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Technical Friends vs. Camalots
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By Doug Hill
Jun 26, 2009

I got to handle some tech friends. The action wasn't as smooth as camalots but they felt better in my hand and they are cheaper which is important to me. Someone said something earlier about the lobes capsizing while on the gear sling. Is this still a problem?


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By Mark Roth
From Boulder
Jun 26, 2009
not climbing

Doug Hill wrote:
...lobes capsizing while on the gear sling. Is this still a problem?


Yeah, it happens. Not a big deal. They straighten out when you pull the trigger (usually). C4s can't do that though, and the bigger range and smoothness sells me...


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By DaveB
Jun 26, 2009
Vitruvian Man (da Vinci)

Doug Hill wrote:
I got to handle some tech friends. The action wasn't as smooth as camalots but they felt better in my hand and they are cheaper which is important to me. Someone said something earlier about the lobes capsizing while on the gear sling. Is this still a problem?

Go with what's comfortable for you...handling, weight, features, and price. Again, both WC & BD are excellent.

I wouldn't worry about shifting lobes while racked...a non-issue. Occasionally you may have to adjust lobes/wires slightly (usually as a result from being stowed in the pack), but this is done prior to climbing (on the ground)....just part of routine inspection and maintenance.


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By rhyang
From San Jose, CA
Jun 26, 2009
21-August-2012: Me just before heading up the Twilight Pillar (III, 5.8+)

I usually prefer the C4's because of the larger range & thumb loops. But I like the WC # 3.5 and 4 as doubles for my BD's in that size.

The WC versions are also slightly lighter, so if I am not sure I will need a 3 & 4 or need them just for one or two easy placements I will take those instead.


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By Phoenix
From louisville, colorado
Jun 26, 2009
hiking 8-5-09 (Don't chase the rabbit!!!)

Paul Dieterle wrote:
I just ordered some Aliens today from them.

Might want to keep the tags on them when they arrive, or even cancel your order. However use your own judgment.
CCH Aliens


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By Aaron Martinuzzi
Jun 27, 2009
end of the day in the black canyon.

Wade Frank wrote:
The c4's have the double-axel design which has numerous advantages. Black Diamond even states if the cam walks back into a crack and fully umbrellas it is just as strong as a stopper with the double-axel design and you get more range.


you do get a larger range with the double axle design, but this also results in fewer cams in a given range of inches - C4's .5 to 3 covers ~ .8" to 3" with 5 cams while Friends 1 to 3.5 cover ~.8" to 3" with 8 cams - more overlap, and you won't need a double set for a longer pitch. Also, the cam stops on friends (and DMMs) allow the pieces to function passively.

someone mentioned Metolius Powercams - personally, I find them inconvenient to handle, the range much smaller than Camalots, and the overlap between sizes insufficient to make up for the reduced range. i do not like them at all.

DMM 4CUs are the same size as tech friends, lighter, and easier to handle since they're u-stems. I prefer them to Camalots for a few reasons:

1.) I like the sizing (more cams in the same size range as mentioned above - i never carry doubles but always feel comfortable stretching a pitch with the number of cams on my rack)
2.) They handle really well - almost any way you grab them allows for trigger retraction and placement
3.) You can pull the trigger with one finger easily in all sizes, nice for deep placements where it's tough to get a whole hand in to grab the cam - also, you can grab the trigger with one nut tool, where as with single stems (camalots, mastercams, tech friends) you can't

Granted, DMMs aren't common pieces, but I've been super happy with my set. I've climbed on Camalots a good amount and while I'll admit they're very nice cams, I prefer my DMMs. Tech Friends are such a bitch to handle I wouldn't buy them unless I found a super great deal and really needed more cams.

not sure where you'd find DMMs in ann arbor - i doubt the Bivouac or Planet Rock is carrying them. anyway, bouldermountaineering.com has them. if the question was BD vs. WC I would pick BD for handle-ability.


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By jack roberts
Jun 27, 2009

Looks like most everyone has covered all the pertinent concerns herre.

I've been using Friends for as long as they have been out...or at least since 1978. I noticed about 4 years ago that the quality control on Black Diamond Camelots was superior to any of the Tech Friends or stem Friends that were being produced........So, I've been using Camelots more and missing using my Friends less. BD quality control is much better and once you get used to using any particular product it all works out fine.


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By slim
Administrator
Jun 29, 2009
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

i'm not sure that the trigger wires on the tech friends porduced over the last 10 years or so are much more enduring than the camalots (which admittedly is borderline pathetic). for as little as i use my tech friends, i have had to do quite a few trigger repairs. trigger repairs on camalots are a lot easier too, do to those wierd trigger "plugs" on the friends. i usually have to drill them out, or drill separate ghetto holes for the wires.

still can't beat the #1.5 and #2 friends in the desert though...


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