/ New Petzl Tools for 2018
Thought i'd share, as they do look the business...
Hopefully they've sorted the wobbly head thing. It does look like a slightly different design.
They do indeed look great... But as Dave mentioned, I'd prefer them to had another rivet...
The 'Ergonomic' looks like a great tool...
That said, I'm more keen on the new BD tool... and the aluminium ice screw...
Which BD tool is this? The Fuel hammer?
The Fuel Hammer was published last Ispo/OR.
Think more in the lines Ergo(nomic) or X-Dream. But only seen glimpses...
Some feedback here, seems they have tried to address the creaky head issue.
> They do indeed look great... But as Dave mentioned, I'd prefer them to had another rivet...
They have at least admitted that the axes are for "Dry Tooling".
Hmm, plastic insert to fix the wobble. Not convinced by that.
i'm sure they'll still fall through on fixing the tools after head wobble... abuse and all, ya know.
Anyone see the new BD ice screws?
They can't get enough of that single rivet action can they? Those crazy Petzl guys.
New Reactor. Looks a bit like a new Viper with a bit of XDream DNA. I suspect it will be reasonably priced for an axe designed for steep climbing.
Yeah, they seemed pretty good. Handle is different from the Expresses though; I'd have preferred it to be the same I think.
While a plastic insert seems a bit of a fudge, it could mean any head wobbles issues can be fixed with a new insert?
No doubt at £40 per insert....
I suspect one could be 3D printed for far less than that.
After two pairs of axes with wobbly heads in less than two years I won't be buying another pair of Nomics in this lifetime. I've got better things to do with my life than replace my axes every year. Maybe the head has be improved, but if it's still a problem then no doubt it'll be deemed the fault of the user again.
Likewise, but the uncanny resemblance to the laser speed light was, well, exactly that. Plus the green just makes me drool.
Now looking at the new Petzl axes I see the shafts have gone from a simple tube section to something more formed, possibly using BD's hydroforming technique. I'm wondering if there is some behind the scenes collaboration between the two... A new BD screw with Petzl traits and a new Petzl axe with BD traits.*
My curiosity is thus, do we now have an axe that combines the best of the Fusion/ Fuel axes with that of the Nomic? Plus screws that take the best of the laser speed light and the turbo express? (I once said that the best screw out there hasn't been made yet as it would be a petzl tube with a BD hanger... Seems my wishes may have been granted!
> A new BD screw with Petzl traits
Or e-climb traits.
Yes, very true! It's a shame they often fall under the radar!
Where have you seen pictures of the new BD tool? I'm curious, and I couldn't find any information.
If you have any links, much appreciated.
> They can't get enough of that single rivet action can they? Those crazy Petzl guys.
I'd love to speak to the designers and ask them about their thought process. I suppose the plastic insert could work but I'd be worried about damaging it climbing snowed up rock and then you're back to square one.
Some pictures in this thread:
Yeah, funnily enough they seem to be able to design GriGris as durable as required. I’ve never owned Nomics & am very unlikely to bother until Petzl get the durability sorted.
Having swing the tool a bit - but not in anger - I don't think it's going to quite live up to that level of expectation, but I may be wrong!
> Hmm, plastic insert to fix the wobble. Not convinced by that.
Just had a look at the new Nomic and Ergonomic here at ISPO trade show. They look pretty good to be honest. The ‘wobbly head issue’ has been addressed not just with the addition of a plastic insert, but also with a much longer head section into the handle.
We’ll have a full report with video next week.
> but also with a much longer head section into the handle.
which TBH was probably the cause of the problem, anyway, IMHO.
It would be interesting to compare the head sections of various axes.
We could then see if there was any correlation between head length and "wobble".
Hope its sorted with the latest design.
Other manufacturers use a single rivet or even (it looks like) systems that don't involve rivets so its not so simple as 'one rivet bad' like some seem to think. The length of head in the shaft on Nomics is probably less than 35mm. Like you say, be interested to see how other manufacturers avoid this issue.
