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Edelrid Mega Jul
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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 22, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Warning Warning Warning!!! This is only my thoughts and experiences. I am a nameless faceless nobody on the internet and you should not take anything I've posted here or anywhere else as gospel, scripture, or science. I am not giving you advice, please follow all manufacturer's instructions before using any gear mentioned in this thread or in general. If you are uncertain or uncomfortable please consult the instructions, a doctor, a attorney, and a rabbi. Should you ingest any of the following information, do not induce vomiting but go straight to an emergency room.

Edelrid Mega Jul:

I picked up a Mega Jul this morning and thought I'd post some thoughts and pictures. I'll update this with some more feed back as I use it.

Initial thoughts:

The Mega Jul is small, very small actually. If you've used a Mammut Smart or Alpine Smart the Mega Jul is probably 1/3 the size and weighs 2.5 ounces. The finish of the Mega Jul is pretty raw compared to a Reverso 3/4 or ATC-G.

As far as function, the Mega Jul feeds rope in and out with almost zero restriction. The Alpine Smart can be finicky with larger ropes requiring a harder pull, that is not the case with the Mega Jul. I ran a fuzzy 10.5, 9.5, and new'ish 9.8 through the Jul and there was no real difference. I haven't rapped with the Mega Jul yet but I did set up a rope to hang from, and when using a caribiner as the instructions show, releasing the device is pretty smooth.

Also worth noting is that the Mega Jul seems less sensitive to caribiner selection. Using a Metolius Element with the Alpine Smart creates a lot of focused wear and is kind of a PITA to connect. The Mega Jul sets up just like a traditional tuber.


Edelrid Mega Jul
Edelrid Mega Jul


www.redpointclimbing.com/shop/belay-devices

I paid retail for the belay device and don't work for any companies mentioned.

Update:

Climbed a few pitches on the Mega Jul here is how it handles and stacks up against the Mammut Alpine Smart:

As I mentioned, feeding the rope in and out is very easy. My wife doesn't care for the Smart because it has more drag than her ATC and locks up too easily. I don't notice the drag on the Smart but I did notice the Mega Jul needs a hand on the brake to lock when the Smart will just lock up. Your hand should be on the rope anyway but it's still a consideration.

Mega Jul belaying from the harness.
Mega Jul belaying from the harness.



IMO, one of the best features of the Smart is how easily it is to pull in rope belaying a second/third off the anchor. Rope size does not matter unlike a Reverso 3 or ATC-G.

Alpine Smart belaying from anchor.
Alpine Smart belaying from anchor.



The Mega Jul isn't bad belaying from an anchor. Rope size does matter though, the 10.5 I ran through it had a lot of drag. The 9.8 I tried is pretty new with just a handful of pitches and worked great. Still more drag than the Alpine Smart but less than a Reverso 3.

Mega Jul belaying from anchor.
Mega Jul belaying from anchor.



Rapelling in auto-block mode took a little getting used to. Still easier than a Alpine Smart but quirky none the less. I started with a prusik back up to take the picture but it was a pain in the ass so after the photo I removed it. Using a caribiner as a handle and one hand on the brake strands gives a pretty effortless rap. The prusic isn't necessary. For short raps or low angle raps using the Mega Jul as a tuber is easier.
I didn't take a pictures but I rap'd the last two pitches to the ground using it as a tuber. There is less friction than an ATC so you need to be more careful but it is faster than using the auto-block on low angle terrain. On a two rope overhang rap like Monkey-Face the auto-block is ideal.
The Megal Jul does not seem to conduct heat. The device was cold while the caribiner was hot. I'm sure the internal surfaces of the device were hot but nothing from the outside.

Mega Jul rap in auto-block.
Mega Jul rap in auto-block.


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 23, 2013

Would be cool to try one of these and see how the SS holds up, pretty sure it'd be amazing. Also how it marks the rope vs alum


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 23, 2013
OTL

Anyone want to buy my Mammut Smart alpine?

Pretty sure I'll upgrade to one of these now.


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Mar 23, 2013
Wall Street, Moab, UT

Thanks for posting this, Ray... I've been thinking about one of those.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Mar 23, 2013
El Chorro

John Marsella wrote:
Ray, what is the function of the strangely shaped plastic covered aspect of the retainer wire? Is it just a comfy place for your hand to rest?




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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 23, 2013
Cleo's Needle

John Marsella wrote:
Ray, what is the function of the strangely shaped plastic covered aspect of the retainer wire? Is it just a comfy place for your hand to rest?


The plastic thumb loop serves the same function as the long hook on the Mammut Smart, it disengages the auto lock feature. You place your thumb through the loop and pull it outward to release the rope.


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By WillamR
Mar 23, 2013

Let us know how it handles! Very interested in picking one of these up.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 24, 2013
Cleo's Needle

John Marsella wrote:
Seems somewhat complicated to use (initially) but the amount of options it offers looks good.


I updated the OP with more pictures and comments. It is slightly more complicated than a Reverso 3/4 but once you get it figured out it's simple. It works exactly the same as a Smart.


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By Jon H
From Boulder
Mar 24, 2013
At the matching crux

Hi Ray, thanks for the review, it's very helpful.

When rappelling in auto-block mode, is it possible to use it like an Alpine Smart, i.e. hook your thumb in the plastic thumb loop and release tension on the device in that fashion (without needing an extra biner as a "lever")?


