S - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:
Hi,

Much of what you say makes sense, but to suggest that Manufacturers absolutely must know what they are doing to the point "we" must be wrong, shurely flies in the face that two mayor manufacturers have started to remove anodising from the lobes of their cams, after years of applying a full finish. Whereas brands like Totem and CH Aliens have always known the score.

For my two penny worth, I much prefer my really worn nuts which have virtually no anodising over the newer version of the same. They just seem to place better and just don't lift out the same.

That said I would much sooner pay more to not have a swage like on the Metolius curve nuts on Wall Nuts and Rocks.
Post edited at 21:21
beardy mike - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Wayne S:

That's certainly not the way I meant it to come across. What I meant was that Robert doesn't see the benefit so for him maybe there is none. Nuts are probably the product which requires it least just because there are fewer material interactions and combinations. For biners and cams, and other mechanical products there is a strong case for an increase in longevity of the product. Anyway here's a link to a more in depth explanation of the benefits explained far better than I ever could. http://dmmclimbing.com/knowledge/anodising-vid/
Michael Gordon - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

They anodise in colour because they think brightly coloured nuts will sell better. And presumably they do, though I wish some folk wouldn't equate colour-coding with anodised nuts since they were colour-coded before, just not on the nut itself. Not all of the anodising wears off? Depends how much use they get - I certainly have trouble seeing any on, say, the no.4 and just have to go by the size difference to tell it apart from the no.3 now, whereas in the past this wasn't an issue.
Robert Durran - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> Anyway here's a link to a more in depth explanation of the benefits explained far better than I ever could. http://dmmclimbing.com/knowledge/anodising-vid/

The article starts with four reasons for anodising, none of which seem to me to apply to nuts.

Robert Durran - on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:
> Manufacturers anodise for a reason, but if that's lost on you then there's not much to say really.

Of course they do it for a reason and I don't think it's lost on me. I'm afraid it is probably to create a market for something superficially new and which is annoying to have mixed with the older versions, thus manipulating us into abandoning our old nuts in favour of buying new ones. And, to make things worse, they even changed the colour coding - hence my having to use bits of coloured insulating tape to make them compatible (I remember someone from WC once came on here with the excuse that anodising is only possible in some colours. Really?)

> That said, I'm not sure how you could get confused by coloured nuts - are they really that difficult to get your head around? I mean not ALL the anodising wears off. Personally I tend to look at a crack and know what colour will fit.....

Yes, I think in colours too (rather than numbers or just looking for one which looks the right side). Hence the problem.
Post edited at 22:22
Luke90 on 21 Aug 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Their fourth reason is the colour-coding, which is certainly relevant. You might not be a fan but plenty of people are.

I guess they could satisfy everybody by putting coloured swages on the anodised nuts.
alan moore - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

120 smackers!
I bought mine when they were three quid a piece and they still look fine; no cracked heads and only one has lost its coloured swagging.
beardy mike - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Robert Durran: Well they did continue unanodised rocks for a long time. That said, they've been anodised for a good 15 years now - its hardly them changing the market. Changing the colours, yep, pain in the bum, and yes you can anodise in pretty much the rainbow. Hard anodising you are restricted, but rocks aren't.

Michael Gordon - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

Pretty sure you can still buy un-anodised nuts? The trouble is you would have to buy a full set, so no use for just replacing as and when.
beardy mike - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon: ah. Well that will be marketing for you...

Michael Gordon - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Luke90:

> Their fourth reason is the colour-coding, which is certainly relevant. You might not be a fan but plenty of people are.
>

As explained above, not a reason for anodising!
beardy mike - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I'm not really sure why that doesn't count? I suspect you are in the minority of climbers who don't find it an advantage to identify sizes easily? I guess the only solution would be to have coloured ferrule sleeves AND anodising? Although from my recollection of coloured sleeves, they didn't last that long either, although I'll admit they seemed to be made of flimiser material; certainly the wildcountry ones didn't. My current set of Wallnuts I've had since I was about 28 or 29 and they are still pretty well anodised, so 12-13 years of pretty regular climbing and I can still see the colours pretty clearly. Maybe you climb a lot more regularly than I do but to expunge all trace of colour you must be absolutely hammering your kit?
Coel Hellier - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to beardy mike:

> I suspect you are in the minority of climbers who don't find it an advantage to identify sizes easily?