> Other manufacturers use a single rivet or even (it looks like) systems that don't involve rivets so its not so simple as 'one rivet bad' like some seem to think. The length of head in the shaft on Nomics is probably less than 35mm. Like you say, be interested to see how other manufacturers avoid this issue.
When I used to work with Mountain Technology, Hugh used to insist that the rivets were purely cosmetic, and that the head fixing method was strong enough without it.
The rivet(s) position does however also give an indication of the head length, the rivet passing through both the head and the shaft.
BD don't seem to have bothered with rivets for some time either.
E-climb, grivel on and off, and DMM (rebel) + others use/tried single piece forged shafts which negate any head joining problem but they don't seem to have caught on as maybe more expensive to produce, heavier/less easy to balance to the head (and... only an impression through use so not based on proper comparison... seem to perhaps transmit more vibration to the user?)
Exactly, plastic in an axe used for Scottish winter? They say it’s to fix temperature difference issues but I very much doubt that this is what causes the wobble. Much more likely to be due to the general abuse of Scottish winter!
Edit - Just saw Alan’s post. A longer head section would certainly help but I’m surprised they don’t just glue the head in (it’s basically held in by friction, plus a rivet just in case). Perhaps there are concerns about temperature differences affecting alloy resin.
Incidentally, when one of my Nomics developed a head wobble recently I drilled out the river and was pleased to find that it took a fair bit of hammering to get the head to come off the shaft - it still seemed well stuck in despite the wobble and not having a rivet. However psychologically a wobbly head isn’t exactly what you need...
If you see the new Reactors on the BD stand and they want UKC to review them, well, you know - just saying... I'd be happy to give them ago for the greater good of the UKC readership.
Yes. But What the general public wants is a comparison photo with Fuel. To get an idea of reach, pick angle and so on. Asking for a comparison with X-Dream might be a bit of a fetch. Atleast until the actual review.
Looking at the pics of the new shaft, the end is a flat rather than an edge which was part of the problem with the old ones.
> i'm sure they'll still fall through on fixing the tools after head wobble... abuse and all, ya know.
Curious that they'd feel the need to 'fix' an issue that only arises through abuse... ;)
The sudden X-Dream fetish that seems to have swept the rest of the ice climbing world when people finally realised Nomics were total pants in terms of quality, hasn't seemed to have hit the UK. Allcord have been the distributors for CAMP-Cassin forever in the UK, so I suspect they could get them but I don't think I've seen them in any UK shops/webshops.
I think your all barking up the wrong tree with regards to the single rivet, the original Nomic had a single rivet and are much more stout. Th issue is the limited interference fit and the thinness of the shaft wall imo. I can't see them ballsing that bit up again but....
I think Ice Factor had a pair and that's it for the last 2 years. Always mail order from the German companies though.
also the handle on the new BD Reactor looks kind of small a la Edelrid.
> I think your all barking up the wrong tree with regards to the single rivet, the original Nomic had a single rivet and are much more stout. Th issue is the limited interference fit and the thinness of the shaft wall imo.
That's exactly what I've been saying. First gen ones didn't have the problem (or not to the same degree) and the end of the shaft wall is noticeably thicker.
Are yours still solid? mine are bomber after the fix.
Yes, they're fine. Done 12 routes with them now (mostly snowed up rock) and all solid. Packing the head / shaft interface with araldite made the difference. Keeping and eye on it but no concerns!
Interesting! Good to see JB's has such a good selection of tools for people to pick from. Those CT ones aren't too expensive either - I think they might be in an upcoming UKC review!