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 24, 2013

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
The Megal Jul does not seem to conduct heat. The device was cold while the caribiner was hot. I'm sure the internal surfaces of the device were hot but nothing from the outside.


lol pretty sure SS conducts heat :P. I'm no ME but my guess is that the SS does a better job of dissipating the heat.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 24, 2013
Cleo's Needle

NorCalNomad wrote:
lol pretty sure SS conducts heat :P. I'm no ME but my guess is that the SS does a better job of dissipating the heat.


Aluminum conducts heat better than steel. Aluminum's thermal conductivity is around 220 and Stainless Steel is around 16.5. Obviously SS does conduct heat but it didn't seem to conduct heat from the contact surfaces inside to the outside surface of the device during a 30 meter rappel.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 24, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Jon H wrote:
Hi Ray, thanks for the review, it's very helpful. When rappelling in auto-block mode, is it possible to use it like an Alpine Smart, i.e. hook your thumb in the plastic thumb loop and release tension on the device in that fashion (without needing an extra biner as a "lever")?


I didn't try it today but will tomorrow.


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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Mar 24, 2013

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
Aluminum conducts heat better than steel. Aluminum's thermal conductivity is around 220 and Stainless Steel is around 16.5. Obviously SS does conduct heat but it didn't seem to conduct heat from the contact surfaces inside to the outside surface of the device during a 30 meter rappel.


Sweet.


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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 24, 2013

Jon H wrote:
Hi Ray, thanks for the review, it's very helpful. When rappelling in auto-block mode, is it possible to use it like an Alpine Smart, i.e. hook your thumb in the plastic thumb loop and release tension on the device in that fashion (without needing an extra biner as a "lever")?


yeah, but its super jerky. the carabiner is definitely the way to go. the only significant drawback to the device's intended uses, imho.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Mar 24, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

The fact that it has to be levered away from the harness with the brake hand in order to pump out slack means that it will have the same drawbacks as the Smart for handling half ropes.

Although heavier, bulkier, and pricier, the Alpine Up is probably still the best device for half ropes.


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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Mar 24, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert.  Info coming soon maybe?  Fun 5.10 hands and fingers.

When can I buy one of these?


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 24, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Davis Stevenson wrote:
When can I buy one of these?


This is the only place I know of that has them.

www.redpointclimbing.com/shop/belay-devices


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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Mar 25, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert.  Info coming soon maybe?  Fun 5.10 hands and fingers.

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
This is the only place I know of that has them. www.redpointclimbing.com/shop/belay-devices


Thanks!

My gym is an Edelrid dealer, too... I'll see what kind of timeframe it'll be before they have them here.


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By Redpoint
Mar 25, 2013
The Swirl in the Logo

Hey Ray,
Awesome Post with a great review. Also Big thanks for mentioning Redpoint. I already got a phone order from someone in Fort Collins.

Thanks,
Eric


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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Mar 26, 2013
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3

is it just me or is your smart alpine not set up properly for belaying from the anchor?


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 26, 2013
OTL

superkick wrote:
is it just me or is your smart alpine not set up properly for belaying from the anchor?


Just you. You actually need to read the directions on the Smart before using it.

It would still work the other way, but pulling slack would be a bitch.


Look at the Mega Jul also - its basically clipped in upside down during autoblocking.


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By divnamite
From New York, NY
Mar 26, 2013

superkick wrote:
is it just me or is your smart alpine not set up properly for belaying from the anchor?

Just you.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 26, 2013
Cleo's Needle

superkick wrote:
is it just me or is your smart alpine not set up properly for belaying from the anchor?


The caribiner is placed outside the channels to autoblock from an anchor. It is what makes the Smart so easy to pull rope through belaying from an anchor. The Mega Jul works the same way but has to be flipped over and is the same reason it works better than a Reverso 3/4 or ATC-G.


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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Mar 26, 2013
OTL

Ray Pinpillage wrote:
I don't notice the drag on the Smart but I did notice the Mega Jul needs a hand on the brake to lock when the Smart will just lock up.


Can you provide more info as you use the Mega Jul more? I like how the Smart is almost auto locking. Great when me or someone else is sitting our way up a hard TR and nice to have on multi also.
Is there that much of a difference? Only on new/skinnier ropes?


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By bearbreeder
Mar 27, 2013

i was thinking of buying it, but the two key features is the "near" autolocking of the smart (it really isnt 100% of the time, but its better than nothing) and the ease of the autoblock

i want the first due to the possibility of rock fall knocking out the belayer

the second because 12-20 pitches of pulling a rope in autoblock, its worth a bit of extra weight to save your arms IMO

so this has helped me save some moola ;)


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 29, 2013
Cleo's Needle

Jon H wrote:
Hi Ray, thanks for the review, it's very helpful. When rappelling in auto-block mode, is it possible to use it like an Alpine Smart, i.e. hook your thumb in the plastic thumb loop and release tension on the device in that fashion (without needing an extra biner as a "lever")?


I know John said no to this but I had pretty good success. I think short of a full overhung rap I prefer to use the thumb loop instead of a caribiner. Same goes for lowering climbers. The caribiner method adds in a lot of friction so in many situations it'll be easier and smoother to use the thumb loop.


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