Everyone is in favour of colour coding. But colour coding on the swage works fine or better (and thus colour coding is not a reason for anodising).

When I use newer Rocks, I still find myself looking at the *swage* to check the colour, not the head.

If WC brought out a batch of un-anodised Rocks with swages coloured in the *old* colours, I'd buy some!
beardy mike - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

Trouble is, this is all matter of opinion stuff. Yes, I agree companies should stick with a colour coding system - I don't know what the internal reasons for changing the code were - nearly eveybody from the company who would have made that decision aren't there any more. I suspect (but really couldn't say for certain) that it would have had to do with bringing wallnuts and rocks into line with one another when DMM and WC were part of the same company. But that's a guess. Likewise the anodising being a good/bad thing in the case of nuts is not clear cut and a matter of opinion. On cams it's really not - it does help protect the mechanical joints from corrosion. And the removed anodising on the surface is compromise to help improve friction in a device where friction is an absolutely critical parameter, not like nuts.
Luke90 on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:
> If WC brought out a batch of un-anodised Rocks with swages coloured in the *old* colours, I'd buy some!

How old is your rack? Do you not have any wallnuts? Alloy offsets? Superlight rocks?

Surely the colour matching between WC and DMM is worth the one-time penalty of learning some new colours? I rack my nuts by size rather than brand so non-matching colours would drive me crazy.

To me, it makes logical sense to have the colour information in the same place as the actual part that needs to fit in the crack. That way, I can see the colour and the physical size in the same spot when I'm choosing. When you say the swage is a better position, surely you just mean that you're in the habit of looking there?
Post edited at 13:34
Michael Gordon - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

>
> If WC brought out a batch of un-anodised Rocks with swages coloured in the *old* colours, I'd buy some!

Or the new colours would also be good. Certainly pointless having them all in black anyway!
Michael Gordon - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Luke90:

> When you say the swage is a better position, surely you just mean that you're in the habit of looking there?

He said "colour coding on the swage works fine or better" - this is because the colour doesn't disappear with use!
Robert Durran - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Or the new colours would also be good.

Yes, but there should never have been new colours!
Roberttaylor - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to UKC Articles:

Take your fingers
Paint them the appropriate colour of nut/cam sizes
Instantly know which finger to put in which crack
Genius
Coel Hellier - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Luke90:

> To me, it makes logical sense to have the colour information in the same place as the actual part that needs to fit in the crack.

Given a bunch of wires on a krab, the swage is the bit you usually grab, not the head. It's thus much easier to think "grab the yellow swage" rather than "the swage that goes with that colour head is ... err, ... this one I think".

The generation of Rocks where the plastic swage cover was all one obvious colour was far easier to use (and the modern, pathetic, wimpy "let's have coloured writing on a black swage" is nowhere near as good).
Luke90 on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:
> He said "colour coding on the swage works fine or better" - this is because the colour doesn't disappear with use!

If you've managed to remove so much anodising from a nut that the colour is unrecognisable, then I genuinely salute you but you've arguably had your money's worth from that nut!
Luke90 on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Given a bunch of wires on a krab, the swage is the bit you usually grab, not the head. It's thus much easier to think "grab the yellow swage" rather than "the swage that goes with that colour head is ... err, ... this one I think".

Fair argument. I can see the logic in that. As I've said further up, I can't see why they couldn't do both to keep both camps happy.

(Though going back to colours that don't match DMM would be a massive step backwards.)
Michael Gordon - on 22 Aug 2017
In reply to Luke90:

It really doesn't take THAT long for much of the colour to go. OK, if I were to sit and look at them I would still see a little shade on the more worn nuts, but it's certainly disappeared to the point where on lead the size, not the colour, is the main distinguishing feature.

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