It won't solve it, it needs a second rivet. The problem is that as soon as you bang the alu shaft for pegs or gear (ok they have improved by putting a little hammer piece, but you will still miss like the old ones with the hammer) as soon as the alu shaft gets damage then the head pivots in one rivet and you get the head wobble. the plastic insert will do f*ck all. A missed opportunity, or they are just lazy designers.
yes it is because in all cases as as soon as you bolt a second rivet the issue goes. I know dozens of cases. If you don't hammer, you get creaking, if you hammer you get a moving head, until the alu starts cracking because of the lever force of the head pivoting in one rivet. The one rivet is the origin of all problems. Two rivets, no problems, a lesson learned by Cassin and DMM. Maybe now that the new nomic shaft is hydroformed you don't need two rivets, but then the shaft insertion needs to be a different system like the BD one that use way more alu and hence heavier
Do folk reckon this plastic insert will simply crumble when abused, sorry used in Scotland? I am on my third pair of Nomics as a result of the wobbly pommel, but thankfully I'm yet to experience the wobbly head.
The DMM and Cassin are completely different ie shaft wall thickness, diameter, the amount of interface...
Good question, it’s certainly different and I can’t think of another example of this joint being used but am no expert. I note the “plastic” tapers from about just over half its length. There must example in industry of this system being used.
I agree with coldwill. It's possible a second rivet might delay the problem but it wouldn't eliminate it. I 'fixed' one that had a very minor wobble by putting a second rivet in. It felt solid for 2 routes then started to wobble again even worse.
I think it would be possible to make a single rivet system that didn't work loose by having a thicker shaft wall, a longer length of head in shaft that fitted better and perhaps a head with fewer irregularities. This is basically what the first gen ones were like and they had far fewer issues.
As for the plastic insert I really don't know, I'm just a tinkerer not a materials scientist or engineer! It does seem overly complicated and like others I'd worry about the durability of the plastic for Scottish snowed up rock.
Personally the plastic insert looks just like the multiple 'fixes' that Petzl began furiously issuing shortly after the second generation Nomics were released. First it was a rivet through the pommel so it was fixed to one size, second it was a different alloy tooth insert into the shaft section of the pommel pommel, now it is different entirely??, and now we have a plastic insert into the head to stop head wobble?
I can't see any difference here to the previous three other 'fixes' to the pommel issue. Looks to me that Petzl had to get a third generation Nomic out on the shelves quickly to maintain market share, as competitors Black Diamond are also bringing out a new Reactor tool.
Looks like a poorly thought out retro engineered design to me. Disappointing as otherwise, despite it being a major issue, the Nomic is a great tool when working.
OK, here's my take.
Petzl's statement is that the wobbly heads came from tolerance issues--the internal dimensions of some shafts were the big side, the outside measurements of some heads were on the small side, and while both parts were within normal tolerances, in some unlucky pairings enough space was created to allow the heads to come loose, especially if repeatedly bashed against iron or rock, which could be characterized as beyond the realm of reasonable use--if you're hitting the shaft of your tool so much that the aluminum is getting severely dented and gouged you can't expect the head to stay tight forever--an ice axe is not a piton hammer. In any case, the plastic insert is designed to take up any extra space that might exist between shaft and head, and allow the parts to expand/contract with varying temperature, thus, hopefully, preventing, or lessening, the chances of the heads coming loose.
It might work. I have nothing against plastic--think of how much plastic is used in ski bindings, for example, or airplanes, or millions of other applications. Maybe the plastic will add some kind of new "damping" feel, perhaps offset by the presumably stiffer shaft? Also, let's not forget that the part of the head that inserts into the shaft is supposedly longer--that alone could fix the problem. In any case, I basically interpret this as an attempt to make the heads more secure without having to expend the cost (which might be truly prohibitive) to make the shaft and head more precisely. In any case, I'm adopting a wait and see attitude. Again, it might work.
I am more interested in some of the other design changes. The hydroformed shaft might be stiffer, but is this a good thing? The reverberating "thunk" of a well-sunk old Nomic is unparalleled. Will that feel be gone? I'm also curious about the pommel/grip rest interface. The last solution, with the small piece of metal, was obviously not ideal. Have they solved this problem? And what about the ergonomics of the grip rest? Does it provide a smooth, broad, supportive radius? It seems so, but there's no way to tell until you try it. How does it accommodate (or not) different hand sizes, particularly large hands with gloves?
I'm not a fan of spikes on axes for ice climbing--I think they interfere with the rotation of the tool in your hand. When necessary, I just turn my ice tools upside down, and plunge the heads straight down into snow, as many people do with old Nomics and other tools. This has the added advantage of allowing you to keep tethers attached--there's no messing about moving tethers from spike to head and back. Therefore, I would set up the Nomics with the grip rest from the Ergo. This, however, would interfere with the attachment of tethers.
I have mixed feelings about the tether alternatives. In terms of tethers, on the Nomic, you could clip the spike, but I prefer a soft attachment. It gives me more reach, and it's less noisy, and creates less interference with the swing. You could pass some cord through the spike, or through the slots in the handle, or resort to some kind of drilled hole, as many people do with old Nomics. As for the Ergos, there appears to be no obvious way to attach a tether unless you drill some holes, or use the grip rest with the spike. That's not ideal, although there may be a solution. There's no way to tell until we can use the tools.
The tapered head weights are very cool. I can definitely see that making it more effective to wedge the picks into cracks.
As for the Quark with the moveable grip rest--that seems like an absurd gimmick.
in a side note have you seen how closely the Reactor resembles the xdeam? Amazing.
I like your thinking, let’s hope the Nomic hasn’t been turned into a Fusion, which was a copy of a Nomic...
What is the latest version of the pommel fix do you know? I'm yet to be convinced that plastic in the head will last in Scotland. Hopefully I'm proved wrong.
From a big-handed person's point of view, clipping the spike looks a much better option than threading cord through the hidden drilled hole at the base, as with the current model. The edges of this hole are unbevelled and with the grip size set to largest the cord is pinched against these edges locally. The localised pressure means a greater likelihood that the cord will tear under loading (as I found out once). They've obviously managed to strengthen the grip rest at the very base of the axe. Years ago there was a long-term recall due to this failing, so I suspect mounting an attachment on the current version was never an option due to it still being a point of weakness.
> They've obviously managed to strengthen the grip rest at the very base of the axe.
Rated to 1.5kN I believe.
I agree with you. Threading cord through that small drilled hole never seemed like a good idea to me (I'm a big guy), although obviously it has worked well for some people. Others appear to thread cord or webbing through the larger hole in the handle, and tape it to the grip, or just let it hang. Again, not ideal. All this allowing, of course, that the cord is not to hold a fall, or even really support body weight, but instead just catch a dropped tool.
I will reiterate my points that I think spikes are unnecessary for dedicated ice tools, that rounded grip rests make sense because they do not interfere with the swing, and that soft point attachments for tethers also makes sense--more reach, less interference, and so on. So with the new Nomics my choice would be to use the Ergo grip rest, and thread cord for a tether through the molded space/hole in the handle--not the a hole drilled into the aluminum.
All these options lead me to the X-Dreams. I use the non-alpine handle with no spike and a smoothly rounded grip rest that swings well. For tethers, I had somebody sew a small Dyneema sling through the hole in the handle. Works great.
I use X-Dreams. I like climbing with them but they're still not the perfect axe. I broke the rest at the top of the handle after six weeks. The metal teeth that are sunken into the underside of this rest have reduced the cross-sectional depth creating a weak point. It cracked at this point. Camp said it was my fault and refused to replace the handle, however the shop I purchased the axes from gave my an 80% discount. At least it's easy to replace the handle with the X-Dreams.
A couple of other niggles are that the bolt connecting the handle starts to come loose unless REALLY tight. I use a wrench on it. I'm injured right now, but next time I use them I plan to add some blue Loctite to the bolt.
The picks are great out of the packet but I've not quite worked out how to sharpen them effectively once the tips have been dented. Nomics have quite a uniform pick shape in comparison so it's much easier to keep filing them down. I need to check out the retro fitting European/Russian picks maybe.
The sliding rest on the shaft has a habit of moving up the shaft, despite me tightening it as tight as I can. Still stable to pull on though.
All these things considered I still really like the X-dreams. The handle feels a much better fit for my large hands. I find the axes need a bit more of a flick as there's less weight in the head. Maybe Nomics are slightly better on ice for this reason (not much in it) but X-dreams feel better on mixed.
Considering you like the X-Dream, but prefer a sturdier built... the new BD should peek your interest...
Also Ines seems to finally stop using the gen 1 Fusions on hard mixed (as per her pentagram-feed). Sure, some of it might be sponsor-talk... but looking at the comparison pics between the new Reactor and X-Dream, I'm highly intriqued about them...
The fix that we all have now which is the metal insert in the alu under the pommel. As I remember it the river was only a stop gap. I diy’ed it and then got them replaced.
I like to think that the plastic will work. I have just fixed my Nomics with an epoxy compound which seem to work fine so far. BD have been using something similar for years. This insert has been discribed as plastic but that is probably just lazy reporting, the term could cover a lot of things. There is so much research on plastic hardness that they will have had a lot to choose from. Will it work? I volunteer to test them if they want to send me a pair.
Does look like the revised reactor might be (on paper) a strong contender - proven (Cassin) geometry, not much heavier than nomic, hopefully robust as uses well tested headset and joining (viper etc.)..., retains BD's simple proven pick interface + adze/hammer options & without the stainless steel issue of f2's, plus in Scotland personally found BD hydroformed (bulging) shafts a bit of a hindrance at times as restricted reaching into cracks for hooks and a bit broad to hold easily... time will tell!
I found the hydro-formed shaft have the same problem, but I see from online photos that the shaft on the Reactor looks quite thick to start with. The hammer option bumps it up the desirability scale for those who feel they need one for sure. I remember welding the head on my Fusion 1s as there were cases of the head bending to the right as this was the weaker side due to the plate not being attached, if you see what I mean. I'm certainly not writing it off, it may well be the best option out there now.
> I see the blogger has made a direct comparison between the Reactor and the Xdream.
I actually read elsewhere that some peeps have actually admitted that the specifically set out to copy the geometry of the XDream. So the comparisons are just supporting the hearsay.
These might in fact replace my modded green fusions. But I’ll still prolly keep the original Fusions for drytooling & short mixed route abuse.
For pure ice and with the occasional mixed route I just gotta chip in here among the naysayers. Ive had my 1st gen. Nomics for 10 years. No head wobble and I just sold them on for 200£+ (incl new picks). I havent climbed a lot of mixed and almost destroyed the heads banking a couple of Putins (wo hammer...) but Ive climbed at least 500 pitches of joyful ice with them wo any problems.
This update is supposed to be an improvement in build quality besides the obvious advantages with the minihammer and spike. Im of course deeply coloured by mine and my friends happy relationship with Nomic 1st gen but I will gladly buy this Nomic 2018.
In my opinion BD hasnt even made a half-decent ice axe for ice since the Cobra so although the new Reactor (X-dream copy) looks good Im not convinced til I’ll try it. Since 2016 Ive been on the X-Dream train, super for steep ice (the pick is little bit too sticky) but I’ll imagine rough mix would trash them.
Are the original fusions the orange ones?
If so do you know if they have any breakage issues? Having just snapped a viper shaft I am a little nervous of a pair of fusions I have inherited and would like to use.
Yup. The orange ones.
I’m sure have been breakages. But BD seems to have a lot better track record than Petzl.
Think Ian Parnell snapped handle on one of his orange Fusions?
Thanks, have to use them but will lay off cranking on the shafts.
> and almost destroyed the heads banking a couple of Putins
I think there are sanctions against that because of the Magnitsky Act (sorry, political science geek joke).
The original Reactors were great tools and the Vipers are classics - I think the Cobras predate both.
If allegations are to be believed, Putin is worth a fair bit, so banking a couple of Putins would mean you could afford to buy a new pair of Nomics every week. In fact you could probably afford to buy Petzl and make them sort out the head wobble issue definitively.
If I were to buy a new BD tool, these new Reactors would be the one. If they climb Ice Mixed like the X dream they'll P*** all over the Fuel. In fact why would you buy a Fuel/hammer when you could buy this instead at a lower price point I suspect. But you never know the new picks might improve the fuel as well.
Anyway your right that the Vipers (at least later models) and the Reaktors (if you got big hands) are better than half-decent. Although I wouldnt go so far to call them either great or classic.
On the orange Fusions, it might be worth checking the bolt that holds the handle together.
If you put too many spacers on for larger hands, the bolt sometimes has too few threads engaged.
Its a strange tapered female thread in alloy, not BD's finest design moment IMHO.
After mine dropped to bits on the hill, I got some longer M5 hi tensile bolts which inspire a lot more confidence. After a few gentle screw in and outs with plenty of GT 85/ WD40 they now engage full depth.
I had the new BD kit in my hand yesterday. The screws are unbelievably light with a very aggressive tooth profile. The new Reactor looks and feels excellent - I personally don't like handled tools (have X-Drys) but they feel lighter than expected and swing well. Pick profiling looks better than older BD tools too. Handle large, adaptable trigger area, no size adjust.
Dave, do you think the arildite is more important than the second rivet? I might try this and just replace the original rivet.
Thanks, I was wondering about that bolt and the prospect of it falling at an embarrassing moment. I will do your modification.
Take care. The alloy is fragile and its easy to damage the threads.
Ok, I will get the more competent Gary Kinsey to have a look. Thanks for the warning.
any idea if the new nomic spike can be fitted to the current version??
> Dave, do you think the arildite is more important than the second rivet? I might try this and just replace the original rivet.
It probably is more important although I was a little dubious of the rivets I got hence the 2nd one.
Thanks for the info. I might try this. Do you have know the correct rivet size? Where did you get them?
They seem to be some random nonstandard size. We drilled one out, measured it at 4mm then found 4mm rivets wouldn't fit and had to drill it out to 4mm. I can send you some if you want, just PM me.
Will do! Thanks.
Having now used the new Petzl Sum'tec over the past few weeks I have found the new Quark/Nomic pick attachment more reassuring than the old Sum'tec.
It is also lighter which I initially thought was great though thought the axe shaft felt a bit tinny compared to any of my other axes apart from the ultra light ski touring ones such as the Petzl Ride.
I now realise this is probably due to the use of thinner walled alloy tubing in the Sum'tec which unfortunately dents very easily (yes, I said dents!) when using the spike to clear out slots in ice up rocks for threads.
I've never ever had that happen with any of my previous axes, some used for decades, which would chip and get scraped in use but not actually dent!!!!!
This has made me more wary about the latest Quarks and Nomics, do they all now use thinner walled tubing in the shafts and is the durability being compromised to save grams?
> I've never ever had that happen with any of my previous axes some used for decades, which would chip and get scraped in use but not actually dent!!!!!
> This has made me more wary about the latest Quarks and Nomics, do they all now use thinner walled tubing in the shafts and is the durability being compromised to save grams?
It may well be that thinner walled tubing is used in newer models but there is also the tempering or hardness of the alloy to consider. Possibly as well the actual alloy used.
As I understand it, and I am not a metalergist or ice axe manufacturer, is that alloy tubing was supplied tempered to the ideal standard for the finished product, when axes had straight shafts. All that was required was to cut the tubing to the correct length and fix heads and spikes and a handle grip.
For curved shaft axes however, the straight tubing cannot bent in the final temper state.
It needs to be bent " soft" then retempered to suit the finished product.
All these processes are far more specialised for alloys than steel products, I have been told.
Presumably all the new axes conform to the standard tests required.
Denting of shafts is quite unusual and perhaps not very confidence inspiring.
Can anybody with proffessional knowledge of alloy material better explain my musings?
Thanks for that. I had been considering a pair of these for mid-grade alpine routes. Sounds like I need to factor in durability.
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